Turkey's state of emergency commission dismisses 4 peace academics' applications

Turkey's State of Emergency Commission dismissed the applications of four peace academics, Nail Dertli, Ahsen Deniz Morva, Erhan Keleşoğlu and Hakan Ongan, and rejected their demand to be reinstated to their posts.

A group of Peace Academics are seen holding a banner that reads "We stand behind our demand for peace" in this file photo.

Serkan Alan / DUVAR

Turkey's State of Emergency Commission has issued rejection decisions in the applications of four peace academics, Dr. Nail Dertli, Asst. Prof. Dr. Ahsen Deniz Morva, Assoc. Prof. Erhan Keleşoğlu and Dr. Hakan Ongan, some five years after they were dismissed from their posts with emergency decrees.

Over 2,000 academics signed a petition called “We will not be a party to this crime” in early 2016 to urge the government to cease its military operations in the country’s Kurdish majority southeast, where days-long curfews and military conflict were devastating locals.

Often called the "Academics for Peace," the petition's signatories were later tried on terrorism charges.

The commission was formed in May 2017 to look into applications regarding state of emergency decrees, which were issued following the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt. 

Dr. Nail Dertli

Peace academic Dr. Nail Dertli was dismissed from his post at the Ankara University Political Science Faculty via a state of emergency decree in September 2016 alongside hundreds of others and petitioned the State of Emergency Commission to be reinstated to his position. 

The commission's reasoning for the rejections will not be delivered to the academics for a few more months. 

"I've never seen official reasoning for my dismissal, and wasn't offered any evidence for my dismissal's reasoning," Dertli said. "At least now I will be able to seek legal procedures against the reasoning."

The commission also ruled against the reinstatement of Asst. Prof. Dr. Morva, Assoc. Prof. Keleşoğlu and Dr. Ongan who were removed from their posts at Istanbul University. 

While the commission issued its decision regarding 118,415 applications out of 126,758, a vast majority of them were rejections. 

The commission rejected the applications of 103,365 applicants and 8,343 people are still waiting for a ruling.