Turkey's state of emergency commission rejects applications of two more peace academics

Turkey's State of Emergency Commission has rejected the appeals of two more members of the “Academics for Peace” who were dismissed from their jobs for signing a petition that criticized the military operations in the country’s Kurdish majority southeast in 2016.

Taştan (L) and Kacabey were dismissed from their posts from Ankara University respectively on Sep. 1, 2016 and Jan. 6, 2017.

Duvar English

Turkey's State of Emergency Commission has issued two more rejection decisions concerning the application of peace academics, some five years after they were dismissed from their posts with emergency decrees.

After giving a verdict on the cases of Dr. Nail Dertli, Dr. Erhan Keleşoğlu, Dr. Ertan Ersoy, Dr. Ahsen Deniz Merve Kablamacı and Dr. Hakan Ongan last week, the commission this time refused to reinstate Dr. Onur Can Taştan and Dr. Süreyya Kacabey to their posts.

Taştan was expelled from Ankara University on Sep. 1, 2016, whereas Kacabey on Jan. 6, 2017.

They are among over 1,000 academics who 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 and were fired from their posts by government decrees adopted within the framework of the state of emergency declared in the aftermath of the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

The State of Emergency Commission was formed in May 2017 to look into applications regarding the dismissals via emergency decrees. 

In July 2019, Turkey's Constitutional Court found that the conviction of peace academics violated their freedom of expression, calling for a re-trial of their cases.

Following the top court's ruling, a majority of the academics were acquitted by local courts, while some of the cases still continue.