Turkish university refuses to reinstate peace academic despite court decision

The İzmir-based Dokuz Eylül University has not yet reinstated Prof. Dr. Ayşen Uysal despite a court’s April decision to annul her dismissal. Uysal was expelled from the university through a statutory decree in 2016 after signing a petition named “We will not be a party to this crime!”

Cihan Başakçıoğlu / Gazete Duvar

The Ankara 21st Administrative Court on April 25 annulled the İzmir-based Dokuz Eylül University’s decision to dismiss academic Prof. Dr. Ayşen Uysal, a member of the Academics for Peace -- a group who have been dismissed from their university jobs through statutory decrees after signing a 2016 petition named “We will not be a party to this crime!”

The court said in its reasoning decision that signing the 2016 petition does not show that the signatory is connected to terrorism in any way and that the petition needs to be evaluated within the context of freedom of speech.  

“It is not possible to characterize the signed petition as praising the (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) PKK terror, supporting terrorism, directly or indirectly encouraging the use of violence, armed resistance or uprising,” the court’s decision read, adding that the petition had a purpose of calling an end to the conflicts between the military and PKK that were going on in Turkey’s Kurdish majority southeast in 2016.

Despite the court’s decision, Dokuz Eylül University has not yet reinstated Uysal into her position, saying that her reappointment was not undertaken in line with the regulations and there were missing administrative documents.

“After so many years, I don’t also know whether there is incapability or bad intention behind this. But, it is for certain that this has turned into torture…In order to break the struggle, they are continuing with the strategy that they have adopted from the beginning,” Uysal told Gazete Duvar.  

(English version by Didem Atakan)