Turkey has arrested 12 academics for signing a declaration denouncing Ankara’s military operations against Kurdish militants. The move comes after more than 1,200 scholars were being investigated for criticizing the Turkish State.
The Anadolu Agency, as cited by AP, says the 12 who were detained by police are lecturers at Kocaeli University in the northwest. Police are still processing the paperwork for nine other academics, who will also be arrested.
The 1,200 academics had been accused of allegedly participating in “terrorist propaganda” after they signed a declaration condemning military operations against Kurdish rebels in the southeast.
News of the investigation was reported by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.
Around 1,200 academics from 89 universities, including prominent foreign scholars such as Noam Chomsky, David Harvey and Immanuel Wallerstein, signed the declaration, which was titled: “We won’t be a part of this crime.”
It called on the authorities in Ankara to end the “massacre and slaughter” in southeast Turkey and lift the siege of Kurdish towns and cities. The declaration also accused Erdogan of waging a war against his own people.
“The responsibility for the present self-inflicted crisis in the country must lie squarely with Erdogan, who perceives the Kurds… as obstacles to his plan to establish supreme rule for the Turkish presidency,” the declaration said.