Dearest fellow COSMOS members,
In recent days, more than a 1,000 Turkish and Kurdish academics signed a petition calling for an end to hostilities in a number of Kurdish cities and a resumption of peace negotiations between the government and the PKK. As a result, charges of "propagandizing for a terrorist organisation" and treason have been brought against them by state prosecutors. These charges can result in up to five years in prison.Clearly, not even a modicum of academic freedom can be said to exist in Turkey. Freedom of expression has been completely undermined.
This year IPSA will hold its 24th World Congress of Political Science Conference in Istanbul. The organisation of a conference in a country where academics are imprisoned for their views is highly problematic. As academics there is little that we can do to change the multiple problems in Turkey but we can put pressure on international academic associations so as to not legitimise the Erdogan regime by holding conferences in Turkey until it restores freedom of expression and ends harassment of academics and others who are opposed to his political objectives.
Accordingly, some of us COSMOS members wish to send a letter to IPSA asking them to clarify their position on the matter and to take a stance demanding freedom of expression in Turkey.
We invite you to take a minute to read a quick letter we intend to send to them and sign it, in solidarity with all the academics and journalists in Turkey under threat.
Could anyone who wishes to sign (one does not need to be an IPSA member) please fill in the link to this doodle poll : http://doodle.com/poll/kcvisxhhsg78xtdv#table
with their name, title and institutional affiliation.
We will send the letter this evening.
Francis O Connor
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