International Solidarity with Academics in Turkey

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Thanks to Suomen Akateemisten Naisten Liitto, SANL Finland we’ve received this call for international solidarity written by Chad Kautzer, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Lehigh University. You can read the article in full here: http://blog.apaonline.org/2016/08/04/seven-ways-you-can-support-academics-in-turkey/

Please read this and support academics in Turkey.

1. Investigate whether your institution can temporarily host or hire an academic currently at risk in Turkey. Some institutions do this directly and some work with third-party organizations, such as Scholars at Risk. Your institution can also become a member of the Scholars at Risk Network, supporting their work through annual membership dues.

2. Review any academic or financial relations between your institution and academic institutions in Turkey. These might include joint research projects, grants, or faculty and student exchanges. Such relations can be used as leverage to pressure institutions in Turkey to respect academic freedom.

3. Use the resources of your institution and the public platforms available to you to disseminate knowledge about the plight of academics in Turkey. This could involve, for example, organizing talks, exhibitions, and press conferences, or producing films and publications.

4. Organize and participate in political actions and lobbying campaigns directed at Turkish officials and/or officials in your own government. This might be a protest at the Turkish Embassy, making phone calls, or something more creative. Academics for Peace, for example, has a campaign to send letters to university rectors in Turkey, asking them to reinstate academics fired for political reasons. It is particularly important to lobby officials in the United States and European Union member states, given their deep ties to the Turkish government.

5. Connect with others (both individuals and organizations) who care about this issue, so you can stay informed and motivated. Scholars at Risk, Amnesty International, and the Middle East Studies Association, to name just a few, have email alerts. Like Facebook pages that disseminate news about academics in Turkey and information about actions to support them, such as those of Research Institute on Turkey (RIT) and International Solidarity with Academics in Turkey (ISAT), which I recently created. ISAT also has an email list you can subscribe to by emailing academicsus@gmail.com.

6. Ask your college, university, professional organization, or union to publish a statement supporting academics in Turkey and send it to officials in Turkey and in your own government. Here is a letter from the Middle East Studies Association that was endorsed by over 40 professional organizations. You can also create petitions and open letters for others to sign, as with thisopen letter to U.S. officials and this international petitionaddressed to Turkish officials.

7. Sign the petitions and open letters. Although this is the easiest action to take, it is still important. These petitions and letters can: (a) communicate the depth and breadth of support to media outlets and government officials, (b) encourage academics in Turkey, and (c) serve as organizing tools to build political networks that facilitate future actions.

 

 

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