The new Turkey
The Academics for Peace initiative


Dismissals, prosecutions
and convictions*
3 April 2018:
9 Academics Stand Their First Trial in 3 Courts
4 April 2018:
Üstel, Polat Sentenced to 1 Year 3 Months in Prison
16 April 2018:
Academic Özyetiş Acquitted in First Hearing
8 July 2018:
199 Turkish academics who signed peace petition sacked in latest decree
11 September 2018:
First Hearings of 3 Academics Held in 25th Heavy Penal Court
9 October 2018:
Peace academics face up to 7.5 years in jail
16 October 2018:
Academic given jail term for “propaganda,” sentence deferred
18 October 2018:
32 Academics Face up to 7 Years, 6 Months in Prison
19 October 2018:
32 Academics for Peace face jail sentences over 7 years
19 October 2018:
Signing Discharge of 6,817 Academics, Erdoğan Complains About University Education
22 October 2018:
Five more academics given jail terms for signing peace petition 
22 October 2018:
Turkish academic sentenced to one year in jail for signing peace petition
23 October 2018:
3 Academics Given Suspended Prison Sentence of 1 Year, 3 Months
26 17 Dec.2018
Prison sentences handed down to 28 members of Academics for Peace
1 November 2018:
1 Academic Faces up to 7 Years, 6 Months in Prison
8 November ,2018:
Presiding Judge: I Have Freedom of Expression As Well
9 November 2018:
Expelled academic detained on suspicion of terrorism
9 November 2018:
Turkish academic and some university students detained by police in Ankara
10 November 2018:
Purge-victim Turkish academic in custody on suspicion of terrorism
16 November 2018:
13 People Taken into Custody
16 November 2018:
Human Rights Association: We Condemn Operation Against Civil Society and Academia
22 November 2018:
4 more academics convicted of “propaganda” for signing peace petition
23 November 2018:
Prison Sentence Deferred with 2-Year Probation
29 November 2018:
One Academic Given Deferred Prison Sentence of 1 Year, 3 Months
4-6 December 2018:
Three more academics convicted for signing peace petition
7 December 2018:
Deferred Prison Sentence for 1 Academic; 1 Case File Combined
11-12-13 December :
16 academics convicted of “propaganda” for signing peace petition
13 December 2018:
Academics for Peace sentenced to prison in "Kafkaesque" trial
19 December 2018:
Turkish academic, rights activist sentenced to over 2 years in prison on terrorism charges
28 December 2018:
Deferred Prison Sentence of 1 Year, 3 Months for 3 Academics


On January 10, 2016, 1,128 academics published a declaration entitled "We will not be party to this crime" on behalf of the Academics for Peace initiative. With the participation of further academics, the number of academics who have signed the declaration has reached 2,212.

With the indictment issued by the Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt, lawsuits were filed against the academics on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article No. 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law No. 3713.

As of October 17, 2018, 335 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 28 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for those of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University and Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı from Marmara University.

The penalty of Prof. Dr. Üstel was not deferred on the grounds that "she did not demand deferment of the announcement of the verdict and that she did not make a statement of penitence." As for the penalty of Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı, it was not deferred on the ground that "no opinion as to her avoidance of committing offense has emerged considering her personality which does not express any remorse."

Persons charged or convicted regarding "Academics for Peace"
ECHR fines Turkey for failing to act over harassment of academics

On March 10, 2016, the Academics for Peace made a statement for press and shared with the public what they had been going through since the declaration "We will not be a party to this crime" was published.

The academics Dr. Lecturer Esra Mungan, Dr. Lecturer Muzaffer Kaya, Assoc. Prof. Dr Kıvanç Ersoy (March 15, 2016) and Dr. Lecturer Meral Camcı (March 31, 2016), who read out the above-mentioned statement for press, were arrested on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article No. 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Law.

The Text:
We will not be a
party to this crime!

They were released on April 2016. Upon the request of the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Justice granted a permission of trial as per the Article No. 301 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 301 on charges of "insulting the Turkish Nation, the State of the Republic of Turkey and the institutions and organs of the government."**

8 May 2019:

Turkish academic begins serving prison sentence for signing 2016 peace petition

Professor Füsun Üstel, the first academic who signed a peace petition in 2016 to be incarcerated, turned herself in to prison authorities today to begin serving her sentence, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported. Academics had gathered on Tuesday to bid farewell to Professor Üstel, whose 15-month prison sentence was upheld by the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice.

Speaking at the event, Üstel said: “We are not at the point where the word ends, but where it begins. As citizens, as individuals, we will voice our demand to live in peace.” Üstel will serve 11 months at the Eskişehir Women’s Prison in line with a law that stipulates individuals convicted of terrorist activities must serve three-quarters of their sentence in a penal facility and the remainder on probation.

The İstanbul Regional Appeals Court on March 3 upheld the prison sentence of Üstel, who signed a peace petition along with 1,128 other academics in 2016 calling on the Turkish government to halt military operations in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern region of the country. The İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court had previously sentenced Professor Üstel to one year, three months for disseminating terrorist propaganda. Üstel refused the offer of a suspended sentence.

29 March 2019:
1,800 academics support colleagues dismissed and punished in Turkey over peace petition

Statement of Academic
Sefa Feza Arslan


Turkey sends academics to prison for criticism of the bloody war against Kurds


Judicial harassment against the members of Academics for Peace


Turkish academics still face travel ban despite lifting of state of emergency


* This list is not necessarily complete.

** Source