CHP slams detention of academics over petition calling an end to operations
AA PhotoThe main opposition party has strongly criticized a wave of detentions on academics who signed a petition calling upon the government to end military operations in the east and southeastern parts of the country, arguing the move came from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s instructions to the judiciary.
“The steps taken by the judiciary and some universities that regarded President Erdoğan’s statements as an order on 1,128 academics who signed a petition titled ‘We won’t be part of this crime’ by the ‘Academics for Peace Initiative’ constitute a new dark stain on Turkish democracy,” read a statement issued by the party assembly of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Jan. 15.
The statement followed news that some 12 academics from Kocaeli University who were signatories were detained for allegedly violating article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which states it is illegal to insult the Turkish nation, the state of the Turkish Republic or the Grand Assembly of Turkey and the state’s judicial institutions. The academics are also accused of “terrorist propaganda.”
The CHP underlined that the party itself stands against any sort of terrorism and acknowledges terror as a crime against humanity.
“We, as the CHP Party Assembly, find these operations targeting freedom of expression of thought and independent judiciary, which are only be seen in undemocratic regimes, very dangerous and unacceptable,” it said.
Recalling that the past had witnessed the killing of people after being targeted by some circles, the party statement expressed concern over a recent statement by a mafia leader who threatened these academics with bloodshed.
“As the CHP, we recognize and defend the freedom of expression of thought as one of fundamental principles of democracy. We are standing with our citizens who use this right as long as they do not promote violence,” it added.