Nobel laureate Pamuk supports probed academics, urges for moderation

Nobel laureate Pamuk supports probed academics, urges for moderation

Nobel laureate Pamuk supports probed academics, urges for moderation

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Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk has said that recent investigations and detentions of academics who signed a petition calling for an end to security operations in the country’s southeast did not suit Turkey, urging for a moderation.

“Twisting their arms, calling them traitors and pledging payback does not suit Turkey and the wealth that Turkey comes from,” Pamuk said during a TV program on CNN Türk on Feb. 2, adding no one would benefit from those incidents.

Pamuk called the petition “faulty” but said its general philosophy was “peace and goodness.”

“I am against those austerities. Let us soften a little bit. There is an austerity coming from the top of the state,” Pamuk said, calling for moderation.

Recently, an academic from Atatürk University in the eastern province of Erzurum who was released with an international ban after detainment, was dismissed from his post on Feb. 3.

Academic Ramazan Kurt, who worked in the department of he philosophy and history of philosophy, was detained at his house on Jan. 14 and accused of “terror propaganda,” “incitement to hatred or defaming people” and “defaming the state’s judicial bodies.”

After the court’s decision of rejection of venue, the investigation file was sent to Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

“Many other academics despite me have abandoned all their academic works and had to struggle with their own problems. I had no idea that I was dismissed on Jan. 11; I have still been teaching at the faculty. I found out that I was dismissed when I couldn’t log in to my university e-mail account and university automation system” Kurt said.

Universities and prosecutor’s offices across Turkey have launched investigations into many of the 1,128 local and international academics and intellectuals who signed the petition titled “We Will not be a Party to this Crime,” arguing that the petition went beyond the limit of academic freedom.

Many national and international organizations have reacted to the detentions and investigations in strong statements.

All those detained in the probe have since been released but they still face investigation and an eventual trial, while some academics were removed from their posts or suspended with administrative decisions.

The investigations and detentions came soon after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed the petition’s signatories, stating that human rights violations in the southeast are being committed by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, not the Turkish state.

Erdoğan stepped up his harsh rhetoric against academics who called for an end to military operations in Turkey’s southeast, warning that they would pay the price for “falling into a pit of treachery.” 

“Do you think you can disrupt the unity of this nation? Do you think you can continue to have a comfortable life with a salary from the state, without paying a price?” Erdoğan said, adding that “so-called” academics did not have the right to commit crimes.