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[liberationtech] ESA RN18 statement about the political situation academics face in Turkey

Christian Fuchs christian.fuchs at
Tue Apr 5 00:58:12 PDT 2016

ESA RN18 statement about the political situation academics face in Turkey

As scholars concerned with the study of communications and media, and 
speaking for the research network in this field, which connects the work 
of social scientists across Europe, we condemn in the strongest possible 
terms recent steps taken against a group of colleagues in Turkey who 
have been calling for peace in the country.

We are horrified by suggestions that the Turkish authorities are 
considering measures against signatories to that call that include 
removing them from their university positions or even imprisoning them. 
Such measures would violate the human right to freedom of expression and 
they most certainly violate academic freedom.

Freedom of thought and opinion is guaranteed by the Constitution of the 
Republic of Turkey. Such freedom is itself essential for the functioning 
of science and scholarship. We are also sure the authorities in Turkey 
would not wish to compromise the activities of Turkish scholars or to 
harm the international reputation of Turkish scholarship and academic life.

Article 19 of the European Convention of Human Rights guarantees freedom 
of thought and opinion: "Everyone has the right to freedom of 
expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to 
receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public 
authority and regardless of frontiers".

This European and universal human right means that limiting the freedom
of expression of Turkish academics, who have signed the petition in 
question, may by violating basic human rights fortify Turkey's chance of 
being able to ever become a member of the European Union.

We call on the Turkish government to act urgently to ensure freedom of 
expression is protected and sustained, by dropping all charges against 
those who have signed the petition for peace.

The Board of the European Sociological Association's Research Network 
18: Sociology of Communications and Media Research (ESA RN 18)

April 5, 2016

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