MP Meets Academics for Peace: 'Violated Rights Should be Returned'

Yazar / Referans: 

Utku Çakırözer from the main opposition CHP has said that all the academics must return to their schools after the Constitutional Court ruling in a visit to the "street university" run by the discharged academics.

Utku Çakırözer, an MP of the Republican People's Party (CHP) has met with the Academics for Peace in Eskişehir after the Constitutional Court ruled that the prison sentences given to the academics for "terrorist propaganda" violated their freedom of expression.

Saying that the academics must return to their schools, Çakırözer remarked, "This is only the beginning. The 'violation' verdict is not enough in itself. This verdict should materialize. All the academics who were discharged from universities must return to their schools."

Twenty-five academics in Eskişehir who were discharged because of having signed the declaration continued to give education at the "Eskişehir School" they established, holding workshops, conferences and "solidarity seminars."

Visiting the Eskişehir School, Çakırözer spoke with the academics and got information from them about what they experienced since January 2016, when the declaration that criticized the military operations in the southeast was released.

"The trials of academics have left two years behind. In the trials, verdicts of conviction have been given for 204 academics out of 646. Sentences of 36 academics have not been deferred," he said.

"The universities have been drained in the past two years. Academics who did not withdraw their signs were forced to resign. Many academics have been left unemployed. They could not travel abroad even for scientific studies. Those who went abroad could not return. They have been left to 'civil death' in their own words.

"The Constitutional Court verdict should affect all the trials at the heavy penal courts. Because people should not be penalized, sent to prison and discharged from their jobs just because of expressing their ideas.

"If we will make democracy and pluralism live, we need to protect the freedom of expression."

Çakırözer then told the demands of the academics:

*All the academics who were discharged from universities must return to their schools.

*Return of the academics who are abroad but cannot come back must be ensured.

*International travel bans should be lifted.

*All the violated rights of the academics, for example, the salaries they could not get, their insurance charges, their rights for immaterial compensation, should be returned.