Fifteen academics who had signed a declaration in January 2016 criticizing curfews declared in predominantly Kurdish southeastern districts were dismissed from their jobs as part of a new government decree on Tuesday.
According to the decree, numbered 677, eight academics from Akdeniz University, six from Ondokuz Mayıs University and one from Kastamonu University were dismissed for being signatories to the peace declaration criticizing curfews declared during government operations in southeastern provinces starting from July 2015.
Over 1,100 academics from 90 universities signed the declaration on Jan. 11, wherein they called on the government to halt the ongoing operations in southeastern Turkey, restore peace to the nation and return to the negotiating table to restart shelved talks with the Kurds to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.
Akdeniz University academic Bülent Şık, who is among those dismissed, said on his Twitter account on Tuesday that “I have been fired from my post at Akdeniz University as part of the last KHK [decree]. Peace, goodness and solidarity will prevail. Tomorrow is another day!”
The declaration frustrated President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, leading to retribution against the academics. Some of the insults Erdoğan used against them include “so-called intellectuals,” “a flock called intellectuals,” “traitors” and “rough copies of intellectuals.”
Hundreds of academics who signed the declaration were detained after police raided their houses and offices across Turkey.