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Intellectuals launch petition to support poet harassed at university event

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A large number of intellectuals, writers and poets have initiated a signature campaign in support of poet Ahmet Telli, who was verbally attacked by a group of students at Ankara’s Hacettepe University.

The Artı Gerçek news site reported the long list of names who expressed support for Telli, who was harassed and threatened after remarks on the lack of a collective conscience in society.

In response to a question asking the meaning of collective conscience, Telli said there is no such thing as collective conscience and that societies instead have a “lynching culture,” adding that only individuals can have a conscience. Following his remarks, a group protested and chanted, “We well turn this country into a grave for you, we are the state,” according to Artı Gerçek.

The signatories of the petition stated that they stand by Telli, who said that the very attitude of the attackers was evidence of the accuracy of his remarks.

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