ASN issues a statement on Violations of Academic Freedom in Turkey
April 22, 2016 Lisa Koriouchkina
The Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) expresses a deep concern regarding the disciplinary measures (including dismissals), criminal prosecutions, and widespread intimidation of numerous scholars by the government and various academic institutions under governmental control in Turkey.
These measures followed the participation of Turkish scholars among more than 2,000 scholars from all over the world who signed an international peace petition. The government response has affected ASN members and had a direct impact on the participation of Turkey-based scholars at the ASN 2016 World Convention held from April 14-16. ASN is a scholarly association devoted to the promotion of knowledge and to the understanding of ethnicity, ethnic conflict, and nationalism, with a particular geographic focus on Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, and Eurasia, including Turkey. Our mission is to contribute to the advancement of scholarship, freedom of expression, and critical thinking, which we consider to be important tools of conflict resolution in contested regions and war-torn states.
Whereas academic freedom is necessary to advance peace and democracy;
Whereas the punitive measures taken against scholars violate their freedom of expression and opinion;
Whereas the freedom of opinion and expression is guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;
We condemn the actions taken against numerous academics and express our full solidarity with our Turkish colleagues. We invite the international community to take a clear stand against these actions and to urge Turkey to respect its international obligations.
ASN Board of Directors and the Advisory Board