A request for purged academics in Turkey

This is an urgent call for support for Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakca, an academic and a teacher in Turkey who have been on hunger strike for almost 3 months to protest their unjust dismissal from their positions in the aftermath of the attempted military coup. They are both educators who are committed to democracy and social justice and are two of many public sector workers in Turkey who have been purged with emergency decrees without due process. You can read more about them on their campaign’s website and in recent press coverage.

Gülmen and Özakca were recently taken under custody without trial during their action, and their health is severely deteriorating due to the prolonged hunger strike and prison conditions. The campaign in solidarity with the hunger strike is looking for support messages from academics abroad, as these have proved to be effective in the recent past to both put pressure on the government and to raise morale among the resistance in Turkey, reminding people that they are not alone.

If you would like to support Gulmen and Ozakca, you can send your name, title and academic affiliation directly to the following address, until midnight on Sunday, June 4th: hungryforourjobs@gmail.com

If you feel compelled to do so, please also leave a short message of support.

You can also find the names and addresses of Turkish authorities to write letters to on Amnesty International’s Urgent Action page. This would be especially helpful if you are writing in the name of an academic association or other international professional organization.