Imprisoned Academics Speak

CHP Prison Inspection Committee has visited Assist. Prof. Dr. Esra Mungan, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kıvanç Ersoy, and Assist. Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Kaya. The academics have talked about what happened.

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People’s Republican Party (CHP) Prison Inspection Committee (CHP-CK) has visited Assist. Prof. Dr. Esra Mungan, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kıvanç Ersoy, and Assist. Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Kaya who have been arrested for signing the declaration entitled “We will not be a party to this crime”.

The committee consisting of CHP Malatya MP Veli Ağbaba, Kocaeli MP Tahsin Tarhan, and İstanbul MPs Gamze İlgezdi, Zeynel Emre and Mahmut Tanal visited Mungan at Bakırköy Prison, Kaya and Ersoy at Metris Prison.

The committee stating that the academics have been arrested after pointed as a target by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and pro-government media reports, said “The three academics charged with terror propaganda have to be released right away. The academics’ being arrested hasn’t destroyed reputation of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) only, but also reputation of Turkey. We understand based on our meetings that prosecutors thought content of the declaration issued on January 11 and imprisoned academics’ press meeting is the same. We as Prison Inspection Committee has come across many unlawfulness over 5 years but never seen anything like this”.

Kaya and Ersoy have been transferred to Silivri Prison.

Mungan: Even Hitler hasn’t had so many academics arrested

Boğaziçi University academic member Assist. Prof. Dr. Esra Mungan: “When I heard about the explosions from the prison, here feels safer. I called my spouse as soon as I received the explosion news. I’ve never received any instructions from anyone in my entire life. I am kept in isolation in the same circumstances as those who are convicted of aggravated life imprisonment. They say I receive instructions from KCK (Group of Communities in Kurdistan). A truce academics receives instruction from no one. That is the exact reason why we are against YÖK (Council of Higher Education). We don’t receive instruction from anyone, we’ve struggled for this for years. We want to administer, not YÖK.

“We have been pointed as a target. The number of signatures with the additional signatures has exceeded 2,000. We made a declaration as two women and two men academics on March 10, Thursday. We went to Vatan Security Station on our own will when my friends notified me of the warrant. They kept in cell on the doubt that I might escape. We stood trial at 12 in the midnight. We weren’t expecting that.

“I didn’t read book for 50 hours for the first time in my life. Being deprived of book was a psychological torture to me. I am worried mostly about my students. I have 54 students. I miss my lecture a lot. I’ve physically rested here for the first time, but psychologically worsened. My students are left in the lurch.

“They didn’t ask anything other than 14 articles. This declaration is a right declaration; I would sign it again. We don’t want these lands to become a land of death. We collectively penned the statement. There is no political party to which I feel belonged. I hate hierarchy. I love Boğaziçi University because there is no hierarchy. I don’t receive instruction from anyone.

In the Nazi Germany, academic named Wolfgang Köhler didn’t hail Hitler and wrote a strong article as to that period but even Hitler didn’t have him arrested.

Ersoy: We are not here for the things we said, but for the things we didn’t

Mimar Sinan University academic member Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kıvanç Ersoy: “My students said ‘Lecturer Kıvanç never gives poor grade, how can he be a terrorist’. We are for longing for peace. We are here to read a press statement. If we are struggling for democracy, then Metris is one of the station of this struggle. Sometimes you stop at these stations. Chancellors and courts have started to attack too. They say we act upon Bese Hozat’s instruction. We as scientists never receive instruction.

“They didn’t ask anything about our statement, we didn’t answer. We are for longing for peace. We didn’t think we would be arrested. Even standing trial is shameful for our country. Judge and prosecutor don’t know about the statement we read. They think the statement we read is the same as the declaration issued on January 11, but they are not. Head of department and my students have looked out for me. We are not here for the things we said, but for the things we didn’t. They’ve put us in jail just to comfort President Erdoğan. Such things happen in countries lacking democratic culture.

“In McCarthy’s term, they summoned Charlie Chaplin to testify and asked “Are you communist?”, he didn’t respond. In his memoirs 30 years later he said, ‘I am not communist but asking this question was an insult against me, that’s why I didn’t respond’. I am reading Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s book titled ‘Global Peace Vision’”.

Kaya: Our chancellor looked out for us but now resigned

Assist. Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Kaya: “2,200 academic members signed, it is only us who are here. We didn’t make the statement on behalf of everyone. We did it on behalf of ‘Academics for Peace’. There is no self-governance [matter] in our statement. I don’t regret for signing it. They have come to conclude that we are propagandizing for terror for not criticizing PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), not mentioning PKK, criticizing against state. Our chancellor looked out for us but now resigned. They fired six people along with me from Nişantaşı University. (ÇT/TK)

İstanbul - BIA News Desk

24 March 2016, Thursday