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Some of the 170 signatories that have called for an end to the military operation in Afrin have filed a criminal complaint at the Istanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for calling them "immoral, conscienceless traitors".
In the text delivered to all members of parliament, 170 signatories among whom were politicians, writers, academics, artists, journalists, and NGO representatives had demanded that the problems be resolved through dialogue.
Of the signatories, Prof. Dr. Ayşe Erzan, Prof. Dr. Gençay Gürsoy, Prof. Dr. Hacer Ansal, writers Burhan Sönmez, Oya Baydar, Nesteren Davutoğlu and Ayşegül Devecioğlu, artist Ferhat Tunç, journalist Hasan Cemal, Prof. Dr. Taner Akçam, rights defenders Mustafa Cengiz Arın and Gürhan Ertür filed a criminal complaint against Erdoğan today (February 27) for "insult" and "provoking the public to hatred and hostility", saying that they "were made targets in a lynching campaign".
What did Erdoğan say?
Erdoğan had spoken about the peace signatories on January 28 in Çorum province:
"These so-called professors, artists, academics are saying stop the war. They say they want peace, that this peace would come from good relations with the People's Protection Units (YPG). And they felt no shame in signing and sending this text to the MPs. Conscienceless, immoral traitors. Where were you before? What these are doing is hypocrisy, it's providing a human shield for the terrorists."
What did the declaration say?
The declaration sent to MPs from different political parties –AKP (315), CHP (135), HDP (59) and MHP (35)– read:
"We, the undersigned citizens, are calling out to you on behalf of millions for the authority and responsibility you hold in your hands.
"We want peace and calm in our country and our region, not war. We believe the best way to protect our borders and not face a threat to our survival is reciprocal friendship and reinforcement of neighbor relations. We know from experience that our safety will be ensured not through billions spent on arms or young people's lives or a war that will leave ten thousands of families without a home, but through reciprocal negotiations and collaborations, and that this is possible.
"We know that an armed intervention in Afrin, which is Syria's territory and does not pose a threat to Turkey, will not bring our country peace and safety, but bigger problems, devastation and anguish, and that it will deeply hurt our Kurdish citizens.
"In the current state of affairs where even the military presence of foreign states that have turned the Middle East into an inferno of proxy wars is a violation of international law, an intention of and steps towards joining their ranks will only lead our country to disappointment and cause social, political, economic, and humanitarian losses that will remain irreparable for decades.
"With our identities and responsibilities as citizens, and with our people and history our witness, we warn you, wielders of authority, and urge you to hear us and act in common sense, to stop the war immediately, and to solve the problem through dialogue." (TP/PU)
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