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10 octobre 2013 4 10 /10 /octobre /2013 16:02

In the huge Silivri prison complex, 80 kilometers from Istanbul, a verdict will be made today in one of two state trials that the Turkish government is pursuing against the democratic intellectuals who are facing charges under the guise of counter-terrorism. GIT "Freedom of research and Academic Liberty in Turkey" will be particularly vigilant regarding the fate of Ragip Zarakolu , founder and director of Belge Publishing and Büsra Ersanli , professor of political science at the University of Marmara (both currently released from prison but still charged). We remain keenly vigilant also in regards to the fate of Deniz Zarakolu, editor at Belge, son of Ragip Zarakolu , and imprisoned since October 4, 2011 for giving a lecture on Aristotle during a cultural conference held by the legal pro-Kurdish BDP party. We remain vigilant concerning others who have worked with Belge, such as A. Dursun Yildiz, a retired professor, and writer/translator, Ayse Berktay, both of whom are also still in detainment. The ferocity with which the State power is terrorizing these intellectuals brings to light the situation of hundreds of students and journalists who are still being detained or still facing charges because they too have chosen to defend freedom of expression, freedom of research, and academic liberty in Turkey.

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30 juin 2013 7 30 /06 /juin /2013 16:00

Exceptional video film, realized by students from Mimar Sinan University. 

Watch it !





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21 juin 2013 5 21 /06 /juin /2013 10:14

Le vertige autocratique d’Erdoğan


The Lost Legitimacy of Turkey’s Prime Minister



Published by the newspaper Libération, June 21 2013


If you would like to sign, please send name and academic titles to






The night of June 15, 2013, when the police showed a raging violence against the many peaceful demonstrators in Istanbul, will go down in Turkey’s history as a tragic tipping point. The repeated scenes of tear gas clouds, thousands injured and numerous arrests, have now been added to recent law violations that would not be tolerated in a state of war: the bombardment of gas in enclosed spaces, such as private apartments and tourist hotels; hospitals and mobile medical centers attacked, in addition to injured and arrested doctors; journalists harassed; and many reported cases of skin burns following the use of chemical agents in water cannons.


            Along with this massive and systematic state violence, peaceful demonstrations were threatened by armed supporters of the AKP party who engaged in street-fighting, thereby establishing an atmosphere of civil war in the most central districts of Istanbul. And yet, for 19 days, Gezi Park showed a remarkable experience of democracy where civil society was present in all its variety: organizations of architects and planners who were early opposers of the devastating urban politics of Prime Minister Erdoğan and the mayor of Istanbul rubbed shoulders with student associations, feminists, as well as working class people in the neighborhoods threatened with destruction. It is false to claim, as some press correspondents have done, that this large, unprecedented response by such a multitude of people is only a revolt of Kemalist and extreme nationalist groups, despite the fact that numerous opposition groups joined the cause.


Rather than hearing the citizens’ protest – a plea to participate in decisions regarding their space and way of life and a rejection of the government’s increasingly authoritarian way of ruling – Erdogan chose to disregard them and to force their hand. Since its last term, the AKP has continued to attack the scope of individual and social freedoms, and the Prime Minister has preferred to engage in provocation by calling the protesters thugs, drunks and terrorists. However, the civil society has established for weeks its indignation at the recurring violations of its rights: Gezi Park was the breaking point after a long period during which the citizens of Turkey have felt ignored, scorned and attacked by the current government with its Prime Minister at the head. Political demonstrations, especially the celebration of May 1st, were prohibited in Taksim Square under the pretext of renovation work, mass arrests have been carried out in order to criminalize any kind of opposition, the Uludere and Reyhanlı massacres have not been elucidated, major civil rights have been questioned (including the right to abortion), multiple damage to the environment, culture and diversity of lifestyle choices have created an atmosphere of legitimate indignation.


In a rejection of this climate of repression, the citizens of Turkey, unarmed, came out massively in the street and confronted armored police. In response to the government’s reaction to this event, we ask: How does one legitimize a government who has launched in a period of two weeks more than 150,000 gas grenades on its own people, injuring more than 5,000 of them and killing at least three, and who is now stating that any demonstrator found in the Taksim Square will be held as a terrorist - as announced by Mr Egemen Bağış, Minister for European Affairs? How is a government legitimate with a new bill proposing to extend the scope of the secret services who are already authorized to make arrests without court approval, while the same government boasted about having removed the army's security privileges? How does one continue to accept as a legitimate partner a government that openly declares that it no longer recognizes the decisions of the European Parliament and no longer complies with the international treaties it has signed? What kind of democracy exists in a country where the media are forced into silence – where journalists are fired or driven to self-censorship for fear of losing their jobs, and the Turkish people are forced to watch international news channels to monitor events taking place in their own country? In what lawful country do the police arrest lawyers protesting peacefully inside the courthouse and take into custody doctors treating men and women injured in clashes with the police? What legitimacy can this government still have when on Sunday, June 16, it prevents by extreme force the gathering of protesters in Taksim, while the mayor of Istanbul massively mobilizes free transport to get AKP supporters to the meeting of their leader?


Because of Erdoğan’s paranoia, where he sees foreign spies and international conspiracies wherever his people peacefully defend their rights (for example: the claim that beer vendors, Erasmus students, "International Finance", the "Jewish lobby" and the Western media disseminating information on police violence, are all responsible for organizing the protests of hundreds of thousands of people) – the international community must act now. The government of Prime Minister Erdoğan loses legitimacy in every manifestation of police violence and in every violation of international conventions or treaties. All friends of a free and democratic Turkey must work alongside this country’s civil society so that Erdoğan’s vertiginous autocracy does not create another dictatorship in the Middle East.



La nuit du 15 juin 2013 restera dans l’histoire de la Turquie comme le moment d’un  basculement tragique, quand les forces de police ont fait preuve d’une violence déchaînée contre les nombreux manifestants pacifiques d’Istanbul. Aux scènes désormais habituelles de nuages de gaz lacrymogènes, de centaines de blessés et de nombreuses arrestations, s’ajoutent maintenant des violations du droit qui ne seraient pas tolérées en état de guerre : le bombardement de gaz dans des espaces fermés, jusque dans les appartements privés et les hôtels touristiques, des hôpitaux pris d’assaut, des centres médicaux mobiles attaqués, des blessés et des médecins arrêtés, des journalistes harcelés, de nombreux cas de brûlures de peau signalés à la suite de l’emploi de substance chimique dans les canons à eau.

En plus de cette violence d’Etat, massive et systématique, les manifestations pacifiques sont sous la menace des partisans du parti AKP, prêts au combat de rue, instaurant une ambiance de guerre civile dans les quartiers les plus centraux d’Istanbul. Pourtant, depuis 19 jours, le parc Gezi témoignait d’une expérience singulière de démocratie, où la société civile était présente dans toute sa variété : ainsi, les organisations d’architectes et d’urbanistes qui s’opposaient dès le début à la politique urbaine dévastatrice du Premier ministre Erdoğan et du maire d’Istanbul ont côtoyé les associations d’étudiants ou de féministes, tout comme les habitants mêmes des quartiers populaires menacés de destruction. Il est faux d’affirmer, comme le font certains correspondants de presse, que cette multitude inouïe et populaire ne serait qu’une réaction kémaliste et nationaliste, même si celle-ci a été rejointe par de nombreux groupes d’opposition.

Au lieu d’écouter les citoyens protestant avant tout contre sa manière de plus en plus autoritaire de gouverner, demandant tout simplement de participer aux décisions concernant leur espace et mode de vie, Erdoğan a choisi dès le début de les mépriser et de leur forcer la main. Alors que depuis son dernier mandat, l’AKP ne cesse d’attaquer le champ des libertés individuelles et sociales, le Premier ministre préfère la provocation, en qualifiant les manifestants de voyous, d’ivrognes et de terroristes. Or, la société civile manifeste depuis des semaines son indignation envers les violations répétitives de ses droits : le parc Gezi ne fut qu’une étincelle, tant les citoyens de Turquie se sentent ignorés, méprisés et attaqués par le pouvoir actuel, le Premier ministre en tête. La place Taksim interdite aux manifestations politiques et surtout à la célébration du 1er Mai sous prétexte de travaux, les arrestations massives visant à criminaliser toute forme d’opposition, les massacres d’Uludere et de Reyhanlı aucunement élucidés, les principaux droits civiques remis en question (dont le droit à l’avortement), les atteintes multiples à l’environnement, à la culture et à la pluralité des modes de vie avaient déjà créé une atmosphère d’indignation légitime.

Refusant un tel climat de répression, les citoyens de la Turquie sont sortis massivement dans la rue et ont affronté sans armes les blindés de la police. Comment qualifier un gouvernement qui a tiré plus de 150 000 grenades de gaz en deux semaines sur ses propres citoyens, blessant plus de 5 000 d’entre eux et en tuant au moins trois, déclarant désormais que tout manifestant allant sur la place Taksim sera tenu pour un terroriste – comme l’a annoncé M. Egemen Bağış, ministre des Affaires européennes – ? Que dire du nouveau projet de loi proposant d’étendre le champ d’action des services secrets qui seraient autorisés à procéder à des arrestations sans l’aval du juge, alors que ce même gouvernement se vantait d’avoir ôté à l’armée ses privilèges sécuritaires ? Comment continuer à prendre comme partenaire légitime un gouvernement qui déclare ouvertement qu’il ne reconnaît plus les décisions du Parlement Européen et qui ne respecte plus les traités internationaux qu’il a signés ? De quelle démocratie parle-t-on dans un pays où les médias sont contraints au silence ; les journalistes tout simplement chassés de leur poste, ou s’infligeant une autocensure de peur de l’être, et les Turcs obligés de regarder les chaînes internationales pour suivre les événements qui se déroulent dans leur propre pays? Dans quel Etat de droit les forces de police arrêtent-elles les avocats contestataires à l’intérieur même du palais de justice et mettent en garde à vue des médecins parce qu’ils ont secouru dans l’urgence hommes et femmes blessés dans les affrontements avec la police ? De quelle légitimité ce gouvernement peut-il encore se prévaloir, lorsqu’il empêche de force, le dimanche 16 juin, le rassemblement des manifestants à Taksim, tandis que la mairie d’Istanbul mobilise massivement ses moyens de transport pour amener gratuitement les partisans de l’AKP au meeting de leur chef ?

Face à la paranoïa de M. Erdoğan qui voit des espions étrangers et des complots internationaux partout où son peuple défend pacifiquement ses droits (les vendeurs de bière, les étudiants Erasmus, la « finance internationale », le « lobby juif » et les médias occidentaux qui diffusent librement les informations concernant la violence policière seraient responsables d’organiser les manifestations de centaines de milliers de personnes), la communauté internationale doit agir sans tarder. Le gouvernement de M. Erdoğan perd de sa légitimité à chaque manifestation de la violence policière, à chaque violation des conventions ou des traités internationaux. Tous les amis de la Turquie libre et démocratique doivent agir aux côtés de la société civile de ce pays pour que le vertige autocratique d’Erdoğan n’engendre pas une dictature de plus au Moyen Orient.




Deniz Akagul, maître de conférences à l’Université de Lille ; Salih Akın, maître de conférences à l’Université de Rouen ; Samim Akgönül, maître de conférences à l’Université de Strasbourg ; Marc Aymes, chargé de cherchées au CNRS ; Faruk Bilici, professeur à l’INALCO ; Isabelle Backouche, maître de conférences à l’EHESS ; Hamit Bozarslan, directeur d’études à l’EHESS ; Etienne Copeaux, historien de Turquie ; Dominique Colas, professeur à l’IEP de Paris ; Pierre Dardot, philosophe ; Yves Déloye, professeur à l’Université Paris 1 ; Vincent Duclert, chercheur à l’EHESS (CESPRA) ; François Georgeon, directeur de recherches au CNRS ; Béatrice Giblin, professeure à l’Université Paris 8 ; Diana Gonzalez, enseignante au Science-Po Paris ; Ragip Ege, professeur à l’Université de Strasbourg ; Jean-Louis Fabiani, directeur d’études à l’EHESS ; Dalita Hacyan, maître de conférences à l’Université de Paris 1 ; Yasemin Inceoğlu, professeure à l’Université de Galatasaray; Christian Laval, professeur à l’Université Paris Ouest Nanterre ;  Monique de Saint-Martin, directrice d’études à l’EHESS ; Ali Oker, chercheur en psychologie ; Emine Sarikartal, éditrice ; Nora Seni, professeur à l’Université Paris 8 ; Hélène Piralian, psychanalyste ; Alican Tayla, chercheur associé à l’IRIS ; Ferhat Taylan, directeur de programme au CIPH ; Sezin Topçu, chargée de recherche au CNRS ; Murat Yıldızoğlu, professeur à l’Université de Bordeaux.

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17 juin 2013 1 17 /06 /juin /2013 19:00

Professor Leyla Neyzi, sociologist, Sabanci University on CBC

Professor Edhem Eldem, historian, Bogazici University


Leyla Neyzi



Edhem Eldem’s article in NYT




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17 juin 2013 1 17 /06 /juin /2013 00:58




Since May 31st 2013 the peaceful and legitimate demonstrations are tried to be suppressed by the police. The police forces are using chemical gases savagely on the unprotected civil masses.


Before complete blockage of health assistance to the injured people and the preclusion of the functioning of health services by the police attacks, that took place once more again on the night of June 15th , Turkish Medical Association was started a web based survey in order to disclose the dangerous health effects of these gases targeted at defenseless people and in one week period, over 11 thousand of people declared that they have been effected by the gas.


65% of the repliers were between 20-29 years of age and professional protecting mask usage was only 13%. The total duration of exposure was evaluated among 11.164 replies. 53% declared that they have exposed to the chemical gases 1-8 hours where 11% exposed more than 20 hours. Exposing the chemical gases more than one day increases the prevalance of the systemic symptoms, especially cardiovasculer symptoms. These data shows the dimensions of the problem.


Before the 15th of June disaster the total number of injuries were 788 (%7). These data shows that the gas bombs were targeted the people. Many of them were the injuries of head, face, eyes, thorax and abdomen which could be fatal. 20% of the injuries were open sores and fractures.


Only 5% of the people were admitted to hospitals. The tagging of the people who are admitting to the hospitals is preventing people from going to the hospitals in order to ask medical assistance. Ministry of Health opened an investigation about Istanbul Chamber of Medicine which is organizing the volunteer physicians’ work. In Istanbul one physician an done medical student handcuffed and detained. There are many other informations about the detaining of health care staff. These data shows the witch-hunt in Turkey.


Turkish Medical Association making calls to the government to act responsibly and stop the barbaric violence immediately. As Turkish Medical Association it is our responsibility to inform the international community. We urgently call the international community to act against brutal suppression of democratic demands.



Turkish Medical Association


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17 juin 2013 1 17 /06 /juin /2013 00:40

"MAJOR POLICE TERROR IN Istanbul, worse than anything I've seen so far. No limits, they are not just attacking but chasing people until something bad happens. More arrests than ever and no one knows where they are taken to. Media is not allowed in. International friends, you won't be able to watch this on the news - it's really bad. Please continue putting pressure on local consulates, sharing tweets and Facebook updates - it's more useful than you would think. Thanks."

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16 juin 2013 7 16 /06 /juin /2013 14:59

From an anonymous trusted source

From an anthropologist friend tonight in Istanbul, Turkey.


« Dear friends,

I'm sorry to say this evening that there is no more Gezi park to report from. Riot police raided the park today, which was having a very normal, festival like atmosphere. I saw whole families, pregnant women, old people there. We barely escaped. I hear from the streets that people were beaten and pepper-gassed indiscriminately, women with kids on their laps etc. Several kids are lost. Lost kids are taken to the protestors, not to the police, when they are found. A safehouse hotel offering their premises for a volunteer medical center, supplies etc. was also invaded by the riot police. The resistance platform decided to get away from the park so that innocent people (revolution safari tourists) wouldn't get hurt too much. The police is not letting the journalists in the park as they clear the tents etc. There are rumors that they are planting false evidence like drugs, guns, etc. to delegitimize the movement. Currently a solidarity group is trying to form in kadikoy, the Asian side, getting ready to cross the bridge on foot and come for help. People are infuriated, especially because the governor and the authorities are still claiming that a few "small interventions" are taking place, only against a few "marginal groups." Mainstream turkish media continue to show soccer matches etc instead of broadcasting these news. Medical centers are gassed, volunteering doctors are beaten and apprehended. The state is now at a point where it does not or cannot distinguish between civil society and so called terrorists or "marginal illicit organizations". This is not police intervention but a full assault against a civil democratic movement. The situation is dire but people are holding strong, despite the despair.


Binghamton friends have always and consistently showed their support in these last few weeks. I invite my fellow anthropology grad students to show their solidarity by letting everyone know and by trying to follow the news as these events unfold. »

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16 juin 2013 7 16 /06 /juin /2013 11:06

Violence shook Istanbul overnight, as the Turkish government sent police into the park at the centre of protests, used tear gas against a hotel where protesters – including the wounded – were seeking refuge, and stationed military gendarmes at key points in the city to prevent demonstrators from regrouping.

Clashes continued for hours after police stormed the chief redoubt of Turkish protesters on Saturday night, using tear gas and water cannon to flush them from Istanbul’s central Gezi park after the demonstrators refused to leave.


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16 juin 2013 7 16 /06 /juin /2013 02:19

Today, following Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's extremely sectarian, separatist, and fictious speech in Ankara, around 9 PM, the Turkish police began to attack thousands of people who were at the Gezi Park and Taksim square, having dinner. There are kids under 4-5 years old, mothers, and old people among those who were under gas and pressurised water attack. According to reports, police doesn't allow journalists to report or to take pictures from Gezi Park. They are also attacking with pressurised water business such as famous Divan Hotel that opened its doors to protestors running away from brutality. People are saying there are thousands of wounded inside of the hotel. People formed a human chain in front of the hotel to prevent police to attack. Another report says that people cannot leave the hotel because police is arresting whoever leaves. There are also unconfirmed reports that police shut down the metro and boats between Asia and Europe to stop people coming and joining the rest. Another report says that there is a jammer in the area to prevent TV stations' broadcast. There are hundreds of wounded. There are a lot of missing kids, or kids who are separated from their families. Protestors are fighting with police in Sıraselviler, Cihangir, Harbiye, and most likely around Dolmabahçe and Maçka. People call it a total brutality, a real savagery that is going on tonight. What we are seeing an ugly war where only one side have weapons.

(anonymous facebook post from trusted network)

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13 juin 2013 4 13 /06 /juin /2013 07:43

Yurtdışındaki akademisyenlerden demokrasiye çağrı bildirisi / Academics call for democracy

“As academics concerned with the recent developments in Turkey, we stand in solidarity with the people peacefully protesting to protect Gezi Park in Taksim, and we condemn the excessive police brutality that was inflicted on them. [...]

Every day we continue to receive horrifying news from Turkey. Yesterday, June 11, 2013, the police violently attacked Gezi Park. Hundreds of people were injured, with some left in very serious conditions. We are deeply saddened by this situation and we ask the Turkish government to immediately stop the police violence against the peaceful demonstrations in Gezi Park and other places around Turkey. We also declare to the world that the detention of lawyers and their harsh, unlawful treatment by the police at Caglayan Courthouse yesterday is unacceptable. Scenes like those we saw from the courthouse yesterday do not befit a country that claims to have a democratic legal system.
We wish the people who have been subjected to violence a fast recovery. We send our condolences to the families of the deceased.”


See : http://academicsforgezi.com/our-call/

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