199 Turkish academics who signed ‘peace petition’ sacked in latest decree

One hundred ninety-nine Turkish academics who signed a 2016 petition calling for a peaceful end to Turkey’s three-decades-old conflict with Kurdish militants are among 18,632 civil servants dismissed from their jobs in the Turkish government’s latest decree on Sunday.

The former rector of İzmir’s Dokuz Eylül University, Adnan Kasman, who had launched an investigation into the academics who signed the petition for peace, is also among those dismissed, according to a report by online news outlet Ahval.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan engaged in a tirade against the signatories of the petition, who call themselves Academics for Peace; hundreds are on trial or have lost their jobs for criticising the Turkish Armed Forces’ campaign against outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the southeast of the country for what they said were heavy-handed tactics in cities, including the use of heavy weaponry. Their petition called for an end to state violence against Kurdish citizens .

A two-and-a-half-year ceasefire between the Turkish government and the PKK, negotiated by Erdoğan’s government, broke down in July 2015 after his party failed to win a majority in the general election.

The Turkish government has announced that the state of emergency, which allows the government to issue decree laws that bypass legislative and judicial procedure, is set to be lifted on July 28 after being extended seven times. Under the state of emergency, the Turkish government has dismissed more than 7,500 academics so far.

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