Turkish court rejects academic’s objection to travel ban

An Ankara court has rejected an objection to a travel ban imposed on an academic who was fired from his university job over the alleged dissemination of terrorist propaganda, the Duvar news website reported on Friday.

Serkan Günay objected to the court’s decision that prevented him from leaving Turkey after he was dismissed from Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) for signing a declaration in 2016 calling for an end to counterterrorism operations in Turkey’s Kurdish Southeast.

After the Ankara 19th High Criminal Court imposed a travel ban for allegedly promoting terrorist propaganda, Günay’s lawyer objected to the verdict at the 20th High Criminal Court. The court dismissed the objection of the academic, who was planning to continue working abroad in the absence of opportunities for purged academics in Turkey.

In February 27 academics were handed down sentences totaling 57 years, 11 months and five days on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda by signing the same declaration.

Not only academics, but hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life in Turkey are suffering from a travel ban imposed on allegations of terrorist support.

In 2018 the government announced the removal of restrictions on 155,350 passports. 

The Ministry of Interior Affairs had lifted restrictions on the passports of 51,171 people, Turkish media reported in February.

However, many people have not been able to get their passport privileges reinstated by authorities without any explanation offered.

Most of the people who were affected by the passport restrictions were civil servants who were purged in the wake of a failed coup in 2016 and their family members.

Thousands of women and children have fled Turkey to Greece and other neighboring countries to escape from Turkish government persecution following the coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The Turkish Interior Ministry announced at the end of 2017 that 234,419 passports had been restricted as part of investigations since the abortive putsch. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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