Turkish gov’t launches probe into political scientist Oran over alleged ‘terror propaganda’

Baskın Oran

Turkish government has launched an investigation into famous academic Baskın Oran on charges of “making terror propaganda” in an article titled “Tragicomic experiments on Kurds,” Cumhuriyet daily reported on Friday. The lawsuit was reportedly opened upon a complaint from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

Oran’s article was published on June 23 on the T24 website, the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, and on the “Artı Gerçek” website. On the same day, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced via Twitter that he would file a criminal complaint against Oran.

“Baskın Oran has marketed himself as a scientist but has shamefully fabricated every word in the article,” has claimed Soylu, who is known as the minister executing the harshest and the most fascist oppression policies against the social and ethnic groups targeted by the despotic regime of autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey. The minister’s lawyer, Uğur Kızılca, claimed that Soylu’s complaint feel within the boundaries of freedom of expression.

Following Soylu’s initial criticism, Oran, who is also among the thousands of academicians dismissed from university posts by government decrees under the rule of emergence declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, had previously defended his work, in which he described various harsh measures taken by the ministry, as being based in fact. “All or most of the incidents that I referred to in the article were from news reports that I compiled from national and mainstream media outlets. They came from newspapers and news agencies read by everyone such as NTV, the BBC, T24, Hürriyet, Artı Gerçek, Cumhuriyet, and Diken. I compiled the events in chronological order. All of them have footnotes,” Oran had stated.

The file of the case has been sent to the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office after the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office ruled that the case did not come within its jurisdiction.

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