199 Turkish academics who signed peace petition sacked in latest decree


One hundred and 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 the 18,632 employees dismissed from their jobs in Turkey's latest decree on Saturday.

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.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan launched a tirade against the signatories of the petition who call themselves Academics for Peace; hundreds are on trial and lost their jobs for criticising the Turkish Armed Forces’ campaign against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters in the mainly Kurdish 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 state and the PKK, negotiated by Erdoğan’s government, broke down in July 2015 after his party failed to win a majority in general elections.

The Turkish government has announced that the state of emergency, which allows the government to issue decree laws which bypass legislative and judicial procedures, is set to be lifted on July 28 after being extended seven times.