Peace petition signatory academic says Turkey violates his right to travel

Mathematician Tuna Altınel said Turkey had been violating his right to travel by not returning his passport after he was released from prison, independent news site Artı Gerçek reported on Thursday.

Altınel was released from prison during the first hearing of his trial on charges of membership to a terrorist organisation. The court ruled for his release without parole and the academic is not required to attend future hearings in person.

"Why the Turkish state does not return my passport to me even if there are no legal obstacles? The state that imprisoned me on groundless charges is now usurping my right to travel guaranteed by Article 23 of the Constitution," Altınel said.

Altınel, who was arrested in May, is one of the over 2,000 academics who signed a petition in 2016 urging the Turkish state to lift a series of curfews imposed in some 30 Kurdish-majority districts and towns in the fall and winter of 2015 after a peace process with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) broke down. The curfews continued for weeks, even months in some instances, and resulted in several deaths as well as the displacement of at least 400,000 people.