Turkey's main opposition proposes bill envisioning return to duty for peace academics

Turkey's main opposition party proposed a new bill aiming 406 sacked academics who faced repercussions for signing a 2016 petition that called for a peaceful end to a conflict between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants to return to their jobs, left-leaning news site Sendika.org reported on Thursday.

Some 2,200 academics signed the 2016 petition, which criticised the heavy-handed tactics employed by the Turkish army against insurgents in predominantly Kurdish cities in the country, including long curfews and the use of heavy weaponry.

The Republican People's Party (CHP)'s proposal seeks the academics' return to their duties, guaranteeing their freedom of travel and eliminating their financial grievances, according to unionist news site Sendika.org.

Under the two-year emergency rule declared following a coup attempt in 2016, hundreds of peace petitioners lost their jobs with no prospect of working again in Turkey due to the nature of their dismissal by decree. Many were also subject to travel bans and had their passports revoked.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled on July 26 that the Turkish judiciary had violated academics’ right to freedom of expression by charging them with terror offences for signing a petition for peace. As of today, 37 academics have been acquitted after the ruling.