Turkey arrests math professor over terror propaganda

Turkish authorities arrested academic Tuna Altınel, a mathematics professor at France’s Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University,  left-leaning daily Evrensel reported on Saturday.

Altınel was one of more than 2,000 academics across Turkey who signed a petition titled “We will not be a party to this crime” in January 2016, calling for a peaceful solution to the military conflict between the Turkish security forces and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Altınel was detained when he went to a police station in the western city of Balıkeskir, seeking to get information about a travel restriction on his passport. He was then arrested on the grounds of making propaganda of an illegal organisation, according to the daily.

However, his lawyer said Evrensel Altınel was accused of making propaganda on behalf the PKK during a panel discussion in France which he didn't attend.

According to Front Line Defenders report, prison sentences were handed down to 121 academics who signed the peace petition. They all face accusations of disseminating terrorist propaganda.

According to a BBC Turkish report, a total of 23,427 academics lost their jobs at universities after a state of emergency that was declared following a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.