Erdogan regime persecutes Turkish pro-peace students

This video says about itself:

A wind of peace, a song of freedom: Aslı Erdoğan | Journalists Jailed in Turkey

10 December 2016

Turkey has at least 145 (and, unfortunately, counting) journalists behind bars. That’s more than the runner-up countries China, Egypt and Iran combined. Among them is a master of stories and an award winning novelist, Aslı Erdoğan.

Erdoğan studied computer engineering at Boğaziçi, one of Turkey’s top universities, and is an accomplished physicist, who received a master’s degree from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). A lover of literature, she would later give up pursuing her physics doctorate, while in Brazil, to pursue her love of writing.

With her novel Kabuk Adam (The Crust Man), released in 1994, she broke through the crust of her emotional world. Two years later, her next novel, Mucizevi Mandarin (Miraculous Mandarin) has established her as one of Turkey’s most exciting novelists, with a tone and stance of all her own.

Her incredible voice and intelligence have been recognized with many awards. Her story Tahta Kuşlar (Wooden Birds) won a contest organized by Deutsche Welle, in 1997, and was translated into nine languages. Her third novel, Hayatın Sessizliğinde (In the Silence of Life) was chosen as the book of the year in 2005. She received the Sait Faik Story Award for her story Taş Bina ve Diğerleri (The Stone Building and the Others). Lire, a French literature magazine, listed Erdoğan among the 50 writers who will mark literature in the 21st century. In 2012, PEN International chose Erdoğan as Zurich’s “Writer in Residence”. In 2013, she received the Ord i Grenseland Prisen (Words on Borders Award) in Norway.

She has always remained attached to Brazil; in her novel Kırmızı Pelerinli Kent (The City in the Crimson Cloak) she wrote about the experiences of a girl who decided to explore Rio de Janeiro.

Aslı Erdoğan is a great writer and intellectual, but above all, she is an activist for peace and justice. Her mother, Mine Aydoslu, described her as, “A wind of peace, a song of freedom.” Erdoğan has stood up for free speech, especially as her own country has illegally cracked down on journalists, artists, and dissidents. She has said, “In Turkey, it is no different anymore to be in front or behind bars.” Just five months after speaking these words, she was arrested because of her writings for the Özgür Gündem newspaper.

Despite her arrest, which has no legal standing, Erdoğan keeps writing in prison. She is writing letters on every piece of paper she can find, and sends them out to the world from Bakırköy Women’s Prison. She says, “We are paying the heavy price for Turkey’s democracy crisis. As writers, journalists, Kurdish people, Alevis, and, of course, women, we pay the price.”

From the Toplumsal Esitlik (Social Equality) organisation in Turkey:

Stop the prosecution of left-wing anti-war students in Turkey

28 March 2018

Toplumsal Esitlik strongly opposes and denounces the police raids and arrest of left-wing anti-war students at Bogaziçi University in Istanbul, following the barely concealed order of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The wave of crackdowns took place after some 25 left-wing, anti-war students organised a peaceful march in protest against a small group of Islamists, who celebrated the victory of the Turkish army and its proxy force, the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), in the Syrian province of Afrin, on the university campus on Monday, March 19.

Following the anti-war protest under the banner “There is nothing to celebrate about war and occupation”, pro-government Islamist and nationalist forces launched a witch-hunt against left-wing students in the social and mass media. Meanwhile, the university rector, one of Erdogan’s henchmen, denounced the anti-war activists as “terrorists”, while defending the “freedom of expression” of the Islamist students.

According to media, some 14 students have been arrested and 10 of them released, with 4 remaining in custody, and the police are seeking to detain another 8 students. Most of the activists arrested so far are from Marksist Fikir Toplulukları (Communities for Marxist Ideas, MFT) and the Sosyalist Emekçiler Partisi (Socialist Laborers’ Party, SEP).

Toplumsal Esitlik has unbridgeable and documented political differences with these tendencies. Nevertheless, these differences do not lessen our opposition to these police raids and arrests against their members or sympathisers, which are motivated by the most reactionary objectives and are directed against essential democratic rights.

The ongoing crackdown against Bogazici University students is part of broader repression against the working class and the youth by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has escalated under the state of emergency declared after the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016.

Erdogan has personally denounced the arrested students. Speaking at a provincial congress of his AKP, in Samsun on Saturday, Erdogan tried to distort the facts, presenting the Islamist students as victims of an attack by “communist, traitor-to-the-nation youth who attempted to break up the stall.” He also vowed to expel left-wing students from the university, saying, “We will not allow them the right to study. Universities cannot raise terrorist youths.” The Turkish president has repeatedly declared that Bogaziçi University, one of the few liberal universities in the country, does not reflect “Turkish values”.

In Turkey, political activity in schools and universities has long been strictly banned for socialists and punishable with dismissal, if not with imprisonment, while pro-government Islamist and Turkish nationalist fascistic forces have a free hand.

Turkey’s working class and youth must recognise the police crackdown and arrest of the Bogazici University students as another sign of a new wave of oppression, prepared by the AKP government, against the backdrop of an ever-deepening economic crisis and its reactionary war in Syria.

To defeat the drive to war and dictatorship of the Turkish ruling class, politically personified by Erdogan, and enthusiastically supported by Islamist and nationalist fascistic forces, workers must take the lead in defending democratic rights and demand the immediate release of the arrested students. …

We strongly condemn the police raids and arrest of the Bogazici University students and demand their immediate release, and call on all workers and youth to organise workplace and school committees to fight against the drive to war and dictatorial forms of rule, as a fundamental component of struggle for international socialism.

TURKISH communists have called for solidarity from the labour and democracy movement in the run-up to next month’s trial of opposition politician Selma Gurkan who faces court after criticising Turkey’s war on Afrin: here.

10 thoughts on “Erdogan regime persecutes Turkish pro-peace students

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  3. Aylin Unaldi a university lecturer from Turkey, said: ‘The excruciating oppression of capitalism is increasing day by day. ‘I am being sued by the Erdogan government just because I signed a petition to stop the civil war in Turkey and to establish peace.

    ‘Twelve of our students are in prison now and they are being tortured. These young people of 19, 20, 21 were just doing a campus demonstration to stop the war on Syria, and we don’t know how many years they will be in jail. ‘There are 1,200 academics like me, who signed this peace petition, professors, assistant professors etc and they are all being prosecuted.’


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