On November 4, 2016, the Turkish police took eleven HDP (Peoples’ Democracy Party) parliamentarians, including the co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, into custody. The MPs’ houses and the party’s headquarters were raided, doors were broken and the parliamentarians were forcefully detained. We, the undersigned academics across the globe, consider this incident a troubling assault on democracy and condemn such attacks by the Turkish government on the will of people. We are deeply concerned that this rising authoritarianism, which has historical precedent, will initiate further rights violations against civilians, including arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings.

HDP is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and progressive umbrella party representing over five million voters across Turkey, including Kurds, Armenians, Alevis, Ezidis, leftists, feminists and LGBTQ. In June 2015 elections, HDP won a historic success and became the third biggest party in the Turkish parliament. Failing to win enough votes to form a majority government, the ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) launched a comprehensive crackdown against the opposition, especially the Kurdish-led HDP. Since then, the Turkish government’s authoritarianism has escalated. The opposition has been criminalized; a massive military campaign was launched in the Kurdish cities that HDP had landslide victories in the June 2015 elections; towns were razed to ground by the Turkish security forces, hundreds of thousands of civilians were forcibly displaced and thousands were killed. The past several months also witnessed numerous assaults on HDP representatives at the local level. Mayors, along with members of municipal assemblies, were arrested across the Kurdish region. The freedom of expression has been almost entirely undermined. The media has been repressed to an alarming degree, with the closure and confiscation of over a hundred of newspapers, media outlets, news agencies and television channels.

In the face of this rising authoritarianism in Turkey, we, as academics and scholars, call on the international community to stand in solidarity with the HDP and add voice to our voices to demand the immediate release of the imprisoned parliamentarians, mayors, journalists, and academics.

November 4, 2016

Ayca Alemdaroglu, Northwestern University
Muge Gocek, University of Michigan
Seevan Saeed, University of Exeter
Luca Lucic, Pratt Institute
Nicholas Glastonbury, CUNY
Kamal Soleimani, Queens College NY
Cevat Dargin, Princeton University
Amy Bartholomew, Carleton University, Peace Bloc
Susan Benson-Sokmen, University of Toronto
Janet Klein, University of Akron
Huseyin Rasit, Yale University
Fiona Adamson, SOAS University of London
Tom Beuchele, Pratt Institute
Sefiak Kumral, Johns Hopkins University
Ivan Zatz, Pratt Institute
Emine Deniz, NYU
Ric Brown, Pratt Institute
Glenn Kissack, CUNY
Firat Bozcali, Stanford University
Marci Green, Wolverhampton University
Kumru Toktamis, Pratt Institue, Peace Bloc
Julie Skurski, CUNY Graduate Center
Filiz Kahraman, University of Washington, Seattle
Joanna Bocheńska, Section of Kurdish Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Susan C. Pearce, East Carolina University
Belinda Davis, Rutgers University, NJ
Philip Cartelli, Institut de recherche- interdisciplinaire sur des enjeux socialis, Paris, France
Marien Gonzales Hidalgo, Universidad Autonome de Barcelona, Spain
Ersin Asliturk, Okanagan College, BC
Esra Ozyurek, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
Eda Erdener, Pomona College, CA
Sherifa Zuhur,  Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies
Tomasz Pudłocki, Institute of History, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Cathy Lisa Schneider, School of International Service, American Universit
Isabel David, University of Lisbon
Rela Mazali, Writer and Independent Scholar, Israel.
Ivan Huber, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ., Madison, NJ, USA
Darryl Li, University of Chicago
Tilsa Ponce Romero, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Randy Albelda, University of Massachusetts Boston
Feride Ceren Köse, The University of Texas at Austin.
Greg Key, Binghamton University.
Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Professor, Northwestern University
Altzinger Wilfried, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria
James McDougall, University of Oxford, UK
Brittany Power, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona
Bronwyn Isaacs, Harvard University
Ismail Poonawala,Arabic & Islamic Studies, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Saladdin Ahmed, Independent Scholar, Canada
Zeynep Korkman, UCLA, USA
Dereka Rushbrook, University of Arizona
Kenneth MacLeish,Center for Medicine, Health & Society, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN USA
Fateh Saeidi,  Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Alyssa Mathias, University of California, Los Angeles
Susila Gurusami, University of California, Los Angeles
Angela Stuesse, Department of Anthropology and Global Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill
Meredith Tax, Writer, New York
Tessa Farmer, University of Virginia
Christian Sinclair, Moravian College, PA
Kevin Suleiman,  Leiden University College The Hague: Liberal Arts & Sciences – International Justice
Silvia Berger, FLACSO
Monica J. Casper, University of Arizona.
Mohan Ambikaipaker, Tulane University, New Orleans, USA
Mariana Mora, CIESAS, Mexico City.
Saiba Varma, University of California, San Diego
Chad Kautzer, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Elisabetta Costa, University of Groningen
Michael D. Kennedy, Brown University
Lyle Jeremy Rubin, University of Rochester
Leila Hudson, University of Arizona
Anne Kane, University of Houston Downtown
Anand Vaidya, University of Bergen
Barbara S. Gawlick, Boston College
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick, Boston College
Nawzad Jemal, University of Salahaddin
Eszter Spat, Central European University
Deniz Cenk Demir, Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University
Maria Six-Hohenbalken, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Katia Krupennikova, Amsterdam
Asli Zengin, Brandeis University
Ozlem Goner, College of Staten Island, City University of New York
Mark Lance, Georgetown University, Washington DC USA
Dr Harman S. Maaroof, FIBMS, Iraq
Nadje Al-Ali, Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London
Rebecca Bryant, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science , UK
Katharina Brizic, University of Freiburg, Germany
Sabri Ates, SMU, Dallas, Texas
Jessica Cattelino, UCLA
Howard Pflanzer, Bronx Community College/CUNY
Anthony Alessandrini, English & Middle Eastern Studies, City University of New York, USA
Ted Swedenburg, University of Arkansas
Saffo Papantonopoulou, Anthropology and Middle East Studies, University of Arizona
Emrah Karakus, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Arizona
Sapana Doshi, University of Arizona, Tucson
Jason Throop, UCLA
Susan Stryker, University of Arizona
Gary M. Grossman, Arizona State University
Andrew Culp, The University of Texas at Dallas
Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley
Pelin Kadercan, Brown University.
John Protevi, Louisiana State University
Ekin Kurtic, Harvard University
Shannon Speed, UCLA
Claudio Sopranzetti, University of Oxford, UK
Raja Swamy, University of Tennessee
Anna Secor, University of Kentucky
Wouter Osterholt, Berlin
Sahan S. Karatasli, Princeton University
Edoardo Monteforte , Università di Catania
Sherine Hamdy, Brown University
Ian Straughn, Brown University
Jonas Staal,  New World Summit, University of Leiden, the Netherlands
Miranda Joseph, Professor, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Noah Zatz, University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA
Pınar Kılıçer, University of Oldenburg, German
Baki Tezcan,University of California, Davis
Salih Can Aciksoz, UCLA
Gul Ozyegin, Sociology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the College of William and Mary, Virginia, USA
Kim Shively, Kutztown University, PA
Elizabeth Oglesby, University of Arizona, USA
Ayça Çubukçu,  Department of Sociology, Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics and Political Science
Sarah Schulman, City University of New York, College of Staten Island
Bican Polat, Johns Hopkins University
Ali Zalme, University of the West of England  (UWE-Bristol)
Anna-Sara Malmgren, Stanford University
Arpan Roy, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
Salima Tasdemir, University of Sussex, UK
Deniz Ekici, UC Berkeley
Eren Kaya, Peace Bloc
Ergin Kocyildirim, University of Pittsburgh, Peace Bloc
Peace Bloc North America