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2016 APS President Homer Neal Writes to Turkish president regarding mistreatment of scholars
APS President Homer Neal
In January, over 1,000 academics and students in Turkey signed a petition calling for an end to the government’s military operations in the Kurdish southeast region of the country. As a result, academics—including scientists— at approximately 90 institutions have been arrested, detained, and/or fired in violation of internationally recognized principles of free expression and freedom of association.
In response to this intimidation, APS President Homer Neal wrote to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan calling on authorities to “cease all administrative and criminal proceedings against these individuals.” The letter was sent to Erdoğan on February 9, 2016, with copies to the Turkish Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice.
Neal noted in his letter that the APS Committee on International Freedom of Scientists will be monitoring the situation and warned that “the damage to Turkey’s standing in the world scientific and academic community could be significant and long lasting” should harm come to the signers of the petition.