Academic freedom is on decline in Turkey, and so is freedom of expression in all other areas of society. This autumn we have seen a further deterioration of the situation with detainments and prosecutions of a large number of journalist, lawyers and democratically elected members of parliament, and the shutting down of journals, newspapers and TV-channels. Academicians have been prohibited to leave their hometown, and many have been arrested. Some universities have been closed and in the remaining the democratic election of vice-chancellors have been abolished. Civil society organisations have been shut down, among them organisations working against gender inequalities and violence against women. As a consequence, many women now have no place to turn to when they are subjected to gendered oppression and violence.
The academic freedom, human rights and women’s rights are under severe threat, with irreparable consequences not only for Turkey but also for the rest of Europe. As Swedish academicians and gender researchers we express our deepest concerns over this situation.
We stand in solidarity with our Turkish colleagues and fully claim their right to practice their profession in a global community. We stand in solidarity with the women of Turkey and fully claim their freedom of association and speech, and call Turkey to stop violating CEDAW and the Istanbul Convention. We demand that the Swedish government and the EU take a clear stand against violations of academic freedom, human rights and women’s rights.
The Board of the Swedish Association for Gender Researchers