Professors Face Jail Time for Social Media Shares and Exam Question

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AKP’s War on Academics Continues: Two Professors Face Jail Time for Social Media Shares and an Exam Question

AKP

Professors Barış Ünlü and Sibel Özbudun are being judged for making propaganda of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)

Turkey – Assist. Prof. Dr. Barış Ünlü from Faculty of Politics in Ankara University is being indicted for asking an exam question that compares two texts of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. The professor, who will stand on his first trial tomorrow, faces up to seven years of jail time if convicted.

The professor is facing charges on the grounds of “making propaganda of a terrorist organization” and “praising crime and criminals”. The question subject to case is asked in the exam of a course titled ‘Political Life and Institutions in Turkey’, the curriculum of which includes issues such as Armenian and Kurdish conflicts.


The controversial question is as follows:

“Compare the brochure dated 1978 titled ‘Path of Kurdistan Revolution / Manifest’ and 2012 dated article titled ‘Democratic Modernity as New System Construction in the Middle East’ written by Abdullah Öcalan with respect to concepts / facts such as colony, nation-state, revolutionary violence, democracy. Do it in a way to cover changes occurring in Turkey and all over the World, and transformations of Kurdish movement / Kurdish society in the past 34 years”.

The exam question that led to the inquiry

The exam question that led to the inquiry

Another professor, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sibel Özbudun from Department of Anthropology in Hacettepe University in Ankara, will also stand on trial next week with the charges of “inciting people to illegal and criminal action” and “making propaganda of a terrorist organization” on the grounds of her Facebook shares and comments.

Her posts include the following verses quoted from famous Turkish poet Can Yücel: “I want the country be divided – benchmen, sycophants and nits to one side, honorable, good, laborious, patriotic people to the other,” adding the comment “I want this country be divided”.

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Professor Özbudun teaching at ‘Street University’, an event conducted as a response to the physical attacks by nationalists named as ‘grey wolves’ in Ankara University

Sibel Özbudun and her husband Temel Demirer are also both public figures and political activists, who make regular appearances in rallies and protests, and write in many left-wing publication venues.

AKP

Sibel Özbudun and Temel Demirer in Taksim Square for celebration of International Workers’ Day

Professor Özbudun among a group of intellectuals in front of Ankara Courthouse, filing a self-complaint that testifies their support to the journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül. Both journalists are currently behind bars for publishing the news which reveals that Turkish national intelligence service sends trucks filled with ammunition illegally to Syrian rebels.

Professor Özbudun among a group of intellectuals in front of Ankara Courthouse, filing a self-complaint that testifies their support to the journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül. Both journalists are currently behind bars for publishing the news which reveals that Turkish national intelligence service sends trucks filled with ammunition illegally to Syrian rebels.

Related posts:
Erdogan’s Witch Hunt Against Academic Opponents
U.S. Academics Pledge Solidarity and Denounce Erdoğan’s Attack on Turkish Counterparts
Turkish Journalist Faces 4 Years Jail for Insulting the President

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