At least 13 academics from Turkey’s Bogazici and Bilgi universities were detained early Friday, according to media.
Turkish media said the operation targets members of the Istanbul-based Anatolian Culture Association. The association’s chairman Osman Kavala has already been behind bars for more a year now. The detainees include Professor Betül Tanbay from Bogazici University and Professor Turgut Tarhanlı from Bilgi University as well as 5 others from the Anatolian Culture Association.
The detainees are accused of fomenting chaos to destroy the Republic of Turkey by attempting to expand the Gezi Park protests throughout the country, according to a police statement distributed to the press.
The Gezi Park protests took place in the summer of 2013 in reaction to the government’s attempt to destroy one of the few green spaces left in Istanbul and turned into a major protest against the policies of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Here is the full list of the detainees: Ali Hakan Altınay (president of Açık Toplum Foundation), Asena Günal (Anadolu Kültür program coordinator), Meltem Aslan Çelikkan (Anadolu Kültür general coordinator), Prof. Dr. Turgut Tarhanlı (dean of the faculty of law at İstanbul Bilgi University), Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi (Anadolu Kültür acting CEO), Bora Sarı (Anadolu Kültür), Ayşegül Güzel (Anadolu Kültür), Çiğdem Mater (advisor at Anadolu Kültür), Prof. Dr. Betül Tanbay (academic at Boğaziçi University), Hande Özhabeş (communications coordinator at the Association for the Development of Civil Society), Filiz Telek (Anadolu Kültür) and Yiğit Aksakoğlu (Civil Society Education Department of İstanbul Bilgi University).
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Already increasingly-authoritarian Turkish government has leveled up its crackdown against its critics since then with broad interpretation of its anti-terror laws.
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📌#BREAKING Professor #TurgutTarhanlı and Anadolu Kultur NGO staff members Bora Sarı, Asena Günal have just been released from police custody with international travel bans || https://t.co/yl1zIuXyts #HepimizGezideydik pic.twitter.com/jMAfiqdKja
— Turkey Purge (@TurkeyPurge) November 16, 2018