Turkey Detains Academics as Erdogan Rails Against ‘Traitors’

Peace Document Demands Turkey End Massacres in War Against PKK

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is furious today after the signing of a “peace declaration” which called for an end to the massacres of Kurds in Turkey’s southeast and an end to wholesale military curfews against Kurdish towns.

Erdogan loudly railed against the signatories of the document as “traitors,” saying anyone who calls for international monitoring has the “mentality of colonialism,” and suggesting the signatories “should go dig trenches or go to the mountains” to fight with the PKK.

Turkish security forces have already detained 27 academics over their signing of the document, leading to condemnations from the opposition CHP. Some 1,000 academics worldwide signed the document, and 2,000 Turkish lawyers also signed it with a promise to provide legal support for academics targeted over it.

Turkey resumed the war against the PKK over the summer, after a lengthy ceasefire, and has heavily cracked down on opponents of the war, including academics, media outlets, and opposition politicians. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu suggested the detentions would continue, saying free speech could not justify the “hate” of the peace declaration.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.