After a number of academics were the subject of a defamation campaign for expressing their support for the restoration of peace in Turkey’s troubled Southeast, over 100 journalists issued a declaration siding with the intellectuals and repeating their call for a return to peace in the country.
The academics had released a statement on Monday calling for an end to fighting in the country, which has been ongoing since last July and was recently exacerbated by ongoing curfews in a number of districts. In a declaration published on barisicingazeteciler.com on Thursday the journalists said: “We stand by those academics who wanted an end to the conflict and resumption of the peace talks. We see them being targeted in certain media outlets and by the ruling party as contrary to human rights, freedom of the press and freedom of thought.”
“We, as journalists who want national peace to prevail, state that we take the side of academics who refused to be part of the crime [in the Southeast] and [that we want to] conduct journalism in a peaceful atmosphere instead of that of war,” the statement concluded.
Journalists Adnan Genç, Ahmet Kömürcüoğlu, Ahmet Memiş, Ahmet Şık, Ali Ergin Demirhan, Alper Turgut, Akın Olgun, Amberin Zaman, Arzu Demir, Ayça Söylemez, Aysel Kılıç, Ayşe Oyman, Ayşe Yıldırım, Bahar Kılıçgedik, Banu Güven, Banu Tuna, Barış İnce, Barkın Karslı, Begüm Baki, Begüm Zorlu, Berat Günçıkan, Berkant Gültekin, Beyza Kural, Burak Şahin, Burcu Karakaş and Bülent Özdoğan are among the signatories of the declaration.
Last Sunday, 1,128 academics from 89 universities, both home and abroad, issued a declaration in which they called for the restoration of national peace by halting the ongoing military operations in southeast Turkey and returning to the negotiating table to restart the shelved talks with the Kurds to find peaceful solutions to the Kurdish issue.