Turkey: two years for signing peace petition
A Turkish court has sentenced academic Müge Ayan to two years and one month in prison on charges of aiding a terrorist organization for signing a petition calling for a peaceful end to Turkey's three-decades-old conflict with Kurdish rebels, independent news site Diken reported Jan. 21. A former anthropology professor at İstanbul's Bilgi Univresity, Ayan is among the 1,128 signatories of a petition that criticized heavy-handed tactics employed by the Turkish army in predominantly Kurdish cities in the country, including long curfews and the use of heavy weaponry, after a two-and-a-half year ceasefire between the state and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) broke down in July 2015.
The İstanbul court initially sentenced Ayan to five years. However, the sentence was reduced to two years and a month upon consideration of the verdict's effect on the academic's future, Diken said.
Hundreds signatories of the peace petition have lost their jobs with no prospect of working again, some have been subject to travel bans, and some have had their passports revoked—preventing them from working ether in Turkey or abroad. (Ahval, Jan. 21)
See our last post on the crackdown in Turkey.