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Another Academic Detained After Conviction of ‘Insulting Erdogan’

Law professor Cenk Yigiter, one of the signatories of ‘Academics for Peace’ that opposed the government offensives on Kurdish-majority provinces, has been detained by the conterterrorism police in Ankara on Friday morning, shortly after his conviction of “insulting the president,” Turkish media reported.

Yigiter was previously discharged from his post at Ankara University, after taking part in the Academics for Peace campaign, as part of a government decree issued following the 2016 coup attempt, affecting a massive number of academics.

While lawyers representing Yigiter told media they were not able to find out the reason why he was detained, it is known that he was sentenced on October 4 to one year, five months and 15 days on charges of “insulting the president.”

It was reported in the media that a number of other raids were carried out by counterterrorism police around Ankara at the same time, resulting in the detention of a group of university students.

Following his dismissal from Ankara University, Yigiter reportedly took the central standardized exam to enroll at the university as a student and passed it. However, the university administration made an amendment to its bylaws, preventing Yigiter from registering as a student.

Ministry of Justice has also filed a lawsuit, requesting the cancellation of a decision by the Turkish Bars Association admitting Yigiter to the profession as a lawyer and permitting him to start his legal internship.

In response to Yigiter’s detention, “Academics for Peace” started a social media campaign under the hashtag #CenkYigiterSerbestBirakilsin (#FreeCenkYigiter).

Yigiter’s colleagues also shared a previous tweet by him, where he said:

“I am banned from getting published by some magazines, and banned from attending some scientific gatherings. I am banned from working in government offices. I am banned from working at foundation-linked universities. I am banned from becoming a lawyer. I am banned from being a student at Ankara University. I am banned from getting a passport and going abroad.”


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