Attacks on Academics for Peace continues through the judiciary / Tuğçe Yılmaz / BIANET ENGLISH

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Eğitim Sen teachers and academics’ union drew attention to the arbitrary court decisions in the reinstatement cases of the dismissed Academics for Peace.

Bianet English, February 25, 2024

The Education and Science Workers’ Union (Eğitim Sen) İstanbul Branch 6, held a press conference today at its office in the Beyoğlu district, addressing discriminatory judicial decisions against its members dismissed by statutory decrees (KHK) and the unlawful practices of Marmara University.

The press release saw the participation of not only branch members but also main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İzmir Deputy Yüksel Taşkın, who was also dismissed from his position by KHK, and Kezban Konukçu, a Deputy from the People’s Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party), both facing similar fates, along with lawyers from the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD).

Dr. Hülya Dinçer, a branch member who was dismissed from her position at Marmara University’s Faculty of Law for signing the « We Will Not Be Partners in This Crime » petition, spoke about the arbitrary rejection of the reinstatement of Academics for Peace by regional administrative courts, citing new and baseless reasons.

She concluded her speech by remembering academic Mehmet Fatih Traş, who was dismissed from the Economics Department at Çukurova University in 2017, on the anniversary of his death.

The process of deconstitutionalization

Following Dinçer, Yüksel Taşkın, formerly the head of the Department of Political History at Marmara University, now a CHP İzmir Deputy, took the floor. He emphasized that the injustice did not begin with their cases or the two Constitutional Court decisions related to Can Atalay but the silence during the trials of academics paved the way for the latter.

He remarked, « The decisions of the court for dismissed academics are almost evenly split between reinstatement and rejection. What is happening now has no legal basis. If I were at Boğaziçi University, I would not have been dismissed; I was dismissed because I was at Marmara University. This is a double standard case. The decisions of the Council of State, 5th Chamber, are not legal, but they have to be. Therefore, we need to draw the public’s attention to these cases. »

“This regime does not grant us the right to work”

Next to speak was Kezban Konukçu, a dismissed public worker and DEM Party Deputy for İstanbul. She stressed the need to analyze their situation thoroughly, stating, « KHKs paved the way for their arbitrary regimes. This regime does not grant us the right to work, let alone the right to life, as seen in the example of İliç [gold mine collapse]. We need to expand the struggle against the reality of an organized society. »

Ayfer Koçak, Co-Chair of the Confederation of Public Employees’ Unions (KESK), emphasized that Turkey is currently experiencing such a process where mafiatic relationships are exposed in an unjust environment.

Furthermore, Koçak noted that reinstated Academics for Peace are getting stuck in security investigations and archive research processes.

“Verdicts of reinstatement are not implemented”

The statement by Burak Çetiner, President of Education Sen İstanbul Universities Branch 6, and Hülya Dinçer emphasized the following points:

« Sixty-two university employees who were members of the Eğitim Sen İstanbul Universities Branch 6 were unlawfully dismissed through statutory decrees during the state of emergency, and 32 of our members received reinstatement decisions, and 30 received decisions of rejection. Although there were individuals reinstated with a court decision during this process, violations against university employees continue to escalate. Universities blatantly violate the law by refusing to implement court decisions, and reinstatement decisions are overturned by contradictory decisions of regional administrative courts, which are one level higher.

« This arbitrary attitude and lawlessness are most vividly exemplified by Marmara University. Marmara University arbitrarily delayed for eight months the commencement of duty and the restoration of rights of our member, Hülya Dinçer, who was reinstated to her position with a judicial decision in June 2023 and whose decision was upheld in November 2023 on appeal. Subsequently, without any legal basis, the university refused to let Dinçer start her duties, citing the result of an archive search it demanded.

« The example of Can Atalay »

« TİP Hatay Deputy Can Atalay’s parliamentary membership was revoked by the government’s fascist policies that do not even recognize their own law, as reflected in the decision of the Constitutional Court. This situation continues at Marmara University. We call on Marmara University to immediately end this arbitrary and criminal attitude.

« Regional administrative courts persistently give contradictory decisions: Some courts, along with the reinstatement decision, overturn judicial decisions favoring the academic and administrative staff who have started their duties at the university, leading to their dismissal again. At least four of our friends, including our former executive board member, were re-dismissed shortly after starting their duties with the decisions of the 13th and 14th Regional Administrative Courts.

« Once again, we would like to remind you that imposing loyalty or allegiance to the state or political power on scientists is contrary to the essence of scientific and academic freedom. As Eğitim Sen, we will continue to fight with all our strength until all our members unlawfully dismissed are reinstated to their duties. »

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