A Call For Awareness and Solidarity for Academic Colleagues in Turkey, a message from Lauren Kata

January is a time when I reflect on highlights from the previous year, as I look forward to the new year and the path ahead of me. This past week, I thought a lot about an important speech I listened to five months ago: the keynote address delivered by oral historian and international scholar Dr. Leyla Neyzi, Professor at Sabancı University in Istanbul, Turkey. 
At the 2018 Oral History Association meeting in Montreal, Dr. Neyzi shared her personal account of her experiences as a signatory of We Will Not Be A Party To This Crime, a 2016 public declaration signed by academics and researchers from Turkey and supported by international academics abroad. The signed declaration condemned state violence against the Kurds, the Turkish state’s ongoing violation of its own laws and international treaties, and called for a return to peace. Neyzi spoke of the ongoing repercussions she and others have been and are facing as signatories, and in the challenges of doing fieldwork in Turkey.

As the signatories of the declaration continue to be individually and criminally triedAcademics for Peace in Turkey has asked for international support in the following ways:

We ask your support for our colleagues in Turkey.

- You can write down analyses on the cases or the overall situation, publish them on a blog of your choice, on media or submit it to be published in the blog of Academics for Peace-Germany. Please let us know if you were to write an analysis we can provide you the English translation of the Bill of Indictment, the text of the Verdict as well as other documentation needed.
- You can assist the hearings as observers.
- You can circulate our call for solidarity

To read more about the declaration and its signatories in Turkey, here is a selected list of some articles/reflections/sites:

Two scientific opinions on the Peace Academics trials: https://www.evrensel.net/daily/371316/two-scientific-opinions-on-the-peace-academics-trials

Updated Information Note on Trials Against Academics For Peace: https://afp.hypotheses.org/593

MAY 2018
The Trials of Academics for Peace in Turkey: Information Note and Call for Solidarity: https://barisicinakademisyenler.net/node/639

Turkey rounds up academics who signed petition denouncing attacks on Kurds: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/15/turkey-rounds-up-academics-who-signed-petition-denouncing-attacks-on-kurds

We Will Not Be a Party to This Crime! https://mronline.org/2016/01/14/bia140116-html/

Other Reflections:

International Scholars Reflect on the OHA Conference: http://www.oralhistory.org/2018/12/17/international-scholars-reflect-on-oha-conference/

Postcard from the U.S.: Highlights from the 2018 Oral History Association Meeting: https://www.ioha.org/postcard-from-the-us-oha-2018-highlights/

Academics for Peace and Solidarity for Colleagues in Turkey: https://internationalsolidarity4academic.tumblr.com/

Lauren Kata, CA, is an independent archivist and oral historian, and 20-year member of SAA. She writes from her home city, Cleveland, Ohio.