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ISA Statement Regarding the Arrest of Prof. Laciner in Turkey

The International Studies Association (ISA) has received an appeal from Dr Sedat Laciner, Professor of International Relations and Rector of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University in Turkey. Professor Laciner was imprisoned in July 2016 by the Turkish government on the charge of terrorism related offenses. According to his communication with the ISA, he has been imprisoned because of his dissenting opinions in relation to domestic and international Turkish policy. A version of his letter to ISA has been published by University World News, and can be accessed here: http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20161117233920852. In a follow up communication to the ISA, his sister-in-law indicated that Dr Laciner’s brother, Dr Vedat Laciner, an academic at the same university, has also been imprisoned on similar charges.

In January and July of 2016, the ISA issued statements in support of academic freedom for colleagues who have been imprisoned because of their scholarship on Turkish policy (http://www.isanet.org/ISA/Governance/Committees/Academic-Freedom). The ISA reiterates its support for those subject to imprisonment and harassment for their scholarship. In addition, it calls up on the Turkish government to respect the right of scholars of international studies to publish and speak on matters of international policy in Turkey. The ISA reaffirms the sentiments of its original January 2016 statement: “While we condemn any form of political violence, we insist that academics must have the right to express their political views freely and without having to fear for their jobs or personal freedom.”

T.V. Paul
ISA President

Mark A. Boyer
ISA Executive Director

Anthony Lang
ISA Academic Freedom Committee

Posted in: Headquarters

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