Am I an academic or a traitor who attempted to military coup on July 15, 2016?
On January 31, 2017, the Minister of Labor and Social Security, Mr. Mehmet Müezzinoğlu reported that “a total of 125.485 public employees were traded, 18.331 of them returned to the job, 94.867 of them were fired, and 30.618 of them have also suspended until now” after the coup attempt on July 15, 2016 ( ). Today the number of fired public employees has reached at more than a hundred thousand (100.000). Considering their intimate families it will be hundreds of thousands and with their relatives and social environment it will be more than a million! Also, these numbers do not include the number of suspected and imprisoned people!

These are not just numbers or statistics, but an indicator of how Erdogan’s government destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands by firing, imprisoning and discriminating and I am just only one of them!
Well, who am I? I earned my doctorate degree on social sciences from a university in the US and did my post-doctoral research at one of the top and prestigious universities in the US. After completion of the Ph.D., I had been working as an assistant professor and then as an associate professor at one of the state universities in Istanbul until I was fired. The Faculty where I was working has awarded me (I have the certificates) almost every year and I have gotten the highest ranking at the Department based on the evaluation criteria of the faculty and Council of Higher Education. Some duties I was doing before I was fired are:

  • I had several research studies in social issues in Turkey and the US by myself and with colleagues from different universities such as Harvard University.
  • I have written books and several articles as an individual author and co-author with national and international colleagues.
  • I gave talks at very prestigious conferences, universities and other institutions.
  • Unfortunately, as thousands of others, the Turkish government fired me with the decree law number 672 at September 01, 2016 and my name posted at the official newspaper of Turkish government and mass media and I have been targeted as a terrorist/member of a terrorist organization without any reason, evidence, witness, investigation, court decision, etc.
  • Every morning I wake-up and wait for police officers for the custody for months, because many academics were arrested and imprisoned for no reason!
  • Even whenever I hear any noise, I panic and feel like police came to arrest me…
  • I have not received any compensation, my health insurance was canceled and I have been prohibited to work at any public institution forever. Moreover, since the expression, “he was fired from the public service” was written on my social security information, I am not allowed to work at any private institution in practice and get health insurance neither. Unfortunately, I have a chronic health problem, rheumatoid arthritis, for a decade and could not get an examination and buy my medicines due to the high costs of the medicines. My pains are severe and make arthralgia, therefore; I am having a hard time to use my feet for walking and my hands and arms for daily activities. Briefly, I can do nothing! Furthermore, I could not sleep and eat regularly after I was fired! I had sleeping and eating disorders.

I have not had any legal investigation until now. In contrast, I applied to all official institutions, for example, XXX University (3 times), Council of Higher Education, Ombudsman Administrative Court, Prime Ministry, Council of State and Supreme Court and asked for reinstatement. Only ombudsman and administrative court responded to my application and gave a decision of rejection of venue and the others have not had any response yet.

Last but not least, my green passport was canceled and I am banned for flying overseas. I wrote to Police Department about the cancellation of my green passport, my right to get a maroon passport (public passport) and my situation about flying overseas. Police Department responded to me: “Since your request is ambiguous and hard to understand, we cannot give any response!” Therefore, I, as hundreds of thousands, have to stay in Turkey as a slave with no reason, facing with a massacre and “the civil death” by the government.

In sum, due to lack of freedom, health insurance, job, income, wealth and social pressure as being isolated from the society and being labeled and threatened as a traitor, it is impossible for me to live in Turkey anymore in such conditions. When I was talking about my situation to a relative, a radical Erdoganist, he pityingly said: “Well, your situation in Turkey is worse than Syrian refugees!” I said: “Good morning after supper!” Could you please imagine our devastating situation? People in Turkey have not been aware of what and how we are trying to survive under the state terror, because almost all opposition media were crack downed.

Who can create a relationship between an academic and a failed coup without any reason, evidence, witness, investigation, court decision, etc. other than Erdogan’s government? Please hear us, we are dying!

That is the brief description of my (our) situation in Turkey now. As an academic, I want to live, do my job and work in a place where human rights, democracy and freedom have been satisfied.

I kindly ask your cooperation and assistance and will highly appreciate your efforts and tasks you do about human rights, freedom, and equality in Turkey.

The Stigmatized Academic as a Traitor/Terrorist