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Statement of Support to Middle East Technical University’s Resistance Against the Government’s Unlawful Environmental Massacre on Their Campus


Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, led by the AKP (Justice and Development Party), has, despite opposition, initiated a road construction project that goes through a forest area located in Ankara’s inner city, which is also property of Middle East Technical University (METU).

University students, the University presidency as well as the residents of the neighborhood located right next to the campus have opposed this project.  Student resistance initially halted various attempts by the Municipal demolition teams to cut down the trees.  Although the University administration’s appeal of Ankara Municipality’s proposed plan was still under legal consideration, the Municipality committed an environmental massacre by destroying 3,000 trees on the night of October 18.  The land was cleared overnight, without any prior notice or permission.  The night raid of the Ankara Municipality demolition teams backed by riot police was followed by an army of construction vehicles, working day and night to complete the unlawful highway as soon as possible.  Meanwhile, the government foiled all possible legal attempts to resolve the conflict.  The police have responded to the opposition from the University with excessive use of tear gas and water cannons.  In other words, METU’s fight for its forest has also become a fight for its democratic right to protest and to exercise its freedom of speech.

This act shows how the government turns a blind eye to the environmental concerns of the people as firmly expressed during the Gezi Uprising.  The attack on METU confirms the government’s commitment to sacrifice public green space for the ongoing construction projects.  We also state that this action poses a vivid example of the government’s encroachment on the autonomy of higher education in Turkey.

We, the undersigned academics, condemn the unlawful environmental massacre and the police brutality in the Middle East Technical University campus.  It is an unethical and unacceptable attack on METU as well as the academia in Turkey.  We declare our full support and solidarity with all resisting METU students, academic personnel and staff.

In solidarity,

Name Institution Country
Ahu KarasuluYıldız Technical UniversityTurkey
Akın TekIstanbul Sehir UniversityTurkey
Alaz KilicarslanBoston UniversityUnited States
Albeniz Tuğçe EzmeUniversity of CincinnatiUnited States
Aleksandar ŞopovHarvard UniversityUnited States
Alevgül ŞormanAutonomous University of BarcelonaSpain
Ali B. ArslanBrown University United States
Ali K. SayselBoğaziçi University Turkey
Ali Rıza GüngenOndokuz Mayıs UniversityTurkey
Alidost NumanUniversity of Chicago United States
Altan ErcanHarvard Medical SchoolUnited States
Andrea QuadenUniversity of HamburgGermany
Andrew LittlejohnHarvard UniversityUnited States
Anlam FilizEmory UniversityUnited States
Asiye AkgünIstanbul Kultur UniversityTurkey
Aslı IgsizNew York UniversityUnited States
Aslihan Karatas University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUnited States
Ataman AvdanSimon Fraser UniversityCanada
Aydin Cem KeserUniversity of MarylandUnited States
Aydin OzipekNorthwestern UniversityUnited States
Ayfer Karakaya-StumpThe College of William and MaryUnited States
Ayse Esra Sirin Brown University United States
Aysegul KayagilNew School for Social ResearchUnited States
Aysun GezenAnkara UniversityTurkey
Ayşe Gül AltınaySabancı UniversityTurkey
Barış BalcıoğluSabancı UniversityTurkey
Bengi AkbulutBoğaziçi University Turkey
Bilal E. KermanThe Salk InstituteUnited States
Bilgen Ekim UstunelDeutsches KrebsforschungszentrumGermany
Bronwyn IsaacsHarvard UniversityUnited States
Burak CesmeNortheastern UniversityUnited States
Burak KoseYork UniversityCanada
Burak ÖzçetinAkdeniz UniversityTurkey
Burcu BaykurtColumbia University United States
German Center for Neurodegenerative Dis.Germany
Can Eyup CekicBilkent UniversityTurkey
Caner ÖzdemirMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Cem OğuzAnkara UniversityTurkey
Ceren CivelekGalatasaray UniversityTurkey
Ceren GöğüşIstanbul Kultur UniversityTurkey
Ceren GürkanUniversitat Politecnica de CatalunyaSpain
Ceyda SungurIstanbul Technical UniversityTurkey
Claudio SopranzettiAll Souls College, OxfordUK
Çağla BozerSabancı UniversityTurkey
Çağla OrpenNew School for Social Research United States
Çağlar DölekMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Dağlar TanrıkuluRutgers UniversityUnited States
Deniz ArzukBoğaziçi University Turkey
Deniz AyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUnited States
Deniz IlhanSUNY Stony Brook UniversityUnited States
Deniz OzdemirYasar UniversityTurkey
Deniz Tarba CeylanSabancı UniversityTurkey
Deniz YüksekerKoç UniversityTurkey
Derya ÜlkerMimar Sinan UniversityTurkey
Devrim KılıçerAnkara UniversityTurkey
Didem TürkoğluUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillUnited States
Dilara DemirRutgers UniversityUnited States
Duygu KasdoganYork UniversityCanada
E. Çetin GürerVillanova UniversityUnited States
Ebru IsginWest Chester University of PennsylvaniaUnited States
Efe Murat BalıkçıoğluHarvard UniversityUnited States
Ekin Emek BerberSUNY Binghamton UniversityUnited States
Ekin KurticHarvard UniversityUnited States
Elçin ArabacıGeorgetown UniversityUnited States
Elif KeskinerErasmus University RotterdamHolland
Elif Kuş SaillardAnkara UniversityTurkey
Emrah AltindisHarvard Medical SchoolUnited States
Emre AkbasUniversity of CaliforniaUnited States
Emre Gürcanlıİtü inşaat fakültesiTurkey
Emre ÖzçelikMETU – Northern Cyprus CampusCyprus
Emre ŞahinSUNY Binghamton UniversityUnited States
Erdal ÖzmenMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Erdem ÜngürIstanbul Kultur UniversityTurkey
Erdinc ErdemNew School for Social ResearchUnited States
Eren Karaca SUNY Binghamton UniversityUnited States
Erol KöroğluBoğaziçi University Turkey
Esin DuzelUniversity of California, San DiegoUnited States
Esin KasapoğluIstanbul Kultur UniversityTurkey
Ethemcan TurhanAutonomous University of BarcelonaSpain
Faranak MiraftabUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUnited States
Feray Coskun Freie UniversitaetGermany
Figen F. OktemUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUnited States
Fikret GörünMETUTurkey
Filiz GozenmanUniversity of Nevada, RenoUnited States
Filiz KahramanUniversity of WashingtonUnited States
Funda ÜstekUniversity of OxfordUK
Giray EnkaviUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUnited States
Gizem Gezer University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUnited States
Gizem InakHertie Institute Tübingen Germany
Gokhan InanNorth Carolina State UniversityUnited States
Gozde Burcu EgeUniversity of Washington United States
Gökhan AtınçUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUnited States
Gülay HasdoğanMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Gülay TürkmenYale UniversityUnited States
Gülçin ConPurdue UniversityUnited States
Güven Gürkan ÖztanIstanbul UniversityTurkey
Güven GüzeldereHarvard UniversityUnited States
Güvenç ŞahinSabancı UniversityTurkey
Hade TurkmenCardiff UniversityUK
Hakan MıhcıHacettepe UniversityTurkey
Hakan TopalState University of New YorkUnited States
Hande SungurVU UniversityNetherlands 
Hanifi BarışUniversity of AberdeenScotland, UK
Hasan YılmazUniversity of TwenteNetherlands 
Ibrahim SaylanIzmir University of EconomicsTurkey
Ilker OzkanMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Ipek AkpınarIstanbul Technical UniversityTurkey
Ipek MercilGalatasaray UniversityTurkey
Işıl Uluç University of ViennaAustria
Işıl ÜnalAnkara UniversityTurkey
İlke Şanlıer YükselDoğuş UniversityTurkey
İlke TekinIstanbul Kultur UniversityTurkey
İlkem KayıcanIstanbul Bilgi UniversityTurkey
İlker UrluAğrı İbrahim Ceçen UniversityTurkey
İnci Özgür İlhanAnkara UniversityTurkey
İpek ÇamlıAnkara UniversityTurkey
ipek SakaryaIstanbul UniversityTurkey
İsmet KoçHacettepe UniversityTurkey
Jon Clindaniel Harvard UniversityUnited States
Julia McClureHarvard UniversityUnited States
K. Mehmet KentelUniversity of WashingtonUnited States
Kelly KatoRutgers UniversityUnited States
Kemal DavasliogluUniversity of California, IrvineUnited States
Kevin ChamowRutgers UniversityUnited States
Leslie Gates SUNY Binghamton UniversityUnited States
Leyla NeyziSabancı UniversityTurkey
M. Onur Arun Univeristy of Manchester UK
Mahinur S. AkkayaMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Maral Jefroudi Intrenational Institute of Social HistoryNetherlands 
Mehmet Baki DenizSUNY Binghamton UniversityUnited States
Mehmet ŞahinIzmir University of EconomicsTurkey
Mehmet TürkayMarmara ÜniversitesiTurkey
Melike SümertaşBoğaziçi University Turkey
Melisa KohenStanford UniversityUnited States
Meltem KayıranAnkara UniversityTurkey
Meltem Yılmaz ŞenerIstanbul Bilgi UniversityTurkey
Metin DuranVillanova UniversityUnited States
Michael HerzfeldHarvard UniversityUnited States
Mine TafolarUniversity of Texas at AustinUnited States
Mukadder OkuyanNew School for Social ResearchUnited States
Murat Arcan KündükHacettepe UniversityTurkey
Murat GermenSabancı UniversityTurkey
Neslihan Demirtaş MilzIzmir University of EconomicsTurkey
Neslihan DostogluIstanbul Kultur UniversityTurkey
Nilay NoyanSabancı UniversityTurkey
Nilgün Erdem Ankara UniversityTurkey
Nilufer AkalinSUNY Binghamton UniversityUnited States
Nora TataryanConcordia UniversityCanada
Nur Bahar SakızlıoğluUtrecht UniversityNetherlands 
Nurbanu KarataşAnkara UniversityTurkey
Odilka SantiagoSUNY Binghamton UniversityUnited States
Olga S. HünlerIzmir University of EconomicsTurkey
Onur ErtenRutgers UniversityUnited States
Onur YildirimMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Oya TagitUniversité Paris-SudFrance
Ozan Ekin KurtCEPN, Université ParisFrance
Ozan KaramanUniversity of GlasgowScotland, UK 
Ozgur OksuzNew York UniversityUnited States
ozlem celikUniversity of SheffieldUK
Ömer AllahverdiDicle UniversityTurkey
Ömer TuranIstanbul Bilgi UniversityTurkey
Önder GüneşMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Önder Küçükural Sabancı UniversityTurkey
Özge EjderYeditepe UniversityTurkey
Özge ÖnerJönköping International Business SchoolSweden
Özge ÖzdüzenEdge Hill UniversityUK
Özgür NarinOrdu UniversityTurkey
Özlem AslanUniversity of TorontoCanada
Özlem Kaplan YurtsevenMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Öznur SahinUniversity of Western SydneyAustralia
Pelin AkçagünMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Pelin BayindirMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Pelin ÇetkenIstanbul Kultur UniversityTurkey
Pervin Oya TaneriCankiri Karatekin UniversityTurkey
Pınar Kemerli Cornell UniversityUnited States
Pınar KılıcerLeiden UniversityNetherlands 
Pinar Deniz AksoyFordham universityUnited States
Rabia HarmansahUniversity of PittsburghUnited States
Rachel MartinsIST, University of LisbonPortugal
Ricardo LaremontSUNY Binghamton UniversityUnited States
Rossen L. DjagalovKoç UniversityTurkey
Sahizer SamukIMT Institute for Advanced Studies LuccaItaly
Salih Can AciksozSchool of Middle Eastern
& North African StudiesUnited States
Samuel Andrew HardyUniveristy College LondonUK
Sander van LanenUniversity College CorkIreland
Sara Suna YucelThe Rockefeller UniversityUnited States
Sarp BalcıAnkara UniversityTurkey
Seda AltugBoğaziçi University Turkey
Selin DilliUtrecht UniversityNetherlands 
Serap Türüt Aşık Middle East Technical University Turkey
Sergül Aydöre University of Southern CaliforniaUnited States
Serim Gursoy DenelCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversityUnited States
Serkan TaşkentSakarya UniversityTurkey
Sezen Bayrak GurelSUNY Binghamton UniversityUnited States
Sibel KaradağKoç UniversityTurkey
Simge Yüz Ludwig-Maximilians-UniversityGermany
Sinan EdenIST, University of LisbonPortugal
Sinem AyhanUniversity of BolognaItaly
Sumru AtukThe City University of New YorkUnited States
Suzan OdabasiMiddle Tennessee State UniversityUnited States
Şükrü Ekin KocabaşKoç UniversityTurkey
Tezcan DurnaAnkara UniversityTurkey
Tolga KobasColumbia University United States
Tolga TezcanTUBITAKTurkey
Tuba ZehirMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Tülin ÖdünMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Ümit Fırat AçıkgözRice UniversityUnited States
Volkan ÇıdamIstanbul Kemerburgaz UniversityTurkey
Yasemin DildarUniversity of Massachusetts-AmherstUK
Yasemin ErginMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Yelda ErçandırlıMiddle East Technical University Turkey
Yiğit AtılganSabancı UniversityTurkey
Zeynep AtalaySt. Mary’s College of CaliforniaUnited States
Zeynep GambettiBoğaziçi University Turkey
Zeynep HelvacıUniversity of MünsterGermany
Zeynep KalaylıoğluMiddle East Technical University Turkey
zeynep kurtulusUniversity of ArizonaUnited States
Zeynep OğuzHarvard UniversityUnited States
Zeynep Tuna UltavIzmir University of EconomicsTurkey
Zeynep Ü. KaşlıUniversity of Washington United States
Zeynep YanasmayanMax Planck Institute Germany
Zeyno UstunNew School for Social Research United States
Zülfü AşıkMiddle East Technical University Turkey

P.S: Please email your names and your affiliated academic institutions to to show your support.

The statement in Turkish may be read at <>.

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