A petition has been launched by Galatasaray High School for Assoc. Prof. Tuna Altınel, who has been imprisoned in Balıkesir Type L prison as part of the ‘Academics for Peace’ trials.
Serving as academic in the Department of Mathematics at Lyon-1 University, Altınel is charged with ‘being a member of an illegal organization’ for having worked as interpreter in a meeting organized by a legal association in France.
The declaration with 807 signees is as follows:
“Tuna Altınel, a 116th term graduate from Galatasaray High School and Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Lyon-1 University, was arrested on May 11th in Balıkesir, a province of Turkey where he headed for requesting lift of the restriction on his passport.
At the time of his arrest he had a pending trial for being part of the academics for peace who have been subject to systematical academic persecution through the delegated legislation.
Pressing additional charges on Tuna Altınel for allegedly being a member of an illegal organization based on his participation in a panel discussion in France is nothing but a fallacious and groundless accusation. The said conference was held by a legal association in France in compliance with due legal procedures and was announced days before its scheduled date.
One of the solid principles of the education we had received in Galatasaray Lisesi was bringing up generations with ‘free thought, free spirit and free conscience’. We are aware that we are going through times in which this principle is being questioned and incriminated.
We stand for the prosperity of our country in every sense. One of the ways to achieve this, is through the fair trial and getting rid of the absurd fabrication of ‘terrorism charges’ out of the calls for peace. Calls for peace can only be discussed in free platforms for exchange of ideas assured and protected by law, and not to mention that court hearings shouldn’t be a place for addressing peace calls.
We, from Galatasaray High school who undersigned this document, declare that in accordance with our stance for enlightenment against any bleak and dark future, and based on fraternity we had built in the classrooms during our childhood, we will stand in solidarity with Tuna Altınel and defend his freedom of speech for his above mentioned thoughts that don’t contain any call for violence at all.”