Amid controversy and outcry following the declaration last week of a petition signed by 1,128 academics accusing the Turkish state of massacring civilians and children in ongoing operations in the southeast, 5,820 other academics have now signed a counter-petition.
Under the name "Academics against terror," academics from across Turkey showed solidarity with the ongoing operations against the PKK terrorist organization. Underscoring that they are uncomfortable with the increasing terrorist activity in eastern and southeastern provinces, the academics said: "The terrorist organization that has international supporters has returned to an armed struggle by destroying the public order."
In the petition, the academics also express their hope that the PKK will be eliminated as soon as possible, saying it robs citizens of their rights to education, healthcare and freedom of expression and displaces and impoverishes many.
In addition, the academics assert that the Turkish state is carrying out counterterror operations in the region within the law.
Some 1,128 academics co-signed the controversial petition last week in which they accuse the Turkish state of massacring children and civilians. The petition brought quick backlash from some sections of society for allegedly using the same rhetoric as the PKK. Because the petition failed to condemn or mention the violent acts committed by the PKK, some interpreted as being one-sided.
Speaking to Daily Sabah on the issue, Mehmet Şahin Alpsoy, an academic at Harran University, said he definitely does not believe the accusations of the government from the international media that suggest the state is massacring civilians in the region. "As a Kurdish academic myself, I do not agree with the accusations," Alpsoy said. He also asserted that security forces are carrying out operations legally, contrary to claims in the first petition.
The petition (in Turkish) can be accessed through the website: terorekarsiyiz.com
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