Academics from universities around the world support a petition launched to oppose the road construction project on the territory of the Middle East Technical University. The signatures of academics, including the famous linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, are collected on the blog titled “Solidarity with METU”.
These are some of the universities that include the academics who signed the campaign:
Yale University, Boston University, Harvard University, Luiss Guido Carli University, University of Notthingham, IRFAM, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Columbia University, Université Paris-Sud, CEPN, Université Paris, Cornell University, London School of Economics, Boğaziçi University, Galatasaray University, Koç University, Sabancı University, Istanbul Bilgi University, Sakarya University, Hacettepe University…
The Turkish translation of the call text of the petition, which spread rapidly on social media, is as follows:
Despite all objections, the AKP's Ankara Metropolitan Municipality started the road construction project in the forested area, which is also METU land, passing through the city.
METU students and workers, as well as the residents of the neighborhood around the METU campus, strongly opposed this project from the very beginning. The students made various attempts to prevent the municipality teams from cutting the trees. However, Ankara Metropolitan Municipality committed an environmental massacre by destroying 18 trees without any warning or legal permission on the night of October 3000, even though the legal process in which the university administration expressed its objections to the project is still ongoing. The night raid of the municipality teams was followed by the army of construction vehicles and riot police dispatched to the campus to intervene in the protests. Meanwhile, the government has blocked all possible avenues through the judiciary to resolve the issue in an organized effort. Police continue to interfere with university students who oppose the construction, with intense tear gas and pressurized water. In other words, the struggle of METU for its own forest has turned into a struggle for the democratic right of protest and freedom of expression.
These events show how the government ignores the public's concerns about environmental issues, just like in the Gezi Resistance. The attack on METU is just one example of the government's determination to destroy public green spaces for construction projects. It is also part of the government's effort to destroy the autonomy of higher education.
We, the undersigned academics, condemn the unlawful environmental massacre and police violence on the Middle East Technical University campus. This is an unethical and unacceptable attack on METU and Turkish academy. We express our endless support and solidarity to all resisting METU students, academics and staff.
Source : Hurriyet