Once again our mobilization has paid off: the solidarity committees and a large delegation in Istanbul have foiled the Turkish Ministry of the Interior’s attempt to designate an academic conference organized in France under the auspices of the Université Côte d’Azur, the Université Paris Cité, the CNRS and the IRD, as a “terrorist act”. The aim was to reinforce a request for an Interpol Red Notice by establishing Pinar Selek’s alleged links with terrorism.

French academic institutions immediately expressed their outrage in an official letter to the Court, ahead of today’s hearing. The plea by one of Pinar Selek’s lawyers successfully demonstrated the inanity of this slanderous and defamatory manoeuvre, in its attempt to influence the judges of the Istanbul District Court, and to intimidate all of us, whether in Turkey or France. The judge has announced a further postponement of the hearing until February 7, 2025, requesting the presence of Pinar Selek and refusing to allow her to be heard by means of a rogatory commission, allowed under the practice of international mutual assistance in criminal matters.

Every time Pinar has been tried – 4 times already – she has been acquitted. The Turkish Court of First Instance must acquit Pinar Selek. For 26 years, her case has been founded on baseless allegations and a falsification of the facts, aimed at silencing this academic, writer and peace activist. Through her, all research, creation and free speech are targeted.

As today, we will continue to stand by Pinar Selek, in Turkey, in France, throughout Europe and beyond in the United States, India, Latin America, to denounce this political trial against academic freedom and freedom of expression. We will ensure that Pinar Selek can continue to work and express herself freely despite these new threats. We will not allow the Turkish authorities to continue their relentless attempts to interfere with justice, research, creativity and free expression. We will be in Istanbul on February 7, and until justice is done for Pinar Selek through her definitive acquittal.

Press release from the Coordination of Solidarity Committees with Pinar Selek June 28, 2024