International network of scientists issues report that calls for the exoneration of Turkish scientists held in various trials

01 Ağustos 2013



An international human rights network representing academies and scholarly societies around the world has issued a report that takes the Turkish government to task for the prosecution and imprisonment of scientists on the basis of fabricated or flimsy evidence.

Among the specific cases the report examines in detail is that of Faruk Yarman, one of two civilians that received lengthy jail sentences in the Balyoz/Sledgehammer trial. The report was produced following a mission by its three authors in February 2013, which included visits to Sincan and Silivri high security prisons.

The report notes that the “[e]vidence produced during the [Sledgehammer] trial appears to have been fabricated or deeply flawed.” This and the other tree cases that the authors examined – Ergenekon, the post-modern coup, and KCK – “consisted of judicial proceedings that … appeared to have political and even vengeful objectives but no intention of looking at possible individual crimes….”

The authors, which include an American Nobelist, investigated at some depth the cases of eight individuals: Dr. Kemal Alemdaroğlu (retired surgeon and former rector, University of Istanbul), Dr. Rıza Ferit Bernay (medical doctor and former rector of 19 Mayıs University), Professor Emerita Büşra Ersanlı (political scientist and academic, Marmara University), Professor Kemal Gürüz (chemical engineer, education administrator, and former chair of the Council of Higher Education), Dr. Mehmet Haberal (transplant surgeon and rector of Başkent University), Dr. Fatih Hilmioğlu (medical doctor and former rector of Inönü University), Dr. Faruk A. Yarman (engineer and former business executive), and Dr. Mustafa Abbas Yurtkuran (medical doctor and former rector of Uludağ University).

Here is their bottom line:

“On the basis of all of the information available to us and given what the various prosecutors claimed to be evidence of guilt, we conclude that the evidence does not support the conclusion that any of our eight colleagues is guilty of committing the crimes of which they have been accused.”

Here is the full report of the committee. Here is the press release of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies.

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