Statement by the Lyon collective supporting Pinar Selek

Statement by the Lyon collective supporting Pinar Selek

Wed, 10/07/2024

Press release

Following the day of mobilization on June 28, 2024 in Lyon and Istanbul, a press release from the Coordination of Solidarity Committees with Pınar Selek was released after the hearing. It was noted that the trial has been adjourned again, with a date set for February 7, 2025. The support of the entire academic community in Lyon, France and the groups rallying in support of Pinar continues. 

Once again, our mobilization has paid off: the solidarity groups and the large delegation in Istanbul have foiled the Turkish Ministry of the Interior Affairs's attempt to equate an academic conference organized in France by the Université Côte d'Azur, the Université Paris Cité, the CNRS and the IRD (the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development) with a "terrorist act". The aim was to support its request to Interpol for a red notice to investigate Pinar Selek's alleged links with terrorism.

French academic institutions immediately voiced their vehement protest in an official letter to the Court ahead of the hearing. The plea by one of Pinar Selek's lawyers demonstrated the futility of this slanderous and defamatory maneuver, which attempts to influence the judges of the Istanbul Heavy Penal Court, as well as to intimidate us all, both in Turkey and in France. As a result, the judge has announced a further postponement of the hearing to February 7, 2025, requesting the presence of Pinar Selek and refusing to allow her to be heard by means of a rogatory commission, as is permitted under the practice of international mutual assistance in criminal matters.

It needs to be recalled that each and every time Pinar Selek has been tried (4 times already!), she has always been acquitted! Istanbul Heavy Penal Court must pronounce her acquittal, considering that for the last 26 years, this case has been based on zero evidence and only on falsified facts, aiming to silence this scholar, writer and peace activist. Through her, all research, creativity and free speech are being targeted. 

We are determined to continue supporting Pinar Selek in Turkey, in France, in the whole of Europe, just like today, and beyond (in the USA, Ireland, India, Latin America), in order to denounce this political agenda against academic freedom and liberty. 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 persist in their relentless persecution and attempts at interference in justice, research, creativity, and free expression. We will be in Istanbul on February 7 and until justice is restored with the final acquittal of Pinar Selek.