Open letter: 'International intellectuals call on the Turkish government to desist from its repression of popular protest'

We deplore the recent crackdown of the Turkish government on its own citizens, the clearly unjustified use of tear gas, acts of force, gas canisters and smoke bombs that have resulted in a vast number of injuries, imperiling the lives of those who seek to exercise their basic freedoms of assembly and protest.  

We deplore the recent crackdown of the Turkish government on its own citizens, the clearly unjustified use of tear gas, acts of force, gas canisters and smoke bombs that have resulted in a vast number of injuries, imperiling the lives of those who seek to exercise their basic freedoms of assembly and protest.  

This assault of the Turkish government on its own people constitutes an attack on democratic principles and a departure from legitimate methods of governance — we unequivocally oppose such tactics of intimidation and state violence.  In the name of democratic principles, we call upon the Turkish government to cease these violent actions immediately.  

We affirm the aims of the popular resistance to the privatisation of public space, to the growing authoritarian rule dramatically instantiated by this objectionable display of state violence, and the preservation of public rights of protest. We call upon the government to
(a) stop the beating of all protesters and those in the media who seek to represent their point of view, including lawyers and journalists;
(b) cease obstructing access to medical care for the injured;
(c) put an end to the practice of unlawful detention and sequestering of protesters, medical personnel and legal counsel and
(d) facilitate access to medical care and legal representation for those injured by the police.  

We call for the immediate end to this appalling state violence and we reaffirm the rights of popular dissent and resistance, the right to have access to a media uncensored by governmental powers, and the right to move and speak freely in public space as preconditions of democratic life.

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Tariq Ali, author and editor, New Left Review, UK
Tewfik Allal, Président du Manifeste des Libertés, France
Etienne Balibar, Université Nanterre, France
Esther Benbassa, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Senator, France
Rosi Braidotti, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Judith Butler, University of California, BerkeleyUSA
Margaret Brose, University of California, Santa Cruz
Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, Université Paris 7, France
Alex Demirovic, Technische Universitat Berlin, Germany
Lisa Duggan, New York University, USA
Cynthia Enloe, Clark University, USA
Éric Fassin, Université Paris – 8, France
Michel Feher, Director, Zone Books, France
Alfredo Saad-Filho, United Nations and SOAS, UK
Nilufer Gole,  Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, France
Stathis Gourgouris, Columbia University, USA
Siba Grovogui, Johns Hopkins University, USA
Hannes Lacher, York University, Canada
George Liagouras, University of the Aegean, Greece
Michael Löwy, CNRS, France
Rela Mazali, author, independent scholar, and feminist peace activist, Israel.
Henrietta L. Moore, University of Cambridge, UK
Adam David Morton, University of Nottingham, UK
Matthieu de Nanteuil, Universite de Louvain, Belgium
Ravi Palat, State University of New York, Binghamton, USA
Hugo Radice, University of Leeds, UK
Josep Ramoneda, journalist and philosopher, Spain
Miranda Schreurs, Freie Universitat Berlin,  Germany
Stuart Shields, University of Manchester, UK
Daniela Tepe-Belfrage, University of Sheffield, UK
Michael Löwy, Université Paris 8, France
Alan Wald, University of Michigan, USA
Hayden White, Stanford University, USA
Paul Zarembka, State University of New York at Buffalo, USA
Clemens Zobel, Université Paris 8, France

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