As Academics for Peace – Germany (AfP – Germany), we would like to state our utmost concern regarding the recent debates on nepotism, inequality, and injustice caused by the neoliberal academic institutionalization. Since these debates have also included a smear campaign targeting the Academics for Peace (AfP) as a whole, we see this statement as a responsibility due to academic principles and solidarity, which constitute our primary founding purpose. We present this short note for your discretion. As the State of Emergency Commission announces successive refusals without legal basis, AfP is again subjected to attacks aiming to discredit, criminalize and make its members vulnerable to state violence. AfP – Germany declares that we closely follow these attacks as well as the insubstantial claims of their supporters against AfP, most of whom are forced to live in precarious conditions in Turkey and abroad, who are forcibly removed from academic life and whose rights violations continue. We declare once again that we stand by academic freedom, peace and solidarity.
Hereby, we once again remind the public of the principles to which we are committed. AfP – Germany has the status of a non-profit association serving public common good, committed to the values of academic freedom and freedom of expression. Our essential aim is to function as an international “hub” for human rights organizations, NGOs, academics, as well as international press seeking information on the repression against AfP in Turkey and abroad. On a more general scope, we facilitate international solidarity among social justice organizations to address human rights violations. Our association and its members made a special effort to be involved in the debate on third-party funding; closed networks focused on area studies; inequalities in funding and employment patterns in academia, in line with our ethical principles. And we will continue to do so. Our members have been trying to survive in highly precarious and uncertain conditions abroad for the last five years. Thus, addressing the inequalities and injustices caused by the neoliberal academic institutionalization in order to open up possibilities for institutional change in academia are among the fundamental goals of AfP – Germany.
However, the recent debates, utterly devoid of this perspective, and perhaps deliberately, have targeted both AfP as a whole as well as its constituents abroad. The specter of neoliberalism and nepotism casts its shadow over academia and reproduces inequalities, deliberately distracting attention from the primary subjects. Further, it makes the follow-up of democratic and legal procedures impossible and dismantles the collective organization. Targeting individuals who have been forced to apply for research funds due to having been forcibly removed from their jobs, families and countries rather than concerned institutions leads to manipulation, polarization and distrust in communities that have no assets other than their collectivity and solidarity. Such an attitude has also created a basis for smear campaigns by the mainstream press, specifically targeting AfP.
Despite all this, as AfP – Germany we once again state that we adhere to our principles of academic autonomy, academic freedom and ethical conduct. We underline that we are against all forms of discrimination and neoliberalism in academic life. We are determined to spend more effort in line with the domestic and international solidarity that we have been carrying out for years from exile, and we are ready to take into account all constructive feedback and contribution in this regard.
For more information about the association, its bylaws and ethical principles: