UPDATE – October 2, 2020:
Cihan Erdal, a PhD candidate at Carleton University, was arrested in Turkey on October 2, 2020.
Cihan and 16 others who are jailed were taken to a prison in Ankara, where he is in solitary confinement. All prisoners will remain in quarantine for 14 days. Meanwhile, they were not allowed to talk to their lawyers or access to clean clothes.
Cihan Erdal is a queer youth activist and was a former central executive committee member of the left-wing opposition party, HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party). He had been detained along with 20 other politicians, academics and activists on September 25. The arrests came following an investigation regarding 2014 protests that support the Kurdish town of Kobane in northern Syria against Islamic State (ISIS) militants.
Cihan Erdal is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University in Ottawa and a member of CUPE Local 4600. He was visiting Turkey to conduct fieldwork as part of his research. Scholars from Canada and beyond have since signed petitions and called for his release.
Earlier, his partner Omer Ongun announced: “He reiterated that he is an academic defending peace and life… Cihan is right, truthful, confident, calm, and powerful. We will stay strong and determined!”
The campaign for Cihan’s release and safe return to Canada will continue.