Solidarity Messages and Other Petitions

Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (GfbV)
The Committee of Concerned Scientists
Middle East Studies Association (MESA) of North America
Academics for Peace
Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa (APTUO)
Canadian Federation of Students (CFSCFÉÉ)
NOW Association – Switzerland
Canadian Federation of Students (CFSCFÉÉ)
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)
Carleton University Students for Scholars at Risk (CUSFSAR)
Carleton University Academic Staff Association (CUASA)
The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA)
CUPE Ontario
The Canadian Anthropology Society – La Société canadienne d’anthropologie
Joint Statement by collectives and organizations from Greece
Scholars at Risk (SAR) Canada Section
CUPE National (The Canadian Union of Public Employees)
Sexuality Studies Association – Association d’études de la sexualité
The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
CUPE 4600
The Canadian Sociological Association//Société Canadienne de Sociologie (CSA-SCS)
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University
Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)


Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (GfbV)

Turkey Action Group from Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (GfbV)
wrote a piece for Cihan Erdal on their latest newsletter.

November 25, 2020

GfbV (Society for Threatened Peoples) is an international human rights organization for persecuted and oppressed ethnic and religious minorities, nationalities and indigenous peoples. To read the newsletter, follow the hyperlink below.


The Committee of Concerned Scientists

Letter to Turkish Ministry of Justice

November 12, 2020

The Committee of Concerned Scientists expressed concern for Cihan Erdal, who has been detained in Turkey since September 25, and incorrect “terrorism” charges for his prior membership in the People’s Democratic Party (HDP). In a letter addressed to the Turkish Ministry of Justice, the committee underlined that charges against Erdal have been concealed and stated that his arrest appears to be part of an ongoing, politically motivated sweep of HDP leaders and members.

The committee urged Turkish authorities to drop the charges against Cihan Erdal, who is being prosecuted for his membership in a political party that he quit five years ago, and now awaits trial in Sincan Maximum Security Prison.

The letter reminded the fact that Turkish government is a signatory of international conventions and declarations, therefore, it should defend human rights such as freedom of expression and association.


Middle East Studies Association (MESA) of North America

Letter regarding the detention of Cihan Erdal, a doctoral candidate at Carleton University

October 27, 2020

MESA’s Committee on Academic Freedom sent a letter to Turkish President Erdoğan regarding the detention of Cihan Erdal, a doctoral candidate at Carleton University.


Academics for Peace

Call for Solidarity

October 11, 2020

We demand that all who have been arrested in operations against HDP, including our peace signatory comrade, peace academic Prof. Dr. Beyza Üstün, and our colleagues Cihan Erdal and Can Memiş be released immediately.

We ask your kind support to disseminate our call in your institutions to advocate for their immediate release.

Academics for Peace


Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa / Association des professeur.e.s à temps partiel de l’Université d’Ottawa

October 9, 2020

Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa (APTUO) stand in solidarity with CUPE and call on the Canadian government to demand the release of Carleton PhD student, Cihan Erdal, detained in Turkey. #FreeCihanErdal #cndpse #onpse

L’APTPUO est en solidarité avec le SCFP et appelle le gouvernement canadien à exiger la libération de Cihan Erdal, étudiant en doctorat de Carleton, détenu en Turquie. #LiberezCihanErdal #cndpse #onpse

https://twitter.com/APTPUO/status/1314582037739827200?s=20 https://twitter.com/APTPUO/status/1314582039153315841?s=20


Now Association

NOW from Switzerland publishes a statement regarding the detainment of Cihan Erdal.

October 2, 2020

NOW is an internationally active association based in Switzerland, which creates non-formal learning opportunities for youth and adults. We are committed to peaceful coexistence and to contribute to creating a world without injustices, which is reflected in our core values of inclusion, respect for human rights and social justice.
This is why the message of the arrests in Turkey on Friday, 25th of September 2020 hit us with horror. 82 people were arrested merely on the grounds of a social media post of the HDP, in which they called for participation in the protests in October 2014. One of those arrested is Cihan Erdal, who has been engaged in our association as a very competent, caring and bridge-building volunteer. Cihan is a PhD candidate at Carleton University in Canada. If you would like more information about Cihan’s detention, you can take a look at this website. We stand behind Cihan Erdal and demand his immediate release and that of the other detainees. We call on other organizations, parties, associations and individuals to show solidarity with the detainees. 

NOW 2020 Board

http://nowornow.org/2020/10/08/freecihanerdal/


The Canadian Federation of Students

October 2, 2020

The Canadian Federation of Students condemns the detention of Carleton University Ph.D. Candidate, Cihan Erdal.

https://cfs-fcee.ca/the-federation-condemns-the-detention-of-carleton-university-student-in-turkey/


The National Union of Public and General Employees

October 8, 2020

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) joins numerous academic associations, labour unions, and concerned citizens in calling for the immediate release of Cihan Erdal, a Canadian resident, student, and activist who has been arbitrarily detained in Turkey. https://nupge.ca/content/free-cihan-erdal-nupge


Carleton University Students For Scholars at Risk

October 6, 2020

Carleton University Students For Scholars at Risk group have publicized Cihan’s situation widely, including through an Instagram post https://www.instagram.com/p/CFsl7kInRaO/?utm_source=ig…


Statement by Carleton University Academic Staff Association (CUASA)

Statement on Detainment of Cihan Erdal

October 2, 2020

CUASA strongly condemns the detainment of Carleton PhD student, and CUPE 4600 member, Cihan Erdal in Turkey. A statement from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology says Cihan and 81 others, including academics, activists, and politicians, have been targeted because they are all signatories to a letter from six years ago calling for the Turkish government to step in to protect a Kurdish town from ISIS attacks, during a time when ISIS was quite active and many Kurds were being killed.

The department is encouraging people to demand the release of Cihan from detention and demand that the Canadian government consular offices support Cihan, who is a permanent resident of Canada.


Statement by The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA)

OCUFA condemns Turkish detainment of Carleton University student Cihan Erdal

October 1, 2020

On September 25th, 82 academics, politicians, and activists were detained in Istanbul, Turkey. Amongst those who have been detained is Cihan Erdal, a PhD student at Carleton University, who had been visiting the country at the time. No known reason has been given for the detainments, but it is believed they are related to a 2014 letter Erdal and the other individuals signed calling for the Turkish government to step in to protect a Kurdish town from ISIS attacks.

In response, OCUFA President Rahul Sapra has sent a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemning the detainment and calling for Erdal to be released.


Statement by CUPE Ontario

Free CUPE member Cihan Erdal!

September 30, 2020

CUPE 4600 member, Cihan Erdal was arrested on September 25th by Turkish police on unspecified charges related to social unrest in 2014. Erdal is one of 82 people issued arrest warrants in relation to alleged incitement of protests in 2014 which were violently repressed by Turkish police.

Erdal has been an active member of CUPE local 4600 and the Carleton community. When Erdal first began studying at Carleton, CUPE 4600 assisted him in securing his priority TA-ship and defending his priority status from attempts by administration to revoke it.

We call for the release of Erdal and the other unjustly detained individuals. Erdal is a Canadian permanent resident and we demand that Canadian consular services do everything possible to assist in his release.


Position statement by The Canadian Anthropology Society/La Société canadienne d’anthropologie

September 30, 2020

The Canadian Anthropology Society/Société canadienne d’anthropologie is very concerned about the detention of Cihan Erdal, a doctoral candidate at Carleton University, while doing research in Turkey. As the association that represents anthropologists from across Canada, many of whom do their research abroad; we are deeply concerned about the well-being of Mr. Erdal. His research was vetted by both his committee and his peers through Carleton’s human research board and it is clear that his business in Turkey was not political, but rather a combination of research and personal matters. We hope that the Government of Canada, like us, condemn his detention. In particular, we urgently request that the Canadian Embassy in Turkey deploy all their resources, including consular services, to secure his release.

La Société canadienne d’anthropologie est hautement préoccupée par la détention de M. Cihan Erdal, un doctorant de l’Université Carleton détenu en Turquie pendant qu’il y menait ses travaux de recherche. En tant qu’association représentant les anthropologues de l’ensemble du Canada, dont plusieurs mènent leurs recherches à l’étranger, nous sommes très inquiets du bien-être de M. Erdal. Ses travaux de recherches ont été approuvés à la fois par son comité et ses pairs par l’entremise du comité d’éthique de la recherche menée auprès d’humains de l’Université Carleton et il est évident qu’il ne se trouve pas en Turquie pour des raisons politiques, mais plutôt pour y mener ses recherches et pour des raisons personnelles. Nous espérons que le gouvernement du Canada condamnera tout comme nous sa détention. Concrètement, nous demandons que l’ambassade canadienne en Turquie mobilise d’urgence toutes les ressources dont elle dispose, dont les services consulaires, pour assurer la libération de M. Erdal.


Joint Statement by Collectives and Organizations in Greece

Αλληλεγγύη στον Cihan Erdal και 81 άλλους ακαδημαϊκούς/ες, ακτιβιστ(ρι)ές και πολιτικούς που κρατούνται στην Τουρκία!
Οι συλλογικότητες και οργανώσεις που υπογράφουμε, καταδικάζουμε έντονα την κράτηση του Cihan Erdal και απαιτούμε την άμεση απελευθέρωσή του και την ασφαλή επιστροφή του στον Καναδά.
Ο Cihan Erdal, ένας LGBTQ+ ακτιβιστής και υποψήφιος διδάκτορας στο Τμήμα Κοινωνιολογίας και Ανθρωπολογίας στο Πανεπιστήμιο Carleton του Καναδά, συνελήφθη στην Κωνσταντινούπολη στις 25 Σεπτεμβρίου 2020 μαζί με 81 άλλους πολιτικούς, ακαδημαϊκούς/ες και ακτιβιστ(ρι)ές και προφυλακίστηκε με άγνωστες προς το παρόν κατηγορίες. Όπως έγινε γνωστό από τις τουρκικές αρχές οι συλλήψεις σχετίζονται με διαδηλώσεις του Οκτωβρίου 2014 στην Τουρκία, κατά της κατάληψης της κουρδικής-συριακής πόλης Kobane από τον ISIS. Οι διαδηλώσεις τότε κατεστάλησαν βίαια από την τουρκική αστυνομία και είχαν ως αποτέλεσμα τον θάνατο 37 πολιτών.
Ο Cihan είναι ένας queer ακτιβιστής και πρώην μέλος της εκτελεστικής επιτροπής του αριστερού φιλοκουρδικού πολιτικού κόμματος, HDP. Μετανάστευσε στον Καναδά το 2017 για να ολοκληρώσει το διδακτορικό του. Είχε επιστρέψει πρόσφατα στην Τουρκία για να επισκεφθεί την οικογένεια του και να πραγματοποιήσει έρευνα στο πεδίο στο πλαίσιο της διδακτορικής του μελέτης. Ήταν προγραμματισμένο να επισκεφτεί την Αθήνα και να παραμείνει στην χώρα για ένα χρονικό διάστημα, καθώς η επιστημονική του έρευνα αφορούσε μελέτη των στάσεων των νέων σε Ελλάδα και Τουρκία. Ο Cihan επίσης πρωτοστάτησε στο κύμα αλληλεγγύης από την Τουρκία κατά τη δολοφονία του Ζακ Κωστόπουλου και αποτέλεσε το σημείο επαφής των LGBTQ+ κοινοτήτων σε Ελλάδα και Τουρκία.
Ο Cihan δεν είναι μόνος! Έχει δίπλα του τα αδέλφια του στην από εδώ πλευρά του Αιγαίου!
Καλούμε τις καναδικές και τις τουρκικές αρχές να λάβουν επείγουσα δράση και απαιτούμε την άμεση απελευθέρωση του Cihan και των άλλων ακτιβιστ(ρι)ών, καθώς και την ασφαλή επιστροφή του Cihan στον Καναδά!

Προσυπογράφουν:
Justice For Zak/Zackie
Colour Youth – Κοινότητα LGBTQ Νέων Αθήνας
Feminist Autonomous Centre for Research, Athens
ΛΟΑΤ ΑμεΑ
ΟΛΚΕ – Ομοφυλοφιλική Λεσβιακή Κοινότητα Ελλάδας
Proud Seniors Greece (Ομάδα Υποστήριξης ΛΟΑΤΚΙ ατόμων ηλικίας 50+)
Thessaloniki Pride – Φεστιβάλ Υπερηφάνειας Θεσσαλονίκης

#Justice4ZakZackie #freecihanerdal


Statement by Scholars at Risk (SAR) Canada Section

SAR Canada stands in solidarity with Carleton University Ph.D. Candidate

SAR Canada stands in solidarity with Cihan Erdal, a permanent resident of Canada and Ph.D. Candidate at Carleton University, who was detained by Turkish officials on Friday, September 25, 2020. We deplore any action that seeks to silence freedom of speech and subvert academic freedom.  We urge the academic community to muster all the support they can for Cihan by spreading the word of his detention and to vigorously demand his release. We call on the Government of Canada and the relevant Turkish authorities to take urgent action to secure Cihan’s immediate release and safe return to Canada.


Statement by The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) National – (le français suit)

CUPE calls for release and safe return of Cihan Erdal

Sep 29, 2020

CUPE National President Mark Hancock and National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury are today calling for the release of Cihan Erdal, a queer youth activist, PhD student and member of CUPE Local 4600 at Carleton University. Erdal was detained in Istanbul, Turkey, on September 25, as part of an apparent arbitrary mass arrest of 82 politicians, activists and academics. Erdal is a Canadian permanent resident, who was in Turkey conducting fieldwork for his doctorate.

In a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, CUPE’s national leaders called for the Government of Canada to demand the immediate release of Cihan Erdal from detention and guarantee his safe return to Canada.

Le SCFP demande la libération et le retour de Cihan Erdal au Canada en toute sécurité

le 29 septembre 2020

Le président national du SCFP, Mark Hancock, et le secrétaire-trésorier national du syndicat, Charles Fleury, ont demandé aujourd’hui la libération de Cihan Erdal, un jeune activiste queer qui étudie au doctorat et qui est membre de la section locale 4600 du SCFP à l’Université Carleton. Cihan Erdal a été emprisonné à Istanbul en Turquie le 25 septembre dernier à la suite de l’arrestation massive et arbitraire de 82 politiciens, militants et universitaires. Cihan Erdal est résident permanent au Canada. Il effectuait du travail de terrain en Turquie dans le cadre de ses études de doctorat.

Dans une lettre au ministre fédéral des Affaires étrangères Francois-Philippe Champagne, les dirigeants nationaux du SCFP ont exhorté le gouvernement du Canada à réclamer la libération immédiate de Cihan Erdal et son retour au Canada en toute sécurité.


Statement by Sexuality Studies Association – Association d’études de la sexualité

SSA Condemns the Detention of Queer Activist and Carleton PhD Student In Turkey

The Steering Committee of the Sexuality Studies Association joins the chorus of voices condemning the abduction and arbitrary detention of queer youth activist and Carleton University PhD student, Cihan Erdal, by Turkish authorities on 25 September 2020Erdal is a permanent resident of Canada who was in Turkey visiting family and conducting doctoral research when he was arrested. He remains detained without clear charges.

Erdal appears to have been politically targeted along with 81 other detainees because of signing an open letter in 2014 that called upon the Turkish government to help defend the Kurdish Syrian town of Kobani from ISIS-led cross-border attacks.. The Turkish government seems to be accusing the signatories of inciting protests in southeast Turkey, protests which were met by police violence and led to the deaths of civilians. At the time of signing the letter, Erdal was an executive member of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), a pro-Kurdish political party whose members have long been persecuted by the Turkish government despite having the 3rd most elected seats in Turkish parliament. Erdal has lived in Canada since 2017 and has travelled back and forth between Canada and Turkey regularly without issue for years.

We condemn the politically motivated actions of the Turkish government that have led to Erdal’s arrest and ongoing arbitrary detainment. We call on the Canadian government to demand Erdal’s immediate release and to guarantee his safe return home to Canada.

We encourage our association members to sign the open letter by Canadian scholars demanding Erdal’s immediate release and to contact both The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs and The Embassy of Canada to Turkey to demand action on Erdal’s behalf.

François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons Office
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Tel.:613-995-4895
Fax: 613-996-6883
Email: Francois-Philippe.Champagne@parl.gc.ca
Twitter: @GAC_Corporate

The Embassy of Canada to Turkey
Cinnah Caddesi No: 58
06690, Cankaya
Ankara, Turkey
Tel.: +90 (312) 409 27 00
Fax: +90 (312) 409 27 12
E-mail: ANKRA@international.gc.ca

In solidarity,

The Steering Committee of the Sexuality Studies Association


Statement by The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)

CAUT decries arrest of Carleton University student in Turkey

(Ottawa – September 28, 2020) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has written to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan demanding the immediate release of Cihan Erdal, a Carleton University doctoral student who was visiting Istanbul when he was arrested along with dozens of other academics and politicians for unknown reasons on September 25.

“Mr. Erdal was in Turkey to visit family and to conduct fieldwork as part of his doctoral research in Canada. His research on youth-led social movements in Europe, including in Turkey, focused on the stories of young activists,” says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson in a letter. “CAUT condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the actions taken against Mr. Erdal and is calling on the Turkish government to immediately drop all charges against him and the other 81 academics, politicians, and activists.”

Carleton’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology is also urging Canadian and Turkish authorities to facilitate release of Erdal and the 81 others arrested, and to ensure Erdal’s safe return to Canada, where he is a permanent resident. Hundreds of scholars have already signed on to the Department’s petition.

Erdal is likely being targeted for events dating to 2014 in which he — along with the other 81 individuals who were detained — was a signatory to a letter calling for the Turkish government to step in to protect a Kurdish town from ISIS attacks.


Statement by CUPE 4600

Free Cihan Erdal! 

The CUPE 4600 Executive Board, on behalf of nearly 3,000 teaching assistants and contract instructors, condemns in the strongest terms the imprisonment of Carleton doctoral candidate in Sociology and CUPE 4600 Unit 1 member Cihan Erdal by Turkish authorities and call for his immediate release. 

As reported by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Cihan Erdal was arrested on 25 September by Turkish police on unspecified charges related to social unrest in 2014. Erdal is one of 82 people issued arrest warrants September 25th in relation to alleged incitement of protests in 2014 which were violently repressed by Turkish police. These arrests are part of a broader effort by the Erdogan government in Turkey to repress the left-wing People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and other labour and social justice activists. The Turkish government alleges with little evidence the HDP has ties to terrorist organizations, and frequently uses the guise of national security to repress popular movements for labour, women, LGBT, and minority rights. 

While Erdal was an active member of the HDP in 2014, he has not been involved in Turkish politics for several years since coming to Canada to pursue his studies. He was visiting his family and awaiting ethics approval to conduct in-person interviews in Turkey related to his dissertation. 

Erdal has been an active member of our local and the Carleton community. When Erdal first began studying at Carleton, CUPE 4600 assisted him in securing his priority TA-ship and defending his priority status from attempts by administration to revoke it. 

Our union is proud to have many Turkish members and to continue to support campaigns on behalf of the academic freedom of our fellow workers and scholars in Turkey. 

We call for the release of Erdal and the other unjustly detained individuals. Erdal is a Canadian permanent resident and we demand that Canadian consular services do everything possible to assist in his release.  

The executive board has added our names to a petition for Canadian academics demanding Cihan Erdal’s release and encourages all members and post-secondary workers across Canada to do the same. 

Members and supporters are also strongly urged to contact Canada’s embassy in Turkey: 

Cinnah Caddesi No: 58
06690, Cankaya
Ankara, Turkey
Tel.: +90 (312) 409 27 00
Fax: +90 (312) 409 27 12
E-mail: ANKRA@international.gc.ca
Twitter: @CanEmbTurkey

Free Cihan Erdal! 

In solidarity, 

CUPE 4600 Executive Board 


Canadian Sociological Association (CSA-SCS) Statement

September 28, 2020 – The Canadian Sociological Association//Société Canadienne de Sociologie expresses serious concerns about the safety and well-being of Cihan Erdal who was detained in Turkey on Friday September 25, 2020. Cihan is a permanent resident of Canada, a sociology doctoral student and coordinator of the Centre for Urban Youth Research at Carleton University.

We stand up for freedom of speech and we condemn political detention of any kind. We urge the Turkish government to immediately release Cihan from detention and to allow him to continue his work as a Canadian sociologist. We ask Canadian consular services to assist Cihan to safely return to Canada.

We would like to share the statement issued by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University.

Here is a petition to support Cihan Erdal.

More information on the arrests can be found here and here


Statement by Carleton University, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University condemns in the strongest possible terms the detention of Carleton Sociology doctoral candidate, Cihan Erdal, in Turkey today

Friday, September 25, 2020 – The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University condemns in the strongest possible terms the detention of Carleton Sociology doctoral candidate, Cihan Erdal, in Turkey today. The charges stem from events back in 2014, which the Turkish government are using to continue persecuting members of the leftist HDP political party, the third largest party in Turkey’s parliament. Cihan and 81 others, including academics, activists, and politicians, have been targeted because they are all signatories to a letter from six years ago calling for the Turkish government to step in to protect a Kurdish town from ISIS attacks, during a time when ISIS was quite active and many Kurds were being killed.

Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste: Free Cihan Erdal Now!

I am writing this e-message to draw urgent attention to the case of Cihan Erdal, who was detained in Turkey on September 25, 2020 while he was conducting his doctoral field research and visiting family.  Cihan Erdal is a Ph.D. candidate at Carleton University and is a queer youth activist and a former executive committee member of the left-wing, pro-Kurdish political party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party(Turkish: Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP), Kurdish: Partiya Demokratîk a Gelan), or Democratic Party of the Peoples.  He immigrated to Canada in 2017 to do his doctoral studies and he is a permanent resident of Canada.
Since his arrest on September 25, Canadian academics have been calling for his immediate release.  You can find the petition organized on his behalf through the following link: bit.ly/freeCihanErdal
In addition, some academic organizations, such as the Canadian Sociological Association, Carleton University, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE National and CUPE Local 4600), and the Sexuality Studies Association have called for his immediate release.
I ask that the Canadian government campaign on his behalf, to secure his release and his safe return to Canada. I am writing to ask you and everyone to take up his case with Canadian government officials in Global Affairs Canada. I would be happy to speak with you further about the urgency of this appeal.
It is important to remember always:  An injury to one is an injury to all.

Free Cihan Erdal now!

Sincerely,
Barry Weisleder, Federal secretary, Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste in the Canadian state


CJPME Condemns Detention of Carleton PhD Student in Turkey

Montreal, September 28, 2020  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) adds its voice to those calling for the release of Cihan Erdal, a queer youth activist and PhD student at Carleton University in Ottawa who was detained in Turkey along with 81 other pro-Kurdish activists, academics, and politicians.

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