The Sacramento Bee reports that UC Davis professor Baki Tezcan has been arrested in Turkey for signing a 2016 "Academics for Peace" petition accusing the Turkish army of massacring Kurds. Now released and "conducting research in Istanbul," Tezcan will stand trial on July 18.
Following the 2016 petition, Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the signatories of treason and began investigations, which, according to Academics for Peace, led to charges against 765 of them. Since Tezcan's arrest, a warrant has been issued for New York University professor and fellow Turkish American signatory Asli Igsiz.
Inside Higher Ed (IHE) estimates that "Nearly 200 petition signatories have been sentenced: the most common sentence is a 15-month suspended prison sentence, with sentences ranging all the way up to 36 months of imprisonment." IHE also notes that the Middle East Studies Association---focusing on a country in the region besides Israel for a change---has sent a letter to Erdoğan on behalf of Tezcan and the other petition signatories.
Let's hope the US Middle East studies establishment has finally woken up to the full scope of Erdoğan's persecution of academics, even if it continues to overlook the regime's Islamist nature.