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Esra Mungan, Kıvanç Ersoy, Muzaffer Kaya, and Meral Camcı

On March 15, 2016, Turkish scholars Esra Mungan (psychology), Kıvanç Ersoy (mathematics) and Muzaffer Kaya (social science) were arrested and jailed by an Istanbul court on charges of supporting terrorism.  Meral Camcı (chemistry), who was abroad, was arrested on March 31, upon her return to Turkey.  Days before their arrest, the scholars had held a press conference in which they renewed their support for a petition—calling for accountability and an end to the surging violence in the majority Kurdish region—that they signed in mid-January 2016.  On April 22, 2016, an Istanbul court released the group from pre-trial detention.  It also ruled that their prosecution for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” would be stopped, pending a decision by the Minister of Justice on whether investigation on charges under Article 301 of the Penal Code “Denigrating the Turkish Nation” should proceed.  There have been four hearings on their case thus far, with the fifth scheduled for July 2017.