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Turkish Political Scientist Füsun Üstel Released from Prison
July 25, 2019

Fusun UstelOn Monday, July 22, 2019, Professor Füsun Üstel was released from Eskişehir Women’s Closed Prison, where she had been held since she turned herself in to Turkish authorities on May 8 to serve a 15-month prison sentence.  We understand that the remainder of her sentence has been suspended.
 
Professor Üstel is one of hundreds of Turkish academics (now known as the “Academics for Peace”) who have faced criminal proceedings for signing a petition in January 2016 that called for an end to Turkish military operations in the majority Kurdish southeastern region of the country—that were causing extensive harm to the civilian population—and for renewed peace negotiations.  She received her Ph.D. from Ankara University’s Faculty of Political Sciences in 1987 and was a professor of political science at Galatasaray University when she was summarily dismissed in late 2016 under a state of emergency decree for being a peace petition signatory.  The following year, she was indicted on terrorism-related charges.  Professor Üstel’s conviction in April 2018, following a trial in which no evidence was presented to support the charges brought against her, was upheld on appeal in late February 2019.  Two months later, she received an official summons to present herself at a detention facility.  At this time, Professor Üstel is the only Academic for Peace who has been made to serve time in prison for having signed the petition.