Academics, students and university campuses have recently become major targets for repression by authoritarian governments in Egypt and Turkey. In Egypt hundreds of students and academics have been arrested as part of an escalating crackdown on dissent since the military coup of 2013. In January 2016, Cambridge PhD student Giulio Regeni went missing. His body was later found bearing marks of torture. The Egyptian government eventually admitted that state security officials had put Giulio under surveillance but deny any role in his torture and murder. Meanwhile, hundreds of Turkish and Kurdish academics have been forced from their jobs and dozens arrested during the past two years, in an orchestrated campaign by the government against signatories to an open letter calling for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish conflict in Turkey.
This public meeting brings together academics from Egypt and Turkey with campaigners to discuss what we can do here in the UK to mobilise solidarity for our colleagues who are under threat.
Meeting co-organised by Cambridge UCU, Academics for Peace-UK, Pembroke Middle East Series and Egypt Solidarity Initiative
Tue 7 November 2017, 12:30 – 14:00 GMT
Old Library, Pembroke College, Cambridge
All welcome: sign up online via Eventbrite
Professor Khaled Fahmy
Dr Bermal Aydın
Dr Bahar Başer
Professor Khaled Fahmy is Sultan Qaboos Professor of Modern Arabic Studies and a historian of the modern Middle East. His research interests lie in the social and cultural history of modern Egypt. He has written on military history, history of law (shari’a), and the history of medicine and of public hygiene – all with an emphasis on 19th-century Egypt. He also writes widely in both English and Arabic on human rights issues in Egypt with particular emphasis on the questions of academic freedom, torture and capital punishment.
Dr Bermal Aydın graduated from the Media and Communication Studies PhD programme at Galatasaray University on 12 May 2016. Her research focuses on alternative media, gender and media, social media, freedom of press and expression, political economy of media, globalization, authoritarianism, precarity and precarization and film analysis. After signing the Academics for Peace Petition (“We’ll not be a part of this crime”) calling for a peaceful solution to the ongoing Kurdish conflict in Turkey she was sacked from her job teaching at Mersin University. Through the support of CARA she was able to come to LSE as a visiting fellow where she is working on a research project exploring the relationship between authoritarian regimes and precarization of media and academic labour in the case of Turkey.
Dr Bahar Baser is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Peace, Trust and Social Relations. She is also an associate research fellow at the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (SIGLA), Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Bahar’s research interests include ethno-national conflicts and political violence, conflict resolution, third party mediation, migration and diaspora studies. She has published extensively on the Kurdish Question in Turkey. Her book “Diasporas and Homeland Conflicts: A Comparative Perspective” was published by Routledge in 2015.
Anne Alexander is an editor of Middle East Solidarity magazine, founding signatory of Egypt Solidarity Initiative and a journalist and author who has written widely on the Middle East.