Statement of Support for Ayse Gül Altinay from CSSD & WCC

Our colleague Ayse Gül Altinay, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Center at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, was sentenced to 25 months in prison earlier this week. She is one of over 2200 Academics for Peace who three years ago signed a statement “We will not be a party to this crime” appealing for an end to violent state-sponsored persecution of Kurdish citizens of Turkey. The investigation in Istanbul has covered only the first 1200 signatories so far, but it might be extended to the second 1000 as well. In this, her fourth, judicial hearing, Altinay was charged with “willingly and knowingly supporting a terrorist organization as a non-member.” The court's charge and thus the sentencing have no merit.

Ayse Gül Altinay has been a Faculty Fellow of Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference since 2013. She is a co-organizer of the Working Group on “Women Mobilizing Memory” and a co-editor of the forthcoming Women Mobilizing Memory volume (Columbia University Press, 2019). Last September, she was also an invited speaker at the Center’s tenth anniversary conference “What We Can Do When There’s Nothing To be Done.” Her collaborative project “Curious Steps”— a gender-memory walk through Istanbul – spurred other such memory walks in additional sites including Harlem. Ayse Gül Altinay’s contributions to the Center’s work have been immeasurable: her feminist commitment to nonviolent protest and to transformative activism; her sharp insights into the workings of power and militarism and her determination to fight them; her fierce hopefulness combined with personal kindness, warmth and radiance have been an inspiration to all of us fortunate to be working with her.

For the full statement visit our blog.