Call for solidarity from BEKS Istanbul

Dear colleagues and friends,

BEKS Istanbul was founded in 2010 by a group of scholars and students from the Sociology department at Mimar Sinan University to make independent scientific research and share their results with the democratic public opinion, especially on “difficult” issues in need of public debate and left a trace in the social memory of Turkey. Since its foundation, BEKS (Association for the Sociology of Culture and Memory) has made research on the 1980 Turkish coup d’état , human rights violations in the 90s in Turkey, and lastly on Armenian Genocide. The research results have been regularly shared via publications, articles, exhibitions as well as at academic conferences and non-academic gatherings and workshops.

BEKS needs your solidarity: our association which was shut down by court decision as a result of the irregular and arbitrary process is now face to face with a retrospective debt. Your support is important more than ever to sustain the independent scientific research and public discussion sphere which, day by day, narrows down in Turkey.

In its association building at Hazzopulo Passage, BEKS has also organized several activities including film screenings, expositions and collaborated with various artists working on social issues such as social memory. BEKS has succeeded to stay alive, thanks to the financial support from various human rights institutions until recently when in 2018 it was closed down by Istanbul Administrative Tribunal. Although the association’s building was evacuated after this period, the administration of the Hazzopulo Passage, which is by a trustee appointed by the government, brought an action against us for a retrospective rent increase. Even though our legal objection resulted in our favour, this decision was overturned by a superior court.

None of our objections produced results and BEKS and its members are faced with debt enforcement because of the burden of arbitrary and unjust debts.

We run a campaign to be in solidarity with BEKS in its aim to support scientific research and public debate. We are waiting for your small or bigger financial contributions and support messages:

Please forward this message to anyone who may be interested.

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