Statement as to the Accusations of Academic Ayşe Gül Altınay

Yazar / Referans: 

"Are we going to turn our pain into more violence, hate, pain and injustice, or into steps that multiply life, beauty, love, peace and justice?"

Prof. Dr. Ayşe Gül Altınay, who has been working in the fields of anthropology, cultural studies and gender at Sabancı University, is one of the academics who have been charged with "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" for having signed the declaration entitled "We will not be a party to this crime" prepared by the Academics for Peace.

In her fourth hearing held on May 21, 2019, Ayşe Gül Altınay has been sentenced to 2 years and 1 month in prison on charge of "knowingly and willingly aiding a terrorist organization as a non-member" by the İstanbul 25th Heavy Penal Court. Since the prison term of the academic is over two years, her prison sentence has not been deferred.

We are publishing the statement as to the accusations of Prof. Dr. Ayşe Gül Altınay, which she presented at her final hearing held on May 21, 2019.

(Click here to read statements of Academics for Peace published in English)


Every individual, every family living in this geography has suffered from past wars, migrations and experiences of violence.

In terms of the cycle of violence that trauma studies alert us to, we live in a challenging, vulnerable geography.

Yet, what we make of these past experiences of pain is up to us...

Are we going to turn our pain into more violence, hate, pain and injustice, or into steps that multiply life, beauty, love, peace and justice?

This is the main question that shapes my work and my life.

I firmly believe that we all have new steps we can take towards healing the traumas that have been transmitted from one generation to the other, and to break out of the cycles of violence that we are living through.

About Ayşe Gül Altınay

Ayşe Gül Altınay is Professor of Anthropology and Director of Sabancı University Gender and Women's Studies Center of Excellence (SU Gender). She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology, with a Women's Studies Certificate, from Duke University in 2001 and has served as Associate Editor of the European Journal of Women's Studies (since 2009), Marie Jahoda Visiting Chair in International Gender Studies at Ruhr University-Bochum (2012), Visiting Faculty Fellow as part of the "Women Mobilizing Memory" Working Group at Columbia University Center for the Study of Social Difference (2014-2016) and Researcher in the CEU – Sabancı University Joint Academic Initiative on Gendered Memories of War and Political Violence (with Andrea Petö, 2011-2015).

At Sabancı University, she has contributed to the development of the Cultural Studies BA and MA Programs, the Gender Studies PhD program, Gender Forum and SU Gender, as well as the Sexual Harassment Policy Statement and Committee.

Altınay's research and writing have focused on militarism, nationalism, violence, memory, gender, and sexuality. Among her books are The Myth of the Military-Nation: Militarism, Gender and Education (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004); Ebru: Reflections on Cultural Diversity in Turkey (Metis, 2007, with Attila Durak); Violence Against Women in Turkey: A Nationwide Survey (Punto, 2008, with Yeşim Arat); The Grandchildren: The Hidden Legacy of Lost Armenians in Turkey (Transaction, 2014, with Fethiye Çetin, trans. Maureen Freely), Gendered Wars, Gendered Memories: Feminist Conversations on War, Genocide and Political Violence (Routledge, 2016, with Andrea Petö), and and the forthcoming volume Women Mobilizing Memory (Columbia University Press, 2019, co-edited with Maria Jose Contreras, Marianne Hirsch, Jean Howard, Banu Karaca and Alisa Solomon).

Her co-authored book with Yeşim Arat, Türkiye'de Kadına Yönelik Şiddet (Violence Against Women in Turkey) was awarded the 2008 PEN Duygu Asena Award.