Carleton University of Canada demanded the release of its PhD student detained in Istanbul as part of prosecutions against Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Cihan Erdal, a PhD candidate and researcher at Carleton University (Official) in Canada, has been detained in Istanbul-Turkey on 25 September 2020 as part of prosecutions against Peoples’ Democratic Party  (HDP). He was one of the members of Executive Committee of this party in 2014 as ‘the voice of the youth’. Cihan Erdal was recently running his field study in Istanbul on the youth experiences and he is also the coordinator for the Center for Urban Youth Research in Canada, bringing together researchers, youth activists and young people from all over the world.

Carleton University published the statement below demanding the release of Cihan Erdal immediately!

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University condemns in the strongest possible terms the detention of Carleton Sociology doctoral candidate, Cihan Erdal, in Turkey today

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University condemns in the strongest possible terms the detention of Carleton Sociology doctoral candidate, Cihan Erdal, in Turkey today. The charges stem from events back in 2014, which the Turkish government are using to continue persecuting members of the leftist HDP political party, the third largest party in Turkey’s parliament. Cihan and 81 others, including academics, activists, and politicians, have been targeted because they are all signatories to a letter from six years ago calling for the Turkish government to step in to protect a Kurdish town from ISIS attacks, during a time when ISIS was quite active and many Kurds were being killed.

Cihan was an active member of the HDP in 2014 as their youth representative. However, he has not been involved in Turkish politics since he moved to Canada to do his doctoral studies at Carleton in January, 2017. He had only returned to Turkey to visit family and then to interview Turkish activists as part of his doctoral fieldwork. Cihan’s research is on youth-led social movements in Europe, including in Turkey, focused on the stories of young activists about their involvement in social movements. His work is in no way critical of the Turkish state. His research passed a formal proposal defense, and his research ethics proposal was approved before the COVID-19 pandemic began. He was beginning interviews online, while awaiting approval under the new pandemic ethics process to begin face to face interviews in Turkey, Athens, and Paris.

We ask you to vigorously demand the release of Cihan from detention and demand that the Canadian government consular offices support Cihan, who is a permanent resident of Canada.

More information on the arrests can be found here.

The Embassy of Canada to Turkey:

Cinnah Caddesi No: 58

06690, Cankaya

Ankara, Turkey

Tel.: +90 (312) 409 27 00

Fax: +90 (312) 409 27 12

E-mail: ANKRA@international.gc.ca

Twitter: @CanEmbTurkey