Aberdeen graduate faces prison term in Turkey for criticising Erdoğan

Dr Hanifi Bariş

A petition calling for the release of a Turkish lawyer and Aberdeen University graduate has received more than 3,100 signatures.

On 4th July 2018 Dr Hanifi Bariş was arrested in Istanbul. He was charged with “posting items of criminal content” on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Mr Bariş graduated from Aberdeen University’s Centre of Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law with a PhD in 2017.

He moved to Turkey to be with his family but now faces a four-year prison term for speaking out against President Recep Erdoğan, who recently conferred sweeping new powers on himself.

Mr Bariş, who practised law in Turkey for several years, uploaded articles denouncing the president at the end of June.

A petition launched by his colleagues at Aberdeen University calls for his immediate release.

It states: “The recent actions of the government are demonstrative of an escalation in the repression and erosion of basic human rights in Turkey. Sadly, Hanifi’s arrest is not an isolated event.

“He is one of hundreds of academics currently imprisoned and facing criminal and disciplinary investigations. Many others have already been dismissed or suspended and some have fled the country.”

View the petition here