Free Cihan Erdal! 


The CUPE 4600 Executive Board, on behalf of nearly 3,000 teaching assistants and contract instructors, condemns in the strongest terms the imprisonment of Carleton doctoral candidate in Sociology and CUPE 4600 Unit 1 member Cihan Erdal by Turkish authorities and call for his immediate release. 

As reported by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Cihan Erdal was arrested on 25 September by Turkish police on unspecified charges related to social unrest in 2014. Erdal is one of 82 people issued arrest warrants September 25th in relation to alleged incitement of protests in 2014 which were violently repressed by Turkish police. These arrests are part of a broader effort by the Erdogan government in Turkey to repress the left-wing People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and other labour and social justice activists. The Turkish government alleges with little evidence the HDP has ties to terrorist organizations, and frequently uses the guise of national security to repress popular movements for labour, women, LGBT, and minority rights. 

While Erdal was an active member of the HDP in 2014, he has not been involved in Turkish politics for several years since coming to Canada to pursue his studies. He was visiting his family and awaiting ethics approval to conduct in-person interviews in Turkey related to his dissertation. 

Erdal has been an active member of our local and the Carleton community. When Erdal first began studying at Carleton, CUPE 4600 assisted him in securing his priority TA-ship and defending his priority status from attempts by administration to revoke it. 

Our union is proud to have many Turkish members and to continue to support campaigns on behalf of the academic freedom of our fellow workers and scholars in Turkey. 

We call for the release of Erdal and the other unjustly detained individuals. Erdal is a Canadian permanent resident and we demand that Canadian consular services do everything possible to assist in his release.  

The executive board has added our names to a petition for Canadian academics demanding Cihan Erdal’s release and encourages all members and post-secondary workers across Canada to do the same. 

Members and supporters are also strongly urged to contact Canada’s embassy in Turkey: 

Cinnah Caddesi No: 58
06690, Cankaya
Ankara, Turkey
Tel.: +90 (312) 409 27 00
Fax: +90 (312) 409 27 12
Twitter: @CanEmbTurkey


Free Cihan Erdal! 


In solidarity, 

CUPE 4600 Executive Board 

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