Turkey opens ‘terror’ trial of academics over petition for peace in Kurdish southeast

Turkey has begun the trial of a group of academics charged with terrorism offences for signing a petition calling for peace in the Kurdish-dominated southeast. Over 1,120 Turkish and foreign academics signed the petition, which emerged in January 2016, calling for an end to the military’s crackdown on outlawed Kurdish rebels in the southeast. The academics say the petition was an apolitical call for peace but prosecutors charged 146 of the signatories with making propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), AFP said. The first 10 – from Istanbul University and Galatasaray University - went on trial in Istanbul on Tuesday with the hearing attended by EU diplomats, including the French ambassador.