MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Up to 27 of the "Academicians for Peace" have been reported detained this week for signing a petition against Ankara’s anti-Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) campaign on charges of terrorist propaganda.
"The steps taken against the Turkish academics who signed a declaration regarding events in the Southeast of Turkey are an extremely worrying development," the EU said in a statement.
US Ambassador to Ankara John Bass expressed concern over the developments on Friday, saying the probes risk having a "chilling" effect on national political discourse.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who classified the scholars "cruel" and "despicable," has estimated 3,100 militants were killed by security forces since the anti-PKK campaign began late last summer.
The EU has reached a deal with Turkey in November promising $3 billion in exchange for Ankara taking steps to curb the vast arrival of refugees into the bloc through the country.