Turkish NGOs, human rights organisations and university groups have organised a social media campaign on Twitter and Instagram in support of 1,128 academics accused of supporting terrorism after signing a petition for peace.
But what does it mean? The Turkish hashtag #HocamaDokunma, translates to “don’t touch my teacher” and is being popularised by the students of university lecturers and researches currently being questioned for terror-related crimes.
The hashtag itself has a colourful history and its use dates all the way back to 2012, primarily in tweets by research assistants at ITU (Istanbul Technical University). Causes supported by the hashtag include an opposition to YÖK (Council of Higher Education) rules that would limit the permissible duration of postgraduate studies to 6 years.
In 2013, the hashtag was popularised again in support of Prof. Dr. Nurcan Abacı of Uludağ University, who chose to include a question about the Gezi Park resistance in a final exam. The academic was questioned and his students came out in support with #HocamaDokunma – don’t touch my teacher.