Dr Ruhi Demiray (Honorary Research Fellow in Philosophy, SPIRE and co-holder with Professor Sorin Baiasu – Philosophy, SPIRE – of a British Academy Newton Advanced Fellowship) was one of the signatories of the famous Peace Petition calling for the end of violence in the South-East of Turkey. As a result, he was arrested and then dismissed from his academic post at Kocaeli University in September 2016.
Through the research network of the Keele-Oxford-St Andrews Kantian (KOSAK) Research Centre (Director – Professor Baiasu), Dr Demiray was supported by the ZetKIK (Zentrum für Kommentarische Interpretationen zu Kant – Centre for Interpretive Commentary on Kant – Director: Professor Dieter Schönecker) at the University of Siegen, in Germany, to apply for a Philipp Schwartz
Fellowship, advertised by the prestigious Humboldt Foundation precisely for scholars under threat in their countries of origin. The application was successful and the 2-year research fellowship started at the beginning of 2017.
This new affiliation is expected to facilitate also work as part of the British Academy Advanced Newton Fellowship. Research within the framework of this grant was made difficult by the situation in Turkey and Kocaeli University’s lack of cooperation. Work on the Newton Fellowship will resume once an agreement between Keele University and Siegen University will be signed. This is currently under discussion and it is expected to be completed shortly.