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Cihan Erdal is a doctoral researcher and peace activist in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University in Ottawa and a member of Canadian Union of Public Employees.

He is a former central executive committee member of the left-wing opposition party, HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party), a legal political party in Turkey. It is the country’s third largest party. Erdal had joined HDP in 2014 to advocate for pluralism, peace, democracy, and human rights in Turkey and beyond.

He had recently returned to Turkey to visit family and conduct fieldwork with Turkish and European youth for his doctorate. Unexpectedly, on the morning of September 25th, 2020, Cihan was detained and later imprisoned alongside 16 other academics, activists, and politicians. Since 2016, the Turkish government has imprisoned hundreds of students and academics, leading Human Rights Watch to denounce them for generating self-censorship and hollowing out academic freedom in the country.

The Wikipedia page on Cihan: