Advocates of Silenced Turkey and Scholar Rights Watch Announce “HALUK SAVAS AWARDS” for academic projects that will focus on human rights and freedom issues in Turkey during the last decade.


Submissions Open:
10/04/2020 00:00 a.m. EST

Submission Deadline:
08/30/2021 11:59 p.m. EST

Announcement of the award winners:


PhD dissertation award:
Up to 5 awards, $2,000 each.

MS Thesis award:
Up to 5 awards, $1,000 each.

Publication in a peer-reviewed journal:
Up to 5 awards, $1,500 each.

Conference talk or proceeding:
Up to 5 awards, $1,000 each.

Honorable Mentions:
Up to 5 awards.


You can click the link below to submit your application

Application Link



Prof. Dr. Haluk Savaş was born in Adana, Turkey in 1966. He graduated from Marmara University School of Medicine (English) in 1991. In 1997, he received his residency in Psychiatry/Mental Health and Diseases at Bakırköy Psychiatric Hospital.

In 1999, he earned his master’s degree from the Middle East Institute at Marmara University in Sociology-Anthropology with a thesis on “Culture-Psychiatry Relationship”.

He served at Gaziantep University as an associate professor between the years 2003 and 2008, and as a professor between 2008 and 2016.

On September 1, 2016, he was expelled from Gaziantep University with a statutory decree during the State of Emergency after the July 2016 Coup attempt. He was soon arrested on allegations on plotting against the government. He developed pancreatic cancer during his time in prison. His diagnosis and treatment were delayed. He was released by the court for his surgery and was later acquitted after trial.

Despite being cleared of all charges, he was deprived of his legal rights, including obtaining a passport, retirement benefits, and workers’ compensation.

Because he was denied a passport, Dr Savas could not get the available and necessary treatment abroad. Consequently, he tried to make his voice heard in the social media. As a result of the campaign, which was launched with the hashtag #HalukSavaşaPasaport [Passport for Haluk Savaş], the government reluctantly issued his passport. Haluk Savaş became a widely recognized figure as a result of this campaign.

He took part in the establishment of KHK Platforms to be the voice for the 200,000 people who were expelled from their jobs by the statutory decrees. Despite the progression of his illness, he traveled to many cities to initiate the efforts to unify and coordinate these people. He was one of the founders of a YouTube channel called KHK TV and served as its editor-in- chief. By the establishments of news outlets and news sites, he became a prominent figure in the KHK struggle against the government.

In the meantime, he contributed to and continued his scientific efforts through his website and personal social media accounts. He kept providing patient care at his private clinic in Adana.

Prof. Dr. Haluk Savaş passed away on June 30, 2020.


  • With his 80 international and 80 national scholarly papers, he has the highest number of publications (160 in total) among Turkish psychiatrists.
  • With 4300 citations, he has the third highest impact factor among Turkish psychiatrists.
  • Authored 7 booklets about patient education.
  • Author of 4 booklets in professional training in psychiatry
  • Contributed to many scientific books as a chapter-author.
  • Edited and reviewed several papers, books and articles.
  • Gave hundreds of talks at various national and international conferences.


Since the alleged coup attempt in 2016, Turkish government has been carrying out profound human rights violations against hundreds of thousands of people – from arbitrary deprivation of the right to work and to freedom of movement, to torture and other ill-treatment, arbitrary detentions and infringements of the rights to freedom of association and expression.

The Erdogan government is disregarding the rights of its dissidents. More than 200 thousand people have been arbitrarily detained and over 80 thousand people have been arrested on terrorism charges. Furthermore, detainees are being exposed to severe torture and ill-treatment by the hands of State officials. More than 170,000 public officials have been dismissed since July 2016. Those dismissed from their jobs lost their income, social benefits, medical insurance and even their homes.

One of the most distressing acts of the Turkish authorities is incarceration of pregnant women and new mothers. Some are imprisoned with their children and others are cruelly separated from them. As of now, over 800 hundred children under the age of six are in jails across Turkey with their mothers, detained or arrested as part of the government crackdown on its dissidents.

Turkish government has been expanding its unlawful actions to the foreign land and overseas. Several abductions against perceived political opponents of President Erdogan’s administration have been conducted by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) in violation of the international legal norms.

The erosion of rule of law and democracy in Turkey has been continuing at an alarming rate.


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