On April 20, 2014, Turkish sociologist and PEN Honorary Member Professor Ismail Beşikçi was prevented from boarding a plane to the United States at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbull, Turkey. This was based on unspecified security reasons, despite having been issued a valid visa to travel by the Department of State.
A guest of the Kurdish American Society, Prof. Beşikçi was scheduled to speak at the Mustafa Barzani Graduate Peace Fellowship at the American University in Washington, DC. Following that, he was slated to speak at Riverside Church in New York City, where Martin Luther King delivered his historic 1967 oration against the Vietnam War.
In this letter, the National Lawyers Guild urges Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to act immediately and admit Prof. Beşikçi to the United States.