Public Statement Concerning Zehra Sayers

UPDATE (21 November 2023): PICT is now able to confirm that the Turkish state has discontinued the “Unmarried Female Orphan Monthly Pension” received by Zehra Sayers from the Turkish Social Security Institution (SGK) since 2013. Sayers’ pension was cut in July 2023 following an official complaint against her in May 2023.

PICT faculty members David Selim Sayers and Evrim Emir-Sayers have chosen to let Brad PICT respond to the matter:

Original Statement

During the week of 11 September 2023, the Paris Institute for Critical Thinking received an anonymous letter (see below) claiming to document a serious case of fraud involving Zehra Sayers, a high-profile academic from Turkey who happens to be related to two of our faculty members, David Selim Sayers and Evrim Emir-Sayers. Since then, PICT has been contacted for information by others with apparent knowledge of the matter, including journalists, making it necessary for us to issue a public statement.

PICT has not been able to confirm the origin of the letter, or if and where its contents have actually been published. However, David Selim Sayers and Evrim Emir-Sayers have confirmed all claims made in the letter as accurate, excluding the citizenship and pensions enjoyed by Zehra Sayers, which they can neither confirm nor deny, but including her second marriage to Ahmet Evin, which they attended in person. Having contacted the relevant Turkish authorities, PICT can also confirm the existence of an ongoing inquiry into the matter, outcome pending.

Our publication of the letter does not constitute an endorsement of its contents, but rather an appeal to jurists, journalists, and authorities to investigate its claims. The sooner the truth of this matter is exposed, the better. David Selim Sayers and Evrim Emir-Sayers have declared themselves happy to assist the process in any way possible, not least in honor of the late Prof. Dr. Nuran Gökhan, mentioned in the letter, whose life and legacy serve as an inspiration for much of their work at PICT.

In Solidarity,

Your PICT Team