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Trials of academics, who have been charged with "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" for having signed the declaration entitled "We will not be a party to this crime" prepared by the Academics for Peace, continued in İstanbul Çağlayan Courthouse at the 28th Heavy Penal Court.
Dr. Lecturer Bülent Küçük and Prof. Dr. B.K. from the Department of Sociology, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Çiğdem Kafescioğlu and Prof. Dr. N.N. from the Department of History, Dr. Lecturer O.A. from the Department of Turkish Language and Literature, Prof. Dr. Güler Fişek from the Department of Psychology and Dr. Gaye Yılmaz from the Department of Educational Sciences at Boğaziçi University had their second hearings today (May 30).
N.N. and Çiğdem Kafescioğlu presented excuses and did not attend their hearings. Their next hearings will be held on September 18, 2018. The other academics attended the hearings. Of the academics who presented their statements of defence, the hearing of B.K. has been adjourned to September 25, the hearing of O.A. to September 26 and the hearings of Küçük and Yılmaz have been adjourned to September 18.
The court board rejected all requests raised by the academics. During the hearing of Prof. Dr. Güler Fişek, the presiding judge Ersin Özaslan asked whether there was a request for the deferment of the announcement of the verdict. Fişek stated that at this point, her only request was for her immediate acquittal. The presiding judge posed the same question to the attorney Meriç Eyüboğlu. Eyüboğlu said that they would answer this question later on.
The presiding judge insisted that a statement should be made regarding the deferment of the announcement of the verdict. However, Eyüboğlu rejected making a statement and intervened after the presiding judge had the dialogue written to the minutes incompletely. After the intervention of the attorney Eyüboğlu, the presiding judge called on the security guards and had the attorneys and the audience taken out of the courtroom.
The hearings against signatory academics started on December 5, 2017. As of May 30, 241 academics had their first hearings. 13 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for that of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University.
The court board consisted of the Presiding Judge Ersin Özaslan; Court Members Muhsin Onay and Ünsal Kudu; Prosecutor Mehmet İlker Durmaz.
On January 10, 2016, 1,128 academics published a declaration entitled "We will not be party to this crime" on behalf of the Academics for Peace initiative. With the participation of further academics, the number of academics who have signed the declaration has reached 2,212.
With the indictment issued by the Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt, lawsuits were filed against the academics on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article No. 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Law No. 3713.
As of May 30, 2018, 241 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 13 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for that of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University. The penalty of Prof. Dr. Üstel was not deferred on the grounds that "she did not demand deferment of the announcement of the verdict and that she did not make a statement of penitence."
On March 10, 2016, the Academics for Peace made a statement for press and shared with the public what they had been going through since the declaration "We will not be a party to this crime" was published. The academics Dr. Lecturer Esra Mungan, Dr. Lecturer Muzaffer Kaya, Assoc. Prof. Dr Kıvanç Ersoy (March 15, 2016) and Dr. Lecturer Meral Camcı (March 31, 2016), who read out the above-mentioned statement for press, were arrested on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article No. 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Law. They were released on April 2016. Upon the request of the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Justice granted a permission of trial as per the Article No. 301 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 301 on charges of "insulting the Turkish Nation, the State of the Republic of Turkey and the institutions and organs of the government." The lawsuits still continue. (TP/SD)
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