* Photograph: Tansu Pişkin / İstanbul / bianet
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 today (June 12).
Dr. Lecturer Eyüp Volkan Çidam from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University and Dr. N.İ. from the same university had their second hearings at the 24th Heavy Penal Court.
Both academics presented their statements of defence. Their attorney Meriç Eyüboğlu requested that their prosecution be extended and demanded that the case files of four academics at the 13th Heavy Penal Court as well as the national and international reports be summoned to the court.
The court board rejected all requests within the scope of collection of evidence. The court board adjourned both hearings to October 18, 2018 by providing time to the defendants and their attorneys for the presentation of additional statements of defence.
The hearings against signatory academics started on December 5, 2017. As of June 12, 254 academics had their first hearings. 15 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for those of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University and Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı from Marmara University.
The court board consisted of the Presiding Judge Hulusi Pur; Court Members Yusuf Yılmaz and Ramazan Balcı; Prosecutor Arif Kaplan.
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 June 12, 2018, 254 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 15 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for those of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University and Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı from Marmara 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." As for the penalty of Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı, it was not deferred on the ground that "no opinion as to her avoidance of committing offense has emerged considering her personality which does not express any remorse."
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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