Trial 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 yesterday (October 18).
38 academics had their hearings at four separate courts:
At the İstanbul 24th Heavy Penal Court, Dr. N.İ. and Dr. Lecturer Eyüp Volkan Çidam from Boğaziçi University had their third hearings.
At the İstanbul 25th Heavy Penal Court, Dr. Lecturer Özlem Köseoğlu from İstanbul Bilgi University and Dr. Lecturer Eralp Osman Erden from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University had their first hearings.
At the İstanbul 28th Heavy Penal Court, Gülhan Balsoy from İstanbul Bilgi University had her first hearing and Yonca Güneş Yücel from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University had her second hearing.
At the İstanbul 35th Heavy Penal Court, the hearings of the following academics, whose case files had previously been combined, were held: Olcay Kunal, T.A., Hakan Yücel, Başak Demir, Aslı Didem Danış and Ömer Aygün from Galatasaray University; Gizem Bilgin, Mehtap Balık Kaya, Pedriye Mutlu, Dinç Alada from İstanbul University; Cansever Güner, Burcu Yılmaz Gündüz, Can Yalçın Armutçuoğlu, Hatice Günay Göksu, Leyla Şimşek Rathke from Marmara University; Ali Serdar from Özyeğin University; Ayşe Zeynep Akalın, Nergis Perçinel, Ayşe Serdar from İstanbul Technical University; Gülçin Balamir from Kemerburgaz University; Çiğdem Bozdağ Bucak, Çağla Diner from Kadir Has University; D.G. from Yıldız Technical University; and Can Candan, Rıfat Okçabol, Reşit Canbeyli, Berna Kılınç, Aslı Zeren, Meral Demirel, Ceren Özselçuk, Zeynep Gambetti, Albert Ali Salah from Boğaziçi University
Permission of trial as per the Article no. 301 of the Turkish Penal Code
At the 35th Heavy Penal Court, where the case files of 33 academics had previously been combined, the court board ruled that the files of academics shall be sent to the Ministry of Justice considering "the possibility that the actions of academics could constitute a crime as per the Article no. 301 of the Turkish Penal Code." The board also ruled that the trial shall be halted until the related permission of trial is granted to the court.
The Article no. 301 of the Turkish Penal Code pertains to the charges of "insulting the Turkish Nation, the State of the Republic of Turkey and the institutions and organs of the government."
Opinion as to accusation for "aiding the organization"
At the 24th Heavy Penal Court, the Prosecutor's Office presented its opinion as to the accusations in written from.
The Prosecutor's Office demanded that academics N.İ. and Volkan Çidam be penalized on charge of "aiding a terrorist organization as non-members."
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 Anti-Terror Law No. 3713.
As of October 18, 2018, 338 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 28 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 trials still continue. (TP/SD)
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