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 (November 28).
At the İstanbul 36th Heavy Penal Court, Dr. Lecturer Sinan Yıldırmaz had his hearing. Yıldırmaz has been sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison. The pronouncement of the verdict has been deferred.
At Diyarbakır 5th Heavy Penal Court, the testimony of Prof. Dr. Fikret Uyar, who was discharged from Dicle University, was taken upon instruction.
Prison sentence at 36th Heavy Penal Court
The court board of the İstanbul 36th Heavy Penal Court consisted of Presiding Judge Hakan Özer; Members Onur Engin and Veli Gürsoy; and Prosecutor Hasan Adalı.
At the hearing of Sinan Yıldırmaz, the Prosecutor's Office repeated its previous opinion as to the accusations and demanded that the academic be penalized as per the Article no. 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK).
Attorney Fuat Ekin stated that they presented their defense as to the accusations and requested that his client be immediately acquitted.
The court board ruled that Sinan Yıldırmaz shall be sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison. The court suspended the announcement of the verdict.
Hearing in Diyarbakır upon instruction
The court board of the Diyarbakır 5th Heavy Penal Court consisted of Presiding Judge Onur Yerdelen; Members Deniz Kayihan, Alper Utku.
At his hearing which was held at the Diyarbakır 5th Heavy Penal Court, academic Fikret Uyar, who was discharged from Dicle University, stated that he demanded to make his detailed defense at the İstanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court, where the lawsuit against him was filed.
The court board unanimously ruled that the document of instruction shall be returned to the local court. The next hearing of Fikret Uyar will be held at the İstanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court.
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 November 28, 2018, 387 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 37 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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