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Charged with “Propagandizing for a terrorist organization” for signing the declaration entitled “We will not be a party to this crime” released by Academics for Peace, four academics had their first hearing at 37th Heavy Penal Court today (March 13).
Assist. Prof. Dr. Gülsün Güvenli from Galatasaray University, Prof. Dr. H.K.A from İstanbul University and Prof. Dr. Gençay Gürsoy retired from İstanbul University stood read in the courtroom. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Buket Türkmen from Galatasaray University was absent for being abroad.
Academics’ demand for extension of time for their defense was approved. Lawyers’ demand for immediate acquittal and files be combined were rejected. The hearings will continue on October 10.
The trials against the signatory academics started on December 5, 2017. As of March 8, first hearings of 149 people and second hearings of 30 of these people were held. Three academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and their sentence was deferred.
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.
On March 10, 2016, Asst. Prof. Dr. Esra Mungan, Asst. Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Kaya, Assoc. Prof. Dr Kıvanç Ersoy and Asst. Prof. Dr. Meral Camcı read out the press statement at a press conference that was was held on behalf of the Academics for Peace/Istanbul group regarding the developments which had occurred since the declaration was first shared with the public.
The first three of these academics were arrested on the charge of "terrorist propaganda" on March 15, 2016, and the last, Camcı, who was abroad at the time, was arrested on March 31 when she returned to Turkey. The four academics were released on April 22, 2016 upon their first hearing, in which the prosecutor of the trial changed the charges pressed against the academics to the crimes regulated under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (insulting Turkey, the Turkish nation, or Turkish government institutions) and applied for authorization from the Ministry of Justice to hold the trial under the new article.
Another bill of indictment was prepared in October 2017 regarding at least 148 academics who signed the declaration. The academics were charged with "terrorist organization propaganda" under Article 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Act (#3713) in the bill of indictment prepared by Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt. The first hearings were held on December 5, 2017.
By March 1, 2018, 136 defendants have had their first hearings, and 30 of these have also had their second. Three academics were sentenced to 1 year 3 months in prison and the sentences reprieved.
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