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The main opposition party Republican People's Party (CHP) İstanbul MP Mehmet Bekaroğlu has posted a tweet on his official Twitter account about Ayşe Çelik, who was charged with "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" and imprisoned on April 20, 2018 with her six-month-old daughter Deran. Bekaroğlu has stated that the daughter of Ayşe Çelik has been sent to her grandmother due to harsh prison conditions.
Bekaroğlu has made the following statement on Twitter:
"Ayşe teacher is staying with 33 adults and nine children, which means 42 people in total, in a prison ward for 20 people. Deran baby could not stand this environment and has been sent to her grandmother. She is brought to prison everyday so that her mother can breastfeed her. All this cruelty is just because she said, 'Children should not die, let there be peace!' Ayşe teacher should be released and reunite with her baby."
A viewer identifying herself as Ayşe Çelik, a teacher, joined the program via phone on January 8 and said, "Children are dying, don't remain silent".
The host of the program, Beyazıt Öztürk, had the audience give an applause for Çelik and said "We are trying our best to make it heard. Your words have been a lesson for us. We will continue to do more. Hopefully your peace wishes will come true as soon as possible".
Following the incident, the Diyarbakır Chief Prosecution started investigating Ayşe Çelik on the charge of "terror propaganda", and the Bakırköy Chief Prosecution launched an investigation into the host Beyazıt Öztürk and Ayşe Çelik over "terror propaganda" as well.
30 people including academics, writers, artists and intellectuals who supported the idea that teacher Çelik's comments and demands did not constitute a crime, had symbolically denounced themselves before İstanbul Bakırköy Court and said "If the words of teacher Çelik constitute a crime, we will be a party to this crime".
On April 27, 2016, a lawsuit was also opened against the supporters, namely: Ahmet Dindar, Ayşe Erzan Silier, Ayşegül (Akış) Devecioğlu, Ayşegül İyidoğan, Bayram Bahri Belen, Dilek Gökçin, Ercan İpekçi, Ergin Cinmen, Ferhat Tunç, Gençay Gürsoy, Gülseren Onanç, Gülşen Denizhan, Gürhan Ertür, Gürkan Develi, Halim Bulutoğlu, İbrahim Akın, İbrahim Sinemillioğlu, Kemal Özgül, Mahmut Konuk, Mehmet Tursun, Mevlüt Ülgen, Murat Çelikkan, Nazmiye Özen, Nergiz Ovacık, Neşe Yaşın, Nil Özsoy Dindar, Orhan Alkaya, Orhan Silier, Oya Baydar, Perihan Pulat, Pınar Önen, Şanar Yurdatapan, Sibel Özbudun Demirer, Süleyman Eryılmaz, Temel Demirer, Türkcan Baykal, Üner Eyüboğlu and Vecdi Sayar.
Trial began on September 23, 2016
The hearing in the trial of Ayşe Çelik, the person in charge of the TV channel and the above mentioned civil disobedients began on September 23, 2016. Çelik in her statement of defence, stood behind her words and stated that demanding peace could not constitute a crime.
On April 26, 2017, Bakırköy 2nd Heavy Criminal Court sentenced Çelik to 1 year and 3 months in prison on the charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization". The producer of the TV programme and the civil disobedients were acquitted.
On April 20, 2018, Ayşe Çelik was imprisoned with her six-month-old daughter Deran. (ŞA/SD)
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