6-Year Prison Sentence because of a Letter

Two people were sentenced to jail on charges of "propaganda for an illegal organization" due to letters sent by imprisoned friends found at their homes. A further six people were convicted of allegations of "membership in an illegal organization" in the same context.

Defendants Sevgi Dalyan, Sercan Ahmet Arslan, Mehmet Aracı, Ali Arslan, Mahir Arslan and Cemil Onur Çelikdağ were each sentenced to imprisonment of six years and three months on charges of "membership in the Party and Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of the Turkish People (DHKP-C)" according to Article 314/2 of the Turkish Criminal Law (TCK). Evidence the decision was based on included flags, banners, letters from prisoners, the defendants'answers and a CD of the Grup Yorum band found when the defendants' homes were searched.

The according trial was handled by the Erzurum 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance and included a total of eight defendants. Letters written by their imprisoned friends and the defendants' answers were included in the indictment as evidence.

Defendants Anıl Ozan Sabancı and Hüseyin Öncü Dilmen received various prison terms by reason of "propaganda for an illegal organization".

The defendants were convicted because they "made organizational propaganda by chanting slogans". Additionally, posting a banner reading "We want free education" was also accounted for as evidence.

Another reason for the trial was posting a banner featuring the slogan "Release detained students".

As reported on 24 January, Court President Mustafa Kahya announced the judgement at the hearing on 20 December. Defendants Sabancı and Dilmen were sentenced to imprisonment of one year and 15 days and ten months respectively as stipulated by Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK). Moreover, the court decided for a probation period for defendant Enver Altundaşar.

"Letter aimed at praising illegal organization"

Apart from Arslan and Dalyan, all defendants taken into custody in the course of the operation on 15 May 2010 were released pending trial at the first hearing on 30 September 2010.

The indictment prepared by Prosecutor Ender Karadeniz put forward that meetings of the Erzincan Students Youth Association and photographs and letters found during the raids on the defendants' homes "carried the aim of praising an illegal organization". (AS/VK)


Erzurum - BIA News Center

25 January 2012, Wednesday

Ayça Söylemez