Hearings of 36 Academics: No Acquittal, Hearings Adjourned

36 of the 1,128 academics who are being tried for having signed the peace declaration of the Academics for Peace, stood trial before İstanbul Court. No academic has been acquitted. Their hearings have been adjourned.

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24 academics from İstanbul University and 12 academics from Galatasaray University who are among the 1,128 academics being tried in separate cases for having signed the peace declaration of the Academics for Peace and are being charged with "terror propaganda", had their first hearing in three different courtrooms before İstanbul Court in Çağlayan, İstanbul today (December 7).

The first group of the academics (10 people) had their first hearing on December 5, 2017. The hearings, in which 148 of the 1,128 academics will be tried, will continue until May 17, 2018.

Today's hearings were held before İstanbul 32nd, 33th and 34th Assize Courts. 

No academic has been acquitted. Their hearings have been adjourned.

İstanbul 32nd Assize Court: 13 hearings

Ten academics from İstanbul University and three academics from Galatasaray University were tried before İstanbul 32nd Assize Court.

* 1st hearing: Academic Ayda Rona Aylin Altınay Cingöz from İstanbul University. Her attorneys reminded that she had withdrawn her signature from the declaration on January 20, 2017 and demanded her acquittal.  Prosecution demanded that Cingöz's statement of having withdrawn her signature from the declaration be investigate. The next hearing will be on Februady 23, 2018.

* 2nd hearing: Retired Prof. Dr. İzzeddin Önder from İstanbul University. His attorneys demanded his acquittal. The court ruled that an investigation be launched to determine whether Önder signed the second press declaration of Academics for Peace dated March 10, 2016. (The statement was issued as a reaction to the investigations and attacks started against some of the signatories of the first peace declaration.) Next hearing will be on February 23, 2018. 

* 3rd hearing: Zübeyde Gaye Çankaya Eksen from Galatasaray University. Her attorneys demanded additional time for defence. Next hearing will be on December 22, 2017. 

* 4th hearing: Nazlı Ökten Gülsoy from Galatasaray University. Her attorneys demanded additional time for defence.Next hearing will be on December 22, 2017.

* 5th hearing: Aslı Aydemir İnönülü, reaseach associate from İstanbul University. Her attorneys demanded her acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. Court granted İnönülü additional time for defence and that her signature on the declaration be investigated. Next hearing will be on December 22, 2017.

* 6th hearing: Ayşe Rezan Tuncay from İstanbul University. Her attorneys demanded her acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. Next hearing will be on December 22, 2017.

* 7th hearing: Ayten Alkan Mertoğlu from İstanbul University. She did not attend the hearing. The judge did not open her case.Next hearing will be on December 22, 2017.

* 8th hearing: Prof.Dr. Şahika Yüksel from İstanbul University. Her attorneys demanded her acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. Her attorneys also demanded additional time for defence. Next hearing will be on December 22, 2017.

* 9th hearing: Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University. She pleaded not quilty and demanded her acquittal. The court ruled that an investigation be launched to determine whether Üstel signed the second press declaration of Academics for Peace dated March 10, 2016. (The statement was issued as a reaction to the investigations and attacks started against some of the signatories of the first peace declaration.) Next hearing will be on February 23, 2018.

* 10th hearing: Asst. Prof.Dr. Erhan Keleşoğlu from İstanbul University. His attorneys demanded his acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. His attorneys also demanded additional time for defence. Next hearing will be on February 23, 2018.

* 11th hearing: Sezen Çilengir from İstanbul University. Her attorneys demanded her acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. Her attorneys also demanded additional time for defence. Next hearing will be on December 22, 2017.

* 12th hearing: Veli Polat from İstanbul University. Polat stated that he had withdrawn his signature from the declaration on October 3, 2017. Polat added that also İstanbul University had launched no administrative investigation into him. The court ruled that a notification to İstanbul University be sent and an investigation be launched to determine when Polat withdraw his signature from the declaration. Next hearing will be on February 23, 2018.

* 13th hearing: Ezgi Pınar from İstanbul University. Her attorneys stated that Pınar was appointed as teaching staff in Germany and therefore could not attend the hearing. Her attorneys demanded her acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests, ruled that Pınar's statement of defence be taken in the next hearing and an investigation be launched to determine whether Pınar had signed the declaration. Next hearing will be on February 23, 2018.

İstanbul 33th Assize Court: 11 hearings

Eight academics from İstanbul University and three academics from Galatasaray University were tried before İstanbul 33th Assize Court.

* 1st hearing: Seçkin Sertdemir from Galatasaray University. Her attorneys demanded additional time for defence stating that Seçkin was abroad. Next hearing will be on January 31, 2018.

* 2nd hearing: Eda Aslı Şeran from Galatasaray University. Her attorneys demaded her acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. Her attorneys demanded additional time for defence. Next hearing will be on January 31, 2018.

* 3rd hearing: Yusuf Doğan Çetinkaya from İstanbul University. His attorneys demaded his acquittal and incase there was not acquittal, that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected the acquittal request and ruled that the request to combine the cases would be processed after the defence statement of the defendants. Next hearing will be on January 31, 2018.

* 4th hearing: İrfan Keşoğlu from İstanbul University. His attorneys demanded additional time for defence stating that Keşoğlu was out of town. Her attorneys demanded additional time for defence. Next hearing will be on January 31, 2018.

* 5th hearing: Feyza Ak Akyol from Galatasaray University. Next hearing will be on January 31, 2018.

* 6th hearing: Hülya Kirmanoğlu from İstanbul University. Next hearing will be on February 8, 2018.

* 7th hearing: Haydar Durak from İstanbul University. His attorneys demaded his acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. Next hearing will be on February 8, 2018.

* 8th hearing: Fatma Nihan Aksakallı from İstanbul University. Her attorneys demaded her acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. Next hearing will be on February 8, 2018.

* 9th hearing: İlkay Yılmaz from İstanbul University. Her attorneys demaded her acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. Her attorneys also demanded additional time for defence and informed that Yılmaz was abroad for a running project. Court granted additional time request. Next hearing will be on January 31, 2018.

* 10th hearing: Haydar Durak from İstanbul University. His attorneys demaded his acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. Next hearing will be on February 8, 2018.

* 11th hearing. Fatma Nihan Aksakallı from İstanbul University. Her attorneys demaded her acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. Next hearing will be on February 8, 2018.

İstanbul 34th Assize Court: 12 hearings

Six academics from İstanbul University and six academics from Galatasaray University were tried before İstanbul 34th Assize Court.

* 1st hearing: Pınar Saip from İstanbul University. Saip's attorneys demanded her acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. Court rejected both request. Next hearing will be on May 10, 2018.

* 2nd hearing: Cem Özatalay from Galatasaray University. His attorneys demanded additional time for defence. Next hearing will be on May 10, 2018.

* 3rd hearing: Raşit Tükel from İstanbul University. His attorneys demanded additional time for defence. Next hearing will be on May 10, 2018.

* 4th hearing: Ozan Çağlayan from Galatasaray University. His attorneys demanded extra time since Çağlayan was engaged in academic studies abroad. Court ruled that a detention order be issued for Çağlayan and that this could be revoked when his defence statement documents were completed abroad. Next hearing will be on July 17, 2018.

* 5th hearing: Fatma Gül Karagöz from Galatasaray University. Next hearing will be on May 10, 2018.

* 6th hearing: Doğu Toksöz from Galatasaray University. Court granted Tokgöz, who is currently abroad, additional time to prepare his defence until next hearing and remininded that measures such as issuing a detention order would be taken if his documents were not completed until the end of the time limit. Next hearing will be on May 10, 2018.

* 7th hearing: Özgün Akduran from İstanbul University. Her attorneys demaded her acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. Her attorneys requested also additional time to prepare her defence. Next hearing will be on May 10, 2018.

* 8th hearing: Murat Birdal from İstanbul University. Eight attorneys entered the courtroom to represent Birdal. The judge reminded that according to a statutory decree, there was a limit of 3 attorneys to represent a defendant and therefore refused to open the hearing. After a discussion between the trial judge and the attorneys, his attorneys demaded his acquittal and that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected both requests. Next hearing will be on May 10, 2018.

* 9th hearing: Adalet Alada from İstanbul University. Her attorneys demaded her acquittal. The court rejected acquittal request. Her attorneys requested also additional time to prepare her defence. Next hearing will be on May 10, 2018.

* 10th hearing: Seçil Doğuç from Galatasaray University. Doğuç stated that the bill of indictment had not been served and demanded addition time for defence. iddianamenin kendisine tebliğ edilmediğini belirtti. Next hearing will be on May 10, 2018.

* 11th hearing: Burcu Konakçı from Galatasaray University. Her attorneys demaded her acquittal and incase there was not acquittal, that the cases of all academics standing trial on the same charges be combined. The court rejected acquittal request. Her attorneys requested also additional time to prepare her defence. Next hearing will be on May 10, 2018.

* 12th hearing: Nurten Ömeroğlu from İstanbul University. The court granted Ömeroğlu additional time for defence and ruled that an investigation be launched to determine whether Ömeroğlu signed the second press declaration of Academics for Peace dated March 10, 2016. (The statement was issued as a reaction to the investigations and attacks started against some of the signatories of the first peace declaration.) Next hearing will be on May 10, 2018.

Charges

According to the indictment prepared by Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt, the academics are being charged with "Making Propaganda for a Terrorist Organisation", based on the Article 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Act and Article 53 of the Turkish Penal Code.

Each academic face up to 7.5 years in prison. The investigation is carried out by İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.

Turkish Anti-Terror Act

Article 7(2)

Any person making propaganda for a terrorist organisation shall be punished with imprisonment from one to five years. If this crime is committed through means of mass media, the penalty shall be aggravated by one half. In addition, editors-in-chief (...)2
who have not participated in the perpetration of the crime shall be punished with a judicial fine from one thousand to fifteen thousand days' rates. However, the upper limit of this sentence for editors-in-chief is five thousand days' rates.

According to the indictment, the evidences regarding the alleged crime are;

• The investigation report that concerns the statement of Bese Hozat--the co-president of the PKK/KCK terrorist organization's executive committee--that is dated December 27, 2015.-;

• The investigation reports on the academics who signed the petition (suspects) concerning the press declarations on January 11, 2016 (first declaration) and March 10, 2016 (second declaration) that are allegedly of a supportive nature in favour of PKK/KCK terrorist organization;

• Records of statement and interrogation reports of the suspects and the arrest warrants issued for them.

148 academics who are among the first ones of the 1,128 academics to stand trial are from the following universities:

Galatasaray University, İstanbul University, Yıldız Teknik University, İstanbul Teknik University, Marmara University, Boğaziçi University, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Yeni Yüzyıl University, Apriltaşı University, Kadir Has University, Özyeğin University, Bahçeşehir University, Kemerburgaz University, Arel University and Işık University.

Schedule of the trials of 148 academics

5 December 2017 - Galatasaray University (6 academics), İstanbul University (4 academics) before İstanbul 35th Assize Court.

7 December 2017 – Galatasaray University (3 academics), İstanbul University (8 academics) before İstanbul 32th Assize Court.

7 December 2017 – Galatasaray University (3 academics), İstanbul University (8 academics) before İstanbul 33th Assize Court.

7 December 2017 – Galatasaray University (6 academics), İstanbul University (6 academics) before İstanbul 34th Assize Court.

7 December 2017 – İstanbul University (1 academic) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

14 December 2017 – İstanbul University (1 academic) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

19 December 2017 – Yıldız Teknik University (1 academic), İstanbul Teknik University (1 academic) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

21 December 2017 – Marmara University (5 academics), Yıldız Teknik University (2 academics) before İstanbul 33th Assize Court.

21 December 2017 – Galatasaray University (1 academic), İstanbul University (5 academics) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

26 December 2017 – Boğaziçi University (1 academic), Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar University (1 academic),, Yeni Yüzyıl University (1 academic), Apriltaşı University (1 academic) before İstanbul 13th Assize Court.

26 December 2017 – İstanbul University (3 academics) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court .
4 January 2018 – Marmara University (2 academics), İstanbul Teknik University (1 academic) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

11 January 2018 – Kadir Has University (2 academics) before İstanbul 35 th Assize Court .
18 January 2018 – İstanbul Teknik University (4 academics), Yıldız Teknik University (2 academics), Marmara University (3 academics), Özyeğin University (1 academic) before İstanbul 35th Assize Court.

30 January 2018 – Marmara University (5 academics), Yıldız Teknik University (3 academics), İstanbul Teknik University (4 academics), Özyeğin University (1 academic) before İstanbul 32nd Assize Court.

6 February 2018 – Marmara University (1 academic) before İstanbul 34th Assize Court.

13 February 2018 – Marmara University (3 academics), Özyeğin University (2 academics), Kadir Has University (3 academics), Yıldız Teknik University (1 academic) before İstanbul 34th Assize Court.

15 February 2018 – Kadir Has University (1 academic) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

22 February 2018 – Bahçeşehir University (1 academic), Kemerburgaz University (1 academic) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

27 February 2018 – Kemerburgaz University (1 academic), Apriltaşı University (1 academic), Kadir Has University (1 academic) before İstanbul 35th Assize Court.

1 March 2018 – İstanbul University (3 academics) before İstanbul 37. Assize Court.

6 March 2018 – İstanbul University (3 academics), Galatasaray University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

8 March 2018 – Galatasaray University (2 academics), İstanbul University (2 academics) before İstanbul 37. Assize Court.

13 March 2018 – Galatasaray University (2 academics), İstanbul University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

16 March 2018 – Kadir Has University (3 academics), Bahçeşehir University (1 academic) before İstanbul 33th Assize Court.

20 March 2018 – Marmara University (2 academics) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

22 March 2018 – Marmara University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

27 March 2018 – Marmara University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

29 March 2018 - Marmara University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

3 April 2018 – Kadir Has University (1 academic), Kemerburgaz University (1 academic) İstanbul 32nd Assize Court.

5 April 2018 – Yıldız Teknik University (1 academic)), İstanbul Teknik University (1 academic) before İstanbul 32nd Assize Court.

26 April 2018 – Arel University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

3 May 2018 – Kadir Has University (1 academic), Bahçeşehir University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

8 May 2018 – Kadir Has University (1 academic), Işık University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

15 May 2018 – Kadir Has University (2 academics) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

17 May 2018 - Bahçeşehir University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

The Peace Declaration of the Academics "We will not be a party to this crime" was shared with the public on January 11, 2016 in a press conference. 1,128 academics from 89 universities as well as over 355 academics and researchers from abroad had signed the peace declaration.

(BK//TP/DG)


İstanbul - BIA News Desk

07 December 2017, Thursday

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Tansu Pişkin