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Trials 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 at the 23rd Heavy Penal Court.
Dr. Lecturer Seda Altuğ Bulut, PhD student Seval Gülen, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zeynep Kadirbeyoğlu, Emeritus Prof. Dr. Oya Köymen, Prof. Dr. Ayşe Nüket Eralp and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Meltem Toksöz from Boğaziçi University had their first hearings today (May 23).
Gülen and Toksöz could not attend their hearings on the ground that they were abroad. All other hearings have been adjourned to October 8, 2018. The request submitted by 77-year-old Oya Köymen for exemption from attending the hearings due to her health condition has been accepted.
The hearings against signatory academics started on December 5, 2017. As of May 23, 236 academics had their first hearings. 13 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for that of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University.
Court Board consisted of the Presiding Judge Ahmet Uğuz; court members Şahin Şimşek and Zafer Daşkın; Prosecutor İdris Gültekin.
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 Turkish Anti-Terror Law No. 3713.
As of May 23, 2018, 236 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 13 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for that of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray 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."
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 lawsuits still continue. (TP/SD)
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