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 today (June 21).
At the 33rd Heavy Penal Court, Prof. Dr. Meltem Ahıska and Assoc. Prof. Dr. İrem Kurtsal Steen from Boğaziçi University had their first hearings and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tuba İnal-Çekiç, who was discharged from her post at Yıldız Technical University (YTÜ), had her third hearing.
At the 33rd Heavy Penal Court, lecturer Remzi Orkun Güner and Dr. Lecturer Öznur Yaşar Diner from Kadir Has University; Prof. Dr. Zeynep Tül Akbal, who was discharged from her post at Bahçeşehir University; Dr. Lecturer Bedriye Aysuda Kölemen Luge and lecturer Esra Kaliber from Kemerburgaz University; Lecturer İlkay Özkuralpli from Arel University; Dr. Lecturer N.M. and Dr. Lecturer Çetin Gürer, who were discharged from their posts at Nişantaşı University, had their second hearings.
At the 24th Heavy Penal Court, Dr. Lecturer Erol Köroğlu from Boğaziçi University also had his second hearing.
Seven case files have been combined
At the first hearings at the 33rd Heavy Penal Court, the court board ruled that the requests that the case files of the academics held at the same court be combined shall be evaluated after the academics present their statements of defence. It was also seen that the documents demanded from the case files at the 13th Heavy Penal Court, where the first lawsuits were filed against the academics, were included in the case files at the 33rd Heavy Penal Court. The court board rejected the requests that the case files at the 33rd Heavy Penal Court be combined with the ones at the 13th Heavy Penal Court.
At the second hearings at the 33rd Heavy Penal Court, the academics presented their statements of defence. It was indicated that the statement of defence of N.M., who is currently abroad, was received between the hearings. These seven case files were combined in the case file of Seçkin Sertdemir. The next hearing of the combined file will be held on October 17, 2018 at 10 a.m.
2 academics will present their statements of defence through rogatory
The court board took it into consideration that the academic Gürer is currently abroad and ruled that his statement of defence shall be received through rogatory. The court board will give its ruling regarding the request that his case file be combined after he presents his statement of defence. The next hearing will be held on December 6, 2018.
While the arrest warrant issued for İnal-Çekiç, whose third hearing was held today, was not lifted, the court board ruled that she shall present her statement of defence through rogatory. Her next hearing will be held on December 6, 2018.
Dictum was demanded at the 24th Heavy Penal Court
The academic Köroğlu did not attend his hearing. The court board rejected the request that the prosecution be extended and ruled that the case file shall be sent to the prosecution for the preparation of the dictum. The next hearing will be held on October 23, 2018.
256 academics have had their first hearings
The hearings against signatory academics started on December 5, 2017. As of June 21, 256 academics had their first hearings. 16 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for those of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University and Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı from Marmara University.
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 Anti-Terror Law No. 3713.
As of June 21, 2018, 256 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 16 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for those of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University and Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı from Marmara 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." As for the penalty of Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı, it was not deferred on the ground that "no opinion as to her avoidance of committing offense has emerged considering her personality which does not express any remorse."
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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