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 26).
At the 35th Heavy Penal Court, Dr. Ceren Lord and Dr. Çiğdem Bozdağ from Kadir Has University had their second hearings.
At the 34th Heavy Penal Court, Prof. Dr. Pınar Saip, Prof. Dr. Raşit Tükel and Dr. Lecturer Özgün Akduran from İstanbul University; Dr. Lecturer Cem Özatalay and Research Assistant F.G.K. from Galatasaray University had their second hearings.
Case files combined at 35th Heavy Penal Court
Dr. Ceren Lord could not attend her hearing on the ground that she was abroad. As she will present her statement of defence through a letter rogatory, her hearing has been adjourned to December 4, 2018.
Dr. Çiğdem Bozdağ also presented her statement of defence. The court board has ruled that the case file of Bozdağ shall be combined with the case files of the other academics at the same court.
Opinion as to accusations at 34th Heavy Penal Court
Prof. Dr. Pınar Saip could not attend her hearing on the ground of health problems. Prof. Dr. Raşit Tükel, Dr. Lecturer Özgün Akduran, Dr. Lecturer Cem Özatalay and F.G.K. stood before the judge and presented their statements of defence. The court board ruled that the investigation shall be extended and rejected the requests that case files be combined.
The prosecutor announced his opinion as to the accusations and demanded that the academics be penalized on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article no. 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law.
Four of the hearings have been adjourned to January 22, 2019 for the preparation of defences as to the accusations.
The next hearing of F.G.K. will be held on January 24.
256 academics have had their first hearings
The hearings against signatory academics started on December 5, 2017. As of June 26, 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 26, 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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