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Trial 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 yesterday (December 6).
12 academics had their hearings at four separate courts:
At the İstanbul 24th Heavy Penal Court; Dr. Lecturer Esra Akbalık, who was discharged from Maltepe University, had her second hearing.
At the İstanbul 26th Heavy Penal Court; Dr. Lecturer Z.M. from Özyeğin University, Lecturer Didem Pekün from Koç University and Dr. Lecturer Eylem Özdemir from İstanbul University had their first hearings.
At the İstanbul 28th Heavy Penal Court; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gülhan Balsoy had the third hearing.
At the İstanbul 33rd Heavy Penal Court; Dr. Lecturer Çetin Gürer, who was dismissed from Nişantaşı University, had his third hearing; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tuba İnal Çekiç, who was discharged from Yıldız Technical University (YTÜ) and Lecturer Zeynep Batumlu from the YTÜ, PhD student Güler İnce and Dr. Lecturer Barış Yapışkan from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (MSGSÜ); PhD student Ayşe Işın Önol Azize from the University of Vienna; and Dr. Lecturer Bediz Bayraktar, who was discharged from Mersin University had their first hearings.
Deferred prison sentence for one academic
At the İstanbul 28th Heavy Penal Court, academic Gülhan Balsoy has been sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article no. 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law.
The pronouncement of the verdict has been suspended.
Case file of one academic combined
The court board of the İstanbul 24th Heavy Penal Court has ruled that the case file of academic Esra Akbalık shall be combined with the files of other academics, whose cases are heard at the same court. The hearing of the combined files will be held on April 25, 2019.
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 December 6, 2018, 426 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 39 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 trials still continue. (TP/SD)
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