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Five academics, who have been charged with "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" for having signed the declaration "We will not be a party to this crime" prepared by Academics for Peace, had their first hearings today (April 5) at the 37th and 24th Heavy Penal Courts.
Dr. E.Ö. from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Yıldız Technical University (YTÜ) and Assoc. Prof. Dr. İpek Vedia Yürekli İnceoğlu from Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ) attended their first hearings at the 37th Heavy Penal Court.
Assistant Prof. Emine Fişek and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Abdullah Ahmet Ersoy from Boğaziçi University attended their first hearings at the 24th Heavy Penal Court. As for Assistant Prof. Aylin Ünaldı from the same university, she could not appear in court on the ground that she was abroad.
The hearings at the 37th Heavy Penal Court have been adjourned to October 17. The court board ruled that the documents in the case files of four academics, whose lawsuits have been continuing at the 13th Heavy Penal Court, shall be summoned to the court.
The 24th Heavy Penal Court ruled that a warrant of bringing by force shall be issued for Ünaldı and that her hearing shall be postponed to September 13. The next hearing of Ersoy has been adjourned to June 19 and that of Fişek to June 5. The court board granted Ersoy and Fişek additional time so that they can prepare their statements of defence regarding the allegation of "aiding a terrorist organization as non-members." The requests of their attorneys for the summons of the documents in the case files at the 13th Heavy Penal Court have been rejected by the court board.
The hearings against signatory academics started on December 5, 2017. As of April 5, 185 people had their first hearings, 33 of them had their second hearings and one academic had the third. Five academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison, and the sentences were suspended.
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.
On March 10, 2016, Asst. Prof. Dr. Esra Mungan, Asst. Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Kaya, Assoc. Prof. Dr Kıvanç Ersoy and Asst. Prof. Dr. Meral Camcı read out the press statement at a press conference that was was held on behalf of the Academics for Peace/Istanbul group regarding the developments which had occurred since the declaration was first shared with the public.
The first three of these academics were arrested on the charge of "terrorist propaganda" on March 15, 2016, and the last, Camcı, who was abroad at the time, was arrested on March 31 when she returned to Turkey. The four academics were released on April 22, 2016 upon their first hearing, in which the prosecutor of the trial changed the charges pressed against the academics to the crimes regulated under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (insulting Turkey, the Turkish nation, or Turkish government institutions) and applied for authorization from the Ministry of Justice to hold the trial under the new article.
Another bill of indictment was prepared in October 2017 regarding at least 148 academics who signed the declaration. The academics were charged with "terrorist organization propaganda" under Article 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Act (#3713) in the bill of indictment prepared by Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt. The first hearings were held on December 5, 2017.
As of April 5, 185 people had their first hearings, 33 of them had their second hearings and one academic had the third. Five academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison, and the sentences were suspended. (TP/SD)
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