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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 36th and 37th Heavy Penal Courts today (May 8).
Emeritus Assoc. Prof. Dr. İnci Özkan Kerestecioğlu, teaching assistant Biriz Gonca Berksoy and Prof. Dr. Tülay Erkan from İstanbul University have had their second hearings at the 36th Heavy Penal Court.
Berksoy and Kerestecioğlu presented their statements of defence. Upon the request of the academics and their attorneys, the court board ruled that the next hearings shall be adjourned to November 6, 2018.
Prof. Dr. Hacer Ansal from Işık University and Assoc. Prof. M.B. from Kadir Has University have had their first hearings at the 37th Heavy Penal Court.
The next hearings of the two academics will be held on October 30, 2018.
The hearings against signatory academics started on December 5, 2017. As of May 8, 208 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.
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 May 8, 208 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. (TP/SD)
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