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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 29th Heavy Penal Court.
At the 29th Heavy Penal Court chaired by Ümit Kartlı, Dr. Lecturer İbrahim Yaman, Dr. Murat Yılmaz and Assoc. Prof. Dr. A.Ö.M. from Boğaziçi University had their first hearings today (May 24). At the 29th Heavy Penal Court chaired by Mustafa Çakar, Prof. Dr. Şemsa Özar and Dr. Z.C.A. from Boğaziçi University had their first hearings.
A.Ö.M and Yılmaz could not attend their hearings on the ground that they were abroad on duty. The next hearings of Yaman, Yılmaz and A.Ö.M. have been adjourned to September 25, 2018. The court board chaired by Ümit Kartlı ruled that the file of the case be sent to İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office so that the necessary permission can be received from the Ministry of Justice for the continuation of the trial as per the Turkish Penal Code Article No. 301.
Z.C.A and Özar attended their hearings. The 29th Heavy Penal Court chaired by Mustafa Çakar combined the files of the cases that they held today with the files of the two other cases that they previously combined on May 22. Thus, it has become the fourth case file of an academic which has been combined by the court board.
The hearings against signatory academics started on December 5, 2017. As of May 24, 241 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. 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 Turkish Anti-Terror Law No. 3713.
As of May 24, 2018, 241 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 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. 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."
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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