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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 (September 25).
11 academics had their hearings at five separate courts.
At the 37th Heavy Penal Court, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Koray Çalışkan and Emeritus Prof. Dr. Nur Bekata Mardin from Boğaziçi University had their first hearings. At the 25th Heavy Penal Court, Dr. M.A. and Dr. Ali Alper Akyüz from Bilgi University and Dr. Yıldırım Şentürk from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University had their first hearings.
At the 24th Heavy Penal Court, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Ersoy from Boğaziçi University and at the 28th Heavy Penal Court, Prof. Dr. B.K. and Dr. Lecturer O.A. from Boğaziçi University had their third hearings.
At the 29th Heavy Penal Court, which was chaired by the Presiding Judge Umit Kartlı, Dr. Lecturer İbrahim Yaman, Dr. Murat Yılmaz and Assoc. Prof. Dr. A.Ö. had their second hearings.
2 academics sentenced to prison
Academics Çalışkan, Şentürk and Yılmaz did not attend the hearings.
At the 28th Heavy Penal Court, academics B.K. and O.A., who had their third hearings, have been sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization."
Their prison sentences have been suspended.
The Presiding Judge of the 25th Heavy Penal Court demanded that an additional statement of defense be prepared in relation to "aiding a terrorist organization as a non-member" and abated the hearing.
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 September 25, 2018, 279 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 25 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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