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 today (October 25).
16 academics had their hearings at three separate courts:
At the İstanbul 23rd Heavy Penal Court: Research Assistant S.H., Prof. Dr. Ertuğrul Tonak, Dr. Lecturer Esra Sakınç, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ayşe Evren Hoşgör Çimen, Research Assistant Kudret Çobanlı from Bilgi University; lecturer İrfan Eroğlu from Maltepe University; Prof. Dr. Sefa Feza Arslan, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özgür Martin, Dr. Lecturer Gamze Toksoy from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University; PhD student B.K. from York University; PhD student Deniz Gündoğan İbrişim from Washington University; lecturer Zeynep Güney from Fatih Sultan Mehmet University and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sevgi Uçan Çubukçu from İstanbul University had their first hearings.
At the İstanbul 24th Heavy Penal Court: Dr. Lecturer Emine Fişek from Boğaziçi University had her fourth hearing.
At the İstanbul 28th Heavy Penal Court: Research Assistant Gülçin Karabağ from Yıldız Technical University (YTÜ) and lecturer Fevziye Deniz Tarba Ceylan from Sabancı University had their second hearings.
One academic sentenced to 1 year, 3 months in prison
At the second hearing of academic Fevziye Deniz Tarba Ceylan, the board of the 28th Heavy Penal Court ruled that the academic shall be 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 announcement of the verdict has been suspended.
Demand for penalization as per Anti-Terror Law
At her second hearing held at the 28th Heavy Penal Court, academic Gülçin Karabağ presented her statement of defense. The requests of Karabağ have been rejected by the court. Announcing its opinion as to the accusations, the Prosecutor's Office demanded that the academic be penalized as per the Article no. 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law. The hearing has been adjourned.
The board of the 23rd Heavy Penal Court has rejected the requests for immediate acquittal raised by the 13 academics as well as their requests that their case files be combined with the ones heard by the same court or with the ones heard by the 13th Heavy Penal Court. The court board ruled that the case file at the 13th Heavy Penal Court be summoned to the court.
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 October 25, 2018, 353 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 33 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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