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Second hearings of trial of seven academics who signed the declaration entitled “We Will not be a Party to This Crime” are being held.
Şahika Yüksel, Aslı Aydemir İnönülü, Ayten Alkan, Ayşe Rezan Tuncay, Sezen Çilengir from İstanbul University, Zübeyde Gaye Çankaya Eksen and Nazlı Ökten Gülsoy from Galatasary University in these hearings that are held at İstanbul Courthouse 32nd Heavy Penal Court in Çağlayan.
According to the indictment prepared by Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt, the academics are being charged with "Making Propaganda for a Terrorist Organisation", based on the Article 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Act and Article 53 of the Turkish Penal Code.
Second hearing of trial of Aslı Aydemir İnönülü from İstanbul University started at 10 a.m. Aydemir-İnönülü stood ready in the courtroom. Submitting her statement of defense in written, Aydemir-İnönülü made her summary of defense verbally as well.
“I feel shame and guilt of what happens in southeastern provinces”
“I am a research fellow doing post-graduate on social psychology. I will start my statement of defense by explaining why I signed the declaration. I was born in 1990 and I grew up unaware of the East. As a Turk, I grew up ignorant of the incidents in the [Southeastern] region provinces.
“Even though I’m not the perpetrator, I feel shame and guilt of what happens there. Social psychology studies feelings of shame and guilt, and building peace by enabling forgiveness between groups. The resolution process was important in terms of serving it.
Chief judge: Did you sign the second declaration?
Chief judge asked Aydemir-İnönülü whether she signed the second declaration dated March 10, 2016. Aydemir-İnönülü said that it was not a petition but a statement for the press, she didn’t go there because she didn’t know about it but if she did, she would be there.
The Peace Declaration of the Academics "We will not be a party to this crime" was shared with the public on January 11, 2016 in a press conference. 1,128 academics from 89 universities as well as over 355 academics and researchers from abroad had signed the peace declaration.
On January 12, 2016, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addressing the academics said, “You so-called intellectuals are dark and ignorant”.
Following this statement, more academics signed the declaration to support the signatory academics. The figure reached 2,212 with the second wave of signatory academics.
Doors of academics were marked and threat messages were left in many universities.
As of January 15, tens of academics across Turkey were detained following house raids, discharged or prosecuted.
On March 10, 2016, a press conference was held on behalf of Academics for Peace/İstanbul group. The statement read out by Assist. Prof. Dr. Esra Mungan, Assist. Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Kaya, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kıvanç Ersoy and Assist. Prof. Dr. Meral Camcı stated that they insist on their demand for peace.
Mungan, Kaya and Ersoy were arrested on May 15, 2016. Camcı was abroad at that time and she was arrested on her return to Turkey on March 31, 2016. All four figures were charged with “propagandizing for an illegal organization”. The four academics were released on April 22, 2016.
380 academics were discharged through the statutory decrees issued in the wake of the State of Emergency. Tens of academics working at foundation universities were discharged as well. (TP/TK)