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Trial of Academics for Peace members who signed the declaration entitled “We Will not be a Party to This Crime” continues on its fifth day.
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.
Academic Erol Katırcıoğlu from Marmara University stood ready in the courtroom. Katırcıoğlu submitted his deposition in written and verbal.
“As a citizen of a country whose constitution legislated freedom of expression and the press, I never thought that an investigation would be launched into such a declaration. There is no offense here. I believe and think that I’ll be acquitted.
“I would do it again. I believe that remaining silent about death of people is not the moral thing to do”.
Lawyer Bahri Belen stated that the trial has continued by Turkish Penal Code (TCK)/301 even though it started by Anti-Terror Law (TMK) 7/2 and said that it must be determined according to which code trial will proceed.
The court ruled that the case file be asked from 13th Heavy Penal Court and the decision be made afterwards.
The next hearing is on April 24 at 9:30 a.m.
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th hearings
Post-graduate student Cihan Yapıştıran from Marmara University stood ready in the trial.
Yapıştıran’s lawyers said that they’ve found the indictment “deficient and wrong”. Referring to European Court of Human Rights’ decisions in the past, the lawyers demanded acquittal of Yapıştıran.
The court committee rejected the demand.
The next hearing is on April 24, 2018 at 9:45 a.m.
Academic Dr. İsmet Akça discharged from Yıldız Technical University stood ready in the third hearing.
Lawyer Kavak demanded extension of time. The court committee rejected the demand. The next hearing is on April 24, 2018 at 10 a.m.
Ayşe Nilüfer Durkbaşa and Seçil Ercan didn’t attend the hearing as they are on duty abroad. Lawyer Kavak said that Durakbaşı and Ercan will be preared for the next hearing as they return to Turkey.
The next hearing is on April 24, 2018 at 10:15 a.m.
Lawyer of Ercan from Marmara University demanded this hearing of his client be held sometime after April 24 as he is working abroad. The court rejected the demand and set the next hearing for April 24, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
Academic Özgür Müftüoğlu discharged from Marmara University stood ready in the hearing.
Stating that maximum three lawyers can make defense in the hearing, the court committee ruled other lawyers to pass to the observer section.
Stating that defense cannot be limited even at war, lawyer Yıldız İmrek said that the decision of limitation contravenes the Constitution.
Lawyer Devrim Avcı Özkürt said that Müftüoğlu’s personal rights and freedom of expression have been violation during the course of the trial.
Lawyer Ali Saygı demanded that the trial held at 13th Heavy Penal Court be combined with the other cases.
The court rejected the demand.
The next hearing is on April 24, 2018 at 10 a.m.
Lawyer Alp Tekin Ocak said that Semin Çağdaş Tuba İnal Çekiç are assigned in Hamburg his incumbency ends in 2020. Prosecutor demanded that a detention warrant be issued for İnal-Çekiç
The lawyers demanded extension of time.
The court accepted the lawyers’ demand for extension of time and decided to assess the request for detention warrant in the next hearing.
The next hearing is on April 24, 2018 at 11:15 a.m.
Academic Prof. Dr. Yüksel Taşkın discharged from Marmara University stood ready in the hearing.
Taşkın’s lawyer Mehmet Adil Demir demanded that the trial held at 13th Heavy Penal Court be combined with the other cases.
The court decided that the demand for combining cases to be assessed after Taşkın is deposed.
The next hearing is on April 24, 2018 at 9:15 a.m.
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)