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First hearings of two academics in lawsuit launched against signatories of the declaration entitled “We will not be a party to this crime” released by Academics for Peace were held at İstanbul Courthouse.
Research member Melike Acar from faculty of Education Sciences and research member Ayşegün Soysal from Atatürk Institute at Boğaziçi University were at 27th Heavy Penal Court.
The academics didn’t give their depositions, stating that they don’t accept the charges and expressed their demands for immediate acquittal. Their lawyer Meriç Eyüboğlu demanded that their files be combined and they are immediately acquitted.
The court rejected the demands. Next hearings are on October 11 at 9:30 and 9:45 a.m.
Court committee consists of these figures: Presiding judge Abdurrahman Orkun Dağ, members Halit İçdemir and Hüseyin Çoban, Public Prosecutor Seçkin Yılmaz.
The hearings against signatory academics started on December 5, 2017. As of May 4, 206 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.
On March 10, 2016, Asst. Prof. Dr. Esra Mungan, Asst. Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Kaya, Assoc. Prof. Dr Kıvanç Ersoy and Asst. Prof. Dr. Meral Camcı read out the press statement at a press conference that was was held on behalf of the Academics for Peace/Istanbul group regarding the developments which had occurred since the declaration was first shared with the public.
The first three of these academics were arrested on the charge of "terrorist propaganda" on March 15, 2016, and the last, Camcı, who was abroad at the time, was arrested on March 31 when she returned to Turkey. The four academics were released on April 22, 2016 upon their first hearing, in which the prosecutor of the trial changed the charges pressed against the academics to the crimes regulated under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (insulting Turkey, the Turkish nation, or Turkish government institutions) and applied for authorization from the Ministry of Justice to hold the trial under the new article.
Another bill of indictment was prepared in October 2017 regarding at least 148 academics who signed the declaration. The academics were charged with "terrorist organization propaganda" under Article 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Act (#3713) in the bill of indictment prepared by Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt. The first hearings were held on December 5, 2017.
As of May 4, 206 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. (EÜ/BK/TK)
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