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 (December 4).
Five academics had their hearings at three separate courts:
At the İstanbul 35th Heavy Penal Court: Dr. Ceren Lord from Kadir Has University had her third hearing.
At the İstanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court: Assoc. Prof. Dr. S.B., who was dismissed from İstanbul Bilim University, and Prof. Dr. Mehmet Emin Aslan from Işık University had their first hearings.
At the İstanbul 28th Heavy Penal Court: Research Assistant Yonca Güneş Yücel from Mimar Sinan University had her fourth hearing; Dr. Lecturer Ahmet Kerim Gültekin from Munzur University had his first hearing.
At the İstanbul 28th Heavy Penal Court, the court board ruled that academic Yonca Güneş Yücel shall be sentenced to 1 year and 6 months in prison on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization".
While the prison sentence of Yücel has not been reduced, the pronouncement of the verdict has been suspended on the condition of a 2-year probation considering that "there has formed positive conviction that the offence will not be repeated by the defendant."
At the İstanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court, the Prosecutor's Office announced its opinion as to the accusations regarding academic S.B. and demanded that the academic be penalized as per the Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law.
The defendant and her attorney did not request additional time to prepare a statement of defense as to the accusations.
Announcing its verdict, the court board ruled that "the defendant did the act in question successively" and sentenced S.B. to 1 year, 6 months and 22 days in prison. The announcement of the verdict has been suspended.
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 December 4, 2018, 391 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 38 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)