TRIALS OF ACADEMICS: Three Academics Have Second Hearings

TRIALS OF ACADEMICS: Three Academics Have Second Hearings

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Click to read the article in Turkish

Trials against signatories of Academics for Peace's declaration "We will not be party to this crime" charged with "terrorist organization propaganda" resumed today (February 21) in Çağlayan at Istanbul Courthouse 32nd Heavy Penal Court.

Prof. Dr. Ayşe Erzan, retired from Istanbul Technical University, Prof. Dr. Özdemir Aktan, dismissed from his post at Marmara University Faculty of Medicine by executive decree (KHK), and Prof. Dr. Nesrin Sungur Çakmak from Işık University had their second hearings, after their first ones on January 30, 2018.

The three academics denied the charges against them and requested immediate acquittal. Their attorneys made demands for immediate acquittal, consolidation, citation of the Chris Stephenson ruling of the 13th High Penal Court, and adjournment. The judiciary panel granted the adjournment and citation requests.

The trials against academics who signed the declaration started on December 5, 2017. By February 21, 2018, 124 defendants have had their first hearings, and 19 of these have also had their second.

All articles on the trials of academics can be accessed here.

What happened?

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.

By February 21, 2018, 124 defendants have had their first hearings, and 19 of these have also had their second. (TP/PU)

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