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Trials against signatories of Academics for Peace’s declaration “We will not be party to this crime” continued today in Çağlayan at Istanbul Courthouse 34th Heavy Penal Court.
Four of the academics had the first hearing of their trial today (February 6). In the statement they gave in front of the courthouse on behalf of Academics for Peace before the hearing, the defendants expressed their joy at the acquittal of Turkish Medical Association administrators. They issued a reminder that directors of the film Bakur would be having their hearing on Thursday.
Three of the four academics were present at the courtroom; none of them made pleas. Adjournment, immediate acquittal, citation of the first suit filed about the same declaration held at the 13th Heavy Penal Court, and consolidation requests were made. The judiciary panel rejected all requests save for the one for adjournment.
The chief judge demanded in all hearings for another writ to be issued to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to have the court be notified of the media in which the statements subject to the bill of indictment and dated January 11, 2016 and March 10, 2016 were made public.
The trials will continue on July 5 and 10, 2018.
The academics standing trial today were: Prof. Dr. Fulya Atacan, discharged from her post at Yıldız Technical University by statutory decree; Asst. Prof. Burak Ülman, discharged from his post at Yıldız Technical University by statutory decree; Maltepe University instructor and doctoral student Meriç Taylan Mutlu; and Fırat Çapan, discharged from his post at Marmara University by statutory decree.
The judiciary panel was made up of: Chief Judge Abdullah Özer, members Serkan İçöz and Oktay Güney, Prosecutor İlkay Özcan.
The academics who signed the declaration are 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. Trials began on December 5. So far, 106 defendants have had their first hearings, and 14 of these have also had their second.
All articles on the trials of academics can be accessed here.
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.
By February 6, 2018, 106 defendants have had their first hearings, and 14 of these have also had their second. (BK/PU)