The Case of Four Academics to Continue in May

Yazar / Referans: 
Tansu Pişkin, Bianet

The case, in which Esra Mungan, Meral Camcı, Muzaffer Kaya and Kıvanç Ersoy are being tried, has been adjourned to May 23. The court has ruled that Kaya and Ersoy shall make their defense statements in the countries where they live.

The ninth hearing of the case, which was the first lawsuit filed against Academics for Peace and where Dr. Lecturer Esra Mungan, Dr. Lecturer Meral Camcı, Dr. Lecturer Muzaffer Kaya and Assoc. Prof. Kıvanç Ersoy were arrested for a while, was held at the İstanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court today (January 28).

The court has adjourned the case to May 23, because Meriç Eyüboğlu, an attorney for the academics, has not attended the hearing with an excuse.

The court has also ruled that the rogatory documents shall be sent to Kaya and Ersoy, who reside abroad, so that the academics can make statements regarding the suspension of the pronouncement of the verdict and raise their defenses as to the accusations in the countries they reside in.

The Prosecutor's Office repeated its opinion

The presiding judge asked Mungan and Camcı their statements regarding the suspension of the pronouncement of the verdict. Both academics said they will make statements after meeting with their attorneys.

The Prosecutor's Office, repeating its opinion as to the accusations from September 3, 2018, demanded the defendants be sentenced upon the Anti Terror Law (TMK) Article 7/2.

The court has adjourned the hearing to May 23.

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. With the participation of further academics, the number of academics who have signed the declaration has reached 2,212.

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 22, 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."

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 October 9, 2018, 292 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 27 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.