Academic for Peace Füsun Üstel Imprisoned

Yazar / Referans: 
Tansu Pişkin, Bianet

Sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison for having signed the peace declaration, Academic for Peace Prof. Dr. Füsun Üstel has submitted herself to Eskişehir Women’s Closed Prison after her prison sentence has been upheld by the court of appeal.

Sentenced to 1 year, 3 months in prison for signing the declaration "We will not be a party to this crime" by Academics for Peace, Prof. Dr. Füsun Üstel submitted herself to Eskişehir Women's Closed Prison today (May 8).

The prison sentence of the academic was upheld by the 3rd Panel Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice on February 25, 2019.

Füsun Üstel went to Eskişehir together with her attorneys to submit herself to prison. She was welcomed there by other Academics for Peace discharged from Osmangazi and Anadolu Universities.

As per the Article 107/4 of the Law no. 5275 on Execution of Sentences and Security Measures, the people who are sentenced to prison "on terror charges" serve three quarters of their prison terms in penal institutions. 

Accordingly, Füsun Üstel will be held in prison for 11 months. In other words, her prison term will be reduced by one fourth and she will serve her remaining prison term on probation.

What happened?

On April 4, 2018, Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University was sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK) for having signed the peace declaration.

The penalty of Prof. Dr. Üstel was not deferred by the İstanbul 32nd Heavy Penal Court on the ground that she did not demand the deferment of announcement of the verdict and did not make "a statement of penitence."

The 3rd Panel Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice, the court of appeal, upheld the prison sentence of Prof. Dr. Füsun Üstel in a verdict dated February 25, 2019. Though her attorneys objected to the verdict of the court of appeal, her prison sentence has still been executed.

As of May 8, 2019, 610 academics signatory to the peace declaration have stood trial since December 5, 2017, when the trials of academics started, and 191 of these academics have been sentenced to prison.

The prison sentences of 34 of 191 academics have not been suspended: While the prison sentences of 28 academics were not deferred as their prison terms are over two years (as per the Article 286 of the Law on Penal Courts), 6 academics, including Füsun Üstel, did not accept the deferment of the announcement of their verdicts.

About Zübeyde Füsun Üstel

Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel is an academic at Galatasaray University. She completed her undergraduate studies at Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences. She received her Master's degree from the University of Johns Hopkins in Italy in 1980-1981 and started working as a research assistant at İstanbul University, Faculty of Economics.

She completed her PhD at the Faculty of Political Sciences of Ankara University in 1987. Becoming a lecturer at Galatasaray University, Üstel has published a series of articles in Turkey-based and international journals of social sciences. Her articles have mostly focused on the history of Turkey, nationalism and issues of identity.


Photographs: Nurettin Aldemir / Yaşam, Bellek, Özgürlük (Life, Memory, Freedom)