Hearings Start with 10-Hour Delay; Requests Rejected

Yazar / Referans: 
Tansu Pişkin, Bianet
Tarih: 
05.07.2018

Seven academics have had their second hearings at two courts. The hearings that were supposed to start at 10.45 a.m. were held with a delay of 10 hours and 22 minutes at 9.07 p.m. The requests have been rejected and hearings adjourned.

Trials 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 (July 5).

At the 34th Heavy Penal Court, Prof. Dr. Fulya Atacan and Dr. Lecturer Burak Ülman, who were discharged from the Yıldız Technical University (YTÜ) by a Statutory Decree; the research assistants from Galatasaray University, Seçil Doğuç and Burcu Konakçı; and Prof. Dr. Rukiye Nurten Ömeroğlu from İstanbul University had their second hearings.

The hearings, which were supposed to be held at 10.45 a.m., started at 9.07 p.m. Ömeroğlu and Ülman did not attend their hearings. Three academics who appeared before the judge presented their statements of defense. The hearings have been adjourned to later dates.

At the 36th Heavy Penal Court, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Deniz Parlak from Altınbaş University and Dr. Dilşa Deniz, who was discharged from her post at Nişantaşı University, had their second hearings. The attorneys of the academics could not attend the hearing due to their excuses. The next hearings will be held on November 7, 2018.

About the trial of academics

The hearings against signatory academics started on December 5, 2017. As of July 5, 256 academics had their first hearings. 16 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.

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.

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 July 5, 2018, 256 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 16 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 lawsuits still continue.

(TP/SD)

Source: https://bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/198917-hearings-start-w...