Peace Academics Denounce Acquittal of Sedat Peker

Yazar / Referans: 

Academics for Peace members have denounced acquittal of Sedat Peker, who was tried for having threatened the peace academics by saying “‘We will shed your blood and swim in it!”

Academics for Peace members have issued a written statement in protest of acquittal of Sedat Peker, who was tried for having threatened the peace academics by saying “‘We will shed your blood and swim in it!”.

Stating that they have witnessed once again that the jurisdiction lost its capacity of making judgements free from political process and manipulations, the academics stressed that an independence jurisdiction must be re-constructed for the establishment of sense of justice.

What happened?

The declaration in which 1,128 academics from 89 universities and more than 355 academics and researchers from abroad called on Turkey to stop violence and preparing the negotiation conditions was published on 11 January, 2016.

Sedat Peker threatened the academics in an article published on 13 January, 2016 via his website

In the article entitled “The so-called intelligentsia, the bells will firstly ring for you”, he added to shed their blood and swim in it.

On denunciations and complaints of Education and Science Workers' Union, Libertarian Lawyers' Association (ÖHD) Ankara Branch and academics, Peker was sued.

In the indictment prepared by chief public prosecutor Ahmet Aslan, Peker was accused of threats and provocation of committal.

Trial of academics

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 June 26, 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.

About Sedat Peker

Peker, being searched seven months on charge with “making collections, withholding forcibly and encouraging to kill” was brought from Romania to Turkey on 19 August, 1998 and was sued with a demand of 7.5 years of imprisonment.

Along with 12 defendants he was released on 24 May, 1999 from the case in which he was being judged of starting a gang.

He was sentenced in two cases of three on charge of "establishing a criminal organization, threatening, bullying the workplace, injuring, threatening freedom, looting and using false identity".

He was also tried in the Ergenekon trial on charge of “establishing an armed organization”.

On August 5, 2013, Peker was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment in the Ergenekon trial concluded by Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court.

On March 10, 2014 he was released after the amendment to the laws of the courts of competent jurisdiction and the consideration of detention of more than 5 years.

The case is still in the Court of Appeal.