Presiding Judge Shows Attorney The Door, Ends Hearing

Yazar / Referans: 
Tansu Pişkin, Bianet

The court has presented opinion as to the accusations in the first hearing of Prof. Dr. Öktem-Tanör and issued an arrest warrant for Prof. Dr. Serdar Değirmencioğlu.

Trial 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 (October 3).

At the 30th Heavy Penal Court, the first neuropsychologist of Turkey, Prof. Dr. Öget Öktem Tanör, who has been discharged from her post, and Prof. Dr. Serdar Değirmencioğlu, who has been dismissed from his post at Doğuş University, had their first hearings.

While Tanör stood before the court, Değirmencioğlu could not attend the hearing on the ground that he works abroad.

Dictum presented without defense of defendant

At the first hearing, where Tanör did not present her statement of defense, the prosecutor presented his opinion as to the accusations in written form without reading it out. He demanded that the defendant be penalized as per the Article no. 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law.

Her attorney Meriç Eyüboğlu, whose statements were interrupted by the Presiding Judge, stated in response, "Presenting the opinion as to the accusation without even taking the testimony of the client is a sign of prejudice. You are acting in defiance of the due process of law. The Presiding Judge did not listen to my demands. You have to write down my demands in the hearing. You cannot act as if I was not here."

The Presiding Judge showed attorney Eyüboğlu the door, ordering her out of the courtroom. The court board adjourned the next hearing to December 12.

Arrest warrant issued for Değirmencioğlu

The court board also issued an arrest warrant for Prof. Dr. Değirmencioğlu, who could not attend the hearing on the ground that he works abroad.

The next hearing of Değirmencioğlu will be held on December 14, 2018.

The court board consisted of the Presiding Judge Utku Ercan; members Emrah Kızılhisar and Ramazan Balcı; Prosecutor Mustafa Güner.

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 October 3, 2018, 283 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.

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 trials still continue.