Files of Three Academics Sent to Prosecutor’s Office for Opinion as to Accusations

Yazar / Referans: 
Tansu Pişkin, Bianet

Six academics from Boğaziçi University have had their second hearings. Two academics have not attended the hearings. The case files of three academics have been sent to the Prosecutor’s Office for opinion as to the accusations.

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 today (October 8).

At the 23rd Heavy Penal Court, Dr. Lecturer Seda Altuğ Bulut, PhD student Seval Gülen, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zeynep Kadirbeyoğlu, retired Prof. Dr. Oya Köymen, Prof. Dr. Ayşe Nüket Eralp and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Meltem Toksöz from Boğaziçi University had their second hearings.

Academics Altuğ and Toksöz did not attend the hearings on the ground that they were abroad. Eralp and Kadirbeyoğlu presented their statements of defense. The court board rejected all requests submitted by the attorneys of Eralp, Kadirbeyoğlu and Köymen. The board also ruled that the case files of three academics shall be sent to the Prosecutor's Office so that it will prepare the opinion as to the accusations.

The court board consisted of the Presiding Judge Ahmet Uğuz; members Emine Çakır, Ali Özcan; and Prosecutor Aydın Boztaş.

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 8, 2018, 289 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.