Three Academics Given Suspended Prison Sentence of 1 Year, 3 Months

Yazar / Referans: 
Tansu Pişkin, Bianet

Three academics have been sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison as per the Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law. Prison sentences of academics have been suspended.

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 23).

12 academics had their hearings at three separate courts:

At the İstanbul 24th Heavy Penal Court, Dr. Lecturer Erol Köroğlu from Boğaziçi University had his third hearing.

At the İstanbul 28th Heavy Penal Court, research assistant Onur Baysalfrom Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (MSGSÜ) had his third hearing.

At the İstanbul 36th Heavy Penal Court, Assoc. Prof. Dr. İpek Merçil from Galatasaray University; Dr. Lecturer O.A., Prof. Dr. Gülhan Türkay, Dr. Lecturer Güven Gürkan Öztan and discharged academics Dr. Ertan Ersoy, Dr. Lecturer Sinan Yıldırmaz, Prof. Dr. Taner Gören from İstanbul University; retired Prof. Dr. Yücel Candemir from İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ); and discharged academic Prof. Dr. İbrahim Kaboğlu and Dr. Mehmet Rıza Türkay had their third hearings.

3 academics sentenced to 1 year, 3 months in prison

The court board of the 36th Heavy Penal Court ruled that the academics İpek Merçil, O.A. and Yücel Candemir shall be sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article no. 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK).

The court board has deferred the announcement of the verdict.

Opinion as to accusations for "aiding organization"

At the 24th Heavy Penal Court, the Prosecutor's Office announced its opinion as to the accusations for academic Erol Köroğlu from Boğaziçi University.

The office demanded that the academic be penalized on charge of "aiding a terrorist organization as a non-member".

Ruling of rejection of venue for Kaboğlu

At the hearing of Prof. Dr. İbrahim Kaboğlu, who was discharged from his post at Marmara University and is currently an MP of the Republican People's Party (CHP), his attorneys requested that his trial be halted.

The court board gave a ruling of rejection of venue and ruled that the case file of Kaboğlu shall be sent to the Ankara Heavy Penal Court for the reason.

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 23, 2018, 340 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 28 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.