9 Academics Sentenced to 1 Year, 3 Months in Prison; 3 Sentences Not Deferred

Yazar / Referans: 
Tansu Pişkin, Bianet

Nine academics have been sentenced to 1 year, 3 months in prison. While the announcement of six verdicts has been deferred, the pronouncement of the verdicts of Erzan, Çakmak and Aktan has not been deferred upon their rejection of suspension.

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 (December 12).

26 academics had their hearings at four separate courts.

At the İstanbul 26th Heavy Penal Court: Güventürk Görgülü, Tuğçe Erçetin, Murat Paker, Orkun Doğan, Berrak Karahoda and Zeynep Altokfrom Bilgi University; Nermin Saybaşılı, Adil Emre Zeytinoğlu and Derya Fırat Şannan from Mimar Sinan University had their second hearings.

At the İstanbul 32nd Heavy Penal Court: Onur Buğra Kolcu from Arel University and E.D. from Işık University had their fifth hearings; Elif Çevikand Hazal Halavut from Boğaziçi University and Aytül Fırat from Kemerburgaz University had their fourth hearing; Ayşe Erzan from İstanbul Technical University, Nesrin Sungur Çakmak and Özdemir Aktan from Marmara University, Şahika Yüksel, Aslı Aydemir and Ayşe Rezan Tuncayfrom İstanbul University had their sixth hearings.

At the İstanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court: Öget Öktem Tanör from Bilim University had her second hearing; Mustafa Oğuz Sinemillioğlu from Dicle University and Hakan Altun from Mersin University had their first hearings.

At the İstanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court: Zeynep Verda İrtiş and Zeynep Savaşçın from Galatasaray University and Nuray Mert from İstanbul University had their third hearings.

Deferred prison sentence to 6 academics

The court board of the 37th Heavy Penal Court ruled that academics Zeynep Verda İrtiş, Zeynep Savaşçı and Nuray Mert shall be sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK).

The court board of the 32nd Heavy Penal Court also ruled that Aslı Aydemir, Ayşe Rezan Tuncay and Şahika Yüksel shall be sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison on the same charge as per the Article 7/2 of the TMK.

The announcement of all six verdicts has been suspended.

3 academics did not accept suspension of verdict

At the 32nd Heavy Penal Court, academics Ayşe Erzan, Nesrin Sungur Çakmak and Özdemir Aktan stated that they did not accept that the pronouncement of the their verdicts be suspended.

The court board has ruled that academics Erzan, Sungur Çakmak and Aktan shall be sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization".

The announcement of the verdicts has not been deferred "on the ground that there has formed no conviction that the defendants will abstain from committing offence considering their personalities showing no remorse."

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 December 11, 2018, 426 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 41 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison; 2 academics were sentenced to 1 year and 6 months in prison and one academic has been sentenced to 2 years and 3 months in prison. 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 and Prof. Dr. Gülhan Türkay from İstanbul 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." Regarding Türkay, it was stated that "the defendant did nıt request the suspension of the announcement of the verdict." However, the court board still deferred her prison sentence on the condition of a 2-year probation.

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."


Source: https://bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/203489-9-academics-sent...