Hearings of 10 Academics Adjourned to April 12 [Bianet]

The first hearings of the 10 academics who are among the 1,128 academics standing trial for having signed the peace declaration of the Academics for Peace was held today in İstanbul Court. Acquiattal requests and the request to combine the cases were rejected. Next hearings of the 10 academics will be on April 12, 2018

Beyza Kural İstanbul – BIA News Desk

The first hearings of 148 of the 1,128 academics who are standing trial for having signed the peace declaration of the Academics for Peace and charged with « terror propaganda », began today (December 5) in İstanbul Court. The hearings will continue until May 17, 2018.

10 academics from İstanbul University and Galatasaray University stood trial before İstanbul 35th Assize Court in Çağlayan, İstanbul. 8 of the 10 academics appeared before judge in separate hearings. 1 academic was assigned abroad and another academic had a medical report.

The acquiattal requests for the academics and the request to combine the cases have been rejected by the court.

The next hearings of the 10 academics will be on April 12, 2018.

The names of the 10 academics who stood trial today are: Pedriye Mutlu, Gizem Bilgin Aytaç, Mehtap Balık Kaya, Alaeddin Dinç Alada, Tuba Akıncılar, Hakan Yücel, Aslı Didem Danış, Başak Demir, Ömer Aygün and Osman Olcay Kunal.

According to the indictment prepared by Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt, the academics are being charged with « propagandizing for a terrorist organization » and are facing up to 7.5 years in prison each.

The course of the hearings of the 10 academics standing trial separately are as follows:

10th hearing: Request of acquittal, combining lawsuits rejected

Academic Pedriye Mutlu who was supposed to appear before judge today as well, could not attend the hearing since she had a medical report.

Attorney Ali Deniz Ceylan representing Mutlu demanded Mutlu’s acquittal and reminded that the court was also obliged to protect freedom of expression and prevent unfair fight against political criticism.

Ceylan also requested that the lawsuits against all the academics standing trial for signing the peace declaration be combined.

The court rejected Attorney Ceylan’s demand of acquittal and the request to combine the cases of all academics on the grounds that « combining cases was not obligatory and it would violate the principle of a fair trial if some suspects could not be reached and the […] trial process would therefore need to be extended.

7th-9th hearings: Request for acquittal of 3 academics rejected

Representing academic Gizem Bilgin Aytaç, attorney Arın Gül Yeniaras demanded that Aytaç be immediately acquitted and argued that the principle of individual criminal responsibility was violated in terms of the crime and penalty.

Yeniaras stated that the declaration in question was a call for peace addressed to the state and noted with reference to a previous judgement of the Assize court in 2016, that spreading such a declaration should fall under the freedom of criticism.

The prosecutor and the court rejected the acquiattal request of Aytaç on the grounds that « a judgement could only be passed after the suspect was questioned and the evidence was examined ».

Aytaç’s hearing, and the hearings of academics Mehtap Balık Kaya and Alaeddin Dinç Alada who are represented by Attorney Yeniaras as well, was adjourned to April 12, 2018 and their acquittal requests were rejected.

2nd-6th hearings: Hearings of 5 academics adjourned to April 12, 2018

Academics Tuba AkıncılarHakan YücelAslı Didem Danış and Başak Demir from Galatasaray University were brought to the defendants’ stand at the same time and demanded continuance.

Court decided to adjourn the hearing of the four academics to April 12, 2018.

Attorney Hüseyin Ersöz representing academic Ömer Aygün stated that Aygün was assigned at a university abroad until the end of 2018.

The court decided to adjourn Aygün’s hearing to April 12, 2018 as well.

1st hearing

The first hearing began with the identification of lecturer Osman Olcay Kunal from Galatasaray University.

Court rejected Olcay’s attorney Hüseyin Ersöz request that Olcay be tried under the Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (insulting Turkey, the Turkish nation, or Turkish government institutions).

Attorney Ersöz’s request of additional time for preparing defence, was granted. Olcay’s next hearing will be on April 12, 2018.
Observers of the hearings

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) İstanbul MP Garo Paylan, Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Turkish Medical Association Executive Board Chair Raşit Tükel and other academics who signed the peace declaration are among the observers of the trial.

Charges

According to the indictment prepared by Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt, the academics are being charged with « Making Propaganda for a Terrorist Organisation », based on the Article 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Act and Article 53 of the Turkish Penal Code.

Each academic face up to 7.5 years in prison. The investigation is carried out by İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Turkish Anti-Terror Act

Article 7(2)Any person making propaganda for a terrorist organisation shall be punished with imprisonment from one to five years. If this crime is committed through means of mass media, the penalty shall be aggravated by one half. In addition, editors-in-chief (…)2
who have not participated in the perpetration of the crime shall be punished with a judicial fine from one thousand to fifteen thousand days’ rates. However, the upper limit of this sentence for editors-in-chief is five thousand days’ rates.

According to the indictment, the evidences regarding the alleged crime are;

• The investigation report that concerns the statement of Bese Hozat–the co-president of the PKK/KCK terrorist organization’s executive committee–that is dated December 27, 2015.-;

• The investigation reports on the academics who signed the petition (suspects) concerning the press declarations on January 11, 2016 (first declaration) and March 10, 2016 (second declaration) that are allegedly of a supportive nature in favour of PKK/KCK terrorist organization;

• Records of statement and interrogation reports of the suspects and the arrest warrants issued for them.

148 academics who are among the first ones of the 1,128 academics to stand trial are from the following universities:

Galatasaray University, İstanbul University, Yıldız Teknik University, İstanbul Teknik University, Marmara University, Boğaziçi University, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Yeni Yüzyıl University, Apriltaşı University, Kadir Has University, Özyeğin University, Bahçeşehir University, Kemerburgaz University, Arel University and Işık University.

Schedule of the trials of 148 academics

5 December 2017 – Galatasaray University (6 academics), İstanbul University (4 academics) before İstanbul 35th Assize Court.

7 December 2017 – Galatasaray University (3 academics), İstanbul University (8 academics) before İstanbul 32th Assize Court.

7 December 2017 – Galatasaray University (4 academics), İstanbul University (8 academics) before İstanbul 33th Assize Court.

7 December 2017 – Galatasaray University (6 academics), İstanbul University (6 academics) before İstanbul 34th Assize Court.

7 December 2017 – İstanbul University (1 academic) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

14 December 2017 – İstanbul University (1 academic) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

19 December 2017 – Yıldız Teknik University (1 academic), İstanbul Teknik University (1 academic) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

21 December 2017 – Marmara University (5 academics), Yıldız Teknik University (2 academics) before İstanbul 33th Assize Court.

21 December 2017 – Galatasaray University (1 academic), İstanbul University (5 academics) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

26 December 2017 – Boğaziçi University (1 academic), Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar University (1 academic),, Yeni Yüzyıl University (1 academic), Apriltaşı University (1 academic) before İstanbul 13th Assize Court.

26 December 2017 – İstanbul University (3 academics) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court .
4 January 2018 – Marmara University (2 academics), İstanbul Teknik University (1 academic) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

11 January 2018 – Kadir Has University (2 academics) before İstanbul 35 th Assize Court .
18 January 2018 – İstanbul Teknik University (4 academics), Yıldız Teknik University (2 academics), Marmara University (3 academics), Özyeğin University (1 academic) before İstanbul 35th Assize Court.

30 January 2018 – Marmara University (5 academics), Yıldız Teknik University (3 academics), İstanbul Teknik University (4 academics), Özyeğin University (1 academic) before İstanbul 32nd Assize Court.

6 February 2018 – Marmara University (1 academic) before İstanbul 34th Assize Court.

13 February 2018 – Marmara University (3 academics), Özyeğin University (2 academics), Kadir Has University (3 academics), Yıldız Teknik University (1 academic) before İstanbul 34th Assize Court.

15 February 2018 – Kadir Has University (1 academic) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

22 February 2018 – Bahçeşehir University (1 academic), Kemerburgaz University (1 academic) before İstanbul 36th Assize Court.

27 February 2018 – Kemerburgaz University (1 academic), Apriltaşı University (1 academic), Kadir Has University (1 academic) before İstanbul 35th Assize Court.

1 March 2018 – İstanbul University (3 academics) before İstanbul 37. Assize Court.

6 March 2018 – İstanbul University (3 academics), Galatasaray University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

8 March 2018 – Galatasaray University (2 academics), İstanbul University (2 academics) before İstanbul 37. Assize Court.

13 March 2018 – Galatasaray University (2 academics), İstanbul University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

16 March 2018 – Kadir Has University (3 academics), Bahçeşehir University (1 academic) before İstanbul 33th Assize Court.

20 March 2018 – Marmara University (2 academics) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

22 March 2018 – Marmara University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

27 March 2018 – Marmara University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

29 March 2018 – Marmara University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

3 April 2018 – Kadir Has University (1 academic), Kemerburgaz University (1 academic) İstanbul 32nd Assize Court.

5 April 2018 – Yıldız Teknik University (1 academic)), İstanbul Teknik University (1 academic) before İstanbul 32nd Assize Court.

26 April 2018 – Arel University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

3 May 2018 – Kadir Has University (1 academic), Bahçeşehir University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

8 May 2018 – Kadir Has University (1 academic), Işık University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

15 May 2018 – Kadir Has University (2 academics) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

17 May 2018 – Bahçeşehir University (1 academic) before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.

The Peace Declaration of the Academics « We will not be a party to this crime » was shared with the public on January 11, 2016 in a press conference. 1,128 academics from 89 universities as well as over 355 academics and researchers from abroad had signed the peace declaration.

Source: Bianet