The new Turkey 16 academics convicted of “propaganda” for signing peace petition
11-12-13 December 2018:
Trials into academics who have been charged with “disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization” for signing 2016’s Academics for Peace petiiton continued this week in Istanbul. Two of the trial courts convicted 16 academics of the “propaganda” charge this week.
On 13 December, the 37th High Criminal Court of Istanbul convicted academics Sami Cankat Tanrıverdi, Ceren Sözeri, Buket Türkmen, Melis Behlil and Mahmut Çınar of “propaganda” and gave each academic a 15-month prison term. The sentences were deferred. The same court gave academic Lütfiye Bozdağ an 18-month sentence on the grounds that she “did not show remorse” and the sentence was not deferred.
On 12 December, the 37th High Criminal Court of Istanbul imposed on Zeynep Verda İrtiş, Zeynep Savaşçın and Nuray Mertprison sentences of 15 months. The same day, the 32nd High Criminal Court of Istanbul gave Aslı Aydemir, Ayşe Rezan Tuncay and Şahika Yüksel 15-month sentences. All of the sentences were deferred.
Also on 12 December, the 32nd High Criminal Court of Istanbul convicted Ayşe Erzan, Nesrin Sungur Çakmak and Özdemir Aktan of the same charge and gave each defendant a 15-month sentence but the sentences were not deferred on the grounds of “the defendants’ lack of remorse.”
On 11 December, the 37th High Criminal Court of Istanbul handed down Professor Gençay Gürsoy a prison sentence of 2 years and 3 months at the end of the third hearing of the case, where Gürsoy was actually supposed to give his final defense statement in response to the prosecutor’s final opinion. However, Gürsoy was not in attendance due to health issues. The court still went on to issue its verdict and convicted Gürsoy in absentia. The court did not reduce Gürsoy’s sentence based on “his bad conduct during proceedings and lack of remorse.”