The new Turkey
23 November 2018:
Four academics had their hearings at two separate courts:
At the İstanbul 26th Heavy Penal Court: Dr. Lecturer M.T.T. from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (MSGSÜ) had the second hearing.
At the İstanbul 36th Heavy Penal Court: Dr. Lecturer Güven Gürkan Öztanand Gülhan Türkay from İstanbul University and Prof. Dr. Mehmet Rıza Türkay had their fourth hearings.
3 academics sentenced to prison
At the 36th Heavy Penal Court, all of the academics have been 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).
Since Güven Gürkan Öztan and Mehmet Rıza Türkay accepted the suspension of the announcement of their verdicts, the pronouncement of their prison sentences has been deferred.
However, academic Gülhan Türkay stated that she did not request that the announcement of her verdict be suspended. Accordingly, as per the Article no. 51/3 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and considering that "the defendant has no previous criminal record and there has formed a personal conviction that she will not commit the same offence in the event of deferment", the pronouncement of her prison sentence has been suspended on the condition of a 2-year probation.
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 November 22, 2018, 384 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 37 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."