The new Turkey
The Academics for Peace initiative

30-oct-19

About the Trials of Academics

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 September 9, 2019, 640 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017, all the 204 academics whose cases were concluded were sentenced to prison. 146 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison; 8 academics to 1 year and 6 months in prison; 18 academics to 1 year, 10 months and 15 days in prison; 17 academics to 2 years and 3 months in prison; 7 academics to 2 years and 6 months in prison; 5 academics to 2 years and 1 month in prison; and one academic to 3 years in prison.

Non-deferred prison sentences for 36 people

Of these 204 people, the verdicts of conviction of 36 academics in total were not deferred; while the verdicts of 29 people were not deferred as their prison terms are over 2 years (as per the Article 286 of the Law on Criminal Courts), the verdicts of 7 academics were not deferred as they did not accept the deferment of the announcement of their verdicts.

With her 15-month prison sentence upheld by the court of appeal, Academic for Peace Prof. Dr. Füsun Üstel was arrested on May 8, 2019 to be released on July 22.

Constitutional Court said "violation of right"

The General Assembly of the Constitutional Court examined the individual applications of 10 Academics for Peace sentenced to prison on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" for having signed the peace declaration.

On July 26, 2019, the Court ruled that the penalization of Academics for Peace on charge of "terror propaganda" has violated their freedom of expression.

The Court decided that a copy of this judgement shall be sent to all local courts in order to eliminate this right's violation and advised for retrial. The court also ruled to pay each applicant 9 thousand TRY in reparations.

After the new judicial year opened on September 2, the first verdict of acquittal for an Academic for Peace in accordance with the Constitutional Court ruling was given by the İstanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court.

Constitutional Court ruling and its consequences

The ruling of the Constitutional Court stipulates that the local courts shall hold re-trials and give verdicts of acquittal in ongoing cases and for finalized sentences and the courts of appeal shall reverse the judgements in question.

The State of Emergency Commission, which has not yet given its decision regarding the applications of discharged academics, shall also take the Constitutional Court ruling into account. However, it can still give contrary rulings.

In the event that the Commission gives a decision against the academics, they will have the right to appeal to the Council of State. Though the Constitutional Court ruling is binding for the Council of State, any possible failure to withdraw the decisions of discharge will also be examined by the Constitutional Court.

You can reach all news on Trials of Academics here

You can reach the statements of Academics for Peace in English here

 

Constitutional Court: Freedom of Expression of Academics for Peace Violated
Constitutional Court rules against convictions in Academics for Peace case
Constitutional Court: We Could Disagree with Signatory Academics
1,066 Academics Denounce Constitutional Court Verdict on Academics for Peace
 
Dismissals, prosecutions
and convictions*
May 2019
1 May:
One Academic Sentenced to 15 Months, One Academic to 30 Months in Prison
3 May:
2 Academics Sentenced to 3 Years, 4 Months in Prison in Total
7 May:
Academic Sentenced to 1 Year, 3 Months in Prison
8 May:
Academic for Peace Füsun Üstel Imprisoned
13 May:
Academic for Peace Tuna Altınel Arrested in Balıkesir
15 May:
Arrested Academic for Peace Tuna Altınel: Solidarity Keeps One Alive
17 May:
International Solidarity for Arrested Academic for Peace Tuna Altınel
21 May:
Ayşe Gül Altınay Sentenced to 2 Years, 1 Month in Prison
22 May:
Sentenced academic Ayşe Gül Altınay to two years and one month in prison
22 May:
Statement of Academic Ayşe Gül Altınay
22 May:
Arrested Academic for Peace Füsun Üstel to be Transferred to Open Prison
22 May:
Prosecutor Objects, Academic for Peace Üstel Cannot be Transferred to Open Prison
23 May:
The first hearings of Halim Bulutoğlu and Zeynep Tanbay were held at the İstanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court.
23 May:
27 people including Etkin News Agency (ETHA) reporter and translator Meşale Tolu had their ninth hearing at the İstanbul 29th Heavy Penal Court yesterday (May 23).
29 May:
The Constitutional Court convened yesterday (May 29) and examined the individual applications of 10 Academics for Peace.
30 May:
Filiz Arıöz and Tezcan Durna have been sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison.
30 May:
Filiz Arıöz,Ozan Değer, Tezcan Durna ,Umut Azak, Erdem Üngür, ,Aslı Odman and E.D. from Işık University had theirs hearings.
July 2019
1 July:
Academics Azak, Üngür and E.D. was sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization"
1 July:
At the İstanbul 32nd Heavy Penal Court Umut Azak, Erdem Üngür and Aslı Odman had their fifth hearings; and E.D.  had his ninth hearing.
5 July:
Constitutional Court Takes on Trial of Academics
11 July:
Academics Call for Release of Üstel and Altınel
12 July:
Sibel Bekiroğlu had her third hearing. Zeynep Arıkan and Meltem Gürle  had their fourth hearings. Yıldırım Şentürk, Ümit Biçer  and Eren Kırmızıaltın had their third hearings.
12 July:
Sibel Bekiroğlu was sentenced to 1 year, 3 months in prison on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" 
18 July:
Statement of Academic Baki Tezcan
22 July:
Prof. Füsun Üstel Released
23 July:
Reference to Supreme Court of Appeals in Prof. Füsun Üstel’s Verdict of Release
26 July:
Constitutional Court: Freedom of Expression of Academics for Peace Violated
The Constitutional Court has ruled that the penalization of Academics for Peace on charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” has violated their freedom of expression.

 
30 July:
1,066 Academics Denounce Constitutional Court Verdict on Academics for Peace
After the Constitutional Court ruled that the prison sentences given to the Academics for Peace violated their freedom of expression, 1,066 academics from various universities released a declaration, saying the verdict is "against the public conscience."

30 July:
Mathematician Altınel, charged with “membership in a terrorist organization” for his role in an event in France, was released at the end of first court hearing in Balıkesir
September 2019
6 September.
An Istanbul court acquited Özlem Şendeniz, for signing 2016’s Academics for Peace petition.
9 September.
Acquittal for Three Academics for Peace in Diyarbakır, Five Academics in İstanbul
10 September.
Murat Kızıl, Murat Biricik and Fikret Uyar was acquitted
10 september.
23 Academics for Peace Acquitted in One Week
11 September.
Serdar Değirmencioğlu and Özlem Savaş have been acquitted by the 30th Heavy Penal Court 
11 September.
38 Academics Acquitted So Far
11 september.
CHP Submits Bill of Law for Reinstatement of Academics for Peace
12 September.
Prosecutor Requests Prison Sentence for Academic Latife Akyüz. Despite Constitutional Court Decision
16 September.
Statement as to the Accusations of Academic Ayşe Berkman
17 September.
Academics for Peace Acquitted by 17 Courts. Serdar Başçetin, Esra Demir Gürsel, Emre Özyetiş, Cengiz Erçin was among them.
24 September.
Erol Önderoğlu has been acquitted of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization”.
24 September:
14 rights defenders on trial for supporting academics acquitted
30 September:
Academics Esra Mungan, Kıvanç Ersoy, Muzaffer Kaya and Meral Camcı, who were on trial for signing 2016’s Academics for Peace petition, were acquitted of the “propaganda” charge against them.

 
2018
3 April 2018:
9 Academics Stand Their First Trial in 3 Courts
4 April 2018:
Üstel, Polat Sentenced to 1 Year 3 Months in Prison
16 April 2018:
Academic Özyetiş Acquitted in First Hearing
8 July 2018:
199 Turkish academics who signed peace petition sacked in latest decree
11 September 2018:
First Hearings of 3 Academics Held in 25th Heavy Penal Court
9 October 2018:
Peace academics face up to 7.5 years in jail
16 October 2018:
Academic given jail term for “propaganda,” sentence deferred
18 October 2018:
32 Academics Face up to 7 Years, 6 Months in Prison
19 October 2018:
32 Academics for Peace face jail sentences over 7 years
19 October 2018:
Signing Discharge of 6,817 Academics, Erdoğan Complains About University Education
22 October 2018:
Five more academics given jail terms for signing peace petition 
22 October 2018:
Turkish academic sentenced to one year in jail for signing peace petition
23 October 2018:
3 Academics Given Suspended Prison Sentence of 1 Year, 3 Months
26 Oct.to 17 Dec.2018
Prison sentences handed down to 28 members of Academics for Peace
1 November 2018:
1 Academic Faces up to 7 Years, 6 Months in Prison
8 November ,2018:
Presiding Judge: I Have Freedom of Expression As Well
9 November 2018:
Expelled academic detained on suspicion of terrorism
9 November 2018:
Turkish academic and some university students detained by police in Ankara
10 November 2018:
Purge-victim Turkish academic in custody on suspicion of terrorism
16 November 2018:
13 People Taken into Custody
16 November 2018:
Human Rights Association: We Condemn Operation Against Civil Society and Academia
22 November 2018:
4 more academics convicted of “propaganda” for signing peace petition
23 November 2018:
Prison Sentence Deferred with 2-Year Probation
29 November 2018:
One Academic Given Deferred Prison Sentence of 1 Year, 3 Months
4-6 December 2018:
Three more academics convicted for signing peace petition
7 December 2018:
Deferred Prison Sentence for 1 Academic; 1 Case File Combined
11-12-13 December :
16 academics convicted of “propaganda” for signing peace petition
13 December 2018:
Academics for Peace sentenced to prison in "Kafkaesque" trial
19 December 2018:
Turkish academic, rights activist sentenced to over 2 years in prison on terrorism charges
28 December 2018:
Deferred Prison Sentence of 1 Year, 3 Months for 3 Academics

 
 

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 17, 2018, 335 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."

Persons charged or convicted regarding "Academics for Peace"
ECHR fines Turkey for failing to act over harassment of academics

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.

The Text:
We will not be a
party to this crime!

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."**


14 rights defenders on trial for supporting academics acquitted

Fourteen out of 17 rights defenders who were on trial on the charge of “disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization” have been acquitted by the respective criminal courts overseeing their trials.

In 2016, 17 rights defenders had turned themselves in to the authorities in support of the academics who were being prosecuted for signing 2016’s Academics for Peace petition. The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had issued separate indictments against all 17.

The courts rendered the acquittal verdicts without holding courtroom hearings. The acquittals follow on the heels of the Constitutional Court’s ruling in July, which held that the trials of academics who signed the 2016 petition were in violation of their right to freedom of expression.



12 September

Four courts acquitted 54 academics

After today's rulings, the number of academics who have been acquitted after the Constitutional Court ruling has become 106.

36th Heavy Penal Court: Prof. Dr. Ayşe Berkman (Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts), Lecturer Chris Stephenson (Bilgi University).

32nd Heavy Penal Court: Assoc. Prof. Ahmet Atıl aşıcı (İstanbul University), Research Associate Gülay Kılıçaslan (Yıldız Technical University).

22nd Heavy Penal Court: Ferda Keskin (Bilgi), Barış Pembeci (Muğla), Pınar Önen (Okan), Özlem Özkan (Kocaeli), Derya Keskin (Kocaeli), Alaattin Şenel (Ankara), Hale Bolak Boratav (Bilgi), Ayşe Bilge Yağmurlu (Koç), Burak Onaran (MSGSÜ), Bahtiyar Mermertaş (Mimar Sinan), Nur Serap Özer (TED), H. Neşe Özgen (MSGSÜ), Alev Özkazanç (Ankara), Demet İslambay (ODTÜ), Hülya Doğan (Bartın), Yusuf Çağlar Güven (METU), Handan Çağlayan (Ankara), Özge Yaka (FMSH Paris), Eren Can (Artuklu), Mehmet Barış Gümüşbaş (Hacettepe), Umut Tümay Arslan (Mimar Sinan), Ercan Şen (Ankara), Ayşe Parla (Sabancı).

26th Heavy Penal Court: Eylem Çamuroğlu Çığ (Mersin), Meral Gürbüz (Anadolu), Murat Emeksiz (Anadolu), Ali Turgay Kurultay (Yaşar), Bülent Duru (Ankara), Zeynep Ülker Kaşlı Koolschijn (Washington Univ), Nergiz Kardaş İşler (Hacettepe), Görkem Akgöz (Hacettepe), Akın Tek (Şehir), Özgecan Korkmaz (Michigan), Halil İbrahim Yenigün (Ticaret), Mahinur Akkaya (ODTÜ), Gürsan Şenalp (Atılım), Zeliha Hacımuratlar (Özyeğin), Eylem Özdemir (İÜ), Didem Pekün (Koç), Adil Emre Zeytinoğlu (MSGSÜ), Tuğçe Erçetin (Bilgi), Zeynep Altok (Bilgi), Derya Fırat Şannan (MSGSÜ), Güventürk Görgülü (Bilgi), Berrak Karahoda (Bilgi), Nermin Saybaşılı (MSGSÜ), Orkun Doğan (Bilgi), Engin Kılıç (Sabancı), Osman Cengiz Aktar (Süleyman Şah), Düzgün Uğur (Dicle).

23 Academics for Peace Acquitted in One Week

Hearing of the academics who have been on trial for having signed the declaration entitled, "We will not be a party to this crime" continued today (September 10).

The hearing of Dr. Lecturer Eylem Çamuroğlu Çığ from Mersin University has been held at the 26th Heavy Penal Court. Proceedings of letters rogatory started previously as the academic is abroad. The prosecutor requested the rogatory proceedings be stopped and requested the acquittal of the defendant, referring the Constitutional Court ruling.

The court acquitted the defendant of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization."

Five academics were acquitted at the 28th Heavy Penal Court yesterday without a public hearing. The court further acquitted 11 academics today. Here are the names of the acquitted academics:

Dr. Lecturer Mehmet Penpecioğlu from İzmir Technology Institute, Dr. Ali Rıza Güngen from 19 Mayıs University, Research Associate Gülsevim Evsel and Dr. LEcturer Başak Alpan from METU, Research Associate Aysun Gezen from Ankara University, Prof. Dr. Mihriban Özbaşaran from İstanbul University, Research Associate Damla Karaman from Mimar Sinan University, Prof. Dr. Cem Terzi from Dokuz Eylül University, Dr. Alper Açık from Özyeğin University, Assoc. Prof. Yasemin Özgün from Anadolu University, Assoc. Prof. Eylem Kılıç Oğurlu from 100. Yıl University, Dr. Lecturer Fatma Işık gürleyen from İzmir University of Economics Research Associate Sinem Önem and Uğur Çetin from Hacettepe University, Assoc. Prof. Sevilay Çelenk from Ankara University, Lecturer Abdullah Deveci from Anadolu University.

Two acquittals in İzmir

The Academics for Peace has announced that two academics were acquitted in the hearings held in İzmir.

İzmir 14th Heavy Penal Court also dismissed the case of the only academic it has on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction.

A total of 22 academics have been acquitted in İstanbul, İzmir and Diyarbakır since September 2.

Constitutional Court rules against convictions in Academics for Peace case

The 8-8 decision comes thanks to president of the top court voting in favor of the applicants

The Constitutional Court ruled on 26 July 2019 that the freedom of expression of 10 academics convicted of “disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization” for signing a peace petition in 2016, entitled “We will not be a party to this crime,” has been violated.

The decision, which came as a result of a 8-8 tie that was only broken because President of the Constitutional Court was among those who voted against the convictions, is expected to set precedent for hundreds of similar trials of academics that are still ongoing. Read more............


Academics for Peace - Hearing Statistics as of 23.07.2019


Signatories on Trial

785

First Signatories

738

Second Signatories

47

Statements Taken

406

(Prosecutor's) dictum

276

Rejection of Venue

157

Article 301 - Permission Request

129

Temporarily Suspended

95

Total Sentences

204

Suspended (HAGB)

164

Deferred

4

Convicted

36

Ongoing Trials

581
Source
1,800 academics support colleagues dismissed and punished in Turkey over peace petition

 

Statement of Academic
Sefa Feza Arslan

 

Turkey sends academics to prison for criticism of the bloody war against Kurds

 

Judicial harassment against the members of Academics for Peace

 

Turkish academics still face travel ban despite lifting of state of emergency

 


* This list is not necessarily complete.
** Source