First rulings in academics for peace declaration trial

In the first ruling hearing on the academics being prosecuted for signing the “We will not be party to this crime” declaration, prison terms of one year and three months were handed down.

23 Şubat 2018 Cuma, 13:38
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Ten academics undergoing prosecution appeared before the judges at Istanbul Serious Crime Court No 32. The first hearing to be held was that of Ayda Rona and Aylin Altıbay Cingöz of Istanbul University. The prosecutor read his recommendations on the merits at the hearing at which Cingöz was in attendance. In the recommendation, however much the declaration had been made available for signing on the internet, the aim was portrayed as being “spreading the organisation’s thoughts.” It was stated in the recommendation that words like massacre and occupation had been especially selected.

The prosecutor also criticised that state being addressed on its own in the declaration. In the recommendation, the prosecutor sought Cingöz’s sentencing on the count of “making organisational propaganda.” Lawyer Arın Gül Yeniaras made a defence against the recommendation. Yeniaras asked for her client to be acquitted.

The court subsequently took a recess in the hearing. The court bench imposed the sentence of one year on the count of “making organisational propaganda,” increased this by one-half to one year and six months as this was committed via the press or broadcasting, and reduced the sentence to one year and three months taking account of the defendant’s good behaviour at the hearing. The court decided to defer the sentence.


Retired Prof. Dr. İzzettin Önder of Istanbul University was in attendance in the courtroom. The prosecutor repeated his recommendation on the merits he had submitted at the previous hearing. Önder, asked for his comments prior to the judgment, said, asking to be acquitted, “Citizens’ bond of attachment to the state can weaken on account of such events. I signed this text as a public servant with public conscience.” The court handed down a one year three month jail term on the same grounds and deferred the sentence.


 Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel of Galatasaray University was in attendance in the courtroom. The prosecutor repeated his recommendation. Lawyer Fikret İlkiz applied for additional time for the defence. The court granted the application for extra time. The next hearing is on 4 April at 09.30 hours.