Academics for Peace trial heard

The hearing for the Academics for Peace continued today. The court issued sentences for 2 academics, and journalists were removed from the hall.

Hearings for the cases filed against the Academics for Peace, who signed a manifesto against AKP’s attacks in Kurdistan titled “We won’t be party to this crime”, continue. 5 different courts will be hearing the cases and there are 17 academics on trial today. The first hearing for Hanifi Baris, who has been under arrest since July 4, will also be held today.


Before the hearings, the academics held a press statement in front of the Caglayan Court House. The statement was read by Research Fellow Asli Odman.

“It has become normal that the indictments of the politicized judiciary include not evidence but opinions, and that long times on remand turn into extrajudicial execution itself,” said Odman and continued: “Today we will be witnesses in our friend Hanifi Baris’s defense and witnesses to his release. Today, a total of 17 academics for peace will be on trial in 5 separate courts. We see in this lived history court houses become institutions to implement power through shortcuts, and not institutions that limit ultimate power through long struggles for rights. Human rights lawyers are arrested again within 24 hours of their release. In these early days of the academic year, 70.000 students are in prisons, having been deprived of their right to education. Hundreds of Airport workers have been detained for demanding their workers’ rights protected by law. Labor peace is enforced through the gendarmerie, the security forces and punishments, construction peace is enforced through concrete and asphalt, silencing all who defend life and suspending rights. That is why we must continue to say peace will speak now. So the most basic means of survival who keep us all alive, our rights, our freedoms, our hope for a together, just and equal life, and our nature are not taken away from us. Peace will speak now, the academy is in Caglayan!”


The first hearing in the Istanbul High Penal Court No.28 was for Dr. Gaye Yilmaz. Lawyer Inayet Aksu wasn’t able to attend the hearing. Chief Judge Ozarslan didn’t accept the reason Aksu gave for the absence, and Yilmaz demanded the trial be postponed as she didn’t have a lawyer. The court rejected the demand to postpone, and Yilmaz said she can’t submit a defense without her lawyer.

While the hearing was on break for the verdict, Chief Judge Ersin Ozarslan claimed journalists opened computers inside the hall without permission and removed all journalists, ordering the officers to not let them back in after the break.


Yilmaz, whose lawyer wasn’t present and who didn’t submit a defense, was issued a 15 month sentence. The court deferred the announcement of the verdict.

Asst. Prof. Bulent Kucuk’s hearing was also today. Kucuk was sentenced to 15 months in prison, and the court deferred the announcement of the verdict.