Turkish court sentences lawyers to 146 years in another mass trial

The 10-year-long trial of twenty-two lawyers of the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD)  ended with an unjust and cruel decisions as all lawyers have been sentenced to prison time over trumped-up terrorism accusations including membership in a terrorist organisation and spreading terror propaganda.

Since 2016’s coup attempt, there has been a relentless campaign of arrests which has targeted fellow lawyers across the country. In 77 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, lawyers have been detained, prosecuted and convicted due to alleged terror-linked offences. As of today, more than 1600 lawyers have been arrested and prosecuted while 615 lawyers have been remanded to pretrial detention. So far, 551 lawyers have been sentenced to 3356 years in prison over terrorism-related charges, mostly membership in terrorist organisations.

Turkey’s anti-terrorism legislation consists of two separate laws: the Turkish Penal Code (5237) (“TPC”) and Anti-Terrorism Law (3713). Article 314 of the Turkish Penal Code criminalises the establishment and/or commanding an armed terrorist organisation, and the subsection 2 (Article 314/2) [2]  criminalises the membership to an armed organisation. Under the Turkish Penal Code, these two offences carry the penalty of 7.5 to 22.5 years imprisonment.

Turkish authorities have been abusing anti-terror laws to silence government critics.

The İstanbul 18th Heavy Penal Court sentenced Barkın Timtik, Selçuk Kozağaçlı and Oya Aslan to 19, 16 and a half and 13 years in prison respectively for membership in a terrorist organisation and spreading terror propaganda, and ruled for the continuation of their detention.

In reaction to judgment the Arrested Lawyers Initiative said:


selcuk-kozagacli-statement

 


 

Background of the case

The investigation against the lawyers who are members of the ÇHD/Progressive Lawyers Association was initiated in 2013. 9 lawyers were detained in January 2013. The first hearing of the case was held in December 2013. All nine lawyers were released in December 2013 and March 2014.

After the coup attempt of 2016, during the state of emergency, a second police operation targeted the ÇHD/Progressive Lawyers Association. This operation resulted in a second case about 20 lawyers some of whom were already standing trial in the first case. 18 of 20 defendant lawyers were convicted in 2019. Subsequently, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld decision about 16 of those lawyers, while quashing the part about Barkın Timtik and Selçuk Kozağaçlı and ordered that they should tried in the first case.

Details of the first case: Istanbul Regional Appeal Court upheld 159 years prison term given to 18 lawyers

After ten years the (first) 2013 case ended today on 11 November 2022.


The lawyers received the following sentences:

Barkın Timtik

12 years, Art. 314 Turkish Penal Code (TPC),

6 years for spreading terrorism propaganda,

1 year for contempt against police

Selçuk Kozağaçlı

12 years, Art. 314 TPC,

1 year for spreading terrorism propaganda

Oya Aslan

10,5 years, Art. 314 TPC,

6 years for spreading terrorism propaganda

Özgür Gider

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

Rahim Yılmaz

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

Selda Yılmaz

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

Alper Tunga Saral

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

Güray Dağ

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

Efkan Bolaç

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

Serhan Arıkanoğlu

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

Sevgi Özer Sönmez

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

Gülvin Aydın

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

10 months of suspended for spreading terrorism propaganda

Güçlü Sevimli

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

Mümin Özgür Gider

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

Metin Narin

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

Nazan Betül Vangölü Kozağaçlı

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC,

20 months of suspended sentence for spreading terrorism propaganda

Taylan Tanay

6 years and 3 months, Art. 314 TPC

Şükriye Erden

40 months of suspended sentence for spreading terrorism propaganda

Özgür Yılmaz

1 year of suspended sentence for spreading terrorism propaganda

Naciye Demir

50 months of suspended sentence for spreading terrorism propaganda


 



Categories: Unjust / Wrongful Convictions

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