Emrah Tüncer, İstanbul - Hearing of Boğaziçi University students who are accused of 'terrorist propaganda' due to a protest they organized on campus on 19 March 2018, was held at İstanbul 32. High Criminal Court.
Only 15 people were allowed into the courtroom to watch the hearing, which started at 10:50 AM. Students Agah Suat Atay, Berke Aydoğan, Deniz Yılmaz, Enes Karakaş, İsmail Gürler, Mete Ulutaş, Tevger Uzay Tula, Yusuf Noyan Öztürk, Zülküf İbrahim Erkol, Esen Deniz Üstündağ, Kübra Sağır, Sevde Öztürk, Şükran Yaren Tuncer, Ali İmran Şirin, Denizhan Eren, Emir Eray Karabıyık, Hamza Dinçer, İbrahim Musab Curabaz, Kültigin Demirlioğlu, Mustafa Ada Kök, Onur Eren, İrem Gerkuş, Elif Nur Aybaş, Ozan Yaman, Ayşe İdil Ügüt, Bektaş Deneri, Damla Uyar, Ekim Devrim Çapartaş and Oğuzcan Ünlü were present in the hearing.
'Everyone can criticize the foreign policy of the state'
Hearing started with the defense statements of the defendants. İrem Gerkuş stated that she had a lecture on the north campus and that she saw a crowd in front of a building. She added: “Joining the protest must be considered as a political criticism. I request my acquittal.” Ayşe İdil Ügüt stated that the accusations were shameful in such a period while violence rates are going up rapidly on a worldwide scale, and requested her acquittal. Another student, Bektaş Deneri confirmed that he was on campus during the specified time and that he does not remember which slogans he shouted. He also stated that the slogans of the crowd were legitimate and that criticizing the foreign policy of the state is not a crime.
'I stand for peace'
Defendant Damla Uyar told the court that she did not approve the way the civilians were treated in Afrin and that she had joined many protests before. She requested the lifting of the ban on leaving the country, stating that she was accepted to the Erasmus programme. Ekim Devrim Çapartaş remarked that she stands for peace and requested her acquittal. Another defendant, Oğuzcan Ünlü stated that he has been a student at Boğaziçi University since 2012 where he had joined many peaceful protests which all fall into the ambit of the right to protest.
Lawyers Oya Meriç Eyüboğlu, Oğuzcan Aydın Aygun, Ekin Baltaş, Hüseyin Boğatekin, Metin Sezgin, Sema Özdemir, Yıldız İmrek, Hüseyin Aslan and Fatma Karlıkçıoğlu all requested the lifting of the ban on leaving the country and the return of the seized materials of their defendants.
Court lifted the ban on leaving the country over all defendants
The court made its interim decision after a 10-minute break and lifted the ban on leaving the country over all defendants. It rejected the lawyers' requests regarding the return of the seized materials of the defendants and adjourned the hearing until 19 March 2019.