Sevda Aydın, İzmir - Artı Gerçek writer and poet Fadıl Öztürk was on trial today at İzmir 2. High Criminal Court. Öztürk, who was accused of 'terrorist propaganda' and 'membership in a terrorist organization' was sentenced to 1 year and 5 months. Court deferred the announcement of the verdict for 5 years, which means Öztürk will not serve time unless he is convicted from another criminal proceeding within the specified duration of time.
Öztürk's lawyer Aysun Akşehirlioğlu stated that the final opinion of the prosecutor was not based on legal grounds, and that the indictment was poorly prepared. She also mentioned that the evidence presented against him was composed of his writings and social media posts, which fall within the ambit of free speech cannot be considered as evidence for crime. Fadıl Öztürk took the floor to submit his defense and said: ”I have always been an advocate for peace. I reject all accusations and request my acquittal.”
Öztürk was detained in İzmir on 5 January and was released on probation. He was banned to leave the both İzmir, and the country, however the initial ban was lifted after his mother's death. The judicial control order regarding his ban on leaving the country was also lifted by Court today. Court sentenced Öztürk to 1 year and 5 months in prison and also ruled to reinstate Öztürk's belongings to him, which were seized when he was detained.
After the hearing was over, poet Öztürk said: ”I write poems in the language that was imposed over me through assimilation. Nobody ever thinks of it in this way. This is what really offends me.”