Poet Fadıl Öztürk was sentenced to 1 year 5 months in prison

2 October 2018
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Sevda Aydın, İzmir - Artı Gerçek writer and poet Fadıl Öztürk was given a suspended sentence of 1 year and 5 months imprisonment on terrorism charges at İzmir 2. High Criminal Court today. Öztürk will not serve prison time unless he is convicted on new criminal charges within five years.

Öztürk's lawyer Aysun Akşehirlioğlu criticized the prosecutor’s final opinion for lacking a legal basis and being poorly prepared. She went on to note that the evidence presented against Öztürk is entirely composed of his writing and social media posts. Akşehirlioğlu argued that such material is covered by freedom of expression rights and cannot be legitimately relied upon. Öztürk concluded his defense by arguing that “I have always been an advocate for peace. I reject all accusations and request my acquittal.”

Öztürk was detained in early January but was released on probation. While he was initially subject to a ban on overseas travel, this was temporarily lifted after the death of his mother. The court permanently lifted the ban today. The court also ruled that any belongings of Öztürk which were seized upon his detention must be returned.

Upon the conclusion of the hearing, Öztürk connected his new sentence to writing. “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.”

 

Updated: December 3 2018