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Crimes of Conscience in Turkey

Crimes of Conscience in Turkey:
Two Lawsuits Against Sibel Özbudun for Facebook Sharings

Academic, anthropologist, writer Sibel Özbudun; Turkey is charged, in two separate cases for items she shared in her facebook page.

The first of the charges claims that Ms. Ozbudun is “openly inciting people to illegal and criminal action by sharing a picture depicting a person with covered face with something like a molotov cocktail in his hand, with a background depicting a protest. Ms. Ozbudun has added a comment saying ‘let the regulation be yours; ours is the revolt!’. She also has shared a poem by Can Yucel (a famous turkish poet), saying ‘I want the country be divided – benchmen, sycophants and nits to one side, honorable, good, laborious, patriotic people to the other,’ adding the comment ‘I want this country be divided’. Since the person in question is a retired academic having many students, and since masked people do now and then cause damage to the police, to public buildings and to cars using molotovs, stones and sticks in the country; the act of the suspect is prone to cause immediate danger, and should be punished according to the article 214/1 and 53/1 of the Turkish penal code.” (The article 214/1 of Turkish penal code implies from 6 months to 5 years of imprisonment for those who openly incite people to criminal action; and 53/1 implies from preventiom from public offices and deprivation of public rights.)

The second lawsuit charges Ms. Ozbudun to “make propaganda of the armed terrorist organization, PKK/KCK” in the photos she shared on her facebook page and demands that she be punished according to the article 7/2 of the Law on Terrorism (which bans helping members of a terrorist organization and its propaganda) and 53/1 of TPC.

The first hearing of the first trial will be held on February 12th, 2016, at 9.00 A.M. at the 35th criminal court of first instance in Ankara, whereas the first hearing of the second trial will be held on April 20th, 2016 at 9.00 A.M. at 2nd high criminal court of Ankara.


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