LOCAL > French student sentenced to five years in prison in Turkey

ESKİŞEHİR – Doğan News Agency

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French-Turkish student Sevil Sevimli. DHA photo

French-Turkish student Sevil Sevimli. DHA photo

Sevil Sevimli, a young French student of Turkish origin who was participating in an exchange program at Anadolu University in Eskişehir, was convicted to over five years in prison today for “making terrorist propaganda" by the Bursa regional court.

Prosecutors accused the 21-year-old student, who was sentenced to a total of five years, two months and 15 days in jail, of being a “member of an armed organization” and “spreading propaganda.” 
Sevimli wants ‘to return to France’
The young student’s lawyer, İnayet Aksu, told reporters that they would appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court, adding that they were hoping reforms included in the so-called “fourth judicial package” submitted by Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin to Parliament might produce another outcome during her appeal.   

Aksu said Sevimli had not been to court because of her mother’s illness. “I called Sevil and transmitted her the sentence. She told me that she wants to return to France as soon as possible,” said Aksu. 

The court also ordered the lifting of Sevimli’s travel ban after the payment of 10,000 liras in bail.

The French consul general to Istanbul, Hervé Magro, reiterated after the ruling their confidence in Turkey’s justice system. “The lifting of Sevil’s travel ban is good news. But we will evaluate the sentence together with her family,” he said. 

Charges in the indictment against her included participation in May Day demonstrations, unfurling a banner on which “We want free education” was written and watching a concert by Grup Yorum, a left-wing band. 

“I am leftist [and] socialist. There’s nothing to refuse. I defend democracy and equality. You may call us ‘terrorist’ just because we went to that concert of Grup Yorum, but you know very well who the real terrorists are: Those who exploit the people,” Sevimli told reporters after a hearing on Jan. 16. 

Sevimli graduated from University Lumière Lyon 2’s communications studies faculty and has been accepted to a master program in the same department. 

Meanwhile, Seren Özçelik was also sentenced to four years and nine months in prison on the same charges as Sevimli in the same case. Burcu Akın, Ceren Cevahir, Kezban Yıldırım and Mustafa Erdal Harman were acquitted on all charges. 


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Notice on comments

London PoliticalEconomist

3/9/2013 9:49:31 AM

Absolutely shameful for Turkey. Speak the truth to power, and they imprison you for it.

Nageyec Conduz

2/17/2013 5:36:09 PM

Keep away from the strangers. Be safe

Nageyec Conduz

2/17/2013 5:34:20 PM

Similar comments would have been said about Mr Sanli, if he would have been detained before he committed his suicide bombing at US embassy in Ankara on February 1. The truth is, if you go in bed with the terrorist, you are definitely a growing up terrorist.

Stefanos Kalogirou

2/17/2013 9:16:04 AM

The most interesting thing about this article are the comments! unbelievable mentality! prison-lovers! an abyss between the comments of those who favour the court's decision and justice and democracy. There's no chance for Turkey...

tomas rehnberg

2/17/2013 1:11:01 AM

Please, Ozgur and some other. Wake up! It is highly important that Turkeys system of justice take a big step forward to more human standards. Never heard about freedom of expression and freedom of speech? It is a students right to critizise the education system, to go to any kind of conserts, even to distribute brochures opposing the political system in the country. Being active member of an terrorist group is criminal, but court has to prove guilt and present it. Time to clean up in the jails!

Vargen Vargen

2/16/2013 1:04:25 PM

Falk Bernard. You say that we should put her in prison because in the FUTURE she will become a terrorist? So you think that courts should be able put people in prison because of crimes they will commit in the future even if there are no concrete evidence that there are any plans to commit a crime? What would you say if you were put in prison on the basis that "In five years we believe that you might steel a car or kill a person"?

Roger Harding

2/16/2013 12:23:55 PM

Typical Turkey. 2 steps forward. And then always one step backwards. Nobody goes to jail for 5 years for attending a concert. In modern nation. However, radical it may be. Highly exaggerated justice. When will Turkey learn to tolerate descent?

mr who

2/16/2013 11:53:36 AM

Poor girl l will volunteer to keep her company in jail .

Optimist 23

2/16/2013 11:47:41 AM

A shame, in whatever she has participated, five years are inhumain. TK Justice at it's best.

Ozgur Erhan

2/16/2013 11:17:50 AM

The DHKP=C? The same folks who recently staged the suicide attack on the US Embassy in Ankara? Depends what she was doing with them, but that is BAD company.
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