Students charged with 255 years of jail in Turkey
Hürriyet photoSeven suspects arrested on terrorism-related charges for involvement in demonstrations against Turkey’s 1980 coup, other acts of protest and possession of certain books are set to appear before an Ankara court on May 29.
Five of the suspects are university students. “I have been under arrest for six months. I will lose my right to graduate unless [the court] decides to release me during the trial,” said suspect Sedat Yıldırım, a senior business student at Bolu Abant İzzet Baysal University in northwestern Turkey.
The evidence against the suspects Umut Halit Nuray, Hüseyin Arlıer, Reyhan Alkıvılcım, Emrah Irmak, Meltem Tuna, Sedat Yıldırım and Barış Onay includes their participation in a protest in Ankara in 2011 calling for the engineers of Turkey’s Sept. 12, 1980 coup to be brought to trial, as well as their involvement in demonstrations on May 1 and Nevruz celebrations, reported daily Cumhuriyet.
The suspects are also accused of carrying the photographs of prominent deceased Turkish leftists Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan and Hüseyin İnan, as well as Che Guevera and movie director Yılmaz Güney.
Books seized by the police during searches conducted in the suspects’ homes were also presented as evidence before the court, including “Kızıldere’ye Varan Yol” (The Road Leading to Kızıldere) by Mihri Belli and “Civil Disobedience” by Jürgen Habermas.
The prosecution has requested between 7.5 to 15 years behind bars for the suspects on the charge of “membership in a terrorist organization,”.