Four Turkish Academics Charged With 'Terrorist Propaganda' Freed; What We Know So Far [VIDEO]


The four Turkish academics accused of spreading terrorist propagande were released by a court this week. They were among more than a thousand scholars who were against the military operations of Kurdish rebels. The group of scholars signed a declaration which denounced the country's military operations earlier this year with which angered Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In addition to the accusation of engaging in terrorist propaganda, the four allegedly incited "hatred and enmity" for signing the declaration.

The four scholars Esra Mungan, Meral Camcı, Kivanç Ersoy and Muzaffer Kaya were imprisoned in March when they were holding a news conference. They were placed in a high-security prison in Istanbul and were originally sentenced for seven and a half years, The Guardian reports.

The Turkish court that granted the request of the academics to be released agreed. The charges against the four will be changed to be tried on the grounds of the Turkish penal code where it is illegal to insult the governing body, state, parliament, security forces and people.

According to Reuters, there have been hundreds of people that have been killed in the clash with Kurdish rebels. This includes civilians, militants and security forces. The conflict which escalated last year in July is the worst that Turkey has experienced in the last couple of decades.

BBC shares that Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been criticized internationally for censoring free speech. The courthouse where the four academics were tried in was surrounded by protesters and supporters. They also supported two journalists accused of espionage and having a hand in Syrian arms-smuggling. Can Dundar and Erdem Gul of the daily Cumhuryiet could face life in prison if found guilty.

What do you think of Turkey's freedom of speech? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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