Files of 8 more students are merged with the original case, bringing the total number of students standing trial for staging an anti-war protest to 30

The second hearing of a trial where 22 students from Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University stand accused of “terrorism propaganda” for taking part in an anti-war demonstration on the campus, was held on 3 October at the Istanbul Courthouse.

The students are indicted for staging a protest against another group of Boğaziçi students distributing Turkish delights (lokums) on campus to mark Turkey’s military operation on the Syrian town of Afrin.

At the end of the first hearing in June, the 32nd High Criminal Court of Istanbul had ruled to release all 14 students who had been jailed pending trial for 2.5 months as part of the case, imposing judicial control measures on each student, and an international travel ban.

The files of eight more Boğaziçi students, also charged with “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization,” have been merged with the original case file post the first hearing, therefore bringing the number of students standing trial in the case to 30.

During the 3 October hearing, monitored by P24, as well as People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP Hüda Kaya, eight students whose files were recently merged with the case — İrem Gerkuş, Elif Nur Aybaş, Ozan Yaman, Ayşe İdil Uğut, Bektaş Deneri, Damla Uyar, Ekim Devrim Çapartaş and Oğuzcan Ünlü — gave their defense statements, in which they rejected the accusations and requested to be acquitted.

The lawyers representing the students also addressed the court, calling for the lifting of the judicial control measures imposed on the students and requesting that they be acquitted.

In its interim ruling at the end of the hearing, the court ruled to grant all defendants the right to exemption from attending the hearings and lifted their international travel ban. The court set 19 March 2019 as the date for the next hearing.