February 1, 2018
Professor İştar Gözaydın was acquitted on January 31 of “membership in a terrorist organization [FETÖ/PDY]” charges in the final hearing of her trial at the 27th High Criminal Court of Istanbul.
Gözaydın, a prominent scholar specializing on state and religion studies, had spent three months in pretrial detention from December 2016 to March 2017, when she was released pending trial.
During the hearing, followed in the courtroom by P24, the court rejected the prosecutor’s request to convict Gözaydın for “aiding a terrorist organization knowingly and willingly without being its member,” ruling for her acquittal.
During her defense statement, Gözaydın rejected that her appearance on a television program aired on Can Erzincan TV, a private TV broadcaster shuttered by an emergency decree over alleged links with the Fethullah Gülen movement, could be considered as criminal. “I attended the program as an academic and jurist. I never had any affinity with any organization during my entire life,” she said. Gözaydın, who was suspended from her position as the head of the Sociology Department at the shuttered Gediz University, asked to be acquitted. “I want this nightmare to come to an end,” she said.