Poet Ahmet Telli given ‘terror propaganda’ sentence for reciting poem – BIANET

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The third hearing of poet Ahmet Telli’s third trial was held today at the Ankara 26th Heavy Penal Court, where he faced charges based on a speech he delivered at a press conference in 2017 and a poem he recited from his book « Let Those Who Fight Speak » (Dövüşen Anlatsın).

The trial was attended by more than 50 human rights defenders from Turkey and abroad, as well as representatives from the Science Art Literature Association and the Ankara branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD), MLSA reported.

During the trial, the prosecutor presented their opinion, claiming that the mentioned speech and poem constituted « terrorist propaganda » and requested a prison sentence of up to 8 years for Telli.

In his defense against the prosecutor’s opinion, Telli stated that he had participated in the press conference as an intellectual, saying, « My intention was to recite poetry. Now, a poem from my book ‘Let the Fighters Speak,’ which has reached its 26th edition, is being accused of ‘terrorist propaganda.’ As an intellectual, I have previously engaged in social issues; it is my duty. »

Denying the charges, Telli requested his acquittal. Lawyer Umut Vedat Acar reminded the court that in the separate trials opened against the 75 individuals who participated in the 2017 statement, no one had been convicted.

Acar said, « The courts have seen that the investigation files have turned into indictments, and the indictments have turned into opinions, yet there is no evidence of any crime. No court has punished this statement as ‘terrorist propaganda.' » Acar requested an acquittal verdict.

After deliberation, the court pronounced its verdict, stating that Telli had committed the crime of « terrorist propaganda » and sentenced him to 10 months in prison. The court decided to defer the announcement the sentence. (EMK/VK)

For the original version of this article in BIANET on the 4th of July 2023 click HERE

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