Renowned Turkish academic and political scientist Prof. Dr. Sedat Laçiner, who was arrested in the wake of a failed military coup on July 15, 2016, was sentenced on Tuesday to nine years, four months and 15 days in prison by a court in Çanakkale after his conviction of membership in the faith-based Gülen movement, the state-run TRThaber reported.
During the hearing at the Çanakkale 2nd High Criminal Court, Laçiner denied all charges and demanded his acquittal.
Laçiner, the former rector of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, was detained on July 20, 2016, five days after the failed coup, and arrested by a court on July 23, 2016 over alleged ties to the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared a terrorist organization following the abortive putsch.
The movement denies all accusations of masterminding the coup attempt.
“I respond to what is said about me, and I don’t run from either prosecution or debate. But the accusations must be a bit rational and fair. I got used to the lynching, but at least the accusations should make sense. Have a heart! I am also a human being,” Laçiner said in a letter published by veteran journalist Hasan Cemal on Turkish online news outlet T24, in March 2018.
Laçiner studied at Ankara University and the University of Sheffield, where he was awarded an M.A. with distinction in international politics, and King’s College London, where he earned his Ph.D. Since 2001, he had been teaching international relations and international security at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University and the National Police Academy Security Studies Institute in Ankara. Professor Laçiner was appointed rector of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University in 2011, becoming the youngest rector in Turkey
Laçiner was editor of the Journal of Administrative Studies and Review of International Law and Politics as well as a regular contributor to TRT and other Turkish television and radio broadcasts. He is also chairman of the Journal of Turkish Weekly, a regular columnist for the Star newspaper and general coordinator of Ankara-based think tank the International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO).
He was in addition appointed as adviser to the president of the Higher Education Board (YÖK).
Laçiner is the author/co-author or editor of numerous books and articles, including “Iraq Global War and Turkey,” “The Iraq Crisis,” “Turks and Armenians,” “The World and Turkey,” “European Union with Turkey, Turkey’s Membership’s Impact on the EU,” “The Armenian Diaspora” and “Britain from a Different Perspective.”