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Turkish academic gets suspended sentence for signing peace declaration

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Academic Ceren Sözeri on Thursday was handed down a suspended sentence of one year, three months for signing a declaration in 2016 that demanded a halt to the Turkish army’s operations in predominantly Kurdish cities.

The Evrensel daily reported the verdict for the academic, who is also a columnist for the newspaper. Sözeri teaches at Galatasaray University’s communications faculty in İstanbul.

A total of 1,128 Turkish academics signed the petition in January 2016 after peace talks between the government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) failed following the June 7, 2015 general election in which the government lost its majority in parliament due to the unprecedented support received by a Kurdish party.

The Turkish government launched a military operation into the southeastern part of the country targeting the PKK terrorists, which caused dozens of civilian deaths and destruction of some residential parts of the cities.

On Tuesday, another academic, Nuray Mert, received a similar suspended sentence on the same charges.

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