“It is not a crime to ask for free education”
Protest against the 8 and a half years prison sentence handed out to students Berna Yılmaz and Ferhat Tüzer
A group of students staged a demonstration in Taksim square of Istanbul to protest against the 8 and a half years prison sentence given to university students Berna Yılmaz and Ferhat Tüzer who opened “Free Education” banner during a meeting which was attended by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in March of 2010.
The protest in Taksim area was also joined by defendant Berna Yılmaz who this time opened a banner saying “It is not a crime to ask for free education”. In a statement during the demonstration, Yılmaz underlined that; “We will continue to give a struggle in all areas in the face of the fact that you have to pay a price when you demand a right in this country.”
Yılmaz remarked that everybody should display sensibility for this struggle and added that; “You could be sentenced to imprisonment for demanding free education, while a police officer could be released after killing someone, and this is what they call justice. As the fairness of courts has lost legitimacy now, people are thinking over ways to ensure justice themselves. There is a remarkable longing for justice in this country.”
Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court has recently sentenced students Berna Yılmaz and Ferhat Tüzer to six years and three months in prison for alleged ‘membership of an illegal organization’ and to two years and two months for allegedly ‘making propaganda for an illegal organization’.
Tüzer and Yılmaz had already remained under arrest for 19 months, and they are set to serve for another four and a half years behind bars if the Supreme Court of Appeals ratifies the verdict.