Turkish court rules 3 academics committed terror propaganda

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s official news agency says a court has ruled that three academics who signed a peace petition committed terror propaganda but deferred a final verdict for five years.

Anadolu news agency said the Istanbul court on Friday originally sentenced the three to 15-month prison terms but revised the sentences to five years of probation because of the defendants’ good behavior and lack of prior records.

They are part of a group of 1,128 academics who signed a declaration in January 2016 denouncing security operations against Kurdish militants in southeastern Turkey. Many of the academics lost their jobs.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the signatories of supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. Trials of some 150 academics started in December, and the verdicts handed down Friday were the first.

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