Turkish teacher jailed after call for peace set to win appeal - report

A Turkish teacher who was jailed after pleading for peace on a popular Turkish is set for release after winning her appeal, Independent Türkçe journalist Ali Dağlar reported on Thursday.

Ayşe Çelik endured a years-long legal ordeal after calling in to the Beyaz Show at the height of Turkish security forces’ conflict with Kurdish insurgents in 2016 to call for an end to violence that had left cities in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast under 24-hour curfews and resulted in dozens of civilian casualties.

“What is happening here is misrepresented on television. I cannot really say more, please don’t stay silent. Please show more sensitivity as human beings”, Çelik said during the phone call. “Don’t let people die. Don’t let children die. Don’t let mothers cry”.

Çelik was sentenced to 15 months in prison for “propagandising for a terrorist organisation” in December 2017 and entered prison with her six-month-old baby months later, but was later freed after her lawyers applied for a delay in sentencing.

She was returned to prison to serve her sentence in April, but her lawyer has received word that her appeal on the grounds of a rights violation has been accepted by the Constitutional Court, Dağlar said.

The verbal assurance Çelik’s lawyer, Mahsuni Karaman, received from a court official indicated the teacher will be released from prison and receive compensation.

Conflict resumed in the southeast of Turkey after peace talks between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) broke down in 2015. The PKK, which Turkey has placed on its list of terrorist organisations, began an armed struggle for Kurdish self-rule in 1984.