Ms. Füsun Üstel is a well-known professor in the field of political science. She used to be a faculty member of the Department of Political Science at Galatasaray University, a reputable institution, in which she also served as the Chair. Apart from her academic studies, she has a long history in civil society organizations, including the Citizens Assembly and History Foundation.
She was forced to retire from her position at the university after signing the Academics for Peace petition (see further down), published January 11, 2016. She was charged and convicted for “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” by the İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court. In April 2018, Ms. Füsun Üstel was sentenced to one year and and three months imprisonment.
Early May, a few weeks later, Ms. Füsun Üstel’s lawyers appealed to the court of deferment of the verdict, but her appeal was denied. A complaint in her case is now pending at the Constitutional Court.
On February 25, 2019 the 3rd Panel Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice has upheld the prison sentence of one year and three months previously given her. Thus, the prison sentence given to Ms. Üstel on April 4, 2019 has become definite and she submitted herself to Eskişehir Women’s Closed Prison on May 8, 2019.
On July 22, 2019 she was released by the suspension of the execution.
On 26 July 2019, the Constitutional Court found that the right to freedom of expression was violated in the charging of ten academics, including Füsun Üstel, for signing a peace petition. Following this ruling, due to Üstel’s lawyers application to the İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court, she has been acquitted of the charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” on 18 October 2019.