ISTANBUL (PanArmenian)—The prison sentence of Turkish-Armenian linguist and writer Sevan Nisanian, who was jailed on charges of illegal construction, has been increased to 11 years and 8 months, Agos reports.
Nisanian, imprisoned at the Aydın Yenipazar Prison at the moment, was sentenced in a different case to a total of 5 years 2 months 15 days imprisonment and given an additional fine of 12.600 TL by the Selçuk 2. Criminal Court of First Instance for opposing the Code of Protection of Cultural and Natural Properties (KTVKK). With the addition of this sentence, Nisanian’s total prison sentence now stands at 11 years 8 months. Nisanian’s lawyer Murat Akçı has stated that they will appeal these rulings as well.
In March, the sentence passed for the same charge was reversed by the Supreme Court of Appeals, however, following a reassessment of the four files by the local court, Nisanian was found guilty of “intentionally causing damage to immovable cultural assets under protection”. Akçı explained that they did not even know the number of cases filed against Nisanian on such charges, because regional protection decisions that form the basis of such charges are taken without being served to the person in question. Therefore, the person who is sentenced does not even know which of his or her acts was deemed to be within the scope of crime.
Akçı appealed to the Constitutional Court (AYM) for a sentence Nisanian received for the same charges. Akçı explains that the AYM had previously quashed a similar ruling, but that a legal vacuum that remains because of the failure to amend the law leads the Supreme Court of Appeals to approve the same rulings. According to Akçı, if the Constitutional Court does not produce the expected ruling, Nisanian might remain in prison for years. There is not a single other case in which a person is held in a closed prison for the crime Nisanian is charged with. Akçı believes that this situation represents the ‘success’ of those who want to silence Sevan Nisanian.