ISTANBUL – A Turkish court has acquitted a British scholar who had been accused of "making propaganda for a terrorist organization."
Chris Stephenson, a computer science lecturer at Bilgi University, was deported from Turkey in March after being found with invitations for Kurdish New Year celebrations. He was later allowed to return to the country, where he has family.
Stephenson was among 1,000 scholars who signed a declaration denouncing military operations against Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey. The declaration had angered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and led to legal proceedings against some.
Stephenson declared during his trial: "Wanting peace is not a crime."
He also called for the release and acquittal of two journalists and another academic who were arrested this week after showing solidarity with a pro-Kurdish publication.