Trial of arrested Duke scholar opens In Yerevan
A Turkish scholar who researched Ottoman history in Armenia’s state archives went on trial in Yerevan on Tuesday nearly two months after his controversial arrest on smuggling charges which caused an uproar in U.S. and Turkish academic circles.
Yektan Turkyilmaz, a 33-year-old doctoral student at the U.S. Duke University, is facing between four and eight years in prison for trying take old books out of Armenia without a mandatory government permission.
The opening session of the trial adjourned less than an hour after its beginning at the request of one of Turkyilmaz’s newly hired lawyers who said he needs more time to familiarize himself with the case. The presiding judge at the court of first instance in Yerevan’s Malatia-Sebastia district scheduled the next hearing for Friday. Among those attending the first hearing were local human rights activists and officials from the U.S. embassy in Armenia.
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