21 February 2019 14:30

Gezi Resistance indictment: Aggravated life sought for Osman Kavala and 15 others

Aggravated life imprisonment is being sought for sixteen people including Osman Kavala under the investigation conducted into the Gezi Park Resistance.

Photograph: Ercan Karakaya/EVRENSEL

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The investigation involving sixteen people, including Osman Kavala who has been in prison for fifteen months and actor Mehmet Ali Alabora, into the Gezi Park events has been completed. Aggravated life imprisonment is sought for the sixteen people in the indictment on the charge of “attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey.” The Gezi resistance was described as an “insurrection” in the indictment. President Erdoğan is among the complainants in the case.

The investigation into the Gezi Park resistance involving sixteen people including such figures as Osman Kavala, Mehmet Ali Alabora, Can Dündar and Mücellla Yapıcı has been completed. Ten charges have been laid against the sixteen.

In the indictment in which aggravated life imprisonment is sought for everyone on the charge of “attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey,” jail terms of various lengths are also sought for some of the suspects on such allegations as “damaging property,” “unauthorized possession of dangerous substances,” “damaging places of worship and graveyards,” “breach of the firearms law,” “aggravated looting” and “aggravated battery.”

GEZI RESISTANCE APPEARS AS AN “INSURRECTION”

The Gezi Park resistance was described in the indictment as an “attempted insurrection.”

It is alleged in the indictment that the suspects commenced directing the Gezi resistance as of 2011. “Acts of securing finance and coordination” for the Gezi resistance have been put at issue in the indictment. The indictment states that the “suspects” were included among the top leadership of these events and are thus held accountable for the acts of “violence” that thereby occurred throughout the country.

APPREHENSION WARRANT ISSUED FOR SIX PEOPLE

An apprehension warrant has been issued for six people, including Can Dündar.

Those named in the apprehension warrant are:

  • Ayşe Pınar Alabora
  • Can Dündar
  • Memet Ali Alabora
  • Gökçe Yılmaz Handan
  • Meltem Arıkan Hanzade
  • Hikmet Germiyanoğlu

ERDOĞAN AND THE CABINET OF THE TIME ARE COMPLAINANTS

Included in the indictment are 746 complainants, including the members of the cabinet at the time and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

APART FROM TWO PEOPLE, NO PRETRIAL DETENTION

It was recalled in the indictment that Yiğit Aksakoğlu and Osman Kavala are currently in detention. The others apart from Kavala and Aksakoğlu will seemingly not be held in detention pending trial. The 657-page indictment has been sent to Istanbul Serious Crime Court No 30. If the indictment is accepted, the suspects will appear before the judges in the coming days.

THE SUSPECTS

The following sixteen are named as “suspects” in the 657-page indictment:

  • Osman Kavala
  • Ali Hakan Altınay
  • Ayşe Mücella Yapıcı
  • Ayşe Pınar Alabora
  • Can Dündar
  • Çiğdem Mater Utku
  • Gökçe Yılmaz
  • Handan Meltem Arıkan
  • Hanzade Hikmet Germiyanoğlu  
  • İnanç Ekmekci  
  • Memet Ali Alabora
  • Mine Özerden
  • Şerafettin Can Atalay
  • Tayfun Kahraman
  • Yiğit Aksakoğlu
  • Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi

CAN ATALAY: GEZİ CANNOT BE BESMIRCHED WITH MINDBOGGLING ALLEGATIONS

Can Atalay, Attorney-at-Law, speaking to Evrensel about this matter, said, noting that there was an exercising of constitutional rights by millions of people during the Gezi resistance, “If the matter comes to whether or not we think about whether the government should resign, demanding a change of government is the most democratic of rights in democracies. Gezi is the hope for the future of this land. It cannot be besmirched with mindboggling allegations.”

MÜCELLA YAPICI: A CONSPIRACY HATCHED TO CRIMINALIZE GEZİ

In an interview she gave Evrensel, Mücella Yapıcı opined that the quest for punishment was “a conspiracy hatched to criminalize Gezi.” Yapıcı commented, “We were tried and acquitted in this matter. The whole world knows that this is an allegation with an eye on the elections having no connection with the law to criminalize Gezi and to intimidate and threaten people. The indictment has not yet come into our hands. Under interrogation, we underwent ten and a half hours of interrogation based on unlawful and procedurally non-compliant wiretaps. Since the indictment is not yet available we cannot say anything, either. It is an operation to criminalize Gezi. It is something that has not yet successfully been comprehended. There was nobody directing and controlling Gezi. It was a popular movement and popular objection.”

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: IT IS ACTUALLY THE AUTHORITIES WHO DENIED FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND POLICE VIOLENCE THAT SHOULD BE ON TRIAL

Amnesty International's Turkey Strategy and Research Manager Andrew Gardner, in a statement he made about news of the indictment in which the sentencing is sought of Osman Kavala and fifteen civil society figures on the charge of “attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey” and which was submitted to the court today, noted that it was actually the authorities who denied fundamental rights and police violence that should be on trial.

Gardner said the following:

“These outlandish allegations are an attempt to rewrite history and to silence some of Turkey’s most prominent civil society figures who now face the prospect of being tried by Turkey’s deeply flawed justice system.

Almost six years after the Gezi Park protests saw tens of thousands of people peacefully protesting against state repression, this indictment - if accepted by the court - could see the accused facing a lifetime behind bars without the possibility of parole.

The Gezi protests were overwhelmingly peaceful with people simply exercising their rights. They were met by arbitrary and abusive force by police. It should be the authorities’ denial of these rights and the police violence against peaceful protestors that should be examined by the courts, not these 16 civil society figures who have not committed any crime.

These charges must be dropped and Osman Kavala, who has been in jail on pretrial detention for almost 16 months, and Yiğit Aksakoğlu, who has been in prison for four months, must be immediately released.”

Translated by Tim Drayton

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