First hearing after notice in the Gezi case – DW – 20.03.2022

After the prosecutor’s office presented its opinion on the merits of the Gezi trial, the first hearing is being held at the Istanbul Çağlayan courthouse on Monday. In the notice submitted to the court on March 4, the prosecution requested that businessman Osman Kavala and architect Mücella Yapıcı be sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment.

The first lawsuit against the Gezi Park protests, which started in Istanbul Taksim and spread across the country, was filed in 2014. After the defendants were acquitted in 2015, a second trial was launched in 2019. In this case, which ended a year later, the defendants, tried for “attempt to overthrow the government by force and violence”, “damage to property”, “intentional injuries” and “aggravated injuries”, have were again acquitted on the grounds that there was no concrete and conclusive evidence regarding the charges. However, on the objection of the prosecutor’s office, it was decided to reconsider the case.

Osman KavalaPhoto: Kerem Uzel/dpa/picture alliance

Speaking to DW Turkish, lawyers in the Gezi trial said the overturning of the acquittal was another attempt to criminalize the Gezi Park protests. On the other hand, the case in which the businessman Osman Kavala, imprisoned for five years in February 2021, was tried for “attempt to overthrow the constitutional order” and “political and military espionage” has been confused with the Gezi trial, which began to be heard again on objection. Among the crimes charged against 16 defendants in the 657-page Gezi Park indictment are crimes such as “attempt to overthrow the government”, “destruction of property”, “aggravated looting”, “violation of the law on firearms, knives and tools”. The defendants must be sentenced from 606 years to 2 thousand 970 years.

The prosecutor requested an “aggravated life sentence”

In July last year, a new development took place within the framework of the trial. The trial in which 35 defendants, including the Beşiktaş Çarşı partisan group, were tried due to the Gezi protests, was tried combined with the main Gezi Park trial. After this merger decision, the last hearing of the case was held on February 21. During this hearing, where Osman Kavala, detained in Silivri prison since November 1, 2017, was decided to continue, it was decided to separate the Çarşı case from the Gezi Park trial. Finally, on March 4, the prosecution issued its opinion on the merits. In the notice, it was requested that Osman Kavala and Mücella Yapıcı be sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment for “attempting to overthrow the government using force and violence”.

Lawyer Can Atalay
Can AtalayPhoto: DW/B. Iron

The prosecution demanded that the other defendants in the case, Çiğdem Mater, Hakan Altınay, Mine Özerden, Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman and Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi, be sentenced to 15 to 20 years in prison for “helping in the attempt to overthrow of the government using force and violence”. In the notice, it was also requested that the file of defendants Pınar Alabora, Henry Barkey, Can Dündar, Gökçe Yılmaz, Meltem Arıkan, Hanzade Hikmet Germiyanoğlu, Memet Ali Alabora, Yiğit Aksakoğlu and İnanç Ekmekçi be separated and that the execution arrest warrants awaited. The next hearing will take place tomorrow at the 13th High Criminal Court in Istanbul.

“Opinion is the most dangerous of all that have ever been created”

In Taksim Solidarity’s press release before the hearing, “If there is anyone who needs to be prosecuted and prosecuted regarding the Gezi process, it is they who have caused death and injury without mercy and without rules “The historical reality of the Gezi resistance cannot be changed by the force of your courts, whose impartiality has already become questionable. This is irrational and illegal. The case must be withdrawn immediately, the allegations against our friends who are to be tried on fictitious charges must be dropped, and Osman Kavala, who is still being held as a political prisoner without any concrete evidence, must be released immediately.

Lawyer Can Atalay, who stood trial in the Gezi trial, said of the prosecutor’s opinion: “They need a court ruling to prove what President Erdogan is trying to say. as a Gezi for nine years as the thesis of history and to prevent democratic objections from citizens. Over the past nine years, Turkey has “Even under these conditions, the judiciary has not taken a decision in this sense. Such a decision could not be made. Now it looks like that is being achieved,” he said.

Architect Mücella Yapıcı
mucella makerPhoto: DW/A. standing

Speaking to DW Turkish, architect Mücella Yapıcı said: “My duty, both professionally and intellectually, is to prevent illegal interventions in the city.” The point reached is a new version of the scenarios which have been produced so far and called the indictment. . This new version turned out to be the most dangerous of all those created so far,” he said.

Burcu Karakas

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