The Gezi trial resulted in a conviction, as expected, after 9 years have passed since the Gezi protests, the defendants have been tried repeatedly under the same headings and the defendants have been found not guilty, and the same defendants were later acquitted in the case opened in the High Criminal Court. The 13th High Criminal Court of Istanbul, number one and sole suspect in the case, Anadolu Kültür Chairman of the Board Osman KavalaHe was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment despite the decision of the European Court of Human Rights and the initiation of the sanction process against Turkey due to the non-execution of this decision by the Council of the Europe. Court, other defendants Mücella Yapıcı, Çiğdem Mater, Hakan Altınay, Özerden Mine, Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman, Yiğit Ali EkmekçiHe was sentenced to 18 years each. Not content with this, he also decided that these names, who had attended all the hearings for years, be arrested on suspicion of escape. The decision made at the end of this process, full of controversial practices from beginning to end, also states that if there is a financier and those who help, all those who participated in Gezi also share this crime.
However, the decision has features that will lead to rights violations in many ways and put Turkey in trouble.
The report of the police and prosecutors on the run
In the Gezi trial, trials had previously taken place in the Criminal Court of First Instance against names other than Kavala, and those trials had resulted in an acquittal. Various investigations opened have also ended in a dismissal and have become final.
During the same period, police and prosecutors belonging to the Fethullah Gülen community, still at large, also prepared a report on Kavala. In this report, the allegations that are the subject of today’s case are listed.
Claims that he had contacted organizations such as Otpor and Canvas, that Turkey had also been chosen as a target by Soros, that Kavala was the executor of this plan and that he had financed the Gezi protests were also included in this report. This report was shelved for years and was filed after the July 15 coup attempt.
Charges ruled “violation of rights”
During Kavala’s arrest, two charges were brought against him. The first is to be Gezi’s financier, as it is written in the report, and the second is to support the July 15 coup attempt.
After this step, the next round of weirdness happened.
The prosecutor’s office, ex officio, requested Kavala’s release on the July 15 charge without any request, and it was decided to release him on this charge. At that time, the Gezi trial was not open.
Immediately afterwards, the Gezi trial was opened against 16 defendants. However, in this case, the court acquitted Kavala and the other defendants. The same day, the evacuation of Kavala is decided.
Kavala was released from prison and taken to the police station, where he was again referred to the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor’s office requested an arrest for the July 15 charge, for which he had previously requested his release.
However, there was a problem. The ECHR had condemned Turkey because of the Kavala case, and there were also the charges of July 15 among the grounds for condemnation. The evidence presented here, including American Henry Barkey signaling his phone from a common base station, has been deemed a rights violation. The prosecution and the court found this formula by attributing different crimes to the same actions. Kavala was charged with espionage and was arrested for this crime. Immediately afterwards, he was released on the charge of undermining the constitutional order, the subject of the decision of the ECHR. Kavala was detained in prison.
After a while, a new complaint was filed against him for espionage. At the same time, the appeals court overturned the acquittal in the Gezi trial. For some reason, he suggested that the Çarşı case, which was pending before the Court of Cassation and which resulted in an acquittal, be attached to the file in case the acquittal decisions were overturned. As expected, the decision in the Çarşı case was reversed and the Kavala case, the Gezi case and the Çarşı case were combined. Kavala was kept in prison despite all objections.
The new case began to be heard by the 13th High Criminal Court. After a while, the court separated the Çarşı case from the case file. Only one case remained. The Gezi trial, including the case in which Kavala was accused of July 15…
No movie, no help
It was revealed that Çiğdem Mater, one of the defendants who allegedly shot the documentary Gezi, during the trials, on Kavala’s instructions, never made this documentary. No clear evidence that Kavala was the financier and interview tapes have not been found. It was understood that the actions attributed to the other defendants were to participate in Gezi. However, developments showed that the case would result in a conviction.
ECHR and Council of Europe
The ECHR, while condemning Turkey in the Kavala case, demanded his release and stressed that the case should end in an acquittal. However, Kavala was constantly kept in prison and the decision of the ECHR was not implemented. However, this was clearly contrary to article 90 of the constitution. The decisions of the ECHR were of the nature of international conventions and according to article 90 of the constitution, Turkey had the obligation to implement these decisions. When the decision was not implemented, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, responsible for monitoring the implementation of the decisions of the ECHR, intervened. The Committee launched the process of sanctions against Turkey, which it had warned on several occasions. This process is still ongoing. Turkey is set to become the first council member to be convicted for this reason.
The “conviction” allegation in the lobby
For a long time, it was said behind the scenes that lawyers close to the government had assessed that failure to implement the decision would yield no results, and that if the case was concluded quickly and Kavala was convicted, the case would be No Exit. MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has also openly called for the case to be closed quickly. The trial after the acquittal was therefore quickly concluded. Confirming the behind-the-scenes allegations, a conviction was issued for Kavala. Other Gezi suspects were added alongside him. However, being found guilty or finalizing this sentence will not stop the sentencing process. Because the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee of Ministers demanded that this case, which violated rights, be eliminated with all its consequences.
The “espionage” holding back Kavala
One of the most striking rulings was Kavala’s acquittal for espionage, which kept him in prison despite his previous acquittal. However, this accusation served its purpose and kept Kavala in prison until today.
During the decision hearing of the Gezi trial, the lawyers revealed that one of the judges of the delegation was a candidate for deputy before the AKP, that the beginning of the telephone tapping in the file dates from three days after the beginning of the Gezi protests, and that claims of being a funder or organizing organization could not be proven, and any alleged connection could not be proven. But they also knew that was how the case would end. Arrest warrants were issued against the defendants who attended all the hearings. And suspected of having escaped.
All this shows that Turkey will find itself alone with new problems due to inexplicable stubbornness and due to all the illegal acts.
Osman Kavala: aggravated life imprisonment for attempting to overthrow the government, acquittal on espionage charge and release from espionage charge.
Aggravated life imprisonment is the heaviest sentence, replacing the death penalty.
CLICK | Verdict of the Gezi trial: aggravated life sentence for Kavala; 18 years in prison and arrest for Mücella Yapıcı, Tayfun Kahraman, Çiğdem Mater, Hakan Altınay, Mine Özerden, Can Atalay, Yiğit Ali Emekçi!
CLICK | The judge in the Gezi/Osman Kavala case, Murat Bircan, has become a candidate for the AKP deputy!