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Osman Kavala , 15 Rights Defenders Facing Life Sentence Over Gezi Park Protests

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The indictment for 16 rights defenders including Osman Kavala and Yiğit Aksakoğlu has been prepared. It alleges that the 16 people are the “head executives” that organized the Gezi Park protests.

The bill of indictment has been prepared for the case of the Gezi Park protests. The Prosecutor’s Office requested life imprisonment for 16 people, including Osman Kavala who has been arrested for 477 days and Yiğit Aksakoğlu, who was arrested on November 16, 2018.

The other persons who are charged with “attempting to overthrow the government” are Ali Hakan Altınay, Ayşe Mücella Yapıcı, Ayşe Pınar Alabora, Can Dündar, Çiğdem Mater Utku, Gökçe Yılmaz, Handan Meltem Arıkan, Hanzade Hikmet Germiyanoğlu, İnanç Ekmekçi, Memet Ali Alabora, Mine Özerden, Şerafettin Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman and Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi.

İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s office has made the announcement in a briefing to journalists. The 657-page indictment requested life imprisonment for all defendants. The indictment asserts that the defendants have prepared for the Gezi Park protests since 2011 and the 16 people are the “top management.”

Indictment announced one day before ECtHR deadline

İlkan Koyucu, an attorney for Osman Kavala, previously said, “the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) gave time to state of the Republic of Turkey until January 10, 2019 for its answer to our allegations.”

Turkey did not reply on January 10 but requested extra time. The extra time would be up on February 21. Turkey announced the indictment of Gezi Park one day before the deadline.

Allegations

The following allegations were made against the defendants:

Attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey or preventing the government from doing its duty (Turkish Penal Code 312/2),

Damage to property, qualified form of damage to property,

Holding or handing over dangerous material,

Damaging sanctuaries and cemeteries,

Violation of the Law No. 6136 on Firearms and Knives

Qualified looting (Turkish Penal Code Article 149),

Qualified injury (Turkish Penal code Article 86),

Violation of the Law No. 2836 Law on the Conservation of Cultural and Natural Property.

The Prosecutor’s Office asserted that the defendants have prepared for the Gezi Park protests, which it defines as an “insurrection,” since 2011 and the 16 people constitute the “top management.”

The indictment accuses the 16 people of “being the indirect perpetrators of the attempt to overthrow the government (Turkish Penal Code 312/2) through violence” because of “their acts regarding the organization and financing of the insurrection attempt which was staged in 2013.”

Arrest warrants for six people

The Prosecutor’s Office said that arrest warrants were issued for Ayşe Pınar Alabora, Can Dündar, Memet Ali Alabora, Gökçe Yılmaz Handan, Meltem Arıkan Hanzade, Hikmet Germiyanoğlu. Osman Kavala and Yiğit Aksakoğlu are currently under arrest, it noted.

President Erdoğan among complainants

746 people are the complainants of the case, including President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the cabinet members of the time.

13 detained, Aksakoğlu arrested

In raids conducted on November 16, 2018, Prof. Dr. Betül Tanbay, Prof. Dr. Turgut Turhanlı, Anadolu Kültür’s Deputy Board Chair Yiğit Ekmekçi, Board Member Ali Hakan Altınay, General Coordinator Asena Günal, film producers Çiğdem Mater and Meltem Aslan, civil society employees Yiğit Aksakoğlu, Filiz Telek, Bora Sarı, Yusuf Cıvır, Ayşegül Güzel, Hande Özhabeş were detained.

Hande Özhabeş, Prof. Dr. Turgut Tarhanlı, Asena Günal ile Bora Sarı and Meltem Aslan were released at night after testimonies. Prof. Dr. Betül Tanbay, Yiğit Ekmekçi, Hakan Altınay, Yusuf Cıvır, Ayşegül Güzel and Çiğdem Mater were released on November 17.

Yiğit Aksakoğlu, who was doing civil society studies at the Bilgi University, was arrested.

Anadolu Kültür Board Chair Osman Kavala has been arrested without an indictment since November 1, 2017.

Five people were summoned to depose

For the Gezi Park investigation, İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office summoned Architects Chamber İstanbul Büyükkent Branch executive and Taksim Solidarity member Mücella Yapıcı, lawyer Can Atalay, urban planner Tayfun Kahraman, Socialist Reestablishment Party (SYKP) Party Assembly Member Ahmet Saymadi and Haluk Ağabeyoğlu to depose. Those gave testimonies between November 28 and 30, 2018.

Attorneys were not able to reach information on the case file because of the confidentiality order.

Source: BİANET http://bianet.org/english/law/205683-osman-kavala-15-rights-defenders-facing-life-sentence-over-gezi-park-protests

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