THE SECOND DAY OF GEZİ TRIAL: Arrested Rights Defenders Kavala and Aksakoğlu Greeted with Applause in Court Hall

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  • June 25, 2019
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What happened?

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 was arrested without an indictment November 1, 2017 and March 4, 2019. An 657-page bill of indictment was completed on February 20 and sent to 30th Heavy Penal Court.

The indictment charges all the 16 defendants with “attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey or preventing it from performing its duties” upon the Turkish Penal Code Article 312/2.

The other charges are, damage to property, qualified form of damage to property, Holding or handing over dangerous material, damaging places of worship and cemeteries, violation of the Law No. 6136 on Firearms and Knives Qualified looting (Turkish Penal Code Article 149), qualified bodily injury (Turkish Penal code Article 86), violation of the Law No. 2836 on the Conservation of Cultural and Natural Property.

The 16 defendants are alleged to be the “head executives” of the Gezi Park protests are Osman Kavala, Yiğit Aksakoğlu, Ali Hakan Altınay, Mücella Yapıcı, Ayşe Pınar Alabora, Can Dündar, Çiğdem Mater, Gökçe Yılmaz, Handan Meltem Arıkan, Hanzade Hikmet Germiyanoğlu, İnanç Ekmekçi, Mehmet Ali Alabora, Mine Özerden, Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman, and Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi. The bill of indictment was accepted by the court on March 4. The first hearing will be held on June 24.

While Osman Kavala’s application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has not been concluded, Yiğit Aksakoğlu’s attorneys appealed to the Constitutional Court.