ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
A man who attacked Gezi Park protesters with a machete in his hand has reportedly fled to the Morrocan city of Casablanca. DHA photo
The man who attacked Gezi Park protesters with a machete in his hand fled to the Moroccan city of Casablanca on July 10, days after the court released him on the grounds that there were no suspicions that he would try to escape.
The man, identified as local business-owner S.Ç., fled to Casablanca on a Turkish Airlines flight that left Istanbul at 4:30 p.m., after being released pending trial by the court. He bought a return ticket for Aug. 10, according to media reports. It has been reported that S.Ç. is married to a Moroccan woman.
An official arrest warrant was issued for S.Ç. on July 11, after a prosecutor objected to his release by an Istanbul court. No travel ban had yet been issued when he left the country.
Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Hüseyin Çelik said he too felt like the man should not have been released, but slammed media reports that claimed his party tampered with evidence to direct the case.
“The machete man should not have been released, I agree with that. It is one thing to say the hotel owner did such a thing, but to say that the evidence has been tampered with is a different story,” Çelik said.
Çelik added that the “mood” of the man was also significant regarding the event, since he was severely frustrated with the Gezi protesters, who Çelik claimed made business owners suffer financially by staging daily protests.
“You make it look like there are units walking around the streets, like people were unleashed to attack Gezi protesters. It is immoral to reflect the situation as if counter-units have been formed against people. To project such an image is equally wrong as the act itself,” Çelik added.