Jail term converted into punitive fine for police who shot Gezi protester
A police officer was sentenced to two years and one month in jail on March 21 for shooting and killing Ethem Sarısülük during the 2013 Gezi Park protests. The sentence was later converted into a punitive fine.
Police officer Ahmet Şahbaz had previously been sentenced to one year and four months in jail by the Aksaray First Heavy Penal Court for killing Sarısülük, which was also converted into a punitive fine. However, the judgment was later reversed by the Court of Cassation.
During the hearing, Şahbaz’s lawyer said his motive was self-defense and asked for his acquittal. Şahbaz also said he had not targeted anyone in particular and added that his purpose was self-defense.
The court in Aksaray sentenced Şahbaz to two years and one month in jail. However, he later reduced the sentence to a fine of 15,200 Turkish Liras ($3,863).
The decision sparked anger among Sarısülük’s family and lawyer.
Şahbaz shot Sarısülük as police were moving in on protesters in Ankara’s central Kızılay Square at the beginning of June 2013. Sarısülük died after being hospitalized for more than two weeks, becoming the third protester to be killed during the Gezi Park protests after Mehmet Ayvalıtaş and Abdullah Cömert.