Arrest warrant issued for Turkish actor Alabora over Gezi Park protests

Arrest warrant issued for Turkish actor Alabora over Gezi Park protests

Toygun Atilla - ISTANBUL
Arrest warrant issued for Turkish actor Alabora over Gezi Park protests

A Turkish court has ruled for the arrest of actor Mehmet Ali Alabora, who is accused by prosecutors of plotting to overthrow the government during the Gezi Park protests in 2013.

The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office demanded the 8th Penal Court of Peace to issue an arrest warrant for Alabora. The demand included Alabora’s meetings with Serbian national Ivan Marovich in Egypt in July 2012 as evidence.

Marovic had formed the OTPOR (Resistance) movement with Serbian students in 1998 as a mass movement against then-president Slobodan Milosevic.

The Turkish prosecutors claimed that Alabora met Marovich to spread popular revolts in Georgia and the Arab world to Turkey in a bid to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government.

The arrest warrant, which was approved on Dec. 5 by the court, further alleged that jailed rights activist Osman Kavala was also abroad during Alabora’s meeting with Marovich in Egypt.

Theater play cited as evidence

Soon after both figures returned to Turkey, Alabora started to stage a theater play called “Mi Minör,” which prosecutors saw as an effort to “encourage a revolution against an anonymous head of state.”

After citing videos shot by Alabora in 2011 in which the phrase “Revolt Istanbul” could be heard, the prosecutor claimed that the Gezi Park protests were planned two years before they finally erupted.

“It is clear from the facts and the whole criminal final that the actions known as the Gezi Park protests were planned and systematically put into practice under the leadership of Osman Kavala through the Open Society Foundation and the Anadolu Culture company. Their ultimate goal was to channel the violent acts to marginal groups and terror organizations, which would spread them to the whole country to create chaos and disorder to render the government dysfunctional,” the arrest warrant said.

Mehmet Ali Alabora, Gezi Park, arrest warrant