Complaint filed against woman who claimed attack by Gezi protesters
The footage broadcast by Kanal D Feb 13 shows no attack in the area as the alleged victim passed through at the time and place of the alleged incident.A complaint was filed Feb. 17 against a woman who claimed to have been beaten by protesters for wearing a headscarf at the height of the Gezi protests, after footage emerged last week showing no sign of a physical attack.
Lawyer Faruk Emre Akı filed a complaint “on behalf of the Gezi protesters” against the victim, identified as Z.D., and three journalists who attested to her story.
Akı justified his petition on the grounds that the episode was used by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in an attempt to criticize the protesters. “The prime minister said ‘they harassed and beat my headscarved sister’ about Gezi protesters, based on Z.D.’s claims. But it has been revealed that the [accusations] against the protesters were slander,” Akı said in the petition.
Akı accused Z.D. and three journalists – İsmet Berkan from daily Hürriyet, Balçiçek İlter from daily Türkiye and Rasim Ozan Kütahyalı from daily Sabah – of “libel” and “incitement to hatred.”
He said the claims fed the “hatred” felt by some against the protesters, which triggered physical attacks against them. These attacks “included the beating of Ali İsmail Korkmaz in Eskişehir,” Akı added, referring to a young student who died after succumbing to his wounds after spending one month in a coma.
The footage revealed by private broadcaster Kanal D late Feb. 13 caused a wide outcry as the claims were widely reported in the media, although images of the alleged incident, which was said to have taken place on June 1, 2013 near Istanbul’s Kabataş docks, did not surface for months.
Z.D. claimed that she was subjected to physical violence by a group of 80 to 100 protesters as she was waiting for her husband. Reports said one person slapped Z.D., causing her to fall on the ground, while others among the putative mob insulted her for wearing a headscarf.
She had also claimed she smelt urine when she came home, but did not remember what happened after fainting due to her alleged, violent fall to the ground.
However, the recently revealed footage contradicted Z.D.’s previous accounts, showing no attack in the area as she passed through at the time and place of the alleged incident.