Court cancels hearing into the killing of leftist protester by drug dealers for second time
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Hasan Ferit Gedik was shot during a protest against drug dealers in Istanbul’s Gülsüyu neighborhood on Sept. 29, 2013. DHA PhotoThe hearing into the killing of Hasan Ferit Gedik, a leftist protester shot during a protest against drug dealers last year in Istanbul’s Gülsüyu neighborhood, has been canceled for a second time after the Court argued that the courtroom was not adequate enough to proceed with the trial.
The first hearing, which was due to be held earlier this month, had also been postponed for “poor security reasons” after brawls erupted at the courthouse.
Gedik’s case is particularly sensitive, as prosecutors have demanded jail terms between 11 and 269 years for the 35 suspects who have been accused of homicide.
The court has also lifted a decision to hold a closed hearing, postponing the trial until Sept. 15.
A crowd gathered outside Gedik’s home in support of the family and to denounce the activities of drug dealers in the distressed neighborhood of Gülsuyu. The mother of Berkin Elvan, a teenager who died after spending more than nine months in a coma after being hit in the head by a police tear gas canister during last year’s Gezi protests, was also present at the trial.
Gedik’s mother, Nuray Gedik, said angrily that the suspect drug gang members had tried to express their condolences in the courtroom. “I asked them to tell us how they murdered my son,” she said, while also criticizing police officers for manhandling them after the cancelation of the hearing.
Her lawyer, Günay Dağ, said they were treated as "terrorists" by the suspects. “They wanted us to be taken out of the courtroom. The judges only watched what happened,” said Dağ.
Gedik’s murder was one in a series of violent incidents that occurred in the neighborhood due to the ongoing conflict between drug dealers and leftist groups. Since his death, Gedik has been symbolized by protesters as a Gezi victim.
The neighborhood of Gülsuyu-Gülensu, located on a hill in Istanbul’s Anatolian side, are among the hot spots where the local municipality seeks to carry out urban transformation projects, which will completely transform the area.
Just like in the Okmeydanı neighborhood on the European side of the city, where another large urban transformation project has been launched, Gülsuyu is also known for its significant Alevi community.