Istanbul prosecutors demand jail time for chanting slogans
ISTANBULAn Istanbul criminal court has sought jail time for a group of May Day protesters who were detained during clashes with the police for the slogans they chanted.
The three slogans, which according to the indictment would “legitimatize terrorist organizations’ methods that include force, violence or threat,” included one that commemorated Berkin Elvan, the 15-year-old who was fatally hit by a tear gas canister during last year’s Gezi protests and died after 10 months in a coma.
The prosecutors’ indictment accused the 11 suspects of being members of a terrorist organization and offending the code on rallies and demonstrations, asking for jail time between nine years to 26 years.
The prosecutors said the suspects, accompanied by other unidentified people, chanted slogans saying
“Berkin Elvan is immortal,” and two others that praised the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), and one of the DHKP/C’s members who died in a suicide attack in 2012, killing a policeman in Istanbul.
A separate indictment submitted to another Istanbul court ruled water goggles and whistles, along with slingshots and breadknives, as offensive tools.
Protesters in Turkey widely use water goggles and masks to avoid tear gas used by the police. The same prosecutors demanded aggravated punishment for the suspects, claiming “they utilized the frightening power of criminal organizations.”