Prosecutors charge 35 for leftist protester’s killing, demand long prison sentences
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Hasan Ferit Gedik was shot dead Sept. 30, 2013, after a number of people were raked with bullets while marching against the presence of drug dealers in the Anatolian-side neighborhood of Gülsuyu. DHA PhotoSome 35 people have been charged by prosecutors for the murder of a leftist protester in Istanbul’s Gülsuyu neighborhood last September in a case that drew vast public attention after the victim, Hasan Ferit Gedik, was referenced by Gezi protesters as another symbol of violence against demonstrators.
Gedik was shot dead Sept. 30, 2013, after a number of people were raked with bullets while marching against the presence of drug dealers in the Anatolian-side neighborhood.
Prosecutors have demanded between 11 and 269 years in prison for the suspects on charges of “intentional homicide,” “deliberate wounding,” “pillaging” and “founding a criminal organization.”
The indictment also contains a phone recording showing one of the leaders of the gang, Zafer Turan, saying: “God may bless us with auspicious murders. We should not kill cops, because police are men of the state. But it is not at all important if we kill a revolutionary.”
Of the indicted culprits, 20 are suspected of murdering Gedik, while the others are accused of aiding the perpetrators.
According to the testimony of a key witness, Serdar Aydemir, three people attacked them armed with guns while he was speaking with Gedik during the protests against drug trafficking gangs. “We started running when we heard a gunshot. Gedik fell down, I then heard another 20-30 shots. I only learned that Gedik was dead through social media,” Aydemir said.
Prosecutors also argued that the gang accused of being responsible for Gedik’s murder had a clear hierarchical structure and were committing murders and robberies to ensure the drug trade continued in the neighborhood.
Gedik’s murder was the culmination in a series of violent incidents that occurred in the neighborhood due to the ongoing conflict between drug dealers in the area and leftist groups, including the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP), the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) and the People’s Front.
The leftist groups have been attempting to oust drug dealers from the neighborhood, claiming the police are doing too little to crack down on crime rings in the area.
Following Gedik’s murder, the Istanbul Police Department moved to build a police station in the neighborhood, triggering further protests.
The neighborhood located on a hill in the Asian-side district of Maltepe was also publically known as an area where security forces were unable to enter.