19-year-old Gezi victim commemorated on second anniversary in Central Anatolia
ESKİŞEHİR – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoAli İsmail Korkmaz, one of the victims of the Gezi Park protests, was commemorated on the second anniversary of the beating that led to his death in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir on June 2.
Korkmaz, a 19-year-old student who died 38 days after being fatally beaten by a group of officers and civilians during the nationwide anti-government Gezi protests in 2013 in Eskişehir, was commemorated in front of the bakery where he was beaten.
Korkmaz’s father, Şahap Korkmaz, and brother, Gürkan Korkmaz, who was also the family’s lawyer in the case, attended the commemoration together with more than 200 people.
The group observed a minute’s silence for Korkmaz, laid a photo and carnations in front of the bakery and chanted slogans “We are all Ali, we do not end by being killed,” and the “Murderous state will account for its actions.”
“It has been two years that we have been without Ali. There was violence on this street that day. A human was slayed. Where are the people here? Where were the people when that violence was committed?” asked Korkmaz’s father during a speech at the commemoration.
Korkmaz’s brother thanked the people of Eskişehir, who had protected Korkmaz’s legacy after his brutal death.
“You [the people of Eskişehir] have shown that Ali İsmail has not died. You have shown that he has been resurrected as thousands and millions of Ali İsmails,” Gürkan Korkmaz said.
On Jan. 21, Mevlüt Saldoğan, the main convict in the killing of Korkmaz, was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in prison by the Kayseri 3rd High Criminal Court on charges of injuring and causing the death of Korkmaz. He could be granted probation as early as March 2019 as he has already been under arrest for more than 18 months. The public prosecutor in the case has appealed the sentence given to Saldoğan, claiming that he should have been sentenced to life in prison on charges of first-degree murder.
Yalçın Akbulut, a fellow police officer, was also sentenced to 10 years in prison, with a two-year reduction in his sentence for good behavior. He could also be released in six years and two months.
Saldoğan and Akbulut appealed their verdicts on Jan. 23.
Civilians İsmail Koyuncu, Ramazan Koyuncu and Muhammet Vatansever were all sentenced to six years and eight months on charges of assault. Another suspect, Ebubekir Harlar, was released on the basis of various reductions, although he was still sentenced to three years and four months in jail.
Two other police officers, Şaban Gökpınar and Hüseyin Engin, were acquitted.
Saldoğan and other officers are also alleged to have beaten another protester, Tevfik Caner Ertay, with iron rods not long after administering the fatal blows to Korkmaz, before bundling the university student into the trunk for rendition to the police station.