502 sued for protesting Turkey's education system change

502 sued for protesting Turkey's education system change

502 sued for protesting Turkeys education system change

KESK Chairman Lami Özgen is among the accused protestors. DHA photo

An Ankara prosecutor has filed complaints against 502 people who participated in the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) protests in March of last year.

The complaints concerned almost half of the 1000-protester mass and 23 deputies who attended a demonstration staged against Turkey’s controversial new education system, known as “4+4+4,” in March 2012.

The protesters had attempted to march to Parliament while the law, which will extend mandatory schooling to 12 years divided over three levels, was being negotiated.

When the police didn’t allow the protests, claiming they were unauthorized, scuffles broke out between police and the protesters.

The prosecutor had filed a suit against the protesters, including KESK Chairman Lami Özgen, on charges of “violating the law on meetings and demonstrations, using force and violence against public officers and damaging public and private property.”

The indictment also stressed that an investigation into 19 Republican People’s Party (CHP) and four Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies, who supported protesters, had been opened.