Father of Gezi protest victim beaten outside of court

Father of Gezi protest victim beaten outside of court

ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Father of Gezi protest victim beaten outside of court

AA Photo

The father of Gezi protester Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, who died in 2013, was beaten by security forces near an Istanbul courthouse during a scuffle ahead of the sixth hearing into his son’s death on March 25.

The tension was high outside the courthouse before the trial, as police used water cannons against a group of people who came to support Ayvalıtaş’ family. Private security guards in the court house physically prevented the family members from entering the courthouse before the trial on the grounds that the trial had not yet started.  Ali Ayvalıtaş, the father of Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, said he was beaten during the scuffle.

“I was battered and beaten. I underwent heart surgery. You took my son away from me and beat me. I am in poor health right now,” said Ali Ayvalıtaş, demanding abatement. Ali Ayvalıtaş was eventually taken to the hospital in a wheelchair after the head of the court demanded an ambulance for him.

The Ayvalıtaş family’s lawyers, Arzu Becerik and Sevgi Eren, demanded an order from the court against the use of tear gas outside the courthouse.

The hearing was abated, as the court ruled the authenticity of a CD, which had been entered into the case as evidence and contained video footage of a car running into a crowd, including Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, should be determined by experts.

On June 3, 2013, a car drove into a crowd during a road block protest in the Ümraniye district of Istanbul, killing Ayvalıtaş.

Two people have been accused of “reckless homicide and injury” in the death of the Gezi protester.
The 20-year-old was the first victim of the Gezi protests which engulfed the country in the summer of 2013.