Gezi trial begins for 255 suspects
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
The case regards the claims that protesters drank alcohol in the Dolmabahçe Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan Mosque in Beşiktaş. Photo by Selçuk Şamiloğlu.A major case regarding the Gezi incidents, in which some 255 suspects are being tried, has begun with an Istanbul court holding the first hearing on May 6.
Some 255 protesters, including seven foreigners, have been charged with a range of offenses including violating laws on demonstrations, “damaging public property,” “taking part in illegal demonstrations,” “causing interruptions in public services,” “damaging a place of worship,” and “protecting criminals.” The indictment seeks between one to 11 years and six months of jail terms for the suspects.
Istanbul’s 55th Penal Court of First Instance is set to continue the hearings on every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in May as some 32 suspects began submitting their defense against the accusations in the first hearing.
The case regards the claims that protesters drank alcohol in the Dolmabahçe Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan Mosque in Beşiktaş, where the injured protesters were being treated.
The indictment prepared by the Istanbul Public Prosecutors’ Office stated that a trashed empty beer can, an empty cigarette box and cigarette butts were found in a police search conducted at the mosque. It remains unclear what one of the suspects, E.Ö., was drinking on that day, the statement also said, after officials examined the low quality footage taken by security cameras in the mosque.
The indictment also includes charges over the treatment center prepared in Taksim’s Ramada Hotel, accusing suspects of illegally taking on public services and openly using the authority and uniforms of medicine in a way misguiding to people while they did not have the necessary qualifications.