Killed Gezi protester’s photos from base construction, not from terror camp: Family

Killed Gezi protester’s photos from base construction, not from terror camp: Family

ANKARA - Hürriyet
Killed Gezi protester’s photos from base construction, not from terror camp: Family

Hürriyet Photo

The family of Ethem Sarısülük, who died after being shot during Gezi Park protests in Ankara, has explained that the photos showing Sarısülük holding a gun were taken at a military base construction in Hakkari, not at a terrorist camp as has been claimed.

After the photos were revealed, a number of online media outlets made headlines by asking whether Sarısülük was a member of a terrorist group, triggering controversy.

Sarısülük’s family has reacted strongly to the claims, saying the photos were taken at a military base construction last year in Hakkari, where Sarısülük had worked. They said he was holding a gun taken from a soldier only for a souvenir photo.

“The photos, which were shown as if they were taken in a terror camp, were taken [when Sarısülük] was working at the Tekeli Command Post construction in Hakkari last year. [There was a] G-3 in his hands, and he had a souvenir photo taken after receiving the gun from a soldier providing security,” said Sarısülük’s brother Cem Sarısülük.

He said there was a deliberate effort underway to portray his brother as a terrorist, adding that it was obvious that the place where the photos were taken was a military position when we looked.

Ethem Sarısülük, the deceased 26-year-old worker, died from his wounds on June 14 after being shot in the head during a protest in Ankara on June 1.

In Istanbul, a group of people marched to the building of daily Takvim and Sabah in Istanbul’s central Beşiktaş neighborhood on June 26 and 27 as a protest against Takvim’s news on attempting to portray Sarısülük as a terrorist.

The group performed a protest where they “saw no evil, heard no evil, spoke no evil” before the building of the media group, after a decision had been reached at the forum in the Abbasağa Park to protest against Takvim and Sabah. Both of the daily newspapers belong to the Çalık Group, who also own the mainstream TV channel ATV.

The Abbasağa Park became one of the random meeting points for the Gezi Park protestors to discuss their wills and needs, after police had intervened and cleared out the Gezi Park on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call on June 15.

Meanwhile, the 23 people detained in the second round of raids in Ankara on the allegations of being a member of a terrorist organization have also been charged with “attempted murder and wounding,” daily Radikal reported on its website. This is the second time the detainees are being charged with this crime in Ankara during the protests, whereas the first round of detainees had been released due to lack of evidence.

The detainees’ lawyers asked the public prosecutor as to why their clients were charged with such a crime when no public official had died in Ankara during the protests. The prosecutor leading the interrogation answered by saying that the accusations were being held because of the lynch attempt toward the police officers where Ethem Sarısülük was shot.

Upon the lawyers’ question of whether the suspected police officer who shot Ethem Sarısülük was considered to be a plaintiff, the prosecutor answered by saying “maybe”.

Sarısülük’s lawyers filed in a petition of exception upon the release of the policeman, who shot Sarısülük, stating that releasing the suspect had caused “a perception that an attempt for impunity was aimed.” The lawyers said a campaign against the eyewitnesses of the shooting had been launched, in which one of the eyewitnesses was arrested last week, the other one was threatened on the phone and an arrest warrant was issued for another one of them. “Take your hands off of our witnesses,” said one of the lawyers.