Opposition offers bill on ‘machete’ incidents

Opposition offers bill on ‘machete’ incidents

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The controversy over an attack against Gezi Park protesters by a man with a machete in his hand has prompted main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) deputy Emine Ülker Tarhan to submit a bill proposing an amendment to the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

“People who acted by fueling fear and panic in society and attacked with sharp objects, such as sticks, guns, machetes or shields, protesters using their democratic rights to expression, assembly, rally and objection during Gezi Park protests, provoked a reaction,” Tarhan said on the bill that she submitted to the Office of the Parliament Speaker today.

“It is obvious that these attacks, which have been hurting the societal peace and are aimed at inhibiting the freedom of expression, assembly, rally and demonstration of individuals, have such profoundness that they cannot be compared with other crimes, some of which are dependent upon complaints such as attempting to injure, threatening and carrying a weapon and on which sanctions are imposed in special laws or in the Turkish Penal Code [TCK],” she said.

The man at the center of the recent controversy, a local business-owner named S.Ç., was recorded by a camera kicking a woman in the back while holding a machete, during a police intervention on Gezi protesters around on July 6. S.Ç. was sent to an Istanbul court on charges that he “intended to injure and resisted commissioned officers.” He was later released pending trial by the court.

“Those who inhibit with unlawful behavior the use of the rights to expression, assembly and communication; and freedom of press and of association identified in universal rules of law, in the Constitution, in the European Convention on Human Rights and in the European Court of Human Rights’ court practices, shall be punished with imprisonment from two to five years,” the bill says.