Police intervene against protest in Istanbul denouncing trial of Gezi victim
The crowd gathered after a court suspended the second hearing into the death of Mehmet Ayvalıtaş for a further investigation of evidence earlier Feb 5. AA photoPolice used tear gas and water cannons against a group of protesters gathered in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district on Feb. 5 to denounce the hearing into the death of the first victim of last year’s Gezi protests.
The crowd gathered after a court suspended the second hearing into the death of Mehmet Ayvalıtaş for a further investigation of evidence, despite demands from lawyers representing the victim’s family.
Ayvalıtaş, 20, was the first confirmed death in the protests that engulfed Turkey over the summer. He died on June 2 in Istanbul’s 1 Mayıs neighborhood in the Ümraniye district, after a car drove into protesting crowds running from the police, according to witnesses.
Police launched an intervention to prevent the group from marching to the local headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Meanwhile, daily Radikal has claimed that files containing key evidence in the case, including expert and forensic reports, have been lost. The prosecutors only possessed witnesses’ testimonies, the daily reported.
Mehmet Görkem Demirbaş, a university student, and taxi driver Cengiz Aktaş, whose crash allegedly caused the accident, each face up to 15 years in prison. Both are being tried without arrest, despite requests from the Ayvalıtaş family’s lawyers.