Police officer fired his gun despite warnings before Uğur Kurt’s death
Flowers are laid at the place where Ugur Kurt was shot dead in Okmeydani cemevi, an Alevi place of worship, in Istanbul. REUTERS Photo / Murad SezerPolice camera footage, which has recently been added to the investigation file on the shooting of a civilian at a cemevi in Istanbul last month, shows that the policeman fired his gun despite warnings from his colleagues.
Uğur Kurt was hit by a stray bullet on May 23 while attending a funeral at a cemevi, an Alevi place of worship, when police opened fire on a group of demonstrators staging a protest in the Okmeydanı neighborhood.
The prosecutor who was conducting the investigation into the killing at the time argued that the officer who fired the gun was acting “in self-defense.” According to a July 3 report by daily Milliyet, the new footage contradicts the “self-defense” argument stated by the prosecutor.
In the video, a police vehicle is seen being hit by a Molotov cocktail. A policeman is then seen firing his gun toward a group of protesters in the other direction and not in the direction from the where the Molotov cocktail came. The policeman is also seen ignoring warnings from plainclothes officers around him, who were shouting “Don’t fire, don’t fire, wait!”
Prosecutor Hasan Yılmaz, who heard the testimonies of 11 police officers, is yet to interrogate the policeman in the video.
The moment when Uğur Kurt was shot was captured by security cameras at the Omeydanı Cemevi: