Prosecutor dismisses charges against May Day protester hit by police gas canister
İsmail SAYMAZ ISTANBUL / RADİKAL
After the incident on May Day, Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu memorably said Alp was a member of a 'marginal' organization. DHA photoA prosecutor has dismissed the charges against five protesters, including 17-year-old student Dilan Alp, who was struck in the head by a police tear gas canister during last year’s May Day demonstrations in Istanbul.
After the incident, Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu memorably said Alp was a member of a “marginal” organization, accusing her of throwing Molotov cocktails at the security forces and pointing to footage showing her carrying a bottle.
Prosecutor Abdullah Yurtsever said there was no proof that Alp was a member of an illegal organization and she had not been carrying the incriminating object to use as a weapon, but rather as a bottle of vinegar to protect herself against the effects of tear gas used by police. The prosecutor added that she was holding a piece of fabric not to hide her face but to avoid breathing in the gas.
Yurtsever also stressed that the May Day demonstrations are legal and no permission was needed to assemble for them, adding that police did not seize anything illegal from the group that included the five protesters. In addition he said they did not resist the police, but rather had limited space to escape in the demonstration, which was very crowded.
There was therefore insufficient evidence to open a case against them, Yurtsever said.
Meanwhile, another eight people, who were detained at the same spot where Alp was wounded, were acquitted from charges of violating the demonstration law and resisting a public official due to lack of evidence.
Alp was struck in the head by a tear gas canister after being chased with her friends by the police in the narrow alleys near Istanbul’s central Taksim Square. The incident was captured on video footage, in which Alp was seen lying unconscious in front of an apartment where she was trying to take refuge after being hit, as tear gas continued to rise from the canister in front of her face.