Protesters opposing Turkish PM during ODTÜ event indicted on terror charges
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Clashes had erupted in ODTÜ's campus following police's intervention against the protesting students during the launching ceremony of the Göktürk-2 satellite on Dec. 18, 2012. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZThe Ankara Prosecutor’s office has pressed charges against 11 people involved in the clashes following a protest against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara’s Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) campus at the launching ceremony of the Göktürk-2 satellite on Dec. 18, 2012.
All the 11 people, including members of several leftist student collectives, were indicted on terrorism-related charges.
The indictment said that security forces were aware that groups such as DEV-YOL (The revolutionary left) were planning a demonstration during the ceremony, adding that the group attacked the police “with stones and sticks,” setting up barricades and damaging public buildings.
“It is known that terror organizations are driving university youth to violent acts under the pretense of the innocent seeking of rights such as tuition fees, democratic education, education in mother tongue, etc.” the indictment said, adding that “similar” activities were seen in recent nationwide demonstrations, in reference to the Gezi Park protests across Turkey.
“Similarly to the incident brought up in the indictment, in the demonstrations held during the last [months] across the country, the terror organizations have, by acting together, damaged public property through violence in public statements, marches, open air debates, or protests […] aimed to create a chaotic environment in accordance with ideology, strategy and goals,” the indictment said.
Police used tear gas and water cannon against the protesting students, who were not allowed to approach the ceremony hall.
A total of 26 students were detained while five were injured as a result of the police’s use of tear gas.