Three Gezi Park protesters to be paid 26,000 TL by the Turkish state

Three Gezi Park protesters to be paid 26,000 TL by the Turkish state

Three Gezi Park protesters to be paid 26,000 TL by the Turkish state

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the case of two citizens convicted of staging an unpermitted demonstration during the Gezi Park protests in 2013 should be retried.

Ali Orak, a teacher and a member of the trade union Eğitim-Sen, and İrfan Gül, a local representative of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed, should be paid 3,000 Turkish Lira each because the right to assembly and demonstrate was violated, stated the Constitutional Court verdict published in the Official Gazette on July 4.

Orak and Gül had been handed sentences of one year and six months jail by the court in the Elbistan district of the southern province of Kahramanmaraş.

The Constitutional Court stated that the demonstration was peaceful and the local court did not assess whether or not public order had been disturbed.

Ruling on the case of another application of a Gezi Park protester, the Court came to the conclusion that the state should pay 20,000 liras to Özge Özürengin.

She had claimed that the police violated the right to assembly and the prohibition of treatment incompatible with human dignity by beating the protesters using batons on June 3, 2013.

“It is improper to say that the police response, which caused diffuse ecchymoses on the applicant’s body while she was escaping, was balanced,” the Constitutional Court ruled.

The Court also ordered the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Aegean province of İzmir to open a maltreatment investigation.

On the other hand, the Court rejected the applications of Yonca Verdioğlu Şık, the wife of the recently elected MP and prominent journalist Ahmet Şık, and Mehmet Mutlu.

Şık was wounded around the Taksim Square on June 15, 2013 and Mutlu was wounded in Güvenpark in Ankara. The Constitutional Court ruled that the police response in these incidents was “reasonable and balanced.”

The Gezi protests erupted on May 27, 2013, when a small group of young protesters refused to leave Gezi Park in Taksim in order to prevent the cutting down of trees for a large development project planned by the government.

Following the government’s harsh response, protests spread to the whole country on May 31, 2013. During the protests, 11 people were killed by the police, including eight youngsters, as more than 8,000 others were injured, dozens of them critically.