Trial regarding death of Gezi protester Mehmet Ayvalıtaş adjourned to May

Trial regarding death of Gezi protester Mehmet Ayvalıtaş adjourned to May

ISTANBUL – Radikal
Trial regarding death of Gezi protester Mehmet Ayvalıtaş adjourned to May

Muharrem Ayvalıtaş, brother of Gezi protester, is seen in tears during a press conference. DHA photo

The second hearing regarding the death of Gezi Park protester Mehmet Ayvalıtaş was held on Feb. 5 and the court has suspended the case until May 21 for a further investigation for evidence.

The court has ended the hearing despite the demands from Ayvalıtaş’s lawyers. Tension rose when the people who came to observe the trial protested the court’s decision. The court board left the room while some people threw plastic bottles at them.

Hundreds of people came to the Kartal courthouse on Istanbul’s Anatolian side to support Ayvalıtaş’s family as security forces intervened against the group waiting outside of the building. Ayvalıtaş’s 50 lawyers and family members were ready at the court while many people could not get in the court room, which was not big enough to receive all the people. Ayvalıştaş’s grandmother fainted while there was a stampede at the entrance of the court room.

The court also dismissed the lawyer’s demand, asking the judges to stop the police intervention to the group outside of the building.

“Justice is for those who have dollars. No justice is coming for us,” Ayvalıtaş’s father said.

People in the room held photos of Ayvalıtaş and his mother, Fadime Ayvalıtaş, who died of a heart attack on Dec. 13, 2013.

“We lost the mother Fadime. We saw that injustice could kill a human,” one of the lawyers said.

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, after a car drove into protesting crowds, according to witnesses.

Seyit Kartal, a plaintiff, who was also injured in the accident, said the car was driven directly into the crowd. He said he turned around to look at the crowd, but was hit in the back and only saw Ayvalıtaş in blood after he managed to stand up.

Driver Mehmet Görkem Demirbaş, a university student, and taxi driver Cengiz Aktaş, whose crash allegedly caused the accident, face up to 15 years in prison each. Demirbaş and Aktaş are being tried without arrest, despite requests from the Ayvalıtaş family’s lawyers.

Ayvalıtaş was among the six protesters who died during the summer’s anti-government protests, following Abdullah Cömert (22), Ali İsmail Korkmaz (19), Ethem Sarısülük (26), Mehmet Ayvalıtaş (20), Medeni Yıldırım (18) and Ahmet Atakan (22).