Turkey’s ‘man with machete’ demands acquittal
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet
A public prosecutor has demanded up to 27 years in prison for the “man with a machete” who attacked Gezi Park protesters in Istanbul’s city center in early July. DHA photoAn assailant who was seen attacking protesters with a machete in Talimhane during Gezi Park protests in July has demanded his acquittal, according to reports.
S.Ç., who was dubbed the “man with a machete” for his alleged actions, which injured two people, said he did not intend to harm anyone and asked to be found not guilty.
“A group who was protesting was taking their gas masks off at my shop. I objected to that. I told them that it was the place where I earned my bread and asked them to leave. They directly attacked and started hitting us. I grabbed the chopper from the kitchen, which the craftsman uses to mince meat. I tried to clear them out with the aim of scaring them away. I did not act with an intention of harming anyone. I surrendered myself and also handed in all the things used in the incident to the police,” said S.Ç.
S.Ç. is on trial for “injuring” and “preventing a public officer from performing his duties” and is facing between nine years and nine months and 27 years in prison for his alleged attack.
The suspect was detained by police before a court released him on the grounds that he was not a flight risk. On July 10, however, S.Ç. boarded a flight for Morocco, after which a warrant was issued for his arrest. He subsequently delayed his return to Turkey twice before finally returning Aug. 29, at which point he was arrested. A court, however, again ordered that S.Ç. be released pending trial.