Twitter detainees in Gezi protests asked 3 years jail term, PM Erdoğan sole victim of trial
İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
Prosecutors demand up to three years in prison for 29 people, on charges of inciting riots via Twitter during the Gezi protests last June. DHA photoProsecutors have demanded up to three years in prison for 29 people detained during the Gezi protests in İzmir, on charges of inciting riots via Twitter. The indictment, filed on Feb. 20, identified Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the sole victim in the case.
In the indictment, tweets from the detainees informing followers about places where first-aid medical assistance was provided during the police crackdown were counted as evidence of crime.
Prosecutors noted that many buildings and vehicles, including 33 banks, 17 ATM machines, 75 shops, 10 public buildings and eight party headquarters were damaged during the demonstrations in June. The indictment, however, did not contain proof of the participation of the suspects in this damaging, according to Doğan News Agency.
The detention of a total of 34 people for tweeting about the demonstrations in İzmir had triggered an outcry at a time when the protests sparked by the police crackdown on Istanbul’s Gezi Park spread across Turkey. Tweets stating sentences such as “Medical assistance is provided at Atatürk High School” and “We will gather at the docks in Alsancak to denounce the injustice against Gezi Park” are reportedly the only main evidence against all of the suspects in the trial.
Erdoğan described the micro-blogging website Twitter as a “troublemaker” due to the heavy traffic that was witnessed on the site during the protests.