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01:14

Turkey: 9 defendants acquitted over 2013 Gezi Park protests

Turkey, Istanbul
February 18, 2020 at 13:46 GMT +00:00 · Published

Nine defendants out of the 16 who were on trial on charges of attempting to overthrow the government through the 2013 Gezi Park protests were acquitted by a Turkish court on Tuesday.

Three of the defendants, philanthropist Osman Kavala, architect Mucella Yapici and Yigit Aksakoglu were facing life in solitary confinement without parole.

Upon delivering the verdict, local reports indicate that the judge said there was "not enough concrete evidence" against Kavala and the other defendants. The arrest warrants of the seven other defendants who were being tried in absentia were reportedly lifted.

Footage filmed before the trial shows a crowd forming by the Istanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court in Silivri.

The Gezi Park protests began in May 2013 as a peaceful movement against urban development in the park, but soon erupted into nationwide unrest against current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, who was Prime Minister at the time.

The protest was brutally repressed by the police with tear gas and water cannons, with 11 killed, over 8,000 injured and 3,000 detained.

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Nine defendants out of the 16 who were on trial on charges of attempting to overthrow the government through the 2013 Gezi Park protests were acquitted by a Turkish court on Tuesday.

Three of the defendants, philanthropist Osman Kavala, architect Mucella Yapici and Yigit Aksakoglu were facing life in solitary confinement without parole.

Upon delivering the verdict, local reports indicate that the judge said there was "not enough concrete evidence" against Kavala and the other defendants. The arrest warrants of the seven other defendants who were being tried in absentia were reportedly lifted.

Footage filmed before the trial shows a crowd forming by the Istanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court in Silivri.

The Gezi Park protests began in May 2013 as a peaceful movement against urban development in the park, but soon erupted into nationwide unrest against current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, who was Prime Minister at the time.

The protest was brutally repressed by the police with tear gas and water cannons, with 11 killed, over 8,000 injured and 3,000 detained.

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