Turkey: Artists on trial in connection to protests

28 January 2021
Image: Taksim Square – Gezi Park Protests, İstanbul / Alan Hilditch on Flickr


14 January 2021: The İstanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court adjourned four artists’ court case in connection to Gezi Park protests to 28 April 2021 due to lack of execution of the arrest warrants, reported MLSA Turkey.

According to Medya Scope, actors Mehmet Ali Alabora and Pınar Öğün, fictional writer and journalist Can Dündar and fictional writer Handan Melten Arıkan are charged with “attempting to overthrow the government”, “damaging property”, “unauthorized possession of dangerous substances or changing hands”, “damaging places of worship and cemeteries”, “qualified looting”, “qualified injury”, “opposition to the Law on the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage” in connection to the Gezi Park protests.

Indicted artists live abroad, and therefore they were not able to give their statements. Their case was separated from the primary Gezi trial, which ended on 18 February 2020 with the acquittal of all defendants.

In its report on Gezi Park protests: Brutal denial of the right to peaceful assembly in Turkey Amnesty International explains that Gezi Park protests against the park’s demolition began in May 2013. Amnesty International mentions “unfair prosecutions brought against demonstrators” as one of the human rights abuses documented in their report.

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