Turkey

Istanbul court acquits 35 suspects in Gezi Park trial

Suspects included a group of Turkish football supporters who were accused of 'attempting to topple Republic of Turkey' during the 2013 protests in Istanbul

29.12.2015
Istanbul court acquits 35 suspects in Gezi Park trial

İstanbul

ISTANBUL

A court in Istanbul has acquitted 35 suspects facing criminal charges in the 2013 Gezi Park protests case.

The suspects included a group of Turkish football club Besiktas supporters, who were accused of "attempting to topple Republic of Turkey or to hinder its services partly or wholly by using force”.

They were also charged with "forming an [illegal] organization, carrying hazardous materials illegally and damaging public property".

The trial against the suspects began in December 2014, a year after protests erupted against the Istanbul municipality's decision to remove trees in a rare green space area of the city center as part of a developmental project.

What began as an environmental issue, with concerned Istanbulites numbering in the dozens occupying Gezi Park to prevent the removal of the trees, soon mushroomed into a nationwide wave of protests against the Turkish government.

Turkish authorities later labeled the demonstrations as a coup attempt, perpetrated by a “parallel state” embedded in the country's institutions.

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