HRFT: Fact sheet on Gezi Park Protest as of July 10th

Press release

Document released by the Documentation Centre of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) [1] [2] [3]

Demonstrations that began on 28 May 2013 to protect Gezi Park but then turned into
protests demanding basic rights and freedoms in reaction to the violence committed by the police, spread across Turkey ( excluding Bingöl and Bayburt as per Ministry of Interior’s data) and continue with forums on 10 July 2013, the 43rd day.

After the First Administrative Court of Istanbul decided to cancel Taksim Project on
6 July 2013, Gezi Park was opened to the public on 9 July 2013 at 1.30 pm. Then at 5.00 PM the governor of Istanbul ordered to close it down. Members of Taksim Solidarity Group who were gathered to protest against the closing down and the attitude of the police forces were attacked with tear gas, pressurized water and
plastic bullets by the police forces. After the attack during the night, 59 people including 7 of those from Taksim Solidarity Group were taken into custody, at least 9 people were injured. One of the injured ones is suffering a lot.

A man who intently shot six times to protesters during the attacks against Taksim
Solidarity Group was detained.

In Istanbul, 8 of 59 people who were taken into custody on 6 July 2013, were
detained on basis of “sedition”,”resisting against police officers”, “breaching the Law no. 2911 on Meetings and Demonstrations” on 8 July 2013.

According to assessment made by the Turkish Medical Association on 27 June 2013,
8041 people were injured in demonstrations across Turkey. The online survey conducted by TMA reveals that that 11155 person were exposed to chemical weapon or riot control agents. And regretfully, 5 people lost their lives. Two protesters were killed by direct police violence.

During the demonstrations held in Hatay on June, 3rd 2013, Abdullah Cömert, aged 22, lost his life. The autopsy report revealed that Abdullah Cömert died after receiving two blows in the head. A skull fracture was diagnosed, caused by a blow to the back of the head, and also a semi lunar shaped, four centimetres diametrical tear which goes up to the parietal bone. On 5 July 2013, we were informed that the memo autopsy report reveals the possibility of death caused by gun shot.

During the demonstrations held in Ankara on June 1st, 2013, Ethem Sarısülük was killed by a police officer named Ahmet Şahbaz. Ethem Sarısuluk’s cerebral death was declared on June 12th, 2013. The autopsy report revealed that he was killed by being shot in the head. The police officer was released. The objection filed by Ethem Sarısuluk’s family against the verdict of release was rejected by Ankara 8th Criminal Court of First Instance on the basis that “family doesn’t have an authorization to object”.

Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, aged 21, died after being crashed by a car which was intentionally driven into a crowd in Ümraniye, İstanbul, on June 2nd, 2013.

Mehmet Sarı, a police officer, felt down from a bridge and lost his life while running after protestors in Adana on June 5th, 2013.

Zeynep Eryaşar, who attented the protest, suffered a heart attack and lost her life after having been exposed to chemical tear gas in Avcılar, İstanbul.

Ali İsmail Korkmaz ( aged 19) was beaten with sticks by unidentified civilians on 3 June 2013 during the demonstrations held in Eskişehir. He died on 9 July 2013, while he was still hospitalised and unconscious.

The number of people who were detained across Turkey as of 10 July 2013 has
reached 3556 according to HRFT data [4]. The number of people who have been arrested is 122 as of 8 July 2013. The charges against these people are “to be a ruler or member of illegal organisation”, “sedition”, “destroying public property”, “carrying gun and bullet”, “invading mosque”.

According to declarations made by the Ministry of Interior on June 22th, protest occurred all around Turkey except in Bayburt and Bingöl. 2,5 million people attended the protests. 4,900 people were taken into custody and 4,000 people were wounded. 14 buildings of political party got damaged.

8 people who took part in the protests by banging pots and pans on their balconies received a 88 TRY fine on the basis of breaching Misdemeanour’s Law. 9 students were also fined 1000 TRY on the basis of breaching this law.

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