Arrest warrants lifted for seven other defendants being tried over nationwide protests
A Turkish court has acquitted nine activists accused of terror charges over their alleged involvement in Istanbul’s Gezi park protests, a landmark ruling in a case that has given new hope to Turkey’s beleaguered civil society in a country where many fear the rule of law is being steadily eroded.
Turkish Twitter is super happy about a court decision today.
I’m afraid this illustrates the complete arbitrariness of the judiciary branch, and it’s preference to use very long, years long detention to punish citizens who aspire for a more free & democratic nation. #GeziTrial https://t.co/ybrUfYafBG
— Evren Celik Wiltse (@EvrenWiltse) February 18, 2020
It was our statement on #GeziTrial. We are utmost happy that bogus indictment was condemned by the Court. However, we urge the international community not to relieve, because there still tens of thousand of people are in Turkish prisons due to very similar bogus accusations. pic.twitter.com/0HchHxNOMy
— The Arrested Lawyers (@ArrestedLawyers) February 18, 2020
#GeziTrial’s 6th hearing is held in Istanbul today. This is the first hearing since the prosecution submitted their final opinion on Feb 6; verdict could be announced. Aggravated life sentence is demanded for #OsmanKavala, #YiğitAksakoğlu & #MücellaYapıcı. MLSA is monitoring. pic.twitter.com/z4xBIvH1jA
— MLSA (@mlsaturkey) February 18, 2020
Acquittals are welcome but not necessarily a signal of change at heart of government
One defendant in the Gezi park trial grimly predicted the expected results of Tuesday’s hearing would be the “funeral of civil society in Turkey”. Instead, the surprise verdict led to applause and tears of joy as nine of the activists charged with terrorism offences for their alleged roles in organising the 2013 protests walked free from the Istanbul courthouse.
Turkey’s president casts himself as the champion of a militant pan-Islamic revival – and is proving a thorn in the side of enemies and allies alikeThe reaction of leading Arab states to Donald Trump’s hopelessly unbalanced Middle East “peace plan”, unveiled last week, was muted and mealy-mouthed. It seems the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE would sooner abandon the Palestinians than upset their ludicrous Iran-bashing ally in the White House.
WASHINGTONWASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has halted a secretive military intelligence cooperation program with Turkey that for years helped Ankara target Kurdish PKK militants, four U.S. officials told Reuters. The U.S. decision to