Turkish court sentences two hundred and forty four people over Istanbul’s Gezi Park protests

On Friday, a Turkish court sentenced two hundred and forty four people to up to fourteen months in jail over protests that began on May 28, 2013.

 

The redevelopment of an Istanbul park spiraled into the worst political unrest that Turkey experienced in many years.

 

Protests were sparked by outrage at the violent eviction of a sit-in at the park protesting the plan. Over five thousand demonstrations across the Turkish nation erupted with an estimated 3.5 million protesters rallying for several issues including freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the government’s encroachment on Turkey’s secularism.

 

An estimated two hundred and fifty five people have been charged with crimes such as damaging public property and taking part in illegal protests.

 

President Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the protesters as “riff raff” calling them terrorists.

 

Only four people in total were acquitted for demonstrations over Istanbul’s Gezi Park.

 

Over eight thousand protesters were injured during demonstrations and eleven people killed.

 

Four doctors were sentenced to ten months in prison for “polluting a mosque” after treating demonstrators who were injured in clashes with police.

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