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Thursday, May 26, 2022

A former Turkish president has opposed Erdogan, accusing him

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Former Turkish President Abdullah Gul (pictured right) has sharply criticized Istanbul court rulings in the Gezi Park case, which he said have deeply affected the public conscience.

“The sentences of Osman Kavala and the other defendants have deeply hurt the public conscience and upset me. It is very sad that these people will remain in prison until the Supreme Court rules and will be persecuted, which is very painful. At a time when “The observance of human rights and the independence of judicial practice in our country are under serious doubt and cast a shadow over its image in the world. This disgraceful trial and the people behind it have harmed Turkey as much as anyone else,” he said. Gul in front of T24 TV.

A court yesterday sentenced businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala to life in prison under a strict regime, finding him guilty of trying to overthrow the government by funding anti-government protests over Gezi Park in 2013. Osman Kavala had previously been acquitted in another trial. However, another decision to detain him followed, and the businessman remained in prison for four and a half years. He denies the allegations against him.

Seven other defendants in the same case – Mujlala Yapaji, Chigdem Mater, Hakan Altanai, Jan Atalay, Mine Yozerden, Yigit Ali Ekmekci and Typhoon Kahraman – were sentenced to 18 years in prison each.

The demonstrations for Gezi Park began with a small protest in defense of a park in central Istanbul. Abdullah Gul, the current president, called on the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then prime minister, to listen to the demands of young people. However, this did not happen and the events escalated into mass anti-government demonstrations that swept across the country, but were suppressed by force by the authorities, with casualties and injuries.

Osman Kavala and the other seven convicts have the right to appeal the sentences to the Supreme Court.

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