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Hundreds March In Istanbul To Denounce
Release of Police Officer Suspected of Killing Protester

By Countercurrents.org

25 June 2013

Over 1,000 people marched in Kadiköy's streets to protest the investigation into Ethem Sarisülük's death. Strong evidences show that the 26-year-old protester was killed by a police officer, however prosecutors ruled that the shooting was 'within the limits of self-defense.' DHA photo

People marched in Kadiköy's streets,DHA photo

Hundreds gathered on the night of June 24, 2013 in Istanbul 's Asian shores to protest the court ruling to release a police officer suspected of shooting a demonstrator in the early days of the Gezi Park unrest. [1]

Having been on life support for a number of days, Ethem Sarisülük, a 26-year-old blue collar worker, passed away last week.

Participants at a discussion forum in Kadiköy's Yogurtçu Park , a gathering that has repeatedly been held since the police closed access to Gezi Park , agreed to march in order to show their indignation at the court's ruling. The people walked holding banners in support of Sarisülük and condemning police's violence.

Hours earlier, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation into Sarisülük's killing ruled that the shooting was "within the limits of self-defense."

Video: Police beating protesters

The young people hid in a parking lot owned by the municipality in central Antalya before being caught there by a group of policemen with batons, on June 2, the video showed. The policemen then badly beat the young people, especially two males, for a few minutes. [2]

However, the hiding protesters were not detained but allowed to go.

The protest intervened in by the police was in support of the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul , which have spread to almost the entire country.

The footage was obtained by lawyers from the Progressive Lawyers' Association (ÇHD), upon a legal demand from the municipality.

Erdogan blesses police for ‘heroic' action

A graduation ceremony at the Police Academy offered a unique opportunity to prime minister Erdogan to hail and encourage the national police, as he said the police forces had written a “heroic saga” during the Gezi Park interventions. [3]

“We will not let circles who have been adversaries of Turkey or international and national media to wear down our police. I and my government congratulate our police wholeheartedly. On behalf of my country and nation, I would like to thank all my police siblings for standing up against incidents that have been going on for weeks, with sacrifice and patriotism,” Erdogan said in a speech delivered at the ceremony on June 24.

Erdogan also asserted that the police countered the protests within the scope of law, despite cases of attacks and provocation that would never be tolerated in another country, as he called the actions of the police “a heroic saga.”

The prime minister has repeatedly and constantly defied criticism leveled against the police for brutality against protesters during the Gezi Park unrest, despite the fact that the excessive use of police force during the unrest in the country since May 3 has resulted in the deaths of three protesters and one police officer and the injury of nearly 5,000 people.

“Like I expressed before, our police have passed a very important, a very challenging democracy test with success,” Erdogan said.

“As the prime minister of a government that has extended freedoms to this extent, increased the standards of democracy and done so many reforms, I am expressing this with all my heart and all my sincerity: We are a government that says ‘zero tolerance to torture.' We are a government that changed, democratized our police's rules of intervention into incidents and of custody and interrogation.” Erdogan said,

Erdogan-Obama conversation

US president Barack Obama called Turkish prime minister Erdogan, deputy prime minister Arinç told reporters following a Cabinet meeting. "I know that the conversation was very positive," he said. [4]

He said the conversation lasted about one hour. "A statement from both governments could be issued on this matter," Arinç added.


[1] http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbul-crowd-marches-to-denounce-release-of-police-officer-suspected-of-killing-protester.aspx?pageID=238&nID=49417&NewsCatID=341

[2] http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/video-shows-turkish-police-badly-beating-gezi-protesters-for-minutes-in-antalya.aspx?pageID=238&nid=49355&NewsCatID=341

[3] http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/prime-minister-erdogan-blesses-turkish-police-for-heroic-action-during-gezi-unrest.aspx?PageID=238&NID=49356&NewsCatID=338

[4] http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-pm-erdogan-and-us-president-obama-held-phone-conversation-deputy-pm.aspx?pageID=238&nID=49414&NewsCatID=359







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