The Gezi Trial, which we followed with great concern from the beginning, ended with a court decision that ignored the basic principles of law, the public’s sense of justice. We find the aggravated life sentence given to Osman Kavala and the 18-year prison sentences given to Mücella Yapıcı, Tayfun Kahraman, Can Atalay, Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi, Mine Özerden, Çiğdem Mater and Hakan Altınay unacceptable.
This verdict unfairly restricts the freedom of eight rights defenders, criminalizes civil society and rights defenders’ activities, and deals a heavy blow to our pluralist democracy and civil society. By definition, rights defenders, civil society organizations and citizens’ communities draw attention to the issues of public interest, make social injustices visible, and criticize social and economic policies. An important legacy of Gezi is that it made the amplifying environmental and urban injustices more visible and public than ever before. That is a social benefit that we, the people of Turkey, should all embrace.
We request an immediate withdrawal reversal of deep injustice faced by civil society organizations and rights defenders. As the Center for Spatial Justice, we will continue to follow the legal process until all the Gezi Trial defendants’ freedom is ensured.
Center for Spatial Justice (Mekanda Adalet Dernegi- MAD)