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Gezi Park Trial Human Rights Defenders

Although there were several prosecutions in 2015 following the protests, all cases against individuals and organisations concerning the Gezi protests ended in acquittals in 2015. Yet, in the past two years, the Turkish authorities re-opened the criminal investigation and resumed prosecution of the alleged organisers of the 2013 Gezi Park Protests.

The indicted human rights defenders are; Osman Kavala, businessman and philanthropist, the chairman of the board of directors of Anadolu Kültür and founder or advisory board member of many civil society organisations including History Foundation, TEMA and TESEV; Yiğit Aksakoğlu, Turkey representative of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, a Dutch philanthropic organization focusing on early child development projects, and former worker at İstanbul Bilgi University NGO Training and Research Unit; Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi, deputy chair of Anadolu Kültür, executive board member of Terakki Foundation Schools and a founding member of many educational institutions, including the Nesin Foundation and İstanbul Bilgi University; Çiğdem Mater Utku, film producer, journalist and one of the consultants of Anadolu Kültür; Ali Hakan Altınay, executive board member of Anadolu Kültür, director of Boğaziçi European School of Politics in Istanbul and founding member and chair of Global Civics Academy; Mine Özerden, advertiser, civil society

activist, film-maker, co-director, the secretary general of Taksim Platform and former worker at Anadolu Kültür; Tayfun Kahraman, academic, urban planner, member of Taksim Solidarity and member and executive board chair of TMMOB Chamber of Urban Planners İstanbul Office; Şerafettin Can Atalay, lawyer of TMMOB, member of Taksim Solidarity, executive board member of Social Rights Association; Ayşe Mücella Yapıcı, architect, member of Taksim Solidarity, the secretary general of Environmental Impact Assessment Department of the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects; Gökçe (Yılmaz) Tüylüoğlu, Open Society Foundations Turkey representative; Hanzade Hikmet Germiyanoğlu, education consultant and coordinator of Civil Society Development Center (STGM); İnanç Ekmekçi, civil society professional working at many civil society organisations on children’s rights, refugee’s rights, women’s human rights and ecology; Can Dündar, journalist and former editor of Cumhuriyet newspaper; Memet Ali Alabora, actor and former president of Actor/Actress Union; Ayşe Pınar Alabora, actress; Handan Meltem Arıkan, a novelist and playwright.

turkey protest

Human rights defenders (HRDs) in Turkey have been subjected to judicial harassment, including criminal prosecution, violent attacks, threats, surveillance, prolonged arbitrary detention, and ill-treatment. In the aftermath of an attempted coup in July 2016, the environment for the work of HRDs deteriorated even further.