Duvar English

An Istanbul court on Sept. 15 rejected the acquittal plea filed by seven defendants in the 2013 Gezi Park trial, Diken news portal reported.

The defendants in the case include actor Mehmet Ali Alobora, actress Pınar Öğün, journalist Can Dündar, Open Society Foundations employee Gökçe Yılmaz, writer Handan Meltem Arıkan, Civil Society Development Center coordinator Hikmet Germiyanoğlu and civil society professional İnan Ekmekçi.

The defendants are accused of attempting to overthrow the government by organizing the mass demonstrations.

On Feb. 18, nine people, including businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala, were acquitted of all the charges related to the Gezi Park protests seven years ago. The case of seven further defendants – who are abroad and are being tried in absentia – was separated.

The hearing held at the Istanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court on Sept. 15 was attended by four lawyers of the remaining seven defendants in the case.

The lawyers said that their clients are willing to testify by means of a letter rogatory, in which the Turkish court requests that the court overseas hear their testimony on its behalf.

The court however turned down this request for the issuance of a letter rogatory as well as the plea filed by the lawyers for their clients’ acquittal. The next hearing is scheduled to take place on Jan. 14, 2021.