Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR
An indictment prepared by Turkish prosecutors has claimed that lawyers who were battered by the police during a 2019 protest had instead inflicted violence on the police officers in question.Gov't ignored millions of voters' wills via sacking 47 mayors in one year, HDP says in report on trustees
The case concerns a demonstration initiated by Istanbul lawyers on Aug. 20, 2019, in protest of the government's move to replace the democratically elected mayors of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, Van and Mardin with trustees.
Security footages of the incident showed lawyers having been battered during the protest, whereas the indictment filed by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has said that it was instead the police officers who faced assault. The police officers in question were placed on leave on doctor's orders for rest, according to the indictment.
Istanbul independent deputy Ahmet Şık and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Musa Piraoğlu were also among the protestors on the day of the incident. The indictment has accused Şık of taking off a police officer's helmet and using it instead to batter his own self.
Lawyers refuted the charges against them, saying in their testimony to the prosecutor's office that they attempted to hold a press meeting in the Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse, but “were pushed outside with police shields, without even being given a warning.”
“At this point, police officers were kicking us behind their shields. I was injured during the incident. Allegations of us battering the riot police do not reflect the truth,” lawyer Gökmen Yeşil said.
The police officers said in their defense that they had previously warned the lawyers to hold their press meeting outside the premises of the courthouse or otherwise would take an action against them.