Investigation into gendarmerie violence during Akbelen protests dropped

A Turkish prosecutor's office on Dec. 6 dropped the investigation into the gendarmerie's violent intervention during the protests of the cutting of trees for a coal mine in the Akbelen Forest.

Duvar English

The Milas Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on Dec. 6 dropped the investigation into the gendarmerie's violent intervention against protesters in the Akbelen Forest in the Aegean province of Muğla.

The İzmir Office head of the Food Engineers' Chamber Uğur Toprak previously filed a criminal complaint on Oct. 19 against the gendarmerie’s violent repression of the Akbelen protests. 

The Milas Chief Public Prosecutor's Office dropped the investigation and stated that “there was no evidence suggesting the officers acted against the requirements of their duty” and that the complaint did not involve crime or elements of crime.

Uğur Toprak responded to the prosecutor’s office dropping the investigation and said that the prosecution ignored the photographs and video evidence as well as the assault incident report the protestors obtained from the Milas Public Hospital on July 29, according to reporting by Mesopotamia Agency. 

"The Akbelen resistance is a resistance for life. I will keep speaking the truth on all platforms, with all my force and pertinacity. I will stand against the imperialist, abusive, rent-seeking companies and their advocates," Toprak responded to the decision. 

Villagers and activists have been protesting the cutting of trees in the Akbelen Forest for the expansion of the coal mining site in southern Muğla province’s İkizköy district.

Since 2019, the 740-decare Akbelen Forest and the İkizköylü village have been threatened by plans to extend coal mines. 

Courts have several times ruled for the suspension of the coal mine project, but the company refused to abide by court rulings.

The tree-cutting process accelerated in the summer of 2023 and those who protested against it were met with the harsh attack of the gendarmerie teams regardless of their age. 

The gendarmerie have been attacking activists and villagers by using pepper spray from close range and firing gas cartridges in the forested area during scorching heat.