Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has described Turkey's 2013 Gezi Park protest movement as "one of the most important struggles of the Turkish history.” "If we are visiting here today [Gezi Park], protecting the green and saying 'let's create human-centered squares,' maybe we are materializing the spirit that wanted to be put forward there [during Gezi Park protests],” İmamoğlu said.
Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry will be turning the iconic Galata Tower into a museum. The ministry will also launch a "culture route" that spans from the tower, along Istiklal Avenue and to Taksim Square. Minister Ersoy also said that the construction of the AKM would be completed within a month, ongoing since February 2019.
A U.S.-based documentary maker produced a 10-minute opera about jailed philanthropist Osman Kavala and his pet snails. The human rights activist and businessman has been imprisoned for nearly a thousand days, and adopted two snails as pets in prison. The volunteers recorded the opera from remote locations, only to be mixed together later.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has put the case into the killing of 14-year-old Berkin Elvan in process and asked Turkey a number of questions, including those related to the violation of the right to life. The court asked the reason for why the criminal responsibility was laid solely on a police officer and why the demand to prosecute government officials was rejected.
Though some of the correspondences are superficial, the coincidence of the protests in the U.S. erupting just as people here are commemorating Gezi has lead to some soul searching about the similarities and differences in state violence and racism in both countries.
Turkish main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu shared a video on social media to commemorate the seventh anniversary of Turkey's historic Gezi protests of 2013. The CHP leader read a poem by Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet to show solidarity with the protests, which started off with an environmental message but quickly became an anti-government movement.
Former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş released a message on the seventh year anniversary of the Gezi Park protests, saying: “Gezi Resistance is not over, is continuing and we will definitely win it.”
A Turkish prosecutor appealed the acquittal of philanthropist, businessman and human rights activist Osman Kavala and eight others over their alleged role in the 2013 Gezi Park protests. A 90-page document from the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, dated April 8, called for the Gezi case acquittal rulings to be annulled and for the defendants to be convicted as charged.
Turkey's Constitutional Court has ruled for a right violation in the case into a protester hit by a gas canister fired by police during Gezi Park protests of 2013, as it also fined the state to pay 10,000 Turkish Liras to the complainant as compensation. It also questioned whether police officers who used tear gas received the necessary training, concluding that the complainant was wounded as a result of uncontrolled use of tear gas.
Turkey's top court ruled that the rights of a participant in Turkey’s 2013 Gezi Park protests had been violated. The Constitutional Court said the right to life as well as right to assembly and demonstration of a lawyer had been violated after she was beaten by the police with batons in Ankara's Kızılay neighborhood. The applicant will be paid 37,500 liras ($6,120) in spiritual damages.
An Istanbul court has released its reasoned decision to acquit nine people in the Gezi Park trial, including Osman Kavala. The court said no credible evidence had been provided to give substance to claims against Kavala. The philanthropist's wiretapped telephone conversations were made “unlawfully,” and therefore could not constitute as “evidence,” it also said.
A contemporary amphitheater installed by Istanbul Municipality on the city's central Taksim Square is being taken down following a swift ruling by the regional conservation board. The Istanbul Second District Cultural Heritage Conservation Board ruled within two days of the installation of the structure that it be taken down, while it had allowed the Presidency's Communications Directorate to leave a tent up on the square for months.
Turkey's Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) will investigate three judges who acquitted Osman Kavala. The move comes a day after the Istanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court acquitted Kavala and eight others in the case into the Gezi Park protests. Also on Feb. 19, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the court "attempted" to acquit Kavala "with a maneuver."
Turkey is still divided by the Gezi protests. Some see the protests as a struggle for freedom that had never happened before in Turkey and remember it with pride, while others detest the memory of the protests. For Erdoğan’s 50 percent, when the state tells you not to do something, you ought not to do it.
Several European politicians have welcomed an Istanbul court's ruling to acquit nine defendants in the 2013 Gezi Park case, with many of them taking the issue to Twitter. One said the court's ruling was "long overdue," while another referred to the decision as "the best news in a long time in Turkey." The verdict was also welcomed by the U.S. embassy in Ankara.