Turkish court fines 75-year-old woman resisting power plant construction for ‘battering two men’

A Turkish court fined 75-year-old Hatice Kocalar who has been resisting a thermal power plant project planned to be built on her land for “battering two company officials,” while resisting the continuation of construction despite court rulings

Duvar English

Turkish court on May 28 fined 75-year-old Hatice Kocalar for allegedly assaulting two mining company officials while resisting the Avdan mining company who entered her land to build a thermal power plant despite the decision of the Council of State against it. 

As a result of the plan to build a thermal power plant in Avadan village of Tavas district of Denizli province and a construction plan to open a coal mine for the plant was also launched. 

When the villagers started to resist the project, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a hasty expropriation decision in January 2022 and 3.76 million square meters of land was confiscated.

75-year-old Kocalar refused to give up her field and resisted the lorries and diggers that came to her land. Afterwards, the company officials filed a criminal complaint against her for “battering.”

Kocalar said in during the trial that she was alone when there were five people against her.

Kocalar's lawyer also drew attention to the fact that his client is 1.50 meters tall and weighs 45 kilograms, and said that it was physically impossible for her to confront five people and beat them.

In his defense, Kocalar said, “I defended my land, whoever defends their land cannot be a criminal. I did not assault anyone and I want to be acquitted.”

While the prosecutor was seeking five year imprisonment for Kocalar, the court fined her 4,480 Turkish liras for “battering."

"Let my honor remain for protecting my land. They tried to trample it with an excavator, but I was not afraid, I did not give up. They offered money, putting the bag in front of me, but I did not fall for it. I was not afraid, and I am not afraid. My conscience is clear, my head is held high," Kocalar said in front of the courthouse.

In the statement made after the hearing, Kocalar's lawyers also stated that they would take the case to the Constitutional Court.

Hatice Kocalar reacts against the ruling in front of the courthouse.