çArşı: Supporter group on trial for taking part in Gezi resistance

The first hearing is being held of case where 35 members of ÇArşı supporters’ group are being tried for “attempting to take over the Prime Minister’s Office and carry out a military coup” during Gezi resistance

As the court case against the çArşı supporter group of the Istanbul sports club Beşiktaş began, many organizations and a large number of people gathered in front of the Çağlayan Court House in Istanbul to express their solidarity.

35 members of the çArşı group are being tried on charges of “attempting by force and violence to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey or partially or fully prevent it from fulfilling its duties”. This is the first time a case of this kind has been filed against a supporter group.

The hearing began at 9:50 AM, and lawyers representing the group have asked for a larger room to be allocated for the hearing.

‘They want us to come together for only 90 minutes’

çArşı issued a statement before the hearing, which read: “The system wants us to lead lives where we can come together for only 90 minutes… Yet, if we have a life, that life is only made possible through other people’s lives. Those who turn their backs on others’ lives turn their gaze towards that which belongs only to them; and cannot take a single step beyond imagining their sons as part of their dynasty.”

Emma Sinclair-Webb, senior Turkey researcher at Human Rights Watch, underlined the misuse of the justice system in the prosecution, stating: “Charging these Beşiktaş football club fans as enemies of the state for joining a public protest is a ludicrous travesty. The indictment contains no evidence to support the coup attempt charges and should never have come to court. The prosecutor should immediately indicate that he does not believe the charges should be pursued and ask the court for their acquittal.”


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