Dissent Is Getting Even More Dangerous in Turkey

Protesters chant slogans and hold placards during a protest in Istanbul, June 1, 2020.
Protesters chant slogans and hold placards of victims during a protest to mark the anniversary of the nationwide summer 2013 Gezi Park protests, in Istanbul, June 1, 2020 (AP photo by Emrah Gurel).

Nine years after the Gezi Park protests erupted in Istanbul and quickly spread to many other parts of Turkey, the “culprits” behind the demonstrations were sentenced in April. Civil society leader and philanthropist Osman Kavala was convicted of having attempted to overthrow the government and sentenced to life imprisonment; seven other co-defendants received 18 years. Like many other prosecutions in Turkey these days, the Gezi case was based not on evidence, but pure conjecture. Kavala has long been a target of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. He had already been imprisoned for four years based on spurious accusations that […]

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