Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2018, 12:53 GMT

Turkey: Fact sheet on Gezi Park protests

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 19 July 2013
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Turkey: Fact sheet on Gezi Park protests, 19 July 2013, available at: [accessed 22 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Last Update 19 July 2013

The Documentation Centre of Human Rights Foundation of Turkey[1][2][3][4][5]

Demonstrations that began on 28 May 2013 to protect Gezi Park and turned into protests demanding basic rights and freedoms because of the violence directed to the people by the police and spread across Turkey continue with forums. Meanwhile the police attacks towards the demonstrations, police raids at the houses of demonstrators, criminal investigations also still on-going.

According to assessment made by the Turkish Medical Association on 15 July 2013, 8163 people were injured in demonstrations across Turkey. The online survey conducted by TMA reveals that that 11155 person were exposed to chemical weapon/riot control agents. And regretfully, 5 people lost their lives[5]. Two protestors were killed by direct police violence and due to expert report one of them was killed by unidentified people in plain clothes.

During the demonstrations held in Hatay on 3 June 2013 Abdullah Cömert, aged 22, lost his life. The autopsy report revealed that Abdullah Cömert was killed by being crashed in his head with two blows. It is diagnosed that there has been a skull fracture caused by blow to the back of head and there is a semilunar shaped, four centimetres diametrical tear which ends up to parietal bone. On 5 July 2013, it was revived that the memo autopsy report reveals the possibility of death caused by gun shot.

During the demonstrations held in Ankara on 01 June 2013, Ethem Sarısülük was killed by being shot in his head directly by a police officer named Ahmet Şahbaz. Ethem Sarısuluk's cerebral death was declared on 12 June 2013. The autopsy report revealed that he was killed by being shot in his head. The police officer was released. On 03 July 2013, the objection filed by Ethem Sarısuluk's family, against the verdict of release was rejected by Ankara 8. Criminal Court of First Instance on a basis of that "family doesn't have an authorization to object". On 12 July 2013 the indictment was submitted to Ankara 6th Aggravated Felony Court. Policeman was alleged "to kill a person by unintentionally exceeding the limits of self-defence due to excusatory causes" on basis of article 81 and 27/1 of Turkish Penal Code. Prosecutor demanded Ahmet Şahbaz to be sentenced up to 5 years. Ankara 6th Aggravated Felony Court rejected the indictment on basis of "lack of permission of Mayor of Ankara to investigate".

Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, aged 21, lost his life as a result of being crashed by a car which was intentionally crashed into crowds in Ümraniye in İstanbul on 2nd June 2013.

Mehmet Sarı, police officer, felt down from bridge and lost his life while running after protestors in Adana on 5th June 2013.

Zeynep Eryaşar who attended to protests had heart attack and lost her life because of being exposed by tear gas chemicals in Avcılar in İstanbul on 15 June 2013.

Ali İsmail Korkmaz (19) was beaten with sticks by unidentified civilians on 03 June 2013 during the demonstrations held in Eskişehir, lost his life on 09 July 2013 where he was hospitalized. On 15 July 2013, S.K who was caught with the allegation of killing act was released with a restriction under judicial control. The prosecutor objected to this decision.

The number of people who were detained across Turkey has reached 3653 according to HRFT data[6]. The number of people that have been arrested has decreased to 126 as the date of 19 July 2013 due to the approved objections made by the lawyers. The allegations against these people are "to be a ruler or member of illegal organisation", "sedition", "destroying public property", "carrying gun and bullet", "invading mosque".

Indictments commenced to be submitted to Courts. As yet, total 4 indictments are based on allegation of 46 people to breach the Law no. 2911, Meetings and Demonstrations.

[1] The Documentation Centre's data has to be accepted as a claim till it becomes definite. A Claim about violation of right is accepted as a definite data due to the Documentation Centre's depth exploration or it is eliminated from the balance sheet of violation of human rights.

[2] In order to subscribe to the email group, send a blank email to with a subject title "request of membership to daily human rights report".


[4] Twitter: @insanhaklari

[5] The detailed info can be found on our facebook and twitter account.

[6] "On 05 June 2013, İrfan Tuna (47), working as a cleaning staff in a private school nearby Kızılay square felt sick with a result of viscous tear gas chemical usage of police forces and died of heart attack. The forensic medicine report will diagnose the cause of death."

[7] The number of detained people we mentioned above is not same with data of Ministry of Interior since our documentation centre collected the data through media organs. Moreover, it is not possible to have same number since we are not able to have name-surname comparison. Since the data of Ministry of Interior does not include number of people who were taken under custody without any formal registration, though there are lots of witnesses claiming that many people were held without formal registration. Thus, we think that the real number of detained people is over 5000.

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