Turkey: Policeman faces fine for Gezi protest death

Ahmet Sahbaz blames protester's death on provocation by stone-throwers, leading him to fire into the air

Turkey: Policeman faces fine for Gezi protest death

World Bulletin / News Desk

A police officer Monday had his one-year plus prison sentence for the 2013 death of a protester commuted into a fine of 10,100 Turkish lira ($2,887).

A court in the central Anatolian province of Aksaray gave Ahmet Sahbaz a fine for the June 2013 shooting death of Ethem Sarisuluk, near Guvenpark in central Ankara during the Gezi Park protests.

Sahbaz, who shot Sarisuluk, had been convicted in 2014 for murder under unjust provocation and for using duty weapons for criminal purposes.

The sixth High Criminal Court in Ankara had previously sentenced him to nearly eight years in prison, but the sentence was overturned.

An autopsy suggested that Sarisuluk was shot in the head by a 9mm bullet. CCTV and media footage showed the encounter between the protesters, including the deceased and Sahbaz, who was seen running from the scene holding a pistol.

"I didn't act deliberately. The intense attacks of demonstrator groups are on the record. I fired my gun into the air. I was under intense stone attack," Sahbaz told Monday's hearing by video conferencing.

Lawyer and relatives of the complainant protested the ruling.

In summer 2013, relatively small demonstrations in Istanbul’s Gezi Park grew into a nationwide wave of protests against the government that left eight protesters and a police officer dead.

The government later labeled the demonstrations an attempt to overthrow it by members of Fetullah Gulen’s “parallel state” in the police and court system.

Turkey accuses the Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO) – led by U.S. based Fetullah Gulen – of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

On July 15, a coup attempt in Turkey blamed on FETO left 248 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Aralık 2016, 17:39