Monday, 22. September 2014
05. 06. 14. - 16:00
Turkish prosecutors are demanding 98 years in jail for a young Turkish woman – because she decided to wear a red scarf at a peaceful protest.
Hopeful art student Ayse Deniz Karacagil, aged 20, from the southern Turkish city of Antalya was one of those who took part in a peaceful protest in September in her hometown complaining at the death of demonstrator Ahmet Atakan. The circumstances of his death have still not been explained.
The ruling AKP government's handling of the 2013 protests in Turkey in which she was involved were widely criticized by other nations and international organizations, including the European Union, the United Nations, and the UK, where the Foreign Office condemned the 'indiscriminate' use of tear gas, adding: "We encourage the Turkish authorities to respect the right to peaceful protest and freedom of assembly, which are fundamental human rights in any democratic society."
Karacagil was singled out when police moved to break up the demonstration and managed to get a photograph of her that was used as a reason to arrest her because of the fact she was wearing a red scarf. Twenty-year-old Karacagil’s interrogation, which focused on the colour of her scarf, became infamous and was even turned into a theatre play by a troupe of actors.
Red according to prosecutors is the colour of socialism, and that meant that she knew by wearing the red scarf she was indicating her membership of the illegal MLKP, an underground Anti-Revisionist Marxist-Leninist and Hoxhaist communist party in Turkey.
She was charged together with four others for whom prosecutors want the maximum sentence. That includes between 26 and 95 years and six months for Murat Sezgin, 16 and 55 years and four months for Mustafa Cihan Yılmaz, 11 and 26 years for Ali Karakuş, and 13 and 38 years for Leyla Nuyan.
Karacagil's defence lawyer Hakan Evcin said that prosecutors were clearly hoping to intimidate other people from getting involved in demonstrations with the absurdly high sentencing. He said it was a reminder of the 1990s where there were similar absurd sentences and that the situation had improved briefly, although under the current government it might seem as if nothing had changed.
Karacagil and her friends were arrested at the beginning of October, a month after the protest, during raids after which they spent four months in investigative custody. The only evidence against her is a photograph showing her with the red scarf that she was wearing on her head, saying that it was an attempt to protect herself from the tear gas the police were using.
She was also standing by a barricade erected by those that were trying to protect themselves from being beaten by the police.
The young woman's dad Omer Faruk Karacagil said that despite the prosecutors demand for a long sentence, his daughter was in relatively good mental health. He said that she was not prepared to make a public statement about what had happened other than to confirm she was never interested in being involved in violent protest and was only interested in peaceful demonstrations.
He said: "She wants to study painting and had already gone through the first stage of an application for university. But that looks like being a long shot now as I am expecting she will be get some sort of sentence although I hope not 98 years."
The first hearing of the trial will be held at Antalya’s 6th Court of Serious Crimes on June 12.
Antalya is famous as a tourism centre and as well as having 1 million inhabitants it also has a large university where Karacagil had been hoping to study.
Rare Bald Ibis Makes Microlight Flight To Italy
The project to introduce an extinct bird back to Europe is hailing success after successfully negotiating a new route over the Alps and training 14 Northern Bald Ibises how to fly south to winter feeding grounds in southern Tuscany.
Pat On The Back From Manure Explosive
A traffic cop in Austria got more than he bargained for after a booby trap covered him head-to-toe in manure as he was trying to catch people speeding.
Viennese Jihad Girl May Have Been Killed
Austrian police say that one of the two attractive young teenage girls who fled the country to go to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels may have been killed.
Perversion of a Medical Dream
The Decline and Fall of the Otto Wagner Hospital, Vienna.
Fat Can Be Used To Burn Off Weight After New Patent Unveiled
It is being hailed as a sensation after scientists at an Austrian university patented a method that transforms fat storing cells into mini factories capable of actually destroying fat by burning it off.
Three Family Members Dead In Well Tragedy
A mother has lost her husband, her pregnant daughter and her son-in-law after a tragic accident where one of them fell into a well and the other two died while trying to carry out a failed rescue.
Brit Soldier Rescued After Climbing Mountain In T Shirt
A British soldier who tackled the frozen Austrian Alps wearing just shorts and a T-shirt has been rapped by officials after he had to be rescued from the snowy peak.
Mum And Daughter Struck By Lightning In Pool
A mother and her daughter were hospitalised after they were struck by lightning – in a swimming pool.
Police Nab Porn Star Who Filmed In Local Church
A woman accused of making a porn movie in a local church has been caught after an informant tipped off police that he recognised her by her breasts after an appeal for information.
Young Hip Hop Dancer Gets 18 Years For Drug Smuggling
A blonde hip hop dancer and charity worker promised an international career after she was spotted by a talent scout has been jailed for 18 years in Indonesia after her work offer turned out to have been part of an elaborate drugs con.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Viennese Jihad Girl May Have Been Killed|
|Schoolboys Wear Dresses To Support Transgender Classmate|
|God Gets An Indian ID Card With Bribe|
|Pat On The Back From Manure Explosive|
|Killer Cheese Stolen In Liechtenstein|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.