Gezi Indictment: Civil Society on Target

Location: Point Hotel Taksim
Date: 19 June 2019, Wednesday
Hour: 4:00-8:00 PM

As civil society organisations, to what extent are we able to exercise our rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association? To what extent are we able to defend these rights which are at the core of civil society activities and are secured by domestic and international law? 

We are all aware and concerned about the tough times we are going through in which our playing field is being restricted, as we are forced to work under pressure and are continuously losing ground on the rights and freedoms we earned through the early 2000’s. 

The situation is not much different in other parts of the world in terms of the oppression and restrictions civil society organisations are facing. States all around the world block civil society activities through repressive regulations and by defaming the right to freedom of expression, assembly and association as if they are crimes. During our day-to-day activities, we as civil society organisations in Turkey are deeply feeling these restrictions and pressures.

“Gezi Park Case” is one of the most palpable examples of these pressures. The indictment accusing 16 people including Osman Kavala and Yiğit Aksakoğlu, who are currently still under arrest, in relation to the Gezi Park protests in 2013 was accepted by the 30th High Criminal Court on March 4, 2019. The first hearing of the case will be held in Silivri on June 24-25. Osman Kavala has been under arrest for around 20 months and Yiğit Aksakoğlu for 7 months.

But do their arrest have any legal basis? Are there conditions that require the measure of arrest? What are the broader implications of accusations in the indictment for civil society activities? And what can we do in the face of all these accusations?   

Through this meeting, we hope to both draw attention to the first hearing of the Gezi Park Case on June 24 and discuss the pressures we are facing from a broader perspective, and hopefully, also find answers to the questions above. 

Your participation to this event would mean a lot for the strengthening of the struggles for rights and freedoms, as your act of solidarity will help uncover the truth and justice. 

  • Civil Rights Defenders
  • Association for Monitoring Equal Rights (Eşit Haklar İzleme Derneği) 
  • Truth Justice Memory Center (Hakikat Adalet Hafıza Merkezi) 
  • The Rights Initiative Association (Hak İnisiyatifi Derneği)
  • Human Rights Association (İnsan Hakları Derneği)
  • Human Rights Agenda Association (İnsan Hakları Gündemi Derneği) 
  • Social Policies, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD)
  • Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (Türkiye İnsan Hakları Vakfı) 
  • Amnesty International Turkey (Uluslararası Af Örgütü Türkiye Şubesi) 
  • Citizens’ Assembly (Yurttaşlık Derneği) 


Session 1: Gezi Indictment 

4:00-5:30 PM 


Duygu Türemez, Amnesty International Turkey
Gökçer Tahincioğlu, Journalist
Hürrem Sönmez, Lawyer

Moderator: Mehveş Evin, Journalist

Session 2: Civil Society on Target 

6.00-8.00 PM 


Emine Uçak, Citizens’ Assembly
Feray Salman, Human Rights Joint Platform
Mehmet Ali Çalışkan, YADA Foundation
Suphi Çörekçi, The Rights Initiative
Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Human Rights Foundation of Turkey

Moderator: Tarık Beyhan, Amnesty International Turkey