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An arrest warrant has been issued for actor Memet Ali Alabora, who has been currently abroad, in relation with Gezi Park protests in 2013.
In the verdict given by the İstanbul 8th Penal Judgeship of Peace upon the request of the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, Alabora has been charged with "attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey and to prevent it from performing its duties".
In the verdict, it has also been claimed that the domestic organization of Gezi Park protests was made by businessperson and human rights activist Osman Kavala, who has been behind bars without an indictment since November 2017, while the international connections of the protests were undertaken by the institutions associated with George Soros.
President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a statement two days ago regarding the issue and said that while the domestic organizer of Gezi Park protests was Osman Kavala, its international organizer was George Soros.
13 people previously detained, 1 person arrested
As part of the investigation that has been launched into Gezi Park protests, an operation was carried out against civil society workers and academics on November 16, 2018. While 12 of the 13 detained people were released afterwards, Yiğit Aksakoğlu, the Turkey representative to the Netherlands-based Bernard van Leer Foundation, was arrested.
He previously said, "It is not just about Gezi Park"
On May 30, 2013, when Gezi Park protests were still continuing, Memet Ali Alabora tweeted, "It is not just about Gezi Park, friend, didn't you understand yet? Come on! #resistgezipark"
After this tweet, he was targeted by government figures, including the then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the then Ankara Metropolitan Mayor Melih Gökçek as well as pro-government media outlets.
In a rally that he held in the district of Sincan in the capital city of Ankara on June 15, 2013, Erdoğan referred to the tweet of Alabora and said, "If there is justice in this country, we will hold you accountable for that tweet."
Gökçek also claimed on a TV broadcast on 30 June that all protests were "mise-en-scene" and Alabora was "its leading actor." "By God's willing, I will see him behind the bars", Gökçek said.
Verdict of non-prosecution for his tweet
Pro-government media outlets also targeted Alabora at the time. Daily Yeni Şafak claimed that a theatre play, which was directed by Alabora and called "Mi Minör" (C Minor), was actually an exercise of the protests, which the newspaper dubbed as a "civilian coup attempt". The play was staged for months before the protests sparked.
On June 16, Memet Ali Alabora released a written statement in response to these allegations and stated, "I am a person who is against wars, supports the environment, freedom of expression and democracy. At every opportunity, I have been stating that I am against coups of all kinds."
Upon being targeted, Alabora also demanded police protection on the ground of security of life. A close protection officer was granted to Alabora by the Governorship of İstanbul on August 14, 2013.
Two separate investigations were also opened against Alabora regarding his tweet, both of which ended up with verdicts of non-prosecution. (EKN/VK/SD)
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