A prosecutor is seeking life in prison for Osman Kavala, a Turkish businessman and a human rights activist, for “seeking to overthrow the government” through the Gezi Park protests in 2013.
According to the Turkish media, two other suspects — Yiğit Aksakoğlu and Mücella Yapıcı — are also facing life in prison on similar charges. At least 6 others in the same case face prison sentences between 15 and 20 years.
Kavala is accused of orchestrating the Gezi Park mass protests in the summer of 2013 in a trial described as absurd by rights groups. The latest hearing of his trial took place at the İstanbul 30th High Criminal Court in the Silivri Prison Complex on Thursday.
Prosecutors claim the Gezi protests were organized from outside the country to “bring Turkey to its knees.”
Kavala has been in jail since November 2017 and has become a symbol of what activists say is the deliberate targeting of civil society.
He was among tens of thousands of people rounded up after an attempted coup in July 2016.
A respected figure in intellectual circles, Kavala is the chairman of the Anatolian Culture Foundation, which seeks to bridge ethnic and regional divides through art, including with neighboring Armenia, with which Turkey has no diplomatic ties.