Murder Trial of Slain Protester in Turkey Live-Tweeted

Netizens from across Turkey covered the second hearing into the murder of Gezi Park protester Ali İsmail Korkmaz, held today [May 12, 2014] in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri.

The trial was moved—allegedly for security reasons—from Eskişehir, where the murder was committed, reported Hürriyet daily. Despite the move, many activists from several locations organized buses and attended the trial.

Korkmaz, aged 19 at the time he was killed, was savagely beaten with sticks by plainclothes policemen while participating in a demonstration in Eskişehir on June 2, 2013. The demonstration was part of the nationwide protests that swept Turkey in late May, after the government announced plans to demolish İstanbul's Gezi Park in Taksim Square.

Korkomaz eventually died from his wounds. Several lawyers and other netizens acted as reporters during the trial so that the public could get more information about this tragic case.

On Twitter, lawyer and keen reporter Efkan Bolaç shared this photograph of the court room full of attendees:

Efkan Bolaç shares this photograph of the court room full of attendees (Source: Twitter)

A packed courtroom for the trial of Gezi Park protester, Ali İsmail Korkmaz (Source: @efkanbolac)

Amnesty International Turkey office also follows this case and shared this poster:

Amnesty International shared this photograph to draw attention to Ali İsmail Korkmaz's Trial

Amnesty International poster drawing attention to Ali İsmail Korkmaz's Trial. (Source:

In addition, AI continues a campaign in this Twitter hashtag (#CezasızlığaSon) [End to Impunity]:

AI supports a Twitter campaign which translates to End to Impunity

AI supports a Twitter campaign which translates to End to Impunity

Ordinary citizens like Abdurrahman Uyan, who has been following the case from the outset, used Twitter to share minute-by-minute updates from the trial:

These are statements from an eyewitness.. it is heartbreaking but everyone should know about this monstrosity

The tweets from the eyewitness read: 

  • Ali found an opportunity and started to escape. Police officers were shouting: “Circle him” Then Ali disappeared.
  • When he regained consciousness, the accused resumed hitting him. The witness don't feel good at the moment. Emel, Ali's sisters, began to cry.
  • He came, then beaten by Mevlut Saldoğan, Ali was trying to protect his head, but they kicked his head continuously.
  • Ali İsmail rushed to the pavement, but was tripped by the bakery guy, Ali fell, everyone began to kick him, including the long-haired policeman (yalçın akbulut)
  • Police officers in uniform and the undercover ones tried to catch Ali but he escaped. But bakery men stopped him.

Other lawyers and netizens who covered the trial include @cerenkali, @AvGurkanKorkmaz, @apouyan and @cigdemmater.

The murder of Korkmaz is a tragic case and captured the attention of a wider public. He was beaten to death in a back street while he was escaping from police forces. The alleged murderers include both policemen and store owners. Months later, video footage of the murder scene, whose existence was initially denied, was discovered:

In another heart-breaking scene, Ali İsmail's parents attend the hearing with their son's photographs in their hands and stare at his alleged murderers:

3 police officers who were not arrested come to the courtroom, find refuge beside their colleagues. My mother and father are at the scene here with the accused policemen.

Our mother Emel Korkmaz in the courtroom: I come here to confront murderers.

In today's hearing, witnesses identified policemen, other suspects and a business owner, as Korkmaz's attackers.

More photographs and a news roundup can be found in my follow up post at Erkan's Field Diary.

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