Turkey slaps 36 protesters with terrorist charges

turkyProsecutors in Turkey have charged 36 people with terrorism in connection with massive anti-government protests that rocked the country last year.

According to the indictment published on Friday, the suspects face a range of charges including membership in a terrorist organization, illegal possession of hazardous material, and terrorist propaganda.

“Protests that began in May went beyond a democratic reaction and turned into propaganda and demonstration outlets of terrorist organizations with the guidance of marginal groups,” read the document.

“As a result, public property was destroyed, civil servants were incapacitated and security forces were injured,” it added.

The defendants will face up to 58 years in prison if convicted.

In December 2013, more than 250 other protesters were indicted with similar charges.
Anti-government demonstrations erupted in late May 2013, when people in Istanbul protested against the planned destruction of Gezi Park, in the city’s Taksim Square.

However, the protests soon spread across the country and snowballed into a nationwide outburst of anger against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule.

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