Protesters face terror charges

Prosecutors have levied terror-related charges against 28 leftist activists who threw stones and sticks at police during an anti-government demonstration in Ankara earlier this year.

The trial will open at a special-authority court in Ankara in the coming days.

The suspects were charged as part of a probe into a violent demonstration by left-wingers in the Turkish capital on May 31 to denounce a police crackdown on anti-government protests in the Black Sea district of Hopa during a visit by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Metin Lokumcu, a retired teacher, died of a heart attack some time after he was seen arguing with police.

The indictment said the protesters held an unauthorized gathering, carried a banner calling the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) murderers, dismantled sidewalks and pelted the police with sticks and stones, leaving several officers injured. It mentioned 65 riot police as plaintiffs.

The prosecutor said some of the suspects were members and leaders of leftist associations – the Halkevleri (People’s Houses) and Öğrenci Kolektifleri (Students’ Collectives) – which he described as legal extensions of the outlawed Turkish Peoples’ Liberation Party-Front (THKP-C).

The 28 have been charged with membership in a terrorist organization, spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization, deliberately injuring a public employee, damaging public property and resisting security forces.


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