- A Turkish police officer has been sentenced to 13 years and four months in prison for killing of a young man in southern Turkey during mass Gezi Park demonstrations in 2013.
Abdullah Cömert was killed during the protests in Hatay in June 2013 when a tear gas canister hit his head. Thirty-year-old A.K. was identified as the police officer who fired the canister and was being tried without arrest for a jail term of 25 years over the charges of “possible voluntary manslaughter.”
The officer was found guilty of “involuntary manslaughter” and was sentenced to 13 years and four months in jail on March 14.
Cömert's mother, father and brother along with the family's lawyers were present in the ninth hearing of the case, which was seen at 2nd Court of Serious Crimes in the western province of Balıkesir.
The country's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Balıkesir deputy Mehmet Tüm and Cömert's friends from Hatay also attended the hearing.
The suspect A.K. did not attend the hearing as he was on temporary duty in southeastern province of Diyarbakır. A.K. was not physically present in previous hearings and his testimony had been taken via a distant communication system.
Hatice Can, the lawyer of the Cömert family, said the one who should have been tried was those who gave the order for shooting the victim during the court hearing, pointing out that the officer was the only one who was tried over Cömert's killing.
“Unfortunately, we are a judicially and administratively problematic country when it comes to torture and extra-judicial executions. We want the suspected police officer to be punished for ‘voluntary manslaughter'” she added.
Another lawyer of the Cömert family, Eren Can highlighted that the prosecutor demanded the conviction of A.K. from “possible voluntary manslaughter.”
“The suspected police officer fired his weapon twice as he could not become successful in his first attempt. This directly shows the intention” said Can.