Disabled during Gezi Park Protests in Turkey, activist applies to European Court of Human Rights

Aydin Aydogan, who became disabled during the Gezi Park protests has now applied to the European Court of Human Rights. Aydogan had been seeking his rights at Turkish courts for the last six years.

His disability was caused by a teargas canister fired at him by a police officer during the protests. Aydogan has also filed a complaint against Erdogan, the Turkish President, while Erdogan had called the Gezi protests a coup attempt against him. As a result, 16 people involved in the Gezi Park protests are facing life sentences.

I have no other alternative left after Turkey’s Constitutional Court rejected my complaint,’ Aydogan said. “A positive ruling from the ECHR would prove the innocence and legitimacy of the 2013 protests,” he added.

Aydogan was injured in his left foot and had stayed at the hospital for a whole month. “Whenever I go to the judicial complex, I am arrested and beaten up by Turkish police. My claims for damages against the police and ministries have been rejected. I was subjected to swearing and abuse. I was beaten,” Aydogan said to the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.

The Gezi protests had commenced when the Istanbul municipality had decided to change the face of Taksim by cutting down trees at Gezi Park and building structures. The protests that started out with a small number of people then became a nationwide phenomenon.  

The Turkish police caused the injury of 8000 people and eight people died during the protests.  The whole protest became a symbol of struggle against authoritarian rule in Turkey.


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