The İstanbul Regional Administrative Court’s 1st Administrative Trial Chamber annulled the decision of the İstanbul Governor’s Office to not give permission for investigation against the police officers who battered journalists in İstanbul’s Taksim on May 31, 2022 on the anniversary of the 2013 Gezi Park resistance.
During the demonstration, several journalists including Halk TV’s Erdinç Yılmaz and Ozan Demiriz, Tele1 TV reporter Engin Açar and cameraperson Umutcan Yitük, Gazete Fersude reporter Hayri Tunç, dokuz8HABER reporter Fatoş Erdoğan and Karşı Mahalle reporter Sezgin Kartal were subjected to battery, insult and threat by the police.
Evrensel’s Meltem Akyol, BirGün’s Gökay Başcan, Halk TV’s Ozan Demiriz, Flash Haber TV’s Dilan Polat, Nil Derin Aydoğdu and Sevda Doğan were detained in rear handcuffs and kept waiting like this for hours.
Upon the criminal complaint of the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) against the public officers on charges of “misconduct in office, torture, torment, threat, insult, deliberate injury and violation of freedom to labor and work” on June 3, 2022, the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office wrote to the İstanbul Governor’s Office, requesting that the suspected public officers be identified and a permission for investigation against them be granted.
In the written correspondence sent back to the office with the signature of İstanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya, it was indicated that the officers could not be identified, there was no ground for giving a permission for investigation or for launching a disciplinary investigation over the issue and the file should be dropped.
The court accepted the appeal of the TGS against this decision on the grounds that the decision was against the law, the necessary inquiries had not been undertaken and the decision encouraged disproportionate use of force by the law enforcement against the press (December 6).