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Prosecutor demands life sentences for Kavala, 2 others in Gezi Park trial

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A Turkish prosecutor on Thursday demanded life sentences for businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala and two others in his final opinion in the Gezi Park trial, according to the T24 news website.

Yiğit Aksakoğlu and Mücella Yapıcı are also facing life in prison, while the prosecutor demanded between 15 and 20 years for six others.

The defendants are accused of orchestrating the Gezi Park protests in 2013 as a plot to overthrow the Turkish government.

Eight other suspects in the case, including veteran journalist Can Dündar and thespian Mehmet Ali Alabora, were not tried because they are living in exile, but the prosecutor cited them as key figures in the protests.

The prosecutor reiterated his original claims in the indictment saying that the defendants had tried to create anarchy in Turkey “like the anarchy in Egypt and Syria in 2011.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has painted Kavala as the “Turkish Soros,” referring to George Soros, a Hungarian-American businessman who is seen as a bogeyman by conspiracists who claim he was behind the post-Soviet revolutions in Eastern Europe.

Kavala, 63, has been incarcerated for more than 820 days.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) called for Kavala’s release from prison, saying there was a lack of reasonable suspicion he had committed an offense; however, the Turkish court claimed that the ECtHR’s decision was not final and ruled to continue Kavala’s imprisonment.

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