Fan group members face charges of toppling government
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULSep 08, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Sep 08, 2014 12:00 am
Prosecutors seek aggravated life sentences for some of the members of Çarşı—the fan group of Beşiktaş Football Club--, submitting the court an indictment that included the telephone conversation logs as proof for the group members attempt to overthrow the government during the Gezi Park protests. The logs read: "I don't give a damn about the department store or the trees in Gezi Park, the revolution has begun' and 'we should assault to the police fiercely, someone's death in the clashes might spark outrage in the public'
A suit has been filed against 35 members of Çarşı including the group's leaders for attempting to overthrow the government during last year's Gezi Park protests by carrying out a smear campaign against the government and provoking the public via social media and violent activities.
The suspects are accused of attempting to topple the government by trying to engender an 'Arab Spring' like situation in Turkey and forming an armed organization.
The group leaders Numan Bülent Ergenç, Cem Yakışkan and Halil İbrahim Erol were arrested shortly after the protests as they faced similar charges but were released upon the objections that were made. The Istanbul chief public prosecutor's office conducted a year's long investigation seeking aggravated life sentences, finally reaching a conclusion accepted by the court.
The 38-page-long indictment contains names that are popular among Beşiktaş fans such as Cem Yakışkan, the founder of the group mostly known by his nickname 'Blond Cem', and Erol Özdil who prepares the banners for the group.
The indictment claimed that the protests began as sit-in demonstrations that aimed to seek rights in a democratic manner but the purpose of the demonstration shifted and morphed into anti-government protests supported by marginal groups that attended the later phases of the protests manipulating them to provoke the public against the government. The indictment further alleged that such marginal groups aimed to topple the government by anti-democratic ways. The leaders of the tribune Yakışan and Ergeç are accused of; mobilizing some of the members of Çarşı group to incite anger amongst people against the government and also of attempting to occupy the prime ministry office located in the Beşiktaş district.
The fact that some Çarşı group members allowed the foreign press to enter the scene of the protests have been interpreted as the group's attempt to portray the protests as Turkey's 'Arab Spring' to the world seeking to unlawfully topple the government.
Tweets shared by members in question during the protests were also counted as evidence that revealed their real intention being to overthrow the government.
The final part of the indictment said the members of the group facing the charges aimed to create an authority gap via chaos in order to oust the ruling party that was democratically brought into office, basing this allegation on the phone conversations that took place between the members.