Turkish police sentenced to 10 years in jail for death of protester

January 21, 2015 14:21
1 minute read.

ISTANBUL - Two Turkish policemen were jailed for ten years on Wednesday for their part in beating a student to death during anti-government protests that Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan described at the time as a coup attempt, media reports said.

Police used tear gas after the sentences were announced to disperse protesters outside the courthouse in the central Turkish town of Kayseri, broadcaster CNN Turk said.

The family of Ali Ismail Korkmaz, 19, who died after June 2013 protests, described the sentences as too lenient. Supporters of the police saw their treatment as unjust.

Three other defendants were sentenced to nearly seven years in jail. A sixth man was sentenced for three years but the court decided to release him given the time he has spent on remand.

Domestic and foreign critics of Erdogan viewed the 2013 riots as marking an authoritarian turn in his rule. Erdogan himself described protesters as hooligans and terrorists.

Security-camera footage showed Korkmaz being hit in the head with clubs by at least four men in civilian dress before he ran away amid violent protests in the northwestern town Eskisehir. Korkmaz fell into a coma and died more than a month later.

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