Everyone remembers the picture of the woman in red who was demonstrating in Istanbul, and who was pepper sprayed by a policeman. The picture is so much famous, that it has become the symbol of the Gezi Park protests, in Turkey.
It was a pepper spray, and the policeman was convicted of “physical violence” and “professional misconduct”. The trial against the police officer Fatih Zengin ended today with a 20-month sentence, that, however, has been suspended. As accessory penalty he will have to plant 600 trees.
During a judicial hearing in March the police officer defended himself by saying that he had only obeyed an order. His statement, however, was denied by Ramazan Emekli, police chief of Beyoglu, in the district of Gezi Park: “There was no need to use the spray against that woman in that circumstance.” But one of the riot control agents who was there on that day – Zeki Bayrak – made a different statement. Emekli, in turn, is accused of having burned the tents of the demonstrators during the protests.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo