All suspects detained at raid into leftist party during Gezi protests released

Photo: All suspects detained at raid into leftist party during Gezi protests released / Turkey

An Istanbul court has released 17 people who were detained as part of an operation into the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) during the Gezi Park protests Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The Istanbul 2nd Judicial Office, which was assigned by the anti-terror law (TMK), decided in favor of the release of the 17 suspects on the grounds that "the arrest decision was consistent at the beginning of the investigation but is no longer needed as the suspects have been under arrest for more than seven months," Dogan News Agency reported.

The investigative judge, however, has banned the released suspects from leaving the country, also ruling that they must sign in at a police station once a week.

In an investigation started by the Istanbul deputy public prosecutor's office assigned by the anti-terror law, 63 people, including the ESP's Istanbul district head Cicek Otlu, were detained on June 17, 2013, at the height of the Gezi Park incidents, which were sparked by opposition to a shopping mall construction project planned near Istanbul's Taksim Square and spread across the country.

Thirty-four of the 63 suspects were formally arrested by the court on charges of being a member of an armed illegal organization. They have been in jail since last month, when 17 of the suspects were released. The remaining 17 suspects were released in the latest decision, leaving no suspects under arrest as the investigation continues.

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