First Published: 2013-11-29

Protection deemed as a weapon: Turkey rules goggles a weapon used in Gezi park protests
Suspects had clear intention of invading Gezi park, clashing with police, destroying public property.
Middle East Online

No swimming pool in Gezi park

ISTANBUL - A Turkish court has ruled that swimming goggles and other protective equipment used by protesters during this year's mass street demonstrations were "weapons", local media reported on Friday.

Demonstrators armed themselves with homemade gear such as masks made of plastic bottles, motorbike helmets and goggles to protect themselves from tear gas fired by riot police during the protests that gripped the country in June.

But an Istanbul court ruled Thursday that such items could be classified as weapons in a case against 23 people who joined the action against government plans to build on the city's Gezi park.

It said that the suspects had the clear intention of invading the park, clashing with police and destroying public property.

"They had not gone to the Gezi Park to swim, since there is no swimming pool there," newspapers quoted the court ruling as saying.

An estimated 2.5 million people took to the streets over three weeks of protests, which left six people dead and 8,000 people injured in the biggest challenge yet to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rule.

 

Yemen warring parties 'closer' to agreement

Major assaults target IS jihadists in Iraq, Syria

Netanyahu forms ultra-nationalist Israel government

New Afghan Taliban leader named

Female Emirati pilot issues rallying cry to young women

Syrian base used by Russia damaged in IS attack

Kurdish, Arab forces announce anti-IS offensive north of Syria's Raqa

Palestinian PM dismisses Netanyahu proposal

Israel PM's travel expenses under scrutiny

EgyptAir victims' relatives give samples for DNA tests

Iran sends new delegation to Saudi for hajj talks

Hardline cleric elected head of Iran's Assembly of Experts

Civilians trapped as Fallujah siege tightens

Iraq's Fallujah offensive draws attention from embattled PM

Turkey incoming PM unveils cabinet

US, Russia scramble to save Syria truce

Libyan coastguards intercept 550 bound for Europe

Campus bomb kills two in Yemen's Sanaa

Saudi soldier killed in landmine blast on Yemen border

Over 148 killed in IS bombings in Syria regime heartland

Iraq forces battle IS jihadists to retake Fallujah

Erdogan advisor says Turkey could suspend EU deals

Iraq launches military operation to retake Fallujah

Oil prices dip as Iran says no to output freeze

Skepticism ahead of Istanbul humanitarian summit

Sudan steps up pressure for exit of Darfur peacekeepers

UN Palestinian agency says half its schools hit by conflict

Bombs kill more than 120 in Syria regime strongholds

Netanyahu rejects French peace initiative

Gunmen kill 8 worshipers in Darfur

India in deal to turn Iran port into trade hub

Turkey's incoming PM working on new cabinet

Israel lifts ban on Gaza cement deliveries

Yemen warring parties meet after long pause

Egypt enlists submersible to search for EgyptAir crash clues

Tunisia's Ennahda reelects Ghannouchi as party chief

At least 20 dead in Yemen suicide bombing

Syria rebels give truce brokers 48 hours to end regime offensive

Deadly bombings rock northeast Syria as US commander visits

Ex- government minister dies in Libya ISIS clashes

Green Zone breach may set stage for more violence in Iraq

‘Last chance’ to save Yemen peace talks

Egypt deploys submarine in search for clues in plane crash

Erdogan loyalist set to be Turkey PM

Attempt to disperse protesters turns deadly in Iraq