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.


Saudi to carry out nuclear power deal with or without US

Air strikes hit Ghouta despite rebel ceasefire effort

Three dead after suspected IS gunman takes hostages in France

US approves $1 billion in Saudi defence contracts

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

Iraqi asylum seeker gets life sentence for London bombing

UK says Israeli sentencing of Palestinian teenage girl "emblematic"

Israel ministers welcome US appointment of 'friend' Bolton

Sarkozy vows to clear name in Libya probe

Syria announces second evacuation deal for rebel-held Eastern Ghouta.

170,000 flee violence in Syria's Afrin

Norway proposes bill to ban full-face veils in education

Turkey says EU statements on Cyprus 'unacceptable'

In world first, flight to Israel crosses Saudi airspace

Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre

Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Rebels evacuate Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Two Hamas security force members killed in raid on bomb suspect

Turkey gives watchdog power to block internet broadcasts

EU leaders to condemn Turkey’s ‘illegal’ actions in Mediterranean

Sarkozy says life ‘living hell’ since corruption allegations

Hezbollah leader says debt threatens Lebanon disaster

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

UN says Turkey security measures 'curtail human rights'

Netanyahu says African migrants threaten Jewish majority

US Senate votes on involvement in Yemen war as Saudi prince visits

What a ‘limited strike’ against Syria’s Assad might mean

Erdogan tells US to stop ‘deceiving’, start helping on Syria

IS controls Damascus district in surprise attack

French ex-president held over Libya financing allegations

NGO says Israeli army violating Palestinian minors’ rights

Human rights chief slams Security Council for inaction on Syria