Turkish Protesters Facing Criminal Charges

Increasing number of protesters using silent protests


Turkish police sent 94 demonstrators to the prosecutor's office to face charges of provoking violence during the recent unrest, as growing numbers adopted a silent form of protest inspired by the "standing man."

The suspects, including 20 members of soccer team Besiktas's fan club, known as Carsi, face charges of organizing acts of violence and inciting illegal protests, state-run TRT television said. Some members of Carsi were spotted in clashes with police in Istanbul's Taksim Square, the center of the demonstrations, and near Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office in Besiktas district, it said.

The biggest street demonstrations against the decade-old Erdogan government erupted May 31 after police attacked a sit-in at an Istanbul park overlooking Taksim slated for redevelopment. They broadened to target what the protesters say is the government's increasingly authoritarian approach and attempts to impose Islamic ways on the country. At least four people have died in clashes between demonstrators and police, which escalated last weekend, and thousands have been injured.