The 55th Criminal Court of First Instance in Istanbul on Friday sentenced 244 defendants in the Gezi Park case to imprisonment with jail terms ranging from two and a half months to one year and two months.
There were seven foreigners among the 248 defendants who were being charged over the acts they committed in the 2013 Gezi Park protests. Four of them were acquitted the another four cases were kept separated from the others. The jail sentences are likely to be executed as punitive fines in most cases.
The suspects were found guilty for an array of crimes such as violating the law for collective meetings and demonstrations, resisting public officials performing their duties, damaging public property and protecting criminals.
According to the ruling, four defendants including two assistant doctors were sentenced to 10-months of imprisonment for "dirtying places of worship" in the occupation of Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan Mosque. However, the local court postponed their penalties.
Beginning as a demonstration over the environment, with concerned Istanbulites numbering in the dozens occupying Gezi Park to prevent the removal of the trees there, the Gezi Park protests later turned into a nationwide wave of protests against the Turkish government, following police intervention to the protestors at the park.
While approximately 3,600,000 people attended the nationwide protests, eight protesters lost their lives and 4,329 of them were wounded, also two police officers died and 697 officers were also wounded.
Police authorities said that the approximate damage of the Gezi Park protests amounted to 139 million Turkish liras ($53 million), of which 74 million TL were damages to business property.