Turkish Interior Ministry sentenced to pay TL 1 mln to man who lost eye during Gezi protests

An İstanbul court has ordered the Turkish Interior Ministry on Monday to pay over 1 million Turkish Liras in compensation to an academic who lost an eye during a police crackdown on the Gezi protests in 2013, reported by Hurriyet daily news.

According to the report Burak Ünveren, a lecturer at Yıldız Technical University, his one eye due to a tear gas canister that was fired by police during a protest in İstanbul. The İstanbul 4th Administrative Court ruled that police have the right to intervene in protests if necessary but must not use excessive force. It also stated that tear gas must always be used at medium range, rather than close range.

“Tear gas canisters should be aimed into the air from a certain angle, as there is a possibility of hitting a person and causing an injury,” the court stated, adding that the ruling was informed by Ünveren’s forensic report. “It is clear that the intervention crossed the line in injuring Ünveren, who was not even participating in this protest. So there is a necessity to pay compensation for the loss caused by the targeting of a tear gas canister directly into the face,” the ruling stated.

The court ordered the Interior ministry to pay Ünveren 555,197 liras in material damages and 500,000 liras in moral damages, stating that the incident incurred a 37 percent loss in Ünveren’s earnings.

Ünveren’s lawyer Ayhan Erdoğan said they would object to the ruling. “It is clear that the administration is at fault. The compensation ordered is not enough considering that my client lost one of his eyes,” he said.


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