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Turkish activists decry indictment seeking life sentences for Gezi protesters

Opposition figures are accused of trying to force out President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by leading demonstrations to save a park, yet they say the charges are an attempt to sway public opinion ahead of elections this month
Members of Taksim solidarity platform pose in front of a banner reading "Darkness will go, Gezi will stay" on March 11, 2019 during a press conference in Istanbul. - Turkish activists at the forefront of the mass 2013 anti-government protests on March 11, 2019, rejected "irrational" and "unlawful" indictment targeting prominent Turkish businessman Osman Kavala and 15 others. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

ISTANBUL — Turkish activists blasted an indictment that calls for life sentences for 16 people who allegedly organized protests to save a park nearly six years ago, accusing the government of politicizing the judiciary ahead of elections this month.

A court last week formally accepted the 657-page indictment, which alleges the 2013 protests were an attempt to force President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then prime minister, to either resign or “prepare the grounds for a civil war or coup.”

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