Turkey - France

French woman wins compensation for arrest during Turkey’s Gezi protests

Tear gas is fired at protesters on Istanbul's Taksim Square, next to Gezi Park
Tear gas is fired at protesters on Istanbul's Taksim Square, next to Gezi Park Reuters/Umit Bektas
2 min

A Turkish court this week ordered Turkey’s finance ministry to pay compensation to a young French woman detained for 14 days after fleeing police tear gas at last year’s Gezi Park protests in Istanbul.


The court ruled that Elisa Marianne Couvert’s democratic rights to safety, demonstration and free speech were violated by her detention in June 2013 and ordered the treasury to pay her 500 Turkish lira (180 euros) in compensation, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reports.

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She had sued the finance ministry for 50,000 Turkish lira.

Police arrested Couvert in the headquarters of the left-wing Socialist Democracy Party in Istanbul’s Taksim neighbourhood on 11 June last year during stormy protests sparked by then-prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's plan to build a shopping mall on a city park.

She had gone there to escape tear gas fired by police in an attempt to clear the area.

Police released her after four days but she remained in custody for a further 10 days because it had been decided to deport her.

Couvert, a student at Paris’s Sorbonne University who was working as an intern at the Turkish Human Rights Association, successfully appealed against deportation.

Erdogan was elected president of Turkey in an election in August.

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