Turkish interior ministry to pay 10,000 liras to French student for Gezi detainment: Court

İsmail Saymaz - Hürriyet / Istanbul, June 16 () - A French student who was deported after being detained by the police during Istanbul’s Gezi Park protests on June 11, 2013, has won 10,000 Turkish Liras in compensation for being unlawfully deprived of her freedom during her detention.

Istanbul’s 7th Administrative Court ruled that the Turkish interior ministry pay 10,000 liras to Elisa Couvert, a student at the Sorbonne University at the time of the Gezi protests, to compensate the unlawful deprivation of her freedom during the time she was kept at the Foreigners Deportation Center.

“To partially compensate for the pain and sorrow she felt as she was deprived of her freedom by unlawful reasons” was the verdict in the court’s decision.

Couvert, who studied at Galatasaray University three years ago as part of an Erasmus exchange program, was detained June 11, 2013 while taking refuge in a Socialist Democracy Party (SDP) branch during a police attack on Taksim during the Gezi resistance.

Couvert claimed she knew nothing of the SDP – a legal party that is a fierce critic of the government – or of the building before she took shelter there from a barrage of tear gas with about 30 others.

Gülizar Tuncer, Couvert’s lawyer, had filed a complaint at Istanbul’s 7th Administrative Court that is was against the law to keep Couvert at the deportation center, as a decision against her had not yet been made and she had a valid passport. The court previously ruled for Couvert. Tuncer thus opened a compensation suit afterwards.

During her detention, the student remained in custody for four days, where she was questioned about her relation to the SDP and accused of being a French spy.

Couvert was also asked to give a detailed account of her life in Turkey, including her thesis on “Kurds who learn Kurdish later,” and was treated “as a terrorist,” despite entering the building simply by chance. Her residence permit was also canceled prior to deportation without any official reason provided.



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