Suspect in fatal beating of Gezi protester released

Parents of Ali İsmail Korkmaz cry over their son's coffin on July 11.

Police have detained at least one suspect among the assailants who brutally beat a Gezi Park protester, Ali İsmail Korkmaz, who died on July 10 from injuries suffered in the incident, Turkish media reported on Monday. The suspect was later released pending trial.
Korkmaz, a 19-year-old university student, suffered a brain hemorrhage after being beaten with baseball bats by men in street clothes as he fled police during a demonstration in support of the Gezi Park protests in Eskişehir. He fought for his life for 38 days at a hospital before finally succumbing to his injuries. The attack on Korkmaz has stoked the tensions that erupted late in May over a government plan to demolish İstanbul's Gezi Park in Taksim Square and replace it with a replica of an Ottoman-era barracks.
Reports said on Monday that Eskişehir police detained one of the men who attacked Korkmaz after examining footage from two security cameras at the scene. These men were civilians, not police officers as has been alleged, according to the police.
Reports said last week that footage from 40 security cameras around the scene was examined by experts, who delivered their findings in a report to the Eskişehir Prosecutor's Office. According to the report, 18 crucial minutes were missing from footage showing the group with baseball bats attacking other Gezi protesters near where Korkmaz was beaten.

The report said, “The persons wearing gasmasks, who are estimated to be plainclothes policemen or civilians acting in cooperation with the police, are seen attacking and chasing Gezi protesters with baseball bats or batons.” The report adds that Korkmaz is seen with a friend in the footage.
The National Police Department later denied claims that the video footage showing the attack had been changed or that some parts of it had been deleted. The police department said the lapse was due to a hotel owner shutting off his electricity as a security measure, adding that the evidence was handed over to the prosecutor's office without undergoing any examination at the police station.

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