Istanbul’s appeals court overturned the first judgment dating from February 2020 and referred the case back to the court that ruled the first time, according to a ruling seen by the DPA news agency.
Among those who see their acquittals overturned is businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala, who is still behind bars. A new arrest warrant was issued against him just after his acquittal, as part of a separate investigation, linked to a coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.
The nine individuals had been indicted for their alleged role in protests against the government’s plans to renovate an area in central Istanbul, including the destruction of Gezi Park, one of the city’s largest green spaces.
The crackdown on the protests had led to anti-government protests across the country, the largest of which was against Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was then still prime minister and not president.
Turkish President Erdogan has publicly accused Kavala of funding the protests, with the help of Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros. He has repeatedly called the protests an international conspiracy.