12 Jun 2014

Student in anti-government protest in Turkey faces 98 years in jail for wearing red scarf

Prosecutors in Turkey are demanding the maximum sentence for Ayse Deniz Karacagil, saying that her scarf represented socialism. The 20-year-old has spent the last four months in jail after being arrested for taking part in an anti-government protest.

Ayse Deniz Karacagil

Ayse was part of a group who took to the streets of Antalya, southern Turkey, last September to complain at the death of demonstrator Ahmet Atakan. The circumstances of his death have still not been explained. 


Ayse was singled out when police moved to break up the demonstration and they managed to get a photograph of her wearing the red scarf.

Red, according to prosecutors, is the colour of socialism, and that meant that she knew by wearing the red scarf she was indicating her membership of the illegal MLKP, an underground Anti-Revisionist Marxist-Leninist and Hoxhaist communist party in Turkey. However Ayse says she wore it solely to protect herself when the tear gas was sprayed. 

She is facing a sentence of between 24 and 98 years in jail over charges of being a member of a terrorist organisation, opposing Assembly Law and resisting against law enforcement officers. Four others face between 11 and 95 years in jail for being at the event. 

Daily Express