Turkish police detained over a dozen people as they prepared to participate in a protest in capital Ankara against what organisers are calling the unlawful incarceration of those accused of playing a role in the July 2016 coup attempt.
A total of 14 people were detained in a march set to take place in Ankara’s Güven Park, including the organiser whose military academy student, whose son was jailed following the failed putsch, Artı Gerçek news site said.
Melek Çetinkaya, whose son Furkan Talha Çetinkaya was arrested following the failed coup and sentenced to life in prison, organised the “Justice March” for all military academy students who received a life sentences, pregnant inmates, children behind bars and civil servants sacked following the failed coup attempt of July 2016, Artı Gerçek said.
Over 250 people were killed and more than 2,100 were injured during the failed putsch of July 15, 2016, which Ankara maintains was orchestrated by Gülen movement. The Turkish government says the religious group, with U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen at helm, led a long-running scheme to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by infiltrating Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
More than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial and about 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been sacked or suspended from their jobs as part of a crackdown by the Turkish government since the failed coup.
“The march planned by Melek Çetinkaya today calling for justice was prevented through police pressure People were detained even as they stood on their feet,’’ pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, who was present at the protest, said
Öğrencilerin tutuklanmasını protesto etmek isteyenlere polis geçit vermedi. Tutuklu askeri öğrencinin annesi Melek Çetinkaya ve beraberindeki 14 kişi gözaltına alındı. HDP Kocaeli Milletvekili Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, Güvenpark’ta o anların görüntülerini paylaştı.
Gergerlioğlu said he was a victim of police force, showing his coat, which he says, had been tattered by police.