The municipal police ("zabıta") working for Istanbul's Kağıthane Municipality, run by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), assaulted a young street vendor selling fruit on the street, footage released by journalist Tuncay Mollaveisoğlu showed on Oct. 7.
"It's reported that people attacking this young man for selling a few crates of fruit are members of the Kağıthane Municipality Police teams," Mollaveisoğlu tweeted.
Municipal police officers are seen knocking the vendor to the ground in the video of the assault, and continuing to punch and kick him after he's down.
Kağıthane Mayor Mevlüt Öztekin called the municipalş police's assault an "unfortunate incident."
"Legal authorities and our municipality have launched an investigation and disciplinary proceedings against municipal police officers involved in the unfortunate incident that took place during a vendor intervention," Öztekin said.
Zabıta ekiplerimizin bir seyyar satıcı müdahalesi sırasında dün yaşanan talihsiz olay ile ilgili gerek adli makamlar gerekse Belediyemiz tarafından inceleme ve disiplin soruşturması için ilgili zabıta memurları açığa alınmıştır.— Mevlüt Öztekin (@MevlutOztekin) October 7, 2021
Kamuoyunun bilgisine saygı ile duyurulur.
The relevant employees have been suspended, the mayor added.
Municipal police have the authority to regulate street vendors' activity in Turkey, although the intervention in question is more of a blatant attack than a regulatory intervention.