Ankara police have detained 21 people who had gathered for a ceremony to mark the death anniversary of Ethem Sarısülük, who was shot dead by a police officer on June 1, 2013 during anti-government Gezi Park protests, Turkish media outlets said.
Daily Cumhuriyet later reported that all of the detainees were released after giving their testimonies.
As the protesters were on their way to Ankara's Güvenpark, where Sarısülük was killed seven years ago, they faced with police resistance. The police cited the participants' holding banners and flags as the reason of detentions.
"Police first intervened in the Ethem Sarısülük commemoration ceremony, then issued a warning of 'pay attention to social distancing,'" Yol TV said in Tweet.
Polis, Ethem Sarısülük anmasına önce müdahale etti, sonra 'sosyal mesafeye dikkat' uyarısı yaptı!— Yol TV (@YolTV) June 1, 2020
Ankara'da Ethem Sarısülük'ü öldürüldüğü yerde anmak isteyenlere polis müdahale ederek çok sayıda kişiyi gözaltına aldı? pic.twitter.com/QeB85Yats8
Video footages showed police officers dragging people on the ground.
Ankara’da Haziran İsyanı günlerinde katledilen Ethem Sarısülük için düzenlenen anmaya polis saldırdı ve 21 kişiyi gözaltına aldı.https://t.co/7h1dCGXjjo [Video: @kolektifler] pic.twitter.com/i3PBwY11ne— sendika.org (@sendika_org) June 1, 2020
Despite the police intervention, a commemoration ceremony for Sülük took place. Ethem Sülük's mother Sayfi Sarısülük and the family's lawyer Kazım Bayraktar also participated in the ceremony.
“We have until so far seen that when the police commit a murder, the judiciary stands behind them. And this is how they encouraged police officers to commit murder. This is not only seen in Turkey, but also in the world,” lawyer Bayraktar was quoted as by Sendika.org, also denouncing the U.S. police killing of George Floyd.
Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers Ali Kenanoğlu ve Tülay Hatimoğulları also held a speech at the ceremony.Thousands mark Gezi Park protests on seventh anniversary
Initiallycentered in Istanbul, the Gezi Park protests spread to all overTurkey starting from June 1, 2013, as millions took to the streets toraise their voices against police brutality and government policies.It turned into the largest wave of protests against the government inTurkey’s history.
26-year-oldSarısülük was the third protester to be killed by police duringthe protests.
Thepolice officer who shot Sarısülük received a jail sentence ofseven years after being found guilty of first-degree murder in averdict in 2014.
Theshooting was caught on camera. The court rejected claims that thepoliceman, Ahmet Şahbaz, had fired in self-defence.
The sentence however was slammed as too lenient by the victim’s family.Former HDP co-chair Demirtaş says Gezi 'spirit' is not over on 7th year anniversary of protests