'I can't breathe': Turkish police detain AFP photojournalist during Pride march
Turkish police have detained AFP photojournalist Bülent Kılıç during the Pride march in Istanbul's Taksim as he was covering the event. Kılıç was heard shouting "I can't breathe" as police officers kept pressing their knees into his back.
Turkish police on June 26 detained AFP photojournalist Bülent Kılıç as he was covering the Pride march in Istanbul's Taksim.
Kılıç, AFP's award-winning chief photographer in Turkey, was covering police brutality against the LGBTI+ community when he himself was subjected to minutes of violence.
In a video shared on Twitter, Kılıç is seen surrounded by police officers with some of them pressing their knees into the photojournalist's back.
"I can't breathe," Kılıç was heard saying.
“nefes alamıyorum” @istanbulpride #Pride2021 pic.twitter.com/AuyU4yPx3M— smfd (@khandabani) June 26, 2021
Upon standing up, Kılıç told the officers that he will file a complaint.
The incident was reminiscent of the police brutality that George Floyd suffered in the U.S. Floyd died on May 25 last year and Derek Chauvin, the former police officer, was sentenced to 22,5 years in prison.
Kılıç was released later on June 26 and said that the police aimed to kill him.
"I was tried to be suffocated," he said on Twitter early on June 27, adding that he will make sure that those responsible are tried.
Canıma kast edilmeye çalışıldı, nefesim kesilmek istendi, bana bunu yapandan, Anayasa Mahkemesi, Avrupa İnsan Hakları, her ne ise, bu Dünya’da hangi mahkemeyse hesap soracağım, yaşadığım sürece bunun mahkemede hesabı verilecek. Ulu Divan’a kalmayacak.#NefesAlamıyorum #Pride2021— Bulent KILIC (@Kilicbil) June 26, 2021
He also shared pictures that he took before getting detained.
Gözaltına alınmadan hemen önce çektiğim fotoğraflar. Saolsun Yasin hazırlamış. #NefesAlamıyorum #Pride2021 https://t.co/jvX8KF7Ox0— Bulent KILIC (@Kilicbil) June 26, 2021
Turkish authorities banned the Pride march after 2014.