Istanbul police ban activists from staging rally on Peace Day, detain several

Istanbul police have brutally detained members of the civil initiative Peace Mothers as well as several other activists for attempting to hold a rally as part of the September 1 World Peace Day events.

Ferhat Yaşar / DUVAR

Police detained several activists in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district for attempting to stage a rally to commemorate September 1 World Peace Day, as per the call of the civil rights platform Istanbul Labor, Peace and Democracy Powers.

A group of people including politicians from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and members of the civil initiative Peace Mothers, on Sept. 1 wanted to hold a press statement in front of Kadıköy's Karaköy pier.

The police however barred them from doing so and formed a human blockade around them.

Following the detention of several people inside the blockade, another group of people that gathered in front of the Beşiktaş pier wanted to march towards the Karaköy pier. The police however stopped them from doing so and pepper sprayed them.

Those managing to come in front of the Karaköy pier have said that they will not leave the area until the police blockade would be lifted.

“They are scared. They are scared of freedom. They are scared of peace. They are not hearing the call of peace of mothers. They are not seeing the struggle for peace. Long live peace, long live our struggle. We are not leaving this area until the blockade against Peace Mothers is lifted,” the activists said.

In the following hours, at least 95 people were detained. Among the detainees were members of the Peace Mothers as well as executives of the HDP.

(English version by Didem Atakan)