Istanbul police detain four youth after brawl over dancing halay to Kurdish music

Istanbul police have prevented Kurdish youth from dancing halay to Kurdish music and detained four of them following a brawl. Afterwards, a video surfaced showing the police forcing the detainees to listen to Ottoman military music while lying on the ground with their hands cuffed.

Duvar English

Police on May 21 prevented youth from dancing the traditional halay folk dance to Kurdish music in Istanbul’s Moda coastal park. The police seized the youth’s loudspeakers and asked for their identity cards, according to reporting by Mücadele Gazetesi.

When the youth objected to the police, they were teargassed. Afterwards, a brawl took place, with a youth trying to hit the police. At this point, the police fired his gun into the air. When the youth started running away, the police went after them, detaining four youth.

Afterwards, a video surfaced showing the police making the youth lie on the ground with their hands cuffed behind their backs. The detainees seen being forced to listen to the Ottoman military music ("Mehter marşı in Turkish).  

The Diyarbakır Bar Association on May 22 released a statement with regards to the issue, demanding an immediate and effective investigation. “As per the international agreements and documents to which Turkey is party, torture’s definition has been made and it has been absolutely banned,” the bar association said, adding that it will follow up on the issue.