Turkish police have denied that three politicians from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were hospitalized over food poisoning while under detention.
According to an Ankara police statement that was released after the party’s claims on Sept. 28, Kars Mayor Ayhan Bilgen was taken to a hospital over an infection in his body and that his treatment began.
Deputy Hüseyin Kaçmaz earlier on Sept. 28 said that Bilgen, İsmail Şengün and Can Memiş were taken to a hospital over food poisoning and that Bilgen returned to police headquarters after his treatment was completed.
The party on Sept. 27 said that Bilgen told his lawyers that he was suffering from food poisoning because of the dinner served at the Ankara police headquarters and that he wasn’t taken to a hospital.
The HDP then said that he is not allowed to talk to his lawyers.
Ankara police released a statement following criticism on social media, saying that the same meal was served to 181 people under detention over various charges.
“Only three suspects, including Ayhan Bilgen, had complaints and were taken to a hospital for treatment,” it said.
HDP deputy chair Ümit Dede said that Ayla Akat Ata also fell ill, but her condition was not as bad to be taken to a hospital.
According to Dede, all of the politicians under detention complained about the food being not fresh.
A total of 20 HDP members, including former lawmakers, were detained on Sept. 25 as part of a probe into the October 2014 Kobane protests. A total of 82 people were being sought.
Their detention periods were extended for four days on Sept. 28.
Protesters flooded streets in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast in early October 2014, outraged over the Turkish government’s inaction in protecting Syrian Kurds as ISIS besieged Kobane, just across the Syrian border. The protests led to the deaths of 37 people, as members of Turkish Hizbullah also took to the streets. Ankara accuses the HDP of inciting violence.
Prosecutor detained HDP members upon Erdoğan’s orders: Deputy
Meanwhile, Dede said that the detentions were carried out upon President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s orders since prosecutor Yüksel Kocaman met with him a week earlier.
“This is not a coincidence. There are orders,” Dede said.