Turkish interior minister targets teacher detained during protest

In a social media post, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has targeted one of the teachers that was detained in the capital Ankara during a demonstration protesting working conditions.

Duvar English

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has targeted one of the detained teachers, posting a picture of her on his social media account.

Soylu tried to justify the teacher’s detention by referring to her as “a professional demonstrator” and by saying that she “was not serving as a teacher in the public sector.” He also shared a previous picture of the teacher Betül Koca while holding a flag of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and making a peace sign.

On Aug. 30, members of the Private Sector Teachers Association held a demonstration in the capital Ankara, demanding an improvement in employee personal rights. They wanted to march towards the Education Ministry but faced a harsh intervention by the police. They were pepper sprayed and seven of the teachers were detained. Later on in the day, the teachers were released from police custody.

The harsh police intervention and detentions drew ire among society, with several opposition leaders slamming the move.

“You pepper sprayed the teachers, yeah? You used violence against teachers, yeah? Teachers…That person (police officer) who says ‘take this person’ (for detention), wait for me. We will not forgive this swagger (move) against teachers,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu tweeted, also sharing a video of police violence from the demonstration.

Meanwhile, the Private Sector Teachers Association released a statement after Soylu’s targeting of the detained teacher. “We are not looking from the same perspective to life with the approach that targets the teachers as target and cannot grasp that unionization can bring many people from different political bakcgrounds together,” it said in a statement.