Turkish police officer slaps, detains HDP Istanbul co-chair

A Turkish police officer has slapped HDP Istanbul co-chair Ferhat Encü during a protest against sick prisoners’ condition behind bars. The police detained a reporter for recording the moments of slapping as well as Encü.

Duvar English

A Turkish police officer on Dec. 18 slapped pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul co-chair and former deputy Ferhat Encü during a protest held in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district against sick prisoners’ condition behind bars.

Relatives of sick prisoners gathered in Kadıköy district as per a call by the Marmara Association of Solidarity with Families of Prisoners (MATUHAY-DER), Association of Assistance and Solidarity with the Lost Relatives of Anatolia (ANYAKAYDER), and United Fighting Forces (BGM) with the slogan of “freedom to sick prisoners.”

During the protest, Artı TV cameraperson Mehmet Zeki recored the moments of a Turkish police officer slapping Encü. The police later detained Zeki for recording the moments of slapping as well as Encü.

The police detained 33 people, including Encü and Zeki, and battered another reporter. 

HDP Co-chair Mithat Sancar described the violent act against Encü as the result of the "government's hostile and hatred policies" and said "We will never back down in the face of these reckless attacks. You will not win!"

The HDP also released a statement on Twitter and said "This gang member (the police officer), who thinks that he has Criminal Affairs Minister's (Süleyman Soylu) back, and the powers behind him will be punished for their crimes. Neither we nor our peoples will forget this slap on Ferhat Encü on the anniversary of the Roboski Massacre. You will pay!"

Jailed former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said "It's been a long time since this government, which is covered in dirt and crime, has exceeded its limits. You haven't seen a slap yet. Wait for the ballot box, we will show it!"

Encü announced that he was released after a few hours.