İsmail Demirbaş (49) criticized the government in a street interview in the southern province of Antalya in Turkey in October. He stated that Turkey needed early elections as soon as possible to “get rid of the bloodsucking vampires”. This interview took place in a YouTube channel where street interviews are aired.
An investigation was launched against him and Demirbaş was taken into custody by six police officers from his home on the night of 24 October. During the interview, Demirbaş said that the system of the Turkish government is similar to the one used during Nazi Germany. He was released on probation, but later he gave another street interview and talked about what he had gone through during his detention. He criticized both President Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in this interview as well.
This time, a decision to effect a house arrest on Demirbaş was made. He went to the courthouse a day later to appeal against the house arrest decision. Demirbaş submitted a petition but was arrested. It was learned that Demirbaş was arrested for the charge of insulting the president. He was sent to Antalya E-Type Prison.
His son, Melih Demirbaş, reacted to the decision to arrest his father. He spoke to Gazete Duvar: “My father has not done anything wrong. He has gone through a lot just for expressing his ideas. He has not committed a crime”.
He demanded the release of his father as soon as possible. Demirbaş’s arrest has led to public outrage over the matter as expressed in social media and in campaigns demanding his release on Twitter.