Resul Demir, a distributor of the daily Yeni Yaşam in Turkey’s southern city of Mersin has been threatened with legal action and “consequences” twice within a couple of days by police officers.
It was when he went into a coffee shop to deliver the newspaper that he was first confronted by police officers who had been playing cards inside. They asked Demir which newspaper he was delivering, and he said it was Yeni Yaşam.
The officers then asked him if he had a permit for delivering the newspaper, which he answered by confirming that he did.
“You’ve been to prison three times before,” the officers said. “So we guess it’s going to be a fourth time for you.”
When Demir said it was a legal newspaper, like other newspapers in the country, they started to argue with him. Demir finally left the shop to return home.
He had his second encounter a few days later. An armoured vehicle came by, the door opened, and the officer asked him where he was going. “Home,” Demir replied.
“Are you aware that something’s going to happen to you if you keep on delivering that newspaper?,” the officer said. “You are about to face another criminal inquiry and you’ll be jailed again. Why don’t you let go with this newspaper?”
Then they asked Demir to step into the vehicle. He refused. This was followed by a brief tussle. Then the officer closed the door and they drove away.