The Turkish police arrested dozens of people and obstructed journalists during a protest in Istanbul organised to call on international organisations to investigate allegations about Turkey’s use of chemical weapons in north Iraq.
The district governor of Beyoğlu in İstanbul, referring to a general ban on demonstrations, refused to grant permission for the “Humanity March”, organised by several institutions, including pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).
The protestors joined the march to protest against the silence of the international communit despite footage shared by Kurdish fighters showing devices used by the Turkish military in north Iraq in operations against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Those devices allegedly contained chemical weapons used against Kurdish fighters positioned inside caves.
The police surrounded the protestors gathered in Beyoğlu’s İstiklal street, as well as recording them from above using drones, and also physically pushed away journalists who were trying to report on the protest, Artı Gerçek reported.
They later also surrounded the HDP district headquarters preventing several HDP MPs from joining the protest, including former co-chair Sezai Temelli.
Footage shared on social media show HDP MPs Musa Piroğlu surrounded by police forces.
“The İstanbul police are doing the same thing again. Whenever there is a demonstration for rights, whenever we pursue the facts, the police block us,” Piroğlu said.
“They have been holding me here for one hour,” he added. “This is police terror. This is state terror. You will answer for it.”