Turkish police 'attack' protesting lawyers at courthouse, many arrests (VIDEO)
The lawyers were seized at the Caglayan Courthouse on Tuesday by troops of the special forces unit, reported Hürriyet Daily News.
Bir fotoğraf daha... twitter.com/GSedakilic/sta…— Seda Kılıç (@GSedakilic) June 11, 2013
The newspaper says at least 50 people have been arrested, while
other sources put the number as high as 70. A list of 24 people
has been circulating. Caption reads: "A list of
solicitors who had been detained (or part)"
Gözlaltına alınan avukatların listesi. (ya da bir kısmı) twitter.com/budamibuda/sta…— Kübra Kaçtıoğlu (@budamibuda) June 11, 2013
Witnesses said the police were acting harshly in overpowering the
lawyers. Some described the entire operation as a blatant attack
by the police troops.
Lawyer Fatma Elif Koru described the ‘brutal’ arrest of 49 of her colleagues as they presented a press statement at Istanbul's Çağlayan court.
Elif told a Guardian reporter: "We were just gathering to make a press statement about Gezi Park and then the police attacked. It was very brutal. Now 49 lawyer friends are in custody and many are injured.
They even kicked their heads, the lawyers were on the ground. They were hitting us they were pushing. They built a circle around us and then they attacked.
Around 100 Turkish lawyers have gathered outside the police
station demanding that their colleagues be released. “The
detainment of the lawyers at the courthouse by force brings the
question of what kind of a ‘democratic regime’ we are living
in,” said the Bar in a statement sent to the Hürriyet Daily
The lawyers were arrested hours after Turkish riot police marched into Taksim Square, a place of mass anti-government rallies for the last 10 days. The troops used tear gas and water cannons to prevent activists from entering the area. Officials said the move was necessary to remove barricades, banners and graffiti left by the protesters.
The arrests come on the same day that police used water cannons
and tear gas to take over Taksim Square in Istanbul from
anti-government activists. Police removed protest banners from
buildings overlooking the square. The prime minister hailed the
move, which he described as tearing down “rags”.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan stated on Tuesday that he has ‘no
more tolerance’ of the protests, which have been continuing for
nearly two weeks. He claimed that 95 per cent of the people in
Taksim Square were not even aware of the location of the Gezi
Park before the protest started, and also lashed out at social
media over what he called the spreading of lies.