Police chiefs suspended amid flag probe
DIYARBAKIR – Anadolu Agency
The removal of the flag in Diyarbakır triggered fresh flag romances, mostly in the western part of the country. DHA PHotoThree police chiefs were suspended June 12 in connection to an incident where a Turkish flag was removed from inside of a military post during protests in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır earlier this week.
Diyarbakır Governor Mustafa Cahit Kıraç told Anadolu Agency there was an ongoing, extensive investigation into the incident.
The suspended police officers are the local anti-terrorism department deputy chief Mustafa Börekçi, and Mustafa Mumcu and Abdurrahman Bişgin of the anti-riot teams.
A masked protester removed the flag June 8 following the deaths of two demonstrators against the construction of a military outpost in the Lice district of Diyarbakır.
The police had detained five people as part of the operation on the flag removal before releasing four. One of the detained people was arrested for lending support to the protester who took down the flag. Police sources have confirmed the 16-year-old who removed the flag was also identified, but has not been captured.
Ramazan Baran, 26, and Baki Akdemir, 50, died from gunshot wounds when the military opened fire in Lice protests. The flag incident at the Air Force happened during Baran’s funeral.
The incident triggered a wave of reactions with the opposition parties blaming the government for poor decisions.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused both the perpetrators and local military officials, saying those responsible for the move will pay for it.
He also accused the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the movement of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen of seeking political benefit from what he described as a “planned action” to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (BDP).