Protester detained after Ankara mayor complains during rally
ESKİŞEHİR – Doğan News Agency
After reading the placard, Gökçek asked police to take the man into custody, making his complaint from the platform. AA PhotoA protester has been detained by police during a rally in Eskişehir after Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek complained during a speech about a banner carried by the man.
During Gökçek’s speech, a man, Mesut Öymen, held a banner aloft, saying “There is a thief in Mahmudiye,” in reference to a district of Eskişehir in which local elections will be rerun on June 1.
After reading the placard, Gökçek asked police to take the man into custody, making his complaint from the platform.
“If you're going to say this in the name of the CHP then you're the dishonorable one if you can't prove the theft. My police friend, can you take him? I am making a complaint against him,” Gökçek said.
Öymen was subsequently grabbed and taken away by two police officers.
Öymen said he did not prepare the banner but found it on the ground at the rally area.
“I came to the area when I heard there was a rally. I held the placard which I found on the ground. Police came and took me away,” Öymen said, according to Doğan News Agency. “I stayed in custody until 11 p.m. Then they released me.”
The CHP initially won the election in Mahmudiye on March 30 but the Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) canceled the results in the district following appeals by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Meanwhile, a group of CHP members, including the party’s deputy head, Veli Ağbaba, went to Eskişehir to support the detained man.
Ağbaba said the man was released after remaining in custody for a few hours, adding that he was not a member of the CHP.
Ağbaba also critized Gökçek regarding the incident.
“There is nothing such as democracy in Gökçek’s mind; he can do this. But the really depressing thing is that the police followed that order,” he said.