Turkish actor accused of being RedHack member released by court
Actor Barış Atay with his mother after being released in Ankara on Nov 25. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ
Fourteen people, including actor Barış Atay, have been released by an Ankara court, after being detained last week on accusations of links to the socialist hacker group RedHack.
The 14 suspects had been detained after raids conducted at several addresses in Istanbul, İzmir and Ankara on Nov. 22, and were taken to Ankara for questioning.
Police refused to remove handcuffs from the suspects as they got out of a vehicle and entered the Ankara Court House. Just before he entered the building, Atay shouted, “Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance” – the slogan that became the catchphrase of the Gezi Park resistance.
Some 30-40 people gathered in front of the court house in a show of solidarity with the suspects, with some of them carrying a banner which read: “Barış Atay is not alone.”
It was reported that actor Atay did not speak in the police investigation, as he wanted to testify at the prosecutors’ office.
The suspects were reportedly asked some 27 questions in the police investigation about the structure of the organization, Gezi protests, their duties in the organization and the efforts to take down state websites and personal email addresses.
The interrogation of the suspects by a prosecutor began in the morning and was expected to last until at least the evening hours.
The alleged Anonymous representative of Turkey N.A. and “Manyak,” who was said to be one of the founding members of Redhack, was among the detained during the operation.
Among the suspects, Atay loudly expressed his objections to harsh police attacks via Twitter during the anti-government Gezi Park protests over the summer.
Upon his arrival in Ankara, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies Hüseyin Aygün and İlhan Cihaner visited Atay while he was in custody. “Barış rejects charges of having any link with RedHack; he says he doesn’t have time to spend on the Internet, and that’s why he can follow social media only on his mobile phone. He says that detentions are not legal, but political,” Aygün was quoted as saying by daily Yurt after speaking to Atay.
RedHack staged a number of attacks against the websites of state institutions in protest at police violence during the protests, including the Turkish police force and the Istanbul Special Provincial Administration. Anti-cybercrime teams in Ankara subsequently kicked off an investigation into the group. The group was also responsible for publishing secret official information that appears to show that a May 11 bombing in Reyhanlı on the Syrian border was perpetrated by jihadist elements; the government, however, accused a leftist group linked to Damascus of conducting the bombing.
Six protesters and a police officer died while thousands have been injured since the Gezi protests erupted in late May, when Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality attempted to cut down trees in Istanbul’s central Gezi Park, sparking prolonged demonstrations in cities across the country.