44 detained in raid into Roma neighborhood in western Turkey
EDİRNE – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoAround 700 police officers raided a neighborhood mostly populated by Roma people in the western town of Keşan early on July 1, detaining 44 suspects upon claims of “brawling and looting.”
During the operation, around 200 riot police officers reportedly marched in the streets of Keşan, in the northwestern province of Edirne, chanting “The police give peace and trust” and “How happy is the one who says ‘I’m a Turk.’”
The operation started after two people allegedly escaped a lynching in the Yenimescit neighborhood of Keşan on June 27.
A total of 700 police officers, who came from the neighboring provinces of Çanakkale, Kırklareli, Tekirdağ, Sakarya and Istanbul, participated in the operation, which targeted multiple addresses in the Mustafa Kemal Paşa and Cumhuriyet neighborhoods of Keşan.
Some 44 people, including Fahrettin Savcı, the head of Thrace Roma Associations Federation, were detained on accusations of “disturbing the peace, looting, threatening, and resisting police.”
The suspected were sent to the Keşan district police department for questioning. The police also seized unlicensed guns, hunt rifles, bullets and fireworks during the searches in the addresses. The police are also continuing to search for several suspects who were not at their addresses during the time of the raid.
Edirne Police Chief Adnan Erdoğan said the operation was “successfully completed” after the “negative incidents that had taken place in the area.”
Relatives of the detained suspects gathered in front of the police department and the Keşan courthouse to protest the operation. Police took security measures in front of the police department and courthouse after the group had gathered.