Anarchists in Turkey’s İzmir ‘don’t let police touch their bodies’
İZMİRAnarchists in the Aegean province of İzmir, who took off their clothes in protest at the police’s insistence on conducting body searches during May 1 celebrations, have issued a statement saying they refused to allow the police to touch their bodies.
“We weren’t only taking off our clothes. We were taking off the many identities - ethnic, religious, gender and biological - that the system forces us to wear,” read the statement, Bianet news website reported on May 2.
The group was protesting against police checkpoints and mandatory body checks by removing their clothes before entering İzmir’s central Gündoğdu Square for International Workers’ Day celebrations.
“As anti-authoritarians, animal freedom advocates and anarchists, we took off our clothes and entered the square without being searched as a reaction to the police’s body searches. Contrary to the mainstream media’s manipulations, we told the organization committee that we would not accept undergoing a police search. But our demand was rejected for security concerns,” the statement added.
Referring to attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in recent months, the group accused the police of failing to prevent the attacks.
“We witnessed the irrelevance of security justifications in the massacres in Ankara, Amed and Suruç, so we don’t believe the police can provide our security,” said the statement, referring to terror attacks in the capital Ankara, the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, and Suruç in southeastern Turkey.
Saying they felt the need to release the statement due to “manipulations in the media,” the anarchists vowed their attitude would not change.
“The presentation of the protest as an act by ‘a couple of crazy teenagers’ forced us to release this statement. We don’t find the targeting of our friends by publishing the images ethical. Police, get your hands of my body,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, police have announced that legal action will be taken against the anarchists on charges of public nudity, and necessary steps will be taken in accordance with the prosecutor’s decision on May 2.
“The group was allowed to enter in a controlled way in order to prevent a possible reaction from the crowd and to avoid a stampede,” İzmir Police Department Head Celal Uzunkaya told the Doğan News Agency.
“We’ve started the process of identifying from images those who entered the area without clothes. Legal action will be taken based on related laws about such cases,” Uzunkaya added.