Court orders first arrests in Gezi Park protests
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
30 people have been taken in custody in Ankara at the early hours of June 15 in the latest wave of detentions. AA photoAn Istanbul court ordered today the arrest of four people detained in the clashes between protesters and the police during the Gezi Park protests. The decision marked the first arrests since the beginning the demonstrations that have entered their 19th day. All four suspects are members of the Socialist Democracy Party (SDP) and were accused of throwing Molotov cocktails and fireworks at the police.
Another 22 suspects sent to court by the prosecutors were released. Ulaş Bayraktaroğlu, whom the protesters claimed to be an undercover police officer when footage emerged showing him preparing a Molotov cocktail with a gun on his belt, was also among the four arrested. His identity was later revealed by the Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, who said via Twitter that Bayraktaroğlu was a member of the SDP.
Police has taken into custody and interrogated more than 450 protesters during the demonstrations which have continued for over two weeks. The security forces were strongly criticized for the heavy-handed crackdown on protesters with tear gas and water cannons.