Investigation launched into police march in Roma neighborhoods in western Turkey
EDİRNE – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoAn investigation has been launched into a street march held by police officers who reportedly chanted discriminating slogans following an operation in which hundreds of anti-riot police officers raided several Roma neighborhoods in the northwestern province of Edirne.
The investigation was launched by the Turkish National Police (EGM) after around 200 police officers accompanied by water cannons and armored police vehicles marched in the streets of Keşan, a district in Edirne, reportedly chanting discriminating slogans such as “How happy is the one who says ‘I am a Turk?’” and “police provide peace and security.”
The investigation came less than two weeks after 45 people, including Thrace Roma Associations Federation head Fahrettin Savcı, were detained on July 1 in multiple police raids by hundreds of anti-riot police officers in Keşan’s Yenimescit, Mustafa Kemal Paşa and Cumhuriyet neighborhoods upon claims of “brawling, looting, threatening and resisting police.” Seven of the 45 suspects detained were later arrested and sent to prison.
The raids drew criticism from Özcan Purçu, a Roma-origin deputy from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), as he slammed the huge police operation in Keşan’s Roma neighborhoods on July 2, saying Roma neighborhoods were being used as “training sites” by the police and the raids aimed to “fuel ethnic discrimination” and “advertise the police forces in the media.”