Police officer threatens to shoot journalist in Turkey’s east: Video
DİYARBAKIRA plainclothes police officer has been captured on camera pressing his gun to the head of a journalist in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır who was filming police operations, Dicle News Agency (DİHA) has reported.
“I thought he was going to shoot me. In fact, I was surprised that he didn’t shoot. The way he came, his tone of voice and his anger suggested he was going to shoot,” DİHA reporter Serhat Yüce said, according to daily Evrensel.
An anti-riot police officer threatened to shoot Yüce as Özgür Gün cameraman Murat Demir filmed the scene.
The two journalists were detained early Oct. 3 while trying to cover police operations in Diyarbakır’s Silvan district. Police confiscated video cameras and other filming equipment belonging to Demir and Yüce.
The video footage shot by Özgür Gün TV showed anti-riot police screaming at Yüce, demanding that he stop taking photographs of police operations. “It is banned, you’re not going to shoot [a video]. You’re not able to shoot.”
Demir replied saying “Okay, we’re not shooting,” the video footage showed, telling the officer to calm down.
The officer then pressed a gun to Demir’s head, yelling at Demir to not tell the officer what to do in an angry manner, the video footage showed.
Among the detained were Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality employee Faysal Aksu and Silvan District Municipality council member Kerem Yılmaz, with caterpillars of the State Hydraulic Works’ local directorate also confiscated by police.
“It was around 9:20 a.m. We were sitting outside the municipality [in Silvan] with journalists. Then armored vehicles passed by. Anti-riot police officers quickly got out of the vehicles and started shouting at the journalists like, ‘Didn’t I tell you to not stay around here,’” Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Sibel Yiğitalp, who was then at the scene, told daily Cumhuriyet.
“[Police officers] then tried to beat the journalists and we intervened in the verbal dispute saying, ‘What are you doing?’ Then we all had guns pointed at us. They personally pointed a gun at me, too,” Yiğitalp added.
Yüce said they began filming after seeing reporters from Anadolu Agency filming police actions.
According to the Diyarbakır Governor’s Office, however, only Anadolu is allowed to film in conjunction with state forces, Yüce said.
Police have been accused of gross human rights abuses in Silvan, which has been under a state siege for the past four days.