Police prevent press briefing in parliament
ANKARATension rose between a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and police officers at parliament on Sept. 19, as police prevented Ankara deputy Ali Haydar Hakverdi from making a press statement alongside the Student-Parent Association.
Police halted members of the association, invited to parliament by Hakverdi, in a corridor of the parliament building and prevented them from heading to the press office.
An argument lasting over half-an-hour erupted as Hakverdi tried to reach the office with his guests, prevented by police who said he did not have official permission.
The group then decided to make a press statement outside the press office, stressing the importance of “secular, scientific, equal, free education.”
Student-Parent Association deputy head Metin Erdoğdu said they arrived in parliament to voice their demands, adding that Turkey’s education system is in “a chaotic and vegetative state.”
“Parliament has never seen anything like this before. No other lawmaker has had to make a press statement in front of a bathroom door. This practice has only ever been applied against my guests and it is completely arbitrary. I will hold those responsible to account,” Hakverdi told journalists.
He also addressed a police officer while leaving parliament with his invited guests, vowing that this “will never happen again.”
A similar incident also occurred on Aug. 31, when Hakverdi tried to hold a press meeting with a left-wing youth group inside parliament.
They were planning to denounce Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman’s description of the Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara as a “killer” and a “bandit,” but were prevented by police from releasing a statement.
After being blocked by police, Hakverdi made a press statement alongside his eight-year-old son, who was wearing a Che T-shirt.