Turkish daily faces probe for likening officer to dog

Turkish daily faces probe for likening officer to dog

An investigation was opened today into the Turkish daily BirGün’s report and photo of a policeman biting a protester’s arm during a protest in Istanbul.

The press office of the Public Prosecutor of Istanbul launched an investigation into BirGün’s article published July 1 that read, “A policeman in plain clothes bit a protester at Taksim Square: Fetch, boy!” The photo showed a protester, who was being held down by two uniformed policemen and a plain-clothes police officer, and a second police officer in plain clothes biting the left arm of the protester.

The written proceedings sent to the daily by the prosecutor’s office stated that the related news and photo “did not rest upon a tangible fact and was contrary to the reality,” newspaper announced. The proceedings also stated that the police officer in the photo, Alper Alpyürek, was insulted because of the news.

BirGün reported the probe with a similar headline that read, “Police in the photo did not bite the protester: Good boy!”

The journalists Zeynep Kuray and Onur Erem, who had written the news, are going to compulsorily testify at the Istanbul Courthouse in the Çağlayan neighborhood. The journalists were called to give their statements in reliance to the 154th act of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CMK).

A Twitter campaign against the investigation started under the hash tag #BirGünesahipçık, meaning “stand by BirGün” that reached the trending topics list.

The photo was taken during the “Resist Lice, Taksim is with you” protest in Istanbul’s city center on June 29. Medeni Yıldırım, 18, was shot dead by a member of the gendarmerie’s bullet in the Lice district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 28, during a protest against the building of a patrol station in the area.