Turkish labor union head released after being detained for ‘insulting Erdoğan’

Turkish labor union head released after being detained for ‘insulting Erdoğan’

Turkish labor union head released after being detained for ‘insulting Erdoğan’

DHA photo

The secretary general of Turkey’s Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), Arzu Çerkezoğlu, was released after she was briefly detained on June 17 in Istanbul for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Police detained Çerkezoğlu at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport as she was due to depart for Germany. 
She was later released after giving her testimony to the prosecutor.

A lawsuit had been filed for Çerkezoğlu in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on charges of “insulting the president.”

DİSK head Kani Beko said Çerkezoğlu was detained for a speech she delivered some time ago.

“She was detained at the airport while heading to Germany to visit an ill relative. The reason is a speech that she previously gave,” Beko tweeted.

Meanwhile, Çerkezoğlu said the reason for her detention was a press meeting she held in Diyarbakır.

“An arrest warrant had been issued against me on charges of insulting the president during a speech I delivered in Diyarbakır on Aug. 31, 2015. I was detained accordingly in the early hours of the morning, and then we came to the prosecutor’s office after the police station. A little while ago the information related to the file in Diyarbakır reached here. I testified and the arrest warrant was lifted. The date of the press meeting … was Aug. 31, 2015. That is to say, a press meeting we made in the courtyard of the Diyarbakır Education and Research Hospital as health labor trade bodies and other mass organizations right after the June 7 general elections,” Çerkezoğlu told reporters outside the Kartal courthouse.

In a separate incident, an academic at Istanbul Bilgi University’s Faculty of Communications was dismissed from work for allegedly insulting the president during one of her lectures. 

The university announced the dismissal of Prof. Zeynep Sayın Balıkçıoğlu on its website on June 16, a day after a number of pro-government media outlets criticized Balıkçıoğlu for her alleged remarks in class defining the president as “vulgar and rude.”

According to the statement, the university swiftly ordered an investigation into the claims and severed connections with the academic as soon as reports surfaced in the media.