Turkish policeman detained on claims of threat to Alevi cemevi
This AA file photo shows a cemevi in the Black Sea province of Ordu.Two people, including a police officer, have been detained on allegations of "suspicious activity" at a cemevi in Istanbul's Pendik district.
Police had been searching for the two suspects after personnel at the Pendik cemevi personnel filed a complaint on Sept. 5, saying two people had entered the house of worship and were "acting suspiciously."
Istanbul police detained officer M.K. and his friend, hairdresser Ö.Y., broadcaster NTV reported on its website today. M.K. was reportedly stationed at Sabiha Gökçen Airport on Istanbul's Asian side.
In his testimony, M.K. said he and his friend were waiting for their girlfriends in front of the cemevi on Sept. 5. After waiting a while, the two realized their friends would be running late, so Ö.Y. reportedly proposed that they take a look inside the cemevi to pass the time, M.K. said.
"He said he'd never been to a cemevi and asked if I wanted to look inside," M.K. told the police.
Once inside, the two talked to a person in the cemevi about Alevism, M.K. said. "I introduced myself and told them I was a police officer. I even told them where I was stationed."
Cemevi personnel later told the two that the house of worship was about to close and told them they could later stop in anytime for tea, according to M.K.
M.K. said he did not know why cemevi personnel had pressed charges against them.
Cemevi personnel subsequently came to a police station and identified M.K. and Ö.Y. as the men that had come to the house of worship.
The two suspects were sent to a courthouse after their testimonies were taken at the police station.