Woman detained over gesture at Turkish PM Erdoğan claims ‘misunderstanding’
Taner Yıldırım İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
One of the woman, identified only as K.B., told Doğan News Agency that she was “misunderstood.”One of the two women who were briefly detained after allegedly making a hand gesture at Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in İzmir on March 16 has said she was “misunderstood.”
The prime minister had mentioned an incident that he witnessed after arriving in İzmir for his election campaign rally.
“While I was coming here today, a woman in the company of a man, presumably her husband, made such an ugly gesture that reflects what the [main opposition Republican People’s Party] CHP is. The prime minister of the country is passing by and she’s making that gesture with her hands and arms,” Erdoğan said.
Soon after his comments, two women were identified and detained, before being transferred to the police department to testify about the incident. Both were later released.
‘Erdoğan’s wife pointed at us’
One of the woman, identified only as K.B., told Doğan News Agency that she was “misunderstood.”
“I didn’t make any gesture, it was the other woman. I was completely misunderstood,” she said.
K.B. said she was smoking in a cafe when Erdoğan’s motorcade was passing by.
“I went out, then I saw Emine Erdoğan [the wife of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] pointing to where we were standing. Soon after I went back inside the cafe, two bodyguards of the prime minister came in and pulled me out, holding my arm,” she added.
The bodyguards then bundled her into “a car with a civilian licence plate” and “angrily” drove to deliver her to the police department.
Detained at home in pyjamas
Lawyer Anıl Güner, an executive board member of the İzmir Bar Association’s Human Rights branch, said the other woman who was implicated in the incident, identified as F.A, was seized by security officials when she was at home. Güner described the incident as “an illegal retention.”
“Bodyguards from the prime ministry went to the house of F.A., entered her flat without showing their ID, and took her to the police station while she was still in her pyjamas. I witnessed it, she was still in pyjamas in the middle of the night at the police station,” she said, adding that K.B. had filed an official complaint about the incident.