Designer Barbaros Şansal says police watched on as he was attacked for ‘insulting Turks’

A famous Turkish designer, who is an outspoken critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, claims he was attacked in the presence of police at a Red Crescent tent as he attempted to donate blood in Istanbul on Sunday.

Barbaros Şansal took to Twitter to share the alleged attack, stating the attacker told the Red Crescent staff in Sarıyer district they should refuse to draw Şansal's blood, accusing the designer of insulting Turks before physically attacking him. 

“Don’t take blood from this f*gg*t. This man has insulted Turks,’’  the designer quoted the alleged attacker as saying, before pushing him to the ground. 

Şansal said he did not sustain any serious injuries, however, he was shocked by the unwillingness of police officers, which witnessed the incident, to intervene.

“Someone is yelling  “attack him’’ and  “kill him’’ and the police are just idly watching,’’ Şansal said.

Şansal said was no longer possible to speak of freedom of expression inTurkey. “Because there is no safety of human life and property in this country. This country is disintegrating. The rule of law has become bankrupt,’’ Şansal said.

The critical designer has a history of being attacked in public.

Şansal in 2017 was expelled from Turkish-run northern Cyprus after a social media post, before being attacked by a mob and arrested for “inciting the public to hatred or hostility” upon arrival in Turkey.

Şansal in the video he shared social media on New Year’s Eve 2016, lashed out at masses celebrating "while there is so much filth, vileness and poverty" in the country. 

Şansal had accused the government of having released his travel details on state media and said police had similarly stood by while he was attacked.