Police detains nine people for distributing supplies after Izmir earthquake

Police in Turkey’s western Izmir province have taken down stands that local activists had set up to distribute vital supplies to the survivors of last week’s 6.6 magnitude earthquake in two locations, detaining nine activists in the process, news website Duvar reported on Saturday.

Left-wing activist groups Halkevleri and ESP had set up set up stands in two parks in Bayraklı, Izmir’s worst-affected district where more than 15 buildings collapsed and many others were severely damaged, leaving thousands temporarily or permanently homeless.

One officer is heard saying, “Take the boxes,” as several activists were detained in one of the parks, in a video published by the left-wing Etkin news agency.

In another park, activists were told they could not distribute supplies as five of them were detained and their stands taken down.

The groups were told only the Turkish Red Crescent, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality would be allowed to distribute supplies, and that the parks and other gathering places would “remain under state control,” daily BirGün reported.