Apr 24 2019

Turkish authorities release man suspected of punching opposition leader

Turkish authorities on late Tuesday released the man detained for punching main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in the face during Sunday’s mob assault in Ankara, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Leaving a military funeral in Ankara on Sunday, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kılıçdaroğlu was harassed and assaulted by an angry crowd.

Osman Sarıgün, who appears in a widely circulated photo to be the person punching 70-year-old Kılıçdaroğlu, was released under judicial control, with no formal charges made, according to Anadolu.  

“The next time that a mob is instigated against an opposition politician they may do as they were shouting about and burn him to death. This judicial decision will be read by those lunatics as official endorsement from the highest level,” one user tweeted shortly after the decision.

On Monday, authorities released four of the nine people who had been detained for the attack on the CHP leader, including a woman suspected of throwing rocks at Kılıçdaroğlu’s car.

Also on Tuesday, Kılıçdaroğlu filed a criminal complaint against his attackers.