Protester claiming police assault is “project” of terrorism - minister

A Turkish woman who claims she was assaulted by a police officer after being detained on Saturday is a “project” linked to terrorist organisations, independent news site Diken reported the Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu as saying on Wednesday.

Merve Demirel is “a project woman whose father is member of FETÖ and brother a member of DHKP-C,’’ Soylu said, referring to the Gülen movement and the far-leftist Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front, both designated as terrorist organisations by Ankara.

The detention of 22-year-old university student Demirel for taking part in a small protest in the Turkish capital Ankara over the weekend drew criticism on social media after images of   appeared to show an plainclothes officer with his hand on Demirel’s behind.

Ankara police on Tuesday issued a statement accusing Demirel of provoking security forces and said the student’s father was a member of the Gülen movement, a group accused of orchestrating the 2016 coup attempt.

Demirel has said she is preparing to file a formal complaint against police.