Mar 18 2019

Turkish interior minister has man detained for protesting at election rally

A man was detained  at a campaign rally for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in İstanbul on Sunday after getting into a verbal altercation with Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, reported news website Artı Gerçek.

Campaigning for March 31 local elections, Soylu said if the ruling AKP) was defeated at the polls, Turkey’s governors would not be able to walk the streets in Turkey's Kurdish-majority southeast and the responsibility for the events would fall on opposition parties, namely the Islamist opposition Felicity (Saadet) Party, centre-right Good (İYİ) Party and pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), and finally the Gülen movement and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), both of which are designated as terrorist organisations by Ankara.

A man in the crowd protested Soylu's statements by clapping his hands, Artı Gerçek said.

"In June 24 elections, the Felicity Party sold this nation out! Get out of here, you impertinent!" Soylu told the man. "You carried the PKK into the parliament. Why did you associate with the PKK if you cannot deal with it?"

The Felicity Party is an Islamist opposition party to the ruling AKP.

Prior to the June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections, leadership of Felicity tried to convince former president Abdullah Gul as the umbrella candidate of the opposition against Erdogan.

Police detained the man immediately by Soylu's orders, the news site said.

The man who was arrested is Yıldıray Çamlıca and a member of the Islamist Felicity Party, according to a journalist at Milli Gazete, known for its close ties to the Felicity Party.

Soylu frequently accuses AKP's rivals, especially the pro-Kurdish party's MPs and members, of being terrorists and supporting the PKK, an armed group that has for decades employed violence in pursuit of autonomy in Turkey’s southeast.