Police attack people protesting in solidarity with Fincancı outside courthouse in Ankara

Police attacked activists who staged a solidarity protest with Turkish Medical Association (TTB) head Şebnem Korur Fincancı who was brought to the Ankara Courthouse early this morning after being detained on Wednesday.

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on October 20 opened an investigation against Turkish Medical Association (TTB) President Şebnem Korur Fincancı because of her comments on a video published by ANF on October 18, showing two PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) members suffering from a chemical attack in Iraq's Kurdistan Region.

The substance of the investigation, accusing Fincancı of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" and "publicly degrading the Turkish Nation, the state of the Republic of Turkey and its institutions", is constituted by Fincancı’s comments to Medya Haber. The head of TTB stated that the involuntary movements of the people seen in the video could occur with the effect of a chemical getting hold of the nervous system and that an effective investigation should be carried out in relation to this if there are allegations that a chemical was used.

Fincancı was taken into custody in Istanbul and taken to Ankara on Wednesday over her comments. After spending the night in police custody, she was referred to Ankara Courthouse in the early morning hours today with a demand for her arrest.

Representatives of several labour and professional organizations were prevented by the police as they gathered outside the courthouse to show solidarity with Fincancı. Driving journalists away, the police attacked the crowd using violence.

Members of the Confederation of Public Labourer’s Union (KESK), the Trade Union of Public Employees in Health and Social Services (SES) and students were violently detained by the police.

It is reported that Döne Gevher from the KESK, Selma Güngör from the TTB, SES Women's Secretary General Gönül Adıbelli and Helin Çakır, a member of the Medical Students Commission (TÖK), were detained.

Activists who later gathered in Strasbourg Street made a short statement.

Emin Koromaz, chair of the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), emphasized the importance of fighting together against oppression and unlawfulness.

“As labour and professional organizations, we are here to monitor the court process. The judiciary and law-enforcement should stop acting like a tool of the government. Repression cannot intimidate us, we will fight against unlawfulness to the very end,” Koromaz said.