Turkey: Police disperse crowds who protest the detention of top doctor - 25 detained

Turkey: Police disperse crowds who protest the detention of top doctor - 25 detained
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Police In two separate demonstrations cracked down on protesters gathered in Istanbul to denounce the detention of Turkish Doctors Association Sebnem Korur Fincanci

Police clamped down on two seperate demonstrations to protest against the arrest of Sebnem Korur Fincanci, head of the Turkish Medical Association on Wednesday evening. 

A group called “Women Strong Together” came together first to denounce the arrest of the President of the Turkish Medical Association Sebnem Korur Fincancı who was detained on Wednesday morning for her remarks over an alleged usage of chemical agents against PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) militants in Kurdistan Region of Iraq. 

In a declaration posted on Twitter, the group said the only crime of Fincanci was asking questions, demanding investigation of chemical weapons findings. 

“Seeking truth can not be a crime. The use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity. Demanding a scientific investigation of these allegations in the context of human rights can not be a crime,” the group said.

The police detained 15 protestors as it forcefully pushed the crowd and journalists using their riot shields. 

Videos on social media showed women chanting “We are not afraid, we will not shush, we will not abide,” as the protesters tried to resist the police. 

In a separate incident, another group linked to “Labor and Democracy Alliance” also gathered to protest Fincanci’s detention, chanting “We will not be silent, we will not surrender to oppression and bullying”

Videos on social media showed excessive use of police force against the protestors and journalists. 

Evrensel newspaper said police choked its journalist Eylem Nazlier and confiscated her phone.

On Thursday, prosecutors in Ankara launched an investigation into Fincanci, after her statements over the allegations that the Turkish military used chemical weapons against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in Northern Iraq.

"Obviously, one of the toxic chemical gasses was used that directly affects the nervous system," Fincanci told Media Haber during a live broadcast, sharing her examinations on the basis of the reports allegedly showing the chemical warfare posted in social media. Fincanci also urged independent missions to investigate the incident within the scope of international treaties.

Following the interview, Fincanci has been targeted by pro-government media, leading to a legal investigation on the grounds of “disseminating propaganda in favour of a terrorist organisation” and "insulting the Turkish nation, the state of the Republic of Turkey and its institutions.”