UPDATED: Journalist who interviewed harassed woman briefly detained in Ankara

The Ankara Police on Thursday briefly detained Artı Gerçek reporter Derya Okatan, who interviewed a woman allegedly harassed by a policeman during a peaceful protest in Ankara last week.

Artı Gerçek reported that Okutan was detained early in the morning over social media posts and held at the Ankara Police Department. She was reportedly not allowed to meet with her lawyer. 

Okutan was released later the same day.

Merve Demirel, a female university student who was detained for participating in a protest in Ankara on Saturday, was apparently harassed by a police officer during detention as captured by an observer’s camera. Images of the assault sparked outrage nationwide. Demirel on Tuesday filed a criminal complaint against the police officer.

Speaking to the Artı Gerçek news website on Monday, Demirel said she was sexually harassed by a police officer during a protest demanding the release of lawyers under arrest in Turkey. She also said that she would not hide her identity as in Turkish society the shame of harassment is usually put on women, not the perpetrator.

The Ankara Police Department said Demirel’s father was a teacher who was removed from his post in 2016 due to his ties to the Gülen movement. He was fired because he was a member of a Gülen-linked labor union, according to the statement.

Turkish Minister of Interior Affairs Süleyman Soylu said on Wednesday that he would not let the police be pressured. Defending Ankara law enforcement, Soylu reiterated the police statement, adding that Demirel’s brother is linked to the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). Soylu described the university student as a “project woman,” implying that she was part of a plan to smear the police department. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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