Turkish police assaulted cellist Gülşah Erol on Wednesday and called her a “terrorist,” near the entrance of the Kadıköy metro station in İstanbul, the t24 news website reported on Friday.
Erol, whose cello was broken by the police, said she was taken to a room by two police officers on Wednesday and beaten after being handcuffed.
The cellist shared a message on her Instagram account and expressed her disappointment and pain after being physically and psychologically attacked by the police, who accused her of treason against Turkey.
“They locked me in a room, calling my instrument a bomb and me a terrorist. I was repeatedly punched and kicked as I was handcuffed. They hit my face with a Turkish flag saying we are the citizens of this country, what about me? I was assaulted even more when I said ‘I am a musician, please be careful with my arms, hands.’ They said people like me must leave this country, that me and people like me are traitors. They threatened me with jailing, insulted my whole family with words that cannot even be expressed.”
Erol, who did not share the pictures of the physical damage done to her body, asked if she deserved this as a musician investing in her country and warned her musician friends against those intending to insult or attack them.
Turkish police made a statement later during the day and said Erol was detained due to showing resistance to the officer on duty, insult and deliberate injury.
The statement said Erol wanted to leave her bag with private security officers and when they refused to take it, she shouted at them “Is there a bomb?” and insulted and throttled a police officer who approached to warn her.