A court in Antalya province arrested five members of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) youth branch on Tuesday for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the night of the recent elections, the Evrensel daily reported.
During the tallying of the votes on June 24, hundreds of young CHP supporters gathered in front of the courthouse in Antalya, where bags of ballots had been brought from polling stations, in an attempt to inspect the counting process.
However, a confrontation erupted with police, election officials and a group of youths from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which had formed an alliance for the elections.
Ten members of the CHP youth branch in Antalya were detained on June 28 by police on charges of insulting the president.
After five days in police custody, the court decided to arrest Salih Ulus, Mahir Şen, Burhan Çalışkan, Veli Yeşilçay and Bahadır Poze, while releasing the remaining five on probation.
“These arrests are aimed at threatening people. I want to state that we are not afraid,” the CHP’s Antalya deputy Çetin Osman Budak told reporters after the hearing.
“If they committed a crime, they’ll be punished for that. But we object to the prosecutor keeping them in detention for five days, which is now allowed by the [ongoing] state of emergency [declared after a failed coup in July 2016],” he added.