Turkish journalist Fatih Tezcan, known to be a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government, has said people who have bought yellow vests in Turkey since Nov. 17, when mass protests began in France, are terrorism suspects, Turkish media reports said.
On Nov. 17, tens of thousands of people took to the streets across France to protest rising fuel prices. The protesters have been dubbed “yellow vests” due to the high-visibility jackets they adopted as a symbol of their complaint.
Writing from his Twitter account on Thursday, Tezcan, who is known for his highly controversial statements, claimed that an online shopping website operating in Turkey has offered a considerable discount in the price of the yellow vests and said he found this suspicious. The journalist alleged there are efforts to stage similar protests in Turkey against the government.
“I talked to the relevant company due to a 79 percent discount in the price of the yellow vests, and large number of these vests have been sold in Turkey. The company said it did not give any discount but that the [online shopping website] hepsiburada did it. It doesn’t matter. Every person who has bought a yellow vest in Turkey since Nov.17, the first day of the protests in France, is a terrorism suspect,” tweeted Tezcan.
The journalist attracted widespread criticism on social media for his remarks.
Turkey experienced mass anti-government protests, known as the Gezi Park protests, in the summer of 2013. The government violently suppressed these protests, which led to the death of more than 10 people.