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Gov’t-critical fashion designer assaulted while donating blood in İstanbul

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Barbaros Şansal, a Turkish fashion designer who is critical of the government, on Sunday announced that he was the victim of an assault in İstanbul when he went to a Kızılay (Red Crescent) tent to donate blood, according to the T24 news website.

“Don’t take this homosexual’s blood. He insulted Turks,” the assailant shouted according to Şansal, who said he was grabbed by the neck and thrown to the ground.

He added that police near the tent failed to interfere and that he was helped only by his friends.

Şansal was assaulted by an angry mob, including Turkish Airlines workers, at İstanbul Atatürk Airport in 2017 after posting a controversial video on Twitter.

In the video he said he would drink a lot in Lefkoşa and later move to Nicosia to drink more, after enumerating his harsh criticisms about corruption, rape, bribery and bigotry in Turkey. He finished his video with the words “Drown in your shit, Turkey.”

Şansal was deported by the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (KKTC) to Turkey after the video drew harsh criticism from government figures.

A Turkish court in January 2017 arrested Şansal for inciting hatred and hostility but two months later released him pending trial.

“I don’t even talk about freedom of expression, freedom of thought. Because in this country there’s no more safety of life and property. The country is in ruins,” Şansal told the T24 news website, where he writes a weekly column.

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