Turkey’s Security Directorate General has expressed support for a police chief who last Friday rebuked an opposition lawmaker in public for opposing the whitewashing of the sign of a Somali-owned restaurant in Ankara for allegedly displaying the colors of terrorists.
In a statement posted on its website over the weekend, the directorate failed to condemn police chief Serkan M., involved in an exchange of words with opposition lawmaker Mustafa Yeneroğlu from the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), who was attending the opening of the restaurant.
To the contrary, the directorate targeted Yeneroğlu, claiming that he attacked the police chief “verbally and physically” during the incident. The directorate also referred to Yeneroğlu as a lawmaker whose hostility to the directorate is well known.
Yeneroğlu, who shared the directorate’s statement on his Twitter account, said he was shocked to read it because he never thought he would be targeted by the Security Directorate General, which is responsible for protecting him.
“I am a person without any security guards. If anything happens to me from now on, the interior ministry will be responsible for it,” Yeneroğlu tweeted, vowing to continue his fight against those trying to turn Turkey into a police state.
The row between Yeneroğlu and Serkan M. erupted when the police interrupted the opening ceremony of the Somali-owned restaurant in Ankara’s Kızılay district and had most of its sign, excluding the name “Saab,” whitewashed, saying its colors were used by terrorists and were “disturbing.”
Yeneroğlu told the officer, “You are acting like a racist in the middle of Kızılay. Don’t follow unlawful orders.”
“Can you just shut up? … You’re the one who’s immoral… Act like a man,” the police chief replied, pointing his finger at the lawmaker as seen in a video posted on social media.
Yeneroğlu said what was done to him was nothing in comparison to the treatment of regular citizens by the police in similar cases. He said he would have been subjected mistreatment at a police station had he not been a member of parliament.