A total of 26 members of the Halkevleri and other groups are detained in two protests in Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square calling for a stop to Turkey’s military adventures in Syria after ISIL killed a number of Turkish soldiers in northern Syria, immolating two in a propaganda video
Eight people were detained on 24 December in Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square, one day after another 18 were taken into custody in the same place after a number of Turkish soldiers were killed in battles against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) near al-Bab in northern Syria.
Women members of the People’s Houses (Halkevleri) shouted slogans such as “The rage of women will destroy the lies,” “Women do not want war,” and “Murderer ISIL, collaborator AKP,” while indicating their desire to issue a press statement following the previous day’s detentions.
Six women members were detained when they tried to open a banner, while two others who objected to the police’s treatment of the six were also taken into custody.
One day earlier, the Halkevleri also took to the streets with the slogan “Life against death, peace against war.” “We will not allow you to shed any more blood,” the protesters said in a statement, noting that the consequences of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) military adventure in Syria, known as the Euphrates Shield Operation, had affected the public and the country’s soldiers most severely.
Police tied to the palace of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attacked the group as it was making its statement, beating and detaining 18 members of the Halkevleri and Politeknik late on 23 December.
The 18 were taken to the main Istanbul police station on Fatih’s Karaköy Avenue for legal procedures.
Members of the Halkevleri hit the streets in response to the AKP’s bellicose and occupational policies, which have resulted in an increasing death toll for Turkish soldiers. Sixteen Turkish soldiers were killed in suicide attacks by ISIL near al-Bab in northern Syria earlier this week, while two other Turkish soldiers, identified as Sefer Taş and Fethi Şahin, were burnt alive by the jihadist group according to a video released late on 22 December.
ISIL, whose rise was aided by the AKP as a pawn to be used in the fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and People’s Defense Units (YPG) in Rojava, has threatened to slay other Turkish soldiers in its possession if Ankara does not withdraw its forces from the offensive on al-Bab.