Twenty-one years old university student Ali Gül was arrested days after a video he appeared in as part of a No campaign went viral in the run up to the presidential referendum.
The referendum, scheduled to take place on April 16, is set to introduce a shift from parliamentary power to the executive presidency and to give more power to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The catchy video titled “What does a ‘No’ mean?” was quickly shared by thousands of social media users after it was first released on Mar. 8. Gül pointed to the absurdity that Erdoğan and the government bills millions of potential ‘No’ voters as terrorists overnight.
Detained, on Mar 20, for for allegedly insulting Erdoğan on a Twitter account, claimed to be controlled by him, Gül was arrested on Tuesday.
“[Pro-gov’t daily] Yeni Şafak targeted him and Ali was detained. The article in the paper reads that the social media account that insults President turns out to be of the person that recorded this video,” Yiğit Acar, a lawyer representing Gül told media denying any links between his client and the Twitter account in question.
Transparency International’s (TI) Turkey branch said in mid-February that Turkish police detained at least 80 people who are known to have been involved in activities to endorse a “No” vote in the upcoming presidential referendum between Dec. 25, 2016 and Jan. 31, 2017 alone.