Mithat Can, a 73-year old human rights advocate and the head of Antakya branch of the Human Rights Association, has been detained by Turkish police due to his public statement critical of Turkish military operations in the Kurdish-controlled Afrin region of Syria.
Mithat Can’s son, Eren Can, tweeted on Tuesday that police raided the Antakya house of Can family and took the father into custody on charges of “incitement of hatred and hostility” through a public statement he released several days ago.
The Turkish Armed Forces backed by armored vehicles, special forces and infantry regiments have advanced five kilometers (three miles) inside Afrin, which is controlled by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), the state-run Anadolu news agency reported some two weeks ago.
Turkey views the PYD as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday warned the HDP not to take to the streets to protest the operation in Afrin: “You are being closely followed. If you try to take to the streets, know that our security forces will be at your neck.”
“If anyone is in the streets upon calls [from the HDP], they will pay dearly for it. This is a national fight, and whoever opposes us will be crushed.” Erdoğan added.
My friend s father, aged of 73, @nedesemkine, got been arrest cause he ask for #Peace for Afrin with a human right organisation in Antakya, in Turkey, where Jewish, Muslim, Catholic people are still leaving together. He wanted peace for everybody. That all! https://t.co/mc30U0UY7z
— Azra Deniz OKYAY (@azradenizo) February 14, 2018
73 yaşındaki insan hakları savunucusu babam Mithat Can bu sabah 06.00'da ev baskını ile gözaltına alındı. Suçu barış istemekmiş..
— eren can (@nedesemkine) February 13, 2018