Authorities in the north on Thursday detained and then released four leftist activists on suspicion of defacing posters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
Police detained Abdullah Korkmazhan, the general secretary of the ‘Left Movement’ and three other members of the same movement.
Following their release in the afternoon, Korkmazhan told media that at the time of their detainment they were told that they being arrested.
But upon their release, ‘police officers’ told them they had not been under arrest.
The four had been held on suspicion of tampering with posters that carried an adulatory message for the Turkish president. Someone had written the word “Diablo” over the posters.
According to Korkmazhan, under questioning he and the three other activists proved to authorities they were at home at the time the posters were defaced.
“In reality this is an assault against thought and expression. They want to us to be silent, but we shall not be. They say ‘don’t think’, but we will think.
“I don’t know who did this in Famagusta, it was not us. But God bless whoever did do it,” he said.
The activist said he and the others were likely named by someone from the youth branch of the AKP party in the north.
The AKP (Justice and Development Party) is Erdogan’s political party in Turkey.