Turkish opposition deputy Mahmut Tanal accused the gendarmerie officers of compiling a list of individuals’ identities during an environmental protest in Akbelen, Turkey. When he asked for the written list of names from the gendarmerie, they started to run away, and he pursued them. The Ministry of Interior announced that it would initiate legal action against Tanal for his behavior, urging him not to engage in “banditry.” Tanal had warned the gendarmerie personnel who were profiling citizens opposing deforestation in Akbelen Forest to act in accordance with the law and not to behave like bandits.
Mr. Tanal released a press release via his Twitter account about the incident:
‘Upon requesting the profiling list and the unlawfully prepared documents, the soldier who took the documents ran away from the area.
I reacted with the necessary response against this attempt to conceal evidence.
Why would a law-abiding person, who has not committed any crime, run away and hide documents? We witnessed a clear “caught in the act” situation!
We determined that public officials present in Akbelen Forest for Limak’s coal exploitation were acting outside the law.
Now, the Ministry of Interior has started targeting me by making false statements on their social media accounts.
Instead of questioning the unlawful order carried out, the Ministry of Interior, which should prevent Turkish soldiers from being pitted against civilian citizens responsible for protecting forests and the environment as per the constitution, is committing a crime by targeting and distorting the issue, aiming at me.