A college student who was arrested this weekend wears a "controversial" T-shirt. Photo: Turkey Purge
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Turkish gendarmeries are continuing to round up people for wearing shirts bearing the word “hero,” almost two weeks after a former soldier donning a shirt with the word on it appeared in courtroom in the southwest of the country facing charges of connections to last summer’s failed military coup.
Turkish media including CNN Turk and others reported on Sunday a college student identified by his initials 'U.A.' in the Lapseki district of Canakkale was taken into custody after wearing a T-shirt that reads “Part time hero.”
“Gendarmerie forces detained U.A. in Sevketiye village where he had reportedly come for work, upon a warrant issued by Lapseki Public Prosecutor’s Office,” the Turkish human rights monitor Turkey Purge reported.
More than 20 people have been detained by Turkish security forces for wearing a white T-shirt with the word “HERO” written on it in capital letters, after Gokhan Guclu’s wore a similar shirt two weeks ago during court proceedings, according to CNN Turk.
Turkey’s Anadolu Agency has reported some students wearing the shirts were unaware they were associated with Guclu or the coup.
The shirts were first sold throughout the country, but the distributor has since halted sales, according to the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
Guclu was a former soldier accused of attempting to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during last summer’s failed coup. He was also accused of being a Gulenist, a group the Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)-controlled government believes orchestrated the coup.
AKP supporters have since posted photos on social media of white T-shirts reading “Traitor” hanging from nooses in public gallows.
Journalists and human rights activists have been jailed as the Turkish government has extended its state of emergency for more than a year after the coup.
Human Rights Watch, an international rights group, recently criticized the continued crackdowns on freedom of speech.
“Kafkaesque is an over-used term. But it seems appropriate when trying to capture the prosecution of 17 journalists, editors, and other staff at Cumhuriyet newspaper,” HRW wrote in a report on Tuesday, speaking of the continued crackdowns of freedom of the press and speech.