Turkish Police Evict Alparslan Kuytul’s Followers from Three Mosques


ANKARA – Authority Turkey forcibly expelled followers of the Islamic figure Alparslan Kuytul from three mosques in southern Turkey.

The police said their prayer meeting was a provocation against the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Footage showed police clashing with a group of people at a mosque in Gaziantep province on Sunday and forcibly taking them outside, while several people shouted, “We are reading the Koran.”

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A police officer is seen using pepper spray.

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Turkey has imposed a full lockdown until mid-May to try to cut the rate of COVID-19 infections that have spiked in recent weeks.

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Prayers at mosques are not prohibited under the policy, but authorities in Gaziantep said the group attempted to be at the mosque during the last days of Ramadan without prior permission.

The governor’s office Gaziantep said on Monday that 76 people who entered the three mosques were related to a previous terrorism investigation against them.

It said police had detained them after they engaged in civil disobedience and began swearing.

Police added that the judicial proceedings were launched because the people were threatening and insulting and for violating the lockdown.

“The people who carried out this provocation were followers of (religious leader) Alparslan Kuytul who had been repeatedly investigated before on charges of terrorism and their aim was not to worship but civil disobedience,” said a statement from the governor’s office.

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