Outrage spread from Turkey to across the Internet on Monday after Ahmet Şahbaz, the police officer who [allegedly] shot and killed Turkish protester Ethem Sarısülük, was freed by a Turkish court on self-defense grounds.
Turkish protester Ethem Sarısülük was killed by a police bullet. The officer who fired the shot, Ahmet Şahbaz, was released on self-defense grounds.
Sarısülük was killed earlier this month during protests against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
Viral video of an officer in riot gear shooting at protesters and then running away from the scene surfaced on Twitter. A body, later identified as Sarısülük’s, is then shown lying on the ground. People wave flags indicating medical attention is needed:
On Twitter, the hashtag #KiralikKatilAHMETSAHBAZ trended worldwide Monday. Kiralik katil roughtly translates to “goon.”
The move to free Şahbaz from jail [correction: he was never jailed, just interrogated and then freed on probation – hapiste sağlık] was largely met with disgust on the social media website, where users posted tweets in solidarity with Sarısülük. The Turkish protester wasn’t seen with any weapon when Şahbaz shot and killed him during a June 1 protest.
Twitter users started tweets relating to the topic with the phrase, “I am Ethem Sarısülük.”
Sarısülük’s mother said Erdogan was to blame for her son’s death, accusing him of being behind the police’s behavior during the protests.
“Tayyip made brother kill brother,” Saffyi [Sayfı] Sarısülük told the (U.K.) Telegraph. “I am not blaming the police [only]. The police are also our children. But Tayyip gives the order.”