ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey arrested fashion designer Barbaros Sansal on charges of inciting hatred on social media, a day after he was attacked by baggage handlers at Istanbul’s main airport, state-run media reports said on Tuesday.
Social media showed footage of the Turkish designer being beaten up by airport workers late on Monday as he was being escorted from a plane to a car by police after being expelled from northern Cyprus.
Sansal was expelled after posting a satirical video on social media calling on people to continue to celebrate the New Year “while there is so much filthiness, vileness and impoverishment” in the country, shortly after a gunman killed 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub. The attack was claimed by Islamic State.
The designer is an outspoken critic of the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) and his video spoke of “scores of journalists in prison” and “corruption and bribes” in Turkey.
Turkey has a poor record on free speech, with at least 81 journalists imprisoned, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and more than 130 media outlets have been shut since a coup attempt in July.
Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Janet Lawrence