Spokesmen of the Circassian Rights Initiative, Kenan Kaplan, Murat Özden and Erol Karayel were detained after holding a press release to protest Putin’s visit in front of Dolmabahce Palace, the location of Prime Minister Erdogan’s office in Istanbul.
After the press release, members of the initiative shouted slogans such as, “Putin, Perpetrator of Genocide: Answer to Circassia!”. After the press release the activists were arrested by police.
It is worth noting that two weeks ago, members of the Circassian Rights Initiative met with the Russian Consul General at the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul after receiving an invitation from the Russian Consulate General to discuss the Circassian question. During this meeting, Russian Consul General, Alexey Erkhov warned members of the initiative not to organize a protest during Putin’s visit to Turkey, otherwise they might encounter a tough attitude from security personnel.