A mother and her 5-year old twins were taken into custody during Newroz celebrations in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority district of Bismil because ‘the twins were wearing traditional Kurdish dresses’.
Many people were recently prevented from entering celebration areas during Newroz, the day that marks the new year’s arrival on the spring equinox, or were taken into custody in various cities and towns of Turkey, including Bismil, a district of Diyarbakır (Amed).
A mother in the district was accused for the traditional Kurdish dresses her five-year-old twins were wearing, and the three were taken into custody to face questions.
Mezopotamya News Agency reported that the mother, Zeynep B., was asked questions by the police such as, “Where did you get these dresses from?” and “Didn’t you know that they are forbidden?”
The mother replied, saying that they had participated in previous Newroz celebrations wearing similar dresses and that they were their traditional dresses.
The police made a report, and then the mother and the twin girls had to take off their traditional dresses before they could participate in the celebrations.
Zeynep B. was later called to the police station again over a technicality that her signature was missing in a document and was kept that night in detention, to be released the following day.
She was also told that she would be invited again to make a statement at the prosecutor’s office.
The Father of the twins, Nedim B., spoke about the incident as well, saying:
“This is not legal. The twins were taken into custody. Their dresses were taken off on that cold day (…) They had to meet with police officers in a police station at the age of five. The police did this without any legal grounds.
“While they do not take into custody, in some occasions, even those suspected for killing people, they did this to my five-year-old daughters only because they were wearing traditional dresses. We will file a criminal complaint against those responsible for this.”