Man in Turkey detained for hanging 'British flag' towel to dry on balcony

Man in Turkey detained for hanging 'British flag' towel to dry on balcony
2 min read
20 May, 2020
The towel with a United Kingdom flag motif reportedly incensed the Iranian man's neighbours during a national holiday.
The incident took place on the anniversary of the beginning of Turkey's independence war [Getty]
An Iranian man in Turkey has been detained after he hung a towel to dry on his balcony during a national holiday, local media reported.

The towel - decorated with the "Union Jack" flag of the UK - reportedly incensed the man's neighbours in the central city of Kayseri.

The man, identified as Mohammad Reza K. in local media reports, had hung the British flag towel to dry on Tuesday when Turkey celebrated Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day.

The national holiday marks the anniversary of the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence, during which troops led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk fought against allied forces occupying the then-Ottoman Empire, after the end of the First World War.

The UK was among several European forces occupying parts of Turkey at the time.

The Iranian man's neighbours reported him to the police over the incident, according to a statement by the Kayseri Governor's Office.

Police later arrived at the scene and detained Mohammad Reza K.

"I hung the towel to dry on my balcony. I certainly didn't mean to provoke anyone," he told the police according to the governorate's statement.

The statement added that the "necessary legal procedures" had begun.

It is unclear whether the man has been released from custody or charged with a crime.

Sympathetic individuals on social media have questioned on what grounds the man could be detained.

The Turkish penal code criminalises "insulting" Turkey, Turkish government institutions and figures such as Ataturk, the founder of the republic.

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