A group of around 500 Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) members staged a violent demonstration in front of the Star daily on Thursday, protesting what they called “an attack [on] and slander [of their party]” in a column.
Police also detained six protesters who refused to leave after police ordered the crowd to disperse. Protesters chanted slogans and used abusive language against the daily after Ergun Babahan, also a Today's Zaman columnist, published an article that the MHP members termed an attack on their party.
İstanbul Ülkü Ocakları (the MHP's youth organization) head Gökmen Kantar, who came to pacify the protesters, told MHP members that his ülkücü (Idealists, a term MHP members use to describe themselves) friends will avenge all “this slander and attacks” in parliamentary elections on June 12. He called on protesters to display “dignified nationalist behavior” and disperse quietly.
Some protesters attacked the daily's building, smashing windows and damaging equipment. The MHP members also attacked the journalists they called to cover their protests.
Dozens of riot police units were dispatched to several of the newspaper's buildings in İstanbul.