Man confuses Tanzanian with US soldier, sacks him

July 27, 2012, Friday/ 17:38:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A Turkey Youth Union (TGB) member placed a sack over the head of a Tanzanian tourist last week confusing the man with a US soldier, the Hürriyet daily reported on Friday.

According to the report, the TGB member, Z.Ö.D., was shocked after learning that the person whom he attacked was a 30-year-old Tanzanian tourist. A public prosecutor started legal proceedings against Z.Ö.D. for attempting to threaten one’s freedom. After giving testimony, he was released. According to another report that appeared on the website of the TGB on Friday, the attacker was not a TGB member, but the organization still congratulated him for his “courage.” The organization claimed that the Tanzanian tourist withdrew his complaint, finding its intention positive.

Last week, a large American aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, docked at Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Antalya. Roughly 5,000 sailors took a tour of the city during their stay. Seven members of the TGB, known for their ideological proximity to the Workers’ Party (İP), attacked two US seamen and attempted to place sacks over their heads. However, the attackers were caught by civilian police who were following the group. The group was trying to take revenge for another sack incident, in which US soldiers had handcuffed and placed sacks over Turkish soldiers in July 2003 in Iraq.

Other TGB members protested the detainment of their friends and called a press conference. One member, Ali Taş, said the seven members from the group first told the US sailors that they were murderers and the group did not want them in Turkey. “After explaining in English, we wanted to put sacks over their heads. Now our friends are in police custody,” Taş said following the incident last week.

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