Iranian man detained for hanging British union jack towel in Turkey

An Iranian citizen was detained in Turkey after hanging a towel with a British union jack design on it, the Associated Press reported.

The man, a resident of the central Anatolian city of Kayseri, was detained on Tuesday.

The detention came after neighbours complained that the towel was a provocation against the Turkish flags hanging from their balconies during the May 19 national holiday.

Neighbours reportedly clapped and cheered as police escorted the man into a police vehicle.

In his defense, the man said he was trying to dry his wet towel, according to the Kayseri governor’s written statement.

The incident occurred on the Atatürk and Youth and Sports Day that Turks mark on May 19, the date marking the anniversary of the country’s independence war in 1919 against occupying forces, including Britain.  

Turkish flags are displayed prominently during the May 19 celebrations each year.