A post with a video of police using tear gas and water cannons against Muslim protesters is being widely shared on social media with the claim that the video is of the ongoing protests in France. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Video of police using tear gas and water cannons against Muslim protesters during the ongoing protests in France.
Fact: The video is actually of protests in Turkey back in 2012 when students protested in solidarity with the hunger strike by prisoners. They tried to offer prayers on the streets and were dispersed by police using tear gas and water cannons. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
Reverse image search of the screenshots of the video in the post led us to a similar video on YouTube. The video is uploaded on YouTube on 09 November 2012 and the description of the video reads ‘Civil Friday prayer with gas bombs – Yüksekova – Gever’. This proves that the video in the post is on the internet at least since 2012.
Taking a cue from the YouTube video, further Google search with relevant keywords led us to a few 2012 news articles which carried images similar to the visuals in the video. According to one such news article, the incident happened in Hakkari, Turkey when a group of students protested by offering Friday prayers on the streets, in solidarity with the hunger strike by prisoners back in 2012. Few more images of the incident can be seen here. Other news articles which reported the incident and carried images similar to the visuals of the video can be read here and here.
Also, in the video, the words ‘POLIS’ written on the vehicles can be clearly seen similar to Turkey Polis vans. Whereas in France it’s written as ‘POLICE’. With all this evidence, we can conclude that the video in the post is not related to the ongoing protests in France.
In the wake of the outrage by Muslim countries against the statements by French President Emmanuel Macron regarding Islam, posts similar to the one in the post are being widely circulated across all social media platforms with misleading claims.
To sum it up, the video is actually of a protest in Turkey back in 2012.