A video of police using water cannons and tear gas shells on people is doing the rounds on social media with a claim that it is shows French police action against “Muslims praying on the streets”.
However, The Quint found that the said video is from Turkey and dates back to 2012. It shows Turkish police dispersing a group of high school students demonstrating along with Kurdish Muslims, who came out to pray on the street.
The claim shared along which the video on Twitter and Facebook reads: “French police attacked Muslims praying on the streets of Yüksekova.”
This comes after the French government’s crackdown on “radical Islamism” after a teacher in Paris was beheaded by his 18-year-old student for showing a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed.
WHAT WE FOUND
For starters, Yüksekova is not in France. It is a city and a district of Hakkari Province of Turkey.
Next, we fragmented the viral video into multiple keyframes and followed it up with a reverse image search using the Yandex search engine. This led us to several Turkish websites which carried visuals similar to the aforementioned video.
According to these reports, a group of school students came out on Cengiz Topel Street and held a sit-in to draw attention to the ongoing hunger strikes in prisons. This clashed with Friday prayers and when the group did not disperse after repeated warnings, the cops used water cannons and tear gas shells.
Here’s a comparison between visual frames from the viral video and images used in these reports from 2012.
We also found the same video uploaded on a YouTube channel in 2012.
The description of the video mentioned in Turkish, translated to: “The events that took place during the 'civil Friday prayers' in Yüksekova district of Hakkari put those who prayed in a difficult situation.”
As illustrated, an old video from Turkey which can be traced back to 2012 was shared on the internet with a false claim that it is from France.
This is one of several other stories which The Quint has debunked following the Paris beheading. Earlier, unrelated images from the UK were shared as the teacher who was killed in the attack. You can read our story here.