Ever since the government prepared the ground for human rights violations with changes in the Law on Police Duties and Authorities in June, there has been an increase in police violence.
The police are now entitled to stop anyone and ask for their ID, and more importantly, are allowed to determine the degree of violence used themselves.
No reaction by police or government
After each case of violence, human rights organisations warned the government that the changes in law would lead to more torture, deaths in detention and extrajudicial killings. However, no action has been taken.
Below follows an overview of cases that were widely covered in the media:
24 November: In Izmir, 20-year old Baran Tursun, who is said not to have followed a police order to stop the car and not to have stopped at a barricade, is in a deep coma after being shot in the head. His friends Emre Ökcelik and Atilla Dogan, who were also in the car, said that there was no warning with sirens or megaphones, that there was no barricade, and that there were only shots.
24 November: In Istanbul, Mehmet Coskundeniz, editor at the Posta newspaper, was stopped by the traffic police when returning from a night out with his girlfriend Derya Özel, who was driving the car. Coskundeniz was handcuffed, thrown to the ground and beaten up. The Istanbul Police Department claims that Coskundeniz was "controlled with gradually increased force" and that Coskundeniz attacked the police.
21 November: 26-year old Feyzullah Ete in Avcilar, Istanbul, died as a result of a police officer kicking him in the chest. The Istanbul Police Department claims that Ete attacked the police and fell to the ground during a scuffle. The police officr in volved, Ali M., has been arrested.
17 November: When Muzaffer Ates was walking in Taksim, Istanbul, police asked him for his ID. when he asked, "Who are you?", he was punched by an officer. When Ates went to the nearby Beyoglu Police Station to complain, he was asked, "Who are you complaining about to whom?" and maltreated similarly. After undergoing a medical check-up, Ates took the report to the prosecution and filed a complaint.
14 November: Sertan Celik was beaten by traffic police in Taksim because he did not turn the music down. He was arrested.
7 November: 19-year old Ferhat Gercek, who was selling the "Yürüyüs" magazine in Yenibosna, outer Istanbul, was hit by a police bullet in the tumult. He is now paralysed.
24 September: In Sisli, Istanbul, a young woman who was arrested in a gold jewellry shop for suspicions of theft was first handcuffed and then exposed to physical violence. The shop's security cameras recorded the police violence.
18 September: Polish citizen Dariusz Witek committed suicide while in detention in the "guesthouse" of the Police Foreigners Branch. No one saw anything.
9 September: In Izmir, lawyer Mustafa Rollas was arrested when trying to see two of his clients who had been arrested. He was also physically assaulted. Later it was denied that he was arrested.
20 August: Nigerian Festus Okey was shot dead at the Taksim Police Station.
10 August: Mehmet Nezir Cirik was beaten at the Taksim Police Station and thrown onto the road. His spleen has been taken out.
2 August: In Kiziltepe, Mardin (southeastern Turkey), Eyyüp Dogan was trying to hitchhike a lift home. He gestured at a van, not knowing it was a police vehicle. He was then beaten by police from the van. He has registered a complaint with the Human Rights Association (IHD).
29 July: Lawyer Muammer Öz was beaten after arguing with police in Moda, Istanbul. His nose was broken.
26 July: In Istanbul, journalist Serkan Tekpetek was forced into a police car, beaten, and then thrown into the street.
17 June: 24-year old Mustafa Kükce was arrested for claims of theft. He was taken to three different police stations. He was not taken to the prosecution and claims of torture were not investigated. He later died at an E-Type prison in Ümraniye, Istanbul.
8 June: Sezai Yakar, who was beaten up at the Taksim Police Station in central Istanbul, had a broken nose and hand as a result.
6 June: E.T., who had been detained at a police station in Izmir for claims of theft, hanged himself.
5 June: Transsexual Esmeray was told by two police officers standing outside the Beyoglu Police Station that she could not pass and was beaten.
4 June: Hakki Canci, arrested for suspicion of theft, is said to have hanged himself at the Canakkale police station.
26 May: When, after an argument, Ferhat Yalcinkaya was searched, found not to have ID on him and to be caryring a knife, he was taken, beaten with wooden truncheons, and gas was sprayed in his face. He was thrown out of the police car at a deserted area in Yedikule, Istanbul.
22 May: Taxi driver Engin Topal was beaten by police. When Ali Bakca objected, he was beaten with wooden truncheons, fists and kicks.
1 May: Police used excessive violence on hundreds of people who had gathered for 1 May, as well as on the journalists covering the event. Thousands of people were arrested or held. People were forced to wait in buses and were sprayed with tear gas. A police officer slapped Masis Kürkcügil who was sitting in a restaurant. (TK/AG)