This week, as the Unconditional Justice Movement, we focused on minority problems and the violations of rights against Armenians that have been going on for years.
- The term “police violence” is sometimes used to describe various human rights violations committed by the police. It covers the random application of violent methods used for battering, unlawful killing, torture, or intervening in social events in protests.
- Especially recently, the use of violence by law enforcement officers has become commonplace and has become normal behavior.
- As if that wasn’t enough, now the “watchmen” have been brought into play, and many police force powers have been given to them, including “using weapons.”
- In fact, the police do not have the authority to use violence. The police authority, which is recognized as the use of force, is defined in Article 16 of the Police Duties and Powers Law. “Force and the Use of Weapons Article 16- (Amended Article: 02/06/2007-5681 D.K./4.art.) In case of encountering resistance while doing their duty, the police are authorized to use force to break this resistance and to such an extent that it will break it. Within the scope of the authority to use force, a weapon can be used when the physical strength, raw power, and legal conditions are met in a gradually increasing proportion, depending on the nature and degree of resistance and in a way that will render the resisters ineffective.
- One of the years in which Turkey witnessed the most police violence is 2013, without a doubt. Twenty-seven people lost their lives by the police in 2013, and almost all of these incidents took place during the Gezi Events.
- The police officer who shot Ethem Sarısülük was fined only 15,200 Turkish liras after being tried pending trial despite all the evidence and images.
- 14-year-old Berkin Elvan was seriously injured when the gas canister fired by the police hit his head during the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul Okmeydanı, and died after being in a coma for 269 days. The litigation process continues.
- Again, the last words of 19-year-old Ali İsmail Korkmaz, who lost his life as a result of police violence during the Gezi Events, to the police were “Don’t hit me, I’m dying”.
- During the protests initiated at Boğaziçi University against the appointment of a trustee/custodian rector, many students faced harsh police intervention and countless students were unlawfully detained.
- Lastly, Alparslan Kuytul’s 14-year-old son was detained by wearing a reverse handcuff. This incident also reveals the dire point of police violence. Lawsuits against the police in Turkey today progress slowly and the penalties remain light and are far from being a deterrent. While the government supports police violence in its own country, it condemns similar incidents in foreign countries. If Turkey, which has been indifferent to the warnings made for many years, does not take a step, the damage caused by law enforcement violence will increase gradually. Turkey must first realize that the “uniform” does not legitimize the murder.
According to the Human Rights Watch statement:
- “In the last five years, especially since the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016, torture and ill-treatment in custody by the police has increased markedly. The failure of senior officials to condemn the cases and their readiness to cover up rather than investigate the allegations have resulted in widespread impunity for the security forces. Victims have not received justice in other cases of ill-treatment and torture documented by Human Rights Watch in recent years. Turkey has a long and bad history of enduring torture, superficially denying allegations of torture, and making unconvincing explanations about how the injuries and deaths of suspects in custody occurred.
- The text of the cadets was written after the action.
- Indicating that Turkey maintains the record of being a member state of the Council of Europe, which was found to have violated the European Convention on Human Rights the most,
HRW continued, “In hundreds of violation decisions, it is determined that inhuman, degrading treatment and torture violations and these violations are not investigated.
As the Unconditional Justice Movement, we would like to remind you that there is no statute of limitations on torture. What the police need to learn is that they have a duty to ensure the safety of the public with their authority in the law. It is not among their duties to endanger public safety.