43 officers receive disciplinary penalty for excessive force in Gezi protests
ANKARA – Hürriyet
Turkish riot policemen use plastic bullet and tear gas during clashes with protestors after a rally on September 15, 2013, at Kadikoy in Istanbul. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILICForty-three police officers across Turkey have been handed disciplinary penalties for excessive use of force during their intervention into Gezi protests following Interior Ministry and police probes.
The 43 will also not be able to benefit from the advantages of their seniority for between six and 16 months as a result of the investigation.
The penalties were meted out following reports prepared by an inspector who observed the incidents and the police’s intervention in several provinces, including Ankara, İstanbul, İzmir, Antalya, Eskişehir and Hatay.
A police officer, who pepper-sprayed a woman wearing red in Istanbul’s Gezi Park in May – producing an image that became symbolic of the Gezi protests –as well as a police officer who pulled the hair of a girl carrying a Turkish flag in İzmir were among those seniority benefits were suspended.
Plainclothes police officers who were not wearing mandatory vests and who attacked protesters with sticks in İzmir were also punished with the same penalty.
The inspectors detected a certain degree of excessive use of force and personal mistakes on the part of the police officers.
An investigation is continuing into 169 other police officers and 32 high-ranking officials over the incidents.