RIGHTS > Alleged police torture against music group

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Grup Yorum ‘s lead singer Selma Altın is allegedly beaten by the police.

Grup Yorum ‘s lead singer Selma Altın is allegedly beaten by the police.

Two members of the music group, Grup Yorum, which is known for its leftist political tendencies, were detained and allegedly subjected to police violence, with police officers breaking the violinist’s arm and rupturing the lead singer’s eardrum, reports claim.

The band’s lead singer Selma Altın and violinist Ezgi Dilan Balcı were subjected to torture by police after they were detained during incidents that broke out while the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) member İbrahim Çuhadar’s corpse was being removed from the Forensic Medicine Institution. Çuhadar was killed in a bombing at a police station in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district earlier this month.

Taylan Tanay, the lawyer for the two musicians, said Altın’s eardrum was intentionally ruptured since she is the group’s lead singer, while Balcı’s arm was broken as she plays violin, daily Taraf reported yesterday. Tanay said the band members were tortured by police while they were handcuffed.
Tanay said his clients were tortured in an effort to deprive them of producing and performing their music. “They were forced to lie down on the ground while they were detained and kicked by many police officers for several minutes. The torture continued in the police car. Since police officers know that Altın is the lead singer of the band, they intentionally ruptured her eardrum by repeatedly hitting her ears. Altın became completely deaf in her right ear, while her left ear now has only partial hearing. A doctor from Forensic Medicine also verified this. The police hit Dilan since she plays the violin. Currently one of her arms is broken. We demanded medical treatment for them, but they were not treated since there is no doctor in Haseki,” Tanay said. He called the incident “police terror.”

According to Tanay, the manner of torture was specifically aimed at Grup Yorum members. He said 28 people were detained in front of the Forensic Medicine Institution on Sept. 14 and subjected to torture, adding that they had filed a criminal complaint against Sedat Selim Ay, the deputy police chief of the anti-terrorism department and other officers involved.

Since Ay has returned to work in Istanbul the number of incidents of police violence has increased, Tanay said. “This incident is not a surprise since the prime minister supports Ay and his [violent] methods. It showed the ineffectiveness of the ‘zero tolerance to torture’ policy,” Tanay said.


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Notice on comments

ismail demir

9/20/2012 10:41:21 PM

Selma Altın deserves no sympathy since she chanted slogans to glorify suicide bomber İbrahim Cuhadar who killed police officer.If any muslim in western country did the same they were prisoned in addition to torture .Western commenters in HDN seems so sympatic to teror in Turkey under the guise of human rights.


9/19/2012 6:10:18 PM

Are these police officers nameless? Isn't there an Ombudsman in today's Turkey who will advocate for citizens faced by state sponsored injustice and brutality? Mr. Trinidad, what you are suggesting is called "vigilante justice" and it is just as uncivilized and dangerous in nature as that of those who committed these human rights violations. Regards

Sid Mark

9/19/2012 12:13:01 PM

Who is blocking Turkey's entrance in the European club?

Roger Harding

9/19/2012 10:25:07 AM

I share Victor Trinidad's sentiments. Torture by Police is a terrible shame for this great country. Sadistic, mad dogs in the Police should be dealt with appropriately. At once. Otherwise citizens will. Make no mistake. How long will it take for Turkey? To stop torture by her law enforcement agencies. How long?

Faruk Beisser

9/19/2012 10:05:32 AM

Oh no, there is no such thing as police brutality! Anyone claiming that must be a terrorist! Carry on, Ay, the Great Leader will soon have you promoted for your excellent job!

Burhan Hafez

9/19/2012 9:50:38 AM

How on earth could that happen to a sensitive artist like Selma Altin???!!! Shame on you Turkish police. Those policemen who have inflicted pain on the two musician ladies must be brought to justice NOW.

Mike Taylor

9/19/2012 6:08:19 AM

I grew up in Izmir, I love Turkey...but come on now, its time to ditch the repressiveness, the opresion, and embrace all your citizens as the human beings they are, trying to make it in a world thats not as fair as it should be...AYIP!!!!

VMT Ankara

9/19/2012 12:14:25 AM

If I was the father of these two ladies, I would have taken the law into my own hands and hung those terrorists (police officers) by their private parts for all to see and spit at. It is a disgrace and they should be thrown in prison for life for the crimes they have committed.
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