Turkish Constitutional Court rules for probe into police over ‘breaking arm’ case during Gezi Park protests

Turkish Constitutional Court rules for probe into police over ‘breaking arm’ case during Gezi Park protests

Oya Armutçu – İZMİR

The Constitutional Court has ordered an investigation into police officers who have been suspected of having a role in Süleyman Göksel Yerdurt’s broken arm during the Gezi Park protests in 2013, saying the state’s dismissal of the case had been “out of line with human dignity.”

The top court has also ruled for Yerdurt to be compensated 15,000 Turkish Liras in spiritual damages.

Yerdurt had filed a criminal complaint for having his arm broken while being detained in the Gezi Park protests in the western province of İzmir in 2013. But, following a claim by the prosecutor’s office that Yerdurt had “broken his own arm to portray it as proof of torture,” which had resulted in the case’s dismissal thereafter, Yerdurt applied to the Constitutional Court on Nov. 17, 2014.

The top court agreed with Yerdurt’s statements that he had been treated badly during the detention process and had been handcuffed with his arms behind him while being taken to the hospital, kicked and fingerprinted with his arms twisted.

The Constitutional Court has further ruled that the “principle of ex officio investigation” had been violated as authorities had not opened an investigation into Yerdurt’s case, despite having seen him coming to the courthouse in plaster.

“Without examining the trueness of the official reports prepared by the protests' suspects [police] and without any existence of other evidence, making a judgment alone is a violation of the aim and of independent investigation principles,” the top court has said in its ruling.

The Constitutional Court has also pointed out that camera footage during Yerdurt’s detention, as well as footage from the hospital, had not been included in the file prepared by the prosecutor’s office.

The court’s decision has been sent to the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor, as a result of which an investigation will be launched into the suspect police officers in line with the Turkish Criminal Law’s 94th article on “torture.”