‘I’ll bend you over and…’
BELGİN AKALTAN - firstname.lastname@example.org
Hürriyet Daily News Photo / Emrah GürelBefore I start, please note that Pınar has not been raped. She has been beaten, hit in the face, throttled, hit on the ear; her head was banged against the interior of a bus. She has been verbally harassed, threatened to be raped, insulted. (Whether or not she has been raped seemed to be a source of curiosity. How appropriate is this according to societal values, right? The female organ sits on the throne of our social concerns. I’m sorry Pınar, for banalizing your ordeal.)
Continuing with Pınar’s story from last week, she told me that she has never been treated so unfairly in her life. After the trauma, she lost her job. She is now trying to cope with life. People look at her skeptically when she tells them she is suing the police officers who beat and harassed her.
Pınar was detained in Beşiktaş by two undercover policemen, dragged and beaten. She was taken into an İETT bus again at Beşiktaş, which was used as a detention bus. She was listening to voices coming from outside. That’s where we stopped last week. It was the third day of the Gezi incidents, the evening of June 2 and the morning of June 3.
“One of them noticed I was looking at them and listening to them. He said, ‘Hey, slut. What are you looking at?’ [The phrase “Hey, slut” here is a light version compared to the original Turkish words.] He boarded the bus, he ordered, ‘Search her!’
“Some policemen did not want to search me and they left the bus. The same person approached me and told me to take off my clothes. I said, ‘No’ and he punched me. My upper lip was numb. Another one snatched my bag and pulled off my polar vest, turned it inside out, emptied its pockets. Then he addressed the middle age driver of the bus: ‘you mother f****r, shut down the engine. Turn off the lights. F*** off and go away.’ And the guy did exactly what he was told to do.
“Even though I was constantly saying, ‘Officer, I did not do anything wrong. There must be a mistake,’ the insults, and curses continued. Meanwhile, they boarded somebody into the bus while beating and insulting him.
“The person with plain clothes whose name I learned was Süleyman –as that is what I heard the other policemen call him – was continuously hitting me. He was throttling me. He was slamming my head against the bus’ interior. The undercover policeman whose name was Süleyman said this to me, verbatim: ‘Now, the lights are off, I will bend you over and f*** you right now.’ I was so afraid I could only say ‘Yes, sir,’ with a low voice.
“Then, a dark-haired mustached undercover police office with an accent slapped me on the ear. He then made me and the other three detainees present in the bus shout ‘I love Turkish police. I love my country.’ He made us shout over and over again saying ‘louder, louder.’ Meanwhile, the insults and beatings were continuing.
“Another young man was brought into the bus. His nose was broken. He told us two people held him and a third one punched his face. Others were also brought in. A student from Bahçeşehir University, Mustafa, was attacked by 20 riot police [officers]; he was not able to stand on his feet. They hit him with their helmets. They slammed his head against the bus window. He was handcuffed from behind and his head was bleeding.
“We went to attend to him; we held the bloody t-shirt of the guy whose nose was broken to stop the head of this new guy from bleeding. The police officer named Süleyman cursed at me, told me to ‘f*** off to my seat.’ I told him he was bleeding. He answered, ‘let him bleed.’
“This injured guy, Mustafa, was being held in handcuffs. We repeatedly told a few policemen and finally one of them removed the handcuffs.
“Hours passed. I told them I needed to go to the toilet. They told me to pee on myself.
“The bus was getting crowded. We could hear people being beaten outside.
“Some detainees were beaten so badly that when we arrived at the police station, none of the station officers wanted to receive them; then, the ‘bus’ police beat them a bit more and released them because nobody would accept them.
“We were boarded onto a boat to be taken to hospital for a doctor’s report. First we were taken to a coast guard station at Balat. I was finally granted permission to go to the toilet. Then, we were taken to İstinye state hospital. The doctor there did not examine me. We were taken back to the police station by boat again.
“There were many lawyers waiting for us at the entrance of the police station. Thanks to the presence of the lawyers, the atmosphere became much less tense. The police started treating us more kindly than before. I cannot thank the members of the Istanbul Bar Association and volunteer lawyers enough – they had even brought some food for us.”
Republican People’s Party (CHP) Antalya deputy Yıldıray Sapan asked an oral question in Parliament on June 5, 2013, yet no reply was given. Pınar’s lawyers told her Sapan was receiving threats but I could not confirm this.
Sapan’s question’s video can be found on this link:
Pınar’s written complaints, as well as Erkan’s, Mustafa’s and those of the other detainees, have been processed; Pınar’s case was initially scheduled for Nov. 19 but because they have complaints filed against them, most probably all the cases will be merged and the date is subject to change.
This may or may not continue…