Police’s blinding of protester 'legal,' Turkish prosecutor says
AA file photoA police officer that blinded a protester with a baton during a demonstration in 2009 acted in "within legal bounds,” the Ankara Public Prosecutor's Office has said.
"The police officers' attitude was not arbitrary and they were using the authority given to them by the law," the office said, adding that there was "no need for an investigation."
The intervention "was within legal bounds and disproportionate force was not used,” the prosecutor also said.
The decision, which came in February, was revealed by daily Cumhuriyet today.
A demonstration was held by the Education Workers' Union (Eğitim-Sen) for collective bargaining rights in Ankara on June 5, 2009. Ankara police did not allow the demonstrators to march to the destination they desired and instead attacked them with batons, water cannon and tear gas.
Eğitim-Sen's Ankara deputy chair, teacher Dengiz Sönmez, was hit in the right eye with a police baton while trying to help another protester get up from the ground. The injury to his eye was aggrevated by the use of tear gas by the police, Cumhuriyet's report said.
Sönmez underwent surgery after the incident, but doctors later announced that he had lost 80 percent of his sight in his right eye. Turkey's Education Ministry granted early retirement to Sönmez after hospital reports proved he lost sight in his eye.
Sönmez and directors from Eğitim-Sen filed a complaint with the Ankara Public Prosecutor's Office on the grounds that "they were attacked and injured by the police, who used disproportionate force" on them.
The prosecutor's office reached a decision on Feb. 10, 2012, which said "the police had to intervene against the protesters who wanted to hold an illegal march outside of the boundaries given to them."