Six Turkish policemen commit suicide during Gezi protests, union head says
ISTANBUL - Hurriyet Daily News
Six Turkish policemen have committed suicide since the Gezi Park protests started, according the police union Emniyet-Sen head Faruk Sezer. DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin SÖNMEZ
Six Turkish policemen have committed suicide since the Gezi Park protests started, according the police union Emniyet-Sen head Faruk Sezer.
Police forces have been targeted by heavy criticism over their excessive use of force and practices of brutality amid clashes, but Sezer claimed the forces too have been suffering extensively by being forced to work under severe conditions.
Policemen who have been drafted in from other cities have been sleeping on benches, shields or cardboard due to a lack of accommodation provided to them by state authorities, Sezer added.
“The violence you see at the end is the reflection of the violence suffered by the policemen. They are not just subjected to violence by protesters, but by 120-hour consecutive working periods, stale bread and food. The police are already subjected to violence within the establishment,” Sezer said.
Sezer said any disrespect toward policemen, chiefs and police force systems would naturally end when citizens see the policemen sleeping on the floor or on their shields.
“We burn inside when we see those pictures [of police sleeping in difficult conditions]. As a union, the first thing we will do once the Gezi protests end is to take those photos and the rest of the evidence to file a criminal complaint with the prosecutor. I tell you, to put the policemen in those conditions is the same as treason to the country,” Sezer said.