Woman threatened with rape by the police to be defended by Istanbul Bar
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Pınar T. said the atmosphere at the police station changed as soon as the bar association’s lawyers appeared. Hürriyet Daily News Photo / Emrah GürelThe Istanbul Bar Association has said they will represent Pınar T., a woman who was physically and verbally abused on a detention bus by Istanbul riot police during the Gezi protests and whose story was first reported by Hürriyet Daily News writer Belgin Akaltan.
Pınar T. was detained on June 2 as she was heading home in Beşiktaş. Police dragged her to a city bus that had been converted into a holding place for detainees. On the way to the bus, the woman was allegedly beaten heavily.
She was subsequently allegedly threatened with rape by a plainclothes police officer who was later identified as Süleyman. Pınar T. and other victims, including Erkan Yolalan, also identified police officer Süleyman from a photo.
The head of the Istanbul Bar Association, Ümit Kocasakal, said they learned about the story after reading an interview that daily Hürriyet writer Ayşe Arman conducted with Pınar T. Arman also credited with Akaltan with breaking the story.
“When I read Pınar’s statement in which she said she was extremely happy to see the lawyers from the Bar Association at the police station, and when she thanked them for their assistance, I was very proud. This is what being a lawyer means. We seek justice for the citizen. The prestige of being a lawyer is high,” Kocasakal said.
Pınar T., Yolalan and other victims said the atmosphere at the police station changed as soon as the bar association’s lawyers appeared, adding that the police began treating them in a more civilized way.
“I want to address [Pınar T.]: She should not be afraid,” Kocasakal said. “We will personally be present at the hearings and defend her, me as the head, and other members of the executive board. We are behind her as an institution.”
Pınar T. and several others who were on the bus, meanwhile, are also the subject of cases for allegedly resisting police.