Help! Police! Save me from the police!
BELGİN AKALTAN - firstname.lastname@example.org
DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah GÜRELOne of the most dramatic moments of the victim’s story was when she was telling me how she called for help from uniformed police officers while plainclothes police were dragging her and beating her. She, Pınar, came to understand that her beaters were themselves policemen only after she saw the sad expression of the uniformed police who turned his face away while she was being beaten.
The other tragic moment, you may remember from Erkan’s story, was when undercover police officer “Süleyman” told her: “I’ll bend you over and f..k you here; since the lights are out…”
When I asked Pınar if she would recognize and identify that “Süleyman,” she told me, “Yes, of course I can identify him. Actually, I saw him later at Beşiktaş, Abbasağa Park. When that person understood that I recognized him, he disappeared into the crowd.”
Pınar’s story will take two weeks to write. It will continue next Saturday.
On the third day of the Gezi incidents, Beşiktaş was the scene of clashes with police and protestors. As happens in any anti-democratic and anti-modernized police force, the police in Beşiktaş on that night, unable to catch the real perpetrators, targeted whoever was on the street at that moment and randomly detained young people. This was the story of Erkan Yolalan, a Bosphorus University graduate student. He posted it on his Facebook account, and daily Hürriyet columnist Yalçın Bayer wrote it. I wrote it in English.
Thanks to Erkan, we have found Pınar, the detained person harassed by the police. She told me her story. Both stories are very similar to each other - yes, because they were in the same bus being beaten and harassed…
You can find Erkan’s story in English here.
This person, Pınar, who was brutally beaten and sexually harassed on the night of June 2 and early hours of June 3 by police in Istanbul, spoke to me…
She is 26-years-old and is trained as a kindergarten teacher, but works in television production. She is doing fine, for the moment, trying to cope with the trauma. Her psychological, social and economic wellbeing have been interrupted. She lost her job because she could not show up for work.
Explaining her ordeal in such detail was harder for her than she thought it would be. She almost had to go through the horrible moments over and over again.
I can only say thank you to her for sharing them with us. Thank you, Pınar, for bringing them up for us.
Pınar said she had explained everything as precisely as she could, hoping that her account would make a contribution to humanity. I hope so Pınar, I do hope so…
Here is what she told me:
“On the date June 2, 2013 at 8:45 p.m., I was trying to go to my apartment in Beşiktaş. (I am saying ‘trying to’ because there was gas everywhere. Let alone seeing around clearly, I was not even able to breathe easily.) I was not engaged in any kind of protesting activity - cursing at the police or throwing stones at the police or any kind of activity against the public order. But with a very swift movement, two people bent my arms and started dragging me. I was constantly asking, ‘Who are you?’ to those two people. They not only insulted me and swore at me with words I am not able to repeat here, they never told me that they were policemen, nor did they read me my rights.
“According to the subpoena that arrived at my home a few weeks ago from the 31st Minor Offences Court, an investigation is being conducted into us. A court case is to be opened against us, and a hearing will be held on Nov. 19, 2013. In that document, it was claimed that I was detained on the Dolmabahçe Road.
“Well, I was not in Dolmabahçe. I was detained at the traffic lights on Barbaros Avenue, in front of the pastry shop/café there. (By changing the venue of my detention, they are trying to add some meaning, or reason, to a meaningless act of theirs.)
“From the place where I was stopped to the open area near where the Prime Minister’s Istanbul Office’s high walls are, I was dragged for meters. I was dragged and beaten. They wanted to drag me toward the high walls. While I was resisting between the cars to prevent being dragged to the wall, whenever I raised my head to see where I was, the person who was holding my right arm hit me on the right side of my head.
“On the road leading to the Beşiktaş ferry station, I saw uniformed police near the buses. I yelled ‘Help, save me.’ When a police officer tuned his head with a sad expression, then I understood that those holding me from both sides were also policemen.
“A green city bus had been made the detention bus. While they were forcing me to board the bus, there was no end to the curses/swear words and insults such as, ‘Are you the ones to save this country, children of the mother f…., the sons of b...s.’
“All the windows of the bus were closed; it smelled of sweat and dirt. All the glass was steamed because of the breath of the riot police sleeping at the back of the bus.
“I followed the order, ‘You wait here,’ when they told me so. And I started listening to the voices coming from outside:
- “‘Where are they?’
- ‘They are bringing them, chief.’
- ‘Search them, take their identities.’
- ‘One of them is a female, sir.’
- ‘What? Where is that wh…e?’”
To be continued…