Istanbul musician says she was beaten by police officers after argument over cello case
ISTANBULA woman cellist has said she was beaten on Aug. 2 by police officers at the entrance of a metro station in Istanbul after refusing to allow the case containing her cello be checked.
The incident occurred at the metro station in the Kadıköy district on Istanbul’s Asian side. Gülşah Erol wrote on her Instagram account that she was beaten and insulted by police officers, including photos of cuts and bruises on her body.
“On Aug. 2, yesterday, I was beaten by two police officers at the entrance to the Kadıköy Metro Station. They declared me a terrorist and said my instrument was a bomb. They put me in a room. I was handcuffed and I was punched and kicked several times. They hit my face with Turkish flag and said they were the citizens of this country. What about me? I said I was a musician and asked them to not hurt my arms and hands but I was beaten even more. They said people like me must leave this country and we are traitors,” Erol wrote.
“They threatened to throw me in jail and insulted me terribly … I am a musician! I am laboring for this country. Is this what I deserve? Please, musicians and artist friends, even if someone approaches you with insults and attacks just say nothing and move away. I could have died yesterday,” she added.
The incident stirred outrage on social media users in Turkey, particularly after popular singer Halil Sezai drew attention to.
“A woman who was treated like this is a cellist. She is the most naive, calm human in the world. Do those who did this not have mothers and sisters?” Sezai wrote on his Twitter account.
The Istanbul Police Department issued a statement claiming that Erol attacked and insulted police officers.
“Police officers wanted to check her instrument case but she rejected it and started to shout at them, asking ‘Why? Is there a bomb inside it?’” the statement said.
The statement also claimed that she reached for the throat of one of the police officers as she was being detained and added that the police department had opened an investigation into her behavior.