Low numbers of police failed to stop attackers, officers tell court in Hürriyet attack case
Burcu Purtul Uçar – ISTANBULPolice officers in the case into an attack on daily Hürriyet and Hürriyet Daily News’ building in Istanbul’s Bağcılar in 2015 testified as witnesses in court on May 25, noting that the small size of the force was unable to stop the approximately 200 assailants who raided the building.
Hürriyet’s Istanbul headquarters and Ankara offices were pelted with stones by club-wielding protesters on Sept. 8, 2015, 48 hours after a similar attack on the building in Bağcılar.
Some 26 suspects are being tried in the case over “violation of a residence” and “damaging property” and face up to nine years in prison.
Telling the court that he was on duty on both days in front of Hürriyet, police officer Barış Tanerlioğlu said it was impossible for them to stop the group of attackers because their numbers were too big.
Describing the first attack, Tanerlioğlu said a group gathered in front of the daily’s building and a person he thought was a party member arrived to make a speech before the crowd dispersed.
“In the second incident, two trucks arrived in front of the Kanal D building and parked there. There were about 200 people, whereas we were only eight people. It was impossible for us to stop them,” Tanerlioğlu told the Bakırköy 5th Penal Court of First Instance, adding that the group entered the daily’s garden and started to throw rocks.
“They attempted to enter the building. I immediately asked for additional teams. However, because attackers were blocking the road, the team’s arrival wasn’t easy. The crowd was chanting slogans and shouting. The incident ended after the intervention of the additional teams,” he also said.
Another police officer who testified in court, Ali Emir Mustafaoğlu, said the group entered the garden after climbing over barriers on Sept. 8.
“The crowd gathered in front of the building and entered the garden after climbing over barriers. We asked for additional teams,” Mustafaoğlu said.
The hearing was adjourned.