Riot police helmet numbers ‘erased’ during Gezi protests, Turkish interior minister acknowledges
Pictures showing police officers with black tape covering the identification numbers on their helmets sparked outrage during the Gezi protests last year. DAILY NEWS PhotoInterior Minister Efkan Ala has acknowledged that the identification numbers on some riot police officers’ helmets were erased during last year's Gezi protests, but also claimed that this happened due to “busyness.”
In a statement made on May 8, Ala also vowed that administrative and legal actions would be launched into officers who violated regulations.
“All personnel assigned in riot police units are given helmets bearing identification numbers. We have procured new numbers for the personnel whose identification numbers were erased due to their busy work schedule during the incidents [Gezi protests],” Ala said, responding to a parliamentary question.
He added that “legal and administrative actions will be launched into personnel who violated regulations or instructions.”
Pictures showing some officers covering their identification number on their helmets with black tape during the Gezi protests sparked outrage. The pictures emerged as the police conducted daily crackdowns on protesters in Istanbul and Ankara.
Investigations into the deaths of Gezi protesters also raised concerns over police impunity, as lawyers representing families of the victims have repeatedly denounced attempts to "cover up" the killings.