This business ends in a Turkish ‘black arm’
BELGİN AKALTAN - firstname.lastname@example.org
This 26-year old auto-dealer was tortured at the Sultanbeyli Fatih Police Station on Monday this week.This is a “chicken translation" that roughly means “This incident will end up at the police station.” Go and ask a Turkish-speaking friend if you don’t understand “chicken translation” and/or “black arm.”
“This business” I will write about has happened in a Turkish police station at Sultanbeyli, a conservative, low-income neighborhood on Istanbul’s Asian side. It is an infuriating story. It just shows there is nothing new about the “New Turkey” and that the same old police methods remain in place since they shot the film “Midnight Express.”
According to Doğan News Agency (DHA), it happened Monday night this week. The person at the center of the story is 26-year-old auto-dealer Ş.Ş., who went to the Sultanbeyli Fatih Police Center to pick up a subpoena. While he was walking out he saw two groups who had been in a fight and were at the police station. One of the sides asked him to mediate. Ş.Ş. talked to them briefly and went home since they were already at the police station.
About half-an-hour later he received a phone call from the police station inviting him to mediate between the two groups again, so Ş.Ş. returned to the station.
Take a break
Speaking to DHA, Ş.Ş. said: “They took me upstairs. One police officer said: ‘Who are you to mediate between them? Who do you think you are?’ He hit me. Then they wanted to send me to the hospital but when they saw that my relatives and friends were outside, they took me upstairs again. Without me understanding what was going on, they started hitting me with batons, mineral water bottles and the butts of their guns on my head and hands. [Belgin’s note: I was short of breath here and took a few minutes off. Why don’t you do so as well?] My wrist was already broken and healing. They broke it again. They dragged me on the floor. [I think I took that break too early. I need a longer one now].”
Ş.Ş. continued talking to the DHA camera: “I pretended that I fainted for about one-and-a-half hours. They called the hospital police and told him to check out the doctor there so that he/she would not give a report. They took the 2,000 Turkish Liras which was in my pocket.”
The doctor did not give any report at the hospital, Ş.Ş. said. He was taken back to the station. This time, they started beating him for the third time. “My left wrist was already broken; the veins were damaged on my right wrist. They again dragged me on the floor, pulling me by my handcuffed wrists. With the mineral water bottle, they tried to do some things by force…Then my lawyer came. I was put in an ambulance and taken to the Marmara Education and Research Hospital,” he said.
“They wanted to push the soda bottle up my organ. But because I prevented them, my hipbone is broken. I am now using an orthopedic cushion.” [Belgin’s note: I cannot fully grasp the situation. Sorry for the ambiguity in the writing. This is what he said.]
Tired of hitting
There were five police who were beating Ş.Ş. but one person who the others called “captain” he said, was “obsessed with me. He made me kiss his feet. He got exhausted beating me, took 15 minutes off and came back to hit me again. They dragged me many times on the floor by the handcuffs. Normally a handcuff would leave one mark; I have 11 handcuff marks on my wrists and hands.”
This police commissioner intimidated Ş.Ş. by saying he was experienced in “this,” that he had 39 files and he would be his 40th... He told him that he was going to retire in two months anyway.
I took a walk outside and came back. I am taking deep and slow breaths; oxygen seems to be less around here while I am trying to write this. Maybe oxygen and breathable air all over Turkey have been dropping to dangerously low levels for a long time; don’t you also feel this?
The person who asked Ş.Ş. to mediate in the first place, C.Ö., also spoke to the DHA cameras, saying they were also beaten. “When they called Ş.Ş., they took him to a room with no cameras. They started beating him in front of our eyes. When we intervened, telling them he had nothing to do with the incident, they started beating us. He was here to mediate in the name of humanity. They subjected him to unnamable torture. They laid us down and sprayed us with tear gas. They suggested we file a complaint against him and they would let us go. We did not accept. We were beaten again because we did not accept.”
Ş.Ş. has been given a 15-day incapacity report from the hospital. He and his lawyer have filed a complaint at the court against the five police.
Istanbul Police Directorate issued a statement saying that Ş.Ş. was not telling the truth. But, nevertheless, there will be a legal and administrative investigation about the torture claim.
I believe this torture at the police station is true just because one cannot make up such things. A normal, civilized person cannot come up imagining such stuff. I think it has happened exactly as Ş.Ş. told.
Are all the policemen perverts? Is there some kind of pleasure or satisfaction in beating someone? Isn’t there a police officer over there who has a higher level of humanity, commonsense, conscience than the others? Trying to push a bottle up someone’s bottom? Making him kiss your feet? How can you produce so much hatred toward someone you do not know? What kind of lowness is this? Are we surrounded by these kinds of people? Are they the majority? Who do they vote for? What is going on in Turkey? Do people out there notice that this regime only produces darkness?