Turkish police confirm use of lethal gun during Gezi

Turkish police confirm use of lethal gun during Gezi

Mesut Hasan Benli - ANKARA
Turkish police confirm use of lethal gun during Gezi

Turkish police officers had repeatedly been filmed or photographed while directly aiming at protesters with riot guns like the notorious FN-303.

Turkish authorities have admitted that the police used a riot gun with a "lethal" ammunition during the Gezi Park protests in 2013.

Abdullah Koç was among scores of people who were reportedly injured due to rubber bullets that the police used during the anti-government protests that swept Turkey in June 2013. After Koç sued the government for his injuries, a prosecutor asked the police whether rubbet bullets were used, but received a negative reply in September 2013.

The prosecutor had then sent another question, asking whether the police used the notorious FN-303 riot gun and its ammunition.

Turkey's General Security Directorate (EGM) confirmed in November 2014 that the gun and its ammunition, which is classified as "lethal" in several European countries, had been used by the police during the protests, daily Hürriyet has learned.

Eylem Hakverdi, a lawyer who sued the government and demanded compensation for victims, criticized the authorities for failing to inform the prosecution accurately from the beginning.

"The National Criminal Bureau had already described the ammunition of FN-303 as rubber bullet," Hakverdi said, claiming that the police used the gun for lethal purposes during protests.

According to the National Criminal Bureau report, police officers "should not aim the face and the head of a person with the FN-303 gun, as it may lead to deaths."

Although the gun is described in the report as "less lethal," its ammunition is said to have "a shock effect on a human similar to a blow by a sledgehammer that weighs 11 kilograms."