Turkish singer files criminal complaint against prison staff over naked strip search
Ceylan Sever – ISTANBUL
The lawyer of folk singer Pınar Aydınlar has filed a criminal complaint against personnel at an Istanbul prison, saying she was made to strip completely naked while entering jail after her sentencing.
Aydınlar was detained on May 15 at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport after arriving in Turkey from Germany. She was then taken to the Bakırköy courthouse, after which she was dispatched to Istanbul’s Bakırköy Women’s Closed Penitentiary to serve a 10-month sentence on charges of “making propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
Aydınlar ran as a candidate for the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) from the western province of İzmir for the June 7, 2015 general elections. The charges of “terror propaganda” relate to speeches she made as part of her election campaigning at the time.
When she was entering prison on May 15, prison staff allegedly forced her to strip naked, against prison regulations. The singer’s lawyer subsequently opened a lawsuit over the move.
“On the first day that my client entered the prison she was forced into a naked strip search, conducted against her will with force. The incident led to irreparable emotional damage,” lawyer Murat Arksak said in a complaint letter submitted to the Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
“The naked strip search procedure does not comply with human dignity. It is an instance of torture and ill-treatment. The prison personnel who have executed this should be punished,” the petition added.