Sunday, June 2, 2013

Personal story [by Erkan Yolalan via Facebook]

Recount of one man's story after having been taken away by the police for doing absolutely nothing. Tried to translate into English as best as I could (below the photo) so everyone can see yet another first-hand account example of the kind of brutality & inhumane actions being taken by the Turkish police & government.

First let me thank all those who thought of me, looked for lawyers on my behalf, helped me, and worried about me. I'm now home, I'm fine. My only purpose for writing this is to tell the story of what I experienced in custody. I have no other goal here & I wanted to start by noting this. I'm going to start recounting the events from the beginning & will write down all the curses & insults thrown my way. With full disclosure...

Yesterday evening (on 03/06/2013) around 21:00, I was detained near the lights on Barbaros Blvd in Beşiktaş. I was neither swearing nor throwing stones. As soon as they saw me, they took me by twisting my arm behind my back. Some of my friends actually saw on TV the manner in which I was taken away. Then the hell began. After passing the lights on the coastline, every police & riot police officer who saw me started kicking & punching me. For approx 100-150 meters (basically until we got to the Kadıköy pier), I was slapped, punched & kicked by anyone I passed. "Are you going to save these citizens, you cunt, you whore" were the kinds of insults I heard & the actions continued to no end. I wasn't even able to count the number of people who attacked me until we got to the detention bus. As soon as I got to the busses, a couple guys from the back of one of them yelled "bring it here." They took me behind the bus & also started to kick & punch me. I later learned that because the busses have cameras, they took me between the bus & a wall to beat me. Once I got to the detention bus, the lights were off & I could hear the pleadings of a girl from inside: "I didn't do anything, sir." When I was getting onto the bus & finally got onto it, I couldn't see he people who had beaten me up until that point. All I could do in the dark was cover my head. The curses & insults continued. I sat down & everyone who passed me hit me. I got up & went to the corner. They wanted me to sit, but I told them that when I did, everyone who passed me hit me. More cussing was hurled my way along with slapping & punching & they thus forced me to sit down. They were beating on the girl & choking her by the throat. A civilian police named Süleyman told her exactly the following: "I will fuck you right here." And the response the girl could barely give with her limited voice was heartbreaking: "OK, sir." After this, there were 3 of us on the bus & we were forced to yell, "I love the Turkish police. I love our motherland." They repeatedly yelled, "Louder! Louder!" The beatings afterward did not stop.

As soon as it looked like things were calming down, they brought in another friend. The kid's nose was broken. When I asked him why he didn't protect his face, he said 2 people forcefully held him down while a 3rd one punched him in the nose 3 times.

After him, they brought in a friend named Mustafa from Bahçeşehir University. He'd been beaten by 20 riot police & didn't even have the energy to stand on his own. It wasn't enough that they slapped him while he was next to the bus, they hit him on the head countless times with their helmets. As if that wasn't enough, they then hit his head on the bus' windows. They got him onto the bus by hitting him on it. With his hands handcuffed behind his back & his head bleeding, they forced him to sit on the ground. When we saw that he was bleeding from the head, I went next to him with a rag (the bloody t-shirt of my friend with the broken nose) to try to minimize the bleeding. While I was holding the rag at his head, the policeman named Süleyman told me to go the fuck back to where I was sitting. "He's bleeding," I said. "Let him bleed," he responded. He didn't care. They were keeping that man handcuffed in his seriously wounded state - we mentioned it to several policemen & after pleading over & over again, they removed the handcuffs. And the most heartbreaking part happened later when we were at the police station. Mustafa asked me "did they hit me while on the bus - what happened?" Our friend couldn't remember. Apparently his brain wasn't fully there while we were on the bus.

Finally, we had to go to the bathroom while on the bus & instead of letting us use the bus' toilet, they gave us a single water bottle. From there, we were taken to the hospital to get a written notice & then to the police station to be detained further. Luckily, when we got to the police station, there was a team of lawyers there. And the cops were now speaking to us in a pleading manner.

To the lawyers, to those friend & colleagues who called the lawyers, and to everyone who worried about us - thank you. I have not exaggerated any point in this note - everything I lived through & speak about now is the truth. My only goal is to give a firsthand account of the truth.

The persecution rebellion continues. The fascist order will be broken apart.

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