Justice is a Long Lost Dream

Justice remains to be a long lost dream for civilians in Turkey. As rapists and murderers connected to government are protected, those who complain of injustice get experience dawn-raids in their homes, detention, torture, arbitrary violence by the police.

As Gezi protests continue with additional subjects to be protested such as the killing of Ethem Sarisuluk by police, excessive use of force and arbitrary violence, government and other related official bodies continue to victimize civilians. Hundreds of people have been detained, dozens arrested during dawn-raids across the country. Only in Izmir, more than 160 people have applied to official bodies with complaints of torture by police, while in Antalya there is even a video of 15 policemen beating 3 youngsters.

There is one special case, of a taxi driver in Istanbul was beaten violently by several policemen, one of his eyes taken out, then he was thrown into a barricade fire. He hardly could speak but told that he was simply in the neighborhood, returning home from work, parked his taxi and police attacked him on the suspicion that he was a protester.

As PM Erdogan, ministers, other state officials continue to glorify police violence and the methods used against peaceful protesters, people feel insecure when police is around. The arbitrary violence continues to dominate streets, random ID checks, strip searches, and detentions for no apparent reason, or simply for wearing mini skirt/shorts for women.

While harassment becomes an integral part of police violence, nights still suffer police attacks against peaceful protesters in several cities and detainees still suffer maltreatment. There are people who support this kind of violence, from among AKP lines, ministers, policemen, or simply those who wish to see all protesters gone from their lives.

When people apply to courts to complain of harassment, maltreatment, torture, violence they hear the decision that the policeman who shot Ethem was released and they give up, simply because if state protects the criminal for killing a civilian, they are scared to imagine what would happen to those who complain of step-before-death experience. As there comes forward someone to speak freely and give witness statement, he gets detained too.

Currently the most threatened group of people are those who write and distribute the news online, especially in foreign languages. A few days ago the mayor of Istanbul had called for all social media users with foreign languages to tell the world that everything is fine and Istanbul is safe now; the very same day PM Erdogan said “the time has come for those who write about Gezi and tell the world of the news.” Currently there are reports of the people who have been posting online, writing blogs and microblogs. There is no official ban on any platform, and Twitter has refused to share information with Turkish government.

However, there are many people who use their real names online and it is high chances that they will face trouble for their support for the protests, or simply for journalism. As of this morning, Istanbul general police HQ has declared that they have started investigating all the tweets on Gezi protests and will soon start action against those found guilty.

This entry was posted in AKP, media freedom, Protests, Social Media, Surveillance State, Turkey. Bookmark the permalink.

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