Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Endless Police Brutality Across Turkey

Tragedy returned to Turkey last night, as another life was taken by police during an attack on demonstrators in the Armutlu neighborhood in the city of Hatay in southeastern Turkey. Ahmet Atakan, 22, was attending a protest that took place yesterday evening to support demonstrations at the Middle Eastern Technical University and Tuzluçayır in Ankara, and Okmeydanı in İstanbul. According to Halk TV, at around 01:20 Tuesday morning, reports surfaced that a man had been hit in the head by a gas canister and was in a critical condition. Despite being taken to a nearby hospital where efforts were made to save him, it was announced by Halk TV at 02:38 that Atakan had lost his life. The police brutality sadly did not end after this tragic incident, as police continued to attack demonstrators even in front of the hospital where Atakan lost his life and where people had gathered to wait for news. When news began to spread of Atakan’s death, members of the public came together at the spot where he was hit to pay their respects to the young man. This latest killing is the latest in a series of deaths and grave injuries caused by police during this year’s protests. Ethem Sarısülük, Ali İsmail Korkmaz, Abdullah Cömert, and Mehmet Ayvalıtaş were all killed by police officers during protests, however no charges are yet to have been brought against their killers. The list of injuries is even longer, and includes the 14 year old BE, who has not woken from a coma since the police fired a tear gas canister at his head as he went to buy bread on 12 June.