Duvar English

Police forces early on Feb. 15 raided a house in the southeastern province of Şırnak’s İdil district. The house belonged to a nephew of dismissed İdil mayor Murat Şen from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

During the raid, Murat Şen’s 90-year-old mother Fatma Şen was battered by the police, Mezapotamya news agency reported. Her hands were crushed under a wooden chest in the house, leading to injuries also in her arms.

During the raid, police also put a gun to the head of mayor’s nephew Nurettin Şen and battered him, while Nurettin Şen’s brother Abdurrahim Şen had his head hit against the wall and suffered two lacerations on his face.

The dismissed mayor’s brother was made to wait outside the house in the freezing cold as the raid was taking place.

After the raid, mayor’s nephew Nurettin Şen was taken into custody for unknown reasons and taken to the district police department.

Following the incident, Fatma Şen and Abdurrahim Şen were taken to a hospital by their relatives, where they received health reports detailing their injuries.

Fatma Şen and Abdurahhim Şen said that they would file criminal complaints against the police officers involved in the raid.

“Masked police officers who raided the house wanted us to lay on the ground. They have made my son, who had just returned from cleaning the boiler, lie on the ground and have battered him. They have pushed my grandson roughly to the floor and kicked him in the head and body,” Fatma Şen told Mezapotamya news agency, while recalling the incident.

“Then they have come to my room and asked me to open the chest. After seeing nothing in the chest, they pounded the chest’s cover on my hands,” Şen said.

“I have not seen anything like this until this age. This is oppression. They are doing injustice and oppression to just. Do they have such a right?” the 90-year-old said.

Abdurrahim Şen also spoke of the incident to Mezapotamya news agency, saying: “I was going to go to work in the morning; I have seen the police had come. I opened the door for them, and as soon as I opened it, they have pushed me to the ground and pressed on my back. Those who pushed me to the floor were three masked police officers.”

Following the incident, dismissed mayor Murat Şen tweeted: “This morning, in the house raid, my nephew Nurettin has been detained and my 90-year-old mother was battered. You will give an account of this before the law, cowards.”

Murat Şen was one of the many HDP mayors to be removed from his post last year.

The Turkish authorities’ removal and arrest of democratically elected mayors across southeastern Turkey is a common practice.

Thirty-two HDP mayors in the region have been stripped of their office and replaced with Ankara-appointed provincial and district governor “trustees” since the March 2019 local elections.