Turkish police have killed 403 people for disobeying stop warnings since 2007, the head of Baran Tursun Foundation, which monitors police brutality cases, has said.
Mehmet Tursun, who lost his son Baran Tursun in such incident, also said that the killings are followed by statements from official aiming to justify the perpetrators.
The foundation chair also commented on the killing of 17-year-old Syrian teenager Ali al-Hamdan in the southern province of Adana after he reportedly disobeyed police warnings during curfew controls on the street, saying that police officers defend themselves based on the authorities granted to them by law.
“Police was given the authority to fire without hesitation. When we look at the cases, all 403 of them are public order related incidents, including the killing of my son Baran Tursun and Ali al-Hamdan,” Mehmet Tursun told daily Evrensel.
“Officials from various levels step in to release statements depending on the gravity of the situation and make statements to the press. This happens even when the body is still on the ground and an autopsy wasn’t done. They cite excuses, like the victim had a bomb, attempted to pull out a gun, walked towards police and etc.,” he said.
“In short, they acquit perpetrators even before the incident is examined. Their media report these. Crime scene investigation teams prepare their reports based on the official statements. Spoiling and hiding evidence is carried out and the incident is being tried to covered up through made-up witnesses and their testimonies,” Tursun added.
Saying that the process continues with police telling court that they used the authority granted to them in law or that it was an accident, Tursun noted that police testimonies in different incidents bear striking resemblances.
“The aim is to acquit the perpetrators. As a result, courts rule for acquittal or hand very little sentences,” he added.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu, meanwhile, drew attention to the increase in such incidents.
“It stems from the increase in the authorities granted to police and impunity. The fact that authorities remain silent in the face of these crimes and the judiciary ignoring them leads to the use of disproportionate force and the violation of the right to life,” Tanrıkulu told Evrensel.
“These deaths will increase if this impunity is not prevented,” he added.