Incidents of police brutality have been on the rise across Turkey during the curfews imposed against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with new footage showing police officers hitting or mistreating citizens surfacing on social media nearly everyday.
A large group of police officers in the Çorlu district of the northwestern province of Tekirdağ beat a man sitting in front of his house on the first day of Eid al-Fitr on May 24.
According to social media user Ali Osman Önder, who shared the video, a police officer carrying out curfew controls told Dursun Gültaş, who was sitting in front of his house, to go inside while hurling insults at the man.
Gültaş, in return, reportedly asked the officer in question to not insult him.
Police then starts beating Gültaş and his family, while also threatening ans seeking the person who recorded the incident.
The governor’s office released a statement after the footage caused uproar on social media, saying that police officers in question were “threatened with lynch and one of the family members had a knife in his hand.”
Following the attempt to justify police violence, it also said that the officers in question were suspended and an investigation was launched into them “for allegedly using excessive power.”
Another incident took place in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district, where a police officer hit a delivery man on the street.
The footage released by Artı TV showed a police officer swearing at the delivery man and hitting him.
A striking dialogue is also heard, with the delivery man asking the officer whether it’s appropriate for him to hit him.
“It’s appropriate, because I decided on it. Go away, don’t answer back to me,” the officer says in return.
A statement was released from Istanbul police following the incident, saying that the officer was suspended.
Elsewhere in Istanbul, a group of police officers beat a child, handcuffed him behind his back and detained him in the Zeytinburnu district.
Residents of the neighborhood were heard slamming police from their balconies and reminding them that the individual they’re beating is a child.
Footage released by ANKA News Agency prompted outrage on social media, which was followed by police releasing a statement that put the blame on those subjected to police brutality.
Istanbul police said that the individual in question was intoxicated and that he was detained with “gradual force.”
In the city’s Eyüp district, a group of watchmen beat a man out to buy bread on the street, as well those who intervened in the incident on May 25.
Enes H. Ermaner, the lawyer of one of those beaten, said that his client was out to buy bread when watchmen started beating him.
“Those who saw the incident from their windows went out to take my client away, but they were beaten as well,” Ermaner said.
Another incident took place in the Cizre district of the southeastern province of Cizre, where police officers beat a man late on May 25.
Police officers then detained a man via putting him in an armored vehicle, footage obtained by Duvar showed.
The Interior Ministry released a statement on the increasing number of police brutality cases, criticizing media outlets for reporting the incidents as “police brutality,” adding that the aim of these videos is to harm the police force.
The statement released by the ministry spokesperson İsmail Çataklı said that a negative perception of police officers is being tried to be created with these videos.