Police sought to strip search detained Boğaziçi protesters: Lawyer

Istanbul police battered and harassed protesters detained in home raids on Jan. 5 for protesting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's rectorial appointment to the school in a mass demonstration the day before, their lawyer said. Images of the detainee's homes showed broken walls and doors.

Duvar English 

Istanbul police broke walls and doors during home raids to detain protesters who demonstrated against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's rectorial appointment on Jan. 4, and forced strip searches on them, their attorney Ezgi Önalan said. 

Initially, 17 protesters were detained during the early hours of Jan. 5, less than 24 hours after police teargassed crowds protesting the appointment of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) member Melih Bulu in front of the school's main gate.

"[Police] imposed strip searches on them in the morning. Some had their phones confiscated, some were battered, we have their battery reports," the attorney said. 

The number of detentions later in the day rose to 22, Turkish media outlets said. 

The warrants allow them to be kept in custody for 48 hours and accuse them of resisting police, as well as violating the Turkish Demonstration and Protest Marches Code. 

"We know those charges do not require home raids at dawn, and that this was not legal," Önalan said. 

Photos shared by Turkey's Progressive Lawyers' Association (ÇHD) showed a broken wall at the home of one of the detained protesters, saying that police broke down the structure when the door wasn't answered.

Another photo showed the apartment door for one of the detainees' homes, where police had clearly applied brute force.

Arrest warrants were issued for 28 protesters, and the 11 who were not detained in Jan. 5 morning raids were dubbed "fugitives" by the Istanbul Governor's Office.