Kurdish workers detained and beaten by police in Kadıköy talk about their experience

Kurdish workers, who were detained under torture and released on condition of judicial control while sitting on the beach of Kadıköy, said that they "we were beaten at the police station, and threatened us not to ask for a battering report."

The Kurdish workers, who were detained by the police while on the beach of Kadıköy on their days off, were released under judicial control by the Anatolian Courthouse 2nd Criminal Judgeship of Peace on the charge of "resisting the police ". The workers were at all times accompanied by Green Left Party deputy, lawyer Cengiz Çiçek, ÖHD and ÇHD lawyers. They were greeted with slogans, Kurdish songs and applause in front of the courthouse. The workers had their faces and various parts of their  bodies covered with bruises due to the torture they were subjected to by the police before and after their detention.

They spoke to ANF about their experience.

'We did not dance halay, we did not listen to music'

Although it was stated on social media that they were detained for dancing halay, the workers emphasized that when the police arrived, they were not dancing and the music was quiet. Construction worker Kadir Gülşen said that two police cars came to the scene because of another fight in the Kadıköy. “We were sitting, the police came to us and did an ID check. One of the police officers pointed to the sound system we brought to listen to music and asked who owned it. Then he confiscated it and put it in the vehicle. When we reacted to this, he said to my aunt's son, ‘I can take you if I want,’ and took him to the car. When the reactions increased, they sprayed us with pepper gas. When I saw the police turning towards my brother, spraying pepper gas and beating him in the face, I intervened. When he sprayed pepper spray in my face, I tried to defend myself. He suddenly took the gun from his waist and started shooting in the air.”

Gülşen reacted to his release on the condition of house arrest. He said he came to Istanbul from Amed to work, and added: “We came to Istanbul to work. We are working in the construction of the Financial Center. We were attacked by the police just because we were sitting on the beach with a music system in Kadıköy. We had nothing to do with anyone. The police attacked us unfairly. But again it was us who paid. Now I am under house arrest, I have no home here, I am staying at the construction site, I will have to return to Diyarbakır and I will not be able to work. They have not only victimized me, but my whole family."

Seyithan Gülşen, cousin of Kadir Gülşen, said: “We stopped the music when the police came. They came and checked ID, asked who the sound system belonged to and confiscated it. When we reacted, we were beaten and taken into custody."

Gülşen drew attention to the fact that they were battered by the police both in the vehicle and threatened not to ask for a report of assault when they went to the hospital for examination. The workers said that they were constantly exposed to sexist curses. "We were also beaten on our return from the hospital.”

'The police officer who broke his finger while beating us accused us'

Stating that the torture continued in Kadıköy police station, Gülşen said: “When we arrived at the police station, we were beaten again. We were handcuffed in reverse by the police, who sprayed us with pepper gas and fired a gun in Kadıköy. While shaking his fist, he broke his finger and blamed us. He filed a criminal complaint against us saying we had broken his finger. While I was lying face down, a commissioner came and stepped on the victory sign tattoo on my waist and arm with his shoes, repeatedly. He kicked me in the stomach. I couldn't breathe."

Arrested for taking a video

İdris Akpınar, another worker, stated that he was attacked by the police only because he was taking a video with his phone as a witness of the incident. Akpınar, a moto courier, described the events as follows: “When I was going to my house from Kadıköy, I saw a group of young people confronted by police over a sound system. They confiscated the sound system while they were doing ID checks. When the young people reacted to this, they took the two of them and started to beat them. So I ran to the police and said, 'What are you doing? I started making a video. At that time, a police said, 'Are you shooting a video? I walked away so as not to give my phone away. Again, when the same police officer asked, ‘Why are you filming us?’ I replied that they committed a crime and beat people. 'Are we committing a crime? Are we battering? Then they took me into custody by beating me, saying, 'Come and see'.”

Akpınar said: "The police threatened to say, 'If you say we beat you, there will be a return,'" said Akpınar, who had his left eye and behind his ears bruised because of the beating. He said that they filed a criminal complaint against the police.