Women's prison stormed, prisoner taken away by special task force

In the Bakirköy women's prison in Istanbul, a ward was stormed and a prisoner taken away and handed over to the police.

In the Bakırköy Women’s Closed Prison in Istanbul, a ward was stormed by a special task force. A political prisoner in custody was taken to a hospital for DNA collection.

According to the Ezilenlerin Hukuk Bürosu (EHB, the Legal Office of the Oppressed), the scandal occurred yesterday, Thursday. The person concerned is Esin Kavruk, a prisoner arrested on 11 October for criticising the Turkish invasion of northern and eastern Syria. Kavruk had taken a stand against the attack on Rojava, which is contrary to international law, in comments posted on social media. Only two days after Turkey’s offensive began, she was arrested for “spreading terror propaganda”.

According to Kavruk’s attorney Gülizar Tuncer, police officers from the Anti-Terror Branch Directorate went to the prison about two weeks ago and took Kavruk to the Council of Forensic Medicine for an "internal body examination" and a DNA sample to be taken from her. However, Kavruk told the doctor that the practice is unlawful and there is no court order. As a result, an examination was not made.

After that, the İstanbul 5th Penal Court of Peace issued a new order upon a request by the police and advice by the prosecutor's office. "In order to determine whether Kavruk was involved in any activity within the scope of the PKK/KCK [Kurdistan Workers' Party / Kurdistan Communities Union] investigation, it was decided to perform an internal body examination and to take blood or similar biological samples and hair, saliva and nails from the body," the order said.

Kavruk then informed her attorney about the situation. Tuncer therewith applied to the Istanbul 1st Penal Judgeship of Peace for the cancellation of the order. She also applied to the Constitutional Court for an urgent injunction. However, the order was not applied.

The prison director and head guards went to the ward on November 14 and told Kavruk that there is a new order and that they will turn her over to the police by force.

It came out that the threatened “police intervention” took place yesterday morning. According to reports, about 100 policemen and soldiers participated in the raid on the ward B-6.

All 16 inmates in the ward were kicked and dragged on the floor by their hair. The cell was searched and devastated, and books and other items belonging to the women were confiscated. After being forcibly dragged out of their ward, they spent more than five hours in solitary confinement.

According to relatives, prisoner Dilek Geçgin was injured by a targeted kick in the genital area. Her fellow prisoner Zeynep Gerçek suffered massive back injuries.

Esin Kavruk was also kicked in the back. The special task force brought her to the Haseki hospital in Fatih. Police officers of the anti-terror police handed her over to forensic medicine for her DNA sample to be taken.