Two young men were allegedly severely beaten by police officers on August 10 at Ankara police headquarters, the Gazete Duvar news website reported.
Emre Y. and Tuna S. were detained by the narcotics police and taken to headquarters. They were stripped to their underwear and severely beaten with leather belts and batons. The young men were released in the morning, with both reportedly suffering bruises, broken ribs and other injuries.
The incident was made public on Saturday after Emre Y. and Tuna S. filed a complaint against the abusive officers.
The men said they did not know the exact reason why they had been detained. Earlier that day the police had been searching for their friend, Batuhan B., a convicted felon who was scheduled to be arrested three days later.
B. was eventually detained, but it was unclear to which police station he was taken. Emre Y. and Tuna S. searched for their friend at various police stations in Ankara. In the meanwhile, they got into an argument with officers at police headquarters. Later that day, officers detained both men at their homes and locked them up in a cell where they were allegedly beaten.
“We were told that if we apologized, we’d be let go,” said Emre Y. “We had seen some of the police who beat us earlier that day when we were looking for Batuhan [B.]. They poured water over us as they beat us, and hurled insults.”
Tuna S. said they were threatened with death. “The officers told us that if we died there, nobody would bat an eye. What happened to us was inhumane. I am traumatized for life,” he said.
Both men have hospital reports confirming they sustained injuries due to beating.
Ill-treatment and torture have become widespread and systematic in Turkish detention centers and prisons. Lack of condemnation from higher officials and a readiness to cover up allegations rather than investigate them have resulted in widespread impunity for the security forces.
An annual report by Amnesty International (AI) on the state of human rights in the world revealed that serious and credible allegations of torture and other ill-treatment were made in Turkey last year.