Police interrogated minors in custody without lawyer present, falsified statements: MP

Opposition deputy and leading human rights advocate Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu has claimed that the police questioned minors who were detained on Tuesday in the absence of their attorneys and manipulated their statements, the Bold Medya news website reported.

“Their statements were taken without the presence of a lawyer,” Gergerlioğlu said during a parliamentary meeting on Thursday. “The police falsified their statements by inserting things that they had not said.”

Gergerlioğlu added that the minors were mistreated and held in custody for 15 hours, asking Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya to provide an explanation.

On Tuesday Turkish police detained 14 minors, all reportedly aged 15, during raids in İstanbul for alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Reports said the detainees were released in the evening.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following an abortive putsch that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

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