Turkish police raid wrong house, beat occupant and threaten him

Photo: Mezopotamya news agency

In a case of mistaken identity, police officers raided the house of Süleyman Arıkan in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır and severely beat him, but when they realized they had gone to the wrong address, the officers threatened him with consequences if he filed a complaint, the Mezopotamya news agency reported.

Arıkan’s apartment in Diyarbakır’s Bağlar district was raided by a special operations police team at 5 a.m. on Thursday. As soon as they entered the house, they laid him on the floor and started beating him, asking questions about persons he did not know.

Arıkan, 25, said he did not know those people and that they had gone to the wrong address; yet the beating continued.

“The door of my apartment was banged on at 5 a.m. When I opened the door, I saw several people wearing masks and carrying long-barreled guns. I only realized they were police when they entered my home. As soon as they came in, they started asking if I knew certain persons. When I said I did not, they took me to the terrace and laid me on the ground, swearing at me,” Arıkan said.

When he objected, they started beating him with their rifle butts. The more he objected, the more violent the beating became, he claimed.

After a while, the police realized that they had raided the wrong house. They left, telling Arıkan not to file an official complaint.

“They insulted and battered me in my house for about an hour. After an hour, they realized they had gone to the wrong house. They told me, ‘We are looking for someone.’ I told them the address they were looking for wasn’t mine. Although they understood that they had gone to the wrong address, they continued to pressure me. They threatened me when I said I would file a criminal complaint against them, saying: ‘If you complain, it will not be good for you. We will hold you on charges of aiding and abetting a terrorist organization.”

They raided the house of his neighbor, Seyfettin Kardaş, in the same building and detained him for his social media posts, Mezopotamya reported.

Arıkan went to the police station a few hours after the incident and wanted to file an formal complaint. But the police officers at the station refused to process his complaint, saying they didn’t know which police unit raided his house and referred him to the prosecutor’s office.”

“They didn’t even offer an excuse. People who hear about this kind of abuse in the news or on social media perhaps don’t believe it. Yet I experienced it. They should not have done this even to a criminal. I want people to learn what I suffered. What happened to me today may happen to others tomorrow. I will go to the office of the prosecutor and file a complaint even if I don’t think it will change anything.” Arıkan said.

Cases of police violence and abuse have recently found their way into the Turkish media. In a similar case the ousted co-mayor of Van’s Edremit Municipality, Rojbin Çetin, was allegedly attacked by police dogs and tortured in her home in Diyarbakır during a police raid on June 26.

Two reports by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) published on August 5 confirmed the continued existence of ill-treatment and torture in Turkey.

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