FıratNews: Police terror ruins lives

The police terror, described by the PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as “epic”, has another one of its victims, İsmail Aslan, who is an undergraduate of philosophy at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. Aslan, attempting to enter Taksim Square on the 6th of July upon the call for action by Gezi Solidarity Platform, got injured on his forehead by a gas-shell, which was aimed from a 20-meter distance by the anti-riot squad. Diagnosed with a fraction in his calvaria, and brain hemorrhage, Aslan was discharged from Cerrahpaşa Hospital on Friday, after six days of treatment. However, his life will never be the same again, for he now bears the risk of suffering from brain hemorrhage unless he avoids sudden movements.


The risk for Aslan (23) to suffer from brain hemorrhage continues, after he has been discharged from Cerrahpaşa Hospital on Friday, the 12th of July.

Attending the call for a meeting by Gezi Solidarity Platform in Taksim Square on the 6th of July, Aslan shared his story with ANF. Aslan figured out that there was police intervention in the area after he could smell the pepper gas when he walked towards İstiklal Street from Tünel. The scattered crowds were about to reunite at the backstreets of Taksim:


“We got together, and started walking. As we made it to Ağa Camii, the intervention kicked off” says Aslan, “I looked for a shelter along the street, where old Emek Cinema used to be. Police were patrolling all the street ends. When I walked down to İmam Adnan Street, I saw that we were surrounded by an anti-riot squad, shooting pepper gas at us, at the one end, and a police vehicle at the other. I entered the first hotel I found. Police were arresting whoever they came across, beating them with batons. Although I saw the brutality taking place, I could not get out to help others. When they retreated, I came out of the hotel to see in what condition the street was. Meanwhile, another group was gathering in Mis Street. However, we encountered another intervention shortly after this. People got stuck in their workplaces. I went back to İmam Adnan Street. As I was walking in the middle of the street, the police who were located at the end of the street shot me from 20-meters, aiming at my forehead. I first thought that it was a sound bomb, because my ears clanged, but I then realised that I got injured with a gas shell, when the blood started flowing off my face. Volunteered doctors could not deliever sufficient medical assistance at the site, hence my friend took me beyond the police barricade, and we got in a cab, heading to Cerrahpaşa Hospital.


The X-ray, taken at the emergency service of Cerrahpaşa Hospital, showed that Aslan was suffering from frontal lobe injury, fraction in calvaria, and traumatic subarachnoic hemorrhage. After he got seven stiches for the cut on his forehead, the doctor at the emergency service first noted down the cause of injuiry as “physical assault” in the official records, although Aslan repeatedly told the doctor that he was shot by a gas shell. Later on, the doctor added a postscript to the report as “the injured is reporting that a gas shell hit him”.

Aslan says, “I was taken under intense care, for the hemorrhage would not stop. Nevertheless, the police based at the hospital had been insistent on taking my testimony. They had to leave, apparently, as the doctors in the intense care unit strongly opposed the request. Although I was transferred to the standard care unit after being kept under intense care for 36 hours, I could not be operated since a fractured bone was in direct contact with the venous blood vessel. The hemorrhage was barely stopped with drugs. The surgeons who ran my consultation reflected the truth in their reports.”


Aslan draws attention to the arbitrary procedures that took place during his discharge from Cerrahpaşa hospital, on the 12th of July. He reports that he was asked to pay 300 TL as donation for the hospital’s trust fund, and he was not very welcome to take a copy of the official report in which his injuiry was recorded.


Aslan refused to pay the 300 TL, and only paid the amount that was required for his stay at the hospital. Still under a great danger of suffering from hemorrhage any moment, Aslan at his young age of 23 will have to live with this risk for a long while.

Aslan declared that he will take his case to İHD (Human Rights Assocation) İstanbul Branch, and join the collective plead to the European Court of Human Rights. Emphasizing that he is to get back to the resistance as soon as he gets well, Aslan says “Whoever aims to take our lives this way will not be able to suceed in repressing us. I will keep claiming my democratic rights”.

Zeynep Kuray
13 July 2013

    This post is also available in: Turkish