Hürriyet Daily News: Turkish police admits suicides, denies link to Gezi Park protests

The Press and Public Relations Directorate of the Police Department has denied news reports saying that six policemen had committed suicide in relation to the Gezi Park protests. DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin SÖNMEZ

While admitting the occurrence of suicide cases in the last two weeks, the Police Department has strictly denied that these suicides were connected to the recent Gezi Park protests.

Press and Public Relations Directorate of the Police Department, in a written statement released on June 10, denied news reports which were based on remarks by police union Emniyet-Sen head Faruk Sezer who over the weekend said that six Turkish policemen had committed suicide since the Gezi Park protests started.

Describing Sezer as “the so-called head of the so-called police union who has been expelled from our organization,” the statement said his remarks were misleading.

“None of our personnel committed suicide because of the Gezi Park incidents,” the statement said.

“From the past two weeks, two personnel members due to family issues, one due to psychological problems and one due to his brother being failed the police school entrance exam, a total of four of our personnel committed suicide.”

The Police Department said the misleading statements by the media depressed the personnel and asked for them to be disregarded.

Police forces have been targeted by heavy criticism over their excessive use of force and practices of brutality amid clashes. Sezer had claimed the forces too have been suffering extensively by being forced to work under severe conditions.

Policemen who have been drafted in from other cities have been sleeping on benches, shields or cardboard due to a lack of accommodation provided to them by state authorities, Sezer also said at the time.

Iranian national under custody

Meanwhile, 13 persons, including an Iranian national, were taken into custody during protests in Ankara on June 9 and were still at the Police Department as of June 10 noon, the Anatolia news agency reported, citing anonymous sources.

Three persons who were taken into custody during protests in Ankara on June 8 have been released by the prosecutor’s office, Anatolia news agency also reported on June 10.

The three were first taken to the Counter-Terrorism Department of the Police Department and then to the prosecutor in order to be interrogated. Following their interrogation, they were released, Anatolia said.

10 June 2013
Source: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com