Etha: She has been subjected to torture while her rib was fractured!

“The resistance of revolutionaries and people will teach AKP a painful lesson” says Beycan Taşkıran, ESP Istanbul Provincial Executive, who had a rib fractured during the police attack which started on June 15th against the Gezi Park protests and who had been put in an airless jail cell for 4 days right after being detained.

Beycan Taşkıran is a socialist woman who had her rib fractured during the police attack aimed at evacuating Gezi Park on June 15th and who was detained right after that.

Taşkıran, although now getting better everyday, was detained in the operation by the police against Ezilenlerin Sosyalist Partisi (ESP-Socialist Party of the Oppressed) in the small hours of June 18th and the fracture of her rib wasn’t noticed for about 10 days.  Her fractured ribs needs time to recover and while Taşkıran is unable to walk normally and has trouble breathing, she has to remain as motionless as possible.

We had an interview with Taşkıran about her injury and the detention period she experienced right after that; she starts with these words: “I commemorate the martyrs of Gezi and send my compliments to all our comrades who are in captivity.” And Taşkıran’s comment on her health condition is “Unfortunately, it created a situation in which I had to leave the practical struggle going on in the streets. This is sad.”


ESP Provincial Executive Taşkıran was injured by the pressurized water from a water cannon (TOMA) delivered at a very close range on June 16th. Taşkıran says that the mass turned towards Tünel due to the fierce attack of the police and they had to come face to face with the TOMA since they were on the front lines. Then, she said about the moment of her injury: “The alleys were taken by the police.  The TOMA was aimed directly at people. It forced out water from a very close distance and I hit the wall, and then fell on the ground.  Of course, we didn’t understand that there was a fracture then.”

Taşkıran went to Okmeydanı Hospital in the night of the attack due to her increasing pain.  The diagnosis after the first examination is a crush injury to her chest. Taşkıran went to the hospital again on June 17th due to her intensifying pain and rising temperature.  The night she went back home, June 18th at 04:00 a.m., the police raided her apartment.  Taşkıran was held in custody for 4 days despite her pains and injury.


Since Taşkıran’s pain was continuously intensifying while she was being detained, she was taken to Haseki Hospital upon the insistence of her comrades.  Doctors here diagnose the fractured rib as tuberculosis.  Although Taşkıran insists that the dense smoke seen on her lungs was due to the gas bomb attacks of the police. The doctors answered “We don’t have a chance to prove that, but your condition doesn’t look so good.”

And Taşkıran added what the police said to the doctors in Haseki and Forensic Medicine: “You’ve said this doesn’t originate from us, right?  This tuberculosis is something that happened before. It has nothing to do with us. And there is no battery anyway.”


During her period of detention, she experienced torture.  The police tortured Taşkıran  just like the other ESP people in detention despite her being injured.  Taşkıran expresses what they had been through in terms of torture as following: “The period of detention itself was a form of torture already.  Other than that, we were subjected to other torture, such as handcuffing, battery and forced saliva sampling. We observed that they used psychological torture in detention very actively.  Women are always subjected to a secondary torture which consists of sexual harassment.  We were subjected to verbal sexual harassment frequently.  We were constantly exposed to sexually explicit remarks in detention.  They were especially hard on our young, female comrades saying ‘We should see each other, let’s exchange numbers’ to them. And about us, they said to each other: ‘it’s been four days; why are you giving shit about them; they haven’t even had a bath.’ Humiliation and insults were constant.”


The police put the people who had been subjected to their gas bomb attacks and who have problems of breathing in closed cells. They were detained in cells which had very bad conditions and no ventilation, Taşkıran explains the reason for this as follows: “They don’t want you communicating with your comrades, singing songs together, shouting out slogans, reacting against torture.”

Nearly 70 socialists, one of them being Taşkıran, who were detained during the Gezi operation directed against the ESP, had been subjected to torture from the beginning of the detention period.  Revolutionaries had been put in cars, had gas sprayed on, and their arms and fingers had been broken. Women had to endure being strip searched, another form of torture.  Taşkıran adds that they will file criminal complaints about the forced saliva sampling and what they experienced in there.


As for the reason why the state attacked ESP so fiercely, Taşkıran says the following: “AKP and its regime think that they can intimidate people by subduing socialists and revolutionaries, who are the most conscious individuals here; this is the solution they come up with against the uprising of Turkey’s people.  We watch the news everyday and now they appear really ridiculous.  Unsurprisingly, they think that they can control all the areas of life by putting more and more pressure on everything. Therefore, this tendency is not much surprising; but they are surprised, and they will be more and more surprised; this is how it goes for regrant. But they are in for a surprise because the resistance of both the revolutionaries and the people will teach them a painful lesson.”

Taşkıran continues with how much revolutionary people learned from this process. Taşkıran indicates that this was a chance to really understand the Paris Commune and the feelings of those people. She finished by saying: “For years, we used to talk about how the revolution would happen. We used to struggle for this cause.  And now we have experienced it our Taksim Commune.”

Yıldız Tar
3 August 2013

    This post is also available in: Turkish