Turkey police beat and detain gays helping Gezi protests

18 Jun

Turkish police has bashed a gay activist as he takes aid to Istanbul protestors, while three others have been detained and verbally abused

17 JUNE 2013 | BY DAN LITTAUER
Turkish police has bashed Hasan Yavuz, a gay activist, as he took aid to Istanbul protestors, while three others have been detained and verbally abused

 

A peaceful gay activist has been pushed to the ground and beaten by Turkish police at an anti-government protest in Istanbul.

And three other LGBT protestors have been reported to have been verbally abused by the riot police who targeted them because of their sexuality.

All four are part of Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park protest that started in Turkey on 28 May.

The protests were sparked by outrage at a brutal eviction of a peaceful sit-in at the park protesting against its demolition.

Subsequently, supporting protests and strikes took place across Turkey protesting against the growing human rights, freedom of expression and government driven islamization of the state.

Protestors demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who led the Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP), ruling Turkey in an increasingly authoritarian manner.

Gay rights activist Hasan Yavuz was stopped by the police on his way to offer food and medical help to the park’s protesters.

Asked by the police if he was going to aid the ‘terrorists at Gezi Park’, Yavuz answered: ‘Yes, I’m doing something humane. What’s wrong about that?’

Police officers responded by pushing to the ground and beating him.

Furthermore, Yavuz was kept in detention for 4 hours but was offered hospital treatment or taken to the prosecutor’s office.

When his lawyers came to the police station Yavuz was then released and filed a complaint against the police on Tuesday (11 June).

In a separate incident, three LGBT activists who had requested directions from the police were detained without reason.

The activists claimed police verbally abused them with anti-gay slurs, on Wednesday (12 June).

According to the activists’ lawyer, Türker Vatansever, the three were verbally abused as the police officers noticed a chain on of them that referred to an LGBT group present in the park.

He stated: ‘Two of the activists say they were harassed by the police due to their sexual orientation but their claims were not kept on record by the prosecutor’s office.

‘The prosecutor suggested the three could complain the prosecutor general office, which led to their release.’

Vatansaver said that police were detaining people quickly as an attempt to scare the protesters.

A KAOS GL spokesperson told Gay Star News: ‘Last weekend Erdoğan organized rallys against the protestors carrying out speeches, naming them as “terrorists” which can easily be considered hate speech.

‘His intentional demonization against protestors is has been match by his enthusiasm for police violence against peaceful protestors, who use the same language.

‘No one is immune to nobody his police instigated violence.

‘Even women wearing veils who protested against the government suffered from the police terror just as Kurds, leftists, children, journalists, lawyers, doctors, feminists and LGBT people did.

‘Under such violent conditions, police homophobia becomes more visible.

‘Unfortunately, all these violations seem to go unpunished takes an increasing authoritarian approach to ruling the country.’ 

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/turkey-police-beat-and-detain-gays-helping-gezi-protests170613#sthash.5q6XNGL1.H33Wpa1i.dpuf

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