ISTANBUL - Radikal
Two police officers accused of severely beating a fast-food-stand employee for listening to a song by the late Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya have been sentenced to eight months in prison and were suspended from duty.
The officers were sentenced six years after the incident took place in the coastal town of Kuşadası, part of the Aegean province of İzmir.
İbrahim Sil was working and listening to a song by Kaya on June 24, 2004, when the two officers attacked him. According to the statement made by Sil at the time, two police officers, dressed in civilian clothes and equipped with radios, made him stop playing the music; one forced him to hand over the cassette.
“I said I could not give the cassette because it was not mine and belonged to one of my friends. The police officer M.B. started beating my face with the radio in his hand. One of my teeth broke when he hit me in the face with his radio. My face was covered with blood,” Sil said in his statement. “The other police officer, B.O., started beating me after I fell down onto my knees. They later dragged me into a police car.”
Sil also said the police officers forced him to give false testimony during his questioning at the police station.
“They forced me to say in my statement to the police that I fell while riding a bicycle. At first, I refused to do so and said I would file a complaint against the police officers who beat me,” Sil said. “Then they threatened to close down the stall and keep me from working. I said I would not file any complaint against the police officers so they would do not do anything against us. One of my relatives took me out of the police station.”
Sil incurred serious injuries to his face and had his chin broken. He received a report from the forensic medicine institution excusing him from work for 25 days. Claiming that he feared for his life, the food-stand employee filed a complaint against the two police officers at the İzmir Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Public Prosecutor Bilgehan Ertan investigated the incident for four years. The two police officers allegedly involved were transferred to different cities. Ertan was able to question them in 2008. In their testimony, the officers said they were on a mission with the anti-terror department between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. the day of the incident. They said they did not know the plaintiff and were being slandered.
Sil identified the police officers by looking at their photos. Witnesses confirmed that they were the men who beat him for listening to Kaya’s songs.
The public prosecutor filed a suit at the Kuşadası Criminal Court against the two officers on charges of mistreatment, making threats and restricting another’s independence. He requested nine years imprisonment with hard labor for the suspects.