ANKARA- Five lawyers and one press worker were detained in front of the Prime Minister’s building after they called for an immediate discussion of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça’s application to the OHAL Commission (governing the state of emergency). While they were being detained, they were tortured by police. The police tortured the detainees for 10 minutes in front of the police vehicle.
Academic Nuriye Gülmen and teacher Semih Özakça were dismissed from their jobs under a KHK (statutory decree issued by the state of emergency government). They are on the 169th day of their hunger strike. Nuriye and Semih’s lawyers came together in front of the Prime Minister’s building in Ministries area of Ankara to announce their demand that Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça be reinstated. Ayşe Ülker, a member of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) and doctor to Nuriye and Semih, also attended the reading of the press statement.
The police blockaded the front of the Prime Minister’s building, where the press statement was to be read. Police attacked the lawyers as they attempted to read the statement and told them they could not speak. Lawyer Ebru Timtik reacted to the police attack, saying “this country has a constitution; it has freedom of expression and assembly.” The police arrested the lawyers who resisted and tried to read the press statement, torturing them and dragging them across the ground.
Meral Gökoğlu, a worker and member of the Photography and Cinema Workers (FOSEM), was also detained and tortured by six police, although she showed them her press card. The police handcuffed the lawyers behind their backs. For ten minutes, as the lawyers shouted slogans outside the police vehicle, police tortured the lawyers. Press workers who wanted to shoot video of the attempt were prevented from doing so by police. Police also checked the criminal records of those in the area.
Six people detained
The detainees’ names are as follows: Lawyers Ebru Timtik, Ayşegül Çağatay, Didem Baydar Ünsal, Naim Eminoğlu, Meral Gökoğlu, Refik Atalay.