Reactions against handcuffing detainees continue despite suspension of Manisa police chief

A number of well-known figures continue to criticize the unlawful practice of handcuffing non-resistant arrestees, after the Manisa police chief was temporarily suspended as part of an investigation launched into the handcuffing of arrestees during a government-backed operation targeting the faith-based Gandulen movement this week.
Police officers on Monday handcuffed 26 people including lawyers, educators and headscarved women and paraded them on the street until they were escorted to police cars in an operation carried out against the faith-based Gandulen movement, popularly known as the Hizmet movement and inspired by the teachings of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gandulen. The operation was performed on the charges of alleged members providing financial support to the and”parallel structure,and” a term invented by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to refer to the Hizmet movement.
As the Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday, Manisa Police Chief Tayfur Erdal Ceren was suspended after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu ordered an investigation into the police officers who took part in the operation for acting against laws and procedures during the detention of suspects in the operation. The handcuffed images of the suspects, in particular those of headscarf-wearing women, sparked public outcry, mainly because police procedures require that handcuffs be placed on suspects only when he or she might flee or pose a physical threat to the safety of the police. Two headscarf-wearing women, M.H.E. and K.E., who were released after their statements were taken in the Manisa Provincial Police Department on Wednesday, were taken for a second medical examination at the Manisa State Hospital at around 5 a.m. on Thursday, this time with no handcuffs on.
Speaking to Todayand’s Zaman, veteran Turkish journalist Nazli Ilicak said: and”Iand’m against those who label people that help the needy and do charity work as members of terrorist organization and detain them based on these charges. People [government officials] who were once sensitive to victims and covered women are now not even hesitant in inflicting their tyranny on themandhellip They claim to be sensitive to the headscarf issue. This latest incident demonstrated how sensitive they are.and”
Mustafa Destici, the leader of the Grand Unity Party (BBP) evaluated the issue on his Twitter account, asking, and”Is there anyone whose conscience wouldnand’t hurt after seeing those headscarved women escorted to a police car with handcuffs on after being arrested based reasonable suspicionand”?
andOmer Faruk Gergerlioilu, the former president of the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER) also spoke to Todayand’s Zaman and said that the handcuffing incident hurts the public conscience. and”One must look at these people not just as women with headscarfs but as human beings. Itand’s not right to act this way towards anybody with the intention of damaging their reputation,and” Gergerlioilu added.
and”Itand’s not possible to analyze this situation within the law, because thereand’s no law in the county now. In an environment where thereand’s no law, the person who holds the power uses it as he wishes, as long as nobody opposes him,and” Former Istanbul Bar Association President Dr. Yanducel Sayman said, speaking to Todayand’s Zaman on Thursday.
The Federation of Turkish Womenand’s Associations (TKDF)hairwoman Canan Gandullandu spoke to Todayand’s Zaman, saying positive discrimination against women is necessary in situations like this. and”If a woman is proven to be guilty, then I agree with this treatment. However, itand’s wrong to treat her like this before her guilt is proven. What everybody needs to do is abide by the law and avoid politicizing it.and”
Speaking to Cihan news agency, Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) izmir Deputy Murat Bakan said that the government violates the law by tyrannizing people in order to maintain its political power. and”This practice [handcuffing during arrest] is not an implementation of a law, itand’s terrorizing and oppressing those who are critical [of the government],and” Bakan stated.
CHP izmir Deputy Atila Sertel also spoke to Cihan about a fabricated incident of harassment against a woman with a headscarf in Istanbuland’s Kabatai neighborhood that was reported by a number of pro-government journalists and apparently never took place.
and”With this incident where headscarved women detainees were handcuffed, itand’s revealed that President Recep Tayyip Erdoganand’s discourse of supporting them was only a political instrument,and” Sertel emphasized. During the Gezi Park protests that erupted during the summer of 2013, pro-government journalists reported that a headscarved woman named Zehra Develioilu was attacked by Gezi protesters on a street in Kabatai on June 1. Although a large part of society was galvanized to turn against the Gezi protesters due to the incident — especially after President Erdogan, who was prime minister at the time, said dozens of half-naked men had attacked the young woman and even urinated on her — footage from nearby security cameras discovered months later showed no evidence that such an attack had even taken place.
Erdogan and his political associates have for some time accused the Gandulen movement of being a terrorist organization, despite the absence of any concrete evidence. Gandulen is a critic of the government, accusing it of being corrupt, engaging in favoritism and abusing religion for political and personal gain. Erdogan has relentlessly targeted Gandulen following a corruption scandal that erupted in December 2013 and implicated members of his family and senior government officials.
Selma Tatli, Zehra Evcil and Cahit Kiliandc also contributed to this report.


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