The method employed by the police forces against citizens and a group of non-governmental organizations protesting and demonstrating over the decision to turn the Gezi Park in Taksim into a residence and a shopping mall with an artillery barrack look is not legally acceptable both in scope and scale.
We have to denote clearly that the only measure the police forces can make use of against these kinds of protests in a democratic society is “toleration”. These sorts of activities is a “right” of the citizens and the duty of law enforcement authorities is to make sure for the people to be able to exercise this right.
If it's kept in mind that the protesters are awaiting a court decision and that the report of the court experts is supporting the case of the demonstrators, the legal basis of this resistance can be understood. In other words this resistance has a justified legal ground.
In spite of all these facts, it's clearly a "crime" to prevent people to enjoy a democratic right through violence and to go beyond the limits in strong-arm methods. The article 256 of the Turkish Criminal Code defines to go beyond the limits of strong-arm methods as an injury crime. Therefore we warn the police forces as a law institution. Police forces are committing a crime in Taksim.
On the other hand, it is another crime that the "supervisors" who have the responsibility to give orders and instructions to the police forces, have failed to make an effort to prevent this violence in spite of the method maintained by the law enforcement officers persistently and systematically for the last four days. That the violence committed by the police forces on the field under the name of “orders” is illegal and unjustified, make the ones accountable who give these orders, against the law.
By the way, the persistence on the usage of pepper spray cannot be understood anymore, in spite of scientific proof that the pepper spray, which is used by police forces during the demonstrations, is a threat to the human healthy. Results of usage of the pepper spray as “a weapon”, which is an indicator of the violence and indignity to people, are today hurting demonstrators, but will be tomorrow a reason for responsibilities of police forces.
In view of all events the Istanbul Bar Association, which is reporting rights violations and the blocking of the democratic rights of citizens for 4 days, filed a criminal complaint today about police forces, which cause violence and indignity, about those, who gives instructions, and about those, who are responsible to avoid these actions, but not avoiding them, at Istanbul Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor.
In spite of troubles in jurisdiction of a democratic country we want to hope that police forces need to review themselves again in case of an effective investigation.
Head of Istanbul Bar Association
Last Update 01.06