UPDATE: Parallel to the hotline for people tortured by police discussed below, The Ankara Bar Association set up a special “Gelincik” or Bride Project that allows women to come to a legal bureau or call a hotline (444 43 06) if they face family violence. In the 15 months since the hotline was established, 15,000 women reportedly have asked for assistance.
Radikal (in Turkish) reported a sample of the problems reported by women who filed for divorce with the bureau: A man newly released from jail sexually tortures his wife with electricity; another holds his new bride by the ankles over a cliff; one breaks his wife’s teeth and nose when she resists his raping their two young daughters; another has a factory manufacture a special plastic and wood stick to make it easier to beat his wife; and another leaves a razor blade scar on his wife every time he beats her. After six years, her body is a mass of scars.
This is a remarkable example of civic activism. Let’s hope it works.
Due to an increasing number of reported police brutality cases, the Progressive Lawyers’ Association is establishing a telephone hotline for victims of police violence called “İmdat Polis” (Help! Police!). The hotline’s number, 444 155 9, is inspired by Turkey’s emergency police contact number, 155.
Members of the Progressive Lawyers’ Association, including lawyers Taylan Tanay and Efkan Bolaç, whose client Ahmet Koca was beaten by seven police officers in İstanbul’s Fatih neighborhood, began the hotline project to combat the use of “excessive force” by police, daily Akşam reported. The project is supported by the Istanbul Bar Association and the Istanbul Medical Chamber. The Istanbul Bar also supports the related “Torture Council,” to provide legal representation to victims of torture.
The council will consist of five full-time lawyers, and 200 lawyers from the Progressive Lawyers’ Association will volunteer their time and services. As soon as a police brutality victim calls the hotline, the lawyer closest to the area will come to the scene. The Istanbul Medical Chamber will help with filing emergency health reports. The project will initially be implemented only in Istanbul, although the plan is to expand it to other provinces…. (click here for more)