Reactions mount against demeaning treatment of police by deputy's son
Police officers across Turkey are raising an outcry against the son of a Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy who made a group of policemen line up in front of him to identify the officers he had earlier quarreled with last week in the Dörtyol district of Hatay.

The reactions came after a video clip showing a group of police officers lined up before the son of AK Party Hatay deputy Hacı Bayram Türkoğlu at the Hatay Dörtyol Police Station was posted online last week. The clip showed Türkoğlu trying to identify the police officers with whom he had earlier quarreled. The clip has drawn the ire of police officers in Turkey, with many of them launching and joining campaigns of protest on social media websites to condemn what they call the "demeaning treatment” of the police by the deputy's son.

Police officers started Facebook and Twitter groups called "We are all Murat Emer and Alper Atilla,” the two police officers who were reassigned to different cities after an investigation was conducted following the younger Türkoğlu's complaint against them. In comments, officers denounced the deputy's son for his treatment of their colleagues, saying they would not allow their friends to be insulted. They also vowed not to support the AK Party in the future elections if the deputy and his son do not apologize for the incident. Currently, there are reported to be thousands of followers of the protest groups.

According to reports, an argument broke out after police officer Atilla complained about an order he had placed at a cafeteria owned by Ömer Uzun, who is friends with İstemi Kağan Türkoğlu, the son of the AK Party deputy. Uzun called Türkoğlu for help, thinking the political influence of the latter's father would help to settle the issue, and the situation escalated after Türkoğlu reportedly threatened to "send him [Atilla] into exile” because of his behavior towards the owner of the cafeteria. Deputy Police Superintendent Emer became personally involved after he wanted to detain the deputy's son for threatening a police officer on duty. The son resisted and filed a criminal complaint against the two police officers. In order to identify the two men, Türkoğlu reportedly made a group of police officers at the Hatay Dörtyol Police Station, including Atilla and Emer, line up before him. A police officer secretly captured the incident on video and posted it online.

The Republican People's Party (CHP) also directed criticism at the AK Party and the deputy for the incident. CHP İstanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu brought the issue to Parliament's agenda, asking AK Party deputies if they were planning to take action against their colleague Türkoğlu. He asked if the ruling party had or was planning to launch an investigation into the deputy and his son. "Has an investigation been launched? If yes, what is the result? Why are people not informed about details of the incident? Why is the ruling party not making any statement?” Tanrıkulu asked.

Meanwhile, the younger Türkoğlu spoke to a Turkish newspaper and defended himself, saying he did not force the police officers to line up before him. He also claimed he was beaten up by police officers at the police station. He said he has a health report to verify his allegation. Emer also spoke to a newspaper and said he felt as though he was a traitor when he was made to line up before the deputy's son. "I felt like I was a traitor, I felt so small," he said.

Last Modified: 2012-07-30 12:23:48
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