Another Testimony from a Protester

The words of Dilara Kaya, a graduate from Baskent University:
I was under custody for 29-30 hours. In the demonstrations yesterday, police cornered some of the protesters. And I was cornered in Kizilay AVM (shopping center) with my friends Dilara Yayintas, Bahadir Alkac and Dogac Ozates. A gas bomb was thrown to the building. Then a police crew ordered us to kneel on the ground and go to the bottom floor. They threatened everybody there and swore at them. To the women, they shouted sexist insults. One of the policemen turned and said to the women kneeling, “Which one of you wants to take care of me?” They kicked us with their feet and forced us to put stuff that was not ours into our bags but we refused. We were taken by them and most of got beaten up. They “searched” my clothes by banging my head to the bus window.
We were taken to Ankara main police department. We were forced to kneel to the ground in the bus during our ride and sworn at all the time. They called us terrorists and they said, “Their families couldn’t raise these kids up properly”, just because we used our democratic right to demonstrate. Around 10 pm, we were locked in a basketball stadium, we were at least 300 people. We were there until next day 2 pm. Water was given to us only at the beginning of the night few times. The toilets were open at the beginning only for 1-2 hours and then they locked it and we were given no food, nothing at all during our custody. Inside was very airless and it was hard to breath. We were only allowed to smoke inside. Some fake lawyers came and they tried to make us sign papers and took photos of us. If we did so, they said they would allow us out. Many people had to accept but 50-60 of us resisted them and signed nothing without our own lawyers. Then lawyers came from BARO (Body of Lawyers) and they supported us.

We were taken to medical jurisprudence and they made us wait for 8 hours under the noon sun inside a bus just for doctors to come and say, “Are you ok?” and then they went away. We returned to the police station and they made us wait inside the bus again for two hours. Then we learnt that our 24 hours custody which started at 10 pm yesterday was long over but they didn’t let us out. When we said, it is our legal right to go, they threatened us. And on the papers, they destroyed the evidence in front of us that we were made to wait more than our custody time. And then they sent us to hospital just for doctors to again pretend that they are helping, then we were released.

Just because we were in that demonstration, we were openly called terrorists. One of our girl friends told us that 8 policemen attacked her with their sticks, she could barely walk. We saw people whose faces were destroyed, whose hands were broken, who were beaten up. However I’ll be back there at the demonstrations as soon as I get better. They kept us there to scare us, to break our resistance but we will not give up. And please tell the others that, what they did to us is the proof that how powerful we are and how much they are scared of us.

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