An entire neighborhood arrested in Halfeti

The police in the wake of clashes started raids to entire neighborhoods of Halfeti and Bozova villages. The 54 people the police gathered from their homes are still being kept in the police station. However, many of these detained were injured either at the time of their detention or after they were detained

An entire neighborhood arrested in Halfeti

The controversial government claims of presence of terrorists don’t hold up for an armed clash that left two residents killed in the village of Halfeti in Turkey. In the same clash a police officer had lost his life.

The police in the wake of this clash started raids to entire neighborhoods of Halfeti and Bozova villages. The 54 people the police gathered from their homes are still being kept in the police station. However, many of these detained were injured either at the time of their detention or after they were detained.

The clashes occurred in the south-eastern region of Turkey, where the majority of the population is Kurdish. Turkish government uses the ethnic identity as the reason to apply extra pressure and violence in this region, hoping they can force Kurds to denounce their ethnic identity and accept Turkish ethnicity as their ethnicity. The native language used is mostly Kurdish and people have resisted assimilation attempt by the Turks since the establishment of modern Turkey in 1923.

Witnesses reported the home raids by the Turkish gendarmerie and the unnecessary violence shown by the Turkish soldiers and police following the armed conflict two days ago. They detailed how the detained have been beaten and that the beatings continued after the “suspects” were taken to the police headquarters.

All detainees from Bozova are suffering injuries but they are not being allowed to either see their lawyers or transported to a hospital.    Witnesses said the “suspects” have broken arms, legs, teeth and skulls. The detainees were seen lying on the floor in their own blood. Many of them cannot even walk. Yet no medical help is allowed for the 54 detained people of these villages.

There is a 24-hour period that the police can detain a suspect without allowing any legal help. However, the 24-hour period has ended but many suspects are still not allowed to talk to their lawyers. Only a handful of suspects were allowed a legal visit, however the officials kept the visits to 5 minutes for these detainees. Even in this 5 minutes the police insisted that they would observe and listen to the conversation between the detainees and their lawyers.

The home of a family in the neighborhood where the clash happened was set on fire by the security forces and the entire family were detained. Witnesses again reported that the family members were under heavy torture and some members from this family were unrecognizable due to heavy beating and torture.

Urfa Human Rights Center reported that they too are getting reports of heavy torture of detainees from Bozova and Halfeti.

The Bar Association of Urfa demanded torture and irregularities to end immediately, otherwise they would act to shut down the entire legal system in Urfa. The president of the Bar Association has met with the chief prosecutor and at the time of writing was preparing for a statement on the situation.

Meanwhile the soldiers have surrounded the neighborhood and do not allow anybody to either enter or leave. The entire villages are also under heavy army control and people are only allowed to enter or leave after identity checks.

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