A video that shows policemen in Turkey abusing a female detainee surfaced in local media this weekend, sparking outrage and prompting calls for swift punishment of the officers involved.
Fevziye Cengiz, a 37-year-old Turkish woman, was reportedly detained by police in July during “a raid on a music hall”, according to the English-language Today’s Zaman newspaper.
Cengiz can be seen in the video - which was released on YouTube - handcuffed and beaten by three plainclothes police officers.
Cengiz also said that she was sexually harassed, according to Today’s Zaman.
At least one high-ranking government official has called for the police officers to be punished.
“The incident is unacceptable, and I believe those who are involved in this must be punished,” said Fatma Sahin, Turkey’s minister of Family and Social Policies, according to Today’s Zaman:
“If those in particular who are supposed to help efforts for a solution [to the problem of violence against women] become part of the problem, this is definitely unacceptable,” the minister said, according to the paper.
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The video showed a heated argument in an office between two plain-clothed police officers and Fevziye Cengiz, a woman who had been arrested and brought to a police station in the western Turkish port city of Izmir last July.
Cengiz, who was dressed in shorts and a tank-top, yelled and backed away from the men. Suddenly, the officers started slapping Cengiz and yanking her hair. Later, the camera showed them wrestling Cengiz to the ground as a third man in police uniform occasionally stepped in to help restrain the woman and pick fallen items off the floor.
After handcuffing Cengiz, the plain-clothed officers held her against a wall and took turns delivering open-handed blows to her face.
Here’s Today’s Zaman on what could happen next:
After Cengiz was released, she filed a complaint at the prosecutor's office. The officers then filed a separate complaint against her, accusing her of attacking and insulting them. The police officers face up to one-and-a-half years in jail each for causing simple injury, while Cengiz can receive up to six-and-a-half years for attacking and insulting police officers.