Police beat, put Kurdish minors' head into toilet bowl in Turkey's southeast

Three Kurdish teenagers said they were subjected to police torture during detention in Turkey's southeastern city of Van, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency reported on Sunday. 

Turkish police on Feb. 15 detained the three teenagers, aged between 14-17, and used violence against the minors during and after their arrest in Van's Ipekyolu district, according to victims' statements. 

The children told Van Bar Association that the police beat them, kicked them in the head, hit with batons and put their heads into toilet bowls.

"After I came home from work, police detained me due to incidents in the neighbourhood and got me on the ground. They struck with batons at my back. They hit me in the belly with their boots and pulled my hair and hit me in the face. They took me to Tuşba police station and continued beating there. They put my head into a toilet bowl and insulted me," one of the victims, 17, said. 

A 16-year-old victim said the police mistreated him as well. "They questioned me at Tuşba police station but I told them that I did not know anything. They beat me and swore."

The third victim, a 14-year-old Kurdish child, who partially lost his vision on the left eye due to police torture, said he was going shopping when the police arrested him. 

"Eight police officers assaulted me...They took me to the police station after they beat me on the street. They put my head into the toilet bowl. Right now, there is blurriness and itching on my left eye."

Van Bar Association said the hospital reports proved that the three children were subjected to torture and the minors were wounded severely, mistreated and tortured. The association filed a criminal complaint against the police officers involved the incident.  

Following 2016 failed coup, in the face of extreme political pressure, prosecutors and judges were even less inclined than in previous years to investigate alleged human rights violations by law enforcement officials or bring to justice those responsible, according to Amnesty International. Turkish government since has granted security and judiciary officials unmatched powers against those deemed to be enemies. 

The torture minors experienced reminds widespread mistreating in the majorly Kurdish regions of Turkey after the 1980 military coup which is usually remembered with psychological and physical tortures like putting inmates' heads into toilet bowl at the notorious prison in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır.

Turkey’s Kurds make up roughly 20 percent of Turkey’s 80 million people and have suffered in the ongoing conflict between the armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)-Turkish Armed Forces and the centralised Turkish nationalist state intolerant of other identities.