Hundreds of families to protest Turkish police killings

The families of hundreds of people who were killed by police in Turkey are preparing to take action and demand change from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), independent news site Diken reported on Monday.

Current regulations granting police the authority to use their firearms arbitrarily in certain situations are causing a high rate of police killings, the families say.

The families of the 395 people, including 91 children, who were killed by law enforcement officers over the past 13 years are setting out to seek justice for their loved ones, the Chairman of the Baran Tursun Foundation, Mehmet Tursun, told Diken. 


Tursun in 2010 founded the foundation, named after his son who was shot and killed by police in 2007 after failing to follow police orders and aims to seek justice for the victims’ families.

Without a change to Turkey’s present Law on Duties and Powers of Police (PVSK), which Tursun says gives arbitrary power police, deaths due to police violence will continue, he said.

Article 16 of the Law 2559 allows for police to use firearms to stop people from resisting arrest or against those deemed to be preventing the police from carrying out its duties. 

Officers are allowed to exercise individual discretion in determining what constitutes either of these circumstances, Tursun said.

“Can the discretion of a police officer who hates Kurds and leftists be the same (as those who don't)? When we look at the 395 killings by police, we see that the officers all defend themselves saying they had reasonable doubt and foresight. Many of the cases against the officers have ended without penalty or with acquittals,” Tursun said.