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July 29, 2012, Sunday

Police’s honor

Turkey was shocked after a video clip was posted online last week showing a group of police officers lined up for identification in front of the son of Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Hatay deputy Hacı Bayram Türkoğlu at the Dörtyol Police Station after a quarrel with police.

The clip featured İstemi Kağan Türkoğlu trying to identify a police officer he quarreled with earlier in the day and threatened to ensure the expulsion of the police officer using his father's status. The young man's demeaning treatment led to outrage among police officers across the country. Many columnists think this incident is likely to damage the AK Party's image and are calling on the party to expel AK Party deputy Türkoğlu and voice its disapproval of the incident.

According to Akşam's Ali Saydam, the incident in Dörtyol could severely damage the AK Party, and either Türkoğlu should resign or the AK Party should expel him from the party in order to save its image. “If the AK Party claims that it has put an end to an era when pressure is imposed on public officials saying, ‘Do you know who am I?' you should do this,” Saydam says to the AK Party. In his view, the party's promises and discourse necessitate such a move or its credibility will be dealt another blow.

Sabah's Ersin Ramoğlu says the incident that took place at the Dörtyol Police Station has deeply saddened Turkey as the honor of the Turkish police was severely damaged in this incident. He thinks AK Party deputy Türkoğlu should think about this incident for a while and then apologize to the public, but especially to the police, for what happened. Ramoğlu also says this incident gives opposition parties ammunition with which to attack the AK Party, and that the party's image will sustain significant damage.

Bugün's Gültekin Avcı also says he was deeply shaken by the derogatory treatment received by the police at the Dörtyol Police Station. “I know no state institution, and neither the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] nor the National Police Department is [representative of] a city of angels, but there are principles underpinning a democratic state of law." Referring to the reaction of a top AK Party official, Hüseyin Çelik, who termed the incident “unacceptable” and called on the Hatay Governor's Office to launch an investigation into the incident, Avcı says he hopes Çelik's attitude is adopted by everyone in the AK Party so that the prestige of a giant organization is not hurt.

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