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July 30, 2012, Monday

Using statesmen’s influence

Public reaction has mounted over an incident involving the son of Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Hacı Bayram Türkoğlu, who quarreled with two police officers last week in Hatay.

After the quarrel, the younger Türkoğlu filed a criminal complaint against the two police officers, and to identify the two men, a police chief reportedly ordered a group of police officers at a police station to line up before the young Türkoğlu. Columnists have condemned the younger Türkoğlu, pointing out that though the policemen may have mistreated him, it is shameful that he abused his father’s influence to claim his rights.

Recalling a recent incident involving a violent act by some police officers, Nazlı Ilıcak from the Sabah daily says no one helped Ahmet Koca, who was attacked and injured by at least seven police officers last month, or other aggrieved citizens, to complain about his attackers or get them punished. However, when it involves a deputy’s son, greater efforts were made for justice to be served, she says. “The police may have mistreated him but it is clear that [the younger] Türkoğlu used his father’s influence. The fact that an ordinary man who was beaten up by the police was not given the same treatment [to identify his attacker] is proof of this. Instead of trying to give excuses such as ‘a prosecutor demanded the identification process,’ Hatay deputy Türkoğlu should apologize to both the police and the public,” Ilıcak writes.

Ali Karahasanoğlu from Yeni Akit relays another incident which happened to his friend, Mahmut Pehlivan, again in Hatay. About a year-and-a-half ago, Pehlivan went to a hospital because his three sons all had a fever. While a female doctor was examining the children, a doctor came over and saw Pehlivan, who has a long beard and thus appeared to be a righteous, pious man, the columnist says. The doctor ordered Pehlivan to get out of the room and to wait for his sons outside. Already anxious over his children’s health, Pehlivan refused but was forcefully removed from the hospital room by security officers, who injured him in the process. The next day, Pehlivan went to the hospital’s head doctor to complain about the doctor. But the head doctor ignored him, saying the doctor who had ordered him to leave the room the day before was the nephew of a Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy. Karahasanoğlu says this is a good example for our Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, who is also from Hatay, and for Health Minister Recep Akdağ to investigate “what progress has been made in terms of justice and patients’ rights.”

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