Justice Minister Admits Police Officers Must Identify Themselves Ahead Of Time
Minister of Interior Atalay admits that the police officers are under obligation to identify themselves before they are asked. The admission came after another person was beaten by police officers, when he asked them to identify themselves.
Beşir Atalay, Minister of Interior, admitted that according to the law, the police officers had to show their identities before they did anything. He also added that everyone, including the police officers, must know this.
“If you cannot ask, then let me know”
When Şevket Köse, a deputy for the People’s Republican Party (CHP), told in the Parliament to the Minister of Interior that they were unable to ask the police officers to identify themselves, the minister said that if informed, they would prosecute those who did not show their identities immediately without exception.
However, when the minister said that there were fewer torture cases and there were no unsolved murders in Turkey any longer, the deputies from the Democratic Society Party (DTP) objected to both of the claims by giving examples. The minister did not answer these objections.
The authorities were not saying “the police officers should identify themselves without being asked”
After a woman had been kidnapped from a night club in Avcılar/Istanbul by people who identified themselves as police officers and raped, Istanbul’s Police Chief Celalettin Cerrah had told all the citizens to ask people who identify themselves as police officers to show their identities.
Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Şahin had said, “Police officers should show their identities when asked. We have regulations about this. When asked, the police officers should think that they should show their identities and the citizens should believe that it is their right to ask for their identities.”
However Zafer Üskül, president of the Parliamentary Commission for the Human Rights, had said, “It would be more appropriate to tell the police officers to show their identities rather than telling the citizens to ask the police officers for their identities For the law demands that the police officers show their identities before asking for someone else’s.”
After all these explanations, Mustafa Akdoğan was beaten up when he asked the police officers to show their identities. According to Akdoğan, they yelled at him saying how he could ask them their identities, telling him if he could not see that they were in their uniforms and beat him up at the Avcılar neighborhood of Istanbul. (TK/TB)
Ankara - BÄ°A News Center
22 December 2008, Monday