As readers of this blog know, Amnesty has continuously been campaigning on behalf of Hakan Yaman, who was caught up in a brutal attack by police officers during the Gezi crackdown while he was simply walking on his way home from work. Hakan was severely beaten by police near his home in the Sarıgazi district of Istanbul. He sustained a fractured skull, other broken bones and second degree burns. He lost one eye and 80% of the sight in his other eye. Hakan now has a prosthetic eye to replace the one that was gouged out by the police after five serious operations. According to one of Amnesty’s researcher team on Turkey who met with Hakan and his wife in the late September, he still has possibly two more operations on his face.
Hakan’s change in appearance has been a massive cause for distress and loss of morale;; however those who wrote to Hakan around the world during the 2013 Write for Rights campaign made him feel more supported. He shared this message with he Amnesty Section in Turkey:
“I was sincerely shocked and very happy the day I received those letters you sent me from four corners of the world. It was a truly wonderful day that day. I was surprised, seeing all those letters in one place all at once… We received nearly 10,000 letters and I believe more will come. In my heart, I would have loved to write back to each and everyone of you separately but please forgive me, it is not possible to reply to you all individually. I love you all. Thank you so much….”
It’s time again to show Hakan and his family that the world has not forgotten.
You can do so by sending him birthday greetings on his birthday tomorrow, October 10. Use social media to get out the word. For example:
- Send Hakan birthday greetings via twitter and demand justice. Some sample twitter messages are:
- Hakan Yaman is 39 today. Still fighting for justice and to #endimpunity #iyikidogdunHakanYaman #GeziPark #Turkey @aforgutu
- Hakan Yaman turns 39 today. Police who beat him and left him for dead have yet to be brought to justice. #endimpunity #iyikidogdunHakanYaman @aforgutu
- Today Hakan Yaman is celebrating his second birthday without justice. #endimpunity #iyikidogdunHakanYaman #Turkey @aforgutu
- Send solidarity messages to Hakan with a short video message and upload it on http://www.hightail.com and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org; the Amnesty Research team on Turkey will send it to Hakan. Amnesty International has made the following short video on behalf of Hakan’s birthday as well.
Hakan Yaman has made a criminal complaint on grounds of attempted murder. However, as with countless other long-standing cases of police violence in Turkey, there has been no effective investigation into deaths and injuries during Gezi demonstrations or into police violence against both demonstrators and bystanders. Neither has there been public acknowledgement by the government that impunity and torture have been serious problems.
Amnesty International continues to call on the Turkish authority that those responsible for the use of excessive force and police violence against Hakan Yaman, along with other victims of police violence in Turkey, be effectively investigated and brought immediately to justice in a fair trial.