August 20, 2019
The İstanbul Governor’s Office has refused to allow an investigation into two police officers who, as bodyguards of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reportedly beat a lawyer in İstanbul in April after complaints from the lawyer that the presidential motorcade was holding up traffic, Turkish media reports said on Tuesday.
The governor’s office claimed the police officers used proportionate force; hence, there was no need for an investigation.
Lawyer Sertuğ Sürenoğlu claimed he was beaten by bodyguards of Erdoğan after he objected to the president’s security detail holding up traffic. Sürenoğlu was on a bus trying to get home when the traffic became gridlocked due to road closures to make way for Erdoğan’s motorcade.
As the bus was stuck in traffic for a while, Sürenoğlu complained about the situation to police officers.
Some of Erdoğan’s bodyguards were reportedly in the vicinity and forced Sürenoğlu into a vehicle, where they tied his hands from behind and beat him for two hours.
Later they forced him to sign a statement saying he had insulted President Erdoğan.
After he signed the document, they handed him over the police for formal detention, after which he was put under house arrest by an İstanbul court, although he told the prosecutor what he had experienced.
The lawyer as well as the Ankara Bar Association later filed criminal complaints against Erdoğan’s bodyguards.