According to the claim, the applicants were subjected to physical and verbal violence by law enforcement officers together with other people who were in the cafe while they were in a cafe in the Red Crescent on the date of the incident when the press release was made by the Turkish Union of Chambers of Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) in the Red Crescent.
The applicants filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Prosecutor General’s Office) claiming that law enforcement officers sprayed pepper spray inside the venue while sitting in the cafe, forcibly removed themselves to the garden, where they beat the body with force and a baton. In the judicial reports prepared about the applicants, it was stated that the applicants were allegedly rejected by law enforcement officers, and it was also reported that a slight injury to the first applicant and tenderness to the second applicant’s body were detected in the first applicant.
In order to determine the nature of the applicants’ injuries, the Prosecutor General’s Office asked the Forensic Medicine Institution for an opinion. According to the report of the Forensic Medical Institution, the injury of the first applicant is mild enough to be remedied by simple medical intervention. No lesions were detected on the body of the second applicant.
The Prosecutor General’s Office has decided not to prosecute the suspect “Ankara Police Department” on the grounds that “security officers have not exceeded the limit on the authority to use force”. The objections of the applicants to the decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office were rejected by the Magistrate’s Office.
The applicants claimed that the ban on ill-treatment was violated due to the fact that they were injured as a result of the use of force by law enforcement officers, but their complaints were not investigated effectively.
Evaluation of the Court
Article 17 of the Constitution by a state official. if a claim that it has been treated in violation of the article is submitted to the investigating authority, the first thing necessary for the effective investigation obligation to commence is that the claim in question is defensible. The fact that the claim is defensible is possible only if it is clear and contains details about the facts, as well as supported by reasonable evidence. It is clear that the abuse allegations are defensible when the complaint petitions based on the detailed descriptions of the applicants shortly after the incident and the medical reports they showed as evidence of their injuries are evaluated together.
As a matter of fact, it was observed that the Prosecutor General’s Office immediately launched an investigation into the applicants’ complaint and that the applicants’ statements were taken in order to determine their complaints and evidence. However, the Prosecutor General’s Office did not conduct enough research to uncover the material truth and did not investigate whether there were camera images or witnesses showing the crime scene.
In addition, the Prosecutor General’s Office, which remained inactive in terms of determining the identities of the persons responsible for the applicants’ injuries, did not clarify the reason and manner in which law enforcement officers intervened in the applicants. Although the decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office stated that the law enforcement agency intervened due to the applicants’ “behavior that violates public order”, these behaviors were not disclosed. On the other hand, since there are no minutes, images or other evidence related to the interference with the applicants, the behavior of the applicants requiring law enforcement intervention has not been embodied by the Prosecutor General’s Office.
In this case, it was concluded that the injury of the applicants did not constitute a crime without discussing for what reason, in what way and in what weight the force should be used on the applicants. As a result, it is difficult to say at this stage that the result reached by the investigating authorities is the product of an objective assessment due to the shortcomings in the investigation. It has been assessed that the necessary efforts have not been made by the Prosecutor General’s Office in terms of clarifying the incident.
On the other hand, due to the shortcomings in the investigation, it was assessed that there was insufficient data on the circumstances of the incident that the applicants complained about (especially the nature of the medical reports), and at this stage it was not possible to conduct an examination in terms of the material dimension of the prohibition of ill-treatment.
The Constitutional Court has decided that the procedural dimension of the ban on ill-treatment has been violated on the grounds described.