Student miscarries following beating by Turkish police

A 19-year-old student miscarried after police beat her during student protests against Prime Minister Erdoğan on Saturday in the Istanbul district of Beşiktaş, media reports said on Monday.

“Although I said, ‘I’m pregnant, do not hit me,’ they kicked and hit me in the abdomen with batons,” pro-Kurdish news agency Fırat News reported the girl as saying. The student was hospitalized in Taksim İlk Yardım Hospital following the incident. Gülizar Tuncer, the Human Rights Association lawyer representing the student confirmed her condition, private news site NTVMSNBC reported.

On Saturday, student groups from universities in Istanbul and a number of other cities held protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was holding talks with a group of university rectors in his office at Dolmabahçe Palace in Beşiktaş, were beaten harshly by police who then detained many of them, drawing condemnation from public figures.

At the protest police intentionally hit female students in their abdomens and crotches, daily Radikal reported one protestor as saying Monday.

“Police started to drag me by the hair as he stepped on my crotch. They were swearing with sexual content,” said Işıl Kurt, whose photographs was plastered all over the media after being beaten on the ground beaten by police.

Kurt said she and her fellow students planned to conduct a sit-down protest near the offices of the Prime Ministry on Saturday. “And we wanted to send a document we had prepared inside. But the police started attacking us with no warning,” she said. Doctors reported Kurt received contusions to her ribs, swelling on her head, bruises on her knees and contusions to her chin.

Following the protest, three students who were sent to court were released without charge, news wires reported Sunday. Now that the three students have been released no student remains either under arrest or detained for being part of the protest.

After a group of students made a criminal complaint against police on Monday, deputy head of the governing Justice and Development Party, or AKP, Hüseyin Çelik said protesting is a democratic right but needs to be conducted according to rules and limits.

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