In Van (Wan), Turkey, two days of protests against the ruling AKP’s electoral manoeuvres resulted in over 350 detentions and more than 400 injuries due to police violence.

Turkey’s Kurdish-majority eastern Van (Wan) province witnessed a significant upheaval over two days, as thousands took to the streets to protest against what has been described as an electoral coup by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), leading to extensive clashes with police.According to reports from these events, more than 400 individuals were injured through police violence, including the use of plastic bullets and tear gas, while approximately 350 people were detained.

During two days of intense protests in Van, the Turkish police engaged in extreme acts of violence. Video footage shows them beating an elderly Kurdish man in the street.

A police car drove into a Kurdish man, causing him to be propelled away by the impact, while in others videos Kurdish teens were severely assaulted

(one later detained)

, a civilian car was first stopped and then tricked into continuing, only to be later assaulted on the grounds that they attempted to flee from the police, and a pregnant woman was attacked.

Van’s police headquarters and almost all stations were overwhelmed with detainees, with statement-taking processes beginning over the last two days. On Thursday morning, 60 individuals were forwarded to the prosecutor’s office after police questioning, out of which 26 were subsequently referred to the court on charges of being “members of a terrorist organisation”, resulting in detention orders for all 26.

The Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) and the Van Bar Association have established a crisis desk to monitor the legal processes related to the detentions. Lawyer Savaş Avcı provided insights into the ongoing situation, stating, “We are conducting legal follow-ups for those detained during the actions and activities. Complaints of maltreatment and torture are being tracked. Currently, there are numerous detainees who have been injured and subjected to torture. There are individuals who were injured in various parts of their bodies, including teeth, heads and noses, during the interventions. We, as lawyers, will follow up on injuries resulting from disproportionate force usage and will undoubtedly file complaints regarding maltreatment and torture.”