AKP, MHP reject motion to investigate police officer suicides

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Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), have rejected a parliamentary motion to investigate a rising trend in suicides among police officers, Turkish media outlets reported.

Police union Emniyet-Sen President Faruk Sezer revealed earlier this month that 40 police officers have taken their own lives since the beginning of 2021, already approaching the highest number of suicides in one year, 57 in 2013.

The motion, submitted to parliament by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), sought to establish a research commission to investigate the suicides of the police officers and identify and eliminate the problems that lead to suicide in addition to improving the working conditions of police officers.

CHP lawmaker Murat Bakan, who delivered a speech in parliament about police suicides, said: “We know the reasons for these suicides. The Interior Ministry knows them, too but nobody is taking any action [to stop them]. If you object to the establishment of this commission, you will have a share in each of the suicides that take place from now on.”

There are claims that the ruling AKP tendency to use unwarranted police force at public gatherings and to suppress protests are leading to psychological problems among police officers. The officers are allegedly overwhelmed by constant instructions from the Interior Ministry to use disproportionate force against people.

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