Friday, October 21, 2011

A night at the police station

Wednesday night is still very much a blur.
Everything happened so fast.

One moment I was dancing with friends and the next moment I was being whisked away to the police station.

The evening started out innocently enough. I met Aycin early before we both went to the Couchsurfing meeting at Rouge bar and restaurant in Taksim. There, drinks and laughter among friends and with new people were plenty. Later on, as usually happens whenever I run into my good friend Gülşen, we went dancing at Araf. However, I left earlier than everybody else because I had to work the next day so I took off towards taksim square to catch a bus home.

I thought I had somebody walking with me but due to the adrenaline amnesia I don't recall much of anything that happened before the confrontation ended. All I remember is seeing a man beating a woman on the street. It clicked in my mind that I had to stop it and I vaguely remember giving my camera bag and hoodie to somebody, rushing over there and hitting the guy. The police were there seconds later and the next thing I remember was arguing about whether to go to the police station or not. I was saying that he was hitting her but the officer just politely repeated to please get into the car or he'd make me. Seeing that I didn't have any choice in the matter and since I knew I was in the right in this situation I complied.

I then spent the evening at the station. Most of it was in the waiting room. They'd come over and ask me what happened, I'd keep asking where my camera was. They told me I didn't have my camera with me when I came to the station and must have given it to my friend.  It's crazy how my mind has drawn and almost complete blank as if from the moment my adrenaline kicked in it began to painstakingly erase my memory of everything that happened before it surged up.

I was told that the reason I was brought to the station is because the man was filing a complaint against me.
At one point in the night I was sleeping in the waiting room to be woken up with the guy that was hitting the girl standing over me. He spat out some words in Turkish before clopping me right in the face. I was in a daze and completely shocked. I made a big ruckus and the police took him away from me while I was yelling at them about how they could have let that happen IN the police station.

They then told me that since he hit me I can write a complaint against him and they dropped the complaint against me. They told me the guy wasn't 'normal' and that they believed my side of the story. They wrote up a statement saying that he struck me but I only yelled at him to stop hitting the girl. I was told he will be summoned to court sometime and could face 2 months in jail. Atleast that's what I think they were trying to say in their broken english.

In another room I could hear a woman yelling at the men. I'm guessing it was the woman that had been beaten by the guy. From what I recall in my classes about abusive relationships I'm guessing she was there to defend him.

After the report was written I was taken to a hospital where a doctor examined my nose. It's just a little swollen but the blood is now gone. He told me I was fine. I believe I told him that too as the man didn't hit me very hard. I think he just struck me out of contempt. I was taken back to the station where I signed the report and was told I could go home.

By this time it was light out and I was feeling completely exhausted and fatigued. I walked to the bus station and I don't remember the exact route I took but I went to my workplace, still in the same clothes from the night before; blue jeans, my light blue philippines shirt over my black, long-sleeved shirt, and my wave hairstyle. Once at work, I think it was around 9am when I arrived, I felt completely disoriented. I told Neset, my boss, what happened but just briefly since he was in a class. However back in my office I began to feel really out of it, getting a bit emotional. I could barely keep my head up from the fatigue. You'd be surprised how tired you can feel after a night full of adrenaline! I told my colleague that I just wanted to go home. He asked me if I meant the USA? I told him no, my home in Uskudar. So he called Neset and Neset told me I could go home for the day.

Once home, I told my roommate what happened and finally slept until 8:30pm. My back is hurting, most likely from sleeping in the waiting room, and tomorrow is Friday. I have to be in at work by 11am. I'll have a pinay couchsurfer this weekend. I look forward to showing her around but it's a shame I can't take any photos.

Domestic abuse is a huge problem in Turkey. I'm glad I was able to stop the guy and get him on record. It means that if this women ever has anything happen to her or if she wants to get away his name will be on record for having a history of abuse.

I've received both criticism and praise for what I did yesterday. All I have to say is it was one of those situations where some people will act and others will turn away or run away. I'm not one of those people that can just ignore blatant abuses. With me rushing over there, that had a lot to do with adrenaline. It was one of those things where you see something and you just act.  

Good night

My Camera was an EOS Kiss X4  serial No. 0912301321. It was with a Rebel 2000 Analog Camera and two lenses. A broken 50mm 1.8 and a kit lens 28-85mm.

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