Usage of Riot Control Agents and other methods resulting in physical and psychological injuries sustained during civil unrest in Turkey in 2013
Dokudan, Erenc Y.
Fincanci, Sebnem Korur
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Turkey has experienced a wave of demonstrations in the summer of 2013, called Gezi Park Demonstrations. Between 31 May and 30 August, 297 people who had been subjected to trauma by several methods of demonstration control and Riot Control Agents applied to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey Rehabilitation Centers to receive treatment/rehabilitation and/or documentation. 296 patients except one 5-year-old child were included in the study. Of the 296 patients; 175 were male, 120 were female, and one was a transgender individual. The highest number of applications was received by the Istanbul center with 216 patients. The mean age of applicants was 33.85, and the age range was 15-71 years. While 268 of applicants (91%) stated that they had been exposed to Riot Control Agents, 62 patients suffered only chemical exposure who had no other traumatic injuries whereas 234 patients suffered at least one blunt trauma injury. Blunt trauma injuries are due to being shot by gas canisters in 127 patients (43%), by plastic bullets in 31 patients (10%). 59 patients (20%) were severely beaten, and 30 patients (10%) were injured by pressurized cold water ejected by water cannons. Thirteen patients (4.4%) suffered injuries that caused loss of vision or eye. Psychiatric evaluations were carried out for 117 patients while 43% of them were diagnosed with Acute Stress Disorder. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder followed this diagnosis. This study includes the medical evaluation of injuries allegedly sustained during Gezi Park demonstrations in 2013 as a result of several methods of demonstration control and/or by being exposed to Riot Control Agents. The aim is to discuss different types of injuries due to those methods and health consequences of Riot Control Agents. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.