So from the hospital I was taken to the Rhitim police station, quite literally shaking with apprehension. I was assigned a prisoner minder, but allowed to wander more or less freely in the courtyard, so long as I informed someone of where I was at all times. There were four lawyers, all assuring me everything would be okay. (It wasn’t.) We were waiting for the English speaking lawyer to arrive to take care of all the paperwork for me.
I met a very nice fella in the courtyard who was waiting for some, any news of his brother. He calmed me down tremendously, and I am grateful.
Özge showed up eventually and then the fun began. I was fingerprinted, laboriously, and had my mug shot taken, with a post-it note with my name plastered to my right boob for identification. (My right boob got quite a lot of action throughout this whole process.) On the advice of my lawyer my statement in the police station was “I don’t want to say anything now.” After all the intake, I was taken back to the cells. There are two cells in the Rhitim Emniyet- there were about 17 boys divided between them. They hauled all the boys out of one and put me in by myself. I was both sad for the boys and sad for me, being all by my lonesome. The cells were about half the size of my bedroom, with wooden benches all along three sides. Mine had one incredibly filthy blanket. It smelled barnyardey, from being occupied by 17 dirty boys all crammed together. I’d had an hour of sleep all night. I lay on a blanket and started to drift off.
“Are you okay?” came a very welcome voice from the boy’s cell.
We chatted about where we were picked up, etc.
A bit later we were all hauled out, and the boys were handcuffed. I had my very own lady officer, and when I asked her if I was going to be handcuffed she said, “No. You have me. I am like handcuffs.”
There are benefits to living in a paternalistic society.
I was put into a cop car, the fellas were put in a police van. We were driven to a hospital in Umraniye where our injuries were noted. The nurses clucked over me and shook their heads at the police.
My lawyer met me there and that’s when I was able to make contact with S.
Then we drove to a big parking lot, all of us in the police van this time. There was a police officer for every detainee. All of the fellas had, by this time, had their hands handcuffed behind them for several hours, which strikes me as being akin to the stress-position mode of torture. They were allowed to have their hands cuffed in the front at this point, and we were all given a simit and a cup of Fanta, which all the Turks insisted on calling “coke.” Dear Turkey: orange Fanta is not coke.
I fell asleep and had no notion of how much time passed, but it must have been several hours.
Then we were taken to court, where what is honestly, truly, no exaggerating, the worst day of my life began.