1-646-504-2088
help@silencedturkey.org

AKP

WOMEN’S RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY THE TURKISH LEGAL SYSTEM

The Uncharted Lives of Women Battling the Legal System

The intent of this report is to declare the victims of the ‘New Turkey,’ especially women with children who have been under persecution since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Although the Turkish government does not promote transparent data on the number of children imprisoned with their mothers, there are 864 children in the prison according to the Justice Department Prison and Penitentiaries Management. The ages of these children vary between newborns to 6 years, as of May 24, 2019.

This report is based on an interview conducted on behalf of Advocates of Silenced Turkey, via a telephone conversation. The information presented in the interview has been evaluated in accordance with the standards set by the European Convention on Human Rights, the Constitution of The Republic of Turkey, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (the Tokyo Rules), United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules), and the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules). These documents have played a critical role in assessing the human rights violations in the case. This report briefly describes the current women’s rights violations in Turkey and aims to provide an overview of the current crisis.

Persecuted Lives in Erdogan’s Regime by Sevil Sena Kesgin

INTRODUCTION

” Old Turkey no longer exists; this Turkey is new Turkey “

… said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an outrageous speech. Thus, started the story of the dictatorship and the despotic regime of Turkey. Following the alleged coup attempt of 15th July 2016, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) along with President Erdogan has taken a wave of oppressive actions against many innocent people, especially targeting members of the Gulen Movement. Although Gulen strongly denied any role in the failed coup and has called for an international investigation, President Erdogan and the Turkish Parliament has refused Gulen’s proposal. Instead of launching an investigation regarding the coup attempt and finding proof to support claims, the government decided to use the event as a tool to remove and detain people from all walks of life who oppose the government or simply do not support it.

Most of the recent detentions targeted a highly educated segment amongst women’s groups including professionals ranging from academicians, doctors, and teachers to judges and prosecutors. According to Advocates of Silenced Turkey’s report on human rights violations in Turkey, “more than 130,000 people have been dismissed from their jobs. In correlation, more than 217,000 have been detained, 160,000 have been arrested and an unknown number of people have fled from their home country in hopes of finding their freedom” since July of 2016.1

In the aftermath of the government’s propaganda, those labeled as “traitors” have been shown no goodwill by prosecutors and judges who view even pregnant women and homemakers as non-threatening offenders even if they have no prior criminal records. Women have been arrested and tortured over these baseless claims. According to the Turkish Criminal Code, Law No. 5275, Article 16/4 the implementation of Criminal and Security Measures prohibits the arrest of women with babies younger than six months and pregnant women:

“The execution of the prison sentence against a woman who is pregnant or who gave birth less than six months ago shall be postponed.”

However, these rules seem to not apply to Gulen Movement supporters. The young generation growing under this cruel regime have witnessed torture both in the jails and at the courts. Unfortunately, the number of children in Turkeys’ prisons exceeds 3000 according to an AST report. The treatment of female prisoners and their children has deteriorated during the years in which Turkey has experienced a general shift towards authoritarianism.

BEHIND THE SCENES: A TRUE STORY

Ayse Kaya is one of the victims of the ‘New Turkey.’ She is a mother of one, who was detained only a day after she delivered her baby in Istanbul and was then transferred to a police station in Edirne, 240 km away from Istanbul. She is a Gulen Movement member who used to work at a non-profit organization managed by women. Ayse Kaya’s life took a radical turn after the so-called coup attempt, just like other innocent victims. On December 16th, 2016, in the midst of her first pregnancy she received a call from the local prosecutor’s office which informed her of the warrant for her arrest. She was accused of being a member of a terror organization. She speaks of her decision to evade the law until after her birth and said that she refused to report to the police department to give her testimony because all of her friends had been arbitrarily taken into custody for their affiliation with the Gulen Movement without a valid reason or any evidence. This situation is entirely against the principles exemplified by Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

“No one shall be held guilty of any penal offense on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offense, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed.”

On July 25th, 2017, about half an hour after Ayse’s labor, police officers arrived at the hospital. On the 27th, she was taken to the prosecutor for her interrogation and was detained for a week. She was later released with the condition to report to the authorities once a week to provide her signature. In the period of nine months before Ayse and her husband fled from Turkey, Ayse and her baby continued to provide her signature and to live in different secret locations with her husband who was at risk due to the search warrant issued against him.

IMPROPER JUSTIFICATION FOR ARREST and TREATMENT OF DETAINEES

When Ayse was informed about her arrest warrant, she was in the midst of her first pregnancy. As is necessary for every pregnant woman, Ayse too needed routine doctor’s appointments for both herself and her baby’s well-being. However, she could not go to hospitals because of the formal processes and constant security checks. Ayse spent the duration of almost her entire pregnancy completely in the dark about her baby’s health. She describes her helplessness during those months, saying:

“I was happy only the times when he was moving in my womb because at that time, I knew he was fine.”

 On the night of 24th July 2017, Ayse’s contractions began. She tried to control the labor process using the knowledge she had gained through research. She had planned to have a homebirth with a midwife in order to avoid the possibility of being caught by police officers. However, things didn’t go as expected and she knew that she needed to go to a hospital. Still hoping to preserve her freedom, Ayse waited at home until the last possible moment before leaving for the hospital. Upon her arrival, birth was just minutes away. She was immediately taken to the operating room. Approximately half an hour after Ayse’s labor, police officers showed up at the hospital. They wanted to interrogate Ayse right away, but she refused their demand because of the unsuitable environment. The next morning, Ayse was discharged from the hospital and was delivered to the police officers. They took her and her baby directly to the police station, saying that the interrogation would take about five minutes and that Ayse could then return home. Their words were far from the truth.

Although each and every police officer has to always advise the victim, witness, or suspect of his or her rights before an interrogation, Ayse was not informed properly about her rights. Moreover, she was interrogated by a police officer multiple times in the absence of her lawyer and was then taken with her newborn in tow to the local courthouse of Edirne — 240 km away from Istanbul where she gave birth. The group of police officers who accompanied her to Edirne were all men. Although the standards in place stipulate that women detainees shall be supervised by female officers and staff, there were no female police officers in the car. Ayse was in the postpartum period and had given birth only a day ago. She had private needs that she could not meet because she was surrounded by men. The incident is tremendously upsetting and violates a multitude of articles of different declarations.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 5 and 9;

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.”

Moreover, according to the Bangkok Rules, women in Ayse’s condition have the right to be treated humanely;

There is a prohibition of solitary confinement or disciplinary segregation for pregnant women, women with infants and breastfeeding mothers.”

These rights are all addressed by the law, but there is the invisible fact of the psychological state of new mothers. As the delivery process brings many psychological and physical shifts in a woman’s life, the actions of the Turkish state and its actors caused both physical and emotional distress.

DETENTION CENTER CONDITIONS

When Ayse arrived at Edirne, she was interrogated without her lawyer countless times.

Mrs. Kaya mentions in her interview that the organization she was employed at was completely legal, operating under the appropriate government department that oversaw non-profit organizations, and was subject to unannounced government audits. However, as in the personal interview conducted by AST, Ayse claims that she was accused to be a member of an association which was identified as a terror organization by the Turkish authority which violates the right of freedom of assembly.

According to the Article 33 of Constitution of The Republic of Turkey;

“Everyone has the right to form associations, or become a member of an association, or withdraw from membership without prior permission.”

Ayse stayed at the hospital that first night in Edirne at which point the doctors diagnosed her baby with jaundice. Because of the immediate detainment after labor and the long distance to Edirne, Ayse had not found enough time to breastfeed her baby. While the baby was taken for the treatment, everyone else neglected to check Ayse’s situation, although she had given birth the day before. Despite the inflammations of her body, she couldn’t get treatment for herself. In her interview, Ayse says;

“I was brought into a clinic for a health assessment and I repeatedly told everyone…that I had given birth. I naively repeated myself, telling them about my post-birth stitches. I hoped that doctors would be more understanding, but they did not care at all, transferring me from one floor to another without listening to my pleadings.”

On the 27th of July, two days after labor, Ayse was taken to the prosecutor for her interrogation. During the tribunal, the prosecutor assumed a tough attitude towards Ayse because of the pressure on him related to her situation on social media. The prosecutor threatened Ayse with her newborn baby and forced Ayse to tell him things that he wanted to hear. He explicitly threatened her, saying, “You cannot see your baby again.” However, his threats and his other comments were not recorded by the clerk during the interrogation.

These actions are a complete violation of Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

“Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.”

and

Article 25 of Constitution of The Republic of Turkey;

“Everyone has the freedom of thought and opinion. No one shall be compelled to reveal his/her thoughts and opinions for any reason or purpose; nor shall anyone be blamed or accused because of his/her thoughts and opinions.”

Most interestingly, the officials offered Ayse her release in return for her husband’s arrest. The prosecutor clearly violated the law which sets forth that there is no way to hold someone responsible for another individual’s crime.

According to the Constitution of The Republic of Turkey, Article 38/7;

“Criminal responsibility is personal.”

When Ayse refused their bid, asking why her release would be offered if she was truly a criminal, the prosecutor immediately issued an arrest warrant for her husband as well. This too is a violation of a right stated in the Turkish Constitution.

According to the Constitution of The Republic of Turkey, Article 38/5;

“No one may be compelled to make a statement that would incriminate himself or his legal next of kin or to present such incriminating evidence.”

ILL-TREATMENT and OTHER DEGRADING CONDITIONS

Unaware of all these formal procedures was a newborn baby waiting at the hospital all alone, in need of his mother more than anything else. As baby Ekrem was under phototherapy, breastfeeding would have aided in his recovery, but Ayse was not allowed to nurse her baby during the specific milking times of the hospital. Despite all her petitions, she could not go to feed her baby during the daytime. Being a woman or mother does not mean anything to the Turkish authorities. Even a basic right can be violated easily in Turkey.

According to the Rule 48 of United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders;

“Women prisoners shall not be discouraged from breastfeeding their children unless there are specific health reasons to do so.”

Before the court order, she had a week full of interrogations both in the police station and the prosecutor’s office. She was just in her first week after delivery, and the conditions she was faced with were not suitable for her health. Her environment was not adequate for someone who needed to rest and should not have been standing all day. Since she spent the entire week mostly standing, her hands and feet were swollen. The relevant authorities did not provide appropriate healthcare to Ayse which is another violation of her rights.

According to the UN Bangkok Rules on Women Offenders and Prisoners;

“In addition to reproductive healthcare, gender-specific responses are needed for mental health, substance abuse and the treatment and care of other diseases. Women prisoners should have the same access to preventative healthcare, such as breast cancer screening, as offered to women in the community.”

During the week, Ayse stayed at the hospital where no food from outside the hospital was permitted. She could not eat because of the poor food quality and requested to have food from outside; however, the police officers did not allow this. Although she needed to eat well to produce enough milk for baby Ekrem, she could not eat any cooked meal for an entire week and drank only fruit juices. As a breastfeeding woman, she did not receive any additional food items or vitamins to supplement her complex dietary needs. In her interview, Ayse says that she once asked the police officer to go to the hospital’s canteen to have soup. However, even on the way to the canteen, the police officer showed ill-treatment both physically and verbally by jostling her in front of other people.

IN CONCLUSION…

The public prosecutor decided to release Ayse on probationary terms during which she would need to provide her signature twice a week. Ayse began to live with her mother-in-law because her husband had to live in secret locations. One day, she received a call that informed her about the indictment which would sentence her to seven to fourteen years in prison. That same day, Ayse left her mother-in-law’s home where police officers came to arrest her the next morning. They pressured her elderly mother and father-in-law to reveal Ayse’s location. The police officers also visited Ayse’s husbands’ grandmother’s house. Police officers came along to search the houses three more times after this. Ayse and her family could no longer stand this cruelty and injustice. They had been forced into civil death and did not want to be treated like traitors any longer. They hoped to start living together as a family again and so one night, Ayse along with her husband and baby, emigrated from Turkey on dangerous waters as they crossed the Evros River with seventeen others on a small boat.

All of those people had one ultimate goal: the hope of finding new lives overseas.

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.”

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 30.

REFERENCES

1 Advocates of Silenced Turkey. “Key Human Rights Violations in Turkey Since the So-Called Coup Attempt.” 2020. https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Key_Human_Rights_Concerns_in_Turkey-4.pdf



Gamze Hanim: Disrupted Families by Ahsen Kocaman

Introduction

In July of 2016, the lives of hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens would drastically change as they found themselves being unjustly accused of terror crimes. On July 15th, Turkey would experience an attempted coup, which would ultimately be blamed on the Hizmet movement, a faith-inspired civic movement rooted in Islam. This community of people follow the teachings of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Islamic cleric and a spiritual leader. It is this very community that was accused of being a terrorist organization by the Turkish government, which led to the unjust mistreatment of thousands of Turkish citizens.

The 2016 coup attempt became the catalyst for the uptick in instances of human rights violations that would take place in Turkey. In a recent Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST) report, reported numbers are staggering: more than 130,000 individuals residing in Turkey have lost their jobs, more than 217,000 have been detained, and 160,000 have been arrested since then.1 Each individual has their own story, but the themes of suffering and heartbreak are a common ground for most of them. Within a few hours after the attempted coup, a group of Turkish citizens found themselves labeled as terrorists — at times by those closest to them. This singular event essentially led to immense pain and hardships that thousands of men, women, and children would face as they struggled to find freedom in a changed world.

One victim to such struggles is a Turkish woman named Gamze. As an attorney in Turkey, it was her job to protect the law of the land as instituted in the constitution. Yet, even attorneys themselves can find the system working against them. It was this very system that betrayed Gamze and her family, unjustly imprisoning her husband and forcing Gamze and her two children to flee the country they once called home. The obstacles Gamze and her family faced were a result of the lawlessness in Turkey. The laws that Gamze once vowed to protect were not there to protect her as the system was misused to purposefully mistreat thousands of Turkish citizens.

In the years since the attempted coup of 2016, Turkish citizens of varying ages and backgrounds have found themselves as victims to the unfair and unjust legal system in Turkey. In a nation filled with corruption, these individuals have been subject to mental and physical anguish, whether imprisoned or not. Those who are imprisoned, such as Gamze’s husband, are subject to unsanitary, inhumane prison conditions for crimes they didn’t commit. These prisoners are left to wonder when — or if — they’ll ever experience full freedom again. Those who are not imprisoned live in constant fear of what could happen to themselves and their loved ones at any given moment. A knock on their door in the early morning hours could mean that life as they knew it would be changing from that moment onward.

This is the story of Gamze, a Turkish lawyer who became victim to the system that was meant to protect her.

Methodology

This report is based on a combination of desk research and interviews held by Advocates of Silenced Turkey. For the interview portion, a representative of AST interviewed Gamze via a video chat, which was then uploaded to the official YouTube channel of AST for the greater public to view. The desk research portion of this report was completed through a series of steps, the first being to familiarize oneself with the case. The second step was to identify the violations within the case. The third step consisted of conducting research on domestic laws in Turkey and international laws. These included looking into three types of central texts: official United Nations documents, European Council of Human Rights documents, and the Turkish Constitution. The final step in the desk research was to compare violations in the case against standards set in these three central texts.

The purpose of this report is to shed light on the human rights violations occurring in Turkey in the present day. This is only one story out of thousands, and our goal is to advocate and raise awareness for these individuals and the human rights violations they have been victim to. Perhaps most importantly, we aim to provide a platform for victims to make their voices heard.

Gamze and Her Family

Gamze was an attorney by occupation, living in Istanbul, Turkey with her husband and two children — a seven-year-old and a ten-year-old son. Her husband, an electrical engineer, would embark on a business trip in May of 2017 which would eventually lead to his imprisonment and the fleeing of his wife and two sons. Although a seemingly normal business trip, Gamze’s husband found himself under arrest after the hotel he checked into alerted the police about his whereabouts. It was then that the lives of Gamze and her family took a turn for the worse.

Human Rights Violations

Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees

In the midst of her husband’s arrest by the Turkish police, Gamze was unaware of what had just happened to him. It was hours later that she received a call from her husband. During this pre-trial period, Gamze was not only kept from knowing that her husband had been arrested in the first place, but she also wasn’t made aware of where he was being kept. It was only after a long search with her husband’s family that they were able to find which police station he was being held at. This withholding of information ultimately violates Article 19 of the Turkish Constitution which states that the next of kin of an arrested individual shall be notified immediately when a person has been arrested.2 Similarly, Rule 68 in The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, known commonly as the Nelson Mandela Rules, states that “Every prisoner shall have the right, and shall be given the ability and means, to inform immediately his or her family… about his or her imprisonment.” 3 In the case of Gamze and her family, the authorities did not contact Gamze or her husband’s family in an appropriate manner immediately following his arrest, and it was only through their own efforts that his family was able to locate his whereabouts.

Gamze’s husband’s mistreatment began during this pre-trial period. In her interview, Gamze describes how her husband was kept from using the bathroom for an extended period of time — an incident that they decided to file in a report. Because his family decided to do this, Gamze’s husband suffered the consequences. He was made to kneel in front of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk statue in front of the police station as a public display of shame. For thirty minutes, he was hand-cuffed and presented to any passerby who may have walked by the station that day. At the end of the grueling thirty minutes, his wrists had turned red from the handcuffs. It was only with the threat of filing a report to the doctor did the police finally remove Gamze’s husband’s handcuffs. This period of public humiliation that Gamze’s husband was put through, essentially violates a multitude of laws and human rights conventions. Article 17 of the Turkish Constitution states; “No one shall be subjected to torture or maltreatment; no one shall be subjected to penalties or treatment incompatible with human dignity.” 4 Similarly, the first rule of the Nelson Mandela Rules dictates:

All prisoners shall be treated with the respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings. No prisoner shall be subjected to, and all prisoners shall be protected from, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, for which no circumstances whatsoever may be invoked as a justification.5

Likewise, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 5 and the European Convention on Human Rights Section 1, Article 3 state parallel conventions. 6 In the act of publicly humiliating Gamze’s husband for filing a report, these various laws and conventions are ultimately violated. Per the Nelson Mandela Rules, the circumstances within which the police decided to punish Gamze’s husband, do not justify the degrading treatment that he received that day in front of the police station. The physical as well as psychological effects of such maltreatment on the detained prisoner is apparent.

Trial Procedures

Upon his arrest by the Turkish police, Gamze’s husband waited in jail for a week until he had his trial and was officially charged. The reason for his arrest consisted of multiple accusations. His name was allegedly in the data on an SD card, and this information was confirmed by another individual who named Gamze’s husband to the authorities. Furthermore, depositing money and having a retirement account at Bank Asya, a private bank affiliated with the Hizmet movement, was another reason for his arrest. Yet another cause cited for the arrest was his attendance and participation at Hizmet movement. He was additionally accused of stealing KPSS questions, a standardized test in Turkey. During the course of the trial, Gamze’s husband was also accused of living in Hizmet affiliated housing during college in 2002, a time in which Gamze states that her husband wasn’t even living in Turkey. The documents that the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) produced to prove this were falsified documents, meant to further incriminate Gamze’s husband. Gamze explains this as follows: “…even though [my husband] wasn’t in Turkey in 2002, he [was] faced with such an accusation. Of course, we proved this, and we even sued the MIT for the creation and presentation of fake documents…” This act by a government agency is a violation of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 10 as well as the European Convention on Human Rights Section 1, Article 6.  Both conventions state that individuals are entitled to a fair trial, something that Gamze’s husband was ultimately denied due to document falsification. 7

Gamze’s husband was ultimately handed a sentence of 8 years and 3 months.

Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The prior mentioned incident regarding Gamze’s husband and the Ataturk statue was the first instance of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. The pre-trial treatment of the detained individual did not change much upon his admittance into prison. Though Gamze’s husband was assigned to a prison ward with a capacity of 10-12 people, an overwhelming 36 prisoners were made to live there. To be clear, this was not for a short amount of time; rather, it is the seemingly permanent conditions that her husband was made to live in for years at a time. Prisoners were forced into tight quarters meant for a third of the number of people actually occupying the space. Such instances of overcrowding can lead to insanitary conditions which pose a potential risk to an individual’s mental and physical health. This cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners is a violation of Article 17 of the Turkish Constitution, which prohibits maltreatment of any individuals; a similar convention can be found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 5 and European Convention on Human Rights Section 1, Article 3. 8 Most importantly, Rule 13 of the Nelson Mandela Rules dictates that: “All accommodation provided for the use of prisoners and in particular all sleeping accommodation shall meet all requirements of health, due regard being paid to climatic conditions and particularly to cubic content of air, minimum floor space, lighting, heating and ventilation.” 9 The inhumane treatment of prisoners in regard to their over-capacity living space is yet another violation that Gamze’s husband was subject to during his time in prison.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

The violation regarding the number of people in a prison ward are only one of the factors attributing to the terrible conditions in the prison. In addition to living in a small, confined place with a large group of people, there were no activities or classes offered for Gamze’s husband and his prison mates. It is important to note that other prisoners who weren’t affiliated with the Hizmet movement were provided activities or classes while in prison. This indicates that prisoners such as Gamze’s husband were denied these classes simply due to political and ideological differences. The Nelson Mandela Rules on the treatment of prisoners addresses these specific issues in a few rules. Rule 4.2 states that “prison administrations and other competent authorities should offer education, vocational training and work, as well as other forms of assistance that are appropriate and available, including those of a remedial, moral, spiritual, social and health- and sports-based nature.” 10 Similarly, Rule 105 of the Nelson Mandela Rules indicates that “Recreational and cultural activities shall be provided in all prisons for the benefit of the mental and physical health of prisoners.” 11 The failure to provide activities and classes for specific prisoners when these activities and classes existed for other prisoners is a human rights violation. Due to the political affiliations of Gamze’s husband, he was denied this right.

Conditions did not get any better for the prisoners as they often found themselves with no access to water. Gamze recounted that at times there was no water coming from the pipes. On other occasions, prisoners either did not receive hot water, or any water at all. Once again, these create the risk of unsanitary conditions. The lack of water is a violation of Rule 18.1 of the Nelson Mandela Rules which states that “Prisoners shall be required to keep their persons clean, and to this end they shall be provided with water and with such toilet articles as are necessary for health and cleanliness.” 12 With no continuous access to water, the well-being of prisoners would essentially be at stake. Once again, one does not need to look any further than Article 17 of the Turkish Constitution, Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights which state that the maltreatment of prisoners are prohibited. 13

Gamze’s Hardships

During the course of her husband’s time in prison, Gamze and her two children were also going through a series of hardships. Gamze and her sons left home to stay in a friend’s house where they remained for a few months. When the order came for her arrest, the police searched Gamze’s parents’ house. It was at this point that she and her husband, whom she had been in communication with up until then, decided that she and the children should leave the country for their own safety. Gamze fled Turkey for Greece approximately three months later. A week beforehand, Gamze’s mother and children had caught a flight to the United States of America after being able to obtain visas. Gamze had to travel through Greece first to be able to escape Turkey. Once in Greece, she thought that she would easily be able to book a flight to America; however, she found out that her visa had been canceled. She had expected a quick and painless escape to freedom; this news shattered that probability.

After two months in Greece without her family members, Gamze eventually went to Germany. At that point, Gamze planned for her mother and children to fly to Germany where they would be reunited. Much like her previous experiences, this reunion had more obstacles than Gamze had expected. Due to complications in air travels with certain companies, her children were not able to fly over to Germany to join their mother. Upon booking a second flight after their first failure, Gamze’s children finally made it to Germany where they landed in Frankfurt Airport. This time around, Gamze was nervous about how she was going to find her children at the airport, whether or not she would be able to prove her relation to them, and a variety of other possible problems.

In the midst of all this stress, Gamze found help through the Diakonie Deutschland organization. A woman working there had listened to Gamze’s entire story and had cried alongside her, vowing that no matter what happened, she would reunite Gamze with her children. In an emotional account, Gamze explains that this woman took them into the terminal and spoke with the police. The Diakonie representative told the police that they were in no way to act or to speak harshly to Gamze and that she was a mother who was about to reunite with her family. To this, Gamze said, “Of course this was a very emotional moment. I mean you think, this person isn’t a Muslim, you don’t know if she is a person of faith, yet she is a good person … It was a very different moment, I mean that woman taking care of me, respecting motherhood and the sacredness of motherhood is a very important thing.” Upon this very touching and meaningful moment, the police took Gamze into a waiting room and as soon as the plane landed, went to get her mother and two children.

In the end, Gamze was able to reunite with her children. Eventually, her mother – who sacrificed so much to keep her grandchildren safe – flew back to Turkey. At this point, Gamze and her children stayed at a camp in Germany for four months before being moved to a permanent location. Unfortunately, Gamze’s story does not end well; at the time of her interview, Gamze’s husband still hadn’t been reunited with his family and remains in prison serving his sentence. A family has been split, and the future of Gamze and her children remain uncertain as the fight for human rights in Turkey continues.

References

1 Advocates of Silenced Turkey. “Key Human Rights Violations in Turkey Since the So-Called Coup Attempt.” 2020.
https://silencedturkey.org/wp content/uploads/2020/04/Key_Human_Rights_Concerns_in_Turkey-4.pdf

2 Constitution of the Republic of Turkey. https://global.tbmm.gov.tr/docs/constitution_en.pdf

3 Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and Related Recommendations. New York: United Nations, Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, 1958. Print.

4 Constitution of the Republic of Turkey. https://global.tbmm.gov.tr/docs/constitution_en.pdf

5 Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and Related Recommendations. New York: United Nations, Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, 1958. Print.

6 The European Convention on Human Rights. Strasbourg: Directorate of Information, 1952. Print.; The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948-1998. New York: United Nations Dept. of Public Information, 1998. Print.

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.

9 Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and Related Recommendations. New York: United Nations, Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, 1958. Print.

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid.

11 Ibid.

12 The European Convention on Human Rights. Strasbourg: Directorate of Information, 1952. Print.; The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948-1998. New York: United Nations Dept. of Public Information, 1998. Print.

13 Ibid.



Rahime Yildiz: An Arbitrary Stay in Tarsus Jail by Sümeyye Kara

Introduction

Turkey has been experiencing the systematic violation of human rights over the past four years. Trust in justice has been shaken by a dramatic erosion of the rule of law. Following the so-called coup attempt on the 15th of July, 2016, the Turkish government under the authoritarian leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, took a wave of oppressive actions against not only the alleged coup plotters, but also against those whom they perceived to be critics of the regime. According to data from Advocated for Silenced Turkey, “as part of Turkey’s post-coup crackdown, more than 130,000 people including judges, academics, teachers, journalists, police and military officers, as well as other public servants have been dismissed from their jobs” while “more than 217,000 people have been detained and 160,000 have been arrested.” 1 The torture and maltreatment of captive mothers is another grave and recurring problem within this new system. It has been widely reported that the Turkish government engages in the “systematic use of torture and ill-treatment in police custody … including severe beatings, threats of sexual assault and actual sexual assault, electric shocks, waterboarding, sleep deprivation, stress positions, prolonged solitary confinement, and deprivation of food and water.” 2 The prison conditions for women and children are contrary to basic human dignity. Women face many issues such as being harassed by guards conducting body cavity searches. Among these new prisoners, there are more than 30 pregnant women or women who just have given birth and 780 children under six-years-old imprisoned alongside their mothers, 149 of whom are younger than the age of one. Pregnant women and mothers with children are constrained to remain with other prisoners in overcrowded cells. Additionally, their access to appropriate pre-birth care is denied, which presents genuine danger to their well-being.    

 Methodology

This report is based on an interview with Rahime Yildiz, conducted via a telephone conversation in January 2020. The analysis provides a succinct overview of the ongoing violations in Turkish prisons by comparing and contrasting current practices of the Turkish government with the universally recognized and widely ratified United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (Bangkok Rules), the European Convention of Human Rights, and the Turkish Constitution. The analysis is composed of part commentary and part interview data. The details of each violation are interwoven directly into the comments to provide a vivid and relatable description of her experiences.

The Story of Rahime Yildiz

In 2016, Turkey’s political air was feverish. One morning Rahime Yildiz was awoken from her freedom. She had received a call from the Provincial Directorate of Security and learned that there was a warrant for her arrest. She made a hasty departure back from her vacation to report to the police. After three days of detention, she was transferred to prison. Her baby, Nil Mualla, was sent to her side after a few days. Not only had Rahime been cruelly separated from her one-month old baby, but she also had no knowledge of what happened to Nil Mualla in the space of those few days. Subsequent to her arbitrary arrest, Rahime spent the next 11 months of her life in prison. During this time, she faced many difficulties, such as the substandard prison conditions and a dangerous illness that her baby suffered. Rahime was only formally indicted after eight months in prison. Three months after the indictment was filed, Rahime was finally allowed a trial during which she was released on probation. However, at her next trial, she was handed a prison sentence of 6 years and 3 months — a decision which she appealed. Having completely lost her trust in the Turkish Judicial System, Rahime deserted Turkey with her family in 2018 while her case was still with the appellate court.

 Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

On the 7th of September 2016, Rahime Yildiz was taken into custody in Mersin. Her one-month-old baby Nil Mualla was separated from her mother at that instant. According to Rahime’s testimonies, the police used tyrannical interrogation techniques and threatened her with separation from her baby, the hardest kind of loss for a mother. Police authorities tortured Rahime Yildiz in a manner contrary to human dignity. During her testimony, the officers verbally abused and insulted her and used brute force to intimidate her such as by hitting the table. Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” the Turkish Constitution also sets forth frameworks for rules that should technically lead to fair trials for political prisoners. However, with few exceptions, “especially those affiliated with the Hizmet movement have been intentionally deprived of such measures, with [few] exceptions.” 3

Rahime Yildiz describes her treatment at the hands of the police as follows: “While I was defending myself, saying that I had never done anything against the law, I was subjected to abusive treatment by the police. From that point on, I decided that there were no people capable of understanding me, and so I kept quiet. I didn’t even know that I had the right of defense through my lawyer because I had not committed any crimes.”

While the government claims to have a “zero tolerance” policy for torture, what Rahime was subjected to is definite proof otherwise. According to the 2019 Country Report of the U.S. Department of State, Turkey’s 2018 Ministry of Justice shared the following statistics: “the government opened 2,196 investigations related to allegations of abuse. Of those, 1,035 resulted in non-prosecution, 766 resulted in criminal cases, and 395 in other decisions. The government did not release data on its investigations into alleged torture.” 4 The story of Rahime Yildiz’s trial lays bare multiple incidents that violate her rights during her detainment in a Tarsus Jail. She described her experience at this jail as follows: “The guards treated me terribly, especially during the body cavity search. They handled me very cruelly and callously during the entire process. Unlike with the other prisoners, they rebuked me relentlessly.” As stated in the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners – Rule 51, body searches should preserve the right to privacy and dignity, should be undertaken in a sensitive way, and should never be “used to harass, intimidate or unnecessarily intrude upon a prisoner’s privacy.” This was not the case for Rahime.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

After her ordeal with the police who took her into custody, Rahime Yildiz was promptly sent with her baby Nil Mualla to the Tarsus Jail. The prison was overcrowded, which exacerbated the difficulty of the situation for Rahime, who had to protect her baby as well. Rahime was brought to a prison dormitory with a maximum occupancy of 26 beds. However, Rahime and two other women joined an existing group of 55 other female prisoners in this tight space. Rahime mentions that “some ladies offered their beds to mothers with children, [but] it was an unbelievably frightening atmosphere!”

Since 2016, conditions in Turkish prisons have been increasingly compromised. Under normal circumstances, the dormitories have separate sleeping and living quarters. However, due to the overcrowding, the living rooms have also been converted into makeshift sleeping areas. Even though the number of prisoners has rapidly increased, the number of beds has stayed the same. As such, the entire floor is usually covered with mattresses lined side by side with some prisoners having to sleep almost on top of others while others do not get a mattress at all.

The Prison Administration should also have been offering special accommodations for breastfeeding women, in addition to providing them with adequate nutrition and living conditions. The prison once again failed willfully in this regard. It had no refrigeration systems, and definitely did not comply with even the most basic hygiene standards. According to Rahime’s interview: “Our cells were full of cockroaches. They were all over us, in our beds, and even on our food. We had to put everything in sealed boxes including our cutlery and plates.” As stated in Nelson Mandela Rule 13, a prisoner’s accommodations shall meet all requirements of health, particularly in regard to space, air and ventilation. This requirement was not met.

The prison also did not offer much in the way of meals. The women usually had to pool what little money they had to purchase more food from the canteen. Moreover, the prison did not provide appropriate food for Rahime’s baby when she started eating solids. Since the canteen was not open each day, this became a problem for Rahime. Rule 22 of The Nelson Mandela Rules states: “Every prisoner shall be provided by the prison administration at the usual hours with food of nutritional value adequate for health and strength, of wholesome quality and well prepared and served.” Although Turkish Municipal Law has these correlative rules in place, they were completely ignored by the authorities. Incarcerated mothers and their children in Turkish prisons were callously and continuously neglected in what constitutes a blatant crime against humanity.

Another significant challenge for Rahime was that people were permitted to smoke indoors. Rahime Yildiz and infant Nil Mualla were put at grave danger given that secondhand smoke in such close quarters makes all prisoners as passive smokers. This is in violation of the Turkish Penal Code which stipulates that sufficient hygiene conditions must be given in prison rooms and sections thereof.

Rahime awaited her trial without formal charges for eight months. During this time, she suffered from asthma and baby Nil Mualla developed an acute mucus congestion because of the secondhand smoke. Both Nil Mualla and Rahime became severely ill around their 40th day in prison. Finally, they were taken to emergency services where Rahime recounts: “the doctor told me Nil would develop apical pneumonia if left untreated, and therefore requested that we be removed from our cell immediately. They transferred me to the prison infirmary for 5 months, but the prison administrator really did not want me there.”

AST’s research reveals that appropriate and sufficient health-care services were often absent in these conditions. Rahime Yildiz required prompt medical assistance because her baby was having a health crisis, but unfortunately her request was not met by the prison administration. A well-established right by the Nelson Mandela Rules, specifically in Rule 24, states that prisoners should have access to “necessary health-care services free of charge without discrimination on the grounds of their legal status.” Whereas in this case, Rahime Yildiz’s right to healthcare was jeopardized by the narrow-mindedness that charged her with terrorism.

As well as these, Rahime was also faced with massive concerns for her safety and security. A mentally ill patient in the infirmary where Rahime stayed during her baby’s illness constantly threatened to kill Nil Mualla. The prison guards offered nothing in the way of protection, so Rahime was left no choice but to go back to her ward, leaving behind the care of the infirmary. Nil Mualla’s security was jeopardized by the prison administration who could have let them stay in another infirmary room. The Bangkok Rules pay ample attention to the continual safety and security of prisoners, especially women prisoners deemed exceptionally vulnerable due to pregnancy and the postpartum periods. The Rules require women to be treated with humanity and with dignity at all times. Human rights advocates emphasize that children in prison with a parent should never be treated as prisoners. Nil Mualla suffered through the same ordeals that adult prisoners faced. These experiences may have created irrevocable traumas for which the Turkish authorities are undeniably. Moreover, the initial imprisonment of Rahime in itself is in violation of Turkish law since it is a member state of the United Nations and should comply with its conventions.

Freedom of Expression and Arbitrary Arrest 

The Turkish government severely constricts the freedom of expression of its citizens, particularly those who are from a select number of political groups. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights presents the essential right to freedom of speech in Article 18: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; This right includes freedom to change their religion or beliefs, either alone or in community with others; To manifest their religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” Both during Rahime’s custody and even before her trial, her freedom of speech was limited. Moreover, at both her trial and in her time in custody, she had no knowledge of the crimes she was being charged with. She was also not afforded the opportunity to defend herself. In fact, the only question the judge asked during the trial was how she had met her husband!

Rahime Yildiz’s imprisonment was completely arbitrary. The judiciary system lacked neutrality in her case. As stated previously, she had no knowledge of the nature of the accusations against her. Evidently, Rahime Yildiz was treated in this manner because she was a member of the Hizmet Movement. Her arrest was gratuitous, and there was no evidence regarding the alleged crimes presented by prosecutors. Moreover, arrest procedures required by Turkish law stipulate that an indictment must be prepared in the short-term. Rahime waited for the judiciary to file an indictment for eight months. During this time, her lawyer submitted several petitions to both the prison administration and the court board. These petitions were wholly ignored. The European Court of Human Rights emphasizes that a crime and its potential penalty must be proportional. The arrest warrant cannot be utilized as a punishment device within the legal system as it was with Rahime. Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights stresses that the arrest period must be reasonable. According to the practices of the European Court of Human Rights, if the arrest exceeds a suitable period of time, it could be regarded as an infringement and may result in compensation.

Keeping a mother with an ill baby in jail for a disproportionate amount of time is a form of punishment incompatible with human dignity. Rahime’s life in Turkey came to a conclusion as she left the country on the back of a lorry in 2018. This journey with her tiny baby led her to freedom. Unfortunately, Rahime’s story is a reflection of countless others, but these stories are important to document to both increase social awareness and also to leave a lasting impression in history.

References

1 Advocates of Silenced Turkey. “Key Human Rights Violations in Turkey Since the So-Called Coup Attempt.” 2020.

https://silencedturkey.org/wp content/uploads/2020/04/Key_Human_Rights_Concerns_in_Turkey-4.pdf

2 Ibid.

3 Advocates of Silenced Turkey. “Captive Mothers and Babies.” 2020. https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Captive-Mothers-and-Babies.pdf

4 Bureau of Democracy Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State. “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Turkey.” 2019. https://www.state.gov/reports/2019-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/turkey/



Ozlem Meci: No Respect for Motherhood by Ceyda Tunca

Introduction and Methodology

The Republic of Turkey has faced significant economic, social, and political challenges since the so-called coup attempt of July 15, 2016, as the country officials have been surreptitiously exploiting its resources for their own gains. Turkey’s current authoritarian regime, headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, framed the followers of the Gulen Movement for masterminding the coup. As a result of this coup, over 500,000 thousand people have been either arrested, dismissed from their jobs, or arbitrarily imprisoned. As the country’s systematic crackdown was used to justify the weakening of the protections of the justice system, countless ordinary citizens were subjected to physical and psychological torture that is still ongoing today. Moreover, amongst those victimized were also pregnant women. By virtue of their vulnerable physical state, pregnant women are protected by principles established in many human rights documents such as the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders. However, many elements of such documents were violated indiscreetly and without concern by Turkish systems and officials. In order to document and record these violations, AST has conducted interviews with some of these women. This report utilizes an interview conducted by an AST volunteer and compares it against the human rights guidelines from the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, European Prison Rules, The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules), and the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (Bangkok Rules) to delineate the violations. This report is dedicated to documenting the ill-treatment of one of the hundreds of pregnant women that were detained: Ozlem Meci.

Ozlem Meci’s Story

Ozlem Meci’s story begins before the coup of 2016. By 2013, the Erdogan regime had already begun pressuring Hizmet members in Turkey. The tutoring center where she worked as a teacher was closed down by the governor around April of 2016 due to unspecified reasons. In May of 2016, the police issued a search warrant to find Mrs. Meci’s who had charges of terrorism leveled against him owing to his affiliation with the Gulen Movement. Mr. Meci was not found by the Turkish government, as he had fled for his safety, leaving Ozlem and their daughter behind. After the coup attempt, Ozlem Meci took her five-year-old daughter and moved from Ardahan to Izmir, where her family resided. Around November of 2016, the police showed up at Mrs. Meci’s house and asked her to report to the police station where she was detained for two days. The officers explicitly stated that in addition to her membership of the Hizmet affiliated non-profit organization Sema Foundation, she was also being held simply because her husband could not be found. At the end of these two days, Ozlem was taken to the courtroom and then transferred to prison. At the time, Ozlem was 22 weeks pregnant. The prison conditions took an immense toll on Ozlem and her baby, due to lack of proper bedding, nutrition, and warmth. Her baby was born on the brink of life and death; and yet, Ozlem was still separated from her newborn son for six days after his birth. Fortunately, when this separation leaked into Turkish news outlets, the prison officials took Ozlem to the hospital where her baby was held. Ozlem remained in prison for a cumulative period of 12 and a half months until being released on probationary terms of having to sign-in to a police department every three days. Unable to pursue life and liberty in Turkey any longer, Ozlem and her husband decided to seek refuge in another country in hopes of finding peace.

Section 1: Improper Justification for Arrest

Ozlem Meci’s arrest was based on unlawful terms, as the police officers explicitly stated her arrest was due to “being a member of Sema Foundation, having a monthly subscription to the Zaman Newspaper, sending her daughter to a private school, and especially because of [her] husband.”  The newspaper and the foundation, both being associated with the Gulen Movement, became evidence of criminal activity. The reasoning of the police officers underscores that Ozlem was found guilty on the basis of her political opinion in a country where the constitution clearly grants freedom of belief. Consequently, this accusation violates the Turkish Constitution Articles 10, which states that “Everyone is equal before the law without distinction as to language, race, color, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion and sect, or any such grounds,” as well as Article 33 of the Turkish Constitution.

Most significantly, Ozlem was held guilty for the alleged crimes of another individual: her husband. This is a violation of European Prison Rule 14, “No person shall be admitted to or held in a prison as a prisoner without a valid commitment order, in accordance with national law.” These groundless accusations formed the basis of her indictment while she was still 22 weeks pregnant.

 Section 2: Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Some of the most glaring human rights violations in Ozlem’s case was the prison conditions that she faced as a pregnant woman. The prison that she was sent to was appropriately designed to hold 11 people. However, Ozlem was the thirteenth prisoner. Without sufficient space or accommodations, Ozlem was left to sleep on a makeshift bed on the floor in the midst of winter. Over time, the number of prisoners increased to 26 including all the children, which is a common occurrence in Turkey as “women with infants and breastfeeding mothers are forced into overcrowded dormitory-style holding cells” (“Born and Raised in Prison: Turkey’s Captive Children, 17). This blatant disregard for humane conditions for prisoners violates European Prison Rule 18.1 and Nelson Mandela Rule 13, which both similarly state that “All accommodation provided for the use of prisoners and in particular all sleeping accommodation shall meet all requirements of health…”  These conditions coupled with stress, caused a mass to form on Ozlem’s neck, which prevented her from talking — this was only one instance of many in which her health was jeopardized indifferently by those in charge. Thankfully, this mass slowly dissipated over time.

As a pregnant woman in prison, the nutrients that Ozlem needed became even more imperative for the proper growth of her baby boy. Unfortunately, Ozlem stated that “the food given in prison was very insufficient as well as very oily and nutrient deficient.” The prison doctor would often warn Ozlem of complications that could form as a result of these deficiencies. However, when Ozlem asked for advice on what to eat, the doctor would not give her an answer. His lack of response was a direct violation of European Prison Rule 44, which states that “The medical practitioner or other competent authority shall regularly inspect, collect information by other means if appropriate, and advise the director upon: the quantity, quality, preparation and serving of food and water…”

Over the course of routine pregnancy controls that occurred at Menemen Public Hospital, the doctor noted an abnormal enlargement of the baby’s kidney. At 37 weeks, Ozlem was transferred to a hospital after her contractions started and went into labor without having the opportunity to notify her family. Her inability to inform her family is a fundamental issue which violates Article 22 of the Turkish Constitution, which emphasizes the freedom of communication, and European Prison Rules 24.9 which states that “Upon the admission of a prisoner to prison, … or the transfer of a prisoner to a hospital, the authorities shall, unless the prisoner has requested them not to do so, immediately inform the spouse or partner of the prisoner, or, if the prisoner is single, the nearest relative and any other person previously designated by the prisoner.”

 The lack of regard for Ozlem’s health during her pregnancy had pressing consequences for the health of her baby Murat who started to show symptoms of complications following his birth. Hence, he was immediately transferred to a private hospital. Ozlem, on the other hand, was sent straight back to prison only a day after giving birth and was denied her right to see her baby or to be informed about his condition. Ozlem’s family only found out about her birth when the private hospital asked for the ID of the newborn and pressed the prison officials to notify the family to process the ID. Throughout the six days that Ozlem was separated from Murat, the prison guards gave Ozlem bags for her to use to pump her milk. However, there was no way for her to preserve the milk which should usually be kept in a refrigerator. In order for the milk to not spoil, Ozlem put the milk bags near the window during February — a cold winter month in Turkey. Ozlem’s brother in law drove a total of three hours every day to transport the milk bags from the prison to the hospital. However, after a few days, the prison guards did not have any more milk bags left and did not make any other accommodations for Ozlem, who had no choice but to pump her breast milk into the prison sink. When her brother-in-law left the prison empty handed that day, this separation of a newborn and its mother was leaked to news outlets. The resultant public outrage led to the involvement of the Minister of Justice. Pursuant to the public pressure, the prison sent Ozlem to the hospital where her newborn was being treated. Ozlem was only allowed to see her baby six days after his birth. Their separation and mistreatment violate Bangkok Rule 9, which states: “Many women worldwide who are admitted to prison are accompanied by their children, who may remain with them in prison, sometimes for long periods. It is vital to respect such children’s right to the highest attainable standards of health…”

Section 3: Ill-treatment and Inhumane Conditions

Murat’s recovery process radically accelerated once he was united with his mother. After he had fully recovered, both Murat and Ozlem were transported back to prison. However, the prison was not accommodated with proper heating and hot water. As a result, Ozlem requested a heater to keep her baby warm many times from the prison officials but was denied every time. In their denial, Ozlem was forced to think of alternate solutions: with the help of other prisoners, Ozlem would bathe Murat with cold water as her friends would hold a hairdryer towards the baby to keep him warm. These inhumane conditions are evidence of the intentional violations of human rights in Turkish prisons and constitute a direct violation to European Prison Rule 36.3 which states that “Special accommodation shall be set aside to protect the welfare of such infants” as well as the Nelson Mandela Rule 16 and Turkish Constitution Article 17. For the next six months, baby Murat had severe sleeping and gas issues; moreover, he would also throw up exceptionally often. When Ozlem took Murat to the prison doctor, nothing conclusive was found. Once Ozlem had the opportunity to take Murat to the hospital after they were released from prison, when he was nine months old, she was told that Murat had gone through a severe infection. All in all, it took a total of 12 and a half months for the court to release Ozlem and her baby after she was sent to prison.

Conclusion

Fortunately, Ozlem Meci and her baby Murat were able to reunite with her family after a year-long separation. Her family made the decision to relocate to another country in hopes of living a normal life again. Ozlem’s circumstances are not unique in Turkey and constitute a pattern of behavior by Turkish officials that are definitively insulting to human dignity and which are proof of a cavalier disregard for the sanctity of life. It is absolutely apparent that these events threatened baby Murat’s life and wellbeing, and that they should not be overlooked or taken lightly. It is critical to recall that no human life is in vain, but the Turkish Government does not treat those accused of being followers of the Gulen movement as fellow humans. This report sheds light on only one of many who have gone through similar events. Many people have lost their jobs, freedom, and life under the Erdogan regime. There are 864 infants and babies in Turkey’s prisons facing the same hostile environments that young Murat spent the first year of his life in. It is imperative to note these events in hopes of obtaining justice one day.

References

1- Constitution of the Republic of Turkey. https://global.tbmm.gov.tr/docs/constitution_en.pdf

2- European Prison Rules. https://rm.coe.int/european-prison-rules-978-92-871-5982-3/16806ab9ae

3- Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and Related Recommendations. New York:

4- United Nations, Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, 1958. Print. https://www.unodc.org/documents/justice-and-prison-reform/Nelson_Mandela_Rules-E-ebook.pdf

5- The United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for

6- Women Offenders. https://www.unodc.org/documents/justice-and-prison-reform/Bangkok_Rules_ENG_22032015.pdf

7- Advocates of Silenced Turkey. “Captive Mothers and Babies.” 2020. https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Captive-Mothers-and-Babies.pdf


 

Deniz Hanim: Forced into Hiding by Nihal Kariparduc

INTRODUCTION

The coup attempt of July 2016 in Turkey marked a monumental turning point in Turkey’s political history. Erdogan blamed Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who is based in Pennsylvania, for masterminding the coup and began a systematic process of arresting sympathizers to the Gulen Movement. Any and all connections to the Gulen Movement, such as holding an account at a bank associated with the movement, were used as evidence of terrorism crimes.

But what truly gave Erdogan this power? Erdogan declared a victory in a referendum which gave him access to sweeping new powers allowing him to bypass the normal parliamentary process to implement new policy. After the referendum in 2017. Turkey made the transition from a parliamentary system to a presidential one. As a result, the independence of the judiciary, legislature, and media in Turkey has been jeopardized as a result of the Erdogan administration’s action.1 As of 2017, more than 130,214 homemakers, teachers, NGO workers, academics, judges, prosecutors and journalists have been imprisoned.2 Currently, Turkey has jailed more journalists than any other country in the world.3 Now, there are over 200,000 people imprisoned, many of whom are pregnant women, mothers with their children, or people with disabilities and illnesses.

Deniz and her family are one of many families victimized by Erdogan’s persecution. In 2016, Deniz had been working in community relations at an institution run by Gulen supporters for approximately 14 years while her husband worked as a company manager at a separate institution. Deniz and her husband had two children: a 16-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter. They were a typical Turkish family until Erdogan’s regime labeled them as terrorists. Deniz’s husband (henceforth referred to as Mehmet) was arrested on August 19th, 2016 and remains in prison to this day. Deniz was tried for her alleged crimes on October 11, 2018 but was declared innocent. This report details the violations of their human rights using an interview conducted with Deniz by Advocates for Silenced Turkey. Her claims were evaluated using the standards set by the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Turkish Constitution.

FAILURE TO INFORM FAMILY

On August 19th, Deniz received a call while at home from the police, notifying her that her husband Mehmet had been arrested. Her kids began to cry when they heard the police officer through the phone. The police did not tell Deniz where her husband was being held. In a panic, Deniz frantically called all the police stations in her province in the hopes of locating him. When she was finally able to find Mehmet, she was not allowed to speak to him.

According to Rule 68 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (henceforth the Nelson Mandela Rules), every prisoner has the right “…to inform immediately his or her family, or any other person designated as a contact person, about his or her imprisonment, about his or her transfer to another institution and about any serious illness or injury…”4 Deniz was not informed of the institution her husband was taken to and had to take matters into her own hands. She was left to call everywhere in her province and other nearby areas. Mehmet’s location should have been given to her directly without her having to take individual action. Most importantly, Deniz was denied an opportunity to talk to him even after the long hours of searching.

Unfortunately, the Turkish justice system continued to infringe on their rights as human beings, violating both international and domestic standards.

TORTURE AND ILL TREATMENT

Deniz learnt of the conditions behind bars when talking to a fellow prisoner friend of Mehmet who had been released but had stayed in the same cell as her husband. Mehmet’s friend notified Deniz that her husband had been tortured. Moreover, on the day he was arrested, August 19th 2016, the doctor he was taken to reported that he had been assaulted, repeatedly kicked, beaten, clawed, and more. Deniz also learned that during the time that her husband was in custody, he and other detainees were not given pillows and that they had to use plastic bottles to make makeshift pillows.

On the day of his arrest, Mehmet’s family was denied knowledge of his whereabouts, he was tortured, and he was then denied appropriate accommodations. According to the first rule of the Nelson Mandela Rules, “All prisoners shall be treated with respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings. No prisoner shall be subjected to, and all prisoners shall be protected from, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, for which no circumstances whatsoever may be invoked as a justification.”5 As similarly stated by Article 17 of the Turkish Constitution, “No one shall be subjected to torture or mal-treatment; no one shall be subjected to penalties or treatment incompatible with human dignity.”6 His treatment at the hands of Turkish officials was a disregard for the “inherent dignity and value” underscored in the Nelson Mandela Rules.7 This is not an isolated incident and is actually representative of the way many sympathizers or members of the Gulen Movement are treated by Turkish institutions.

PRISON AND DETENTION CENTER CONDITIONS

The day to day living conditions at prisons were also not on par with human dignity. Mehmet shared a cell meant for 18 people with 39 others. They did not even have bunk beds; their beds were placed directly on the concrete floor. Prisoners should be afforded enough floor space to live comfortably. The cramped quarters of a cell meant for 18 yet occupied by 39 is definitely not conducive to healthy and hygienic living. The health conditions outlined as “…climatic conditions and particularly to cubic content of air, minimum floor space, lighting, heating and ventilation…” in Rule 13 of the Nelson Mandela were not met.8

The overcrowding of cells has many adverse psychological and physical effects. According to “Overcrowding in Prisons and Its Impact on Health,” “the increase in physical contact, the lack of ventilation and light, as well as a shortage of time spent outdoors favors disease propagation, essentially infectious and parasitic diseases.”9 Moreover, as stated by the same study, overcrowding of prisons leads to a higher rate of suicide, behavior disorders, and psychological disorders. In general, overcrowding of cells leads to a very physically and physiologically draining environment.

RIGHT TO PRIVACY

During the time that Mehmet was incarcerated, Deniz found out that the police were in search of her too. She had to immediately move into her brother’s house to evade arrest. She changed her residency address to her mother’s since her kids needed an address for their school enrollment. During this time, the police officers raided her mother’s house six to seven times in search of Deniz. The situation caused heightened stress for Deniz’s family and disrupted the flow of their day to day lives. If the family suspected another raid, they would take days off work in order to discuss what they should do. This regime took an adverse psychological toll on everyone.

After school, the kids could not directly go home for fear of being followed, so they usually went to their grandparents’ house first. They often waited until sunset and went through dark alleyways and streets to get home. They always looked behind them to see if the police or anyone suspicious was following them. In one instance, Deniz’s son couldn’t turn onto the street his mother was residing at for 40 minutes for his fear of a suspicious man following him. He could not be sure whether the man was a police officer or an ordinary citizen.

The manner in which the police raided Deniz’s mother’s home and their routine of following the children home are in violation of Article 20 of the Turkish constitution, which states that “everyone has the right to demand respect for his/her private and family life. Privacy of private or family life shall not be violated.”10 Both in and out of the home, Deniz’s and her family’s right to privacy was infringed upon.

On October 11, 2018 Deniz was ultimately found by police who had followed her daughter back home from school. She was then taken into custody.

FREEDOM OF THOUGHT

The main reason Deniz and Mehmet were brought to court in their respective cases was due to their employment at an institution operated by Gulen supporters. However, according to Article 33 of the Turkish Constitution, “Everyone has the right to form associations…”11 Being associated with a group or an organization is not a valid reason to be arrested.

During Deniz’s trial, she was asked about why she had evaded arrest, where she worked, and the bank with which she held an account. Deniz explained that she was not running away and that she was only in hiding to be able to take care of her kids. This was because she was the sole caretaker in the absence of their father. In regard to her job, she said that it was a regular job that she had been hired for to perform. She also explained that she used her bank account to receive paychecks. Deniz was released after the trial, 27 months after Mehmet’s — who still remains imprisoned.

CONCLUSION

During Mehmet’s incarceration, Deniz and her children visited him often. However, the security searches they had to endure were intrusive and humiliating. Four or five people would be placed in a room with two officers responsible for a body search. Deniz’s daughter would turn her back to her mother in embarrassment as she saw her mother’s treatment. Deniz reported an incident during which an officer was yelling “You can’t pass through! Take off your clothes!” simply because her daughter was wearing clothing with a zipper. Deniz was finally allowed to help her daughter who was given a shawl to wrap around her waist before being allowed through. After the incident, Deniz’s daughter said, “Mom, let’s never talk about this again. Let’s forget about it.” The family always concealed these events from Mehmet just like he made no mention of his own condition in an effort to enjoy their time together. Trying to brighten each other’s days, the children and their father would take note of and share the fun things they had done recently. They would try to help each other forget about their present situation.

The Turkish government continues to systematically violate the rights of those it considers to be guilty while the public is either largely unaware due to the state-controlled media or actually condones these actions because of their commitment to the government’s narrative.  Deniz’s family is just one of the thousands directly affected by Erdogan’s regime. Families just like Deniz’s are awaiting justice behind the bars of Turkish prisons.

References

1 The Economist. “Turkey is Sliding into Dictatorship.” Apr. 15, 2017. https://www.economist.com/leaders/2017/04/15/turkey-is-sliding-into-dictatorship

2 Advocates of Silenced Turkey. “About Us.” https://silencedturkey.org/about-us

3 The Economist. “Turkey Leads the World in Jailed Journalists.” 2019. https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/01/16/turkey-leads-the-world-in-jailed-journalists

4 Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and Related Recommendations. New York: United Nations, Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, 1958. Print.

5 Ibid.

6 Constitution of the Republic of Turkey. https://global.tbmm.gov.tr/docs/constitution_en.

7 Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and Related Recommendations. New York: United Nations, Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, 1958. Print.

8 Ibid.

9 García-Guerrero, J and Andres Marco. “Overcrowding in Prisons and its Impact on Health.” Spanish Journal of Prison Health 14 (2012): 106-113.  http://scielo.isciii.es/pdf/sanipe/v14n3/en_06_revision2.pdf

10 Constitution of the Republic of Turkey. https://global.tbmm.gov.tr/docs/constitution_en.

11 Ibid.



Dr. Rana: Cruel Treatment by Sara Gwynn

INTRODUCTION

As a candidate to join the European Union, Turkey’s negotiations for further accession were halted in 2018 due to Turkey “[continuing] to move further away from the European Union, with serious backsliding in the areas of the rule of law and fundamental rights…” 1 Some of the key violations include unacceptable accommodations in prisons where “the current population in Turkish prisons is 4-5 times higher than the normal capacity,” the use of various torture methods such as “severe beatings, threats of sexual assault and actual sexual assault, electric shocks, waterboarding, sleep deprivation, stress positions, long solitary confinement, and [deprivation] of food and water,” reports of abductions, and an alarming amount of women and children being detained in unfit prison conditions. 2 Likewise, various sources show the same evidence of abductions, disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture, and unfit detainment/prison conditions in Turkey during 2018 and 2019.3 All of this evidence has shown a necessity for reform in the Turkish government to stop the continuous infringement of the human rights of Turkish citizens.

This report is based on the experience of Dr. Rana, a once high standing doctor in Turkey who was arrested on the basis that she was a member of the Hizmet movement — the group allegedly responsible for the 2016 coup. On this basis alone, Dr. Rana had her rights violated and lost a sense of safety in her home to the point that she smuggled her family out of Turkey and eventually sought asylum in Canada for a new life. Although she was able to escape with her family, Dr. Rana experienced many hardships in order to establish a secure future for her family. She resorted to smuggling her child in a suitcase across the Turkish border and endured the struggles that came with seeking asylum and living life as a refugee. This high price for safety eventually led to a brighter future for Dr. Rana and her family, but normalcy never fully returned to their lives. The desk research done to complete this report looked at official documents, such as the Turkish Constitution, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, European Prison Rules, and the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules). Each of these documents establish the rights that humans are entitled to and identify violative acts against human rights. By using these documents, the violations that came from the hands of her government can be identified in Dr. Rana’s experience with the judicial system of Turkey.

ARBITRARY ARREST OR DETENTION

The 15th article of the Turkish Constitution protects citizens from being arrested on the basis of their thoughts, opinions, religion, and so forth. 4 However, Dr. Rana’s arrest was solely on the basis of her affiliation with the Hizmet movement rather than substantial evidence or a direct link of her involvement with the attempted 2016 coup. The warrant for her arrest and detainment was an unconstitutional act by the Turkish government and led to further violations of Dr. Rana’s human rights.

PRISON AND DETENTION CENTER CONDITIONS

Dr. Rana was detained for a few days and explained that she didn’t know how anyone could endure such circumstances for a longer period of time. Upon arrival, Dr. Rana was told that her infant could stay with her in the cell or stay in a place away from Dr. Rana with supervision. Dr. Rana chose for her son to be separated from her, a hard decision but one that she later appreciated for the sake of her child. When describing her cell, Dr. Rana explained that it was small and had an overwhelming smell of sewage. The standard accommodation that prisoners are entitled to must “…respect human dignity and… meet the requirements of health and hygiene… especially to floor space, cubic content of air, lighting, heating and ventilation.”9 From her description of the cell, it is suggested that there was improper ventilation in her cell, thus violating the accommodation that she was entitled to while being detained.

In addition to the inadequate accommodation, Dr. Rana was deprived of contact with prison authorities which she should have been entitled to as a detained individual.5 Dr. Rana explained that she spoke to the cameras, yelled from her cell, and even pressed a red call button that supposedly alerted the prison authorities, but no one responded. This lack of contact becomes increasingly more of an issue when Dr. Rana was not given the proper care as a detained individual.

From the lack of supervision and response from prison authorities, Dr. Rana experienced two more violations to her human rights. Being a new mother, Dr. Rana was in discomfort due to her inability to breastfeed and wanted pain relievers in order to cope with the pain along with something to clean herself with when she eventually had to relieve the milk in her breasts. These pleas were not acknowledged or fulfilled by prison authorities. Along with these hygienic requests, her requests for clean water to drink were also ignored. These two instances violate The European Prison Rules, which states that prisoners are entitled to clean drinking water at all times, a clean living space, and the needed toiletries to maintain personal hygiene. Women specifically are entitled to “sanitary towels provided free of charge and a regular supply of water to be made available for the personal care of children and women, in particular women involved in cooking and those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating.” 6 Dr. Rana was subjected to an unclean environment and denied the right to maintain personal hygiene in regards to her breastfeeding needs because no guards or prison authorities upheld their responsibilities. Furthermore, no drinking water was made available to her and Dr. Rana was put in a degrading situation where she needed to use the water from the toilet of her cell as drinking water. This also posed a potential risk to her health.

CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT AND PUNISHMENT

Torture or other degrading or cruel treatment is a prohibited practice on humans and is described by the United Nations as “…any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted by or at the instigation of a public official on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or confession, punishing him for an act he has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating him or other persons…” 7 Despite the Turkish government’s “zero tolerance for torture policy,” many reports on Turkey mention sexual assaults, physical beatings, and other harmful experiences for detainees in Turkey.8 In Dr. Rana’s experience, she was subjected to emotional abuse and manipulation in order to get a fabricated confession from her. While being detained, Dr. Rana was urged to confess to crimes that she did not commit under the promise that it was the only way that she would be able to raise her son outside of a prison cell. This intimidation combined with the physical discomfort of her detainment cell and the mental toll of being separated from her newborn could be seen as factors used to try and control Dr. Rana, suggesting the use of psychological torture on Dr. Rana.

CONCLUSION

By sharing her story, Dr. Rana has shown the necessity for change and reform in the Turkish government. From her arbitrary arrest to the violations that she experienced during her detainment, Dr. Rana has shared another victimized experience from the current Turkish regime. And while Dr. Rana has done her best to escape an environment that failed to uphold her human rights, these infringements continue to persist in Turkey. 9 The Turkish government continues to practice unethical treatment towards detained individuals and to purposefully neglect the accommodations to which they are entitled.10 Without change, unconstitutional arrests are likely to persist, and victims will continue to endure violations at the hands of their own government.

References

1 European Commission. “Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.” 2019.  https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:52019DC0260&rid=6.

2 Advocates of Silenced Turkey. “Key Human Rights Violations in Turkey Since the So-Called Coup Attempt.” 2020.

https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Key_Human_Rights_Concerns_in_Turkey-4.pdf

3 Human Rights Watch. “In Custody Police Torture and Abductions in Turkey.” 2017. https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/turkey1017_web_0.pdf.;

Stockholm Center for Freedom. “HRW Urges UN to Address Human Rights Violations in Turkey.” 2020. https://stockholmcf.org/hrw-urges-un-to-address-human-rights-violations-in-turkey/.;

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Turkey: UN Report Details Extensive Human Rights Violations During Protracted State of Emergency.” 2018. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22853&LangID=E.;

United States Department of State. “Turkey 2018 Human Rights Report.” 2018. https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/TURKEY-2018-HUMAN-RIGHTS-REPORT.pdf.;

Peoples’ Democratic Party. “Urgent Call: Turkish Prisons Have Evolved into Torture Centers!” 2018.  https://www.hdp.org.tr/en/news/from-hdp/urgent-call-turkish-prisons-have-evolved-into-torture-centers/11684.

4 Constitution of the Republic of Turkey. https://global.tbmm.gov.tr/docs/constitution_en.

5 European Prison Rules. https://rm.coe.int/european-prison-rules-978-92-871-5982-3/16806ab9ae

6 The United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for

Women Offenders. https://www.unodc.org/documents/justice-and-prison-reform/Bangkok_Rules_ENG_22032015.pdf

7 The European Convention on Human Rights. Strasbourg: Directorate of Information, 1952. Print.; Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

8 United States Department of State. “Turkey 2018 Human Rights Report.” 2018. https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/TURKEY-2018-HUMAN-RIGHTS-REPORT.pdf;

Human Rights Watch. “In Custody Police Torture and Abductions in Turkey.” 2017. https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/turkey1017_web_0.pdf;

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Turkey: UN Report Details Extensive Human Rights Violations During Protracted State of Emergency.” 2018. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22853&LangID=E;

Peoples’ Democratic Party. “Urgent Call: Turkish Prisons Have Evolved into Torture Centers!” 2018.  https://www.hdp.org.tr/en/news/from-hdp/urgent-call-turkish-prisons-have-evolved-into-torture-centers/11684.

9 Advocates of Silenced Turkey. “The Coronavirus Outbreak in Turkey’s Prisons: Analysis of the Cases, Findings, and Recommendations.” 2020.  https://silencedturkey.org/the-coronavirus-outbreak-in-turkeys-prisons-analysis-of-the-cases-findings-and-recommendations.

10 Ibid.

 

 

Donate Now

 

Read more

TÜRKİYE’DEKİ İŞKENCECİLER

İŞKENCECİLER

İşkence suçu;

Türkiye Avrupa Konseyi’nin üyesi bir hukuk devleti olarak Avrupa İnsan Hakları Sözleşmesi’ne taraftır. Avrupa İnsan Hakları Sözleşmesi’nin olağanüstü hallerde yükümlülükleri askıya almayı düzenleyen 15. maddesine göre işkence yasağı OHAL’de bile askıya alınamayacak insan haklarındandır. Avrupa İnsan Hakları Sözleşmesi’nin ‘İşkence Yasağı’ başlığını taşıyan 3. maddesine göre ‘Hiç kimse işkenceye veya insanlık dışı ya da aşağılayıcı muamele veya cezaya tabi tutulamaz…”

AİHM Mehmet Bilen-Türkiye davasında;

Başvuran kişinin gözaltında gördüğünü iddia ettiği kötü muamele ve baskılarla ilgili yaptığı şikayet üzerine önemli bir karar vererek Türkiye’yi mahkum etmiştir. AİHM, ne hakimlerin ne de Cumhuriyet Başsavcısının şikayetçinin hangi koşullarda ifadelerini imzaladığını dahi araştırmamasına ve şikayeti yetkili Savcılığa iletmemesine özellikle dikkat çekmiştir.

AİHM, bir kimse tamamen polis memurlarının kontrolü altında gözaltındayken bu süreçte meydana gelen her türlü yaralanmanın sorumlusu olarak hükümeti işaret etmiştir. AİHM bu davada, avukatla görüşmeksizin on sekiz gün boyunca, gözaltında tutulan başvuranın vücudunda tespit edilen yaralarla (iki bilekte yara, sol kolda ve sırtta ağrı) ilgili olarak Hükümet’in hiçbir açıklama yapmadığına da dikkat çekerek 19 Nisan 1996 tarihinde yapılan adli tıp inceleme raporunda saptanan izlerden savunmacı Hükümet’in sorumlu olduğu kanaatine varmıştır. Sonuç olarak AİHM mevcut davada başvurana yapılan muamelenin insanlık dışı ve aşağılayıcı nitelikte olduğuna ve AİHS’nin 3. maddesinin ihlal edildiğine karar vermiştir.

Birleşmiş Milletler İşkenceye Karşı Sözleşme;

Sözleşmeye göre “İşkence” terimi; bir şahsa veya bir üçüncü şahsa, bu şahsın veya üçüncü şahsın işlediği veya işlediğinden şüphe edilen bir fiil sebebiyle, cezalandırmak amacıyla bilgi veya itiraf elde etmek için veya ayrım gözeten herhangi bir sebep dolayısıyla bir kamu görevlisinin veya bu sıfatla hareket eden bir başka şahsın teşviki veya rızası veya muvafakatiyle uygulanan fiziki veya manevi ağır acı veya ızdırap veren bir fiil anlamına gelir. Bu yalnızca yasal müeyyidelerin uygulanmasından doğan, tabiatında olan veya arızi olarak husule gelen acı ve ızdırabı içermez.

Türkiye’nin de taraf olarak imzaladığı BM Sözleşmesi’nin 2. maddesinin 2. fıkrası, devletlerin işkence olaylarını önlemek icin etkili kanuni, idari, adli veya başka tedbirleri alması gerektiğine ve işkencenin hiçbir şekilde hukuka uygun hale gelemeyeceğine dair hükümdür: “Hiçbir istisnai durum, ne harp hali, ne de bir harp tehdidi, dahili siyasi istikrarsızlık veya herhangi başka bir olağanüstü hal, işkencenin uygulanması için gerekçe gösterilemez. Bir üst görevlinin veya bir kamu merciinin emri, işkencenin haklılığına gerekçe kabul edilemez.”

GİRİŞ

Türkiye’de yıllardır işkence suçuna karışan kamu görevlileri devletin diğer kurumları ve hükümet yetkilileri tarafından himaye edilmekte, korunmakta ve cezasızlıkla ödüllendirilmektedir. Haklarında dava açılsa bile, görevlerine devam etmeleri hatta terfi almaları sağlanarak, farklı gerekçeler öne sürülerek hapis cezasına çarptırılmaları veya cezaevine girmeleri engellenmektedir. Birçoğu hakkındaki davalar, yargılamaları yapılamadığından yıllarca sürebilmektedir. 

Özellikle 15 Temmuz 2016 tarihinde yaşanan darbe girişimi sonrasında belirgin bir şekilde artan işkence suçu yeniden sistematik hale dönüşmüş ve mağdurların sayısı artmıştır. Türkiye’deki insan hakları kuruluşlarının raporlarına da yansıyan işkence suçlarındaki artışa rağmen işkenceciler cezasızlıkla ödüllendirilmeye devam etmektedir. AST raportörleri, ortaya çıkan yüzlerce işkence vakasına ve yayınlanan raporlara dayanarak işkenceciler konusunda bir dizi rapor hazırlamaya karar vermiştir. Rapor, işkence mağdurlarının beyanlarından, tanık anlatımlarından ve mahkeme tutanaklarından yola çıkılarak hazırlanmıştır. Dinlenen bazı mağdurların kimlik bilgileri güvenlik gerekçesiyle gizli tutulmuştur. Bu rapor, bir dizi şeklinde tasarlanan çalışmaların ilkidir. Mağdurlarla yapılacak görüşmeler ve vakalar üzerinde yapılacak çalışmalar ile raporların sayısı çoğaltılacak eldeki veriler listelenecektir. Amaç, işkence suçunun ve işkencecilerin cezasız kalmasını önlemektir. İsmi tespit edilen işkencecilerle ilgili hukuki prosedürler takip edilerek, uluslararası mecralarda yaptırımlar için mücadele edilecektir. Türkiye, işkence suçu ve işkencecilerle yargı önünde hesaplaşma ortamını sağlayacak noktaya geldiğinde elbette mağdurların hakları daha güçlü bir şekilde savunulacaktır. Unutulmamalıdır ki işkence, insanlığa karşı işlenen en büyük suçtur ve zamanaşımı yoktur. Dolayısıyla işkencecilerin er veya geç sanık saldalyesine oturması ve hak ettikleri cezayı alması için AST mağdurlar adına mücadelesini sürdürecektir. 

ÖZET

İnsan Hakları Kuruluşu AST (Advocates of Silenced Turkey) raportörleri, hazırladıkları raporda Türkiye’de işkence suçuna karışan ve işkencecileri korumaya yönelik işlem yapan, bu suçu öven ve suça tahrik eden kişileri mercek altına alıyor. Raproda adı geçen mağdurların tamamına yakını gördükleri işkenceleri detaylı bir şekilde anlattı ve mahkeme tutanaklarına geçmesini sağladı. Buna rağmen genel olarak isimleri deşifre olan işkenceciler yargı önüne çıkarılmadı. Üzerinde durulan belgeler ve resmi açıklamalar Türkiye hükümetinin genel olarak işkence suçunu önlemeye yönelik pratikte herhangi bir işlem yapmadığını ortaya koyuyor. Aksine uluslararası komisyonların ziyaretleri sırasında işkence izlerinin ortadan kaldırılması için resmi makamlardan talimatlar yazılıyor. Raporda, İçişleri Bakanı Süleyman Soylu’nun güvenlik birimlerini şiddete, işkenceye ve lince teşvik eden açıklamaları ve bu açıklamalar neticesinde işkence görmüş ve ardından masum olduğu anlaşılmış mağdurların yaşadıklarına yer veriliyor. 

AST raportörleri işkencenin devlet eliyle meşrulaştırıldığına dikkat çekiyor. Bu vahim durumun önlenmesi için harekete geçilmesi gerektiği savunuluyor. Hükümet yetkililerinin yasal düzenlemelerle ve yaptıkları açıklamalarla işkencecileri motive ettiğine yönelik tespitlerde bulunan raportörler, dönemin TBMM Cezaevi Alt Komisyonu Başkanı AKP’li Mehmet Metiner’in, “İşkence iddialarını araştırmayacağız” sözlerinin bu tavrın bir göstergesi olduğunun altını çiziyor. İşkence suçunun cezasız kalması ve AKP Hükümetinin işkencecileri korumasına yönelik eylemlerine ise çarpıcı bir örnek veriliyor. İşkence ile Oktay Kapsız isimli bir zanlıyı gözaltında öldüren ve 9 Temmuz 2019’da İstanbul 2. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi tarafından ‘işkence ile adam öldürmek’ suçundan müebbet hapis cezasına çarptırılan Emniyet Müdürü Oktay Kapsız, tutuklanmadığı gibi halen görevine Muğla Marmaris İlçe Emniyet Müdürlüğü’nde devam ediyor. Kapsız ile birlikte 3 polisin daha işkence ile adam öldürmek suçundan aynı cezayı almış olmalarına rağmen görevlerine devam etmeleri, disiplin cezası bile almamaları üstelik tayin edildikleri yeni görev yerlerine devletin üst düzey görevlileri tarafından veda yemekleri düzenlenip teşekkür plaketleri verilerek uğurlanmaları skandaldır. Rapor, benzeri eylemler sonrası haklarında soruşturma ya da dava açılan işkencecilerin cezasızlıkla, hatta terfilerle nasıl ödüllendirildiklerini ve görevlerine nasıl devam ettiklerini ortaya koyuyor.

Hükümet yetkililerinin insan hakları ihlallerine karşı vurdumduymaz tavrı, doğal olarak güvenlik birimlerinde işkencenin artamasının işkencecilerin daha cesur hareket etmesinin nedeni olarak gösteriliyor. Şırnak Eski TEM müdürü Hacı Murat Dinçer de buna örnek olarak işaret ediliyor. Dinçer emrindeki polislere ağır yaralı olarak yakalanan Hacı Lokman Birlik’in polis zırhlı aracı arkasına bağlatılarak ilçe içinde sürükletilmesi talimatı verdi. Birlik’in feci şekilde öldürülmesine neden olan Dinçer, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Cumhurbaşkanı ve AKP lideri Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’ın elinden başarı plaketi aldı. Daha sonra da AKP’den milletvekili olmak için aday adayı oldu. Birlik ailesinin suç duyurularına ve başvurularına ragmen Dinçer hakkında herhangi bir hukuki işlem yapılmadı.

Raporda bu güne kadar adı deşifre olmamış bazı işkenceci isimlere de yer veriliyor. Özellikle 15 Temmuz 2016’daki darbe girişimi sonrası subay ve astsubaylara işkence yapan kişilerin kimliği deşifre ediliyor. General Akın Öztürk’e yoğun işkence yapan, artık meslektaşlarının da dayanamayıp ‘yeter artık Elif’ dedikleri kişinin TEM Şube Amir Yardımcısı Elif Sümercan olduğu bilgisi veriliyor. Sümercan’ın daha sonra terfi ettiği son olarak da Kültür Bakanlığı’nda Daire Başkanı yapıldığı açıklanıyor.   

AST raportörleri, işkenceci isimlerin belgelenmesi için başlattığı geniş çaplı araştırmasına bir isim listesi dosyası ekliyor. Tespit edilen isimler görev yerlerine, kimi ya da kimleri mağdur ettiklerine ve yargı sürecine göre sınıflandırılıyor. Liste daha sonra hazırlanacak olan raporlarla da desteklenerek büyüyecek. Raportörlerin tespitlerine göre hazırlanan listede sadece güvenlik görevlileri bulunmuyor. Bunun yanısıra doktorlar, yargı mensupları, hükümet yetkilileri, siyasetçiler, gazeteciler ve hatta işkenceye katılan sivil şahıslar da listeleniyor. Bir başka deyişle listede işkence suçunu işleyenlerin yanısıra işkencecileri koruyan, eylemlerini örtbas eden, işkence suçunu öven ve teşvik eden kişilere de yer veriliyor. 

VAKALAR

Süleyman Soylu, AKP Hükümeti İçişleri Bakanı

Süleyman Soylu, özellikle 15 Temmuz 2016 sonrası emri altındaki emniyet personeline verdiği talimatlar ve sistematik hale gelen işkence suçunun sorumlusu olduğu gerekçesiyle hakkında çok sayıda ‘işkenceye azmettirmek’ ve ‘Anayasayı ihlal’ suçlarından suç duyuruları yapılmış ve soruşturma açılmıştır. Özellikle gözaltında işkence sonucu ölümler ve yaralanmalarla ilgili yapılan suç duyurularının başında 1 numaralı şüpheli olarak Bakan Süleyman Soylu’nun adı geçmektedir. Bakan Soylu’nun verdiği demeçlerde polislere şiddet kullanmaları yönünde telkinlerde bulunması dikkat çekicidir. 

Soylu, PKK’ya yönelik operasyonlara katılan güvenlik güçlerine yargılanma hakkı bile tanımadan şiddet uygulanması emri veriyor. Soylu, bir operasyonla ilgili, “Bölge komutanını aradım. ‘Bulunca lime lime edin’ diye talimat verdim. Etkisiz hale getirilen teröristlerin fotoğraflarını pek paylaşmayız ama ibret olsun diye bunların resimlerini paylaşacağız” demiştir. 31 Ağustos 2016’da İçişleri Bakanlığı görevine getirilen Soylu’nun tavrı ve benzeri açıklamaları nedeniyle Türkiye genelinde yapılan bazı operasyonlarda işkence görüntüleri, “ibret olsun” diye yayınlanmıştır.

Görüntüde yer alan 3 köylü bir operasyon kapsamında Van’ın Gevaş ilçesinde mantar toplarken ‘terörist’ olmakla suçlanıp gözaltına alınmış ve Gevaş İlçe Emniyet Müdürlüğü’nde işkenceye maruz kalmıştır. Gözaltındaki kişilerden 3 çocuk babası Cemal Aslan’ın maruz kaldığı işkence sonucu burnu ve kaburgaları kırılmış ve bir kulağının zarının patlamıştır. Görüntüler güvenlik güçleri tarafından sosyal medyada yayınlanmıştır. 3 köylü daha sonra suçsuz olduğu anlaşılınca serbest bırakılmıştır.

Masumiyet karinesi hiçe sayılarak yargısız infaza ve işkenceye maruz kalan köylülerin görüntüleri sosyal medyada özellikle işkenceyi savunan AKP’li gazeteciler tarafından da teşhir edilmiştir. AKP’li gazeteci Fatih Tezcan da fotoğrafları paylaşarak, “Van Gevaş Emniyet Müdürlüğü’ne roket atan şahıs yakalandı. Bırakın kendimi öldüreyim diye ağlayıp kafasını duvarlara vururken görüyorsunuz” şeklinde tweet atmıştı. Tezcan, köylüler serbest kaldıktan sonra “Bu insanların terörist değil, masum siviller olduğu anlaşıldı ve serbest bırakıldılar.” diyerek özür dilemiştir. İşkence gören Cemal Aslan, Abdulselam Aslan ve Halil Aslan’ın avukatı Servet Haznedar, müvekkillerine karşı işlenen “işkence, hakaret, görevi kötüye kullanma ile mala zarar verme” suçlarından dolayı Gevaş Cumhuriyet Başsavcılığı’na 17 sayfadan oluşan bir dilekçe ile suç duyurusunda bulunmuştur. Haziran 2020’de Erzurum Bölge Adliye Mahkemesi 7. Ağır Ceza Dairesi’nde sonuçlanan davada sadece bir polis (O.Ş.) köylülere işkence yapmak suçundan yargılanmış ve sadece 3 bin TL para cezasına çarptırılmıştır. Bu ceza da uygulanmayıp ertelenmiştir.

İşkence gören Aykut beraat etti

AKP’li İçişleri Bakanı Süleyman Soylu’nun henüz yargı önüne çıkmamış, savunması dahi alınmamış kişeler ile ilgili masumiyet karinesi çiğnenerek terör suçu işlemekle suçlanan kişilerden biri de Abdi Aykut’tur. Mardin’in Nusaybin ilçesine bağlı Kuruköy’de 11 Şubat – 2 Mart 2017 tarihleri arasında ilan edilen sokağa çıkma yasağı sırasında gözaltına alınan ikisi çocuk toplam 39 kişiden biri de Abdi Aykut’tu. Kendisinden uzun süre haber alınamayan Aykut’un işkence görmüş şekildeki fotoğrafları basına yansımıştır. İçişleri Bakanı Süleyman Soylu, TBMM (Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi) Genel Kurulu’na taşınan olay ve fotoğraf için, “Hukuk devletinin dışında bir şey yapılmıyor. O yaşlı adam teröre ev sahipliği yapıyor” diyerek işkenceyi savunmuş Aykut’u yargısız infaz etmiştir. Terör suçundan Mardin 3’üncü Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde yargılanan Aykut’un, “Üzerine atılı suçu işlediğine dair her türlü şüpheden uzak, kesin ve inandırıcı delil elde edilemediği anlaşılmakla CMK’nin 223/2-e bendi uyarınca müsnet suçtan beraatına” karar verilmiştir. Söz konusu kararın ardından, 7 kişi “haksız tutukluluk” gerekçesiyle Mardin İdare Mahkemesi’ne başvurarak, İçişleri Bakanlığı hakkında tazminat davası açmıştır.

İçişleri Bakanı Soylu, Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı’nda düzenlenen ’Genel Güvenlik ve Uyuşturucu ile Mücadele Toplantısı’nda söylediği; “…O uyuşturucu satıcısının ayağını kırmaya polis görevlidir. Benim ülkemin gencinin canına mal olacak bir kişiye gereğini yerine getirmek görevidir. Suçunu bana atsın… Ben bir buçuk yıldır bu talimatı veriyorum arkadaşlara. Bulduğunuz zaman gereğini yerine getirin” sözleriyle de açıkça işkence suçuna teşvik ettiği gerekçesiyle İstanbul Barosu tarafından hakkında suç duyurusunda bulunulmuştur.

İstanbul Barosu Avukatı Atilla Özen, Ankara Cumhuriyet Başsavcılığı’na yapılan suç duyurusunda Soylu’nun açıkça 5237 sayılı Türk Ceza Kanunu’nun 214/ 1 maddesindeki suç işlemek için alenen tahrikte bulunmak” suçunu işlediğini belirtmiştir. Suç duyurusunda, “Soylu’nun bu tahrikine kapılıp ayak kıran polis olursa Türk Ceza Kanunu’nun 94. maddesindeki ‘işkence suçunu’ işlemiş olur ve İçişleri Bakanı da bu taktirde yalnızca suç işlemekle alenen tahrik suçundan değil, ayrıca ‘işkence suçuna azmettirmekten’ de Türk Ceza Kanunun 214/3 maddesi gereğince cezalandırılır.” Denilmektedir. 

Antalya Baro Başkanı Polat Balkan ve polisler tarafından darp edilerek yaralanan Gaziantep Baro Başkanı Bektaş Şarklı da İçişleri Bakanı Süleyman Soylu, Ankara Valisi Vasip Şahin, Ankara Emniyet Müdürü Servet Yılmaz ve kolluk görevlileri hakkında, “kasten yaralama”, “kişiyi hürriyetinden yoksun bıraktıkları, işkence ve kötü muamelede bulundukları” gerekçeleriyle Ankara Cumhuriyet Başsavcılığı’na suç duyurusunda bulunmuştur. Baro başkanları Ankara’ya girişleri sırasında Soylu’nun talimatı üzerine engellenerek darp edilmeleri üzerine Şarklı yaralanmıştır.

Diğer taraftan gözaltında kaybedilen veya güvenlik birimlerince kaçırıldıktan haber alınamayan yakınlarını bulmak için oluşturulan ‘Cumartesi Anneleri’ platformu ve İHD (İnsan Hakları Derneği) de Süleyman Soylu hakkında işkence suçunu işlediği gerekçesiyle suç duyurusunda bulunulmuştur. Yakınlarını arayanlar anayasal hakları kapsamında gösteri ve basın açıklaması yaparken polis tarafından orantısız güç kullanılarak darp edilmişlerdir. 

Hakan Fidan, MİT Müsteşarı

AST raportörleri daha önce hazırladıkları raporlarda, MİT tarafından kaçırılan ve yasadışı sorgularda aylarca işkence gören mağdurların ifadelerine yer vermiştir. Mağdurlar işkencecilerinin eşkâllerini vermekle birlikte bu memurların asıl sorumlusu Müsteşar Hakan Fidan hakkında işkence suçlamasıyla uluslararası mahkemelere verilmek üzere suç duyuruları hazırlamıştır.

Mehmet Metiner, dönemin TBMM Cezaevi Alt Komisyonu Başkanı 

AKP’li Mehmet Metiner, özellikle 15 Temmuz 2016 sonrasında artan işkence ve kötü muamele iddiaları ile ilgili vahim bir açıklama yaparak hükümetin insan hakları konusundaki vahim tavrına tercüman olmuştur. Dönemin TBMM Cezaevi Alt Komisyonu Başkanı Metiner özellikle de Hizmet Hareketi mensuplarına yönelik soruşturmalarda tutuklananları ziyaret etmeyeceklerini, onlarla ilgili cezaevlerinden gelen işkence ve kötü muamele iddiaları konusunda inceleme ve araştırma yapmayacaklarını açıklamıştır.

Metiner, “Hiç kimse FETÖ’cü teröristler üzerinden siyasi propaganda yapmaya kalkmasın. Onlar mağdur edilen değil, mağdur edenlerdir” demiştir. Oysa komisyonun görevi tutukluların ve mahkûmların dinine, diline, ırkına, siyasi görüşüne, toplumsal statüsüne, işlediği suça bakılmaksızın cezaevindeki koşullarını ve şartları incelemektedir. Metiner’in açıklaması muhalefet partileri tarafından kınanmıştır.

Ali Baştürk, Emniyet Genel Müdür Yardımcısı Vekili 

Emniyet Genel Müdürlüğü Mülkiye Başmüfettişi ve Emniyet Genel Müdür Yardımcısı Vekili Ali Baştürk imzasıyla “Gizli” olarak 81 ildeki tüm birimlere gönderilen talimat yazısında, Avrupa Konseyi İşkence ve Kötü Muameleyi Önleme Komitesi’nin (CPT) spontane ziyaret gerçekleştirebileceği, bu yüzden de gözaltı yerlerinin uygun hale getirilmesi, kötü muamele görüntülerinin heyete yansımaması istendi.

Talimat yazısında, darbe girişimi sonrasındaki operasyonlara ilişkin uluslararası kurum ve kuruluşlar tarafından yapılan açıklamalar ile uluslararası medya da çıkan haberler de hatırlatıldı. Emniyet’in “Gizli” ibareli talimatı şöyle:

25/08/2016 tarihinde Dışişleri Bakanlığında gerçekleştirilen “Koordinasyon Toplantısı”nda Avrupa İşkencenin Önlenmesi Komitesi’nin 28/08-06/09/2016 tarihleri arasında ülkemize bir ziyarette bulunacağı ve ziyaret esnasında ise ülkemiz genelinde herhangi bir gözaltı merkezine spontane olarak ziyaretler gerçekleştirebileceği hususu belirtilmiştir.

Bu kapsamda gözaltı birimi olarak spor tesisleri vb. yerlerin mümkün olduğunca kullanılmamasına özen gösterilmesi, gözaltı iş ve işlemlerinde mevcut yasal ve uluslararası standartlara göre hareket edilmesi ve bütün gözaltı birimlerini anılan ziyarete uygun hale getirecek düzenlemelerin ivedilikle yapılması hususunda gereğini rica ederim.” 

Eşref Aktaş, Trabzon Cumhuriyet Savcısı

15 Temmuz 2016 sonrası hükümet tarafından çıkarılan 667’nolu KHK ile devleti korumak bahanesiyle işlenen her türlü suç cezasız bırakıldı. Madde bir kısım yargı mensupları tarafından işkenceciler hakkında dava açılmasına engel olarak yorumlandı ve Türkiye’nin çeşitli illerinde açılan işkence davaları reddedildi. KHK’lar gerekçe gösterilerek işkence mağdurlarının şikayetleriyle ilgili olarak kovuşturma yapılmamasına karar verildi.

Trabzon’da Hizmet Hareketi’ne yönelik soruşturma kapsamında tutuklanan Abdullah B., 2 aylık hamile eşi ile birlikte gözaltına alınmasının ardından darp edildiğini, kötü muamele ve tehdide maruz kaldığını gerekçe göstererek Trabzon Başsavcılığı’na şikayette bulundu. Savcı Eşref Aktaş, hükümetin çıkardığı “667 sayılı Kanun Hükmünde Kararname (KHK)’nin 9 Maddesi”ne atıfta bulunarak “kovuşturmaya yer olmadığı” kararı verdi.

Savcı Aktaş, KHK gereği polislerin görevlerinden dolayı cezai sorumluluklarının olmadığını ve yargılanamayacağına hükmetti. İşkence suçunun cezalandırılmayacağı anlamına gelen karar, bağımsız hukukçular tarafından ‘vahim’ bulundu ve tepki gösterildi. Aktaş, işkence suçunu örten kararıyla aynı zamanda işkence suçunu işleyen polislere cesaret verdi.

Oktay Kapsız, Emniyet Müdürü

Türkiye’de işkence suçunun cezasız kalması ve devletin işkencecileri korumasına yönelik örnek olaylardan birisi de Emniyet Müdürü Oktay Kapsız davasıdır. İstanbul Asayiş Şube nezarethanesinde işkence yaparak Murat Konuş isimli zanlıyı gözaltında öldürdüğü tespit edilen ve mahkeme kararıyla da müebbet hapis cezasına çarptırılan Emniyet Müdürü Oktay Kapsız, tutuklanmadığı gibi görevlerine devam etmiştir. 

İşkenceyle ölüm olayının yaşandığı dönemde İstanbul Beşiktaş’ta komiser olarak görev yapan sanık polis Oktay Kapsız işkenceden yargılanmasına rağmen ilerleyen yıllarda 4. sınıf emniyet müdürlüğüne kadar yükselmiştir. Davanın karara bağlandığı 9 temmuz 2019’da Hakkari Çukurca Emniyet Müdürü olarak görev yapan Kapsız, İstanbul 2. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi tarafından ömür boyu hapis cezasına çarptırılmış olmasına rağmen karardan 4 ay sornra kasım ayında Muğla Emniyet Müdürlüğü’ne tayini çıkmıştır. İşkenceyle adam öldüren Kapsız görev yerine devlet töreniyle uğurlanmıştır.

Çukurca Kaymakamı Murat Öztürk, işkenceden müebbet hapis cezasına çarptırılan Oktay Kapsız’a teşekkür plaketi verdi, belediye başkanı ve komutanlar yemekte ağırladı.

İşkenceyle adam öldürmekten ömür boyu hapis cezası aldı fakat görevde

Murat Konuş, İstanbul Laleli’de 1 milyon 200 bin dolar paranın gasp edilmesiyle ilgili 2010 yılında 29 kişi ile birlikte gözaltına alınmıştı. Konuş, gözaltına alındıktan yaklaşık 3 saat sonra bir battaniye içerisinde polis merkezinden çıkarılarak hastaneye götürüldü. Bir saat sonra hastanede hayatını kaybetti. Otopsi raporunda Konuş’un gözaltında uğradığı işkence sonucu öldüğü belirlendi. Ölümüne kafasına aldığı ağır darbelerin neden olduğu ifade edildi. Raporun ardından 7 polis hakkında dava açıldı. Kısa bir süre tutuklu kalan polisler sonrasında serbest bırakıldı. Yargılamanın 9. yılında İstanbul 2. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi, 9 Temmuz 2019 tarihinde 4 polisi suçlu buldu. Tutuksuz yargılanan polisler Oktay Kapsız, Ramazan Adıgüzel, Murat Ertürk ve Abdülcelil Karadağ “işkence sonucu ölüme neden olma” suçundan ağırlaştırılmış müebbet hapis cezasına çarptırıldı. Ceza, indirim yapılarak müebbet hapse çevrildi. Sanıklara müebbet hapis cezası veren mahkeme heyeti, buna rağmen tutuklama kararı vermedi. Türkiye’de yerel mahkemeler, normal şartlarda basit suçlarda ve 2-3 yıl gibi verilen kısa süreli hapis cezalarında yüksek mahkeme olan Yargıtay’ın hükmü onamasını bekleyerek tutuklama kararı vermeyebilmektedir. Ancak insanlığa karşı işlenen en büyük suç olan işkence ile ölüm sonucu alınmış müebbet hapis cezası sonrasında bir sanığın tutuksuz yargılanması kabul edilebilir bir durum değildir. Polislerin yeniden cezaevine girmesi için üzerinden 10 yıl geçen işkence ile ölüm davasının Yargıtay tarafından onanması gerekiyor.

Konuş ailesinin avukatı Nuri Köse de karara şöyle tepki göstermiştir: “Murat Konuş’un emniyet görevlilerinin işkencesi sonucu öldüğü, kamera kayıtları, tanık beyanları, adli tıp raporları ile sabit olduğu halde, ne yazık ki yargılama yıllarca sonuçlandırılmamış, karar 9 Temmuz 2019 tarihinde verilebilmiştir. Suç böylesine sabit olmuşken dosyanın yıllarca karara bağlanmaması, ağırlaştırılmış müebbet cezası ile cezalandırılan dört sanık için takdiri indirim uygulanması, duruşmaya da katılmayan ve aldıkları müebbet hapis cezası nedeniyle kaçmaları muhakkak olan sanıkların hükümle birlikte tutuklanmalarına karar verilmemesi, ayrıca gözaltında işkence suçunun gizlenmesine yönelik eylemleri bulunanlar hakkında bir işlem yapılmaması yargılama sürecine ve kararın adil olmadığına ilişkin şüpheleri artırmaktadır.”

İşkenceci 4 polise disiplin cezası bile verilmemiştir. Mahkeme kararının ardından da İstanbul Emniyet Müdürlüğü bu kez de 4 polise zamanaşımı nedeniyle disiplin cezası verilemeyeceğini açıklamıştır. Ömür boyu hapis cezasına çarptırılan diğer 3 polis memuru da görevlerine devam etmiştir.

Muhsin Türkeş, polis memuru – Ahmet Gürbüz, Cumhuriyet Savcısı

Öğretmenlik yapan Eyüp Birinci, 24 Temmuz 2016’da Antalya Kaçakçılık ve Organize Suçlarla Mücadele (KOM) Şube Müdürlüğü polisleri tarafından gözaltına alındı. 29 Temmuz’da ise ameliyata alındı ve Birinci’nin ailesine haber verilmedi. Aile 2 Ağustos’ta Eyüp Birinci’nin Atatürk Hastanesinde 401 numaralı odada yattığını öğrendi. Hastane ziyareti sırasında Eyüp Birinci, ailesine bir hafta boyunca çırıl çıplak ıslatılıp dövüldüğünü anlattı. Aile savcılığa Antalya Emniyetindeki işkence yapan polis memurları ile ilgili şikayette bulundu. Ancak Savcı Ahmet Gürbüz bu dilekçeyi yirmi dört gün işleme almadı. Böylece ailenin Eyüp Birinci’den aldığı bilgiye göre işkence seansları hastane sonrasında da devam etti. Gözaltında yaklaşık bir ay işkence gören, makatına sokulan cisim nedeniyle bağırsakları yırtılan ve hastanede tedavi gören Eyüp Birinci, 24 Ağustos’ta savcı Ahmet Gürbüz’ün makamına getirildi. Eyüp Birinci savcıya verdiği ifadede polisin gözlerini bağladığını çırılçıplak soyduğunu yüzüne, ayaklarının altına, karnına vurarak, hayalarını sıktıklarını, ıslatılıp copla dövüldüğünü anlattı. Birinci, gözaltına alındığı gün sağlık kontrolünü yapan doktorun vücudundaki bulguları “basit, ciddi değil” diyerek görmezden geldiğini, ancak sonraki günlerde sorguda bayıldığının doktorun iç kanama teşhisi koyması üzerine hastaneye götürüldüğünü ve ameliyat edildiğini ifade etti.

Savcı Gürbüz, işkence iddialarını soruşturmadığı gibi örtbas ederek Birinci’yi tutuklamaya sevk etti. Cezaevinden ailesi aracılığıyla açıklama yapan Birinci, polis memuru Muhsin Türkeş ve ismini bilmediği diğer polislerin kendisine işkence yaptığını tekrarladı.

Eyüp Birinci’nin eşi bir haber sitesine verdiği mülakatta işkencenin detaylarını şöyle anlattı:Kalın gazete rulosu ile kinle, nefretle yüzüne gözüne kafasına vurmuşlar. Coplarını, ağzının içine sokmuşlar nefessiz kalıp çırpınıncaya kadar ağzında çevirmişler. Yüzünü gözünü ateş kırmızısına dönünceye kadar tokatlamışlar. Ağzından burnundan oluk oluk kan akıtmışlar. Nefesi kesilmesine rağmen Polis memuru Muhsin Türkeş ve ismini öğrenemediğimiz diğerleri sizi yaşadığınıza pişman edeceğiz” demişler, “Ya! Konuşacak. Ya! Öleceksiniz” diye devamlı tehdit etmişler. Dizlerinin üzerine yere çöktürmüş, “Antalya’da ne işin var” demişler. Arkadan liflerini koparırcasına baldırlarına vurmuşlar. Önden dizlerinin üzerine basıp basıp bağırtmışlar. Ayaklarının altını su toplayıncaya kadar coplamışlar. “Tırnaklarını sökeceğiz” demişler. Hayalarını sıkmışlar. Karını ve 9 yaşındaki kızını buraya getireceğiz. Onları çırıl çıplak yapacağız. Gözlerinin önünde!!!….Sonra geneleve götüreceğiz” diye tehdit etmişler. 

Halil İbrahim Dilek, TEM’den Sorumlu İl Emniyet Mdr. Yrd.
Berat Günçiçek
, TEM Şube Müdür Yardımcısı

Başkomiser Süleyman Akçin, Mersin Terörle Mücadele (TEM) ekipleri tarafından Hizmet Hareketi’ne yönelik soruşturma kapsamında gözaltına alındı ve 20 Temmuz 2016’da tutuklandı. Tarsus Cezaevi’nde bulunan Akçin iki günlük gözaltı sürecinde işkence gördüğünü açıkladı. Yaşadıklarını 20 Haziran 2017 tarihinde Mersin 7’nci Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’ndeki ilk duruşmadaki savunmasında anlattı.

Filistin askısına asılan Akçin, saatlerce fiziki ve psikolojik baskıya, işkenceye maruz kaldığını, darp edildiğini cop ile baldırlarına vurulduğunu aktarıyor. Akçin savunmasında işkenceye uğrayan diğer isimleri de anlatıyor: “Aynı odaya eli, ağzı, yüzü, üstü kanlar içerisinde Hasan Basri Dağdelen müdürü de getirdiler. Aynı işkenceye Hasan Basri’yi de dahil ettiler. İşkence olayları yaşanırken odada TEM’den Sorumlu İl Emniyet Mdr. Yrd. Halil İbrahim Dilek ve Tem Şb. Müd. Yrd. Berat Günçiçek de vardı. Zorla bazı evrakları imzalamamı istediler. Avukatla görüşmemi engellediler. Sürekli uykusuz bırakıldım. Nezarethanede daha sonra Hasan Basri’ye ait olduğunu öğrendiğim kanlı gömlek günlerce yerde bekletildi. Nezarethanede yan koğuşumuzda bayanlar, hatta bayan hâkim bile vardı.”

Yasin Demir, Eski Kırıkkale TEM Şube Müdürü 

Kırıkkale Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’de görülen 16 Şubat 2017 tarihli duruşmada yargılanan 48 şüpheliden bazıları TEM Şube Müdürü Yasin Demir’in başta olmak üzere bazı polislerden gördükleri ağır baskı ve işkenceyi anlattı. İşkence gören isimler Yasin Demir’in dışında kendilerine işkence yapan diğer polislerin sadece eşkâllerini verebildi. Öğretim üyesi Tıp Doktoru Erdem Ayyıldız’ın ağlayarak verdiği ifadeler tutanaklara şu şekilde geçti: “13 gün gözaltında işkence gördüm. Bunun bir haftası tek başıma kaldım. Beni dışarıya çıkamayacak sokağa çıkamayacak hale getirdiler. Bende unutulmayacak bir yara oluşturdular. Ben suçu kabul etmedim. Sorgu odasından aniden birisi benim arkama geçip tişörtümü başıma geçirdi, beni sürükleye sürükleye banyoya götürdüler. Banyoda beni çırılçıplak soydular bahçe hortumuyla beni yıkadılar, atletimle gözüm kapatılmıştı, kahkahalarla beni buz gibi suyla yıkadılar. Sıvı sabun ve cop istediler ve makatıma cop soktular. Artık orada tamam ne derseniz kabul dedim, bunu dedim zaman işkence etmeyi bıraktılar.” Şeklinde ifade verdi. Yargılanan isimlerden Harun Özdemir de gördüğü işkenceleri anlattı. Mahkeme tutanaklarında şu ifadeleri yer aldı: “Gözüm bağlıydı ve konuşacaksın lan dediler. Gözüm bağlı tuvaletlerin oraya götürdüler, ben bunu söylerken utanıyorum. Bana insanlık dışı muamele yaptılar zorla hakaret ederek üzerimdeki elbiseleri çıkardılar ben çıkarmak istemedikçe bana hakaretlerine devam ettiler. Soğuk suyla vücudumu ıslattılar, bu arada ben çırılçıplaktım gözlerim bağlıydı. Cop ile taciz ettiler. Daha sonra birisi testislerimi sıkmaya başladı. Öyle ki gözüm karardı, öleceğimi sandım.”

‘Keşke beni öldürselerdi’

Okul müdürü Harun Kobalay yargılama sırasında maruz kaldığı işkencenin detaylarını anlattı. Duruşma tutanaklarında şu ifadeler yer alıyor: “Ben 31 Ekim 2016 tarihinde Aydın Nazilli’de gözaltına alındım. Polislere niçin aldığımı sordum hiçbir şey söylemediler ne iş yapıyorsun dediler. Donunu indir dediler, indirdim ve seninle çok özel ilgileneceğiz dediler. Gözlerim kapatıldı ellerim

kelepçelendi. O odadan çıkartılarak, tuvaletin karşısındaki odaya götürüldüm. Saat 17:30 civarıydı, oraya vardığımda, önce sadece pantolonumu çıkarmışlardı, oraya vardığımda bütün elbiselerim iç çamaşırlarım dahil herşeyi çıkardılar. Ben yapmayım lütfen dedim. Gözlerim kapalı, ellerim kelepçeli, bağırdım, sesim çıkmadı, ağzım bezle bağlandı, çırılçıplak vaziyette karşıdaki banyoya götürüldüm. Soğuk su vücudumun her yerine sıkıldı. Özellikle cinsel organlarıma sıkıldı. Halen daha ağrıyor acı çekiyorum. Tedavi olmak istiyorum, çünkü testislerim halen ağrıyor. Vücudumun her yeriyle oynadılar, makatımdan da bir şey yaptılar ancak ne yaptıklarını bilmiyorum. Keşke beni öldürselerdi de böyle bir şey yapmasalardı. Bir saate kadar kaldım, sonra dediler ki bana eşini de getireceğiz ona da aynı şeyi yapacağız dediler. Yıkıldım, (bu sırada sanık bunları ağlayarak anlatmaya başladı) çünkü benim dünyadaki tek varlığım eşim ve üç çocuğumdur. Bunun üzerine odaya aldılar, benim yapmam gerekeni projelendirdiler, orda anlattılar. 

Hastaneye vardığımda ben tir tir titriyordum, doktora olan bitenleri anlatmaya çalıştım yanımdaki polisler anlattırmadılar. İkinci kez doktora gittiğimde işkenceye maruz kaldığımı söyledim. Kendisi bana yüzünde işkence yok vs. gibi şeyler söyledi ve bir tane iğne vurdular. İşkence, tehdit, ızdırap vs gibi kelimeler benim derdimi anlatmaya yetmez. Ben şu anda insan olduğumdan utanıyorum (sanık bu anlatımları sırasında ağlamaya devam etti).”

Birçok sanık tarafından Kırıkkale Emniyet Müdürlüğü’nde işkence yaptığı anlatılan ve hakkında suç duyurusunda bulunulan Yasin Demir, 21 Nisan 2017 tarihinde Sudan BM Polis Misyonunda görevlendirilmiştir.

Gökhan Karagöz ve Okan Çakıroğlu- Zonguldak Emniyet Müdürlüğü 

Zonguldak 2. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde görülen davanın 5 Ekim 2017 tarihli duruşmasında yargılanan şüpheliler gördükleri işkenceleri anlattı. Duruşma tutanaklarına giren ifadelere göre; insanlık dışı muamele gördüğünü belirten Kubilay G., “14 gün boyunca yerde beton ve battaniye üzerinde yatırıldım. Romatizma hastasıyım, ilaçlarım verilmedi. Ağrılarım için iğne vurulma talebim reddedildi. Her gün gitmemiz gereken sağlık kontrolüne götürülmedik. Sıcaktan ve havasızlıktan bunalmamız sağlandı. Psikolojik işkence yaptılar. Nezarethanedeki kamera kayıtlarının istenmesi için dilekçeler yazdım ve Anayasa Mahkemesine bireysel başvuru yaptım” şeklinde savunma yaptı. 

Öğretmen T.A.’nın ise mahkeme tutanaklarına giren savunmasında şu ifadeler yer alıyor; “Ellerim kelepçeli olduğu halde gözlerimi kapatıp işkence yaptılar. Yüzümü yumrukladılar. Beni öldüreceklerini ve hainler mezarlığına gömeceklerini söylediler. Aynı işkencelerin eşime de yapılacağını söylediler. Daha sonra şuurumu kaybettim ve gözlerimi açtığımda Bülent Ecevit Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi’nin bir odasında ellerim kelepçeli bir sedyeye bağlı haldeydim. Sağıma soluma dönemiyordum. Sabaha kadar hastadene kaldıktan sonra yeniden nezarethaneye götürdüler. 28 gün gözaltında işkence gördüm. Hastane’deki tedavime ilişkin kayıtlar bana verilmedi.” Sanıklardan Ö.K. ise darp edildiklerini ve ifadelerin altına zorla imza attırıldığını açıkladı. Yargılanan şüpheliler, kendilerine işkence yapan polisler arasında özellikle Zonguldak İl Emniyet Müdür yardımcısı Gökhan Karagöz ve Okan Çakıroğlu’nun isimlerini verdi. Bu kişilerin, istenilen bilgilerin verilmemesi halinde sık sık işkencenin dozunun artacağını söylediklerini anlattılar. Diğer işkenceci polislerin ise sadece eşkallerini verebildiler.

Tahir Darbazoğlu, Ankara Emniyet Amiri

Ankara 17. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesinin 20.11.2017 tarihli duruşma tutanağına giren ifadelerde yargılanan şüpheliler kendilerine yapılan işkenceleri detaylı bir şekilde anlatırken işkenceci polis Ankara İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü TEM Şube polis amiri Tahir Darbazoğlu’nu da teşhis ettiler. Beştepe’deki spor salonu ve Sincan Cezaevi yerleşkesindeki çadırda tutulan 11 şüphelinin ayrı ayrı teşhis ettiği Darbazoğlu’nun kendisini Azrail olarak tanıttığı, işkencelere bizzat katıldığı, işkence emirleri verdiği ve diğer polisleri de işkence yapmaları için tehdit ettiği mahkeme kayıtlarına geçti. Mağdurların anlatımlarına göre; Darbazoğlu, sadece günlerce süren işkence seanslarının emrini vermekle kalmadı, aynı zamanda kendisi de bizzat işkence yaptı. Ağır yaralanmalara varan dayak, kurbanların iç çamaşırları çıkarılarak taciz, bir kaç gün aç ve susuz bırakma, uzun saatler stresli pozisyonlarda bırakılma, tuvalet ihtiyaçlarının engellenmesi, elektrik verme gibi eylemlerden sorumlu tutuldu. Gözaltında işkence gören Binbaşı Emrah Ilgaz ve Yüzbaşı Sadık Kazancı ile birlikte 16 mağdur Darbazoğlundan şikayetçi oldu.

Elif Sümercan, Ankara TEM Şube Amir Yardımcısı

15 Temmuz sonrası gözaltında en ağır işkence gören isimlerden biri de eski Eski Hava Kuvvetleri Komutanı ve Yüksek Askeri Şura üyesi Orgeneral Akın Öztürk’tü. Kulağı kesik ve darp edilmiş şekilde devletin resmi haber ajansı Anadolu Ajansı ve resmi televizyon kanalı TRT’de görüntüleri yayınlanan Öztürk’ün gördüğü işkenceleri özellikle o sırada gözaltında bulunan görgü tanıkları detaylı bir şekilde basın yayın kuruluşlarına anlattı.

Akın Öztürk’ün de aralarında bulunduğu üst düzey subayların, çırılçıplak vaziyette saatlerce dövüldüğünü ağır işkence gördüğü anlatıldı. İşkencecilerden birinin “Elif” isminde kadın polis olduğunu bunun da Akın Öztürk’e saatler boyu ağır işkence yapıldığı sırada bir polisin dayanmayıp “Yeter Elif” demesi üzerine ortaya çıktığı açıklandı.

AST raportörlerinin tespitlerine göre Akın Öztürk’ün işkence gördüğü tarihlerde iki ayrı sevk tutanağına imza atan polis memuru Elif’in kimliği deşifre oldu. Olayların yaşadığı gün sevk edilen şüphelilerle ilgili Olay Yeri İnceleme Şube Müdürlüğü’ne yazılan iki tutanak dava dosyasına girdi. Elif olarak belirtilen kişinin işkenceci TEM şube polisinin Elif Sümercan olduğu anlaşıldı. Sümercan’ın daha sonra terfi ettiği ve son olarak da Kültür Bakanlığı’nda Daire Başkanlığı görevine getirildiği belirtiliyor. İşkence yaptığı belirtilen Elif Sümercan ile ilgili bir başka bilgi de dikkat çekicidir. Kocası Mustafa Murat Sümercan ise, Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’ın olaylı ABD ziyareti sırasında sivilleri darp eden polisler arasında olduğu tespit edilmiş ve ABD tarafından hakkında yakalama kararı çıkarılarak arananlar listesine girmiştir.

Akın Öztürk’e işkence yaptığı belirlenen bir diğer isim de kendisini Hakan Öztunç olarak tanıtan polis memurudur. Yüzbaşı Hakan Güler, 02.01.2018 tarihinde yargılandığı mahkemede verdiği ifadesinde şöyle demiştir: “TEM’de şahit olduğum bir vakayı arz ediyorum. Hakan Öztunç adında bir polis memuru kendisi bağırıyordu ben Hakan Öztunç diye. Orgeneral Akın Öztürk’e işkence yapıyordu Akın Öztürk’ün kulağını kesti.”

Hacı Murat Dinçer, Şırnak Eski TEM Müdürü

Şırnak Eski TEM müdürü Hacı Murat Dinçer, emrindeki polislere Şırnak’ın Dicle İlçesinde ağır yaralı halde yakalanan Hacı Lokman Birlik’in polis zırhlı aracı arkasına bağlatılarak ilçe içinde sürükletilmesi talimatı verdiği belirlendi. Yapılan suç duyuruları üzerine ortaya çıkan telsiz konuşmaları ve deliller üzerine açıklama yapan HDP Şırnak Milletvekili Leyla Birlik, Hacı Lokman Birlik’i katleden ve bedenini zırhlı aracın arkasına bağlayarak sürükleyen polislere emri veren kişinin Şırnak’ta TEM Şube Müdürü olarak görevini yürüten Hacı Murat Dinçer olduğunu açıkladı. Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP), ayrıca işkence eyleminin içinde bulunan 6 polis memuru ile sorumlulukları bulunan İçişleri eski Bakanı Selami Altınok, dönemin Şırnak Valisi Ali İhsan Su ve dönemin Şırnak Emniyet Müdürü Celal Sel hakkında suç duyurusunda bulundu. Birlik ailesi avukatları ise, Birlik’i işkenceyle öldüren polisler hakkında “Kasten öldürmek”, zırhlı araçla sürükleyenler hakkında “Kişinin hatırasına hakaret etmek” ve “Görevi kötüye kullanmak”, olayı gören diğer polisler hakkında ise “İşlenen suçu bildirmemek”, “Suç işlemek amacıyla örgüt kurmak” suçlarını işledikleri gerekçesiyle suç duyurusunda bulundu. 

Türkiye İnsan Hakları Vakfı tarafından hazırlanan raporlarda Birlik’in akrep adı verilen polis aracının arkasında sürüklenirken yaralı halde olduğu ve daha sonra yaşamını yitirdiği belirtildi. Yaralı Birlik’in sürüklenmek suretiyle öldürülmesinden sorumlu tutulan ve hakkında suç duyuruları yapılan, Murat Dinçer, 7 Nisan 2016’da Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Cumhurbaşkanı ve AKP lideri Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’ın elinden başarı plaketi alan 10 polisten biriydi. Dinçer 2018’de emekliliğini istedikten sonra AKP üyesi ve milletvekili aday adayı oldu. 

Ekrem Gönül, Ankara İl Emn. Müd. Güvenlik Şube Müdür Yard. 

Sayıştaydan emekli yargıç (Hakim) 77 yaşındaki Perihan Pulat’ın 1 Mayıs 2018’de “İşçi Bayramı” nedeniyle düzenlenen gösteri sırasında Ankara Emniyet Müdürlüğü Güvenlik Şube Müdür Yardımcısı Ekrem Gönül tarafından darp edilerek işkenceye maruz kalmıştır. TİHV tarafından hazırlanan raporda sanık polis tarafından gerçekleştirilen eylemin insan onuruna yakışmayan işkence düzeyinde kötü bir muamele olduğunu vurgulanmıştır. Ankara 14. Asliye Ceza Mahkemesi tarafından hakkında yakalama kararı çıkarılan Gönül 3 bin TL adli para cezasına çarptırılmış ve mesleğine devam etmiştir.

Mahmut Çaça, Tarsus T Tipi Kadın Kapalı Cezaevi 2. Müdürü

Mersin Tarsus İlçesi T Tipi Kapalı Kadın Cezaevi’nde işkence eylemleri, HDP Ağrı Milletvekili Dilan Dirayet Taşdemir tarafından TBMM gündemine taşındı. Taşdemir yaptığı açıklamada , “Avukatlardan alınan bilgiler, 56 kadın mahkûm saçlarından sürüklenip darp edilerek, tecavüzle tehdit edilerek, cinsel şiddete maruz kaldığını ortaya koymaktadır” dedi. Cezaevi’nde kalan kadın mahkumlara işkence ve kötü muamelede bulunulduğu iddialarına ilişkin Adalet Bakanı Abdülhamit Gül’ün yanıtlaması istemiyle verilen soru önergesinde, özellikle işkence yaptığı belirlenen Tarsus T Tipi Cezaevi Müdürü Mahmut Çaça’nın, 1996 yılında 11 siyasi tutuklunun yaşamını yitirdiği, 24’ünün yaralandığı katliamda Diyarbakır E Tipi Cezaevi’nde ikinci müdür olarak görev yaptığı bilgisi paylaşıldı. Ceza ve Tevkif Evleri Genel Müdürü Enis Yavuz Yıldırım’ın ise işkence iddialarını örtbas ederek işlem yapmadığı açıklandı. 

İnsan Hakları Derneği’nin (İHD), Tarsus Kadın Kapalı Cezaevi’ndeki hak ihlalleriyle ilgili hazırladığı raporda tutuklu ve mahkumlardan Evin Şahin, Fadime Demir, Selvi Yılan, Yıldız Gemicioğlu, Helin Kaya’nın yaşadığı işkenceler detaylı şekilde anlatıldı. İHD suç duyurusunda bulunarak görevlilerin cezalandırılmasını istedi.

Volkan Akkuş ve Özgür Kutlu, Manisa Cezaevi gardiyanları

Manisa T Tipi Cezaevi’nde tutuklu 57 yaşındaki Ercivan Özcan zatürre hastalığıyla mücadele ederken, gardiyanlar tarafından darp edildi ve sol kolu omuzdan dirseğe kadar parçalandı.  Kolu kırıldıktan sonra ayrı bir cezalandırma yöntemi olarak hastaneye gönderilmeyen Özcan, koğuşta bilincini kaybetti. 2,5 saat sonra kolunun bütünüyle simsiyah olması ve şişmesi sonrası koğuşta bulunan iki doktor ve eczacıların ısrarlı talebi üzerine Özcan Manisa Devlet Hastanesi’ne sevkedildi. Özcan, taburcu olup cezaevine döndükten sonra, cezaevi yönetiminin baskısına rağmen dava açtı. Deliller ve raporlar ışığında mahkeme, 13 Mayıs 2019’da iki gardiyanı suçlu buldu. İşkence yapan gardiyanlar Volkan Akkuş ve Özgür Kutlu 5’er yıl hapis cezasına çarptırıldı. 

Manisa Devlet Hastanesi’nin Adli Raporu’na göre Özcan’ın darp nedeniyle kolu omuz ve diskek arasında çoklu biçimde kırıldı, hayati fonksiyonlarını etkileyecek ağır ve ömür boyu kalıcı hasarlar oluştu. Zatürre nedeniyle ciğerleri kötü durumda olan Özcan, hayati tehlike gerekçesiyle ameliyata alınamadı. Kolundan sürekli kan alınan Özcan ancak sekizinci günün sonunda ameliyat edildi.

Zekai Aksakallı, Genelkurmay ÖKK Komutanı 

Ankara 14. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde görülen 33’ü tutuklu 67 sanıklı davada dinlenen tanıklar, Zekai Aksakallı’nın askerlere yaptığı işkenceyi gördüklerini açıkladı. Tanık Astsubay üstçavuş Ömer Özdemir karargâhta gördüklerine şöyle anlattı: “Domuz bağı ile bağlanan, başına poşet geçirilenler vardı. Zekai Aksakallı’nın Ümit Bak’a küfrettiğini duydum, ‘içeri girdiğinde karınızı birileri şaapacak’ diye. Zekai Paşa’nın diğer personeli tekmelediğini, bunlar götürülürken Volkan Vural Bal’ın da yumrukladığını gördüm. …Bir yarbayımıza elektrik verildiğini gördüm Sanıklardan Sezgin Güney de işkence iddialarına ilişkin sorular yöneltince tartışma yaşandı. Mahkeme Başkanı Bayram Kantık bunun davanın konusu olmadığını ileri sürerek tutuklu sanıkların konuşmalarını engelledi.

Ankara 24. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesinde yargılanan subay eşinin davasında 18 Nisan 2018 tarihinde tanık olarak ifade veren Genelkurmay Protokol subayı Üsteğmen Kübra Yavuz da Özel Kuvvetler Komutanı Tümgeneral Zekai Aksakallı ve Kara Kuvvetleri Komutanlığı’ndan Tümgeneral İrfan Özsert’ten işkence gördüğünü anlattı. “Bir kadın olarak sağ çıkabileceğimi düşünmedim. 10 gün sonra Genelkurmay Karargâhı içinde Zekai Aksakallı ve İrfan Özsert tarafından ölüm tehdidi altında ifadem alındı. Genelkurmay poligonunda 2 gün ölüm tehdidi ve şiddete maruz kaldım. Genelkurmay poligonu içinde ellerimiz, gözlerimiz bağlı elektrik verilerek, dövülerek, 2 gün aç bırakıldık. Tuvalete giderken erkek personel kapıyı açık tutup, nezaret ediyordu. 2 saatte bir alınıp, ‘Bu yetersiz biraz daha bir şeyler söyle’ dediler. Gidip gelirken, işkence görenleri görüyordum. İfademi alanların üstünde kan vardı. Bu şartlarda ifade verdim.”

Pilot Binbaşı Mehmet Sağlam da Ankara 13. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesinde yargılandığı davada kendisine 2 gün işkence yaptıran Özel Kuvvetler Komutanı Tümgeneral Zekai Aksakallı ve Özel Hava Alay Komutanı Albay Ümit Tatan’dan şikayetçi oldu. Aynı davada işkence gördüğünü anlatan Binbaşı Hüseyin Çakıroğlu da Aksakallı ve Tatan’dan şikayetçi oldu.

Cem Karaca, Mahkeme Başkanı- Fatih Karakuş, Başsavcı Vekili 

İstanbul 14. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nin Silivri Cezaevi yerleşkesinde bulunan duruşma salonunda tutuklu 24 sanığın yargılandığı davada, mahkeme başkanı sanıkların işkence gördüklerine yönelik ifadelerini tutanağa geçirmedi. Duruşma savcısı da işkence gördüğünü ileri süren tutukluları konuşturmadı. Yargılanan 47’nci Motorize Piyade Alay Komutanı olan Kurmay Albay Sadık Cebeci’nin gözaltı sürecinde işkence gördüğünü iddia etmesi üzerine Mahkeme Başkanı Cem Karaca sözünü kesti. Hakim Karaca, işkence iddialarını tutanağa geçirmek yerine işkencenin anlatılmaması için Albay Cebeci’yi uyardı. Cebeci’nin savunma hakkına devam etmek istemesi üzeine Hakim Karaca tekrar sözünü kesip “Burada sana işkence yapan polisleri yargılamıyoruz. Bunlar senin savunmana tesir edecek konular değildir. O kısımları atlayın sadece size yöneltilen iddialara cevap verin” dedi. Başsavcıvekili Fatih Karakuş da Albay Cebeci’nin işkence iddialarını anlatmaması için devreye girdi. “İşkence altında ifade verdiğini söyleyerek bu davanın AİHM’den döneceğini düşünüyorsan yanılıyorsun” dedi. 

Cem Küçük, Fuat Uğur – Gazeteciler

İktidara yakınlığıyla bilinen, gazeteciler Cem Küçük ve Fuat Uğur TGRT isimli TV kanalında birlikte yaptıkları Medya Kritik programında, 15 Temmuz darbe girişimi soruşturması kapsamında yargılananların ‘konuşturulması’ için infaz ve işkence yöntemleri uygulanması gerektiğini savunmuşlardır.

Cem Küçük şöyle demiştir: “17/25 oldu diyelim İsrail’e yaptılar, olabilir. Dünyanın her yerinde her gün 15-20 toplu ölüm duyardık, trafik kazası, intihar etti, toplu intihar etti, uyuşturucuyu fazla basmış, aşırı alkolden gitti, dayanamadı köprüden atladı. Bir sürü gerekçe bulurlar. Burada da şimdi bunlara acıma, bütün yöntemleri düşünmelisin. Ya elimizde çok kritik üç-dört tane FETÖ’cü var. Ali Fuat Yılmazer, Mehmet Partigöç, Alaaddin Kaya. Ya şu adamları bir konuştursanıza. Bunlar bir sürü şey biliyor. Bizim savcı şöyle; oturuyor, ‘Fuatçığım hoş geldin. Adın, soyadın…’ mesela diyor. Nerede görev yaptın, bu işi sen mi yaptın? Hayır diyor. Böyle diyor mesela. Kardeşim başka türlü de konuşturma teknikleri var. Sallandır camdan aşağıya.”

Yapılan açıklamaların ardından Diyarbakır Barosu, açıkça işkence çağrısında bulundukları gerekçesiyle Cem Küçük ve Fuat Uğur hakkında Cumhuriyet Başsavcılığı’na suç duyurusunda bulundu. Gazetecilerin “Suç işlemeye tahrik ve suçu övme” suçunu işledikleri ve 5 yıla kadar hapisle cezalandırılmaları gerektiği savunuldu. Baronun İnsan Hakları Komisyonu üyesi Aydın Özdemir, Küçük ve Uğur’un açıklamalarına, “Alenen işkence suçu meşru gösterilmiş, işkencenin yöntemleri dahi belirtilerek, gözaltında kalan bir kısım şüphelinin işkenceden geçirilmesi yolu gösterilmiştir. İşkence, hiçbir zaman sınırlanamayacak, meşru gösterilemeyecek bir suçtur. Uluslararası ve iç hukukumuzda, OHAL’de bile işlenemeyecek bir suç türüdür” dedi.

Emre Soylu, MHP’li Danışman

MHP Mersin Milletvekili Olcay Kılavuz’un danışmanı Emre Soylu, Diyarbakır Bağlar ilçesinde bir polisin öldürülmesinden sorumlu tutularak gözaltına alınan M.E.C.’nin emniyette işkence gördüğüne dair fotoğrafları yayınladı. Soylu, sosyal medya hesabı üzerinden işkenceyi överek, “Kahraman #Polis memurumuz #AtakanArslan’ ı şehit eden it M.E.C. isimli hain #Diyarbakır Emniyet’in şefkatli kollarında.” Şeklinde paylaşımda bulundu.

Özgürlük İçin Hukukçular Derneği (ÖHD) Diyarbakır Şubesi, Soylu hakkında Diyarbakır Cumhuriyet Başsavcılığı’na suç duyurusunda bulundu. ÖHD, danışman Emre Soylu hakkında “suç işlemeye tahrik”, “suçu bildirmeme”, ve “adil yargılamayı etkilemeye teşebbüs” suçlarından kamu davası açılmasını talep etti. Soruşturma devam ediyor. 

Ali Türkşen, Erme Onat, emekli SAT Komandosu

İstanbul 23. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde tutuklu yargılanan Deniz Binbaşı Tahsin İşlekel ve Astsubay Metin Bircan, Beykoz SAT Komutanlığı’nda eski emekli albay Ali Türkşen, emekli Binbaşı Erme Onat ve Astsubay Bülent Kuru’dan işkence gördüklerini anlatarak şikayetçi oldular. Deniz binbaşı Tahsin İşlekel mahkeme tutanaklarına giren ifadesinde şunları anlattı: ‘Sabah 07:00 civarında Turhan albay içeriye girdi. Bana hitaben ‘arkadaşlar her şeyi itiraf edin, yoksa arkada bekleyen profesyonel bir ekip zayıf noktanızı tespit edip ya ağzınızı burnunu kırarak, veya ailenize zarar vererek sizi konuşturur’ dedi. Duyduklarım karşısında donup kaldım ve herhangi bir şey diyemedim. Arkadan o ekip içeri geldi. Bu ekipte emekli albay Ali Türkşen, emekli Binbaşı Erme Onat ve ismini Bülent Kuru olarak öğrendiğim astsubay içeri girdiler. Nizamiye astsubayını diğer odaya aldılar. Hiçbir şey sormadan ekip bana vurmaya başladı. İlk girdiklerinde Ali Türkşen, önce bana vurdu sonra da diğerlerinden müsade isteyerek resmi kıyafetlerimin rütbelerini eliyle söktü. ‘Bu şekilde konuşmamız daha uygun’ dedi. Sonra bir boş kağıt verdiler. ‘5 dakika sonra geleceğiz, kimler vardı yazacaksın, dolmamış olursa aileni rahatsız ederiz’ dediler. 

…Ali Türkşen albay bu kez elinde bıçakla geldi. Erme Onat’ın da elinde bıçak vardı. Erme bıçağı boynuma dayadı. Ali ise elimi bıçakla kanattı. Ben boynumdaki bıçağa müdahale etmeye çalıştım. Birkaç tur daha bu şekilde girip çıktılar. Emekli olduğunu düşündüğüm kıvırcık saçlı bir astsubay ile Ali Türkşen içeri girdi. Masada oturduğum yerden beni çağırdı. ‘Odanın ortasında çök’ dedi. Astsubay beni ellerimden ve ayaklarımdan bağladı. Ellerim ayaklarım arkadan bağlı domuz bağı beni yüz üstü yere yatırdılar. Bacağınızı oynattığınızda kolunuz, kolunuzu oynattığınızda bacağınız acıyacak şekilde bağladılar. Suratım yerdeydi. ‘Tuvalete de gidemez. Altına yapsın’ dediler. 17 Temmuz sabahı saat 07_00’de gözlerimizi ve ağzımızı bağladılar. Kafamızı duvarlara vurarak nizamiyeye götürdüler. Orada savcının gelmesini beklediklerini söylediler. 2 saat kadar orada bekledik. Nizamiyeye polis geldi. Gözlerimi açtılar. Beykoz ilçe emniyet müdürlüğüne götürdüler. Burada da özel harekat polisinin dayağına maruz kaldık. 2-3 gün sonra Çağlayan Adliyesine sevk edildim. Tutuklandım…”

Levent Bahadır, Deniz Yüzbaşı -Alper Korkmaz, Başkomiser

Tutuklanan SAT Komandosu Astsubay Murat Fırat, 7 Ocak 2020 tarihindeki duruşmada verdiği 55 sayfalık ifadesinde gözaltına alındıktan sonra gördüğü insanlık dışı muameleyi anlattı. 15 Temmuz’da gözaltına alınan Fırat’ın ifadeleriyle o dönem görevine dönen Balyoz ve Ergenekon gibi davaların sanıkları ile emekli askerlerin bizzat işkencelere katıldıkları mahkeme kayıtlarına geçti. Fırat, 17 Temmuz 2016’da SAT Komutanlığında, 17-18 Temmuz’da Beykoz İlçe Emniyet Müdürlüğü’nde, 18-20 Temmuz İstanbul Emniyet Müdürlüğü’nde 21 Temmuz’da da Silivri Cezevi’nde işkence gördüğünü ayrıntılarıyla anlattı. Fırat darbe girişiminden haberinin olmadığını 15 Temmuz’da gelen emirle terör saldırısı ihtimali üzerine gece vakti Akıncılar Üssü’ne götürüldüklerini ve nöbet tuttuğunu açıkladı.

İstanbul’da gözaltına alındıktan sonra kendilerine özel işkence yapılması için Beykoz Emniyet Müdürlüğü’nden Rambo lakaplı polisinin getirildiğini, ve bu kişinin tezahürat ve alkışlar eşliğinde işkence yaptığını söyledi. Murat Fırat’ın tutanaklara giren ifadesi şöyle; “Hastaneden darp raporu aldıktan sonra Beykoz İlçe Emniyet Müdürlüğü’ne götürüldük. Ellerimiz arkadan kelepçeli olduğu halde yere yatırıp işkence yaptılar. İçeri giren herkes küfür ediyor tekmeliyor, üzerimde tepiniyor tükürük, salya atıyor ve bağırıyordu. Bunlar yaşanırken bazıları da yaptığı işkenceleri cep telefonu ile kayıt altına alıyordu. Bu görüntüler benden sonra SAT birliğe gelip geceyi birlikte geçirmek zorunda kalan Mustafa Avşar’a birliğimizde görevli yüzbaşı Levent Bahadır tarafından gösterilmiş. Eğer istediği şekilde ifade vermezse onun da sonunun bu şekilde olacağı yönünde tehdit edilmiştir.

“Burnumu ve kaburgamı kırdı”

Rambo tezahürat eşliğinde teçhizat ve silahını çıkardı, usta bir işkenceci gibi vazifesine başladı. Çok vurduğundan olacak elleri ağrıdığı için eline eldiven istedi. Eldiveni taktıktan sonra kaldığı yerden devam etti. Sonuç olarak yaptığı işkenceler sonucunda burnumu ve kaburgamı kırdı. Her iki kulak zarımı patlattı. Çenemde üç santim yarık oluşturdu. Bana ekstra işkence ve hakarette bulunuyorlardı. Çünkü bu SAT komutanı Amiral Turhan Ecevit’in özel isteği idi. Polislerde Turhan Ecevit’in bu isteğini hiç kırmadı.

Beni SAT komutanlığında darp eden ağır hakaret eden yüzbaşı Erdal Çerçi ve üsteğmen Uğur Günaslan’dan yine beni darp eden astsubay Burak Çelik’ten bana şerefsiz diye hakaret eden Ercan Kireçtepe’den ki tuğamiral rütbesinde Akdeniz Bölge Komutanı olarak görev yapıyor. Komuta ettiği birlikte bana işkence yapılmasına hakaret edilmesine müsaade eden, beni başıma silah dayayarak ölümle tehdit eden ve polislere bana ekstra işkence yapılması yönünde telkinde bulunan SAT komutanı amiral Turan Ecevit’tir” demiştir. 

Barış Dedebağ, Emekli Binbaşı

Abdullah Gül döneminde Cumhurbaşkanlığı Muhafız Alayı Komutanı olarak görev yapan Muhammet Tanju Poshor’a yapılan işkenceler Ankara 19. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi kayıtlarına girdi. Poshor gözaltına alınışını ve gördüğü muameleyi şöyle anlattı: “16 Temmuz 2016 sabahı ameliyathaneden ameliyata hazırlanırken gözaltına alındım. Savaşta bile askıya alınmayacak tedavi hakkım ihlal edilerek Merkez Komutanlığı’ndan hiç kimse olmadan ameliyathaneden çıplak vaziyette kim olduğunu bilmediğim kişiler tarafından darp edilerek, sırtımda açık yara olmasına rağmen ters kelepçelenerek gözaltına alındım. Nazi Kamplarındaki gibi çıplak vaziyette dizlerinin üstünde başlar öne eğik olarak tutuluyor, aralarında bulunan sivil kıyafetli polisler ve bir kısım üniformaları askerlerce ki bu askerlerin başında da o zaman binbaşı rütbesinde olan Barış Dedebağ vardı. Barış Dedebağ’da ordaki pek çok kişiye özellikle generallere ve bana da darp ederek işkenceye katılmıştır, ismini de burda veriyorum ve suç duyurusunda bulunuyorum kendisi hakkında. Defalarca elektrik verildi. Ayık kaldığım zamanlarda hatırladığım acıya alışmaya başladım ama etimin yanık kokusuna bir buçuk yıldır hala alışamadım. Bu koku işkencecilerimi de rahatsız ediyordu ki ara sıra kusanlar oluyordu aralarından.”

Devletin resmi haber ajansı Anadolu Ajansı TV kanalı TRT ve hükümete yakınlığı ile bilenen TV kanallarında Barış Dededağı’nın subay ve astsubaylara yönelik şiddet uyguladığına dair bir kısım görüntüleri yayınlamıştır.

SONUÇ

Türkiye’de işkence ve kötü muamele suçu özellikle 15 Temmuz 2016 tarihli askeri darbe girişimi sonrası sistematik hale dönüşmüştür. AKP hükümeti, AB uyum yasaları kapsamında insan haklarını korumaya yönelik yürürlüğe koyduğu yasaları, Anayasa ve Türk Ceza Kanunu hükümlerini, altına imza attığı uluslararası sözleşmeleri, AİHM içtihatlarını askıya almıştır. Hükümet yetkilileri, savaş dahil her şartta yasak olan işkence suçunu engellemek yerine bizzat güvenlik birimlerini bu yönde cesaretlendirecek teşvik edecek açıklamalar yapmıştır. 

Insan Hakları Kuruluşlarının hazırladıkları raporlar ve çalışmalar, binlerce işkence mağdurunun Türkiye’de hakkını arayamadığını ve işkence suçunu işleyenlerin cezasızlıkla ve hatta kimi zaman da terfilerle ödülledirildiklerini ortaya koymaktadır. Açılan soruşturmalar yeterli inceleme yapılmadan kapatılmaktadır. Açılan davalar yıllarca sürmekte adeta işkencecinin eylemlerine devam etmesinin önü açılmaktadır. Gözaltında ve cezaevlerinde işkence sonucu artan ölüm vakaları Türkiye’de insan hakları ihlallerinin geldiği durumu açıkça göstermektedir. 

AKP hükümeti Anayasa, Türk Ceza Kanunu ve Türkiye’nin altına imza attığı uluslararası sözleşmelere sahip çıkmalı insan hakları ihlallerini durdurmaya yönelik çaba göstermelidir. Sistematik işkence uygulanan güvenlik birimleri ve ceza ve tevkif evleri denetime açılmalıdır. İşkence suçunu cesaretlendirecek düzenlemeler ve açıklamalar yerine engellemeye yönelik yasal tedbirler alınmalıdır. Avukatların müvekkilleriyle daha sık ve özel görüşebilme imkanı sağlanmalıdır. İşkence iddialarının doktorlar tarafından daha dikkatli incelenmesini sağlayacak tedbirler alınmalı ve İstanbul protokolü uygulanmalıdır. Doktorlar gözaltındaki zanlıları mutlaka kolluk güçlerinin olmadığı ortamda muayene ederek rapor tanzim etmelidir. İnsan Hakları Örgütlerinin, Türkiye’de gerekli denetimleri yapabilmesinin önü açılmalıdır. İşkenceciler, işkence suçunu öven, örtbas eden veya teşvik edenler cezalandırılmalıdır.

TURKIYE’DE ISKENCE ARSIV CALISMASI

Iskenceci (Fail) Vazifesi (Rolu) Sehir Kurum Magdur Meslek Contact Aciklama (Iskence) Sayfa
1 Süleyman Soylu İçişleri Bakanı Ankara Emrindeki güvenlik birimlerine aleni şekilde şiddet kullanma ve işkence talimatı vermiştir Sayfa 5
2 Hakan Fidan  MİT Müsteşarı Ankara MİT müsteşarlığında aylarca işkence gören mağdurların anlatımları Hakan Fidan’ın işkenceli sorgu talimatını verdiğini göstermiştir. Sayfa 8
3 Halil İbrahim Dilek Em.Mdr.Yrd. Mersin Mersin TEM Şb. Gözaltındaki başkomiser Süleyman Akçin ve diğer emniyet mensuplarına işkence yapmıştır. Sayfa 14
4 Berat Günçiçek TEM Şb.Md.Yrd Mersin Mersin TEM Şb. Gözaltındaki başkomiser Süleyman Akçin ve diğer emniyet mensuplarına işkence yapmıştır. Sayfa 15
5 Zekai Aksakallı Genelkurmay Ankara Genelkurmay Kübra Yavuz Üsteğmen Gözleri bağlı halde 2 gün aç bırakıldı ve elektirik ile işkence yapıldı. Sayfa 24
6 İrfan Özsert Genelkurmay Ankara Genelkurmay Kübra Yavuz Üsteğmen Gözleri bağlı halde 2 gün aç bırakıldı ve elektirik ile işkence yapıldı. Sayfa 24
7 Alper Korkmaz Başkomiser İstanbul Beykoz İlçe Em.Mdlüğü Murat Fırat Astsubay SAT komandosu  TC no 39604233842 2006 devre başkomiser Alper Korkmaz’ın SAT komandolarına yaptığı işkence duruşma tutanaklarına geçti. Alper Korkmaz, SAT komandolarına ormanda günlerce ağır işkence yaptı.
Pek çok komandonun vücudunda iyileşmesi mümkün olmayan hasarlar meydana geldi.
Sayfa 28
8 Turhan Ecevit SAT Komutanı Amiral İstanbul Murat Fırat Astsubay SAT komandosu Murat Fırat’ın başına silah dayayarak ölümle tehdit etti ve polislere Fırat’a ekstra işkence yapılması yönünde telkinde bulundu. Turhan Ecevit’in işkenceye azmettirdiğini anlattı ifadeler mahkeme dosyasına girdi. Sayfa 29
9 Levent Bahadır SAT Yüzbaşı İstanbul Beykoz Murat Fırat Astsubay SAT komandosu İşkence yapılırken çekilen görüntüleri diğer şüphelilere göstererek şiddet uyguladı. Sayfa 28
10 Erdal Çerçi SAT Yüzbaşı İstanbul Beykoz Murat Fırat Astsubay SAT komandosu Darp etmek suretiyle işkence yaptı Sayfa 29
11 Uğur Günaslan SAT Üsteğmen İstanbul Beykoz Murat Fırat Astsubay SAT komandosu Darp etmek suretiyle işkence yaptı Sayfa 29
12 Burak Çelik SAT Astsubay İstanbul Beykoz Murat Fırat Astsubay SAT komandosu darp etmek suretiyle işkence yaptı Sayfa 29
13 Barış Dedebağı Binbaşı Ankara Spor Salonu Muhammet Tanju Poshor Çok sayıda askere gözaltı sırasında ağır işkenceler yaptı. Şiddet görüntüleri tv’lerde yayınlandı. Sayfa 30
14 Ahmet Gürbüz  Cumhuriyet Savcısı Antalya Antalya Başsavcılığı Eyüp Birinci öğretmen Günlerce ağır işkence gördü. Makatına cop sokulması suretiyle bağırsakları yırtıldı. Gözaltında kanamaları artınça hastanede ameliyat edildi Ailesine haber verilmedi. Eyüp Birinci, gözaltında olduğu sırada polislerin işkence yaptığını gerekçe göstererek şikayetçi olan ailenin dilekçesini örtbas etti polisler hakkında işlem yapmadı. İşkencenin devam etmesine yardım etti. Sayfa 13
15 Muhsin Türkeş Polis memuru Antalya KOM Şb. Antalya Emniyeti Eyüp Birinci öğretmen Polis memuru MuhsinTürkeş, Eyüp Birinci’ye gözaltında ağır işkence uyguladı. Birinci’nin makatına sert cisim sokarak bağırsaklarını yırtan polisler arasındaydı. Sayfa 13
16 Volkan Vural Bal Yüzbaşı, Genelkurmay Bsk. Ankara Genelkurmay Başkanlığı Üstçavuş Ömer Özdemir subay Fiziki darp Sayfa 24
17 Eşref Aktaş Savcı Trabzon Adliyesi Abdullah B. Savcı Aktaş, işkence gören bir mağdurun şikayeti üzerine açılan soruşturmada KHK gereği polislerin görevlerinden dolayı cezai sorumluluklarının olmadığına ve yargılanamayacağına hükmetti. Sayfa 11
18 Fatih Tezcan Gazeteci İstanbul Cemal Aslan, Abdulselam Aslan, Halil Aslan Gevaş, Köylü Van Gevaş Emniyet Müdürlüğü’nde işkence gören köylülerin fotoğraflarını yayınlayarak işkenceyi övmüş güvenlik birimlerini işkence suçuna teşvik etmiştir. İşkence gören şahısların daha sonra masum olduğu anlaşılmıştır. Sayfa 6
19 Mehmet Metiner AKP’li siyasetçi Ankara Metiner, TBMM Cezaevi Alt Komisyonu Başkanı olduğu dönemde özellikle de Hizmet Hareketi mensuplarına yönelik cezaevlerinden gelen işkence ve kötü muamele iddiaları konusunda inceleme ve araştırma yapmayacaklarını açıklamıştır. Sayfa 9
20 Yasin Demir TEM Şb.Md. Kırıkkale Emniyet Müdürlüğü Diş Hekimi Erdem Ayyıldız, Öğretmen Harun Özdemir, Okul Müdürü Hasan Kobalay Diş Hekimi, Öğretmen, Okul Müdürü Mağdurların verdiği bilgilere göre; Yasin Demir, Kırıkkale TEM Şube Müdürü olduğu dönemde gözamtındaki şüphelilere ağır darp, tazyikli soğuk suyla yıkama, makata cop sokma gibi işkenceler yapmıştır. Sayfa 15
21 Gökhan Karagöz Emniyet Müdür Yrd. Zonguldak İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü Kubilay G. T.A. Ö.K. Polis Zonguldak 2. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde görülen davanın 5 ekim 2017 tarihli duruşmasında yargılanan şüpheliler kendilerine işkence yapan Karagöz ve Çakıroğlu’nun isimlerini açıkladı. Sayfa 17
22 Okan Çakıroğlu Emniyet Müdür Yrd. Zonguldak İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü Kubilay G. T.A. Ö.K. polis Zonguldak 2. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde görülen davanın 5 ekim 2017 tarihli duruşmasında yargılanan şüpheliler kendilerine işkence yapan Karagöz ve Çakıroğlu’nun isimlerini açıkladı. Sayfa 17
23 Tahir Darbazoğlu TEM Şb Amiri Ankara İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü Binbaşı Emrah Ilgaz, Yüzbaşı Sadık Kazancı ve Pilot Üsteğmen Adem Kırcı ile birlikte 16 mağdur Darbazoğlundan şikayetçi oldu. Binbaşı Emrah Ilgaz, Yüzbaşı Sadık Kazancı ve Pilot Üsteğmen Adem Kırcı ile birlikte 16 mağdur Darbazoğlundan şikayetçi oldu. Sayfa 18
24 Elif Sümercan TEM Şb Amiri yrd. Ankara İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü Akın Öztürk ve diğer subaylar General Akın Öztürk başta olmak üzere gözamtındaki çok sayıda subaya ağır işkence uyguladı. Sayfa 18
25 Hacı Murat Dinçer TEM müdürü Şırnak İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü Hacı Lokman Birlik ve ailesi politikacılar Hacı Lokman Birlik’in zırhlı araç arkasında sürüklenerek öldürülmesi talimatını verdi. Sayfa 20
26 Selami Altınok Eski İçişleri Bakanı Ankara Hacı Lokman Birlik ve ailesi Zırhlı araç arkasında sürüklenerek öldürülen Hacı Lokman Birlik’in ailesi Altınok’un işkence suçundan yargılanması için suç duyurusunda bulundu. Sayfa 20
27 Ali İhsan Su Eski Şırnak Valisi Şırnak Hacı Lokman Birlik ve ailesi Zırhlı araç arkasında sürüklenerek öldürülen Hacı Lokman Birlik’in ailesi Ali İhsan Su’nun işkence suçundan yargılanması için suç duyurusunda bulundu. Sayfa 20
28 Celal Sel Eski Şırnak emniyet Müdürü Şırnak İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü Hacı Lokman Birlik ve ailesi Zırhlı araç arkasında sürüklenerek öldürülen Hacı Lokman Birlik’in ailesi Celal Sel’in işkence suçundan yargılanması için suç duyurusunda bulundu. Sayfa 20
29 Ekrem Gönül Güvenlik Şube Müd. Yard. Ankara İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü Perihan Pulat emekli yargı mensubu Perihan Pulat’ı darp ederek yaralayan polis Ekrem Gönül görevine devam etmektedir. Gönül yargılandığı mahkemede sadece 3 bin tl para cezasına çarptırılmıştır. Sayfa 21
30 Mahmut Çaça Tarsus İlçesi T Tipi Kapalı Kadın Cezaevi Müdürü Mersin Adalet Bakanlığı Ceza ve Tevkif Evleri Kurumu Evin Şahin, Fadime Demir, Selvi Yılan, Yıldız Gemicioğlu, Helin Kaya, 56 Mahkum 56 kadın mahkûmun saçlarından sürüklenip darp edilmesi, tecavüzle tehdit edilmesi ve cinsel şiddete maruz kalması eylemlerinden sorumlu tutulmuştur. Sayfa 22
31 Enis Yavuz Yıldırım Ceza ve Tevkif Evleri Genel Müdürü Ankara Adalet Bakanlığı Ceza ve Tevkif Evleri Kurumu 56 Mahkum Mersin’de 56 mahkuma işkence yapan gardiyanlar ve cezaevi müdürü hakkında gerekli işlemleri yapmadığı gibi Türkiye’nin bir çok şehrindeki cezaevlerinde yaşanan işkencelerden sorumlu tutulmuştur. Sayfa 22
32 Volkan Akkuş Gardiyan Manisa T Tipi Cezaevi Ceza ve Tevkif Evleri Ercivan Özcan Tutuklu Ercivan Özcan’a işkence yapan, sol kolunu omuzdan dirseğe kadar parçalayan gardiyanlar Volkan Akkuş ve Özgür Kutlu yargılandı ve işkence suçundan 5’er yıl hapis cezasına çarptırdı. Memuriyetten atıldılar. Sayfa 22
33 Özgür Kutlu Gardiyan Manisa T Tipi Cezaevi Ceza ve Tevkif Evleri Ercivan Özcan Tutuklu Ercivan Özcan’a işkence yapan, sol kolunu omuzdan dirseğe kadar parçalayan gardiyanlar Volkan Akkuş ve Özgür Kutlu yargılandı ve işkence suçundan 5’er yıl hapis cezasına çarptırdı. Memuriyetten atıldılar. Sayfa 22
34 Ümit Tatan Özel Hava Alay Komutanı Albay Ankara Genelkurmay Mehmet Sağlam veHüseyin Çakıroğlu Subay Sağlam ve Çakıroğlu kendilerine yapılan işkencedan sorumlu tuttukları Ümit Tatan’dan mahkemede şikayetçi oldu. Sayfa 25
35 Bayram Kantık 14. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi Başkanı Ankara Adalet Bakanlığı Sezgin Güney Subay Anlatılan işkence iddialarının tutanaklara geçmesine ve tutukluların bu konuda açıklama yapmasına izin vermedi. Sayfa 24
36 Cem Karaca  14. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi Başkanı İstanbul Adalet Bakanlığı Sadık Cebeci Subay Tutuklu sanığın gördüğü işkenceyi mahkeme tutanağına geçirmedi. Sayfa 25
37 Fatih Karakuş İstanbul Başsavcı Vekili İstanbul Adalet Bakanlığı Sadık Cebeci Subay Tutuklu sanığın işkence gördüğünü anlatmasına izin vermedi Sayfa 25
38 Oktay Kapsız Marmaris İlçe Emniyet Md. Yrd. Muğla İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü Murat Konuş Oktay Kapsız, İstanbul’da görev yaptığı sırada gözaltında Murat Konuş isimli zanlıyı işkence ile öldürmek suçundan İstanbul 2. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi tarafından müebbet hapis cezasına çarptırılmıştır. Cezaya rağmen halen görev başındadır. Sayfa 11
39 Ramazan Adıgüzel İstanbul Asayiş Şube İstanbul İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü Murat Konuş İstanbul 2. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi, gözaltındaki Murat Konuş’u işkence ile öldürdükleri gerekçesiyle olaydan yaklaşık 10 yıl sonra tutuksuz yargılanan polisler Oktay Kapsız, Ramazan Adıgüzel, Murat Ertürk ve Abdülcelil Karadağ’ı müebbet hapis cezasına çarptırdı. Mahkeme heyeti, buna rağmen tutuklama kararı vermedi. Polisler görevlerine devam etti. Sayfa 12
40 Murat Ertürk İstanbul Asayiş Şube İstanbul İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü Murat Konuş İstanbul 2. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi, gözaltındaki Murat Konuş’u işkence ile öldürdükleri gerekçesiyle olaydan yaklaşık 10 yıl sonra tutuksuz yargılanan polisler Oktay Kapsız, Ramazan Adıgüzel, Murat Ertürk ve Abdülcelil Karadağ’ı müebbet hapis cezasına çarptırdı. Mahkeme heyeti, buna rağmen tutuklama kararı vermedi. Polisler görevlerine devam etti. Sayfa 12
41 Abdülcelil Karadağ İstanbul Asayiş Şube İstanbul İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü Murat Konuş İstanbul 2. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi, gözaltındaki Murat Konuş’u işkence ile öldürdükleri gerekçesiyle olaydan yaklaşık 10 yıl sonra tutuksuz yargılanan polisler Oktay Kapsız, Ramazan Adıgüzel, Murat Ertürk ve Abdülcelil Karadağ’ı müebbet hapis cezasına çarptırdı. Mahkeme heyeti, buna rağmen tutuklama kararı vermedi. Polisler görevlerine devam etti. Sayfa 12
42 Cem Küçük Gazeteci İstanbul Diyarbakır Barosu İşkenceyi övmek ve bu suçu işlemeye tahrik’ suçlamasıyla hakkında soruşturma açılmıştır. Sayfa 25
43 Fuat Uğur Gazeteci İstanbul Diyarbakır Barosu İşkenceyi övmek ve bu suçu işlemeye tahrik’ suçlamasıyla hakkında soruşturma açılmıştır. Sayfa 25
44 Emre Soylu Milletvekili danışmanı Mersin M.E.C- Özgürlük İçin Hukukçular Derneği Polislerden işkence gören zanlının fotoğraflarını paylaşarak işkenceyi övdüğü gerekçesiyle hakkında soruşturma açılmıştır. Sayfa 27
45 Ali Türkşen Emekli Albay İstanbul Tahsin İşlekel, Metin Bircan Beykoz Sat Komutanlığı binasında subaylara işkence yapmıştır. Sayfa 27
46 Erme Onat Emekli Binbaşı İstanbul Tahsin İşlekel, Metin Bircan Beykoz Sat Komutanlığı binasında subaylara işkence yapmıştır. Sayfa 27
47 Bülent Kuru Emekli Astsubay İstanbul Tahsin İşlekel, Metin Bircan Beykoz Sat Komutanlığı binasında subaylara işkence yapmıştır. Sayfa 27
48 Ercan Kireçtepe Tuğamiral,SAT Komutanı İstanbul Tahsin İşlekel, Metin Bircan Beykoz Sat Komutanlığı binasında subaylara işkence eylemlerine katılmıştır. Sayfa 29

 

 

Referanslar

1- “Talimatı böyle verdi: Lime lime edin! İbret olsun diye bunların resimlerini paylaşacağız”, Milliyet, 09 Nisan 2020,
https://www.milliyet.com.tr/gundem/talimati-boyle-verdi-lime-lime-edin-ibret-olsun-diye-bunlarin-resimlerini-paylasacagiz-6184695

2-  ‘Terörist’ diye işkence edilen köylüler serbest bırakıldı, Evrensel, 15 Hasiran 2017, https://www.evrensel.net/haber/323661/terorist-diye-iskence-edilen-koyluler-serbest-birakildi

3-  “Van’da işkence gören vatandaşların avukatından suç duyurusu”, Atkifhaber, 21 Haziran 2017,  http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/vanda-iskence-goren-vatandaslarin-avukatindan-suc-duyurusu-h99267.html

4-  “İşkenceye ödül gibi ‘ceza’!”, Yeniyaşam, 23 Haziran 2020, http://yeniyasamgazetesi2.com/iskenceye-odul-gibi-ceza/

5-  “Soylu’nun ‘terör destekçisi’ dediği Abdi Amca beraat etti,  Bakanlık tazminat ödeyecek”, TR724, 16 Şubat 2019, https://www.tr724.com/soylunun-teror-destekcisi-dedigi-abdi-amca-beraat-etti-bakanlik-tazminat-odeyecek/

6- “İstanbul Barosu’dan Süleyman Soylu hakkında suç duyurusu”, Sözcü, 5 Ocak 2018, https://www.sozcu.com.tr/2018/gundem/istanbul-barosudan-suleyman-soylu-hakkinda-suc- duyurusu-2160988/

7- “Baro başkanlarından Süleyman Soylu için ‘işkence’ suçlamasıyla suç duyurusu”, GazeteDuvar, 25 Haziran 2020, https://www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/gundem/2020/06/25/baro-baskanlarindan-suleyman-soylu-icin-iskence-suclamasiyla-suc-duyurusu

8- “Cumartesi Anneleri ve İHD’den Süleyman Soylu hakkında suç duyurusu”, Dokuz8haber, 10 Eylül 2018, https://dokuz8haber.net/gundem/cumartesi-annelerinden-suleyman-soylu-hakkinda-suc- duyurusu/

9- AST Raportörlerinin MİT tarafından Kaçırılan A.G. Z.B. ve İ.S ile yaptığı Temmuz 2018 tarihli mülakatlar. “Türkiyede Sistematik İşkence ve Kötü Muamele”, AST, 6 November 2019, https://silencedturkey.org/turkiyede-sistematik-iskence-ve-kotu-muamele

10- “AKP’li Metiner’den vahim sözler: İşkence’ye inceleme yok”, Cumhuriyet, 3.10.2016  http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/turkiye/608880/AKP_li_Metiner_den_vahim_sozler__iskenceye_inceleme_yok.html

11- “Emniyet’ten ‘gizli’ talimat iddiası: Gözaltı birimlerini uygun hale getirin”, Agos, 09.09.2016, http://www.agos.com.tr/tr/yazi/16504/emniyet-ten-gizli-talimat-iddiasi-gozalti-birimlerini-uygun- hale-getirin

12- “Savcı işkence suç duyurusunu KHK’ye dayanarak reddetti”, Evrensel, 16.01.2017, https://www.evrensel.net/haber/304217/savci-iskence-suc-duyurusunu-khkye-dayanarak-reddetti

13-“İşkenceci polisler: Müebbet var tutuklama yok”, T24,11 Temmuz 2019,
https://t24.com.tr/haber/iskenceci-polisler-muebbet-var-tutuklama-yok,830080

14- “İşkenceci polise devlet töreniyle veda”, gazeteduvar, 26 Aralık 2019, https://www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/gundem/2019/12/26/iskenceci-polise-devlet-toreniyle-veda

15- “İşkence yapıp öldürmüşlerdi, 4 polise disiplin cezası bile yok”, Aktif Haber, 28 Aralık 2019 http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/iskence-yapip-oldurmuslerdi-4-polise-disiplin-cezasi-bile-yok- h141111.html

16- “Antalya Emniyeti’nde korkunç işkence”, Zaman Australia, 7 Ağustos 2016, https://zamanaustralia.com/2016/08/antalya-emniyetinde-korkunc-iskence/

17- “KHK’lar gözaltında işkenceyi kolaylaştırdı”, Agos, 25.10.2016, 
http://www.agos.com.tr/tr/yazi/16827/khk-lar-gozaltinda-iskenceyi-kolaylastirdi

18- İşkence tutanağı , Magduriyetler, 22 Ock 2017, http://magduriyetler.com/2017/01/22/iskence- tutanagi/

19- Filistin askısından tecavüze mahkeme tutanaklarında Mersin Emniyeti işkenceleri, Bold Medya, 09.02.2019, https://boldmedya.com/2019/02/09/filistin-askisindan-tecavuze-mahkeme- tutanaklarindan-mersin-emniyeti-iskenceleri/

20- Kırıkkale Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi 16.2.2017 tarihli 3. Celse 35 sayfalık duruşma tutanağı

21- “Police chief nicknamed ‘Angel of Death’ who ran torture sites in Turkey unmasked in court testimony”, Nordic Monitor, 20 September 2020, https://www.nordicmonitor.com/2020/09/police-chief-nicknamed-as-angel-of-death-who-run- torture-sites-in-turkey-unmasked/

22- “Akın Öztürk’ü çırılçıplak soyup işkence yaptılar; polisler bile dayanamadı…” TR724, 20 Temmuz 2017, https://www.tr724.com/akin-ozturku-cirilciplak-soyup-iskence-yaptilar-polisler-bile- dayanamadi-video/

23- “Police chief nicknamed ‘Angel of Death’ who ran torture sites in Turkey unmasked in court testimony”, NordicMonitor, 20 September 2020, https://www.nordicmonitor.com/2020/09/police- chief-nicknamed-as-angel-of-death-who-run-torture-sites-in-turkey-unmasked/

24- “Erdoğan’ın 12 koruması hakkında ABD’de tutuklama kararı”, T24, 15 Haziran 2017, https://t24.com.tr/haber/erdoganin-12-korumasi-hakkinda-abdde-tutuklama-karari,409219

25- “Police in Turkey adopt ISIS tactics in torture, see women and girls as sex slaves”, Nordic Monitor, 4 August 2020, https://www.nordicmonitor.com/2020/08/police-in-turkey-adopted-isis-tactics-in- torture-saw-women-and-girls-as-sex-slaves/

26- “Hacı Lokman Birlik’i katleden polislere emri veren Şırnak TEM şube müdürü”, Sendika.org, 24 Nisan 2016, https://sendika63.org/2016/04/haci-lokman-birliki-katleden-polislere-emri-veren- sirnak-tem-sube-muduru-345622/

27- “Perihan Pulat’ı darp eden polis pişkinlikte sınır tanımadı: ‘Ayağı kayıp yere düşmüş’”, Gazete Yolculuk, 10-02-2019, https://www.gazeteyolculuk.net/perihan-pulati-darp-eden-polis-piskinlikte- sinir-tanimadi-ayagi-kayip-yere-dusmus

28- “Tarsus Cezaevi’ndeki işkence Adalet Bakanına soruldu: ‘Kadınlar tecavüzle tehdit edildi’”, İlerihaber, 11-08-2017, https://ilerihaber.org/icerik/tarsus-cezaevindeki-iskence-adalet-bakanina- soruldu-kadinlar-tecavuzle-tehdit-edildi-74966.html

29- “Kadın Mahpuslar Dövüldü; Koğuşta Yemek Yetmiyor, Su Çamurlu Akıyor”, Bianet, 04 Temmiz 2017, http://bianet.org/bianet/insan-haklari/188002-kadin-mahpuslar-dovuldu-kogusta-yemek- yetmiyor-su-camurlu-akiyor

30- “OHAL’de işkenceyi belgedi, işkencecileri memuriyetten attırıp hapse mahkum ettirdi”, Bold Medya,28-11-2019, https://www.boldmedya.com/2019/11/28/ohalde-iskenceyi-belgedi- iskencecileri-memuruyetten-attirip-hapse-mahkum-ettirdi/

31- “15 Temmuz ÖKK davasında işkence tartışması”, OdaTV, 15.08.2018, https://odatv4.com/ajandasina-mado-yazinca…-15081845.html

32- “Mahkeme darbeden sonra ilk kez işkencecilerin peşine düştü: Adreslerini istedi”, Ahval, 22 Haziran 2018, https://ahvalnews.com/tr/iskence/mahkeme-darbeden-sonra-ilk-kez-iskencecilerin- pesine-dustu-adreslerini-istedi

33- “Darbe girişiminden yargılanan binbaşı, Aksakallı ve Tatan’dan şikayetçi oldu”, Hürriyet,06.02.2017, https://www.hurriyet.com.tr/darbe-girisiminden-yargilanan-binbasi-aksakal- 40357733

34- “FETÖ’cü albaya mahkemede tokat gibi yanıt: Bu taktik sökmez!”, Sabah,1.6.2017, https://www.sabah.com.tr/gundem/2017/06/01/fetocu-albaya-mahkemede-tokat-gibi-yanit-bu- taktik-sokmez

35-  “İşkence dosyaları işkencecileri ömür boyu takip edecek”, TR724, 23 Ekim 2016, https://www.tr724.com/iskence-dosyalari-iskencecileri-omur-boyu-takip-edecek/

36- “İşkence çağrısı yapan Cem Küçük hakkında suç duyurusu”, Gazete Karınca, 13 Aralık 2017, https://gazetekarinca.com/2017/12/iskence-cagrisi-yapan-cem-kucuk-hakkinda-suc-duyurusu/

37- “İşkenceyi teşvik eden Cem Küçük dünya gündeminde”, TR724, 23 aralık 2019, https://www.tr724.com/iskenceyi-tesvik-eden-cem-kucuk-dunya-gundeminde/

38- “İşkenceyi öven MHP’li danışman Emre Soylu hakkında suç duyurusu”,Evrensel, 8 Haziran 2020, https://www.evrensel.net/haber/406575/iskenceyi-oven-mhpli-danisman-emre-soylu-hakkinda- suc-duyurusu

39- “Ahmet Nesin, işkence dosyasını açtı: ‘Daha çok özür dileyeceksin Ali Türkşen’”, Ahval, 4 Eylül 2019, https://ahvalnews.com/tr/iskence-iddialari/ahmet-nesin-iskence-dosyasini-acti-daha-cok- ozur-dileyeceksin-ali-turksen

40- “Navy special ops officer who helped evacuate Turks from Lebanon was brutally tortured in Turkey”, Nordic Monitor, 29. Ağustos 2020, https://www.nordicmonitor.com/2020/08/the-navy- seal-member-who-helped-evacuate-turks-from-lebanon-were-brutally-tortured-in-turkey/

41- “Head of operations at NATO-led KFOR tortured in Nazi-like camp in Turkey”, Nordic Monitor, 8 September 2020, https://www.nordicmonitor.com/2020/09/head-of-operations-at-nato-led-kfor- tortured-in-nazi-like-camp-in-turkey/

42- “İşte Kahraman Binbaşı Barış Dedebağı’nın darbe günü çekilen yeni görüntüleri”, Dailymotion, “İşte Kahraman Binbaşı Barış Dedebağı’nın darbe günü çekilen yeni görüntüleri”, Dailymotion,  https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4rp5ya

 

 

Donate Now

 

Read more

ERDOGAN’S LONG ARMS: ABDUCTIONS IN TURKEY AND ABROAD

 

The Origins of the Problem

Turkey’s struggle to draw the country more in line with the pillars of the European Union faced a long and accelerating slide. The country’s Freedom in the World score has been in free fall since 2014 due to an escalating series of assaults on the press, social media users, protesters, political parties, the judiciary, and the electoral system, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan fought to impose personalized control over the state and society in a deteriorating domestic and regional security environment.

Turkey’s drift into the grip of authoritarianism began before the failed 2016 coup. The government’s heavy-handed response to nationwide Gezi Park protests in 2013, the start of a purge against members Gülen community after the corruption investigation in December 2013 paved the way for the emergence of an illiberal government. Many observers and experts pinpoint this year, 2013, as the major turning point for Turkey’s drift away from liberal democracy. The steady descent into an autocratic system leads to the full breakdown of the rule of law, judicial independence, and corrosion of the integrity of Turkey’s bureaucratic institutions following the sweeping purge after the failed coup attempt in 2016.

The signs of the conflict first came to surface after Erdoğan made clear his intentions to establish a more authoritarian rule with the powers vested by the 2011 referendum. The battle lines were drawn after the infamous graft operations of 17 and 25 December, in 2013, where prosecutors rounded up some politicians and businessmen who were under surveillance in a longitudinal investigation. Erdoğan said the corruption files were nothing but a sham, perpetrated by the Gülen movement as a soft coup in line with the interests of the foreign powers, which were envious of the Turkish rise as a global power.

Hizmet had long been hailed as the soft power for the country with its huge focus on education and humanitarian aid activities as well as interfaith dialogue efforts. “Gülen schools portrayed Turkey as a mystical but adaptable and open-minded country, and became a place for building intimate connections with elites and their children in dozens of countries.” Erdoğan used the movement’s international prevalence as a proof for his claim that it became the tool for the foreign powers.

When President Goes to War

Erdoğan has vowed on many occasions to uproot the Gülen Movement wherever it is. He did everything in his capacity, banking on the state power, and striking new partnerships with his old enemies against the Hizmet, which Erdoğan started calling the Parallel Structure. Erdoğan declared a “witch-hunt” against the movement, purging Gülen’s followers from public services, crippling its media power, erecting red-tape obstacles, cowing its institutions and companies with interminable inspections, etc. Finally, on July 15, 2016, a coup attempt, which Erdoğan declared Hizmet as the main perpetrator and used this argument to justify his undemocratic measures.

Erdoğan said: “Neither in the East nor in the West is a single member of this organization comfortable as before, nor will they be. If not today, then tomorrow, one day every member of the FETO traitors’ front will pay for his treason against the country and the nation.2 ” FETÖ, the abbreviation for the Fetullahist Terror Organization, was chosen by him to demonize the movement.

A Cultural Genocide

Erdoğan was not simply flapping his jaws. He has already been doing everything to make life unbearable for the Gülen followers inside the country. The coup attempt, which the Hizmet never claimed involvement in and renounced from the first moment, gave him an unquestionable and unchallenged excuse to completely disregard the current laws, as well as some international laws like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, under a state of emergency. What ensued was a witch hunt at an unprecedented frantic intensity.

According to the research conducted by the AST as of February 2020, investigations have been carried out on more than 610,000 people. The number of people arrested as a result of these investigations has already gone above 160,000 and counting. Currently, about 63,000 political prisoners are behind bars in the Turkish prisons. A total of 780 children are inside these overcrowded prisons, where their mothers endure agonizing troubles to raise them. 6,021 academics were expelled from their universities; whereas 15 private universities, which had affiliations with the Hizmet were shut down. 3,003 schools and dormitories were closed, millions of books were burned. Roughly 200 media outlets were seized and were either converted to pro-government mouthpieces or muzzled completely. 161 journalists were imprisoned. 4,463 judges or prosecutors were dismissed from public service and some were incarcerated. Tens of thousands of polices officers were axed. The licenses of 1,539 attorneys are currently under trial and 580 of them are in jail. 11 people died under arrest or during interrogation. 93 prisoners were killed due to torture and ill-treatment.

Globalizing the Theatre of War

Erdoğan also attempted to convince countries through carrot and stick policies or more diplomatic means to join his personal fight and do the same to the Hizmet members within their borders without heeding too much about what the rule of law by its very own nature requires. Various governments didn’t hesitate to jump on the bandwagon and yielded to the diplomatic pressure from Erdoğan to arrest and deport members of the Gülen Movement active in their countries. Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkmenistan are some of these countries. In some countries, like Myanmar, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, and Sudan, the countries didn’t even follow their own laws while carrying out the deportations. In some countries, the local intelligence agencies cooperated to seize Gülen followers, while in some others, Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MİT) didn’t even need to ask for permission to stage an operation.

In Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Malaysia, and Pakistan, the domestic authorities blatantly violated international laws by deliberately deporting or letting Turkish intel agents kidnap Erdoğan’s opponents, who had applied for asylum or had UN protection against persecution.

Vicious Methods Inside the Country and Abroad

Although ascertaining the exact number is not easy, an estimated total of 130 people (refer to AST’s research) were abducted inside and outside Turkey through nefarious methods, brushing away even the most basic rights to fair trial and defense. Some of these people whisked away abroad by clandestine operations, were under the protection of the United Nations. They were subjected to heavy tortures, made to sign fake testimonies, turned into the living dead, and even murdered. Ankara was even accused of exploiting the Interpol system by submitting extradition requests for over 40,0003 individuals with arbitrary terror charges, revoking passports of the dissidents who struggle to survive as expats, issuing arrest warrants on fake accusations, etc. MİT organized covert operations to abduct and bring to Turkey mostly people with alleged ties with the Gülen movement, sometimes in collaboration with the relevant authorities of the country and in some other cases without even bothering to inform them.

Inside the country, certain figures were abducted in broad daylight. 29 people (refer to AST’s research) were registered as victims of enforced disappearance. A majority of these people were released, while some are feared to have been killed since no news has been heard from them for years now. Some of the survivors found the courage to tell the gory details of the torture they had been subjected to. Almost all of the people who were turned over to the police and were arrested show signs of heavy physical and psychological damage.

The Scope of the Report

The report consists of three parts. The introductory part will first offer a consolidated approach towards the nature of the war Turkish State has initiated against the Gülen movement, with an emphasis on Erdoğan’s passion for vengeance which has exacerbated the conditions for the Gülen followers. A thorough discussion over the abductions and enforced disappearances within the framework of international law will also be presented in the first part.

The second part will shed light on how the Erdoğan administration extended its operations against the Gülen movement followers all around the world by stipulating and examining all known cases around the world. The third part will deal with the enforced abductions in Turkey, also called the Black Transporter cases.

Part 1- Introduction

It is no secret that Turkey’s authoritarian political Islamist regime, headed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ruler Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has long been suppressing opposition in the country. Hand in glove with the shady elements of the country’s former powerhouses, its fight against any kind of political dissent has been carried out through harsh measures that have often invoked the dark memories of the witch hunts of the Middle Ages.

As revealed in a myriad of incidents, the actions engaged by the Turkish state to squelch and muzzle the critics include a list of the most baleful forms of crimes against humanity. Hate crimes such as defamation and libel gush out in torrents every day from a colossal propaganda machine against any segment of the society that dares to position itself opposite the government. Once shunned as a despicable act even for the nation’s intelligence agency, profiling has become a daily routine of not only state institutions, but also some non-governmental organizations. The profiling files are published in national media outlets as if it is a most ordinary thing. Open or covert threats, physical attacks, and torture in the name of the state and for the “holy” purpose of saving the dignity of Erdoğan’s position are no longer counted as crimes. Nor is this all: those who use force towards this aim are revered and rewarded.

Among all these sinister crimes, this report will attempt to throw light upon one of the most contemptible, one that the state has been relentlessly committing recently under orders of Erdoğan: forced disappearances, abductions, and quid pro quo renditions of the dissidents in Turkey and abroad. It will also attempt to show how the autocratic regime has been employing state institutions as well as what appear to be non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as visible actors in the process of its persecutions.

Besides the fact that the magnitude of such efforts to silence, persecute the dissenting voices has not abated within the borders; the Turkish state has also escalated its cross-border operations against the dissenters. These unbridled and often reckless actions have caused in many cases problems in relationships with other governments since such engagements are a clear violation of international treaties. Such actions are considered a direct interference in other countries’ domestic affairs, as well as an unconcealed denial of their national sovereignty.

It goes without saying that these clandestine operations also pose a crime against humanity, and, as evident in the UN practices in similar cases, may become subject to international tribunal proceedings. Unfortunately, in this sense, Turkey has descended to become a part of the club of countries which hardly respect the foreign jurisdictions while conspiring against persons or communities they deem the enemy. North Korea stands out as a notorious example, as it uses enforced disappearances, abductions, renditions, and assassinations of political opponents as an ordinary practice to eradicate the figures it finds “inconvenient” for its stability. How unfortunate it is to see the public indifference in Turkey as Erdoğan steers the country, which had once been a regional model for its seemingly successful combination of Islam and democracy, towards the path of the most oppressive regimes of the world, with such despicable and inhumane actions of enforced disappearances, torture and murder.

An enforced or involuntary disappearance is a direct assault on human rights, which cannot be legitimized on any grounds in terms of international law. Neither can it be conceivably acceptable in terms of humanity and conscience. The Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance provides a satisfactory definition for this crime. Proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in its resolution 47/133 of 18 December 1992 as a body of principles for all States, the declaration defines an enforced disappearance as incidents in which “persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law”.4 How can one justify such a vicious act?

What is even worse is that the Turkish authorities have only rarely repudiated extreme and illegal measures to silence the opposition. On the contrary, the top government officials have boasted of them to win the favor of the masses for domestic political gains. Even bureaucrats from security and intelligence units have embraced such practices. The Turkish media, which has almost completely become a subservient tool of the government and a loyal amplifier to propagate Erdoğan’s messages to the masses, is brimming with success stories of how people are beaten and snatched in front of their children and wife or with “delightful” details of how these “bad guys” were whisked away from a foreign country — with or without the cooperation of the officials of that country — as if they were not talking about the devastation of real lives, but rather narrating fictional spy thrillers.

This report aims to put a particular focus on these devastated lives: to examine abductions and enforced disappearances by the Turkish state inside and outside its borders. It tries to include as many cases as possible by resorting to open resources, as well as by trying to get access to the personal accounts of those who survived.

Background

The Erdoğan’s regime has traditionally made the capital of such shady methods to attack its enemies and the groups it sees detrimental to its core establishment. The Kurdish opposition, for instance, has long been a usual target for surreptitious assaults and assassinations. Likewise, leftist groups, communists, and Alevites have also been subjected to similar underhanded actions. During its fight to exterminate the Kurdish separatist insurgency, thousands of victims were vanished, especially in eastern and southeastern Anatolia. Even today, two decades after their disappearance, the mothers of abducted and most likely killed children meet every Saturday in İstanbul to ask for at least a graveyard for their children. In recent years, however, the main victims of the extrajudicial practices have been the members of the Gülen movement or Hizmet.

Gülen movement’s supporters mostly agreed with AKP’s policies that strengthened the country’s democratic institutions while forcing the anti-democratic elements of the established state to retreat. However, as Erdoğan became increasingly more enthusiastic to fill the void left behind by the defeated ancient régime with his own dictatorial desires, the relations between the two groups deteriorated. Erdoğan accused Hizmet of perpetrating a plot to topple his government in December 2013 with two graft operations that implicated some businessmen close to him as well as a few members of his government and started a massive campaign against the movement.

Here, a paragraph must be inserted to briefly recall the dramatic overturn of the relations between the AKP and Hizmet, which also marks the time when the country started severing its already flimsy connections with the rule of law. When Erdoğan’s network of shady relations was laid bare by the corruption operations, the politician promptly declared that his government was under attack by the global powerhouses which didn’t want Turkey’s rise again as a regional actor and that these secret organizations assigned Hizmet to finish off his party, the only hope for the revival of the old magnificence of the country. His declaration paved the way to justify his undemocratic measures and dark propaganda against members of the movement. In just a couple of days, he changed his rhetoric utterly from praising how aloof a movement of sincerity and devotion the Hizmet is, to how fiendish a demon it actually is and that it is responsible for all evil in the country. Erdoğan said Hizmet volunteered to become a puppet of the nation’s foreign enemies and so it is also the enemy of the people and for this very reason, a total annihilation would be good for everyone. This reasoning, inspired suddenly by the corruption cases, interestingly convinced Turks, possibly owing to the extremely loyal media power Erdoğan has and to the general inclination of ordinary Turkish people towards accepting conspiracy theories. The further away the conspiracy theories are from reality, the more credible they become, especially when they are repeated by such a powerful figure as Erdoğan. The politician lost no time in hitting the roads and started public rallies all around Turkey, sometimes in three different cities in a single day, to tell the same lies to the masses, while every single message from his mouth was multiplied by the media to reach millions over and over again. At the same time, the prosecutors and law enforcement officers who had participated in the corruption operations were either demoted or assigned to insignificant units, contrary to current laws. Erdoğan’s next step would be to seek cooperation against the common enemy with the former actors of the deep state, who had been forced to retreat after their coup plans were exposed.

A systematic and sweeping purge of the critical figures in the state bureaucracy ensued; the victims were largely the people affiliated with the movement. Following the failed coup of July 15 in 2016, which Erdoğan blamed on Hizmet and its leader, the purge became even more widespread, and the methods turned more vicious.

Hizmet had been labeled as a terror organization by Erdoğan’s cabinet as per the recommendations of the National Security Council (MGK), a still powerful unit of the former regime, but a considerable portion of the domestic public opinion was still in favor of Hizmet, as the movement had always praised peace over violence, dialogue over conflict and education over everything else. Gülen had frequently maligned anyone resorting to terror in the name of Allah as non-believers and the most dangerous enemies of Islam; therefore, many were still shrugging off Erdoğan’s defamation campaigns and his continuous attributions of terror to Gülen and his followers. But after the July 15th botched coup attempt, with the help of a torrential flood of a one-sided narration of the coup details, it didn’t take long until public opinion completely turned against Hizmet and its leader, even though they were disavowing the coup repeatedly from the first moment on. With the help of an enormous public outrage against anything and anyone related to the Gülen movement, Erdoğan found the strength and excuse to disregard any obligation to stick to laws, fairness, and mercy. When he shouted in public rallies that all Hizmet followers must be exterminated, he got applause. When he ordered the plunder of the properties of Hizmet members, he got cheers. When he asked people to snitch on their relatives and friends from Hizmet, he got standing ovations.

Profiling and persecution of members of the Gülen movement was now not only a leisure pursuit of ordinary people, but also a task assigned to the state’s institutions, government agencies, AKP bureaus, and elected and appointed local administrators from governors to chiefs of villages.

Embassies were also commissioned with coordinating the profiling and spying activities on the expat members of the Hizmet movement. These missions included a variety of operations from mere intelligence gathering and stalking to threatening, harassing, and even physically assaulting the critics of Erdogan. It is quite likely that embassies have also been actively involved in the preparation and logistics phases of abductions and renditions. The mastermind and executer of the operations was Turkey’s main spy body, the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). The Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), as well as the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA), were also active participants in the covert intel operations around the world.

Ironically, the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) also joined the lynch party as a voluntary contributor to the assignment by the MİT to identify people critical of Erdoğan within expat communities, in clear contradiction to the obligatory assignment by the religion to help these people become brothers and friends.

Turkish preachers from the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB) have been actively employed in these intelligence-gathering activities at the government’s request. Even though these were initially said to be “false media claims,” Secretary-General Bekir Alboğa later confessed that “a few” imams provided information to the Presidency of Religious Affairs.

Furthermore, as per later news, German police investigations revealed that these accusations may only be the tip of the iceberg, meaning that such efforts could be taking place across Europe, such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Belgium.

State-run news companies, Anatolia News Agency (AA) and Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), spared no effort to follow the dissenting figures and make sensational stories about them in the countries where they operated. The Yunus Emre Institute and the Maarif (Education) Foundation, which acted hand in glove with the Turkish government to forcibly seize the educational institutions built and operated by the Hizmet movement in various countries, were also active participants in the clandestine warfare against the Gülen movement across the world.

Last but not least, government-funded private think tanks and organizations like the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD), the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), and the Turkish Heritage Organization, must be counted among the essential actors. They organized panels, conferences, and events, as well as issued a variety of publications, to disseminate ideas designed to bleach the government’s extrajudicial, arbitrary, and inhumane actions as inevitable measures taken at extraordinary times. They have also vied to garner support for Erdoğan and his party among Turkish communities while at the same time collecting information about the owners of the voices against Erdoğan within these communities.

Based on such underhanded investigations and espionage, the Erdoğan’s regime would first ask the rendition of its critics from the countries they were lawfully residing in. Depending on the nature of its relations with them, Turkey first asks through legitimate channels for the deportation of the people it is seeking. If this step proves unsuccessful, Turkey then attempts to offer bribes or use its influence to pressure these countries to hand over the wanted persons. The different milestones of this path are formulated in a report by the EU’s Open Dialogue Foundation: “When non-democratic states do not succeed in attaining extradition by legitimate methods, extra procedural forced expulsions (case of the employees of the Turco-Moldovian lyceum Orizont) or abductions (case of Vladimir Yegorov, Aleksandr Frantskevich, Murdali Khalimov) of the wanted persons often take place. Such actions are implemented on the basis of cooperation between the law-enforcement agencies and special services of both states, in secret, without observing lawful procedures, thus depriving persons of the opportunity to defend their interests in court (cases of Abdullah Büyük, Aminat Babayeva, Yusuf İnan, Salih Zeki Yiğit, Alma Shalabayeva, Muratbek Tungishbayev, Zhaksylyk Zharimbetov).

Enforced Disappearances in International Law

Enforced disappearances have universally been categorized as some of the most heinous crimes that can possibly be committed by malicious state actors. All relevant instruments of international law expressly forbid enforced disappearances, given that the act entirely circumvents avenues of due process while inflicting undue trauma upon both the abducted and the relatives of the abducted.

In a straightforward definition of “forced disappearance”, the Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons states, “forced disappearance of persons is… a grave and abominable offense against the inherent dignity of the human being.” The Convention also adds, “forced disappearance of persons violates numerous non-derogable and essential human rights” and reaffirms that the systematic practice of disappearance “constitutes a crime against humanity.” The International Criminal Court expands upon this definition of enforced disappearance, detailing it as the “arrest, detention or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.”
Finally, one of the most recent instruments of international law, the 2006 Convention on Enforced Disappearance, Article 1, provides an indubitably worded right to all persons:

“No one shall be subjected to enforced disappearance.”

A signatory to the United Nations’ Conventions, the Republic of Turkey has violated international laws and the human rights of its victims in all countries detailed in this report. Furthermore, the Turkish administration has utilized baseless national security arguments to justify its egregious behavior across the world. The Turkish government’s unabashed attempts to terrorize Turkish nationals across the world has violated the sovereignty of states in 16 known cases detailed here. International law prohibits the use of enforced disappearance under all circumstances as follows:

“No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for enforced disappearance.”

The Republic of Turkey, the current Turkish government is overseen by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and all relevant actors involved in the process of terrorizing, abducting, and transporting people around the world to further their objectives continually violate widely recognized international laws, national sovereignty of countries subject to such operations, and local rules and regulations of relevant countries. In sum, the Erdogan Regime and its constituent parts, especially members of the intelligence community taking part in worldwide operations have committed crimes against humanity. Crimes against humanity have no statute of limitations.

Turkey’s extraterritorial incursions to kidnap dissidents and its similarly egregious actions in its own jurisdiction have been substantiated with many cases, and this report will attempt to shed light on as many cases as possible. Nonetheless, one needs to first examine the grounds the Turkish authorities base their actions on.

On April 17, 2014, the Turkish Parliament empowered the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) with the legal authority to conduct undercover missions outside Turkey’s borders with a critical change in Law number 2937. Another important change was introduced in 2017 with the decree-law number 694 that rendered the MİT subordinate directly to the presidency and the President was assigned as the chair of the National Intelligence Coordination Council (MİKK), which would become the main strategy-making body for MİT’s moves outside Turkey.11 MİT now became able to realize to-the-point operations without facing any impediments that could have arisen if parliament had not been bypassed by attaching the agency directly to the almighty presidential post.

As we will discuss in the proceeding parts, although the domestic reactions to the MİT’s covert operations inside and outside the country have been limited, they garnered huge repulsion from certain states and international organizations, as its actions were perceived as a form of deprivation of liberty.

An individual’s right to liberty can be compromised so long as it is in compliance with international law. Article 9 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights clearly defines the arbitrary deprivation of liberty as a lack of respect to grounds and procedures prescribed by law. Both articles provide in indisputable terms the conditions that any individual must be well informed, promptly or at the time of arrest, of the reasons for their arrest and of any charges against them in case of arresting. Furthermore, any individual must be brought before a judge or a similar judicial authority without delay.

However, in Turkey’s practice, people are abducted without even knowing what their crimes are or who exactly has captured them. They appear in court only after months of heavy tortures, if they are lucky to live long enough. Indeed, they can’t see even the faces of their abductors or torturers, much less their lawyers or families.

Turkey’s abduction operations abroad have in some cases been in cooperation with the hosting countries, while in others, the Turkish operational units simply utilized underhanded methods, drawing strong reactions from those countries. For example, the Mongolian Deputy Foreign Minister Battsetseg Batmunkh denounced the abduction attempt of the Turkish teacher Veysel Akçay on the grounds that “it is an unacceptable act of violation of Mongolia’s sovereignty and independence and Mongolia will strongly object it.” The Turkish Ambassador in Ulaanbaatar would, without a moment to spare, reject any kind of knowledge or involvement in the operation.

Another harsh backlash came from Kosovo after Turkey kidnapped five teachers and a medical doctor who had affiliations with the Gülen movement. Kosovar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj fired his interior minister and spy chief for their alleged complicity. Kosovo’s Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a stern statement in which it said, “the arrest and deportation of the Turkish citizens with a regular residence permit … is … in direct contradiction to international norms.”13 Erdoğan lambasted Kosovo’s PM, who had said the followers of the Gülen movement “were not deported but were stolen,” as if he was talking to one of his underlings or to any Turk who dared to question him, saying Haradinaj would “pay” for what he did. Enver Robelli, a prominent Kosovar journalist, told Al-Monitor about Erdoğan’s unbridled disparagement of the Kosovar PM: “People are irritated that Erdogan attacks the prime minister. Most [local] media [report that] Erdogan behaves as if he were the king of Kosovo.”

Nate Schenkkan from the Washington Post wrote, “The idea that Turkish intelligence would brazenly abduct its citizens from a country with which it has putatively good relations is a shocking offense against both international human rights standards and bilateral norms.”14 Schenkkan elaborated on Turkey’s flagrant “transnational repression.”15 He asserted that Turkey has pursued an aggressive policy to silence its perceived enemies in at least 46 countries.

Additionally, he recounted the allegations that it was abusing the Interpol as a political tool to target its opponents. “Ankara has revoked thousands of passports and achieved the arrest, deportation, or rendition of hundreds of Turkish citizens from at least 16 countries, including many who were under UN protection as asylum seekers. It has successfully pressured at least 20 countries to close or transfer to new owners dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Gülen movement schools,” he wrote.

The regime’s blatant moves against the followers of the Gülen movement have also been registered in detail by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its annual country reports since 2017. The report wrote under the Torture and Ill-Treatment in Custody section in 2017: “Cases of torture and ill-treatment in police custody were widely reported through 2017, especially by individuals detained under the anti-terror law, marking a reverse in long-standing progress, despite the government’s stated zero tolerance for torture policy. There were widespread reports of police beating detainees, subjecting them to prolonged stress positions and threats of rape, threats to lawyers, and interference with medical examinations.”17 The report mentioned the abductions by “unidentified perpetrators believed to be state agents” in at least six cases. The report for 2018 marked the continuation of allegations of torture, ill-treatment, and cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment in police custody and prison and the lack of any meaningful investigation into them as a source of deep concern. Furthermore, it would also lambaste the lack of any effective investigations into these serious assertions by the judiciary.

The same report for the next year recorded only exacerbation in these sources of concern without any sign of progress.19 Different from the previous reports, it would point to a pervasive culture of impunity for members of the security forces and public officials implicated. The report would also criticize in harsh terms Turkey’s barring of the publication of reports on the findings of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) in their two visits to detention places in Turkey. “Turkish authorities continued to seek the extradition of alleged Gülen supporters, many of them teachers, from countries around the world. Countries that complied with Turkey’s requests bypassed legal procedures and judicial review. Those illegally extradited in this way were detained and prosecuted on return to Turkey,” the report asserted.

Confessing Abductions

Despite undeniable evidence that the enforced disappearances were carried out openly or covertly by several state institutions, mainly by the intelligence and the security units, different government representatives and bodies have vehemently rejected accusations in their official statements. Despite that, their deliberate or on-impulse confessions are available even in the sources that are publicly accessible. Although it is universally accepted as a heinous transgression of the basic human rights and is widely shunned, Turkish authorities have interestingly defended abductions of dissidents in Turkey or abroad, not in blurted-out blunders but in deliberately stated confirmations. In the following paragraphs, some examples of such remarks will be highlighted.

Before proceeding with its abductions, Turkey first tried to capture the dissidents through formal mechanisms and within internationally approved norms, such as requesting the extradition of Gülen movement members. But as its demands were turned down in some countries, especially in the democratic world where the supremacy of law is respected, the Turkish government started to use extrajudicial ways like abductions to bring these people back.

Thinly-Veiled Threats by the Politicians

Turkish president Erdoğan has encouraged his loyalists time and again to make life unbearable for Hizmet followers and ordered law enforcement units and intelligence officers to kidnap his critics and punish them, even hinting vaguely of their murders. For instance, in one of his speeches, he said: “Some countries eliminate terrorists whom they consider as a threat to their national security, wherever they are. This means they accept that Turkey has the same right.” He then hinted about his target: “This includes the terrorists they shake hands with and praise. I hope we will have good news for the nation on this matter soon.”

In one of his early statements in September 2016, he would say that “no country or region around the world will ever be a safe haven for FETÖ and its militants.” The Turkish autocrat described the members of the Gülen movement as cancer cells that must be exterminated, leaving no remnants. “Those who fled abroad before or in the murky atmosphere of the coup d’état should never feel safe. … The children of this country should return and tell whatever they know to the relevant authorities. If they don’t, they’ll pay for it. At any rate, we won’t support them as our citizens. … We will take due action wherever they are captured,” he said.

Similar comments would spill from Erdoğan’s mouth during a joint press conference with Kosovar President Hashim Thaçi in Ankara on December 29, 201624: “Our crackdown on them both at home and abroad is underway and will continue to be the case in the future. Wherever they flee, we will be hot on the heels of the leaders and militants of terrorist organizations.”

Former Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ nonchalantly admitted that Ankara’s spy agency “bundled up and brought back” 80 suspects against their will, as part of their global response to so-called threats to Turkey’s security from the Hizmet movement. He also called the capture of Turkish dissident s from Kosovo, which had caused a serious commotion in that country, as “a great success.”

Commenting on the Kosovo abductions on the state-run TRT radio, Erdoğan’s lawyer Hüseyin Aydın also said similar abductions by the Turkish intelligence would continue. The Kosovo operation was not marking any “paradigm shift” for the MİT, and it wasn’t the first of its kind, said Aydın. “Fugitive Gülenists will walk looking behind their backs all the time. The National Intelligence Organization will continue its operations everywhere. After the government’s success at home, there was a need to carry out operations targeting the movement’s overseas network,” he threatened.

Following suit, the other members of the Turkish government, as well as loyal followers of the president, have expressed similar thoughts. There have been repeated calls for kidnapping, killing and torturing of Gülen followers from these circles; nevertheless, even though these are heinous hate crimes, prosecutors simply turn a deaf ear to any such threats if they are leveled against Hizmet members. This is a public craze, an unfathomable intemperance that is hardly tolerated even under actual war conditions. Even warring sides try to avoid atrocities against civilians, especially children, the elderly and women. However, different units of the state and the civilians, chiefly Erdoğan himself and his zealot loyalists, have repeatedly called for abduction and torture, even murder, of any Hizmet member in Turkey or abroad — even if they are elderly or women — and the plunder of their properties.

Erdoğan’s son-in-law even publicly encouraged the AKP zealots to kill Gülen movement followers, saying he would butcher them wherever he sees them without even batting an eyelid.27 While talking to a group of students that were granted scholarships to study abroad, Berat Albayrak said, “This gang of traitors is now pouring their poison and treason in cooperation with a disgusting ‘diaspora network’ all around the world to smear and betray this nation and this religion abroad. … If I were you, I would not have been able to restrain myself, I would have butchered them wherever I saw them. … These fugitives, stateless traitors, live very normal lives,” he added.

Erdoğan’s spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, as he was answering questions from the press on September 21, 2018, said, “Now, look, it may be the US or some other places, other countries in which the FETÖ nested, or some other regions, the operations by our relevant units and institutions in these places will continue uninterrupted. Therefore, they will continue feeling the breath of the state of the Turkish Republic on their necks. No one must ever doubt about this. Of course, I am not able to give you any details as to which countries, here or there, but anything may happen at any place. Let me express that our president has a clear order on this matter and that our units have been conducting professional efforts at the fullest possible extent. There may be operations in other regions, too, similar to the one in Kosovo. The Turkish Republic will not allow FETÖ to inhale a peaceful breath, everyone must know this.”28 The Kosovo operation he was referring to had stirred a huge backlash in the Balkan country as its Prime Minister stepped up to sack the internal minister and the head of the security forces for their negligence, which tainted the country’s sovereignty and made Kosovo seem like an unchecked and unprotected field where the agents of other countries could freely do whatever they want.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on April 4, 2017, “We do not stop chasing after them [Gülen movement participants] at home and abroad. We are breathing down their necks. We won’t give these traitors and dishonorable people room to breathe.”29 He would repeat the same threats over and over again by using the exact same words in a venomous tone as he spoke in Antalya in February 2019: “We are breathing down their necks. We will grab their necks and bring them back to Turkey. We will make the whole world a dungeon for them. We are hot on their heels all across the world. We are closing their associations, schools. We are closing down them all, or we are making them closed down. Lastly, Pakistan Constitutional Court declared them a terror organization.”

In some other incidents, the Turkish authorities revealed their plans to resort to underhanded operations against the members of the Gülen movement. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, for example, asserted on March 2017 that the Turkish state units have plans to whisk away the opposition figures, who had escaped the AKP persecution and sought refuge in Germany as political asylees. “One day, these FETÖ terrorists may be shocked to see where they are located, you know. I’m telling you from here, it is not that easy.”31 In one of the most famous such incidents that also kicked up a row in the US, the US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Mike Flynn allegedly discussed with representatives from the Turkish government a $15-million offer in exchange for delivering Fethullah Gülen to Turkey.32 This single case alone depicts the exorbitant plots the Turkish government has schemed and ventured even in the US, much less the countries with less established democratic institutions. Within its own borders and abroad, the Turkish government will continue to round up and bring in the dissidents to fill its currently-under-construction 228 new prisons.

Threats From Loyalists

Pro-government figures not only from politics but also from the media, also encouraged abduction, torture, and killing of government dissidents in Turkey and abroad. Erdoğan’s former speechwriter Aydın Ünal, for instance, penned threats bluntly against the Hizmet members in his column in a pro-government media outlet. The following quote is taken verbatim from his column in Erdoğan’s Yeni Şafak newspaper: “Certain Fetullahists continuing to live does not serve the interests of neither Gülen nor U.S. intelligence. They should prepare for the extrajudicial organization executions approaching, rather than conduct an operation through the judicial theater.”34 When he wrote these lines, he was also an MP of Erdoğan’s party. He claimed that the Hizmet would do something like this to journalists in exile since their lives would no longer “serve the interests of the movement.” These lines, however, were nothing but providing an early excuse for the MİT’s covert operations to assassinate these dissidents.

Another pro-government journalist, Cem Küçük, made an even direr statement. During a live television program, he insisted Turkish intelligence agencies kill family members of people who were arrested over their (alleged) affiliations with the Gülen movement. He was very critical even about the prosecutors, who had notoriously been very tough on the followers of the Gülen movement, accusing these prosecutors of being excessively lenient. He suggested that instead of asking questions and taking answers in conventional ways, the detained people must be subjected to a variety of tortures during their enforced stays in prisons. One of his suggestions to effectively convince Hizmet members to confess their attributed crimes was to “to hang them out of the window by their legs.”

Unfortunately, the Turkish state is already executing much worse cruelty against the alleged members of the movement. There are innumerable grueling accounts of how Hizmet members are treated in prisons.

The threats that come from Erdoğan’s zealot followers must also be noted. There have been countless physical assaults against members of the Hizmet movement inside Turkey, but there are concrete signs that the acts of intimidation and cannonade are being deliberately organized in other countries as well. For example, some German press outlets reported that AKP MP Metin Külünk was ostensibly providing funds for the Turkish “Ottoman Germania” gangs. There are surveillance camera records showing this politician in contact with the gang members while allegedly giving them money. A ZDF news reported evidence that Ottoman Germania was indeed assigned to carry out attacks on the Turkish dissidents living in the country. A former member of the European Parliament Ozan Ceyhun wrote on social media, “Gülenists in Germany will have many sleepless nights. We owe that to our martyrs.” Likewise, Dursun Baş, the chairman of the German branch of the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD), addressed two members of Stiftung Dialog und Bildung via Twitter, saying, “How do you dare to go out on the streets? For you, there will be no easy death.”

Sedat Peker, a mafia leader who was released from prison by Erdoğan in 2014, openly threatened dissidents with death but was acquitted by the court without even a slight warning, much less due to punishment. Peker, who was embraced by Erdoğan on many occasions and has very close relations with the youth of Erdoğan’s party, said, “We will force into the jails after hanging all of whomever we catch on the trees, flag poles. We will hang them in the jails as well. We will hang them on the poles from their necks,” and the court accepted these words as nothing more than normal expression of one’s opinions. People quit attending mosques for regular prayers due to the fear of getting assaulted by partisans, and their buildings were stoned or burnt by arson even in major European countries. Turkish businessman Ali Ekrem Kaynak was killed in Amsterdam sometime after he was verbally and physically assaulted by Erdoğan loyalists over his proximity to the Hizmet movement. There have been similar incidents in the US as well.

Donate Now

 

Read more

THE TORTURED MOTHERS UNDER ERDOGAN’S REGIME

PDF LINK

By AST Reporter, Nur Ozer

May 15, 2020

“I was so afraid to go to the hospital for delivery. I had planned to have the majority of my labor contractions at home so that I would not be taken into custody,” says Ayse Kaya in an interview she gave to an Advocates of Silenced Turkey reporter. Like many mothers of the Gulen movement, Ayse Kaya’s life took a radical turn after the so-called coup attempt in Turkey, in 2016. Mrs. Kaya, who is a Gulen movement supporter, used to work at a non-profit organization. Mrs. Kaya mentions in her interview that the organization was completely legal, operating under the appropriate government department that oversaw non-profit organizations, and subject to unannounced government audits.

The Turkish Justice Minister data indicates that there are more than 750 babies imprisoned with their mothers. According to the Turkish Criminal Code, Law No# 5275, Article 16, Section 4 the Implementation of Criminal and Security Measures prohibits the arrest of women with babies younger than six months and pregnant women. However, these regulations do not apply to Gulen movement supporters. This brutality is not limited to new moms, and newborns; it is also affecting the new generation of Turkey. There are more than 3000 children in the prisons of Turkey. This growing young generation has witnessed many tortures, and brutal practices in the jails, and at the courts. During this process, one can easily witness a child screaming, or crying uncontrollably as they see their parents in handcuffs.  Some of the mothers have to take their newborns to prison with them, while others have to leave them in tears to their parents.  Worst of all, there are many children whose mother and father were imprisoned and due to their relatives’ unwillingness to accept guardianship, these children were sent to the orphanages. The link below shows a short video of a little girl whose father is in jail, and whose mother was taken to court and arrested. After many hours of waiting, the little girl is talking to a dog asking where her mother is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gni2GbSpoZA

As of now, there is no evidence that connects Gulen supporters to the attempted 2016 coup. However, for Erdogan, and the AKP regime, this does not mean anything. In his article, Tas (2017) states, “Having thwarted a coup attempt, one could plausibly assume that AKP would comb through the evidence gathered and reveal the truth of 15 July. Instead, AKP demonstrated an apparent disdain for facts and employed various means to obstruct the pursuit of truth and maintain its monopoly over the narrative of the abortive coup.” (p.6) Even if we consider that the Gulen movement followers organized the coup, there is no law that allows imprisoning new mothers and newborns. No matter what the truth is, there is one reality that is not changing; Turkey’s prisons are turning into the headquarters of torture for the new generations of Turkey.

Like Mrs. Kaya, there are many mothers living in brutal conditions in the prisons of Turkey without -knowing the exact reason for their imprisonment. They are living with the hope that all of this is a big misunderstanding, and that the authorities would eventually realize that they were making a big mistake. Even though we share the same hopes with these new mothers, the present status of the Erdogan regime has not made any attempt to release them despite the danger of the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides all the trauma and brutality, the mothers are facing, there is another crucial unforeseen fact, which is the psychological status of new mothers.  The delivery process brings many crucial identity, physiological, and physical shifts in a woman’s life. “These changes range from “baby blues” to a spectrum of feelings known as “postpartum mood disorders”. (“Emotions of Motherhood”, n.d, p.0). Besides the poor psychological and physical conditions in prisons, most mothers suffer from deprivations such as not having hygienic enough conditions, and the lack of baby diapers, baby formula, and attention to the nutritional needs of their newborns.

In addition to the mothers in jails, due to unforeseen conditions, many women are forced to live in secret locations with the fear of being taken into custody or imprisoned. Most of these women have been suffering from the lack of access to proper healthcare, and from starvation, and poverty. Today, many Gulen movement supporters are forced into civil death with their families, and many ended up with emigrating from Turkey via dangerous water crossing from Meric (Evros River) with the hope of finding new lives overseas.


References

All Things Baby . (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.unitypoint.org/waterloo/emotions.aspx

CEZA VE GÜVENLİK TEDBİRLERİNİN İNFAZI HAKKINDA KANUN. (2004, December 13). Retrieved from https://www.mevzuat.gov.tr/MevzuatMetin/1.5.5275.pdf

Tas , H. (2018, March 8). The 15 July abortive coup and post-truth politics in Turkey. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14683857.2018.1452374?needAccess=true

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gni2GbSpoZA


 

Read more

Hundreds of young Turkish children jailed alongside their moms as part of a post-coup crackdown

It was a snowy January morning in Istanbul last year when Ayse, a 32-year-old primary school teacher and mother of two, kissed the kids goodbye at school and headed home.

She didn’t make it to her front door before she was surrounded by seven policemen, accused of membership in a terrorist organization, handcuffed and taken away. Two months after being jailed, Ayse was joined behind bars by her youngest son, Ali, then just 4 years old.

For another four months, she said, their lives unfolded like a horror movie. Built to hold 10 people, Ayse said, her cell was packed with 23 detainees. She remembers babies unable to get vaccines, and burning themselves with hot tea. She remembers, too, the traumatic cries at night.

“Loud music blared through our ward every morning, every morning I would wake up scared with my son,” she told Fox News in a recent interview from a refugee camp in Greece. “The ward was a very dangerous place for children. Our bunks were iron. One baby there was learning to walk and hit his head badly, other children were screaming. It was an incredibly difficult time.”

The case of Ayse and Ali is hardly unique. Based on monitoring government decrees and other reports from official sources, by the end of August 2017, advocacy groups had highlighted some 668 cases of children under the age of 6 being held in jails with their mothers. And 23 percent of those youngsters were infants less than a year old.

Several thousand children ages 6-18 are also being held.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry provided a somewhat lower figure, stating that a total of 560 children under the age of 6 were being held in Turkish prisons along with their mothers.

Mothers and their children continue to be rounded up with tens of thousands of other Turks following the July 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The country has, since that attempt, been in a legal “state of emergency,” one that allows the government to jail anyone believed to have ties to exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen and his Hizmet movement.

Whatever the number of prisoners, “prison is no place for children in any civilized country,” said Dr. Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, a British foreign policy think tank, He called the policy of jailing mothers and children without charge “a travesty of justice” that will have “lasting effects on the lives of innocent children.”

Other critics of Turkey’s policy noted that the imprisoned women and children were victims of guilt by association.

“What is striking about detained women since the failed coup is that some of them are simply wives or children of suspects, but not suspects themselves. This amounts to collective punishment,” said Merve Tahiroglu, a research analyst with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based nonpartisan institute focusing on national security.

Ugar Tok, director of the Belgium-based Platform for Peace and Justice (PPJ), a human rights monitoring group focused on Turkey, said it can take six to 10 months of detention before the women in jail can stand in court. In the meantime, “the government prevents detainees from accessing lawyers and files in order to defend themselves.”

According to the World Prison Brief, as of October of last year, women comprised 4.4 percent of Turkey’s prison population. The official number of females behind bars is just under 10,000, but Tok estimates the numbers could be as high as 17,000.

Kam, a 34-year-old university teacher in İzmir Province at the time of her arrest in October 2016, said she was held for two months for investing – as thousands of other Turks have – in the Gulen-affiliated Bank Asya. She was kept in a cell with her 7-month-old son and two other babies, where they were prohibited from crawling on the floor. Toys were also prohibited, she said, and at times they could not access clean water.

“We were all treated like terrorists, we were isolated,” Kam told Fox News from Germany, where she and her family are now refugees. “We were all humiliated. … I don’t know what was worse, to have my baby in the prison or to have my other son, who was 11, outside the prison. When I saw him, he was changing.”

Case summaries and photographs viewed by Fox News, provided by international human rights investigators and lawyers, bring the grim statistics to life. They showed babies still on jail floors, with no play areas or facilities; women with chunks of hair ripped from their scalp in alleged prison mistreatment; and dozens of infants smiling before being whisked away to detention, where many are believed to remain.

Nurhayat Yildiz, 27, a housewife expecting twins, was arrested on Aug. 29, 2016, after boarding a bus from the northern Turkish province of Sinop, headed for her 14-week checkup. Nurhayat was detained and charged with Hizmet membership – because she allegedly had a popular encrypted messaging app, ByLock, on her phone. The Turkish government believes members involved in the coup attempt communicated through ByLock, and despite the app being commercially available to anyone, the government has systematically rounded up thousands of those who have it.

Yildiz’s supporters say she didn’t even have the app on her phone. In any case, at 19 weeks, on Oct. 6 that year, the first time mom-to-be suffered a devastating miscarriage behind bars.

“Nurhayat lost her dreams,” a prominent Turkish legal activist with Washington-based Advocates for Silenced Turkey (AST), who recently fled to California and requested anonymity for the safety of her relatives in Turkey, told Fox News. “And now she is suffering immense psychological problems, she barely talks. Her twins never got to live.”

Then there are stories like that of Filiz Yavuz, who was suddenly arrested – taken in a wheelchair – just eight hours after giving birth at a maternity hospital in the southeastern province of Mersin on Feb. 7, 2017.

“The police came for me at 3 in the morning. They said I was a terrorist because someone in my dormitory room from 2008 gave them my name,” Nur, 27, a human rights lawyer who was once a student at the Ankara University Faculty of Law, recalled of that frightful morning on Jan. 18, 2017. That’s when she was whisked from her home in the city of Eskisehir to a dark detention cell.

Nur considers herself one of the lucky ones. She was released by a judge after five days due to her severe asthma and a heart condition. She quickly boarded a smugglers’ boat. Today, Nur – from the safety of the United States – is trying to draw attention to the plight of other detained moms, their children and other of pregnant women who she says have suffered miscarriages amid the psychological ordeal of arrest and captivity.

Turkey’s Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Turkish officials have consistently defended the widespread arrest and detention of thousands of Turkish citizens, including women and children, as vital to national security. They also insist that the detainees are being held in compliance with international law.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which monitors the health and well-being of detainees in crisis spots around the world, confirmed it is not currently present in Turkey, and thus cannot monitor the situation.

But that situation remains a cause of concern for many human rights groups, which routinely spotlight the seemingly arbitrary detainment of Turkish citizens.

“ Following the coup attempt in July 2016, tens of thousands of people have been detained. The vast majority are not accused of participating in the events of the coup and in many cases that Amnesty International has examined there is no credible evidence of criminal acts,” a spokesperson for that group told Fox News.

Source:
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/02/13/hundreds-young-turkish-children-jailed-alongside-their-moms-as-part-post-coup-crackdown.html

Read more

At Least 3 Victims Of Erdoğan’s Persecution Targeting Gülen Movement Drowned As Trying To Cross River Between Turkey And Greece

At least three victims of the massive post-coup persecution of Turkish government, led by autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement, have reportedly drowned on Tuesday morning as they were trying to cross the Meriç/Evros river between Turkey and Greece.

Eight Turkish citizens, including 3 children, 2 women and 3 man, have been missed after their rubber boat capsized in Meriç/Evros river on the border between Turkey and Greece on Tuesday. The bodies of the two drowned brothers, estimated to be aged around 11 and 3, and their mother were discovered.

The names of the victims are 37-year-old Ayşe (Söyler) Abdurrezzak from Havran district of Balıkesir province, her sons 3-year-old Halil Münir Abdurrezzak, who was born in Maltepe district of İstanbul and 11-year-old Abdul Kadir Enes Abdurrezzak.

It was learned that contact with the 8 people has been lost at 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning as they were trying to fled from Turkey to Greece via Meriç/Evros river. Uğur Abdurrezzak, the bodies of his wife and his children were found, is still missing.

Ayşe Söyler Abdurrezzak, who was graduated from Turkish Language Department of İstanbul’s Marmara University in 2005 and used to work as a teacher. She and her teacher husband were dismissed by a government decree under the rule of emergency as they were working at a school in Kartepe district of Kocaeli province in the wake of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

It was also learned that Doğan Family was accompanying the Abdurrezzak Family on the rubber boat as they were crossing the Meriç/Evros river and the members of the family, Fahreddin Doğan, his wife Aslı Doğan and the couple’s 2,5-year-old son İbrahim Selim Doğan are still missing.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency (AA) has reported previously that the emergency services are searching for up to 10 migrants reported missing after a boat capsized in a river that flows along the Turkish-Greek border. According to the report, the emergency services were alerted on Tuesday by border guards who heard cries for help from the river, known as Meriç in Turkish and Evros in Greek.

The report said between eight and 10 migrants, including women and children, were trying to cross into Greece aboard the rubber boat, which was found punctured.

Thousands of refugees and migrants enter Greece every year from Turkey on their way to Europe. Most choose the sea crossing in flimsy smuggling boats to the eastern Aegean islands. However, Evros has also been used for passage from Turkey to Greece.

In recent years, beside of refugees from other countries using Turkey as a transit route, some Turkish citizens who had to fled Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt launched by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government against sympathizers of the Gülen movement in the wake of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, have also used the same route. Many tried to escape Turkey via illegal ways as the government canceled their passports like thousands of others.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665 people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Source:
https://stockholmcf.org/two-child-migrants-die-others-reported-missing-during-river-crossing-between-turkey-and-greece/

Read more

U.N. elects Turkey to oversee human rights activists, VP of Committee on NGOs

The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the U.N. election of Turkey as Vice-Chair of the committee that accredits and oversees the work of non-governmental human rights groups at the world body, noting that the Erdogan regime arrests, jails and persecutes human rights activists, journalists and students.

“Electing Turkey’s Erdogan regime to oversee the work of human rights activists at the U.N. is like picking the fox to guard the henhouse, as he is still wiping the feathers off his mouth from his last meal,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

“This election is absurd, and casts a shadow upon the reputation of the United Nations as a whole,” said Neuer.

The diplomat elected on January 29th to represent the Erdogan regime on the committee was Ceren Hande Özgür.

“It underscores the degree to which this vital committee—which has the power to suspend the U.N. credentials of human rights groups—has been hijacked by the world’s worst dictatorships.”

    Despite its U.N. election today, Turkey is notorious for persecuting NGO activists, as documented by Freedom House:

  • Since the attempted coup in 2016, 1,500 civil society organizations have been summarily closed and their property confiscated. Targeted groups worked on torture, domestic violence, and aid to refugees and internally displaced persons.
  • In 2017, Turkey arrested a number of leading human rights activists on terrorism charges. Osman Kavala, the country’s most prominent civil society leader, was detained in October and charged with attempting to overthrow the constitutional order.
  • In June 2017, the chair of Amnesty International’s Turkey branch was arrested on terrorism charges.
  • In July, a raid on a routine training session for human rights defenders resulted in the arrest of eight representatives from Turkey’s major rights organizations, along with two foreign trainers. They were eventually released pending trial.
  • Journalists are prosecuted, and media outlets closed.
  • Authorities routinely disallow gatherings by government critics on security grounds, while pro-government rallies are allowed to proceed.
  • Restrictions were imposed on May Day celebrations by leftist and labor groups, LGBT events, protests by purge victims, and opposition party meetings. Police use force to break up unapproved protests.

Source:
https://www.unwatch.org/u-n-elects-turkey-oversee-human-rights-activists-vp-committee-ngos/

Read more

Scandal response from AKP administration to the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) request for Cizre defense

Scandal response from AKP administration to the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) request for Cizre defense. Turkish government indicated that those killed in basements in Cizre should not be seen as ‘wounded innocent civilians that were awaiting medical aid’. A lot of deaths occurred in basements of apartments in Cizre, a district of Sirnak, on January 7, 2016 when the government implemented curfew times. European Court of Human Rights demanded an explanation for the deaths.

Source:
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/aihmden-cizre-savunmasi-talebine-akp-yonetiminden-skandal-cevap-h111772.html

Read more