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Erdogan’s Torture Squads and Torture in Turkey as a Grave Human Rights Violation

THE CRIME OF TORTURE

As a member of the Council of Europe, Turkey has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights. Even according to the 15th article of the European Convention on Human Rights which permits under extreme circumstances the suspension of certain obligations by members, the ban on the use of torture cannot be suspended. According to the 3rd article of the European Convention on Human Rights titled

‘Prohibition of Torture’,

No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Mehmet Bilen vs. Turkey case,

The applicant has made a complaint regarding the alleged maltreatment and pressure he has been subjected to under arrest which has been an important decision that has led to the conviction of Turkey. The ECHR has drawn attention to the fact that neither the Director of Public Prosecution nor the judges investigated the circumstances under which the complainant signed his statements and failed to convey the complaint to appropriate prosecutorial officials.

When an individual under arrest and complete control of police officers has been injured during their arrest, the ECHR has held the government solely responsible. In this case, the ECHR has drawn attention to the fact the government had not made any statements regarding the injuries detected on the applicant’s body who had been under arrest for 18 days without being in contact with his attorney. Additionally, the ECHR also arrived at the conclusion that according to the evidence found in a forensic report conducted on April 19, 1996, the defendant government was responsible for the applicant’s injuries. In conclusion, the ECHR decided that in the present case, the treatment the applicant endured was inhumane, degrading, and in violation of ECHR’s 3rd article.

United Nations Convention Against Torture:

According to the convention, the term ‘torture’ is a verb which “means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”. The second article of the UN Convention states that:

(1) “Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.

(2) “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 of torture”.

(3) “An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture”.

INTRODUCTION

Government employees who have been involved in the use of torture have been protected by government institutions and officials in Turkey for years and rewarded with impunity. Even when a lawsuit is filed against them, it is ensured that these employees continue their duties and even receive promotions as they are prevented from being sentenced and imprisoned. Lawsuits against many of them can last for years because they cannot be prosecuted.

Especially after the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the crime of torture has increased significantly, become systematic again in Turkey, and affected a greater number of victims. Despite this increase in torture which was also reflected in the reports of human rights organizations in Turkey, torturers continue to be rewarded with impunity. AST reporters have therefore decided to prepare a series of reports on torturers based on hundreds of cases of torture and published reports. The report prepared is based on the statements of torture victims, witness accounts, and court proceedings. The identity of some of the victims whose testimonies are included in the report has been kept confidential for security reasons. This report is the first of a series of studies. Interviews with victims and studies on similar cases will increase as will the number of reports; the available data will then be listed. The aim of this and future reports are to prevent the crime of torture and torturers from going unpunished. Legal procedures regarding torturers whose names have been identified in the reports will be followed, and efforts to impose sanctions on the individuals through international channels will be made. The rights of victims in Turkey will be defended more vigorously once victims are afforded a safe environment in which they can face their torturers in court for the reckoning. It should not be forgotten that torture is the greatest crime against humanity and there is no statute of limitations for this crime. Therefore, AST will continue efforts on behalf of victims to ensure that torturers face prosecution and are sentenced with the punishment they deserve.

SUMMARY

In this report, reporters of the human rights organization, AST (Advocates of Silenced Turkey) have put under the spotlight individuals involved in the crime of torture in Turkey, those protecting torturers, individuals praising the crime of torture and those inciting individuals to commit the crime. Almost all of the victims mentioned in the report explained the tortures they had seen in detail; their statements have also been reported in official court documents. Despite this, torturers whose names were generally revealed in this report were not brought to court. Documents and official statements mentioned in this report reveal that generally, the government of Turkey has not taken any practical action to prevent the crime of torture. On the contrary, during the visits of international commissions, instructions are given by official authorities to eliminate traces of torture. This report includes the statements of Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu encouraging the security officials to commit violence, torture, and the experiences of victims who were tortured and later found to innocent as a result of these statements.

AST reporters note in this report that torture is legitimized by the state.

It is argued that action should be taken to limit and ultimately end this dire situation. AST reporters, who have determined that government officials motivate torturers to commit violence with legal regulations and their statements, underline that the words of Mehmet Metiner, Chairman of the Parliamentary (TBMM) Sub-Commission on Prison “We will not investigate the allegations of torture” are an indication of this attitude. It is also a striking example of the impunity awarded to torturers and the actions of the AKP (Justice and Development Party, Turkish Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP), also called AK Party) government to protect them.

Chief constable Oktay Kapsız, who tortured and killed a suspect named Murat Konus under custody was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court on July 9th, 2019 for ‘killing by torture’; he has not been arrested and is still continuing his duties at the Muğla Marmaris District Police Department. It is scandalous that, in addition to Kapsız, three more police officers, despite having received the same punishment for torture and murder, have not only continued their duties, but have also evaded disciplinary punishments, and were sent off by high-level officials of the state to their new positions accompanied by farewell dinners and plaques of appreciation. This report reveals how torturers, who were investigated or prosecuted for similar actions, were rewarded with impunity and even promotions, and how continued their duties.

The insensitive attitude of government officials in regards to human rights violations is naturally cited as the reason for the increase in torture in security agencies as well as the reason for torturers to commit violence in such an audacious manner. Hacı Murat Dinçer, former director of Anti-Terrorism Department (TEM) of Şırnak, is also cited as an example. Dinçer ordered police officers under his command to have Hacı Lokman Birlik, who was captured with serious injuries, be tied to the back of an armored police vehicle and dragged around in the district. Dincer, who ordered the horrific death of Birlik, received a plaque of success from AKP leader and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He later became a candidate to be a deputy for the AKP. Despite the complaints filed against Dincer by the Birlik family, no legal action was taken against Dinçer.

This report also includes the names of some torturers which were not revealed previously. Especially after the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the identities of individuals who have tortured officers and non-commissioned officers are being exposed. It is reported here that the individual who brutally tortured General Akın Öztürk is now TEM (Anti-Terror Office) Branch Deputy Chief Elif Sümercan. It is also revealed that Sümercan was later promoted and finally became the Head of Department at the Ministry of Culture.

AST reporters are creating a roster of names to add to their large-scale investigation in documenting names of torturers. Names that have been identified are classified according to the torturers’ places of duty, victim profiles, and the length of their prosecution processes. The list will be supplemented by future reports’ findings. The list does not only contain names of security guards according to the findings of the reporters. Additionally, doctors, members of the judiciary, government officials, politicians, journalists and even civilians who participated in the torture are included in the list of names. In other words, the list also includes individuals who protect torturers, cover up their actions, praise and encourage them to commit torture, as well as those who have committed the crime of torture.

CASES

1. SÜLEYMAN SOYLU, Minister of Interior of AKP Government

Numerous criminal complaints were made against Suleyman Soylu and an investigation was opened for the crimes of “incitement to torture” and “violation of the Constitution” on the grounds that he was responsible for the crime of torture, as well as for providing instructions to police personnel under his command especially after July 15, 2016. Minister Suleyman Soylu is the number one suspect named in complaints regarding deaths and injuries resulting from torture in detention. It is also worth noting that Minister Soylu has encouraged police in his statements to use violence.

Soylu has ordered security forces participating in operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to use violence without even giving them the right to stand trial. Soylu has said about an operation that although “photos of the neutralized terrorists” are not generally shared, he would “share their pictures as a lesson”.[1] In August 31, 2016, following Soylu’s statements, footage of torture captured during military operations were released to serve as “a warning”.

Three villagers, as shown in these images were foraging for mushrooms in the Gevas district of Van when they were accused of being “terrorists”, detained and tortured in the Gevaş District Police Department. Cemal Aslan, a father of three, suffered from a broken nose and ribs and a perforated eardrum as a result of the torture he was subjected to. The images depicting the villagers were posted on social media by security forces. The villagers were later released when they were found innocent.[2]

The images of villagers who were denied the presumption of innocence and subjected to extrajudicial torture were exposed on social media, especially by AKP journalists who advocated for the use torture. AKP journalist Fatih Tezcan also shared the photographs; “the person who fired a rocket at the Van Gevaş Police Department was caught. You see him crying and hitting his head against the walls to die” he tweeted. After the villagers were released, Tezcan apologized saying that “it was understood that these people were not terrorists, they were innocent civilians and they were released. Servet Haznedar, the attorney of Cemal Aslan, Abdulselam Aslan, and Halil Aslan who were tortured, filed a criminal complaint against the Gevaş Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for the crimes of “torture, insult, abuse of power and damage to property” committed against his clients.[3] When the case had been closed in Erzurum’s Regional Court of Justice, the 7th High Criminal Division in June 2020, only one police officer was tried for torture and fined only three thousand Turkish Liras. This penalty was ultimately not applied and postponed.[4]

Aykut, who was tortured, was acquitted

Abdi Aykut is one of many individuals who have been denied the presumption of innocence without even being brought before a court by AKP’s Ministry of Interior Suleyman Soylu and has been accused of committing terrorism. Abdi Aykut was among 39 individuals including two children, who were detained during a curfew declared between February 11 and March 2, 2017 in Kuruköy, Nusaybin district of Mardin. Photographs which depicted Aykut as having been badly injured and tortured circulated in the press soon after Aykut disappeared. In regards to the aforementioned event and photographs which were brought to the attention of the TBMM Parliament, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu defended the torture Aykut was subjected to, claimed that “nothing outside the rule of law was being done” and that Aykut was hosting terrorism. Aykut, who was tried at the Mardin 3rd High Criminal Court for terrorism, was acquitted of the crime pursuant to Article 223/2 of the code of criminal procedure, as it was understood that definitive and convincing evidence that he committed the crime he was accused of could not be obtained.[5]

Following this decision, 7 other people applied to the Mardin Administrative Court on grounds of “unjust detention” and filed a lawsuit for compensation against the Ministry of Interior.

At the General Security and Fight Against Narcotics Meeting held at the Ministry of Education, Interior Minister Soylu stated that he had been instructing police officers for over a year to “do what is necessary” upon capturing drug dealers; a criminal complaint was subsequently filed against him by the Istanbul Bar Association on the grounds that he clearly incited the crime of torture with this statement.[6]

Istanbul Bar Lawyer Atilla Özen stated in the criminal complaint made to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor that Soylu clearly committed the crime of “provoking others to commit a crime” in Article 214/1 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 5237. According to the criminal complaint, “if police are caught up in Soylu’s provocation and commit a crime, the ‘torture crime’ in Article 94 of the Turkish Penal Code will be committed and the Minister of Internal Affairs will not only be held accountable for the crime of public incitement but also be liable for the crime of ‘instigation of torture’; he can therefore be penalized in accordance with Article 214/3 of the Criminal Code.

Gaziantep Bar Association President Bektaş Şarklı, who was beaten and injured by the Antalya Bar Association President Polat Balkan and police, also filed a complaint with the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding the Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Ankara Governor Vasip Şahin, Ankara Police Director Servet Yılmaz and law enforcement officers on grounds of “intentionally wounding”, “depriving a person of his liberty, torture and ill-treatment”. Upon Soylu’s instructions, the presidents of the bar association were prevented from entering Ankara and Şarklı was injured.[7] Furthermore, the “Saturday Mothers” platform created to locate missing relatives who disappeared in custody as well as the IHD (Human Rights Association) have filed a complaint against Süleyman Soylu on the grounds that he committed the crime of torture.[8] Groups searching for their missing relatives were holding demonstrations and press releases within the scope of their constitutional rights when they were met with excessive force by the police and battered.

2. HAKAN FIDAN, MIT (the National Intelligence Organization) Undersecretary

In previous reports, AST reporters have included testimonies of victims who were abducted by MIT and tortured for months in illegal interrogations. In addition to providing descriptions of their torturers, the victims have also prepared complaints against Undersecretary Hakan Fidan who was responsible for the officers committing the torture, to be filed with international courts on torture charges.[9]

3. MEHMET METİNER, Chairman of the Parliamentary (TBMM) Sub-Commission on Prison of the period

AKP’s Mehmet Metiner has made a dire statement about the increasing allegations of torture and ill-treatment, especially after July 15, 2016, and has reflected the government’s grave attitude towards human rights. President of the TBMM Prison Sub-Committee, Metiner stated that government officials would not visit members of the Hizmet Movement in prison nor investigate the allegations of torture and ill-treatment in prison made by these individuals.[10]

Metiner has also stated that “no one should attempt to use FETO terrorists as political propaganda. They are not victims, but victimizers”. However, the purpose of the commission is to examine conditions of prisoners regardless of their religion, language, race, political opinion, social status, and crimes. Metiner’s statement has been condemned by opposition parties.

4. ALİ BAŞTÜRK, Deputy General Director of Police

In the letter of instructions classified and distributed as “Confidential” to all units in 81 provinces bearing the signature of Ali Baştürk, the Chief Civil Inspector of the General Directorate of Security and the Deputy General Director of the Police, it is stated that Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Maltreatment (CPT) can make spontaneous visits and that in order to conceal the ill-treatment of prisoners, it is asked that detention facilities be prepared in advance and made suitable for such visits.[11]

In the instruction letter, the statements made by international institutions and organizations regarding operations following the coup attempt as well as news published by international media were also referenced. The instructions provided by Basturk labeled “Confidential” are as follows:

At the “Coordination Meeting” held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 8/25/2016, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture will pay a visit to our country between 8/28 and 6/9/2016 and during their visit, the Committee can make spontaneous visits to any detention center throughout our country.

In this context, I kindly request that detention facilities be used as infrequently as possible, current legal and international standards in detention procedures be followed, and arrangements to make all detention units suitable for the mentioned visits be made”.

5. EŞREF AKTAŞ, Trabzon Public Prosecutor

As a result of decree number 667 issued by the government after July 15, 2016, all kinds of crimes committed under the pretext of protecting the state were left unpunished. The decree has been interpreted by some members of the judiciary as an obstacle to the prosecution of torturers; torture cases in various provinces of Turkey were denied and complaints of torture victims disregarded as a result of the decree laws.

Abdullah B., who was arrested within the scope of the investigation against the Hizmet Movement in Trabzon, complained to the Trabzon Chief Prosecutor’s Office, citing that he was beaten, mistreated and threatened after being detained along with his pregnant wife.

Prosecutor Eşref Aktaş ruled that “there is no room for prosecution” in this case by referring to “Article 9 of the Decree Law No. 667” issued by the government. [12]

Prosecutor Aktaş also ruled that police officers do not have criminal responsibilities due to the nature of their duties and cannot be prosecuted as per the Decree Law. The decision, which meant that the crime of torture would not be punished, was found “grave” by independent lawyers. Aktaş’ decision which covered up the crime of torture also emboldened the police officers who tortured Abdullah B.

6. OKTAY KAPSIZ, Chief Superintendent

An example of a case in which impunity and the protection of the state is granted to torturers in Turkey is the Chief Superintendent Oktay Kapsiz case.[13] Oktay Kapsız, who was found to have killed a suspect named Murat Konus in custody by torture in the Istanbul Public Security Branch detention center was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court decision; he was, however, not arrested and resumed his duties.

The accused police officer Oktay Kapsız, who served as a commissioner in Beşiktaş, Istanbul around the time of Murat Konus’ death, rose to higher ranks in the following years. Kapsız, who was serving as the Hakkari Çukurca Chief Superintendenton July 9, 2019, when the case was concluded, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Istanbul 2nd High Criminal Court, but was appointed to the Muğla Police Department in November after 4 months after the court decision. Kapsiz who had killed a man by torture and received a life-sentence was sent off to his new place of duty with a state ceremony.[14] He was even presented a plaque of appreciation by Çukurca District Governor Murat Öztürk and hosted at dinner by the mayor and some commanders.

Sentenced to life imprisonment for torture but still on duty

Murat Konus was among 29 individuals taken into custody in 2010 for the theft of $1.2 in Laleli, Istanbul. Approximately 3 hours after being detained, Konus was taken from the police station to a hospital in a blanket. He died in the hospital an hour later. In an autopsy report, it was determined that Konus was killed as a result of the torture he suffered in custody. The report stated that his death was caused by heavy blows he had received on his head. Following the report, lawsuits were filed against 7 police officers. The police, who were detained for a short time, were later released. On the 9th year of the trial, 4 police officers were found guilty by the Istanbul 2nd High Criminal Court on July 9, 2019. Police officers Oktay Kapsız, Ramazan Adıgüzel, Murat Ertürk and Abdülcelil Karadağ were sentenced to life imprisonment for “causing death by torture”. The sentence was ultimately reduced and converted to life imprisonment. The court, which sentenced the defendants to life imprisonment, did not issue a warrant for the officers’ arrest. Local courts in Turkey, under normal circumstances and in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision may decide against arresting defendants during trial if the defendants are charged with petty crimes and sentenced to 2-3 years in prison. However, it is unacceptable for a defendant who is charged with torture-the greatest crime against humanity-and sentenced to life imprisonment to be tried without arrest.

In order for these police officers to go back to prison, the case of death by torture, which was concluded 10 years ago, must be approved by the Supreme Court.

The lawyer of the Konus family, Nuri Köse, has reacted to the decision as follows: “Although it was confirmed by camera recordings, witness statements and forensic reports that Murat Konus died as a result of the torture he was subjected to at the hands of police officers, the trial was unfortunately not finalized for years and the decision was only reached on July 9, 2019. Despite the fact that the crime was established, doubts regarding the fairness of the duration of the trial process and decision are raised when one takes into account that a decision could not be reached for years, discretionary reductions were applied to the four defendants’ life sentences, the defendants who did not attend the hearing and were sure to escape due to the life imprisonment sentence they received did not face arrest until the case was concluded and the failure of authorities to take action against those who have attempted to conceal the crime of torture in custody”.

Not even disciplinary action was taken against the 4 torturers. Following the court decision, the Istanbul Police Department announced that the police officers could not be administered disciplinary punishments due to the statute of limitations.[15] The three other police officers who were sentenced to life imprisonment also resumed their duties.

7. MUHSİN TÜRKEŞ, Police Officer/Constable – AHMET GÜRBÜZ, Public Prosecutor

Eyüp Birinci, a teacher, was arrested on July 24, 2016 by the Antalya Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime (KOM) Branch Directorate police. On July 29, he was operated on and his family was not informed. His family found out on the 2nd of August that Birinci was staying at the Atatürk Hospital in room 401. During a hospital visit, Eyüp Birinci told his family that he had been soaked, and beaten naked for a week.[16] The family filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office against the police officers in Antalya Police Station who tortured Birinci. However, Prosecutor Ahmet Gürbüz did not process this petition for twenty-four days. As a result, Birinci’s family claim that the torture sessions continued after Birinci’s release from the hospital. Eyüp Birinci, who was tortured for about a month in custody, suffered from tears in his intestines as a result of objects being inserted into his anus and received treatment at the hospital, was finally brought to the office of prosecutor Ahmet Gürbüz on August 24. In his statement, Eyüp Birinci told the prosecutor that he was blindfolded by the police, stripped naked, drenched with water, hit in his face, under his feet, on his stomach, had his privates crushed, and was beaten with a truncheon. Birinci stated that the doctor who performed a health check on him when he was detained ignored the injuries he found on Birinci’s body and claimed they were “simple, not serious”; Birinci also stated that after fainting during an interrogation in the following days, he was taken to the hospital and operated on upon being diagnosed with internal bleeding.[17]

Prosecutor Gürbüz, not only neglected to investigate the allegations of torture and attempted to cover them up, but also arrested Birinci. Birinci, who released a statement from prison through his family, emphasized that a police officer named Muhsin Türkeş and other officers whose name he did not know tortured him.

In an interview she gave to a news website, Eyüp Birinci’s wife explained the details of the torture as follows:[iii] “They struck him in the face with a thick newspaper roll. They put their batons inside his mouth and turned it around in his mouth until he was out of breath. They slapped his face until he turned fire red and he bled. Despite being out of breath, police officer Muhsin Türkeş and others said to him that they would make him regret being alive and constantly threatened him with either talking or dying. They had him kneel and asked him what he was doing in Antalya. They hit his thighs and stepped on his kneecaps until he shouted in agony. They hit the bottom of his feet with their batons and his feet swelled up with water. They threatened to pull out his nails. They crushed his privates. They threatened to bring his wife and 9 year old daughter there, strip and assault them in front of Birinci and take his wife and daughter to a brothel afterwards.

8. HALİL İBRAHİM DİLEK, Provincial Police Chief Assistant Responsible for TEM – BERAT GÜNÇİÇEK, TEM Section Chief Assistant

Superintendent Süleyman Akçin was detained by Mersin Anti-Terrorism (TEM) units within the scope of the Hizmet Movement investigation and was arrested on July 20, 2016. Akçin, who is held in Tarsus Prison, announced that he was tortured during the two-day detention period. He spoke of his experiences during his defense at the first hearing held at Mersin 7th High Criminal Court on June 20, 2017. [19]

Akçin, who was tortured with the strappado, reports that he was subjected to hours of physical and psychological pressure, torture, and that his calves were battered with a baton. Akçin also spoke about other tortured individuals during his defense: “Hasan Basri Dağdelen, a director was also brought into the same room I was held in with blood on his hand, mouth, face and his clothes. They tortured Hasan Basri the same way they tortured me. While the torture was taking place, Halil Ibrahim Dilek, Provincial Police Chief responsible for TEM and Berat Guncicek, TEM Section Chief Assistant were also there. They forced me to sign some documents. They prevented me from meeting with a lawyer. I was constantly deprived of sleep. A bloody shirt, which I later learned belonged to Hasan Basri, was kept on the ground for days in jail. There were ladies and even a female judge in the ward adjacent to ours in the detention center”.

9. YASİN DEMİR, Former Kırıkkale TEM Section Chief

Some of 48 suspects who were tried at the hearing held at Kırıkkale High Criminal Court on February 16, 2017, spoke about the heavy pressure and torture they suffered from at the hands of police officers and especially the Director of TEM division chief, Yasin Demir.[20]  Apart from Yasin Demir, the torture victims could only provide the descriptions of some police officers who tortured them. The statements made by lecturer, MD Erdem Ayyıldız as he wept were recorded in the official reports as follows: “I was tortured in custody for 13 days. I was alone for a week of the torture. I was unable to go outside as a result. They gave me an unforgettable scar. I did not plead guilty. Suddenly, someone from the interrogation room slipped behind me and put my shirt over my face and dragged me to the bathroom. In the bathroom they stripped me naked, washed me with a garden hose, I was blindfolded with my undershirt; they washed me with ice cold water as they laughed at me. They found liquid soap and a baton and shoved the baton into my anus. At that moment, I told them ‘okay whatever you ask, I accept’ and when I said that, they stopped torturing me.”

Harun Özdemir, one of the individuals also on trial, spoke about the torture he had suffered. The following statements were included in the court records: “I was blindfolded and they said to me ‘you are going to talk’. They blindfolded me and took me to the bathroom. I’m ashamed to speak of this. They treated me inhumanely, insulted me, forcibly took off my clothes, and continued to insult me when I refused to take off my clothes. They soaked my body with cold water, while I was naked and blindfolded. They assaulted me with their truncheons. Then someone started to crush my testicles. The pain was so unbearable that my vision darkened, I thought I was going to die. ”

“I wish they had killed me”

Director of school Hasan Kobalay explained the details of the torture he was subjected to during a trial. The hearing records include the following statements: “I was detained in Aydın Nazilli on October 31, 2016. I asked the police why I was detained, they said nothing and asked me my profession. They instructed me to take down my pants, I did and they told me that they would take very special care of me. My eyes were blindfolded and my hands were cuffed. I was taken out of that room and taken to a room across a bathroom. It was around 5:30 pm, when I got there; they had just taken off my pants first, but when I got there they took off everything, including my underwear. I said ‘please don’t do this’. I shouted as my eyes were blindfolded, and my hands handcuffed; I couldn’t make a sound, my mouth was tied with a cloth, and I was taken to the bathroom, naked. Cold water was sprayed all over my body. My genitals were targeted. It still hurts. I would like to receive treatment because my testicles still hurt. They played with all parts of my body and also did something to my anus, but I don’t know what. I wish they had killed me instead of doing these things. I stayed there for an hour, and then they told me that they would bring my wife here and do the same things to her. I collapsed, (the defendant began to weep as he continued his testimony) because my wife and three children are my world. They then took me to a room and explained to me what I had to do. When I got to the hospital, I was trembling and tried to explain what had happened to the doctor but the police with me did not let me speak. The second time I went to the doctor, I told him that I was tortured. He told me that he couldn’t see indications of torture on my face and just gave me an injection. Words like torture, threat, anguish fail to describe my experiences. I am ashamed to be human (the defendant continued to cry as he gave these statements). ”

Yasin Demir, who was accused by many defendants to have committed tortured in the Kırıkkale Police Department and filed complaints against him, was assigned to the UN Police Mission in Sudan on April 21, 2017.

10. GÖKHAN KARAGÖZ and OKAN ÇAKIROĞLU– Zonguldak General Directorate of Police

The suspects on trial at the hearing of the Zonguldak 2nd High Criminal Court on October 5, 2017 spoke about the tortures they suffered. According to the statements in the hearing records, Kubilay G. who stated that he was subjected to inhumane treatment claimed that he slept on the concrete with nothing but blankets for 14 days. His defense statement is as follows: “I have rheumatism, but my medication was not given to me. My request for injections to relieve my pain was denied. We were not taken to our daily health checks like we were supposed to. We were overwhelmed by the heat and stuffiness. We endured psychological torture. I wrote petitions to request camera recordings of the detention center and made an individual application to the Constitutional Court”.

The following statements within teacher T.A.’s defense were also included in court records; “Even though my hands were cuffed, they blindfolded and tortured me. They punched me in the face. They said they would kill me and bury me in a traitor’s grave. They said that my wife would be tortured the same way. I lost my consciousness and when I opened my eyes, I was tied to a handcuffed stretcher in a room at Bülent Ecevit Training and Research Hospital. I wasn’t able to turn to my right or left. After staying in the hospital until the morning, they took me back into custody. I was tortured in custody for 28 days. I did not receive any records of my treatment in the hospital”. One of the defendants Ö.K. explained that they were beaten and forced to sign statements. The suspects on trial named Zonguldak Provincial Police Commissioner Assistant Gökhan Karagöz and Okan Çakıroğlu among the police officers who tortured them. They explained that these individuals often told them that the severity of the torture they were subjected to would increase if the information they requested was not given to them. The victims were only able to provide descriptions of other police officers who tortured them.

11. TAHİR DARBAZOĞLU, Ankara Provincial Superintendent

Suspects tried at the Ankara 17th High Criminal Court on 11/20/ 2017 explained the torture inflicted on them in detail; their statements which were recorded in court documents identified Tahir Darbazoğlu, the police chief of Ankara Provincial Security Directorate TEM Branch as one of the police officers who took part in the torture. Court records also mention that Darbazoğlu, who was identified separately by 11 suspects held in a gymnasium in Beştepe and a tent in the Sincan Prison campus, introduced himself to victims as the angel of death, participated in the torture himself, gave torture orders and threatened other police officers to torture them. [21] According to the victims’ statements, Darbazoğlu not only ordered officers to torture victims for days, but also took part in the torture himself. He was accused of beatings that resulted in severe injuries, stripping victims and assaulting them, starving victims for days, leaving them in stressful positions for long hours, not allowing victims to relieve themselves, and electrocuting them. Along with Major Emrah Ilgaz and Captain Sadık Kazancı, who were tortured in custody, 16 other victims complained about Darbazoğlu.

12. ELİF SÜMERCAN, Ankara TEM Superintendent´s Assistant

Former Air Force Commander and member of the Supreme Military Council, General Akin Öztürk was among the most severely tortured in custody after July 15. Eyewitnesses who were in custody at the time provided descriptions of the torture Öztürk endured in detail to the media; photographs of Ozturk depicting his injuries and cut-off ear were broadcast on the state’s official news ag ency Anadolu Agency and the official television channel TRT.[22] It was reported that senior officers, including Akın Öztürk, were beaten naked for hours and severely tortured. It was announced that one of the officers who had tortured Ozturk for hours was a female police officer named “Elif” whose name was only revealed to victims when a colleague of the female officer told her “Enough, Elif”. According to AST reporters’ findings, the identity of the police officer Elif, who signed two separate dispatch reports on the dates when Akın Öztürk was tortured, has been revealed.[23] Two reports sent to the Crime Scene Investigation Branch Directorate regarding suspects referred on the day of the events were inclu ded in the case file. It was determined that the person identified as Elif was the torturer TEM branch police officer, Elif Sümercan.

It is reported that Sümercan was later promoted and finally appointed as the Head of Department at the Ministry of Cult ure. Surprising information about Elif Sümercan, who was reported to hav e committed torture has been revealed. Her husband, Mustafa Murat Sümercan, was among the police officers who battered civilians during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s eventful US visit; he was added to a wanted list by the US authorities who issued a warrant for his arrest. [24]

Another individual discovered to have tortured Akın Öztürk is a police officer who introduced himself as Hakan Öztunç. Captain Ha kan Güler has expressed in his court statement when he was tried on 1/2/2018 that he wished to relay an event he had witnessed in TEM: “A police officer named Hakan Öztunç who was yelling out his name tortured General Öztürk and cut off Öztürk’s ear”. [25]

13. HACI MURAT DİNÇER, Former Police Commissioner of  Counter-terrorism(TEM) Branch of Şırnak Police Department

It was determined that  former TEM director of Şırnak, Hacı Murat Dinçer ordered the police officers under his command to tie badly injured Hacı Lokman Birlik to the back of a police armored vehicle and drag him into the district. [26] The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Şırnak Deputy Leyla Birlik, made a statement regarding the conversations held on police scanners and evidence which emerged after complaints were made regarding Dincer; she stated that the individual who ordered police officers to kill Hacı Lokman Birlik by tying his body to the back of an armored vehicle and dragging it was identified as Hacı Murat Dinçer, the TEM Branch Manager in Şırnak. The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also filed a complaint against the 6 police officers involved in the torture as well as the former Minister of Internal Affairs Selami Altınok, the former Governor of Şırnak Ali İhsan Su and former Şırnak Police Chief Celal Sel. Lawyers representing Birlik’s family, filed a complaint against the police officers who killed him by torture and dragged his body on the back of a vehicle on the grounds that they committed the crimes of “killing deliberately”, “insulting the memory of a person” and “abuse of power”. Complaints were also filed against officers who witnessed the incident on grounds that they did not report the crimes being committed against Birlik. In a report prepared by Turkey’s Human Rights Association, it was stated that Birlik who was wounded before being tied to the police vehicle later died as a result of the injuries he sustained. Murat Dincer, who was responsible for the death of Birlik, was one of the 10 police officers who received a plaque for their success on April 7, 2016 from President and AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After retiring in 2018, Dinçer became a candidate for an AKP deputy.

14. EKREM GÖNÜL,  Deputy Director of Security Branch of Ankara Provincial Police Department

A 77-year old retired judge formerly employed by the Court of Accounts was beaten and tortured by Ekrem Gönül, Deputy Director of the Security Branch of Ankara’s Police Department, during demonstrations held on Labor Day on May 1, 2018. [27] In the report prepared by Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), it was emphasized that the actions of police constituted an undignified mistreatment of the victim. Gönül, whose arrest warrant was issued by the Ankara 14th Criminal Court of First Instance, was fined three thousand Turkish Liras and resumed his duties.

15. MAHMUT ÇAÇA, Deputy Director of Tarsus T Type Closed Women’s Prison

Incidents of torture in Mersin Tarsus District Women’s Prison were brought to the attention of the Turkish Grand National Assembly by HDP Ağrı Deputy Dilan Dirayet Taşdemir. In his statement, Taşdemir claimed that, “Information obtained from lawyers reveals that 56 female inmates were being dragged by their hair and beaten, threatened with rape and subjected to sexual violence”. It was determined that Mahmut Çaça, the director of Tarsus Prison, who took part in the torture of inmates was also a director of Diyarbakır Prison in 1996 where 11 political inmates had died and 24 more had been injured.[28] It was also discovered that Enis Yavuz Yıldırım, General Manager of Prisons and Detention Houses covered up the torture allegations and failed to take any action

In a report by the Human Rights Association (IHD) on human rights violation in Tarsus Closed Prison for Women, the torture experienced by prisoners Evin Şahin, Fadime Demir, Selvi Yılan, Yıldız Gemicioğlu and Helin Kaya were explained in detail. IHD filed a complaint against the torturers and demanded that the officials be punished.[29]

16. VOLKAN AKKUŞ and ÖZGÜR KUTLU, Manisa Prison Guards

Ercivan Özcan, 57, who was arrested and placed in Manisa Prison, was battered by guards while also battling with pneumonia; his left arm was torn from shoulder to elbow. Özcan was refused treatment and was not sent to the hospital after his arm was broken.[30] He lost consciousness in the ward. A few hours later, his arm began to swell and turn black. Özcan was then transferred to Manisa State Hospital after the doctors in the ward insisted that he receive proper treatment. Despite facing pressure from the prison administration, Özcan filed a lawsuit after he was discharged and returned to prison. In the light of evidence and reports, the court found the two guards guilty on May 13, 2019. Guards Volkan Akkuş and Özgür Kutlu, who tortured Ozcan, were sentenced to 5 years in prison each.

According to the forensic report of Manisa Public Hospital, Özcan had multiple fractures in his arm between his shoulder and elbow; due to the assault, Ozcan was also left with severe and lifelong damage to his arm which would affect his vital functions. Özcan, whose lungs were in bad condition due to pneumonia, could not be operated on so as not to risk any further complications to his health. He had to have blood drawn from his arm everyday before was operated on 8 days later.

17. ZEKAİ AKSAKALLI, General Staff Special Forces Commander (ÖKK)

Witnesses, who were heard at the Ankara 14th High Criminal Court claimed that they had witnessed Zekai Aksakallı torture soldiers. Witness Petty Officer Senior Sergeant Ömer Özdemir told what he saw at the headquarters as follows: “There were people tied up with bags over their heads. I heard Zekai Aksakallı cursing at Ümit Bak. I saw that Zekai Pasha kicked another individual and as he was taken away, I saw that he punched Volkan Vural Bal. I saw that one of our lieutenant colonels was electrocuted”. When Sezgin Güney, one of the defendants, asked questions regarding the allegations of torture, an argument erupted at court. Court President Bayram Kantık who claimed that the questions were irrelevant to the subject of the case prevented the detained defendants from speaking.

Chief of General Staff Protocol, Lieutenant Kübra Yavuz, who testified as a witness in the case tried at Ankara 24th High Criminal Court on April 18, 2018 claimed that she was tortured by Special Forces Commander Major General Zekai Aksakallı and Major General İrfan Özsert from Land Forces Command. “I didn’t think I could survive as a woman. 10 days later, a statement was extracted from me under the threat of death by Zekai Aksakallı and İrfan Özsert at the General Staff Headquarters. I was subjected to death threats and violence for 2 days at the General Staff range. Inside the General Staff range, we were starved for 2 days, electrocuted, beaten, as our hands were tied and eyes blindfolded. While going to the toilet, male staff kept the door open and supervised us. We were moved every 2 hours to give statements and were told “This is insufficient, say more”. I saw those being tortured as I went back and forth. The people who took my statement had blood on their clothes. I gave my statement under these conditions. ”

Pilot Major Mehmet Sağlam who was being tried at the Ankara 13th High Criminal Court filed a complaint against Special Forces Commander Major General Zekai Aksakallı and Special Air Regiment Commander Colonel Ümit Tatan who had ordered him to be tortured for two days. Major Hüseyin Çakıroğlu, who claimed that he had been tortured, also complained about Aksakallı and Tatan during the same trial.

18. CEM KARACA, President of the Court – FATİH KARAKUŞ, Deputy Attorney General

In a case where 24 detained defendants were tried at Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court on the Silivri Prison campus, the chief justice presiding over the case did not record the statements of defendants who claimed they were tortured.[31] The prosecutor also prevented these detainees from speaking.[32] When Staff Colonel Sadık Cebeci of the 47th Motorized Infantry Regiment Commander alleged that he was tortured during his detention, Chief Justice Cem Karaca interrupted him. Judge Karaca warned Colonel Cebeci not to speak about the torture so as to prevent Cebeci’s torture allegations from being recorded in court documents. When Cebeci continued his defense, Judge Karaca interrupted again and said “We are not prosecuting the police who tortured you here. These issues are irrelevant to your defense. Skip those parts in your statement, and only respond to the allegations against you”. Deputy prosecuting attorney Fatih Karakuş also stepped in to prevent Colonel Cebeci from speaking of the torture he had been subjected to. “If you think that this case will be appealed by the ECHR by claiming that you gave a statement under torture, you are mistaken,” he said.

19. CEM KÜÇÜK, FUAT UĞUR – Journalists

Journalists Cem Küçük and Fuat Uğur, known for their close affiliation with the government, argued on the program ‘Media Critic’ they co-hosted on the TGRT television channel that execution and torture methods should be implemented to compel those on trial in regards to the July 15 coup attempt investigation to ‘talk’.[33] Cem Küçük said: “Let’s say 17/25 and they do the same thing to Israel. It could happen. Every day, we would hear about 15-20 deaths attributed to traffic accidents, suicide, mass suicide, drug abuse, and excessive alcohol consumption. They would find many justifications. Here, too, we shouldn’t pity them and must consider all methods. We have captured a few essential FETO members. Ali Fuat Yılmazer, Mehmet Partigöç, Alaaddin Kaya. You need to get them to talk. They know a lot of things. There are other methods to make them talk. Shake them upside down the window. ” [34]

Following these statements, Diyarbakır Bar Association filed a complaint with the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office against Cem Küçük and Fuat Uğur on grounds that they openly called for torture. It was argued that the journalists committed the crime of “incitement to commit and praise a crime” and should be sentenced to prison for up to 5 years. Aydın Özdemir, a member of the Human Rights Commission of the Bar, said in reference to Küçük and Uğur, that “the crime of torture was publicly legitimized, and by specifying methods of torture, torturous acts targeting detained suspects were suggested. Torture is a crime that can never be justified. In international law as well as our domestic laws, it is a crime that cannot be committed even under a national state of emergency.

20. EMRE SOYLU, Consultant from MHP

Emre Soylu, advisor of MHP Mersin Deputy Olcay Kilavuz, published photos depicting M.E.C. being tortured by police; M.E.C. was detained after being accused of murdering a police officer in Diyarbakır’s Bağlar district. Soylu praised the torture on his social media account and wrote, “M.E.C., the traitor who martyred our hero, police officer, AtakanArslan is in the compassionate hands of the Diyarbakır Police”.[35]

The Diyarbakır Branch of the Lawyers Association for Freedom (ÖHD) filed a criminal complaint against Soylu at the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. ÖHD requested that counselor Emre Soylu be prosecuted on charges of “incitement to commit a crime”, “failure to report a crime” and “attempts to influence a fair trial”. The investigation continues to this day.

21. ALİ TÜRKŞEN, ERME ONAT, Retired Underwater Offence Commander (Turkish Armed Forces)

Major Tahsin İşlekel and Petty Officer Metin Bircan, who were tried at the Istanbul 23rd High Criminal Court, made complaints against retired colonel Ali Türkşen, retired Major Erme Onat and Petty Officer Bülent Kuru at the Beykoz Underwater Offence Commander (SAT) explaining that they had been subjected to torture.[36] Navy Major Tahsin İşlekel’s statement which has been recorded in court minutes includes the following: “Around 07:00 in the morning, Colonel Turhan entered. Addressing me, he said, “Admit everything, friends, or a professional crew waiting here will detect your weaknesses and make you talk by either hurting you or harming your family.” I was stunned by what I heard and couldn’t say anything. The crew came in from behind. The crew which included retired colonel Ali Türkşen, retired Major Erme Onat and a non-commissioned officer whose nam e I later found out was Bülent Kuru entered the room. They took the NCO to another room. Without asking me anything, they started hitting me. When they first entered, Ali Türkşen hit me first and then asked others’ permission to remove the rank insignia from my uniform. “It is more appropriate for us to talk this way,” he said. Then they gave me a blank sheet of paper. They said, “We will come back in 5 minutes, you will write down who was there, if not, we will harass your family.

Colonel Ali Türkşen came in with a knife this time. Erme Onat also had a knife in his hand. He pressed it against my neck. Ali cut my hand with a knife. I tried to free myself of the knife pressed against my neck. They went in and out a few more times and repeated these steps. Ali Türkşen came back in with a curly-haired petty officer who I thought was retired. He called me from where I was sitting at the table. He said to “kneel in the center of the room.” The NCO tied my hands and feet. They laid me face down with my hands and feet tied behind my back. They tied my arms and legs together so that when I moved my arms and legs, both hurt. My face was on the ground. “‘He cannot go to the bathroom like this either’ they said, ‘let him soil himself’” The morning of July 17, at 07:00, they tied our mouths and blindfolded us. They hit our heads against the walls as they took us to the guardhouse. They said they were waiting for the prosecutor to arrive there. We waited there for about 2 hours. Police came to the guardhouse. They untied my blindfold. They took me to the Beykoz district police headquarters. Here, too, we were beaten by the special operations police. After 2-3 days, I was transferred to the Çağlayan Courthouse and arrested “.

22. LEVENT BAHADIR, Lieutenant – ALPER KORKMAZ, Superintendent

In the 55-page statement he gave at a hearing held on January 7, 2020, Underwater Offence Commander (SAT) Murat Fırat who had been arrested, described the inhumane treatment he received after he was detained.[37] Fırat, who was detained on July 15, stated that defendants of cases such as Sledgehammer and Ergenekon, who had returned to their duties at the time as well as retired soldiers personally participated in the tortures. Fırat explained in detail that he had been tortured at the Underwater Offence Command on July 17, 2016, at the Beykoz District Police Department on July 17-18, at the Istanbul Police Department on July 18-20, and at the Silivri Prison on July 21. Fırat stated that he was unaware of the coup attempt; he stated that upon orders received on July 15 which indicated the possibility of a terrorist attack, they were taken to Akıncılar Base at night and kept watch at the base. He said that after being detained in Istanbul, a police officer nicknamed Rambo was brought in from the Beykoz Police Department to torture them and that the officer tortured him accompanied by cheers and applause. Murat Fırat’s statement included in court records is as follows; “We were taken to the Beykoz District Police Headquarters after we received a medical report from the hospital. Even though our hands were handcuffed from behind, they laid us on the ground and tortured us. Everyone who came in was cursing and kicking, spitting on me, and yelling. While this was happening, some of them were recording the torture with mobile phones. These images were shown to Mustafa Avşar, who had to come to the Underwater Offence union after having to spend the night there, by captain Levent Bahadır in charge of our unit. He was threatened that he would end up the same way if he did not testify as they wanted him to.

“They broke my nose and ribs”

Rambo was cheered on as he took out his equipment and gun, and began his work like a professional torturer. He asked for gloves because his hands were hurting a lot from hitting his victims. After putting on the gloves, he continued where he left off. He broke my nose and ribs as a result of the torture. Both of my eardrums ruptured. He made a three-inch slit in my chin. They were torturing and insulting me more than others. This was Underwater Offence commander, Admiral Turhan Ecevit’s special request. The police fulfilled Turhan Ecevit’s request.

Captain Erdal Çerçi, and non-commissioned officer Uğur Günaslan battered and insulted me at the SAT command; lieutenant Burak Çelik also battered me and Ercan Kireçtepe who is serving as the Mediterranean Region Commander insulted me. Murat Firat has claimed that “It is SAT commander Admiral Turan Ecevit, who, at the union of his command, allowed me to be tortured and insulted, threatened me with death by holding a gun to my head, and advised the police to torture me more than others.”

23. BARIŞ DEDEBAĞI, Retired Major

The torture of Muhammet Tanju Poshor, who served as the Commander of the Presidential Guard Regiment during the Abdullah Gül period, was recorded in Ankara 19th High Criminal Court.[38] Poshor described his detainment and the treatment he received as follows: “On the morning of July 16, 2016, I was arrested while preparing for surgery in the operating room. My right to treatment, which cannot be suspended even during war, was violated; I was taken into custody stark naked, beaten and cuffed and escorted out of the operating room by people I do not know despite having an open wound on my back. Barış Dedebağ, who battered many people there, including generals and myself participated in the torture. I am giving his name here and making a criminal complaint about him. I was electrocuted many times. During the times I was conscious, I started getting used to the pain I remembered, but I still haven’t gotten used to the burning smell of my own flesh for a year and a half. This smell also disturbed my torturers some of which would occasionally vomit. The official news agency of the state, Anadolu Agency, TV channel TRT and TV channels known for its close affiliation with the government have broadcasted some images of Barış Dededağ committing violent acts against officers and non-commissioned officers.[39]

CONCLUSION

Crimes of torture and mistreatment in Turkey, especially after the military coup, dated July 15, 2016 have become systematic. The AKP government has suspended laws it enacted to protect human rights within the scope of EU harmonization laws, the provisions of the Constitution and the Turkish Penal Code, the international conventions it has signed, as well as ECHR case laws. Instead of preventing the crime of torture, which is prohibited under all circumstances, including war, government officials made statements which have encouraged security units to commit violence.

Reports and studies by human rights organizations have revealed that thousands of victims of torture in Turkey have not been able to seek justice while torturers who have committed violent acts against victims have been rewarded with impunity and even promotions. Investigations are closed without adequate inspection. Lawsuits continue for years, almost encouraging torturers to continue to commit violence. An increase in the number of deaths as a result of torture in prisons and custody clearly depict the severity of the human rights violations committed in Turkey.

The AKP government should endeavor to prevent human rights violations by honoring the conditions of the Turkish Constitution, Turkish Penal Code and international conventions which it has signed. Security agencies, prisons and detention centers where systematic torture is used as a form of punishment should be inspected. Legal measures should be taken to prevent the crime of torture instead of regulations and statements which serve to encourage the crime. Lawyers should be able to meet with their clients more frequently and privately. Measures should be taken to ensure that allegations of torture are examined more carefully by doctors and that the Istanbul protocol is emplemented. Doctors must examine suspects in custody in the absence of law enforcement and prepare reports. Human rights organizations in Turkey should be afforded the means to conduct necessary inspections. Torturers and those who praise, cover up or encourage the crime of torture should be punished.

 

PEOPLE WHO ARE ACCUSED OF BEING TORTURER

TORTURER (PERPETRATOR) DUTY (ROLE) CITY INSTITUTION VICTIM JOB EXPLANATION (TORTURE) PAGE
1 Süleyman Soylu The Minister of Interior Ankara He publicly ordered the security units under his command to use violence and torture. Page 6
2 Hakan Fidan  The Underseretariat of MİT Ankara The narratives of the victims that were tortured for months at the MIT under secretariat showed that Hakan Fidan ordered the interrogation with torture. Page 8
3 Halil İbrahim Dilek Deputy Police Officer Mersin Mersin TEM Branch He tortured the detained superintendent Suleyman Akcin and other members of the police. Page 14
4 Berat Günçiçek TEM Branch Deputy Mersin Mersin TEM Branch He tortured the detained superintendent Suleyman Akcin and other members of the police. Page 14
5 Zekai Aksakallı General Staff Ankara Command Kübra Yavuz First Lieutenant Victims got starved for two days as blindfolded and tortured with electricity. Page 22
6 İrfan Özsert General Staff Ankara Command Kübra Yavuz First Lieutenant Victims got starved for two days as blindfolded and tortured with electricity. Page 23
7 Alper Korkmaz Superintendent İstanbul Beykoz District Police Department Murat Fırat Petty Officer SAT Commando Circuit superintendent Alper Korkmaz’s (ID no: 39604233842) torture of the SAT commandos was recorded in the court proceedings. Alper Korkmaz tortured SAT commandos heavily in the forest for days. Uncoverable damages occurred in the bodies of many commandos. Page 26
8 Turhan Ecevit SAT Commander Admiral İstanbul Murat Fırat Petty Officer SAT Commando He threatened Murat Firat with death by putting a gun on his head and advised the police to torture Firat extra. He explained that Turhan Ecevit instigated the torture, and the statements entered the court file. Page 27
9 Levent Bahadır SAT Lieutenant Senior Grade İstanbul Beykoz Murat Fırat Petty Officer SAT Commando He assaulted victims by showing the recordings of other victims being tortured. Page 26
10 Erdal Çerçi SAT Lieutenant Senior Grade İstanbul Beykoz Murat Fırat Petty Officer SAT Commando He tortured victims by assault. Page 27
11 Uğur Günaslan SAT First Lieutenant İstanbul Beykoz Murat Fırat He tortured victims by assault. Page 27
12 Burak Çelik SAT Petty Officer İstanbul Beykoz Murat Fırat He tortured victims by assault. Page 27
13 Barış Dedebağı Major Ankara Gym Muhammet Tanju Poshor He tortured lots of soldiers in detention. The recordings of victims being tortured were broadcasted on TV. Page 27
14 Ahmet Gürbüz Public Prosecutor Antalya Antalya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office Eyup Birinci Teacher Eyup Birinci was heavily tortured for days. His intestines were ruptured by inserting a baton into his anus. As his bleeding increased during his detention, he was operated on in the hospital. His family was not informed. Ahmet Gürbüz covered up the petition of the family, citing that the police tortured him in custody. He did not take any action against the police and helped the torture to continue. Page 13
15 Muhsin Türkeş Police Officer Antalya KOM Branch Antalya Police Department Eyüp Birinci Teacher Police officer Muhsin Turkes inflicted severe torture on Eyup Birinci in custody. He was among the cops who tear his intestines by inserting a hard object into the anus of Birinci. Page 13
16 Volkan Vural Bal Lieutenant Senior Grade, Presidency of General Staff Ankara Presidency of General Staff Staff Sergeant Ömer Özdemir Commissioned Officer Physical assault Page 22
17 Eşref Aktaş Prosecutor Trabzon Courthouse Abdullah B. In an investigation opened upon the complaint of a tortured victim, Prosecutor Aktas decided that the police officers do not have criminal responsibilities due to decree in law and their duties, and therefore, they cannot be prosecuted. Page 11
18 Fatih Tezcan Journalist İstanbul Cemal, Abdulselam and Halil Aslan Gevaş, Villager By publishing photographs of the villagers who were tortured in the Van Gevas Police Department, he encouraged the security units, who praised the torture, to torture more. It was later understood that the tortured persons were innocent. Page 6
19 Mehmet Metiner The Politician of AKP Ankara Metiner stated that while he was the Chairman of the TBMM Prison Sub-Committee, they would not conduct investigations on the allegations of torture and ill-treatment in prisons, especially against the members of the Hizmet Movement. Page 9
20 Yasin Demir TEM Branch Manager Kırıkkale Police Headquarters Dentist Erdem Ayyıldız, Teacher Harun Özdemir, The School Minister Hasan Kobalay According to the information given by the victims, when Yasin Demir was the Director of Kirikkale TEM Branch, he tortured the suspects in custody by heavily beating, washing with pressurized cold water, and sticking truncheons in the anus. Page 15
21 Gökhan Karagöz Deputy Police Manager Zonguldak City Police Department Kubilay G. T.A. Ö.K. Police The suspects on trial at the hearing of the Zonguldak 2nd High Criminal Court on October 5, 2017, announced the names of Karagoz and Cakiroglu, who tortured them. Page 16
22 Okan Çakıroğlu Deputy Police Manager Zonguldak City Police Department Kubilay G. T.A. Ö.K. Police The suspects on trial at the hearing of the Zonguldak 2nd High Criminal Court on October 5, 2017, announced the names of Karagoz and Cakiroglu, who tortured them. Page 16
23 Tahir Darbazoğlu TEM Branch Supervisor Ankara City Police Department Major Emrah Ilgaz, along with Captain Sadik Kazanci, Pilot Lieutenant Adem Kirci, and other 16 victims made a complaint about Darbazoglu.  Page 17
24 Elif Sümercan TEM Branch Deputy Manager Ankara City Police Department Akın Öztürk and Other Commissioned Officers She inflicted severe torture on many officers in her custody, especially General Akin Ozturk. Page 17
25 Hacı Murat Dinçer TEM Manager Şırnak City Police Department Hacı Lokman Birlik and his Family Politicians Haci Murat Dinçer ordered that Haci Lokman be killed by dragging behind the armored vehicle. Page 19
26 Selami Altınok Former Interior Minister Ankara Hacı Lokman Birlik and his Family The family of Haci Lokman Birlik, who was killed by being dragged behind the armored vehicle, filed a criminal complaint about Altinok to be sued for the crime of torture. Page 19
27 Ali İhsan Su Former Sirnak Governor Şırnak Hacı Lokman Birlik and his Family The family of Haci Lokman Birlik, who was killed by being dragged behind the armored vehicle, filed a criminal complaint about Ali Ihsan Su to be sued for torture. Page 19
28 Celal Sel Former Sirnak Police Chief Şırnak City Police Department Hacı Lokman Birlik and his Family The family of Haci Lokman Birlik, who was killed by being dragged behind the armored vehicle, filed a criminal complaint about the trial of Celal Sel for the crime of torture. Page 19
29 Ekrem Gönül Security Branch Assistant Ankara City Police Department Perihan Pulat Police Officer Ekrem Gonul who battered and injured Perihan Pulat, continues his duty. In the court where Gonul sued him, only 3 thousand Turkish Lira was fined. Page 20
30 Mahmut Çaça Director of the T Type Closed Women’s Prison in Tarsus District Mersin Ministry of Justice, Prisons and Detention Houses 56 women prisoners were dragged from their hair, beaten, threatened with rape, and subjected to sexual violence. Page 20
31 Enis Yavuz Yıldırım General Manager of Prisons and Detention Houses Ankara Ministry of Justice, Prisons and Detention Houses

 

56 Convicts He has been found responsible for not taking precautions against and prison guards who tortured 56 inmates in torture and other torture in prisons in many cities of Turkey. Page 20
32 Volkan Akkuş Jailer Manisa T Type Prison Prisons and Detention Houses Ercivan Özcan Guards Volkan Akkus and Ozgur Kutlu, who tortured detained Ercivan Ozcan and smashed his left arm from shoulder to elbow, were tried and sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment for torture. They were expelled from the civil service. Page 21
33 Özgür Kutlu Jailer Manisa T Type Prison Prisons and Detention Houses Ercivan Özcan Guards Volkan Akkus and Ozgur Kutlu, who tortured detained Ercivan Ozcan and smashed his left arm from shoulder to elbow, were tried and sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment for torture. They were expelled from the civil service. Page 21
34 Ümit Tatan Special Air Regiment Commander Colonel Ankara General Staff Mehmet Sağlam and Hüseyin Çakıroğlu Commissioned Officer Saglam and Cakiroglu filed a complaint in court against Umit Tatan, whom they held responsible for the torture inflicted on them. Page 23
35 Bayram Kantık 14th President of the High Criminal Court Ankara The Minister of Justice Sezgin Güney Commissioned Officer He did not allow the allegations of torture to be recorded in the minutes and did not let the detainees make any statements. Page 22
36 Cem Karaca 14th President of the High Criminal Court İstanbul The Minister of Justice Sadık Cebeci Commissioned Officer He did not let the torture of the detained defendant be recorded in the court minutes. Page 23
37 Fatih Karakuş İstanbul Attorney General İstanbul The Minister of Justice Sadık Cebeci Commissioned Officer He did not allow the detained defendant to explain that he was tortured. Page 23
38 Oktay Kapsız Marmaris District Police Department Assistant Muğla City Police Department Murat Konuş Oktay Kapsiz was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Istanbul 2nd High Criminal Court for the murder of the suspect named Murat Konus by torture while he was in custody in Istanbul. Despite the punishment, he is still on duty. Page 11
39 Ramazan Adıgüzel Istanbul Public Security Branch İstanbul City Police Department Murat Konuş The Istanbul 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced police officers Oktay Kapsiz, Ramazan Adiguzel, Murat Erturk, and Abdulcelil Karadg to life imprisonment who were sued about 10 years after the incident, on the grounds that they killed detained Murat Konus by torture. Despite this, the court board did not give an arrest warrant. The police officers continued their duties. Page 12
40 Murat Ertürk Istanbul Public Security Branch İstanbul City Police Department Murat Konuş The Istanbul 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced police officers Oktay Kapsiz, Ramazan Adiguzel, Murat Erturk, and Abdulcelil Karadg to life imprisonment who were sued about 10 years after the incident, on the grounds that they killed detained Murat Konus by torture. Despite this, the court board did not give an arrest warrant. The police officers continued their duties. Page 12
41 Abdülcelil Karadağ İstanbul Public Security Branch İstanbul City Police Department Murat Konuş The Istanbul 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced police officers Oktay Kapsiz, Ramazan Adiguzel, Murat Erturk, and Abdulcelil Karadg to life imprisonment who were sued about 10 years after the incident, on the grounds that they killed detained Murat Konus by torture. Despite this, the court board did not give an arrest warrant. The police officers continued their duties. Page 12
42 Cem Küçük Journalist İstanbul Diyarbakir Bar Association An investigation was opened against him with the charge of “praising and provoking torture.” Page 24
43 Fuat Uğur Journalist İstanbul Diyarbakir Bar Association An investigation was opened against him with the charge of “praising and provoking torture.” Page 24
44 Emre Soylu Deputy Advisor Mersin An investigation was opened against him with the charge of praising torture by sharing the photos of a suspect being tortured. Page 25
45 Ali Türkşen Retired Colonel İstanbul He tortured commissioned officers in the Beykoz Underwater Offence building. Page 25
46 Erme Onat Retired Major İstanbul Tahsin İşlekel, Metin Bircan He tortured commissioned officers in the Beykoz Underwater Offence building. Page 25
47 Bülent Kuru Retired Petty Officer İstanbul Tahsin İşlekel, Metin Bircan He tortured commissioned officers in the Beykoz Underwater Offence building. Page 25
48 Ercan Kireçtepe Rear Admiral, SAT Commander İstanbul Tahsin İşlekel, Metin Bircan He helped the acts of torture against commissioned officers in the Beykoz Underwater Offence building. Page 27

 

REFERENCES

[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] 35 pages trial record of 3rd hearing on 16th February, 2017 of Kırıkkale Aggravated Felony Court

[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] “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

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

[33] “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/

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

[35] “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

[36] “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

[37] “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/

[38] “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/

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

 


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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

 

 

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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

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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

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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/

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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/

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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

 

 


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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.


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HIGHLIGHTS FROM TURKEY 2019 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT BY UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE

The United States Department of State released Turkey 2019 Human Rights Report which has critical points regarding human rights violations in Turkey.

For Example;

  • As many as 100 persons, including former members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dismissed under the 2016-18 state of emergency decrees due to suspected ties to the Gulen movement, were mistreated or tortured while in police custody.
  • 780 Children including children younger than six years of age were being held in prison with their mothers.
  • The government did not release data on its investigations into alleged torture. Some doctors would not sign their names to medical reports alleging torture due to fear of reprisal. As a result, victims were often unable to get the medical documentation that would help prove their claims.
  • On the three-year anniversary of the July 15 coup attempt, the government announced that 540,000 individuals had been detained since the coup attempt on grounds of alleged affiliation or connection with the Gulen movement.
  • There were 41,000 individuals in prison for terror-related crimes. Of these, 28,000 were Gulen movement-related.
  • The government exerts power in the administration of 90 percent of the most-watched television stations and most-read national daily newspapers.

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SRW TÜRKİYE’DE 2016-2020 YILLARI ARASI AKADEMİK BAŞARI DEĞİŞİM RAPORU

Bu çalışma, 2016 darbe teşebbüsü ile başlayan olağanüstü hâl yönetimi ve KHK’ların Türkiye’deki üniversitelerin başarı değişimini analiz etmeyi amaçlamaktadır.

Türkiye’de 15 Temmuz 2016’da meydana gelen sözde darbe teşebbüsünden sonra çıkan 11 KHK ile toplamda 6,070 akademisyenin 122 devlet kurumundaki işlerine son verildi [1]. Ayrıca 15 vakıf üniversitesinin de tamamen kapatılması ile 2,808 akademisyen daha bu sayıya eklendi [2] ve resmi rakamlara göre; toplamda 8,878 akademisyenin görevlerine son verildi. Türkiye’deki akademisyen sayısı 15 Temmuz öncesi 64,488 olarak görülmektedir ve eğitim sisteminde bir akademisyenin yetişmesi için lisans ve lisansüstü çalışmalar göz önüne alındığında ortalama 12 yıl gibi bir zaman ve emek harcanması gerekmektedir. OECD raporlarına göre ise bir insanın ilköğretimden başlayarak akademisyen olana kadarki harcama miktarı ise ortalama olarak 124,448 Amerikan doları seviyesindedir [3].

Universite Atilan Toplam Akademisyen Sayisi Toplam Akademisyen Sayisi Atilan Oran(%)
Abant Izzet Baysal 78 1333 5.9
Adiyaman 67 862 7.8
Adnan Menderes 54 1726 3.1
Afyon Kocatepe 93 1360 6.8
Akdeniz 115 2492 4.6
Anadolu 68 2188 3.1
Ankara 133 3732 3.6
Atatürk 152 2703 5.6
Balikesir 67 1032 6.5
Bülent Ecevit 71 1287 5.5
Çanakkale 18 Mart 205 1653 12.4
Celal Bayar 140 1651 8.5
Cumhuriyet 56 1858 3
Dicle 172 1935 8.9
Dokuz Eylül 46 3381 1.4
Dumlupınar 168 1239 13.6
Ege 45 3175 1.4
Erciyes 145 2398 6
Erzincan 54 916 5.9
Eskişehir Osmangazi 46 1542 3
Fırat 47 1741 2.7
Gazi 233 3982 5.9
Gaziantep 128 1644 7.8
Gaziosmanpaşa 59 1286 4.6
Gebze Teknik 19 154 12.3
Hacettepe 74 3720 2
Harran 68 1012 6.7
İnönü 58 1672 3.5
İstanbul 192 5445 3.5
İstanbul Teknik 32 2211 1.4
Kafkas 30 890 3.4
Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam 126 1305 9.7
Karabük 50 995 5
Karadeniz Teknik 44 2528 1.7
Kırıkkkale 74 1226 6
Kocaeli 57 2098 2.7
Marmara 102 3201 3.2
Mersin 33 1630 2
Muğla Sıtkı Koçman 38 1523 2.5
Mustafa Kemal 105 1060 9.9
Niüde Ömer Halisdemir 36 891 4
Ondokuz Mayıs 123 2347 5.2
Pamukkale 181 1995 9.1
Sakarya 97 2010 4.8
Selçuk 126 2732 4.6
Süleyman Demirel 271 2303 11.8
Trakya 29 1701 1.7
Uludağ 38 2474 1.5
Yıldız Teknik 114 1754 6.5
Yüzüncü Yıl 73 1705 4.3

Son olarak, sıralamadaki değişimin ihraç oranına bölünmesi ile oluşturulan kişisel başarı endeksi (atılanların akademik başarıya katkı endeksi) hesaplanmıştır. Buradaki amaç, ihraç edilen insanların üniversitelerin başarısına olan etkisini hesaplamaktır. Listenin en başında olan ve de en çok dikkat çeken Ege Üniversitesi’dir. Ege Üniversite’sinde toplam ihraç edilen akademisyen sayısı 45 ve oranı %1.4 olmasına rağmen, bu üniversitenin dünya çapındaki sıralaması 674’ten 913’e gerilemiştir ki, bu da akademik başarının %35 oranında düştüğünü göstermektedir. Ege Üniversitesi’nin söz konusu endeksi 25.33 olarak hesaplanmıştır. Benzer şekilde listenin üçüncü sırasında, İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi’nde toplam ihraç edilen akademisyen sayısı 32 ve oran %1.4 olmasına rağmen bu üniversitenin dünya çapındaki sıralaması ise %19 civarında düşüş göstermiş, endeksi 13.76 olmuştur. Bu endeksin en yüksek olduğu üniversiteler Şekil 4’te verilmiştir.

Daha fazla bilgiye sayfanın üstünde yer alan PDF Link’ine tıklayarak ulaşabilirsiniz….

References

  1. Kural, B., Adal, H. (2018, July). Haber Listesi : Akademide İhraçlar 6 Bin 81’e Yükseldi.
    Retrieved from: http://bianet.org/bianet/ifade-ozgurlugu/198990-akademide-ihraclar-6-bin-81-e-yukseldi
  2. Kural, B., (2016, August). Haber Listesi : Sayılarla Kapatılan Üniversiteler.
    Retrieved from: https://m.bianet.org/bianet/egitim/177442-sayilarla-kapatilan-universiteler
  3. University Ranking by Academic Performance.(n.d.)
    Retrieved from: http://tr.urapcenter.org/2019/index.php
  4. Country Note, (2014). Turkey–Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators.
    Retrieved from: https://www.oecd.org/education/Turkey-EAG2014-Country-Note.pdf
  5. Yuksek Ogretim Bilgi Yonetim Sistemi, (n.d.).
    Retrieved from: https://istatistik.yok.gov.tr/
  6. http://www.webometrics.info/en

 


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GRAVE DECLINE IN ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT BETWEEN 2016-2020 IN TURKEY

This study aims to analyze the impacts of the state of emergency declared after the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey on the academic achievements of the universities.

After the coup attempt on July 15th of 2016 in Turkey, a total of 6,070 academics have been dismissed from 122 state institutions following 11 issued emergency decrees (KHK)[1]. 2,808 academics have been added to this list with the closure of 15 private universities [2]. In total,  8,878 academics have been dismissed from their jobs, corresponding to nearly 15 percent of the number of academics in Turkey. The academics who voluntarily left the country are not included in this number.

Considering graduate and undergraduate studies, an average of 12 years should be spent on being an academic. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the average amount of expenditure of a person starting from primary education until becoming an academic is approximately 124.448 USD [3]. This means Turkey’s financial loss to be roughly around 1.1 billion USD.

In this study, the impacts on the worldwide success ranking of the universities after the cruelty that occurred in public universities in Turkey are examined. The top 50 universities of Turkey are also amongst the 122 universities from where the academics were dismissed. The total number of dismissed academics from the 50 universities is 4,632. Table 1 and Figure 1 detail the number of dismissed academics on a university basis. Dumlupınar University ranks highest on that list, with its 13.6% of academics having been dismissed by emergency decrees. On average, one in every 7 scientists was dismissed. Figure 2 shows that 20 universities have the highest rate in this regard.

Observing the rate of change in academic ranking on a university basis reveals that the success rankings of these institutions decreased by an average of 18%, despite 5% dismissal rate at the top 50 universities [4]. This is an important indicator showing the contribution of the dismissed academics to the scientific achievements in Turkey. Another issue to consider is that instead of dismissed academics, new academics were recruited between 2016 and 2019, thereby increasing the total number of academics by around 7% [5]. Despite the new recruitments, academic setbacks at such a high level are very thought-provoking. The universities which had significant changes in the academic ranking are identified in Figure 3. Celal Bayar University ranks highest on that list, attracting large attention. It ranked 2,207 in the world university rankings before July 2016; however, its ranking dropped to 4,755 in December of 2019, a dramatic change by 109%. Celal Bayar University is followed by Bülent Ecevit University with a 70% drop rate. Noticeably, 42 of the 50 universities experienced a decrease in the world rankings, whereas only  8 universities’ rankings remained the same.

In conclusion, the personal success index (contribution index of the dismissed to academic success), which is formed by dividing the change in the ranking by the rate of dismissing, was calculated. The aim was to calculate the impact of dismissed academics on the success of universities. At this point, the most notable one is Ege University which is ranked highest on that list. Although the total number of dismissed academics at Ege University was 45 and its rate is 1.4%, the global ranking of this university has decreased from 674 to 913, which indicates that academic success has decreased by 35%. The index of this university was calculated at 25.33. Similarly, in the third place of the list, although the total number of dismissed academics at Istanbul Technical University was 32 and the rate was 1.4%, the world ranking of this university decreased by 19% and its index was 13,76. The universities that have the highest index are stated in Figure 4.

University Number of
dismissed academics
Total number
of academics
Rate of dismissed
academics (%)
Abant Izzet Baysal 78 1333 5.9
Adiyaman 67 862 7.8
Adnan Menderes 54 1726 3.1
Afyon Kocatepe 93 1360 6.8
Akdeniz 115 2492 4.6
Anadolu 68 2188 3.1
Ankara 133 3732 3.6
Atatürk 152 2703 5.6
Balikesir 67 1032 6.5
Bülent Ecevit 71 1287 5.5
Çanakkale 18 Mart 205 1653 12.4
Celal Bayar 140 1651 8.5
Cumhuriyet 56 1858 3
Dicle 172 1935 8.9
Dokuz Eylül 46 3381 1.4
Dumlupınar 168 1239 13.6
Ege 45 3175 1.4
Erciyes 145 2398 6
Erzincan 54 916 5.9
Eskişehir Osmangazi 46 1542 3
Fırat 47 1741 2.7
Gazi 233 3982 5.9
Gaziantep 128 1644 7.8
Gaziosmanpaşa 59 1286 4.6
Gebze Teknik 19 154 12.3
Hacettepe 74 3720 2
Harran 68 1012 6.7
İnönü 58 1672 3.5
İstanbul 192 5445 3.5
İstanbul Teknik 32 2211 1.4
Kafkas 30 890 3.4
Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam 126 1305 9.7
Karabük 50 995 5
Karadeniz Teknik 44 2528 1.7
Kırıkkkale 74 1226 6
Kocaeli 57 2098 2.7
Marmara 102 3201 3.2
Mersin 33 1630 2
Muğla Sıtkı Koçman 38 1523 2.5
Mustafa Kemal 105 1060 9.9
Niüde Ömer Halisdemir 36 891 4
Ondokuz Mayıs 123 2347 5.2
Pamukkale 181 1995 9.1
Sakarya 97 2010 4.8
Selçuk 126 2732 4.6
Süleyman Demirel 271 2303 11.8
Trakya 29 1701 1.7
Uludağ 38 2474 1.5
Yıldız Teknik 114 1754 6.5
Yüzüncü Yıl 73 1705 4.3

 

You can read more from PDF Link….

 

References

  1. Kural, B., Adal, H. (2018, July). Haber Listesi : Akademide İhraçlar 6 Bin 81’e Yükseldi.
    Retrieved from: http://bianet.org/bianet/ifade-ozgurlugu/198990-akademide-ihraclar-6-bin-81-e-yukseldi
  2. Kural, B., (2016, August). Haber Listesi : Sayılarla Kapatılan Üniversiteler.
    Retrieved from: https://m.bianet.org/bianet/egitim/177442-sayilarla-kapatilan-universiteler
  3. University Ranking by Academic Performance.(n.d.)
    Retrieved from: http://tr.urapcenter.org/2019/index.php
  4. Country Note, (2014). Turkey–Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators.
    Retrieved from: https://www.oecd.org/education/Turkey-EAG2014-Country-Note.pdf
  5. Yuksek Ogretim Bilgi Yonetim Sistemi, (n.d.).
    Retrieved from: https://istatistik.yok.gov.tr/
  6. http://www.webometrics.info/en

 


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PRESS RELEASE: The so-called coup attempt july 15 serves as a justification for the complete conversion of a country’s administrative system and persecution of hundreds of thousands in Turkey.

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The so-called coup attempt July 15 serves as a justification for the complete conversion of a country’s administrative system and persecution of hundreds of thousands in Turkey.

On July 15, 2016 Turkey witnessed an attempted but failed military coup against Erdoğan government. During this horrific uprising, hundreds of people were killed and thousands of others were injured. Right after the coup attempt, the Turkish government has taken a wave of oppressive actions against not only the alleged coup plotters but also those that are perceived as critics of the regime. With that, the country’s political spectrum has been completely changed. Amid massive crackdown on media outlets and hundreds of thousands of the dissidents, President Erdoğan further consolidated his power with a controversial referendum in 2017 that changed the country from a parliamentary democracy into one-man rule. Being seen a setback from the rule of law, the new presidential system deepened concerns on human rights.

Marking a monumental turning point in Turkey’s history, the uprising has not been thoroughly investigated. Questioning the government’s narrative has caused many to imprisonment. The leaked details fueled the suspicions on the government’s narrative thus diminished its credibility. The narrative along with the massive crackdown on the dissident groups and Erdoğan’s consolidation of power faced heavy criticism from almost all quarters of the democratic world. In fact, a former representative of the European Parliament and well-known politician Andrew Duff defined it as “quick and relentless so-called coup”. The present report of Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST) provides an overview of controversies and dark points on the “so-called coup” along with the human right concerns during the ongoing post-coup crackdown on the Turkey’s dissident groups.

Some of the highlights from the report are:

  • A coup with no plan of action: Every coup has a certain plan of action, yet no official document has been presented so far for the July 15 coup attempt or the list of individuals involved with the Yurtta Sulh Council that has allegedly masterminded the coup.
  • A “blessing from God”: Right after the coup attempt, Erdoğan described the incident as a “blessing from God”, implying that he had finally found the opportunity to carry out the purge on his dissidents.
  • Step by step towards a presidential regime: Within less than a year, a referendum for constitutional change was held and the new Turkish-style presidential system was put into effect. Following this, Erdogan became the first president of the new regime through early elections.
  • A coup notice from TSK to MIT: Osman Karacan, a major in TSK (Turkish Armed Forces) went to the MIT (National Intelligence Organization) headquarters on July 15 at 2:20pm to give notice about the planned coup. Yet, no real precautions were taken to prevent or suppress the coup until 10.00pm.
  • Chief of MIT and Chief of Defense are still in office: Chief of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Hakan Fidan, Chief of Defense Hulusi Akar and 2nd Chief of Defense Yaşar Güler reportedly held a series of meetings following the notice at 2:20pm on the planned coup but did not notify President Erdoğan until 7:00pm, yet they kept their office.
  • The conflicting explanations from Erdogan regarding time of coup: When speaking to national and international media, Erdoğan stated contradicting times with regards to the time when he was informed of the planned coup.
  • The “controlled coup”: Turkey’s main opposition party (CHP) described what happened on the July 15 as “controlled coup”.
  • Planes on standby for escape: It is discovered that 4 different airplanes at 4 different locations were arranged for Erdoğan to be on standby that night, implying Erdoğan’s possible knowledge of the planned coup attempt.
  • Secret meetings a day before the coup: It is revealed that Akar, Chief of Defense, and Fidan, Chief of MIT (National Intelligence Organization), held a one-on-one confidential meeting that lasted four hours, a day before the coup.
  • “I received the orders to reinforce the Chief of Defense Forces from Zekai Aksakallı”: Colonel Fırat Akkuş stated this during the court hearing, bringing into question the role of Special Forces Commander Zekai Aksakallı in the coup.
  • Erdoğan did not allow an investigation: The Turkish Grand National Assembly’s July 15 Investigation Commission wanted to listen to the testimonies of Chief of Defense Hulusi Akar and MIT Chief Hakan Fidan. However, President Erdoğan did not allow either of the names to appear in front of the commission.
  • “Let an international commission investigate the coup and we will accept its findings”: The proposal of Fetullah Gülen who was blamed for masterminding the coup attempt is not accepted by the Turkish government.
  • Events not yet taken place written into the July 15 Official Report, how did that happen? It was revealed that the official report for July 15 prepared by Serdar Coşkun, the Constitutional Order Attorney General of the time, contained written reports of events that would take place at a later date written as though they had taken place at the time of the written record.
  • Purge lists prepared early on: Attorney General Serdar Coşkun admitted that the first cases of individuals being taken into custody and being arrested on July 16 were carried out based on the official report of the events. However, 3,000 judges and prosecutors were arrested on July 16 based on coup involvement although there is no evidence to support the allegations.
  • A project I disliked is July 15: When Binali Yıldırım, the PM of the time, was asked by a group of journalists if there were any projects that he felt a bit too demanding, his reply, in a sarcastic tone, was “Well, July 15 was a project I did not like at all.”

We urge;

  • international organizations to establish an independent commission to investigate and clarify the infamous July 15 coup attempt in Turkey,
  • international bodies to examine politically motivated coup charges in order to end the purge and grave human rights violations that are affecting millions of innocent lives justified through this controversial coup attempt,
  • the Turkish government to end arbitrary detentions, to find the perpetrators of enforced disappearances and bring them to justice, to reinstate the unlawfully dismissed public sector workers and to ensure the rule of law in Turkey.

 

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So-Called Coup Attempt, July 15th

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THE SO-CALLED COUP

THAT SERVES AS A JUSTIFICATION FOR THE COMPLETE CONVERSION OF

A COUNTRY’S ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEM

AS WELL AS A JUSTIFICATION FOR THE VICTIMIZATION OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS

  1. The date of July 15, 2016, has become, without a doubt, one of the most significant turning points in the history of the Republic of Turkey and thus calls for extensive discourse and deliberation. July 15 is truly such a bizarre incident, one that has been personally described by the alleged July 15 victim (!) President and General Director of the Justice and Development (AK) Party, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as being a “blessing from God”; one bizarre incident that has been used as justification—by way of taking  advantage of the atmosphere of coup and terror—to establish a one-man regime by seizing control of all democratic institutions including the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the government, and the judicial system; one truly bizarre incident of which the clearing of speculations surrounding it has been hindered by its “victim” (!) himself. Despite the fact that many questions wait to be answered surrounding this ominous incident that has cost hundreds of thousands of people their homes and their jobs, tens of thousands of people their freedom and hundreds of people their very lives, an incident that has been used as a justification to completely transform the administrative system of an entire country, the beginning of a period of oppression and tyranny that has continued for years on end, and the fact that these sought out answers continue to be covered up persistently, this project has been put together and presented for your consideration, bearing the thoughts that finding and presenting the contradictions and oddities that have surfaced will be beneficial in both understanding the truth behind July 15 as well as recording it as history. Hoping that the dark clouds and curtains of fog be lifted as soon as possible and that the victimizations being carried out under the excuse of July 15 finally come to an end.
    • A Coup With No Plan of Action

     

  2. Every coup has a certain plan of action, yet so far no official document has been presented as to the plan of action regarding the July 15 coup attempt or the list of individuals involved with the Yurtta Sulh (Peace in the Fatherland) Council, which has been alleged to have masterminded the coup. In order for a coup to be successful, the following needs to be specified; the plan of action, the team of individuals who will carry out the plan of action, and the chain of command by which the plan will be executed. However, in the case of July 15, none of these are present.https://stockholmcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/15_July_Erdogans_Coup_13.07.2017.pdf (p. 11)
    • “Blessing From God”

     

  3. On the night of July 15, after the coup attempt had been suppressed, Erdogan described the incident as a “blessing from God.” He was implying that he had found the opportunity to carry out the purge which he had been wanting to carry out but was unable to on account of the law. Through a purge operation which was initiated the very next morning, tens of thousands of people were arrested. Over 100,000 civil service employees and public servants were dismissed from their jobs.http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/turkiye/644388/_Allah_in_buyuk_lutfu_.html
    • Step by Step Towards a Presidential Regime

     

  4. Following July 15, the Turkish-style presidential system was established. While the Turkish people had been in opposition to this system prior to the coup attempt—as indicated by public opinion polls— after July 15, things had turned around completely. Within a time period of less than a year, a referendum for constitutional change was held, and the new Turkish-style presidential system was put into effect. And two years after the coup attempt, Erdogan became the first president of the new regime through early elections. He now had consolidated all authority at the tip of his very fingers.https://www.haberturk.com/gundem/haber/1314879-kilicdaroglu-baskanlik-sistemi-15-temmuz-sehitlerine-ihanettir
    • Calling People to the Streets, Instead of Suppressing Coup Attempt

     

  5. Izmir Chief Public Prosecutor Okan Bato stated that on July 15 at 3:00 pm, he had notified Erdogan of the preparations for the coup. However, Erdogan took no action whatsoever to suppress the coup attempt. If, after being notified beforehand of the planned coup attempt, Erdogan had taken action to prevent the coup instead of calling on the people to go out into the streets, the 250 individuals (killed on that day) would be alive today.https://www.hrw.org/tr/world-report/2017/country-chapters/298690
    • Coup Notice from the TSK to the MIT

     

  6. A major (Osman Karacan) in the TSK [Turkish Armed Forces] went to the MIT [National Intelligence Organization] headquarters on July 15 at 2:20 pm to give notice about the planned coup. Yet, from that hour until nighttime around 10:00 pm, no real precautions were taken to prevent or suppress the coup.http://www.tr724.com/kurgu-kontrollu-darbe-ihbarci-binbasi-2-yildir-mite-calisiyormus-ismi-de-farkliymis/
    • Chief of MIT and Chief of Defense Are Still in Office

     

  7. Chief of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) of Turkey Hakan Fidan, Chief of Defense Hulusi Akar and 2nd Chief of Defense Yaşar Güler, held a series of meetings at the Chief of Defense Headquarters following the notice they had received regarding the planned coup. They have stated that around 7:00 pm that evening they called Erdogan, could not reach him and thus they notified his Head Bodyguard Muhsin Köse. So far Erdogan has not removed either Hakan Fidan, Hulusi Akar, or Muhsin Köse from their positions.http://www.tr724.com/cumhurbaskanligi-koruma-muduru-zan-altinda-sefer-can/
    • Conflicting Explanations from Erdogan Regarding Time of Coup

     

  8. President Erdogan, while speaking of when he first became aware of the coup attempt, continuously made reference to different hours of the day. On the night of July 15, he said, “In the afternoon, unfortunately, there was a certain restlessness present within our armed forces.” On July 18, during an interview he gave to CNN International, he said, “I was notified that night around 8:00 pm.” On July 20, when speaking to Al-Jazeera, he used the expression, “My brother-in-law notified me around 8:00 pm.” On July 21, to Reuters, he explained, “My brother-in-law called me around 4:00–4:30 pm and said to me there’s some commotion going on around Beylerbeyi.” Whereas the starting hours of the commotion in Istanbul Beylerbeyi where the coup attempt first broke out was around 9:30 pm. And on July 30, during a joint broadcast between ATV and A Haber, he said, “We heard of something starting up that day around 9:15 pm. My brother-in-law called me up at 9:30 pm.” The fact that Erdogan gave so many conflicting explanations regarding such a specific matter raised a question mark in people’s minds.http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/foto/foto_galeri/575077/9/Darbe_girisimini_ne_zaman_ogrendi__Erdogan_in_sozlerindeki_saat_farkliliklari.htmlI learned about it in   the afternoon.”  July 15th.
  9. ” I was notified around 8:00 pm.”  July 18th.
  10. “My BROTHER-IN-LAW told me about it around 8:00 pm at night.” July 20th.
  11. ” My brother-in-law called around 4:00–4:30  and said ‘There’s some kind of commotion around Beylerbeyi.’ ” July 21st.
  12. “We heard of something starting up around 9:15 pm. My brother-in-law called me at 9:30 pm.” July 30th.
    • Controlled Coup

     

  13. It was discovered that Erdogan had been notified of the coup attempt before the actual execution and even though he could have taken action to prevent the coup from happening, he chose not to. In a report put together by Turkey’s main opposition party CHP in June 2017, July 15 was described as a “controlled coup.” In other words, Erdogan, rather than preventing the coup—of which he had been aware of beforehand—allowed it to be carried out in a controlled manner and, afterward, used the aftermath to his advantage.https://www.bbc.com/turkce/haberler-turkiye-39478777
    • Planes on Standby for Escape

     

  14. It was discovered that Erdogan had arranged for 4 different airplanes at 4 different locations near Marmaris to be on standby that night. In addition to the airplane in Dalaman which Erdogan was using, there were airplanes ready for use in Denizli, Izmir, and Aydin. In order for these airplanes to have been ready for a potential flight that night, they would have to have been notified at least by 5:00 pm that evening. The fact that Erdogan had made such arrangements beforehand is another indicator that he had been aware of the planned coup attempt. In that case, again, the question arises of why he did not take action to suppress the uprising within the military.http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/15-temmuzda-hazir-bekleyen-dort-ucak-h98846.html
    • Chief of Defense Hulusi Akar Who Failed to Prevent the Coup Becomes Head of Ministry of Defense, How So?

     

  15. In a confidential statement given to the Ankara 14th High Criminal Court on March 17, 2017, the Special Forces Commander of the time Zekai Aksakallı said, “Inside the Turkish Armed Forces, when times of crises and states of emergency arise, as soon as any notification is received, the orders that ‘personnel cannot leave their post’ is given. Commanding officers continue their duties at their given posts. This fundamental and simple principle applied in every instance was, however, not put into practice on July 15, 2016, when the first notification was received. If it had been put into effect, the coup attempt would have come to light from the very beginning.” In other words, he advocated that the coup could have been prevented had these orders been delivered. The Chief of Defense of the time, Hulusi Akar, failed to give these orders. Despite this fact, President Erdogan called him a “hero” and had the people applaud him during an AKP rally. Not only did he not dismiss Akar from his position, but he also appointed Akar to be the Minister of Defense as part of the first presidential cabinet formed after the early elections of June 24, 2018.
  16. http://www.aljazeera.com.tr/haber/aksakalli-kural-uygulansa-darbe-girisimi-bastan-aciga-cikardi
    • Secret Meetings A Day Before the CoupIt was discovered that Akar, Chief of Defense, and Fidan, Chief of MIT (National Intelligence Organization), held a one-on-one confidential meeting that lasted four hours, a day before the coup. It was also found out that, following this long meeting, Fidan and Special Forces Commander Zekai Aksakallı also held a one-on-one confidential meeting that lasted about an hour. The fact that these three names played the most critical role during the coup that took place the very next day raises quite a bit of suspicion.
  1. https://t24.com.tr/haber/hulusi-akar-ile-hakan-fidan-darbe-girisiminden-bir-gun-once-6-saat-basbasa-gorustuiddiasi,391229
    • “I Received the Orders to Reinforce the Chief of Defense Forces From Zekai Aksakallı

     

  2. In the fourth court hearing of the trials held for the cases of the 221 defendants regarding actions taken within the Chief of Defense forces during the course of the July 15 coup attempt, Staff Colonel Fırat Alakuş, in his defense, stated that he had personally received the orders to “reinforce the Chief of Defense forces in case of any potential actions certain terrorist organizations may take” from Special Forces Commander Zekai Aksakallı. Alakuş said, “I was assigned the duty by Special Forces Commander Zekai Aksakallı himself. As for the details of the assignment, I was told that I would be receiving them from Colonel ümit Bak.”https://www.cnnturk.com/turkiye/genelkurmay-baskaninin-urkutucu-dedigi-darbeci-komutan-konustu
    • Air Forces Commander not Notified of The Ban on Flights, Could It be Related to the Secret Meeting at the Palace?

     

  3. Although Akar, Chief of Defense, put a ban on all military flights/missions throughout the country as of 7:00 pm, neither the Air Forces Commander nor the Naval Forces Commander was notified of this ban.  It was discovered that the then Air Forces Commander Abidin ünal had been secretly visiting the palace of President Erdoğan using a vehicle belonging to MIT and holding secret meetings there from the month of April prior to the coup onwards. Not only did Abidin ünal fail to take any sort of action to prevent a coup from taking place on the night of July 15, but also he did not allow any preventive measures to be carried out.http://www.shaber3.com/abidin-unal-gizlice-erdogan-a-gitti-haberi/1320819/
    • Erdoğan Did Not Allow an Investigation


    The TBMM (Turkish Grand National Assembly) July 15 Investigation Commission wanted to listen to the testimonies of Chief of Defense Hulusi Akar and MIT Chief Hakan Fidan. However, President Erdoğan did not allow either of the names to appear in front of the commission. Akar and Fidan were not able to stand in front of the commission and answer their questions.

    https://twitter.com/15temmuzgercegi/status/1018414216288407552

    • Fethullah Gulen: “Let an international commission investigate the coup, and we will accept its findings.”In multiple interviews, including the New York Times, Financial Times, Sky News, and The Guardian, Fethullah Gulen said: “If there are allegations that I directed this coup attempt, let an international commission investigate it, and we will accept its findings.”

           https://t24.com.tr/haber/fethullah-gulen-uluslararasi-bir-komisyon-darbeyiarastirsin-sonucunu-simdiden-kabul-ediyoruz,350385

      • Events Not Yet Taken Place Written into the July 15 Official Report, How Did That Happen?

       

    1. It was discovered that the official report for July 15 prepared by Serdar Coşkun, the Constitutional Order Attorney General of the time, contained written reports of events that would take place at a later date written as though they had taken place at the time of the written record. The official report had been written up at 01:00 am yet it contained the records of events such as the bombing of the TBMM (Turkish Grand National Assembly), the bombing of the Presidential Palace intersection, and the air raid at the Ankara Police Headquarters none of which at that point in time had taken place. Moreover, these incidents had not even taken place in the way in which they were described in the report. What’s, even more, is the fact that events which never even took place were recorded as though they had actually happened.http://www.tr724.com/savci-15-temmuzu-sarsacak-belgeyi-dogruladi-o-gece-olaylar-yasanmadan-tutanaklardayazilmis/
      • Binali Yıldırım (Former Prime Minister): A Project I Disliked, July 15

       

    2. When Yıldırım was asked by a group of journalists, “Were there any projects that you felt were a bit too demanding?”, his reply, in a sarcastic tone, was, ” Well, July 15 was a project I did not like at all.”
      • Purge Lists Prepared Early On


      Attorney General Serdar Coşkun admitted that the first cases of individuals being taken into custody and being arrested on July 16 were carried out based on the official report of the events. For instance, he gave orders to have approximately 3,000 judges and prosecutors to be arrested. However, on July 16 there was no evidence to support the allegations that the said 3,000 judges and prosecutors had been involved in the coup. No evidence to that effect was found later on either. The purge lists had been prepared in advance. And they were put into effect right after the coup attempt. In the morning of July 16, at 01:00 am, only three hours after the military insurrection had started, 2,745 judges and prosecutors were dismissed from their duties. The official report prepared by Attorney General Serdar Coşkun was also written up at the same time that night, 01:00 am.

      https://www.ahmetdonmez.net/iste-serdar-coskunun-skandal-tutanaktan-sonraki-ilk-talimati/

      • MIT conspiracy towards Akın Öztürk?It was discovered that MIT official and retired soldier Sadık üstün, a close friend of MIT Chief Hakan Fidan since the time they met during their time serving in the TSK (Turkish Armed Forces), had called up certain commanders and told them that the number 1 role in the coup would be General Akın Öztürk. It was discovered that at that time Akın Öztürk, who had—as later discovered—been assigned to the Akıncılar Base by Air Force Commander Abidin ünal, was still in his home. It was discovered that Sadık üstün had been working together with Air Force Commander Abidin ünal.https://www.ahmetdonmez.net/mitci-sadik-ustun-savci-serdar-coskunu-da-aradi-mi/
        • “So-called Coup” explanation from Andrew Duff


        Former European Parliament representative and well-known politician Andrew Duff made the following statements regarding the report written by July 15 public prosecutor Serdar Coşkun, “We have finally figured out how Erdoğan was able to exploit this so-called coup in such a quick and relentless manner. This report shows us that certain incidents were prepared beforehand, ERDOĞAN allowed for the insurrection to be carried out in a controlled manner and afterward put his own version of a constitutional coup into action.”

        https://www.ahmetdonmez.net/andrew-duff-savci-coskunun-tutanagi-bazi-seylerin-onceden-hazirlandigini-gosteriyor/

                           “QUICK AND RELENTLESS SO-CALLED COUP”

        • What Kind of Connection Does the Religious Affairs Council have with MIT?
          It was discovered that on the night of July 15, Moaz al-Khatib, the man Erdoğan wants to see as the leader of Syria, and the President of the Religious Affairs Council, Görmez, were also present at the MIT headquarters.

        https://odatv.com/gormezden-sonra-sira-fidan-ve-akarda-mi-2707171200.html

       

 

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  • July 15 Purge in Numbers

    249 people lost their lives

    612,347 people were interrogated

    160,000 people were arrested

    152,000 state officials were arrested

    62,669 political prisoners were charged with terrorist activity

    7,907 incidents of human rights violations

    3,502 victims were subjected to torture and ill-treatment

    686 torture incidents occurred during detention

    51 prisoners died in suspicious circumstances

    69,301 students were incarcerated (highest number of students incarcerated at any given time in the history of the country)

    2,767 teenagers, aged between 12 and 18, were incarcerated

    197 teenagers, aged between 12 and 18, were incarcerated due to the alleged involvement in terrorism

    102,000 people were jailed due to the alleged use of ByLock mobile application

    Assets valued at $11,000,000,000 were seized

    130,000 public officers were suspended from work

    80,000 citizens were arrested

    4,000+ judges or prosecutors were dismissed from work

    2,300+ private educational institutions were closed

    7,257 academics were dismissed

    1,600+ non-profit and non-governmental organizations were closed

    1,500+ public associations and foundations were closed

    200 public media companies were closed

    2,500 journalists and media workers were left unemployed

    19 unions were closed

    15 private universities were closed

    1,539 lawyers were put on trial

    580 lawyers were arrested

    103 lawyers were sentenced to long terms in prison

    5,705 academics were suspended

    8,240 armed forces employees were dismissed

    1,067 NATO-supporting members of the armed forces were dismissed

    28 individuals were abducted

    100+ members of the Gulen Movement were abducted and brought back to Turkey from 18 different countries by the National Intelligence Organization

 


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AST Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly June 30

Download as pdf: AST_Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly_June 30

Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly- 06/25/2019-06/30/2019

  1. “Website entry exposes Constitutional Court bias against Gülen-related cases”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/28/website-entry-exposes-constitutional-court-bias-against-gulen-related-cases/

2. “Turkey orders detention of 27 sailors from Naval Forces”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/28/turkey-orders-detention-of-27-sailors-from-naval-forces/

3. “Editor of gov’t-critical news website detained for insulting Turkish president”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/28/editor-of-govt-critical-news-website-detained-for-insulting-turkish-president/

4. “Officials who conducted Turkish intelligence trucks probe in 2014 get lengthy prison sentences”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/28/officials-who-conducted-turkish-intelligence-trucks-probe-in-2014-get-lengthy-prison-sentences/

5. “Top court rules German-Turkish journalist’s rights violated during detention in Turkey”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/28/top-court-rules-german-turkish-journalists-rights-violated-during-detention-in-turkey/

6. “New era begins in İstanbul as İmamoğlu accepts mandate for second time”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/28/new-era-begins-in-istanbul-as-imamoglu-accepts-mandate-for-second-time/

7. “Pregnant, ailing women among 4 arrested in Turkey’s Osmaniye due to Gülen links”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/28/pregnant-ailing-women-among-4-arrested-in-turkeys-osmaniye-due-to-gulen-links/

8. “I wasn’t aware Öcalan’s brother had been sought by Turkish authorities: Erdoğan”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/27/i-wasnt-aware-ocalans-brother-had-been-sought-by-turkish-authorities-erdogan/

9. “Some 2,000 Turkish soldiers purged since end of state of emergency”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/27/some-2000-turkish-soldiers-purged-since-end-of-state-of-emergency/

10. “AKP deputy chair contradicts Erdoğan over İmamoğlu’s prosecution: report”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/27/akp-deputy-chair-contradicts-erdogan-over-imamoglus-prosecution-report/

11. “US-based Turkish academic released after detention for signing peace petition”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/26/us-based-turkish-academic-released-after-detention-for-signing-peace-petition/

12. “Not surprising that people commit suicide behind bars, says man abducted, tortured by Turkish intelligence”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/26/not-surprising-that-people-commit-suicide-behind-bars-says-man-abducted-tortured-by-turkish-intelligence/

13. “Autopsy report reveals graphic details about murder of military cadet on July 15”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/26/autopsy-report-reveals-graphic-details-about-murder-of-military-cadet-on-july-15/

14. “Court acquits teacher who pleaded with gov’t to spare children’s lives”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/26/court-acquits-teacher-who-pleaded-with-govt-to-spare-childrens-lives/

15. “Gov’t transfers mayoral appointment authority to city councils after losses in big cities”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/26/govt-transfers-mayoral-appointment-authority-to-city-councils-after-losses-in-big-cities/

16. “108 military cadets acquitted, 18 get life without parole in July 15 coup trial”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/26/108-military-cadets-acquitted-18-get-life-without-parole-in-july-15-coup-trial/

17. “Erdoğan signals possible Cabinet shakeup following election defeat in İstanbul”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/25/erdogan-signals-possible-cabinet-shakeup-following-election-defeat-in-istanbul/

18. “Kurdish signs removed after March 31 elections re-erected in Bitlis”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/25/kurdish-signs-removed-after-march-31-elections-re-erected-in-bitlis/

19. “Kurdish man alleges racist attack by police officer pretenders”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/24/kurdish-man-alleges-racist-attack-by-police-officer-pretenders/

20. “16 Turkish civil society leaders go on trial over Gezi Park protests”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/24/16-turkish-civil-society-leaders-go-on-trial-over-gezi-park-protests/

21. “Pregnant woman arrested on terrorism charges over alleged Gülen links”

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/06/23/pregnant-woman-arrested-on-terrorism-charges-over-alleged-gulen-links/

Erdogan Hükümeti tarafından işlenenen İnsan Hakları İhlalleri

  1. “​Behzat Ç.’den KHK’li fragman: Yayın tarihi belli oldu”

http://aktifhaber.com/kultur-sanat/behzat-cden-khkli-fragman-yayin-tarihi-belli-oldu-h134308.html

2. “Ruslar Denizbank’ı Birleşik Arap Emirlikleri’ne devrediyor”

http://aktifhaber.com/ekonomi/ruslar-denizbanki-birlesik-arap-emirliklerine-devrediyor-h134303.html

3. “İmamoğlu’nu kabul etmiyorum’ diyen İSPARK müdürü de istifa etti”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/imamoglunu-kabul-etmiyorum-diyen-ispark-muduru-de-istifa-etti-h134289.html

4. “Halk TV’de görevden almalar sürüyor”

http://aktifhaber.com/medya/halk-tvde-gorevden-almalar-suruyor-h134287.html

5. “Suriye rejim güçleri Türk askeri gözlem noktasını vurdu: 1 şehit, 3 yaralı”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/suriye-rejim-gucleri-turk-askeri-gozlem-noktasini-vurdu-1-sehit-3-yarali-h134292.html

6. ““Hep derdim ki; Gülnur hayata ne acelen var? Öyle çok acelesi varmış ki; 28 yaşında gitti!””

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/hep-derdim-ki-gulnur-hayata-ne-acelen-var-oyle-cok-acelesi-varmis-ki-28-yasinda-gitti-h134290.html

7. “Erdoğan: ABD’nin yaptırım uygulamayacağını Trump’tan duymuş olduk”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/erdogan-abdnin-yaptirim-uygulamayacagini-trumptan-duymus-olduk-h134288.html

8. “Türk yargısı 2019: Mahkeme yanlış fotoğraf gönderdi, TRT “kesin o” diye rapor yazdı”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/turk-yargisi-2019-mahkeme-yanlis-fotograf-gonderdi-trt-kesin-o-diye-rapor-yazdi-h134252.html

9. “Alman iç istihbarat raporunda MİT’e özel başlık: Faaliyetler tek tek anlatıldı”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/alman-ic-istihbarat-raporunda-mite-ozel-baslik-faaliyetler-tek-tek-anlatildi-h134247.html

10. “Meclis’ten yükselen ses: “Yargı reformu 700 bebeği ve annelerini cezaevinden çıkarmalı””

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/meclisten-yukselen-ses-yargi-reformu-700-bebegi-ve-annelerini-cezaevinden-cikarmali-h134249.html

11. “Bahçeli’den Negahan Alçı’ya mektup tepkisi: ‘Satılık kalem’”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/bahceliden-negahan-alciya-mektup-tepkisi-satilik-kalem-h134164.html

12. “Edirne’de düzensiz göçmen faciası: 10 ölü”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/edirnede-duzensiz-gocmen-faciasi-10-olu-h134142.html

13. “Yeni askerlik yasası Resmi Gazete’de: Zorunlu askerlik altı ay, bedelli askerlik kalıcı oldu”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/yeni-askerlik-yasasi-resmi-gazetede-zorunlu-askerlik-alti-ay-bedelli-askerlik-kalici-oldu-h134146.html

14. “ABD’de tutuklu bulunan Hakan Atilla tahliye oluyor”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/abdde-tutuklu-bulunan-hakan-atilla-tahliye-oluyor-h134139.html

15. “Askerlik 6 aya indi, 130 bin er erken terhis olacak”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/askerlik-6-aya-indi-130-bin-er-erken-terhis-olacak-h134122.html

16. “Bu sefer senin şerefine İmamoğlu”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/bu-sefer-senin-serefine-imamoglu-h134071.html

17. “Osman Kavala tahliyesini istedi, hakim “Edersem ikametinizi verir misiniz” diye sordu”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/osman-kavala-tahliyesini-istedi-hakim-edersem-ikametinizi-verir-misiniz-diye-sordu-h134066.html

18. “TÜSİAD: İstanbul’un başarısı Türkiye’nin başarısıdır”

http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/tusiad-istanbulun-basarisi-turkiyenin-basarisidir-h134069.html

19. “Seçim zaferi için Ekrem İmamoğlu’ndan teşekkür videosu”

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20. “Dünya basını hemfikir: Kaybeden Erdoğan”

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21. “BM’den koruma talep eden 8 kişi Moğolistan’dan çıkış yolu arıyor”

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22. “Koğuş arkadaşı bebekler”

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23. “Boğaziçi Köprüsünde boğazı kesilerek şehit edilen Harbiyeli Enes’in otopsi raporu”

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24. “Kara Harp Okulu davasında 108 beraat”

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25. “Bağ evinde ters kelepçe ile gözaltına alınanlar beraat etti”

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26. “10 yıldır kanser hastası, 650 gündür cezaevinde”

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27. “Türkiye’yi tedavi edecek değerler”

http://www.tr724.com/turkiyeyi-tedavi-edecek-degerler/

28. “Bırakın, insanlık kazansın”

http://www.tr724.com/birakin-insanlik-kazansin/

29. “Kimin yolundan gideceksin, karar ver?! (1)”

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30. “OHAL Komisyonu 78 bin başvurunun sadece 6 binini kabul etti”

http://www.tr724.com/ohal-komisyonu-78-bin-basvurunun-sadece-6-binini-kabul-etti/

31. “Ankara Barosu: Kaçırma olayı MİT’e sorulmalı”

http://www.tr724.com/ankara-barosu-kacirma-olayi-mite-sorulmali/

32. “Bekçilerden, ‘ters kelepçeli, darplı, tehditli’ GBT uygulaması”

http://www.tr724.com/bekcilerden-ters-kelepceli-darpli-tehditli-gbt-uygulamasi/

33. “Eşi kaçırılan Fatma Zeybek’ten KHK’lı Yıldırım’a destek”

http://www.tr724.com/esi-kacirilan-fatma-zeybekten-khkli-yildirima-destek/

34. “İdlib’de TSK noktasına saldırı: 1 şehit, 3 yaralı”

http://www.tr724.com/idlibde-tsk-noktasina-saldiri-1-sehit-3-yarali/

35. “Veli Saçılık’tan eşi kaçırılan kadınlara destek: İnsanlık suçuna karşı herkes duyarlı olmalı”

http://www.tr724.com/veli-saciliktan-esi-kacirilan-kadinlara-destek-insanlik-sucuna-karsi-herkes-duyarli-olmali/

36. “Ayşe Öğretmen 3 yıl sonra beraat etti”

http://www.tr724.com/ayse-ogretmen-3-yil-sonra-beraat-etti/

37. “Hakan Atilla 19 Temmuz’da tahliye mi oluyor?”

http://www.tr724.com/hakan-atilla-tahliye-mi-oluyor/

38. “OHAL sonrası TSK’dan 2 bin 49 asker ihraç edildi; gerekçe ankesörlü telefonla aranma”

http://www.tr724.com/ohal-sonrasi-tskdan-2-bin-49-asker-ihrac-edildi-gerekce-ankesorlu-telefonla-aranma/

39. “Göçmenleri taşıyan minibüs kaza yaptı: 10 ölü, 30 yaralı”

http://www.tr724.com/202701-2/

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http://www.tr724.com/gezi-davasinda-osman-kavalanin-tutukluluguna-devam-karari/

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44. “Gezi davası başladı; Osman Kavala: “Suçlamalar son derece haysiyet kırıcı””

http://www.tr724.com/gezi-davasi-basladi-osman-kavala-suclamalar-son-derece-haysiyet-kirici/

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Collapse of Rule of Law in TURKEY and Politically Motivated Extradition Requests for the Dissidents of Erdogan Regime

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Turkey Blocks Defendants’ Right to Legal Counsel During Trials No Fair Trial in Turkey As Judiciary Remains in Shambles

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Political Context
  • Political Nature of Regime

A)General Outline of Debate

B)Contours of Authoritarianism

  • The Case Against Extradition
  • a)The post-coup trials are political in nature;
  • b)There is no judicial independence;
  • c)Mass prosecution of Lawyers
  • d)Turkey’s Abuse of Interpol
  • e)British Court Rejects Turkey’s Extradition Request
  • f)Perils of Extradition
  • Conclusion

Introduction

There are numerous reports illuminating the collapse of rule of law and the judicial independence in Turkey. The lack of fair trials, the denial of the right to defense, and political interference in ongoing cases summoned close-up scrutiny from international organizations to the nature of post-coup trials, causing debilitating damage to the credibility of trials at all. Despite for all the coverage of post-coup affairs in Turkey, how trials proceed on bogus and trumped-up charges, how the Turkish political and judicial authorities fabricated evidence to implicate certain figures and how arbitrariness contagiously pervaded all layers of judicial mechanism remain mostly under-sketched until the recent report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW). The HRW report aside, previous studies mostly left certain aspects regarding trials beyond full grasp of outsiders. For this reason, except experts and legal observers, the outside world remains uninformed about how things veered off the script and how the very word of law has become a dead letter following the purge and politically-tinged trials. This report, in addition to the HRW-like studies, seeks to fill the gap by offering a detailed analysis of the political efforts aimed at subverting the legal system and manipulating post-coup trials. Additionally, this study tries to provide a panoramic view of central contours of the political course of post-coup Turkey in an effort to illustrate the correspondence between the government’s not-so-subtle interference in legal processes and dynamics of advancing political interests of the ruling party.

To have a proper sense of what this report is about, a historical perspective is essential to capture how the Turkish government defied both national and international law. This requires revisiting recent course of political events that sealed the country’s tilt toward authoritarianism. In this regard, an adequate understanding of the political context would be a good start to untangle the link between political factors and judicial affairs.

Political Context

Turkey’s slow-motion drift into the grip of authoritarianism took place in much a longer time, a process that began before the failed 2016 coup. The government’s heavy-handed response to nationwide Gezi Park protests in 2013 and the first waves of purge after the corruption investigation in December 2013 paved the way for the emergence of an illiberal government. Then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan did his best in his capacity to blunt the sprawling graft scandal, which implicated his cabinet ministers and his family members. The prime minister responded with a swift purge of prosecutors and police officers overseeing the graft case. Many observers and experts pinpoint this year, 2013, as the major turning point for Turkey’s drift away from a liberal democracy, which it never gained in a full-fledged, ideal fashion in the republican history. It would be safe to say that the contours of autocratic turn began to appear with the purge in judiciary and police department in late 2013. What followed after was a steady descent into an autocratic system.

If the post-2013 era signaled the harbinger of Turkey’s break with the democratic norms, the post-coup period after the botched putsch in mid-2016 served as a testament 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. The failed coup attempt was a watershed moment in Turkey’s modern history. The government immediately declared a state of emergency and ruled the country with decrees, which had the full force of law, for two years. Although the emergency regime officially ended last summer, the measures taken by the government during the emergency rule remain in place after authorities enacted a new set of laws that made decrees permanent.

The abortive coup provided President Erdogan and his party the much-needed pretext and unlimited latitude to embark on a massive purge to dismiss their real and perceived political opponents from public service. The profusion of numbers is mind-numbing. More than 150,000 public workers have been fired without due process.

A detailed report by Amnesty International in October last year meticulously documented how that process played out. Authorities did not feel any compunction over the lack of any legal basis or evidence of wrongdoing to justify dismissals.

“Their dismissals did not include specific evidence or details of their alleged wrongdoing. Instead, the decrees offered a generalized justification that they ‘…had links to, were part of, were connected to, or in communication with…’ proscribed groups,” the Amnesty report stated.

Administrative decisions, not court rulings, were definitive and determining elements in the course of dismissals, a minister admitted during the emergency rule. Former Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag’s off-script remarks were an acknowledgment of the political nature of the purge process, which took place in line with political whims of the government rather than due legal process.

As the subject matter of this report, the collapse of judicial independence and lack of fair trials appear as the major source of lamentation and complaints from purge victims. More than 3,500 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed en masse. The majority of them wound up in jail after lengthy pretrial detention. What further blighted Turkey’s shredded judicial landscape was a systematic blow to defendants’ right to fair defense and legal counsel. A recent HRW report, which was published this April, lucidly elaborated on the crackdown on lawyers, among other things. The political persecution of the members of Turkey’s judiciary was (is) not restricted to mass imprisonment of judges and prosecutors. The Turkish authorities also went after lawyers and legal organizations, denying defendants, who had been arrested as part of the post-coup crackdown, not only the fair trial but also access to the most basic legal counsel and defense. It would be professional suicide for any lawyer to represent someone, who stand trial on the charge of affiliation with the Gulen Movement. As the HRW report dwells upon the legal perils and professional challenges of defending a Gulen-affiliated person, lawyers face the high risk of similar treatment and accusations by the authorities.

While the HRW’s scrupulous and well-documented study limits its focus to the ordeal of lawyers, this report aims to take a larger look from a broader perspective to situate the breakdown of Turkey’s judicial system in a historical and political context. To that aim, how the entire legal drama was deeply tainted and steered by political meddling and considerations in Turkey’s post-coup political landscape will be the major theme of this study. In this respect, apart from providing a mere analysis or a narrative record of the recent course of events in Turkey from an analytical angle, this report also contains some normative judgments and policy prescriptions for outside experts, especially in the legal profession, in the face of Turkey’s relentless legal diplomacy to haunt dissidents abroad.

It would be tempting for the host countries to treat Ankara’s extradition requests of some critics within the narrow scope of technical aspects of legal criteria. But it need not much prudence to see the political motivations of Ankara lurking behind the mere judicial moves. This report casts Turkey’s tireless efforts to capture the government’s opponents abroad in this light, offering a close-up look at some cases that expose political machinations inherent in some extradition requests. Therefore, this study warns foreign governments and courts against Ankara’s disregard of central tenets of its own national law and international law when it pursued certain critical figures living in different countries either in Europe or elsewhere.

The Nature of Political Regime in Turkey

  • The General Outline of the Debate

There is an emerging widespread consensus among scholars and journalists over the nature of the political regime in Turkey. One chief assumption rests at the center of countless diverse studies — Turkey is no longer a democracy and there is little space for free speech. Whether Turkey could be identified as a dictatorship still remains a matter of an ensuing academic controversy. The scholarly position oscillates between divergent viewpoints from “smart authoritarianism” to emerging fascism. The debate is not just about semantics or the epistemological dimension, it is about the essence and soul of the living system in Turkey.

“IN TURKEY under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the tweet has been turned into a crime, and a troubled democracy is being turned into a dictatorship. Gradually but inexorably, a nation that once aspired to be an exemplar of enlightened moderation is being transformed by Mr. Erdogan into a dreary totalitarian prison,” The Washington Post wrote in an editorial last year.

The Post editorial reached its conclusion after a long take on how Erdogan’s government rolled back democratic gains of the recent decades. Certainly, the Post is not alone in its assessment.

The Turkish president’s gradual power grab did not happen within one year. It rather took place stage by stage in a piecemeal fashion over the past several years. His political machinations chipped away at core elements of Turkey’s fragile democracy.

Not long before its descent into authoritarianism, Turkey aspired to be a model country for the rest of the region. A mixed combination of Islam and democracy, a rising economy with groundbreaking, novel E.U. reforms as part of the negotiations with Brussels for full membership were the hallmarks of Turkey’s inspiring success story.

“… Turkey is viewed as having played the “most constructive” role in the past year’s events and its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, emerged as the most admired leader by far in the region, according to the 2011 edition of the annual “Arab Public Opinion Survey” conducted by Shibley Telhami of the Brookings Institution,” Jim Lobe wrote for Institute for Policy Studies in 2011.

“Turkey is the biggest winner of the Arab Spring,” wrote Telhami who led the survey in 2011 to measure the public reaction and expectations across the region swept by a wave of demonstrations toppling long-running autocrats. The scholar noted further:

“In the five countries polled, Turkey is seen to have played the “most constructive” role in the Arab events. Its prime minister, Recep Erdoğan, is the most admired among world leaders, and those who envision a new president for Egypt want the new president to look most like Erdoğan. Egyptians want their country to look more like Turkey than any of the other Muslim, Arab and other choices provided.”

During the first decade of its spell in power, the Islamist-rooted AKP’s displayed commitment to democracy and its reform-driven agenda to acquire E.U. membership for Turkey upended the long-held belief that political Islam and democracy would not co-exist peacefully in a properly functioning fashion. Until an illiberal and undemocratic turn in the early 2010s, President Erdogan’s rule proved otherwise, boosting confidence in the belief that conservative and Islamist-oriented parties would reconcile their worldview with the demands and necessities of democratic politics.

But as scholars increasingly came to believe that the Arab Spring was a lost opportunity for the Erdogan administration’s loyalty to democracy. Lured by the emerging geopolitical opportunities during the Arab Spring in the Middle East, Turkey sought to project its power across the region. Ankara employed elements of hard power at the expense of its hard-won soft power, chipping away at the prestige it earned after arduous efforts, and making Turkey susceptible and open to the spillover of the regional conflicts. The Syrian civil war and Turkey’s policies have been the most known contours of this embroilment and over-stretch of Ankara’s diplomatic as well as military clout, mostly to the detriment of the country’s interests.

While the Syrian conflict dragged Turkey into uncharted territory with profound diplomatic and military ramifications for Ankara’s regional foreign and security policies, the Turkish domestic politics would not escape unscathed and unaffected from the conflict. The refugee flow, the challenging incorporation of more than 3,5 million Syrians into Turkey’s social fabric, and the emergence of security threats after open border policy created additional pitfalls for the government in Ankara. The social and economic cost of accommodating Syrians also became a politically divisive issue.

  1. B. Contours of Authoritarianism

These course of events in the internal and external realm appears to have inexorably anchored Turkey in an illiberal political setting. The scale and pace of Turkey’s drift into the grip of full-blown authoritarianism after the failed coup in 2016 is completely a different story. The post-2016 Turkey resembles a different country as it underwent a seismic change in all facets and layers of the body politic.

After praising Turkey’s democratic reforms during the 2000s, Peter S. Goodman, London-based European economics correspondent for The New York Times, detected a similar collapse over the course of past years. He wrote for The Times last year:

“But that was before Mr. Erdogan began amassing supreme powers, and before his brutal crackdown on dissent following an attempted coup two years ago. It was before Turkey descended into a financial crisis delivered in no small measure by his authoritarian proclivities and unorthodox stewardship of the economy. Whatever was left of the notion that Mr. Erdogan was a liberalizing force has been wholly extinguished.”

“For the West,” he added, “Mr. Erdogan has devolved from a righteous hope — would-be proof that Islam and democracy can peacefully coexist — into another autocrat whose populism, bombast and contempt for the ledger books have yielded calamity.”

The failed coup ushered in a new era and prompted a new form of commentary that increasingly began to use the concept of dictatorship and dictator when they analyzed the transformation of both the political landscape and President Erdogan himself.  

David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights, Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, likened Erdogan to Stalin. “Erdogan’s “inner Stalin” is unleashed,” he wrote five days after the coup.

Turkey’s authorities launched a massive purge within the public sector and security bureaucracy, with little regard for the purge’s calamitous and pernicious implications for the integrity and functional health of the institutions. The Columbia scholar, who also served at the State Department in the past administrations of Clinton, Bush and Obama, argued that Erdogan was turning Turkey into a giant Gulag.

The failed coup against Erdogan, Bloomberg columnist Noah Feldman wrote, “turned out be a godsend, because it allowed him to end the separation of powers.”

Feldman opined that “the only institutions capable of counterbalancing Erdogan were the military and the courts.”

“The failed coup gave Erdogan the opening to purge the judiciary and military of opponents and skeptics, indeed anyone who wasn’t a reliable loyalist. That left no one to balance Erdogan — and no reason for him to stick with democratic rule,” he wrote in a column in May 2017.

The post-coup purge and crackdown have left no doubt about the political trajectory of the government. The declaration of emergency rule, which was extended seven more times after expiration of its three-month period, allowed the Turkish government to bypass and circumvent constitutional safeguards protecting individual rights and defendants’ rights to a fair trial, legal counsel and etc. The story of the post-coup clampdown was well documented by countless reports by international organizations, therefore there would only be a passing mention here.

As scholars are divided over how to identify the character of the regime in Ankara, there is no doubt about its authoritarian nature.

“Erdoğan’s relentless political chicanery offers a roadmap to today’s populist dictators on how to engineer apparently democratic triumphs on their way to disabling democracy,” the Forbes columnist Melik Kaylan wrote in an article for Politico after a controversial referendum in April 2017. The vote was marred by widespread allegations of voter fraud after the Supreme Election Council (YSK), under political pressure, decided to accept more than 1.5 million unstamped ballot papers at last minute. The ruling swayed the vote in favor of ‘Yes’ camp of President Erdogan whose lifelong push for an executive presidential system materialized with the controversial win the constitutional referendum.

He summarized the authoritarian playbook of the Turkish strongman as follows:

“Erdoğan deliberately provoked chaos then offered himself up as a solution. He allowed ISIS to operate openly in Turkey; he ignited a civil war against the Kurdish population to punish them for voting against him in a crucial national election; he kept the Syrian border porous so the instability there would migrate into Turkey. He persecuted the military until they revolted, accusing outside forces of fomenting the trouble, most recently the Gülenists. With rolling Robespierre-like prosecutions, he warned half the country that opposing him will wreck their lives. He destroyed the economy but subsidized his supporters.”

His analysis reveals the government’s consistent attempts to hollow out Turkey’s once-functioning institutions in a brazen manner. Whatever has the government done since the Gezi protests served to consolidate Erdogan’s position by making the entire political system dependent on one personality with little regard for the institutional degeneration engendered by the whole course of political events.

“The only way Erdoğan has achieved any political success is by using the body politic against itself,” Kaylan wrote. “In essence,” the columnist argued, the Turkish president “has delegitimized governance in order to present himself as the only way to restore it.”

The post-referendum commentary was almost united in their assessment of what the April vote in 2017 meant for the future of Turkey’s political system. The constitutional amendment bestowed enormous powers at the president’s office, undoing the central tenets of the almost century-old parliamentary system of the Republic.

Writing a day after the referendum, Roy Gutman from The Daily Beast contended that “the result will be a system under which there’s no prime minister, where the parliament will be weakened to the point of being a rubber stamp, and the judiciary will become still more subservient than it is already.”

He went on to say: “The path to one-man rule—opponents talk of a “dictatorship”—is the story of a politician with a gut instinct for gaining power who’s seized on every political setback that’s come his way in the past two years and turned it into an opportunity to advance his ambitions.”

Following the presidential election in 2018, the president assumed vast powers normally accrued to a new breed of global strongmen around the world.

A New York Times article summarized the changes introduced as follows:

“The prime minister’s office has been abolished; The military has been brought under firmer civilian control; The president will draft the budget and choose judges and many top officials; The president can dismiss Parliament and call new elections at will; The president appoints the head of the National Intelligence Agency, the Religious Affairs Directorate and the Central Bank, as well as ambassadors, governors and university rectors, among other top bureaucrats; Virtually none of the president’s appointments require a confirmation process.”

One year since the election has confirmed the existence of the one-man rule in Turkey. President Erdogan’s style of governance, however, backfired on March 31 local elections. He lost major cities, including Ankara and Istanbul, as of this report’s publication.

But in between, the president began to dismantle some core institutions of the Republic, while establishing a direct rule over the entire apparatus of the executive branch. Once unthinkable and inconceivable, outside observers and experts no longer shy away from depicting Erdogan’s Turkey as an emerging dictatorship. However contested the academic label it may be, the country moves between authoritarianism and dictatorship with more and more articles calling the Turkish leader as a “dictator.”

In this context and against this backdrop, Turkey’s legal and diplomatic actions on a global scale must be understood and reviewed. Needless to say, the political nature of the regime has direct implications for the ongoing trials in Turkey. Trials against actual coup plotters aside, the majority of the trials against opponents in the post-coup era are politically motivated. Even the coup plotters lack fair trial amid tremendous political pressure and public mobbing.

The Case Against Extradition

There is a preponderance of factual data and evidence that strongly prove the central charge against the Turkish government that the post-coup trials are not fair and politically motivated in form and essence. After providing a historical and political context about the evolution of an increasingly authoritarian regime in Turkey, this part of the report will take the issue of post-coup trials and analyze them from the angle of universally accepted legal norms and criteria. It also will try to build up a compelling case to show why foreign courts and judges should think twice before ruling in favor Ankara’s extradition requests for wanted dissidents.

To begin with, a growing body of pieces appeared on the international media and reports by respected rights organizations have coalesced around a shared conviction about the nature of the post-coup trials: they are not fair. They are driven by political motivations of the government and lack the basic parameters of due process.

  • The post-coup trials are political in nature;
  • There is no judicial independence;
  • Turkey’s authorities show contempt for the ECHR rulings;
  • Mass prosecution of Lawyers
  • Turkey’s abuse of Interpol System;
  • British Court Rejects Ankara’s Extradition Request
  • Perils of Extradition

The second part of the study will elaborate on each theme outlined above in its quest to build up a case against extradition.

Post-Coup Trials Are Politically Motivated

Foreign judges and courts must consider the fact that the major consensus among human rights organizations and Turkey observers is that the majority of the trials appear to be politically motivated. There are a number of cases that indisputably show how Turkey’s authorities simply elbowed aside the central tenets of rule of law and fair trial when they imprisoned rights activists, journalists, politicians and all types of dissidents.

“The Ministry of Justice also reported that, between July 2016 and July 2018, “investigations have been opened into 612,347 persons alleged to be founders, executives, or members of armed organizations.” A majority of these were reportedly detained for alleged ties to the Gulen movement or the PKK, often with little due process or access to the evidence underlying the accusations against them,” the U.S. State Department noted in its report about human rights in Turkey.

The Case of Amnesty International Activists: On July 5, 2017, the Turkish police detained 10 members of Amnesty International over terrorism charges and landed them in pretrial detention. The police raid took place when the activists were attending a cyber-security workshop on an island in the Marmara Sea.  Taner Kilic, the chairman of Amnesty’s Turkey branch, had already been detained in Izmir on similar charges, over membership to a terrorist organization.

The arrest rattled the entire world and was regarded as an assault on human rights itself. The London-based Amnesty International dismissed the charges as politically motivated.

“The use of criminal proceedings against human-rights defenders… is unfortunately an increasingly frequent phenomenon” in Turkey, said Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, according to Economist.

The Amnesty launched a worldwide campaign to secure the release of Kilic and Idil Eser, the director of Amnesty International’s Turkey branch, and others. While other members were released after months of detention, Kilic remained in prison until August 2018. This episode is only one element of a larger picture that points to the fact that different segments of society and public workers, including diplomats, journalists, judges, prosecutors, teachers, police chiefs and generals faced similar criminal legal proceedings although the majority of them had no record of any wrongdoing and official misconduct.

The deployment of terrorist label and invocation of counter-terrorism laws against members of public service and journalists indeed reveal the political approach deeply rooted in how the government perceives the post-coup trials. The only thing that unites the so many diverse people with different social affiliation and political conviction is that they are opponents or discontents of the Erdogan government. If a public worker is deemed a non-loyalist, this factor is seen enough to categorize him as a terrorist, as tens of thousands of cases before and after the coup have so far confirmed.

The Case of Politician Selahattin Demirtas: The trial of Selahattin Demirtas, the former co-chair of pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP), is another case in point. Prosecutors accuse him of leading the political branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and involving in terrorist propaganda.

Demirtas who was detained in late October 2016, appeared at the court on Feb. 14, 2018, for the first time. The HDP politician noted that “terrorism charges against him were politically motivated and he did not think he would get a fair trial.”

In his defense at the court, Demirtas lamented the obstacles he faced during the lengthy pretrial detention.

“The President is calling me a terrorist every day, and openly instructing the courts and the parliament against us. It wasn’t the judiciary who brought me here, but the President himself,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

The treatment of politicians, journalists, members of the judiciary and other public sector departments in the same way along with actual criminals and terrorists taint the credibility and integrity of trials, cast serious doubts over the claims of the Turkish authorities.

According to the government, anyone criticizing the president faces terrorism charges. This is true for NBA star Enes Kanter, for former national soccer star Hakan Sukur, who lives in the U.S. in self-exile, for Ahmet Altan, a novelist and journalist serving life in prison in Istanbul, for Asli Erdogan, who briefly stayed in jail and now lives in Germany in self-imposed exile. Former Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dundar, lawmakers, diplomats and countless exiled journalists and writers face the noxious charge of terrorist for their criticism of the government and the president.

The Case of NASA Scientist Serkan Golge: The conviction of NASA scientist Serkan Golge on terrorism charge encapsulates the gist of the matter about the political nature of trials. Golge, after one and a half year of pretrial detention, was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison over membership to a terrorist organization. The U.S. authorities long tried to secure his release, but to no avail. After the prison sentence, “a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State said the United States is “deeply concerned” by Golge’s conviction, which came “without credible evidence.”

Golge was on a vacation along with his family in the southern province of Hatay when the coup attempt took place. The police arrested him over the coup-related and terrorism charges after a tip from a distant relative. The observers, the U.S. government and legal experts dismissed the accusations as groundless. The scientist remained in solitary confinement one and a half year before the announcement of the prison sentence.

The War Against Academia: The members of Turkey’s academia have also found themselves in the crosshairs of the authorities. Thousands of academics were either suspended or dismissed over alleged terrorism ties or Gulen affiliation. More than 1,000 academics faced probes and some of them were convicted over signing a peace petition calling for the cessation of the army operations in urban areas in southeastern Turkey in early 2016.

In a riveting report, the HRW stated that the Turkish government is “investigating and prosecuting academics on trumped-up terrorism charges.”

“The authorities,” the report noted, “are interfering with student protests on campus, and prosecuting student activists. And officials are interfering with academic research on controversial topics.”

It added: “Together these actions are creating a climate of fear and self-censorship on campus, and breaching Turkey’s obligations under human rights law to respect and protect academic freedom and freedom of expression.”

The universities have also faced accusations of collaborating with the government to muzzle critical academics.

The numbers reveal the true scope of the post-coup clampdown. As of September 2017, “a total of 5,717 academics in 117 universities have been sacked from their jobs in Turkey, according to Bianet.org; 15 universities have been shut down altogether; and, according to the Ministry of Justice, 69,301 students have been incarcerated as of the end of 2016, which accounts for one-third of the total number of prisoners in the whole country.”

The war on academy not only occurred through mass dismissals but also took the form of legal proceedings.

B)There Is No Judicial Independence in Turkey

According to international organizations, media and experts, there is no longer judicial independence in Turkey, something that has become a political reality after years of fraying at the heart of judicial affairs. The rot of the judiciary also took place in a larger time frame, but devolved into a full-blown fracturing in the aftermath of the coup attempt in 2016. The mass imprisonment of more than 3,500 judges and prosecutors dealt a heavy blow to Turkey’s judiciary, installing a fear regime that frightened whatever left of the independent-minded and norm-respecting judges and prosecutors.

According to the World Index that measures judicial independence, Turkey ranked at 111th place out of 140 countries.  The standing reveals where Turkey belongs to. Certainly, not to the league of advanced democracies.

Apart from this, there are countless reports by other organizations cling to a similar conviction about the lack of judicial independence in Turkey.

The Council of Europe’s 49-member Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) published a number of reports in a bid to evaluate the state of the judiciary in Turkey. While its reports in 2018 chiefly focused on the prevalence of corruption in Turkey, it also analyzed how the recent legislative measures “putting the independence of the judiciary from the executive and political powers at stake.”

A report by GRECO, which solely focused on the independence of courts, notes: “the fact that the newly-established Council of Judges and Prosecutors is appointed by the President of the Republic and Parliament, and none of its members are elected by the judiciary itself, runs counter to the fundamental principle of an independent judiciary.”

It further adds that:

“In summary, GRECO notes that only 2 out of 22 of its recommendations on these issues have been implemented satisfactorily by Turkey, leading GRECO to describe the current level of compliance as “globally unsatisfactory”.”

The lack of judicial independence particularly matters when it comes to extradition requests by Ankara. Other countries and courts must keep in mind the fact that if a certain person is sent back to Turkey, the prospect of standing a fair trial remains scantily dim.

The Case of Murat Arslan

Last year, a joint letter by four leading judicial organizations in Europe were firm in their conviction about this subject.

“On the occasion of the Human Rights Day 2018, the Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Turkey strongly emphasizes that basic human rights standards are neglected and violated in Turkey, inter alia through the abolishment of an independent judiciary and in so far arbitrary detention of thousands of Turkish judges,” a letter by the four organizations said.

Presidents of Association of European Administrative Judges (AEAJ), European Association of Judges (EAJ), Judges for Judges and Magistrats Européens pour la Democratie et les Libertés (MEDEL) expressed their concern over the ongoing trials against judiciary members. As an example of the collapse of judicial independence, the case of Murat Arslan, a judge and president of the Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors (YARSAV), was cited in the letter. Arslan was imprisoned in October 2016 and remains in prison ever since.

Arslan’s case struck a particular chord around the world.

“The conviction of Judge Arslan constitutes a severe and gross attack on the independence of the judiciary in Turkey, and in a democratic state under the rule of law an independent and impartial judiciary is a fundamental guarantee for society as a whole,” Diego Garcia-Sayán, the U.N. Special Rapporteur for the independence of judges and lawyers, said on Feb. 6 this year.

He said: “I remain gravely concerned at the adverse effects that the measures implemented by the Government of Turkey have had, and continue to have, on the equal and effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of targeted individuals as well as on the independence of the judiciary and the free exercise of the legal profession.”

Arslan was sentenced to 10 years in prison over alleged ties to the Gulen Movement, which is labeled as “FETO” by the Turkish authorities. So far now, as observers and the U.N. expert note, Arslan has been denied a fair trial, while authorities did not offer convincing evidence to substantiate their terrorism charges against the former YARSAV president.

“We have received information suggesting that the legal process against Mr. Arslan was not transparent and did not satisfy the criteria for judicial proceedings designed to safeguard the legal rights of the individual,” Garcia-Sayán said in his statement.

“The proceedings against Judge Arslan could have an adverse effect on the independence of the judiciary in Turkey, since other judges may be deterred from exercising their judicial independence and freedom of expression for fear of being subject to disciplinary or criminal proceedings,” the expert added in the statement appeared on the website of the U.N. Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner.

The previous year, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and the European Association of Judges (EAJ) firmly condemned the ongoing widespread persecution of lawyers, journalists, judges and prosecutors in Turkey. A joint statement underlined the importance of judicial independence to safeguard fair trials, the maintenance of the rule of law and separation of powers.

European-based Platform for Peace and Justice (PPJ) and New York-based Advocates for Silenced Turkey (AST) well documented how political authorities brought the judiciary into full-scale political control and deeply influenced the course of post-coup trials.

  1. C) Turkey shows of Contempt for ECHR Rulings

The relations came to a head between Ankara and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) when the court urged the release of Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay, two journalists who, after exhaustion of domestic legal channels, applied to the Strasbourg-based court in a quest for legal remedy. The lawyers of the two journalists submitted their application on the ground that they had no chance to get justice within the domestic realm of Turkey after a local court refused to recognize a ruling by Constitutional Court in Ankara. The court ruled that the two journalists’ right to a fair trial was violated.

Both journalists were finally released, but it happened months after the ECHR’s involvement in the legal process.

A second clash took place when the ECHR urged Turkey to release Selahattin Demirtas, former co-chair of pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP), late last year. The Kurdish politician has remained behind bars since October 2016 and he faces up to 140 years in prison if he is convicted.

“The Court found that the judicial authorities had extended Mr Demirtas’ detention on grounds that could not be regarded as ‘sufficient’ to justify its duration,” the Strasbourg-based ECHR said in a statement.

The court’s call, however, fell on deaf ears in Turkey. President Erdogan sharply criticized ECHR and said it’s ruling was not binding for Turkey.

Kati Piri, the European Union’s Rapporteur on Turkey, noted that “His detention is of a political, not a criminal nature.”

On Nov. 30, the Turkish court ruled to keep the Kurdish politician, in disregard of the ECHR ruling.

The diplomatic tussle has not ceased since then. EU officials called on Turkey to implement ECHR ruling without delay. Timo Soini, the foreign minister of Finland which holds the presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE), urged Turkey to respect the court’s decision.

“As the Committee of Ministers we are aware of this decision and have noted that ruling regarding violations. This is not the final decision; however, we expect that member countries note ECHR decisions and respect them. Again, we expect that member countries act in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights,’’ Euronews quoted Soini as saying on Jan. 22 this year.

Ankara’s blatant disregard of ECHR rulings, which are binding for Turkey’s domestic legal system, should reveal the state of the judiciary in Turkey. This must be a reference point for outside legal authorities when they face Ankara’s legal requests either regarding the extradition of dissidents or on other topics.

  1. D) Prosecution of Lawyers

In a country where the members of the judiciary were haunted like dangerous criminals, it would be difficult to assume the existence of judicial independence or the proper functioning of judicial affairs without political intervention. The HRW came up with a timely report that offers riveting details about how lawyers, who represent the cornerstone of any law system on earth, have been systematically targeted.

The government, the HRW noted, brings charges against lawyers who expose rights abuses with little or no evidence of their membership of terrorist organizations. It says:

“Courts have complied with the attack on the legal profession by sentencing lawyers to lengthy prison terms for terrorism on flimsy evidence and in trials that ignore fair procedure. The abusive prosecutions of lawyers have been accompanied by legal amendments that undermine the right to legal counsel for those arbitrarily detained on terrorism charges.”

The practice has sent a chilling echo among scholars and legal experts monitoring the breakdown of the legal system in Turkey.

“Putting hundreds of lawyers in jail and on trial, and restricting their ability to act for people in police custody and in court, shows the dire state of Turkey’s criminal justice system and should be of grave concern to everyone in Turkey and internationally,” Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said after the release of the report. “Lawyers are central guarantors of the right to a fair trial and Turkey’s willingness to flout it over the past three years is deeply alarming,” the HRW website quoted the director as saying.

The problem is deeper than it is thought. According to a report by Arrested Lawyers Initiative, “1546 Turkish lawyers have been prosecuted and 598 lawyers have been arrested since 2016 July. And so far, 274 Turkish lawyers have been sentenced to 1762 years in prison by the first instance courts under article 314 of the Turkish Penal Code.”

Numbers reveal the depth and scale of the crackdown on Turkey’s lawyers.

The HRW report demonstrates that the equality between the prosecution and the defense has disappeared. The central targets of the post-coup crackdown were lawyers, who represent the members of the Gulen Movement, which was was designated as a terrorist outfit by the Turkish authorities, and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and some small far-left groups. In addition, authorities also target lawyers whom they believe to have any form of affiliation or link to the Movement, which bore the brunt of the clampdown following the putsch.

A lawyer in Ankara told the HRW how lawyers are being prosecuted relentlessly:

“For courts to see no distance between a lawyer and their client is a new development. If a lawyer defends a Kurd these days that makes him a Kurdish nationalist. If he defends a FETÖ suspect he is a FETÖ member. As a lawyer you meet your client in prison and you have no possibility of confidential communication since there’s a prison guard present, a microphone, and a camera. In court, the judges accept none of your requests, such as hearing independent expert witnesses. We are seeing eight-hour trial hearings which are purely symbolic and in which nothing is taken seriously. The courts are completely unresponsive to lawyers. There is no equality of arms left, no possibility of being able to look the judge in the eye.

Judges refuse lawyers’ requests for hearing witnesses or expert views that would help the defense at trials. The emergency rule declared in the aftermath of the coup also severely limited people’s right to legal defense and counsel. The emergency decrees removed the safeguards protecting the privacy of lawyer-client relationship.

The HRW report also exhibits the fact that how courts dismiss lawyers as unnecessary elements during trials:

“Lawyers have reported to Human Rights Watch that, in terrorism trials, courts have also become increasingly unresponsive to their petitions to have evidence critically examined or tested and to hear witnesses for the defense. They often see themselves as little more than “extras” in court hearings. Equality of arms between the prosecution and the defendant is severely undermined when the role of the defendant’s lawyer is unduly restricted and the adversarial aspects of trial proceedings are little more than a formality.”

There are more reports regarding this matter. Some of them were cited in previous sections, therefore this section will remain limited to these two leading reports demonstrating the mass prosecution of lawyers.

  1. E) Turkey’s Abuse of INTERPOL System

When Turkey’s domestic crackdown on opponents of all political affiliation and social conviction took global dimensions, Ankara’s requests for Interpol Red Notices inundated the system of the international police body. Turkey’s unrelenting demands, along with Venezuela, China, Iran and other authoritarian countries, began to overwhelm Interpol. As a result, Lyon-based Interpol struggles to cope with the staggering numbers of requests.

Turkey’s unceasing demands have created pitfalls and challenges for the international police body. A spat occurred when Interpol reportedly refused Ankara’s pursuit of Red Notices two years ago.

According to a report appeared on the Hurriyet Daily News in July 2017, Ankara tried to upload the names of 60,000 people, most of whom were perceived affiliated with Gulen Movement abroad, to Interpol’s system. The Turkish media reported that Interpol removed Turkey from its database after Ankara uploaded those 60,000 names. The media report subsequently elicited a denial from Interpol.

“Interpol supports each and every one of its 190 members as part of security cooperation benefits. No access block has been implemented in Interpol’s databases, including for those who have international warrants in Turkey,” the statement, issued by Interpol and quoted by Hurriyet Daily, said.

In the end, Interpol only blocked 60,000 entries from Turkey, but did not shut down Ankara’s full-scale access to the system. Yet, Interpol’s understandable attempt to soothe the nerves of Turkey did not clear the fog of controversy over the major conflict — the claim over the abuse of the system.

“This database works as an international criminal alert, notifying all 192 countries in the database that a person is wanted by police,” Jago Russell, the chief executive of London-based Fair Trials International, wrote in an op-ed commentary for Foreign Policy.

Russell contended that “entering 60,000 people into a database designed to help locate the most dangerous criminals on the planet is clearly an abuse of the system.” This becomes crystal clear when viewed together with the fact that “there were just under 13,000 new Red Notices across the globe” during the entire year of 2016.

The issue, however, as Russell noted, is not limited to Turkey. China and other countries face international criticism over credible allegations of abusing the system. But none of the countries come closer to Turkey in terms of pushing Interpol to the point of breakdown by demanding so many notices. Ankara’s opaque and vaguely-defined anti-terrorism laws create a constant clash with international organizations when Turkey treats its journalists, writer and dissidents in the same way it treats real criminals and terrorist suspects.

Ankara’s alleged abuse of Interpol first came to surface during 2017 summer when the Turkish authorities aggressively pursued a German-Turkish writer. Turkish-born author Dogan Akhanli was briefly detained in Madrid on Turkey’s warrant. His detention sparked a diplomatic spat between Germany and Turkey, while Spain was caught in the midst of a diplomatic tug of war over Ankara’s use of Interpol.

The only reason Akhanli wound up in a Spanish jail, many observers asserted, was his criticism of the Turkish government and his critical stance over sensitive historical matters such as the Armenian Genocide in 1915. After Germany’s intervention, the Spanish authorities released him but did not allow him to leave Madrid until a thorough review of Turkey’s extradition request.

The detention of Akhanli, however brief it might be, aroused widespread criticism and rekindled the debate over Ankara’s arbitrary use of Interpol’s Red Notice system. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Rapporteur Bernd Fabritius criticized Turkey for abusing Interpol. When asked by the press members in August 2017 about Akhanli’s arrest, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was equally open in her criticism. “We must not misuse international organizations like Interpol for such purposes,” Merkel told reporters.

Regarding Merkel’s remarks, Russell, speaking to The Globe Post after Akhanli’s arrest, noted that there were an emerging consensus and awareness over Turkey’s intentions in its use of Interpol notice system.

Earlier in August, Hamza Yalcin, a Swedish-Turkish reporter, also was detained in Spain after Ankara tried to secure his imprisonment through Interpol. Several other prominent Turkey’s dissident journalists experienced a similar ordeal when they were briefly detained in different parts of Europe over the same reason.

Interpol once again came under media spotlight when Ankara issued a Red Notice against Enes Kanter, an NBA star living in the U.S.

“Another flagrant abuse of the Interpol Red Notice system. Turkey seeks to arrest NBA player Enes Kanter for making disparaging remarks about Turkish President Erdogan. Interpol should firmly and publicly rebuke this politically motivated abuse ASAP,” Bill Browder, CEO Hermitage Capital, Head of Global Magnitsky Justice campaign and Author of Red Notice, tweeted on Jan. 16 this year. The Turkish attempt made Kanter cancel his participation in his team’s London tour over the fear of arrest in the U.K.

Interpol faces calls for reforming its internal review mechanism. The international police body is accused by critics of cozying up to the authoritarian governments, acquiescing to their legally controversial demands.

Fair Trials International, the London-based organization which assists victims of unjust criminal charges all over the world, tracks records of Interpol Red Notices. “A comprehensive 2013 study by Fair Trials details how Interpol’s internal review mechanism fails to differentiate between criminal cases and politically-motivated arrest warrants for dissidents,” The Globe Post reported in August 2017.

In his Foreign Policy article, Russell urges Interpol to be careful against countries’ attempts to abuse Red Notice system for political purposes to muzzle dissent and silence critical voices abroad. “If Interpol wishes to remain a trusted tool in the fight against crime,” Russell warned, “it must ensure that it is not abused by governments seeking to enforce political vendettas.”

Although Interpol took some important steps to fight against abuse attempts, countries, especially Turkey, cultivates new methods to circumvent Interpol’s mechanism. Ankara periodically releases “Terrorist Wanted” lists and pledges bounties to those who help the Turkish authorities to spot and locate the wanted suspects living in Europe. This new strategy pits Turkey against the European countries, which drag their feet in investigating and pursuing people, mostly dissident people, demanded by Ankara.

Turkey also manipulates Interpol to snatch opponents from some countries, which are more congenial to Ankara’s terms. Interpol’s communication system that allows members countries to contact with each other directly through the police body’s network was abused by the Turkish authorities in its abduction attempts.

After Turkey convinces a given country’s police officials, those officials refer Interpol communication system as the legal ground for justification when they acquiesced to Ankara’s demands for the extradition of critical opponents. When challenged by human rights activists and press members, the officials of the local country show Ankara’s request as the legal basis for justification. This allows Turkey to deflect international criticism.

 European countries coalesced around a new idea in the 1920s to bolster and coordinate their policing efforts on an international scale. The creation of the body allowed them to increase international police cooperation in order to overcome challenges produced by mutually exclusive national sovereignty and jurisprudence. The headquarters of Interpol was moved to Lyon, France, following the Second World War. It now has more than 190 member countries.

  1. F) British Court Rejects Turkey’s Extradition Request

A British court ruling in London last year threw credibility of the Turkish government’s extradition requests against dissident figures living abroad into serious jeopardy. Businessman Hamdi Akin Ipek, who found himself in the crosshairs of President Erdogan’s government for his past affiliation with Gulen Movement, is waging a legal battle in the U.K. to avoid extradition. His case and a recent court decision demonstrate the flawed nature of the bid by the Turkish authorities to have government critics extradited to Turkey. Ipek sought refuge in London before the attempted coup in 2016. He fled Turkey after the government seized Koza Ipek Media Group outlets in late 2015 and suspended all his assets. The takeover of multibillion-dollar companies played a key role in Ipek’s departure. Yet, his presence in London did not spare him from Ankara’s relentless efforts to get him extradited.

But the Turkish government’s efforts hit snags last year. Judge John Zani, who oversaw his case after the Turkish authorities brought the issue to a court, rejected extradition request of Ipek and three other Turkish nationals over the risk of serious mistreatment and lack of fair trial.

“I am persuaded… that there is substantial evidence that this request is politically motivated,” the judge said in his ruling.

“I am entirely satisfied that, by reason of their actual or perceived political views, coupled with the assertion by the Turkish authorities that they are part of the hierarchy of the Gulenist movement, each defendant before this court runs a real risk of Article 3 (of the Human Rights Act) breaches.”

The British court ruling would set a precedent. It also sets an example for other countries, which found themselves in a similar legal imbroglio after Ankara’s diplomatic push over the extradition of dissidents.

  1. G) Perils of Extradition

There is an abundance of cases that clearly illustrates the perils and risks rooted in compliance with Ankara’s requests for extradition of government opponents. The ongoing mass arrests of people on a daily basis shows no signs of winding down. Hundreds of people are imprisoned every week. The purge, even nine months after the end of emergency rule is an ever-present threat for public workers and members of the military.

So far now, as former Justice Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag boastingly noted, Turkey has snatched more than 80 people affiliated with Gulen Movement around the world. The number swelled more than 100 by the end of 2018.

“We’ll continue our battle against Gülen supporters who have seriously harmed our country socially, politically and economically, until we completely eradicate them,” President Erdogan said in July, according to Ahval.

Majority of these cases took place in dubious legal and diplomatic grounds. The Turkish intelligence agency, National Intelligence Organization (MIT), directly steered the process of illegal abductions and kidnappings of Gulen-related people from a number of countries, including Pakistan, Malaysia, Gabon, Kosovo, Moldova and Ukraine.

The case of Kacmaz family in Pakistan is one of the leading examples of the norm-defying and rule-bending approach of the Turkish authorities when it comes to targeting the perceived members of the Movement across the world.

“Mesut Kacmaz, his wife and two daughters were restrained, blindfolded and hustled into unmarked pickup trucks in Lahore last month by more than a dozen plainclothes security agents,” according to a witness, The Washington Post reported in October 2017. Kacmaz and his family members were sent back to Turkey over Ankara’s extradition request. But how the entire drama played out aroused international criticism and opprobrium. Given the fact that Kacmaz and his family were under the U.N. refugee protection, Pakistan’s willingness to collaborate with the Turkish officials came under media scrutiny.

Another attempt by the MIT to capture a number of teachers from Mongolia was foiled after media reported it and the plane carrying the abductees was grounded at the airport last summer.

“Turkey has maintained that it extradites suspected Gulenists only with the permission of the foreign governments concerned,” the New York Times reported then. But the case of education representative Veysel Akcay, who has lived in Mongolia for nearly 25 years, appears to cast doubt on that claim, the Times noted.

The extradition of teachers in Moldova plunged the tiny country into a political maelstrom. A detailed report by the AST last September documented how the Turkish intelligence played a key role in the incident. Ankara and the local collaborators from Moldovan security apparatus trampled on national and international laws to steer the process of snatching teachers.

The abduction of teachers linked with the Gulen Movement from Kosovo was another case point. The kidnappings in a Balkan country, which aspires to join the E.U., reveals the depth and reach of Turkey’s long arm to capture its dissidents from wherever they are.

The brazenness and recklessness of Turkey’s global purge do know no bounds and limits.

“Since before the coup attempt, but with frantic intensity since then, the Turkish state has been hunting its opponents abroad, especially those who belong to the Gulen movement. In at least 46 countries across four continents, Turkey has pursued an aggressive policy to silence its perceived enemies and has allegedly used Interpol as a political tool to target its opponents,” Nate Schenkkan from Washington-based Freedom House, wrote in an article for Foreign Affairs on Jan. 29, 2018.

At least 15 countries, including Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkmenistan, as of January 2018 have either arrested or deported members of the movement, according to Schenkkan. After that date, Kosovo, Moldova and many other places joined those countries.

But as more and more reports by international media outlets emerged, the true depth of the Turkish government’s global operations has been laid bare. A group of 13 journalists from nine media organizations from eight countries banded together to investigate Turkey’s secret torture sites after the Turkish authorities kidnapped opponents from all around the world.

“In a near-repeat of the CIA’s ‘extraordinary renditions’, the regime of Turkish president Erdoğan is kidnapping dozens of members of the Gülen movement from around the world. Victims are now raising a serious accusation: secret torture sites are part of the repression,” CORRECTIV reported on December 11, in 2018.

But unlike the CIA and its ‘extraordinary rendition’ program set up after the 11 September terror attacks, Turkey makes no secret of its abductions, the joint study noted. “We will return to the country one by one those Gülenists who have fled and now think they’re safe, and we will hand them over to our justice system,” the report quoted Erdogan as saying.

It need not require a great deal of knowledge to realize that majority of the illegal kidnappings and controversial extraditions took place in countries where rule of law and judicial independence are not firmly entrenched but open to political machinations and influence. The threat has not receded since then.

“The global purge is a threat not just to the Turkish diaspora but to the rule of law everywhere,” Schenkkan concluded his article, expounding on the ramifications of Turkey’s relentless global haunt for the international order.

In addition to this direct and bold attempts, Ankara seeks alternative ways to do its bidding regarding extradition cases.

After the foreign countries dismissed Ankara’s extradition requests for dissidents on terrorism charges, finding such legal rationale as baseless and groundless in the face of political motivations, the Turkish government has employed a subtle set of measures to circumvent the potential legal obstacles for its extradition bids.

One of the tactics adopted by the Turkish government is this: If Ankara knows that its bid would falter to have someone extradited to Turkey, then the Turkish government comes up with a set of forged charges of petty crimes against a certain name.

For instance, F. Z. lives in New York and is wanted by Turkey. Instead of a direct extradition request, the Turkish prosecutors then launch a legal probe over allegations of a less serious crime back in Turkey. Even if that did not happen in Turkey, it would take time for the authorities in the U.S. to ascertain facts. The Turkish Justice Ministry sends dossiers to the U.S. counterparts. This protracted process would ruin F.Z.’s life in the U.S. as his asylum case faces suspension and a criminal investigation against him is launched by the U.S. prosecutors to confirm or reject the allegations laid against him. This would take time. In the meantime, the subject would fail to proceed in his life, would not launch a business or even get a driver license. The aim by Turkey is to give as much problem as possible to a government opponent and make his life in the U.S. an ordeal.

CONCLUSION

The crux of the matter is, as all of the arguments put forward above clearly demonstrate, that any extradition request from Ankara must be immediately rejected. This should be done so on the grounds elaborated in detail above. Credible reports by respected international organizations about the collapse of rule of law in Turkey, the assertion of political control over the judiciary, the arbitrary nature of post-coup trials, the lack of fair trial, the death of judicial independence, the mass prosecution of lawyers, the political nature of extradition requests offer ample evidence with regard to political machinations and intrigues that deeply rooted in Turkey’s global extradition efforts.

To put it succinctly,

  • Post-coup trials are political;
  • There is no judicial independence left;
  • There is a mass prosecution of lawyers, which means that defendants are unable to get adequate legal counsel and defense;
  • There is a high risk of mistreatment and torture
  • Turkey systematically abuses Interpol’s Red Notice system to get dissidents abroad;
  • Extradition is a highly risky endeavor and foreign countries must beware of political machinations embedded in Turkey’s bids;
  • There are ample evidence that show someone, if extradited to Turkey, would not get a fair trial, even would face torture

By all indications, the situation in Turkey’s domestic realm seems to be getting worse for dissidents, especially for those with perceived ties to the Gulen Movement. The constant threat of purge or kidnapping has become part and parcel of a new normal in many people’s daily life.

The threat against Gulen-affiliated people is much more profound and immediate. A new surge in enforced disappearances and abductions against the movement members is telling in this regard.

The government’s enmity toward this group indicates no signs of abating. What would await the members of the movement? Speaking days after the failed coup in July 2016, Turkey’s then-Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, if indiscreetly, disclosed what the government had in mind.

“We will punish them in a way that they will beg us to slaughter them to stop their suffering. We will let them beg for death.”

His words were (are) no idle threats. Although two years passed after the minister’s remarks, Turkey never lets up on its operations or persecution. The commitment to eradicate the movement at home and abroad remains a lasting element of Erdogan’s legacy and Turkey’s persistent diplomacy in the world. Another senior government official came up with a fresh threat against Gulen-related people, who live in the U.S.

Regardless of whether Turkey would follow them with deeds, Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin’s threats of targeting Gulen sympathizers on the U.S. territory only comes as a re-assertion of the fact that Ankara would never abandon such thinking.

“Relevant units and institutions will continue their operations in countries where FETO operates, whether in the U.S. or another country,” NBC News quoted Kalin as saying. “The Turkish Republic will not let them rest.”

His disregard for potential spillover of any such attempt into the century-old Turkish-American relations reveals a prevalent mindset that guides Ankara’s foreign policy. His remarks matter because they illustrate the point about why foreign countries should be extra vigilant and attentive when they come to deal with Turkey’s legal extradition efforts.

There is another disturbing element in relation to the evolution of the coure of political events in Turkey. To shield both security personnel and its supporters from prosecution, the government passed a decree in December 2017. The decree granted immunity from prosecution to people who might have committed crimes on behalf of the government to ward off the threat against the political order. Its content also included acts perpetrated during the coup attempt.

According to critics, the government took the step to protect its supporters who embroiled in violent acts on July 15 and July 16.

The Bloomberg report summarized noted that the “emergency decree risks inciting political violence by giving legal cover to pro-government vigilantes, opposition parties and legal authorities warned.”

Bloomberg defined the decree as follows:

“The order, declared in the Official Gazette on Sunday, grants sweeping immunity for acting against terrorism or attempts to overthrow the government. Civilians won’t face legal consequences for actions against last year’s coup attempt — or more importantly — anything that could be considered its “continuation,” the decree said.”

That aside, the government’s embrace of mafia bosses like Sedat Peker, who keeps threatening Erdogan’s critics, reveals another troubling aspect of the new pervasive culture in Turkey. While academics get lengthy sentences and journalists rot in prison, convicted gang leaders are treated with respect by authorities. In his latest call this February, Peker called on Turkish citizens to purchase guns before the local elections.

After brief questioning, he was released by prosecutors without a need to refer him to court. The discrepancy between the treatment of law-abiding citizens and criminal figures is not lost on many people and stirs up resentment on social media.

In conclusion, before reviewing Ankara’s extradition requests, every country must keep in mind the prevailing political realities and conditions in Turkey. The E.U. candidate and NATO ally is no longer a country where rule of law exists. It is a country where the terror of purge and brutal political persecution reign while opponents and dissidents immensely suffer.

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