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

police

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

 


Widget not in any sidebars

 

Donate Now

 

Read more

Take Action: Enforced disappearances in Turkey – The Case of Hüseyin Galip Küçüközyiğit

Following the coup attempt of July 15, 2016, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency paving the way for a crackdown on political opponents which has ultimately led to gross violations of civil rights and liberties of Turkish citizens.

The Turkish government has revoked passports and aggressively petitioned for the arrest and deportation of dissenters overseas including individuals under UN protection. Abductions, forced disappearances, and renditions of dissenters are among the long list of atrocious crimes committed by the Turkish government. The Turkish state has even conducted cross-border operations by brazenly abducting its citizens from other countries. This is not only an offense against the national sovereignty of countries where these covert operations are conducted but also an egregious insult to international human rights laws. There is also ample evidence to suggest that once dissenters are abducted, they undergo extensive torture and suffer physical and emotional trauma at the hands of their unidentified abductors. They are not informed of the charges brought against them as they are apprehended and are deprived of their due process rights. Some of these abducted individuals face trial after be- ing subjected to months of torture if they are lucky enough to survive the horrifying ordeal. The Turkish government has rarely repudiated claims of such horrific acts and illegalities committed against dissenters. On the contrary, these inhumane practices are lauded amongst national intelligence agencies and government officials. Stories of dissenters being viciously abducted in front of their families are boasted of by sycophant media out-lets who cheer for and commend the brutal acts of the government.

On December 29, 2020 a new allegation of enforced disappearance in Turkey about Hüseyin Galip Küçüközyiğit, a former civil servant dismissed from his job by an emergency decree, was reported. His daughter, Nursena Küçüközyiğit, has been trying to file a criminal complaint saying that her father was abducted, however, authorities in the northwestern city of Kocaeli, notably the public prosecutor’s office and the police department, refused to receive the complaint.

Last Contact With The Abductee

Küçüközyiğit last spoke with his daughter Nursena on the phone on December 29 at around 3:30 p.m. His coworkers were the last people to have seen him. About 4 p.m. he left his office to visit a friend in Ankara’s Gölbaşı district, by a Mazda 323 with license plate 34 FNF 28. His cell phone stopped receiving signals at 4:23 pm.

Nursena Küçüközyiğit says her father was unemployed for a long time after being expelled from public service and was held in detention for six months for his alleged links with Gülen Movement. After he was released, he set up a business to offer legal advice to other purged public sector workers, which, Nursena believes might have been the reason her father to be abducted.

Similarities with Other Abduction Incidents

Kucukozyigit was a civil servant like many other victims of the recent abduction cases. Almost all abductions occurred at public places while the abductee was about to leave from an acquainted location. After months of their disappearances, victims resurfaced under police detention and were arrested immediately. Also almost in all cases, police officers and public prosecutors have been hesitant to open a case in spite of the clear and concrete evidence of a crime.

Growing Number of Cases of Abductions with Black Transporters

In many of the disappearances, a black transport vehicle is used, according to the eyewitnesses and CCTV footages. A group of masked men, believed to be the members of the Turkish intelligence agency, are grabbing the victims and pulling them into a black transporter van and disappear swiftly.

Almost all of the victims of these enforced disappearances resurfaced months after they went missing in bruises and traumatized. Some have spoken out in court, recounting the systematic and severe torture they were subjected to during their secret interrogation by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), The victims also have reported that they were kept until their wounds got healed to be handed over to the police.

According to the testimonies of former MİT directors Erhan Pekçetin and Aydın Günel, who was captured by Syrian Kurdish militants in 2017 while they were in a covert operation in northern Syria, all abducted people that have affiliations with the Hizmet movement were tortured and interrogated in a building in the capital city of Turkey, Ankara(1)

Nursena thinks her father is yet another victim of the enforced disappearances and she is worried that he might be subject to torture. She says has reached CCTV footages displaying that Galip Kucukozyigit was followed by three suspicious men on the day he disappeared but she was not able to convince a prosecutor to open an investigation.

According to Kucukozyigit’s daughter Nursena, Turkish police are not willing to search for evidence against her father’s kidnapping. The only answer she could get from the police is: “We are unable to provide any information.” Families of other victims were also faced with the same attitude by the police, who were reluctant to investigate and collect evidence. The United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances in its reports emphasized that the Turkish authorities were not pursuing the necessary investigative tracks. Detailed information about and a full list of enforced disappearances of Turkish nationals can be found in AST’s report, Erdogan’s Long Arms: Abductions In Turkey And Abroad2.

Forced disappearances and abductions are an assault on human rights as established by the Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons. According to Advocates for Silenced Turkey (AST)’s report3, there have been 135 abductions and forced disappearances to date; this report consists of an alarming number of ac- counts of abductions and torture provided by abductees. AST calls on international human rights organizations to urge Turkish authorities to abide by domestic and international laws of human rights and cease their illegal and inhumane practices of abductions, forced disappearance, and renditions immediately.

Hafza Y. GIRDAP
Executive Director and Spokespersondirectorhg@silencedturkey.org

1 “MIT Officials Confess Turkey’s Relations with ISIS and Al Nusra.” ANF News, 23 Jan.2018, anfenglish.com/news/mit-officials-confess-turkey-s-relations-with-isis- and-al-nusra-24382.

2 https://silencedturkey.org/erdogans-long-arms-abductions-in-turkey-and-abroad

3 https://silencedturkey.org/erdogans-long-arms-abductions-in-turkey-and-abroad

Relevant Human Rights Institutions
The Honorable Dunja MijatovicOffice of the Commissioner for Human Rights Council of Europe
Avenue de I’Europe F-67075
Strasbourg Cedex, FrancePhone: +33 (0)3 88 41 34 21
Fax: +33 (0)3 90 21 50 53
Email: commissioner@coe.int
United National Human Rights Committee

Petitions Team
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Fax: + 41 22 917 9022 (particularly for urgent matters)
E-mail: petitions@ohchr.org
Committee Against Torture

Petitions and Inquiries Section
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

E-mail:
petitions@ohchr.org
TB-petitions@ohchr.org
cat@ohchr.org
registry@ohchr.org

United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

OHCHR-UNOG CH
1211 Geneva 10 Switzerland

Phone: (41-22) 917 90 00
Fax: (+41-22) 917 90 06
E-mail: wgeid@ohchr.org
Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission House Committee on Foreign Affairs 5100 O’Neill House Office Building 200 C Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20515

Phone: +1 (202) 225-3599
Fax: +1 (202) 226-6584
Email: TLHRC@mail.house.gov
US Helsinki Commission

234 Ford House Office Building 3rd and D Streets SW
Washington, DC 20515

Email: info@csce.gov
The Honorable Abdülhamit Gül

Minister of Justice
06659 Kizilay
Ankara, Republic of Turkey

Email: info@adalet.gov.tr

 

Donate Now

 

 

 


Widget not in any sidebars
Read more

LA FEMME QUI A SURVÉCU À LA PURGE TURQUE

Un roman graphique sur les femmes qui ont survécu après le long voyage sous le régime dictatorial de la Turquie.

Reconnaissance : Après la prétendue tentative de coup d’État du 15 juillet 2016, des milliers de personnes ont perdu leur emploi et ont fait l’objet de poursuites et de procédures au motif qu’elles étaient des partisans du mouvement Hizmet. Des centaines de personnes qui n’ont aucun espoir de survivre dans cette atmosphère débilitante en Turquie tentent de quitter le pays illégalement en risquant de traverser la frontière et de faire face à la mort pour vivre librement. Il y a eu des gens qui ont eu beaucoup de mal dans ce voyage difficile et ardu.

Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST) est une organisation non gouvernementale qui mène ses activités sur base volontaire. Ils se sont donné pour mission de faire entendre la voix des personnes privées de leurs droits jusqu’à ce que les droits de l’homme universels et la gouvernance démocratique aient été établis et soient considérés comme les principales priorités de la République de Turquie.

Ce roman graphique a été créé par un lycéen en s’inspirant d’histoires réelles sur le projet APH.

PDF LINK

Donate Now

 

 

 

Recent Posts

Read more

THE WOMEN WHO SURVIVED THE TURKEY PURGE

A Graphic Novel about the women who survived after the long journey in Turkey’s dictatorial regime.

After the alleged coup attempt of July 15, 2016, thousands of people lost their jobs and were subjected to court trials and proceedings on the grounds that they were Hizmet Movement followers. Hundreds of people, who do not have a hope to survive in this grueling atmosphere in Turkey, are striving to leave the country illegally by venturing into the risk of crossing the border and facing death in order to live freely. There were people who drowned in this difficult and harsh journey.

Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST), as a non-governmental organization that runs its activities on a voluntary basis, has made it a mission to champion the rights of Silenced Turkey until universal human rights and democratic governance are established and sustained as the utmost priorities of the Republic of Turkey.

This graphic novel was created by a high school student with inspiration from real stories on the APH project.

Graphic Novel PDF

Turkish Version PDF Link


Widget not in any sidebars

 

Read more

THE ILLUSTRATIONS OF A TEACHER IN PRISON

Booklet PDF

WHO AM I?
I was born in 1983, in the city of Zonguldak, Turkey. My mother was a housewife; my father was a retired teacher. We were four siblings, and I was the only male child in the house. Due to my father’s profession, we lived in many different cities and towns and had the opportunity to experience various geographies, places, and people. Though I was never very good at my studies, ever since I was little I always had an interest in the arts, particularly drawing. I don’t remember when I first began to be interested in drawing. When I couldn’t find any paper to draw on, I would go ahead and draw my pictures on the walls of our house. Needless to say, I received a fair share of scolding from my mom on that account. During my high school years, through the encouragement of my art teacher, I enrolled in a painting (drawing) course in the city we lived in. Enrolling in this course naturally paved my way into a great university. After completing my [extended] university education, through the reference from the private school where I completed my internship, I was offered a job in a very nice district/city. (This is, in fact, the place where I hope to settle down one day once I reach my retirement, God-willing.) After working in that position for a year, I had to leave in order to fulfill my mandatory military service. Upon completing my military service, I came back and started prepping for the public employee selection exams. When I couldn’t score enough points to be appointed to a public school, I started working at another private school. Unfortunately, due to some unpleasant situations I came across, I had to leave my job there. I spent the next year preparing for the exams one more time. When I could not again score enough points the second time around, my brother-in-law encouraged me to go to Mardin, a city in southeastern Turkey, where there was a shortage of teachers at a private school there. After working at that school for two years, I met my future wife and we got married. Shortly after I heard about an opening for a teaching position in the city which I had loved dearly but had had to leave years ago. Without wasting any time, I applied for the position. I spent four wonderful years teaching in that city, four wonderful years… after which dark clouds started falling upon us.

WHAT I EXPERIENCED DURING THIS WHOLE ORDEAL

I imagine you are somewhat familiar with what comes next. First of all, our work permits were canceled. When I saw the news on television and learned that a state of emergency had been declared, I did my best to keep calm. I asked my mother-in-law to make us some tea so we could sit and enjoy ourselves and not let this bring our spirits down. My wife ended up crying that evening. I tried to reassure her and told her, “Don’t worry. Even if Allah has blocked one path, He will surely open up another.” Sure enough, after that we worked in many different places, in many different cities. There were times when we were even laughed at and mocked. But never did we ever resort to any embarrassing acts or engage in any disgraceful activities. To this day, I can proudly say that we can hold our heads high and walk with dignity. In any case, the government had already started arbitrarily firing people from their jobs, and some opportunist business owners used that opening to hire these unfortunate victims, paying them less than half the amount of what the job should have paid, not to mention the fact that they were denied any benefits or insurance. I’m talking about people who were just like us. I heard of a teacher that had begun working at a gas station. Some friends of the business owner –who were pro-government–were constantly pressuring him, saying, “What?!! How come he is still working for you? Just fire him!” His answer to their objections was quite meaningful; he had replied, “Find me a guy who is as trustworthy and honest as this one and I will fire this one right away.” As far as I know, that person is still working at that gas station… Before having been taken to prison, I had started working at a publishing house. Since I hadn’t been particularly happy with their work policy, I had left that job. And now after my time in prison, I am working at another publishing house. Thanks and praise be to my dear God, I am among the ones who actually has a job to go to. In a country where more than half of the young population is out looking for work, this is truly a blessing. As I head out to work each morning, I catch myself thinking back to the days I spent locked behind bars. Judging by the surprised looks of the people walking past me on the sidewalk, I’m guessing I probably have a huge smile on my face as my thoughts wander back. I used to be a teacher before all this happened. And not just any teacher… I was a teacher who for nine whole years had gone to every class, every day with the same excitement and enthusiasm as the last!.. Thus, I will use a teacher example to explain the next part of my story. You know when you ask a parent about a teacher– if they happen to know the teacher you are asking about–the first thought to cross their mind will probably be, ”Let’s see, was there anything negative about this teacher?” (Of course, they’ll probably be keeping this thought to themselves.) If they can’t think of anything bad, then they’ll say the teacher was ok and kind of brush that off as an answer. The reason? If you ask me, it’s just how people naturally react, that’s all. The first thought to enter our minds about a person is the bad memories they left us with (if any). When you think back about a previous teacher, the things you remember are whether you experienced anything negative with that teacher or not. Now, coming back to my own story, when people ask me how it was on the “inside,” first of all, a great big smile spreads across my face. Then I remember the jokes, the pranks, the fooling around and the sweet mischief, the chitchats around a pot of tea, our excitement for the “snack bar” day, and our deep conversations that extended well into the night. In all honesty, the bad memories are the ones that I remember the last. Now you ask me, is this normal? I should probably start off with telling you that I, myself, am not your typical, normal guy. I can say that I had already somewhat driven myself out of my mind years ago with all the doodling and drawing and the shaping clay into statues and sculptures and crushing them into tiny bits after taking them from the mold, and whatnot… Or maybe it was because I had no bad memories from the “inside.” The people I was in prison with were all educated people, well-mannered and people of good character. The couple of months I spent with them was not wasted with problems like having to learn to adapt to a new environment or wait until we “clicked” with the others. It felt as though I was staying with childhood buddies that I had known my whole life, arm in arm, hand in hand, lighthearted fun and ruckus all around. There was hardship, though, I cannot deny that. And I try to portray that in my drawings. In fact, you’ll see later on that I had a special wish regarding this matter, during the time I was in prison (which may surprise you a bit). The coup attempt that took place in the country was a kind of revolution that had completely different effects on the people going about their lives outside and on those of us who were locked “inside.” We had now become “the other.” People who knew us, who knew who and what we were, would not even walk on the same side of the street with us anymore, they would change their paths once they saw us coming. I didn’t let this become a concern of mine. My own father was among the first to be taken into custody during the initial operations carried out in the city of Konya. I cannot forget the day he was taken away. They just showed up at our house early one morning and took him away before we even had a chance to understand what was going on. God bless them, at least they were considerate about it; they did not shout about or throw insults like the stories we had heard of others. I spent some time looking for work here and there. Naturally, almost every door I went to closed upon me. In fact, during one of my interviews, the man who would be hiring me openly said it to my face: ”Brother, I’ll be honest with you, you are just the guy I am looking for, but if I go ahead and hire you I’ll be getting myself into trouble.” We had to go back to the town where I last worked so we could gather up our belongings and leave, and while we were there, one of our neighbors decided to report us to the police. They came straight away, and I spent that evening in custody. I cannot erase the image I have in my mind of my mother with her teary eyes. First my father, and now me… The next day I was released under judicial control. A couple of days later we changed our official address and settled down in our second hometown. Meanwhile, both my father-in-law and brother in-law were also arrested. They needed someone to look after their business and take care of things on their farm. And so, even though I knew nothing about working the soil, I found myself atop a tractor harvesting carrots on thousands of acres of land just so I could help them out somehow. Though it was difficult at first, I found that in time I grew to like it. After my brother-in-law was released and he could take over and the workload eased up a bit, I could look for jobs in my own field of work. Upon returning to Konya, after doing some odd jobs here and there, I finally started working at a printing center. Meanwhile, my father was transferred to the Alanya prison. Every once in a while I would go and visit during open visitation, but it was my mother who mostly went to the visits because of the distance and expenses involved. Someone I used to work for, and who I loved and respected dearly, vouched for me and I started working at a publishing house after the Ramadan Eid festival were over. Yes, I was working now, but only a month into it and it was time for the court hearings. The hearings took three days. I went in all three days, and I sat and listened. On the second day, before the court adjourned for the day’s lunch break, the judge turned to me and said, “Yes, let’s listen to what you have to say also.” He had the SEGBIS (Sound and Video Information System) closed down. I spoke about my work history. There was no record regarding a report filed in my name, or my name being mentioned anywhere specific, etc… Everything was running smoothly, then the judge spoke again, “Look, our own children were educated in these institutions as well,” and the prosecutor’s head bobbed slowly up and down as if affirming what the judge had just said. Then he asked me the question, “Do you think they were the ones to carry out this coup?” I knew this was a trick question, but still I fell into their trap. Rather, I should say, there were some possible answers I could have given, but I just couldn’t. (It was like Allah did not allow me to say it, I’m guessing that there is some kind of divine wisdom behind my being taken in.) My answer was (as recorded in the official report), “I do not believe that the individuals I worked with in these institutions were members of a [terrorist] organization. In fact, I do not believe they had any relations with either the December 17/25 operations or the coup attempt which took place on July 15, 2016. I am among those individuals who believe that the members of this [social] structure have not committed the act of staging a coup. I see Fethullah Gulen as a leader with a specific religious vision/perspective. I do not believe that he has engaged in any activities which aim to disintegrate any government or state. I have never been a witness to any testimonies delivered by himself to that effect. I believe that the events which took place on July 15, 2016 were forged and were false actions. I am among those who believe that such a coup was merely a stage act.” The court room was dead silent– no sound, no movement at all. The judge spoke to me, “You do understand that this is the high criminal court, you may very well be arrested.” I do not remember anything I said from that point onward. For the first time in my life, my blood sugar levels plummeted, and I felt a dizziness in my head. I held on to the railing in front of me to keep my balance. As I was about to collapse onto the floor, I lowered myself down and just sat on the floor. I asked for some water. The court clerk looked at me, eyes wide open as if to say, “What on earth did you just do!” The judge ordered the clerk to take a record of what I had said, the most significant parts at least, and said to me,”You will come back for the hearings this afternoon, and the ones tomorrow. If you fail to come on your own, I will see to it that the police make sure you come here.” “I understand your honor,” I replied. My mind was telling me right then and there that I would be arrested for sure. When I made it home at the end of the day, I told my wife all that had happened throughout the day. The next day’s hearing was a very short one. The interim decision was announced right away. I was under arrest. My first encounter was with the handcuffs. What we saw only in movies and on television had become the reality of our own lives now. As I was being taken to the hospital for the routine check-up, with permission from the police I called up my wife to inform her of what was going on. She couldn’t say anything except shed tears on the other end of the line. I don’t know whether it was from the shock of it all or just me trying to keep my calm, but there were no tears or any sense of sorrow on my end. I was finally taken to the prison. After taking my information down, the guardians casually conversed on which ward to send me to, displaying such levity as if they were playing the lottery or some other game. When I heard B11, I was all ears since my father had also been kept in that same ward. I entered the ward and looked around hoping to see a familiar face when right before me stood the general director of the institution that I had been working for. “What are you doing here?” he asked me. I told him the whole story. I admit, I did cry a little bit then. “Are you hungry, let’s fix you something to eat,” they offered right away. As I ate, all my fellow “inmates” came over to say sorry for what had happened, asked my name and started up conversations to welcome me in. I stayed in that ward for about two weeks. Even the district governor from our hometown was there. From professors in the university to former police officers, people were there from all walks of life. I don’t remember the exact date, but on one of the weekends we even had a “çiğ köfte” (traditional dish made with crushed wheat, tomato paste, herbs and spices, usually eaten as comfort food) party. We bought the supplies from the snack bar. One of our friends in the ward “kneaded” the delicacy. We prepared the “ayran” (traditional yogurt drink) and spread out our blankets in the courtyard. We ate and had a good time, we even enjoyed our tea afterwards. It was a truly extraordinary day spent in an extraordinary location. Towards the end, some friends grew so enthusiastic that they even started singing marches from Ottoman times (the Plevne march). I guess the prison guards were listening to us from the top floor because the guards immediately rushed over and shut the doors. The next day we received a written notice. Because of the march sung the day before, an investigation file was being opened on our ward. It was obvious that things were going to turn sour. A few days later the whole ward was dispersed, and everyone was sent somewhere else. We gathered in the courtyard and said our goodbyes. I cried a lot, it was a heartbreaking separation. I was sent to ward C7 with two other retired police officers. I stayed there for six weeks. It was about a quarter the size of the previous ward- -a small, tiny ward– but it was all the more sincere and warm. Like all the other wards, it was filled with educated gentlemen. From the morning until the afternoon, prayers books were read and conversations circled around the material that was read. When the afternoon prayer time rolled around, those of us who felt young gathered up and played some volleyball in the courtyard. I spent the Eid al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice) in that ward. It was an Eid that I will never forget and will always cherish. Among my fellow inmates was a former student’s parent and a doctor who had previously stayed in the same ward with my father. A project being drawn up by the Ministry of Justice was revealed. They were planning to mix inmates like us together with criminals of petty offenses. They had chosen Konya to be the pilot prison to try out this new plan, but their plan did not operate like they had intended. So, one Tuesday morning, I was taken back to my old ward once again. This time around, the number of inmates had increased, the faces had changed, even the atmosphere felt a bit different. It didn’t feel as comfortable as it used to be. Because it was more crowded now, everything from sleeping arrangements to the long bathroom lines, felt like a big issue now. Thank God, though, despite everything, days were going by quickly, with no fights or any uproars. A couple weeks later, the Konya “Çatı” file (in which many individuals were being tried for the same crime) hearings started. Some of the inmates in our ward were also being taken to the court as part of these hearings. One day, as we were waiting for our friends to come back from the hearings, someone had slid open the window opening on the ward door, asking for me. I had been outside in the courtyard while this was happening, and I rushed to the door when they said my father was calling for me. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It had been months since I had last seen my father, and now he was standing right across from me. I held his hand so tightly, and we talked for a bit. He looked around at my ward and greeted some of the familiar faces he saw, and then all of a sudden they shut the window. It turns out they had secretly opened the window when waiting in the corridor. His friends had kept watch and covered for him. (I tried to illustrate this in the drawing No.24) This was bound to happen when his petition to have us stay in the same ward was turned down. When his petitions were left unanswered, he asked to meet in person with the director, and at last they were able to come to an agreement. One Friday, shortly after the noontime prayers (by the way, because our activities were always centered around the prayer times, when speaking about the time, the vocabulary naturally turned to expressions such as “after this prayer,” “before that prayer,” etc..) as I was reading from the Qur’an, the doors opened. There, standing at the door was my father, holding his belongings. I yelled out, “Father!” and reached towards him as he stepped inside. I learned later that when I cried out like that, one of my fellow inmates started crying because he hadn’t seen his own father for months. It was heartbreaking to hear. Yet, happily for us, we had been united, father and son in the same ward. The last month passed by very quickly. Meanwhile, on the one hand, I was drawing my sketches of what life was like behind bars. On the other hand, I was getting ready for my court hearing. There was an inmate friend who had been a court clerk. I would consult with him, and we would exchange ideas on how I should go about my defense. All the while, my inmate friends would bring over pictures of their spouses, children, mothers and fathers, asking me to transform the pictures into a drawing for them. I did not want to break any of their hearts, so I would take them and work on them as well. On one of those days, I remember I had worked on five different pictures, one after the other, no break. Why they all waited until my last week there beats me! On Saturday, my group was on night duty; on Sunday, I was part of the cleaning crew. I was so beat that the “big brother” of the ward (when I say “big brother” don’t imagine the kind you see in the movies who racketeers money from the other inmates; he was truly a guy who looked out for us and took care of our needs.) felt sorry for me and backed me up saying, ”Why are you guys working this poor kid so much, ease up on him. He’s being released tomorrow!” Monday afternoon I appeared at the court hearing and returned back to the ward towards the evening, a little after the nightly roll-call. Everyone’s eyes were wide open, staring at me with questioning eyes. “RELEASE!” I yelled out and an excited uproar broke out. We celebrated with whistles and applause and congratulations all around. I told everyone how it all went down. After the nightly prayer, I said my goodbyes and left for home. I must have been the only inmate who found it so hard to leave their prison ward, because it also meant I was being separated from my father–again. As I stepped out, I turned and said, “See you Wednesday.” Some of them looked at me with a puzzled expression, but then it hit them that it was open visitation on Wednesday! I would be coming to see my father, as a visitor this time!

WHY I DREW THESE PICTURES

The year I started my university education, I considered dropping out, and on not just one, but three separate occasions. In fact, on my third attempt, I even made it as far as the door of the Student Affairs office (and turned back around, of course). It was an environment that I just couldn’t get used to. I felt like I was in a completely different world. People were so relaxed, so occupied with themselves, not stopping to look around at other people and just going about their own (selfish) lives. As for the professors, they were on a whole different planet, so to speak. I felt like I was a foreign student from a faraway land. As I was about to open the door of the Student Affairs office, a thought hit me, just like that, “If I came all the way here, somehow, some way, then there must be a reason for it.” And at that moment, I decided against leaving. If I had dropped out of school, I would never have become a teacher; if I hadn’t become a teacher, my work permit would never have been canceled for such an arbitrary reason, I would never have had a criminal case opened in my name, I would never have been locked up behind bars, I would never have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people in prison, never have had the memories which I portray in my drawings to share with you… The first thought that came to my mind after I was put in prison was, “Well, I finally get to have a vacation.” One of my inmate friends who was an assistant professor in the field of physics (I keep referring back to the people I met in prison. I can’t help it, because they are all such special and precious individuals whom I cherish. I had always heard about how the friendships formed in the military and in prison were unforgettable, now I know by experience.) said to me, “Brother, I never had a chance to get a tattoo when I was outside, would you draw a dragon tattoo on my shoulder?” I couldn’t say no to such a wish, so I drew one, using a pen. A few days later, a group of friends chatting in the courtyard caught my attention, and I was moved to make a drawing of them (note picture No.18). In fact, one of my friends in the prison wanted to keep the drawing as a memory, so I gifted it to him. A colleague of mine, who had also been my director and who had first welcomed me into the ward, saw the work I did and said to me, “If you ask me, you should draw all that you can to portray what it is like in here, show them in your drawings. A day will come when justice will be sought in the courts. Just as there was a way into all of this, there will be a way out.. When that day comes, everyone should be able to see what we went through.” Upon his advice, I started observing all the activities going on about me more intently, such as the roll-call in the ward, the bathroom line, the “snack bar” day, open visitations, what the ward looked like on a regular day, etc..and I stored everything in my memory. I even felt the need to apologize to my wife one evening. “What are you apologizing for?” she asked me. “I didn’t pay much attention to you during visitation,” I replied. “I was busy observing all that was going on around us so I could store them in my memory and get it down in my drawings.” I drew all that I could find time for while I was still “inside” and the rest of the drawings, I completed after my release. Whenever some friends ask me whether there’s anything new, I give a vague answer and say, “I’m working on it…” Months ago, when I did share a couple of my drawings, they somehow got passed back and forth among friends wanting to share with their close ones, and all of a sudden I had become an anonymous artist on social media. Whenever I started working on anything new, my inmate friends would joke around, saying, “Don’t forget to draw me too bro!” and would always support me. One of my friends in ward C7 said to me, “Brother, whatever you see here, try and carry it all as best you can onto your drawings. We try and do the best we can to pour out our hearts, to write down our memories, our poems, our homesickness and our experiences as best we can, but what you can express through your drawings can only be expressed through pages and pages of writing and still not be as effective.” (The person saying this to me was a professor who had authored the only book written in his own specific field of study.) When I had returned to my previous ward and got to meet new people and form new friendships, I had the opportunity to get to know them and listen to their stories as well. When I told them about my interest in drawing, the first thing they would ask me would be, “Brother, have you drawn pictures about our life here?” and I would rush and bring my drawings to show them. They would admire the drawings and grow emotional. One of them even said, “I keep telling my wife about how we even wash dishes and do laundry and clean and mop, but she blows me off telling me not to exaggerate. If I showed her this, she certainly wouldn’t be so cynical anymore.” The smile that would appear on the faces of those looking at the drawings, it was truly something invaluable, priceless; it meant more to me than the wealth of the worlds. A brother who looked at the pictures said, “Brother, you truly have found your calling here.” I was walking on clouds that day. I was so filled with joy– it felt like I was literally flying. I went to bed late that night. I stayed up, working on my drawings. I thought to myself, “I wish I could change wards every week and be able to draw the uniqueness being experienced in each one of them.” With these thoughts running through my head, I have tried to take notes of all the moments and memories I stored in my heart and mind. Unfortunately, there were some drawings that I could not finish to include in this book. I hope and pray that I have been able to duly portray the atmosphere we all experienced on the “inside.” I thank God that He put me in there. I got to experience unforgettable memories, and I got to know unforgettable people while I was in there. And I was blessed to experience some of the most delicious food I have ever tasted in my life, like the menemen (traditional breakfast dish made with eggs, tomatoes, and peppers) our friends had prepared for us on the semaver (traditional tea pot) during our Eid al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice) celebratory breakfast.

If I were a swallow flapping
his winds at the setting sun,

If I ripped out the pages
of my life and started anew

If swung my prayer beads through every
inch of the concrete courtyard I walked
on, while saying a prayer for each new
day, hoping this would end one day

If I raised my hands a bit higher each day,
for you, and my family, and your children

If I begged and pleaded as
my hands touched the ceiling of
the ward, would you, o brother, give me
a handful of your freedom?

I raise my hands up
to my Lord, and I pray,

Please don’t silence this
melody before its day.

These tribulations
shall surely be no more,

As the whole world
will witness one day..

 


Widget not in any sidebars

 

Read more

AST Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly Dec 11

Download as pdf: AST_Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly_Dec11

Turkey’s Human Rights Violations | 12/4/2017-12/11/2017

1-“768 senior public servants, families claimed asylum in Germany: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/768-senior-public-servants-families-claimed-asylum-germany-report

2-“Journalist Mehmet Baransu remains arrested following court hearing”
https://turkeypurge.com/journalist-mehmet-baransu-remains-arrested-following-court-hearing

3-“10 judges, prosecutors and lawyers detained in new post-coup probe”
https://turkeypurge.com/10-judges-prosecutors-lawyers-detained-new-post-coup-probe

4-“Prosecutor moves to end parliamentary immunity for 19 pro-Kurdish HDP lawmakers”
https://turkeypurge.com/prosecutor-moves-end-parliamentary-immunity-19-pro-kurdish-hdp-lawmakers

5-“664 people detained over Gülen links in past week: ministry”
https://turkeypurge.com/664-people-detained-gulen-links-past-week-ministry

6-“Jailed Visually Impaired Turkish Journalist Still Lack Of Lawyer To Take Assistance For His Defence Before Courts”
https://stockholmcf.org/jailed-visually-impaired-turkish-journalist-still-lack-of-lawyer-to-take-assistance-for-his-defence-before-courts/

7-“Erdoğan’s Henchman Threatens Exiled Turkish Journalists With Extrajudicial Killings”
https://stockholmcf.org/erdogans-henchman-threatens-turkish-journalists-with-extrajudicial-killings/

8-“Jailed Turkish-German Journalist Deniz Yücel Taken Out Of Solitary Confinement”
https://stockholmcf.org/jailed-turkish-german-journalist-deniz-yucel-taken-out-of-solitary-confinement/

9-“Turkish Police Torture Brother Of A Human Rights Lawyer In Southeast Anatolia”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-police-torture-brother-of-a-human-rights-lawyer-in-southeast-anatolia/

10-“Trial begins for peace declaration academics on Dec. 5”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/12/04/trial-begins-for-peace-declaration-academics-on-dec-5/

11-“İHD and TİHV: 2,278 tortured, 11 abducted in Turkey in 2017”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/12/09/ihd-and-tihv-2278-tortured-11-abducted-in-turkey-in-2017/

12-“Ankara governor bans anti-corruption speech by communist party member”
https://turkeypurge.com/ankara-governor-bans-anti-corruption-speech-communist-party-member

13-” Swedish Left Party Head Sjöstedt Says Turkish Police Threatened Him To Arrest”
https://stockholmcf.org/swedish-left-party-head-sjostedt-says-turkish-police-threatened-him-to-arrest/

14-“Turkish Gov’t Reluctant To Assign 1,100 Newly Graduated Medical Doctors On Basis Of Security Checks”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-govt-reluctant-to-assign-1100-newly-graduated-medical-doctors-on-basis-of-security-checks/

15-“İstanbul court rules for continuation of arrest of Zaman columnists”
https://turkeypurge.com/istanbul-court-rules-continuation-arrest-zaman-columnists

16-“15-year jail term sought for owner of Hosta kebab chain over coup charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/15-year-jail-term-sought-owner-hosta-kebab-chain-coup-charges

17-“Policeman Suspended By Turkish Gov’t Reportedly Dies While Working As Construction Worker”
https://stockholmcf.org/policeman-suspended-by-turkish-govt-reportedly-dies-while-working-as-construction-worker/

18-“Rights groups say 2,278 people tortured, 11 abducted in Turkey in 2017”
https://turkeypurge.com/rights-groups-say-2278-tortured-11-abducted-turkey-2017

19-“Ankara governor bans anti-corruption speech by communist party member”
https://turkeypurge.com/ankara-governor-bans-anti-corruption-speech-communist-party-member

20-” Research shows purge in Turkey ruined lives of 21,000 health care workers ”
https://turkeypurge.com/new-report-shows-turkeys-purge-ruined-lives-21000-health-care-workers

21-” Turkish police officer who saved Erdoğan on night of coup arrested over Gülen links”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/12/08/turkish-police-officer-who-saved-erdogan-on-night-of-coup-arrested-over-gulen-links/

22-“Press groups call on EU to be less deferential towards Turkey on rights violations”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/12/08/press-groups-call-on-eu-to-be-less-deferential-towards-turkey-on-rights-violations/

23-“Soldier charged TL 34 million for ‘coup damages’ in Ankara: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/soldier-charged-tl-34-million-coup-damages-report

24-“Court rules to keep pro-Kurdish opposition leader Selahattin Demirtaş behind bars”
https://turkeypurge.com/court-rules-keep-pro-kurdish-opposition-leader-selahattin-demirtas-behind-bars

25-“Report says 300 families have fled Turkey to Greece due to post-coup crackdown”
https://turkeypurge.com/300-families-fled-turkeys-post-coup-crackdown-greece-report

26-“Turkey seizes US witness Reza Zarrab’s private jet, yacht”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-seizes-us-witness-reza-zarrabs-private-jet-yacht

27-“Turkey detains 17 for ‘providing US with information’ for Zarrab case”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-detains-17-providing-us-information-zarrab-case

28-“Turkish court rules for continuation of 20 journalists on coup charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-court-rules-continuation-20-journalists-coup-charges

29-“Turkey jails solyayin.com editor-in-chief, closes down website on terror charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/solyayin-com-editor-chief-arrested-website-closed-terror-charges

30-“Turkey seizes assets of former opposition deputy over Zarrab case”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-seizes-assets-former-opposition-deputy-zarrab-case

31-“Turkey’s former top scorer Zafer Biryol re-detained in post-coup investigation”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkeys-former-top-scorer-zafer-biryol-re-detained-post-coup-investigation

32-“47 including Gülen’s nephew detained in new post-coup probe”
https://turkeypurge.com/47-including-gulens-nephew-detained-new-post-coup-probe

33-“Der Spiegel: Erdogan offered Germany a mafia-like ‘prisoner exchange’”
https://turkeypurge.com/der-spiegel-erdogan-offered-germany-mafia-like-prisoner-exchange

34-“Mysterious note left at CHP office’s door threatens: You’ll pay for it, traitors!”
https://turkeypurge.com/mysterious-note-left-chp-offices-door-threatens-youll-pay-traitors

35-“School principal detained for insulting Erdogan”
https://turkeypurge.com/school-principal-detained-insulting-erdogan

36-” Turkish court rules Yeni Asya journalist Nur Ener to remain behind bars”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/12/06/turkish-court-rules-yeni-asya-journalist-nur-ener-to-remain-behind-bars/

37-“Teacher couple gets 7 years in jail over Gulen links”
https://turkeypurge.com/teacher-couple-gets-7-year-jail-gulen-links

38-“11 Turkish folk dancers apply for asylum in Hungary after performing in Budapest”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/12/05/11-turkish-folk-dancers-apply-for-asylum-in-hungary-after-performing-in-budapest/

39-“Veteran Turkish Journalist Hasan Cemal: A Case Where Universal Principles Of Law Forgotten”
https://stockholmcf.org/veteran-journalist-hasan-cemal-a-case-where-universal-principles-of-law-forgotten/

40-“New York Times: Turkey No Safe Zone For Foreign Political Dissidents ”
https://stockholmcf.org/new-york-times-turkey-no-safe-zone-for-foreign-political-dissidents/

41-“Turkish Asylum Seekers In Greece Tell Of Lives Full Of Fear In Erdoğan’s Turkey”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-asylum-seekers-in-greece-tell-of-lives-full-of-fear-in-erdogans-turkey/

42-“Steudtner: Detained Activists In Turkey Face ‘Unfair’ Judicial System”
https://stockholmcf.org/steudtner-detained-activists-in-turkey-face-unfair-judicial-system/

Türkiye tarafından işlenenen İnsan Hakları İhlalleri | 12/4/2017-12/11/2017

1-“Mehmet Baransu’ya yine savunma yaptırmadılar!”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/mehmet-baransuya-yine-savunma-yaptirmadilar-h108526.html

2-“Güney Afrikalı yetimler, hapishanedeki bebekler için yürüdü!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/guney-afrikali-yetimler-hapishanedeki-bebekler-icin-yurudu-h108525.html

3-“Baskı rejiminin olduğu Türkiye’den kaçış!”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/baski-rejiminin-oldugu-turkiyeden-kacis-h108522.html

4-“Erdoğan’ın danışmanı cemaati ‘yargısız infaz’larla tehdit etti!”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/erdoganin-danismani-cemaati-yargisiz-infazlarla-tehdit-etti-h108512.html

5-“Ayda ortalama bin Türk Almanya’dan sığınma istedi!”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/ayda-ortalama-bin-turk-almanyadan-siginma-istedi-h108514.html

6-“Cezaevi tutsağı gazeteci Büşra Erdal’dan mektup var: ‘şükür ki OHAL’de kuşlara ziyaret yasağı yok, kitaplar da ötekileştirmiyor”
http://www.tr724.com/cezaevi-tutsagi-gazeteci-busra-erdaldan-mektup-var-sukur-ki-ohalde-kuslara-ziyaret-yasagi-yok-kitaplar-da-otekilestirmiyor/

7-“AKP’nin havuzu Akit TV Zeyno Erkan’ı tekrar hedef gösterdi”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/akpnin-havuzu-akit-tv-zeyno-erkani-tekrar-hedef-gosterdi-h108785.html

8-“İşte AKP rejiminin yıkım raporu.. Binlerce ölü, işkence, OHAL ve KHK’lar..”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/iste-akp-rejiminin-yikim-raporu-binlerce-olu-iskence-ohal-ve-khklar-h108775.html

9-“İsveçli Sol Parti Lideri: Demirtaş davasından sonra polis bizi tehdit etti”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/isvecli-sol-parti-lideri-demirtas-davasindan-sonra-polis-bizi-tehdit-etti-h108776.html

10-“Süreç uzarsa intihar vakaları başlayabilir”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/surec-uzarsa-intihar-vakalari-baslayabilir-h108743.html

11-“AKP iktidarının, doğumhane kapısındaki utanç nöbeti!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/akp-iktidarinin-dogumhane-kapisindaki-utanc-nobeti-h108576.html

12-“Yüksekova’da 4 sivili öldüren zırhlı polis aracının kamera görüntüleri ortaya çıktı..”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/yuksekovada-4-sivili-olduren-zirhli-polis-aracinin-kamera-goruntuleri-ortaya-cikti-h108597.html

13-“BBC: Türkiye’den kaçan yüzlerce Gülen Cemaati üyesi Selanik’te”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/bbc-turkiyeden-kacan-yuzlerce-gulen-cemaati-uyesi-selanikte/

14-“Siz ‘Gülenci’siniz, benim cezaevine düşerseniz size yapacağımı biliyorum”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/siz-gulencisiniz-benim-cezaevine-duserseniz-size-yapacagimi-biliyorum/

15-“Savunma: ‘Kafasına miğferle vurulmadı, nar isabet ettiği için öldü’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/savunma-kafasina-migferle-vurulmadi-nar-isabet-ettigi-icin-oldu/

16-“‘Dengeler değiştiği an serbest kalacağız, çünkü suçlu değiliz’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/ahmet-turan-alkan-20-yillik-zaman-yazariyim-inandigimi-yazdim-onur-duyuyorum/

17-“Tacı gitti, şimdi hapsi isteniyor”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/taci-gitti-simdi-hapsi-isteniyor/

18-“‘Cezama razıyım, ama terörist suçlamasını kabul etmiyorum’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/adliye-calisani-114-kisiye-terorden-12-yila-kadar-hapis-cezasi/

19-“323 gün sonra özgür kalan Öğreten: Gazetecilik hala hapiste”
http://www.diken.com.tr/323-gun-sonra-ozgur-kalan-ogreten-gazetecilik-hala-hapiste/

20-“Sesleri duyulmayan 16 bin 500 askeri öğrenci”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/sesleri-duyulmayan-16-bin-500-askeri-ogrenci-h108821.html

21-“Süleyman Soylu’dan Kılıçdaroğlu’na: Sen bittin”
http://aktifhaber.com/politika/suleyman-soyludan-kilicdarogluna-sen-bittin-h108816.html

22-“Artık üç örgüte üyelikten tutuklanıyor insanlar”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/artik-uc-orgute-uyelikten-tutuklaniyor-insanlar-h108806.html

23-“Arev tutuklu anne babasına kavuştu”
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/arev-tutuklu-anne-babasina-kavustu-h108809.html

24-“Alman İnsan Hakları Sorumlusu’ndan Türkiye açıklaması”
http://aktifhaber.com/dunya/alman-insan-haklari-sorumlusundan-turkiye-aciklamasi-h108802.html

Read more