The new Turkey
Some sources about torture and Ill-Treatment in Turkey

15-mar-20

80 university students detained over Gülen links subjected to torture

8 March 2020:

Eighty university students
who were detained in police operations on the morning of Feb. 28 due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement have been interrogated for days at the Ankara Police Department and subjected to torture.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Lawyers and family members of the students told Bold Medya that the detained students have been kept in police custody at the Ankara Police Department for days, where they are subjected to humiliation and torture.

The police officers interrogating the students, who were still minors when the coup attempt took place, reportedly told them, “If only a war had broken out on July 15 and we had killed all of you.”

The students in detention are both male and female. Contrary to legal procedure, the students have been interrogated three times in a day, and their interrogation sometimes lasts until the early hours of the morning. The female students who are handcuffed from behind have been punched by male police officers on their backs, shoulders and bellies, according to Bold Medya, which based its report on the records of the Ankara Bar Association.

The male students have been forced to undress, have had plastic bags put over their heads, punched in the head and beaten.

All these acts of torture are perpetrated by police officers who don’t reveal their identity and in rooms lacking security cameras, according to Bold Medya.

The students are reportedly being asked questions about the new organization efforts of the Gülen movement.

Some of the students’ parents have been removed from their jobs or jailed due to alleged Gülen links.

 

Text from:
Human Rights Council

Report: Mass Prosecution of Lawyers in Turkey
Incarceration of turkish lawyers
Unjust arrests and convictions
One way ticket to torture/unfair trial
The rights to defense fair trial in turkey
International Law Breaches Concerning the Independence of Legal Profession in Turkey
Lawyers and human rights defenders in Turkey
Bylock report by the arrested lawyers

Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review
Thirty-fifth session
20–31 January 2020
Summary of Stakeholders' submissions on Turkey

Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights page 4:
Administration of justice, including impunity, and the rule of law58

26. Several stakeholders observed an escalation of torture and violence towards detainees while at the same time security personal who may have committed crimes on behalf of the government, enjoyed immunity from prosecution during and after the attempted coup.
They recommended abrogating any provision that grants retroactive immunity from any legal,
administrative, financial and criminal liability with respect to the perpetration of acts of torture or other ill-treatment, particularly Emergency Decree-Laws Nos. (667, art. 9(1), 2016), (668 art. 37) and (696 art. 121), and related Articles of the Law No. 4483.59 The

Former diplomat speaks out over torture of Turkish foreign ministry staff
Purged teacher tells of torture, sexual abuse in police detention


Former public servants in custody threatened with sexual abuse

Former public servants who were detained on Wednesday (19 Dec 2019.) over membership in the faith-based Gülen movement were subjected to ill treatment and threatened with sexual abuse, according to an opposition deputy, the Euronews Turkish service reported.

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said relatives and lawyers of the detainees have reached out to him with complaints.

“They say the detainees were stripped naked and beaten. In a dark room [at the detention center] they were also threatened with sexual abuse,” Gergerlioğlu told Euronews.

Meanwhile a group of lawyers from the Ankara Bar Association went to the detention center to speak with the detainees and officials investigating the claims.

In May the bar association issued a report revealing that a group of former public servants were subjected to torture in an Ankara detention center for suspects charged with terrorism.

On Wednesday the Ankara police detained 18 former public servants who were dismissed from their jobs by government decrees in the aftermath of a 2016 failed coup after the chief prosecutor’s office ordered the detention of 27 over Gülen links.

Turkey accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating the coup attempt, although it strongly denies any involvement.

According to the Bold Medya news website, the detainees were former employees of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

A detainee’s wife told Bold Medya that her husband was among those who were threatened.

“[Police] displayed greased glass bottles, implying the threat of sexual abuse to the detainees. They intimidated the detainees and signaled that they would start torturing them in further interrogations,” the wife of H. Ç., a former MİT employee, said.

The former civil servants are still in detention, reports suggest.

Recently, a new court was established in Ankara to hear trials specifically of former MİT staff members.

Since the failed coup more than 130,000 public servants have been dismissed from their jobs on allegations of terrorism.


19 December 2019:

Waterboarding, electroshock used on Turkish officers in secret General Staff compound

A secret torture center was set up in the Turkish General Staff headquarters where waterboarding and electroshock tactics were used on pro-NATO officers, documents reveal.

According to a written statement by 1st Lt. Yalçın Toker, an officer serving under the chief of staff in the General Secretariat’s planning department, many of his colleagues who were detained in the aftermath of a failed coup in 2016 were subjected to torture in order to coerce false confessions. In a petition filed with the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office from his cell in Sincan Prison on November 7, 2016, Toker revealed details of torture in an unofficial detention facility at General Staff headquarters. Read the full article


26 November 2019:

Turkish lawyer exposes torture of client detained over Gülen links

A Turkish lawyer on Saturday said his client, who was detained last week as part of an investigation into the faith-based Gülen movement, was subjected to torture during his detention in Ankara, the Bold Medya news website reported. The detainee, identified only by the initials N.C., told Rıdvan Çobanoğlu, a lawyer from the Ankara Bar Association, that seven policemen interrogated him at 2 a.m., beating and threatening him with sexual abuse.

N.C. also revealed the name of a police officer, Abdulkadir Yılmaztürk, who was personally involved in the torture. After speaking with his client, Çobanoğlu brought officials from the Ankara Bar Association to the detention center in an effort to convince staff to stop torture during interrogations, he told Bold Medya, but they were not allowed to enter the facility

Çobanoğlu said N.C. was in agony and had difficulty walking normally when they met, adding that his client was tortured again after telling him what had happened during interrogations. N.C. was among 77 individuals who were taken into custody after the issuance of detention warrants by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office over alleged Gülen links.


HDP Youth Assembly Members Tortured in Detention.

Detained in police raids in several cities, 36 members of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Youth Assembly have been held at the İstanbul Security Directorate for six days.

The HDP İstanbul Provincial Organization said today (November 13) in a statement that they have been tortured in detention, according to Gülay Alabuga, a member of the HDP İstanbul Provincial Assembly. They have been subjected to "naked search and beating," she said.

"The hostile approach of the police at the time of detention turned to imposing a naked search during the placement into the cells and subsequently to assault and torture," Alabuga added. The 36 people were detained because of chanting anti-war slogans at the HDP İstanbul 3rd Ordinary Congress, Alabuga noted.

"The AKP-MHP bloc's unlawful and arbitrary policies of repression have been replaced by systematic torture practices," she said, referring to the alliance between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Alabuga said torture should end and the detained HDP members should be released. Ayşe Acar Başaran, an HDP MP and the spokesperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Law and Human Rights, also called the government to "end the crime of torture." "They began a hunger strike against torture, ill-treatment and degrading treatment," she said.

Client Mahsum Aka Abdulselam Aslan Cemal Aslan
Halil Aslan Client A.K Client B.O
Client I.K Client Ö.A Client O.D
C.G. Mesut Geçer Hasan Kobalay
N.S. S.T. "Teacher A"
"University lecturer A  


6 November 2019:

Three Police Officers Sued for Torturing Writer Under Detention

İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Offices has filed a lawsuit against three police officers who were determined to have tortured investigative writer Muhammed Cihad Ebrari, the son of Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MP Hüda Kaya.Ebrari was detained on November 6, 2016, in a protest against the arrest of HDP MPs and suffered fractures in his spinal cord as a result of police violence.

Written three years after the incident, the indictment included reports about the police officers by the Ministry of Interior. The inspector reports stated that defendant police officers H.Ç., İ.Y. and N.S.D. "exceeded the limits of the authority of using force" and "it was not an obligation to remove those attended the demonstration from the demonstration area in this way and it was possible to remove them with not taking any action or more appropriate actions."

After the examination of the inspector reports, footage and minutes, the prosecutor stated that the three police officers committed the offense of "deliberately injuring some in such a way that causes bone fractures by exceeding the limits of the authority of using force." The prosecutor requested the police officers be trial for "deliberately inflicting pain on another person's body or causing another person's health or perception capability to be impaired." Read the full article


9 August 2019:

Bar association reports ill treatment of inmates by guards in Turkey’s east

The Diyarbakır Bar Association has announced that scores of inmates in a high security prison in eastern Elazığ province were physically battered by guards, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Friday. After a visit to the prison during which he and his colleagues met with inmates, bar chairman Cihat Aydın shared his observations at a press briefing.

Aydın said some inmates showed traces of physical violence and swelling on their bodies. He estimated that some 50 inmates were subjected to mistreatment based on the reported number of cells where prison guards entered to beat them. Aydın added that the prison administration refused to meet with them and that the bar has filed criminal charges with the Elazığ Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

He also said the inmates were unable to have their voices heard since their petitions to authorities were delivered too late, if ever. “This indifference by the relevant authorities has led to an increase in rights violations in the prison,” he said.

-------------------------------

26 May 2019:

Amnesty International campaigns for detainees in southeast Turkey over torture claims

Amnesty International's Turkey branch has launched a campaign calling for "independent medical examination" for detainees in the country's southeastern Halfeti district following severe human rights violations reports. 

Are Turkey’s torture
chambers back?

"Twenty-five people are still kept under detention by Şanlıurfa Counter-Terrorism Branch and these people are under threat of torture and maltreating. Detainees should immediately be provided independent medical examination," rights group Amnesty International said on Saturday. 

Read more................

After an armed conflict between Turkish police and the alleged members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on May 18, one police officer died.  Fifty-four people were detained as a part of an investigation launched by prosecutors in the southeastern city of Şanlıurfa's Halfeti district. 

Şanlıurfa Bar Association Human Rights Center said on Twitter that the detainees, including children, were tortured by the police. 

Amnesty International said there were at least 25 people under custody by the counter-terrorism police since Saturday. 

"According to the information given by the lawyers of the detainees, many of them have physical injury marks, bruises and cuts on their faces, legs and bodies," the rights group said. 

The police shocked genitalia of at least four detainees and assaulted them during detention, Amnesty said in its campaign.

Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party lawmaker Meral Danış Beştaş said on Twitter that "they (police) no longer need to hide the torture. No matter where such scenes occur, no Minister of Interior could remain in office even for a minute." 

Artık işkenceyi gizleme gereği bile duymuyorlar. Bu görüntü nerede olsa İçişleri Bakanı bir dakika görevde kalmaz. #HalfetideNelerOluyor pic.twitter.com/nPujkNvSKt

— Meral Danış Beştaş (@meraldanis) 20 Mayıs 2019

Diyarbakır Bar Association Chair Cihan Aydın said the following on his social media account:

"- It is reminiscent of Auschwitz,
- It also seems like Abu Ghraib and Gazza,
- Can it be Guantanamo?

No, be calm, this is a garden of a gendarmerie station in Bozova, Urfa...!

- Those who were handcuffed behind are the Kurdish people who wait for the fast-breaking time."

-Auschwitz’i de andırıyor biraz,
-Ebu Gureyb’e ve Gazze’ye de benziyor sanki,
-Guantanamo olabilir mi?

Yok yok sakin olun, burası Urfa Bozova’da bir karakol bahçesi..!

-Elleri arkadan kelepçelenenler de, iftar saatini bekleyen Kürtler. https://t.co/p72fm9aTaj

— Cihan Aydın (@CihnAydin) 20 Mayıs 2019

PKK, designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the United States, has fought a three-decade armed campaign for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey.


On 10 December 2018, the Human Rights Day, Human Rights Association announced its 2018 Violations of Rights in Turkey

In the chapter "TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT, page 9 and 10 they write:

A total of 538 individuals applied to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) within the first 11 months of 2018 with allegations that they were subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment. Out of these, 280 applicants stated that they were subjected to torture and ill-treatment in the same year.

Turkish diplomat describes physical and sexual
abuse in detainment,
Ankara dismisses as “baseless”

According to data provided by the Human Rights Association (İHD), on the other hand, 10 a total of 2,719 individuals were subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment within the first 11 months of 2018. These include 284 cases of beating and other forms of ill-treatment in detention, 175 cases in extra-custodial places, and 2,260 cases at meetings and demonstrations intervened by security forces.
Moreover, allegations of torture and ill-treatment gradually increased in prisons in Turkey, while the documentation of exact figures is still pending. For further information on the issue, please consult İHD’s special reports on prisons.1 Read the report


Page 5:

Torture and Ill-Treatment in Custody

Cases of torture and ill-treatment in police custody were widely reported through 2017, especially by individuals detained under the anti-terror law, marking a reverse in long-standing progress, despite the government’s stated zero tolerance for torture policy. There were widespread reports of police beating detainees, subjecting them to prolonged stress positions and threats of rape, threats to lawyers, and interference with medical examinations.

Amnesty International campaigns for detainees in
southeast Turkey
over torture claims

There were credible reports of unidentified perpetrators believed to be state agents abducting men in at least six cases, and holding them in undisclosed places of detention in circumstances that amounted to possible enforced disappearances. At least one surfaced in official custody and three others were released after periods of two to three months. The men had all been dismissed from civil service jobs for Gülenist connections.


15 January 2017:
Prosecutor drops torture complaint due to impunity under state of emergency

A document recently issued by a prosecutor’s office in Trabzon stated that there are no grounds to investigate a torture complaint since police officers can act with impunity under the current state of emergency in Turkey.

A few minor Turkish news portals published the document on Sunday displaying the reasoning for dropping charges against police officers who allegedly tortured a plaintiff under detention.

However, the prosecutor’s office in Trabzon stated that given the impunity granted by Article 9 in decree No. 667, police officers cannot be held accountable for their actions.

The prosecutor’s office issued the decision on Jan. 5, stating that no public investigation is possible as suspects cannot be subject to investigation.

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) 
46. Session on Alleged violations of international law and international humanitarian law by the Turkish Republic and its officials against the Kurdish people and their organizations (Paris, 15-16 March 2018)

The Session on Turkey and the Kurdstook place in Paris on 15-16 March 2018. The PPT announced its Judgment in the European Parliament on 24 May 2018.

In the chapter "TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT" on page 9 and 10 it says:

Read more.....................

There are significant findings and allegations covering a wide area that point out to a great increase in recent cases of torture and other ill-treatment practices implemented in order to punish and/or intimidate and/or exercise power over persons and/or used as instruments of criminal procedure (intended for extracting confession or information / “collecting evidence”).

Practices of torture at official detention centers and extra-custodial places, in the streets, in prisons and almost everywhere, along with the “extreme and disproportionate interference” of the law enforcement amounting to the level of “torture” in meetings and demonstrations have become widespread.

Further, we have been witnessing that torture and other forms of ill-treatment were implemented in order to enhance the control and coercion of the political power over different segments of the society and to spread horror and fear.

• A total of 538 individuals applied to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) within the first 11 months of 2018 with allegations that they were subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment. Out of these, 280 applicants stated that they were subjected to torture and ill-treatment in the same year.

• According to data provided by the Human Rights Association (İHD), on the other hand, a total of 2,719 individuals were subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment within the first 11 months of 2018. These include 284 cases of beating and other forms of ill-treatment in detention, 175 cases in extra-custodial places, and 2,260 cases at meetings and demonstrations intervened by security forces. Moreover, allegations of
torture and ill-treatment gradually increased in prisons in Turkey, while the documentation of exact figures is still pending. For further information on the issue, please consult İHD's special reports on prisons.
Read the full report


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

TURKEY 2018 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY page 4-5 and 6:
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The constitution and law prohibit torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, but there were reports that some government forces employed these tactics. On February 27, UN special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, expressed serious concerns about the rising allegations of torture and other mistreatment in Turkish police custody.

Read more...........

Melzer said he was alarmed by allegations that large numbers of individuals suspected of links to the Gulen movement or PKK were exposed to brutal interrogation techniques aimed at extracting forced confessions or coercing detainees to incriminate others. Reported abuse included severe beatings, electrical shocks, exposure to icy water, sleep deprivation, threats, insults, and sexual assault. The special rapporteur said authorities appeared not to have taken any serious measures to investigate these allegations or to hold perpetrators accountable.

Human rights groups reported in December that torture and mistreatment in police custody occurred at reduced levels compared with 2017, although they contended that victim intimidation may account for reduced reporting. Reports indicated that police also abused detainees outside police station premises. The HRFT reported that, during the first 11 months of the year, it received 538 complaints related to abuse while in custody, 280 of which alleged torture or inhumane treatment.

The HRFT also reported intimidation and shaming of detainees by police were common and that victims hesitated to report abuse due to fear of reprisal. Separately, the Human Rights Association reported that, in the first 11 months of the year, it received 2,719 complaints of abuse by security forces, including 284 complaints related to abuse while in detention facilities, 175 complaints of abuse outside detention facilities, and 2,260 complaints of abuse during demonstrations. The government has not released information on whether it undertook investigations into allegations of mistreatment in prison or detention centers during the year.

The government asserted that it followed a "zero tolerance" policy for torture. HRW maintained, however, that it was "not aware of any serious measures that have been taken to investigate credible allegations of torture." In its World Report 2018, HRW stated: "Cases of torture and ill-treatment in police custody were widely reported through 2017, especially by individuals detained under the antiterror law, marking a reverse in long-standing progress, despite the government's stated zero tolerance for torture policy.

There were widespread reports of police beating detainees, subjecting them to prolonged stress positions and threats of rape, threats to lawyers, and interference with medical examinations." According to 2017 Ministry of Justice statistics, the government opened 84 criminal cases related to allegations of torture. The government has not released data on its investigations into alleged torture.

The Civil Society Association in the Penal System (CISST) reported complaints of physical violence by prison staff and noted complaints from prisoners in Tarsus and Elazig prisons, who reported inhumane treatment and psychological abuse.

A June report by the Diyarbakir, Van, and Hakkari Bar Associations alleged Turkish soldiers tortured four shepherds in Korgan village, Hakkari Province on May 31. The report asserted that shepherd Nasir Tas suffered severe injuries after soldiers allegedly repeatedly held his head under water.
According to press reports, on June 8, in Istanbul, police detained and beat 22 high school students while they were handcuffed in a police van.

According to media reports, some military conscripts endured severe hazing, physical abuse, and torture that sometimes resulted in suicide. In May soldiers severely beat a Kurdish-speaking soldier in Van province for speaking Kurdish. Fethi Aydemir suffered serious injury to the skull and internal organ damage as a result. In a separate incident in Gaziantep, a soldier was attacked by fellow soldiers for having a photograph of Selahattin Demirtas, jailed former leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), on his smartphone.

Read the full report