Credible allegations of torture emerged in the trial in the central Anatolian town of
Kırıkkale, of 64 defendants facing charges of membership of an armed organization
(referred to by the Turkish government and courts as FETÖ - Fethullahist Terrorist
Organization), and attempting to overthrow the government. At the first hearing on
February 16, 2017, seven of the defendants told the court at length that they had been
tortured into signing statements which were false, and into naming people they claimed
not to know.10 The 64 defendants include many police officers, as well as teachers and
other public officials.
When he spoke at the hearing of 64 people [defendants] it was hard to hear
all he said, but he described the insults, being stripped naked in Kırıkkale
anti-terror branch, being blindfolded throughout and gagged, having his
sexual organs squeezed. My husband cried as he recounted it in court. He
spoke for half an hour. The judge didn't stop him speaking. He let those
who described being tortured speak. The police sitting in the courtroom
took notes in detail, and stared at us threateningly.
|10 Record of February 16, 2017 hearing at the Kırıkkale Heavy Penal Court, court file 2016/352, on file with Human Rights
11 Ibid, p.29.
12 Ibid, p.30.
13 Human Rights Watch Interview with wife of Hasan Kobalay, Ankara, February 21, 2017.
14 Copy of complaint by Kirikkale Heavy Penal Court to Kirikkale Chief Prosecutor's office, February 21, 2017, seen by Human
15 Information communicated to Human Rights Watch, July 4, 2017.