Last update: 30-jul-20
80 university students detained over Gülen links subjected to torture
8 March 2020:
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.
Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review
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.
Bar Association Report: Former diplomats sexually abused with batons and tortured
The Ankara Bar Association has prepared a report regarding the allegations of torture in custody in the Financial Crimes Investigation Bureau of the Ankara Directorate General of Security.
Signed by the Center for Lawyers’ Rights, Prison Council and Center for Human Rights affiliated with the Ankara Bar Association, the report has shared detailed information on the allegations of torture, including the accounts of the ones who claim that they were tortured in custody.
On May 26, 2019, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Kocaeli MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu posted a message on his Twitter account and said, “There are allegations of torture in Ankara Security.”
In the following days, it was reported in the news that around 100 diplomats, who were previously discharged from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by a statutory decree and were being held in custody in the Financial Crimes Investigation Bureau, were tortured in detention. Read the full article/report
Prosecutor rules no need for probe into death of teacher tortured in custody
The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has once again ruled that there is no need to investigate the death of teacher Gökhan Açıkkollu, who was allegedly tortured in police custody and subsequently died during a post-coup purge in August 2016, the tr724 news website reported.
Following a failed coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016, Açıkkollu was detained on July 24, 2016 on trumped-up charges of coup plotting and terrorism and remained in police custody for 13 days, during which time he was subjected to both physical and psychological torture until he died.
Açıkkollu’s wife, Tülay, tweeted on Saturday that the prosecutor’s office, which ruled in January 2020 that there was no need to further investigate the death of Açıkkollu, has once again issued the same ruling, this time without hearing the witnesses, examining the video records of the 13 days when Açıkkollu was held in custody or examining an additional autopsy report.“Damn your order,” she said. Read the full article
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
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.
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.
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:
• 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.
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.
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:
The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT)
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.
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”).
TURKEY 2018 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY page 4-5 and 6:
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.
|Report on the impact of the state of emergency on human rights in Turkey, including an update on the South-East January – December 2017, March 2018|
|Amnesty says has 'credible evidence' of torture of Turkey coup detainees|
|Erdoğan Regime Behind Forced Disappearances - Investigation|
|Human Rights Watch World Report 2018, Turkey|
|Jailed Turkish admiral exposes torture he was subjected to|
|Police beat, put Kurdish minors' head into toilet bowl in Turkey's southeast|
|Turkey torture claims in wake of failed coup|
|Turkish journalist tells horrific stories of people abducted by MİT, tortured in Ankara building|
|Victims of Turkish crackdown deserve more than a pardon|