Document - Turkey: Mothers of "disappeared" take action: update 1
@Mothers of "disappeared" take action - update 1
The body of another "disappeared" person has been identified, as in the case of Hasan Ocak, by relatives examining photographs of unclaimed and unidentified bodies at the Forensic Medical Institute in Istanbul.
On 2 March 1995 Rıdvan Karakoç, who was last heard of around 15 February 1995, was found dead in the Beykoz district of Istanbul just 200 metres from the place where the body of Hasan Ocak was found. The body was taken to the Forensic Medical Institute on 3 March where it was examined on 6 March, before being buried as an unidentified person on 26 March at Istanbul Küçükçemece Altınşehir Cemetry.
As in the case of Hasan Ocak, the true identity of the body was only discovered weeks after the body was delivered to the Forensic Medical Institute. Mehmet Karakoç, one of his brothers, gave the following account after he had recognized Rıdvan Karakoç in photographs: "There were traces of beating all over his body. It was obvious that he had been tortured before he was killed. On his neck were deep marks of a rope or wire"
According to the autopsy report of the Forensic Medical Institute Rıdvan Karakoç was killed on 1 March. The report records traces of electric shock, cigarette burnings and beatings on the body. Some of his teeth were broken.
Hasan Karakoç, another brother of Rıdvan Karakoç, reported:"My elder brother did not come home since he was wanted by the police. However, he used to call us regularly. In the same period police officers frequently came to our house. They wanted us to tell then where Rıdvan was and they threatened us. Phone calls from my brother ceased around the middle of February."
The lawyer Eren Keskin stated on the incident: "The last time Rıdvan Karakoç called me was the beginning of February. He sent me a proxy from Bursa via a notary. He said his life was in danger. I have been informed that unidentified persons called his family several times, saying:`We are keeping something for you. Come and get it.'" This happened at a time when Rıdvan Karakoç had apparently already been killed.
The body of Rıdvan Karakoç was exhumed on 2 June 1995. The funeral which took place on 3 June 1995 in the Gaziosmanpaşa district of Istanbul was attended by about 5,000 people.
The killing of Hasan Ocak who had "disappeared" on 21 March 1995 and whose body was discovered on 16 May has provoked diverse reactions among Turkish authorities. Necdet Menzir, Chief of Istanbul Police, warned in a television broadcast that anyone who claimed that Hasan Ocak was killed by the police, would have to face severe consequences. However, State Minister with responsibility for Human Rights, Algan Hacaloğlu, expressed regret and shame about the incident.
The lawyers of Hasan Ocak's family who are taking the case to court complained that the Beykoz Public Prosecutor has refused them access to the case file until an indictment is prepared.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
- expressing deep concern at the murder of Rıdvan Karakoç, "disappeared" about 15 February 1995;
- stressing that the death of Rıdvan Karakoç should be examined by a commission of investigation as envisaged in the United Nations Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions;
- asking to be informed of the outcome of the investigations;
- asking that the lawyers of Hasan Ocak's family be permitted immediate access to the case file, now in the hands of Beykoz Public Prosecutor.
1) Minister of the Interior:
Mr Nahit Menteşe
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 418 1066
Salutation: Dear Minister
2) Minister of Justice: [for the case of Hasan Ocak]
Mr Mehmet Moğultay
06659 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Justice Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 417 3954
3) State Minister with responsibility for Human Rights:
Mr Algan Hacaoğlu
Office of the Prime Minister
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 417 0476
Salutation: Dear Minister
4) Istanbul Chief of Police:
Mr Necdet Menzir
Istanbul Emniyet Müdürü
Telegrams: Emniyet Muduru, Istanbul, Turkey
Fax: +90 212 272 8182
Salutation: Dear Sir
PLEASE SEND COPIES TO:
diplomatic representatives of Turkey accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 30 July 1995
Amnesty International June 1995AI Index: EUR 44/67/95