Document - Turkey: Fear of "disappearance" / fear of torture: Mehmet Tunelli, Abdurrahman Tunelli, his son, aged about 18
EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: EUR 44/78/95
UA 170/95Fear of "disappearance" / Fear of torture12 July 1995
TURKEY Mehmet Tünelli, livestock dealer from Diyarbakır
Abdurrahman Tünelli, his son, aged about 18
Mehmet and Abdurrahman Tünelli, father and son from Diyarbakır, have been held in unacknowledged police detention since 6 July 1995. Amnesty International fears that they may be tortured, and that they are at risk of "disappearance".
At 2am on 6 July, five or six men came to Mehmet Tünelli's home in a van with police markings and a car. They knocked and kicked at the door, saying, "We are police". They carried automatic weapons and walkie-talkies. They briefly looked under the beds and after some five minutes took Mehmet Tünelli and his eldest son, Abdurrahman, without giving any reason for their detention. Mehmet Tünelli's wife and six other children stayed behind.
The family has been living in Diyarbakır since they were forced to leave their village (Kurdish name: Meşitki) near the town of Çınar in Diyarbakır province, five years ago because they had not become village guards. Only the families of villagers who had agreed to become village guards were allowed to stay. Mehmet Tünelli has been making a living by dealing in livestock while his eldest son did painting jobs on construction sites. Abdurrahman Tünelli was briefly detained twice previously. Mehmet Tünelli's brother, Salih Tünelli, is a member of HADEP (People's Democracy Party - a legal political party with largely Kurdish membership) and currently in Diyarbakır prison while on trial for either alleged membership or support of PKK, the illegal Kurdish Workers' Party.
On the day of their detention, Mehmet Tünelli's wife submitted a petition for information of her husband's and son's whereabouts to Diyarbakır State Security Court. Police officers at the court, to whom she gives the petition every day, telephone the prosecutor for confirmation of Mehmet and Abdurrahman Tünelli's detention, and come back with a verbal response that the two men are not in custody.
The conflict in southeast Turkey between government forces and armed members of the PKK has claimed more than 17,000 lives since it began in August 1984. Police operations against suspected PKK supporters and other Kurdish activists are being carried out all over Turkey. A state of emergency remains in force in 10 provinces in the east and southeast, including Diyarbakır.
Any person suspected of supporting the PKK is at serious risk of torture, "disappearance" or extrajudicial execution. Detainees taken into custody on suspicion of political offences may be held without charge for up to 15 days. In the 10 provinces under emergency legislation the maximum detention period for political detainees may be doubled to 30 days.
In 1994 there were more than 55 confirmed "disappearances", and more than 400 people were killed in unclarified circumstances. Most of the victims were shot by unidentified assailants in the streets of cities in the southeast such as Batman where a member of parliament was shot in 1993. In many cases their relatives believe that they have been killed for political reasons by agents of the State.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters either in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Mehmet Tünelli and his son Abdurrahman, detained in Diyarbakır on 6 July 1995 and since held in unacknowledged police custody;
- urging that their detention be duly registered at the prosecutor's office and that their family be informed of their whereabouts without delay:
- appealing that, while in police custody, the detainees be permitted access to their families and lawyers, and that they not be subjected to any form of ill-treatment;
- asking for information concerning the charges against the detainees.
1) Diyarbakır Provincial Governor:
Mr Doğan Hatipoğlu
Telegrams: Valilikler, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Telexes: 72084 DYVA TR "Please forward to the Governor"; 72090 jasy tr; 72110 ohvt tr
Faxes: +90 412 222 2288
Salutation: Dear Governor
2) Chief Prosecutor at Diyarbakır State Security Court:
Mr Bekir Selçuk
Devlet Güvenlik Mahkemesi
Telegrams: DGM Bassavcisi, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Salutation: Dear Sir
3) Diyarbakır Chief of Police:
Mr Rıdvan Güler
Diyarbakır Emniyet Müdürlüğü
Telegrams: Emniyet Mudurlugu, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Salutation: Dear Sir
4) State Minister with responsibility for Human Rights:
Mr Algan Hacaloğlu
Office of the Prime Minister
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 417 0476
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
President of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission:
Mr Sabri Yavuz
İnsan Hakları Araştırma Komisyonu Başkanı
Faxes: +90 312 420 5394
and 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 28 August 1995.