EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/83/93
UA 310/93 Abduction/Fear of Torture 7 September 1993
TURKEY: Abdullah Ay, aged 65, from Kelekçi village
_emsettin Ay, aged 35, from Kelekçi village
Mehmet Tekin, aged 47, }
Ömer Ünal, aged 55, } from Kay_kl_ village
Mecit Memi_, aged 42 }
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of the above-named villagers
who on 30 August 1993 were taken from their homes and are being held by village
guards from a neighbouring village.
On 27 July 1993, village guards (villagers armed and paid by the government
to fight the guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers' Party - PKK) and the security
forces reportedly set fire to houses in Kelekçi (Kurdish: Mîvêlê), Güne_li
(Kurdish: _emsê) and Kay_kl_ (Kurdish: Mêhina) near Dargeçit in the province
of Mardin on the border with Syria. This was reportedly done in retaliation
for the villagers' refusal to take up arms as village guards. The villagers
were then driven away. They returned later and tried to rebuild their villages.
On 30 August, village guards from neighbouring Alt_noluk came again to these
villages together with a team from the gendarmerie (soldiers carrying out police
duties in rural areas), gathered the inhabitants together and told them to
leave, threatening, if they refused, to destroy all houses and kill those found
still living there. They then took away the five people mentioned above as
well as two others, also from Kelekçi, whom they later released.
Ömer Ünal is being held in the house of the head of the village guards and
the others in the school of Alt_noluk village under the surveillance of the
gendarmerie team. The men are reportedly being subjected to torture.
Village guards have no legal powers to detain and the gendarmerie can do so
only on instruction by a state prosecutor or judge who should issue an arrest
warrant. The arbitrary detention of the seven villagers and the continuing
imprisonment of five of them is, therefore, illegal and tantamount to abduction.
Although a member of parliament intervened on behalf of the villagers and
informed relevant state authorities of their situation, the Governor of Mardin
and the Interior Minister claimed that they had no information regarding the
event. No information has been forthcoming about the villagers' fate and Amnesty
International is deeply concerned for their lives.