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UA 46/94 - Turkey: health concern: Francos Marcos

, Index number: EUR 44/012/1994

Francos Marcos, a Kenyan citizen, is reportedly receiving emergency hospital treatment after being crushed and seiously injured by an armoured vehicle on 4 January 1994. He is one of about 130 Africans being held as illegal immigrants at a refugee camp in Silopi, Sirnak. The poor conditions there and the lack of post-operative medical care would put his recovery and ultimately his life at risk.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/12/94
Distr: UA/SC
UA 46/94 Health Concern 11 February 1994
TURKEY Francos Marcos, Kenyan citizen, aged 30
Amnesty International is concerned for the health of Francos Marcos, one of
about 130 Africans held in Silopi refugee camp near the border with northern
Iraq. On 4 January 1994 he was crushed and seriously injured by an armoured
vehicle, and having received emergency hospital treatment, he is now threatened
with return to the camp. The squalid and insanitary conditions there, and
the total lack of post-operative care would put his recovery and ultimately
his life at risk.
On 23 October 1993 a group of about 130 illegal immigrants from various African
countries, detained in police operations in Istanbul, were taken to a UN Refugee
Camp in Sivas province. Many escaped and on 20 November the remaining 70 were
transferred to the former UN refugee camp for Iraqi Kurdish refugees in Silopi,
province of __rnak. They reportedly were told that they would be held until
they arranged their own exit from Turkey by air - clearly impossible for most
of them. Some escaped and others were brought in later, still leaving about
130 in the camp, living in tents without adequate heating or food.
On 4 January the camp administration told the Africans to move the tents to
an area near the perimeter. This area of the camp is covered with rubbish,
excrement and scrub, and with daily armed clashes between government troops
and Kurdish guerrillas around the camp, the Africans were afraid to move there.
When they resisted, armed police fired into the air and armoured vehicles
moved in and drove at the Africans assembled in the camp square. One vehicle
ran over Francos Marcos, tearing his lower abdomen wide open. When he was taken
to the state hospital in Diyarbak_r, it was found that he had suffered bilateral
fractures of the pubic bones and severe injuries to his urinary tract and
On 17 January, after emergency surgery Francos Marcos was certified fit for
discharge although he had been fitted with a urethral catheter which has to
be changed every three weeks and is to be removed only after two months. He
was also prescribed bed rest for 30 days and orthopaedic supervision. It
appears that his early discharge is due to the fact that the government refuses
to pay for his treatment and the hospital is unwilling or unable to cover the
cost. It is, however, holding Francos Marcos for the time being in its
psychiatric ward as he is said to be experiencing emotional difficulties.
Amnesty International believes that the Turkish authorities should accept
responsibility for his injury and should at least provide and pay for adequate
treatment until such time as he can be returned to the camp in complete safety
and without further risk to his recovery.
In continuing police operations, which began in early October 1993, hundreds
of foreign nationals, most from Africa or the West Indies, have been reportedly
arrested on the streets of Istanbul for infringements of immigration law, and
held incommunicado for long periods in inhuman and degrading conditions in
various police stations throughout Istanbul. None of the detainees known to
Amnesty International have been charged with any offence, nor given any access
to legal counsel. It appears that the principal consistent factor in these
people's detention was the colour of their skin.
Amnesty International has urged the Turkish authorities to initiate urgent
investigation of the circumstances of these detained foreign citizens, and
to ensure that they are not subjected to conditions which amount to cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment, or conditions which could put their health
in danger. The organization has also urged that regular inspections of criminal
detention facilities be carried out, to ensure that criminal detainees are
not being held in overcrowded or insanitary cells, that their rights, under
Turkish law, of access to legal counsel and examination by a doctor of their
own choice is being observed.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- expressing deep concern for the situation of Francos Marcos, recovering at
Diyarbak_r hospital from the severe injuries he sustained when run over by
an armoured vehicle at Silopi refugee camp on 4 January 1994 and now threatened
with immediate return to the camp where the necessary post-operative care is
- urging that the Turkish authorities provide and pay for the necessary medical
treatment until Francos Marcos is fully recovered from his injuries;
- voicing disquiet about the situation of the African nationals held in totally
unsatisfactory conditions at the former UN refugee camp in Silopi and about
their treatment there;
- calling for immediate steps by the Turkish authorities to find an acceptable
solution to their present situation.
1) Deputy Prime Minister:
Mr Murat Karayalç_n
Office of the Prime Minister
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Deputy Prime Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 44061/44062/44063 bbmt tr; 42099 basb tr
Faxes: +90 312 417 0476 DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER
+90 312 230 8896 (attn: Deputy Prime Minister)
Salutation: Dear Deputy Prime Minister
2) Minister of the Interior:
Mr Nahit Mente_e
Içi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Icisleri Bakanligi, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 418 1795
Salutation: Dear Minister
3) Minister of Health and Social Welfare:
Mr Kaz_m Dinç
Sa_l_k ve Sosyal Yard_m Bakanl___
06434 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Saglik Bakanligi, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 431 4879
Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Mr Hikmet Çetin
D__i_leri Bakanl___
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 287 3869
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 25 March 1994.

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