UA 90/91 - Turkey: fear of torture: Mehmet Akkan, Sukru Tunc, Kasim Ekinci, Salih Ekinci, Bengin Ozal, Munir Sevim, Emin Askara, Salih Kayhan, Mucahit Ilter, Ahmet Basyicit, Selahattin ..., Emin ..., Sukru Kaya, Bilal Kaya, Sadik Kaya, Celal Suzer, Hasan
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/31/91
UA 90/91 Fear of Torture 8 March 1991
TURKEY: Mehmet Akkan, seasonal migrant, IHD member
Kas_m Ekinci, seasonal migrant, IHD member, HEP board
Salih Ekinci member
Bilal Kaya, brother of _ükrü
Sad_k Kaya, brother of _ükrü
Hasan Süzer, brother of Celal
There have been widespread detentions in Siirt in the southeast during the
past few days. The usual approach by the police has been to set up a "police
station" in somebody's house early in the morning and then to arrest anyone
who came to the door.
This happened on 7 March to Mehmet Akkan, a member of the Turkish Human
Rights Association (IHD) and a seasonal migrant, who spends the summer with
his herds in the mountains and the winter in Siirt. Five police officers
occupied his house all day, not even allowing the children to go to the toilet
or drink water. In the evening Mehmet Akkan was taken to Siirt Police
Headquarters, where he is reported to be held incommunicado.
The house of _ükrü Tunç was likewise occupied by the police and in the
evening he was also detained and taken to Siirt Police Headquarters.
Kasim Ekinci, also a seasonal migrant and IHD member, as well as a board
member of the People's Labour Party (HEP) in Siirt, was similarly detained
in the evening of 7 March.
Before _ükrü Kaya was detained, his wife Emine with their three-day- old
baby and relative Çiçek Kaya were made to stand outside his house from midnight
until six o'clock in the morning as a punishment for allegedly having sheltered
Mücahit _lter, who had only been released on 3 March, was re-detained
just after 11pm on 7 March.
All the other people named above were likewise detained in Siirt in the
evening of 7 March.
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority which is not officially recognized by
the authorities, but is estimated to number some 10 million people. The Kurdish
population lives mainly in southeastern Turkey. Frequent allegations of
torture and ill-treatment have been received from the region and the number
of torture allegations increased substantially after the 1980 military coup.
Since August 1984, when Kurdish guerrillas - members of the Kurdish Workers'
Party (PKK) - started armed attacks, an alarming number of reports of
ill-treatment of detainees by the security forces have come from the eastern
and southeastern provinces, where more than 2000 lives so far have been lost
in the continuing fighting.
In May 1990 the Turkish government issued Decrees 424 and 425 (in December
replaced by Decree 430), further extending the already extraordinary powers
of the Emergency Legislation Governor. Subsequently, in August 1990, the
government derogated from Articles 5, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 13 of the European
Convention on Human Rights, all of which contain important safeguards for human
Turkey ratified the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture
on 25 February 1988 and the UN Convention Against Torture on 2 August 1988.
However, all information available to Amnesty International indicates that
torture is still widespread and systematic in Turkey. Allegations of torture
have continued since the transfer of power to a civilian government in 1983.
Most allegations relate to ill-treatment of detainees in police custody during
their initial interrogation when they are usually denied access to relatives
or a lawyer. Under current legislation the maximum detention period before
being formally charged or released is 24 hours; in cases involving three or
more suspects or due to the 'nature of the crime' it may be extended to 15
days. This period may be extended to 30 days in areas under emergency
legislation or martial law. Emergency legislation is currently in force in
ten provinces, including Siirt.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- urging that Mehmet Akkan and the other 17 people detained with him are given
prompt access to their families, are provided with facilities to appoint a
lawyer and that they are not ill-treated while in detention;
- requesting to be informed of any charges against them.
Chief of Police:
Siirt Emniyet Müdürü
Telegrams: Emniyet Muduru, Siirt, Turkey
Telegrams: Siirt Valisi, Siirt, Turkey
Telexes: 72313 srvt tr
Fax (unconfirmed) + 90 8441 2760
President Turgut Özal
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: President Ozal, Ankara Turkey
Telex: 42875 bbk tr
Faxes: (via Press Office) + 90 4 168 5012
Minister of the Interior
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister Aksu, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 46369 ICSL TR
Faxes: +90 41 28 43 46
+90 41 17 23 90
COPIES TO: Diplomatic representatives of Turkey in your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 19 April 1991.
View report in English
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