UA 157/91 - Turkey: fear of torture: Azize Yalcin, Server Ozer, Sahit Ersoy, Tahir Elci, Ramazan Danis, Asif ... (surname unknown), Sedat Esmer, Vedat Renkligul, Siddik Adiyaman, Yavuz Celik, Cemal Aydin, Hakan Bingom and three others
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/58/91
UA 157/91 Fear of Torture 8 May 1991
TURKEY: Azize Yalçin (f), aged 21 )
Server Özer, aged 22 )
Sait Ersoy, aged 25 ) all students at Diyarbakir
Tahir Elçi, aged 26 ) University
Ramazan Dani_, aged 21 )
Asif ........, aged 25 )
Sedat Esmer ) lycee pupil (6th form)
Vedat Renkligül, aged 17 )
Siddik Adiyaman, aged 17 )
Yavuz Çelik, aged 17 ) all pupils at Fatih Lycee
Cemal Aydin, aged 17 )
plus three others )
Hakan Bingöm, aged 20
On 26 April 1991, Azize Yalçin and the five other students from Diyarbakir
University named above were detained in Diyarbakir. The reason for their
detention is not known, but may be in connection with preparations for banned
Labour Day events.
On 29 April 1991, Sedat Esmer was detained by gendarmerie in Kulp near
Diyarbakir, after they raided his home and found copies of various political
magazines. He is said to have been held in Kulp for three days and was then
transferred to Diyarbakir.
On 30 April 1991, Vedat Renkligül and six fellow-pupils from Fatih Lycee
in Diyarbakir were detained. They had attended a solidarity meeting for the
Kurdish refugees from Iraq and a subsequent demonstration on 14 April. No other
possible reason for their detention is known.
On 1 May 1991, Hakan Bingöm was detained at a Labour Day demonstration
All the detainees named above continue to be held incommunicado. Under
Emergency Legislation in force in the region they may be held for 30 days before
being charged or released. It is not known where in Diyarbakir they are being
held and it is feared that they are being interrogated under torture.
Labour Day, 1 May, has a special meaning for workers and students in Turkey.
Since the military coup in 1980, it has been abolished as a public holiday
and demonstrations and rallies have been banned, but the day has retained its
symbolic meaning. Both peaceful and violent actions by small groups have been
the target of intensified security measures each year leading to the arrest
of many political activists before and on Labour Day. This year some 3,000
people were reportedly detained throughout the country, but most have been
released by now.
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
2,000 lives so far have been lost in the continuing fighting.
page 2, UA 157/91...
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,
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- urging that all detainees named above are given prompt access to
their families and lawyers and that they are not ill-treated while in detention;
- requesting to be informed of their current whereabouts and of any charges
President Turgut Özal
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: President Ozal,
Telexes: 42875 bbk tr
Faxes: +90 4 168 5012
(via Press Office)
Emergency Legislation Governor:
Mr Hayri Kozakçio_lu
Ola_anüstü Hal Valisi
Telegrams: Diyarbakir Valisi,
Telexes: 72110 OHVT TR;
72084 DYVA TR
("please forward to the Governor")
72090 JASY TR
Faxes: +90 831 26174
Diyarbakir Chief of Police:
Mr Ramazan Er
Diyarbakir Emniyet Müdürü
Telegrams: Emniyet Muduru,
Faxes: +90 831 11956
Minister of the Interior:
Mr Abdülkadir Aksu
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams:Interior Minister Aksu,
Telexes: 46369 ICSL TR
Faxes: +90 41 28 43 46
President of Parliamentary Human
Mr Eyüp A_ik
Insan Haklari Ara_tirma Komisyonu
Telegrams: IHA Komisyonu, TBMM,
Faxes: +90 4 42 06 941
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 June 1991.