• Campaigns

EXTRA 61/93 - Turkey: fear of torture: Ramazan Malgir, Hasan Temiz, Nurettin Temiz, Halef Bortas

, Index number: EUR 44/060/1993

There is concern for the safety of the four Kurdish villagers named above who are being held in incommunicado detention at the Diyarbakir gendarmerie headquarters following an assault on their village by security forces. At 6am on 21 June 1993 soldiers entered the village of Ortasar (Kurdish: Elvendi), near Cinar, Diyarbakir province, and assembled the 600 villagers. They were then subjected to torture and ill-treatment until 10.30pm. The village had refused to join the village guard militia. Some villagers who were detained were later released, including Veysi Dagli, Suleyman Temiz and Ahmet Kertis, allegedly after being tortured. On 25 June the troops reportedly returned and threatened to kill the villagers if they told outsiders what had happened.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/60/93
Distr: UA/SC
UA EXTRA 61/93 Fear of Torture 25 June 1993
TURKEY: Ramazan MALGIR, aged 34
Hasan TEMIZ, aged 34
Nurettin TEMIZ, aged 26
Halef BORTA_, aged 32
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of the four Kurdish villagers named above
who were detained by the security forces in their village after ill-treatment and death threats
to the village population on 21 June 1993.
According to an account given by an eye-witness, security forces entered the village of Orta_ar
(Kurdish: Elvendi), near Ç_nar, in the province of Diyarbak_r, at 6am on 21 June. They came
in a 22-lorry convoy carrying 300-400 soldiers and special team forces (heavily armed and
trained for close combat, operating under the authority of the Interior Minister). The 600
villagers who live in the 50 houses of the village were assembled outside the primary school.
All the men and women were made to lie face down. They were told that if they moved they would
be killed. The soldiers began hitting the villagers with the butts of their weapons. Electric
cables attached to the armoured vehicles were used to give the villagers electric shocks,
and cigarettes were stubbed out on them. The security forces tried to make some of the villagers
run away while carrying a rifle, but the villagers refused to do so, fearing that they would
be shot and claimed to be terrorists.
Women and children were beaten. When it appeared that an attempt was going to be made to rape
some of the women, the women ran away into the houses with the children. At this point one
of the women, Sultan Kerti_, was hit on the head and wounded. Some of the villagers were taken
away and made to march back and forth in an area covered with thorny shrubs.
This reportedly continued all day until 10.30pm. The troops told the villagers: "if you give
assistance to the PKK [Kurdish Workers' Party] again, we will return and do worse than this".
Some villagers were detained at 11.00pm including those named above. Veysi Da_l_ and Süleyman
Temiz were released the following day and returned to the village "in an unrecognizable state".
The face of Ahmet Kerti_, husband of Sultan Kerti_, was badly injured.
The village imam (prayer leader in the mosque) was threatened that he would be killed for
allegedly assisting the PKK. The security forces demanded that the villagers become village
guards. The village became a target for this kind of military operation because the villagers
had refused to join the village guard militia. Village guards are armed and paid by the
government to fight the guerrillas of the PKK.
On 25 June, the troops reportedly returned to the village after news of the incident appeared
in the newspaper Özgür ndem. They threatened to kill the villagers if they told outsiders
what had happened.
It is thought that the detainees are being held in incommunicado detention at the Diyarbak_r
gendarmerie headquarters. It is feared that they are being interrogated under torture.
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority estimated at some 10 million people, living mainly in
southeastern Turkey. Since August 1984, when guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK)
started armed attacks against the security forces, more than 6,000 lives have been lost on
both sides and among the civilian population in the context of their fight for an independent
Kurdish state. In mid-March 1993 the PKK declared a unilateral ceasefire and its intention
to end the fighting and to enter the democratic process as a political party. Operations by
the security forces against the PKK continued. The ceasefire was broken when on 24 May guerrillas
of the PKK ambushed a convoy of soldiers, reportedly travelling unarmed and in civilian clothes.
They killed 33 soldiers and two civilians, and the security forces are responding with
large-scale military operations covering the entire region. A state of emergency continues
to be in force in 10 provinces in the region and the Emergency Legislation Governor in Diyarbakir
has extraordinary powers over three additional provinces.
Turkey ratified the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture on 25 February 1988
and the UN Convention Against Torture on 2 August 1988. Following a programme of visits to
Turkish police stations in 1990, 1991 and 1992, the European Committee for the Prevention
of Torture (ECPT - established by the Council of Europe) reported: "In the light of all the
information at its disposal, the CPT can only conclude that the practice of torture and other
forms of severe ill-treatment of persons in police custody remains widespread in Turkey and
that such methods are applied to both ordinary criminal suspects and persons held under
anti-terrorism provisions".
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. New legislation
to shorten the maximum detention period came into force on 1 December 1992. Now non-political
detainees may be held for up to eight days before being formally charged or released. Detainees
held on suspicion of political offences may be held without charge for up to 15 days. In the
provinces of southeast Turkey which are under emergency legislation the maximum detention
period for political detainees may be doubled to 30 days respectively.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters either
in English, French or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Ramazan Malgir and the men from Orta_ar village detained
with him on 21 June 1993 and held incommunicado at Diyarbak_r Gendarmerie Headquarters
[Diyarbak_r Jandarma Bölük Komutanl___];
- urging that they are not subjected to torture or any other form of ill-treatment;
- requesting to be informed of any charges brought against them.
1) Minister of the Interior:
Mr Mehmet Gazio_lu
_çi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara,
Faxes: +90 4 418 1795
Salutation: Dear Minister
2) Chief of Staff of the Gendarmerie:
Orgeneral Ayd_n _lter
Jandarma Kuvvetleri Komutanl___
6100 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Jandarma Genel Komutani, Ankara,
Faxes: +90 4 418 0476
Salutation: Dear General
3) Prime Minister:
Mrs Tansu Çiller
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Prime Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 44061/44062/44063 bbmt tr
42099 basb tr
42875 bbk tr
Faxes: +90 4 417 04 76 PRIME MINISTER
+90 4 230 88 96 (attn: Prime Minister)
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Mr Hikmet Çetin
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
D__i_leri Bakanl___
06100 Ankara, Turkey
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 19 July 1993.

View report in English