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UA 286/94 - Turkey: torture / fear of torture / arbitrary detention: Cemil Timur, Zeydin Timur, Sevket Timur, Hasan Aykut, Fehim Yalcin, Saadi Ozlu, Osman Ozlu, and an estimated 1,500 Kurdish villagers, including women and children

, Index number: EUR 44/066/1994

A number of villages surrounding Evrek, near Beytussebab in Hakkari province, have been forcibly evacuated and many houses and crops burned by security forces because of villagers' refusal to join the system of village guards. Villagers are being detained in their villages and there have been reports that some have been beaten. The above named people have been detained in Evrek by police since early July 1994, and there are fears that they may be subjected to torture or ill-treatment.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/66/94
Distr: UA/SC
UA 286/94 Torture / Fear of torture / Arbitrary Detention 22 July 1994
TURKEY Cemil Timur )
Zeydin Timur ) from Evrek village
_evket Timur )
Hasan Aykut
Fehim Yalçin from _epire village
Saadi Özlü and his brother
Osman Özlü from Sergivan village
and an estimated 1,500 Kurdish villagers, including women and children
Amnesty International fears that the above villagers, held by the security
forces in the village of Evrek, near Beytu__ebab in Hakkari province in southern
Turkey since early July 1994, are being subjected to torture or other
ill-treatment. These detentions have occurred in the course of the burning
and brutal evacuation of Kurdish villages during military operations against
guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), and the setting up of containment
areas in which displaced villagers are being held in appalling conditions.
A number of villages surrounding Evrek have been forcibly evacuated and many
houses and crops burned by security forces because of the villagers' refusal
to join the system of village guards (villagers paid and armed by the government
to combat guerrillas of the PKK). The villagers' identity cards have been
confiscated, effectively detaining them as anyone moving about in the area
without proper identification faces the risk of interrogation for illegal
activities or even extrajudicial execution. Villagers trying to flee are being
turned back. They have not been charged with any offence and Amnesty
International is appealing that they be allowed to leave. There have been
reports that villagers have been beaten in Evrek. The lack of proper registration
also exposes them to the risk of "disappearance".
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Four villagers (names withheld for their safety) reported the following from
Damlatepe concerning the treatment of villagers held in another containment
area:
After a clash with PKK guerrillas, the security forces began on 7 July the
forcible evacuation of Akçayurt (Kurdish name: Dernan), Akçayurt (Derno),
Kaladibi (Horsel), Sar_budak (Melekan) villages and their outlying districts
of Sakl_ca (Hursik) and Yayladere (_eleheydan), situated between Genç and Hani
in Diyarbak_r province. They burned many houses, barns and livestock and
destroyed irrigation pumps and crops. On 8 July Hac_ Sait Mete (67) of Sar_budak
village was shot dead while taking his sheep to pasture. His body was buried
by soldiers under rocks.
An estimated 2,000 evacuated villagers, including women and children, were
herded into a containment area set up by the security forces adjacent to the
Topçular Gendarmerie Post near Damlatepe and held for a week in cruel and inhuman
conditions. Many were reported to have been severely tortured there by members
of the Special Team (heavily armed security force members trained for close
combat with guerrillas and acting under the authority of the Interior Ministry).
While some were permitted to shelter in a schoolhouse and health centre, others
were forced to lie in the fierce sun. Much of the time they were left hungry
2
and thirsty.
Four women wearing clothes of red, yellow and green, the colours of Kurdish
nationalism, were taken away and subjected to torture. They were later set
free. Emine Çeliksöz of Yayladere village, who was pregnant, was left in labour
for several hours in the burning sun while the security forces prevented other
women from helping her. Children were beaten and kicked.
Mehmet B_çakç_, Ahmet B_çakç_ and Hasan B_çakç_, together with the daughters
of the village imam (prayer leader) were kept for three days in the health
centre where soldiers humiliated and sexually assaulted the women.
Sisters Suzan Atsan (32) and Zeliha Atsan (35) were taken by Special Team members
to the Çem_el stream just outside the containment area, and repeatedly held
under water over a period of approximately two hours, after which they had
extreme difficulty in breathing, suffering violent coughing fits and fever.
Mehmet Çeliksöz (headman of Yayladere), Aziz B_çakç_, Kas_m Çeliksöz, Heybet
Çeliksöz, Yusuf Çeliksöz and three other men were beaten unconscious, and filmed
with weapons arranged around them. The film was shown on TRT (Turkish Radio
and Television) with a commentary indicating that they were "eight terrorists
killed by security forces". All eight are still alive, and four are now
sheltering in Adana. Aziz B_çakç_'s teeth were broken in the beating.
The newspaper Hürriyet reported that the villages had been burned by PKK
guerrillas - a claim denied by the inhabitants. On 15 July the containment
area began to be emptied. The families have since fled to Bingöl and Adana.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- expressing great concern about the detention, brutal treatment and torture
of large numbers of villagers, including women, children and old people, in
containment areas set up after the forcible evacuation and destruction of
Kurdish villages;
- urging that the identity cards of the villagers currently held in Evrek be
returned, and that the villagers be permitted to leave, unless charged with
criminal offences;
- seeking assurances that such large-scale and arbitrary detentions will cease
immediately and that all allegations of ill-treatment and torture will be
impartially investigated.
APPEALS TO
1) Chief of the Turkish General Staff:
General Do_an Güre_
Bakanl_klar
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: General Güres, Bakanliklar, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 418 1795
Salutation: Dear General Güre_
2) Minister of the Interior:
Mr Nahit Mente_e
Içisleri Bakanl___
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
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Faxes: +90 312 428 4346
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
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 2 September 1994.

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