EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/68/93
UA 235/93 "Disappearance" 19 July 1993
TURKEY: Hamdi _im_ek, aged 63, a Christian
Hikmet _im_ek, 27, son of Hamdi, a Christian
M. Salih Demirhan, 37
_brahim Ak_n, 34, village imam (Muslim prayer leader)
Amnesty International is concerned for the lives of the six men named above who were
detained in their village five weeks ago and whom the authorities deny holding.
During the night of 12 June 1993, PKK (Kurdish Workers' Party) guerrillas raided
the gendarmerie post in Görümlü village in the province of __rnak and killed six
soldiers. On 14 June, the security forces in turn raided the predominantly Christian
village and detained the six villagers named above. Although 35 days have passed,
their families have no news of their whereabouts and the State Prosecutor in Silopi
claimed that they were not detained and are not being held in custody.
According to a petition which the wife of Hamdi _im_ek submitted to the authorities
in __rnak, the security forces hung a cross around the neck of village imam _brahim
Ak_n, saying that all the villagers were Christian and that they were going to kill
them all. It is also alleged that the men were tortured in the village in front of
As five weeks have passed since the six villagers were taken into custody,
and their detention has not been acknowledged, there is grave concern for their safety.
Amnesty International is receiving information suggesting that a major offensive
by government forces intended to eradicate the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) has begun,
and fears that this offensive will be accompanied by serious human rights abuses
by both the government forces and guerrillas of the PKK.
In mid-March 1993 the PKK declared a unilateral cease-fire and stated that it wished
to pursue its objectives through the democratic channels available in Turkey. However,
the cease-fire began to disintegrate when on 24 May guerrillas of the PKK ambushed
a convoy of soldiers, reportedly travelling unarmed and in civilian clothes. The
guerrillas abducted and then killed 32 soldiers and four civilians.
Renewed hostilities have brought a sudden increase in reports of human rights abuses
by both sides. Unprotected by the most basic safeguards against torture, villagers
such as those named above, are frequently exposed to the most brutal treatment -
sometimes resulting in terrible injuries or even death. (See Amnesty International's