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UA 235/93 - Turkey: "disappearance": Hamdi Simsek, and his son, Hikmet Simsek, M Salih Demirhan, Ibrahim Akin, Halit Ozdemir, Semdin Culaz

, Index number: EUR 44/068/1993

On 14 June 1993, the security forces raided the predominantly Christian village of Gorumlu, Sirnak province, in retaliation for a raid on the gendarmerie post there by PKK (Kurdish Workers' Party) guerrillas on 12 June. The six men named above were detained during the operation, but the authorities have denied their detention. According to a petition which the wife of Hamdi Simsek submitted to the authorities in Sirnak, the security forces threatened the village imam and the villagers, and allegedly tortured the men in the village in front of their relatives.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/68/93
Distr: UA/SC
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)
Halit Özdemir
_emdin Culaz
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
their relatives.
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.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
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
report Escalation in human rights abuses against Kurdish villagers, July 1993, AI
Index: EUR 44/64/93)
A State of Emergency is in force in 10 provinces in the southeast of Turkey, including
__rnak province, and the Emergency Legislation Governor in Diyarbak_r has
extraordinary powers over three additional provinces. Under emergency legislation
political detainees may be held for a maximum of 30 days before being formally charged
or released.
Page 2 of UA 235/93
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in English or in your own language:
- urging that an immediate investigation is carried out to establish the whereabouts
of the six villagers from rümlü village named above, who were detained in the village
on 14 June 1993 by members of the security forces;
- requesting to be informed of the findings;
- appealing that all steps be taken to ensure that the villagers are not tortured
or subjected to other forms of ill-treatment if held in police custody.
APPEALS TO
1) Chief of Staff of the Gendarmerie:
Orgeneral Ayd_n _lter
Jandarma Kuvvetleri Komutanl___
Bakanl_klar
6100 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Jandarma Genel Komutani, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: + 90 4 418 0476
Salutation: Dear General
2) Minister of the Interior:
Mr Mehmet Gazio_lu
_çi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: + 90 4 418 1795
Salutation: Dear Minister
3) Prime Minister:
Mrs Tansu Çiller
Ba_bakanl_k
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, + 90 4 230 88 96
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
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 30 August 1993.

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