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EXTRA 70/93 - Turkey: "disappearance" / fear of torture: Gulnaz Osmanoglu

, Index number: EUR 44/070/1993

Gulnaz Osmanoglu was detained in Gebze near Istanbul on or about 25 June 1993 and is being held in unacknowleged police custody. She was born in Karakocan, Elazig province, where guerrillas of the PKK (Kurdish Workers' Party) are very active at present. A lawyer of the Human Rights Association in Istanbul telephoned Gebze Police Headquarters on 20 July to inquire about her, but police denied holding her. However, another client of this lawyer, Bahoz Savata, reported having been tortured with a woman matching Gulnaz Osmanoglu's description. It is now four weeks since she was taken into custody, far exceeding the 15-day maximum detention period permitted under the law, and there is grave concern for her safety.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/70/93
Distr: UA/SC
EXTRA 70/93 "Disappearance"/Fear of Torture 23 July 1993
TURKEY: Gülnaz OSMANO_LU (female)
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Gülnaz Osmano_lu who was detained
in Gebze near Istanbul on or about 25 June 1993 and is being held in unacknowledged
police custody.
Gülnaz Osmano_lu was born in Karakoçan in the province of Elaz__, an area where
guerrillas of the illegal Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) are very active at present.
She has been unemployed and reportedly has no record of previous political or illegal
activities. According to relatives, Gülnaz Osmano_lu was taken into police custody
in Gebze around 25 June, but the exact circumstances of her detention are not known.
There has been no news of her since then and the authorities in Gebze deny holding
her.
When a lawyer of the Human Rights Association in Istanbul telephoned Gebze Police
Headquarters on 20 July to inquire about Gülnaz Osmano_lu, the first person she spoke
to replied "We have sent her [to court]", but the lawyer was then put through to
another police officer who said: "No person of this name was brought in, she is not
in the records".
However, another client of this lawyer, who has recently been held in Gebze Police
Headquarters for interrogation and is now in prison in Istanbul, reported having
been tortured with a woman matching Gülnaz Osmano_lu's description. This prisoner,
Bahoz _avata, reported that he and the woman were suspended by the arms and subjected
to electric shocks and anal rape with a truncheon. He was then blindfolded, but later
on was able to look at the woman and thus to describe her to the lawyer and it appears
that she was Gülnaz Osmano_lu. Bahoz _avata still had widespread bruising and burn
marks consistent with electric shock torture when the lawyer saw him. Given that
it is now four weeks since Gülnaz Osmano_lu was taken into custody, exceeding by
far the 15-day maximum detention period permitted under the law, there is grave concern
for her safety.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
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 ECPT 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 10 provinces of southeast Turkey which are
under emergency legislation the maximum detention period for political detainees
may be doubled to 30 days.
Page 2 of EXTRA 70/93
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in English or in your own language:
- expressing grave concern at reports that Gülnaz Osmano_lu was detained in Gebze
on or around 25 June 1993, but that the authorities deny holding her;
- noting that a former-detainee at Gebze Police Headquarters reported having been
tortured there together with a woman whose description matches that of Gülnaz
Osmano_lu;
- urging that immediate steps are taken to establish the whereabouts of Gülnaz
Osmano_lu, that she is permitted to speak to her lawyer, is brought promptly before
a judge and that her family is informed of her place of detention;
- requesting to be informed of any charges brought against her.
APPEALS TO
1) 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
2) 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 23 August 1993.

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