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UA 374/94 - Turkey: possible extrajudicial executions / fear for safety: Mehmet Salih Sabuttekin, Rebih Cabuk, Sefer Cerf, Samet Yaman, Masallah Kasaphan, Hakki Kuru, Abdurrahman Yakut and Sehmuz Ozgun

, Index number: EUR 44/116/1994

There is serious concern for the safety of officials of the Adana branch of the People's Labour Party (HADEP) who have seen three of their colleagues (Mehmet Salih Sabuttekin, Rebih Cabuk and Sefer Cerf) killed in recent days and who themselves have received death threats.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/116/94
Distr: UA/SC
UA 374/94 Possible Extrajudicial Executions/Fear for safety11 October 1994
TURKEY Mehmet Salih Sabuttekin, HADEP official in Yüre_ir, Adana
Rebih Çabuk, HADEP president in Yüre_ir, father of five
Sefer Cerf, HADEP Yüre_ir board member, father of eight
Samet Yaman, HADEP president in Adana
Ma_allah Kasaphan, HADEP board member in Adana
Hakk_ Kuru, HADEP board member in Seyhan, Adana
Abdurrahman Yakut, former HADEP president in Yüre_ir
_ehmuz Özgün, HADEP board member in Seyhan
There is serious concern for the safety of officials of the Adana branch of
the People's Labour Party (HADEP) who have seen three of their colleagues killed
in recent days, and who themselves have received death threats.
On 28 September, HADEP official Mehmet Salih Sabuttekin was shot dead by two
unidentified assailants as he left his home in Yüre_ir, a district of Adana.
Eye-witnesses claim they saw a red Toros car in the area, which they recognized
as belonging to the Anti-Terror Branch of Adana Police Headquarters. Samet
Yaman and Rebih Çabuk, also HADEP officials, said their car was followed as
they left Mehmet Salih Sabuttekin's house after paying their respects to his
The month before, on 13 August, Rebih Çabuk's house had been visited by four
plainclothes police who came to "check" that he was resident there. He was
not at home, but his wife reported that the police forced her into a car and
drove her around for two hours while subjecting her to threats and insults
and interrogating her about who visited their house. On 3 October Rebih Çabuk
and fellow HADEP official Sefer Cerf were shot in Güneydo_u café in the Mutlu
district of Adana, reportedly by a blond man of medium height, aged 30 to 35.
The gunman ran down Street 1275, met a thin dark boy, aged about 15, at the
bridge joining the Mutlu and _ehit Erkut Akbay districts, and the two escaped
on a motorcycle and a bicycle. Sever Cerf died immediately. Rebih Çabuk and
a third man, Salih Satan, who was wounded in the leg, were taken to hospital,
where Rebih Çabuk died.
On 4 October, Ahmet Dizman, who had driven the two men to hospital, was reportedly
abducted by plainclothes police officers in a white Renault car, (reg: 01 HC
644). He was driven out of the city where he was punched and beaten with the
butt of a weapon. His jaw was broken. According to his brother, the abductors
told Ahmet Dizman it was because he had attended Rebih Çabuk's funeral and
because he had refused to be an informer, telling him, "We are police officers".
The car is known as a police car.
On 8 October, HADEP official _ehmuz Özgün, together with 28 women, went to
Rebih Çabuk's house to pay their respects. The minibus in which they were
travelling was stopped in the Yenido_an district of Adana by police and the
women were insulted and slapped. _ehmuz Özgün was taken to the PTT Evleri
Police Station where he was interrogated about his address and his place of
work. He was subjected to death threats and warned not to work for HADEP.
Meanwhile the police have visited the houses of Ma_allah Kasaphan, Hakk_ Kuru
and Abdurrahman Yakut in Adana to "check" that they are living there. Samet
Yaman, has repeatedly received death threats by telephone.
It is feared that these five officials of HADEP Adana provincial branch are
now at risk of extrajudicial execution.
HADEP, the People's Labour Party, is the successor to HEP and DEP which were
both closed down by the Constitutional Court for "separatism". It has a
predominantly Kurdish membership and works for the civil and political rights
of the Kurdish minority.
There have been several political killings in Adana in recent weeks and at
least two cases of "disappearance". The victims were Kurds who had previously
been under suspicion by the security forces because of their or their families'
political activities. They include Süleyman Önde_, Haz_m Abdo, Maksut Polat,
Metin Akta_, Lokman Al_c_o_lu. Mehmet Turgay and Kas_m Alpsoy, a member of
DEP, "disappeared" (see UA 207/94, EUR 44/44/94, 31 May, and update). Yalç_n
K_liç, the nephew of HADEP president Fadil K_l_ç in Suruç near Urfa, died in
hospital on 2 October after eight days interrogation under torture at Adana
Police Headquarters (see UA 368/94, EUR 44/113/94, 6 October).
The intensification of pressure against officials and members of HADEP coincides
with the setting of a date, 4 December 1994, for by-elections. The are needed
because 22 parliamentary seats have become vacant, the majority of them as
a result of the banning of the pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (DEP) in June 1994.
Another seat has been vacant since the killing of DEP deputy Mehmet Sincar
on 4 September 1993 in Batman in circumstances strongly suggesting security
force involvement. In the weeks preceding local elections in March 1994, a
number of DEP candidates and activists were extrajudicially executed, mainly
in the southeast, before the party decided to boycott the elections. With
Rebih Çabuk, 101 officials and members of HEP/DEP/HADEP have been killed in
the past three years.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- expressing grave concern for the safety of Samet Yaman, Ma_allah Kasaphan,
Hakk_ Kuru, Abdurrahman Yakut and _ehmuz Özgün of HADEP provincial branch in
Adana who are receiving frequent death threats;
- voicing outrage about the recent killings of HADEP officials M. Salih
Sabuttekin, Rebih Çabuk and Sefer Cerf in Yüre_ir-Adana;
- demanding an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into these and
other political killings in the Adana area;
- urging that all necessary steps be taken to prevent further killings.
1) President Süleyman Demirel
Office of the President
Cumhur Ba_kanl___
06100 Ankara
Telegrams: President Demirel, Ankara
Telexes: 42303 kosk tr
Salutation: Your Excellency
2) Minister of the Interior:
Mr Nahit Mente_e
Içi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Icisleri Bakanligi, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 418 1795 or +90 312 418 1066
Salutation: Dear Minister
Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Prof Mümtaz Soysal
D__i_leri Bakanl___
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: 90 312 287 1886
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 5 December 1994.

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