EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/131/94
EXTRA 62/94 Fear of "disappearance"/ Fear of torture 2 November 1994
TURKEY Sedat Akgün
and a youth (name unknown)
Yavuz Eken, aged 24
There is serious concern for the safety of Sedat Akgün, Abdullah Öner and an
unidentified youth who are believed to be in incommunicado detention in
Diyarbak_r. The whereabouts of Yavuz Eken, detained in a separate incident,
also remain unclear and there are fears that he too is at risk of torture and
"disappearance" while in unacknowledged detention.
The first three were detained at an identity check by security forces on 19
October 1994 as they were en route from Istanbul to Diyarbak_r. Their families
repeatedly petitioned the prosecutor at Diyarbak_r State Security Court for
information as to their whereabouts, but were unable to obtain any confirmation
of their detention.
Meanwhile, the police searched the homes of Sedat Akgün and Abdullah Öner,
but gave no information concerning the detainees. On 30 October after
conducting a 5am search of Abdullah Öner's home and his family's shop, the
police took his brother Abdulgani Öner away. The latter was released at
midnight that evening. Since then Abdullah Öner's detention has been
acknowledged, but Sedat Akgün and the youth detained with him remain unaccounted
In a separate incident on 20 October at 4am, 15 to 20 plainclothes police searched
the house of Abdülbahri Eken in Diyarbak_r and detained his son Yavuz Eken.
Reportedly, two policemen remained in the house for five days and beat up
any visitors to the house. Abdülbahri Eken's inquiries to the prosecutor at
Diyarbak_r State Security Court for information of his son's whereabouts have
not met with any success.
The conflict in southeast Turkey between government forces and guerrillas of
the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) has claimed almost 13,000 lives since it began
in August 1984. Police operations against suspected PKK supporters are being
carried out all over Turkey. A state of emergency remains in force in 10
provinces in the southeast, including Diyarbak_r, where police and gendarmerie
have the right to hold political suspects incommunicado for up to one month.
Procedures laid down in the Turkish Criminal Procedure Code for the prompt
and proper registration of detainees, and for notification of their families,
are almost universally ignored in the southeastern provinces and increasingly
disregarded in the rest of Turkey. Lack of proper registration and notification
is extremely distressing for families, and creates the conditions in which
"disappearances" and torture take place.
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