UA 481/90 - Turkey: fear of torture: Sadun Dogan, Mehmet Seven, Huseyin Ay, Hayrettin Akyol, Selahattin Tasar, Edip Tasar, Tanju Cengiz, Adil Toprak, Abdurrahman Tanrigen, Ahmet Guvenc, Mehmet Ali Ekin, Suleyman Gultekin, Tahsin ..., Abdulkadir ..., Sehmu
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/175/90
UA 481/90 Fear of Torture 27 November 1990
TURKEY: Sadun Do_an
Selahattin Ta_ar, aged 17
Mehmet Ali Ekin
On or about Friday 23 November some 30 people including those named above were
taken from their homes in _skenderun in southeast Turkey on suspicion of
providing shelter for Kurdish guerrillas. They are being held in incommunicado
detention at _skenderun Police Headquarters where it is believed that they
may be subjected to torture.
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority which is not officially recognized by
the authorities, but is estimated to number some 10 million people. The Kurdish
population lives mainly in southeastern Turkey. Frequent allegations of
torture and ill-treatment have been received from the region and the number
of torture allegations increased substantially after the 1980 military coup.
Since August 1984, when Kurdish guerrillas - members of the Kurdish Workers'
Party (PKK) - started armed attacks, an alarming number of reports of
ill-treatment of detainees by the security forces have come from the eastern
and southeastern provinces, where more than 2,000 lives so far have been lost
in the continuing fighting.
Turkey ratified the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture
on 25 February 1988 and the UN Convention Against Torture on 2 August 1988.
However, all information available to Amnesty International indicates that
torture is still widespread and systematic in Turkey. Allegations of torture
have continued since the transfer of power to a civilian government in 1983.
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. Under current legislation the maximum detention period before
being formally charged or released is 24 hours; in cases involving three or
more suspects or due to the 'nature of the crime' it may be extended to 15
days. This period may be extended to 30 days in areas under emergency
legislation or martial law. In August 1990, the government derogated from
Articles 5, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- urging that all 30 detainees are given prompt access to their families and
lawyers and that they are not ill-treated while in detention;
- requesting to be informed of any charges against them.
President Turgut Özal
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: President Özal, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 42875 BBK TR
Minister of the Interior:
Telegrams: Interior Minister Aksu, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 46369 ICSL TR
Faxes: +90 41 28 43 46
_skenderun Chief of Police:
_skenderun Emniyet Müdürü
Telegrams: Emniyet Müdürü, Iskenderun, Turkey
COPIES TO: Diplomatic representatives of Turkey in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 8 January 1991.