UA 231/91 - Turkey: fear of torture: Nizamettin Kadan, Murat Alkan
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/93/91
UA 231/91 Fear of Torture 8 July 1991
TURKEY: Nizamettin Kadan, journalist
Murat Alkan, journalist
On 2 July 1991, Nizamettin Kadan and Murat Alkan, who both work for the weekly
Yeni Ülke, were detained in Do_ubeyazit, a town near the border with Iran.
The reason for their detention is not known. They are reportedly held in
incommunicado detention and it is feared that they may be tortured.
Yeni Ülke (New Country) is a newspaper which deals mainly with Kurdish
issues and the situation in the southeastern provinces.
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority which is estimated to number some 10 million
people. Any activity for a separate Kurdish political or cultural identity
is punishable under Turkish law. 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. Some 3000 lives
have so far 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. In August 1990, the government derogated from Articles 5, 6, 8,
10, 11 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights, all of which contain
important safeguards for human rights.
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. Emergency legislation is currently in force in ten provinces
in the east and southeast.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- urging that Nizamettin Kadan and Murat Alkan 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
Faxes: (via Press Office) +90 4 168 5012
Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz
Office of the Prime Minister
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Prime Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 44061/44062/44063 bbmt tr
42099 basb tr
42875 bbk tr
Faxes: +90 41 17 04 76 PRIME MINISTER
+90 42 30 88 96 (attn: Prime Minister)
Minister of the Interior:
Mr Mustafa Kalemli
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 46369 ICSL TR
Faxes: +90 4 118 1795
+90 4 125 6520 (Ministry of Interior)
President of Parliamentary Human Rights Commission:
Mr Eyüp A_ik
Insan Haklari Ara_tirma Komisyonu Ba_kani
Faxes: +90 4 11 91 664
+90 4 42 06 941
and diplomatic representatives of Turkey in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 19 August 1991.