• Campaigns

UA 103/91 - Turkey: fear of torture: Dr. Cemal Kahraman, Mecit Akgun, Suleyman Balan, Mehmet Baysal, Abdulhamit Aslan, Muhittin Anter, Sukru Ekmen, Aydin Dogan, Mehmet Orhan

, Index number: EUR 44/037/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/37/91
Distr: UA/SC
UA 103/91 Fear of Torture 18 March 1991
TURKEY: Dr Cemal Kahraman, President of Human Rights Association,
(HRA) Nusaybin branch
Mecit Akgün, member of HRA, journalist of Ülke newspaper
Süleyman Balan, HRA member, chief editor of Nusaybin
Mehmet Baysal, HRA member
Abdülhamit Aslan, HRA member, driver
Muhittin Anter, HRA member, Nusaybin municipal council
_ükrü Ekmen, Mardin municipal council member
Ayd_n Do_an, driver
Mehmet Orhan
On Saturday, 16 March, five guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers Party,
PKK, were shot in a clash near the town of Ömerli and summarily buried.
Dr Cemal Kahraman from Nusaybin, a medical doctor, and the other persons
named above obtained permission from the prosecutor in Ömerli to go there
and get the bodies. On 17 March they went as a group and eventually handed
the bodies over to the parents. As they returned and were about to re-enter
Nusaybin, they were detained and the two cars in which they were travelling
were impounded. They are held incommunicado at the Gendarmerie Regimental
Headquarters in Mardin and it is feared that they are being 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 2000 lives so far have been lost in the continuing
In May 1990 the Turkish government issued Decrees 424 and 425 (in
December replaced by Decree 430), further extending the already
extraordinary powers of the Emergency Legislation Governor.
Subsequently, 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.
page 2 of UA 103/91
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. Emergency legislation is currently in force
in ten provinces, including Mardin.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
- urging that Dr Cemal Kahraman and the people detained with him 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.
Mr Hayri Kozakç_o_lu (Emergency Legislation Governor)
Ola_anüstü Hal Valisi
Diyarbak_r, Turkey
Telegrams: Olaganustu Hal Valisi, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Telex: 72110 OHVT TR
72084 DYVA TR "please forward to the Governor"
72090 JASY TR
Fax: +90 831 26174
Jandarma Alay Komutanl___ (Gendarmerie Regimental HQ)
Mardin, Turkey
Telegrams: Jandarma Alay Komutanligi, Mardin, Turkey
Telex: 72004 JIMR TR
President Turgut Özal
Devlet Ba_kanli_i
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: President Ozal, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 42875 BBK TR
Faxes: (via Press Office) + 90 4 168 5012
Minister of the Interior:
Mr Abdülkadir Aksu
_çi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister Aksu, Ankara, Turkey
Telex: 46369 ICSL TR
Fax: +90 41 28 43 46
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 29 April

View report in English