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UA 381/90 - Turkey: fear of torture: Mahmut Yildiz, Ahmet Kaya

, Index number: EUR 44/131/1990

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/131/90
Distr: UA/SC
UA 381/90 Fear of Torture 20 September 1990
TURKEY: Mahmut YILDIZ
Ahmet KAYA
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Mahmut Yildiz and Ahmet Kaya, two villagers from the village of Akdo_mu_, were
detained on 19 September 1990. They are being held in the Regimental Gendarmerie
Headquarters in Siirt. The reason for their arrest is not known. However, since
the beginning of September the security forces have been carrying out operations
in the Siirt region and it is estimated that between 100 and 200 villagers have
been taken into custody and detained for periods lasting from several hours to several
weeks. Those detained are apparently suspected of sheltering Kurdish guerrillas
and are believed to be at risk of torture during interrogation.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority estimated to be some 10 million people, which
is not officially recognized by the authorities. 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 fighting. A state of emergency is in force
in Siirt and nine other eastern provinces.
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.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telexes/faxes/telegrams/express letters/airmail letters:
- urging that Mahmut Yildiz and Ahmet Kaya from Akdo_mu_ village be granted prompt
access to their families and lawyers and that they not be ill-treated while in
detention;
- requesting to be informed of any charges against them.
APPEALS TO:
Prime Minister Yildirim Akbulut
Office of the Prime Minister
Ba_bakanlik
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Prime Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Telex: 44061/44062/44063 bbmt tr
42099 basb tr
42875 bbk tr
Fax: 90 41 17 04 76 PRIME MINISTER
Atilla Koç
Siirt Valisi
Governor of Siirt Province
Siirt, Turkey
Telex: 72313 srv tr
Fax: 90 84 41 27 60
Telegrams: Siirt Valisi, Siirt, Turkey
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Turkey in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 20 October 1990.

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