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EXTRA 108/93 - Turkey: fear of torture / unacknowledged detention: Yusuf Yilmaz, Ahmet Icli, Feride Karadis, Leyla Akbaba, Ibrahim Ozen

, Índice: EUR 44/123/1993

Yusuf Yilmaz and Ahmet Icli, reporters for the magazine Devrimci Cozum, and their friends Feride Karadis and Leyla Akbaba were detained in Istanbul on 26 December. Ibrahim Ozen, the owner of the magazine, was arrested on 29 December. Their lawyer has not been permitted access to any of the detainees. The police have denied holding two of the above-named, Yusuf Yilmaz and Ahmet Icli. AI fears for their safety in incommunicado detention.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/123/93
Distr: UA/SC
EXTRA 108/93 Fear of Torture/unacknowledged detention 30 December 1993
TURKEY Yusuf Y_lmaz, journalist with Devrimci Çözüm (magazine)
Ahmet _çli, journalist with Devrimci Çözüm
Feride Karadi_ (f)
Leyla Akbaba (f)
Ibrahim Özen, owner of Devrimci Çözüm
Yusuf Y_lmaz and Ahmet _çli, reporters for the magazine Devrimci Çözüm
(Revolutionary Solution) and their friends Feride Karadi_ and Leyla Akbaba
were taken into detention by police in Istanbul on 26 December. The offices
of the magazine were raided by police later that evening, and on 29 December
_brahim Özen, owner of the magazine, was also detained. A lawyer acting for
the detainees was told by the Anti-Terror Branch of Istanbul Police Headquarters
that they were holding three of them, but the police deny holding Yusuf Y_lmaz
and Ahmet _çli. The lawyer has not been permitted access to any of the detainees.
Amnesty International fears that they may be subjected to torture while in
incommunicado detention.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
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. 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. New legislation
to shorten the maximum detention period came into force on 1 December 1992.
Now the normal maximum period of 24 hours, for which a non-political detainee
may be held before being formally charged or released, may be extended to eight
days in cases of ordinary crimes involving three or more suspects. Detainees
held on suspicion of political offences to be tried in State Security Courts
may be held without charge for 15 days. This period may be extended to 30 days
in provinces under emergency legislation or martial law. Emergency legislation
is currently in force in 10 provinces in the southeast of Turkey.
Following three visits to Turkey to investigate allegations of torture the
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (ECPT) of the Council of Europe
published in December 1992 for the first time its findings. The ECPT concluded
"that the practice of torture and other forms of severe ill-treatment or persons
in police custody remains widespread in Turkey and that such methods are applied
to both ordinary criminal suspects and persons held under anti-terrorist
provisions".
A report published by the UN Committee against Torture on 19 November 1993
stated that torture was "widespread" in Turkey, and stated that "inadequate
legislation which in practice allows room for the use of torture may also add
2
to the systematic nature of this practice". In particular the Committee
regretted that detainees accused of political offences are expressly denied
the vital safeguards set out in the new legislation mentioned above.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Yusuf Y_lmaz, Ahmet _çli, Feride Karadi_,
Leyla Akbaba and Ibrahim Özen who are being held for interrogation at the
Anti-Terror Branch of Istanbul Police Headquarters;
- noting the findings of the ECPT regarding the practice of torture in Turkey
as published in its December 1992 report;
- seeking assurances that the detainees are not subjected to torture or any
other form of ill-treatment;
- requesting to be informed of any charges brought against them.
APPEALS TO
Minister of the Interior:
Mr Mehmet Gazio_lu
_çi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: + 90 4 418 1795
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
President of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission:
Mr Sabri Yavuz
_nsan Haklar_ Ara_t_rma Komisyonu Ba_kan_
TBMM
Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: + 90 4 420 5394
and to diplomatic representatives of Turkey accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 21 January 1994.

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