EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/89/93
UA 339/93 Unacknowledged detention/Torture 24 September 1993
TURKEY Behçet Ekinci
Ahmet Bayram and his wife and child
plus at least another five people (names unknown)
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Behçet Ekinci who is in
unacknowledged police custody in Diyarbak_r. He was reportedly tortured during
the first three days of his detention. The organization is also concerned about
seven people who are in police custody after visiting his house. It is feared
that they are being subjected to torture while held in incommunicado detention.
On the night of 21 September 1993, between 1am and 2am, officers of the political
police from the Anti-Terror Branch of Diyarbak_r Police Headquarters, armed
with automatic weapons, raided the home of the Ekinci family in Diyarbak_r.
Reportedly, they pulled Behçet Ekinci from his bed, grabbing him by the hair
and knocking him to the ground. They handcuffed him and took him away. Police
officers then occupied the house during the following three days and detained
everyone who visited, seven people in all, including Ahmet Bayram with his
wife and child.
The following night around the same time the police brought Behçet Ekinci back
to his home, covered in blood and bruises and barely recognizable. They did
not beat him in front of his family, but swore at him and demanded to know
where the explosives were hidden. They searched the house but found nothing
and took Behçet Ekinci back to the Police Headquarters.
On 23 September, the family submitted a petition to the prosecutor at Diyarbak_r
State Security Court asking for confirmation of his detention. The prosecutor
responded that he could not acknowledge Behçet Ekinci's detention as he had
no current list of detainees from the police. The family fear for the life
of Behçet Ekinci.
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority estimated at some 10 million people, living
mainly in southeastern Turkey. Since August 1984, when guerrillas of the Kurdish
Workers' Party (PKK) started armed attacks against the security forces, more
than 6,000 lives have been lost on both sides and among the civilian population.
In mid-March 1993 the PKK declared a unilateral ceasefire and its intention
to end the fighting and to enter the democratic process as a political party.
Operations by the security forces against the PKK continued. The ceasefire
was broken when on 24 May guerrillas of the PKK ambushed a convoy of soldiers,
killing 33 soldiers and two civilians. The security forces responded with
large-scale military operations covering the entire region. A state of emergency
continues to be in force in 10 provinces in the region and the Emergency
Legislation Governor in Diyarbakir has extraordinary powers over three