• Campagnes

EXTRA 98/93 - Turkey: fear of "disappearance" / fear of torture: Erdogan Oktay

, N° d'index: EUR 44/103/1993

Erdogan Oktay, a 23-year-old agricultural engineer, was detained in the town of Tunceli on 25 October 1993 and remains in unacknowledged police custody. He was detained when the bus he was travelling on to work was stopped at a road block. Several other passengers were also detained, but are believed to have been released. He is thought to be held at Tunceli Police Headquarters. Neither his father nor his lawyer have been able to gain access to him or even to obtain confirmation of his detention. There is concern that he may be subjected to torture during interrogation.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/103/93
Distr: UA/SC
EXTRA 98/93 Fear of "Disappearance"/Fear of Torture 9 November 1993
TURKEY Erdo_an Oktay, agricultural engineer, aged 23
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Erdo_an Oktay, who was
detained in the town of Tunceli on 25 October 1993 and remains in unacknowledged
police custody. The organization fears that he is being tortured during
interrogation.
Erdo_an Oktay was detained when the bus in which he was travelling to work
was stopped at a road block. Several other passengers were also detained, but
are believed to have been released. Erdo_an Oktay's father and his lawyer have
been unable to obtain confirmation of Erdo_an Oktay's detention or to gain
access to him. It is believed that he is being held at Tunceli Police
Headquarters.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Hundreds of people have been detained in recent months on charges of making
separatist propaganda and supporting the guerrillas of the outlawed Kurdish
Workers' Party (PKK). Amnesty International is receiving many reports of the
torture of these people.
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority estimated at some 10 million people, living
mainly in southeastern Turkey. Since 1984, when guerrillas of the PKK started
armed attacks against the security forces, more than 10,000 lives have been
lost on both sides and among the civilian population. The security forces and
the PKK are both involved in large-scale military operations covering the entire
region. A state of emergency continues to be in force in 10 provinces in the
east and southeast, including Tunceli province, and the Emergency Legislation
Governor in Diyarbakir has extraordinary powers over three additional
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. Following
a programme of visits to Turkish police stations in 1990, 1991 and 1992, the
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (ECPT - established by the
Council of Europe) reported: "In the light of all the information at its
disposal, the ECPT can only conclude that the practice of torture and other
forms of severe ill-treatment of persons in police custody remains widespread
in Turkey and that such methods are applied to both ordinary criminal suspects
and persons held under anti-terrorism provisions".
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. Non-political detainees may be held for up to eight days before
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being formally charged or released. Detainees held on suspicion of political
offences may be held without charge for up to 15 days. In the 10 provinces
under emergency legislation the maximum detention period for political
detainees may be doubled to 30 days.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- expressing your grave concern about the unacknowledged detention of Erdo_an
Oktay since 25 October 1993 when he was taken off a bus at a roadblock at Tunceli
on his way to work;
- urging an immediate investigation into his current whereabouts and requesting
to be informed of the results;
- calling for his lawyer and family to be granted access to the detainee;
- asking to be informed of any charges brought against Erdo_an Oktay.
APPEALS TO
1) Chief of Police:
Mr Altay Polat
Tunceli Emniyet Müdürü
Emniyet Müdürlü_ü
Tunceli, Turkey
Telegrams: Mr Polat, Emniyet Muduru, Tunceli, Turkey
Salutation: Dear Sir
2) Minister of the Interior:
Mr Nahit Mente_e
Içisleri Bakanl___
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 428 4346
Salutation: Dear Minister
3) Deputy Prime Minister:
Mr Murat Karayalç_n
Office of the Prime Minister
Ba_bakanl_k
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Deputy Prime Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 44061/44062/44063 bbmt tr; 42099 basb tr; 42875 bbk tr
Faxes: +90 312 417 0476 DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER
+90 312 230 8896 (attn: Deputy Prime Minister)
Salutation: Dear Deputy Prime Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Mr Hikmet Çetin
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
D__i_leri Bakanl___
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: 90 312 287 3869
and to diplomatic representatives of Turkey accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
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or your section office, if sending appeals after 7 December 1993.

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