EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/115/92
UA 342/92 Fear of "Disappearance"/Torture 6 November 1992
TURKEY: Tu_rul Özbek
Amnesty International is concerned about the "disappearance" of Tu_rul Özbek,
allegedly detained on 10 October 1992 and held unacknowledged and unregistered at
Istanbul Police Headquarters.
On 13 October, the newspaper Günayd_n is said to have reported that a person named
Ertu_rul Özbek had been detained following a police raid on a "safe house" of the
urban guerrilla organization Devrimci Sol (Revolutionary Left) on 10 October during
which a young woman was killed. Three people who were detained subsequently have
each given written testimony which appears to indicate that Tu_rul Özbek had indeed
been detained and was held at the same time as they were at the Anti-Terror Branch
of Istanbul Police Headquarters.
One detainee testified: "After being detained on 12 October I was shown a picture
on 17 October. This was a picture of Tu_rul Özbek whom I had met previously in prison.
The picture showed him without moustache, with short grey hair, a tie. I was being
tortured and exercised my right to silence to which they responded, "We can have
it enlarged if you like, then you might recognize him". After this they did not show
me his picture or mention him again. Later I learned that he had disappeared."
The second detainee last saw Tu_rul Özbek in Istanbul on 7 October before being detained
himself on 8 October. According to his written testimony the police had forced another
detainee under severe torture to lure both him and Tu_rul Özbek to separate locations
where they were then detained. Tu_rul Özbek was detained on 10 October 1992 and on
that day the detainee, who did not know Tu_rul Özbek's true identity, was shown at
the Anti-Terror Branch of Istanbul Police Headquarters a 6x9cm photograph with Tu_rul
Özbek's name written on the back. Under interrogation he was asked by the police
whether he knew the man. The police told him that they had caught Tu_rul Özbek, that
he had only recently been out of prison and that he had a considerable amount of
money on him when he was detained. On 11 October the police interrogated the detainee
about hidden weapons claiming that Tu_rul Özbek had told them that the detainee knew
where they were, saying, "Where are the guns? Would Tu_rul lie?" About four days
later he heard Tu_rul Özbek's name being called over the public address system at
the Anti-Terror Branch, but about a week later was told by the police, "We were unable
to get Tu_rul". Subsequently the detainee himself was transferred to police
headquarters in other parts of Turkey, including Ankara where he was again told by
the police that they had caught Tu_rul Özbek. When the detainee was unable to identify
a photograph of another person, the police said, "We'll show it to Tu_rul".
The third detainee confirmed this testimony in a written statement, adding that
cooperation in capturing Tu_rul Özbek was achieved by "every kind of torture, including
sexual assault, from the moment I was detained".