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UA 342/92 - Turkey: fear of "disappearance" / torture: Tugrul Ozbek

, N° d'index: EUR 44/115/1992

Tugrul Ozbek has not been seen since he was reportedly detained by the police on 10 October 1992 and held unregistered and unacknowledged at Istanbul Police Headquarters. The newspaper Gunaydin apparently reported on 13 October that a man named Ertugrul Ozbek had been detained following a police raid on a "safe house" of the guerrilla organization Devrimci Sol. Three people detained subsequently have given testimonies which suggests that Turgut Ozbek had been detained and held at the Anti-Terror Branch of Istanbul Police Headquarters. His mother has also made a press statement affirming her conviction that her son is being held by the police. However, the police continue to deny holding him. AI fears that he may be subjected to torture in unacknowledged detention.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/115/92
Distr: UA/SC
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".
Despite these witness accounts and a press statement by Tu_rul Özbek's mother affirming
her conviction that her son was being held at the Anti-Terror Branch of Istanbul
Police Headquarters, the police continue to deny holding him. On 28 October his lawyers
filed a law suit against the Anti-Terror Branch of Istanbul Police with the chief
public prosecutor's office in Istanbul.
Since March 1991, at least four people have "disappeared" in detention in Istanbul
and remain unaccounted for to this day: Yusuf Eri_ti since March 1991,
Page 2 of UA 342/92
Hüseyin Toraman since October 1991, Hasan lünay since July 1992 and Ayhan Efeo_lu
since October 1992. It is feared that they may have been killed under torture. Since
2 November, 20 relatives of the "disappeared", many of them elderly, have been on
hunger-strike in Ankara demanding that the authorities give information about their
Tu_rul Özbek, born in 1956, was first detained on 19 September 1980. He was tortured
for 32 days and again in May 1981 for 15 days. His trial in a military court in Istanbul
started in May 1982 on charges of activities within Devrimci Sol. The trial with
1,243 defendants ended after almost 10 years on 1 November 1991. Tu_rul Özbek was
one of 35 defendants sentenced to death who had their sentences immediately commuted
to life imprisonment, of which eight years had to be served under the new Anti-Terror
Law. He was further sentenced to a total of 27 years and 8 months, later also reduced
under the Anti-Terror Law, for statements he made in his defence during the trial.
He was released on 25 December 1991.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters in English
or your own language:
- noting that three detainees have given written testimony indicating that Tu_rul
Özbek was detained on 10 October 1992 and was subsequently held at the Anti-Terror
Branch of Istanbul Police Headquarters;
- expressing concern that the police in Istanbul deny holding him and that Tu_rul
Özbek has, therefore, been held ever since in unacknowledged and unregistered police
- urging that he not be subjected to ill-treatment while in custody:
- urging that an immediate and independent inquiry be carried out into his present
- requesting to be informed of its findings.
1) Minister of the Interior:
Mr _smet Sezgin Salutation: Dear Minister
_çi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 46369 ICSL TR
Faxes: + 90 4 418 1795
2) Prime Minister:
Mr Süleyman Demirel Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Prime Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 44061/44062/44063 bbmt tr, 42099 basb tr, 42875 bbk tr
Faxes: + 90 4 417 04 76, + 90 4 230 88 96
3) Istanbul Chief of Police:
Mr Necdet Menzir Salutation: Dear Sir
Istanbul Emniyet Müdürü
_stanbul, Turkey
Telegrams: Emniyet Muduru, Istanbul, Turkey
Telexes: 30811 IEHM TR, 30812 EMMH TR, 26177 IEMT TR
1) President of the Parliamentary Human
Rights Commission:
_nsan Haklar_ Ara_t_rma Komisyonu
Ba_kan_, TBMM
Ankara, Turkey
2) Hunger-striking relatives at the human
rights association:
Konur Sk No 15/3
Ankara, Turkey
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 18 December 1992.

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