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Turkey: Torture: Gul Dagdevir (f), aged 16, Ersin Dagdevir, aged 15, Kemal Bolat, aged 17, Selma Yigiter (f), Mehmet Altan, Hilal Usendi, Baris Gulal

, N° d'index: EUR 44/115/1995

AI is seriously concerned for the safety of the above who are currently being held in incommunicado detention at Ankara Police Headquarters, reportedly under torture. Five of the seven were detained on 17 October after a demonstration by members of various civil servants unions. Gul Dagdevir and her brother, Ersin Dagdevir, were detained at their home in an apparently related operation.

EXTERNAL AI Index: EUR 44/115/95
EXTRA 121/95 Torture 20 October 1995
TURKEYGül Da_deviren (f) aged 16
Ersin Da_deviren, aged 15, her brother
Kemal Bolat, aged 17
Selma Yi_iter (f) teacher from E_itim-Sen teachers' trade union
Mehmet Altan
Hilal Üsenir
Bar__ Algül
Amnesty International is seriously concerned for the safety of the seven
detainees named above who are currently being interrogated in incommunicado
detention at Ankara Police Headquarters, reportedly under torture.
Five of the seven were detained on 17 October 1995 in the street in Ankara
as they dispersed after a demonstration by members of various civil servants'
unions in K_z_lay Square in Ankara. The demonstrators were protesting low
wages and demanding recognition of trade union rights and the right for civil
servants to strike. Later, in the evening of 17 October, Gül Da_deviren and
her brother Ersin Da_deviren were detained at their home in an apparently related
operation.
According to statements given by three women, just released from police custody,
whose identities are known to Amnesty International and who shared a cell with
Gül Da_deviren, the latter was unable to move her arms. She had told them it
was because she had been suspended by her arms while being subjected to electric
shocks. The women said that they saw police officers enter the cell and massage
Gül Da_deviren's shoulders with warm water. l Da_deviren also told the women
that her younger brother Ersin Da_deviren was being tortured in an attempt
to make his sister sign a confession.
The women reported that they themselves had been subjected to beating about
the head, pulling of hair, sexual assault and insults during the course of
their detention.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The persistence of torture is one of the major human rights problems in Turkey
today. There were 29 reported deaths in custody due to torture in 1994, more
than in any year since 1982, and six in 1995 so far. Most reports of torture
come from the major cities of Istanbul, Ankara, _zmir, Adana and the 10 provinces
in the east and southeast, currently under State of Emergency legislation due
to the continuing conflict between the security forces and armed members of
the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK). The victims of torture come from all sectors
of Turkish society and range from political activists held under the Anti-Terror
Law to those held on suspicion of ordinary criminal offences, including
children.
Torture is used mainly in police and gendarmerie stations during the first
days or weeks following detention. It is often applied to extract confessions,
to elicit information about illegal organizations, to intimidate detainees
into becoming police informers or as informal punishment for assumed support
of illegal organizations.
People suspected of offences under the Anti-Terror Law can be held without
access to family, friends or legal counsel for up to 30 days in the 10 provinces
2
under State of Emergency, and for 15 days in the rest of Turkey. When not being
interrogated, detainees are held in cramped, airless and insanitary conditions.
With no access to the outside world they are at the mercy of their interrogators.
Torture methods include being stripped naked and blindfolded, hosing with
pressurized ice-cold water, hanging by the arms or wrists bound behind the
victim's back, electric shocks, beating on the soles of the feet, death threats
and sexual assault.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/express/airmail letters in English
or your own language:
- expressing deep concern about the reported torture of Gül and Ersin Da_deviren,
two minors held since 17 October 1995 at Ankara Police Headquarters;
- calling for a prompt and thorough investigation of these allegations and
for those responsible to be brought to justice;
- expressing concern also for the safety of Kemal Bolat, aged 17,
Selma Yi_iter, Mehmet Altan, Hilal Üsenir and Bar__ Algül, all held since
17 October at Ankara Police Headquarters;
- appealing that none of the detainees be subjected to torture or any other
form of ill-treatment;
- asking to be informed of any charges brought against them.
APPEALS TO:
1. Ankara Chief of Police:
Mr Orhan Ta_anlar
Ankara Emniyet Müdürlü_ü
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Emniyet Muduru, Ankara, Turkey
Salutation: Dear Sir
2. Chief Prosecutor at Ankara State Security Court:
Mr Nusret Demiral
DGM Ba_savc_s_
Devlet Güvenlik Mahkemesi
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: DGM Bassavcisi, Ankara, Turkey
Salutation: Dear Sir
COPIES TO:
President of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission:
Mr Sabri Yavuz
_nsan Haklar_ Ara_t_rma Komisyonu Ba_kan_
TBMM
Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 420 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 20 November 1995.

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