Information transmitted to the Government and replies received
550. By letter dated 29 October 1993 the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information according to which persons suspected of both ordinary and politically motivated crimes were routinely tortured in police interrogation centres throughout the country while being held in incommunicado detention. Despite legal provisions granting that detainees should have immediate access to attorneys in practice lawyers were usually denied such visits. It was also reported that, according to the law, ordinary criminal suspects could be detained for 24 hours for individual crimes and for up to 8 days for collective crimes before being brought before a court; this period, however, was extended to 30 days in cases of political suspects in the region under emergency legislation. According to the sources these circumstances constituted a major factor in the continued use of torture and ill-treatment. The individual cases referred to in the following paragraphs were communicated to the Government.
551. Soner Önder, a 17-year-old student, was arrested in Istanbul following an arson attack carried out in the name of the illegal Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) on 25 December 1991 in Istanbul. He was reportedly taken to Istanbul police headquarters, where he was interrogated at the anti-terror branch until 8 January 1992, when he was formally arrested by the Istanbul State Security Court and sent to Bayrampasa prison. It was also reported that although he had signed a confession stating that he was a member of an armed organization and that he was responsible for several crimes he did so while he was blindfolded and without knowledge of its contents because he had been subjected to torture, including falaka (beating the soles of the feet), electric shocks, hanging by the arms and squeezing the testicles.
552. Mehmet Gökalp, representative of the Human Rights Association in Derik, was among a group of persons arrested following the funeral in Derik on 25 February 1992 of a member of PKK. He was taken to the Derik gendarmerie where he was alleged to have been hung up by his wrists with his arms tied behind his back, given electric shocks and hosed with water.
553. Servet Sayan was reportedly subjected to torture while being interrogated in March 1992 at the Second (Criminal) Branch of Istanbul police headquarters. Methods included suspension by the arms and being beaten on the testicles with a stick. After the family had lodged a formal complaint to the public prosecutor in April 1992, two members were threatened by the police.
554. Kadir Kurt was arrested on 19 April 1992 in Birik village, district of Bismil near Diyarbakir, and taken for interrogation to the gendarmerie battalion headquarters where he died the same night due to internal bleeding caused by pressure on the lungs from a broken sternum. His brother,
Davud Kurt, was also allegedly tortured; his hand and a number of ribs were broken. He reportedly stated that his brother had been subjected to torture, by means of a truncheon that was inserted into his anus.
555. Ramazan Sat was arrested on 24 March 1992 in Batman and interrogated for 12 days at Batman police headquarters on suspicion of harbouring members of PKK. He was reportedly subjected to torture by being beaten, stripped of his clothes, his arms tied to an iron pole and hoisted into the air; his body was reportedly soaked with water and electric shocks applied to his toes and penis, and he was hung by his wrists tied behind his back.
556. Saadik Cilik, Nuray Erdem, Mehmet Karabulut, Nurdan Odabas, Serdar Akat, Attila Sabanci, Fatma Ciçek (female), Latif Tiftikçi, Nuri Eryüksel, Etem Elma, Siral Demiral and Ayçe Erdem, artists working at the Ortaköy cultural centre in Istanbul, were arrested, apparently without reason being given, on 24 August 1992 at 9 p.m. in Eregli, near Zongdulak, and remained incommunicado at the anti-terror branch of the political police in Zongdulak until 2 September 1992. During that time they were reportedly subjected to several methods of torture, including hanging by the wrists or arms and electric shocks. Fatma Ciçek was reportedly subjected to falaka.
557. Fatma Gülten Sesen (female, owner of Mücadele newspaper and President of the Istanbul Branch of Prisoners' Families Solidarity Association (TAYAD)), Sultan Celik (female), Ufuk Demirkaya, Solmaz Tartar (president of the Istanbul Özgür-Der), Gülay Tan, Yasa Güzel (secretary-general of Malatya Özgür-Der) and Ayten Celik were arrested on 24 August 1992 between 4.30 and 5 a.m. in Karatas near Adana, apparently without reason being given, and taken to the Adana police station. They were alleged relatives of people working with Özgür-Der (Association of Rights and Freedom) or TAYAD. Before they were released on 30 August 1992 by the Adana's Prosecutor's Office, they were reportedly subjected to hanging by the wrists or arms, electric shocks, falaka and to being made to lay down on blocks of ice.
558. Ihsan Kurt was arrested on 11 October 1992 while taking photographs on behalf of his newspaper, Özgür Gündem, in Adana at the funeral of a killed PKK guerilla. He was reportedly held incommunicado from 11 to 19 October 1992 in Adana police headquarters, during which time he was subjected to several methods of torture, including being beaten with truncheons, sticks or the butts of guns, kicked and punched.
559. In the course of an operation carried out by the security forces on 20 February 1993 in the village of Ormaniçi, near Güçlükonak, in the province of Sirnak, most of the male villagers were tied together, blindfolded and marched into the town of Güçlükonak several kilometres away, where they were kept on a construction site near the gendarmerie headquarters for 12 days. They were reportedly stripped naked for interrogation in temperatures frequently well below zero and subjected to various forms of torture. It was alleged that they were hosed with cold water, raped with truncheons and bottles, in some cases toenails and fingernails were pulled out with pliers and excrement was mixed with their food. Water was allegedly poured on the concrete floor as a result of which the villagers' bare feet, already injured by falaka, were frozen to the floor where they stood and their sides also froze when they lay down to sleep. Many of them suffered from severe frostbite, which subsequently became gangrenous. As a result Ibrahim Ekin's big toes had to be amputated; a large proportion of Resul Aslan's feet had to be amputated; 17-year-old Fahrettin Özkan had to have all his toes amputated; Mehmet Tahil Ceten's leg was amputated from the knee down in Diyarbakir State Hospital. Osman Ekincy was reportedly subjected to electric shocks and his toes were crushed with pliers. Hüseyin Yilairim was reportedly forced to eat human excrement, drink urine and petrol and, while he was bound, his hands and feet were burned.
560. Dr. Hassan Kaya and Meten Can, a lawyer and president of the Elazig branch of the Human Rights Association, disappeared on 21 February 1993 in Elazig after Mr. Can had received a telephone call from an alleged policeman telling him that one of his clients was involved in a car accident and that he should report right away to a police station. Dr. Kaya accompanied him. They were both found dead on 27 February 1993 near the town of Tunceli. Both bodies reportedly bore signs of torture and mutilation; their hands were bound behind their backs with wire, there were marks of cigarette burns, Dr. Kaya's eyes were gouged out and there was evidence of use of electric shock on Mr. Can.
561. Ibrahim Dicek was arrested on 20 March 1993 in the village of Baristepe in Mardin province and 10 days later his body was found in a well. The prosecutor's report allegedly stated that there were marks of beating with the intention of torture covering the entire body, as well as rope marks on both arms consistent with being dragged; the anal area was torn, suggesting that a hard object had been inserted as a method of torture. The autopsy allegedly revealed that the causes of death were respiratory and circulatory failures brought about by a blow on the head with a blunt object.
562. Gülan Yavuz, a female student at Ankara University, was among a large group of persons arrested at the Ekin arts centre in Ankara on 18 April 1993 under suspicion of membership of the illegal armed organization Devrimci Sol. She was reportedly taken to the Istanbul police headquarters, where she was allegedly soaked with pressurized cold water, beaten on the sole of the feet, sexually assaulted, suspended by the arms and given electric shocks.
563. Irfan Ortakci was arrested in the same circumstances as Gülan Yavuz. He was said to have been twice hung by the arms with the hands tied behind the back and hosed with cold and hot water. His sexual organ was pulled, squeezed and flicked.
564. Tülay Cakmak, a female high school student, was arrested together with the two above-mentioned persons. She was allegedly hung, given electric shocks and sprayed with cold water. Another female student, Eylem Kaya, was beaten, soaked with water and threatened that they would do things to her to make her incapable of having children.
565. Hasan Durna, Cafer Oral, Ayhan Uzala and Nurettin Topuz were arrested on 6 May 1993 in Istanbul on suspicion of membership of an illegal armed organization. They were reportedly held in incommunicado detention for 14 days, during which time they were subjected to several methods of torture, including electric shocks and being hoisted off the ground by their wrists, which were tied behind their backs.
566. Mehmet Kiran was arrested on 17 June 1993 by soldiers in the village of Atala, near Mazidagi, in the province of Mardin, and taken to the gendarmerie station in Derik for interrogation. As a result of the treatment to which he was subjected one of his arms was broken.
567. On 21 June 1993, in the village of Orasar, near Cinar, province of Diyarbakir, soldiers and special team members reportedly assaulted male and female villagers, made them lie down, face to the ground and told them they would die if they moved. Then they allegedly started hitting them with the butts of their weapons, cigarettes were stubbed out on them and electrical cables attached to the armoured vehicles were used to give electrical shocks. This treatment reportedly continued all day.
568. Siddik Katan was arrested at Gümüsörgü village, near Kozluk, Batman, in July 1993 and held for 14 days at the police headquarters. As a result of the torture to which he was said to have been subjected one of his feet was broken.
569. In addition, the Special Rapporteur sent 17 urgent appeals on behalf of persons who, according to the information received, were at risk of being tortured. Summaries of these appeals are reproduced below. The dates on which the appeals were sent are mentioned in parentheses at the end of the corresponding summary.
570. Kamil Mustak, Bahattin Mustak, Mehmet Mustak, Abdullah Madak (aged 65), Ahmet Baglan, Mehmet Baglan, Cafer Diri, Mahmut Diri and Mehmet Diri were allegedly arrested on 17 February 1993 in the village of Yesilyurt, province of Sirnak, by soldiers carrying out police duties, accompanied by plain-clothed police, who surrounded the village and searched the houses for guns. (29 March 1993)
571. With respect to the cases of Kamil Mustak, Bahattin Mustak and Abdullah Madak the Government replied that they had been arrested on suspicion of having links with the terrorist organization PKK. Under a letter of authorization from the Procurator's Office of Cizre, they had been kept in custody until 3 March 1993, when they had been brought before the Procurator of Cizre. The Cizre Procurator had referred them to the magistrate's court of Cizre, which, after cross-examination, had decided to release them. Subsequently, the Procurator's Office of the Court of National Security at Diyarbakir had decided that there were no grounds for instituting proceedings.
572. With respect to the cases of Ahmet Baglan, Mehmet Baglan, Cafer Diri and Mehmet Diri the Government replied that they had been arrested and taken into custody following a police operation in the village of Yesilyurt, Cizre. They had been kept in custody until 1 March 1993 under authorization of the Procurator's Office of Cizre. They had appeared before the Procurator of Cizre on 1 March 1993 and had been referred to the magistrates' court of Cizre with a request for their committal to prison. After cross-examination, the court had decided to place the four suspects in detention on a charge of
belonging to PKK and engaging in activities on its behalf and providing it with assistance. On 2 March 1993 the file had been transmitted by the magistrate's court to the Court of National Security of Diyarbakir. The four suspects had been released on 19 April 1993 and on the same day the Court had decided to acquit them.
573. As for Mehmet Mustak, the Government stated that he had appeared before the Procurator of Cizre on 17 March 1993 and been referred that day to the magistrate's court of Mardin, which had decided to detain him and had transmitted the file to the Procurator's Office of the Court of National Security of Diyarbakir. On completion of the procedure, the Procurator's Office had initiated public proceedings on a charge of "belonging to the terrorist organization PKK". The case was continuing, although the suspect had been released on 4 May 1993.
574. Hasan Durna, Cafer Oral, Gültekin Gölçek, Ozcan Ozgen, Saime Bölügiray (female), Düzgün Gök, Nurettin Topuz and Ayhan Uzala were arrested in a police operation in Istanbul starting on 22 April 1993 and were being held incommunicado, without access to their lawyers, at the anti-terror branch of Istanbul police headquarters. The prosecutor had reportedly given the police permission to hold the detainees in custody until 7 May. (4 May 1993)
575. Cahide Sener and Murat Sener were allegedly arrested by the police on 12 June 1993 at Yildiz bakal, Samfistik sok, Birlik appartman 2,
Istanbul. They were reportedly in custody at the Gayret Tepe prison, Terörle Mucadele Sube and, according to witnesses, they had seriously been tortured. (15 June 1993)
576. On 29 October 1993 the Government replied that these persons had been released on 24 and 26 June respectively. They had never filed a complaint alleging that they had been tortured.
577. Aysu Baykal (female), Mehmet Ali Beyhan and Sevinç Sahingöz: the first two persons were reportedly arrested on 5 June 1993 by the police in the Sincan district of Ankara, whereas Sevinç Sahingöz was brought to Ankara from Yozgat. They were all reported to be held at the anti-terror branch of Ankara police headquarters, and the State Security Court Prosecutor had given permission for the detainees to be held until 18 June. They were allegedly being held incommunicado without access to legal counsel. (17 June 1993)
578. With respect to these cases the Government replied that these persons had been arrested under suspicion of having links with terrorist groups. After interrogation the judicial authorities had issued an order of detention against Mehmet Ali Bayhan and Aysu Baykal and released Sevinc Sahingöz. While in custody, they had never been subjected to ill-treatment.
579. Türkan Balaban, Gülay Yücel, Meral Yücel, Zeynep Arikan, Necla Can, Ilker Alcan, Tuncer Bagdatlioglu, Fatma Gülten Sesen, Kamil Gülbag, Kudret Sarigül, Ethem Elma, Ali Ibrahim Soganci, Meltem Onder, Solmaz Artat, Mehmet Demir, Kemal Isik, Tarik Tolnay and Savas Dörtyol were reportedly arrested in a police operation in Istanbul on the afternoon of 21 June 1993.
It was reported that the prosecutor's office had granted permission to hold them for 15 days. Ethem Elma, Savas Dörtyol, Methem Onder and Gülay Yücel were reported to be in very bad condition as a result of heavy torture. (5 July 1993)
580. On 16 August 1993 the Government replied that on 21 June 1993, the office of the weekly paper Devrimci Cözüm had been attacked by five armed unidentified persons. During the attack, Cafer Giritli, Ozgür Akbulut, Nurcan Güzel, Erkan Yalçin, Gülay Kahraman and Onder Dursun who were in the office, had been injured. There had been an inquiry into the incident and police operations had been started. During these operations, the suspects mentioned in the appeal had been arrested and placed in police custody. After being interrogated, they had been released by the court authority. It had been established that, while in police custody, the persons in question had not been subjected to any form of ill-treatment.
581. Ramazan Kiran, his father Mehmet Kiran, Vahap Celik and Izzetin Celik were reportedly arrested in the village of Atala near Mazidagi in the province of Mardin on 17 June and taken to the gendarmerie station at Derik for interrogation. It was reported that Mehmet Kiran was transferred to Diyarbakir State Hospital when his condition deteriorated and his arm was broken, allegedly as the result of torture. (5 July 1993)
582. With respect to these cases the Government replied that Mehmet Kiran, Vahap Celik and Izzettin Celik had not been taken into custody. Ramazan Kiran and Adbulvahap Ceri had been arrested on 14 June 1993 and taken into custody by the Mardin gendarmerie. Under questioning, Ramazan Kiran had confessed to his participation inter alia in the activities of the terrorist organization PKK, in a murder and in the armed attack on the house of the mayor of the village of Atalar. Ramazan Kiran and Abdulvahap Ceri had been brought before the judicial authorities on 8 July 1993 and placed in detention in Mardin prison by judicial decision. They had not been subjected to any form of ill-treatment or torture while in custody and the proceedings had been conducted in accordance with the law.
583. Ramazan Malgir, Hasan Temiz, Nurettin Temiz and Halef Bortas were among the villagers arrested on 21 June 1993, during a raid by the security forces on the village of Ortasar, in the province of Diyarbakir. Two of the villagers who were released the following day reportedly returned to the village in very bad condition, allegedly as a result of torture. The remaining detainees were said to be held in incommunicado detention at the Diyarbakir gendarmerie headquarters, and fears were expressed that they might be interrogated under torture. (5 July 1993)
584. With regard to these cases the Government replied that these persons had been taken into custody under suspicion of carrying out activities on behalf of PKK and of helping that organization. The Court of National Security, before which they were brought, had decided to place them in detention. They had not been subjected to any form of ill-treatment or torture and the proceedings had been conducted in accordance with the law. No one else had been taken into custody following the operations in question.
585. Mehmet Keklik was reportedly arrested by the police on 27 May 1993 in Alçiçekköyü (his native village, close to Elbistan), along with six other persons from neighbouring villages. He was being held at the State security prison at Malatiya (Devlet Güvenlik Mahkemesi). A relative who was able to see him allegedly reported that Mehmet Keklik had been so badly tortured that his face was difficult to recognize. (13 July 1993)
586. Nezahat Özmen, correspondent for the Özgür Gündem newspaper, was detained on 16 July 1993 in Mardin. According to the reports, on 19 July 1993 she had to be transferred to hospital as a result of the ill-treatment she had suffered while in detention, in spite of being seven months pregnant. The police reportedly came to the hospital and insisted that she be taken before a judge and formally arrested, although she was in need of continuing medical treatment. She was then committed to Mardin prison. (2 August 1993)
587. On 22 September 1993 the Government replied that Nezahat Özmen had been taken into police custody on 19 July 1993 for making unfounded accusations and for offensive and insulting behaviour towards the police. A statement had been taken from her, and the same day she had appeared before the Government Procurator, who had immediately referred her to the magistrates' court at Mardin. By decision of 19 July 1993, the court had ruled that she should be placed in detention. Before being brought before the judicial authorities, Nezahat Özmen had undergone two medical examinations, followed by reports on her state of health. According to these medical reports there were no traces of blows or wounds on her person and she made no mention of any ailment. After her statement was taken on 19 July 1993, she had said that she was six or seven months pregnant, whereupon she had been taken to the appropriate doctor. Her situation having been taken into consideration, she had been brought before the court that same day.
588. Ahmet Ibili, correspondent for the weekly newspaper Mücadele in Mersin, was reportedly arrested when the police raided the office of the newspaper on 18 August 1993. Ahmet Ibili was said to have resisted and, in response, to have had his head hit against the floor until he lost consciousness. He was reportedly taken to the Mersin police headquarters where, according to witnesses, he was being subjected to severe torture and death threats and he was being denied water. (1 September 1993)
589. On 23 November 1993 the Government replied that this person had been taken into custody on 17 August 1993. After being interrogated the judicial authorities had issued an order of detention against him. Medical reports indicated that he had not been submitted to torture while in custody.
590. Abdullah Ay and Semsettin Ay, from Kelekçi village; Mehmet Tekin, Ömer Ünal and Mecit Memiç from Kayikli village: according to the reports, on 27 July 1993, village guards and the security forces set fire to houses in Kelekçi, Günegli and Kayikli near Dargeçit, province of Mardin, on the border with Syria. This was reportedly done in retaliation for the villagers' refusal to take up arms as village guards. The villagers were then driven away, but returned later and tried to rebuild their villages. On 30 August, village guards from neighbouring Altinoluk came again to these villages, with a team from the gendarmerie (soldiers carrying out police duties in rural areas), gathered the inhabitants together and told them to leave, threatening, if they refused, to destroy all houses and kill those found still living there. They then took away the five people mentioned above. Ömer Ünal was reportedly being held in the house of the head of the village guards and the others in the school of Altinoluk village, under the surveillance of the gendarmerie team. It was also reported that they were all being subjected to torture. (14 September 1993)
591. The following persons were reported to be held in incommunicado detention at the anti-terror branch of Istanbul police headquarters:
(a) Memik Horoz and his wife Sezemis were reportedly arrested in Istanbul on 17 September 1993 at the office of the political magazine, Partizan. Reportedly, Sezemis Horoz' arm was broken when she was being detained.
(b) Ismail Yilmaz, Ulku Daricioglu and Ethem Cilgin were allegedly arrested at their homes in Istanbul on the same day. Ahmet and Mehmet Polat were allegedly taken into custody on 20 September, also at their homes in Istanbul.
(c) Fethiye Peksen, Alisan Yalçin, Harun Kartal, Ibrahim Dogus, Özlem Bilgin, Erkan Koç, Yesim Taciroglu, Perihan Sürücú, Mehmet Emin Yildirim, Kamil Kayan, Erdogan Aktas, Bekir Yazici, Aydin Yigit, Kemal Metin Sözeri, Murat Urekrsoy, Ercan Yesil, Yusuf Büyükdag and Sevim Yagan. These 18 persons were reportedly arrested during police operations in Istanbul which started on 17 September 1993. They were accused of being members of the illegal armed organization Devrimci Sol. (30 September 1993)
592. On 26 November 1993 the Government replied that Fethiye Peksen and 16 others had been arrested and taken into custody in the context of police operations carried out in Istanbul against the terrorist organization THKP/C-dev-Sol. Subsequently, the judicial authorities had decided to keep 14 of them in detention and release the other three. They had neither been subjected to ill-treatment nor prevented from having contacts with their relatives and lawyers.
593. Information was also received on the arrest of the following nine persons, reported to be held in incommunicado detention at the police headquarters in Van, eastern Turkey: Rukiye Seker, Sevda Seker, Ercan Seker, Adnan Seker, Sevket Aslan, Baris Karaagar and Iskender Elter. They were all reportedly arrested at their homes on 14 September 1993. Fuat Atalay and Cahit Ece were both reportedly arrested as they left work on 17 September 1993. (30 September 1993)
594. With respect to these nine persons the Government replied on 26 November 1993 that they had been arrested and taken into custody on 18 September 1993 on suspicion of giving assistance to PKK, killing under the name of this organization and attempting to set a school on fire. After their interrogation they had been brought before the judicial authorities who had decided to keep Boris Karagar, Sevket Aslan, Iskender Elter, Fuat Talay and Cahit Ece in detention. Medical reports indicated that they had not been ill-treated while in police custody.
595. Behçet Ekinci was arrested at his home in Diyarbakir on 21 September 1993, by officers from the anti-terror branch of Diyarbakir police headquarters. Police officers reportedly occupied the house during the following three days and detained everyone who visited. The following night, around the same time, the police reportedly brought Behçet Ekinci back to his home, covered in blood and bruises. They searched the house for explosives but found nothing and took Behçet Ekinci back to police headquarters. (4 October 1993)
596. Nilufer Koç, a Kurdish interpreter of Turkish origin, resident in Germany: on 25 September 1993 she reportedly travelled to Turkey with four colleagues from an information service in Bremen to act as interpreter for them while they carried out research in the south-eastern provinces of Turkey. On 29 September they were reportedly arrested by security forces in Uludere, Sirnak province, and kept overnight in the house of a village guard. The following day they were reportedly escorted back to Sirnak in a military convoy and held, first by the police and then by the gendarmerie. At this point Nilufer Koç was separated from her colleagues, who were subsequently released. According to the reports, Nilufer Koç was being held in the gendarmerie headquarters in Sirnak. (8 October 1993)
597. Kerim Yilmaz, Nurettin Aslan, Önder Dilek and Ahmet Günes were reportedly taken from their homes in Elazig on 2 October 1993 by police and members of the "special team" (heavily armed police used in anti-insurgent operations). They were said to be held at the Binsekizyüz Evler police interrogation unit in Elazig. Family members were reportedly refused access to the detainees. (14 October 1993)
598. On 26 November 1993 the Government replied that Ahmet Günes and Kerim Yilmaz had been arrested on 28 September and 2 October 1993 respectively under accusation of collaboration with PKK. The judicial authorities had ordered their release on 6 October 1993. While in custody, they had neither been subjected to ill-treatment nor prevented from having contacts with their families.
599. Mehmet Sirin Ögünç, Hakim Ögünç, Zeki Ögünç, Hüseyin Ugurlu, Sami Duygu and Hüsamettin Duygu: according to the reports, on 2 October 1993 gendarmes from the Gökyazi security post raided a district of Altinova, province of Mus, where a wounded PKK guerrilla was thought to be sheltered. An exchange of fire occurred in which the wounded guerrilla and a gendarme were killed. The security forces left the area but returned at about 3 a.m. on 3 October and burned a number of houses. The male population was assembled on vacant land below the town and addressed by a gendarmerie officer who abused them before taking away the persons mentioned above. (14 October 1993)
600. It was reported that in the early hours of 20 October 1993, officers of the anti-terror branch of the Sanliurfa police detained Mehmet Caki, a board member of Democracy Party (DEP) in Viransehir, his wife Saime and their five-month-old baby, together with Mehmet Delen, a visitor to their house in Viransehir. The following day, Mehmet Delen and Saime Caki were released and expressed concern that Mehmet Caki was being tortured, since Saime Caki had heard her husband's screaming. Two other former detainees reported seeing
Mehmet Caki at the police headquarters; his face was apparently swollen, he had marks on his hands and face, and appeared very exhausted. (29 October 1993)
601. Meral Bestas Danis, Mesut Bestas, Sabahattin Acar, Baki Demirhan, Hüsniynie Olmez, Sinasi Tur and Arif Altinkalem, all lawyers who collaborate with the Human Rights Association in Diyarbakir, were arrested on 15 and 16 November 1993. They were reportedly being held incommunicado in police custody. (19 November 1993)
602. Ömer Celik, Hüseyin Ogurlu, Cemil Ögüt, Ethem Baysak and Abdurahman Elçi were arrested on the night of 18 November in Altinova, province of Mus, south-east Turkey, by members of the security forces. Another inhabitant, Mahfuz Elçi, arrested at the same time, was released a few hours later after having been tortured. (24 November 1993)
603. In addition to the lawyers mentioned in the appeal of 19 November 1993, the Special Rapporteur received further information adding the names of two other lawyers: Vedat Erten and Tahir Elçi (from Cizre). In addition, a third lawyer, Niyazi Cem was alleged to have been arrested by members of the anti-terror police of the State Security Court of Istanbul on 23 November 1993. (30 November 1993)
Information received from the Government on cases included in previous reports
604. On 19 November 1992 the Special Rapporteur made an urgent appeal on behalf inter alia of Celal Meral, Ziya Ulusoyl and Mehmet Ustundaj, reported to have been arrested in Istanbul in November 1992. On 11 January 1993 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that they had been arrested, together with 19 others on 5 November 1992, during operations carried out in Istanbul against the terrorist organization TKP/C. After their interrogation, seven of them, including those listed above, had been imprisoned, on 20 November 1992, and the other 15 released by decision of the court before which they had been brought. They had not been subjected to any ill-treatment whatsoever while they were in police custody.
605. On 12 January 1993 the Government replied to the cases referred to in the following paragraphs, transmitted by the Special Rapporteur on 16 September 1992.
606. Mehmet Rauf Yildz, Murat Günes, Ibrahim Burakmat and Mehmet Hanifi Eser were reportedly arrested on 3 November 1991 in Diyarbakir. According to the Government they were placed in police custody on 12 November 1991 on suspicion of engaging in activities for the terrorist organization PKK. The medical report of the forensic physician certified that they were in good health.
607. Mithat Kutlu allegedly died while in custody in Diyarbakir on 18 April 1992. According to the Government, he was seriously injured when he was crushed in a crowd, during an illegal demonstration in Bismil on 18 April 1992. He died as a result of his injuries at the Diyarbakir hospital where he had been taken. An autopsy report had been made.
608. Menice Kirtay was reportedly arrested in Mescit, Silvan, district of Diyarbakir, on 19 June 1992. According to the Government, no person by this name had ever been placed in police custody. Nor was there any record of any report having been made about this person by the Diyarbakir hospital.
609. Sükrü Yilmaz, was reportedly arrested on 4 March 1992 in Sagosele, Besiri. According to the Government, after a medical examination on 13 March 1992, the forensic physician of Besiri reported that he observed no signs of bodily injury. However, a report made on 14 March 1992, by the same forensic physician, indicated that there were bruises on his body. He had never made a complaint about his treatment.
610. In the light of this reply the sources informed the Special Rapporteur that Sükru Yilmaz had submitted a very detailed complaint (copy of which was available) to the public prosecutor in Batman on 16 March 1992 describing his torture. However, he might have revised his statement for the Besiri prosecutor as a result of undue pressure.
611. Bisenk Anik, aged 16, allegedly died in police custody in Sirnak on 25 March 1992. According to the Government, she committed suicide with a firearm while she was in police custody.
612. Sekvan Aytuq, allegedly detained in Sirnak on 14 May 1992: according to the Government, he was arrested at Sirnak on 25 May 1992. It was established that he was not subjected to any ill-treatment while he was in police custody, and that no one visited him during that time.
613. Abdullah Arisoy, Sait Arisoy, Halil Arisoy, reportedly arrested in Cizre on 30 June 1992: according to the Government, they were under no circumstances subjected to ill-treatment while in police custody. They had spread these allegations in order to influence and deceive the court and public opinion.
614. Ali Komak, Erdal Cecit, Ahmet Dagli, Abdulkadir Bingöl, Abdurrahman Aksoy, Abülhamit Tanriverdi, Emin Sores, Mahmut Kirmizigül, Faruk Sakik, Abdullah Yasin, Salih Baykara, Yusuf Sen, Aziz Sen, Nimet Elki, Ihsan Ogan, arrested in Cizre in July 1992: according to the Government, they were arrested in Cizre for belonging to the terrorist organization PKK. On 4 July 1992, they were taken to Sirnak where they were held. Legal proceedings were initiated against them. Aksoy, Dagli, Cecit and Bingöl were released in Cizre on 8 July 1992.
615. Yusufhan Zorba, Mehmet Sirin Zorba, Senar Turqut, Muhittin Aksin, Sakir Kanat, Cemal Kocak, Hüseyin Karakoyun, Sehmuz Karakoyun, Hayrettin Yacan and Salih Bagi allegedly arrested in Van in September 1991: according to the Government, the medical report made by the Mardin hospital indicated that these persons were not subjected to any ill-treatment or torture while they were in police custody. Furthermore, neither they nor their close relatives had filed any complaints with the courts to the effect that they were subjected to such practices.
616. Ibrahim Türk, reportedly arrested on 6 May 1991 in Bismil, Diyarbakir: according to the Government, the relevant medical report indicated that there were no signs of bodily injury.
617. Erdogan Kizilkaya, reportedly arrested in Kayseri on 4 August 1991: according to the Government, the relevant medical report indicated that there was no ill-treatment.
618. Fahri Tirpan, Haydar Emrah, Goskun Kilickaya, Bektas Ozkan, Ali Azkan, Gazi Koksal, Ali Haydar Emre and Ercan Karafas, reportedly arrested in Ankara on 10 January 1992: according to the Government, medical reports showed that none of these persons was subjected to any ill-treatment whatsoever during the time they spent in custody.
619. Nazli Top, reportedly arrested in April 1992 in Istanbul: according to the Government, the report made by the Istanbul Institute of Forensic Medicine indicated that there were no signs of bodily injury.
620. Omer Ozaslan, reportedly arrested on 1 May 1992 in Zonguldak: according to the Government, the medical report showed that he did not suffer any ill-treatment whatsoever during the time he spent in custody.
621. Ismail Yilmaz, reportedly arrested on 27 June 1992 in Istanbul: according to the Government, on the basis of the complaints alleging that he was subjected to torture, legal proceedings were initiated against the three police officers at the Yedikule police station said to be involved.
622. Hüseyin Aten and Salih Yilmaz, reportedly arrested in January 1991 in Bilican (Kavsakli): according to the Government, the allegations of torture were not true. They had not been arrested on the alleged date and they were not known by the inhabitants of the Bilican village.
623. Ali Kesan, aged 16, allegedly died in police custody in Diyarbakir in March 1992. According to the Government, the allegations of torture were baseless. He was not detained in Diyarbakir Closed Prison (E Type) and no person of this name had died at the said prison.
624. Kadir Kurt, allegedly died in police custody in Diyarbakir-Bismil, province of Diyarbakir, on 19 April 1992. According to the Government, the allegations of torture were baseless. The person died with the fire from opened houses during the armed clashes with the PKK terrorist organization at Agilli village in Bismil district. The autopsy made at Diyarbakir state hospital revealed that he had been killed with a firearm. No signs of torture were encountered on his body.
625. Abdulrakip (Refik) Akin, reportedly arrested in Korkut, province of Mus, on 29 January 1992. According to the Government, the allegations of torture were baseless. He had fallen and entered into shock without any intent or interference. He was treated at Mus and Elazig state hospitals and died after three days without coming out of the state of shock. The autopsy was effected by the Mus attorney-general. Death occurred because of trauma to the head due to the knock. No trace of torture was found on his body.
626. Mehmet Celik, was reportedly arrested in Batman-Kozluk, province of Batman, on 9 January 1992. According to the Government, he was arrested after he was identified as having given assistance and refuge to members of the PKK terrorist organization. He later admitted the facts and confessed that he had given his testimony without any pressure and that he regretted what he had done. A medical report issued on 13 October 1992 stated that no signs of force or strike had been found on his body.
627. Hassan Güldal, reportedly died at the Artvin provincial gendarmerie command in June 1992. According to the Government, the allegations of torture were not true. He was a member of the TKP-ML-TIKKO terrorist organization. After being arrested, he began a hunger strike and died of a stomach haemorrhage. The autopsy was effected in the presence of the Artvin attorney general. No signs of torture had been found on his body.
628. Tahir Seyhan, allegedly died on 11 April 1992 in Mardin-Dargecit, province of Mardin. According to the Government, the allegations of torture were baseless. After he had been identified as having created "people's courts" in the name of the PKK terrorist organization and given logistical support to the PKK terrorist organization, he was arrested. While in police custody, he fell intentionally on the concrete floor and knocked his head. He was brought to the state hospital under doctors' surveillance and a first medical intervention was effected. He died at Diyarbakir state hospital while under treatment. Following the autopsy made at Diyarbakir state hospital, it was identified that he died because of the trauma to his head due to the knock on the concrete surface. No signs of torture were found on his body.
629. On 11 January 1993 the Government provided the Special Rapporteur with information on Law No. 3842 (CMUK), approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 18 November 1992, which entered into force on 1 December 1992. This law reportedly amended some provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Law on Establishment and Prosecution Procedures of the State Security Courts. It also abolished some provisions of the Law on Police Duties and Powers and the Anti-Terror Law. According to the Government, the law contained effective measures for the prevention of torture and ill-treatment and introduced important amendments with respect to the right of defence.
630. The Special Rapporteur welcomes recent amendments to the law which could go some way to alleviating the problem of torture in respect of persons suspected of ordinary crime and outside zones where a state of emergency obtains. The Special Rapporteur is also mindful of the difficulties faced by the authorities as a result of the violent and often brutal acts of PKK and other armed opposition groups. Nevertheless, the information available to the Special Rapporteur and his predecessor over many years gives grounds for concern, in the words of the findings of an inquiry conducted by the Committee against Torture acting under article 20 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, about "the existence and systematic character of the practice of torture" (A/48/44/Add.1, para. 58) in Turkey. He also shares the Committee's hope that the Government of Turkey "will take peaceful and effective measures in order rapidly to end the practice of torture" (ibid., para. 59). To this end, the Special Rapporteur limits himself to commending the various ecommendations contained throughout the summary account of the Committee's inquiry.
Information submitted by the Government in connection with Commission resolution 1993/48
631. By note verbale dated 15 November 1993 the Government sent to the various special rapporteurs and working groups of the Commission six information notes concerning terrorist acts perpetrated by the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), according to which, between 1 January and 15 October 1993, 879 persons, including 107 women and 104 children had been assassinated during attacks against the civilian population. In addition, 889 persons, including 129 women and 71 children, had been severely injured during those attacks. The information notes also contained a number of detailed accounts of such incidents.