Several rights organizations made a joint statement about the last week’s torture allegations in the Ankara Police Department. It was revealed that the former Prime Ministry personnel and former service members of the Turkish Intelligence (MIT) were being tortured.
BOLD – The Ankara Chamber of Medicine (ATO), Ankara branch of Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD), the Association of Progressive Lawyers (CHD), the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (OHD), Rights Initiative Association, Revolutionary 78s Federation, Human Rights Agenda Association, Ankara Health and Social Service Workers Union (SES) and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), made a joint statement in the headquarters of Ankara University Alumni Association about the allegations of torture in Ankara Police Department. Deputy Parliament Speaker Mithat Sancar, Democratic Party of Rights (HDP) lawmakers Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu and Hasan Özgüneş, as well as a large number of representatives of many unions and institutions attended. On behalf of the institutions, Nuray Çevirmen, a member of the executive board of the IHD, made a statement.
By recalling that the allegations of physical, psychological, sexual violence torture against 46 people who were former employees of the Ministry of Justice in Ankara Police Department, Çevirmen said; “No explanation is made by the Ministry of Interior and other authorities regarding these allegations, which have broad repercussions in the public opinion.”
Hundred people tortured
Çevirmen stated that seven abduction cases in Ankara had been revealed with the application of families. It was understood that the people who were abducted were subjected to torture after the investigations and appeals.
“According to the information revealed in the press and the information that was given by HDP deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu On May 26, Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff 100 people who were expelled from their jobs because of decree-laws were detained in the Financial Crimes Investigation Bureau, tortured and they were forced to sign statements. However, the allegations were rejected, and the practices were alleged to be ‘following the procedure,'” Çevirmen said.
Perpetrators must be held accountable
By giving the information of torture and other ill-treatment data that can be recorded in the first 11 months of 2019, Çevirmen said: “A total of 840 people applied to HRFT over alleged torture and ill-treatment in the first 11 months of 2019. According to the HRA data, the number of people claiming torture and other ill-treatment in detention and detention places in the first 11 months of 2019 is 830. All these applications regarding torture and ill-treatment; those responsible are not punished by the help of impunity policy and due to the lack of effective investigation. In cases of torture, the impunity policy should be abolished and those responsible should be punished. Inspections should be carried out according to the Istanbul Protocol which Turkey is a signatory to. Turkey has signed the agreements prohibiting torture and must comply with them and should prevent torture. Turkey’s Human Rights and Gender Equality Authority must fulfill its duty against allegations of torture. Here we reiterate that we will fight against torture practices that disregard the dignity of humanity, and we call on all institutions to prevent torture.”
Gergerlioğlu: Actions should be taken
HDP deputy Gergerlioglu said that I brought this issue to the agenda of Parliament by stating the lawyers’ descriptions about the torture in detail. The questions were asked the relevant ministers about the allegations, however “will Twitter prove the torture!” they answered Gergerlioğlu highlighted the need for action against torture by stating the increased number of torture incidents in the country.
They want us to bend the knee
HDP deputy Özgüneş said, “They want us to bend the knee. But we tell them ‘we will not surrender to you.’ We will continue to struggle with this broad participation until you change your mindset regardless of any cost. We can succeed if we are strong enough.”
Sancar: Torturers will be tried
Parliament Speaker Mithat Sancar highlighted that torture is the most significant assault against human dignity. Sancar said, “Those who adopt torture as a policy should know that; even if only one person remains after the torturers, they will be tried. As long as one person shouts ‘there is torture and responsible people will be tried,’ they will always have fear. Their fears must grow. What can make this achieved is the productive struggle of all of us.”
“We held the joint press conference on the allegations of torture at the Ankara Police Department with the participation of MPs and supporting institutions, the Ankara Chamber of Medicine (ATO), the Association of Progressive Lawyers (CHD), the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (OHD), Rights Initiative Association, Revolutionary 78s Federation, Human Rights Agenda Association, Ankara Health and Social Service Workers Union (SES) and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV),” tweeted the Ankara branch of Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD).
On December 18, a detention order was issued in Ankara for 27 people who were identified as former employees of Prime Ministry. After 18 people were detained in their homes, allegations of torture and ill-treatment came up. At least seven held at the Ankara Police Department’s Anti-Terror Branch were threatened with rape with bottles, along with heavy insults. At least two of the detainees were reported to have been tortured in the form of beating.
After the incident, the Ankara Bar Association took action and met with detainees and victims of torture and ill-treatment.