Connect with us

Human Rights

Abductee turns up in police custody after nine months of disappearance

Mustafa Yilmaz, a Turkish national abducted in the capital city of Ankara in February 2019, is revealed to be in the Ankara Police Department, 9 months after his disappearance.

His wife Sumeyye Yilmaz announced the news on her social media account saying, “They just called me from the anti-terror department. My spouse Mustafa Yilmaz has been found in the Karapurcek Police Station at 11:30 PM. Now he is said to be under custody in the anti-terror branch of Ankara Police Department.”

Throughout the ’90s, hundreds of Kurdish people became victims of enforced disappearance in Turkey, abducted by rogue figures with Toros brand (an infamous white-colored Renault model in 90s) cars that belonged to the police, never to be seen again.

The White Toros abductions have made a comeback in present-day Turkey with the “Black Transporters.”Twenty-nine abductions have been recorded in the past three years with these vehicles. Some of the abductees are still unaccounted for.The majority of them reappeared in the units of the Ankara Police Department after a period under torture that lasted approximately six months, in an underground facility in Ankara.

Mustafa Yılmaz

According to the testimony of the victims, their abductors were the members of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT), and after months of torture to force them to sign testimonies written by them, they handed the abductees over to the Ankara Police Department. The cases of abductees who disappeared in February differ from others. These people were abducted as their families and neighbors witnessed the incidents play out.

Gökhan Türkmen, Yasin Ugan, Özgür Kaya, Erkan Irmak, Mustafa Yılmaz, and Salim Zeybek were abducted on February 7, February 12, February 16, February 18, February 20, 2019 respectively.In July this year, the spouses of Ugan, Kaya, Zeybek, and Irmak also announced that their husbands were in custody in the Ankara Police Department.

The court arrested the four and sent them to Sincan prison in Ankara, on terror charges over their alleged ties to the Gulen movement, accused by Erdogan administration of being the culprits behind the failed 2016 coup.

There were no words on the whereabouts of Mustafa Yılmaz and Gökhan Türkmen back then. Turkmen is still unaccounted for after Yılmaz’s reappearance.

“THESE CANNOT BE MY HUSBAND’S WORDS”

Sümeyye Yılmaz is renown for the fight she gave over her husband’s abduction. Besides her efforts on the national and international level, she attended panel discussions and public protests, resorting to all means to have her voice heard.

Yılmaz rejoiced over the news of her husband being alive after all, assuming her husband would be arrested, she still considers seeing him alive worth everything.

Stating that the pressure on her spouse is still ongoing, Yılmaz describes his state after 9 months of disappearance saying, “He has lost too much weight, 20 to 25 kilograms. His skin was so white. Must have been held in a place with no sunlight. His hands were so cold. He got anemia due to malnutrition.”Sumeyye Yılmaz went on to tell that her husband’s testimony was forcibly taken, “He asked me to delete my social media accounts. He doesn’t want the lawyer I hired. These cannot be my husband’s words. They abducted him, tortured him and forced him to sign this testimony. His abduction by a black transporter is visible on CCTV footage.

Now they want me to believe that my husband showed up alone after 9 months and turned himself over to the police. I do not believe this scenario.”Mustafa Yılmaz is currently being held in a cell by himself. He doesn’t want to see the lawyer hired by his family. He turned down a meeting with the Ankara Bar Association as well

.Abductees like Mustafa Yılmaz who were interrogated under torture, later get arrested and put in solitary confinement. They are not allowed to see their families unsupervised. They always meet under the supervision of a police officer or a guard, in a bid to prevent them from telling that they have been through.

Rights advocates and lawyers also are not allowed to monitor their hearings due to the confidentiality orders issued over their trials.

There have been 29 cases of enforced disappearance during the post-coup crackdown. The names of abductees and their disappearance dates are as follows;

Sunay Elmas, January 27, 2016

Ayhan Oran, November 1, 2016

Mustafa Özgür Gültekin, December 21, 2016

Durmuş Ali Çetin, May 17, 2017

Hüseyin Kötüce, February 28, 2017

Mesut Geçer, March 26, 2017

Turgut Çapan, March 31, 2017

Önder Asan, April 1, 2017

Cengiz Usta, April 4, 2017

Mustafa Özben, May 9, 2017

Fatih Kılıç, May 14, 2017

Cemil Koçak, June 5, 2017

Murat Okumuş, June 16, 2017

Enver Kılıç, June 30, 2017

Zabit Kişi, September 30, 2017

Hıdır Çelik, December 6, 2017

Ümit Horzum, December 6, 2017

Ayten Öztürk, March 13, 2018

Orcun Şenyücel, April 21, 2018

Hasan Kala, July 20, 2018

Fahri Mert, August 12, 2018

Ahmet Ertürk, November 16, 2018

Gökhan Türkmen, February 7, 2019

Yasin Ugan, February 12, 2019

Özgür Kaya, February 12, 2019

Erkan Irmak, February 16, 2019

Mustafa Yılmaz, February 18, 2019

Salim Zeybek, February 20, 2019

Yusuf Bilge Tunç, August 6, 2019

Human Rights

Plight of children with imprisoned parents

Hundreds of mothers and fathers, were arrested due to alleged relations with Hizmet Movement in Erdogan’s Turkey. The children with both parents imprisoned are part of a great tragedy that takes place in the country.

There are more than 500 thousand ongoing investigations against alleged Hizmet movement members. The movement comprises the largest organized opposition against Erdogan’s rule in Turkey. Children are the greatest victims of investigations targeting these well-educated citizens.

The Öner family is among those many victims. Meryem and Osman Öner were arrested on March 6, 2017. Their three children have to stay with different relatives. The mother and her 2 children have medical conditions.

Especially the eldest child of the family, İbrahim Said Öner, is trying to make his voice heard on Twitter for his mother’s immediate release.

Said Öner said that his mother had been receiving psychological treatment for 8 years and had been using strong pharmaceuticals. He also mentioned that “Her condition in the prison is deteriorating. When she got worse, the doctors wrote a report that she ‘cannot remain alone’. However, she is kept alone. Moreover, she is alone in the 28-person ward. In Kilis city prison, there is no one under arrest over Hizmet Movement related investigations, so she is kept alone.”

Said Öner said that not only his sister who is a student of 11th grade has to use strong medications due to her mental state, but also he is having fits. He mentioned that his mother should be immediately released pending a trial both for her well-being and for her children.

Said Öner tells the story of what his siblings undergo and what happened afterward:

“It became obvious that my parents were in prison due to probes into the Hizmet Movement. It’s a small town where my siblings live. They encountered too much neighborhood pressure. My brother was forced to drop out of school because of bullying. He was admitted to a correspondence school.”

Family scattered

Said Öner posted on Twitter about the turmoil in his family’s life revealing that his two siblings stay at his aunts in the southern Hatay city while he remained in Istanbul at another aunt of him. Hatay is 1.115 kilometers away from Istanbul.

“My mother desired to be transferred to the prison in the city where my siblings have been living for almost a year, so did my father. Each time, their petition was rejected,” Öner says and carries on with stating, “My father was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment on the same charges over which Hizmet Movement members are incriminated, such as sending your child to a Hizmet affiliated school. They’re completely innocent. These incidents affected me and I studied harder and successfully enrolled in law school.”

“One of my siblings is in 11th grade, the other one is a 3rd-grade. We have no income. My aunts support us.”

“We want, at least, my mother to be released as soon as possible, both for her and my two siblings’ health conditions.”

Resorting to higher courts

Not getting any results from the local court, Said Oner said “My dad’s always worried about my mom being alone. He is afraid as my mother is not psychologically well. My parents are ruined mentally speaking. We consider applying to the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights.”

The Purge

The Hizmet Movement, which currently has 17,000 members in detention, describes this course of time as “Tenkil” – “Purge.” “Tenkil” is an Arabic-rooted Turkish word, a noun that signifies eradicating or total cleansing. In the last three years, 117,000 people have been arrested for various periods over their alleged membership in the Hizmet Movement. Almost all of these people are university graduates and the majority are teachers.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Report on torture in Turkey

Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST), a US-based human rights organization, prepared a report on the torture incidents and deaths, which occurred after the coup bid that took place on July 15, 2016. In the report, two victims alleged that they were abducted by the Turkish National Intelligence Service (MIT) and subjected to torture.

Titled as “Systematic Torture and Ill-Treatment in Turkey,” the report covers the cases of Gökhan Açıkkollu, Ayten Öztürk, Zabit Kişi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs employees, the tortured children in Van city, as well as the very first interviews conducted with two people abducted by MIT. The 128-page report examines 104 cases.

Torture and ill-treatment took the lives of 93 people

According to AST, 93 people died in prisons due to torture, ill-treatment, and neglect. As a result of interrogations under torture during detention, 11 people were killed. In addition to registering these individuals’ names, AST highlighted 10 torture cases.

A former official from the Presidency

Mr. A.G. (The name is not provided by the rapporteur due to security grounds), a former official from the Presidency

was brought to the MIT’s Yenimahalle Campus with a sack over his head and while constantly being beaten. He stated that he was electrified on a device called “the Palestinian hanger,” beaten up with whips, sticks, and batons and that he was also subjected to rape attempts.

Staying in the 4.5-square-meter dark cell for weeks, A.G. disclosed that he was actively subjected to similar physical tortures especially during the first 20 days. Accused of being a member of the Gulen Movement, A.G. was left hungry and thirsty and faced curses, insults, and threats on his family.

Torture with baton

A.G. said some captives had ruptured bowels because of despicable actions like making them sit on a dildo or inserting a baton into the anal passage. He also reported that there were attempts to rape him. Listening to the screams of the tortured people in their cells and the laughter of the torturers who mocked them, A.G. described a torture session as 4-5 hours. He said that there were cameras in his cells and they have prevented him from sleeping by giving the torturers constant instructions.

He alleged that an officer from the presidential office came to this interrogation center and received reports from the tormentor. He was asked to become a confessor, to sign pre-prepared statements and to work as an informant in the Gülen Movement by working for the MIT.

It was discussed by İ.S. in the report that he was tortured in the same premises for 7.5 months. When he was released after losing 30 kilos, he predicated that even his wife could not recognize him as similar torture methods were applied to İ.S.

At the conclusion of the report, a list of 93 prisoners’ names, who died as a result of torture and neglect in the prisons after July 15, 2016, and how they died were provided. Besides, those who died as a result of neglect and torture in custody are described in detail.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Victim of enforced disappearance lost weight and in fear, says wife

Gökhan Türkmen, a Turkish national who was allegedly held in a torture center for 9 months after his abduction, met his wife for the first time recently. His wife Zehra Türkmen told about the meeting which took place in the presence of police officers.

The most damning rights violations perpetrated by the Erdogan regime against the Hizmet Movement, during the ongoing crackdown in which tens of thousands of members have been arrested, are the enforced disappearances.

Gökhan Türkmen, one of the about 30 people who were abducted by the Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT), was handed over to the police after being tortured in a secret center for 9 months.

Months later, Zehra Türkmen met her husband face-to-face at the Ankara Police Department for the first time.

 

Zehra Türkmen described her impressions as follows:

“My husband was thinner than I expected. His hands were so white, which caught my attention the most. He was afraid. ‘Think about the children,’ he said constantly. Then he told me to withdraw our applications to international organizations and courts, such as the United Nations and the ECHR, and not to share anything on Twitter about his abduction. He said he didn’t want a lawyer. All those who were kidnapped and left were saying the same words to their wives. I said that I would not withdraw my applications.”

“There was one policeman in front of the door and two behind us when we were talking. We couldn’t talk very easily between three people.”

“‘Will you wait for me?’ my husband asked.’ Of course, I will,’ I answered. I said it won’t take much time, not as long as he expected. I explained that this is a political process. ‘No matter how many years, we’re here for you, don’t worry!’ I said.”

“My husband’s case was the first of the six abductions that occurred in February 2019. The other abductees were handed over [to the police]. There was no news from my husband. Frankly, I was scared that they harm him. Nine months later they told me my husband was alive.”

“I always thought before whether he was alive. Now, I am thinking about whether there is any scar on his hand, face, and body, or permanent damage. What is his mood? That’s my concern. But it’s good to know he is alive.”

“I stayed in prison for 9 months”

“One of my kids is 6 and the other is 11 years old. We did not tell my children that their father had been kidnapped. But my children have many problems such as biting their nails, excessive fear, lack of attention. My son can’t even go to the bathroom alone. We have been living this process for four years. I stayed apart from my children for nine months while I was imprisoned. I was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment. My sentence has not yet been finalized at the Supreme Court.”

Legal struggle continues

“Now we have another struggle, the legal struggle. I’ll be a follower of this law process to the end. No matter what international courts it goes to, I will not quit ”

One person is still in the torture center

Gökhan Türkmen, who was abducted on February 7, 2019, is a chemist. Together with Turkmen, Yasin Ugan, Ozgur Kaya, Salim Zeybek, Erkan Irmak and Mustafa Yilmaz were abducted in February.

All of the abductees in February were handed over to the police after months of torture.

Yusuf Bilge Tunç, who was abducted in August, has not got away from the torture center yet.

 

Continue Reading

Popular

Copyright © 2018 Medyabold