There appears to be a systematic and deliberate campaign by the government of Turkey to dissuade doctors from writing up reports that prove abuse and torture cases detainees and prisoners went through or that verify serious health risks for jailed suspects.
Against the background of massive crackdown on critics and opponents in Turkey and widespread torture practices in detentions and prisons, 54 people were reported to have lost their lives, most under suspicious circumstances and under lock-up in the last eight months.
“The day I was detained, five police officers took me to a mountain and beat the hell out of me. I have been kicked in the head and genital area tens of times. I managed to identify two of the torturers. One of them was called Nejdet and the other one was Battal. Yet, maybe they use nicknames…. I do not have strength to tell you about all the humiliating sexual torture I faced that night,” a victim said.
Tuğba Y., a teacher who lost her sanity due to alleged torture during weeks of interrogation, was arrested and has been kept in prison since late January despite doctors’ reports showing her deteriorating mental condition.
Yavuz Bölek, a former police chief who was dismissed from his job following corruption probes implicating Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has colorectal cancer and will soon be paralyzed if he is not given medical attention. His requests for treatment have been ignored.
One of the 48 victims said his testicles had been crushed and that a hard object was inserted into his anus while in prison. “I was kept naked in the cold. I was beaten. Pressure was applied to my genital area. The pain didn’t stop for months. I am a bachelor, and I may never be a father,” he said.
Turkish president’s chief religious counsel Hayrettin Karaman, professor of Islamic law, has given approval to overlook torture and other crimes committed by members of security services, saying that Turkey is at total mobilization and under attack from within and outside.
My husband was in an exhausted state when he got into the room. There were punch marks on his face. He was suffering psychologically; he begged not to go back down to the detention room. He was saying “If you wish to give me 50 years in prison, do so, but do not take me down there”.
Measures taken in Turkey after the July 15 coup attempt created an “environment conducive to torture”, and ill treatment appears to have been widespread immediately after the failed putsch, UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer said told reporters in Ankara. “Some recently passed legislation and statutory decrees created an environment conducive to torture,” he said.
The majority of the abuse occurred during the times of arrest and interrogation, his report noted, adding that most of those who have been subjected to torture have not filed complaints “for fear of retaliation against them and their families and because of their distrust in the independence of the prosecution and the judiciary.
Kamil continues. “‘If you don’t speak, we’ll bring your wife here and rape her in front of your eyes’, they said. Then they took me to a dark room and tried to forcefully insert a baton into my anus. When they couldn’t do it, they left. Maybe I will forget the other torture – but for the sexual part, it is carved into the dirtiest corner of my heart.”