GHRD News

Police torture and ill treatment in Turkey- Human Rights Watch

On 18 July 2020 (Istanbul), the police detained three suspects, two of them children, in connection with the fatal shooting of one police officer and injury of another. The 17-year-old child (suspect), told lawyers that police beat him with a cable and fists, kicked him in the face several times, and “bounced his head against the walls like a ball.’’
Istanbul ( 29th of July 2020)-There is an incredible evidence that Turkish police and community “night watchmen” have committed serious abuses against at least fourteen people in six incidents in Diyarbakir and İstanbul in the last two months, Human Rights Watch said today.
The incidents illustrate a worrying pattern of violent arrest, beatings, and other abuse that seems to be part of an increase in violent treatment in custody.
“The immediate knee-jerk denial of police wrongdoing when faced with reports of police violence, torture, and ill-treatment – specifically in recent incidents in Diyarbakir – is sadly familiar, but not acceptable,” said Tom Porteus, deputy program director at Human Rights Watch. “Turkish authorities should immediately investigate these credible allegations of serious abuse and hold those responsible accountable.”
There has been a marked resurgence of police torture and ill-treatment in custody over the past five years and in particular since the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. Lack of condemnation from higher officials and a readiness to cover up allegations rather than investigate them has resulted in widespread impunity for security forces.
There has been no justice for victims in cases of torture and other abuse documented by Human Rights Watch in recent years, and Turkey has a long and poor history of tolerating torture and invoking superficial denials and unconvincing explanations of how detainees have been seriously injured or died in custody.
Human Rights Watch states that ‘’opposition members of parliament have frequently submitted written parliamentary questions regarding torture or ill-treatment. The Interior and Justice Ministries have not responded to most questions, although under parliamentary rules they are obligated to do so within 15 days. In one answer to a question about the torture of 55 men and women in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa in May 2019, the Interior Ministry simply dismissed the allegations as “baseless statements and smear campaigns against the security forces.” The complaints have not been investigated.’’
“Widespread impunity for abuses by security officers sends a message that they are above the law and encourages them to abuse detainees,” Porteous said. “Turkey’s president and interior minister need to state publicly in unconditional terms that Turkey will abide by the absolute prohibition of torture and ill-treatment and bring those responsible for abuse to justice.”
HalitErayTosun alleges he was beaten in the police station by police officers who broke three of his teeth.
Sevil Cetin alleges she was attacked and bitten by police dogs and beaten by police officers in the apartment she was living in.