A number of Turkish military officers including former Air Forces Commander Akın Öztürk were exposed to torture, severe treatment and corporal punishment by security officers along with privates after the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, According to an article written by Turkish journalist Cevheri Güven titled “Game in a Sports Hall in Ankara,” published in Kronos online news outlet on Monday.
Journalist Güven, who used to be the editor-in-chief of closed Nokta newsweekly in Turkey and now live in exile, has written that many Turkish military staff and especially Akın Öztürk groaned under torment as privates and police officers in a sports hall, that was converted into a detention center, punished them severely based on the information given by witnesses.
Stressing over the insensitivity over the torture especially targeting Gen. Öztürk and other military officers, Güven stated that “Privates attacked Akın Öztürk most of the time and they beat him,” by noting that those security officers ordered them to punish the military officers in upper ranks repeatedly.
Basing on the statements of a witness, Güven also pointed out that the security officers humiliated the military officers by using slang words. He wrote that a police commissioner in Ankara Police Headquarters slammed those detainees: “Now we will play a game with you. When I say ‘Who is the lieutenant?’, the lieutenants will stand up and say ‘I am a son of bitch.’ ‘When I say ‘Who is the non-commissioned officer?’, the non-commissioned officers get up and say, ‘I am a son of a bitch’ … I ask now, ‘Who is the lieutenant?’ …” ordered the police commissioner.
Güven said that this “game” took place in the sports hall where the first detainees were gathered after the failed coup attempt.
According to the descriptions of the civilian eyewitnesses who were in custody at the time, no one involved in the “game” of the torturer police commissioner. Those non-commissioned officers and lieutenants were beat by kicking at their faces thereupon.
Not only that they also took their clothes off and remained them only in underwear and beat without ceasing. “Akın Öztürk was naked. The police beat him continually,” Güven wrote basing on witness statements. In fact, he also pointed that from time to time when police officers get tired, they called privates to get Öztürk beaten up. Güven underlined that these privates were strange types with arms cut.
“Sometimes, they lifted Akin Ozturk to the stage, mocked, exposed his private parts to [the others] and insulted him by saying: ‘This is your commander’s ass and this is your commander’s …’ He has never screamed and given up despite days-long torture. Only once they, all of a sudden, stepped on his toes and he screamed. Other than that, he was all quiet,” a witness statement read.