A Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy has said there will be no investigations into claims of torture and mistreatment of people put into prison after a July 15 coup attempt if those victims are sympathizers of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
AKP deputy Mehmet Metiner, who is also head of the parliamentary prison subcommittee, said there will be no official visit to those who have been arrested on charges of membership in the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), a term used by the Turkish government to describe the Gülen movement.
He also said there will be no investigation into torture claims if the victims are Gülenists.
Meitner criticized the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for bringing claims of torture to Parliament’s agenda. “Nobody should attempt to make political propaganda through FETÖ terrorists. They are not victims but [are people] who make others into victims,” he was quoted as saying by Duvar, a news web portal.
Meanwhile, Turkish government has postponed the scheduled visit of Juan E. Mendez, the UN special rapporteur on torture, to the county, which has been beset by allegations of torture, maltreatment and rape against detainees in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt.
Amnesty International stated that it had collected credible evidence that detainees in Turkey are beaten, tortured and on some occasions raped in official and unofficial detention centers across the country, on July 24.
In the aftermath of an attempted coup on July 15, the state-run Anadolu news agency unabashedly shared photos of tortured soldiers who had been detained over their alleged involvement in the coup bid. Media also reported that several detainees have recently committed suicide while in prison.
Anonymous tips submitted to Turkey Purge and letters by journalists who were briefly detained following the coup have also confirmed that people have been held in overcrowded cells.“We have been told that there are acts of torture in detention centers. The old styles of torture techniques have begun to be used again. It is as if old torture devices like Palestinian Hanging and electric shock were kept hidden for a while and have now been put into use again,” Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD) lawyer Gülseren Yoleri said earlier.
Meanwhile, the number of people who die in suspicious circumstances after being linked to the July 15 coup attempt has been rising with every passing day, a systematic occurrence that is casting a shadow over official statements pointing to suicide.
At least 14 people have reportedly committed suicide either after they were imprisoned over ties to the Gülen movement or after being linked to the movement outside prison. The relatives of most of them claim that the detainees are not the kind of people to commit suicide, shedding doubt on the official narrative. Rumors also have it that some of the detainees were killed after being subjected to torture while in custody.