Ümit Horzum, a Turkish citizen who was abducted from his car in Ankara on December 6, 2017 and handed over to the Ankara police on Monday, is being subject to torture, torment and excruciating pain at the Ankara Police Department Organized Crime Control Bureau, Turkish journalist Bülent Ceyhan tweeted.
Horzum, who was removed from his job at the Turkish Accreditation Agency (TURKAK) by a government decree issued last year due to his alleged links to the Gülen group. He was reportedly found on April 17, after which the police informed his wife, Aynur, that her husband was in police custody. Yet, according to the family’s Twitter account, neither his family nor his lawyer has been allowed to see Horzum.
According to Ceyhan, who wrote from his Twitter account on Friday, Horzum is being held in custody at the Ankara Police’s Organized Crime Department and sustained broken ribs and a burst eardrum after he was brought there.
MİT tarafından kaçırılan ve 133 gün işkence gören Ümit Horzum, Ankara Organize Suçlar Şubesine teslim edildi. Getirildiğinde kaburgaları kırık, kulak zarı yırtık haldeymiş. Şimdi 100 sayfalık hazır ifadeye imza atması için işkenceye devam ediliyor. https://t.co/QYnSsmtXVw
— Bülent Ceyhan (@bulentceyhan) April 20, 2018
Horzum’s disappearance made it to the news for the first time when a Twitter account believed to be controlled by Umit’s wife tweeted in late 2017 the following : “I haven’t heard from my husband Ümit Horzum since Wednesday, Dec 6, 2017, 6 pm. …Following media reports on tortured detainees, my husband was scared and he left home to hide. …A short while after leaving, gendarmerie came to our home to detain him. …He was not staying at home since then. A few days ago, one of his friends stopped by to say that his car was stopped and that he was abducted by force. [His friend] left without answering any further question.”
At least 12 people reported abducted since 2016 failed coup
Mysterious disappearances involving already-victimized opposition groups have become a common occurrence in Turkey in the aftermath of a July 15 coup attempt.
At least twelve people were alleged have been abducted so far. The abductions in 11 cases took place in 2017, according to a report by the Human Rights Association (İHD) and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV).
Previously, three teachers, a lawyer, a university employee, two intelligence agency officials, an Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTİK) employee, a Competition Authority employee and an agricultural engineer have been reported while one of the teachers was handed over by unidentified men to police after spending 42 days out of sight. Also, an Ankara man named Sunay Elmas is reported to have been abducted, but this particular case took place on Jan. 27, 2016.
Those not seen for quite some time mostly have in common in their personal histories that they have lost their jobs amid a sweeping crackdown that the Turkish government has conducted against its critics, particularly members of the Gülen movement.
Turkish government holds the Gulen movement responsible for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt while the latter denies involvement. More than 150,000 people have been detained over ties to the movement in Turkey so far.
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier called on foreign governments to punish Gulen followers in their own countries.
In May Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Georgia and Myanmar handed over academics, businessmen and school principals upon the Turkish government’s request despite the fact that some of those victims already had refugee status with the United Nations.