A lawyer representing Önder Asan, a private school teacher who was allegedly abducted by unidentified persons in Ankara on April 1, has been detained for refusing to sign a false testimony prepared by the police on behalf of his client, the Aktifhaber news portal reported on Tuesday.
It has recently emerged that Asan was handed over to the Ankara Police Department’s Bureau of Organized Crime on May 12 by the individuals who allegedly abducted and tortured him.
Asan, a philosophy teacher at a secondary school that was shut down by the government due to its links to the Gülen movement, suspiciously disappeared on April 1.
Asan’s wife Fatma Asan tweeted that she found her husband’s car parked in the Şentepe neighborhood of Ankara with its tires slashed. She also said police and the prosecutor in charge were so reluctant to investigate the case that not even a single CCTV camera in Şentepe was examined for possible recordings of her husband.
After 42 days of a media and social media campaign by his wife and others, Önder Asan was reported to be in police custody at the Ankara Police Department’s Bureau of Organized Crime on May 12.
Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a deputy for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), tweeted on Sunday, mentioning Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, that: “[Önder Asan] was handed over to the police after he was kept in an unknown place. Is there any investigation into those who abducted and held [Asan]?”
According to Aktifhaber, Asan’s lawyer, Burak Çolak, who went to see his client at the police headquarters, was asked to sign a false testimony which was not that of Asan. Police detained the lawyer when he refused to sign the testimony.
CHP’s Tanrıkulu raised the issue from his Twitter account on Tuesday. Mentioning Justice Minister Bozdağ, he asked: “Are the claims that Burak Çolak, lawyer of Önder Asan, was detained when he refused to sign a testimony ‘prepared’ by the police?”
This article originally appeared in Turkish Minute on May 16.