In the latest of firsthand letters revealing re-emergence of torture in Turkish prisons, an Antalya arrestee reportedly said he was beaten so badly that he blacked out for some time while he was also threatened with rape.
Detained after a regular police check on Jan 5, Z.G. spent 12 days under detention at Antalya police station before he was ultimately put in pre-trial arrest, according to online news portal Aktif Haber. He is accused of membership to a terrorist organization, the most common charge Turkish government has resorted to when detaining 97,000 people in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt.
“I was sitting along with my PhD student friend and my advisor at a restaurant in Yakut bazaar near Akdeniz University on Thursday. We were stopped by police after we left the restaurant. …They forced me and my friend into a police car without any explanation,” Z.G. said before adding that he was beaten by a group of policeman at the Antalya police station’s Department of Anti-Smuggling and Organised Crime.
“I was lying still on the floor shocked by what just happened to me. ….Meanwhile they were swearing at me: Son of a bitch,” he said.
The letter was published by Aktif Haber with the picture of a piece from a handwritten text, believed to be his, on Apr 4.
Z.G. said police officers were asking me to give up alleged structure of the terrorist organization I was accused to be member of.
“Then they made me take a dog position. …One of them, named Rafet, started sliding a baton between by thumb and forefinger and threatened me: I will drive this baton in an out of your butt for 30 days, I will leave you near homosexuals at Antalya 100th Boulevard.”
“Will do the same to your wife,” Rafet reportedly continued.
Z.G. said police officers turned on air conditioners to create discomfort at the holding cell all the time and he got sick at the end.
Criminals at the holding cell are forced to intimidate perceived terror prisoners, Z.G. also said.
On Oct. 27 last year, in a 43-page report titled “A Blank Check: Turkey’s Post-Coup Suspension of Safeguards Against Torture,” Human Rights Watch documented 13 specific abuse incidents concerning Turkey’s post-coup detainees. The alleged abuse cases ranged from the use of stress positions and sleep deprivation to severe beatings, sexual abuse and the threat of rape.
Human rights group Amnesty International also reported on July 24 that it had received credible evidence of detainees in Turkey being subjected to beatings and torture, including rape, since a failed coup on July 15.