Skip to content

Turkey behaving badly

The pictures shows the Istanbul Security Directorate in Vatan Street, Turkey. behind these walls unspeakable things are happening.

Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe and a party to several human rights treaties, including the European Convention on Human Rights
AND the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

Following the attempted coup on July 15, the government declared a state of emergency and invoked its right to temporarily place extraordinary restrictions on some of the standards in the human rights treaties it has signed. These actions clearly violate many guarantees, including the rights to freedom of expression, liberty, and security, and access to justice.

Meanwhile doctors at organisations treating victims of torture continue to examine the injuries of Kurdish men and women released very recently from Turkish government security facilities, documenting their scars and using the aptly named Istanbul protocol to determine the degree of legal certainty with which they are attributable to the torture they describe. They compile the evidence, and there is plenty of it.

This is a dangerous time to be a Kurdish political activist in South East Turkey. The two leaders of Turkey’s legal pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP) have been detained. We are pretty sure we can describe what’s happening to them. There are usually four men in the room, with truncheons. They may be uniformed but their shirts will be off as they are hot with the exertion of it. The detainee is naked, bound, bruised and bleeding, teeth broken, eyes swollen shut, dizzy with head injury and thirst. There are beatings, electric shocks, repeated immersion in the toilet, sexual assault, threats of death. All for a confession you can never trust and a promise to inform that will not be kept.

The sensible man guesses that the torturers are as full of fear as of hatred. Their boundaries have been reset. The unacceptable has become the norm. Yet beating and burning and drowning the people you don’t trust won’t make them your friends. Dehumanising and brutalising people you fear and hate won’t make you feel safer.
Turkey seeks a seat at the table, but whilst a steady stream of torture survivors are showing their marks, Mr Erdogan has work to do.

Turkey is a signatory to OPCAT. Membership of OPCAT commits a country to regular external inspections by Independent National and International bodies. OPCAT is non judgmental, believing that the increased transparency from such inspections reduces abuse. Its time for Turkey to allow Human Rights Watch or Physicians for Human Rights, both with excellent records of impartiality, to inspect.

What can YOU do? Email the Turkish Consulate. Ask them to open the doors of their detention centres to inspection by external NGOs.


Postal address:
Rutland Lodge Rutland Gardens,
London SW7 1BW,
United Kingdom

Telephone: 020 7591 6900
Fax: 020 75 91 6911

BizeYazin For all your queries:
KCM Consulate Call Center:
+44 203 608 80 90

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: