Torture returns to Turkey – The Economist

11:28 • 09.09.17



The crackdown gets brutal


The masked special-ops officers barged into their apartment in Diyarbakir, in Turkey’s south-east, in the dead of a December night, says Tulay Yer-Celik. For the next two hours Mrs Yer-Celik, her month-old son and her mother-in-law listened as the agents beat her husband, Omer, in the next room. The violence ended only when the police arrived. Mr Celik, a journalist for the pro-Kurdish Dicle Haber Agency, one of over 150 news outlets shut down since last year’s bloody, abortive coup, was detained in Diyarbakir for two weeks. He was then transferred to a maximum-security prison near Istanbul, where he remains. His crime, according to an indictment that appeared only in late June, was to have published news stories based on the hacked e-mails of Turkey’s energy minister. He faces a sentence of 16 years.


Turkey’s government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, proclaimed a policy of “zero tolerance” for torture in the early 2000s. But amid the fallout from last year’s coup and a continuing crackdown against Kurdish militants, tolerance is back. Human-rights groups have cited instances of beatings and torture, including rape and threats of rape, in Turkish detention centres. A UN official who visited Turkey late last year called such abuse “widespread”.


Human Rights Watch, a pressure group, has urged the government to investigate the kidnappings of four people accused of links to the Gulen movement, an Islamist sect believed to have inspired the coup. (The men are among the 110,000 civil servants purged from their jobs since last summer). One of the four resurfaced in police custody after six weeks. He has since accused security personnel of torturing him. Turkish officials rebuff questions about such cases. “There is no torture in detention centres,” says one.


Similar outrages have come to light in the country’s south-east, where at least 3,000 people have died in clashes between the army and Kurdish militants, and in a string of terrorist attacks, in the past two years. On August 5th security forces responded to the killing of a policeman near Sapatan, a Kurdish village, by forcing dozens of residents out of their homes and beating them in the local square. Of the 36 people detained, many were assaulted with hoses and metal rods at the local police station, according to Kurdish politicians who visited the area days later.


A police officer was later suspended, but investigations into such abuses remain rare. Officials involved in counter-terrorism operations were granted immunity from prosecution last year. Berat Albayrak, the energy minister and the president’s son-in-law, remarked last week that he was tempted to strangle Gulenists whenever he saw them. Only a few years ago, the ruling Justice and Development party could plausibly claim to have done away with torture, notes Andrew Gardner of Amnesty International. “Since 2015 this success has been turned on its head,” he says.


The international response to all this has been feeble. Nine months ago, following a fact-finding mission, the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture gave Mr Erdogan’s government a detailed report on ill-treatment in Turkish prisons. Turkey has not allowed its findings to be made public. EU politicians, including Angela Merkel, have talked about cancelling accession talks with Turkey, but it has not happened.

 

Increasingly, the people who are trying to expose the abuses have themselves come under threat. Eight human-rights activists, including Amnesty International’s Turkey director and two European nationals, have been behind bars since July on outlandish conspiracy charges. Journalists face similar pressure. When photos of some of the Sapatan villagers appeared on social media, their backs covered with bruises, the local governor’s office insisted that the men had not been tortured. Reports to the contrary, it added, bore the mark of “terrorist propaganda”.





Загрузка...

LATEST NEWSAll Today news

11:41 • 20/06

Turkey's denial of 1915 events ‘highly condemnable’ – parliament official  

11:01 • 20/06

European court fines Turkey over refusal to appoint woman as security guard

10:49 • 20/06

Israel welcomes United States' courageous to pull out from UN Human Rights Council

10:41 • 20/06

Scholarships and Armenian Genocide education included in state budget due to Portantino’s leadership

10:17 • 20/06

Canada approves recreational use of marijuana

09:40 • 20/06

Mice chew up cash worth Rs 12 lakh in Assam ATM

09:32 • 20/06

2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe launched with 523 horses on tap

09:25 • 20/06

US quits UN human Rights Council, saying it’s anti-Israel

09:12 • 20/06

France and Germany agree on common Eurozone plan

17:56 • 19/06

New Armenian government’s program deserves intn’l support - Alex Johnon’s article in The Hill

17:28 • 19/06

IT sector good platform 'to revise emigration models’ – Nikol Pashinyan

16:54 • 19/06

Perth Zoo has farewels world's oldest Sumatran Orangutan

16:30 • 19/06

Ex-army general faces criminal charges after being stripped of parliamentary immunity

15:51 • 19/06

Armenian police seize trucks loaded with food for soldiers

14:44 • 19/06

Emilia Clarke says goodbye to Game Of Thrones  

14:19 • 19/06

Azerbaijan shoots down Armenian drone in Artsakh

14:05 • 19/06

Inside America's Armageddon bunkers: Pictures show once secret doomsday hideouts built to withstand a nuclear apocalypse

13:43 • 19/06

Armenian parliament strips notorious lawmaker of immunity  

13:00 • 19/06

Aznavour delays comeback from fall

12:51 • 19/06

Turkey's Erdogan vows 'third nuclear power plant' plan

12:20 • 19/06

Armenia's prosecutor general asks parliament to strip former army general of immunity

12:02 • 19/06

Fewer Armenians seek asylum in Europe - report

11:41 • 19/06

Zhamanak: Armenia-Artsakh relations 'in interstate domain'

10:57 • 19/06

Garo Paylan: I am happy for Armenia and ready to assist in future dialogue with Turkey  

10:17 • 19/06

Apple fined for misleading customers in Australia

10:01 • 19/06

Croatia send striker home for refusing to play

09:52 • 19/06

Russians launch giant Soyuz spacecraft over World Cup city

09:28 • 19/06

North Korea leader visits China after Trump summit

09:12 • 19/06

Trump plans to reclaim America's spot as 'world's greatest spacefaring nation'

18:24 • 18/06

Audi chief arrested in Germany over diesel scandal

18:18 • 18/06

John Travolta mob film gets whacked by critics

17:38 • 18/06

Nikol Pashinyan calls for comprehensive probe into former army general's criminal case  

16:52 • 18/06

Turkey opens natural gas pipeline from Azerbaijan

13:21 • 18/06

Bulgaria ratifies EU-Armenia agreement

12:32 • 18/06

First tourism information center opens in Yerevan

11:46 • 18/06

Bitcoin 'bringing internet to halt'

10:35 • 18/06

Taliban ends truce in Afghanistan despite plea

10:29 • 18/06

WC 2018: Brazil 1-1 Switzerland

10:23 • 18/06

Chic or shocking? Meghan Markel's £4k floaty wrap dress gets mixed reactions as she and Harry are guests at his cousin's wedding

10:11 • 18/06

At least 3 killed, 200+ injured after 6.1 quake strikes Osaka, Japan

09:45 • 18/06

Mayor of Echmiadzin resigns

09:12 • 18/06

Conservative politician elected Columbia president

15:02 • 16/06

No geopolitical context behind Armenia's 'velvet revolution', Prime Minister tells Russia Today  

13:58 • 16/06

Georgian president confirms nomination of new prime minister

13:40 • 16/06

Grand Chess Tour: Aronian leads tournament ahead of final day

13:17 • 16/06

BarCamp opens annual master class series in Yerevan

12:09 • 16/06

Nikol Pashinyan starting ‘short trip’ to Artsakh

11:44 • 16/06

Zhoghovurd: Azerbaijan’s belligerent intentions towards Artsakh ‘big challenge’

11:08 • 16/06

Adults in polyamorous relationship declared legal parents of child in Canada

10:16 • 16/06

Zhoghovurd: Armenia’s social affairs minister may retract resignation?   

10:04 • 16/06

Japan hit by tropical storm

09:58 • 16/06

WC 2018: Portugal 3-3 Spain

09:43 • 16/06

Trump says meeting with Putin ‘possible’ this summer

09:28 • 16/06

Greece, Macedonia to sign name change accord

09:13 • 16/06

Eiffel Tower perimeter fence built to stop terrorism

18:30 • 15/06

Russia seeking 'increased influence' on Armenia, Artsakh, warns poltiical analyst

17:53 • 15/06

Fox apologizes for Robbie Williams’ WC 2018 gesture

17:20 • 15/06

Taner Akçam: Turkey’s apologies for Genocide ‘not enough’ to reinstate historical justice

16:06 • 15/06

Kremlin spokesperson: Too early to talk about Russian-Armenian-Azerbaijani presidential summit

15:36 • 15/06

Ucom to launch Viasat Family Channels

15:15 • 15/06

Surveillance video shows man stealing Banksy artwork from Toronto show  

14:00 • 15/06

Stephen Hawking's voice to be beamed into space

13:51 • 15/06

Erdogan blamed for collapse of Turkish Lira  

13:26 • 15/06

Convicted Nagorno-Karabakh former top commander freed (updated)

12:49 • 15/06

Armenia’s permanent representative to ECHR steps down

12:27 • 15/06

Armenia shows democratic reform can triumph even in Russia’s shadow – Washington Post

12:09 • 15/06

Baku 'testing’ Armenian authorities – Russian expert

11:37 • 15/06

Trump and family sued by New York attorney general over alleged charity violations

11:14 • 15/06

Germany migrant row threatens Angela Merkel coalition

10:45 • 15/06

Hraparak: OSCE Minsk Group ‘slowing plans’ to ensure Karabakh’s direct engagement in peace talks

09:42 • 15/06

Trump questioned why allies opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea

09:28 • 15/06

World Cup 2018: Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5-0

09:21 • 15/06

16 killed in Indonesia ferry accident

09:14 • 15/06

Anthony Bourdain cremated in France

17:52 • 14/06

Zohrab Mnatasakanyan holds phone conversation with UK state minister

17:25 • 14/06

Glendale leaders honor Armenian Americans by voting to name street after Artsakh

17:16 • 14/06

Wounded leopard strays Into village in China

17:08 • 14/06

Turkey proposes Russia joint production of missiles

16:51 • 14/06

OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs sum up meetings with Armenian officials

16:24 • 14/06

Armenian prime minister attends unveiling of Hamazasp Babajanyan's bust in Moscow

15:35 • 14/06

Ship carrying 900 migrants docks in Sicily as Italy fights back over row over turning away aid ship with 600 on board

14:19 • 14/06

Nikol Pashinyan visits Armenian church in Moscow (photos, video)

13:36 • 14/06

EU ambassador hails Armenia's progress in Eastern Partnership Project

13:03 • 14/06

Museum seeking world record for largest paper plane

12:58 • 14/06

No 'Party Like A Russian' for Robbie Williams at 2018 World Cup opening

12:53 • 14/06

Bill Clinton's thriller sees fastest fiction sales in two years

12:48 • 14/06

Ten-year-old Hermes Birkin handbag sells for $ 217.000

12:39 • 14/06

Armenian prime minister meets with VTB Bank top official in Moscow

12:12 • 14/06

Armen Sarkissian attends Queen’s Day celebration events at British Embassy

11:52 • 14/06

Turkey’s Erdogan vows to lift state of emergency if re-elected

11:44 • 14/06

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili resigns after anti-government protests

11:37 • 14/06

Armenian parliament passes State Budget execution bill

11:19 • 14/06

Antarctica loses three trillion tonnes of ice in 25 years

11:06 • 14/06

US lays out terms of North Korea sanctions relief

10:45 • 14/06

Pashinyan, Putin discuss Armenian-Russian relations in Moscow

09:36 • 14/06

Macedonian president says he won't sign 'disastrous' name deal with Greece

09:13 • 14/06

France's National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen hospitalized

17:52 • 13/06

Egypt named safest country in Africa

17:42 • 13/06

Russian, Azerbaijani leaders meet in Moscow  

17:16 • 13/06

Trump says North Korea ‘no longer a nuclear threat’ to US