PROHIBITED INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES
IN TURKEY:
QUESTIONING AND TAKING
STATEMENTS UNDER TORTURE

MAIN CONCEPT

All statements taken during the police custody and detention period after 15 July are legally problematic. The statements taken by prohibited methods do not reflect the truth.

1- STATEMENTS TAKEN UNDER TORTURE

1.1. Solicitation of Prohibited interrogation Methods primarily the Torture by the Government Officials

After the statement of the Prime Minister Binali YILDIRIM, “There will not be hotel comfort in prisons. We will take the necessary precautions “, the unhealthy prison conditions again came into public agenda on July 23. Colonel İsmail Çakmak supposedly committed suicide in Silivri Prison.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said at the group meeting on August 16 that “The death sentence is dying once, but there are worse deaths for coup soldiers”.

Minister of Economy Nihat ZEYBEKÇİ stated in the “Democracy Watch” meeting in Denizli’s Cumhuriyet Park in Çivril district that the coup soldiers will die like sewage rats on a 1.5-2 square meter site, referring to their prison cells. He added “We will punish them with such a punishment that they will say ‘we wish we had died and passed away’. They will not see a human face; they will not hear a human voice. We know who were behind them, who fed them and who sent them.”

1.2. Legal Protection of Torture

Abdullah B. was arrested in Trabzon in the ‘witch hunt’ after the 15th of July with his wife then 2 month pregnant. He later filed a complaint to Trabzon Chief Public Prosecutor reporting torture and ill treatment. Public Prosecutor Eşref Aktaş dismissed the case by issuing a “decision of non-prosecution” on the basis of Article 9 of the Decree-Law No. 667, which was published in the Official Gazette on 23 July. In fact, the prosecution’s decision is the proof that the prohibited methods of interrogation and torture is under state protection (You can reach the copy of the decision of non-prosecution from the link below) (1- http://odatv.com/polis-sizi-tehdit-de-etse-darp-da-etse-bir-sey-yapamazsiniz-1501171200.html)

1.3. Types of Torture observed after 15 July

1.3.1. Not Informing the relatives when taken into custody

In many cases, suspects are not allowed to inform a family member as a mean of psychological torture.

1.3.2. Suspects are denied medical treatment and drug use

People with high health risk, such as “diabetes” patients, who have sicknesses that can cause fatal outcomes, are not allowed to use drugs. (For example, it is known that Gökhan AÇIKKOLLU, who was in the custody of the Istanbul Police Department, was the victims of “Diabetes”, nevertheless his drugs were given only after 6 days, Gökhan AÇIKKOLLU died while in custody.)(2- http://www.ttb.org.tr/index.php/Haberler/gokhanacikkolu-6241.html)

1.3.3. Denial of basic health care

The health problems of detained persons are not addressed. Unconcerned attitudes are exhibited by public officials even to critical conditions, such as pregnancy. A person with a prior heart condition was subjected to brute force and forced to heavily exercise, as a result he faced a heart attack.(3- http://www.shaber3.com/cezaevleri-iskence-merkezlerine-donustu-haberi/1278859/)

Had Heart Spasms: After learning that Ekrem K., who had been kept under observation for a long time, was suffering from heart disease, police forced him to do severe physical activities as a method of torture. The chief of Anti-Terrorism department, Volkan Özeren, forced Ekrem K. to do severe squat exercise, consequently, he had heart spasms. He was operated on at the hospital.

1.3.4. Denial of clean water and food

Officers do not provide for the very basic needs of the suspects in custody.
Foods are not given to suspects in custody at regular order.
Hacer Korucu, the wife of Bülent Korucu, the editor in chief of the “Yarına Bakış” Newspaper, which was closed down by Decree Law having the force of law issued during a state of emergency, was detained in Erzurum on 30 July 2016. It was learned that Hacer Korucu, who was subjected to ill-treatment during his detention, were not provided regular foods and clean drinking water during his detention. Hacer Korucu is still in Erzurum Prison.(4-http://www.zamanaustralia.com/2016/08/gazetecinin-rehin-esinden-ciglik)

The nutrients given are insufficient. (Example: Only one-half of the bread is served with only three meatballs per day, only 1.5 liters of water per day).
The nutrients given are also not in good quality. (Example: bread given to persons in custody are dried in the sun beforehand and given to individuals afterward).

1.3.5. Denial of Toilets/Bathroom

In most cases, access to toilets and bathroom are deliberately limited.

1.3.6. Restrictions of Sleep Hours

Persons in custody are awakened untimely and were taken to mandatory medical control.
The needs of suspects such as Cushion blankets etc. are not provided, the lights are constantly kept open consciously.

1.3.7. Unnecessary use of handcuffs

Suspects, especially the military suspects, are kept with their handcuffs fastened even in the custody cells, even though there is no “risk of escaping”. The handcuffs of some suspects are not taken off while they were in the toilet.

1.3.8.  Denial of religious practices and worship / Restriction of Freedom of Religion and Conscience

Despite not having a dangerous behavior towards himself and/or anyone in the custody, officers interfere with the suspects and prevent them from worshiping. It has been learned that women who are taken into custody have been forced to give their headscarves by a sarcastic pretext that they can “hang themselves” contrary to the freedom of religion and conscience.

1.3.9. Hosting under Unhealthy Custody Conditions

Detention centers have been used overcapacity. The capacity is set at 10 suspects in a 3 person custody. Places, where health care and hygiene are not suitable such as indoor sports hall, are used as detention centers where the detention facilities are not sufficient. Ventilation in detention facilities are not working properly or not operated deliberately. The toilets are not cleaned. Shower facilities are restricted. The air conditioners are operated in the cold during the day and hot in the night. There are no watches in the custody. It is known that questions about the time of the suspects in custody are left unanswered.

1.3.10. Torture by Beating

It was seen in the press that military personnel were severely beaten. Severe wounds were seen especially in the face and vital organs.

1.3.11. Use of Different Physical Torture Methods

It was learned that different physical torture methods are employed such as sexually abusing by penetrating different objects like batons, Strappado (known as Palestine Hanger), foot whipping/bastinado.

1.3.12. Use of Different Physiological Torture Methods

There are witness confessions about the use of different physiological torture methods such as insult, humiliation and threat, swearing and outraging about the families of the suspects, threatening to take the other family members into custody and swearing and threatening to take the spouses into the custody.(5- http://www.shaber3.com/dag-basina-goturup-beni-soydular-karima-tecavuzle-tehdit-ettiler-haberi/1279797/)
The threat of kidnapping and rape:
The accused M.B. mentioned all the abuse and torture of police officers such as kidnapping and raping while he was in the custody five months ago.
He said in the court that police officers took his clothes off, tied his eyes and took him somewhere like a mountain summit and they put a gun to his head. M.B. shocked the judges in the court by confessing that the police officers told him that “we will drink your blood, we rape your wife and daughter, but if you do whatever we say, we will help you”. M.B. told the court that he had to sign the statement written by the police.

1.3.13. Abuse of the Detention Period (30 days)

The detention period is extended by a decree law under SOE. This unnecessarily long but lawful period is abused by the police. They kept people much longer than necessary, and even threatned them by keeping longer. Threats like “I will keep you here for up to 30 days if I want to, I will keep you here until death” are not rare.

1.3.14. Prison Conditions

The wards in prison are also used over the capacity. It is known that accommodative possibilities (beds, pillows, quilts, cutlery, spoons, etc.) are inadequate and in many cases arrestees are kept from reading books including the Quran.
The Observations of Journalist Tuba Tekerek

(6- http://platform24.org/p24blog/yazi/1701/ohal-de-perde-degistirmek):

“… When I was thinking that I would share custody cell with one or two people, then they opened the iron door, I looked at dozens of shoes … And a heavy smell. there were 27 people in the cell that only can hold maybe three to five people in normal time. Everyone lies on the ground, pulling their legs toward their bellies because there is nowhere to stretch their legs. Then I learned that a few days ago, there were 43 people and there were people lying in the corridor.

It was midnight but all of them have gone out of the half-sleep mode and threw themselves around me. They asked me “What’s going on out there?” they were hunger for slightest of news. It has been seven days, they have not seen their families, they had no private lawyers, CMUK (assigned lawyer by the bar) lawyers did not want to come. (Even so, according to what they say; The police officers were attending to the FETO” operation from outside the counter terrorism division. When they were calling lawyers from CID bureau the lawyers came to think that they would defend the murder suspect, which they do, but when they were told terror division, they understand that this was a FETÖ case and the lawyers were not coming”.)

The fluorescent lamp on the ceiling was on day and night. We did not know what the time is since clocks were taken. We could only have seen the sunlight from reflection of a beam of light to opposite wall thorough 10 cm square opening of a window of the back of a window. Visiting ventilation room of the detention center is up to pleasure of guards. For example, they allowed only five minutes in the last evening. They are doing the same for toothbrush delivery. We seemed trapped in the air conditioning engine’s room, which did nothing but work out a terrible hum. I was trying not to think I was tired of sticking to the skin and breathing. We did not know how long that would take.

The purpose was to “weaken” these people and make them to confess something. The police told them that nearly 20 of the clerks who had been sent to the prosecutor’s office were arrested. But after I came out, I found out that prosecutor released almost all of them. They were not only unaware of the outside world, they were purposefully given the wrong news … ”

İSTANBUL

It was learned that a separate room was allocated for physical torture in the Istanbul Police Department, Vatan Settlement, where police tortured suspects by employing strappado (known as Palestine Hanger), and Intelligence Service (MIT) officials also participated in the interrogations.
“There was no activity from morning to 6-7 o2clock in the evening, and after dinner time they came to the wards and took people away. They were doing this often especially at night. They were interrogating them in the room next to the meeting room of the lawyer. The floor was covered with rubber (presumably, they were taking some of them there as a cell during the interrogation). They did not take too many people into this room. Most of them were tortured psychologically, held for five to ten days in the custody, and gave official statements and then sent to the Court. But they were getting some of the (special) suspects to this room to get a confession. In that room there was a board similar to the strappado (Palestinian hanger), and they were threatening the suspects with it. A friend is beaten by me. 5-6 people hit the belly and the head. They were threatening to the child and his wife. Anyway, we have about 30 days to hold you here until you die; Bring your wife and hold her too, etc. ”

There was a wooden stick similar to strappado (palestinian hanging) inside the room, they were threatening me with it. I witnessed a suspect beaten badly. Tthey were hitting – kicking to his head and belly – stomach area. They threatened him by his child and his wife. They said “ we have 30 days to hold you here, we will keep you until you die; we will bring your wife here ttoo, etc.”

 

ANKARA

Murat GÜL, who became unrecognizable even by his wife after 18 days in police custody, lost about 10 kg. he was kept under without proper sleep, and food and drink. There were physical torture marks / traces on his body where covered by clothes.
He was kept in the anti- terror Unit (the newly built glass building in Söğütözü) and were tortured for 10 days. The suspects were left breathless by passing nylon bags to their heads, then kicked and slapped.
“A legal aid lawyer sent to the Ankara Police Department by the Bar ”
“A few police were standing behind him. He was sitting in a chair in front of the table. They began to strike, like whips, with plastic handcuffs which they normally use while arresting somebody; then, they were hitting with fists to the head and the upper part of his body. Since his hands were handcuffed, he could not do anything to protect himself.
After a while, I turned my back. I do not know how many times they hit him. I could not look any more. I knew there was nothing I could do to stop it. At the end, he testified”

 

AFYONKARAHİSAR

“They took me up, either on the sixth or seventh day, officer told me about effective remorse law , and asked me to confess. I said, “I will keep my first statement and I want my lawyer while taking my statement”, then he said, “You will not understand from good manner (manhood),” and on the phone, he said call the torture team, two men came, we were 5 people total in the room. Newcomers told me that be ready, we are going to an empty marble factory, there we will f… you, and you will explain everything, also your spouse will be there too, do not worry. While I was standing, suddenly somebody behind me, put a bag on my head and started to squeeze my throat. As I said I cannot breathe, he kept squeezing. while doing this, they were shouting die son of a b….., beside someone was shouting “ talk pimp”.

ANTALYA

Teacher Eyüp BİRİNCİ, who was kept in custody in the Antalya KOM Branch (anti-smuggling department), was tortured while he was under detention. He was hospitalized later, a 4 cm piece from his intestine taken away by medical operation.

DIYARBAKIR

On July 17, Diyarbakir – Ergani District Deputy Police Director Mustafa Palaz was tortured by the Ergani District Police Director Kerim Karaboğa. He was beaten until his nose and mouth was broken.

ERZURUM

A woman who was in custody in Erzurum Police Department Anti- Terror Unit (TEM), they cursed at the woman by saying; “No one will give you a job when you are like this, you will go to a whorehouse-brothel, it’s not your fault, the guilty is the whore that gave birth to you”.

KARS

Ekrem Köken was forced to do squats and was physically humiliated and forced by Volkan Özeren, in his office. After, 2 police officers forced Köken to kneel down, while the officers were pushing, Köken had an artery spasm. He was immediately taken to a hospital. He stayed in emergency intensive care unit for treatment then had angiography, and was held in the hospital for 2 days. Ekrem Koken is still in prison.
A woman who was in custody for an investigation about books being thrown in the garbage was psychologically tortured and threatened by (5-6) male staff which they said “ if you don’t talk, we will put you in a condition here , which you cannot have a child.“

MERSİN

While a psychologist was in custody, went through with a lot of physical torture. He was beaten severely, having too many strikes to head, he was in danger of being blind and was forced to sign the misstatement.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report on 24 November 2016, after the so-called coup in 15 July about the torture and abuse in detention centers in Turkey. There are 13 cases in the report. Some of the parts in the report are given below.(7 – https://www.hrw.org/tr/report/2016/10/24/295607)

“…stated that the police blindfolded three times and took him with others who were under custody to the upstairs. There the police blamed them of being a member of the Gülen movement. When they refused the membership, the police started hitting and kicking. The person told his attorney that they threatened them to rape them and their wives. The lawyer said, ‘you can’t rely on them for not doing it. Once, I witnessed police took hostage a man’s wife and child, so the man can come and surrender’.

“The lawyer quoted what he was told by his client.: the police first arrested his friend and tortured him to notify him. After the police brought the client to the police station, they have beaten him heavily. When he threatened to bring his wife, and rape her, he decided to accept the charges. The police brought in a different legal aid lawyer to register the confession in front of him. However, when the client refused to testify under this condition, the police have once again threatened to rape his wife and the client eventually had to accept the charges. ”

“On August 24, in his statement which was given to prosecutor (which was seen by Human Rights Watch) Eyüp Birinci stated in detail that he was taken into custody on 24 July and that he was taken to the Smuggling and Organized Crimes Branch, where he was forced to curse at the top of his voice against “FETÖ (Fethullahçı) Terrorist organization “, he was kicked with a rolled-up newspaper, and his face was hit to a file cabinet until his nose bled, punched and slapped and forced to sign a paper he could not read.”

“My eyes were covered. I felt 3-4 people in the room. The police sergeant who took me into custody was talking … “Tell me about whatever you know, what you were doing in Antalya,” then they stripped me naked ”

The people in detention told that they had been beaten repeatedly, they were stripped naked in a single dark room, they were hit to the testicles with police baton, they were threatened to be raped with police baton. They added that the police threatened them to break their silence and to testify. Five people who were afraid of threats, they decided to give statements to the police in the presence of their lawyers. ”

As it is understood from the cited quotes, law enforcement officers applied a number of prohibited interrogation methods, mainly torture, in order to receive statements that they are pleased with.

1.4. June 2016 Report of the UN Committee for the Prevention of Torture

It is known that the UN Torture Prevention Committee published a report on Turkey’s observations, reservations and recommendations in June 2016 before the “15 July coup attempt”. Some of the remarkable parts of the report is presented below;

1.4.1. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations

• The Committee is concerned that it has not received sufficient information on prosecutions for torture, including in the context of cases involving allegations of torture. The Committee is also concerned that there is a significant disparity between the high number of allegations of torture reported by non-governmental organizations and the data provided by the State party in its periodic report, suggesting that not all allegations of torture have been investigated during the reporting period.
• Apart from this, although the State party has undertaken many investigations into allegations of ill-treatment and excessive use of force by its officials, these have resulted in relatively few cases of disciplinary sanctions, and in fines and imprisonment in only a small number of case.
• The Committee regrets that that the State party has not yet created an independent State body to investigate complaints of torture and ill-treatment against law enforcement officers.

1.4.2. The Committee invites the State party to:

• Ensure that alleged perpetrators of torture and ill-treatment are immediately suspended from duty for the duration of the investigation, particularly when there is a risk that they might otherwise be in a position to repeat the alleged act, to commit reprisals against the alleged victim or to obstruct the investigation;
• Establish an independent authority tasked with investigating complaints against law enforcement officers that is independent of the police hierarchy, as previously recommended by the Committee.
• The Committee recalls the absolute prohibition of torture contained in article 2 (2) of the Convention, which stipulates that no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
• Although the Criminal Code defines torture as a specific offence, the Committee notes that the definition set out in article 94 is incomplete inasmuch as it fails to mention the purpose of the act in question. There is also no specific mention of the act of torture carried out in order to intimidate, to coerce or to obtain information or a confession from a person other than the person who was tortured (art. 1).)

1.4.3. Conditions of detention

31. While welcoming the efforts made by the State party to improve conditions of detention in prisons, the Committee is concerned that overcrowding and inadequate health-care services remain a problem in the prison system and that the State party has taken insufficient measures to mitigate the dramatic increase in its prison population through the use of alternative measures to deprivation of liberty.
It is also concerned at reported arbitrary practices such as cell raids at any hour of the day, illegal searches and denial of phone calls, in particular in the Tekirdag F-type prisons.
In addition, the Committee notes with concern that solitary confinement may be imposed for up to 20 consecutive days.

1.4.4. The State Party should,

(a) Continue its efforts to alleviate the overcrowding of penitentiary institutions, including through the application of non-custodial measures;
(b) Ensure that all persons deprived of their liberty receive timely and appropriate medical treatment;
(c) Ensure independent and prompt investigations into allegations of deliberate denial of health care to persons deprived of their liberty and ensure that any prison officials responsible for such conduct are subject to prosecution or disciplinary action;
(d) Bring its legislation and practice on solitary confinement into line with international standards, in particular with rules 43 to 46 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules).

1.4.5. Deaths in custody

33. The Committee regrets the lack of complete information on suicides and other sudden deaths in detention facilities during the period under review (arts. 2, 11 and 16).
34. The State party should provide the Committee with detailed information on cases of death in custody and the causes of those deaths. It should also take measures to ensure that all instances of death in custody are promptly and impartially investigated by an independent body.

 

1.4.6. Human rights defenders, journalists and medical doctors

43. The Committee is seriously concerned about numerous consistent reports of intimidation and harassment of and violence against human rights defenders, journalists and medical doctors who provide assistance to victims of torture.

1.5. Turkey Evaluation by the Special Rapporteur of UN

United Nations Special Rapporteur on civil rights and freedom of expression Mr. David Kaye after his meetings and visits in Turkey, stated the condition as dramatic and said Turkish government is imposing draconian measures that limit freedom of expression, and called for the release of thousands of prisoners who only expressed their right to free speech.(9– http://www.diken.com.tr/bm-ozel-raportorunden-turkiye-yorumu-vahim-ve-karamsar-gazetecileri-serbest-birakin/)

1.6. Visiting Turkey by United Nations human rights expert and special rapporteur in December, 2016

 

United Nations human rights expert and special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer visited Turkey and said “Torture and other forms of ill-treatment seem to have been widespread in the days and weeks following the failed coup, particularly at the time of the apprehension and during initial detention in police or gendarmerie lock-ups as well as in unofficial detention locations”. (10– http://www.diken.com.tr/bm-raportorunun-izlenimleri-turkiyede-iskence-yaygin-olarak-uygulaniyor/)

2- Criminally Investigating Family Members (to force confessions)

After arresting thousands without any evidence, prosecutors and police try to access evidence or confessions by applying pressure on the family members of the arrestees/
Ayfer Yavuz went to visit her arrested husband to Kars prison on January 23, 2017 and was detained. She had two children besides her, 4 year old and a 4 month old baby. The reason for detention was that prosecutor believed she is also a member to the terrorist organization.

Similarly, on January 23, 2017 Nagihan Gokce went to visit his husband with their 5 children to Sincan prison in Ankara. She was detained, and her 5 children were left in the car in the parking lot. This is punishing children, and it is against the international treaties protecting children’s rights and domestic laws. (11http://turkeypurge.com/5-children-abandoned-in-front-of-prison-as-mother-detained) (12– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n075IIWwVsg)

In Alanya district of Antalya, Fadime Gunay was detained one day after giving birth January 30, 2017. She was allowed to spend a day in the hospital, and later the detention process carried out as usual. Only after the intervention of some human rights activists and journalists, she was released with a bail of 50.000 TL. Her husband is also in prison. (13– https://citifmonline.com/2017/02/01/police-detain-woman-over-gulen-links-a-day-after-giving-birth/)

The basic principle of criminal procedure, the indivuality of crime is violated. Arresting and harassing family members, even children, is becoming a widespread application in Turkey.

 

3- INTERROGATING USING DRUGS

3.1. What does interrogating with drugs mean?

It does not matter whether the substances in this scope are swallowed, mixed in the food or drinks, taken through breath, spread to the body or put in the holes of the body. Regardless of how these substances are given, it will be evaluated as medicine. The substances that can be evaluated within this scope include simulatives, narcotics, sleeping affect medicine and pills that break your resistance, among others. Consequently, alcohol and narcotic substances are evaluated in the scope of medicine.

3.2. Giving Medicine During Interrogation

This type of interrogation can be described as giving medicine during interrogation to affect suspects’ physical or mental situation in a way to affect free will of the person. Even if the interrogator does not have such purpose, if the will of the person is affected after medicine, this situation becomes an example of interrogation under the influence of medicine.
This is not about the intent of the interrogator; the critical thing is existence of a situation that affects the free will of a person. It is not important how this situation appears. Even if a person himself takes alcohol or narcotic substance in a way affecting his free will partly or completely, this is still an example of interrogation under the influence of medicine.
It is not forbidden to give medicine or injection needed for the treatment of a person. However, if the side effect of the medicine or injection affects a person’s mental or physical situation in a way to behave or decide under the control of the will, this is considered interrogation under the influence of medicine.

3.3. Truth Serum or Narcoanalysis

In terms of interrogation or subordinate and superior relationship, Truth Serum or Narcoanalysis application means a method used to obtain information or take statement from subjects whose free will are eliminated by the use of narcotic substances which spoils the balance between will and nerve system of a person.
In criminal cases, narcoanalysis application has been used to obtain truth telling. By applying this method on suspects or defendants, it is aimed to break the resistance power and reconstruction of memories in a way not to prevent him from talking.
In narcoanalysis application, narcotic substances are injected to the body of a suspect or defendant. These drugs prevent brain from functioning normally. A person, under the influence of narcoanalysis, remember, hear and talk, but as that person cannot control his will, he may talk in a way not to defend himself and lose control on his body responses.

3.4. Danger of Truth Serum or Narcoanalysis

The statements obtained from a suspect or defendant by applying narcoanalysis is not objective truth but false opinions of a suspect or defendant. As the event, which has been experienced or considered to have been experienced has been found in the sub consciousness of a person without any difference of value, it is hard to discriminate from objective truths and dreams, nonsense and hidden emotions among the statements under the influence of narcosis. In spite of narcoanalysis treatment, some suspects or defendants may tell lies or may not talk.

On the other hand, narcoanalysis application gives an opportunity to manipulate suspect or defendant. Under the influence of narcosis, it is possible to inspire anything by asking convenient questions and to take any statement.

Consequently, it is important to underline that the statements taken by using truth serum and narcoanalysis may not be true. These statements may be part of dreams, intentional lies or subjective information due to manipulation of the mind. As such, these statements are not accepted as investigative tools and are not used to expose physical truth.

3.5 Former Police Chiefs Given Medicine During Interrogation

Ex-Deputy Heads of Police Intelligence Department Lokman Kırcilı and Gürsel Aktepe are arrested after July 15 Coup attempt. They testified in court and said their earlier statements were taken under the influence of medicine and heavy torture. (14- http://www.tr724.com/erdoganin-sirdasi-polisler-ifadelerimiz-ilac-verilerek-alindi-ne-guleni-tum-talimatlari-erdogan-verdi/).

The photo of Lokman Kırcılı showing clear signs of torture appeared on the front page of Akşam newspaper. (15- http://www.gazetemanset.com/aksam-gazetesi/18-temmuz-2016)

3.7. Suspicious Deaths

The statements of these police chiefs arouse suspicion and questions about suicides under police custody or in prisons after July 15.
• On July 19, it is stated that Hasan Hayri Alp in Ankara, Sincan prison died as a result of heart attack.
• On July 23, it is stated that lieutenant colonel İsmail Çakmak committed suicide by hanging himself in high protected Silivri prison which is equipped with cameras
• On September 1, it is stated that prison guard Ömer Çubuklu arrested in the scope of FETO committed suicide in Izmir F Type Prison.
• On September 16, public prosecutor Seyfettin Yiğit in Bursa prison found death. Seyfettin Yiğit allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself, but his family claimed he was a victim of police violence and it is not a suicide but murder.
• On December 10, it is stated that noncommissioned officer committed suicide by drinking cleaning materials under police custody in Eskişehir PD
• On November 5, Colonel Irfan Kizilarslan found dead in his prison cell in Tokat prison.
• On November 9, an undisclosed prsioner allegedly committed suicide in Kirikkale Hacilar prison.
• On November 10, engineer who worked at Intelligence Department of TNP, accused of leaking information to whistleblower @fuatavni account on twitter, allegedly committed suicide in prison.
• On November 19, teacher Behcet Emdi allegedly hanged himself in prison.

4- Interrogation with Deception

4.1. The Use of Prohibited Interrogation Method by the Deputy Head of HSYK (Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors)

On July 19, Mehmet Yilmaz, the Deputy Head of HSYK, told press that “there are investigations carried out in the last two years. We did not just come up with this number (referring 2470 judges and prosecutors arrested on the morning of the failed coup nationwide). (16- http://www.haberler.com/hsyk-baskanvekili-yilmaz-iki-yildir-yurutulen-bir-8625944-haberi/)

On October 21, Mehmet Yilmaz told press “ we will even consider reemploy judges and prosecutors who are in prison, if they confess their attribution and make statements which help to crack down this terror network, and judicially they will not face any charges”. (17- http://www.haberturk.com/gundem/haber/1313309-hsyk-baskanvekili-mehmet-yilmaz-fetoyu-itiraf-etsinler-ihrac-etmeyecegiz)

Press reports that around 200 judges/prosecutors gave additional statemnts after Mehmet Yilmaz’s comments. However, on December 28 he told reporter Sevilay Yukselir from Haberturk daily that “everybody be well and laid back! HSYK will not reepmloy anyone who confessed under this remorse law. Our decision is final. I said so in the past to encourage additional statements, and it worked brilliantly. We did not have any evidence, or statemnts about these judges/prosecutors, but now 200 of them confessed and we now have information about everyone that they are linked to FETO”. (18- http://www.haberturk.com/yazarlar/sevilay-yaziyor/1341844-hsyk-baskanvekili-niyetim-itirafciligi-tesvik-etmekti)

This person is the acting deputy of a very important and critical constitutional council which has enormous powers on judiciary, he himself is a judge, yet, he delibaretely invokes the right to a fair trial and the Criminal Procedure Law. Article 148 of the Law bans actions “promising benefits contrary to the law”.

This reports of Mehmet Yilmaz are also important confessions that there are no evidence against the arrested judges/prosecutors.

Ironically, President Erdogan himself has confessed that these kind of “encouraged” confessions from the remorseful arrestees do not work as intended and leads to false confessions. On January 18, 2017 he said “ there are some judges in prisons who I worked in the past and know very well. Now they present themselves as repentant confessors. They do not speak the truth, they try to deceive. What they say now, is complete opposite of what they had told me when I was the Prime Minister” Other meaning of these words are that many other confessors who was in some way forced to make statements are telling lies, or fiction.

4.2. Deceiving the Detaineess / Arrestees

On November 4, 2016 Ankara Chief Prosecutor Harun Kodalak claimed they have released every informant/confessor from prison, specifically mentioning 100 judges/prosecutors released, and added “ from judges/prosecutors, if they gave confessions under remorse law, they are all released, none left in prison”. This official statement is falsified by President Erdogan himself on January 18, 2017, when he said “there are some judges in prisons who I worked in the past and know very well.” The statements of the chief prosecutor seem like an operational tactic to encourage more confessions. They try to create the image that if you make additional statements and confessions, you go home. In prisons, delibarete misinformation is prevalent regarding these confessors. Person’s free wil is undermined b these psychological tactics and propaganda.

Emin Colasan from Sozcu daily, on November 20, 2016 published “Letters from Victims” column. A letter states “… Mr.Colasan, we hear that who had involvement with this organization confess and get released. We are here wrongfully, dont have anything to confess and thus paying the price of not having any criminal activity to confess.”
Another letter states “ my brother was a university professor. His only connection to politics is voting ballot. Prosecutor tells my brother, give me some names and spend the night with your kids, but he does not know anything so he stays in prison. There is no evidence, no crime, no justice. Where shall I go? What remedy shall I seek? If there is no justice, can there be democracy?”

4.3. Placing Police Informants in Prisons

In some prisons, there are credible reports that some late arrestees are not real arrestees, they are actually police informants. They stay for a short period of time and try to deceive people with misinformation and tell fake stories and fiction to break their resistance and free will.

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