A letter from prison shows tortures have taken a systematic form in Turkey’s prisons

A letter sent by Evrim Konak, an inmate in Gebze Type M Women’s Prison, to pro-Kurdish media outlets indicates heavy pressures and tortures have taken a systematic form in the prison. According to the letter, the detainees have been tortured in a place called “the under door,” under the guise of searches.

Rights violations and torture in prisons has peaked since the declaration of the emergency rule following the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Despite the reports about widespread and systematic tortures in prisons and detention centers across Turkey, they have not been investigated by the authorities and the national and international independent inspectors have not been allowed to investigate the systematic torture claims. The latest report listing the rights violations in prisons by the CPT was also prevented from being made public by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

According to a letter sent by inmate Evrim Konak, one of the prisons-turned-torture-centers is the Gebze Type M Prison, verbal and physical abuses have targeting women inmates have increased in the prison since the declaration of emergency rule in Turkey following the coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The letter stated that there is a place in prison called “the under door”, where women prisoners are tortured by soldiers. “Prisoners are violently thrown on the concrete floor and forced to lay on their face,” the letter said.  Gendermarie and soldiers are, normally, supposed to be responsible for exterior security of prisons.

“The women inmates’ arms have been bent behind their backs, then they have been handcuffed on one wrist and dragged into search rooms, where they have been subjected to beatings and verbal harrassments,” said the letter. According Konak’s letter, women in the prison have suffered loss of consciousness and broken bones during these torture sessions, after which they have not been allowed to visit the infirmary.

The letter has also said that sometimes the torture has not been even hidden from the wardens or other prisoners, and carried out in the open areas of the prison.

“Infirmary and hospital visits have been also deliberately obstructed in the Gebze Type M Women’s Prison. The wards have been torn apart in name of searches, and many personal belongings have been confiscated,” said the letter and added that “Sick prisoners are prevented from access to their medical checks and medicine, thus experience deterioration of their conditions.”

May 30, 2017

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