ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE: Police file report despite denial of knowledge of abducted men

A Turkish journalist living in exile has discovered that the Ankara Police Department filed a report on the abduction of two men earlier this month while at the same time denying any knowledge of the incident or their whereabouts.

Journalist Cevheri Güven published police report number 2017/69394 on Thursday on the Bold Medya news website.

Yasin Ugan and Özgür Kaya were taken away by a group of armed men who claimed to be plainclothes police from an Ankara apartment building on Feb. 13, and up until now, no information has been provided about their disappearance.

After the men’s families filed a missing persons report, prosecutor Selçuk Güntaş included a police report in the case, which confirmed that it was the police who abducted the men but later denied it.

Filing a police report for a detention is a regular procedure, Güven wrote, but added that what happened afterwards such as putting hoods on the men’s heads and the denial of a disappearance are not, which raises suspicions that the two men might have been transferred to Turkey’s intelligence organization as in similar abduction and torture cases in the past.

In December Correctiv, a non-profit investigative newsroom in Europe, reported that as part of a massive purge and persecution of the faith-based Gülen movement on accusations of orchestrating a failed coup on July 15, 2016, Turkey has established secret torture sites inside the country to interrogate followers of the movement.

Correctiv, composed of nine international media organizations, interviewed two Gülen movement followers who were abducted and tortured at secret sites and reported that the accounts of the witnesses do not contradict each other.

According to Correctiv, the abductions run by Turkey’s MİT both inside Turkey and abroad have already been reported. However, they added, “There are also accounts of another, darker side to the suppression machinery that has remained unreported till now: secret torture sites inside Turkey.”

According to data compiled by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF), 21 people have been abducted in Turkey since the controversial coup attempt in July 2016. Mysterious disappearances involving already-victimized opposition groups have become a common occurrence in Turkey in the aftermath of the abortive putsch. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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