Kurdish victim of torture reveals severe ill-treatments under police custody in Turkey

Turkey’s Interior Minister’s Süleyman Soylu has defended the treatment of Abdi Abidin, a Kurdish man who was alleged to have been tortured while in detention.

Abdi Aykut, an old Kurdish villager who was subjected to systematic torture and maltreatment during 14 days under police detention, has told about the methods of severe tortures applied by police to pro-Kurdish media. Abdi was detained by police teams in Xerabê Bava (Koruköy) village in Mardin’s Nusaybin district after a nationwide state of emergency (OHAL) declared by Erdoğan regime just after the failed attempt on July 15, 2016.

According to a report published by pro-Kurdish Dihaber news agency, villager Abdi Aykut, who was detained on February 11, 2017 over the allegations of aiding and abeting the outlawed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and remained in custody for two weeks, was arrested on March 1 by the court.

After being released from prison on August 17, Aykut told Dihaber that he stayed at his uncle’s house during the days of OHAL by noting that he did not hear of someone in the village. On the sixth day of OHAL, however, the police special operations team conducted a raid on the house, and asked him if he was Abdi Aykut. After answering in the affirmative, a police officer held a gun against his head.

Aykut stated “I fell down on the ground due to receiving blows. When they took the blindfold off me, and wanted me to walk, but I fell to the ground because of being unable to see ahead of me. They started to strike me with a butt, and punch me. At that moment blood come out of my mouth.”

“They dragged me on the ice-cold ground behind a police panzer”, mentioning that it was cold because they were in the winter months, Aykut said “I am still unable to stay standing up because of having marks on my body from abuse and torture.”

Speaking of corporal punishment and severe treatment under police custody in Koruköy village, Aykut pointed out that the security officers continued to inflict violence to him in the next two days. “I was unconscious because of both of cold weather and all things that ever happened to me. While always keeping a watchful eye on me in the mornings, they carried me somewhere evenings.” They always told me ‘confess it.’ When I stated that I don’t know anything, they shoot me all the time.”

Aykut also emphasized that the police officers told him to jump down from a wall, but as he was unable to walk, they pushed him down. Aykut got bruises and purple spots on his body because of falling on his back.

Stating that every fifteen days he went to the doctor in the conditions of his hands were handcuffed after he underwent a medical operation in the province, Aykut stressed that inhuman conditions persisted in prison during the six months of imprisonment along with the weather was too hot there and he shared the same cell with around 35 people together in those days.

The Mardin Governor’s Office on Februay 11 declared a curfew in three districts of the province including Koruköy village as part of the fight against terrorism. After the Turkish military blockaded the village, the security forces began to carry out heavily militarized security operations as on this occasion 39 people from the village were taken to the police station in which the security officers offered them payments to blow the whistle on the separatist terrorist organization.

In the meantime, the family members could not receive any news about Abdi Aykut, who was one of those people taken into custody and interrogated by the police officers. According to Aykut’s lawyer, he was taken to a hospital located outside of the village for treatment before being arrested on March 1 after his photo was posted online on February 22. He was taken to the Mardin E-type closed prison after he was arrested on March 1.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu previously responded to torture claims in Koruköy and accused Abdi Aykut, whose photo was shown in Turkish Parliament by pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Şanlıurfa deputy Osman Baydemir, of aiding and abetting terrorism.

“We have been watching the house of that old man for five months. That house is the one that hosted plans for explosions which hurt the nation in İstanbul, Mersin and İzmir. That person you call an old man is hosting terrorism,” Soylu claimed. The infamous minister also claimed that all actions in Koruköy were in compliance with the law.

The torture, ill-treatment, abusive, inhuman and degrading treatment of people who are deprived of their liberties in Turkey’s detention centers and prisons have become a norm rather than an exception under increased nationalistic euphoria and religious zealotry in the country, a study released by Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF)on June 6, 2017 has revealed.

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