Report: Tips claim about 1,000 detainees being tortured by police across Turkey

It is claimed that about 1,000 people who were detained by police forces last week have been started to be tortured in detention centers across Turkey.

Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 4,900 people over their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement with 1,009 of them were detained in simultaneous raids across Turkey’s 72 provinces on Wednesday with the claim that they are “secret imams” of the movement responsible for police forces.

According to a report published by Aktif Haber news portal, there are no solid evidences about 1,000 people who were detained after the prosecutors’ arrest warrants about 4,900 people with a single decision just basing on a controversial list of suspects which was allegedly prepared by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) last week. Therefore, the police have now been trying to produce evidence by implementing torture and maltreatment techniques against detainees. Through heavy torture methods, the suspects, who are mostly teachers and educators, have been forced to admit that they are “secret imams” of Gülen movement as groundlessly claimed by the prosecutors.

Aktif Haber wrote that it has got numbers of tips across Turkey that the detainees taken under interrogation by police without the knowledge and presence of the suspects’ lawyers. According to the report, the tips also claim that the detainees are tortured in detention centers. Tips allege that since the suspects were detained with lack of evidence against them, the police have now tried to produce evidences by torturing the detainees before they are transferred to the courts with demand of their arrest.

According to a striking report released by Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) on Mach 22, 2017 with the title of “Suspicious Deaths And Suicides In Turkey” there has been an increase in the number of suicides and suspicious deaths in Turkey, most in Turkish jails and detention centers where a torture and ill-treatment is being practiced.

In most of the 54 cases mentioned in the report, (which was later updated with the list of 60 cases) authorities concluded these as suicides without any effective, independent investigation. The suspicious death has also taken place beyond the prison walls amid psychological pressure and threats of imminent imprisonment and torture, sometimes following the release of suspects or just before the detention.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

According to a statement from Interior Minister Soylu on April 2, a total of 113,260 people have been detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt, while 47,155 were put into pre-trial detention.

May 1, 2017

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