Social media posts reveal dismissed police officer subjected to torture for months in Turkish prisons

A.G., a 32-year-old police officer, who was dismissed as part of Turkish government’s post-coup purge of police department, has reportedly been kept in a solitary confinement and has been exposed to severe violence and torture since he was detained on September 21, 2016, according to a report published by Aktif Haber online news portal.

According to the report, the social media posts of A.G.’s sister, Ayşe Büşra Gül, has shed light on the severity of the situation of the former police officer: “I want to make my elder brother’s voice heard. He has been subjected to systematic torture and ill-treatment. I could not heard from him [since he was put in prison]. They hold off us for days.  We could talked to him when he was on a stretcher carriage. He was crushed.”

According to the report, the relatives of the torture victim have also been threatened by security officers with making A.G.’s conditions and state of health even worse if they talk about what happened to him.

A.G.’s being subjected to corporal punishment has reportedly not been only limited with being remanded in police custody. According to the information given by his relatives, systematic tortures and maltreatment have continued after he was arrested and put in jail by a court. A.G.’s sister has also said that “I had difficulties in hearing my elder brother’s voice. There were hundreds of victims at the gate. We could not talk to anyone.”

A.G.’s sister has also said that she could not recognize A.G.’s face and has also shared his observations about an arrested female police officer by saying that “there were black and blue marks, bruises all over the female victim’s hands and neck.”

A.G.’s family has also stated that they have observed that his legs and arms turn to be prurple because of bruises, and his face was swollen because of tortures. They also said that doctors have aimed at concealing the violence and torture by noting into the medical report that there is no sign of ill-treatment and tortures and by showing the traces of tortures as if bruises were stemmed from a brawl.

According to Aktif Haber report, the police officer A.G. was arrested within the scope of coup plotting charges in Ankara, where he faced severest persecution, and then he was transferred to Konya and then to another prison in an other city.

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.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, 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 participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 have been the subject of legal proceedings (investigations, detentions etc.) in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Among the detainees are some 560 children aged between 0 to 6. Also, arrest warrants have been issued for 8,069 people, according to Bozdağ.

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