A new claim of torture in Turkey, which is under the despotic rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has came from a prison in Nevşehir province on Thursday.
According to a social media account (@cezaeviihlaller), which has been focusing allegations on tortures, maltreatments and other human rights violations in Turkish prisons, has shared series of posts on Thursday and claimed that a Turkish couple in Nevşehir province, Ahmet Tuncer Yolcu and Zeynep Yolcu, who were arrested two weeks ago over their alleged links to the Gülen movement have been maltreated and heavily tortured under detention.
According the @cezaeviihlaller Twitter account, Zeynep Yolcu, a housewife, and his husband Ahmet Tuncer Yolcu were detained by police over the order of Nevşehir Chief Prosecutor Altuğ Kürşat Şahin, who allegedly said to Yolcu Couple that “Your file has already been ready.” It was claimed that Ahmet Tuncer Yolcu and his wife Zeynep Yolcu, who have been held in solitary confinement, have been subjected to heavy torture and maltreatment in prison.
Zeynep Yolcu, who has reportedly been left hungry and thirsty for three days, has allegedly experienced diabetic coma twice during this period under detention. It was also claimed that she was taken to the hospital for treatment when she cannot stand torture and she was put back into the cell again when she was brought back to the prison.
Her brother, who visited Zeynep Yolcu in prison, told about the health conditions of his tortured elder sister and said that “My elder sister was in a very bad condition. She could not stand. She had difficulty to walk. She said she was severely tortured and left both hungry and thirsty for three days.”
The report by @cezaeviihlaller has also stated that Zeynep Yolcu’s children have also been suffering enormously as they are now alone in miserable conditions. It is stated that the children who saw their mothers as tortured had a crying crisis.
Meanwhile, Ahmet Tuncer Yolcu, who underwent a surgery because of his ongoing diabetes, has not reportedly given his medications in detention. It was said that Ahmet Yolcu, who lost 35 kilos because of his sickness, must be under surveillance after surgery. Also, he has to be very careful about his daily nutrition and has to eat frequently along the day.
However, it was reported that Prison Director Kağan Gencer has continued to keep him in solitary confinement. His relatives have been concerned about Ahmet Yolcu’s health conditions since he has been kept in solitary confinement and subjected to maltreatments and heavy torture.
The Human Rights Association (İHD) and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) said on errant December 2017 that 2,278 people were tortured and 11 abducted in Turkey during the first 11 months of 2017.
In a report titled “Tortured to Death”, SCF investigators has exposed on Nov. 21, 2017 the case of 42-year-old history teacher Gökhan Açıkkollu, who died after enduring 13 days of torture and abuse in police detention in İstanbul.
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 in wake of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has reported one of its studies titled “Suspicious Deaths and Suicides In Turkey” that there has been an increase in the number of suspicious deaths in Turkey, most in Turkish jails and detention centers where a torture and ill-treatment is being practiced. In most 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. SCF has compiled 101 cases of suspicious death and suicides in Turkey in a list as of December 28, 2017 in a searchable database format.
Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
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 them in custody.
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665 people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.