Cevheri Güven, a Turkish journalist living in exile, has said in recently released video footage that people who were abducted by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) were taken to a specially equipped building in Ankara where they were subjected to heavy torture.
In a video recording broadcast by online news channel Bold Medya, Güven told the story of post-coup torture victims who alleged they were subject to maltreatment before being forced to sign “confessions.”
Güven said the people who were taken to the building in Ankara were abducted by MİT agents. Enforced disappearances have become a common occurrence in Turkey in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
At least 19 people have been abducted so far. Those not seen for quite some time mostly have in common in their personal histories that they lost their jobs amid a sweeping crackdown that the Turkish government has conducted against its critics, particularly alleged members of the Gülen movement.
Journalist Cem Küçük, a staunch supporter of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, suggested during a live TV program in December 2017 that Turkish intelligence should kill family members of jailed members of the Gülen movement in order to turn the inmates into operatives for the Erdoğan regime.
Speaking during a live TV show along with his program partner, journalist Fuat Uğur, Küçük said Israeli intelligence agency MOSSAD had killed family members of Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian inmates to make them MOSSAD operatives.
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 the norm rather than the exception under increased nationalistic euphoria and religious zealotry in the country in the wake of the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) reported in 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 torture and ill-treatment are being practiced. In most cases, authorities concluded these to have been suicides without any effective, independent investigation.
Suspicious deaths have 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 their detention. SCF has compiled 120 cases of suspicious death and suicides in Turkey in a list as of July 24, 2018, in a searchable database format.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Turkey have been the subject of legal proceedings in the last two years on charges of membership in the Gülen movement since the coup attempt in July 2016, a Turkish Justice Ministry official told a symposium on July 19, 2018.
“Legal proceedings have been carried out against 445,000 members of this organization,” Turkey’s pro-government Islamist news agency İLKHA quoted Turkish Justice Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ömer Faruk Aydıner as saying.
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 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 them in custody.
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. 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.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 18, 2018, that the Turkish government had jailed 77,081 people between July 15, 2016, and April 11, 2018, over alleged links to the Gülen movement. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)