The main objective of the visit was to examine the situation of patients held in psychiatric hospitals, in particular as regards living conditions and treatment (including electroconvulsive therapy – ECT). The delegation also looked into the legal safeguards related to involuntary placement procedures and their implementation in practice. For the first time in Turkey, the delegation also visited two social welfare institutions.
In their response to the visit report, the Turkish authorities provide information on the measures being taken to implement the CPT’s recommendations. (http://www.rightsagenda.org)
The CPT’s report and the response of the Turkish Government are available on the Committee’s website (http://www.cpt.coe.int).
Two weeks of activities protesting against the many disappearances in police or gendarmerie custody in Turkey ended with a Justice Tribunal, organised by the International Committee against Disappearances (ICAD).
Held at Istanbul’s Bilgi University Dolapdere campus on 31 May, the tribunal called for an apology by the state for all disappearances, as well as the trial of generals, police officers and politicians on duty during the period of most intensive fighting with the PKK.
Şahin Tümüklü, a member of the tribunal, called for the following in a statement:
* The one-sided understanding of massacre and loss in history books, which has been identified with the Armenian forced migration, should change.
* An independent delegation should be formed to identify the number of disappeared people and their stories. Ottoman and Turish archives should be opened, and mass graves and graveyards of the poor should be found and opened.
* Forensic Medical Institutes should open their records, and the DNA test applications of relatives of disappeared people should be accepted. Military and police records should also be published, and a War Crimes Tribunal should be formed in order to try those responsible for the disappearances.
* Relatives of missing persons should be compensated for their material and psychological loss. Those who attacked and burned down villages and those who ordered these attacks should be identified and punished.
* The fate of people who disappeared in detention or were buried in mass graves needs to become known. Those ordering and carrying out murders must be punished.
* Disclosures from the Ergenekon file have brought to light several "state secrets", i.e. crimes. They must become court cases.
* The state of the Turkish Republic must apologise to families.
* The state must accept the Statement on the Protection against Enforced Disappearances, accepted by the United Nations’ general assembly on 18 December 1992, as domestic law.
* Police custody should be abolished; rather, people taken in by the police should be brought to a judge directly.
The statement further called for the lifting of immunity for anyone responsible and for the politicians of the period between 1991 and 1996 to be tried. The list of people they accuse includes:
Veli Küçük (known as the founder of the clandestine gendarmerie intelligence unit JITEM, said to be responsible for hundreds of murders), Arif Doğan and Levent Ersöz (also from JITEM), Chiefs of Staff Doğan Güreş, Hüseyin Kıvrıkoğlu, Hakkı Karadayı, Hilmi Özkök, Yaşar Büyükanıt, Presidents Kenan Evren, Turgut Özal (deceased) and Süleyman Demirel, Prime Ministers Mesut Yılmaz, Tansu Çiller and Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan, former Deputy PM Murat Karayalçın, Ministers of the Interior Abdülkadir Aksu, İsmet Sezgin, Mehmet Ağar and Meral Akşener, Governor of the Emergency Law Region (OHAL) Hayri Kozakçıoğlu, Generals Hasan Kundakçı, İlker Başbuğ, Hikmet Köksal, Şener Eruygur, Hurşit Tolon, Mete Sayar, Korkut Eken and İsmet Deliyıldız. (BIA, Bawer CAKIR, 1 June 2009)
Ms. Yuksel Mutlu, who is the spokesperson of the Turkey Peace Assembly and a member of the Honorary Board of the Human Rights Association (IHD), was detained at about 06.00 from her house by gendarmerie forces on 28.05.2009. After Ms. Mutlu had been detained, she was taken to Izmir a city in the Aegean Region of Turkey. Unfortunately Ms. Mutlu was arrested last night (01.06.2009) after being kept under detention for four days. According to the first set of information we learned, it was an arbitrary arrest based on assumptions by means of wire-tapping. That is the reason why her case is under secrecy, which prevents her lawyers to meet her for the first twenty four hours.
35 administrators and members of the trade unions, which are affiliates of the Confederation of Public Employees Trade Unions or KESK, were also detained in the same detention operation conducted by the gendarmerie forces. Most of these trade union members are also IHD members. The KESK Headquarters was raided in an unlawful manner. 16 of these people, including Ms. Mutlu, were arrested. KESK administrators were released.
The detention and arrest of Ms. Yuksel Mutlu contravenes the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders openly. Ms. Yuksel Mutlu, who is taking part in peace activities, and Ms. Songul Morsumbul the Secretary General for Women Issues of the KESK, joined the mission about the massacre in Bilge Village in Mardin a city in the Southeast region of Turkey. She was carrying out preparatory activities within the framework of Turkey Peace Assembly’ call to stop armed conflict and end deaths to reach a solution. There is no legal ground in the arrest of Ms. Yuksel Mutlu. This arrest has shown that Ms. Mutlu’s peace activities disturb some groups. Arrest is being used as it were a tool to punish people in Turkey. The Minister of Justice admitted this reality by expressing that more than % 60 of prisoners are arrested people not sentenced in prisons of Turkey. On this occasion, we remind once again the arrest procedure of Turkey must be revised. People must be not arrested in such an arbitrary and unlawful manner.
Ms. Yuksel Mutlu and trade union members must be released.
HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION