7 months on, no progress made in case of Kurdish men thrown from Turkish army helicopter

Turkish prosecution and judiciary have failed to make any progress in the case of Kurdish villagers Osman Şiban and Servet Turgut despite seven months have passed since the torture took place.

Painting by Timur Çelik.

Duvar English

Turkish prosecution and judiciary have failed to produce the autopsy report for Servet Turgut, one of the two villagers thrown from a helicopter by the Turkish army, and to prepare an indictment for the assault despite seven months having elapsed.

Turgut and Osman Şiban were detained in September as part of an operation targeting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the eastern province of Van. They were thrown from an army helicopter, prompting outrage among human rights groups. 

While security forces claimed that the men were injured as they were trying to escape and told the hospital that the injuries were a result of "falling from a high place," Şiban gave a detailed account of how they were tortured. 

Turgut, meanwhile, died shortly after the incident. 

The lawyer in the case, Hamit Koçak, noted that the Van Chief Public Prosecutor's Office had blocked the defense's access to case files, preventing them from obtaining records.

“Us attorneys asked for all video recordings from the military gear. There hasn't been a single detention geared towards prosecution yet," Koçak said, adding that the prosecutor's office has still not prepared an indictment due to not getting the testimony of Şiban, whose treatment is ongoing. 

The lawyer also slammed the fact that Turgut's autopsy report hasn't been prepared yet. 

The Van Chief Prosecutor claimed that Şiban had suffered from memory loss, and recommended he be transported to the Istanbul Forensic Medical Institution. 

Koçak said that the case of the two men was a complete tragedy and that he is concerned about the incident getting covered up.