Hacı Bişkin/ DUVAR

Following an inquiry submitted by pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu regarding claims of torture of former Ministry of Foreign affairs employees by Ankara police while in custody in May of this year, the Ankara Police Department responded by refuting the claims. 

The torture claims involved the former ministry staff being handcuffed behind the back and forced to lie down on their knees, being beaten with batons, and other forms of threats and insults. The Ankara Police Department rejected the claims in their entirety, asserting that everything that occurred was in accordance with procedure. 

However, a report previously prepared by the Ankara Bar Association contains serious findings indicating that torture did take place, while at the same time, claims regarding police torture of former Justice Ministry employees have also emerged on the agenda. 

“Former Justice Ministry staff were taken into custody and exposed to the same treatment. According to their lawyers’ statements, they were stripped naked and tortured. As soon as we heard about this, we rushed to inform the authorities. However, the Interior Ministry authorities and the police department authorities were avoiding our phone calls. [Claims of] torture are something that cannot be avoided for one second. Torture is a crime against humanity, and this situation is completely unacceptable,” Gergerlioğlu said. 

“Regarding the previous events, in the [police department’s] statements it appears as if there was no problem. However, once again there are claims of torture. This means that some people are taking strength from these official answers and carrying out these practices. Light must be shed on what took place. We will continue to investigate in the name of the country, and we will continue to follow this matter. There still has not been a response from the Ankara Police Department regarding the new developments. We will absolutely not allow these events to be covered up,” Gergerlioğlu added. 

According to the Ankara Bar Association report which was based on the collective statements of five people taken into custody, the people in question were reportedly taken into a dark room, leaned against a wall, blindfolded, brought to their knees, forced to crawl on the ground, beaten on the head with batons, and threatened with anal rape with the batons if they did not talk.