Kurdish teen tortured, killed in Istanbul juvenile detention center

CHP deputy Ali Haydar Hakverdi presented a series of parliamentary inquiries on April 27 about reports that 17-year-old Kadir Aktar was tortured and subsequently killed in an Istanbul juvenile detention center. A medical report said that Aktar had been "battered, hit, kicked, twisted and bitten or scratched by another person."

Duvar English 

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Ali Haydar Hakverdi presented a series of parliamentary questions on April 27 inquiring about reports that 17-year-old Kadir Aktar was regularly tortured and eventually killed in an Istanbul correctional facility. 

Aktar was detained in relation to a July 18, 2020 incident in Istanbul's Avcılar district where a police officer was killed, but was released on Feb. 16.

Aktar was detained again two days after his release, this time in relation to a shooting that occurred on July 17, 2020, near the location of the first incident Aktar was detained for. 

Aktar was reported dead a day after his second detention, raising questions in his family's mind about the manner of his death, especially because he appeared visibly battered in court when his attorney saw him following his statement about the second set of charges against him. 

The Maltepe Juvenile Detention Center administration said that Aktar was found dead in his cell in an apparent suicide, but a preliminary autopsy of his body revealed internal bleeding in his forearms and lower legs, attorney Ahmet Atalay said. 

Aktar also reportedly told his sister after his first detention that he had been "pressured, battered and forced to take pills" during his seven months in the correctional facility, and his family found out after his release that he was taken to the hospital some 23 times in the same period of time. 

"These visits were filed under 'general check-ups, suspicious illnesses and psychiatric consultations,' but his family didn't know about them until after he died," CHP deputy Hakverdi noted. 

Police told the family that the contusions on Aktar's body were a result of a brawl between Aktar and the officers that occurred because the minor resisted his second detention in his residence, but camera footage refutes this statement, Hakverdi added. 

"The hospital report says that Aktar was 'battered, hit, kicked, twisted and bitten or scratched by another person,'" Hakverdi said. 

The minor would have served five months at the most on the charges of his second detention, Hakverdi noted, adding that an investigation should be conducted into "why a 17-year-old would or was made to commit suicide in this case."