Missing Kurdish man found in Istanbul police station with torture marks after 45 days

A Kurdish man who had been missing since his arrival in Istanbul on Oct. 14 was revealed to be in the Istanbul Police Headquarters after 45 days. The family was kept in the dark of his whereabouts for days and said that Fırat had endured torture and battery by police, as marks on his body revealed in their meeting.

Rojda Oğuz / DUVAR

A man from the southernmost province of Hakkari who had been missing since his arrival in Istanbul on Oct. 14 was found in the Istanbul Police Headquarters on Nov. 26 with bruises and battery marks on his body. 

Bahtiyar Fırat had arrived in Istanbul to take a plane to Iran's capital Tehran but was briefly detained following passport control in the airport on Oct. 14.

Fırat had called his wife Esra Fırat after leaving the airport that day to say that his cab was being followed by four cars and to call the prosecutor's office if he went missing, which he did. 

The family found out Fırat was being held by the police's organized crimes unit on Nov. 26, during a routine phone call with the headquarters. 

"We went to the prosecutor's office everyday for 45 days. Nobody told us anything. They said they didn't have him despite all our petitions," said Fırat's family. "We called on Nov. 26, find out Bahtiyar is in the police headquarters."

Fırat was tortured at the beginning of his detention, and police applied medication on his ailments to hide any injuries, his family said, adding that he experienced extreme weight loss.

"There are signs of violence on his arms and face. He can't even speak, he's unable to express himself," the family said. "We're very concerned." 

The family said that whatever Fırat's crime was, which hasn't been disclosed to any of them, it doesn't justify his maltreatment and torture.