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The persistence of torture in Turkey is an indisputable matter of record. Throughout the last two decades Turkish and international non-governmental organizations have documented thousands of cases from all parts of the country-aterrible toll of lasting physical and psychological damage inflicted on Turkish citizens by police officers and gendarmes whose proper duty was to protect them. One Turkish government after another has denied the extent of torture and refused to take any measures to combat it. During the 1990s the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) began making visits to Turkey. The CPT is authorized under the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture to visit detention sites and document conditions it observes. Its reports to states are generally confidential unless the state concerned authorizes publication, but such publication has become the dominant norm. Nonetheless, Turkish governments headed by politicians still in positions of authority today, has withheld permission for the publication of the CPT's early reports on Turkey. In 1992, apparently impatient at government inaction, the CPT took the unusual step of issuing a statement confirming that it had found evidence of widespread torture.2 After three more years of government inertia, and scores more deaths in custody as a result of torture, the CPT made another public statement in 1996.3 In 1999, the Turkish government finally granted permission for the publication of one of the CPT's reports.

The first and only really practical step to combat torture made by any Turkish government since the 1980 military coup was the shortening of police detention periods in 1997.

The present Turkish government's record on torture has been unexceptional. In August 1999 punishments for officers convicted of torture were increased. In June 1999 Prime Minister Ecevit issued a circular urging police and gendarmes not to commit torture and to abide by the October 1997 Regulation on Apprehension, Custody and Interrogation, which outlawed the use of force during interrogation and emphasized detainees' rights to remain silent, to be cautioned of their rights, to inform relatives, and to receive legal counsel. The Regulation also tightened record keeping. For this four-page circular Prime Minister Ecevit and his government were widely commended at home and abroad. The praise would have been well deserved if the circular had been followed by determined legislative and administrative efforts to eradicate torture. One year later, however, the circular has begun to look like just another gesture mainly intended to gain time and postpone necessary action.

Incommunicado detention

The truth is that this government cannot claim to be truly committed to ending torture while it continues to permit detainees to be held incommunicado in police stations.4 Incommunicado police detention provides an opportunity for torture to take place without witnesses and permits torturers to obscure or minimize medical evidence of abuse. Experience worldwide has shown that when detainees are left in secret custody, interrogators are almost inevitably tempted to use force or coercion to extract information or incriminating statements. Many judgments of the European Court of Human Rights have emphasized the importance of access by lawyers from an early point following arrest. Most recently, in Averill v UK,5 the court found that "a refusal to allow an accused under caution to consult a lawyer during the first 24 hours of police questioning must still be considered incompatible with the rights guaranteed to him by Article 6 [of the European Convention on Human Rights]."6

Intergovernmental bodies have examined the situation in Turkey and are unanimous that incommunicado detention is the key to the problem of torture. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, in the report on his 1998 visit to Turkey, put at the top of his recommendations the need to "amend legislation to ensure that no one is held without promptaccess to a lawyer."7 In the report on its 1997 visit to Turkey, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture recommended that "all persons deprived of their liberty by the law enforcement agencies-irrespective of the offence of which they are suspected-be granted, as from the outset of their custody, the right of access to an independent lawyer."8 The U.N. Committee against Torture, in its 1993 report on Turkey,9 also recommended that detainees have early access to legal counsel.

Until 1997 all detainees, including those held for common criminal offences, could be held in incommunicado detention and they almost invariably were. The maximum police detention without judicial supervision was fifteen days, doubled in provinces under state of emergency. As a result of changes in the Criminal Procedure Code enacted in March 1997 common criminal detainees can be held in police custody only up to seven days and they are supposed to be provided with access to legal counsel throughout the police detention period. Those detained for offences tried in State Security Courts, however, are still held incommunicado for the first four days, after which they may have access to a lawyer. Moreover, their police detention may be extended on the order of a judge to seven days, rising to ten days in provinces under state of emergency.10

The 1997 reform has resulted in only limited improvement. The main benefit is that the shortened unsupervised police detention period gives torturers less space to maneuver. Nevertheless, State Security Court detainees are still frequently subjected to torture and denied the right of access to legal counsel even after the four-day period has elapsed. Since 1997, it has also become more common for detainees to be interrogated in unofficial places of detention-vacant lots, construction sites or in open land outside cities. Lawyers are supposed to have access to their clients after the fourth day of custody, but they are usually only permitted a brief encounter with their client in the presence of police officers, and it is almost unknown for lawyers to be present during subsequent interrogation of their clients.

Much less evidence is available as to how common criminal detainees have benefited from the changes, but the evidence that exists is not reassuring. Lawyers working for the duty lawyer service of the Istanbul Bar Association have told Human Rights Watch that detainees are often told that it will be to their advantage if they waive their right to legal counsel. This allegation was confirmed this year in a series of reports published by the Turkish Parliamentary Human Rights Commission, based on visits to police stations and prisons. During a visit to Erzincan Police Headquarters in March 2000 the Parliamentary Commission examined detention records. Entries for all but two of those detained in the previous two years indicated that they "did not request a lawyer." At Erzurum's Sehit Fatih Bodur Police Centre, 269 of 270 detainees in the preceding twelve months were recorded as not having requested a lawyer. At Tunceli Police Headquarters, the Parliamentary Commission noted that police station records had been kept in an organized fashion since 1998, but that entries for all detainees read "did not request a lawyer." People who had been detained in these units for common criminal offences gave the Parliamentary Commission detailed and credible accounts of torture.

The CPT's findings confirm this picture. A report on its 1997 investigation in Turkey states: "The information gathered during the October 1997 visit showed that this new right of access to a lawyer was as yet under used. The delegation did not meet a single detained person who had experience of the right's application, and the Head of the Anti-Terror Department at Istanbul Police Headquarters indicated that no one in the custody of his department had ever sought to make use of it."11

Police officers show considerable creativity in avoiding the inconvenience of having their territory haunted by lawyers and other representatives of the outside world. The Turkish Criminal Procedure Code in its current form assists them by presenting many opportunities for evading safeguards. Lawyers have told Human Rights Watch that commoncriminal detainees accused of theft have been threatened that if they demand to see a lawyer, a link could be constructed between their offence and an illegal political organization, thereby increasing the seriousness of the charge and ruling out access to a lawyer. The fact that offences under the Law on Organized Crime come within the jurisdiction of State Security Courts gives the police another tool to keep lawyers out. In a large-scale operation in Istanbul in November 1999 eighty-eight members of the Science Research Foundation, an organization that examines science from the point of view of devout Islam, were detained at Istanbul Police Headquarters. There was no suggestion even in the indictment against the detainees that this organization was involved in violent activities, but because they were being interrogated under the Law on Organized Crime, the police were able quite legally to hold the detainees incommunicado for four days. In fact the detainees were held for six days without access to legal counsel, and many alleged that they had been subjected to torture, including blindfolding, deprivation of sleep, deprivation of access to toilet facilities, hanging by the arms, and electric shocks.

In view of the recommendations of both the U.N. Committee against Torture and the CPT, and the jurisprudence at the European Court of Human Rights, and in view of the well established pattern of widespread torture in Turkish police stations, Human Rights Watch believes that the Accession Partnership must require that detainees have the right to have a lawyer present from the earliest possible moments of detention.

Accession Partnership Recommendation:

* The Turkish Criminal Procedure Code should be amended to ensure that all detainees, irrespective of the offense in connection with which they are held, have the right to legal counsel throughout police detention and the right to presence of counsel during interrogation. Both the Calendar and the Report recommend a change along these lines, but the Calendar schedules the draft of this change for the end of 2001.


Blindfolding prisoners in police custody is routine practice. Almost every single former detainee interviewed by Human Rights Watch reported that they were blindfolded during police interrogation and while signing their statement. Blindfolding not only encourages torture by making positive identification of offending officers impossible, but also induces disorientation which could itself be counted as a form of ill-treatment. In November 1993 the United Nations Committee against Torture commented that blindfolding should be "expressly prohibited."12 In his 1998 report on Turkey the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture said that "the practice of blindfolding detainees in police custody should be absolutely forbidden."13 To the best of our knowledge, no Turkish government has publicly condemned blindfolding, nor have Turkish courts punished any police officer for using a blindfold. Blindfolding may, of course, die out once the right of access to legal counsel is generally recognized and respected, but Human Rights Watch believes that this pernicious abuse should be specifically addressed.

Accession Partnership Recommendation:

* The Interior and Justice Ministers should publicly condemn the practice of blindfolding and instruct all police and gendarmerie units accordingly. A provision prohibiting blindfolding should be added to the 1997 Regulation on Apprehension, Police Custody and Interrogation. Police authorities and prosecutors should be instructed to pursue any reports of blindfolding and seek appropriate administrative or judicial penalties.14 No reference is made to blindfolding in the Report or the Calendar.

Sexual abuse and rape in police custody

Almost all detainees, male as well as female, report some level of sexual abuse or sexually insulting behavior in detention. In several cases male detainees' allegations of anal rape with objects have been corroborated by medical evidence. The European Court of Human Rights, in Aydin v Turkey15 found that in 1993 gendarmes had tortured a female detainee plaintiff by raping her in custody at Derik Gendarmerie in Mardin province. The presence of a lawyer during interrogations would be an important safeguard against such abuses, but for women, the presence of a female police officer would afford some additional protection. An amendment to the Regulation on Apprehension, Custody and Interrogation adopted in August 1999 provided for women detainees to be searched only by female police officers. However, this measure offers female detainees little reassurance if, after a polite search, they can then be taken to the privacy of a police station and sexually humiliated.

Accession Partnership Recommendation:

* Ensure that police station staff at all times include at least one female police officer who will be present during the interrogation or movement of women detainees. This measure is not specified in the Report or the Calendar, although they both refer to "researching ways in which the human rights of women can be better protected."

Failure to register detainees and notify their kin

Relatively minor infringements of detention procedures facilitate horrific patterns of violation in Turkey. The proliferation of "disappearances" in the mid-1990s can be directly related to the appalling standard of record keeping in police stations and gendarmeries, and the security forces' systematic failure to notify families of detentions. Investigations carried out by the European Court of Human Rights, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and the recent Turkish Parliamentary Human Rights Commission have uncovered disorganized and apparently forged records, and in at least one security force unit, no records at all. The Parliamentary Human Rights Commission's inquiries suggest that there has been some improvement in this respect, but additional progress is needed.

The anxiety inflicted on families by security forces' refusal to notify them of detentions should not be underestimated. News that a relative has been detained throws any household in Turkey into a state of panic in which they desperately try to establish the whereabouts of the detainee while police stations misleadingly deny for hours or days that they are holding the detainee. It is common knowledge that any person in police custody is likely to be subjected, at the very least, to insulting behavior, physical hardship and ill-treatment, but added to this is the fear that the relative may die in custody or "disappear." These fears are amply justified. In the past decade the most conservative count of reports of "disappearance" totals more than 140. More than 450 people have died in police custody, apparently as a result of torture in the two decades since the 1980 military coup. The Accession Partnership should include steps to curb the administrative practices that facilitate such violations.

Accession Partnership Recommendations:

* The Turkish government should establish and enforce a requirement that all police units must register every detainee in a bound ledger with numbered pages at the first moment that they are brought into a recognized place of detention. Such records must be open to inspection by lawyers, family members and other interested persons. Prosecutors and police authorities must be instructed to investigate and apply appropriate administrative or judicial sanctions wherever security force officers have failed to keep proper records. Such measures are not specified in the Report or the Calendar.

* Detainees' relatives or other interested persons must be notified immediately following detention. In exceptional cases where this might conflict with the interest of justice, the decision to withhold such information should only be taken by a prosecutor or judge who has seen the prisoner and case file, and a detailed record should be made of the reasons for this decision. Prosecutors and police authorities must be instructed to investigate and apply appropriate administrative or judicial sanctions wherever security force officers have failed to give proper notification of a detention. Such measures are not specified in the Report or the Calendar.

* The Regulation on Apprehension, Police Custody and Interrogation should be amended to indicate possible administrative and judicial sanctions applicable to any officer who fails to comply with its provisions, and the Turkish authorities should undertake steps to ensure that such sanctions are imposed in appropriate cases.16 Internal disciplinary procedures should not be used as a substitute for judicial sanctions, and should be transparent and subject to public monitoring. This measure is not specified in the Report or the Calendar.

Suppression of medical evidence of ill-treatment and torture

Although all detainees are required to undergo a medical examination at the end of police custody, this safeguard against torture has been persistently evaded. A large body of evidence shows that police officers pressure detainees to conceal their injuries from medical personnel, intrude on examinations, destroy medical certificates, and "shop around" hospitals and health centers until they receive a medical certificate with which they are satisfied. The Regulation on Apprehension, Custody and Interrogation contains detailed instructions on how such medical checks should be carried out. Article 10 provides that "the doctor's report is written in four copies. One is kept at the detention center, the second is given to the person when he leaves the detention center, the third one is included in the investigation file, the fourth one is kept at the health unit." Notwithstanding this provision, there remains some confusion about the number of reports to be issued. A 1997 Health Ministry circular directs that doctors should issue only three reports. In cases recently followed by Human Rights Watch, detainees were not given a copy of their medical report, and doctors who testified to the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission stated that they were issuing reports in only three copies.

The Regulation also states: "Where there is no restriction with regard to the investigation and security considerations, the doctor and the person will be left alone during the examination." Experience indicates that police officers frequently abuse such discretion to intrude on medical examinations.

Accession Partnership Recommendations:

* The 1997 Health Ministry circular should be amended to require that doctors issue four reports, and give one of these to the detainee. Public prosecutors should be instructed to investigate detention conduct and procedures, whenever a detainee is brought before them without a medical report in their possession. These measures are not specified in the Report or the Calendar, but both recommend overhauling the operation of the Forensic Medicine Institute and improving medical reporting. The Calendar states that standardized reporting forms are soon to be issued.

* Where it is unsafe for a doctor to be left alone with a detainee in order to carry out a health check, the public prosecutor should be summoned in order to supervise the procedure. This measure is not specified in the Report or the Calendar.

Torture and ill-treatment of children and juveniles

During the 1990s Human Rights Watch reported many cases of ill-treatment and torture of children. The Turkish Parliamentary Human Rights Commission investigations have shown that the practice persists apparently undiminished. In March 2000 the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission interviewed a number of juveniles at the Bakirkoy Prison for Women and Children. Two of their reports17 give the text of interviews with juveniles who had been held at various police stations in Istanbul and who described being stripped naked and subjected to electric shocks, hosing with cold water under pressure, beating with a truncheon, falaka and being forced to stand for hours in a chest-high barrel of water. One 14-year-old described being interrogated under torture for eight days at Kadikoy Yeldegirmeni Police Station, and he told the Commission where they could find pickaxe handles used for beating the soles of detainees' feet. When the Commission later went to the police station, the instruments were found just as the youngster had indicated. The long period of unsupervised police detention alone was in breach of the Turkish Criminal Procedure Code, quite apart from the abusive treatment and failure to summon a lawyer from the Bar's duty lawyer service.18

The Interior Ministry's failure to eradicate the torture of children is unforgivable and means that under present circumstances police officers cannot be trusted to hold juveniles in custody without constant supervision.

Accession Partnership Recommendation:

* Until safeguards against ill-treatment in police stations can be shown to be effective, the Criminal Procedure Code should be amended so that any juvenile detained can be questioned only in the presence of his lawyer and an independent prosecutor. A prosecutor should be charged with the close supervision of the detention of any child or juvenile to ensure their well being. Any police officer found to have held a child or juvenile in custody without immediately notifying the prosecutor, or to have interrogated a child or juvenile other than in the presence of a prosecutor, or who fails to summon a lawyer should be subject to heavy administrative and judicial penalties. These measures are not specified in the Report or the Calendar.

Suppression of complaints of ill-treatment and torture

In recent years, prosecutors have been more ready to open legal proceedings against police officers and gendarmes for ill-treatment or torture, though regrettably, conviction and appropriate sentencing remains rare. One important obstacle was a law dating from 1913 that gave local governors-who oversee police affairs-the right to block prosecutions. In December 1999 this law was abolished and replaced by another-the Law on the Prosecution of Civil Servants and other Administrative Officials-which speeds up the decision process, but still gives the governor's office the ultimate say. Moreover, this law contains alarming new provisions that instruct prosecutors receiving complaints to desist from any action and convey the case file to the governor's office. This law is not a reform, as has been claimed by the Turkish government, but a scandalous breach of the principle of judicial independence, which is already being used to obstruct the course of justice. On January 3, 2000, the Ankara governor ruled that no legal proceedings should be taken in respect of a complaint against 155 gendarmes for offences of torture, sexual assault and the murder of ten prisoners at Ulucanlar Prison in Ankara in September 1999. Lawyers on behalf of victims and relatives appealed against this decision to the Ankara District Administrative Court,which overturned the governor's decision on May 17, 2000. The file was returned to the local prosecutor who, at the time of writing, had made no decision whether or not to proceed with a prosecution. The new law, which in this case delayed the judicial process for four months, appears to serve no purpose other than to protect torturers.

Accession Partnership Recommendation:

* Abolish the Law on the Prosecution of Civil Servants and other Administrative Officials or amend it to ensure that it cannot be used to delay or suppress complaints against police officers, gendarmes or soldiers for offences of ill-treatment, torture, abuse of detention procedures, death in custody, extrajudicial execution or "disappearance." This measure is not specified in the Report or the Calendar.

Police officers and gendarmes subject to investigation and prosecution for ill-treatment, torture and unlawful killing are not customarily suspended from duties, and there are even examples of officers still serving after their conviction for ill-treatment. In January 1996 a group of young people-the youngest fourteen years of age -were tortured at Manisa Police Headquarters, near Izmir. Detainees reported being stripped naked, hosed with cold water, and subjected to electric shocks to their bodies including their sexual organs. Male detainees were subjected to squeezing of the testicles and sexual assault with a truncheon; female detainees were threatened with rape. Their allegations were supported by medical evidence and the testimony of a member of parliament who intruded into the interrogation room. In response to a parliamentary question the Interior Minister confirmed that a police superintendent accused of torturing the juveniles was not only on active duty with the Anti-Terror Branch in 1999 and 2000, but had even used these duties as a pretext for non-appearance at hearings in his trial on charges of torture.19

Accession Partnership Recommendation:

* Any prison officer, police officer, gendarme or member of the security forces subject to investigation or prosecution for ill-treatment or torture should be immediately suspended from duties which might bring them into contact with prisoners. Officers subject to investigation or prosecution for unlawful killing should be suspended from active duty. Any officer convicted of ill-treatment, torture or unlawful killing should be immediately dismissed. This measure is not specified in the Report or the Calendar.

Suppression of CPT reports

Judging from the experience of recent years, the above safeguards will quite simply be ineffective unless they are backed up by proper supervision of detention sites. Proper supervision should include international, judicial and administrative supervision, and the scrutiny of independent civil society bodies.

The CPT and the U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture put the existence of torture beyond debate, and penetrated for the first time into territory in which police officers had frequently boasted that they had wholly unchecked power. The CPT has made eight visits to Turkey. In 1999 the Turkish government authorized the publication of the report of the 1997 visit20 together with the government's own interim reports.21 The publication of the other reports is now long overdue. A period of delay in publication to avoid embarrassment while remedial measures are taken might be excusable, but suppression for a full decade by a longstanding member of the Council of Europe sets a poor example for other countries who have recently signed the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.22

Accession Partnership Recommendation:

* The Turkish government should give permission for the publication of all outstanding CPT visit reports. This measure is not specified in the Report or the Calendar.

Ineffective state supervision of places of detention

Prosecutors and provincial governors have always had a formal responsibility to supervise police stations and gendarmeries, but seem largely to have neglected this duty. In June 1999 Prime Minister Ecevit's circular instructed these officials to carry out impromptu visits and to take urgent measures to remedy any shortcomings discovered, including dealing with offending officials. Reports of such inspections were to be submitted by the Justice and Interior Ministries every three months to the Human Rights High Coordinating Council of the office of the Prime Minister. No public information has emerged from this process. The only public confirmation that it is even taking place appeared in comments made by prosecutors and police interviewed in the course of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission's investigations.

Accession Partnership Recommendation:

* The Human Rights High Coordinating Council of the office of the Prime Minister should ensure periodic public disclosure of the findings of internal supervision of police stations carried out by the Justice and Interior Ministries. This measure is not specified in the Report or the Calendar.

Lack of monitoring of police detention by civil society

Supervision by professional colleagues is valuable but unlikely to be really effective unless it is backed up with supervision by independent bodies. The first example of independent domestic monitoring has already been frequently referred to in this briefing: the publication this year of the findings of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission, which has been visiting prisons and police stations since 1998. These six reports unfold an appalling catalogue of torture, deceit, and official negligence that is a cause for shame on the part of the offending officials. On the other hand, the reports themselves should be a source of hope and pride for Turkish society. They are a testament to the determination, organization, expertise and humane concern of the parliamentary delegates who participated, and the chairperson Dr. Sema Piskinsut. The reports are even handed and avoid demonizing the police. Where standards are met, this is explicitly acknowledged. Considerable space is also given to a visit to a project in Istanbul for the care of street children, funded entirely by a voluntary police foundation and staffed by police officers.

The Parliamentary Commission's reports are also a demonstration of what independent supervision can achieve. The Commission not only asked probing questions and produced a wealth of information, but when it found clear medical evidence of recent torture it initiated a prosecution (and documented its own frustration at the way the judicial system buried the case).

The reports give a fascinating insight into the workings of a closed world. On the basis of leads given by young people interviewed at Bakirkoy Women and Children's prison, the Commission went to Kucukkoy Police Station, located an apparatus used to suspend detainees by the arms, photographed it, and handed the photographs over as evidence for judicial proceedings. At the same police station the Commission was told that a room with a locked door was "an unused storage room" to which the key had been lost. The Commission members broke a panel of the door and peered through to find "all of the walls, including the door, were covered with yellow sponge, in order to give sound insulation . . . . Almost all of the children who had told the Commission that they had been tortured at this police station, had described this room covered in yellow foam."23 There were other "lost keys" and soundproofed interrogation rooms in other police stations and provinces.

The Commission's reports strongly highlight the value of monitoring by bodies independent of the state institutions responsible for detention and law enforcement. Civil society supervision of state institutions is a new development for Turkey, but police station visiting schemes are already operating in many other parts of the world, including Australia, Hungary, Malawi, the Netherlands, Nepal, South Africa and the United Kingdom. The Special Rapporteur on Torture, in his report on a 1998 visit to Turkey, recommended that "a system permitting an independent body, consisting ofrespected members of the community, representatives of legal and medical professional organizations and persons nominated by human rights organizations, to visit and report publicly on any place of deprivation of liberty, should be set up as soon as possible."24

Accession Partnership Recommendation:

* The Turkish government should announce a schedule for the prompt establishment of a nation-wide system of visiting boards, comprised of local persons trusted for their independence and commitment to human rights, who could visit police stations and gendarmeries in order to talk to prisoners and inspect facilities. Such boards should report publicly on their work and findings. This measure is not specified in the Report or the Calendar, though both propose increasing the "technological" (i.e. electronic) monitoring of places of detention.
2 CPT/Inf (93) 1 [EN], December 15, 1992.3 CPT/Inf (96) 34 [EN], December 6, 1996.

4 Incommunicado detention refers to detention without the right to communicate with anyone other than those holding a detainee in custody or investigating their case.

5 European Court of Human Rights, Averill v. UK, (No. 36408/97), Judgment, Strasbourg, June 6, 2000.

6 Article 6.3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms states: "Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights: a. to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him; b. to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence; c. to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require."

7 E/CN.4/1999/61, 113 (a).

8 CPT/Inf (99) 2 [EN], 23 February 1999, paragraph 19.

9 United Nations Committee against Torture, "Report on Turkey under Article 20," November 9, 1993 (A/48/44/Add.1).

10 The judge who orders the extension of detention periods in Turkey customarily does so on the basis of a paper file and does not personally question the detainee, but the Calendar promises that the new Criminal Procedure Code will require that the judge and prosecutor see the detainee in person before deciding on extension of police detention.

11 CPT/Inf (99) 2 [EN], 23 February 1999, paragraph 17.

12 United Nations Committee Against Torture, "Report on Turkey under Article 20," 9 November 1993 (A/48/44/Add.1).

13 E/CN.4/1999/61, 113 (j).

14 The Turkish Penal Code (TPC) provides heavy penalties for ill-treatment and torture: Article 243 provides for one to eight years' imprisonment and permanent or dismissal from service for security officers who "subject others to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment." Article 245 imposes up to five years' imprisonment for security officers who "ill treat or physically give harm to the others." Article 450/3 provides for the death penalty for any person who intentionally tortures their victim to death and Article 452 provides for 15 years' imprisonment for unintentional killing by wounding or beating.

Prosecutors have recently been more willing to initiate proceedings when allegations of torture are backed up with medical reports, but generally overlook detainees' complaints that they were blindfolded, punched, slapped or kicked. Even when facedwith very strong evidence that torture has taken place, courts are still reluctant to convict and impose appropriate sentences on security officers (see Amnesty International, The duty to supervise, investigate and prosecute, EUR 44/24/99, April 1999).

15 European Court of Human Rights, No. 23178/94, September 25, 1997.

16 Article 240 of the Turkish Penal Code provides that "A civil servant who abuses his position shall be imprisoned for up to three years." Article 181 provides that "A civil servant who deprives a person of their liberty by abusing his duty as a public officer or contravening the relevant procedures and conditions shall be punished by a sentence of imprisonment of from one year to three years." These measures could usefully have been applied to many of the abuses of detention procedure described in this document. To Human Rights Watch's knowledge, these articles of the penal code remain virtually unused.

17 Bakirkoy Kadin ve Cocuk Tutukevi Raporu 1998 ve 2000 (Bakirkoy Women's and Children' Prison Report 1998 and 2000), TBMM Insan Haklarini Inceleme Komisyonu Yayinlari (Human Rights Monitoring Commission Publications), May 2000 and Sorusturma ve Kovusturma Istanbul Raporu 2000, (Investigation and Prosecution Report for Istanbul 2000), TBMM Insan Haklarini Inceleme Komisyonu Yayinlari, May 2000.

18 The August 1999 amendments to the Regulation on Apprehension, Custody and Interrogation required that legal counsel should always be summoned for children.

19 "Torture suspect participates in police operations,"Cumhuriyet (Republic), August 19, 2000.

20 CPT/Inf (99) 2.

21 CPT/Inf (99) 3 and CPT/Inf (99) 18.

22 Turkey was admitted to the Council of Europe on April 13, 1950, and signed and ratified the Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1988.

23 Sorusturma ve Kovusturma Istanbul Raporu 2000, (Investigation and Prosecution Report for Istanbul 2000), TBMM Insan Haklarini Inceleme Komisyonu Yayinlari, May 2000, p35.

24 E/CN.4/1999/61, 113 (l).

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