Ahval reports that a Turkish lawyer whose name is Erdem Semih Yildiz was detained and tortured in Ankara Police HQ. Erdem Semih Yildiz who was a lawyer* in a case in which many defendants were tortured, was detained and also tortured. In his statement dated 12 March 2019 before the prosecutor victim lawyer said he was subjected to physical and psychological torture during police custody.
Victim lawyer said:
‘I used my right to remain silent in the Police Station. I will testify here. Before I make my defense regarding the accusation, I would like to describe the treatment I was exposed in Police Station. I do not want to proceed in the defense before telling these.’
Lawyer continued his statement as follows:
‘I was treated harshly when I was taken into custody. I was taken to the police station from the place I was taken by being handcuffed behind my back. When I entered the station, I was made to kneel in front of a dirty wall. One police officer fell on me. A high ranking person asked the password of my phone. I told him that I could not give him the password as the correspondence of me with my clients were in it. The officer punched two times on my chest. He asked me my address of residence. I did not want to tell. He told me that I know how to make you tell me and he said if I didn’t know what they do to people there with batons.’
Victim lawyer told how the search was executed in his home office and why it was illegal as follows:
They brought me to my home, handcuffed behind my back for searching. I told them to inform my lawyer but they didn’t care. Although I told them that my home was a homeoffice and the presence of a lawyer and prosecutor was necessary, they searched the place. They confiscated a computer of a friend of mine and my money. After the search, we came back to the Station.
Prosecutor was aware of torture
Victim lawyer said he was told by police that the prosecutor in charge of investigation was aware of torture:
I said that I would tell everything to the prosecutor while I was being tortured. They replied if I didn’t know that the prosecutor knew everything all along.
Victim lawyer was threatened with to be raped
I was brought to the room of the Department Manager. The person who was sitting in the office whom I did not know insulted me. He used words such as jerk, prick, son of a bitch etc. He said that there was not a single person who entered this room and didn’t talk. I was sent back to detention room. My lawyer came and I told him what happened and asked not to be left alone. One hour later, I was brought to the room of Manager again. There were 5 people in the room and they started to slap me. They continued their insults in the same way. They removed my clothes 2 times. The department manager said such things as if I would make him dishonor me with a baton. He told me to speak.
Victim lawyer identified the tormentor officers
In the last part of his statement the victim lawyer identified the tormentors:
They continued this for 1.5 hours. The name tag on the table was read “Volkan Murat KAŞIKÇI” and they addressed him as Mr. Volkan. They asked me about my clients. They brought me to the detention room and told to bring me an hour later again. When I came back, they greeted me with smiles. They said that they will treat me positively and negatively at the same time so that my psychology will be damaged. They said that they will extend the duration of detention, that I will stay there for 12 day, that no one left that place without speaking. Next day, Ercan ALAGÖZ, the chief inspector among the people who tortured me, treated me kindly that time. Most probably the summary of proceedings of me was being prepared. They verbally asked some information and I answered. My lawyer came again and I talked with him. I told him what happened last night and that I was tortured.
* Lawyer MSYildiz was representing a defendant in the case regarding assassination of Russian Embassy to Turkey. HRW last month reported another lawyer (Sabiha Nur Gumus) in this case was also prosecuted.