Torture victims recount harrowing memories in Turkey's 1980 coup case
A woman stand outside Ankara Courthouse, holding photos of people killed under military rule. AA photoPeople intervening in Turkey's landmark case over the 1980 military coup recounted memories of torture and abuse at the hands of security forces today.
Hundreds of Turkish citizens had applied to intervene in a case that put the surviving 1980 coup leaders, Gen. Kenan Evren and Gen. Tahsin Şahinkaya, on trial, claiming they were victimized by the coup.
The court was expected to give an interim decision on the suspects later today. Prosecutor had requested that the court not arrest Evren and Şahinkaya on account of their ailing health.
Gülşah Taç said her son was detained and tortured after the coup. She claimed his son was murdered after she was released from prison but officials told her that he died in a firefight with security forces. "I could not sleep for seven years because of what happened to my son.”
İsa Tekin said he was jailed at the notorious Diyarbakır prison after the coup and said soldiers there performed tortures "beyond any person's reason or imagination." Tekin said he witnessed soldiers forcefully circumcising non-Muslim prisoners. "I want everyone in the chain-of-command to be put on trial, down to the last private," he said.
Lawyer of one of the intervening parties, Serdal Namkoç, said nationalist Abdülkadir Yanık was tortured in Ankara's Mamak Prison for 12 days. Namkoç said Yanık's mother was brought to prison and beaten in front of his son's eyes to make him speak. "Then they tortured Yanık in front of his mother," Namkoç said.
Namkoç said Evren and Şahinkaya should be tried for torture, abuse and murder.
Ömer Öneren said he was a teacher in the northwestern province of Balıkesir when he was detained and tortured by the police. "I have seen myself killing police officers in my dreams every night after they released me. The trial should not be limited to two people; torturers and their superiors should be tried as well."
Military harmed by the coup
Rahmi Yıldırım said he was a soldier at the time of the coup but was discharged from the army on Evren's order in 1982 before suffering torture at the hands of other soldiers. "The coup harmed the Turkish Armed Forces as it harmed civilians.”