RIGHTS >Two Turkish army personnel sentenced to life in prison for torture

Mesut Hasan Benli - ANKARA

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Hürriyet Photo

Hürriyet Photo

Two former military personnel have been sentenced to life in prison for torturing to death Uğur Kantar, a Turkish solider who died after being tortured in a disciplinary room while he was doing his military service in the northern Cyprus in 2011.

Ayhan Aslan and Fırat Keser, two Turkish soldiers serving as military guards in northern Cyprus at the time of Kantar’s death, were sentenced to life in prison on July 8 by the Kyrenia Military Court, a Turkish military court in Cyprus. 

Kantar died in 2011 after “being kicked, punched and slapped in the face, tortured and exposed to the sun for many hours” by Aslan and Keser in a military discipline room called “disco.”

The military prosecutor heading the Kantar’s case said Aslan and Keser had committed “exacerbated torture with respect to its result,” saying Kantar died on Oct. 12, 2011 directly as a result of the acts committed by the two.  

Another case was also filed against Ayhan Şentürk, Özkan Belmen and Ahmet Yurdusevdi, the administrators of the military prison where Kantar was tortured, on charges of “negligence on duty.” The prosecutor said Belmen and Yurdusevdi had turned a blind eye to the torture and did not notify the prison administration.

Şentürk was given a suspended seven-year prison sentence, while Belmen and Yurdusevdi were acquitted.

Senem Doğanoğlu, the Kantar family’s attorney, told Hürriyet that while Aslan and Keser had received the necessary sentence, Şentürk should have been punished more harshly. 

Doğanoğlu said they would appeal the court ruling.

Kantar was only two weeks away from being discharged from his military service when he died due to torture in 2011.


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