Family of Turkish private allegedly killed by torture denied insurance payment
Hürriyet photoFamily of tortured and killed private Uğur Kantar was denied insurance payment on grounds that the death occurred after his release from his mandatory army service, according to daily Radikal.
Kantar has passed away in October of 2011 after battling for his life for two months following alleged torture by army members as a disciplinary punishment. His family applied to the private insurance company Anadolu Anonim TÜrk Sigorta for life insurance payment regarding Kantar’s death.
The application however was denied, with the company initially citing missing documents. When the family’s lawyer repeated the application, the company this time resorted to a different excuse, stating that Kantar’s death has occurred outside his army service, which rendered the insurance policy outdated.
A Turkish military high court overruled a previous decision on Kantar’s death in February, dismissing civil court claims and sending the case back to the military courts.
The decision to try the suspects under the military court judiciary will alter the definition of the charges as well, replacing torture accusations with accusation of “causing the death of a member of the inferior rank through mistreatment.”
Kantar was serving in the 28th division in Turkish Cyprus and was set to be discharged on Aug. 1. Only two weeks prior to the end of his term of service, however, Kantar was sent to the military disciplinary ward where he was allegedly subjected to torture, handcuffed to a chair and left under the sun without any water.
He was also allegedly beaten by Privates Fırat Keser and Ayhan Aslan, who were guarding Kantar. The military prosecution recorded the testimonies of 37 people, and the two privates who allegedly tortured him were sent to military prison on charges of “malicious wounding.”