Iraqi lawyer ‘tortured’ in Istanbul
ISTANBUL - Demirören News Agency
Iraqi lawyer J.A.
An Iraqi lawyer has filed a criminal complaint, claiming that two men tortured him in Istanbul, forcing him to wear women underwear as they took his photos and videos to extort money.
According to the lawyer, identified as J.A., his former co-worker Erhan Ç. was the main culprit behind the scheme.
Erhan Ç., a Turkish driver, was reportedly convicted in Iraq for stealing 238,000 U.S. dollars from the car of the owner of the company he worked for in Iraq.
He was released after staying in an Iraqi prison for one year, thanks to the amnesty declared in the country
After entering Turkey illegally, Erhan Ç. allegedly called the company's lawyer, J.A., and promised to return the money he stole from their boss, if the lawyer can come to Istanbul.
Believing that the former employee regretted his past actions, the Iraqi lawyer agreed and arrived in Istanbul on April 19.
The Turkish man picked J.A from the airport with four of his friends and brought him to his apartment where the Iraqi would be tortured for days by the five men.
The gang allegedly forced the lawyer to wear women underwear, taking videos and photos depicting him as if he was sexually abused.
“They took $2,700 and my cellphones. They threatened to post the photos to my family if I don’t give them $200,000,” the lawyer told the police.
J.A. returned to Iraq to find the money and put his car and apartment on sale, but the gang waited only a few days before sending the photos to the Iraqi’s son, wife and boss through WhatsApp.
The Iraqi lawyer returned Turkey and filed a criminal complaint on May 4, but all suspects remain at large.
According to the initial findings of the investigation launched by Büyükçekmece Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Erhan Ç. was given refugee status by the United Nations in Iraq, where he “escaped” following the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.
The Iraqi lawyer’s attorney said that there were signs pointing to possible links between the main suspect and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
“We have included in the file all the evidence, including security camera footage at the Istanbul airport, pro-Gülen social media posts of the suspect and his WhatsApp messages,” attorney Pirozhan Karali said.
The Turkish authorities refer to the movement of U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen as FETÖ, which is widely believed to have orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.