DÖNE TALUN, MAHIR G. AND HALIL IBRAHIM OKKALI
Döne Talun was just 12 years old when she was arrested in January 1995. Her crime? She was suspected of stealing bread.
For five days she was illegally held at Ankara Police Headquarters without access to her family or a lawyer:
"They beat me in the car as they were taking me to the police headquarters. In the evening I was blindfolded. They tied me up and connected a wire to my fingers. Then they said: 'We will give you something.' Then one of them switched on the generator. They also gave me shocks to my face. Next morning I was interrogated ... I told them that I didn't do it. One of them beat me with his walkie-talkie hard on the head. They also punched me in the stomach ... The bruising I had on my neck came from being hit with a truncheon."
A year later, to her distress, Döne Talun learned that the prosecutor had decided not to prosecute anyone for torturing her. The system which propagates torture in Turkey had once again served to protect torturers.
Mahir G. was 14 years old when he and 15 other students and young people were detained in December 1995. The authorities claimed that they were members of the outlawed Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front and accused them of writing slogans on walls, distributing leaflets and of starting a fire in a barber's shop -- despite reports from the fire brigade that the fire appeared to be an accident.
The students say that they were held in Manisa Police Headquarters and for 10 days tortured. Mahir's testimony shows what can happen when members of security forces feel themselves to be above the law.
"...about 10 police fell upon me...They kept hitting my head and my stomach...They forced me to undress and kept me under a cold shower...There were sounds of screams and cries coming from other rooms...they twisted my testicles...Four of them held me by the hands and arms and gave electric shocks to my right thumb, to my sexual organs, to my arms and to my stomach..."Mahir still suffers psychological and physical after-effects.
Halil Ibrahim Okkali, a 12-year-old boy, was arrested on 27 November 1995, on suspicion of theft. By the time his father came to pick him up later that evening he was covered in bruises. He was subsequently treated in intensive care and his arm put in plaster. After just hours in the police station he had to spend three days in hospital.
Halil says that when he was taken to the Çinarli Police Station in Izmir two police officers interrogated him. They took him to the toilet area, beat him repeatedly with their truncheons and kicked him when he fell down.
A complaint was filed and a trial against two police officers was opened in March 1996.
No one who finds themselves in a Turkish police station is safe from
torture, not even a child.