Torture

Ankara lawyers subjected to intimidation, threats in prison meeting with purge victim

Lawyers from the Ankara Bar Association say they were intimidated by management and threatened by guards at Sincan Prison, where they went to meet with four inmates who were found in police custody after they were missing for six months, the Artı Gerçek news website reported.

The prison administration only allowed Salim Zeybek, among the four, to meet with the lawyers, the report said.

The meeting was conducted in the presence of a guard and was recorded.

Zeybek, a former public servant dismissed by a government decree after a 2016 coup attempt, told the lawyers that he was not abducted by any state official.

Dozens of people were reportedly abducted by intelligence officers after the coup attempt, but only two people so far have revealed that they were kept unlawfully in a detention center and subjected to torture.

Zeybek claimed that he was with the three others and hiding from the police for six months before turning themselves in and that they did not feel the need to contact their families.

The families of the then-missing men had run an effective social media campaign to find their loved ones.

The four suspects are charged with membership in the Gülen movement, which is accused of masterminding the 2016 coup attempt despite its strong denial of any involvement.

After the meeting with Zeybek, the guard seized the notes taken by the lawyers, and used threatening language, according to the report.

Yusuf Bilge Tunç, another public servant dismissed over Gülen ties, has been missing since August.