Turkey is­sues war­rants of ar­rest for 42 jour­nal­ists

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

ANKARA — Turkey’s state-run television sta­tion says au­thor­i­ties have is­sued war­rants for the de­ten­tion of 42 jour­nal­ists as the coun­try presses ahead with a crack­down against peo­ple with al­leged links to a US-based Mus­lim cleric in the wake of a failed coup.

TRT television yes­ter­day said the 42 in­clude prom­i­nent jour­nal­ist Na­zli Ili­cak, who is crit­i­cal of Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan’s rule and has op­posed a govern­ment clam­p­down on a move­ment led by Fethul­lah Gülen, the US-based cleric ac­cused by Turkey of di­rect­ing the July 15 coup at­tempt. Gülen has de­nied any in­volve­ment in the failed in­sur­rec­tion.

There was no in­for­ma­tion on other jour­nal­ists sought for ques­tion­ing.

Turkey de­clared a three-month state of emer­gency and de­tained more than 13,000 peo­ple in the mil­i­tary, ju­di­ciary and other in­sti­tu­tions fol­low­ing the foiled coup.

Hu­man rights group Amnesty In­ter­na­tional said on Sun­day it had “cred­i­ble ev­i­dence” of the abuse and tor­ture of peo­ple de­tained in sweep­ing ar­rests since Turkey’s July 15 at­tempted coup.

The Lon­don-based group claimed some of those be­ing held were be­ing “sub­jected to beat­ings and tor­ture, in­clud­ing rape, in of­fi­cial and un­of­fi­cial de­ten­tion cen­tres in the coun­try”.

In Turkey, a se­nior of­fi­cial de­nied Amnesty’s claims and vowed that Turkey would up­hold hu­man rights.

“The idea that Turkey, a coun­try seek­ing Euro­pean Union mem­ber­ship, would not re­spect the law is ab­surd,” the of­fi­cial said.

“We cat­e­gor­i­cally deny the al­le­ga­tions and en­cour­age ad­vo­cacy groups to pro­vide an un­bi­ased ac­count of the le­gal steps that are be­ing taken against peo­ple who mur­dered nearly 250 civil­ians in cold blood.”

Since the failed coup, a to­tal of 13,165 peo­ple have been de­tained, Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan said late on Satur­day.

This in­cluded 8,838 sol­diers, 2,101 judges and prosecutors, 1,485 po­lice of­fi­cers and 689 civil­ians.

At least 123 gen­er­als and ad­mi­rals have also been jailed, Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Bi­nali Yildirim said.

Amnesty said it had re­ceived re­ports that po­lice in the cap­i­tal Ankara and Is­tan­bul were hold­ing de­tainees in “stress po­si­tions” for up to 48 hours.

It claimed de­tainees were also be­ing de­nied food, wa­ter and med­i­cal treat­ment while be­ing ver­bally abused and threat­ened.

Two lawyers in Ankara work­ing on be­half of de­tainees had told Amnesty that de­tainees had told them they saw se­nior mil­i­tary of­fi­cers be­ing raped.

Amnesty said that higher-rank­ing mil­i­tary of­fi­cials were sub­ject to worse treat­ment in com­par­i­son with other de­tainees.

It said its re­port was based on in­ter­views con­ducted with lawyers, doc­tors and one per­son on duty in a de­ten­tion fa­cil­ity.

The sug­ges­tion from one in­ter­vie­wee was that tor­ture was used so that “they [de­tainees] would talk”.

A lawyer at Is­tan­bul’s Caglayan court­house de­scribed how she saw one de­tainee try to throw him­self out of a sixth storey win­dow, Amnesty said.

“Turkey is un­der­stand­ably con­cerned with pub­lic se­cu­rity at the mo­ment, but no cir­cum­stances can ever jus­tify tor­ture and other ill-treat­ment or ar­bi­trary de­ten­tion,” said Amnesty’s Europe di­rec­tor John Dal­huisen.

He urged the Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties to stop “th­ese ab­hor­rent prac­tices” and al­low in­ter­na­tional mon­i­tors into the cen­tres where de­tainees are held. — AP —

The at­tacker blew him­self up af­ter be­ing de­nied en­try to a mu­sic fes­ti­val Reuters

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