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Former intelligence officer testifies he was held hostage for 16 months, tortured

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Mesut Geçer, a former official at Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) who was purged from his job due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, has testified in court how he was kidnapped, held hostage for 16 months and subjected to torture before his arrest, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.

Geçer appeared at the Ankara 34th High Criminal Court on Dec. 3 as a part of trial in which he is accused of membership in a terrorist organization.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

In his testimony Geçer said he was kidnapped by people he previously knew while driving in Ankara on March 18, 2017 after they stopped his car and put a sack over his head.

He said he was put in a cell the next day in an unknown location, handcuffed from behind and interrogated while his head was banged on the wall.

Geçer said after his health deteriorated, he was transferred to another location, which he later found out was Syria, with people speaking Arabic around him, and was held there until July 14, 2018, when he was taken back to Turkey and subsequently arrested.

“I was held hostage for 16 months and have been under arrest for 17 months. I have been away from my wife, my child and my life for about 33 months. I have serious problems with my left foot and knee due to the torture I was exposed to while I was held hostage. There is also a problem in my colon,” said Geçer, without elaborating further on the torture he suffered.

He also said he can identify the individuals who tortured him as they were people he previously had known.

The cases of torture and ill treatment increased significantly after the failed coup in Turkey. There have been deaths in prisons that are suspected of having been caused by acts of torture and maltreatment.

In addition, there have been many abduction cases in Turkey since the July 15, 2016 failed coup, targeting supporters of the Gülen movement.

Nothing has been heard for months from people who were kidnapped in black transporter vans by unknown individuals. The families of the kidnapped, who are unable to get any information on the whereabouts of their loved ones from state authorities, are desperately calling for help on social media.

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