More than 27,000 people subjected to torture, maltreatment under AKP rule, report reveals

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A report drafted by a main opposition party deputy detailing incidents of torture and maltreatment in Turkey since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002 shows that a total of 27,493 people were victims of torture and maltreatment between 2002 and 2020 and that 86 others died from such mistreatment.

The “Report on Torture and Acts of Maltreatment from 2002-2020 under AKP Governments” was drafted by Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu, who is also a prominent human rights activist and deputy chair of the Human Rights Committee in parliament.

While 988 cases of torture or maltreatment were reported in 2002, this figure rose to 3,534 in 2020. The highest number of cases of torture were reported in 2015, when 5,671 such cases went into the official records.

According to the report, enforced disappearances, which were common in Turkey during the 1990s, made a reappearance following a failed coup in July 2016.

Most of the victims of enforced disappearances after 2016 were alleged followers of the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding the coup attempt although it strongly denies any involvement.

The report said 24 victims of such enforced disappearances were later found and that these people reported that they were subjected to heavy torture during the time they were “missing.”

The latest case of enforced disappearance took place in the final days of 2020 as Hüseyin Galip Küçüközyiğit, a former civil servant dismissed from his job due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, was reported missing.

Küçüközyiğit was one of some 130,000 people purged from the civil service after the abortive military coup in July 2016 for their purported ties to the Gülen movement.

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