Since mid 2015 con­di­tions have become harsh­er for polit­i­cal pris­on­ers in Turkey. Repres­sion crossed anoth­er thresh­old fol­low­ing the coup d’état and the state of emergency.

Tor­ture, both phys­i­cal and moral, has reap­peared on a large scale in recent times, notably against women.
As an illus­tra­tion, here are trans­la­tions of excerpts from arti­cles pub­lished by the JINHA Agency.


Lawyers from the “People’s Bureau of Jurists” (HHB – Halkın Hukuk Büro­su) declared that the women detainees exiled to high secu­ri­ty prison No. 9 in Silivri were sub­ject­ed to tor­ture by the guards. They brought the inci­dent to the Director’s atten­tion. His answer: “Our guards are men, we’re not in charge of that.”

Vio­la­tion of polit­i­cal pris­on­ers’ rights start­ed again with the state of emer­gency declared fol­low­ing the attempt­ed coup d’etat on July 15 2016.

Fol­low­ing alle­ga­tions of tor­ture in Sakran prison in Izmir, the detainees in Silivri declared they had also been tor­tured by the guards. The HHB con­firmed that the women exiled from the Bakirköy prison to Silivri No.9 were also tortured.

Accord­ing to the HHB’s state­ment, their client Sev­can Adıguzel was assault­ed for hav­ing shout­ed out slo­gans: “They slammed her head against the wall, our client start­ed to bleed from the nose. They squeezed her breasts. Our client was sub­ject­ed to tor­ture and harass­ment. The guards even resort­ed to nee­dles against our client when those vio­lences occurred in the cell.”

The state­ment adds that their oth­er client, Kübra Sün­netçi, was also sub­ject­ed to tor­ture in the same prison.

The HHB lawyers brought the tor­ture to the Director’s atten­tion. He replied: “Tell them not to resist. This is a men’s prison. Our guards are men. We are not respon­si­ble for inci­dents that might happen.”

The state­ment notes there are wit­ness­es and med­ical reports con­firm­ing the tor­ture prac­ticed in the jail.


torture cellule femmes prison bakirkoyXece Yaman of TUHAD-FED (Fed­er­a­tion for sol­i­dar­i­ty and union with pris­on­ers’ fam­i­lies) informs that the pris­on­ers are orga­niz­ing a col­lec­tive or indi­vid­ual hunger strike against tor­ture and pres­sure tac­tics in pris­ons. Hun­dreds of pris­on­ers were placed in soli­tary con­fine­ment this year, while oth­ers were put in over­crowd­ed cells. The Fed­er­a­tion invites to a ris­ing up and mobi­liza­tion in sup­port for the detainees.

Psy­cho­log­i­cal pres­sure, tor­ture and iso­la­tion have also begun as prac­tices against the pris­on­ers of the PKK and PAJK (Par­tiya Azadiya Jinên Kur­dis­tan), imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the attacks and repres­sion in Turk­ish Kur­dis­tan since 2015.

In Şır­nak, the cur­few was rein­stat­ed with­in 24 hours (since March 14). Detainees in T‑type pris­ons in Şır­nak launched a hunger strike, either col­lec­tive or indi­vid­ual, denounc­ing the prac­tices in the jail.

Xece declared that the pris­on­ers were still being oppressed with arbi­trary pun­ish­ments and ill treat­ments. The State is increas­ing­ly turn­ing against the pris­on­ers using war as an excuse, espe­cial­ly since last year. The slight­est demands by the pris­on­ers are viewed as dis­turb­ing the pen­i­ten­tiary admin­is­tra­tion and some pris­on­ers were placed in iso­la­tion for a year, an ille­gal practice.

Xece stressed that the oppres­sion against the PKK and PAJK pris­ons con­tin­ued to increase after the July 15 attempt­ed coup: “You would think that the coup wasn’t orga­nized by FETÖ ( Fethul­lah Gülen Orga­ni­za­tion) since they’ve increased the pres­sure on oth­er polit­i­cal pris­on­ers after the attempt­ed coup. Vis­its and phone calls have been restrict­ed and let­ters aren’t hand­ed over to sev­er­al pris­on­ers. Now the polit­i­cal pris­on­ers in sev­er­al jails have launched a hunger strike in protest. He strike is being car­ried out in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions since their state of health wor­ries us. Peo­ple should under­stand that we must defend the prisoners.”

(Beri­tan Canöz­er / Jinha)

You will have noticed that the response from the Silivri prison direc­tor reeks of sex­ism. Excus­ing tor­ture under the state of emer­gency by an over­flow of testos­terone is quite a find. When will we hear excus­es for rape?

While a decree led to the release of a num­ber of com­mon pris­on­ers fol­low­ing the coup d’état, the jails were re-occu­pied by addi­tion­al polit­i­cal pris­on­ers who were arrest­ed in vast num­bers. The demo­c­ra­t­ic oppo­si­tion and the Kur­dish move­ment are on the front lines, a bar­gain for the State in the midst of arrests of so-called FETÖists.

There was also a wave of arrests of intel­lec­tu­als and jour­nal­ists, fol­lowed by par­ty mem­bers and elect­ed mem­bers of par­lia­ment. 180 were arrest­ed in the towns of Turkey and Kur­dis­tan in the past sev­en days. The major­i­ty is from the HDP and DBP (Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ties), provin­cial and dis­trict co-pres­i­dents. Many of the arrests tar­get the co-pres­i­den­cy sys­tem of one man and one woman, which the AKP regime does not tol­er­ate. (The sus­pen­sion of may­ors and co-may­ors and their replace­ment by AKP admin­is­tra­tors fol­lows the same logic.)

The fresh upsurge of vio­lence against polit­i­cal pris­on­ers in the jails is not an iso­lat­ed phe­nom­e­non lim­it­ed to a few guards or local author­i­ties. Even if the State’s admin­is­tra­tive func­tion­ing has been con­sid­er­ably weak­ened by the purges, this repres­sive pol­i­cy is “jus­ti­fied” by the high­er-ups, and val­i­dat­ed by the ide­ol­o­gy pre­sid­ing over the state of emer­gency. “We must sub­due the domes­tic ene­my who has placed him­self out­side the frame­work of nation­al unity.”

One should not be sur­prised to see that patri­archy dis­plays its full poten­tial in this con­text. What is remark­able is these women’s fight­ing spir­it, also dou­bly repressed in prison.

This rein­forces us in the thought we must estab­lish dif­fer­ent forms of sup­port, by form­ing links through the bars in a sys­tem­at­ic way, and not only for a few “per­son­al­i­ties”, even if this allows us to speak about them all.

This also gives more strength to what we wrote con­cern­ing uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents and teach­ers, widen­ing the resis­tance to all those direct­ly threat­ened in Turkey. Devel­op­ing exchanges, invi­ta­tions, and fos­ter pro­grams should be some of the prac­ti­cal actions in the future.

Final­ly, con­cern­ing the dan­gers weigh­ing main­ly on women (but not only, as the LGBTI could attest to), vig­i­lance is in order so that denun­ci­a­tions of aggres­sions and sex­u­al vio­lences are imme­di­ate and res­onate across Europe.

There exists asso­ci­a­tions, and non-gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions, activists for human rights and unions here in Europe whose duty it is to seize upon these questions.

Polit­i­cal pris­on­ers in Turkey should be a major preoccupation.

Con­cern­ing the esca­la­tion of vio­lence, notably against women, Read HERE for recent devel­op­ments and con­firmed cases.

Français : “La tor­ture de retour, et dans les pris­ons de femmes” Cliquez pour lire

Traductions & rédaction par Kedistan. Vous pouvez utiliser, partager les articles et les traductions de Kedistan en précisant la source et en ajoutant un lien afin de respecter le travail des auteur(e)s et traductrices/teurs. Merci.
Kedistan’ın tüm yayınlarını, yazar ve çevirmenlerin emeğine saygı göstererek, kaynak ve link vererek paylaşabilirisiniz. Teşekkürler.
Kerema xwe dema hun nivîsên Kedistanê parve dikin, ji bo rêzgirtina maf û keda nivîskar û wergêr, lînk û navê malperê wek çavkanî diyar bikin. Spas.
Translation & writing by Kedistan. You may use and share Kedistan’s articles and translations, specifying the source and adding a link in order to respect the writer(s) and translator(s) work. Thank you
KEDISTAN on EmailKEDISTAN on FacebookKEDISTAN on TwitterKEDISTAN on Youtube
Le petit mag­a­zine qui ne se laisse pas caress­er dans le sens du poil.