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VIDEO | “Enforced disappearance is a crime against humanity” – Opposition MP questions fate of alleged abductees

Abductions on the rise in Turkey as the latest, horrific one see a father brutally kidnapped in front of his kids

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In an online video stream on Monday, Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Sezgin Tanrikulu, deputy chairman of the parliamentary Human Rights Committee, asked about the fate of six citizens who were allegedly abducted by Turkish security forces in recent months.

“Unfortunately, there is still no information on the fate of Mustafa Yilmaz who has been missing for 28 days, Ozgur Kaya and Yasin Ugan for 34 days, Gokhan Turkmen for 39 days,
Erkan Irmak for 30 days, and Salim Zeybek for 26 days,” said Tanrikulu referring to the
allegations of enforced disappearance of the missing individuals.

Tanrikulu claimed that the immediate family members of the missing individuals have
pleaded publicly for information on the fate of their loved ones whom they say were abducted by armed people claiming to be security officers.

Selda Ugan, the wife of Yasin Ugan who was allegedly abducted by 40 gunmen in plain
clothes identifying themselves as police, appeared on a broadcast with rights activist MP
Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu previously. Ugan pleaded for information from the authorities on
the fate of her husband, while speaking with difficulty and choked up in tears.

“I have no information about where and how he is. My children and I are so worried,” Ugan
said as she appealed for help.

Betul Zeybek, who was present during the apprehension of her husband, Salim Zeybek, said
he was abducted by gunmen in plain clothes as well.

The abduction played out before Betul and her children. She got the number of plates of the
gunmen’s cars; however, she was unable to obtain any information regarding her husband’s fate from the public prosecutor or the police.

The rights activist MP Tanrikulu urged the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior, the
Turkish National Police and Ankara Police Department to make a public statement regarding
these cases.
“The method of the 90s has been revived by AKP [The ruling Justice and Development Party] over the last two years,” said Tanrikulu during the online broadcast, alluding to the dark period of 1990s when there was a spike in the number of reported disappearances of mostly prominent Kurdish figures.

“Enforced disappearance is a crime against humanity,” warned the CHP MP, while
emphasizing that crimes against humanity do not “have a prescription to be dropped by the
courts.”

“Officials are obliged to make a statement on the fate of these citizens,” Tanrikulu asserted.

Drawing by caricaturist Carlos Latuff
Abductions targeting Gulen Movement affiliates

Following the botched coup bid of July 2016, Ankara accused Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric leading a faith-based movement, of masterminding the putsch.

Labeling Gulen movement as a terrorist organization, Ankara has been pursuing an incessant crackdown on the group since the failed coup, dismissing more than 160,000 civil servants and detaining nearly half of this figure over alleged affiliation with the group, while over 40,000 are imprisoned on charges of being members of the faith-based organization.

The post-coup crackdown has not been limited to the dismissals and arrests, as extralegal detainments by Turkey’s intelligence agency, MIT, have increased in the last two years, according to the Human Rights Association (IHD).

A report presented to the Council of Europe suggests that abductions are being carried out
by MIT, which are targeting alleged Gulen affiliates, to take them in for interrogation in
extrajudicial confinement.

The report presents the accounts of two alleged victims of abduction who describe the
torture they underwent during the detainment.

Source: IPA

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