Torture And Other Abuses Makes Turkey American As Apple Pie
On the topic of torture the nation of Turkey could teach some gruesome techniques to ISIS, the terrorist movement executing a savage reign across Syria and beyond (reportedly with Turkish government support).
That reality of brutality in Turkey – another problematic American ally – is a fact known all too well by Turgay Ulu, a Turkish journalist who endured a 15-year imprisonment in Turkey, where he was tortured. During Ulu’s long imprisonment, Turkish authorities justified his conviction on their claim that they had evidence against him –- evidence authorities obtained from two other victims of torture.
“I was tortured with electro shocks,” Ulu said during an interview earlier this year in Berlin, Germany where he is a leading figure in a movement for refugee rights. Ulu’s long imprisonment in Turkey led many, including Amnesty International, to consider him a political prisoner. Ulu was released from a Turkish prison in 2011 and he immediately fled to Europe.
Ulu was initially arrested in 1996 when Turkish authorities accused the then 23-year-old of belonging to two communist organizations. Ulu admits being a “Marxist” activist in Turkey but denies membership in those two organizations. A report Amnesty International released in 2006 examining serious flaws in Turkey’s justice system cited Ulu’s case. That AI report noted it was “highly improbable” that Ulu would be involved in “two ideologically unrelated” armed organizations.
“They tortured me but I still would not talk to the police,” Ulu said. “When I did not talk to the police they said that was proof that I was a terrorist because I did not talk.”
Ulu received a death sentence for one of the many charges Turkish authorities filed against him. That death sentence was converted to a life sentence in 2002. Twenty-days after Ulu’s release from prison in 2011, Turkish authorities reinstated the life sentence. If Ulu returns to Turkey he faces a return to prison.
The U.S. State Department’s most recent “Human Rights Practices” report noted the existence of “torture” in Turkey despite torture being prohibited by Turkish law. That State Department report, released in June 2015, also stated the Turkish “government or its agents allegedly committed arbitrary or unlawful killings.” Prison conditions in Turkey are “poor” that report stated, noting “brutality” by guards -- including brutality against children.