Ayten Ozturk, a Turkish national who was arrested on terror charges last year alleged she went through torture during her lengthy detention by agents of the country’s intelligence service.
Ozturk appeared in court for the first time on Thursday after her detention on March 8, 2018.
In her written testimony seen by IPA News, Ozturk details how her captors who identified themselves as ‘the state’ threatened her with rape, applied electric shocks to her body and kept her in inhumane conditions.
“They electrocuted me from my little finger. I still have its mark on me. They tortured me more while I was on my period, wearing me out. They were smearing me with fluids while saying dirty things to me. They were trying to harass me and rape me with a baton. The words they used are written on my defense,” she said.
She described the room she was kept in during her six months detention in an unknown facility in the capital city of Ankara after being extradited from Lebanon in March 2018.
“A grey wall-to-wall carpet covers the floor. The door does not make a sound when I knock. By the sound of high-heels and women talking coming from upstairs on certain days and hours, I inferred that the place was a government department,” she said.
Ozturk said during the first 20 days of her incarceration, the authorities applied psychological torture on her in a bid to force her to talk “They put me out with a needle,” she said, adding that her vision was blurred afterward.
“They were continually playing nationalist songs,” she said.
Ozturk also mentioned in her testimony of hearing the sounds of other people being tortured. She noted that she had no contact with these detainees during her incarceration.
Ozturk alleged that her captors tried to force-feed her with fluid using a hose as she was refusing to eat.
She said they also told her during the torture sessions: “We have every possible resource as the state. You faint, we wake you up. Your organs fail we have operators fix you and wake you up again, so torture carries on.”
“I refused to eat because there was no humanity. I was in a place where humanity ceased to exist,” she said
Ozturk said her tormentors threatened her saying: “You will peg out down here. Who will know you resisted?”
In her testimony, Ozturk said sugary fluid covered her body due to her resistance to being force-fed, causing her to smell.
“I stayed like that for a month. I refused to take a shower in a cabin covered with a thin veil. I lost a lot of weight. My skin was scaling off,” she said.
The court ruled that Ozturk continue to be held in detention and postponed the matter to October 3. The first hearing into the matter took place on February 3 in Ozturk’s absence.
According to a report by Cumhuriyet daily, Ozturk’s lawyer Murat Yilmaz claimed that the authorities were preventing his client from testifying before the court.
Yilmaz noted that his client had been detained from March 8 until August 28 last year by the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT).
“Then they handed over my client to the counter-terrorism unit of the police. She realized she was in Ankara during this hand-over,” Cumhuriyet quoted Yilmaz as saying.
“I saw the torture marks on her body. Ayten wanted to show these to the prosecutor also during interrogation. But the prosecutor looked away,” said the lawyer.
“I saw her 898 wounds. I feared to touch her body. There [were] fresh and old wounds,” another lawyer of Ozturk, Betul Kozagacli said.
MIT at the center of torture claims
MIT has been accused of enforcing the disappearance of Turkish citizens after the failed 2016 coup.
According to the conclusion of a report by Correctiv, a non-profit investigative newsroom based in Europe, numerous cases indicate that MIT conducts abductions of Turkish nationals abroad to be held in a secret detention facility called ‘the Ranch’.
Cross-examinations of victims detailed in the report produce coherent descriptions of the facility, which are also in tally with the descriptions given by Ozturk, who also claims to have been abducted and tortured by MIT agents.