Turkey needs to save face over abductions says wife of Gulen accused

Turkey’s decision to reveal the whereabouts of four people four months after they were abducted only came about because of questions raised by the European Court of Human Rights according to Sumeyye Yilmaz, wife of an abductee who is still missing.

In a video released on Monday the wife of a fifth man, Mustafa Yilmaz warned that Turkey needed to “save face” by revealing the whereabouts of her physiotherapist husband Mustafa Yilmaz and a sixth man who was also abducted, and whose whereabouts are also unknown.

Sumeyye Yilmaz’s video follows a September 6 call by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) demanding information from Ankara on her husband’s alleged abduction.

Four of the six people abducted in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara since February have reappeared in the custody of the country’s counter-terrorism police, in late July this year.

However, there is no word on the whereabouts and well-being of Gokhan Turkmen and Mustafa Yilmaz.

Families and eye-witnesses allege that abductors were state agents, who arrived with black transports.

Sumeyye Yilmaz urged the authorities to reveal the whereabouts of her husband, to “save the face of Turkey,” in the video.

The Ankara Bar Association’s Human Rights Center released the report following an application by Yilmaz, stating that the police failed to meet the basic requirements of investigation on the abduction case.

The report suggests that there are strong reasons to believe that he has been abducted by the state agents and undergoing torture.

“There are strong reasons to believe that Mustafa Yilmaz disappeared under circumstances that threaten his life,” the report states.

The testimonies of alleged survivors of enforced disappearance implicate the country’s secret service (MIT).

According to the allegations which made it to a report dubbed Black Sites Turkey by non-profit newsroom Correctiv, MIT abducts Turkish nationals to interrogate them using torture in a facility called the ‘Ranch’ in the capital city of Ankara.

A report by an Ankara-based rights organization reads in its conclusion that out of 28 cases of disappearance in Turkey during the post-coup crackdown, 26 were connected to the persecution of alleged Gulenists, while suggesting at least 16 of them were detained in the capital city of Ankara.

A court released Yilmaz pending trial on January 8, on charges of being a member of Gulen movement, designated by the Turkish government as a terrorist organization.

Ankara accuses the Gulen movement of orchestrating the failed military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party government on July 15, 2016.

Although Gulen and his followers deny the allegations, the Turkish government has since detained or arrested nearly 80,000 people, while prosecuting more than 511,000 due to alleged links to the movement, according to the data released by the Interior Ministry.

Abduction and torture part of war on Gulenists: Report

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