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Enforced disappearance victim being tried in “secret courtroom,” opposition MP claims

A parliamentary member of Turkey’s largest opposition party has claimed that the trial of a man abducted by counter-terrorism police was being held in a “secret courtroom”.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Sezgin Tanrikulu , who is also the deputy chairman of the parliamentary Human Rights Committee, on Thursday told Erkan Alan from the Gazete Duvar news portal that he could not follow the first hearing of Ozgur Kaya’s trial because it was not held in the usual room of the Ankara 34th Heavy Penal Court.

Kaya, who was abducted in the Turkish capital Ankara on February 13, was found in custody of Ankara’s counter-terrorism police in July after five months of his whereabouts being unknown.

“The trial of the man who was abducted is also abducted [from those who wanted to follow it],” the lawmaker said.

“I’m at the Ankara Courthouse. Enforced disappearance victim Ozgur Kaya’s hearing is being held in a secret courtroom,” Tanrikulu also said in a tweet.

The MP underlined that he, along with the family members of Kaya, was not successful in finding the courtroom where the first hearing of Kaya’s trial was being held although they spent two hours looking for it in the Ankara Courthouse.

“The lawyer [of Kaya] texted his wife that she was [currently] attending the hearing. … We found out later that the hearing was taking place in another room [than the usual room of the Ankara 34th Heavy Penal Court,]” he told Alan.

The MP added that the chief executive of the courthouse did not give him and family members of Kaya any information as to which courtroom his hearing was being held.

“He said he took orders [not to tell the whereabouts of the courtroom Kaya was tried in] from the chief judge. Although I spoke to Ankara’s deputy chief public prosecutor and checked the rooms in the courthouse, we could not learn about the room where Kaya’s hearing was held,” Tanrikulu continued.

Addressing Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul in a separate tweet, the MP asked: “Do you even know about this?”

After being missing for five months, Kaya was found in Ankara on the same day with Erkan Irmak, Yasin Ugan and Salim Zeybek, who were also abducted in February.

Before their disappearances, all four men were sought in connection with investigations into the members of the Gulen movement led by the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government deems Gulen and members of his organization to be terrorists and accuses them of orchestrating the failed military coup on July 15, 2016.

Both Gulen and his followers strongly deny involvement in any terror-related activities.

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

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