A pro-Kurdish lawmaker demanded answers from Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay during a parliamentary meeting about six men who are alleged to be victims of abduction, the Gazete Duvar news portal reported on Friday.
The questions were asked by Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, an MP from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and a human rights activist, during a meeting held by the Turkish Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission on Friday.
“I want answers to my questions,” the pro-Kurdish MP said on Friday.
Gergerlioglu was referring to his previous parliamentary inquiries about the alleged abductions and cases of torture that he said increased after the attempted coup of July 2016.
A total of six men, who it was claimed were abducted in different provinces in February, all turned up in police custody with four being found at the end of July and the other two at different dates later on.
“A political power that promised to end [incidents of] white Toros automobiles, added cases of black Transporters to its ruling period,” Gergerlioglu said.
He was referring to the black Transporter Vans the men were reportedly forced to get into and taken away.
Toros cars also refer to the white-colored Renault 12 automobiles that were used by shady, armed figures who in the 1990s exerted an extrajudicial force on behalf of “the state,” mostly against prominent Kurdish figures in southeastern Turkey.
“I reject all of these allegations,” Oktay said in response on Friday.
“So why haven’t you responded to any comments and reports on the issue by the [European Court of Human Rights] ECHR and the [United Nations] UN?” Gergerlioglu asked further.
Oktay held that the Turkish government is a state of law and that such cases of abduction and torture are out of the question for its institutions and organizations.
“All processes related to crimes and criminals in Turkey, detentions, arrests, investigations, and prosecutions are all carried out within the frame of the state’s laws,” the vice president said.
“The State of the Republic of Turkey is not reduced to abducting its own citizens. It’s a shame even to assert such a claim,” he added.
The six men, Yasin Ugan, Ozgur Kaya, Salim Zeybek, Erkan Irmak, Gokhan Turkmen and Mustafa Yilmaz were reportedly sought in investigations into the faith-based Gulen movement before they went missing.
Ankara labels the movement, led by the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, as a terrorist organization and accuses it of orchestrating the failed putsch attempt on July 15, 2016.
It is alleged that the six men were victims of enforced disappearances.
Any allegations related to the coup attempt and involvement in terror activity are strongly denied by Gulen and his followers.
In December 2018, a non-profit investigative newsroom based in Europe, Correctiv, asserted that Turkey’s intelligence service (MIT) keeps the abductees in a secret detention facility in the capital Ankara called “The Ranch,” where state agents use torture tactics during interrogation.