A Turkish man who was imprisoned for five years in the aftermath of Turkey’s 1980 military coup says he will never forgive Sirri Susut, a prison security chief who recently died, for torturing prisoners.
Susut, who previously lost both his feet due to a health disorder, died soon after being hospitalized after his condition worsened on Wednesday.
The former prisoner Cumhur Yavuz told Mahir Bagis from the Birgun daily that he “will never forgive Susut for using torture, which is one of the most fundamental crimes against humanity.”
Explaining that he was tortured by Susut many times over during his five-year sentence in Mamak Prison, Yavuz added: “There, the prisoners’ right to live was violated by the staff through torture.”
After the coup, many prisoners who served time in the Mamak Prison in the Turkish capital Ankara have accused the prison staff of using torture.
Susut was claimed by many to have helped Colonel Raci Tetik, the then-director of the Mamak Prison, who is known for the torture cages constructed during his reign at the prison.
Every newcomer to the prison was allegedly tortured in the cages and kept there for a few days before being assigned to their wards.
According to the reports based on victims’ statements, the methods of torture ranged from verbal humiliation to beatings with batons and excessive exercise in extreme temperatures.
Tetik is also known to have built unique solitary confinement spaces in the prison that he called “coffins.” They were dark, vertical rectangular prisms where one could either sit or stand as space was not enough to lie down or move around.
Both Tetik and Susut were serving in the prison’s A Block, where high-profile inmates, including mostly the people jailed by the coup regime, were held.
In an interview with the Milliyet daily in 1988, the colonel confessed to torturing inmates at Mamak Prison, arguing that he had to engage in torture at the time because the country was in a state of war, and unpleasant things can happen in wartime.
After the September 12 military coup, some 650,000 people were detained, 50 executed, and 299 more killed due to torture and harsh prison conditions, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA).