PRESS RELEASE: International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture



Erdogan’s kidnapping network strikes in Kyrgyzstan Information statement on the kidnapping of Orhan İnandi – Bishkek/Kyrgyzstan

Berlin, June 1, 2021

With this statement we would like to inform you about the recent abduction cases of civilians of Turkish origin abroad by the Turkish Intelligence Service. Since the coup attempt in July 2016, the Turkish government has repeatedly attempted to intimidate or even eliminate supporters of the global Hizmet movement (“Gülen movement”) and opponents of the Erdogan regime through illegal means. Even abroad, Turkish intelligence has not shied away from kidnapping civilians.

The most recent cases of such abductions are Selahaddin Gülen and Orhan İnandi. On the morning of June 1, Orhan İnandı, the founder and president of the Turkish-Kyrgyz Sapat School Network operating in Kyrgyzstan, was abducted from his personal passenger car outside his own home. İnandı was last contacted by his family at 6 p.m. Monday. His car was found near his house with the doors open. His family immediately informed Kyrgyz police about the teacher’s disappearance and called for an urgent investigation.

In Kyrgyzstan, the Sapat network has been active in Kyrgyz education since 1992. Today, 30 percent of the school network’s shares belong to the Kyrgyz Republic. Within the school network there are 16 high schools, one international university, one international school and three elementary school.

İnandı had been working in Kyrgyzstan since 1995 and had been the president of the school network since 2001. According to the Sapat Schools, İnandı received the title of “Excellence in Education of the Kyrgyz Republic” and the Honorary Diploma of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2002, and the Medal of Gratitude of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2003 for his contribution to the improvement of the education system in the country. İnandı also holds citizenship of the Kyrgyz Republic.
According to İnandı’s family, there are reportedly two planes waiting at the airport in Bishkek and the Uzbek capital Tashkent that are not on the flight lists of any of the airlines operating at those airports, raising suspicions that these planes could be used to return the teacher to Turkey.

In early May, Erdoğan made a public rally that notable arrests would be made in a timely manner. According to a recent Freedom House report on global transnational repression, Turkey is the number one country that has conducted renditions from host states since 2014. The Turkish government has been persecuting its perceived enemies in at least 30 different countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia since July 2016. “Ankara’s campaign has primarily targeted people associated with religious leader Fethullah Gülen’s movement, which the government blames for the coup attempt,” the report states.

We hereby wish to create public awareness of human rights violations in the form of illegal abductions and kidnappings of people outside Turkey and welcome all forms of support and solidarity.

Erdogans Entführungsnetzwerk schlägt in Kirgisistan zu Informationsbekundung zur Entführung von Orhan İnandi – Bishkek/Kirgisistan

Wir möchten Sie über die jüngsten Entführungsfälle von türkischstämmigen Zivilisten im Ausland durch den Türkischen Geheimdienst in Kenntnis setzen. 

Die türkische Regierung versucht seit dem Putschversuch vom Juli 2016 immer wieder Anhänger der globalen Hizmet-Bewegung (“Gülen-Bewegung”) und Gegner des Erdogan-Regimes auf illegale Wege einzuschüchtern oder gar zu beseitigen. Selbst im Ausland hat der Türkische Geheimdienst keine Scheu davor, Zivilisten zu entführen.

Die jüngsten Fälle derartiger Entführungen sind Selahaddin Gülen und Orhan İnandi. Am Morgen des 1. Juni wurde Orhan İnandı, der Gründer und Präsident des in Kirgisistan tätigen türkisch-kirgisischen Sapat-Schulnetzwerks vor seinem eigenen Haus aus seinem persönlichen PKW entführt. İnandı wurde zuletzt am Montag um 18 Uhr von seiner Familie kontaktiert. Sein Auto wurde in der Nähe seines Hauses mit geöffneten Türen gefunden. Seine Familie informierte sofort die kirgisische Polizei über das Verschwinden des Lehrers und forderte eine dringende Untersuchung.

In Kirgisistan ist seit 1992 das Sapat-Netzwerk im kirgisischen Bildungswesen tätig. Heute gehören 30 Prozent der Anteile des Schulnetzwerks der Kirgisischen Republik. Im Rahmen des Schulnetzwerks gibt es 16 Gymnasien, eine internationale Universität, eine internationale Schule und drei Grundschulen.

İnandı war seit 1995 in Kirgisistan tätig und seit 2001 Präsident des Schulnetzwerks. Laut Aussage der Sapat-Schulen erhielt İnandı 2002 den Titel „Exzellenz in der Bildung der Kirgisischen Republik“ und das Ehrendiplom der Kirgisischen Republik, sowie 2003 die Dank-Medaille der Kirgisischen Republik für seinen Beitrag zur Verbesserung des Bildungssystems im Land. İnandı besitzt außerdem die Staatsbürgerschaft der Kirgisischen Republik.

Laut Angaben der Familie İnandı sollen am Flughafen von Bischkek und der usbekischen Hauptstadt Taschkent zwei Flugzeuge warten, die nicht auf den Fluglisten einer der an diesen Flughäfen tätigen Fluggesellschaften aufgeführt sind, was den Verdacht aufkommen lässt, diese Flugzeuge könnten verwendet werden, um den Lehrer in die Türkei zurückzubringen.

Anfang Mai machte Erdoğan öffentlich eine Kundgebung, dass zeitnah namhafte Festnahmen erfolgen würden. Laut einem kürzlich veröffentlichten Bericht von Freedom House über globale transnationale Repression ist die Türkei die Nummer eins unter den Ländern, die seit 2014 Überstellungen aus Gaststaaten durchgeführt haben. Die türkische Regierung verfolgt ihre vermeintlichen Feinde seit Juli 2016 in mindestens 30 verschiedenen Ländern in ganz Amerika, Europa, dem Nahen Osten, Afrika und Asien. „Ankaras Kampagne hat sich in erster Linie gegen Menschen gerichtet, die mit der Bewegung des religiösen Führers Fethullah Gülen verbunden sind, die die Regierung für den Putschversuch verantwortlich macht“, heißt es in dem Bericht.

Wir möchten hiermit eine öffentliche Aufmerksamkeit für die Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Form von illegalen Verschleppungen und Entführungen von Menschen außerhalb der Türkei schaffen und heißen jede Form der Unterstützung und Solidarisierung willkommen.

Human Rights Defenders e.V. –

Berlin, 1. Juni 2021

Our contribution to an UN Report: Psychosocial dynamics conducive to torture and ill-treatment

Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in his capacity made a call to stakeholders to contribute to his Report: Psychosocial dynamics conducive to torture and ill-treatment. The report aims to explore some of the predominant psychosocial dynamics which, in practice, tend to undermine, circumvent or even paralyse institutional checks and balances, thereby creating environments of unchecked power conducive not only to corruption but also to torture and ill-treatment. The larger purpose of the report is to show that the widespread practice of torture and ill-treatment, as well as societal acquiescence or support for such abuse, are deeply rooted in collective psychosocial behavioural patterns, which either remain largely unconscious to the human mind, or are based on fundamentally flawed rationalizations and severely distorted perceptions of reality. Relevant phenomena include patterns such as ‘system justification’, ‘wilful ignorance’, ‘bystander apathy’, ‘diffusion of responsibility’, ‘obedience’, ‘utilitarian moral disengagement’ and ‘group based moral disengagement’.

We are glad to announce that our contribution, written by Mr. Sammas Salur, PhD, has been accepted and published on the website of OHCHR. You can download our contribution under NGOs and CSO – Human Rights Defenders.

Extradition to Turkey: One-Way Ticket to Torture Unfair Trial

After 2016’s failed coup attempt, Turkey forsook the rule of law. The Erdoğan Regime has suspended or dismissed more than 125,000 civil servants, including judges, teachers, academics, doctors, police officers and others, since July 15, 2016.

Besides this unprecedented purge, 559,064 people have been investigated, 261,700 have been detained, and 91,287 have been remanded for pretrial detention with the accusation of membership of an armed terrorist organization between July 15, 2016, and November 20, 2019.

Erdoğan’s foes, or those who dissent politically and who live abroad, have been facing a judicial harassment risk, albeit to a lesser extent than those who are in Turkey. Getting them extradited to Turkey is at the top of the agenda of the Erdoğan Regime’s international policy. Turkey has sent (at least) 570 extradition requests to
94 countries. Although the overwhelming majority of these requests have failed, Turkey has physically brought back 104 Turkish citizens from 21 countries, according to its own official statements.

At least 30 of these were kidnapped, with citizens taken from abroad without any legal process whatsoever—in some cases, people have been pulled off the streets of foreign cities and bundled onto private jets that are linked to Turkey’s intelligence agency. Dozens of others, including many registered asylum-seekers, were unlawfully deported to Turkey. In one well documented case, the kidnapping of six Turkish citizens from Kosovo, one of the men that Turkey took was the wrong person—a different Turkish citizen with a similar name. The wrong man remains imprisoned in Turkey anyway.

In addition to extradition requests, Turkey has also attempted to abuse Interpol’s notice mechanism in order to track its dissidents, however, due to the political nature
of these requests, Interpol has refused 646 red notice requests that were submitted by Turkey.

Since 2016, the courts in Greece, Germany, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Romania, Bosnia, Poland, Montenegro, have refused extradition requests sent by the Turkish
authorities, which are either due to the political nature of the accusations, or due to their failing to pass a dual criminality test, or the risk of being subjected to torture or ill-treatment in Turkey.

Moreover, the UN Committee Against Torture decided on three cases that were filed against Morocco: that the possible extradition of three Turkish citizens from Morocco to Turkey would violate Morocco’s obligation under the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatments or Punishment.

The reports prepared by national and international institutions and credible civil society organizations, that are explained in detail below, together with the respective judgments and opinions rendered by courts in the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Romania, Bosnia, Poland, Montenegro and Greece, and by the ECtHR, the UN Human Rights Committee, the UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) on the matter, show that anyone
(principal), particularly in cases where the principal is accused of terrorism-related offences or offences against state security, who may be extradited to Turkey,
i. will most likely be subjected to torture and ill-treatment,
ii. will not be able to enjoy his right to freedom in the absence of undue
government approval, even when released by a competent court of law
iii. will not be able to enjoy the right to a fair trial,
iv. and, his right to counsel will be unlawfully hindered.

Finally, in the view of the well-established positions of the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee, the UNCAT and the WGAD,
i. The treatment the principal will receive at the hands of Turkish official bodies will constitute serious violations of Articles 3 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and would be a violation of Article 3 of the UN Convention Against Torture,
ii. Any state which extradites an individual, particularly those who are accused of terrorism-related offences, or offences against state security, to Turkey, will be breaching its obligation under the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Convention Against Torture and the European Convention on Human Rights.