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TURKEY HAS BECOME THE CENTER OF ABDUCTIONS AND DISAPPEARANCES

TURKEY HAS BECOME THE CENTER OF ABDUCTIONS AND DISAPPEARANCES

Acts of enforced abduction and disappearance are defined as a crime against humanity in Article 7 of the Rome Statute. Despite this, many acts of enforced abduction and disappearance have been carried out during the state of emergency in Turkey.

Enforced abductions and disappearances have been organized systematically and widely by state officials within the framework of a certain plan. These illegal acts generally have targeted members of the Gülen Movement. These actions are organized by Turkish intelligence with the participation of Turkish judicial law enforcement forces. When people are outside for any reason they are abducted in front of people by pre-arranged vehicles and taken to torture centers. Although the forcibly abducted people later complained about these acts and ill-treatment in front of courts and prosecution offices, people are sentenced to the heaviest penalties without investigating these issues.

Forced abductions are not only experienced in Turkey, but also in some foreign countries which are persuaded by the political power and intelligence units through various illegal methods.  People are abducted and brought to Turkey in violation of international law. Complaint applications made to administrative and judicial authorities about forcibly abducted and disappeared persons are either not processed or complaint files are closed without any investigation. Some of the enforced disappearances are somehow handed over to law enforcement authorities after their statements are forcibly taken without any legal protection in torture centers after a long time passed.

The act of enforced abduction and disappearance is not limited to just one or two people, and this number has just reached 30 in Turkey. But the number of acts of enforced abduction and disappearance abroad is higher. In this context, Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ announced in an interview with Anadolu Agency on 12 July 2022 that 121 people from 28 different countries were abducted and brought to Turkey without an extradition decision during the terrorist operations against the Gulen Movement between 8 April 2014 and 1 July 2022. These numbers clearly show that enforced disappearance is widely practiced.

The cases of enforced abduction and disappearance, one of the most shameful human rights violations in our recent history and considered crimes against humanity, have increased significantly since the declaration of the State of Emergency on July 21, 2016. This shows that these actions are due to state policy. Thus, Turkey suddenly sailed into the dark corridors of the 1990s. This situation is also reflected in the report of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances dated 31 July 2019[1].

As emphasized above, enforced abduction and disappearance activities increased rapidly after the coup attempt on 15 July in Turkey. An enforced abduction and disappearance action has been added to these actions. According to the news of the official channel of the state, TRT, Uğur Demirok, who has been missing for 66 days, has been abducted by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and brought to Turkey.

Turkish citizen Uğur Demirok, who has been living in Azerbaijan since 2016 and disappeared on September 6. The Azerbaijani authorities informed his family that the date of his abduction was 6 September. It is proudly announced to the press by Turkish authorities that he was abducted and brought to Turkey after 66 days.

Although enforced abduction and disappearance activity is a crime against humanity, it is announced to the public as a legal practice by Turkish authorities in Turkey. Although the act of enforced abduction and disappearance is a crime against humanity, it is announced to the public as a legal practice by the Turkish authorities in Turkey. Therefore, the expression of these actions in the official news agency of the State as if they were lawful actions reveals that these illegal activities are state policy.


[1] https://www.ihd.org.tr/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/26-Haziran-2021-%C4%B0tibariyle-T%C3%BCrkiyede-%C4%B0%C5%9Fkence-Ger%C3%A7e%C4%9Fi.pdf

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