Sapatan Village near Semdinli, Hakkari Province, SE Turkey – This is a village of some 2000 people in SE Turkey, not far from the frontier.
One Turkish special operations police officer had been killed (probably by PKK insurgents) on or just before 6 August 2017. On that day, probably in the early morning, the whole village was raided by police. Most of the inhabitants were ordered into the village square. About 100 of them were then beaten, mostly with hoses. The victims included women and children. Some people were stabbed with skewers. Thirty-six persons were arrested and taken to the police station, where they suffered further torture. Many of those in the square were forced to lie face down for several hours. At the same time in the houses women were sexually abused.
When twenty people with wounds or scars on their bodies went to Semdinli Hospital, the doctor in charge refused to note their condition in an official report, and instead insulted the complainants in a racist manner.
On 9 August the local MP and his colleague from Bitlis went to Sapatan to take evidence, as no government official had visited the village. They interviewed many of the victims. When the MPs asked to meet the District Governor and the Public Prosecutor, they were refused. There has been no legal investigation so far. The Turkish Chief of Police spoke of an administrative enquiry, but also dismissed allegations of torture as “terrorist propaganda”.
The above appears to me to be an example of the brutal repression now conducted by the State in Turkey, and especially in remoter areas. Uninvolved civilians are made to suffer for attacks by armed insurgents. The violent methods used are either ignored or denied. May I urge you to raise conduct unworthy of a member of NATO and of other international groups at the highest possible level and in all available fora. I’m sure you know that collective punishments are banned by international law.