Gökhan Güneş, who was kidnapped as he arrived at his workplace and bundled into a car by a group of men and ‘disappeared’, has returned his home thanks to solidarity shown around the world.
Güneş, his family and organisations made a statement on January 26 in Human Rights Association İstanbul Branch’s building.
Referring to the torture he was subjected to during his six days in captivity, Güneş said “When they first came to kidnap me, they attacked me all of a sudden. There were few people. They used electric-shock torture on me to make me pass out.”
“During the time I was held, they used all kinds of systematic torture on me”
“They used all kinds of torture against me in a systematic way. They threatened me with rape. They used electric shocks on me, they physically attacked me and poured cold water on me. I was stripped naked and they poured cold water on me, battering me at the same time,” said Güneş, explaining the torture he has been subjected to. “Sometimes they put me in this place they called the ‘grave’. It was so tight that I could only stand up straight and could not even move my hands.”
Güneş also explained more details regarding the demands of his kidnappers. “They defined themselves as the ‘unseen’, as the ‘Invisibles’. They tried to force me to be an informant of the state. There was a person that these people called the ‘Chief’. He took my mobile’s SIM card before freeing me.”
“When they drove me back to release me, they made me climb into a car, they put some cotton wool on my eyes and used a sticky tape. So I could not see anything. When they let me out of the car, they told me, ‘Just walk, never look back’. So I walked and after a while, I could open the blindfold of my eyes.”
“I am thankful to all my comrades and my family for their support. These techniques are reminiscent of the 1990s in Turkey. They try to intimidate us, but they won’t achieve their goals,” said Gokhan. ‘We will file a criminal complaint’
Lawyers to file criminal complaint regarding the systematic torture
Gökhan Güneş’s mother spoke after him. She was unable to talk easily due to her emotion and tears. “I want to thank everyone who supported us, but especially the Saturday Mothers. I wish no mother to lose their children and I wish that the Saturday Mothers will find their lost ones as well,” she said.
“We filed a complaint to the judicial authorities to find Gökhan Güneş as quickly as possible, yet no prosecutor was even appointed to the case within those 5 days. Thanks to Gökhan’s friends, who gave a voice to him, Gökhan is here with us today. We will file a criminal complaint regarding all the systematic torture Gökhan was subjected to and we will struggle for all those who have been victims of these perpetrators of torture, who are the official forces working for the state. Therefore we need your support for our justice struggle,” said Sezin Uçar, Gökhan Güneş’s lawyer.
Then a statement on behalf of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed was issued. “There is the threat of disappearance and torture to make people informants of the state. The labourers, the resisting peoples and all the activists struggling in Kurdistan and Turkey achieved victory to get Gökhan back. This struggle should be united. We told that if we can unite, we can have Gökhan back. We have managed to do that, united as one, as the women, the Kurds, the socialists, the LGBTİ activists all came together, revolutionary parties and organisations, many of which I can not list by name in order to find Gökhan,” said the ESP representative. “This struggle shows us the path and the method to be followed in the upcoming period against those fascist attacks and against those attempts to attempt to make people disappear. This is such a special policy they applied on Gökhan. We invite all those to raise the struggle to find the disappeared, starting with the struggle of the Saturday Mothers,”
Answering the questions of the journalists Gökhan Güneş explained more details of his moments of kidnap.
“They have put me into someplace they were calling the cell, known as the ‘sponge cells’ covered with a sponge to isolate the voice. It was a dark cell and racist music was played from loudspeakers 24 hours a day. They kept me blindfolded all the time. I could never see any of their faces,” he said.
Gökhan Güneş’s family applied to the police over the disappearance of their son, however, the police did nothing.
After that the family applied to the official prosecution office on January 21 and demanded footage be watched and their son be found. However, the state prosecution office ignored the issue.
After their attempts to find Gökhan remained inconclusive, the family tried to investigate the fate of their son on their own.
Accordingly, they found some CCTV footages of Gökhan Güneş, which showed and proved the fact that he was kidnapped.
A social media campaign and Twitterstorm was launched too for Gökhan. His friends and family had also launched a vigil for Güneş in front of the İstanbul Courthouse.