In 1992, soldiers were responsible for a brutal murder in Diyarbakır (Amed), Turkey. Abdulkadir Kurt, a Kurdish citizen living in the Bismil district of Diyarbakır was tortured as well as sexually abused with police batons. The soldier who was found guilty of torturing him to death, received a death sentence but this was dropped due to the statue of limitations.
After being tortured by the state security forces, Kurt was hospitalised and died in a hospital room after succumbing to the inhumane torture he had been subjected to.
The Bismil Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation against 15 soldiers on the charge of “deliberate killing by torture.” Eighteen years after the incident, the soldier who was found guilty of torturing him to death was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2010. The other defendants were acquitted.
The defendant appealed the decision and the 1st Criminal Division of the Supreme Court overturned the local court’s decision on 6 May 2012, claiming procedural deficiencies. This time, the local court sentenced him to 16 years and 8 months in prison, while the Supreme Court, where the case was moved for the fourth time, decided to dismiss the case in 2018 on the grounds of a “statute of limitations.” The soldier was released the same day. As a result, the case was closed.
After that, the victim’s family applied to the Constitutional Court (AYM). The AYM also stated that the long judicial process regarding the murder of Abdülkadir Kurt resulted in “absolute impunity” and ruled that his right to life and the prohibition of ill-treatment had been violated on both material and procedural grounds.
The Constitutional Court ordered 500,000 Turkish lira in compensation to be paid to the victim’s family, but the perpetrators were left unpunished.
Speaking to MA, Mustafa Kurt, the victim’s son, stated that the security forces detained his father, including their 15 relatives, in Bîrke village in Bismil, Diyarbakır, after clashes in 1992. He said, ”The detainees were taken to the Tepe Gendarmerie Station. Sixteen people, including my father, were tortured. My father was tortured to death in custody by the soldiers.”
“My father died after he was subjected to torture for three days,” he said. Even the prosecutor promised the family that, “Even if you leave behind this incident, I will not.” After that, the Bismil Public Prosecutor opened a lawsuit against those soldiers.
Stating that they started a legal process through the Human Rights Association (İHD) in 2005, he explained the trial process as follows: ”Nobody was sentenced in the case. The case was dropped and Salih Üner’s sentence was dropped after the expiration of the statute of limitations. The file is completely closed.”
Mustafa Kurt speaks in sorrow: ”A person’s life cannot be cheap. We are experiencing the same pain today as in 1992. We are planning to take this case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). I also condemn those who took these decisions.”