Torture, ill-treatment and inhumane treatment by police increased in Turkey in 2020, the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) said.
Such inhumane treatment targeted “all segments of society” including those who took to the streets with a wide spectrum of political views throughout 2020, according to TIHV.
A total of 572 people, the youngest being only five-years-old applied to TIHV with complaints of torture and mistreatment.
According to the report based on 605 individuals, the number of applicants due to torture and ill-treatment increased by 11 percent and the number of women subjected to torture increased by 10 percent compared to 2018.
Evaluating the key findings of the report, an executive member of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) Ümit Biçer shared his view that individuals have mainly been targeted because of their sexual identities, political views and/or religious beliefs.
“Actually, I can say that those individuals who were targeted and the numbers of incidents of ill-treatment increased after public smear campaigns targetting these specific groups.”
Biçer also highlighted the increase of torture targeting women. “We observe that women have become more active in the social sphere. With the increasing women’s struggle, we can see that women have also increasingly become targeted by the government.”
TIHV data shows that women have been subjected to more violence in recent years and the forms, the types of violence faced by women has changed, Biçer concluded.
Biçer concluded by pointing to the link between the key findings of the report on torture and the Kurdish question.
The increasing or decreasing trend in torture in Turkey is dependent upon the perspective of the government of the Kurdish question, according to Biçer.
“Whilst there was a decrease in illegal executions, forced-disappearances and torture cases during the process the government calls the ‘solution process,’ policies based on security and on a monopolist mentality were implemented after the resumption of violence by the government, following the ending of the peace talks. These led to an increased use of torture and ill-treatment.”
“When we look at the home towns and mother tongues of those tortured,” Biçer added, “the stark reality we find ourselves facing is that by being a Kurd in this country means being a target.”