Incidents in Turkey - January 2004

On the night of 4 January 2004, Mehmet Ali Yaprak (54), incarcerated in Kartal Special Type Prison, died due to diabetic coma in a hospital. He had reportedly been transferred from Bayrampasa Prison for safety reasons. His son Ahmet Yaprak stated that despite the medical reports officials did not permit his father to receive treatment. "We had applied several times to hospitalize him. He needed to be on a special diet due to diabetes. They provided that diet for only a short while ago, but still did not hospitalize him. We will file official complaints against the prison manager and other officials."
Mehmet Ali Yaprak, former owner of Yaprak TV, a local TV channel in Gaziantep, had been kidnapped on 25 May 1996 by persons introduced themselves as police officers. Later it was revealed that he had been kidnapped by the 'Susurluk gang'. 9 persons, including Haluk Kirci, defendant of Bahçelievler and Susurluk cases, had been indicted for kidnapping. They had been acquitted when Yaprak did not want to be complainant and the defendants could not be identified. Yaprak had been charged for the killing of Lawyer Burhan Veli Torun on 14 May 1997 and sentenced to 9 years' 4 months' imprisonment. He had changed his last name to 'Yalçin' after being released and arrested for the last time in connection with narcotics caught in a drug factory.

Students who were distributing on 14 January 2004 the invitations of a festival organised by Association of Initiative of Basic Rights and Freedoms were attacked by rightist students. After the incident the administration of the university reportedly started investigations against the leftist students Ali Kemal Tasdelen, Tamer Yavuz, Sercan Zulal and Mustafa Kenliç on allegations of "disturbing the order in the university" and "distributing leaflets". Meanwhile the leftist students made an official complaint against the attackers.

(This information is from the monthly reports of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT))

Incidents in Turkey - November / December 2004
Incidents in Turkey - September / October 2004
Incidents in Turkey - May / June 2004
Incidents in Turkey - April 2004
Incidents in Turkey - March 2004
Incidents in Turkey - February 2004
Incidents in Turkey - December 2003
Incidents in Turkey - November 2003
Incidents in Turkey - September / October 2003
Incidents in Turkey - July / August 2003
Incidents in Turkey - January / June 2003
Incidents in Turkey - November 2000/December 2002