TIHV reports increase in torture cases in Kurdish cities

According to a report released by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, hundreds of people applied to the foundation after experiencing torture. The report pointed out that torture has increased in the Kurdish region.

The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (Türkiye İnsan Hakları Vakfı, TİHV) has published its ‘2020 Treatment and Rehabilitation Report’. The report reveals the extent of torture and ill-treatment in the country.


According to the report, at least four out of every 10 individuals tortured in 2020 (40.7 percent) stated that they had been subjected to sexual abuse. 572 people applied to the TİHV due to torture and ill-treatment and two people due to serious human rights violations. 31 individuals applied to TİHV to demand treatment, rehabilitation and documentation as relatives of a tortured person. The report found out that the torture cases reported in 12 of the applications took place outside the country.

The report said that 507 of the 562 people tortured in 2021 were detained due to their political thoughts, identity or activities. Despite the lockdown during the pandemic, the rate of applications by the individuals taken into custody in public spaces or the street increased by 61 percent compared to last year.

The report noted that the applicants were tortured in more than one place. The areas where torture was applied the most were the streets and public spaces, including police departments and stations.


The report presents data which reveals the corelation between human rights violations and the Kurdish issue. While individuals born in Northern Kurdistan constitute 24.6 percent of Turkey's population, the rate of individuals born in this region among those who were subjected to torture is 62.6%. On the other hand, one out of every four people who applied to TİHV due to torture is still a student.

According to the report, the average age of 20 children tortured at the time of torture was 10 and the youngest child tortured was 3 years old. The report disclosed that the native language of all children who were tortured for ethnic and political reasons is Kurdish, and they were subjected to torture in Northern Kurdistan after the curfews.

“The fact that the detentions and house raids experienced by children were predominantly at midnight shows that arbitrary treatments were employed by the authorities instead of a legal process, with the ultimate goal of intimidating and punishing individuals. Children's detention processes were not carried out in accordance with the principle of ‘best interests of the child’. Children were subjected to arbitrary and unlawful practices and procedural safeguards were violated,” the report said.


The report addressed the problems experienced by the applicants during the judicial examination as follows:

“*101 applicants said that police officers were present during the judicial examination.

*129 applicants said that forensic doctor did not listen to their complaints.

*68 applicants said that forensic doctor did not care about complaints.

*195 applicants said that forensic doctor did not examine them properly.

*173 applicants said that forensic doctor did not examine them according to their complaints.”