May 15 2018

Turkish medical group warns over “concentration camp” for detainees

The Human Rights Commission of the Ankara Medical Association has harshly criticised a sports hall that had been adapted into detainee processing areas in the province in a new report, left-wing newspaper Evrensel wrote.

“There is no official detention and arrest centre at the Ankara Police Anti-Terror Branch, and in the 21st century, in the capital of Ankara, there are places and conditions that have more of the qualities of a concentration camp,” Onur Karahancı, who wrote the report, told a press conference.

The commission found that detainees were taken to a sports hall whose air conditioning unit made a constant noise of between 60 and 65 decibels, where there was human sweat and body hair to be seen on the ground, and where inmates were not given individual bedding.

There was no way for detainees to tell the time, they said, and those with chronic illnesses were having difficulty knowing when to take their medication.

There were only two handbasins, three toilets and four showers, and as the shower doors had fallen off, three of the showers had rubbish bags affixed as makeshift curtains.

Detainees were not given the right to go outside or to access books or newspapers, the report found, and those who might pose a threat to one another were nonetheless made to sleep in adjacent beds.

The refusal of police to provide any privacy for medical services and procedures was also against universal medical ethics and human rights, Karahancı said.