Joint Press Release
By Center for Truth Justice Memory, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Turkey, Human Rights Associations, Human Rights Research Association, Human Rights Agenda Association, ?nsan Haklar? ve Mazlumlar için Dayan??ma Derne?i, Human Rights Foundation of Turkey
31 July 2013
Military personnel who were accused of committing crime, killing or torturing people shall not be elevated to a higher rank during the Supreme Military Council.
The impunity policy which is systematic in Turkey is the main reason for the frequent violations of fundamental human rights and excessive use of violence in Turkey by the security forces.
The practices and consequences of impunity do not result only from the prevention of punishment by authorities by not allowing investigations of crimes, but also from the judicial system which does not carry out a sufficient and effective investigation or trial.
In spite of being defined as offence in the existing laws, the public servants who did commit crimes are shielded with impunity. And keeping the perpetrators of crimes off punishment wounds social conscience and also tramples the rule of law, the indispensable component of a true democracy.
The perpetrators of crimes are not only protected. They continue their duty as public servants; they are being promoted and even rewarded. This practice intercepts the democracy.
The judicial system and ruling government have to take the necessary measures to make an end of the practices of impunity for these people who did commit crimes against humanity. Despite homicides, disappearances, torture, rape, and any other inhuman and illegal treatments, these perpetrators of crimes shall not be rewarded or elevated to a higher rank. These suspects shall be tried and punished, if they are guilty. Or the disgrace shall be wiped out, if they are innocent.
Promoting military personnel who were accused of committing crime, killing or torturing people will be on the agenda of the Supreme Military Council in August.
Musa Çitil is still on duty
One of the most noteworthy examples is the Ankara Regional Gendarmerie Commander Musa Çitil. He was promoted during the recent Supreme Military Council several times and he is still on duty.
According to the indictment prepared by the Mardin Public Prosecutor, Musa Çitil is charged with killing or ordering the killings of 13 persons while he was Gendarmerie Commander n Derik district of Mardin. Çitil is also accused of arbitrary detentions and torture in detention.
The case against Musa Çitil was sent to Çorum Province due to security reasons. On 29 April 2013 Çorum Heavy Penal Court No. 2 began to hear the case and Musa Çitil did not participated in the hearing. The court declined the demands of the lawyers of the intervening party for the detention of Çitil and adjourned the hearing to 1 July 2013.
Public Prosecutor in Mardin alleged in the indictment that when Musa Çitil was Gendarmerie Commander in Derik he treated civilian dwellers in the region as if they were terrorists; he did kill civilians several times in several ways; he did torture many persons in Derik Gendarmerie Station, he kept detained people in cold cells without food and water. Public Prosecutor added that some of the offences were not included in the indictment due to lapse of time relying on the Law No 765. But allegations of killings were included.
Complaints and allegations of the relatives of victims did not currently become evident. Despite being threatened and pressures, although there is no official investigation, relatives of the victims kept making official complaints. Nevertheless Musa Çitil was promoted to Brigadier General in 2009 by Supreme Military Council.
Musa Çitil is charged with indictable offences and he is still on duty. He must be dismissed from duty and shall not be promoted until the end of the trial.
The Prerequisite for Democratisation and Peace Process is the Constitution of Justice. In the case of Musa Çitil justice was not revealed, yet. On the contrary the perpetrator was promoted, rewarded. And the conscience of the relatives of the victims is severely wounded.
Çitil and other perpetrators of the same crimes shall not be promoted and shall be suspended from duty until the end of the trial.
Annex: Background Information
Indictment and Trial
According to the indictment Musa Çitil himself killed or ordered the killings of persons living in Derik region. Those persons were either killed or disappeared and found dead later. Musa Çitil treated civilian dwellers in the region as if they were terrorists; he did torture many persons in Derik Gendarmerie Station after arbitrary detentions. According to the evidences and testimonies the practices were systematic. The Public Prosecutor also stressed that he was confident with the practices and was not concerned about eye-witnesses. He kept detained people in cold cells without food and water. He also prepared official documents alleging that the killed persons were terrorists.
Though the case was launched in Mardin, it was transferred to Çorum for security reasons. The first hearing of the case was in Mardin. The lawyers demanded from the court to arrest Musa Çitil during the following two hearings in Çorum. But the court rejected the demand. The hearing was adjourned to 7 October.
The case launched against Musa Çitil by Mardin Public Prosecutor is not the first case against him. In two separate cases his name was mentioned as the perpetrator of crime and the ECtHR found Turkey guilty under the articles 3 and 13.
AYDIN v. TURKEY (57/1996/676/866) )
After 4-days detention ?ükran Ayd?n made an official complaint against Musa Çitil on the grounds he raped her in detention. But the Public Prosecutor in Mardin decided not to prosecute.
Ayd?n applied to ECtHR and the Court ruled 25,000 £ compensation on the grounds that necessary investigation was not carried out. After the decision the Public Prosecutor in Mardin launched a court case against Çitil. The court started to hear the case on 6 November 1997 and acquitted the defendant for lack of evidence. The lawyers and Public Prosecutor objected the decision. The Court of Cassation decided that the defendant should have been tried in Military Court. The trial restarted at Military Court and the court acquitted Musa Çitil.
CASE OF TEK?N v. TURKEY (52/1997/836/1042) )
Salih Tekin, who was reporter for daily Özgür Gündem, was detained in February 1993 when he went to Derik to visit his family. His father and 3 brothers were also detained. He was kept in detention for 4 days and he was sent to the Public Prosecutor with the demand of arrest for inciting people to rebellion. Tekin told to the Public Prosecutor that he was tortured in Derik Gendarmerie Station and showed the traces of torture. He was given a medical report for being subjected to torture. In the case launched against him the Diyarbakir State Security Court acquitted Tekin. Relying on the Law on Prosecution of Public Servants a decision of non-prosecution was taken for lack of evidence. After the approval of the decision by the Court of Appeal, Tekin applied to ECtHR. The court ruled that the articles 3 and 13 were violated and 25,000 £ compensation.