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Regionen und Länder


Im folgenden ein Text (in Englisch), in dem Mehmet seinen AnwaeltInnen erzaehlt, wie er behandelt wird.


Press statement


Our client Mehmet Bal declared his conscientious objection on the 24th of October, 2002.

Herewith we present Mehmet Bal’s own explanations concerning the process he went through to the public and press. Lawyer Abdullah Oztürk and lawyer Suna Coskun listened to these explanations, when they visited Mehmet Bal on 8th of November, 2002. Mehmet Bal made similar statements to the lawyers Meric Tümer and Mustafa Cinkilic, who visited him the days before.


Mehmet Bal’s Explanations


I arrived at the barracks in Mersin on 24th of October and directly went to Platoon Commander First Lieutenant Durmus Er to declare my conscientious objection to military service. The First lieutenant accompanied me to the Unit Commander Haydar Kocaman. I repeated my conscientious objection.


Later on I was brought to the uniform section, where I was told to wear a uniform. I refused. I was brought to the officers’ room, where I was once again ordered to wear a uniform. Once again I refused. An official record was prepared and I got detained. I was sent to the Military Court of the 6th Army Corps in Adana, the day after. I’ve been put into the military prison of the 6th Army Corps after a psychiatric consultation.


I was brought to the director of the prison, Colonel Durdu Solak. I explained that I am a conscientious objector, that I won’t serve in the army and that I therefore refuse to wear a military prison uniform. Colonel Durdu Solak said, “we won’t accept such behaviour here, you will obey to our rules” and sent me to the uniform store. There I was confronted with the same demand, to which I once again refused. Sentinel Sergeant Major Selim Kopar ordered 5-6 soldiers to undress me by force. I was dressed forcefully with a military prison uniform and my handcuffed, with my hands on the back. During the whole process I was treated violently.


Afterwards the soldiers were ordered to cut my hair, which I also refused. First they tried to cut it, while I was sitting on a chair. Then they laid me down on the floor. 5-6 soldiers were pressing my body down, while another one was cutting my hair. At the same time another person was striking my left foot 4-5 times with a hard thing very severely. I was put handcuffed into a cell the same night. There was one more prisoner in the cell.


On the 25th of October 2002 at 9 PM I presented my petition to the Sergeant Major Selim Kopar, stating that I started a hunger strike and explaining my reasons.


I was held in the two-person cell with my hands handcuffed on my back. On the 30th of October I was brought to the courtyard to attend at the enumeration. I was still handcuffed and wearing the uniform. Colonel Durdu Solak approached to me and ordered me to take the “attention” position. I refused. The colonel kicked my leg two times. The second kick hit my left ankle. The kick was extremely severe and the lead to a wound of 10-12 cm. The colonel ordered my legs to be handcuffed. The handcuffing was very tight and the circulation of blood was interrupted. My ankles started to turn purple and got bruised. Therefore the colonel ordered the soldiers to put off the handcuffs and to prepare a special iron chain.[1]


My ankles were handcuffed with this chains on the 1st of November 2002. It was put on whenever I was brought to the prison doctor for inspection (daily), when my lawyers visited me and when I was summoned in the court yard for enumeration (daily).


Whenever Colonel Durdu Solak summons me, he is ordering me to draw my feet together and to stay “attention”. I refuse and he orders the soldiers to padlock the chains together, to create the illusion of obedience. You can see the wounds of the chains on the level of my ankles.


I was kept in the cell handcuffed from behind since the 25th of October until 3-4 days ago. They were only removed, when I needed to go to the toilet.


I am not allowed to breathe fresh air, except the formal enumeration every morning at 7.45 AM (15 minutes).


I am only allowed to take a shower once in a fortnight and I am not granted hot water. They claim, that the hot water facilities are out of order.


During the first days of my hunger strike, sugar and water were denied, because I had no money to buy it. The prisoners in the neighbouring cell aided me in this matter, so I could get sugar. I have to buy four cubes of sugar for the price of one cup of tea.


Before I came to meet you [the lawyers] I was brought to the doctor, again handcuffed and chained. They put off the chains to weigh me and I was told that my weight is 45 kg at the moment. Afterwards my legs were chained again. But the doctor warned the soldiers to put the chains off before I meet you, as they did. But afterwards I will be chained again.


Mehmet Bal

Verbal statement on the 8th of November

towards his lawyers Suna Coskun and Abdullah Öztürk

[1] According to a physician of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, this kind of chains weren’t used in Turkey since the 80s – note of the translator.

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