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Thursday, 7 December, 2000, 12:32 GMT
Turkey torture death admission
Demonstrators holding a picture of a dead inmate
Protesters say new high-security jails increase risk of police brutality
The Turkish government has admitted that a trade unionist who died in police custody may have been tortured.

The admission came in a report to the human rights' monitoring organisation, the Council of Europe, which requested the information about Suleyman Yeter.

He died last year after being interrogated by anti-terrorist police in Istanbul.


The recourse to methods like sleep deprivation for several days, prolonged standing and threats aimed at detainees and their families is still widespread

Council of Europe
An autopsy revealed bruising all over Yeter's body, haemorrhaging and a fractured neck.

He had been arrested during a raid on a left-wing newspaper and was questioned over two nights.

The Council of Europe says some forms of torture are still widespread in the Turkish prison system.

Good step

"The recourse to methods like sleep deprivation for several days, prolonged standing and threats aimed at detainees and their families is still widespread," it said.

The 41-nation Council of Europe has repeatedly criticised Turkey's treatment of prisoners in recent years.

Abdullah Ocalan
Ocalan: In solitary confinement
In its latest reports, the organisation says there have been some improvements over the past two years.

"This is clearly a step in the right direction," it indicated.

In a separate reply to the human rights body, the Turkish authorities defended their decision to keep the Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan in solitary confinement "for anti-terrorism purposes".

The European Union has endorsed the work of the Council and told Turkey it should improve it human rights record if it wishes to become a member state.

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See also:

05 Dec 00 | Europe
Call to end Turkey 'death fast'
09 Mar 00 | Middle East
EU urges Turkey to reform
26 Jan 00 | Europe
Analysis: Can Turkey fit in?
12 Jan 00 | Europe
Analysis: Turkey's Ocalan dilemma
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