Turkey authorises publication of report by Council of Europe Anti-Torture Committee

The Turkish Government has authorised publication of the report drawn up by the European Committee for the prevention of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CPT) after its visit to Turkey in October 1997. The visit report is published together with the interim response of the Turkish authorities.
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Under Article 11 of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the information gathered by the Committee in relation to a visit, its report and its consultations with the State concerned are confidential. However, the State may decide to lift the rule of confidentiality provided for in the Convention.

The CPT has to date carried out seven visits to Turkey - in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996 (two visits) and 1997. Public statements making known the Committee's concerns about the treatment of persons in police custody were issued in December 1992 and December 1996.

In the report on its visit from 5 to 17 October 1997, the CPT analyses whether recently-adopted measures to combat torture and other forms of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials are being properly implemented. The CPT also sets out its findings regarding prisons and reformatories visited in Izmir, Mersin and Ünye, as well as psychiatric establishments in Istanbul and Samsun.

In their interim response, the Turkish authorities emphasise the progress made in their country in the field of human rights during recent years, but also recognise the need to introduce and effectively implement additional improvements. The response addresses many of the issues raised by the CPT in its visit report and indicates that further information will be provided in a follow-up report to be presented later this year. The Turkish authorities also reaffirm their readiness to maintain close cooperation with the CPT.