Kurdish man ‘arrested, tortured and now missing’ from village under siege

Abdi Aykut, 57, was detained and tortured and has been missing since according to his family, 22 February 2017, (c) ANF

Update: It has been reported that Abdi Aykut is in the plastic surgery department of Mardin State Hospital after being subjected to heavy torture.

The Kurdish Firat News Agency has published a photograph of 57 year-old Abdi Aykut and reported that the man has gone missing after being detained and tortured in the Korukoy village in Mardin’s Nusaybin district, which has been besieged by Turkish security forces since 11 February.

The agency says the photograph surfaced after Aykut was detained by police and taken to the hospital for injuries he suffered from police brutality. After being seen by doctors at the hospital, his registration at the hospital was deleted, after which his family have had no contact with him.

Resident of the village have called relatives in other parts of the country describing their ordeal. Sare Turk, who is from the village but lives in the western Turkish city of Izmir, said, “my cousin called me and said security forces had cut off the power to the village and had forced everyone to walk in the snow naked. They don’t even have access to food and water.”

Four people have been confirmed killed and over 50 detained in Korukoy village since 11 February, though almost all contact with the area has been cut off as soldiers stationed on the outskirts of the village are preventing people from entering the area.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Turkey’s Human Rights Association and other rights organisations have appealed for access to the village and an end to the siege, saying it is collective punishment.

However Turkish sources have said the area is not safe as they continue military operations against alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters.