According to data compiled by the documentation centre of the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TİHV), twelve people died in "extra-judicial executions" in police custody and in prisons during the first three months of 2010.
Furthermore, three cases have to be added for the month of April. These are the "unsolved" death of Metin Alataş from the Kurdish Azadiya Welat newspaper on 3 April; the death of Mehmet Kılınç who allegedly died of cerebral bleeding after having been tortured in a prison in Izmir and the death of Mehmet Can B. who is claimed to have committed suicide in the Sivas E Type Prison on 7 April.
Another violation of the right to life was constituted by the police force in Aydın in the province of Kuşadası on the south-western Aegean coast on 13 April. Umut Tamaç was severely injured when the police shot at his head after they had crushed Tamaç down to the ground.
TİHV President Şebnem Korur Fincanı emphasized that regulations like the Police Duty and Authority Law (PVSK) are the mainspring for this situation since the PVSK entitles the police forces to the use of violence.
"It is a disgrace that a country that aims at becoming a member of the European Union still experiences incidents of violence resulting in death in daily life in public places, identity checks, detention centres and prisons. And these incidents have even increased recently. It is the responsibility of the society and first and foremost of the political power to end that disgrace", Fincanı argued.
"All sorts of precautions must been taken to amend the law and change the mentality and understanding. The protection and development of human rights and freedoms does not constitute a threat to the 'security' of the country and the society. To the contrary, it strengthens the country and the society".
Twelve people died
Read here a list of human rights violations from 1 January to 31 March 2010 according to the data of TİHV:
31 March: The child Mehmet Nuri Tançoban was shot dead by the gendarmerie at the Iranian border in the district of Çaldıran in the province of Van (south-eastern Turkey).
12 March: Kerem Gün, former President of the Youth Wing of the banned pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), was shot dead one day after he had been arrested in Şırnak (south-eastern Turkey). Gün allegedly ignored the soldiers' "warning to stop". He was supposedly threatened when he had been taken into custody.
4 March: Ali Kemal Albayrak was shot dead by the police when he tried to intervene in a fight in Gebze in the Kocaeli province east of Istanbul.
18 February: Iraqi Zeid İsmail was shot dead by soldiers at the Iraqi border when he entered Turkey.
7 February: Minibus driver Hecer Uslu was shot dead by gendarmerie officers because he apparently ignored the "stop warning" at a road control in Uludere in the province of Şırnak. The gendarmerie officers allegedly neglected medical treatment of the injured driver and delayed medical help.
Death in detention
28 March: Erhan Turan is claimed to have committed suicide by jumping out of a window when he was in custody of the Şişli (Istanbul) Police Directorate. Eyewitnesses stated that Turan was thrown out of the window.
7 January: Murat Konuş, who was taken into police custody in Istanbul, allegedly died of a heart attack in the Public Order Branch Directorate.
1 January: Necdet Uçkun, who had previously been taken into custody during racist attacks against Romani in Selendi, Manisa (western Turkey), is claimed to have died of a heart attack.
Deaths in Prisons
20 March: Canip Temel from Diyarbakır allegedly committed suicide in the Metris Prison in Istanbul. His wife said Temel had previously told her that he had been beaten by the prison guards.
20 February: M.K. is claimed to have hung himself with his shirt in the Eşme Prison in Uşak, western Turkey.
18 January: Orhan Bilkiç allegedly committed suicide in the Karaman M Type Prison (southern Turkey).
15 January: Sezer Karnal allegedly committed suicide with his shoelaces in the Bolu F Type Prison east of Istanbul. The Solidarity Association of Prisoners' Families (TAYAD) stated that Karnal had been beaten by the guards earlier and that he served his sentence in a padded cell. (TK/VK)