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Life of anarchist total objector Mehmet Tarhan is in danger!

queer without borders | 25.05.2005 09:35 | Anti-militarism | Gender | Repression

Anarchist, gay total/consciencious objector Mehmet
Tarhan has been under arrest for over 45 days. He has faced threats, torture and a lynching attempt by some of the prisoners who are under the manipulation of prison administration.

Anarchist gay total/consciencious objector Mehmet
Tarhan is under arrest for more than 45 days. He's
held in Sivas Military Prison and will have his next
trial on Thursday, 26th of May. He has faced threats,
torture and lynching attempt by some of the prisoners
who are under the manipulation of prison administration.
His lawyer Suna Coskun made a press release today. However
according to the latest news, he's still under threat and
risk of physical assault. His lawyer Senem Doganoglu declared
that in today's visit he was again theatened by the same
prisoners (one of whom is kept with the claim of killing 4
people). Anarchists, anti-authoritarians and
anti-militarists in Turkey are actively working under
the name of "Solidarity Initiative with Mehmet Tarhan"
and calling all comrades and friends to support his

Fax (of Sivas Military Prison): (+90346) 225 39 15

to send solidarity messages to Mehmet Tarhan:
Postal address: Mehmet Tarhan 5. Piyade Egitim Tugayi
Askeri Cezaevi M¸d¸rl¸g¸, Sivas/Turkey
Phone : (+90346) 224 63 06 / (+90346) 223 99 31 /
(+90346) 225 31 45
Fax: (+90346) 225 39 15

Here's Mehmet Tarhanís Attorney's explanation :

My client Mehmet Tarhan has declared his consciencious
objection on October 27,2001. On the grounds of which
he got arrested on 11.04.2005 and placed in Second
Class Military Prison in Sivas. My client who declares
his objection in every possible situation was opposed
to a different treatment than the rest of the
prisoners there from the first moment on.
Military prison staff member noncommisioned officer
Mustafa Selvi asked why he was brought there to which
he answered he was a CO. Mustafa Selvi then said in a
threatening way ìletís put him in with the dangereous
ciriminals of ward 2î. Mehmet was then told he was
being taken to the 1st ward but was left unattended in
front the kitchen and kept waiting alone.

When he entered the first ward the place was
remarkably dim so that he couldnít clearly see the
faces inside, some of whom told him to sit at the
chair they placed right in front of him. Mehmet found
himself sitting in the chair and being subjected to
threats and abuse like ìWhy is your hair long?î ìAre
you a terrorist? Are you a traitor?î ìThen weíll kill
youî by the same people who had then started slapping
him with ìyou look like a woman with that hair, weíll
make you the woman of the wardî. At this, prisoner
Ertan Mertoglu showed the gun he had on him and said
that he would kill Mehmet.

This assault stopped when some other prisoners came to
take him away to where the bunkbeds were but right
after he managed to sit on one the same ones that
hassled him called him over saying îyou long- haired!
Come here!î and attacked him. They kicked and punched
him. This went on for 20 minutes before the other
prisonersí intervention and taking him away to where
the beds were, leaving him with torn upper and lower
lips, a fractured chin and various eccymosis (bruises)
under his chin, chest, and legs. As a concequence of
the beatings on his chest he had difficulty in
breathing up untill April 30,2005. His hair was torn
out during the attack and his hair loss continued the
following days. As a result of the kickings on the
legs he could not stand up or walk for days.

The light bulbs that had been loosened by the
prisoners to enable the attack were tightened back
after the lynching attempt.

After a while the attackers came by Mehmet Tarhan and
faking an apology told him that ìthey were
misinformed by Mustafa Selvi who told them that he was
a terrorist and that they should 'take care' of him
and that was why they had to beat him upî.

Mehmet was then taken to another part of the prison
but every time he had to make a phone call or went out
to the yard he was subject to the threats of the
attackers Ertan Mertolu, Hakk˝ DinÁel, Ersoy ÷zbulduk
and Ercan K˝z˝lboga who kept telling him things like
ìwe could have killed you the first day you got hereî
and ì we can still kill you..î.

Mehmet could not talk about the lynching attempt or
the ongoing threats because he felt he had no security
there. But the attackers asked for money, clothes,
neckties, shoes.. from my client.

On 29.4.2005 while prisoners were out in the yard,
prisoners Hakk˝ dinÁel and Ersoy ÷zbulduk came by
Mehmet and said that Ertan Mertolu wants no less that
500 YTL from my client and threatened him by ìyou know
what happens if you donítî. Mehmet resisted for a week
stating that he did not have that amount of money with
him but had to give away the 300 YTL that he was
keeping in case of emergency, over to Ercan K˝z˝lboa
to be delivered to Ertan Mertolu.

Though Mehmet Tarhan informed the prison
administration about the lynching attempt, the threats
that followed the one with a gun on the first day , no
measures were taken and he could not communicate with
anyone on this subject because he was still devoid of
any life security. Only after his sister Emine Tarhan
told us the attorneys about the situation did our
client equipped us with the details on 19.05.2005. We
then contacted the prison administration and as a
result of the negotiations his security was
established, though on a minimum basis. On 20.05.2005
the situation was officially recognized by a
notification held in the military prison.

The lynching attempt has been encouraged by the
military prison administration. The attackers kept on
with their threats and sponging on our clientís money.
We still have serious concern over our clientís

We have applied to the Sivas Military Posecutor to
open a case on the above stated crimes.
We call on to the public opinion to be aware of and to
protest the situation.

Mehmet Tarhanís Attorney,

Suna Coskun

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