Massacre in the closed central prison of Ankara

Statement of the Halkin Hukuk Buerosu (People’s Lawyers Office):

September 26, 1999, Istanbul


There has been a lot of tension in the Closed Central Prison of Ankara during the last one and a half month. Last night, at 2 a.m., an attack was mounted against the prisoners. This attack and massacre was planned and carried out by the Justice Department, and also by Ecevit and the prison administration of the Central Prison of Ankara. Prior to the attack, discontent was growing inside the prison and the prison administration forced the issue, leading to this massacre. After 120 persons had been locked up in cell no. 5, designed for only 60 people, and the demands of the prisoners were being ignored, the prisoner occupied cell. no. 7. The ensuing tension increased even more when the prison administration hindered visits by relatives and lawyers. Last night, at 2 a.m., an attack was launched with the pretext of a search. During this attack, firearms were used with the clear intention to kill. The lawyers, demanding to be seen, were not let through to the responsible persons. People who went to the prison to hear about their relatives, were arrested. News about the names of the wounded and killed prisoners was forbidden by the state prosecution. According to the physicians, some prisoners had been killed by bullets, several others were tortured to death, or are severely wounded. The doctors also stated that many prisoners had knife wounds in the neck and arms. According to the information we received, the wounded were brought to the Ankara Numune Hospital and the SSK-hospital in Ankara. The gendarmes hindered the treatment of the wounded prisoners, not even the handcuffs were being removed. Two soldiers are said to have died during the attack, They were brought to the GATA (Military Medical Academy Guelhane). According to the information we received, to prisoners lost their lives in the attack, carried out by the prison administration and the gendarmes. More than 30 prisoners were severely wounded. A delegation of lawyers, consisting of lawyer Zeki Ruzgar, co-workers of the People’s Lawyers Office, and for other colleagues arrived at the prison of Ankara, and another delegation, consisting of lawyer Behic Asci, co-workers of the same office and three other colleagues arrived at Bayrampasa Prison. They are there for negotiations. Our lawyers informed our office that five other lawyers were on their way to the prison but that they could not enter because of the hugh number of policemen in the area. Also actions started in other prisons, protesting the massacre which was carried out in Ankara.

List of prison officers, taken hostage:

Bayrampasa Prison: 4

Umraniye: 14

Bartin: 9

Canakkale: 9

Bergama: 5

Cankiri: 10

The situation in Buca is said to be very tense because of the attack. In Aydin, the prisoners refuse to be counted. In Gebze, 2 deputy prison directors and 20 guards were taken hostage. Relatives and lawyers were denied entry in Bursa. According to the information of lawyers, the prison administration is in a meeting and more soldiers were gathered inside the prison.

The prisoners who were killed:

1. Ahmet Devran (DHKP-C)

2. Umit Altintas (EKIM; October Movement)

3. Halil Turker (TKP-ML)

4. Mahir Emsalsiz (TKP-ML)

5. Abuzer Cat (MLKP)

6. Aziz Donmez

7. Nevzat Ciftci (EKIM; October Movement)

8. Onder Gencaslan

9. Erkan Ozkan

10. Zafer Kirbiyik

The negotiations in the Bayrampasa Prison are continuing.

Last news:

The prisoners, continuing their action, have made a list of demands:

1) A statement from the Justice Department about the attack

2) Persecution of those who are responsible

3) No more relocations of prisoners

4) Stop the use of isolation cells

Translation: Ozgurluk press agency

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