There was an increase in cases of torture and other ill-treatment reported in police detention, from curfew areas in southeast Turkey and then more markedly in Ankara and Istanbul in the immediate aftermath of the coup attempt. Investigations into abuses were ineffective.
The state of emergency removed protections for detainees and allowed previously banned practices, which helped facilitate torture and other ill-treatment: the maximum pre-charge detention period was increased from four to 30 days, and facilities to block detainees’ access to lawyers in pre-charge detention for five days, and to record conversations between client and lawyer in pre-trial detention and pass them to prosecutors were introduced. Detainees’ access to lawyers and the right to consult with their choice of lawyers – rather than state-provided lawyers – was further restricted. Medical examinations were carried out in the presence of police officers and the reports arbitrarily denied to detainees’ lawyers.
No national mechanism for the independent monitoring of places of detention existed following the abolition of the Human Rights Institution in April, and the non-functioning of its successor body. The Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture visited detention facilities in August and reported to the Turkish authorities in November. However, the government did not publish the report by the end of the year. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture visited in November, after his visit was delayed on the request of the Turkish authorities.