Turkey's Human Rights Inquiry Committee demanded that Erdogan’s government should clarify the issue around the detention and torturing of a number of foreign ministry staff earlier this month.
The Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker and member of the Committee, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, said that employees who were detained earlier this month over terror links had been tortured, Ahval news reported on Monday, May 27th.
Gergerlioğlu wrote on Twitter, “The detained foreign ministry staff have been exposed to severe torture, citing an anonymous source”.
He urged the Interior Ministry to issue an explanation on the matter.
On May 20th, Turkish authorities issued arrested warrants for 249 foreign ministry staff over alleged exam cheating, an act the Turkish government links to the Gülen movement, which Ankara accuses of orchestrating the 2016 coup attempt.
According to local reports a total of 78 suspects were detained in police raids following the arrest warrants.
Gergerlioğlu confirmed that he submitted a written inquiry to Vice President Fuat Oktay on the alleged torture of the staff.
Since the failed coup attempt, thousands of people have been arrested accused of links to the Gülen movement. Nearly 150,000 public employees have been suspended or sacked as part of the crackdown that goes beyond Turkey's borders seeking the extradition of alleged members living outside the country.
Since the failed coup in July 2016, torture in Turkish prisons has become the norm rather than the exception, according to intranational reports and human rights groups. Amnesty International has documented many reports about torture in Turkish persons.
John Dalhuisen, Europe Director for Amnesty, said that reports of abuse including beatings and rape in detention are extremely alarming.
The Sweden-based Stockholm Center for Freedom said in a report entitled “Mass Torture and Ill-Treatment in Turkey”, published in June 2017, that the torture, abuse and ill-treatment of detainees and prisoners in Turkey has become the norm rather than the exception.
The report added that this was taking place under the repressive regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has publicly vowed to show no mercy to his critics, opponents and dissidents amid mass persecution that has landed over 50,000 people in jail on trumped-up charges in the last ten months alone.