Turkish prisons have always been noted for brutal behavior on the part of police and prison guards, and it is not surprising that new allegations of such behavior have surfaced. Members of the opposition Republican People’s Party(CHP) denounced the Interior Minister Begir Atalay for failure to prevent the death of leftist activist, Engin Ceber, who was beaten to death last week while in prison. His crime was participating in demonstrations against the government. CHP deputy, Canan Antman, demanded an investigation into the death because, “only in this way can the government be persuasive in its so-called discourse about respect for human rights and zero tolerance of torture.”
Ironically, Ceber and several of his friends were engaged in demonstrations against the shooting by police of a friend who was selling leftist newspapers. Ceber was arrested and taken to prison where authorities a few days later said he had died of a bran hemorrhage. He was not the first political prisoner to be beaten in a Turkish prison.