Turkey is a democratic society, but it has long been noted for a police force which resorts to brutality and torture when those suspected of being”leftists”are seized. In a surprising turn of events, the justice minister apologized to the family of Engin Ceber, a leftist author, who allegedly died in prison due to injuries sustained while he was being interrogated. “I, in the name of my state and government, apologize to his loved ones. We will leave no stone unturned in finding all those responsible. No one should doubt that.” Ahmet Hakan, a columnist, noted, “this is a first in turkish political history, that the justice minister directly apologized in the name of the state and his government” over the use of torture against leftist individuals.
Turkey aspires to become a member of the European Union and this apology will be recognized by the EU as evidence the Turkish government is prepared to function as a 21st century nation. The rule of torture must give way to the rule of law and order and it begins with ending torture. Now, is it possible the government of George Bush can also enter the 21st century?