‘Tortured’ private laid to rest

The body of a soldier allegedly tortured to death in a disciplinary ward for failing to show up on time for the daily section rally while performing his military service in Turkish Cyprus was laid to rest yesterday in Istanbul.

Private Kantar was allegedly tortured to death for failing to show up on time for the daily rally. DHA photo

Private Kantar was allegedly tortured to death for failing to show up on time for the daily rally. DHA photo

“They killed my son through torture but have yet to issue a single apology,” said Aydın Kantar, the father of Uğur Kantar, who died Oct. 12 in Ankara. “I entrusted my child to the state, and it gave me back his tortured corpse.”

The military prosecution recorded the testimonies of 37 people; two privates who allegedly tortured him were sent to military prison on charges of “malicious wounding.”

Kantar was serving in the 28th division in Turkish Cyprus and was set to be discharged on Aug. 1. Only two weeks prior to the end of his term of service, however, Kantar was sent to the military disciplinary ward where he was allegedly subjected to torture, handcuffed to a chair and left under the sun without any water.

He was also allegedly beaten by privates Fırat Keser and Ayhan Aslan, who were guarding Kantar.

“I am of the opinion that the incident will not be limited to the arrest of two privates. Were there no officers who witnessed [the event] while Uğur Kantar was being subjected to torture for three days?” said Ayhan Sefer Üstün, the head of Parliament’s Human Rights Inspection Committee.

Friday, October 14, 2011
Enis Tayman
Radikal / ISTANBUL