Turkey strongly denies claim of prison detainee torture

Turkey on Sunday strongly denied as "groundless" torture claim by a former detainee charged with spreading terrorist propaganda, rejecting a subsequent call by a German foreign office representative for Ankara to remain committed to international conventions against torture.

"Turkey is a party to all United Nations and Council of Europe conventions against torture and ill-treatment. All places in Turkey where persons are deprived of their liberty are open to monitoring by international mechanisms," Turkish Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Hami Aksoy said.

"'Zero tolerance against torture' policy is meticulously implemented since 2003," Aksoy added.

Turkey's rejection followed a statement by a spokesperson of the German Foreign Office which called on Turkey to remain committed to the Convention Against Torture.

The German call came after German Press Agency published a story which cited the claim by German-Turkish national Deniz Yucel who has been charged with spreading terrorist propaganda in Turkey.

Yucel claimed that he was tortured by Turkish officials during his detention at a high-security state penitentiary in Istanbul.

Aksoy said that these claims are "completely groundless" as Turkey thoroughly investigates all allegations of torture and ill-treatment and proves a transparent position about this issue.

"The statute of limitations with regard to the offense of torture was fully abolished in 2013. We find it noteworthy for state authorities to take these baseless allegations seriously that aim to denigrate Turkey," he added.

Yucel, a correspondent for the German daily Die Welt, was arrested in Feb. 2017 on suspicion of spreading terrorist propaganda for PKK and FETO. He was released from custody in Feb. 2018 pending trial.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including women and children.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Turkey accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Source: Anadolu Agency