station, where he was beaten, and later to Maras, where he was questioned
about his cousin's whereabouts and activities. He states that he was detained
until 28 May 1991 and that he was tortured, in particular with electric
shocks. He was released with the explanation that his cousin had been found.
On returning to Pazarcik, he learned that his cousin had been killed
by the security forces. In the hospital he saw the body, which had been
disfigured and mutilated. In the cemetery he tried to take a photo of the
body, but an unknown person who, he believes, was connected with the security
forces prevented him from doing so by throwing his camera on to the ground.
On 5 June 1991, he was again arrested for a day. He was told that the
security forces were aware of his support for the PKK, and was threatened with
death if he refused to cooperate with the information service and denounce
members of the PKK. Feeling that his life was in danger, he decided to leave
the country and travelled to Istanbul on 14 July 1991.
On the day of his departure for Istanbul, persons in civilian clothes
came to his home and asked his wife where he was. She told them that he was
at work and was thereupon insulted and accused of supporting terrorists. She
was then taken to the police station, where she was held for several hours and
slapped. On 13 August 1991 she joined her husband in Istanbul.
The author arrived in Switzerland with his family on 20 August 1991
and immediately applied for asylum. The Federal Office for Refugees (ODR)
rejected his application on 21 April 1992. On 17 January 1996, the Appeal
Commission on Asylum Matters (CRA) rejected his appeal. The author submitted
a request for review of the CRA decision, which was also rejected on
12 August 1996. Two requests for reconsideration were submitted to
the ODR, which rejected them - on 5 September 1996 and 1 May 1998. Finally,
on 19 May 1998, the CRA rejected the appeal against those decisions.
Counsel states that the author's flight would be largely inexplicable
had it not been for the torture he had suffered and the pressure brought to
bear on him to collaborate with the secret services. It should be borne in
mind that his wife had been seven months pregnant when she left and the author
had been financially well off in Turkey. A psychiatrist had found that the
author was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder caused mainly by his
experiences prior to his arrival in Switzerland. Furthermore, the author and
his family had lived illegally in Switzerland for more than two years, which
had seriously undermined his psychological health. Had it not been for the
certainty of being tortured in Turkey if he went back, his illegal stay in
Switzerland remained unaccountable.
The merits of the complaint
In view of the reasons which prompted his departure from Turkey and
the existence of a consistent pattern of flagrant persecution of Kurdish
separatists by the Turkish authorities, the author states that his return to
Turkey would constitute a violation of article 3 of the Convention, since
there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be at risk of being
subjected to torture upon his return.