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Former general denies knowledge of torture

May 2, 2011 at 11:46 AM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, May 2 (UPI) -- A retired Turkish general says the 11,500 complaints filed against him since the 1980 military coup are wrong.

Retired Maj. Gen. Yusuf Haznedaroglu has denied allegations of responsibility in the torture and murder of detainees during the coup, the Hurriyet Daily News reported Monday.

Haznedaroglu said he tried to stop the torture of prisoners while he was in charge.

"I never came across [a torture session], but it probably did happen," Haznedaroglu said. "Very rarely, I mean. I cannot control everyone all by myself."

Haznedaroglu, who served as the deputy commander in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş during the 1980 coup, said he never personally witnessed any prisoners being tortured.

Hamit Kapan, who was detained in the Maras Education Institute during the coup, claimed that Haznedaroglu not only watched some of the torture sessions, but he allegedly participated in some of the incidents.

Kapan said Haznedaroglu carried a whip and that he sometimes struck prisoners with it. Haznedaroglu denied the claim, saying the alleged whip was a baton.

Kapan said prisoners were subjected to electric shock, hung from the ceiling by their arms, struck on the soles of their feet, and tossed into sewers filled with human excrement.

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