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Police violently dispersed DISK members, who urged a restored historical Otag-i Humayun building, notorious for nesting torturers under military rule, turned into a Museum for Human Rights.


Police, with batons and shields, attacked members of the Confederation of Progressive Trade UNIONs of Turkey (DISK), who demanded that Otag-i Humayun should have become a Human Rights Museum. The building has been renovated through the cooperation of Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency and Yildiz Technical University and was opened with an official ceremony.


Süleyman Çelebi, President of DISK stated that DISK, with its 27 trade UNIONs and over 600 thousand members was the main target for the generals-of-the-time after the 12 September 1980 military coup. Celebi continued as follows:


“This building witnessed all the torture. Members of DISK, the intellectuals who supported us, artists, academicians, parliamentarians and mayors-of-the-time all underwent torture here with us.”


“As a member of the DISK Executive Committee, I spent those days here blindfolded and undergoing torture. Electricity, bastinado, hunger, sleeplessness… We were blindfolded… Those days cannot be forgotten. They have not been forgotten and they will never be forgiven…”


“We, as DISK, demand that this building should be turned into a Human Rights Museum. We want it to be turned into a structure that will serve human rights so that the next generations do not forget the sufferings and inhumane treatments that went on here.”