MORE THE USA DECEIVED TURKEY
Despite all the sacrifices made by the people of
Turkey in the sake of the "defense of the Western World", the United
States continue to cut down the annual sum of the military "aid"
granted to Turkey.
Recently, despite the Reagan Administration's
apparent insistence on a higher sum, the U.S. Congress decided to
reduce to attribute only 490 million dollars to Turkey.
After the military coup of 1980, in return of many
concessions given by the military to Washington, the United States had
considerably increased its military "aid" to Turkey. While its annual
sum was only 204.9 million dollars in 1980, it was raised up to 251.7
million dollars in 1981, to 403 millions in 1982, to 402.8 millions in
1983, to 718.1 millions in 1984 and to 703.1 millions in 1985.
Nevertheless, from 1986 on the U.S. Congress has
made drastical cuts in the sum of the military "aid" granted to Turkey.
This sum fell to 618.1 million dollars in 1986, to 493.2 million
dollars in 1987 and finally to 490 million dollars in 1988.
Whereas, with a view to prolonging the Defense and
Economic Cooperation Agreement (DECA) between the two countries, on
March 16, 1987, American Secretary of State George Schultz had
addressed a letter of intention to his Turkish counter-part and said:
"DECA is a solemn commitment on the part of the United States to assist
in strengthening the Turkish Armed Forces as well as the economy of the
Turkish Republic," and pledged to propose to the U.S. Congress annually
a high level of support to Turkey.
But after the exchange of letters, the United States
has shown once more its unrespect to its commitments. When it became
clear that the U.S. Congress would not take into consideration the
White House's suggestion, the opposition parties in Turkey declared
that the "negative developments" seen in the Congress should result in
the DECA being totally abrogated. Mr. Erdal Inonu, Chairman of the
Social-Democrat Populist Party (SHP) said that Turkey was paying
the price for credits and "aid" it was receiving from the United
States, and that if the Congress insists on placing conditions on them,
then Turkey should stop receiving them. "Turkey should get credits from
other countries as well and should not be dependent on the United
States," he added.
In fact, the military "aid" in the form of FMS
(foreign military sales) constitutes a very heavy burden for the
Turkish economy. In the period of 1972-1986, the USA gave Turkey FMS
credits of 3,528 million dollars in total. Turkey has already paid back
594 million dollars of this sum. Until the year 2015, Turkey will pay
back the rest of the debt totalling 2,934.7 million dollars as well as
the interests of 3,585.1 million dollars, that is 6,519.9 million
dollars in total.
Taking into consideration the growing opposition in
the Turkish public opinion against the US Congress' decisions, on
October 22, 1987, the Heritage Foundation addressed to US policymakers
a detailed report suggesting to adopt a more realistic approach to
The report, reminding that Ozal's period is the most
favourable one of the US interests in Turkey, says:
"At a time when war and chaos in the Persian Gulf
remind policymakers how difficult it is to deal with Middle Eastern
states, Turkey remains a rock of stability and reliability in the
eastern Mediterranean. The U.S. clearly has strong reasons to maintain
the closes possible working relationship with Turkey. Yet cracks are
appearing in the Turkish-American relationship. In early May Turkish
President Kenan Evren canceled a scheduled visit to the US to signal
growing Turkish doubt about American sincerity and reliability because
of anti-Turkish actions taken by the US Congress.
"The 1980 Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement
(DECA) between the U.S. and Turkey limits American use of Turkish
facilities to NATO defense purposes. This condition was imposed by
Turkey to avoid being drawn into a regional conflict with NATO backing.
Yet Turkey still could pay a role in deterring a Soviet move to the
Persian Gulf. In 1982 the United States began to modernize ten Turkish
air bases, several of them in eastern Turkey, on the flank of possible
Soviet invasion routes through Iran. These air bases could enable U.S.
warplanes to interdict the supply lines and slow the momentum of a
Soviet invasion force attacking Iran.
"To their credit, the Turks did not threaten to
terminate American access to their bases, as has Greece's Papandreu.
The Ozal government was criticized by its political opposition for
agreeing to renew the DECA without binding US commitments.
"Prime Minister Ozal, trained as an engineer in the
U.S., is dedicated to free market economic reforms. He has been praised
by Ronald Reagan as 'a real Reaganite in economic terms' because of his
determined efforts to prod Turkey toward free enterprise. Since 1980,
Ozal has rationalized the price system by abolishing subsidies and
lifting price controls, overhauled the tax system, and slashed income
taxes by 20 percent for most workers. He has opened up the economy by
liberalizing currency exchange rules and expanding access by Turks to
foreign imports, credit, and investment. By encouraging Turkish
industry to shift toward exports rather than import substitution, Ozal
hopes to harness fully Turkey's comparative advantages, especially its
large, skilled workforce and its geographic proximity to both Europe
and the Middle East.
"Despite Ozal's success in stimulating economic
growth, his centrist Motherland Party is losing ground politically
because of its austerity program and a persistent unemployment rate of
20 percent. Moreover, Ozal's efforts to protect Turkey's credit rating
by assiduously meeting its foreign debt commitments ($4 billion in
principal and interest was paid on Turkey's $25 billion foreign debt in
1986) have left him open to opposition charges that he serves Turkey's
foreign creditors better than his own people.
"Turkey is a steadfast ally and should not be taken
for granted. The Ozal government's strong commitment to NATO,
modernization, free enterprise, and free trade make it one of the most
pro-American Turkish governments ever to hold power. Ozal's opposition
derides him as Amerikanci and criticizes him for not securing firmer
U.S. aid commitments in the DECA signed earlier this year. Washington
should help Ozal demonstrate the benefits of a close U.S. connection.
It should avoid giving help Ozal's critics on the left and the right
issues that can be used to discredit him and the rising generation of
"Long-term U.S. goals should be to facilitate
Turkey's transition to a stable democracy, to a free market economy,
and to full integration into Western Europe's economy as well as its
defense alliance. To accomplish these goals:
"1) Washington must meet its DECA obligations to
help modernize Turkey's armed forces and enable the Turks to fulfill
their NATO responsibilities. Military aid to Turkey is one of the most
cost-effective means of deterring Soviet aggression in the eastern
Mediterranean as well as southwest Asia. While it costs the U.S.
$60,000 to outfit and station one American soldier in Turkey, the cost
for one Turkish soldier is roughly $9,000. (Testimony of Ambassador
Parker Hart, cited in Bruce Kuniholm, "Rhetoric and Reality in the
Aegean: U.S. Policy Options Toward Greece and Turkey", SAIS Review,
Winter/Spring 1986, p.153)
"2) Congress should stop linking Turkish aid levels
to diplomatic progress on the Cyprus Question. The U.S. arms embargo
proved to be a blunt instrument that hardened Turkey's position instead
of encouraging compromise.
"3) The arbitrary 7 to 10 Greece/Turkey aid ratio
should be scrapped.
"4) The Reagan Administration should invoke the 1986
amendment to the Defense authorization act that allows the
Administration to transfer surplus military equipment to Turkey, Greece
"5) Washington should press its allies to increase
foreign aid to Turkey and to consider favorably Turkey's application
for full membership in the European Economic Community.
"6) The U.S. should open its markets to Turkish
textile exports as much as possible under the Multifiber Arrangement.
"7) The U.S. should encourage Ankara to open the
Ottoman archives to allow a full, open review of the Turks' treatment
of Armenians. While the Armenians unquestionable suffered grievous
wrongs, there is no incontrovertible proof of a systematic genocide
campaign by the Turks against them. A full-scale investigation of the
matter, using the old Ottoman archives, could clear up the issue.
Congressional resolutions on the Ottoman Armenians would only reopen
old wounds and disrupt Turkish-American relations without resolving
"Given the steady drift of Papandreu's Greece away
from the Western alliance, the U.S. must strengthen its ties to Turkey,
not weaken them. For if Prime Minister Papandreu chooses to oust US
bases from Greece, Turkey is the obvious candidate to provide
But, the U.S. Congress has not given heed of these
last warnings and lowered the military "aid" to 490 million dollars.
AFTER THE GORBACHEV-REAGAN SUMMIT
However, the latest developments on the
international arena lead the Turkish political circles and mass media
to animate a public debate with a view to reviewing the Turkish
military policies in general, the Turkish Army's dependence on
Washington, in particular.
When Gorbachev and Reagan signed an agreement to
eliminate INF weapons on December 8, 1987, the attention of the public
opinion has switched to the possible consequences of this historical
For the first time an entire missile family is being
destroyed, and not an outdated family, but on the contrary, a
particularly devastating one - the pride of military technology.
Several years ago the prospect of such an accord
seemed to many people hopeless. In the past few years the Soviet Union
has put forward a number of new peace initiatives. On January 15, 1986,
it advanced a carefully worked-out programme for the phased abolition
of all nuclear weapons by the year 2000.
Moscow has also advanced proposals to ban the
militarization of outer space. These proposals have been approved by
the U.N. General Assembly.
At the Disarmament Conference in Geneva, the Soviet
Union has submitted thoroughly elaborated proposals for the prohibition
of chemical weapons and destruction of existing stockpiles. The Soviet
Union and its Warsaw Treaty allies have urged the NATO countries to
reduce the armed forces of the two military blocs by roughly a quarter.
All these proposals have been backed up by a carefully devised system
Lastly, the Soviet Union has advanced the idea of
establishing a comprehensive system of international security. The
treaty signed by Gorbachev and Reagan stipulates the elimination of a
whole class of modern nuclear armaments ranging from 500 up to 5,000
Kms. This is a practical step towards a nuclear-free world.
However, this peaceful success is not appreciated by
the extreme right and conservative circles of the West. According to
the hawks in Pentagon, by signing the new arms treaty with Gorbachev,
President Reagan has lost his senses, sold out to the Russians and is
plunging headlong into another Munich for the sake of "peace in our
time." For them, the INF treaty is "a tragic mistake", "a Pyrrhic
victory", "a challenge".
The conservatives have not only devised labels and
swear words like "denuclearization of Europe" and "nuclear
Finlandization." They have also proposed "compensation" plans which
include the deployment in Europe of B-52 bombers carrying air-launched
cruise missiles and of additional F-15E and F-111 planes capable of
carrying nuclear weapons, submarines and surface ships with cruise
missiles on board, "modernization" or, in plain words, the creation of
new generations of medium and shorter-range nuclear weapons,
particularly in Britain, France and Turkey.
As a matter of fact, all the nuclear missiles
installed on the Turkish territories are those of short range and they
do not enter in the framework of the Washington Treaty. In addition to
them, Western militarists and their Turkish collaborators have
immediately begun to claim that NATO should reinforce its conventional
arsenal in order to be able to riposte to the conventional arms
superiority of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Treaty countries.
They propose also to deploy in Turkey short range
Lance missiles, to increase the nuclear warheads in this country, to
equip F-16 fighters with nuclear arms and to increase armaments of the
Turkish Armed Forces.
This campaign coincides very well with the ambitions
of the military-industrial complex of Turkey which resorts to every way
in order to turn all Turkey into an infernal arsenal and to push the
Pentagonist Turkish generals to "conquests" in the Middle East.
Unconditionally submitted to Washington policies, Ozal Government seems
ready to accept whatsoever proposal to be raised by these circles.
But, the last general elections showed that Ozal has
the support of only a third of the population. Despite all repressive
measures, democratic opposition is getting stronger and stronger
Just after the elections, the signature of the
Treaty to eliminate INF weapons has been a new stimulating event for
the democracy and peace forces of Turkey.
RALLIES FOR THE FREEDOM OF PRISONERS
Noting that the government has no intention to free
political prisoners and to take effective measures to ameliorate
detention conditions, two human rights organizations of Turkey held
rallies for claiming freedom of prisoners and protesting against
torture in Istanbul on December 6, 1987.
The rally organized by the Human Rights' Association
(IHD) and attended by more than five thousands people was held under
strict control of rapid deployment forces of the police.
The demonstrators carried banners painted the
following on which painted the following slogans: "Torture is a crime
of humanity", "Empty prisons, general amnesty", "Freedom to political
detainees", "End to torture". Some posters with the portraits of the
executed socialist youth leaders, Deniz Gezmis, Yusuf Arslan and
Hüseyin Inan" were confiscated by the police.
The same day, the rally organized in another quarter
of Istanbul by the Association for Solidarity with the Families of
Detainees and Prisoners (TAYAD) was attended by a few thousands people.
At this demonstration, orators said that political prisoners do not ask
for "amnesty" as claimed at the other rally, because they do not
consider themselves criminals. "On the contrary," they said, "political
prisoners assert their freedom seized by force."
A few days later, the Public Prosecutor started a
legal proceedings against the Administrative Board members of the IHD's
Istanbul Section. Chairman Emil Galip Sandalci and six other members of
the board were interrogated at the State Security Court of Istanbul on
charges of tolerating at the rally to shout slogans which had not been
allowed beforehand by the security authorities.
Concluding another campaign for "amnesty" carried
out for months, on December 10, 1987, the Human Rights' Association
(IHD) presented to the Secretary General of the Grand National Assembly
a petition signed by 130,000 people. The association's chairman, Mr.
Nevzat Helvaci, after having handed over 23 files containing the
petition and signatures, said: "Turkey has lived an exceptional period.
At this period more than 250,000 people were taken into custody and
subjected to torture. The rules of state of war have been applied
during the trials and legal errors committed by military tribunals
reached to unbearable dimensions. The only means of repairing the
dramatical results of these practices is a general amnesty. We claim
also the lifting of capital punishment."
According to the press reports, the files of death
sentences for 174 prisoners are still on the agenda of the National
Assembly for ratification. 103 of these verdicts belong to the people
found "guilty" for political actions.
PRISONERS' RESISTANCE IN JAILS
The Association for Solidarity with the Families of
Detainees and Prisoners (TAYAD) announced on December 1st, 1987, that
the prison conditions were not yet ameliorated despite many complaints
lodged with legal authorities. Particularly the prison administrations
in Sinop, Diyarbakir, Amasya, Burdur, Eskisehir and Mersin act
arbitrarily taking no heed to prison rules imposed by the Justice
While three political prisoners were carrying on
their hunger-strike in the Sinop Prison since the beginning of
November, political detainees in Istanbul are carrying on their protest
actions against the practice of being taken chained and handcuffed to
tribunal and being forced to wear prison uniform.
On December 8, 1987, nine defendants of the
Revolutionary Left (Dev-Sol), tried at the State Security Court of
Istanbul, took off their uniforms and tore them to pieces before the
judges.Thereupon, the court condemned each of them to a 6-month prison
term of which two months to be served in solitary confinement.
Protesting against the putting their comrades in
solitary confinement, 55 political detainees at the Sagmalcilar-2
Prison in Istanbul went on hunger strike from December 22, 1987.
In support to this protest action, a group of
parents of political prisoners too started on December 24 a
hunger-strike in Istanbul. This action of 50 hunger-strikers was joined
later on by the members of the Association of Women in Democratic
OZAL: "NO AMNESTY GENERAL!"
Although the results of the legislative elections
put in evidence that the two thirds of the electors do not approve the
repressive policies of the present government, Prime Minister Ozal does
not show any intention to give heed to this warning.
Just after the elections, at a press conference he
held on December 12, 1987, during his visit to the United States for a
medical check-up, Ozal said that he does not envisage a general
amnesty, arguing that this practice does not exist in none of the
advanced western countries.
As for the modification of controversial articles
141, 142 and 163 of the Turkish Penal Code, stipulating the punishment
of communist or religious propaganda or organization, Ozal claimed:
"These articles are the foundation-stones of the Republic. I think that
these articles do not set the Turkish people a problem."
NEW DEATH SENTENCES
The Military Court of Cassation approved in December
1987 three death sentences, one for a left-wing leader, Garbis
Altinoglu from the Revolutionary Union of the People (DHB), and the
others for two right-wing activists, Haluk Kirci and Ahmet Ercüment
Gedikli, who were found guilty for the assassination of seven left-wing
militants in 1978.
On December 9, 1987, the public prosecutor claimed
death sentences for five defendant being tried as presumed members of
the PKK at the State Security Court.
On December 26, 1987, in Adana, the military
tribunal sentenced a defendant of the trial "Acilciler" to capital
punishment and four others to prison term of 13 years and four months
On December 27, at the final phase of the mass trial
against 813 presumed members of the Revolutionary Path (Dev-Yol) in
Erzincan, the military prosecutor claimed death sentences for 110
defendants. They are accused, by virtue of Article 146 of the Turkish
Penal Code, of attempting to overthrow the constitution order and
to establish the domination of the working class in Turkey.
One of the defendants liable to capital punishment
was Mr. Fikri Sonmez, former mayor of the city of Fatsa. He had been
elected by a popular vote with the support of big majority of the city
population and put in practice many services for the welfare of the
citizens. He died during the trials because of ill-treatment a
few years ago.
PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES ON TORTURE
The first stormy debate at the new elected National
Assembly has been made on December 29, 1987, about the subject of
torture and the spokesmen of opposition parties accused the government
of not taking necessary precautions for stopping this inhuman practice.
Reading his new programme, Ozal claimed that his
government was against torturing detainees, and added: "If he can bring
me a well established fact, we shall pursue the responsibles."
On these words, the new elected SHP deputy Ekin
Dikmen, who had been tortured during his detention, shouted from his
seat "If you want an example, here I am!"
And other opposition deputies joined the protest by
shouting at Ozal:
"If you want more examples, ask it to your own
deputy, Nurettin Yilmaz!"
As a matter of fact, Nurettin Yilmaz was a member of
the Turkish Peace Association and subjected to several kinds of torture
during his detention. After his release, the party of Ozal, with a view
of picking up the electors of this former left-wing deputy of Kurdish
origin, put Yilmaz on the party ticket in Diyarbakir.
However, Dikmen and Yilmaz are not the only deputies
who had been tortured in past years.
Many victims of torture were elected at last
legislative elections to Parliament on as deputies of the Social
Democrat Populist Party (SHP). Mainly:
Chairman of the Progressive Trade Unions
Confederation (DISK), Mr. Abdullah Bastürk, Secretary General Fehmi
Isiklar and Executive Board member Ismail Hakki Onal were tried by
military tribunal under the menace of capital punishment and tortured
during their detention.
Ahmet Türk and Kemal Anadol too were subjected to
similar treatments by the military, the former for allegedly supporting
the PKK and the latter for allegedly collaborating with the TKP.
In an interview to the Milliyet of December 18,
1987, Türk who is of Kurdish origin, said: "In 1981-82, I was, along
with other detainees, subjected to torture. I was beaten with clubs,
hanged by my hands, plunged into sewage or into iced water in the
winter, obliged to carry a soldier on my back while I was being taken
Prior to the debates at Parliament, the Human
Rights' Association (IHD) announced at the 1st Convention on
Human Rights it organized on December 12, 1987, in Ankara, that at
least 170 people had died under torture after the military coup of 1980.
Speaking at this Convention, Chairman of the SHP Mr.
Erdal Inönü said: "Torture is a national shame for all of us. No doubt
all criminal acts should be punished by virtue of laws. But there is
not in our laws any punishment in the form of torture."
As a new example of torture, the Secretary General
of the SHP Fikri Saglar, at a press conference held in Ankara on
December 18, 1987, showed to journalists a member of his party, Mr.
Hüsnü Turan, who had been tortured with red-hot iron bar and electric
by police in Izmir on December 9, 1987.
Saglar also claimed that only in the period from the
coming to power of the ANAP in 1983 up to 1985, the number of those
died under torture reached to 78.
Other torture cases in December:
3.12, in Istanbul, at the mass trial "TIKKO-3",
defendants say that the military prosecutor of the tribunal, Erdogan
Savaseri was responsible of tortures to which they had been subjected
and asked the judges to open an investigation. But the claim is turned
down by the military tribunal.
17.12, in Istanbul, Yasar Tahan, alleged member of
the clandestine organization "Acilciler", accused of placing explosives
to some offices of the government party ANAP, alleged that during his
interrogation he was tortured by policemen.
18.12, in Adana, five lawyers, addressing a petition
to the Public Prosecutor's Office, claimed that their client, Ahmet
Pekyen, had been subjected to torture at the police station on December
2, 1987, and the traces of torture were certified by a medical report.
While the subject of torture was giving rise to
indignation in Turkish public opinion, a criminal court in Ankara
decreed on December 29, 1987, claiming that a simple beating cannot be
considered torture, acquitted two policemen accused of having tortured
a political detainee. The accused, Ali Kaymakci and Mustafa Ozcihan,
had systematically beaten Ayhan Sarihan, editor of the review Ogretmen
Dünyasi, during his 20-day detention. Other detainees witnessed that
Sarihan was being taken back to the cell, his face and body bleeding,
after each interrogation. Judge Ali Karahan argued in his decision that
"For considering an act of beating as torture, the victim should have a
medical report certifying that he was made disable to work at least for
10 or 15 days."
TBKP OFFICIALS' ALLEGATION OF TORTURE
Two officials of the United Communist Party of
Turkey (TBKP), Nabi Yagci and Nihat Sargin, after being interrogated
for 20 days by police in Ankara, were arrested on December 5, 1987, by
the State Security Court and placed in a civilian prison of the capital
During the interrogation of the two top party
officials, police arrested also many trade unionists, intellectuals and
students in Turkey for their alleged relations with the TBKP. Some
newspapers claimed that during their interrogation, both party
officials had given or confirmed the names of central committee members
and other responsible officials of their respective parties.
When they were being taken to the prison from the
Prosecutor's office, Sargin shouted to journalists that they had been
tortured during their interrogation. Later on, in a petition addressed
to the Public Prosecutor's Office, Yagci and Sargin alleged that
police, with the purpose of obtaining the names of their comrades in
Turkey and abroad, had subjected them to many kinds of torture and
injected to their body a liquid, probably Sodium Penthotal.
Nevertheless, the public prosecutor, following his
inquiries, concluded on December 21, 1987, that the allegations of
torture were unfounded.
Yagci is the secretary general of the Turkish
Communist Party (TKP) and Sargin of the Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP).
Both parties had earlier decided to merge in a united party. TKP has
been outlawed since 1923 and the TIP since the military coup of 1980.
Although the Military Court of Cassation ratified
prison terms of up to 15 years for 104 members of the TKP on October
28, 1987, Yagci and Sargin announced a few days later their decision to
return to Turkey with a view of introducing to the Interior Ministry a
petition for legally founding the new TBKP in Turkey.
When they declared their intention to return to
Turkey from exile, the Turkish Consulates, on the approval of the
government, delivered for them short-term passports. During his visit
to Turkish Consulate in West Berlin for getting his passport, TKP
Secretary General Nabi Yagci gave another petition asking the
permission to make his military service in the Turkish Army after
returning to Turkey.
However, despite his initial tolerating attitude,
Premier Ozal, on the pressure coming from his party's extreme-right
wing and from other rightist organizations, has not prevented their
arrest by police, claiming that it was too early for forming a
communist party in Turkey.
Leaders of some other outlawed Marxist organizations
such as the PKK, the TKP/ML and the TKP/B have accused the TBKP
officials of "being renegades and giving up themselves and their
comrades to the fascist regime."
The investigation about the TBKP is now being
carried out by the Prosecutor and both party officials will be tried at
the State Security Court in Ankara according to Articles 140, 141, 142,
158, 159 and 312 of the Turkish Penal Code for "activities abroad
against the Turkish State, communist organization, communist
propaganda, inciting social classes against each other, declaration
defamating the government, etc."
ARMED CONFLICTS AND ARRESTS
1.12, the PKK combatants kidnap 24 pro-government
people from four villages in Silopi and Midyat.
4.12, the PKK combatants bomb the local office of
the governmental party (ANAP) in Nusaybin and shoot dead a guard during
their raid to a military residence area in Kiziltepe. In the latter, a
police superintendent is gravely wounded.
5.12, during an armed confrontation in Derik
(province of Mardin), security forces shoot dead seven PKK militants.
Also two soldiers are killed and another wounded by the guerillas.
9.12, security forces arrest 10 militants from PKK
in Viransehir and 11 from another outlawed organization in Erzincan.
11.12, Police headquarters in Ankara announces that
the operations carried out in Istanbul, Kayseri, Izmir, Hatay, Icel,
Ankara and Adana resulted in the arrest of 67 militants from the
Emergency Group (Acilciler), allegedly author of many sabotage actions.
18 presumed members of another illegal organization too were arrested
12.12, police forces arrest five presumed members of
TKP in Izmir, 28 "separatists" militants in Sanliurfa, 8 presumed
militants of Partisan in Erzincan.
14.12, in Adana, 20 people are arrested on the
charge of carrying out sabotage actions.
15.12, six presumed members of the Emergency Group
arrested in Istanbul.
21.12, in Istanbul, militants of the Revolutionary
Left (Dev-Sol) put in seven different places explosives carrying
banners with slogans: "No to price hikes", "Hands robing the people
will be crushed!"
28.12, in Istanbul, an armed group of Dev-Sol
militants raid the head office of the Confederation of Turkish
Employers Unions (TISK) and paint on the walls: "Price hikes and
Tyranny: Ozal", "End to torture".
30.12, in Izmir, police arrests 16 people, alleged
militants of PKK.
TURKISH JOURNALISTS STILL IN PRISON
The British monthly INDEX published in its November
1987 issue a photo with the title of "Turkish Journalists in Canakkale
Prison". All were arrested in the months following the military
takeover in September 1980 and have been held ever since.
According to the information given by INDEX:
Irfan Asik, editor of Partizan journal, tried in 13
different court cases by Istanbul Military Court. Sentenced under
Articles 142/1-3, 159 and 312 to a total of 111 years imprisonment.
Later commuted to 36 years and ratified by the Court of Appeal.
Mustafa Colak worked for the journal Ozgürlük.
Sentenced to 9 years imprisonment.
Galip Demircan, editor of Halkin Kurtulusu and
Halkin Kurtulusu Yolunda Genclik journals. Sentenced to a total of 20
years imprisonment for unsigned articles in the journals on charges of
communist propaganda. Appeal pending.
Mehmet Ozgen (33), editor of Bagimsiz Türkiye and
Devrimci Militan journals. Six court cases were made against him;
sentenced, and ratified by the Court of Appeal, to a total of 33 years
and six months imprisonment.
Feyzullah Ozer (33), editor of Kitle and Ilke
periodicals in 1977. Sentenced in three court cases to a total of 12
years imprisonment, ratified by the Court of Appeal. In one remaining
case, 7 years imprisonment were demanded by the prosecution. Imprisoned
since October 1981.
Candemir Ozler, editor of Savas Yolu, sentenced to
23 years and 10 months imprisonment. Sentence ratified by the Court of
Ali Rabus, editor of Birlik Yolu journal, sentenced
to 18 years imprisonment. Sentence ratified.
Hüseyin Ulger, editor of Genc Sosyalist, sentenced
to 18 years and six months imprisonment.
Hasan Selim Acan, editor of Halkin Kurtulusu,
sentenced by Istanbul Military Court under Articles 142/1-3 and 159 of
the Penal Code to a total of 331 years imprisonment. After these
condemnations being ratified by the Court of Cassation, the prosecutor
opened on November 8, 1987, eleven new cases against him in the
Criminal Court of Istanbul and claimed a total of 100 years
Fuat Akyürek, worked for Saglikcinin Sesi, sentenced
to 10 years and six months imprisonment.
Alaattin Sahin (39), editor of the weekly Halkin
Yolu from January to November 1977. 44 cases were opened against him.
In 25 cases concluded and ratified by the Court of Appeal, he received
a total of 108 years imprisonment, later commuted to 36 years. At least
163 years imprisonment have been demanded by the prosecution in the
remaining 19 cases.
Erhan Tuskan, editor of Ilerici Yurtsever Genclik
and Genclik Dünyasi periodicals. Ten court cases were opened against
him; sentenced, and ratified by the Court of Appeal to 48 years and 10
According to the daily Cumhuriyet of December 6,
1987, since the military coup 404 different courts cases have been
opened against 50 writers or responsible editors, including those who
are mentioned above, of four newspapers and 20 reviews closed down by
the military. 32 journalists have already been sentenced to 3,000 years
imprisonment in total by military tribunals and 2,500 years of these
condemnations ratified by the Court of Cassation.
Veli Yilmaz (33), editor of Halkin Kurtulusu and
Halkin Kurtulusu Yolunda Genclik, sentenced to a total of 1,170 years
imprisonment of which 750 years ratified by the Court of Cassation.
Osman Tas (31), editor of Halkin Kurtulusu in 1978,
sentenced to a total of 770 years imprisonment of which 660 years
ratified by the Court of Cassation.
Mustafa Yildirimtürk (36), editor for eight issues
of Halkin Kurtulusu in 1977, sentenced to a total of 215 years
imprisonment of which 155 years ratified by the higher court.
By virtue of the Penal Procedure in Turkey,
whatsoever be high the total of different prison terms for one person,
it is automatically commuted to 36 years imprisonment plus 12 years
These three journalists are still detained in the
military prison of Metris in Istanbul.
Besides, Ilker Demir, editor of the reviews Kitle
and Ilke between 1975-77, sentenced by military tribunals to a total of
23 years and one month imprisonment in three court cases. He serves his
term in Aydin Prison.
NEW PRESS CASES
28.11, the representative of the youth review Yarin,
Zekeriya Aytemur detained in Istanbul.
12.12, in Istanbul, editor Hasan Günes is sentenced
to 7-year prison term for having published the translation of Pakistani
poet Mevludi's book entitled "Let's change this world." The court also
decides to destroy all copies of the book.
15.12, No.51 of the weekly 2000'e Dogru is
confiscated by the court order for having published an official
document dressed by military authorities. In this document all Kurdish
tribes in Eastern Anatolia are classified as "Those hostile to the
State" and "Those friend to the State".
25.12, Mr. Aziz Nesin, distinguished Turkish
humorist and Chairman of the Writers' Union of Turkey (TYS), is
indicted by the State Security Court for an interview about the civil
rights of Kurds which he gave to the weekly 2000'e Dogru.
25.12, two editors of the weekly 2000'e Dogru, Fatma
Yazici and Dogu Perincek, are tried before a criminal courtof Istanbul
for an article on charges of defamating Atatürk.
29.12, the State Security Court of Izmir decrees the
confiscation of all copies of Nikitin's "Political Economy" and
Politzer's "Fundamental principles of Philosophy". Both books had been
the object of legal proceeding in the past, but acquitted by the courts.
PRESS CODE TO BE AGGRAVATED
Just after the legislative elections presented as a
new step towards democratization in Turkey, it was announced that the
government carried out works in a view to aggravating the repressive
measures against the Press.
According to the press reports of January 5, 1987,
the government plans to modify the Law on the Press, the Penal Code and
the Law for Protecting Minors against Harmful Publications so as to
sentence the author of any "groundless" information to fines of up to
100 millions TL (100,000 dollars). If a newspaper does not publish a
denial, it will be sentenced to fines of up to 20 millions TL (20,000
As for the publications "harmful to minors", their
fine will not be less than 50 millions TL (50,000 dollars).
Even without aggravating the fines, between 11 and
18 december 1987, within a week, 14 press cases concerning "harmful
publications" resulted in condemnations to a total of 1 billion 267
million TL fines. In 200 other cases, prosecutors claim a 50 billion TL
(50 million dollars) fines in total.
Only the daily Tan has been sentenced to 500 million
Among the newspapers which have been indicted by
virtue of this law are also Günaydin, Hafta Sonu, Haftanin Sesi,
Playboy, Playman and Bravo.
The cases of "harmful publications" are opened on
the decision of the Higher Council for Protecting Minors Against
Harmful Publications, composed of the representatives of the Prime
Ministry, some ministries, the Higher Education Board and the Directory
of Religious Affaires. Famous authors of Turkey too
cannot escape being targets of this exceptional law. On December 4,
1987, a criminal court of Istanbul tried Mrs. Pinar Kür for her novels
"Unfinished Love" and "The Woman to be hanged"; Mr. Ahmet Altan for his
novel "Trace in the Water"; Dr. Haydar Dümen for his two studies on
sexological problems and Mrs. Fatma Aylin, for her traduction for Henry
Miller's "Tropic of Capricorn".
The Chairman of the International Federation of
Periodical Publications, Mr. Robin Wharmby, said in a letter sent to
Turkish Premier Turgut Ozal that "Turkey, with the punishments given to
the press has been the nost censored one of the democratic countries."
HELSINKI WATCH REPORT ON TURKEY
The U.S. Helsinki Watch issued in December 1987 a
new report on Turkey, based largely on information gathered by Jeri
Laber and Lois Whitman, during a fact-finding mission to Turkey in June
1987. Reflecting developments through October 31, 1987, the report
arrives to the following conclusions on the situation in Turkey:
"Unfortunately, our expectations for continued human
rights progress in Turkey have not yet been fulfilled. We determined
during our most recent visit, in June 1987, that human rights in
Turkey are still in a state of flux. Positive steps are continually
being undermined by negative actions. Although there have been some
noteworthy improvements, mainly in the area of freedom of association,
the continued use of torture in police detention is both distressing
and inexplicable, given the Turkish authorities' claims that they have
brought an end to the use of torture and that any incidents that come
to light are either fabrications aimed at influencing world opinion
against Turkey or are isolated cases of police brutality. The evidence
of torture that we received indicates that torture is still routinely
practiced in Turkey, involving the same techniques in the same police
stations as has been documented in the past. If there are fewer
instances of torture in Turkey today, it is because there are fewer
arrests than before, and not because practices have noticeably
"The basic problem with regard to human rights in
Turkey remains unchanged. It stems from the repressive 1982
Constitution and a series of equally repressive laws that remain in
force, exerting a chilling effect on the society. Many of the freedoms
that have been tolerated in Turkey since 1983 may very well be a
gesture by the government to international opinion, rather than the
reflection of a genuine desire for democracy and human rights. And
because these freedoms have no legal guarantees, they can be easily
reversed if there is a change of policy. Unless the restrictive
legislation in Turkey is changed, any human rights progress may turn
out to be transitory.(...)
"Turkish officials, it appears, are unhappy with the
fact that Helsinki Watch, after hearing the official point of view in
1985, has continued to criticize many of Turkey's human rights
practices. They were particularly upset at our decision to investigate
the situation of the Kurds, the most sensitive human rights issue in
"We traveled to eastern Turkey despite the
government's disapproval. No efforts were made to prevent us from going
there or to limit our activities while we were there. We were able to
talk with a number of Kurdish people -lawyers, political leaders,
journalists, businessmen- who described a situation of extreme
repression that has continued to worsen in many respects since the 1980
coup. The situation is complicated by guerilla warfare that has been
raging in the border areas since 1984, waged by Kurdish terrorists
seeking an independent Kurdistan.
"The Kurdish minority in Turkey has long been denied
any semblance of ethnic identity: the Kurdish language, culture,
customs and history are not recognized by the Turkish government which
denies the very existence of the Kurds. Recent military actions in the
area appear to have given the government license for still greater
intimidation of the Kurds. Ordinary citizens are caught between the
army and the guerillas and are being persecuted by both. The guerillas,
a relatively small band according to the Turkish government, have been
ruthless in their attacks against innocent civilians, including many
women and children. On the other hand, however, the Turkish army seems
to be waging warfare against the Kurdish population as a whole,
accusing the local people of assisting the terrorists. Some parts of
the southeast that we visited seemed to be in a continual state of
siege. We received more complaints about the day-to-day practices of
the army than we did about sporadic attacks by the guerillas.
"Even on the basis of a cursory inspection, it
seemed clear to us that the Turkish government is pursuing a
self-destructive policy in the east. By refusing to recognize the
ethnic rights and economic needs of the local population, the
government is fanning flames of hatred and revolt and encouraging the
Kurds to identify their own well-being with the aims of the
secessionist guerillas. Although most Kurds reportedly reject the
terrorist tactics of the guerillas and do not wish to secede from
Turkey, the government is not providing them with a feasible
alternative. "We don't like the terrorists," we were told by some local
Kurds, "but they are the best we have right now." And a parliamentarian
from the area told us that support for the guerillas has increased from
zero to 40 percent in his province because of the strong-arm tactics of
the Turkish army and the government. "The people don't want a separate
Kurdistan," this politician assured us, "they want freedom."
E.P. DELEGATION'S VISIT TO TURKEY
At the invitation of the Speaker of the Turkish
Grand National Assembly, a delegation from the European Parliament
visited Turkey from 24th November to 1st December 1987 in order to
observe the general elections. The delegation was composed of socialist
deputies Ludwig Fellermaier, Richard Balfe, Georgios Romeos; communist
deputy Vassilis Ephremidis, Green deputy Wolfgang Von Nostitz and
right-wing deputies Luc Beyer de Ryke, Gerd Lemmer, Ramon Diaz del Rio,
Georgios Saridakis and John Taylor.
After an initial series of talks in Ankara, the
delegation divided into two groups to visit, on the one hand Istanbul
and Izmir, and on the other, Diyarbakir and Mardin. It met again in
Ankara on election day and remains there until its departure.
The delegation met with the leaders of the political
parties participating in the elections, the prime minister, the
minister for relations with the European Community, the speaker of the
Turkish National Assembly, the president of the Supreme Electoral
Board, the trade union confederations, both Türk-Is and DISK, the
employers' organization TUSIAD and the Chambers of Commerce TOBB, the
human rights association, the Bar association, the Women's association
against discrimination, the province governors of Diyarbakir and
Mardin, the mayors of Izmir and Diyarbakir as well as candidates for
the different political parties.
After having observed various aspects of the
election campaign as well as the actual polling on election day, the
delegation announced, in a press communiqué, the following conclusions:
"1. As far as they were able to observe on the
sport, the actual voting procedures were carried out in a correct way.
"2. Concerning the election procedures considerable
complains were however made concerning:
"a. The adoption of an electoral law, which by the
introduction of the nationwide 10% clause as well as other clauses
discriminates against smaller parties. The delegation notes the
official justification that this law was designed to provide a stable
"b. The abbreviation of the electoral campaign.
"c. The use by the Government of the public
television and radio network during the pre-electoral as well as the
actual electoral campaign.
"d. The use by the ruling party of the Government
apparatus and local administration to influence the electorate.
"The delegation recognizes the significant progress
made in establishing democracy. It notes with satisfaction that all
political parties represented in Parliament expressed the determination
to consolidate democracy by progressively removing still existing
"In this context the delegation noted that existing
legislation severely limits the freedom of association, in particular
the exercises of trade union rights, and the full participation in
"It expresses the expectation that this would lead
to the legalization of all political parties which conform to
"The delegation underlined that the process of
consolidating democracy would favour the intensification of relations
between the European Parliament and the Turkish Grand National Assembly
in particular, and between the European Community and Turkey, in
"In conformity with its mandate concerning the
arrest of Mr. Kutlu and Mr. Sargin, the Chairman Mr Beyer de Ryke and
the Vice-Chairman Mr. Fellermaier met with Mr. Demiral, the public
prosecutor before the State Security Court of Ankara to inform
themselves about the conditions for their detention as well as the
nature of the legal procedures against them.
"They subsequently visited their place of detention
where they were allowed to see but not to speak with them."
The conclusion of its delegation, in general, and
the prolonged detention without court warrant of the two officials of
the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP), in particular, led the
European Parliament to obstructing the vote on the two additional
protocols to the Association Agreement with Turkey, one concerning the
adhesion of Portugal and Spain, the other seeking to maintain tradition
Turkish exports of fresh lemons and table grapes.
Socialist and communist deputies, on this occasion,
severely criticized Turkish Government's arbitrary practices, notably
the arrest of two communist officials and asked the European Parliament
to give a new warning to the Turkish regime by suspending the vote on
the protocols. Considering the fact that the vote on protocols
necessitate 260 votes, the socialist group declared that its members
would not participate in the session in a view to turning down the two
documents. Thereupon, the Parliament decided to send the two protocols
to the Committee on External Economic Relations by 130 votes against
123 and 2 abstentions.