SHOW IN GERMANY
Staunch anti-communist and principal responsible of 50 executions, he
now talks of legalizing "communist party" and abolishing death penalty
During his State visit to West Germany in October,
his third to a Western country after Britain and the United States,
President-General Kenan Evren sought the active support of the Bonn
Government for Turkey's efforts to become a member of the European
Although German leaders welcomed him by confirming
their appreciation for "returning to democracy in Turkey", Turkish and
Kurdish opposition groups as well as German democratic organizations
protested Evren's visit, reminding that General Evren is the principal
responsible of the military putsch of 1980 and the State terrorism
going on for eight years in Turkey. In every city Evren visited mass
demonstrations took place. On October 17, after a visit to the Bonn
City Hall, an egg lobbed toward Evren hit his limousine and splashed on
In the fear of further incidents, the German police
took extraordinary security measures during Evren's visit and even put
under house arrest many dissident Turks and Kurds in Munich.
In an attempt to give the image of a "democrat chief
of State", General Evren declared during his visit to the FRG that
sooner or later Turkey will have its legal communist party and the
death penalty should be abolished. "It must come out into to open who
is a communist and who is not. Now nobody knows that. They (the
communists) are infiltrating political parties," Evren said.
Although the leaders of the United Communist Party
of Turkey (TBKP), outcome of the fusion of the Communist Party of
Turkey (TKP) and the Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP), immediately
welcomed Evren's declaration, other left-wing opposition groups said
that General Evren was not sincere and aimed at deceiving European
public opinion which insists on the legalization of communist party and
the lifting of capital punishment for considering Turkey a country
conforming to European democratic norms.
In fact, Evren has always used staunchly
anti-communist expressions since his coming to power in 1980. He has
also defended capital punishment more than once.
Following Evren's statement, the government circles
said that, if the majority of the citizens express their approval by a
national referendum for such an idea, they can legalize a communist
party which is engaged in renouncing radicalism and playing political
game within the framework imposed by the legislation.
For their part, the TBKP officials, of whom two top
figures are still in prison after their return from self-exile in 1987,
have already announced at each occasion that they are ready to act in a
realistic way. ∂n such a realism that the Secretary General of the
party had, before returning to Turkey, given a petition to the Turkish
Consulate in West Berlin in order to make his military service in the
Turkish Army, a prerequisite to make legal politics in Turkey.
However, the TBKP is not the only communist party of
Turkey. First of all, an important section of the TKP, refusing fusion
into TBKP and continuing to use the title of TKP, opposes to any
legalization granted by Evren's power and accuses the TBKP leadership
of becoming the plaything of the present regime.
The other communist parties or movements based on
Marxist principles such as TKP/ML, TKP/B, TDKP, Dev-Yol, Dev-Sol,
Kurtulus and PKK, of which many leading members have been tried
for years in the shade of gallows, share the opinion that, even if the
TBKP is legalized, it is out of question to claim the existence of real
democracy in Turkey until the present authoritarian regime led by
Evren-∏zal tandem will be overthrown.
Aware of this fact, Evren did not miss to complain
about the activities of these groups in Europe and asked German
authorities to take disciplinary measures against them in the FRG,
while talking of the legalization of "communist party" in Turkey.
This controversial subject seems to occupy an
important place in Turkey's political agenda in the coming months.
On the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the
Evren's coup, the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) gave a
balance-sheet of the 8-year State terrorism.
In this period, about 700 thousand people have been
detained for political reasons. The total number of those people hit by
any of different antidemocratic practices of the regime is estimated at
about 4 million.
Prosecutors have opened 210 thousand legal
proceedings of which 202,501 have already ended.
In four years between October 8, 1980 and October
25, 1984, fifty people were executed on the decisions of military
tribunals. For the time being 220 death sentences are attending
approval at the National Assembly and 100 others at the Military Court
The number of those who died under torture in the
same period is 177. According to a recent report of Amnesty
International, only in the year 1987, seventeen people were killed by
torturers during their interrogation.
1,392 detainees are still in five military prisons
(Metris-Istanbul, Mamak-Ankara, Erzincan, Erzurum and Diyarbakir) and
tried by military tribunals despite the fact that martial law was
lifted. Of those people 1,099 are left-wing, 216 right-wing and 77
suspects of smuggling. In 639 civil prisons there are 49,839 people of
whom 31,500 are already condemned and 18,339 are waiting for their
trials. Of the condemned people 1,820 are left-wing and 389
right-wing. As for the detained people, 709 are left-wing and 39
According to the IHD, about 30 thousand people
escaping from the State terrorism are political refugees in Europe and
14 thousand of them have been deprived of Turkish nationality.
On the anniversary of the coup, police took
extra-ordinary security measures in big cities in the fear of violent
acts of protest. Despite these measures bombs exploded in some quarters
of Istanbul. Besides, the Association of Solidarity with the Families
of detainees (TAYAD) held a protest demonstration in the Sultanahmet
Place of Istanbul on September 12.
POLITICAL TRIALS IN SEPTEMBER
1.9, in Diyarbakir, the military tribunal sentences
14 members of the PKK to capital punishment and 35 others to different
prison terms of up to 15 years.
7.9, in Adana, the trial of the members of the
People's Revolutionary Union (DHB) and KAWA ends in the condemnation of
four defendants to life-prison and four others to different prison
terms of up to 24 years.
15.9, a new trial against 22 alleged members of the
Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) begins at the State Security Court of
Diyarbakir. The prosecutor claims capital punishment for two defendants
and prison terms of up to 15 years for others.
23.9, in Izmir, a former official of the Textile
Workers' Union, Mr. Ibrahim ∏zcan, is condemned to 4-year imprisonment.
28.9, in Adana, the military tribunal sentences two
members of Liberation (Kurtulus) to life-prison and two others to 12
years and six months each.
ARRESTS AND ARMED CONFLICTS
5.9, in Istanbul, police disperses by force a rally
organized by the SHP in protest against the utilization of chemical
weapons against Kurds in Iraq. Three party officials are taken into
8.9, an armed confrontation between security forces
and PKK militants in the district of Kemah (Erzincan) ends in the
killing of eight soldiers and the wounding of a NCO and a soldier.
14.9, Chairman of the Student Association of the
Letters Faculty of Istanbul University, Mr. Gπkhan Tirtil, is taken
into custody for political grounds.
15.9, security forces announce the arrest of 19
alleged members of an outlawed organization.
27.9, two soldiers are killed and three others
wounded during an armed confrontation with the PKK militants in Bingπl.
PROTEST ACTIONS IN PRISONS
The unrest outcoming from the Justice Ministry's
order to oblige all detainees, even if they are not yet condemned, to
wear one-type prison uniform has spread in military and special prisons
In some prisons detainees have gone on
hunger-strike. The action was joined later on by the relatives of
Strikers have reported that those detainees who do
not accept to wear uniform are placed in solitary confinement.
Political detainees and their families ask:
- Lifting of illegal disciplinary measures,
- Putting an end to one-type uniform obligation,
- Allowing families to visit prisoners once a week,
- Extending the duration of visit to one hour,
- Stopping censorship on private correspondence with
families and with comrades in other prisons,
- Allowing the entrance into prison of newspapers,
reviews and books,
- Allowing Kurdish detainees to defend themselves at
tribunals in their mother tongue.
Parallel to hunger-strike, the families of prisoners
held a demonstration before the Metris military prison on September 28.
On September 16, fourteen alleged members of the
TDKP detained in the prison of Izmir came to the State Security Court
for their trial with sport dresses on in protest against one-type
On September 17, a second spectacular escape from
prison was carried out by 18 political prisoners in Kirsehir. Including
three prisoners condemned to capital punishment and four to
life-prison, eighteen detainees succeeded to escape from prison by
digging a 118-meter long underground tunnel.
NEW TORTURE CASES IN SEPTEMBER
An immigrant workers, Dervis Savgas, was detained on
August 25 when he came to his natal town, Viran-ªehir, for annual
holiday. Eight days later, police gave his corpse to his family. A
social-democrat deputy, Mahmut Ke•eli immediately asked an autopsy for
determining the cause of his death. Doctors, after examining the
corpse, certified that there were the traces of beating on his body and
some bones had been broken.
On September 29, another social-democrat deputy, Mr.
Mustafa Yilmaz, holding a press conference at the National Assembly,
presented to the press a victim of torture. Mr. Osman Can said that he
had been detained in Gaziantep on September 3 and tortured by gendarmes
for days during his interrogation.
On September 5, at the trial of 1,243 alleged
members of Dev-Sol at the Military Tribunal No.2 of Istanbul, defence
attorney Osman Ergin, claiming that many of his clients had been
tortured, asked a medical control of all defendants by a fully equiped
At another political trial in Ankara, that of
Dev-Yol, defendants unveiled a document showing that General Evren
personally rewarded a torturer named Bekir Pullu in 1981. This
policeman was accused of torturing two leading members of Dev-Yol,
Nasuh Mitap and Oguzhan MΩftΩoµlu.
OZAL'S NEW ELECTORAL MANŒUVERS
After his defeat at the 25 September referendum,
Premier ∏zal opened a debate on another change in the election system,
this time aiming to get rid of SΩleyman Demirel's Correct Way Party
(DYP), the second political party in the right.
The Motherland Party (ANAP) is now studying the
possibility of a two-round election system to be implemented during the
local elections in March 1989. According to the system, as in France,
candidates who are not able to win a certain percentage of the vote
will be eliminated in a second polling.
∏zal admitted that such an election system would
leave only two parties on the political scene eventually: The ANAP on
the right and the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) on the left.
Mr. Demirel qualified this new project as a means of
establishing ANAP dictatorship.
As for Mr. Erdal InπnΩ, leader of SHP, he learned
about ∏zal's proposals while he was attending the Labor Party
Conference in Blackpool. "Until now they (the ANAP government) have not
held two consecutive elections under the same election law. Changing of
election system each time is being disrespectful of the constituents.
The election system should be determined through compromise and
agreement between the political parties," he said.
INONU'S TALKS WITH EUROPEAN SOCIALISTS
After attending the British Labor Party Conference
in Blackpool at the beginning of October, Mr. Erdal InπnΩ flew to
Brussels and had meetings with European Community officials and members
of the European Parliament.
"There are difficulties in relations between Turkey
and the EC because of certain democratic concepts," InπnΩ said. "The
reason is ANAP's failure to lift antidemocratic obstacles. We are aware
of the fact that the relations between Turkey and EC will improve as
soon as the government lifts these obstacles."
The main opposition leader asked the European
Parliament to let the joint parliamentary committee with Turkey resume
its sessions as soon as possible.
According to the Turkish press, a merger between the
two social democratic parties in Turkey was one of the objects of talks
between Erdal InπnΩ and Mr. Rudi Arndt, chairman of the Socialist Group
of the European Parliament. Mr. Arndt reportedly offered to act as
mediator between InπnΩ and BΩlent Ecevit, former prime minister and
founder of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) for the unification of the
But InπnΩ seems pessimist on this subject. "I do not
know how such a unification can be brought about when Ecevit does not
give hope for even the discussion of this subject," he told Arndt.
At the last elections the scores of the SHP and the
DSP were respectively 25 and 8.5 percent.
Recent opinion polls show a fall in the number of the DSP's supporters,
mainly for Ecevit's hostile attitude towards other left-wing
10,000 KURDS LEFT FOR IRAN
The number of Kurdish refugees from Iraq who went to
new settlements in Iran from Turkey exceeded 10,000 by the beginning of
October 1988. Winter conditions already prevailing in southeastern
Turkey have caused the refugees to complain about living conditions in
the tent camps. Temperature already fell 6 to 10 centigrade in October
and pouring rains soaked the refugee tents. According to the weekly
Dateline of October 15, 1988, request from the refugees to be relocated
in Iran stem from the unbearable conditions in the camps.
For the same reason, 1,471 Kurds from these camps
have been obliged to return to Iraq following an offer of amnesty by
the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Because of a failure to reach an agreement with the
Iraqi government, no International Red Cross team was present as the
Kurds crossing into Iraq from the Habur border point. Moreover, the
Iraqi Government refused to give firm assurances that the Kurds
returning from tent camps in Turkey would not be penalized.
Turkish officials said out of the 60,000 Kurdish
refugees in Turkey 25,000 have been living in the two tent camps in
YΩksekova in Hakkari. With the departure of more than 10,000 Kurds to
Iran, Turkish officials said one of the tent camps will be closed down
and the refugees living there will be transported to the Uzuns∑rt camp.
A spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry said
granting political asylum to the Kurdish refugees was out of question
for the time being. "These people have been granted temporary refuge in
Turkey. We are not obliged to grant them political asylum," he said.
ARREST FOR SINGING KURDISH BALLAD
A group of folk songs, Grup Yorum, was indicted on
September 20, by the prosecutor of the State Security Court of Istanbul
for performing a Kurdish ballad during a cultural soirée organized by
the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) in Istanbul.
Accused of separatist propaganda, eight members of
the group, Metin Kahraman, Kemal GΩrel, Tuncay Akdogan, Efkan Sesen,
Ilyas Akkaya, Ejder Akdeniz, Serdar Keskin and Taci Uslu were
questioned by the prosecutor.
Following the interrogation, the court decided to
arrest Metin Kahraman who is of Kurdish origin.
On the other hand, the most popular folk singer of
Turkey, Ibrahim Tatl∑ses was indicted again on September 19, for the
words he pronounced during a concert.
At a cultural soirée in Uªak, attended also by the
Minister of Justice, a businessman asked Tatl∑ses to sing a song in
Kurdish. But Tatl∑ses turned down this demand saying "I am a Kurd. But
the laws ban me to sing in Kurdish."
Thereupon, the local prosecutor began a legal
proceeding against businessman Mehmet Y∑lmaz and singer Ibrahim
Tatl∑ses for separatist propaganda.
EUROPEAN CHARTER FOR REGIONAL LANGUAGES
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
voted, on 4 October 1988 in Strasbourg, a favorable opinion concerning
the European Charter for regional or minority languages in Europe,
adopted by the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of
The Charter contains two central points: the right
to use one's own language and not to be discriminated against for doing
so. The rapporteur of the opinion, Mr. De Puig, said that the Charter
attempts to establish minimum standards that might not protect all
languages or satisfy the radicals but would, he hoped, revive many.
Afraid of the fact that the adoption of such a
Charter might lead to encourage the defenders of the right to revive
regional or minority languages, for example the mother tongue of
more than ten million Kurdish citizens of Turkey of which the
utilization is forbidden by laws, the representatives of the Turkish
regime opposed to the adoption of a favorable opinion.
GΩneª Taner, a deputy of the ANAP in power, said:
"In discussing the draft European Charter for
Regional and Minority Languages, I wish to state that, although the
promotion of such languages in the various countries and regions of
Europe may well represent an important step in the preservation of the
European cultural heritage and diversity, each country must be
considered separately, taking into account the different historical
realities and existing social conditions. In its present form, the
draft Charter envisages certain rights and privileges for regional or
minority languages which might prove difficult to put into practice. We
are also afraid that the application of some of its provisions might
require major administrative provision as well as huge financial
Despite this objection, the Assembly adopted the
"1. Having noted Resolution 192 (1988), on regional
or minority languages, adopted by the Standing Conference of Local and
Regional Authorities of Europe;
"2. Recalling its concern to protect the linguistic
diversity of Europe, as expressed for example in Recommendation 928
(1981), on the educational and cultural problems of minority languages
and dialects in Europe, and Recommendation 1067 (1988), on the cultural
dimension of broadcasting in Europe;
"3. Recalling also its Recommendation 1043 (1986),
on Europe's linguistic and literary heritage, in which it recommended
that the Committee of Ministers defend and encourage multilinguistism
"4. Noting the parallel interest expressed in
Resolutions adopted by the European Parliament on 16 October 1981, 11
February 1983 and 30 October 1987;
"5. Welcoming the initiative of the Standing
Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe in preparing a
draft European Charter for regional or minority languages;
"6. Believing that the draft Charter appended to
"a. is sufficiently flexible to be applied in the
widely different situations throughout Europe without interfering with
the territorial integrity or official languages of contracting states;
"b. contains basic conditions for protecting and
initiating a revival of these languages and represents a practical and
necessary first step in this direction;
"7. Stressing the fact that the draft Charter
concerns languages and not linguistic minorities;
"8. Welcoming provision (under Article 13.5 of the
draft) for two-yearly reports by the Secretary General to the Assembly
on the application of the Charter;
"9. Believing that provision should also be made for
European non-member states to become contracting parties to the Charter,
"10. Fully supports the request of the Standing
Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe for the
Committee of Ministers to adopt a European Charter for Regional and
Minority Languages with the character of a convention open to all
Next day, right-wing Turkish newspapers qualified
this opinion as a new "European plot in favour of Kurds" and accused
the Turkish parliamentarians at the Council of Europe of not having
worked enough to prevent the adoption of this opinion.
TURKISH ROLE IN GULF ECONOMY
After the cease-fire between Iran and Iraq the
Turkish construction firms anticipate a boom in their fields. According
to estimates made by a British company, business worth $250 billion
must be created to renovate the factories, hospitals, pipelines and
ports destroyed during the war. Iran and Iraq will have to spend $25
billion every year to restore their cities.
There will be worldwide competition particularly
between the British, German, French, American, Japanese and the South
Korean firms to get a share of this reconstruction work. Turkish
companies hope to get renovation contracts worth up to $2.5 billion per
The chairman of the ENKA Holding, ∫ar∑k Tara,
reminding that Turkish construction companies worked in these countries
even during the war, said:
"Other countries willing to participate do not stand
as much chance of acceptance as Turkish companies. We proved it during
the war by winning most of the contracts. ENKA
Holding is actually building a dam -one of the biggest in the world- in
Iraq. It will cost Iraq $1.5 billion."
It is also expected that land transportation will
boom following the cease-fire. During the period between 1978 and 1986,
about 2 million tons of goods were shipped to Iran and Iraq per year.
REPRESSION OF THE PRESS IN SEPTEMBER
Sept 5: Journalist SΩleyman Coªkun who had spent
three years in prison after the military coup, was incarcerated
again for serving another seven months imprisonment. He is
accused of being member of the outlawed Communist Party of Turkey
Sept 8: The September issue of the monthly Gen•-lik
DΩnyas∑ was confiscated by the decision of the State Security Court of
Istanbul, for having published an article about the right to speak
Sept 21: The responsible editor of the monthly Yeni
†πzΩm, Mr. Ertuµrul Mavioµlu was sentenced by the State Security Court
of Istanbul to 3-year prison term for having published articles
allegedly containing communist and separatist propaganda.
Same day, the Human Rights Association (IHD) issued
a communiqué accusing the police of Ankara of having raided on Ankara
offices of two left-wing reviews, Yeni †πzΩm and Yeni Aªama. According
to the IHD, police took into custody many editorial staff members of
the two reviews and tortured them during interrogation.
Sept 22: A criminal court in Ankara began to try six
journalists for having libelled Prime Minister ∏zal and Defense
Minister Vuralhan in the articles they wrote or published: Engin Ard∑•
(weekly Tempo), Fat-ma Yaz∑c∑ (weekly 2000e Doµru), CΩneyt ArcayΩrek,
Uµur Mumcu and Okay Gπnensin (daily Cumhuriyet). They face prison
terms of up to 6 years each.
INTERNATIONAL PEN REPORT ON TURKEY
The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN
issued in July 1988 a new report on writers and journalists reported
kidnapped, imprisoned, banned, under house or town arrest, or awaiting
trial. Turkey occupies about seven pages in this 51-page report which
gives a detailed information about writers and journalists in prison
throughout the world.
In a text presenting the report, the Committee makes
the following remarks concerning Turkey:
"According to the Turkish Human Rights Association
the number of political prisoners in Turkey in November 1987 was around
18 thousand. According to the figures published by the Turkish Ministry
of Justice on 6 April 1988, 5,309 defendants are still being tried by
military courts with 1,392 of them held in pre-trial detention. It is
impossible for the Committee to find out the exact number of writers
and editors in prison and it is always learning about cases of which it
had not heard before; for instance, it only recently found out about
Ersin Ergun Keles, a young poet who has recently received a life
sentence after an eight year trial. Even more worrying is a report in
May 1988 by Amnesty International which demonstrates that many of the
prisoners were tortured, usually in the initial period of interrogation
at police stations."
According to the Committee's report, the following
journalists and writers are still imprisoned or awaiting trial under
Nevzat Acan, Irfan Asik, GΩzel Aslaner, Oral
Calislar, Mehmet Coban, Mustafa Colak, Servet Ziya Corakli, Ilker
Demir, Bektas Erdogan, Fettah Erkan, Ersin Ergun Keles, Yasar Kaplan,
Bayram Kazakli, Haydar Kutlu, Recep Marasli, Candemir ∏zler, Feyzullah
∏zer, Alaattin Sahin, Dr. Nihat Sargin, Orhan Selen, Erbil Tusalp,
Erhan Tuskan, Hasan Fikret Ulusoydan, Mecit ∏nal, Ibrahim Arik, Mehmet
Cetin, Mehmet Cerit, Mustafa Dum, Mustafa Eker, Muhittin Gπktas,
Mustafa Kocak, AbdΩlkadir Konuk, Mehmet ∏zgen, Ali Rabus, Ersin
Sarikaya, Abdullah Soydan, Osman Tas, Fatma Yaz∑c∑, Ali Haydar
Yildirim, Veli Y∑lmaz, Yalcin KΩ•Ωk, Bilgesu Erenus, HΩsnΩ ∏ndπl, Ilhan
Akalin, Ferhat Akday, Fuat AkyΩrek, Zeki Atas, Nurettin Baydar, Saban
Bilgin, Y∑lmaz Dincberk, Ali Duman, Baki Karakol, Ulviye Kayserilioglu,
Haluk Seckin Meric, Riza Olgun, Mehmet ∏zdemir, Abdurrahman Pala, Orhan
SenyΩz, Necdet Sevinc, Orhan Tagi, Ali Riza Tura, Fatih Yildiz.
Mr. Nurettin ∏ztΩrk, responsible editor of the
political review Kurtulus, has disappeared after returning from exile
and his mother thinks he may have been killed in police custody.
ATTEMPT TO REVIVE TURKISH PEN CLUB
A group of Turkish writers came together on August
29 to announce their intention of reviving the Turkish PEN Club which
dissolved itself after the military coup of 1980.
About 50 Turkish intellectuals including famous
humorist Aziz Nesin and novelist Yasar Kemal elected a committee of six
to begin the official procedure to legally establish the Turkish PEN.
According to Turkish law concerning restrictions on connections with
international groups, the Turkish PEN cannot be affiliated with the
International PEN unless it is given permission by a government decree.
Aziz Nesin, also Chairman of the Writers' Union of
Turkey (TYS), criticized the former executives of the Turkish PEN who
dissolved the club in 1980.
During a meeting of the International PEN in New
York in January 1986, it was proposed that a Turkish PEN Club outside
of Turkey be established in the FRG by Turkish intellectuals in
However, the Writers' Union of Turkey opposed the
idea saying that Turkish writers living in Turkey would not back such
an idea. Later, Nesin wrote a letter to the West German Embassy in
Ankara saying such an organization would become the fighting ground of
various political factions in exile. He also said such a thing would be
unfair to Turkish writers as a whole.
THE IPI WARNS TURGUT OZAL
The Director of the International Press Institute
(IPI), Mr. Peter Galliner, in a letter sent to Prime Minister ∏zal,
expressed the organization's concern about the recent repressive
practices on the Turkish Press and asked him to put an end to this
The IPI held its annual congress this year in
Istanbul as a sign of solidarity with Turkish journalists. The
anti-press campaign of the government restarted just after this
CAMPAIGN FOR YILMAZ GUNEY'S FILMS
A world wide campaign is being carried out by
international film societies and distinguished figures of the movie
world. The appeal signed by thousands of defenders of freedom
"For over seven years the works of film-maker Y∑lmaz
GΩney have been censored in his own country. While moviegoers the world
over can view his films freely, his fellow countrymen who should be the
first to see them are not allowed to do so. This is all the more
unacceptable that Ankara officials have declared their commitment to
preparing the way for a return to democracy. They have even formally
applied for membership in the EEC, a community composed of European
democracies where personal opinions can be expressed without violating
"The undersigned parties, deeply attached to the
ideals of freedom and democracy and opposed to any form of intolerance
and censorship hereby demand the immediate withdrawal by the Turkish
government of the ban on Y∑lmaz GΩney's films. This appeal has been
signed by the majority of the participants at the Delphi Conference for
the European Cinema and Television Year."
Among the signatories are the unions of
filmmakers, critics or moviegoers from the USA, Belgium, France,
Greece, Holland, Hungary, Spain, England, Italy, Quebec as well as many
famous figures of the movie world.
BANS ON TRAVELLING ABROAD
The International Institute of Social History
organized from September 27 to October 1st, 1988 an "International
workshop on problems and perspectives of research and documentation on
the social history of 19-20th Century Turkey".
Many Turkish and European historians and academics
discussed at this workshop the possibilities and difficulties of
writing a detailed, comprehensive social history of Turkey of the last
150 years and how should this collective work be organized? Many
Turkish academics and writers: Korkut Boratav, Alparslan Isikli, Zafer
Toprak, Tarik Zafer Tunaya, Mete Tuncay, Murat Belge, Rasih Nuri Ileri,
Ilhan Tekeli, Sadun Aren, Mesut GΩlmez, Fikret Adanir, Cahit Talas,
Kemal SΩlker and S. Hanioglu from Turkey; Sehmus GΩzel,
Hakki Keskin, Dogan ∏zgΩden, Stefan Yerasimos, Orhan Silier, Oya
Baydar, J. Balasz, P. Kouparanis, E. ZΩrcher, F. Georgeon, R. Pennix
from different European countries participated in the workshop and
expressed their points of view on the subject.
However, the Turkish authorities did not allow two
Turkish academics, Halil Berktay and Yildirim Koc, to leave Turkey for
participating in this international meeting. At the end of the
workshop, the participants reproached the Turkish authorities with
disrespecting the freedoms of travel and expression.
Besides, famous lawyer Halit †elenk, defender of
many political defendants at military tribunals, was not allowed to go
to the Great Britain for participating an international meeting
organized in October in London by the Lawyers' Union.
15 CHRISTIANS DETAINED IN ANKARA
The Ankara police made a sweep arrest of Christians,
raiding a home where they were celebrating the marriage of two Turkish
The surprise arrests began on the evening of
September 29 and continued for two days. A total of 12 Turks, two
Britons and one American were detained in the political division of
Ankara's police headquarters.
Five Turks who had been feting the newly married
couple declared themselves not to be converts to Christianity and were
released after 48 hours.
The incident caused a diplomatic furor between
Ankara and London when local police authorities denied the British
embassy consular access to its citizens. A protest campaign launched by
the BBC was followed by articles in The Independent, The Times and
other London papers on the police action, labeling it a clear violation
of article 36 of the Vienna Convention.
On the protests, ten detainees were released a week
after by the State Security Court.
Six of the detainees had already been indicted for
Christian propaganda, but received complete acquittals from the State
Security Court and a criminal court in July and September.
After their release, the Turkish Christians noted
that well over half the day-and-night interrogations focused on
theological issues, with the police investigators interspersing attacks
against the New Testament with Moslem propaganda. "They read pages and
pages of the Koran to us," one said.
14 THOUSAND WORKERS ON STRIKE
As a sign of growing social unrest in the face of
low wages and high inflation, about 14,000 workers were on strike at
the beginning of October 1988. Besides, approximately 409,000 workers
countrywide are involved in collective bargaining which may lead to new
10,200 of the strikers are the workers of the
state-owned SEKA paper manufacturing plants. Their trade union,
SelΩloz-Is, is demanding a 300 percent wage increase while SEKA is
offering a 60 percent rise. The paper works' strike began on September
6 and has idled eight newsprint factories.
If the union's demands are not met, sympathy strikes may be called at
various public sector companies, including the state-owned coal mines.
In other sectors such as car or war industries,
while the collective bargaining is being carried on by unions, workers
often go on short-term protest actions like sit-in or boycotting meals.
UNEVEN DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH
According to different surveys, the impoverishment
of the lower income families is getting worse and worse.
The daily Cumhuriyet of September 22, 1988, reports
that the share of wage-earners in the national income fell from
24.78 percent in 1983 to 13 percent in 1988, while the share of profit
and interest was rising from 54.69 percent to 73 percent within the
Another survey carried out by the Middle East
Technical University in Ankara splits the income groups of Turkey into
five. The lowest income group comprising the first 20 percent of all
families in Turkey receives only a 2.63 percent share of the national
income. The fifth 20 percent group, representing the higher income
families, had a 55.93 percent share of the national income. In other
words, the share of the wealthiest group in the national income
exceeded the combined shares of the remaining 80 percent.
Taking into account the average price index, the
minimum monthly income requirement of a family rose to 170,000 TL
($100) in August 1988, while it was 106,000 TL at the end of 1987. In
order to get a minimum 170,000 TL net monthly income, a family needs a
gross income of 260,750 TL. So 83,766 TL ($50) net monthly minimum wage
is very far from meeting basic needs of a worker family.
As for the average monthly net wage, including all
social benefits, it is oscillating between 100,800 TL ($60) and 217,600
TL ($128) and rarely covers minimum monthly income requirement of a
TURKISH LIRA'S VALUE DROPS
The continuous rise in foreign exchange rates,
witnessed in the Tahtakale (the unofficial foreign exchange market)
over the last month, has gone out of control.
The Turkish Lira lost 82 percent in value against
the dollar this year. The dollar which corresponds to 1,018 TL on
January 1, reached 1,970 TL on October 14.
The principal reason of this hike is the
uncontrolled rise of inflation rate. According to official figures, the
increase in the consumer prices over the past 12 months was 82 percent.
In a move to slow down the inflation and foreign
exchange rates, the government has recently freed interest rates. Some
banks pay now an interest of 85 percent on deposits.
TURCO-SOVIET ECONOMIC COOPERATION
Turkish and Soviet business representatives holding
a three-day meeting in Istanbul in August 1988 have agreed to work for
the establishment of a telecommunication network between the two
countries and to lighten visa requirements.
Soviet Ambassador A. Chernishev, speaking at the
meeting, called the atmosphere situation between the two countries the
"spring of economic and commercial relations."
"Political, cultural, economic and military
relations between the two countries are steadily improving," he said.
"The bilateral trade volume is expected to rise from $300 million in
1986 to some $700 million in 1988. Considering that the trade volume
between the Soviet Union and Finland reached $5 billion in 1987, it is
a shame to have such a low level of foreign trade level between Turkey
and the Soviet Union."
Chernishev said new Soviet legislation allows
cooperatives and State enterprises to have direct contacts with foreign
companies and urged Turkish businessmen to forge direct links with the
Soviet republics immediately.
In the framework of the improvement of relations
with the Soviet Union, from the end of June until the end of August
1988, 300 Turkish construction workers hired by the Koray-Batur
Construction firm left for Moscow and began to work in Soviet health
facilities. In the coming 29 months, a total of 102 Turkish supervisors
and engineers and 900 workers are expected to participate in the
realization of the project.
As another sign of the amelioration of Turco-Soviet
relations, the Sarp border gate, closed to traffic 51 years ago, was
reopened on August 31, 1988. The town of Sarp, situated at the
Turco-Soviet border in the North-East, has been divided between Turkey
and the Soviet Union and many families have suffered from the
impossibility to visit their relatives living at the other side of the
After the reopening ceremony, several thousand
people living on both sides of the border met for the first time by
hugging and kissing each other in a dramatic atmosphere.
Index of the 12th Volume of Bulletins Info-TΩrk
5th YEAR OF MILITARIST "DEMOCRACY" IN TURKEY
November 1987, No.133:
Final act of the electoral farce:
Two thirds of deputies for a third of the votes - ∏zal Government's 18
black spots - Arrests during electoral campaign - Detention of two top
officials of the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP) - Mass
trials and condemnations - Torture and ill-treatment - Price of being
tortured - Protest actions for and by prisoners - Suppression of the
right to work - Pressure on intellectual life - Prosecution of
religious activist - Christian minorities - Prostitution increased at
6,259% - 4 million children at the labour market - Recent data on
Turkish immigration - Racist and xenophobic acts against Turks
December 1987, No.134:
Once more the USA deceived Turkey
- After the Gorbachev-Reagan summit - Prisoners' resistance in jails -
Rallies for the freedom of prisoners - ∏zal: "No amnesty general!" -
New death sentences - Parliamentary debates on torture - TBKP
Official's allegation of torture - Armed conflicts and arrests -
Turkish journalists still in prison - New press cases - Press code to
be aggravated - European Parliament delegation's visit to Turkey -
Helsinki Watch report on Turkey
January 1988, No.135:
630,000 people detained, 76,316
tried, 50,455 condemned: thousands are still at military or state
security courts - Shameful record of the 10-year state terrorism - Last
one month's terror practices - Persecution of intellectuals -
Confiscation of publications - Depriving opponents of nationality -
Political trials and arrests - Tortures and ill-treatment - Shaky
progress in Turco-EEC relations - Turco-Greek relations - Conclusions
of the Beyer de Ryke mission - European Parliament's resolution on the
violation of human rights - Oral question at the Council of Europe -
Unequal opportunities in education in Turkey - Conference of "Friends
of Turkey" - Stormy debate on Kurdish question - A Parliamentary report
on Kurds - The Generals' coup in Turkey"
February 1988, No.136:
The US State Department's report
on the situation in Turkey - ∏zal's new concessions to Washington - On
the Heritage Foundation
March 1988, No.137:
European retreat before Ankara
regime - ∏zal caught out in Brussels by Info-TΩrk - State of emergency
extended - Relations with Greece and Bulgaria - A mini-Watergate in
Ankara - Official figures on state terrorism - New 20 condemnations to
death - Success of the prisoners' resistance -New torture allegations -
Man-hunting and arrests - Crazy fines to "Harmful" publications - Other
violations of press freedom - Crisis in the book industry - No passport
to a former prisoner - Declaration on political refugees - Cries of
hungry people - A new blow at trade unionists - Recent data on Turkish
migrants - A Turkish brigade in the FRG - Racist and xenophobic acts -
The private sector mounts an attack
April 1988, No.138:
How well "democracy" works! - The
meeting of political emigres on the question of returning to Turkey -
42 journalists still in prison - Recent prosecution of intellectuals -
4.5 million recorded as "suspect" - Films banned from Istanbul Festival
- Two novels to be destroyed - 29 convicts escaped from prison - Hunger
strikes in prisons - New phase in guerrilla warfare - Pressures on a
new socialist party - Prosecution of two communist officials - 9 new
death sentences - AI: "Turkey: torture continues" - Destroying ethnic
identity - Christian activists under arrest - KirkΩk scenario again on
the agenda - Turkey to export water to Arab world
May 1988, No.139:
Evren-∏zal rule at deadlock - New
trends in public opinion - Chief justice criticizes constitution -
Menace of coup from general Evren - May Day under State terrorism - AI
Report on death sentences - 3 death sentences approved - Workers
prepare strike - New draft labour law - Arrest of university students -
Conflict between ∏zal and the press - A journalist disappeared since
1984 - A new magazine confiscated - Film stars under prosecution -
Pressure on a film director - An international tribunal against the
Turkish regime - SP officials indicted - Official figures on state
terrorism - Hunger strikes continue in prisons - Examination of
virginity - Defence in Kurdish at the court - Famous Kurdish folksinger
pursued - A monument to Y∑lmaz GΩney - Human rights group's petition -
EEC-Turkey meeting aborted - High level Turco-Soviet talks
June 1988, No.140:
Inquisition in Ankara - Trial of
TBKP officials - A democratic counterattack of the government upon
Info-TΩrk - 74 death sentences claimed - Campaign for restoration of
Nazim Hikmet's citizenship - State of emergency extended - 43 new
prisons in two years - Medical neglect of prisoners - The "GAP" project
and Kurds - Trial of 12 Christians in Ankara - Educators' association
founded - Fabulous profits of big business - European Parliament
adopted two resolutions condemning Turkish regime - IPI conference in
Istanbul - New pressures on the press - On the Cyprus question
July/August 1988, No.141-142:
Crackdown on left-wing press - Mass trials in the
shade of gallows - 88 people face death sentences - New dimensions of
the Kurdish resistance movement in Turkey - Raid on "Toplumsal
Kurtulus" - A new referendum on September 25 - Hunger strike of
socialist editors - Other prosecutions in two months - Defense of 723
Dev-Yol defendants - Interrogation of TBKP officials - Trial of the SP
founders - Other political trials - Operations "June 15-16" in Istanbul
- Hunger strikes in Prison - A case against Evren in Strasbourg -
Unequal punishments for the same accusation - Draft for new penal code
maintains Mussolini articles - New menace on peace activists -
Scandalous treatment to Joan Baez - ILO's new warning to Ankara - New
minimum wage falls short - Detention of trade unionists - European
Parliament steps back? - General Evren welcomed in US and UK - Troubles
in relations with Greece - New dimensions of the Kurdish resistance
movement in Turkey - A new Kurdish alliance: Tevger - Kurdish mayor
tried for speaking Kurdish - International support for Kurds
September 1988, No.143:
A farcical referendum - European Parliament's
resolution on Turkey - Eight death sentences for Dev-Yol -
Political trials in August - Mass arrests in August - Action for
stateless people - New torture allegations - Again obligation of prison
uniform - Persecution of the press in August - Chief justice criticized
the judicial system - Ankara government's double-faced attitude towards
Kurdish refugees - Iranian refugees' drama in Turkey - Suicides reach
record level - Foreign bank's fabulous profits in Turkey - Foreign
companies in Turkey - 3 Turkish firms among the world's 500 tops
- Turkey's top industrial companies - Greens become tenth party in
Turkey - Poisonous barrels in the Black Sea - US report on Human Rights
in Turkey - Soviet support to Kutlu and Sargin - German group: "Courts
are not free"
October 1988, No. 144:
Evren Show in Germany - Evren's 8-Year State
terrorism - Political trials in September - Arrests and Armed Conflicts
- Protest actions in prisons - New torture cases in September - Ozal's
new electoral maneuvers - ∂nπnΩ's talks with European socialists -
European Charter for regional languages - 10,000 Kurds left for ∂ran -
Arrest for singing Kurdish ballad - Turkish role in Gulf economy -
Repression of the press in September - ∂nternational PEN Report on
Turkey - Attempt to revive Turkish PEN Club - The ∂P∂ warns Turgut Ozal
- Campaign for Yilmaz GΩney's films - Bans on travelling abroad - 15
Christians detained in Ankara - 14 thousand workers on strike - Uneven
distribution of wealth - Turkish Lira's value drops - Turco-Soviet