ESCALATION OF EXTREME RIGHT IN TURKEY
The recent rapid climbing of Extreme-right in Turkey has been one of
the major preoccupations of the public opinion in this country.
Turkish extreme-right had developed prior to the
1980 Coup in two different plans: Grey Wolves Pan-Turkism on the one
hand, ont the other Islamic Fundamentalism supported by Saudi Arabia.
While the Grey Wolves, propagating the superiority
of Turkish race, advocated to unite all peopes of Turkish origin,
including Moslem peoples of the Soviet Union, within an empire
called Turan, the Islam Fundamentalists, rejecting a unity on
race basis, raised the idea of the unification of Moslem peoples,
including that of Turkey, within a a religious community to be headed
by Saudi Arabia.
After the coup, with a view to putting an end to
conflict between the two flanks of Extreme-Right and to enlarge its
mass basis, the military reshaped the legislation and structures of the
Turkish State in conformity with thesis of Turco-Islamic Synthesis.
This thesis stipulates to promote the traditional values of Turkish
races and the principles of Islam.
The 1982 Constitution and other laws enacted by the
military junta, disrespecting the secularity of the State, increased
the influence of Islam in social and cultural plans. It is the first
time in the history of the Republic that the Islamic courses in the
secondary education was made obligatory even for the children of
non-Moslem families. Consequently, the finance holdings and foundations
set up by islamist circles in collaboration with Saudi capital have
become dominant in the Turkish economy. The concession given to
fundamentalists have been extremely increased especially after Ozal's
Government came to power.
The rise of fundamentalism reached such an extent
that citizens, in their daily life, are confronted with the
intimidation exercised by Islamist militants.
As for the Grey Wolves, they now develop their
actions under the aegis of Turco-Islamic Synthesis.
The two flanks of Extreme-Right, Islam
fundamentalists and Pan-Turkists, united within a Holy Alliance, took
over full control of the ruling ANAP during its last congress. Though
pretending to be against the Holy Alliance in his declarations, Ozal
himself is constantly carrying water to the mill of Turco-Islamic
According to a public opinion poll conducted during
the last week of October 1988 by the daily Hurriyet, Turkish citizens
are more afraid of Islamic fundamentalism than communism. The poll was
carried out in 23 provinces following General Kenan Evren's remarks
that Turkey should have a legal communist party like other countries in
the European Community.
29.6 percent of Turks polled believe that communists
should be allowed to have a legal party, with 51.5 percent against and
18.7 percent expresing no opinion.
When the same gorup was asked whether they would
like to see a legal political party for Islamic fundamentalists, 58.4
percent answered "No." Only 19.7 percent said the Islamic
fundamentalists should be allowed to organize within an officially
recognized political party. Another 21.7 percent said they have no
However, 60.6 percent of the people participating in
the poll said there should be no restrictions on thoughts in Turkey.
TURCO-ISLAMIC ALLIANCE WITHIN THE ANAP
The last Congress of the Motherland Party (ANAP) ,
held on June 20-25, 1988, in Ankara, reaffirmed the preeminence of the
Turco-Islamic Synthesis within this party.
Although Prime Minister Ozal has presented his party
to the West as a liberal, pro-Western party, this profile cannot hide
the fact that the ANAP's hard-core derives from former
Neo-fascist or Islamist politicians who are currently united within a
Despite the predictions that Ozal would not let the
Islamist-Nationalist alliance sweep out the Liberals from the party's
executive board, party members known as Liberals failed to be elected
to the 50-strong Central Executive Council.
Both Mehmet Kececiler, head of the Islamist group,
and Mustafa Tasar, the head of the Nationalist wing, received standing
ovations from the delegates whenever they appeared in the congress hall.
Speeches by the majority of the delegates with their
strong religious tones, left no room for the expression of liberal
trends. There were calls for opening the Ayasofya (Haghia Sophia), the
Byzantine basilica in Istanbul now used as a museum, to Islamic
worship, and prayers were recited from the rostrum with the
participation of nearly 1,000 delegates.
Though seemed dissatisfied with the spectacular
success of the Holy Alliance at the party congress, Ozal himself did
not delay to make a religious demonstration on the occasion of hajj
(holy pilgrimage) in July 1988.
He had completed the Islamic ritual twice before, in
1968 and in 1975. But this was the first time he was making the
pilgrimage as Turkey's prime minister.
Ozal's meeting with the religious leaders of the
Turkish pilgrim groups in Jeddah sparked off a controversy back home.
Some of the religious leaders present in the meeting where no reporters
were allowed said Ozal told them the state in Turkey is secular but he
In addition to making the holy pilgrimage, Ozal also
met with King Fahd bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and the presidents of
Gambia and Bangladesh.
After this visit, the Saudi ambassador to Ankara,
Abdelaziz M. Khojah, said: "Ozal's pilgrimage will strengthen Moslem
unity. The importance of Ozal's visit comes from the fact that he is
the first prime minister since the establishment of the Republic of
Turkey to perform hajj while still in office." (Dateline, July 30,
In the meantime, in an interview with the Luxembourg
cable television network RTL, Ozal defended the following views
concerning Ataturk, founder of the Republic: "He was a good Moslem and
as such he struggled with fanatics. Ataturk opened the first session of
the National Assembly with a religious ceremony. He was a good Moslem
who also had modern thoughts. The claims that his principles are
violated in Turkey today are groundless."
According to the press reports, many members of
ANAP's inner circle and even the Prime Minister himself have links with
the powerful underground tarikat of Naksibendi.
Though the Islam Fundamentalism getting stronger and
stronger thanks to the Evren-Ozal tandem and Saudi Arabia,
contradictions and inner conflicts among different sects and religious
orders continue to exist.
In the history, Islam has never been monolithic in
First of all, the two principal sects of Islam, the
Sunnite and the Alevite, have been a permanent quarrel of power for
centuries in this country.
The Alevite, the minority sect, with a view to
having a political protection against the possible Sunnite attacks,
endeavor to gain influence over the Social Democrat Populist Party
(SHP) and to place their representatives in this party's board and
As for the Sunnite, the majority sect , it is
divided into different religious orders (tarikats). Each of these
orders tries to increase its own influence over the Sunnite majority of
the population and, in this end, entrust its militants and
propagandists with the task of being active in all new founded
Gencay Saylan, a veteran observer of tarikats in
Turkey and the author of a book on religion an politics in Turkey,
believes that the ancient Shiite institution of takkiye serves as an
appropriate metaphor for many Turkish politicians with links to
tarikats. Takkiye had been utilized by Shiite religious leaders
before the formation of a Shiite state in Iran in 1500 for the purpose
of making advancements in a politically hostile domestic environment.
As has historically been the case, the basis for the
relationship between the political parties and tarikats has been
secrecy. Even though most observers are aware of the linkage, it is
extremely difficult to find out what the exact purpose of this
relationship is. Both sides benefit: the tarikats are able to function
almost out in the open, spreading their religious message, while the
political parties utilize the grassroots network of the tarikats during
elections which brings them the all-important conservative, Islamic
The Naksibendi is one of the oldest religious orders
of the country. Although rejected by most tarikat members as heretical,
some Naksibendi members are practicing takkiye by supporting the
continuation of a secular Turkish state on the surface while secretly
working for the eventual realization of the Shari'a in Turkey.
In the Seventies, they supported Necmeddin Erbakan's
National Salvation Party (MSP). Today they support mainly the
Motherland Party (ANAP), but are influential also in the Welfare Party
(RP), the Correct Way Party (DYP) and the Nationalist Labour
This tarikat gets the lion's share of large amounts
funnelled by Saudi Arabia. Korkut Ozal, the brother of the prime
minister, is known to be actively involved as a conduit of sorts for
Saudi money to be distributed to various religious sects.
INDEPENDENT MOSLEM INTELLECTUALS
While the incursions of tarikats into Turkish
politics may be attributed to their arcane nature as well as foreign
funding and grassroots organization, a fledgling Moslem intellectual
movement has evolved on its own, in the open and independent of the
organization and financial support of the tarikat network.
In fact, the intellectuals maintain no links with
political parties. They disseminate their message of a return to the
original Islamic principles and way of life through rare Moslem
intellectual journals such as Dis Politika and Girisim. To the
uneducated Islamic populace in Turkey their writings are elitist and
esoteric; however, to their followers, these men are seen as the
vanguard of a new and radical direction for Islam in Turkey.
On the surface, the philosophy of the Moslem
intellectual is atavistic and simple: throughout history, Islam has
been polluted by Western concepts and for Islam to reach its true
potential, a return to the 7th century Islam of the prophet Mohammed is
They refute attempts by Islamic reformers to make
Islam compatible with Western technology and culture and emphasize that
Islam has been in a period of progressive decline ever since attempts
were made in the 18th and 19th century to fuse Western concepts with
Although highly critical of the West, many of these
intellectuals are all products of Western-based, secular educations and
many of them speak a second Occidental language.
Michael Meeker, an American professor of
anthropology currently residing in Istanbul, has been researching the
phenomenon of the Moslem intellectual in Turkey and has found they have
developed a unique ideology, exclusive of Turkish Islamic thought that
dates to the early republican era.
"In fact," Meeker points out, "traditional (20th
century) Turkish Moslems are suspicious of the Moslem intellectuals.
For this intelligentsia, Islam is represented solely by the Koran and
the hadith, the original practices and sayings of the prophet.
According to them, one cannot turn back to Ottoman institutions or
traditional Turkish society to find the true Islam." Thus, despite a
common belief that Shari'a is necessary in Turkey, the intellectuals
and traditionalists differ significantly about the means to be used to
achieve Shari'a. The Moslem intelligentsia is breaking with past
practices of joining political parties, and instead offers other
"There is a new aspect to these people's thinking,"
Meeker contends. "They have set aside the question about how to achieve
a synthesis between Islam and the West and instead have addressed the
problem of how to renew true Islamic values in the 20th century."
As this ideological reformation has reached
fruition, the Moslem intellectuals have found themselves alienated from
traditional Turkish Moslems who support the Turco-Islamic synthesis, or
as the press has labeled it, the "Holy Alliance."
Evidence of such a schism was provided earlier 1988
when one of the leading Islamic dailies in Turkey, Zaman, underwent a
publicized change in editors. The previous editor, Nabi Avci, had
allowed many Moslem intellectuals and even leftists of various stripes
to present their disparate views on the paper's editorial pages.
Observers believe that it was a break-away faction of the Nurcu
tarikat, led by Fethullah Hoca, that forced Zaman to forego its open
perspective in favor of the more conservative Islamic-nationalist
The Moslem intellectuals have ironically intersected
at certain points with the Turkish Left. They both share the same
intellectual bent, as well as an aversion to Western cultural and
political imperialism. Meeker points out that their periodicals handle
such topics as class conflict, environmental destruction and the
absence of spiritual values.
Although the Leftist and Moslem intellectuals may
converge philosophically on some issues, the Moslems do not share the
Marxists belief in a class struggle.
SAUDI DIPLOMAT ASSASSINATED IN ANKARA
On October 25, 1988, Turkish public opinion had a
terrible upset when it was announced that the Second Secretary of the
Saudi Arabia's Embassy in Ankara, Abdulghani Beddawi, was assassinated
outside his Ankara home.
"We declare our responsibility for executing God's
death sentence on one of Saudi Arabia's secret service agents working
under cover in the Embassy of the Saudi clan in Ankara," said a
statement released in Beirut in the name of the pro-Iranian Islamic
Jihad Hijaz. The group also threatened to carry out further attacks on
Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti diplomats in Europe.
Saudi Arabia's Ambassador, Abdulaziz Khojah, said
following the incident that they had received many threats during the
Holy Pilgrimage. Iran boycotted this year's hajj (pilgrimage) after a
clash between Saudi police and demonstrators in Mecca in 1987 left more
than 400 mostly Iranian pilgrims dead.
Beddawi was second diplomat killed in Turkey in the
last three years. The first secretary of the Jordanian Embassy, Zid
Sati, had been assassinated by the Islamic Jihad on July 23, 1985.
Again on October 25, 1988, two Iranian diplomats
were caught near the eastern Anatolian city of Erzincan as they
attempted to abduct a Khomeiny opponent and take him to Iran inside the
trunk of an embassy car.
The man, identified as Hassan Mochtahadzadeh, was an
engineer living in Istanbul. He was kidnapped by the Iranians on
October 23. Though two Iranian diplomats were sent to Iran, four other
Iranians who were accompanying the two diplomats in a separate car were
arrested and sent to Istanbul to be tried at the State Security Court.
Masoud Rajavi, the leader of the Mujahadin Al-Halq
had, in a press conference held earlier in Baghdad, had claimed that
the agents of the Iranian secret services, SAVAMA, were abducting
anti-Khomeiny Iranians living in Turkey and taking them back to Iran
At a press conference, the victim of the kidnapping,
Mr. Mochtahadzadeh said: "They interrogated me by kicking and hitting.
Finally, I admitted I am a sympathizer of the Mujahadin Al-Halq and
told them 450,000 of the 500,000 Iranians living in Istanbul think like
I do." He added that the Khomeiny's agents had collaborators within the
Turkish police and the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT).
Already one year ago, The Times of November 23,
1987, reported that the two opposite powers of the Islamic world,
Shiite Iran and Sunnite Saudi Arabia had been trying to spread their
Islamic ideologies in Turkey by resorting to every means. "For the most
part Islam fundamentalism in Turkey is a moderate movement which shuns
Ayatollah Khomeiny's revolutionary theology in favour of a revival of
the kind of conservative Islam practices in the Gulf states.," said the
SCISSION IN THE GREY WOLVES MOVEMENT
The Nationalist Labour Party (MCP), the post-coup
organization of Grey Wolves, held its annual congress on November 27,
1988 in Ankara and Ex-colonel Alparslan Turkes was reelected chairman
with the unanimous vote of 680 delegates.
In spite of Turkes' demonstration of force at the
congress, the neo-fascist movement that he had launched in the '60s is
no more in entente and his prestige has been eroded by the scissions as
well in Turkey as abroad.
Two years later, On April 8, 1987, Turkes was
condemned to a 11-year prison term by the military tribunal of
Ankara. But he was already released on April 9, 1985. The military
tribunal acquitted 148 Grey Wolves, including all the members of the
party's administrative board, and condemned only some party activists
for their armed actions: Five to death sentence, nine to life-prison
end 219 to different prison terms.
After his release, Turkes immediately took part in
political life by actively supporting the Nationalist Labour Party
When political bans imposed in 1982 on 242 former
political leaders were lifted after the referendum of September 6,
1987, Alparslan Turkes placed himself at the head of the MCP.
However, as the outcome of the last legislative
elections showed it, Turkes can no more gather all his former
companions in the new party. While the MHP could get 6.6% of the votes
prior to the coup, the new MCP hardly obtained 2.9% of the
votes at 1987 legislative elections.
GREY WOLVES IN THE HOLY ALLIANCE OF ANAP
One of the principal reasons of this failure lays in
the fact that many notorious Grey Wolves had already been placed in key
posts in the military administration after the coup and took part later
on within the Turco-Islamic hard core of the governing party, the ANAP.
On September 11, 1984, The Times reported:
"In particular they have taken effective control of
the State Radio and TV Corporation (TRT), whose new director was
formerly a senior figure in the MHP. Another former MHP member is
secretary of the Ministry of Employment. The las development, seven
more sinister, is the appointment of two deputy directors of the
National Police Force, one of whom was in charge of the torture center
in Ankara during the previous military regime in 1971 and has since
then been kept out of sight, while the other's name was found among the
secret documents of the MHP as the future director of the National
Police Force had the MHP captured power. Such appointments raise the
question whether the 1980 intervention was really a comprehensive
defeat for terrorism as its authors claimed."
When Ozal founded his ANAP in 1983, a former MHP
sympathizer, Mustafa Tasar was entrusted with the function of
Within the first Ozal government, well-known
sympathizers of the defunct MHP were numerous: State Minister Halil
Sivgin, State Minister Kazim Oksay, State Minister Mesut Yilmaz,
Minister of Communication Veysel Atasoy and Under-Secretary Hasan Celal
Besides, former neo-fascist activists were elected
mayors in many important cities, such as Ankara, Erzincan, Erzurum,
Adapazari, Bingπl, Elazig, Yozgat, Gaziantep, Antakya and Kastamonu.
And all these former companions prefer to develop
their actions within a party in power like ANAP instead of wasting
their efforts within a minor party like MCP.
There are also some other former leading Grey Wolves
such as Nevzat Koseoglu, Yasar Okuyan, Sadi Somuncuoglu, Agah Oktay
Taha Akyol, who, instead of supporting Turkes, talk of
developing a "contemporary right" movement . Behaving so, they are
implicitly carrying water to Ozal's mill.
CHALLENGE TO TURKES IN EUROPE
But the more serious challenge to Turkes' authority
is coming from the Grey Wolves organized in West European countries.
While his trial was going in military tribunal,
Turkes was an idol martyrized by the military in the eyes of his Grey
Wolves in Europe. After his release, in 1987, Alparslan Turkes made a
spectacular visit to Europe. Despite his condemnation for the
extreme-right violence acts he led prior to the military coup of 1980,
he was allowed by the Government to go to Europe. Although there was a
ban on his entry to the FRG, German authorities too, despite
protests coming from democratic organizations, annulled this ban.
Welcomed by thousands of Grey Wolves in Frankfurt
(FRG), Turkes attended the 10th Grand Convention of the
Turk-Federasyon, held on May 6, 1987, in Hamm.
Before and during the congress, hundreds of Turkish
and German anti-fascist groups held protest demonstrations in front of
the congress hall and called up the German authorities to ban this
Addressing to the convention, Turkes said that
despite the ban on the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the
arrest of its leaders, the party's Turco-Islamic Synthesis was
victorious, because it was adopted by the State. "Sooner or later we
will be in power, because our cause is just", he added.
At this congress attended by 5 thousand MHP
sympathizers, Retired Colonel Hasan Yildizhan, on Turkes' proposal, was
elected chairman of the Turk-Federasyon, replacing Serdar Celebi.
A month later, Turkes addressed another
extreme-right meeting in Vienna on July 5, 1987. However he was not
allowed to come to Berlin by the Senate.
Seeing the European reaction against his movement,
Turkes, with a view to clearing himself, stated that he was no more in
collaboration with some former leaders of the Grey Wolves in Europe,
and mentioned particularly the names of Serdar Celebi and Ali Batman.
This declaration provoked a furious reaction among
Grey Wolves in Europe. Finally, about 70 associations in Germany
quitted Turk-Federasyon and set up, in the course of a meeting in
Nieder-Olm, the Union of Turco-Islamic Cultural Associations
(TURCO-ISLAMIC UNION). Serdar Celebi was elected chairman of the new
After this scission, Turkish diplomatic missions in
Europe manifested their choice in favour of the Turco-Islamic Union.
One of the main pillars of the new union was the
Federation of Turco-Islamic Cultural Associations in Belgium
(Turco-Islamic Federation). The 5th Congress of this anti-Turkes
federation was held on April 2, 1988, in Beringen in the presence of
Serdar Celebi, some ANAP deputies as well as Turkish Consulate Orhan
Tureli. Many ministers of the Ozal Government, Turkish Ambassador Ecmel
Barutcu, Belgian Prime Minister Wilfrid Martens, Deputy-Premier Guy
Verhofstadt and Justice Minister Jean Gol sent the Congress sent the
congress messages of sympathy.
A month later, on May 21, 1988, the 1st Congress of
Turco-Islamic Union in Germany was held in Koblenz. Ozal's chief
advisor Mustafa Tasar, seven ANAP deputies as well as some former MHP
leaders, Sadi Somuncuoglu, Necati Gultekin and Yasar Okuyan, attending
this congress, credited the new union. Celebi was re-elected chairman.
The daily Hurriyet described the congress as an "Anti-Turkes
Turkes riposted to this challenge by attending the
congress of his sympathizers in Belgium. After the scission, the
remaining pro-Turkes Grey Wolves in this country had set up
another organization under the name of the Federation of Turkish
Associations of Ideal in Belgium (Belcika Ulkucu Turk Dernekleri
Federasyonu). Though the Mayor of Charleroi M. Emile Henry, on the
protest coming from democratic organizations, annulled the permission
for this federation's congress to be held on June 4, 1988, a local
tribunal invalidated this decision and let Turkes to address the
meeting. However, the Turkish diplomatic missions refused to attend
this pro-Turkes meeting.
A few weeks later, on June 25, 1988, pro-Turkes Turk
Federasyon held its 11. Congress in Iserlohn. This time the German
authorities did not delivered visa and prevented Turkes from attending
this congress. This was a real strike for Turkes and his partisans. At
the Congress, a former youth section leader of the defunct MHP, Turkmen
Onur was elected federation chairman. Besides, the congress decided to
nominate country representatives in a view to exerting a strict control
on remaining pro-Turkes organizations.
NEW PURSUITS AGAINST GREY WOLVES
While two fractions of the Turkish neo-fascist
movement are quarreling with each other, European judicial authorities
started new proceedings against its leading figures.
Despite the acquittal of Celebi and his companions
at the 2nd Rome Trial, the Public Prosecutor announced on November 27,
1987 that he would open a third trial by indicting some leading Grey
Wolves such as Serdar Celebi, Oral Celik, Abdullah Catli, Omer Bagci,
On the other hand, the Public Prosecutor of
Frankfurt, Dr. Harald H. Korner declared on September 27, 1987 to the
daily Hurriyet that he would indict a group of Grey Wolves in Germany
for smuggling, attempting to kill, blackmailing and sabotage. Among the
accused was also a former MHP Youth Section Chairman, Rifat Yildirim.
He had already been arrested as smuggling one and a half kilogram
CENTRIST OPERATION WITHIN THE SHP
The tension existing for a long time between the
centrist and left-wing flanks of the main opposition Social Democrat
Populist Party (SHP) , took a new turn with the dismissal of the
left-wing administrators of seven provincial party organizations.
SHP's Istanbul organization was a stronghold of the
left-wing, and offices in Bursa, Erzurum and Diyarbakir were actively
supporting the prison hunger strikes. The centrists said the local
administrators in Siirt went too far in speaking about the Kurdish
Chairman Inπnu who had been very attentive in his
relations with the two factions of the party and had always played a
conciliatory role, Erdal Inπnu, for the first time, took sides with the
centrists on November 29, 1988, and approved firing local
administrators of the party in seven provinces.
"We have to hold our local organizations under true
order and discipline. These organizations which do not reflect the
image of our party defined by the headquarters need rectification and
rehabilitation," said the writen statement from the central executive
Though the leader of the Centrists, Mr. Deniz Baykal
was elected Secretary General and the14-man central executive
council body was dominated by the Centrists at the last SHP
Congress, the left-wing has proven its force in many provinces.
Besides, the left-wing consists of distinguished labour leaders such as
DISK Chairman Abdullah Basturk and many Kurdish deputies.
A few weeks ago, Ali Topuz, one of the six deputy
general secretaries, declared to the press that the party was
infiltrated by extreme-leftists. He accused some local leaders of
having actively support hunger strikers in prisons. This claim stirred
the party and triggered a fight between the rival factions.
At the mini-Convention of the party, gathering
provincial officials, Topuz was harshly criticized for his claims. On
the attacks coming from provincial organizations, Topuz had to resign
on November 28, from his post as the deputy secretary general and from
membership of the 14-man Central executive council.
However, next day, the 14-man council oredominantly
consisting of Centrists, decided to take drastical measures against the
left-wing and announced the firing of seven provincial administrations.
The decision led to furious reaction from the
members of the left flank. Ercan Karakas, the local party chief in
Istanbul, called the decision a move by a certain faction within the
party to eliminate those who do not think along the same lines.
A group of 21 left-wing deputies met on November 30
and issued a declaration criticizing the party leadership. "Our party
has been damaged because of this decision on the eve of local
elections. We are determined to practice our rights as guaranteed in
the party statutes. We shall call the appropriate party bodies to
convene in writing to Chairman Inπnu," said the deputies' declaration.
"Suspending the members running the local
organizations without even sending a party inspector is against the
principles of honest politics and law," said Kemal Anadol, a leading
member of the left flank deputies in the Parliament.
NO SOLID BACKING TO OZAL IN PARIS
Premier Ozal, during his two-day trip to France on
November 27-29, failed to get solid backing for Turkey's full
membership in the European Community.
Ozal spent one day, on November 27, in Strasbourg
with West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Turkish diplomats accompanying
Ozal said the prime minister was not able o persuade Kohl to support
Turkey's plea for full membership. However, Ozal did not come out of
the meeting totally empty handed. Kohl promised the Turkish Prime
Minister more military hardware next year under a military cooperation
agreement signed bu the prime ministers of the two countries in 1986.
Next day in Paris, French President Fran•ois
Mitterand told Ozal that Turkey should not kindle any hope of becoming
a full member before 1992. However, Mitterand added that he does not
consider Turkey too economically immature to be integrated with Europe.
But he made remarks mainly on the question of human rights, Turco-Greek
relations and Cyprus problem.
After his talks of Ozal, French Prime Minister
Rocard said France has no objection to Turkey's membership in the EC,
but a membership without due preparation would not be in the interest
of Turkey or the community.
The French finance minister Beregovoy said his
country might give loans to Turkey in exchange for awarding French
firms some contracts, such as a military radar station, the Ankara
metro and natural gas terminals.
HUNGER STRIKE NEARS END
Although most of the prison inmates have ended their
six-week hunger strike protesting new prison regulations at the end ov
November 1988, new groups have rushed to fill their place.
At its peak, more than 1,000 inmates, virtually all
political prisoners, and scores of family members and sympathizers were
participating in the strike.
In Diyarbakir prison 27 hunger strikers were taken
to the state hospial. Ten others were treated at the prison infirmary.
The public prosecutor said inmates will be allowed to have face-to-face
visiting facilities every 15 days, prices at the prison canteen will be
lowered and all legal publications will be available in the prison.
Meanwhile, some 180 relatives and supporters of
prisoners decided to continue their month-long hunger strike at the
Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) Diyarbakir branch unil they can
visit their relatives at the Diyarbakir prison.
Two deputies of the ruling Motherland Party (ANAP)
gave their support to hunger strikers, saying the inmates were fully
justified in their demands and asking Justice Ministry to find a
solution to the problem. One of these deputies, Nuretin Yilmaz himself
spent nearly two years in prison following the military coup of 1980 on
charges ranging from Kurdish separatist activity to belonging to
Protests and hunger strikes by other supporters
spread to more than a dozen Turkish cities. Police arrested nine
relatives in front of a prison in Nazilli and 30 demonstrators in Izmir.
Demonstrators in Canakkale burned an effigy of a
prisoner in uniform and carried placards demanding the abolishment of
the August 1st regulations.
In Istanbul, on November 22, six crippled men staged
a protest demonstration in front of the Justice Palace. Sitting in
wheelchairs and supported by crutches, they shouted that they do not
want people to be crippled by hunger strikes at prisons.
Prison conditions were protested at an open air
meeting on November 27, 1988, in Istanbul which was organized by the
Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD).
Although the Turkish government seems determined not
to scrap the entire August 1 regulation reform, agreements reached at a
number of prisons indicate that the government has begun to soften its
stance toward the prisoners.
227 DEATH SENTENCES AT PARLIAMENT
At the beginning of December, the Military Court of
Cassation transmitted seven more death sentences to the National
Assembly for ratification. So, the number of capital punishments
attending parliamentary ratification rose to 227.
The last execution took place in 1984 in Turkey and
since then the National Assembly has not ratified any capital
However, after the shooting dead of a former
military prison commander by underground political groups, the Chairman
of the Parliamentary Justice Committee said that the National Assembly
might ratify death sentences for some incorrigible ones.
RECENT POLITICAL PROSECUTIONS
1.11, in Diyarbakir, 15 people are brough before the
State Security Court for being member of the PKK.
15.11, the State Security Court of Istanbul condemns
seven people to prison terms of up to 15 years for having given aid to
20.11, in Izmir, a former student leader, Ertugrul
Kurk•u is detained for his talk at round table on the subject of
Student Riots in 1968.
30.11, in Izmir, the State Security Court condemns
13 people to prison terms of up to 6 years and 8 months for being
member of the TKP.
PRESSURE ON INTELLECTUAL LIFE
3.11, the Istanbul office of the monthly Toplumsal
Dirilis is raided by police and its staff members are detained.
4.11, November issue of the monthly Sorun is
11.11, fascicules of the Encycloepadia of Modern
Times (Yakin Tarih Ansiklopedisi) are confiscated on pretext that it
contains articles insulting Ataturk.
12.11, two members of the folk music group Yorum,
Efkan Sesen and Tuncay Akdogan, are detained in Ankara for singing
15.11, daily Cumhuriyet reports that Erdal Cayir,
Ankara representative of the monthly review Yeni Cπzum attempted to
commit suicide hen he was under police arrest. After his detention on
November 11, his father sent Prime Minister a telegramme alleging his
son might be under torture.
16.11, the prosecutor of Ankara indicts the
Association of Teachers (EGIT-DER) leaders for having invited a group
of French teachers to Turkey without any authorization.
18.11, November 88 issues of two monthlies, Yeni
Cπzum and Demokrat Arkadas, are confiscated by the SSC.
18.11, cartoonist Guneri Icoglu of the weekly
humorist magazine Limon is summoned for serving his 10-month
23.11, journalist Erbil Tusalp is indicted by the
prosecutor of the State Security Court of Istanbul for having revealed
the deposition of the alleged author of the attempt on Turgut Ozal's
24.11, Mustafa Zulkadiroglu, director of Emek
Publishing House, is put in prison for serving his 6 years and 3 months
imprisonment to which he was condemned for a pamphlet on May Day he had
published eleven years ago.
25.11, the director of Sorun Publication House,
Sirri ∏zturk is condemned by a criminal court to 2-month prison term
and a fine of 28,000 TL for a publication.
25.11, 70-year old novelist Kerim Korcan and
publisher Rabia Sen Suer are brought before the SSC of Istanbul. They
are accused of communist propaganda in Korcan's novel entitled Bridge
of Fire, relating the torture practiced in the years 30 at Political
Police center of Istanbul.
26.11, a monthly review, Yπnelis, and Lenin's work
on "party organization" are confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul.
26.11, a concert to be given by the folk music group
Yorum is banned by local police in Mersin.
30.11, two journalists of the weekly 2000e Dogru,
Fatma Yazici and Emin Gπker, are condemned to imprisonment for having
insulted Prime Minister Ozal. Five other journalists, Eren Guvener and
Talat Halman of daily Milliyet, Hasan Kilic and Inan Gπksel of daily
Gunaydin and Sabahat Aksakal of Yeni Nesil are tried for the same
accusation at criminal courts of Istanbul.
A CENTER OF POST-TORTURE REHABILITATION
Following the experience in Denmark, the Union of
Turkish Doctors (TTB) and the Human Rights Association (IHD) have
decided to set up a Post-Torture Rehabilitation Center in Istanbul.
Those who suffer physicologically or psychologically
because of torture they had undergone will be treated free of charge at
this center. The center will be in the form of foundation. For its
financing, the International Post-Torture Rehabilitation Center in
Denmark will donate 25 million TL.
NEW PKK BLOW TO THE ARMY
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its
foundation, the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) stroke a heavy blow
to the Turkish Army. On December 5, in the district of Sirnak of the
province of Siirt, a Kurdish guerrilla team laid a trap for an Army
unit and shot dead a lieutenant, two NCOs, nine privates and wounded
another private. In exchange, the guerrila team lost its 10 combattants
in the armed conflict.
At a press conference held on December 12 in
Brussels, the spokesman of the ERNK (National Liberation Front of
Kurdistan) announced that since the start of guerrilla war in 1984 in
the Turkish Kurdistan, PKK combattants had killed 4,342 members of the
government forces: One colonel, six majors, one commander of batallion,
four captains, ten first lieutenants, one second lieutenant, 208 army
officers and NCOs of different ranks, 247 members of special temas, 50
policemen, two superintendents, four sergents, three guardians, 1,056
As the ERNK itself, since 1984 it lost 273 militants.
After a 8-year interval, the Turco-European Joint
Parliamentary Commission will hold its first meeting on January 17-19,
1988 in Strasbourg.
The fist contact took place between the two
parliaments in Ankara on November 25, when a delegation from the
European Parliament went to Turkey.
According to the agenda established, the Joint
Commission will express their views on main priority matters such as
the situation of human rights in Turkey, Turkish demand for full
membership in the European Communities, Turco-European financial and
The Turkish parliamentary delegation will headed by
Mehmet Kececiler who is known as the leader of the fundamentalist
faction of the ruling party ANAP. He is distinguished in the past with
his views against Turkish affiliation to the European Communities.
On the other hand, the Turkish Foreign Minister
Mesut Yilmaz held a briefing with Turkish ambassadors in the EC member
countries. The ambassadors have been charged with to launch a new
campaign in favour of Turkish affiliation to the EC and to lobby at the
European Parliament to this end.
The European Parliament, at its November 16 session
adopted three resolutions as regards Turkey.
In two resolutions, the European Parliament demands
the Turkish Government to ameliorate prison conditions in Turkey and to
put an end to the legal proceeding against four Greeks who were
arrested on November 4 in Ankara following their demonstration during
the Dev-Yol Trial.
The third resolution is on the aggravating situation
of Kurdish refugees in Turkey.
On the other hand, 100 members of Federal German
Parliament issued a declaration asking the Turkish Government to put an
end to torture, capital punishment, to grant a general political
amnesty, to accept the existence of the Kurdish people and to lift
Articles 141 and 142 of the Turkish Penal Code.
13,696 WORKERS ON STRIKE
At the end of November while 13,696 workers were on
strike throughout the country, 151,267 workers were resorting to
different actions such as sit-in or boycotting to meals. In addition to
this, almost half of TURK-IS (Turkish Trade Unions Confederation)
members, 644,000 threaten to strike in 1989 if collective bargainings
do not lead to an agreement satisfying workers. Already trade unions
announced that they would lead 54,962 workers to strike.
10,200 of the workers currently on strike are the
employees of the State Paper Plants (SEKA).
A strike by 45,000 coalminers in Zonguldak was
averted on November 28, following an agreement signed by the government
and the Coalminers' Union (Maden-Is), which provides for 154 percent
wage increases over the next two years.
According to a recent survey conducted for the
Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO), the factor income/wage ratio in
Turkey is also worse than in some Latin American countries including
Chile, Bolivia and Colombia and far worse than in Malaysia and some
African countries like Zaïre and Kenya.
In 1970, the share of wages in factor incomes in
Turkey was 34.6 percent, and droppted to 18.5 percent in 1986 and 17.77
percent in 1987.
1.9 MILLION WORKING DAYS LOST IN 1987
According to the daily Cumhuriyet of October 24, the
number of working days lost because of strikeswas 1,961,940 in 1987.
This year, within the first seven months, 469,069 working days were
lost due to 132 strikes and 149,969 working days lost because of 111
RACIST AND XENOPHOBIC ACTS IN EUROPE
Neo-Nazi groups and the Skinheads have intensified
in last months their attacks on Turkish immigrant groups in West
The following is a brief report of racist and
xenophobic acts against Turkish immigrants within last seven months in
18.5, in Rothenburgsort, near to Hamburg, a Turkish
grocery is set on fire by unidentified persons.
24.5, in Radolfzell (FRG), a house inhabiuted by
four Turkish families is set on fire by pouring petrol. The loss is
estimated at 250,000 DM.
1.7, in Mannheim (FRG), a German shoot at a Turkish
14.7, in Hofheim (FRG), a Turkish buffet is attacked
by some 250 Skinheads shouting "Death to Foreigners!". They assult also
on the police team trying to prevent the aggression. The buffet owner
Mursel and a Turkish client are wounded.
26.7, in Munich, Neo-Nazis send menacing letters to
the addresses of Turkish migrants. They say in these letters: "It is
claimed that we had killed more than 6 million Jews. If so, why are you
foreigners coming to this damned Germany? Go home! Otherwise, your
destiny will be the same!"
15.9, a Turkish shop in the city of Moisling (FRG)
is set on fire in the midnight by pouring petrol on it.
21.9, in the city of Hoogvliet (Holland), a Turkish
mosque is set on fire. This place of prayer was earlier subjected to
3.10, in Hamburg, a group od Skinheads attacked on
Turkish youths with tear gas sprays. Five Skinheads are detained by
9.10, in Hannover, some 70 Skinheads attacked
Turkish youths; 14 of them are detained. Next day, the organization of
the victims of Nazizm holds a rally protesting against this aggression.
31.10, in Hamburg, four Skinheads attack on a
56-year old Turkish woman, Mrs. Fatma Tunc, and brutally beat her. The
aggressors, though detained, are released a few hours after.
12.11, in Hamburg, German and Turkish oranizations
hold a rally for protesting against racist aggressions.
14.11, in Hannover, a 15-year old Turk is stabbed by
16.11, in the city of Ludwigshaffen (FRG), some 15
Skinheads attacked a Turkish club. Using hammers and chains, the
agressors wounded club owner Ahmet Demirel and four other Turks inside.
20.11, some 40 Skinheads and 45 Neo-Nazis make
trouble in Hamburg by shouting "Death to Turks!" Police confiscate many
fire-arms that they are carrying and detain 11 Skinheads.
25.11, in Hannover, a Turkish youth, Turgay Merkoc,
is beaten to coma by a group of Skinheads.
8.12, in Lubeck (FRG), a Turkish worker is gravely
wounded by two German shooters.