CRUCIAL TESTS FOR OZAL
The fate of Ozal's power will be determined this
year by two major political events: the municipal and provincial
elections on March 26 and the presidential election in November 1989.
Ozal's party, ANAP, does not have a genuine mandate
to govern the country since November 1987.
At the legislative elections held at that date, 64
percent of the electors voted for different opposition parties.
Though the ANAP received only 36 percent of the vote, it
acquired 64 percent of the parliamentary seats because of last-minute
changes in the electoral system.
The September 1988 constitutional referendum, which
sought early municipal elections, was rendered by Ozal himself into a
vote a confidence for the government. The electors confirmed once more
their opposition to Ozal's power by casting 65 percent of the votes
against the amendments proposed by the government.
The upcoming municipal and provincial elections
provide the next opportunity for the opposition to challenge the
mandate of the government party. The outcome of the provincial
elections is particularly significant in this regard because every
citizen is to vote in them, in contrast to the municipal elections held
simultaneously but only in urban areas.
If the electoral support of ANAP falls much below 35
percent, its credibility will be undermined substantially. Some suggest
that the party is an uneasy coalition of not so easily reconcilable
orientations and interests, and that a major decline in its electoral
fortunes would promote the emergence of centrifugical tendencies in the
party. (See: "Holy Alliance and Liberals in ANAP", Info-Türk, December
The outcome of these elections will show also the
credibility of the social democrat opposition which is divided between
Inönü's Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) and Ecevit's Democratic
Left Party (DSP).
The principal runners of the March 26 local
elections and their scores at the November 1987 elections are as
The Motherland Party (ANAP) 36.3%, the Social
Democrat Populist Party (SHP) 24.8%, the Correct Way Party (DYP) 19.2%,
the Democratic Left Party (DSP) 8.5%, the Welfare Party (RP) 7.1%, the
Nationalist Labour Party (MCP) 2.9, the Reformist Democracy Party (IDP)
Two new founded political parties, the Socialist
Party (SP) and the Greens Party (YP) have not yet prepared themselves
to participate in these elections throughout Turkey. Therefore, these
elections will not give any idea about the electoral chance of Marxist
or ecologist tendencies.
The result of these elections will have a
considerable impact on the presidential election to be held in
November. The seven-year office term of General Evren who was nominated
"president of the Republic" by force at the 1982 referendum, will end
The 1982 constitution ensures that the majority
party by itself will elect the president. The circles near to the Prime
Minister hint that Ozal has intention to succeed General Evren in the
Presidential Palace. But, if the local elections end up as an electoral
disaster for ANAP, it may become more difficult for it to name the next
President of the Republic.
TURKEY 4TH IN MILITARY SPENDING
Turkey comes fourth after the United States, Greece
and Britain within the NATO in terms of military spending, according to
the latest issue of the magazine Military Balance.
The magazine, published by NATO, said military
expenditures in the U.S. constitute 6.4 percent of the Gross National
Product (GNP). In Greece the ratio is 6.3%. Britain and Turkey spend
4.9% and 4.7% of their GNP respectively for military purposes.
The defense industry development administration
(SAGEB) plans to complete in 1989 five out of 13 priority defense
projects. The $10 billion projects are all open to investment by
international and local companies.
A high frequency radio project, under discussion for
13 years, is one of the five priority schemes; it will cost an
estimated $700 million. There are three contenders for the contract:
Plessey and Marconi from Great Britain, and Siemens from West Germany,
but the real competition is said to be between the two British
A light transport aircraft project, costing $100
million is the second scheme. Bids were received last year from four
contenders: Casa (Spain), DeHavilland (Netherlands), Nord America (USA)
and Air Italy (Italy).
A mobile radar project is required urgently by the
Turkish armed forces, and entails the procurement of 14 advanced radar
units. this project is estimated to cost $100 million. Westinghouse,
General Electric and the Aydin Corporation (USA), Plessey/Marconi
(Great Britain), Thomson CSF (France) and Sellenia (Italy) recently
submitted their best final offers for the project.
Another priority project is for 35mm gun radar. A
training plane project will be integrated with the light transport
Negotiations will also be started with the supplier
of the light transport aircraft for 50 training planes.
There are six other schemes which will be spread
over 1990 and consecutive years.
These projects are: F-16 radar project (estimated
cost $80 million), low altitude air defense scheme ($75 million), mine
sweepers project (estimated cost yet to be established), F/4-E
modernization scheme ($50 million), M/113 modernization project ($150
million), composite fuel rocket engine project ($100 million).
SAGEB signed two of the 13 contracts last year. One
of them, for armored personnel carriers, is with the U.S. company FMC,
and the local Nurol group. The other is for the local manufacture of
F-16 aircraft. The formation of a corporation with foreign capital
involvement for the carrier project is continuing.
Another phase of the contract for the F-16 project
relating to the aircraft's electronic equipment was signed with the
U.S. Loral Corp. 111 electronic warfare systems will be assembled for
the 160 F-16s manufactured in Turkey. This bidding was finalized in
December following fierce competition among four companies, three
American and one British.
KURDISH PEASANTS FORCED TO EAT HUMAN EXCREMENT BY THE MILITARY
"I have been under pressure here for the past nine
years. But we did not complain until now so as not to appear to come
out against the State. I waited until human excrement was fed to the
people. I gave a petition of complaint to the prosecutor because all
that has been done here does not fit the dignity of the state."
This is the declaration of a Kurdish village muhtar
(headman) to the daily Cumhuriyet of January 24, 1989.
The incidents reportedly took place during the night
of January 14 in Yesilyurt village near the town of Cizre in the Mardin
province, two days after two policemen were killed by PKK militants in
The village muhtar, Abdurrahman Mustak said that the
commander of the gendarme team, Major Cafer Caglayan, gathered all the
inhabitants at the square of this Kurdish village and asked them the
whereabouts of the "terrorists". Failing to get a satisfactory answer,
all the men were ordered to lie on the ground and beaten. As a result
of the beatings three men have been injured. But no information was
given by the residents.
Then, Kamil Mustak, the headman's uncle, was ordered
to collect human excrement and forced to put pieces into the mouths of
On Cumhuriyet's report, three deputies from the
social democrat SHP, Cuneyt Canver, Ahmet Turk and Fuat Atalay, went to
Yesilyurt talking to the villagers. The same day gendarmes also arrived
in the village. They took the muhtar to a deserted house. Once inside
the house, the soldiers uncovered a plastic bag in which there were
five hand grenades and a mine.
Canver told journalists that the ammunition found in
the deserted house seemed like a plot to arouse suspicion about the
muhtar and others living in Yesilyurt who had the courage to write a
petition of complaint.
The deputies also listened to Taybet Dadak, 22, a
pregnant woman who said she was given electric shocks and stripped
naked while being questioned in Cizre.
These revelations came just after the wave of
arrests in the southeastern Kurdish provinces. On the eve of the March
26 local elections, the security forces arrested nearly 500 people,
mainly member or sympathizers of the social democrat SHP, in the towns
of Batman, Eruh and Sirnak in the Siirt province, Silvan and Bismil in
Diyarbakir and Uludere and Cukurca in Hakkari.
The SHP chairman, Erdal Inonu said in an interview
with the BBC on January 17 that this arrest operation is a plot to
tarnish his party's image. "These detained people are accused of
assisting the separatist Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK). SHP does
not have any relations whatsoever with illegal groups. Though the
detainees were later released, people now are asking why SP members
have been arrested and implicated. They are asking whether membership
ion SHP is dangerous. They wonder if it is safe to vote for the
opposition party," said Inonu.
FOREIGN CAPITAL INFLOW
According to a year-end report on foreign
investments, foreign entrepreneurs invested a total of $824 million in
Turkey, mainly in manufacturing, tourism and service industries. The
number of foreign capital ventures went up by 270 in the one-year
Currently, some 827 firms have foreign investments
worth $3,163 million and $1.5 billion in foreign capital is expected
this year, announced the State Planning Organization's foreign capital
TURKISH COURTS OVERCHARGED
According to the official figures issued by the
Justice Ministry, in 1987, a total of 643 tribunals throughout Turkey
had to deal with 3.6 million files of which 1.5 million are related to
penal pursuits and 2.1 million to civil lawsuits.
Besides, in the course of the same year, more than
new 2.1 million files of penal pursuits were transmitted to public
While the number of files are so high, only 3,606
judges and 1,922 prosecutors are charged in 643 tribunals and one judge
or prosecutor had to deal with a thousand files per year.
As for the number of detainees in 639 Turkish
prisons and detention houses, it rose to 49,315 by the end of 1988.
Although these penitentiaries are of a capacity of 99,226 inmates, 64
new prisons are being built in different provinces.
NEW POLITICAL PURSUITS
6.1, in Ankara, 125 people were taken into custody
in relation with the TKP Trial which had been opened during the martial
13.1, the public prosecutor opened a new penal
pursuit against three leading members of the Istanbul section of the
Human Rights Association (IHD) for having organized a "soirée for a
23.1, former chairman of the Correct Way Party
(DYP), Husamettin Cindoruk was tried by a criminal court of Istanbul
for five different cases. In each case, he is accused of having
insulted Prime Minister Ozal in his speeches or interviews that he had
given while he was at the head of the party. He faces a total of
15-year imprisonment .
24.1, a new trial began at the State Security Court
of Diyarbakir against 34 alleged members of the PKK. The prosecutor
claimed death sentences for 10 defendants and prison terms of up to 15
years for the others.
26.1, a member of the central committee of the
Socialist Party (SP), Mehmet Ulusoy was detained in Ankara and all
party documents that he had in his possession were confiscated by the
Prosecutor of the State Security Court.
26.1, in Istanbul, the chairwoman and other leading
members of the Women Association for Democracy (DEMKAD) were brought
before a criminal court, for having participated in a rally organized
by the SHP in September 1988 in Istanbul. The prosecutor claimed to ban
26.1, in Izmir, 29 people were tried at a criminal
court for having gone on a hunger strike in protest against inhuman
28.1, two crippled men in wheelchair, Ali Riza Kayim
and Mahmut Kement, were detained for 6 hours by the Istanbul police on
the charge of having suspended a political placard on a viaduct.
30.1, the State Security Court of Malatya began to
try 57 alleged members of the PKK. Two defendants face capital
punishment and the others prison terms of up to 15 years.
31.1, the number of the death penalties ratified by
the Court of Cassation and submitted to the ratification of the
National Assembly reached 23O. Of these people, 121 are from left-wing
and 20 from right-wing organizations. Among them are also four
Palestinian militants and 85 people condemned for homicide.
7.2, four provincial officials of the Socialist
Party (SP) in Kayseri, Zeki Ok, Mustafa Yildirim, Zihni Dursun and
Mehmet Orucoglu, were detained for having used the expression of
"Kurdish citizens" in a message that they sent to a party meeting in
the eastern province Van.
OZAL TO ADDRESS THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
The Speaker of the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe has invited Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Ozal to
address the assembly as a honorary guest. This invitation signifies a
further step in the normalization of Turco-European relations.
Such an invitation honoring the responsible of an
antidemocratic regime has given rise to reactions from democratic
organizations of Turkey.
DANISH PRIZE TO THE IHD
The Danish Peace Foundation has attributed the 1989
Prize to the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) for its struggle
for respect to human rights in Turkey.
The IHD is also candidate to the 1989 Human Rights Prize of the Council
A MOTION FOR KURDISH REFUGEES
Spanish member of European Parliament, Arbeloa Muru
has tabled a motion asking Turkish Government to recognize political
refugee status to the Kurdish refugees who escaped from Iraq's
offensive and sought asylum in Turkey. About 50 thousand Kurds are now
living in tent camps under harsh winter conditions.
The Turkish Government abstains from recognizing
refugee status to Kurds in the fear that, if it is done, Turkey will
have to recognize the Kurdish identity and Kurdish language as well and
to provide means for education and cultural activities in Kurdish
language. Such a recognition may also lead more than 10 million Kurds
of Turkey to claim similar rights.
EUROPEAN CONTROL ON TORTURE
The European Convention for the Prevention of
Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, signed by
Turkey along with other members countries of the Council of Europe,
entered into force since February 1st, 1989. Under this convention, a
European commission is to be set up entitled to carry out on-site
inspection to detention centers in Turkey. This inspection will be made
without a previous warning.
On this occasion, the Human Rights Association of
Turkey (IHD), at a press conference, made public the list of detainees
tortured at the Political Police Center of Ankara in 1988 and the
medical reports delivered by legal medecin which certify the traces of
Below are the victims of torture with the date and
number of medical reports in parentheses:
Unal Demir, Tarik Topcu, Serdar Toka, Suat Karabulut
(17.3.1988/11326-11327-11334), Cem Ali Timucin (14.3.1988/10833),
Kemalettin Karaman (14.3.1988/108325), Ismail Durgut, Cevdet Tastan,
Nail Turak (14.5.1988/20031-32-33-34), Remzi Ozturk, Ibrahim Aydogan,
Mehmet Kelkitli (15.6.1988/1597), Mehmet Aslan (23.8.1988/31625), Galip
Yagan (1.8.1988/3204), Zeynep Aldogan
(11.8.1988/33558-59-60-61-62-63-64), Huseyin Can Balicanli
(22.9.1988/40059-60), Nadir Nadi Usta (6.10.1988/42265), Mehmet Ali
Cakiroglu (6.10.1988/42266), Bayram Balci (30.9.1988/41260), Kadri
Esenturk, Tayfun Sen (24.10.1988/44977-78), Ugursel Ozturk
(7.11.1988/47140-41-42), Huseyin Colak, Ayca Uslu, Ziya Yavuzes
(8.11.1988/47306-307-308), Muzaffer Serdar Kayaoglu, Osman Albayram,
Iskender Cetin, Aysel Gurel, Rustu Yuksel, Ahmet Ates
(10.11.1988/47592-93-94-600-603), Mustafa Kapikiran (2.12.1988/50911).
Though the convention has already entered into
force, the European commission's control on-site can begin in the fall
However, the daily Cumhuriyet of January 27, 1989
reported that the Interior and Justice ministries of Turkey sent
confidential directives to governors, public prosecutors, police
departments and prison administrations to take all necessary measures
in a view of not giving any evidence of torture to the European
commission in the case of a possible instantaneous control by virtue of
the European Convention.
TURKISH GOVERNMENT'S COUNTER-ATTACK AGAINST AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Following a series of revelations by Amnesty
International on the violation of human rights in Turkey, the Turkish
Government has launched a counter-attack against this non-government
The Chief Counsellor of the Foreign Ministry Nuzhet
Kandemir, on January 16, 1989, invited the ambassadors of Western
countries for transmitting Ankara's wish that European governments
should not support certain groups working against Turkey's interests.
He told the ambassadors that these groups who are acting as a united
front aim, instead to support Turkey's "efforts of democratization", to
keep her out of the European political and economic integration.
In the meantime, the Justice and Foreign Ministries
set up a working group in a view of drawing up a report entitled
"Torture in EEC countries." According to the daily Milliyet of
January 5, 1989, the group is now gathering informations on the victims
of ill-treatment of police and penitentiary authorities in France,
Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, FRG and Spain and the report will be
made public in this year.
Furthering this counter-attack, on January 17, 1989,
the Foreign Ministry gave another briefing on "Human Rights in Turkey"
to the ambassadors of all European countries as well as the USA and
Just after this counter-attack, Amnesty
International issued, in its Newslettr of January 1989, a new document
concerning prison conditions in Turkey. Under the title of "Did they
die under torture?", AI made public the names of 144 prisoners who died
in custody and asked the Turkish authorities to provide information on
the cause of death in each case. Below, we extract from this list the
names of the victims of the last two-year period with the place in
which the prisoner held and the date on which AI believes death occured:
Muhammet Hilmi Musa (Ankara-Feb 87), Hasan Acar
(Istanbul-14.2.87), Zulfikar Bayram (Pirinclik-21.2.87), Sabri Cuhadar
(Edirne-March 87), Hidir Keskin (Elazig-March 87), Ahmet Cetin
(Ankara-16.3.87), Mehmet Temel Oktay (Eregli-20.3.87), Ibrahim Savas
(Sirnak-27.3.87), Feridun Celik (Istanbul-22.4.87), Mehmet Kalkan
(Diyarbakir-14.6.87), Huseyin Kurumahmutoglu (Ankara 15.7.87), Ibrahim
Ozturk (Istanbulk-11.10.87), Kemal Karapinar (Erzurum-2.12.87), Emin
Ozkaya (Antalya-Jan 88), Manuel Demir (Istanbul 24.1.88), Nihat
Yurtoglu (Ankara-10.4.88). (For a comprehensive list comprising the
names of 253 political detainees who have either died during their
interrogation or disappeared since their arrest between 1988-1986, See:
Info-Türk, November 1986).
At the beginning of this year, the US Section of
Amnesty International launched a campaign concerning Turkey by putting
posters on walls on which appears the photo of 15-year old Melih
Calaylioglu, arrested in Turkey on pretext of making communist
propaganda, with the title: "Growing up is tough everywhere, but in
Turkey can be real torture."
This campaign was reported by the Turkish press as a
new AI's plot aimed at destroying Turkish tourism and preventing
Turkish adhesion to the European Communities.
According to the daily Hurriyet of February 6, 1989,
the Turkish Ambassador Sukru Elekdag in Washington said: "AI's this
campaign is scandalous. The fact that they chosed Turkey among 160
countries as the target of such a slander campaign is the proof of
their prejudice against our country."
Coincidentally, few days later, the situation of
human rights in Turkey became the object of a lengthy debate at the US
Congress. The US State Department, its in annual report to the
Congress, drew once more attention to the ongoing torture practices and
the discrimination of Kurds and ethnic and religious minorities in
Turkey. During the debate on the report, the Congressmen listened to
the representatives of the US Section of Amnesty International and the
US Helsinki Watch Committee, respectively David Aasen and Jeri Laber.
As the controverse on Amnesty International's stand
towards Turkey was developing in Ankara, the Secretary General of
Amnesty International, Mr. Ian Martin, came to Turkey on the invitation
by a Turkish non-governmental group. Speaking at a meeting in Istanbul
on February 6, 1988, Mr. Martin explained to a great extent the reasons
of his organization's critical stand on the question of human rights in
Refuting the Turkish Government's claim that Amnesty
International has a hostile attitude towards Turkey, Mr. Martin said
that AI carefully pursues the violation of human rights not only in
Turkey but throughout the world and very often draws attention to the
sort of Turkish minorities in Bulgaria and Greece.
The chief of the Turkish part of the Turco-EEC Mixte
Parliamentary Committee, Bulent Akarcali, claimed that Amnesty
International has always turned down all demands coming from Ankara to
have a consultation before editing a report on the situation of human
rights in Turkey.
Mrs. Anne Burley, AI responsible for European
countries, who accompanied Mr. Martin, reacted against this claim and
said that she had ,when Akarcali came to London in 1986, received him
and had a comprehensive talk on all the questions as regards human
rights in Turkey.
ANKARA HIRES PUBLICTY FIRMS
In a view to raise the chance of adhering to the
European Communities, the Ankara regime decided to resort to the aid of
US and European advertisement and public relations companies.
Milliyet of December 15, 1988, reported that two
companies, Havas and Gruner-Jung were already entrusted with the
charming campaign in European countries.
As for the United States, the Turkish Government has
signed a contract of $875,000 per year with the International Advisers
Inc. This company was reportedly founded by the former US deputy
minister of National Defense Richard Perle. During the Reagan
administration, Perle was known as the most ardent supporter of the
Turkish regime in Washington and very often applauded by the Turkish
press as "Turkey's friend in Pentagon."
Perle has been engaged to lobby in the US Congress in favour of
Ankara's stand as regards the distribution of US aid, the Armenian
Question, the Turco-Greek conflicts as well as to exert pressure on the
USA's allies in Europe for Turkey's adhestion to the EEC.
A NEW ANTI-PRESS LAW PROJECT
Considering insufficient all legal means of
censorship on the press, the Government has presented to the
National Assembly a new bill for putting in force new punishments.
If the bill is approved by the National Assembly, by virtue of a new
paragraph to be added to Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code, whoever
makes publication intended to create panic or to incite public opinion
against any person will face a prison term of from 18 months up to four
and a half years.
According to press associations, this bill was
prepared for putting an end to criticisms in the press against the
ruling party's leading members or their families who were involved in
corruption and irregularities.
Currently, the Turkish press is already being kept
under censorship by strict application of the following laws:
1. The Press Code No. 5680:
Articles 5,6 and 7: Whosoever was condemned to a
prison term higher than five years, can never make a publication.
Publication in foreign languages is depended on the special permission
by the government.
Article 30: 6-month prison for publishing the
documents concerning a penal proceeding.
Amendment dates 1983: Prosecutors can ban the
distribution of a publication without obtaining a court warrant.
The Press Code authorizes the government to ban the
introduction into Turkey of the publications printed abroad.
2. The Turkish Penal Code:
Article 140: Imprisonment not less than five years
for spreading information abroad which damages the reputation of the
Article 142: Imprisonment of up to 15 years for
disseminating propaganda intended to establish the domination of one
class on the others (communist propaganda) and propaganda
undermining national unity and pride (separatism).
Article 158: Four and a half years imprisonment
minimum for insulting the President of the Republic.
Article 159: Imprisonment of up to six years for
insulting the authorities, that is the National Assembly, the
government and the Army.
Article 163: Five to eight years imprisonment for
disseminating propaganda intended to convert the State to religious
Articles 266 and 268: Imprisonment of up to three
years for slandering public servants.
Article 273: Imprisonment of up to four years for
slandering a member of the National Assembly.
Article 311: Three to five years imprisonment for
inciting people to commit a crime.
Article 312: Six months to two years imprisonment
for praising a crime
Articles 426 and 427: Fines for the publications
3. The code on police's task and authority: Police
can confiscate any publication that he considers "harmful to moral
values of the society".
4. The law No. 1117 for the protection of minors
against harmful publications: A special board set up by the virtue of
this law can decide to ban the distribution and sale of such
MONOPOLIZATION IN THE TURKISH PRESS
The London-based Turkish Cypriot business tycoon
Asil Nadir added another newspaper in January 1989 to the publishing
empire he has recently acquired in Turkey, arousing concern in press
and opposition circles that he may eventually monopolize the entire
printed media. He reportedly paid about 100 billion TL ($54 million)
for taking over the daily Gunes.
Asil Nadir, the major shareholder of the British
Polly Peck Group, who now owns nearly one-third of the Turkish press,
is a man who has spent little of his life in Turkey and knows
practically nothing about journalism.
Asil Nadir had first bought the Veboffset Group,
which publishes two popular national newspapers, Gunaydin and Tan in
addition to a number of magazines and four provincial newspapers.
Gelisim, the company that publishes the weekly Nokta
and 14 other periodicals in addition to 24 encyclopedias, was Nadir's
As for his last acquisition, the daily Gunes, it was
launched in 1982 and changed owner twice before Nadir.
Press circles claim that Nadir's monopolizing
operation is supported by the government.
The Turkish press accomplished the important
technological transformation to offset printing in the 1970's, mainly
thanks to heavily subsidized, and therefore cheap, newsprint.
In 1980, as the author of he drastical January 24 economic measures,
Turgut Ozal declared that he was against state subsidies. By raising
the prices of newsprint and other printing products, Ozal pushed the
owners of these press groups to a financial crisis and obliged them to
sell their publications to Asil Nadir. The newly-purchased Gunes
reported on the January 24 anniversary that the price of paper had gone
up 133-fold in nine years, a record among all items.
Due to the above-mentioned factors on the one hand,
and on the other, to the competition of the State Television, the daily
total circulation of all newspapers has remained for years at the level
of 2.7 million while the population of Turkey increases each year by 2
Opposition leader Erdal Inonu said: "There is
anti-trust and anti-monopoly legislation even in capitalist countries.
Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) is already a government
monopoly. The government uses some of the financial means in its hands
to reduce the Turkish press to a single voice. Press institutions
should resist such monopolistic trends in its own sector."
According to the data of 1988, the shares of the
main national Turkish newspapers in a total of 2.7 million-copy daily
circulation are as follows:
Hürriyet (Erol Simavi)
Sabah (Dinc Bilgin)
Milliyet (Aydin Dogan)
Gazete (Erol Simavi)
Günaydin (Asil Nadir)
Türkiye (an Islamist group)
Tan (Asil Nadir)
Günes (Asil Nadir)
Tercüman (Kemal Ilicak)
Cumhuriyet (Nadir Nadi)
DECREASE IN BOOK PRINTING
Since Ozal came to power in 1983, the number of new
printed books and its proportion to the population show a steady fall,
mainly due to the high-rate inflation, expensiveness of newsprint and
obscurantist practices of the government.
Below are the figures published on January 26, 1989,
by a right-wing newspaper, Tercüman:
titles of newly
copies of newly
Number of copies
NEW PURSUITS AGAINST THE PRESS
2.1, a second book of poet Nihat Behram, "Their
hearts are sparks at dawn", published by Yurt Yayinlari, was
confiscated by the State Security Court of Ankara. The poet is accused
of making propaganda for Communism and provoking the sentiments of hate
and hostility in the people. In December, the same court had
confiscated Behram's book entitled "The Journal of Death under Torture."
3.1, journalist Ozcan Ozgür is sentenced to 2-month
imprisonment by a criminal court of Mugla for having insulted a müftü
5.1, the No.2 of the monthly review Yönelis is
confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul on grounds that it contains
propaganda for communism and separatism.
6.1, the editor of the monthly review Yeni Acilim,
Sefik Calik, was indicted by the State Security Court of Istanbul. He
is accused of communist propaganda.
9.1, the police of Bursa provinces confiscated four
books of Sol Publishing House: Karl Marx's Capital, Nikitin's Political
Economy, Huberman's ABC of socialism and Politzer's Fundamental
Principles of Philosophy. All these books had earlier been the object
of legal proceedings and acquitted by tribunals.
11.1, famous folk singer Arif Sag, who is also a
deputy of the social democrat SHP, was indicted for having insulted the
Governor of Ankara.
13.1, the January 89 issue of the monthly review
Emek Dünyasi was confiscated by the order of the State Security Court
of Istanbul. Two editors, Yilmaz Eksi and Osman Günes, were indicted by
the prosecutor for an article criticizing the privatization of public
18.1, the trial of Huseyin Coskun, correspondant of
the monthly review Yeni Cözüm in Usak, began at the State Security
Court of Izmir. He is accused of communist and separatist propaganda in
19.1, a criminal court of Izmir sentenced Hacay
Yilmaz to 6-month imprisonment and a fine of 37,000 TL for having
praised the workers' resistance in the Taris Mills of Izmir in 1980.
20.1, the trial of novelist Kerim Korcan, 70, and
publisher Rabia Sen, both accused of communist propaganda in the novel
entitled "Bridge of fire", began at the State Security Court of
Istanbul. Korcan faces a 10-year imprisonment.
21.1, university student Serdar Yildiz was detained
in Ankara for an article that he wrote to the monthly review Yeni
23.1, two editors of the monthly review Ozgür
Gelecek, Mehmet Bayrak and Bekir Kesen, were arrested by the State
Security Court of Ankara. Besides, the January issue of the review was
24.1, the chief editor of the monthly Toplumsal
Kurtulus, Dr. Yalcin Kücük, was arrested by the State Security Court of
Ankara for communist and separatist propaganda.
24.1, the editor of the humorist review Limon,
Tuncay Akgün, was brought before a criminal court in Ankara for
publishing a reader's letter. Prosecutor claims that the letter
contains slander against Islam religion.
24.1, the State Security Court of Ankara issued a
warrant for arresting Osman Tayfun Mater who edited a book entitled
"Before and After the 12th September: Defense at the Dev-Yol Trial".
Mater too is one of the defendants of this biggest political mass trial
in the last 9-year period. The SSC considered the publication of the
defense read at the Martial Law Court as "propaganda for communism."
26.1, the introduction of 402 different publications
into the Aydin Prison was banned by penitentiary authorities. Among the
banned authors are also Voltaire and Kafka.
A KURDISH DEPUTY CENSURED BY HIS PARTY
A member of the EEC/Turkey Joint Parliamentary
Committee's Turkish part has been censured by his own party for having
raised the Kurdish question at the committee's first meeting at
Strasbourg in January.
Mr. Ibrahim Aksoy, SHP deputy of Malatya province,
said in Strasbourg: "It is nonsense to deny the existence of a Kurdish
question in Turkey. If there is not such a question, why does it exist
there a state of emergency, a regional governership, special police
teams, the Second Army and 12 thousand armed village protectors? In my
opinion, even to consider Kurds in a minority statut is completely
wrong. Kurds are a national community and shoul have their national
The publication of this news in the Turkish press
led to an outburst in Ankara and the right-wing press immediately
launched a slander campaign against this deputy of Kurdish origin.
The SHP leadership had, under the pressure of the
military and the conservative electors, to proceed against Aksoy. The
party's disciplinary committee, considering these words contrary
to the party's stand, decided to suspend Aksoy's party membership for
However, this censure has given rise to severe
criticisms of democratic circles against the principal opposition
party. Even a deputy from the government party ANAP,
Nurettin Yilmaz, said that the SHP's decision is a handcuff put on the
liberty of opinion.
PARTY CHAIRMAN BANNED TO GO ABROAD
Turkish authorities refused to deliver a passport to
Mr. Ferit Ilsever, chairman of the Socialist Party (SP), to go
abroad. Ilsever was invited by the Italian Communist Party to
attend the party congress to be held on 18-22 March 1989.
A BILL TO RESTORE CITIZENSHIP
The government has prepared a bill enabling some of
the people who were stripped of their citizenship to regain it. After
the ratification of the bill by the National Assembly, the concerned
people can apply within two years for repatriation. Applications will
be subject to inquiry by the government, and those found "without
reserve" may regain citizenship.
The bill aims to change several articles in the
Turkish Citizenship Law . The reason for introducing the draft law was
explained as the need to clear contradictions between different
cases.Although the preamble of the draft did not say it openly, it was
a clear reference to Turkish citizens who have been stripped of their
nationality without any appropriate legal ruling simply on request from
martial law commanders.
However, the draft law gives the final authority to
the government to say who can become a Turkish citizen.
There are some 14,000 Turks deprived of their
SECOND REFUSAL FOR NAZIM HIKMET
The High Administration Court of Turkey refused for
a second time, on January 18, 1989, to deal with a petition for post
mortem reconstitution of Turkish citizenship of the famous poet Nazim
Hikmet. The court declared itself incompetent to take a decision on
this petition presented by his family.
Nazim Hikmet fled Turkey in 1951 after a 12-year
imprisonment because he was ordered, just after his release, to
surrender to the army under the pretext of military service. Thereupon,
the Turkish government had deprived him of his nationality. He
lived in exile for 11 years and died in Moscow.
While the controverse on the persecution of a
15-year old high school student for communist propaganda, police
arrested, on January 18, 1989 in Ankara, a 71-year old lawyer,
MORE ADOLESCENTS AND A 71-YEAR OLD LAWYER ARRESTED FOR COMMUNIST
While the controverse on the indictment of a 15-year
old high school student for "communist propaganda" (See: Info-Türk,
January 1989) was spreading out as well in Turkey as abroad, Ankara
regime, taking no heed of criticisms, has arrested four more
adolescents for the same pretext in February.
According to Milliyet of February 18, 1989, three
students of the Orhan Veli Training School in Umraniye, H.F., M.D. and
H.K., were arrested two months ago for having painted some left-wing
slogans on the walls of school building.
H.F. and M.D., both 15 years old, are tried by the
Statet Security Court of Istanbul and both face prison term of up to 10
years. As for H.K., who is not yet 15 years old, is tried by a special
court for children for the same accusation.
A 17-year old son of a migrant family, A.K., was
arrested two months ago in Turhal for "communist propaganda" and is now
tried by a criminal court in Kayseri. A.K. said that he was tortured
during police interrogation for obtaining a deposition accepting that
he had come to Turkey in order to organize the Communist Party of
Turkey/Union (TKP/B) in Turhal.
On the other hand, the trial of 15-year old Metin
Calaylioglu is going on at the State Security Court of Izmir. After
being deprived of his liberty for about five months, he was released on
February 4. But his trial for communist propaganda has not yet ended.
The court waits the medical report of legal medecin and Calaylioglu
still faces a 8-year prison term.
Before the release of Metin Calaylioglu, his mother,
Cavidan Calaylioglu attempted to commit suicide due to a nervous
In the meantime, the school directorTurhan Baysal ,
who is accused even by the right-wing newspapers for having denounce
his own student, was dismissed from his post on February 8, for
calming parents. On this decision, he said: "Is it a crime to denounce
Arrest of a 71-year old lawyer
Police terror takes as target not only adolescents,
but also very aged people.
A 71-year old lawyer, Ibrahim Acan, was arrested by
the State Security Court of Ankara on January 18, 1989 for having
published a book entitled "A defence Which Judges". This book contains
the written defences of alleged members of the Union of Revolutionary
Communists of Turkey (TIKB) who were tried by a martial law court in
Public prosecutor claims that the book was intended
to make propaganda for communism and demans a prison term of up to 20
Acan was born in 1917. After having served in the
Turkish Army until 1964, he retired at the rank of colonel. After being
graduated from the Law Faculty of Ankara Univerity he became attorney
affiliated to the Bar Association of Ankara. He is also member of the
Association of Contemporary Lawyers and the Human Rights Association of
In the course of the post-coup period, he took place
in many political trials as defence lawyer of defendants.
According to Cumhuriyet of January 19, Acan was
insulted by the prosecutor during his interrogation at the State
Security Court and his hairs were cut after his arrest.
TERROR ON STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
Cumhuriyet of January 4, 1989, reports that the
government resorts to every means in order to prevent the organization
of university students. Within last two years, about 2,000 univesity
students who took part in the attempts to set up student organizations
have been detained and 450 of them indicted by criminal courts.
For the time being, there are about 50 student
organizations in 20 universities of Turkey.
Although the Law on Higher Education, enacted by the
military junta, stipulates that the foundation of a student
organization depends on university rector's special permission,
administrative courts, commenting this obligation in another sense,
allowed students to set up their associations without previous
Thereupon, the university administrations have, with
a view to thwarting democratic student organizations, set up puppet
associations with the participation of pro-government students.
Moreover, all democratic actions of democratic associations have
confronted police forces who claim that behind these associations and
their actions were outlawed political organizations.
Recently, on January 19, 17 students of Anadolu
University went on a hunger strike in protest against arbitrary arrests
and assaults. At the end of January, all of these students were
arrested by police.