TUMULT IN ANKARA
Turkey today is being governed a
political party which hardly
obtained 21.80% of the votes at the March 26, 1989 local elections. The
logical consequence of this electoral rout of Ozal's ANAP will no doubt
be sooner or later a radical change in political power.
Ozal is finding it increasingly
difficult even to make his
Motherland Part (ANAP) obey his instructions. At a marathon group
meeting in Parliament on April 25, ANAP deputies, both conservatives
and liberals, took responsible Ozal for this unprecedented defeat and,
criticizing his domination of the party, urged him to change his way.
Former Parliament Speaker Necmeddin Karaduman said Ozal repeatedly
promised to keep wage and salary increases above the inflation rate but
has not done it. He also said because of Ozal's mistakes, ANAP finds
the Turkish judiciary and other constitutional institutions pitted
In a further move against Ozal,
ANAP's disciplinary committee
defied the prime minister's order to suspend temporarily Trabzon deputy
Eyup Asik's party membership because of the statements he made against
Not only the working and middle
classes who recently voted
against Ozal, but also the big business, ardent supporter of Ozal since
1983, seems to seek formulas to restore "political and social
stability" by getting rid of ANAP'sd one-party rule.
"Ozal had difficulty persuading
more than 100 foreign business
executives taking part in the three-day Business International Meeting
in May that he will remain in power until 1992," wrote Uluc Gurkan in
the daily Gunes of May 10.
Apparently, two opposition
parties currently represented in the
Parliament are candidates to replace Ozal's power: The Social Democrat
Populist Party (SHP) which obtained 28.69% of the votes in the last
elections and the Correct Way Party (DYP), 25.13%.
These parties have recently
stepped up the pressure for early
elections. They are warning Ozal not to hold a ballot in the Parliament
for the election of Turkey's next president, to be held by the virtue
of the Constitition in November 1989, which the opposition parties
might boycott. Otherwise, they say, there will be an unnecessary
quarrel over the presidential post and a political crisis will emerge.
Demirel is addressing a series of
meetings and rallies to force
Ozal to hold early elections. Demirel wants to cash in on ANAP's
failure in the local elections and win a popular mandate to run the
government through early parliamentary elections. SHP leader Inonu
declared September 10 the most likely date for the nation to go to the
However, neither SHP nor DYP has
the numerical power in the
Parliament to block ANAP from electing the head-of-state if ANAP is
still not split.
Ozal, while holding a majority in
the Parliament, looks forward
for his election, or the election of someone close to him, to the
But Ozal is fully aware that if
he goes on and elects the
president without reaching a reconciliation with either one of the two
opposition parties in the Parliament, the political expense of such a
move would be very heavy for himself, his family and the country in
general. Therefore he does not close the door completely to political
flexibility. He has said more than once that if it is in his interest
he can call early elections.
If Ozal agrees to hold early
legislative ballot before the
election of the future president of the Republic, what may be the
composition of the new political power?
The results of the last local
elections and the ongoing opinion
polls show that none of the existing political parties can obtain the
vote necessary to form a single-party government, even if the elections
are to be held in accordance with the current Electoral Code which
allowed the ANAP to get 65% of the seats in Parliament though it got
only 35% of the vote at 1987 legislative elections. Furthermore, it is
too naïve to think that Ozal will go to the polls without changing this
electoral system which may doom his party to a catastrophe.
So, a new period of coalition
governments seems inevitable.
The choice of the big business is
no doubt a right-wing
coalition between Demirel's DYP and Ozal's ANAP. The Turkish
Businessmen's and Industrialists' Association (TUSIAD) has organized a
series of meetings with the leaders of the political parties
represented in Parliament: The first one with Ozal on April 24 and the
second with Demirel on May 26.
At the General Assembly of the
Union of the Chambers of
Commerce, Industry, Maritime Trade and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey
(TOBB), held on May 29 in Ankara, Chairman Ali Coskun clearly called
for unity between the ANAP and the DYP: "It is imperative to remove the
current political instability. It is impossible to understand how two
political powers which share the same philosophy and national moral
values can make the future of Turkey so uncertain."
As for the other alternatives,
that is to say a one-party
government of the left-wing SHP or a coalition headed by the SHP, they
are the two possibilities which more worry the big business.
In fact, the last local elections
showed a spectacular rise of
total votes of the two social-democrat parties in urban areas inhabited
The following table shows the
distribution of social democrat
votes in the provinces where the proportion of wage-earners in the
population (in brackets) is rather high:
34.81 13.84 48.65
36.15 7.14 43.29
27.13 14.04 41.17
45.49 7.58 53.07
31.72 7.30 39.02
Zonguldak (44.34) 23.84
Eskisehir (41.66) 36.45
33.53 9.36 42.89
34.80 5.80 40.60
Gaziantep (35.42) 34.70
Tekirdag (35.11) 33.56
Kirklareli (34.60) 32.04
30.81 19.92 50.73
However, the social democrat
movement which is the most
powerful candidate for governing the country is currently suffering
from internal quarrels.
First of all, the votes are
divided between two parties,
Inonu's SHP and Ecevit's DSP. For the moment, there is not any sign of
unification or cooperation between the two parties.
Secondly, the SHP itself has not
yet be able to put an end to
the feud between its two fractions. Since Deniz Baykal became Secretary
General of the party, left-wing party officials have been fired from
their posts. The party direction went so far that even a member of the
Turkey-EEC Joint Parliamentary Commission was expelled from the party
for having defended the Kurdish people's rights at Strasbourg.
Though the SHP came out as the
first party of the country at
the last local elections, the left-wing fraction maintained SHP lost
popular support and votes in five provinces because of Baykal's
anti-democrtatic disciplinary practices.
The last emergency convention of
the party, held on June 4,
1989, was the scene of new quarrels between Baykal's suppoters and
opponents. The party direction proposed a series of changes in the
party statutes which give the central committee the authority to
nominate 10 percent of the party candidates in elections, to fire local
party officials andf suspend grassroots memberships.
The left-wing faction fought what
they term ANAP-style
practices in running party affairs. In a 56-page statement prepared by
Aydin Guven Gurkan and his supporters, the opponents accused Baykal to
place the central executive body of the SHP above the party congress.
"The method chosen by the party executive to impose the changes in
party rules is more anti-democratic and tyrannical than the methods
used for the endorsement of the 1982 constitution," said the left-wing
However, Chairman Inonu threw his
weight behind his general
secretary and asked the delegates to endorse the changes in the party
rules effected by Deniz Baykal and his supporters. The changes in the
statutes were adopted by the emergency convention by a narrow margin.
The left-wing opposition accuses
Baykal's administration also
of leading the party to the center and of flirting with the big
capital. Like Demirel and Ozal, Baykal too has participated in some
meetings organized by the businessmen organizations and done his best
to gain their confidence on the SHP.
The Wall Street Journal, which
speaks for American business,
recently wrote that "Baykal, a radical student leader in the 1960s, has
matured throughout the years and now understands the main objectives of
American policy. It also notes that Turkish businessmen who have been
regarding Baykal and social democrat policies with suspicion until very
lately have now changed their minds."
The daily Zaman of May
24, 1989 says The Wall Street Journal's evaluation is significant
because it has been the most ardent supporter of Ozal since 1982 and
until the local elections on March 26, 1989. "Baykal has chosen to win
power through political intrigues, American support and liberal cadres."
In the case of the impossibility
of a coalition between ANAP
and DYP, Baykal's all these efforts can lead the SHP in the future to a
coalition with one of the right-wing parties, ANAP or DYP, instead of
coming to power as a one-party government or in a coalition with the
other social democrat party, DSP.
And what is more, if the
Electoral Code is changed, one of the
two major right-wing parties, ANAP and DYP, can make a coalition with
one or both of the two minor parties, the DSP or the Welfare Party
Whatsoever is the outcome of the
future legislative elections,
the restoration of political stability will be rather difficult.
Considering these facts, one may
asks if the military can
intervene again in political life as a "referee" and suspend the
process of "democratization" for an indefinite period.
An Islamist daily, Zaman of May
16,1989, answers this quetion in the following terms:
"Ozal seems to have decided he
completely got rid of the
possibility of another coup in Turkey as a result of his political
decisions. Appointing armed forces command staff himself instead of
leaving the choice to the generals was an important step for Ozal.
Serious efforts have been made to limit the authority of the
bureaucracy and non-elected state bodies.
"But recently we have witnessed
the government being scolded by
the Constitutional Court, the High Election Board, Supreme
Administrative Court and the High Board of Radio and Television. For
the past year President Evren and Ozal have been in open confrontation
with each other before the public. Turkey is drifting toward an
atmosphere reminiscent of periods preceding military coups; workers and
students are out on the streets; Ozal does not have firm control over
his own party; the opposition parties are increasing the pressure on
"Although Turkey is still far
from the possibility of a coup,
none of the politicians can say there will be no more military
takeovers in Turkey."
FUNDAMENTALIST ATTACK ON JOURNALISTS
The rise of fundamentalism in
Turkey has manifested itself once more during the first prayer at the
newly-opened Cezeri Kasim Pasa mosque in Cagaloglu, Istanbul's press
On May 5, the last Friday of the
holy month of Ramadan, thousands of fundamentalists flocked to the
mosque, stopping traffic and beating up journalists on the pretext of
marking what they called "Jerusalem Day."
The faithful, most of them
wearing beards, green coats without lapels and skull caps, stopped the
traffic on the busy thoroughfare for hours when they used the streets
for Friday prayers. When the prayers finished the crowd began shouting
slogans and tossing pamphlets into the air.
The pamphlets, which began ""In
the name of God", declared that the last Friday of the holy month
Ramadan is a day of struggle for all Moslems who must take back
Jerusalem from Israel.
The demonstrators began marching
toward the main office building of the daily Hürriyet about 70 meters
from the mosque, chanting slogans such as "Down with Zionists", and
"Police are with us."
In front of the Hürriyet
building, the crowd protested what they termed the pro-Zionist policies
of the newspaper. Several photographers who were taking pictures of the
demonstrators were attacked by the group. Other reporters trying to
cover the events in Cagaloglu were chased away by the demonstrators.
The police did not move to stop
the attack on the journalists.
After the demonstrators cleared
the Cagaloglu Square, a group of newspaper reporters left their cameras
on the street in protest of the actions of the police. Besides,
journalist organizations carried out a series of protest demonstrations
in Istanbul, Ankara and Adana.
Prime Minister Turgut Ozal told
reporters that they should not exaggerate what happened in Cagaloglu.
PROTESTS FROM IPI AND CSCE
The recent harassments of Turkish
journalists have given way to immediate protests from international
On May 11, the 38th General
Assembly of the International Press Institute (IPI), held in West
Berlin, issued a communique blaming the harassment of journalists and a
series of facts as regards the violation of press freedom in Turkey.
On May 13, at the Information
Forum organized in London by the Conference on Security and Cooperation
in Europe (CSCE), the editor of the Financial Times, Mr. Malcolm
Rutheford, qualified the Turkish police's attack on journalists as a
heavy blow on the press freedom.
CENSORSHIP IN 50 PROVINCES
The performance of more than one
thousand films, videocassettes and musical productions have been banned
by local governors in 50 provinces of Turkey on a wireless order (No.
O41916) by the Ministry of Interior.
Recently, on May 30, the
exhibition of musicassettes of nine famous folksingers at the Samsun
Book Fair was banned by the governor of the province.
Since it is not possible, by the
virtue of the legislation, to lodge a common appeal against all local
interdictions, the authors of the banned works have to appeal against
each one of the decisions of 50 provinces. Such a complicated procedure
often dissuades the victims from resorting to justice.
36 PUBLISHERS IN THE DOCK
On May 26, 1989, the trial of 36
publishers began at a criminal court of Istanbul for having published
Henry Miller's "The Tropic of Copricorn." This book had been published
in 1985 by the Can Publishing House, but immediately confiscated on the
charge of "obsecnity." Publisher Erdal Oz and the translator had been
condemned for "obscene publication."
Last year, in a joint action, 36
publishers reprinted this book by removing the paragraphs considered
"obscene". But this new edition included also the report of legal
experts that was the basis of the confiscation of the book, was
confiscated as well.
The public prosecutor claims that
the 36 publishers committed the same offence by printing this report
which includes "obscene paragraphs", and demands to condemn all
PROSECUTION OF JOURNALISTS AND ARTISTS
According to a report presented
to a meeting on Press freedom organized in Istanbul on May 30 by the
Press Council, public prosecutors have opened 1,426 legal proceedings
against mass media and 2,127 journalists brought before tribunals.
Below are the prosecutions of the
last one month:
May 1, the May Day special issue
of the monthly review Yeni Demokrasi was confiscated by the order of
the State Security Court of Istanbul.
May 2, Mr. Tunca Arslan,
responsible editor of the weekly 2000e Dogru, was brought before the
State Security Court of Istanbul for having reported a press release of
two outlawed political organizations. He faces a prison term of up to
Same day, the members of the folk
music group Yorum who had been detained on April 30 for having
performed a Kurdish song and the May Day March in Eskisehir, were
brought before the State Security Court of Konya. After the arrest of
the artists, police kept in detention for hours the 3-year old daughter
of the group's soloist Mrs. Ilkay Akkaya, as well.
May 25, The daily Sabah was
confiscated for a series of articles entitled "The Dynasty's Boat"
concerning Prime Minister Ozal's family. A few ago, the same newspaper
had already been confiscated for another series on the same subject:
"Autumn in the Royal Garden."
May 26, Weekly 2OOOe Dogru was
confiscated for having printed some erotic photos in an articled
entitled "Woman in the eyes of Capitalism."
Same day, two journalists from
the daily Cumhuriyet, Cuneyt Arcayurek and Oktay Gonensin were
condemned to a fine of 81,666 TL each for having slandered Premier Ozal
in an article.
May 31, two famous journalists of
the daily Hurriyet, father and son, were brought before a criminal
court in Istanbul for having criticized in their articles the attitude
of two judges. Cetin Altan and Ahmet Altan face a 4-month prison term
YAGCI-SARGIN CASE AT STRASBOURG
The European Commission of Human
Rights, at its session of May 11, 1989, declared "receivable" the
complaint lodged by the two top officials of the United Communist Party
of Turkey (TBKP), Nabi Yagci and Nihat Sargin.
They claim that, after their
return from exile, they were subjected to torture, but their complaints
on this subject were not taken into consideration by local authorities.
The European Commission,
considering that they exhausted all possible means of appeal in Turkey,
decided to deal with the case.
By virtue of the procedure, the
Commission will, at its hearing of July 3, 1989, call the Turkish
Government and the TBKP officials to find a friendly settlement. If
such a settlement cannot be found, the Commission will transmit the
file, with the arguments of both sides as well as its own opinion, to
the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
MAY DAY DETAINEES TORTURED
Of the 561 people detained during
the May Day demonstrations,
only 56 have been arrested on May 15 by the Istanbul State Security
Court and charged with breaking the demonstrations and marches law.
A group of 18 people, after their
release, held a press
conference at the Istanbul offices of the Human Rights Association
(IHD) and claimed that they were tortured by police.
Selim Aksu, a student at Istanbul
University, who was among the
detainees, said: "My both arms were broken, during scuffles with police
on May Day. I was taken from hospital bed a day after the incidents.
They took me to the Beyoglu Police station. My head was bleeding, both
my arms were broken, and I had a wound in my left leg. They beat me up
like the other detainees. I fainted."
Besides, six lawyers submitteed a
petition to the Public
Prosecutor demanding the arrest of Governor Cahit Bayar and police
chief Hamdi Ardali. The petition said these two top government
officials might destroy or disguise evidence which could identify the
policeman responsible for the May Day killing. The lawyers also said
Prime Minister Ozal and Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu were as much
responsible for the death of Dalci as the person who pulled the trigger.
100,000 POLITICAL REFUGEES FROM TURKEY
The daily Milliyet of April 27,
1989, reported that the number of Turkish nationals who sought asylum
in other countries rose to 100,000 according to the findings of the
Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Of these refugees, 50,000 are in
the FRG, 14,000 in Switzerland, 20,000 in Scandinavian countries,
11,800 in Greece, France and Belgium, 4,000 in Iran and 200 in Libya.
The Foreign Ministry estimates
that at least 80,000 of the asylum seekers quitted Turkey for economic
A BRITISH TEACHER TO BE EXPELLED
British teacher Noel Debbage,
head of the math department at he American Girls' School in Uskudar and
a resident of Istanbul for 10 years, was served notice on April 24 by
Istanbul's security police headquarters that he must quit Turkey by May
5. Police did not give any reason for the revoking of his residence and
"I'm told by legal advisers the
only reason Turkish authorities revoke a foreigner's residency is for
either communist propaganda, sexual perversion or Christian
propaganda," Debbage said. "So the only possible category I could fit
into is the latter."
"I am a mere practicing
Christian. I am not a tub-thumping evangelist, and as a matter of
conscience I have always tried to respect the religious sensitivities
which exist here in Turkey. I have never ever been questioned or
investigated for any illegal activity here."
According to Alison Stendahl, one
of Debbage's math colleagues, Debbage is one of the most popular
members of the school faculty. "He is extremely professional and
discreet, both in the classroom and his personal life," he said.
CHIEF JUDGE ACCUSES THE GOVERNMENT
The government and the Parliament
have not respected the rulings of the constitutional court in drafting
legislation, Mahmut Cuhruk, the chief judge of the Constitutional
Court, said on April 25, during a ceremony marking the 27th anniversary
of Turkey's top judicial body.
General Evren, Prime Minister
Ozal and the leaders of opposition parties were present during the
Cuhruk said democracies do not
depend solely on the opinions of the majority, and so in some cases the
wishes of the majority should be restricted. Like new legislation,
Constitutional Court rulings go into effect only after their
publication in the Official Gazette. The government, therefore, can
delay the implementation of a ruling by simply not publishing it.
7,000 DEATHS SENTENCES CLAIMED
The daily Cumhuriyet, referring
to the data given by Info-Türk, reported on its April 4, 1989 issue
that more than 7,000 death sentences have been claimed by military
prosecutors since the 1980 coup.
MEETINGS ON TORTURE BANNED
The Governor of Ankara province
banned a meeting on the right to life, organized on May 20, 1989 by the
Association of Solidarity with the Families of Prisoners (TAYAD).
Reminding that another meeting on
torture that they organized earlier was also banned by the same
governor, TAYAD protest against his arbitrary and antidemocratic stand.
ARRESTS AND TRIALS IN MAY
11.5, in Kayseri, local chairman
of the Socialist Party (SP), Zihni Dursun, and five other party
officials were sentenced to imprisonment of 4 years and 2 months each
for having expressed their sympathy with the Kurdish people in a
message that they sent to a party meeting in Van.
13.5, the State Security Court of
Ankara sentenced four people to 5-year prison each for distributing
TKP/B leaflets in Samsun on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the
17.5, in Adana, sixteen people
were arrested for having made the propaganda of an outlawed
26.5, the Martial Law Tribunal in
Adana, resuming two trials against the Communist Labour Party of Turkey
(TKEP) and the Revolutionary Way (Dev-Yol), sentenced a defendant to
capital punishment, three to life-prison and five others to different
prison terms of up to 15 years.
28.5, in Kozluk (Siirt), Primary
School teacher Mehmet Muhbettin Demir was arrested and sent to the
State Security Court for separatist propaganda in the school.
MORE TROUBLES IN PRISONS
27 political detainees in the
Prison Type E of Nazilli went on a hunger strike at the beginning of
May 1989 in protest against deteriorating conditions of imprisonment.
On May 5, 180 out of 533 people
who were arrested during the May Day bloodshed in Istanbul and 25
university students arrested prior to May Day in Ankara announced that
they went on a hungerstrike for protesting torture and ill-treatment at
On May 15, 1989, Security
forces made again a raid on the Bayrampasa Prison in Istanbul on the
pretext that political prisoners attempted to make a tunnel for
escaping from prison. Using clubs, broken glasses and pieces of wood,
police wounded more than 50 prisoners. Though 37 of them were taken to
hospital, they were put again in solitary confinement in prison after
their first treatment.
Besides, 165 political prisoners
were transferred to special prisons in Bartin and Canakkale.
On May 20, the defendants of
Dev-Yol and TKP-ML Trials in the Military Prison Type E in Erzincan
went on a hungerstrike.
A TORTURE VICTIM AT PARLIAMENT
A 14-year old victim of torture,
Tahsin Capulcu, was presented to the press at the Grand National
Assembly, on May 17, 1989, during a press conference held by
Social-democrat deputy Kamer Genc.
After his arrest for theft,
Capulcu was first subjected to falaka. Then, his interrogators poured
hot tea on the head and boiling water on the body. The traces of
torture on the body were still visible during the press conference.
POLITICAL PRISONER SUFFERING FROM LEUKEMIA
A political prisoner suffering
from leukemia is still being kept in detention despite the fact that
such a grave illness should absolutely be treated in a hospital.
37-year old Hamdullah Erbil has
been in prison for 12 years for a political case and he still has four
more years to serve.
During his arrest and
interrogation he had been subjected to torture. His parents claim that
he was also subjected to tests of some new produced medicines and that
these tests can be the reason of his grave illness.
As an intellectual attached to
his ideals, he has written many works on political and social matters
in prisons where they stayed, but all of them have been confiscated and
destroyed by prison authorities.
Currently, he is being kept in
the Special Prison of Gaziantep and taken from time to time for a
medical control to Ankara. Legal authorities refused him to stay
permanently in a hospital.
On April 27, 1989, other
political in the same prison launched a campaign for an immediate
hospitalization of Hamdullah Erbil.
WAGE RISES UNDER INFLATION RATE
An agreement concerning
approximately 600,000 workers in the public sector was reached at the
end of the government-labour summit on May 17, 1989. The government's
offer a 142 percent wage increase, excluding social benefits, was
accepted by the chairmen of the five trade unions who had planned to go
on strike on May 24.
The trade unions, pointing to 75
percent inflation last year and an expected 60 percent inflation this
year, had demanded pay hikes of as much as 220 percent over the next
In the past two months, workers
have been protesting government policies through such tactics as work
slowdowns, calling in sick in large numbers and refusing lunches
provided by their companies.
Just before the agreement, road
workers in Diyarbakir found another way of expressing their
dissatisfaction: Filing divorce petitions. About 1,500 wporkers marched
in small groups to the local courthouse and formed a long queue. Each
man held a petition in which he asked for a divorce. The identical
petitions said the wages paid did not enable the workers to support
their families and, as a result, family life had became unbearable.
Despite the agreement, some
labour unrest continues, including a strike by 24,000 state iron and
steel workers whose independent union is asking for a 300 percent wage
increase. Technicians are worried that the high oven and coke batteries
at the Karabuk and Iskenderun Iron and Steel factories may be frozen as
a result of a strike carried out by 24,000 workers since May 6.
INJUSTICE IN REGIONAL INVESTMENT
Although investments in the
framework of the Southeast Anatolian Project (GAP), brought 1.361
trillion TL to the area last year, the public and private sectors still
prefer to put most of their money in the Marmara and Aegean regions.
In 1988, total investment in
projects all over Turkey was 11.636 trillion TL.
The Marmara region is still the
most favored area for investors. Last year, 43.1 percent of investments
tied to government incentives, 5.19 trillion TL, went to this region.
The Aegean region was the second choice; 1.687 trillion TL was invested
Investments qualifying for
incentive investment certificates amounted to 1.335 trillion TL in the
central Anatolian region, 1.225 trillion TL in the Mediterranean
region, 443 billion TL in the Black Sea region, and 310 billion TL in
the eastern Anatolia
region. Major investments covering more than one city totaled 284
Distribution of incentives
according to regions
GROWTH OF TOP HOLDINGS
Turkey's two biggest industrial
groups, Koç and Sabanci, last year widened the gap between their sales
and profits and those of other industrial groups. Koç made the most
from sales, 8.1 trillion TL; Sabanci the highest profit, 750 billion
TL. Total 1988 sales of the eight top holdings, Koç, Sabanci, Akkok,
Profilo, Sönmez, Alarko, Sise Cam and Yasar Holding reached 19.5
trillion TL, a figure near Turkey's 1988 budget of 21 trillion TL.
- Sales: Koç group sales were the
highest at 8.1 trillion TL, followed by the Sabanci group with 6
trillion TL. Immediately after these longtime rivals came Sise Cam, one
of Isbank's affiliates, with 2 trillion TL sales. Izmir-based Yasar
Holding, which produces Pinar-brand foodstuffs, made 1.2 trillion TL in
sales; chairman of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's
Association Omer Dinckok's Akkok group 1 trillion TL; the Bursa-based
Sönmez Holding 457 billion TL; Profilo 402.3 billion TL and Alarko
234.3 billion TL. In 1987, Koç and Sabanci sales were 4.3 and 3.2
trillion TL respectively.
- Profits: Sabanci made a record
profit in 1988, 750 billion TL. Koç, which did best in sales, came
second in profits with 688.6 billion TL. Other groups which issued
their balance sheets fell behind these two giants. Sise Cam made 135
billion TL, Akkok group 110 billion TL, Sönmez 67 billion TL, Yasar
Holding 29 billion TL and Alarko 26.5 billion TL profit last year.
- Exports: In 1988, the eight
groups together exported goods worth $2.1 billion, 18 percent of
Turkey's total exports of nearly $12 billion. Koç exported goods worth
$552 million, Sabanci $278 million, Sise Cam $240 million, Yasar $159
million Akkök $113 million, Sönmez $87.2 million, Alarko $39.5 million
and Profilo $12 million.
- Profitability: Sönmez had the
highest profitability ratio among companies issuing their balance
sheets. Sönmez made 14.6 percent profit on every 100 TL worth of sales,
i.e. 14.6 percent profitability. Sabanci ranked second with 12.5
percent profitability. The ratios of profitability over sales for other
companies in the group are: Alarko, 11.3 percent; Akkok, 10.8 percent;
Koç, 8.5 percent; Sise Cam, 6.7 percent. Profilo has not yet announced
- Profit per Staff member:
Sabanci ranked first in profitability per staff member, a figure
calculated by dividing profits by the number of staff. Last year, at
Sabanci, this figure was 25 minion TL. If we consider the average wage
at Sabanci to be around 1 million TL per month, then every Sabanci
staff member provided his company with twice as much as his annual
salary. Koç ranks second, with a profitability ratio per staff member
of 20.4 million TL. Comparable figures from the other groups are as
follows: Akkok, 10.9 million TL; Sönmez 10.5 million TL; Sise Cam 7.3
minion TL; Alarko 4.0 million TL and Yasar 2.8 million TL.
ARMAMENT FAIR IN ANKARA
A second International Defense
Equipment and Aviation "IDEA-89" fair was opened in Ankara on May 2
with the participation of nearly 30 foreign countries. The fair was
organized by the Defense Industry Development Administration of Turkey
The first international defense
equipment and aviation fair was held in 1987. The director general of
the fair's organizing body, Sedat Yilmazer, said the fair would be one
of the biggest exhibitions of defense equipment in the world.
Turkey's military modernization
program of $10 billion, launched in 1986 and managed by SAGEB, is a
special interest to exhibitors. SAGEB plans to complete five of 13
projects proposed this year. All are open to investment by
international and local companies.
An estimated 5 trillion TL ($2.5
billion) worth of equipment was displayed during the five-day event.
The fair was dominated by french,
British, U.S., West German, Italian and Spanish companies.
First-time participants included
firms from New Zealand, the Philippines and South Africa. The
Soviet Union and Greece did not participate in the fair.
Highlights of the fair were the
display of military aircraft, including the Mirage 2000 and the Alpha
jet, capable of tactical support missions, the U.S. F-16, the
Canadair-C and the Austrian HB 40.
Turkey which is already
coproducing 152 U.S.-designed F-16 jets, hopes to start joint
production of armored troop carriers late this year with the U.S.-based
Food Machinery Corp (FMC).
China was among the countries
interested in producing a 155 mm howitzer to modernize Turkey's
artillery equipment. Chinese delegate Zhao Zheng said it was difficult
to enter the Turkish market, because Turkey is a NATO member. "We seek
to cooperate with the Turkish army not only in selling hardware, but
also in coproduction of military equipment including mine sweepers," he
ASEA Brown Boveri (Germany),
Aeritalia Societa (Italy), Avion Marcel Dassault (France), Arms
Corporation (Philippines), British Aerospace (U.K.), Boeing Company
(U.S.A.), Canadair (Canada), China North Industries and China
Shipbuilding (China), Dir. Gen. Ordnance Factories (India), Oscmar (New
Zealand), Pakistan Ordnance factories (Pakistan) were among the
companies participating in the fair.
The Greens Party (YP) mounted a
protest against the fair. Five members placed flowers on equipment on
the French stand, and displayed a placard with the slogan, "Save the
world from weapons." They were escorted from the exhibition by police.
US BASE IN TURKEY TO BE MODERNIZED
The Ankara Government has
accepted the United States plans to modernize the monitoring equipment
in the Pirinclik Base in Diyarbakir. Pirinclik is one of the major US
bases in Turkey monitoring communications and military activities in
the Soviet Union and the Middle East.
The Pentagon has been asking for
permission to modernize its equipment at Pirinclik for the past two
years, but Turkey has refrained from giving the go-ahead, using cuts in
US military aid to Turkey as a pretext.
The Foreign Ministry said
permission was restricted to Pirinclik and did not cover other US bases
such as Incirlik in Adana and other smaller stations on the Black Sea
TURKEY-SOUTH AFRICA TRADE
The South African participation
to the defense equipment fair in Ankara stirred some controversy.
Though Turkey has no diplomatic
ties with South Africa, Ankara has been trading with this country
either covertly or through third countries, for the last few years.
Turkey imports South African coal, for instance, and commercial
delegations from South Africa have visited Turkey.
A South African state-owned
company is currently a contender for the 155 mm howitzer modernization
plan of SAGEB, and the South African firm Iscor Co. is among the
bidders for the State Railways iof the Turkish Republic (TCDD) project
to import 8,000 Tons of sole plates and workshop equipment.
An example of South African
involvement in Turkey through third countries is gold exploration. The
Anglo-American Corp. of South Africa has applied under its U.S. name
for tights to conduct gold and rare mineral exploration in Turkey.
TURKEY-EEC PARLIAMENTARY MEETING
Human rights were at the top of
the questions discussed during the Turkish-European Community Joint
Parliamentary Commission meeting, held in Ankara on April 24-28, 1989.
The meeting was only the second
held since 1980, when the EC suspended relations with Turkey after the
coup; the first meeting was held in January this year.
A date for the next meeting will
be fixed after the European Parliament elections in June, when a new
committee will be formed.
The co-chairman of the
Commission, Belgian Liberal Luc Beyer de Ryke, speaking at a press
conference, voiced the Commission's displeasure about Turkey's current
judicial system. He underlined the need for a reform in Turkey's penal
code and harmonization with EC member countries' penal codes.
A West German Christian Democrat
deputy strongly criticized the on-going mass political trials in
Richard Balfe, a British
socialist member of the EP, who wrote a report on the Turkish human
rights situation, evaluating the three-day talks in Ankara, said there
had really been no change in the last 10 months in this field. "It is a
pity because up to then there had been a steady improvement. But that
has not been continued. I think there is still an abuse of human rights
on occasion, particularly in the police system. There is still a long
way to go," he said.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTED THREE RESOLUTIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN TURKEY
The European Parliament, at its
session of May 25, 1989, adopted three resolutions concerning the
situation of human rights in Turkey.
The first resolution was "on the
May Day events and continuing aggravation of the domestic political
climate in Turkey"
"The European Parliament,
"A. shocked at the fact that the
police in Istanbul took deliberate aim at the demonstrators who went
out into the streets to mark the May Day festivities with the result
that one person died and thirty-six were wounded, some of them
"B. indignant at the attitude of
the Turkish Government in banning May Day festivities and at the Prime
Minister's announcement that the police would take harsh action, which
encouraged them in their brutal behaviour,
"C. concerned at the fact that
the government and the governing party sought to legitimize the
deliberate shooting by the police and the death of a demonstrator as
necessary 'fratricide' instead of condemning them and taking measures
that would rule out such incidents in future,
"D. concerned at the fact that in
the ensuing days journalists who had been made responsible by the
government for the events because of their reporting became the target
of police harassment,
"E. noting that orkers in Turkey
have been demonstrating for weeks passively, peacefully and
imaginatively for wage increases in order to offset at least partially
the almost 60% drop in earnings in recent years,
"F. concerned at the fact that
since the last local government elections in March 1989 a deterioration
in the human rights situation can be observed,
"1. condemns the police's
behaviour towards and deliberate shooting of demonstrators on May Day
in Istanbul and the attitude of the Turkish Government towards these
"2. calls on the Turkish
Government to recognize May Day as a day of celebration of labour and
workers, to respect all workers' rights and to allow free trade unions;
"3. condemns the police
harassment of journalists who reported the events critically;
"4. calls on the Turkish
Government to guarantee press freedom, to amend the existing press laws
and to release all journalists held in Turkish prisons on account of
their journalistic activities;
"5. calls on all political forces
in Turkey to ork for the restoration of democray, the release of
political prisoners and freedom of opinion and of the press;
"6. calls on its appropriate
delegation to assess the recents developments in Turkey and to submit
to the President and plenary a recommendation concerning future
relations with Turkey;
"7. expresses its conviction that
Turkey's membership of the Community is sacrecly conceivable without
freedom of opinion and association, without independent cours and with
continuing torture and with the existence of the death penalty.
At the same session, the European
Parliament adopted two other resolutions: the one is on the
imprisonment of school children in Turkey, and the other on the
detention of a prisoner of conscience, Mr. Ahmet Atabey.
"Gravely concerned by the
continued trial and imprionment in Turkey of people below adult age for
political offences and drawing attention to the case of Sasinaz Ilboga,
a Kurdish girl of 17," the European Parliament "calls on the Turkish
authorities to cease the prosecution of people for so-called political
offences and in particular to release all those below adult age
imprisoned for such offences."
OZAL'S FAILURE IN BRUSSELS TALKS
Benefitting from the occasion of
the NATO spring summit meeting, Turkish prime minister Ozal held a
series of talks with Western leaders in Brussels, but failed to obtain
the results he hoped.
Prior to the meeting, Ozal
and Greek Prime Minister Papandreou met on May 28. Though some gestures
of friendship such as addressing each other by their first names, Ozal
and Papandreou again failed to agree on even a single point of any
During the talk, the fourt
between the two men since February of last year, Ozal repeated his
proposal to have a 4-party meeeting including the Turkish and Greek
Cypriot leaders, Papandreou and himself to discuss an overall solution
to the Cyprus problem. Turkish diplomats said Papandreou "noted" the
Ozal also met in Brussels with
Bush, Mitterand, Tatcher as well as with Jacques Delors, the chairman
of the European Communities' Commission.
During the talks, Mitterand and
Tatcher refrained from giving Ozal any promise to support the Turkish
demand to be a full member of the EEC. On the contrary, Tatcher said
that his country would impose visa restrictions on Turkish citizens
from June 23. As for Mitterand, he raised once again the question of
human rights in Turkey and in Turkish Kurdistan.
Jacques Delors told Ozal the
European Community might grant "trade partner" status to Turkey instead
of a "full member" status.
ANKARA'S ANGER AGAINST MRS. MITTERAND
Foreign nationals are now
required to get permission to visit Iraqi-Kurdish refugee camps in
southeastern Anatolia, according to a letter sent on May 8 from the
Turkish Foreign Ministry to all foreign diplomatic mission in Ankara.
The measure follows the visit to
the Mus and Diyarbakir camps by the French president's wife, Danielle
Mitterand, during which she criticized Turkey's handling of the
Mitterand's visits to the Kurdish
camps and the questions she put to the refugees angered the Turkish
press, which reported the First Lady is a known sympathizer of the
Kurdish cause. She is accused of having donated large sums of money to
the establishment of the Kurdish Institute in Paris and maintains close
ties with it.
The Turkish note said the
government had opened the camps to all visitors in the hopes foreign
countries would extend aid. "However, the aid never followed this
policy of openness," the letter said.
GROWING TENSION BETWEEN TURKEY AND BULGARIA
The recent confrontation between
Turkey and Bulgaria over the ethnic Turkish minority may result in a
massive influx of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Turkish from Bulgaria
into Turkey in coming months.
The Turco-Bulgarian conflict
arises from Bulgaria's decision to change Turkish names of the
country's moslem citizens into Bulgarian names in 1984. Bulgaria
justified this practice by declaring that those affected were
originally people of Bulgarian origin but they had been converted to
Islam during the Ottoman yoke.
In response, Turkish Government
said Bulgarian government documents have references to a "Moslem
Turkish minority in the 1960s. "In 1965, the population census in
Bulgaria listed 765,000 Moslem Turks. If we take into account the
population increase among the Turks in Bulgaria there must be nearly
2.5 million ethnic Turks in that country now," Ankara claimed.
In fact, many Moslem citizens
have resisted the Bulgarian government's practice. But they have
been subjected to repressive measures. Amnesty International announced
that many people had been imprisoned for resisting the "forced
assimilation program" and hundreds of them were shot dead.
Relations between the two
neighbour countries were further strained in the wake of reports that
Bulgarian security forces fired at demonstrating ethnic Turks on May
21, 1989, killing at least 25 people and wounding 40.
This news gave rise to protest
demonstrations as well in Turkey as abroad, the latter by Turkish
The protest actions are supported
by left-wing opposition circles as well. While the two social democrat
parties, SHP and DSP, were condemning the Bulgarian Government's
practices and claiming that Ankara should react more energetically, the
Writers' Union of Turkey (TYS), headed by distinguished Marxist
intellectuals like Aziz Nesin, suspended its relations with the
Bulgarian Writers' Union.
In retaliation, Bulgarians held a
series of demonstrations in front of the Turkish Embassy in Sofia and
accused Turkish side of interfering in the internal affairs of a
On May 29, Todor Zhivkov, the
Bulgarian leader, accused Turkey of launching an anti-Bulgarian
campaign and demaded it open its borders to the "followers of Islam in
Bulgaria" who want to settle in Turkey. Even without attending a reply
from Ankara, Bulgarian Government deported hundreds of ethnic Turks to
Austria and Yugoslavia.
Ozal reacted to Zhivkov's offer
in Brussels saying Turkey has never closed its borders to ethnic Turks
coming from Bulgaria and was ready to start negotiations.
"Any arrangement should also
include safeguards for the property rights of these Turks," Ozal said.
"They are sending them out with their hand luggage. What has happened
to their lands and houses. Who is getting this property?"
On the other hand, Ozal
complained about the lack of strong reaction to Bulgaria's actions from
Turkey's NATO allies. Despite his efforts at the NATO summit no further
reference was made to the Bulgarian issue during the Brussel meeting.
A week later, the Paris session
of the CSCE became the scene of a diplomatic duel between Turkish and
ANKARA STILL DENIES KURDISH LANGUAGE
The daily Hürriyet of May 21,
1989 reports that the National Security Council launched a new
propaganda campaign denying the existence of a distinct Kurdish nation
and Kurdish language.
By the order of this
semi-military council, composed of chief army commanders and some
ministers, two pamphlets entitled "The fact of Eastern Anatolia" and
"Newroz" are being distributed to all schools in eight eastern
provinces where state of emergency is still in force. These eight
provinces are inhabited by the people of Kurdish origin.
The pamphlets claim that the
Kurdish language is not a distinct one, but a dialect of the Turkish
language. "As for the legend of Newroz, it too is a deformed version of
the Turkish legend
GROUNDLESS ARRESTS IN THE EAST
The Bar Association of Diyarbakir
announced on May 11 that 200 people arrested in the first four months
of this year on the charge of separatist activities have been released
at the first hearings of their trials. The lawyers claimed that the
arrest of their clients were made on the basis of deposition obtained
under torture. For stopping this injustice, they suggest to allow
lawyers to be present during the interrogation of their clients.
A 17-YEAR OLD PRISONER
May 18, 1989, a 17-year old girl,
Safinaz Ilboga, was tried by the State Security Court of Konya for
separatist propaganda. She faces a prison term of up to 10 years.
At the first hearing, the
prosecutor claimed her release on ground that she has psychological
problems and she had already been expelled from her school for this
accusation. However, the court turned down this demand and decided to
put Ilboga under medical observation.
FIRST WOMEN'S CONGRESS IN TURKEY
Turkey's first Women's Congress
was held in Istanbul on May 19 with the aim of discussing women's
problems and their oppression in Turkey in as wide a forum as possible.
But the closing manifesto
revealed profound disagreement as to whether an independent women's
group is needed or whether socialism itself is sufficient to give women
The manifesto said that women who
supported an independent women's movement felt the congress had not
achieved what it set out to do, while socialist women's groups said
they felt it had been successful and a similar congress should be
organized in the future.
The first group, made up largely
of feminists and socialist feminists, felt the forum had been misused
by socialist groups as a battle-ground against the feminists.
Disagreement became acute when a
man was to be allowed to speak. The move was strongly protested by the
feminists. The breakdown led to the feminists walking out because they
believed the congress was not beingused a true women's congress.
At the 3-day congress, women
discussed a wide number of issues from personal experience. Topics
included being a single mother in Turkish society, social restrictions
placed on women, the concept that a good women is a good wife, cook and
mothjer; ideas which prevented women from developing their own skills,
or personalities; the idea that women are always first and foremost
responsible for their children; and that a woman's job takes second
After the manifesto was read, a
long list of demands by all the groups taking part in the conference
wxas presented. The list included an amendment of 10, articles in the
Turkish penal code which the participants said discriminated against
While this congress was
continuing, on May 21, Islamic fundamentalist women's groups organized
a series of meetings in several cities.
In Bursa, women clad in Islamic
attire addressed an all-female audience declaring that equality between
men and women was out of the question, according to the rules of the
Islamich faith. Dr. Rukiye Tascioglu, a physician from Bursa, said the
primary duty of women was to serve their husbands and bring up their
DRASTIC INCREASE OF PROSTITUTION
The number of suspected
prostitutes has increased drastically since 1987, according to Ankara
Figures released by the general
directorate of security show the number of suspected prostitutes rose
from 1,398 in 1987 to 13,671 in 1988. There are 3,241 women who are
legally registered as prostitutes, and practice their profession under
The report also points to an
increase in reported sexual assaults. In 1985, police records show that
only 70 sexual assaults took place in Turkey while this figure
increased to 219 in 1988.