As the Ankara regime is coming out an
ardent defender of the human rights
of the Turkish minority of Bulgaria, in Turkey, the country that it
- coercion on Kurds is turning into
- political prisoners are perishing in
- military tribunals are still
pronouncing death penalty
The Evren-Ozal dictatorship, which for years has
been accused by the world opinion of oppressing ruthlessly the people
of Turkey, came out all of a sudden as an ardent defender of human
rights and freedoms. But what it defends are not the human rights
and freedoms of the people of the Republic of Turkey, but those of the
Turkish ethnic minority of Bulgaria.
It is a fact that about one million Turks of this
neighbour country have for years been subjected to a national
repression. They have been forced by the Bulgarian Government to change
their Turkish names into Bulgarian ones, deprived of the right to
communicate in their mother tongue and to develop their own culture.
For these practices incompatible with the international conventions of
human rights and the principles of socialism, the Bulgarian authorities
no doubt deserve sharpest criticisms from all human right defenders. In
fact, not only all the democratic forces, but also all Marxist
organizations of Turkey, including pro-Soviet ones, have severely
reproached Sofia for the oppression of the Turkish minority in
Bulgaria. (See: Drama of Turkish immigrants from Bulgaria)
As for the Ankara regime, when it pretends to be the
defender of human rights in Bulgaria, looks completely ridiculous in
this new role.
Let alone the repression it has carried out for
about nine years, even the last practices going on during these long
hot summer days in Turkey display once again the despotic character of
the present regime:
- While Evren and Ozal were shedding crocodile tears
for the Turks of Bulgaria, the coercion on the Kurdish people of Turkey
was raised to the level of extermination of this people by the
government forces in the Turkish Kurdistan.
- The inhuman treatment of thousands of political
convicts or detainees has become so unbearable that these victims of
the State terrorism had to go on hunger strikes. The Government's
brutal response to this action resulted in the death of two political
detainees. It was a real premeditated murder by the rulers in Ankara.
- Thousands of political detainees, who have been
kept in prison without any conviction, are still being tried by
military tribunals though martial law was lifted throughout Turkey.
Recently, a military court in Ankara sentenced seven political
prisoners to capital punishment and 39 others to life imprisonment.
So, all these recent facts show once more that the
place the Turkish regime in international arenas for human rights is
the dock by the side of other countries violating human rights rather
than the rank of prosecutor.
DEATH OF HUNGER STRIKERS IN PRISON
Growing protest actions against inhuman treatment of
political prisoners in Turkish jails have, following the death of two
hunger strikers in the Aydin Prison, gained unprecedented dimensions.
At the moment of editing this article, about 2,000 political prisoners
throughout Turkey were on hunger strike and the life of 70 strikers too
were in danger.
And it is the first time that all opposition
forces of the country have been engaged in different actions aimed at
forcing the government to put an end the repressive practices in
prisons and to proclaim a general amnesty.
However, Prime Minister Ozal, taking no heed of
protests, said "If the strikers, in spite of our efforts, refuse to be
treated, let them die. Can we do something else?"
The death of the two political prisoners, Mehmet
Yalcinkaya and Huseyin Husnu Eroglu, occurred in the Aydin Prison on
August 2, 1989, after the transfer of 280 hunger strikers from
Eskisehir to Nazilli and Aydin prisons.
Yalcinkaya and Eroglu, like their other comrades,
already fainted from the hunger strike which began on June 29.
So, they were not in a state to endure a voyage of 300 kilometers in
When the death of prisoners was heard, penitentiary authorities first
claimed that they had fallen during a clash between political prisoners
and guards. But later they contradict themselves by admitting that
death was caused by the 35-day long hunger strike.
Whatsoever be the reason, it was, for the relatives
and defense lawyers of the victims, a premeditated murder committed by
the Minister of Justice and penitentiary authorities.
After the hunger strike began, pressure on the
inmates of Eskisehir prison was already increased. The prison
authorities used the discovery of two tunnels inside the building as a
pretext to practice oppressive measures. All the inmates were banned
from corresponding with their families or receiving food from outside.
Some of the relatives said they were beaten up by prison guards while
they were waiting to visit the inmates.
On July 20, in a protest against this repression,
the relatives of 280 political inmates of Eskisehir prison threatened
to immolate themselves if the prisoners' rights were not restored.
On July 27, the Association for Solidarity
with Relatives of Prisoners (TAYAD) announced that the political
detainees in the Ankara prison too were, on the pretext that a newly
dug tunnel was discovered, subjected to a repressive operation.
A group of the relatives, after having held a press
conference at the Human Rights Association in Ankara, went to the
Justice Ministry to speak with Oltan Sungurlu, the minister. However,
neither the relatives nor the deputies accompanying them were allowed
into the minister's office.
Thereupon, the relatives held a demonstration on
Kizilay, Ankara's main thoroughfare. On August 2,
the prisoners were evacuated following an instruction from the Ministry
of Justice. The prisons of Nazilli and Aydin have already been
notorious for inhuman treatment of prisoners. Therefore, the inmates of
these jails have very often resorted to protest actions. Recently, on
June 22, public prosecutor had indicted 28 political detainees of
Nazilli prison for having carried out resistance against disciplinary
The transfer of prisoners and the death of two
hunger strikers led to a series of protests. First, the families of the
prisoners held a protest action in front of the Ministry of Justice.
The police detained the mothers of five prisoners.
Similar repressive measures were applied also to the
relatives of some of the prisoners carrying out protest actions in
front of Eskisehir, Aydin and Nazilli prison. Later on, the city of
Aydin was placed under an emergency regime by cutting all contact
between prisoners and their families and lawyers.
The conditions in Turkish prisons were already below
international norms. The regulations put in force one year ago on
August 1st, 1988, more restricted rights in the prisons. Cutting hair,
imposing to wear prison uniform or restricting the visits of relatives
have led to protest actions as well in prisons as outside.
For example, on July 16, in Istanbul, police used
truncheons to disperse protesting relatives of inmates in Bayrampasa
prison causing injuries. Five of the demonstrating relatives were
detained by the police.
The incidents followed a prison administration
announcement that face-to-face visits by relatives would be allowed on
the occasion of the religious holiday.
Normally, inmates are separated from their relatives
by double-pane, gauze-filled glass and iron bars, but on special
occasions prison administrations allow inmates and their families to be
physically reunited with no partitions.
The first group of visitors was allowed into the
Bayrampasa prison, but no inmates showed up to meet with them. Prison
officials said the inmates demanded a larger space in which to receive
their visitors than the one granted by the administration.
When the open visit did not take place, the
relatives of the inmates staged a sit-in demonstration on prison
premises, prompting the administration to call in riot police. Despite
warnings to disperse, the relatives resisted and police thereafter
charged the crowd with sticks.
Two newspaper photographers were injured in the
clash and their cameras smashed to the ground by angry policemen. The
scuffle continued outside the prison, as police beat some demonstrators
and dragged them to police vans.
Next day, TAYAD announced that at least 50
relatives were treated for injuries inflicted by police harshness and
they would seek court action against the prison administration.
Another reason of the prisoners' resistance is the
fact that some of them have been in prison for eight years though they
have not yet been condemned. Their trials are still conducted by
military courts despite the fact that martial law was lifted. Thousands
of political detainees have been acquitted or condemned to prison terms
of a few months or years after having passed their long years of youth
in prison. The verdict at the Dev-Yol Trial is a most recent example of
this unbearable injustice. (See the article "Dev-Yol Verdict" in this
For saving themselves from this injustice, political
prisoners often attempt to escape prison at the expense of putting
their life in danger. According to the daily Hurriyet of July 31, a
total of 3,824 political detainees have escaped from prisons since the
September 12, 1980 Coup.
According to press reports, the strikers transferred
from Eskisehir to Aydin carried on their action despite the pressure
coming from penitentiary authorities. On August 17, 1989, on the 50th
day of their action, at least 70 of the strikers were nearer to death.
And the number of the prisoners going on hunger
strike in solidarity with them was growing like a snowball. About 2,000
political detainees have recently gone on hunger strikes in Bayrampasa
(Istanbul), Mamak (Ankara), Bartin, Bursa, Diyarbakir, Kahramanmaras,
Iskenderun, Siirt, Malatya, Adana, Erzincan, Canakkale, Aydin, Buca
(Izmir), Urfa, Ergani, Ceyhan, Amasya and Gaziantep prisons.
SEVEN DEATH SENTENCES TO DEV-YOL
One of the mass political trials which has been
continuing since 1982 ended on July 19, 1989, with seven death
sentences and 39 life imprisonments handed down.
A total of 723 defendants were on trial at a
military tribunal on charges of belonging to the left-wing organization
DEV-YOL (Revolutionary Way), which has been accused of resorting to
political violence in a view to overthrowing the existing political and
The military court handed down prison sentences to
346 defendants ranging from two years and nine months to 20 years. A
total of 177 defendants were acquitted of all charges, while those who
have died under detention number 23.
The charges brought against the rest of the
defendants were dropped for various procedural reasons.
All sentences are pending appeal.
There were 49 defendants present at the final
hearing, all of them under arrest. The rest of the defendants had been
released during the course of the trial, considering that the prison
term that they face might not be longer that the time they passed under
After hearing the verdict, the defendants holding up
each other's hands formed a chain in the courtroom and shouted slogans
and sang revolutionary songs.
In their defense, the Dev-Yol defendants said that
they had been indicted on the basis of confessions extracted from them
under severe torture, and different groups of defendants had been
forced to confess to the same 121 criminal acts.
Dev-Yol claimed four defendants died in the prison
as a result of torture used during the investigation.
Oguzhan Muftuoglu, a leading member of Dev-Yol, said
even before the verdict was read that the group would not accept the
court's ruling as legal.
"Throughout this case we have said that this
tribunal is not competent to try us. We demanded the case be turned
over to civilian courts. Despite all this you are still insisting on
handing down a verdict. Your verdict is devoid of any legal and
constitutional basis. It is illegitimate," Muftuoglu said.
The spokesman for the group said the military
tribunal is violating the constitution and its laws by holding trial at
a place where martial law no longer exists.
One of the reasons of the reactions against the
verdict lays in the fact that military tribunals apply a double
standard as they are dealing with political cases.
The defendants of Dev-Yol have been condemned by
virtue of Article 146 of the Turkish Penal Code. This article
stipulates capital punishment or heavy prison terms for "crimes
against the State". According to the 1982 Constitution, those who have
been condemned by virtue of this article can never be pardoned.
But the Grey Wolves, militants of the extreme-right
MHP, who were the main authors of the pre-coup political violence in
Turkey, have only been condemned by virtue of Article 313 of the
Turkish Penal Code. This article stipulates condemnations for "setting
up organization with a view to committing crimes". This article
is applied for ordinary crimes, not for "crimes against the State". So,
they can benefit from any possible amnesty. Already, the chief of the
MHP, ex-colonel Turkes, and other notorious Grey Wolves have been
released and engaged in political life, while the left-wing militants
are still suffering in prisons.
22 lawyers of the Dev-Yol defendants announced on
July 10 that they would introduce a complaint to the European Human
Rights Commission for the fact that their clients have been kept in
prison for over nine years as "accused".
ESCAPE OF TWO AILING PRISONERS
The inhuman attitude of the Turkish Government
towards political prisoners has been put in evidence not only in the
matter of hunger strikes, but also in the case of two political
prisoners suffering from leukemia.
One of these two prisoners, Hamdullah Erbil (See
Info-Türk, June 1989, p.3), thanks to a international protest campaign,
was released on June 21, 1989. But the Turkish Government this time
resorted to another inhuman practice by refusing him a passport for a
treatment in the FRG. Thereupon, Erbil was obliged to flee Turkey
clandestinely. Since July 28, Erbil has been under the treatment of
specialists in Hamburg where he asked for political asylum.
The other political prisoner suffering from leukemia
is Inkilap Dal. He was arrested after the military coup of September
12, 1980 for his opinions and spent his five years in different prisons.
His health deteriorated when he was in the Aydin
Prison and doctors diagnosed that he was suffering from leukemia.
Although he was released last year, police authorities refused him a
passport for a treatment abroad. After the liberation of Erbil, the
campaign is now being developed for saving Dal from an early death.
On the other hand, political prisoner Abdulkadir
Konuk who was condemned to capital punishment escaped from a hospital
on April 24, 1989, thanks to a successful operation organized by his
comrades, while he was treated for a heart disease. After having fled
Turkey, he went to Düren (FRG) as a candidate of political refugee and
is now being treated by German doctors.
DOUBLE STANDARD OF TURKISH JUSTICE
A new scandalous fact concerning political trials in
Turkey has recently been unveiled by the Turkish press. According to
the information given by the daily Cumhuriyet on June 10 and July 24,
1989, the members of a same organization have been the object of
contradictory judgments pronounced by different courts. As those who
judged by military courts were being sentenced to heavy prison terms,
the others who were brought before civilian after the lifting of
martial law have recently been acquitted or simply exempted from trial
on grounds that there was no evidence enough against the organization.
The most striking examples of this injustice are the
trials concerning the Confederation of the Progressive Trade Unions of
Turkey (DISK) and the All Teachers' Union of Turkey (TOB-DER).
After the 1980 coup d'état, martial law authorities,
accusing the DISK of subversive activities, summoned its all leading
officials to surrender to military authorities. Out of 1,477 officials
who gave themselves up, 264 were condemned by a martial law court in
Istanbul to prison terms of up to 10 years and remained for years in
But a part of the DISK officials, instead of
surrendering, either remained underground or went abroad clandestinely.
After the lifting of martial law, 495 defendants
belonging to this category surrendered to civilian authorities. The
public prosecutor of Bakirkoy in Istanbul who handled their case
announced at the end of inquiry that the accusation against 495 DISK
officials was groundless and released all of them. This decision by the
civilian judiciary shows once more that 264 other DISK officials had
been condemned without any convincing proof and remained in prison for
years as victims of military injustice.
The same inequality has been observed in the trials
of the TOB-DER officials as well.
After the military coup, a group of 49 teachers were
arrested for leading TOB-DER and condemned to prison terms of up to 9
years by a military court in Ankara.
Recently a group of 20 teachers, of whom 17 fled
Turkey, were tried by a civilian court in Ankara for the same TOB-DER's
pre-coup activities. Though accused of the same crime, all the 20
defendants were acquitted by the Criminal Court No.2 of Ankara which
could not find any evidence against them. Among the acquitted officials
are also the TOB-DER Chairman Gultekin Gazioglu, Secretary General
Mustafa Tuzun and Treasurer Ismet Ozdemir.
What is more, the two mass organizations, DISK and
TOB-DER, had been closed down by military courts on the pretext that
their leaders were involved in crimes against the State. But the recent
decisions by civilian courts put in evidence that these sanctions too
were also groundless.
The lawyers of DISK and TOB-DER have taken the
initiative in order to obtain the annulment of the judgment about the
condemned officials and the reopening of these two organizations.
A NEW STATE SECURITY COURT
The rise of state terrorism was marked on June 22,
1989 by the opening of a second State Security Court in Istanbul.
Besides, on June 14, the National Assembly voted the prolongation of
state of emergency for four months from July 19 in eight Eastern
To replace martial law tribunals, in 1984, eight
State Security Courts had been set up in Istanbul, Ankara, Diyarbakir,
Erzincan, Izmir, Kayseri, Konya and Malatya. 128 judges and
prosecutors, including military ones, as well as 414 administrative
personnel are charged at these courts. These courts deal with cases
relating to State security, committed after the lifting of martial law.
The acts committed earlier are still being dealt by martial law courts.
The first State Security Court of Istanbul has
already been overcharged with political cases against hundreds of
opponents of the regime.
The State Security Court No.2 of Istanbul is first
dealing with the case against 129 people accused of having celebrated
May Day without previous permission.
A 14-year old boy, Ö.B., takes part among these
first defendants of the new court.
HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS CHARGED
The leaders of the Human Rights Association of
Turkey (IHD) are very often pursued and indicted for their declarations
or actions in defense of human rights.
Recently, Akin Birdal, the IHD general secretary,
faces a 6-year prison sentence on charges of insulting the Turkish
judiciary and Parliament in a speech he made at a rally in Istanbul on
November 27, 1988.
Earlier, on June 9, the prosecutor of the State
Security Court in Ankara opened another inquiry about the talks of
Birdal and three other IHD officials, Mahmut Tali Ongoren, Yavuz Onen
and Bulent Tanor, with the members of the European Commission of Human
Rights which took place in Paris on March 10, 1989.
Same day, in Istanbul, the public prosecutor started
another inquiry about Birdal, Emil Galip Sandalci, chairman of the IHD
Istanbul Section, Murat Celikkan and Esra Koc, for the speeches that
they made at a meeting in Istanbul in February 1989.
On June 28, seven officials of the Antalya branch of
the IHD were subjected to an inquiry for a concert by popular singer
Rahmi Saltuk which they organized on May 6, 1989.
Same day, Dr.Alparslan Berktay, Izmir chairman of
IHD, was indicted for his declaration against torture practice in
On July 8, fourteen human rights activists including
Emil Galip Sandalci, Istanbul chairman of IHD, and Mustafa Eryuksel,
chairman of the Association for Solidarity with Relatives of Prisoners
(TAYAD), were indicted by the public prosecutor for having issued a
communiqué without getting permission from local authorities. Each
faces imprisonment of up to six months.
On July 18, the Eskisehir branch of the IHD was
closed down by local authorities on the pretext that police discovered
some banned publications in its office.
ISLAMIST MAYOR INDICTED
Halil Ibrahim Celik, the mayor of Sanliurfa, was
indicted on July 24 by the State Security Court in Ankara on charges of
violating the Constitution's secular rules. He faces a prison sentence
of up to 12 years.
In the indictment by the prosecutor, Celik is
claimed to be a member of Islamic fundamentalist Turkish organizations
based in Europe, such as the Union of Islamic Associations and
Communities (ICCB) and the European Organization of National Vision
Celik won the local elections in the southeastern
town of Sanliurfa last March as a candidate from the Welfare Party
(RP). He got into trouble in March when he declared at a meeting of RP
mayors at the party headquarters that he was not a supporter of
secularism or the principles of Ataturk.
According to the indictment, Celik had a special
mission from the fundamentalist Turkish organizations in Europe, which
have as their aim the overthrow of the democratic regime in Turkey and
the establishment of an order based on Islamic rules. The prosecutor
also charges Celik of having received substantial financial support
from both ICCB and AMGT for his election campaign.
OTHER PROSECUTIONS IN TWO MONTHS
2.6, in Siirt, police announced the arrest of 37
people accused of supporting the PKK. Among them are also some members
of the main opposition SHP.
4.6, in Istanbul, police arrested eight presumed
militants of the People's Liberation Party/Front of Turkey (THKP/C).
6.6, eleven alleged members of PKK were arrested in
12.6, in Ankara, six members of the Greens Party
(YP) were indicted for their protest demonstration at the Armaments
Fair in May 1989.
14.6, three members of the Revolutionary Communist
Union of Turkey (TDKB) were condemned to 12 years and 6 months in total.
11.6, the State Security Court of Ankara sentenced
eight alleged Dev-Yol members to 8-year imprisonment each.
16.6, police operations in Adana, Icel and Antalya
resulted in the arrest of 24 alleged PKK members.
19.6, police arrested two militants of Dev-Sol in
27.6, a 33-year old Greek woman, Soussana
Chataigianni, was arrested at the Ankara University on the charge of
having written some political slogans on her examination paper.
28.6, two alleged members of Dev-Sol were condemned
by the State Security Court of Istanbul to 4 years and 2 months each
for having participated in May Day celebrations.
28.6, the second trial of 144 alleged members of the
Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) ended in the condemnation of 36
defendants to prison terms of from 16 months up to 9 years and 4
months. Their first trial at the Martial Law Court of Ankara had been
resulted with the condemnation of 227 defendants. On the appeal by
lawyers, the Military Court of Cassation had approved the verdict for
91, but overruled 137 other condemnations. At their second trial, 7 new
defendants were added to the accused.
29.6, the State Security Court of Ankara sentenced
four alleged PKK members to 33-year imprisonment in total.
30.6, police made an irruption into to the
Zeytinburnu branch of the Popular Clubs (Halkevleri) in Istanbul and
arrested its five officials.
1.7, the offices of the Students' Association at the
Marmara University in Istanbul were raided by police and eleven
students detained. After their release following a 10-day detention,
students said that they were tortured during their interrogation.
Student Ilhan Kaygusuz claimed that torturers had introduced a bottle
into his anus.
5.7, in Istanbul, police arrested 13 alleged
militants of the TKP/ML.
25.7, in Ankara, twelve militants of Dev-Sol were
brought before the State Security Court for having staged protest
actions in the capital city. Each defendant faces imprisonment of up to
CLASHES IN TURKISH KURDISTAN
As the rulers in Ankara were raising the question of
national repression in Bulgaria, the Turkish Army intensified during
summer days the terror campaign against the Kurdish people in the
However, the more the repression is increased, the
Kurdish guerrilla's implantation within the local population is getting
deeper and stronger. Thanks to this popular support, the Kurdish
guerrillas have recently stricken heavy blows to security forces in
the Eruh, Sirnak and Cudi areas. The region covering these areas
is known as "Botan" by Kurds and the guerrillas of the Workers' Party
of Kurdistan (PKK) have been fighting there for years with a view of
founding the first "liberated Kurdish zone".
The daily Tercuman of August 7, 1989 reports that in
a five-year period running from August 15, 1984 to July 19, 1989, armed
clashes have led to 1,259 deaths of which 300 are members of security
forces, 419 Kurdish militants and 540 citizens. But the figures given
by the Kurdish side are higher than the official ones.
On August 16, 1989, the National Liberation Front of
Kurdistan (ERNK), led by the PKK, held a press conference in Brussels
on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the beginning of guerrilla
warfare in Turkish Kurdistan. The spokesman of the front announced
that, within the last one-year period, the guerrilla units belonging to
the People's Liberation Army of Kurdistan (ARGK) have carried out 47
assaults, 17 sabotages, 17 ambushes and 7 minings. As a result of these
operations, 797 people in the service of the Turkish government have
been killed and 1,140 wounded. the Turkish government forces lost 2
majors, 3 captains, 3 first lieutenants, 11 second lieutenants, l
sergeant, 667 soldiers, 79 informers and village protectors, 16
counter-guerrilla officers, 3 members of the National Intelligence
Agency (MIT), 14 policemen and 1 guard of military post.
According to the same source, the ARGK lost only 37
fighters in one year.
Lt. Gen. Hikmet Koksal, commander of the local
gendarmerie corps, held a meeting with local security officials and
military commanders in the town of Sirnak in Siirt on July 19 and
planned a widespread operation in the mountains around the town where
PKK activity has stepped up noticeably in recent weeks.
Claiming that the PKK fighters hide themselves in
the Cudi Mountain, the security forces stepped up their preparations
for a raking operation in the area. Within the framework of this
operation, four villages on the skirts of the mountain, Balveren,
Arakoy, Gecitboyu and Dagkonak, have already been raided by military
troops and 5,000 Kurdish peasants banned to leave their villages.
Because of this measure, peasants even cannot graze their cattle and
work in their fields. Practically, they have been condemned to hunger.
According to some rumors, the military may even use
chemical weapons for annihilating guerrilla shelters in the mountain.
A social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) deputy,
Cumhur Keskin said at a press conference on July 25, 1989 that three
men killed during the clashes near the village of Yoncali, who were
described as PKK members by Turkish Radio and Television (TRT), were in
fact ordinary village residents.
The bodies of the three men were burned in a
haystack on the orders of the major commanding the military unit in
order to destroy evidence, the deputy said. The people of Yoncali are
concerned that three other men missing from the same village might have
met the same fate. Mustafa Orhan, the muhtar (headman) of Yoncali,
filed a petition of complaint at the local prosecutor's office.
"Since 1984," said SHP deputy, "the security of
individuals in the area has been completely extirpated through these
practices of the security forces."
Later on, SHP leader Erdal Inonu sent a three-man
party delegation to Hakkari to probe allegations by the villagers of
Yoncali. Fikret Unlu, spokesman of the group, said the people living in
the area are stunned and helpless, and are caught between the fire of
Turkish security forces and the PKK militants.
"From the beginning we urged the government to act
with restraint in this area, to put an end to the system of village
guards and to respect human rights. The village guards -civilian
volunteers armed, trained and paid by the government to fight the
terrorists, are also oppressing the people. The situation in the area
is extremely serious. None of the citizens in this area has any respect
left for the security forces," he added.
YESILYURT TO STRASBOURG
Lawyers for the residents of Yesilyurt village in
Mardin applied to the European Human Rights Commission on June 26,
1989, claiming that all legal attempts to bring to trial security
officials accused of forcing people to eat human excrement have been
exhausted in Turkey.
The Yesilyurt residents claimed that a gendarmerie
patrol commanded by Major Cafer Tayyar Caglayan raided the village on
the night of January 14 searching for Kurdish guerrillas. During the
raid, men from the village were beaten and forced to eat human
excrement when they said they did not know the whereabouts of members
of the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK).
The charges by the residents were first investigated
by Interior Ministry inspectors and legal action was taken against
Major Caglayan and the soldiers. However, the court refused to try the
defendants on charges of making people eat excrement.
At the end of June, the Supreme Court in Ankara
ruled that Major Caglayan should be tried in a criminal court. But the
charges brought against him do not include forcing the people of
Yesilyurt to eat excrement.
KURDISH REFUGEES POISONED IN A CAMP
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) claimed that
Kurdish refugees in the Kiziltepe camp in Turkey were given poisonous
bread on June 8 and they were still suffering from stomach troubles.
Three members of the refugee committee in the camp
said that about 50 of the refugees suffered partial paralysis as a
result of eating the bread which they said was injected with poisonous
They claimed that doctors among the Kurdish refugees
found 1,200 of the 1,800 loaves to contain poisonous substances.
STATE TERROR AT UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
The main opposition Social Democratic Populist Party
(SHP), on June 8, 1989, asked the High Board of Judges and Prosecutors
to take legal action against two Ankara state security court
prosecutors who were inciting public violence by their behaviour.
On June 5, when students boycotted lunches on the
campus of the Middle East Technical University (ODTU) in Ankara to
protest restrictions on student associations, prosecutor Ulku Coskun
instructed the local gendarme unit to detain the protesters.
About 140 students in two campus buses were
surrounded by rifle-wielding gendarmes. Informed about the tension, SHP
deputy Fikri Saglar went to the campus and, after a nine-hour
bargaining, persuaded the security commander to release the students by
giving the guarantee that eight students would go to the state security
court the following morning for questioning.
On June 6, when Saglar went to the State Security
Court he was acknowledged that prosecutor Coskun opened an
investigation into the behaviour of Colonel Balci for not obeying his
instructions to arrest all the students in the buses. When he discussed
Coskun's attitude with the chief prosecutor Nusret Demiral, the latter
shouted: "If need be I will tear down the entire ODTU."
Following this complaint, 70-year-old lawyer Ibrahim
Acan is suing prosecutor Ulku Coskun for 10 million TL ($4,760) in
damages, claiming that the prosecutor insulted him.
Lawyer Acan was imprisoned for six weeks on charges
of making derogatory statements about the military judicial system in a
book he wrote. He was cleared of the charges at the end of his trial.
Acan claims that prosecutor Coskun threatened to slap him in the face
and insulted him at the corridor of the court house without any
INTIMIDATING INQUIRY AT A SCHOOL
To intimidate teachers and students, the National
Education Ministry has resorted a new procedure.
In the town of Saruhanli, on June 12, the National
Education Director made an irruption into the 2nd class of the 7 Eylul
Primary School. After having ousted class teacher Hayri Odabasi, he
interrogated one by one 27 students by forwarding them a series of
questions such as:
- Was he sorry for worker who was shot dead on May
Day in Istanbul?
- Are there the words of "rich" and "poor" in the
songs he taught you?
- Which newspaper he reads regularly?
- On May Day, which newspaper your teacher brought
- Does he speaks against the police?
M.C. STILL UNDER SURVEILLANCE
On the other hand, the torment of the 15-year old
high school student, M.C., is still going on despite the protests from
democratic circles as well in Turkey as abroad. Accused of communist
propaganda in the school, he had been arrested in Izmir. (See Inf-Turk,
After been kept for six months under arrest, he was
freed by the court. But recently has was placed again under the
surveillance of legal medicine for determining whether or not he was
conscious when he made "communist propaganda."
According to the daily Milliyet of June 16, the
doctor who questioned M.C. said him: "Would not be better at this age
to run after girls instead of talking of politics?"
Since the legal medicine's report was not yet
arrived and he still remained under surveillance for this delay, M.C.
announced on July 26 that he would lodge a complaint against the doctor.
DOCTORS' DEMONSTRATION BANNED
A mass rally organized by doctors and health service
personnel in Ankara on June 17 was banned by local authorities.
Until that date, doctors and health service
personnel had been trying to put their demands before the public by
holding night-long vigils at state hospitals, spending at least 20
minutes examining each patient and refusing to prescribe expensive
drugs. All these actions were intended to draw attention to the harsh
working conditions and low pay of government health personnel who,
under current Turkish legislation, are not allowed to strike.
In Istanbul, too, the governor refused to give
permission for a demonstration organized by nurses for June 18.
Thereupon, six nurses left black nurses' caps in front of the
governor's office to protest the decision. Police on guard detained the
nurses and took them away in police vans.
CARRYING FIREARMS TO BE LEGALIZED
If a bill now before the Prime Minister is adopted
by the National Assembly, Turkish citizens will once again be allowed
to own guns. According to the draft, people who do not have criminal
records and can provide a doctor's certificate showing they have no
psychiatric disorder will be eligible to buy firearms from the
At present, only 200,000 people are permitted to
carry firearms. Members of security forces and the army, cabinet
ministers, deputies, judges, prosecutors, governors and certain
municipal officials may carry firearms, even if they are retired.
Besides, hunters, people carrying money for private companies, and
private security organizations working for banks and other companies
are authorized to carry firearms.
If the draft is adopted, Turkey will also import
firearms through the Foundation for Strengthening the Police
Carrying firearms had been restricted after the coup
of 1980 with a view to prevent political violence.
The new draft is criticized by the opposition who
argued that if it were implemented the country would look like a
setting for a Western movie and political violence may reemerge.
"THE UNWRITTEN MEMOIRS OF KENAN EVREN"
The book edited by by Dr. Baskin Oran, who is one of
the hundreds of university professors who lost their jobs under martial
law, is the first of its kind in Turkish. It makes ample use of Evren's
numerous speeches, newspaper statements and chats he has had with
journalists since he came to power nine years ago.
The excerpts from Evren's speeches in the book
include the statements on various subjects including capital punishment:
"Should we not hang these people instead of feeding
them in prison? Capital punishment exists both in our religion and in
the Bible too," reads some quotes from General Evren's past speeches.
"They are spreading gossip that I am going to get
married. If I catch those who are saying this I will make it worse for
them than September 12," goes another quote from Evren.
When Evren visited West Germany last year he did an
about face and began expressing liberal ideas.
"As if it were not he who had defended capital
punishment in the past, he announced he was against hanging. He also
said he had no objection to the legalization of the Communist Party,"
"I have read the 3,000 pages of speeches he has
delivered since 1980 and what the newspapers have published about him
over the past nine years. Now I can say I am fully familiar with the
simple soldierly logic that Kenan Evren possesses," said Oran. "He was
an insignificant officer. When he was awaiting his retirement he found
himself the army chief and later the president as a result of
unbelievable coincidences. He has a naive personality. That is to say
he is not a cunning person. Sometimes he is unaware of the consequences
of what he is saying. He doesn't see any difference between commanding
a company of soldiers and running the whole country."
EVREN ALLERGIC TO DEMOCRATS
Humorist Aziz Nesin and his friends in the Committee
for Monitoring Democracy made an unsuccessful attempt to visit General
Kenan Evren on June 12 to give him the minutes and resolutions of the
Congress for Democracy held in Ankara in May 1989.
Political party leaders, intellectuals, writers and
professionals participated at the Democracy Congress which discussed
problems of democratic process in Turkey and military interventions
taking place in 10-year periods.
The group of six, including Aziz Nesin, was not
allowed to enter the Cankaya presidential palace on the grounds that
they did not have a prior appointment with the president.
A MUSICAL GROUP UNDER TORTURE
Nine members of the popular music ensemble "Group
Yorum" were arrested on July 8 in Mersin where he had arrived for a
concert, organized by a trade union. Police took into custody 20 fans
It is reported by the press that during
interrogation police subjected two members of the group, Metin Kahraman
and Hilmi Yarayici, to torture. Besides, torturers attempted to verify
whether of not three female members of the group, Elif Sumru Goker,
Aylin Sesen and Selma Cicek are virgin. But the latter resisted against
such an humiliating treatment.
Group Yorum is famous especially for their prison
songs and has very often been harassed by the police for having sung
When they arrived in Mersin, police informed them
that their concert was banned by the local authorities. Thereupon, they
staged a demonstration in protest against this interdiction.
Accused of unauthorized demonstration, each member
of the group faces a prison term of up to three years.
As they were under arrest, their comrades set up
another musical ensemble under the name of "New Group Yorum". But the
very first concert by this new group on July 28 in Antalya was also
banned by local authorities.
PRESSURES ON INTELLECTUAL LIFE
1.6, Dr. Arslan Yuzgun, author of the book entitled
"Women with Blue Identity Cards", was arrested for unauthorized
demonstration when he attempted to burn, in front of the Taksim
Monument in Istanbul, a decision to censor his book.
11.6, the district governor of Mudanya banned the
projection of the film entitled "Ordinary Fascism" at the Cinema Days.
18.6 poet Ahmet Telli was arrested by the State
Security Court of Ankara for his speech at a panel organized at the
28.6, in Ankara, a photoreporter of the daily Tan,
Nurettin Kurt was arrested by the judge of a criminal court for taking
photos at a trial of misuse and sent handcuffed to prison.
29.6, two journalists of the daily Sabah, reporter
Bekir Coskun and responsible editor Atilla Hamzacebi, were indicted for
a series of articles entitled "Autumn in the Royal Garden". For these
articles about the Prime Minister's family, they face imprisonment of
up to 3 years each.
7.7, in Iskenderun, a concert by a popular folk
singer, Sadik Gurbuz, was banned by the order of the Governor.
21.7, the Ministry of Culture censored three Kurdish
ballads in the musi-cassette entitled "Hoy Nare", produced by famous
folk singer Rahmi Saltuk. The artist qualified this decision
ridiculous, because these three ballads have been sung for more than
1500 years in Anatolia.
BLACKOUT SCANDAL AT THE TURKISH TV
The screen blackened abruptly July 18 night without
explanation as the government-controlled Turkish Radio and Television
(TRT) was airing a 1951 French film, "Les Jeux Interdits" (Forbidden
Games). The screen went live with the start of the next program,
leaving viewers puzzled as to how the film ended.
Next day, TRT officials made the explanation that
they discontinued showing the film because TRT had received phone calls
from several viewers claiming that the film was laden with Christian
While the liberal and progressive Turkish press said
the discontinuation of René Clément's film was a broadcasting scandal,
the Islamic press expressed its gratitude to newly appointed TRT
Director Kerim Aydin Erdem.
The film showed a young boy and girl collecting
crosses from churches, graveyards and hearses during World War II. The
story did not have any apparent connection with Christianity except for
the symbolic crosses collected by the children as a game.
It is the first time after the 1980 coup that the
act of destroying books was condemned by judicial authorities in
On July 11, 1989, the Administrative Court No.5 of
Ankara condemned the Turkish Prime Ministry to pay 35 millions Turkish
Liras ($15,000) to publisher Suleyman Ege whose 133,607 books had been
confiscated in 1982 and destroyed by burning in 1982.
20.6, the weekly 2000e Dogru was confiscated for
22.6, the State Security Court in Istanbul ordered
the seizure of copies of the program of the United Communist Party of
Turkey (TBKP), which was published on June 19, 1989.
30.6, the June issue of the monthly Emek Dunyasi was
confiscated for "communist and separatist propaganda."
2.7, the June issue of the monthly Emek
Sosyalizm was confiscated for "communist propaganda." Already
three former issues of the same review had been subjected to same
measure. The responsible editor of the review, Abuzer Kilic faces an
imprisonment of up to 100 years for the articles in the confiscated
12.7, the July issue of the monthly Yeni Cozum was
confiscated for "communist and separatist propaganda."
21.7, the Police Chief of Tunceli ordered the
confiscation of all printed works of some famous writers and artists
such as Nazim Hikmet and Yilmaz Guney.
30.7, the July issue of the monthly youth review
Devrimci Genclik was confiscated for "separatist publication."
TWO HELSINKI REPORTS ON TURKEY
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
addressed a report entitled "Human Rights Concerns in Selected Helsinki
Signatory Countries" to the CSCE Human Rights Meeting in Paris on
Concerning Turkey, the report underlines the
"TORTURE: Torture continues in Turkey, despite
government denials. Almost all suspects in political cases are tortured
during police detention, as are most suspects in ordinary crimes.
Amnesty International reported that 17 people died as a result of
torture in 1987, and that five died in the first half of 1988. The
Turkish Government has acknowledged that 32 people died under torture
between December 1979 and March 1989. AI has a list of 47 people
alleged to have died from torture in that period and 172 additional
cases of deaths in custody about which the organization has asked for
information from the government.
"POLITICAL PRISONERS: Thousands of political
prisoners remain in Turkish prisons and detention centers, some still
awaiting the outcome of trials that began some years ago. The Turkish
Human Rights Association estimates that there are 5,000 political
prisoners; in December 1988, Prime Minister Ozal said that there were
3,800. Hundreds of these prisoners have been detained or convicted
merely for the peaceful exercise of their right to free expression.
"THE KURDISH MINORITY: Guerrilla warfare continues
in southeastern Turkey. Civilians in small villages find themselves
caught between the Turkish military and the militant PKK (the Kurdish
Workers' Party that advocates a separate Kurdish nation), attacked and
abused by both sides.
"The Turkish government denies the existence of a
Kurdish minority in Turkey, and prohibits Kurdish literature, music and
the use of the Kurdish language for official purposes. Kurds are
forbidden to give their children Kurdish names; if they do not comply,
the courts change the names into Turkish ones. Kurdish villagers have
been forcibly relocated, beaten and abused by the military.
"FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: More criticism of the
government is being published in the Turkish press than at any time
since the military coup in September 1980, but editors of publications
run the risk of harassment, criminal prosecution and prison terms.
Between September 1980 and April 1988, 2,127 journalists were tried in
1,426 cases. Currently, at least 41 journalists and editors are in
prison because of what they have written or published. Some are serving
sentences that total 600 or 700 years (by Turkish law, a journalist can
be sentenced to seven and a half years for each offending article),
though no one will serve more than 36 years, the maximum permitted
under Turkish law.
"FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: Since 1980, some 300,000
Turkish citizens have been denied passports and, therefore, the freedom
to travel abroad. The Turkish passport law denies passports to various
categories of people, including those whom the Minister of the Interior
deems undesirable to leave the country for security reasons."
On the other hand, Helsinki Watch, in its recent
report entitled "Paying the Price - Freedom of Expression in Turkey,"
announced that many journalists, editors and writers are still
suffering from harassment, criminal charges, detention, torture, trials
The report analyzes freedom of expression in all
media in Turkey as well as the freedom to form and join associations.
In an appraisal of the present situation, based on a
visit by Helsinki Watch to Turkey in 1988 and information given by
Turkish press including Info-Türk, the report concludes: If Turkey
wishes to become part of the community of nations that respects
individual liberties and rights, it must rewrite or sharply revise the
1982 Constitution and abolish the many laws that drastically restrict
its citizens' freedoms. It must also put an end to torture and to the
practice of detaining people for long periods of time under inhuman and
IFJ TO CHECK ON PRESS FREEDOM IN TURKEY
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
announced on July 2 that it will send a group of representatives to
Turkey to study the practice of freedom of the press in this country.
A report on press freedom sent to Brussels by the
Turkish Journalists' Union (TGS) was studied with concern by the IFJ.
As a result, it was decided to send a fact-finding group to Turkey.
The statement issued by the executive board said
press freedom is very important in Turkey because it is a country which
has applied for full membership in the European
On the other hand, the International Federation of
Newspaper Owners (FIEJ), following its convention held on June
10-14,1989 in Berlin, called the Turkish Government to put an end to
pressures on the Turkish press.
TURKISH PEN WAITS FOR OFFICIAL APPROVAL
The Turkish Government has still not approved the
official establishment of the Turkish section of PN, the international
association of playwrights, essayists and novelists.
Novelist Yasar Kemal, who is the founding chairman
of the Turkish PEN, said a group of Turkish writers met seven-an-a-half
months ago to set up the local branch of the association, but
government bureaucracy has prevented it functioning fully. In Turkey,
government approval is needed for establishment of associations with
The board elected by the founders would resign if
the government did not give its final approval, said Yasar Kemal.
MINIMUM WAGE HIKE INSUFFICENT
The Labour Ministry announced new monthly minimum
wages as 225,000 TL for workers over 16 years of age and 155,250
for those under 16 years of age. After deductions for taxes of various
kinds, people of 16 will get, from August 1st, 1989, an average of
141,975 TL ($66) per month and those under 16, an average of 97,760 TL
($45) per month.
The Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (TURK-IS),
which did not take part in the last meeting of the Minimum Wage
Determining Commission, does not consider the new wage levels high
enough. According to TURK-IS, Mrs. Imren Aykut, Labour Minister, can
only by a pair of shoes with the new minimum wage.
The leader of the Correct Way Party (DYP) Suleyman
Demirel said the new minimum wage was a disappointment. He claimed that
the minimum wage should be 300,000 TL a month and tax-free.
In fact, according to the daily Cumhuriyet of July
1st, 1989, only the kitchen expenditures of a family of four persons
reach 388,060 TL.
On the other hand, in June, the members of
Parliament raised their monthly salaries from 2.22 million TL up 4.5
million TL, while the government considers sufficient 141,975 TL for
TURKISH FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF FOR KHOMEINI
The lowering of Turkish flags to half-staff for two
days to mark the death of Ayatollah Khomeini has led angry reactions in
Turkish law says the prime minister's office is
entitled to declare days of national mourning when the Turkish flag can
be lowered to half-staff. However, until now the star-and-crescent has
been lowered only during the funerals of heads-of-state of friendly
nations, and on November 10, the anniversary of the death of Kemal
Ataturk, founder of the Republic.
Tufan Dogu, deputy general secretary of the main
opposition SHP, reminding that Khomeini insulted Ataturk on every
possible occasion, said: "The lowering of the Turkish flag on the death
of Khomeini -who has no official title in Iran except that of religious
leader- is nothing less than irresponsible. What Khomeini did in Iran
was not a revolution, but a mass murder. We deeply deplore the
government's decision to lower the flags."
The government was also criticized for lowering the
Turkish flag before the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Only the Turkish
star-and-crescent among the flags of 16 NATO allies was at half-staff
in Brussels on June 5-6.
TURCO-BRITISH VISA QUARREL
All British nationals entering Turkey after November
1, 1989, will have to require visas.
In June this year, in retaliation to the British
Government's decision to require visa from all Turkish nationals,
including holders of diplomatic or service passports, Turkey announced
British civil servants planning to come to Turkey after August 1st
would have to apply for visas.
However, this regulation proved difficult to
implement because Britain issues only one type of passport for all
British nationals. British diplomats in Turkey said that they were
unable to discriminate between British passport holders. Thereupon,
Ankara decided to require all British citizens to obtain visa.
The restriction makes Britain the first European
country from which Turkey requires visas.
Since 1980, beginning with the FRG and the Benelux
countries, almost all European countries, except Spain, Italy,
Portugal, Ireland, Austria, Rumania and Yugoslavia, have been obliging
Turkish nationals, including those who work and live in Europe, to get
visa in order to enter their territory. However, Turkish diplomats and
high level functionaries are exempted from visa obligation. For this
reason, the Turkish Government has never resorted to a retaliation.
Now, when the high bureaucrats face the same problem
in their voyage to the Britain, Ankara reacted immediately.
TURKEY ON THE ILO'S BLACK LIST
The International Labour Organization (ILO), during
its annual meetings in Geneva at the end of June 1989, included once
again Turkey into the "black list" of the countries that violate
international labour regulations.
First, a committee of experts raised the question of
the Law No. 1402 concerning martial law administration. This law
authorizes martial law commanders to fire anyone from his post even if
there is not any evidence against him. The Human Rights Association of
Turkey (IHD), prior to the ILO meeting, announced that 9,400 people had
been the victim of this law during the 7-year period of martial after
the 1980 coup. Although martial law lifted throughout Turkey, many of
these victims have not yet been allowed to return to their posts.
According to ILO's General Assembly, this law is not
at all compatible with the ILO's Convention No. 111.
The General Assembly also declared that Turkey does
not respect the freedoms of trade union. The fact that the ILO's
conventions No. 87 and 151 concerning trade union freedoms have not yet
been ratified by Ankara is considered as a proof of the Turkish
Government's anti-trade union attitude.
Ankara is also accused, in the ILO decision, of
disrespecting the ILO convention No.98 concerning collective
bargainings. Despite the ILO's warning in past years, Ankara still
deprives some trade unions of the right to collective bargaining and
maintains the ban on strike in many economic sectors.
AN UNWANTED US AMBASSADOR
The appointment of Morton Abramowitz as the new US
ambassador to Ankara has led to strong reaction as well from the left
as from the right in Turkey because of his previous involvement in the
affairs of other countries.
The Socialist Party (SP) charged that Abramowitz has
been sent to Turkey to intervene in domestic politics shortly before
the presidential nomination to take place in this autumn. The Secretary
General of the party, Yalcin Buyukdagli, said that Abramowitz had
not been accepted as an ambassador by countries such as Egypt, Malaysia
and Pakistan on the grounds that he attempted to mastermind coup
d'états in these countries.
For the Welfare Party (RP), fundamentalist,
Abramowitz is not acceptable simply because of his Jewish origin.
Twenty years ago, similar reactions were manifested
against the then US Ambassador, Robert Komer, because he was known as
an active collaborator of the CIA. The hostility against Komer was
resulted in the burning of his car during his visit to the Middle East
Technical University (ODTU) in Ankara.
DRAMA OF TURKISH IMMIGRANTS FROM BULGARIA
The repressive policy of Bulgarian Government
towards Turkish ethnic minority on the one hand, on the other, the
provocative attitude of the Turkish Government on this question both
led to a dreadful disaster for hundreds of thousands Turks of Bulgaria.
Mid-August 1989, the number of immigrants forced to
go to Turkey climbed to 260,000. However, the Bulgarian train which was
bringing an average of 1,000 to 1,200 immigrants to the border station
of Kapikule every day, recently had an average of 600 passengers.
According to the immigrants, Bulgarian authorities
try to stem the exodus of ethnic Turks because Bulgaria is faced with
serious shortages in its work force.
As the Council of Europe, the NATO and Turkey's ally
countries were expressing their concern on this question, the Bulgarian
Discussion Club, an unofficial association of intellectuals who support
glasnost and perestroika issued a strongly worded communique
criticizing their government for "creating a national crisis."
In the communiqué addressed also to the Bulgarian
Parliament, the association says: "Now that more than 200,000 Bulgarian
citizens who feel themselves to be ethnic Turks have emigrated from our
country and hundreds of thousands more are preparing to leave, the
state is threatened by a general crisis. This crisis, which has
economic, political, moral and ideological dimensions, is the direct
result of an abrupt change in policies toward citizens with Turkish
ethnic consciousness that took place in 1984." The group demands a
public investigation into the origins and legality of the policy of
assimilation against the ethnic Turks.
The Bulgarian intellectuals, however, described the
government in Turkey as "one of the most savagely oppressive in the
Despite the continuing influx of ethnic Turks from
Bulgaria there has also been a trickle in the opposite direction.
Though their number is for the time being a few hundreds, more returns
are expected in the coming months.
The Turkish officials claim that those who return
could not bear to live without other members of the family left in
However, some families have decided to return
because of the high cost of living and the difficulty of finding a job
and a house. In comparison with the living conditions and social
securities in Bulgaria, Turkish immigrants find themselves all of a
sudden on the brink of an absolute poverty.
Those immigrants who do not wish to stay in Turkey
are questioned by intelligence officials before they are given
permission to leave.
Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Ganev, in
interview with the Greek daily Elefterotypia, claimed Turkey is not
allowing Moslem Bulgarian citizens to return their country. He alleged
Turkish authorities were seizing the passports of these Bulgarian
citizens and making them stay in concentration camps.
Aware of the growing unrest among the immigrants,
the Turkish Government has been obliged to seek a compromise with
Bulgarian authorities. Recently, Turkish premier Ozal declared that his
government was ready to talk about other questions with Sofia if
Bulgaria agreed to discuss the situation of the ethnic Turks who have
so far arrived in Turkey. This is a change in Ozal's attitude. After
the present crisis began in early June, Ozal said Turkey was not ready
to talk about other matters with Bulgaria until an arrangement was made
about the influx of immigrants from Bulgaria.
On the other hand, following the Turkish
Government's wish, Soviet Ambassador Albert Chernishev has taken a
series of initiatives in a view to restoring dialogue between Ankara
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
adopted on July 6, 1989, the following recommendation on the situation
of refugees of Bulgarian nationality in Turkey:
"1. Alarmed by the arrival in Turkey of an
increasing number of refugees of Bulgarian nationality belonging to an
ethnic and Moslem minority which represents a serious problem;
2. Hoping that a constructive dialogue may be
established between Turkey and Bulgaria in order to find as rapidly as
possible a solution to this problem, and appealing to Bulgaria to agree
to negotiate a satisfactory immigration agreement with Turkey which
will result in an end to such involuntary emigration,
"3. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers
appeal to the governments of member states so that they provide, as a
matter of urgency, concrete and co-ordinated aid to Turkey in order
that these exiles be accorded a decent reception corresponding to
standards of human dignity."
The Assembly also decided to send a mission to
Bulgaria. The report to be drawn up by this mission will be debated at
the following meeting of the Assembly in September.
TURKEY SHELTERS 2.5 MILLION REFUGEES
The daily Milliyet of July 10, 1989 reported that
Turkey shelters for the time being about 2.5 million refugees.
Since the Khomeiny's Islamic Revolution in 1979,
more than 1 million Iranians have passed the Turco-Iranian border and
demanded political asylum in Turkey.
Also 36,000 Iraqi Kurds, 10,000 Afghan Turks have
recently received by Turkey.
Until 1978 Turkey had received 400,000 ethnic Turks
from Bulgaria. Recently, the number of the ethnic Turks forced to leave
Bulgaria has already reached 250,000.
Together with those refugees who have come from
Greece, Yugoslavia and Rumania, the total number of the refugees in
Turkey is estimated at 2.5 million, which represents 5% of the
population of Turkey. In return, about 2.5 million people from Turkey
are abroad as immigrant workers or political refugees.