LIES IN STRASBOURG
Turkish Prime Minister Ozal, in his address to the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on
September 27, 1989, claimed that Turkey had made a big progress as
regards respecting fundamental rights and freedoms.
To convince the European parliamentarians of this
claim, he announced that his government had recently issued two
decrees: the one for limiting the application fields of capital
punishment and the other for recognizing Turkish citizens the right to
appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
In response to some questions, he said Articles 141
(against organizing communist party), 142 (making communist and
separatist propaganda) and 163 (anti-secular organization and
propaganda) of the Turkish Penal Code were obsolete and he was doing
his best to lift them.
So, the prime minister of this member country,
applauded and appreciated by many European parliamentarians, suceeded
once more to fool the Council of Europe.
In fact, one day after his speech, on September 28,
- A 88-year old political exile, Mehmet Bozisik,
after his voluntary return to the country, was arrested in Ankara by
the State Security Court by virtue of Article 141, for being a member
of the Central Committee of the Communist Party..
- A 15-year old high school student, Melih
Calaylioglu, was tried again before the State Security Court of Izmir
by virtue of Article 142, because the forensic pathologist gave a
second report claiming that the young defendant was conscious while he
was doing "communist propaganda" among his classmates.
- The new-elected Mayor of the city of Sanliurfa,
Halil Ibrahim Celik, was tried before the State Security Court of
Ankara by virtue of Article 163, because he said he was neither
Ataturkist nor secular.
- Hundreds of death sentences pronounced by military
tribunals against political defendants were still being dealt by higher
courts, because the Article 146 of the Turkish Penal Code was not among
the articles for which capital punishment was lifted.
As for the other flagrant violations of human rights
and freedoms in Turkey prior to his speech at the Council of Europe,
the reader can find their many examples in the following pages.
To justify not lifting yet Articles 141, 142 and 163
of the Turkish Penal Code, Ozal claimed that the Turkish public opinion
was not ready for such a move and that the annulement of these articles
might be turned down by a national referendum. Whereas, there is not
any rule in Turkish legislation to oblige the government to go to
referendum for amending the Turkish Penal Code.
Furthermore, one should recall that Ozal himself had
harldy polled 21.9% of the votes in March 1989 elections and, despite
this unprecedented rout, he prepares himself to replace General Evren
as "the president of the Republic", without taking heed of public
TURKISH GOVERNMENT INSISTS ON INFO-TURK EDITORS REMAINING STATELESS
An appeal against he military
government's decision to deprive two Info-Turk editors, Dogan Ozguden
and Inci Tugsavul, of their Turkish nationality is currently being
dealt by the Council of State in Ankara.
The two journalists had been
subjected to this anti-democratic practice in 1983 because of their
activities abroad for defending human rights in Turkey. Though this
decision was reported by the Turkish newspapers, an official notice had
not given them.
In 1988, during a press
conference held by Premier Turgut Ozal in Brussels, Ozguden and
Tugsavul forwarded him some questions on the situation of human rights
In a quick retaliation, the
Turkish Government officially notified the decision in May 1988, that
is to say with a 5-year delay. Thereupon, Ozguden and Tugsavul appealed
to the Council of State for annulment of this decision.
The Turkish Government, in its
response to this appeal, claimed that Info-Turk editors should remain
"stateless" because they had carried out "communist propaganda" and
slandered Turkish authorities and Turkish generals in the publications
they edited abroad.
In the same response, the
Government reported that legal proceedings were opened in Turkey
against the two journalists in virtue of many articles of the Turkish
Penal Code: 140 (disseminating exaggerated or slanted information with
the purpose of harming Turkey's reputation and dignity abroad), 142
(carrying out communist and separatist propaganda), 156 (slandering
government authorities and army chiefs).
According to this articles, both
journalists are liable to prison terms of not less than 30 years.
The Council of State is expected
to pronounce its judgment in coming weeks, after a pleading with the
participation of lawyer Ali Yasar, defense attorney of the two
If the appeal is turned down,
Ozguden and Tugsavul will lodge a complaint with the European
Commission of Human Rights.
AN EXILED PHYSICIAN ARRESTED AT HIS RETURN
Dr. Tarik Ziya Ekinci was
imprisoned after his return to Turkey on July 30, 1989. He had been in
exile in Paris since the military coup.
He is currently purging a
18-month prison term in the Sagmalcilar Prison in Istanbul for an
article he had written for the weekly Yuruyus before the coup.
NEW THREATS AGAINST POLITICAL REFUGEES
The Turkish Government issued on
August 8, 1989, a new list of the political refugees who are summoned
to render themselves Turkish authorities on pain of being stripped of
Among them are Zeki Kilic, a
leading member of the defunct Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP) and an
extreme-right businessman, Murat Bayrak.
A CAMPAIGN FOR FREEING YILMAZ GUNEY'S FILMS
On the occasion of the 5th
anniversary of Yilmaz Guney, a group of Turkish filmmakers, writers and
journalists launched a campaign for lifting the ban on the projection
of his films.
By virtue of a Martial Law
decree, the works by those who have been stripped of Turkish
nationality cannot be made public in Turkey.
Yilmaz Guney, prize-winner at
Cannes with his film Yol, was deprived of Turkish nationality when he
was in exile.
He died at the age of 47 because
of his long prison life in Turkey before he fled Turkey in 1981.
The signatories of the petition
said: "The fact that the works of Yilmaz Guney cannot be shown to the
younger generations in Turkey is a shame for our cultural life."
OZAL LOST ALSO HIS OWN PARTY'S SUPPORT
As Ozal was carrying on his
charming operation abroad, he faced serious problems to regain his
prestige at home. The election of the Speaker of the National Assembly
on September 11 was a sign of the fact that he has lost support even
within his own party, the Motherland Party (ANAP).
Though his party has absolute
majority at Parliament, his candidate for the speaker of the National
Assembly, Mr. Yildirim Akbulut failed to be elected in the first two
rounds of voting because some other deputies of ANAP, taking no heed of
Ozal's warning, put their candidature for the same post.
According to parliamentary rules,
a two-thirds majority is required for the elections of the speaker in
the first and second rounds of voting.
During the first round Akbulut
polled only 186 votes while Ilyas Aktas and Vehbi Dincerler, both from
Ozal's party, obtained respectively 103 and 82 votes.
In the second round, Akbulut
again failed to poll the necessary 300 votes but increased his vote to
In the third round, when an
absolute majority is sufficient to elect the Speaker, Akbulut polled
250 votes, Aktas 173. So, 33 of his 289 deputies refused to vote for
Akbulut even in the third round.
According to the daily Hurriyet
of September 12, "something quite fantastic" happened in Ankara. "The
actions of ANAP deputies will affect everything, even the upcoming
presidential elections in November, because it is now obvious that Ozal
is not powerful within his party as he used to be."
Erdal Inonu, leader of the main
opposition Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP), said the failure of
all ANAP deputies to vote for the prime minister's candidate indicated
that "some of them were now waking up."
Suleyman Demirel, leader of the
Correct Way Party (DYP) said: "The road to Cankaya (the presidential
residence) is closed for Ozal not because of the breakdown of votes for
the speaker but because there is no popular support for him."
In fact, according to the recent
opinion polls, confirming the results of the March 1989 local
elections, the ANAP is preferred by 20% while the SHP and the DYP are
getting respectively 29% and 25%.
OZAL'S MANEUVERS ON THE CONSTITUTION
In a move to regain popular
support and to corner two opposition parties represented in the
National Assembly, Ozal asked the latter to begin consultations
for replacing the 1982 Constitution by a shorter and much simpler one.
SHP leader Erdal Inonu replied to
Ozal's offer saying he did not find the prime minister's initiative
"serious enough." Inonu asked the governing ANAP to submit the proposed
amendments in writing.
A SHP attempt last year to
introduce constitutional amendments in the Parliament was foiled by
As for the DYP, deputy chairman
Metin Gurdere said ANAP's efforts to bring the issue of the
constitution to political discussion now is intended to distract
attention from the need for early elections. He added that his party
did not want to discuss constitutional amendments before the question
of early elections is settled.
Astonishingly, Ozal has got the
only support to his proposal from a faction of the pro-Soviet left. The
United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP) declared in a Central Committee
communiqué that it supports Ozal's idea.
RESTRICTIONS ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT?
In another move to charm European
opinion, the Turkish Government has prepared a new draft law to reduce
the number of crimes punishable by death. However, capital punishment
will remain in force for a number of crimes.
The draft law proposes that in 13
of the 29 articles of the Turkish Penal Code which call for capital
punishment the sentence should be changed to life imprisonment.
According to statistics, 442
people have been executed by hanging in the last 52 years in Turkey.
The number of people put to death was highest between 1980 and 1984. Of
a total of 50 people hanged after the military coup of 1980, 28 were
SHP IN THE SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL
After having come out as the most
powerful candidate for governing Turkey, the Social Democratic Populist
Party (SHP) has extended its foreign relations in a view to obtain
Following this opening, the
Socialist International, at the 18th general assembly held on June 21,
1989 in Stockholm, elected the SHP a full member of the organization.
Ever since the military coup in
1980 disbanded the Republican People's Party (CHP) of former prime
minister Bulent Ecevit, Turkey has not been represented at the
Ecevit, although banned from
holding any political office, enjoyed recognition as Turkey's social
democratic leader at the Socialist International and was accepted as an
observer between 1980 and 1987. Since 1987, when Ecevit became the
leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), he has been vying with SHP
for full membership in the Socialist International.
SHP leader Erdal Inonu met during
his four-day stay in the Swedish capital with Willy Brandt and other
social democrat leaders.
LEFT WING'S RISE IN THE SHP
Though considered the most
powerful party in Turkey, the SHP seriously suffers from the internal
quarrel between the party leadership and its left-wing opponents. (See:
Info-Türk, December 1988).
August 22, Istanbul's social
democrats defied party leadership for the third time and elected a
left-wing candidate, Ercan Karakas, to head the local party
While Karakas was elected by
polling 201 votes, Mustafa Ozyurek, the candidate supported by Deniz
Baykal, SHP General Secretary, obtained 183 votes.
Karakas was first elected to head
SHP's Istanbul branch on June 5, 1988. But the results of the congress
were declared void after Baykal's objection.
However, the delegates reelected
Karakas to the same post on July 10, 1988, but his administration was
dismissed in November last year, and Ozyurek was given the job of
running the Istanbul branch.
During the recent congress, when
Baykal arrived at the theater accompanied by two Istanbul deputies,
many delegates booed and catcalling him.
SHP's left wing lauded Karakas'
victory as an important step toward establishing democratic rule in the
EXTRA-PARLIAMENTARY LEFT'S PERSPECTIVES
Since the military coup of
September 1980, an important part of the Left has been outlawed and
many left-wing organizations are carrying out their action
semi-clandestinely despite the government's claim that Turkey enjoys a
The daily Milliyet of September
12, 1989 reports that 120 outlawed organizations are currently active
in the country. According to the data provided by the General Directory
of Security, out of these organizations 74 are labelled "extreme-left
or separatist", 38 "fundamentalist", 6 "extreme-right or racist", 1
"Armenian extremist" (Asala), 1 "Christian extremist" (Witnesses of
Of course, many fictive
"organizations" have been included in this list with a view to
convincing the public opinion that law and order are still being
threatened by a great number of "clandestine
In fact, the outlawed left in
Turkey is currently divided into several currents.
The main representative of this
movement is the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), founded in 1921 and
banned since then. After the military coup of 1980, this party was
joined by the Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP), one of the legal
socialist parties of the pre-coup period, and changed its name into the
United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP).
However, a fraction of the TKP
led by a group in England, refusing this merger as an attempt of
liquidating the party, continues to name itself the Communist Party of
Another branch of this current,
the Socialist Workers' Party of Turkey (TSIP), which was equally legal
prior to the coup, has been carrying out talks with the TBKP leadership
in a view to unite all Pro-Soviet currents within a single organization.
In the same category are also
active the Communist Party of Turkey/Union (TKP/B) and the Communist
Labour Party of Turkey (TKEP).
Represented by the
Workers-Peasants Party of Turkey (TIKP) prior to the coup, has recently
been organized within a new legal party, the Socialist Party (SP).
Since a legal procedure against this party was turned down by the
Constitutional Court, the SP is for the time-being the only legal
political party in the Turkish left.
However a group of intellectual
has, contesting the party leadership, recently left this new party.
Publishing the monthly Sosyalist Birlik, they advocate the unification
of different Marxist movements in a new political party
Another faction of this current,
loyal to the thoughts of Mao Tse-tung and against the present line of
the Chinese leadership, is the Communist Party of
Turkey/Marxist-Leninist (TKP-ML). Advocating armed struggle, they carry
out guerilla warfare especially in the Turkish Kurdistan.
Represented by the Revolutionary
Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP) .
Beside the above-mentioned four
currents near to different ideological centers of the communist world,
a high number of extra-parliamentary left groups claim themselves
independent of foreign influence and strive for developing a socialist
struggle conforming to the realities of the country.
By the origin, many of them are
the emanation of the legendary guerilla organizations of the years 70s:
the Popular Liberation Party/Front of Turkey (THKP/C) and the Popular
Liberation Army of Turkey (THKO).
The most representative ones of
these organizations are the Revolutionary Way (DEV-YOL), the
Revolutionary Left (DEV-SOL) and the Liberation (KURTULUS). Since these
three organizations were the most influential and combative in the
popular areas before the military coup, the State terrorism has taken
them as the principal target.
In this category take place also
some other little groups which are inspired by the militancy of the
THKP/C and the THKO.
In addition to the existing
political parties and groups, many left-wing reflection groups,
for a few years, have been developing projects to unite all socialists
within a unique political party. These groups are composed of some
former party leaders or socialist intellectuals. They voice their
proposals by the means of periodical publications or books.
The most spoken ones of these
groups are those which have been set up around former TIP leader
Mehmet Ali Aybar, Professor Sadun Aren, Professor Yalcin Kucuk, Trade
Unionist Sirri Ozturk, Editor-Writer Murat Belge, Editor-Writer Metin
Culhaoglu, Editor-Writer Ragip Zarakolu, former youth leader Ertugrul
Kurkcu, etc. and voice their views by the means of periodical reviews
A few Trotskyist groups too take
part in this reflection.
In addition to this left-wing
organizations, a number of Kurdish political parties have been striving
for the recognition of national rights of the Kurdish people.
The most powerful of these
Kurdish organizations inspired by Marxist views is the Workers' Party
of Kurdistan (PKK) which is currently carrying out a guerilla warfare
in the Turkish Kurdistan.
The other Kurdish organizations
such as the Socialist Party of Turkish Kurdistan (TSKP), Ala Rizgari,
Rizgari, the Vanguard Workers Party of Kurdistan (KOIP), the National
Liberation of Kurdistan (KUK), Kawa, and the Democratic Party of
Turkish Kurdistan (TKDP).
Legality: At what price?
For about two years, the
pro-Soviet TBKP has been carrying on a campaign with a view to
obtaining a legal status in Turkey.
Inspired by the Perestroïka and
Glasnost actions in the Soviet Union, the TBKP has renounced its former
ideological and political positions and claimed to be a "national
party". Declaring that it is no more against Turkey's presence in NATO
and is favorable to Turkish adhesion to the European Communities, the
TBKP seeks a dialogue with other political forces of the country, even
with the ANAP, for amending the 1982 Constitution.
To this end, two top
officials of the party, Nabi Yagci and Nihat Sargin returned to Turkey
in 1987, but they were arrested at their arrival. Their trial at the
State Security Court of Ankara is still going on.
Recently, on September 21, 1989,
another group of TBKP leaders too returned to Turkey and were
immediately arrested at the airport. Mehmet Bozisik, 88, Ahmet Kardam
and Seref Yildiz are expected to be included to the Yagci-Sargin trial.
In another move to convince
Turkish authorities of the "sincerity" of its claim to turn into a
"national party", the TBKP has recently shut down its two clandestine
radio stations, "Voice of the TKP" and "Our Radio", broadcasting from
On the other hand, the leaders of
the TSIP in exile too have decided to return to Turkey. The first
returnee of TSIP, writer Tektas Agaoglu, was arrested at his arrival on
September 19, 1989.
As for the other left-wing
groups, they contest the TBKP's way of seeking "legality" and
reproached the pro-Soviet leaders to give concessions to Turkish
authorities in ideological and political plans. They refuse a
"legality" at whatever price.
Instead, they give the priority
to the reunification of all socialist forces, including the TBKP, on
the basis of a more radical programme compatible with the realities of
the country. It is only after the realization of such a unity that,
they claim, the socialist movement of Turkey can obtain its legality
without giving any concession to the rulers of the present regime.
HUNGER-STRIKE ENDED, UNREST CONTINUES
Although the country-wide
hunger-strikes of political prisoners ended on August 19, 1989 as a
result of some concessions given by the penitentiary authorities, the
unrest in prisoners has not yet disappeared.
Faced with increasing protests by
inmates, inmates' families and human rights groups, the Ministry of
Justice decreed an amendment to prison regulations, especially those
describing reasons for taking disciplinary action.
The new text had been called
nothing more than a "polished version of what already existed." It does
not involve major changes to regulations and, therefore, does not
contribute to raising Turkish prison standards to the level prescribed
by the United Nations.
"All this is deception and
fraud," steamed Emil Galip Sandalci, chairman of the Istanbul Human
Rights Association. "The government is putting up a show to fool
The present prison code dates
back to 1967. It was amended last year by a circular letter dated
August 1. It not only tightened control over inmates but, as various
groups put it, "aimed to break down prisoners' personalities."
According to the new text,
offenses such as going out into the courtyard without permission,
writing on walls, speaking loudly at night, failing to respect prison
personnel, eating in wards when a canteen exists, going on a hunger
strike for not more than 48 hours are still to be punished.
Inmates who participate in food
boycotts, silent boycotts or open-air recess boycotts and those who
form groups, sign petitions, use secret codes for ideological purposes
or attempt to commit suicide or otherwise willfully hurt themselves or
others will not be allowed to receive visitors for up to three months.
United Nations standards dictate
that a prisoner is free to contact a representative of his own religion
or to refuse to contact such a person. The new text stipulates that if
a prisoner refuses to attend the required religious courses, he is
punished. If a prisoner does not sing the Turkish national anthem, or
he wants to sing a song representing his own ideas, he is punished as
One of the most contested rules
of the August 1 Circular Letter was the obligation to wear prison
uniform. According to the new draft, those who refuse to wear the
uniform will be subject to solitary confinement for up to 15 days.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ON TURKISH PRISONS
The new elected European
Parliament, on September 14, 1989, adopted by 63 votes against 32 and
94 abstentions a resolution, condemning the inhuman treatment of
political prisoners in Turkey. The resolution proposed by the Greens
"The European Parliament,
"A. deeply upset at the death of
the two political prisoners, Mehmet Yalçinkaya and Hüsnü Eroglu,
"B. indignant at the transfer of
the two prisoners on hunger strike, which led to their dying of thirst,
"C. whereas Turkey is applying
for membership of the European Community,
"D. distressed at the lack of
determination on the part of the Turkish Government to implement the
standards of the European Convention on Human Rights and the 1966 UN
Human Rights Conventions,
"E. shocked that Turkey, which
has acceded to the anti-torture convention, nevertheless uses torture
to break the will of political prisoners and force them to reveal
"F. whereas the Member States of
the Community, have abolished relationships with Turkey in a wide
variety of fields,
"1. Condemns emphatically the
inhumane treatment of political prisoners and the attitude of the
Turkish Government towards prisoners on hunger strike;
"2. Notes that mouldy food,
totally inadequate sanitary facilities, obstacles to family contacts
and contacts with lawyers and the use of State hit squads to intimidate
prisoners constitute a massive violation of human rights;
"3. Calls on the Turkish
Government to honour the undertaking it gave to the political
prisoners, which led to the calling off of the hunger strike, and,
independently thereof, to ensure humane conditions in prison;
"4. Calls on the Turkish
Government to cease torturing and mistreating political prisoners
forthwith and to call those responsible to account, to bring them
before the courts and to punish therm;
"5. Calls on the EEC-Turkey,
Joint Parliamentary Committee to evaluate the various forms of aid
currently being given by the Community and by the Member States to
"6. Instructs its President to
forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the governments
of the Member States, the Turkish Government and to the UN."
HELSINKI WATCH'S REPORT ON TURKISH PRISONS
Helsinki Watch, in its last
report on "Prison Conditions in Turkey" released in August 1989,
accuses the Turkish Government of not having upgraded Turkish prisons
to be parallel with European prisons.
"Regardless of the quality of
European prisons, Turkish prisons still fall far below the minimal
standards of decency described in United Nations and European
instruments signed by Turkey," the report states.
The most troubling aspects of the
Turkish prison system, according to the report, are the deliberate
abuses of prison inmates.
"Systematic, brutal beatings,
excessively harsh punishments involving basic necessities like food,
medical care and intolerable punishment cells, discrimination against
political prisoners and Kurdish nationalists, unnecessarily onerous
rules," the report continued.
According to Helsinki Watch, "In
December 1988, it was reported that there were 51,897 prisoners and
detainees in 644 prisons and jails in a population of some 55 million,
or a ratio of approximately 99 prisoners per 100,000. This is the
highest ratio among Western European countries. Many of the prisons are
new, and some 64 more are being built. According to one observer,
prison construction is one of Turkey's growth industries."
The report also talks about
police station lockups: "Detainees may be held incommunicado for up to
two weeks or even longer under certain circumstances, before being
charged. The worst aspect of the Turkish police lockups is the brutal
torture that take place there."
TRAGIC DEATH OF A FORMER POLITICAL PRISONER
Inkilap Dal, a former political
prisoner suffering from leukemia, died in Paris on August 23.
He was arrested after the
military coup of 1980 for his opinions and spent his five years in
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.
Finally, on August 11, he got his
passport thanks to a solidarity campaign and immediately went to Paris
for treatment. But it was too late.
After this tragic death, his body
was delivered to Turkey and burnt in Akhisar.
REHABILITATION CENTERS FOR TORTURE VICTIMS
The Human Rights Association of
Turkey (IHD) has set up a foundation to help remove the physical and
mental damage caused by torture.
This foundation will open
rehabilitation centers for all those who have been tortured and been
suffering from health problems. It will also conduct research on human
PEOPLE REVOLT AGAINST REPRESSION IN KURDISTAN
As the raking operation by the
Army against Kurdish guerillas in the East, arbitrary repressive
practices against the people has given rise to popular revolt.
Five hundred inhabitants from
Derebasi village in the Silopi district of Mardin staged demonstrations
in Silopi on September 19.
They claimed that six of the nine
people killed by security forces on September 17 were their relations
who had nothing to do with the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK).
The crowd of men and women threw
stones at the office of the district governor, shouting "Damn the
A 15-year old boy was wounded in
the hand and some journalists were beaten up during the demonstration,
which was topped by a special security team.
Forty people, eight of them said
to be instigators, were detained by security forces in the incident,
while residents closed their shops and stayed in their houses.
Following an operation
orchestrated by the security forces in Silopi around 2 a.m. on
September 17, the regional governor's office made an announcement that
nine PKK members who were carrying weapons had been killed.
In fact, during another incident
on the same day, three PKK members had been killed by the security
forces. After this incident, some peasants going to Silopi from their
village were stopped by the security forces.
A peasant named Cemalettin Beyan
said: "A first lieutenant told us that he did not know the area well
and asked if four of us could go with him to show where the incident
took place. This lieutenant took four people including my son Sadun.
Approximately 30 meters away from us were shepherds Fevzi Beyan and
Abbas Cigdem. The soldiers took them as well. After they left, we heard
gunshots. The first lieutenant came back and said 'We made it up to
Earlier, the regional
super-governor Hayri Kozakcioglu, in charge of security in 11
southeastern provinces, had alleged that the PKK gets support from the
"The terrorists do not wear
uniforms. Furthermore, the local people have the age-old tradition of
protecting armed man. They have not relinquished it," he said.
Another new repressive practices
of the Government has been the forced deportation of "suspects."
At the beginning of September,
nine people considered "undesirable elements" were given 48 hours to
leave their homes. All of them were former local officials of the main
Following strong reaction to the
measure by local people and the opposition, the Interior Ministry asked
the governors to stop deporting people.
A mission of three deputies from
the main opposition SHP, having conducted inspections in the area,
announced that the local citizens were being pushed toward the PKK by
State pressure, and there was an atmosphere in the region of military
ARMY TO CLIMB STATE TERRORISM
However, the Turkish Army, taking
no heed of warnings, is carrying on its raking operations in Kurdistan.
On August 23, Chief of General Staff, General Necip Torumtay, issuing a
written statement, said "those who rise up in arms against the State
and those who support them should be considered enemies. Turkey has to
use primarily military means to fight such separatism."
On the other hand, Prime Minister
Ozal, on August 28, threatened to attack separatist bases in neighbour
countries providing support for the PKK.
"I wish our friends and enemies
to understand one thing clearly. Turkey is a peace-loving country. We
want to live in peace and friendship with the nations around us. But if
while we try to establish good relations with our neighbors some of
them continue to provide support to certain movements in Turkey, it
should not be forgotten that there is a limit to our patience. It is
within our power to destroy the bases (out of which the separatists
operate) where they are located."
Recently, an unofficial summit
meeting took place at the Land Forces Headquarters in Ankara on
September 20 to study the Silopi incidents in detail.
Chaired by the "President of the
Republic" General Kenan Evren, this extraordinary summit behind closed
doors, arriving to the conclusion that "incidents in the Southeast are
gradually building to a civil war," decided to extend repressive
measures and operations.
PROPOSAL TO SET UP A KURDOLOGY INSTITUTE
The weekly 2000e Dogru, in its
issue of August 20, 1989, launched the idea of establishing a
department for the study of Kurds (Kurdology) in the universities of
"Xenophon, who lived in 400 B.C.,
was the first person to mention the Kurds. The 'father of Kurdology' is
the Italian Maurizi Garzoni, who published a Kurdish dictionary, the
first thorough research on the Kurds, in 1787. There are Kurdology
departments in many universities and academic establishments throughout
the world, among them the Paris Kurdish Institute and Kurdish Academies
in West Germany and Holland. So why shouldn't there be a department of
Kurdish studies in Turkish universities?" said the article.
This question was posed by the
magazine to various businessmen, politicians and entertainment figures.
Turkey's two leading opposition
party chairmen, Inonu and Demirel, did not oppose the idea. SHP leader
Inonu said that an Institute of Kurdish studies should be established
and that he would fully support such a move. DYP leader Demirel stated
that he saw absolutely no harm in it as long as such institutions
weren't used for ideological purposes.
ARRESTS AND TRIALS IN AUGUST
3.8., 14 people were indicted by
the State Security Court of Ankara on grounds that they militated in
favour of DEV-YOL. The defendants face a total of 331-year
imprisonment. Same day in Istanbul, four alleged members of DEV-SOL
were brought before the State Security Court No.1 of Istanbul.
5.8, Two young women, Nadide
Aslan and Havva Suicmez, were indicted in Istanbul for militating
underground political organizations.
7.8, Secretary General of the
Socialist Party (SP), Yalcin Buyukdagli, and 40 other party officials
were arrested while they were going to a local party meeting in Ankara.
Police detained also two journalists covering the incident: Guner
Tokgoz from the weekly 2000e Dogru and Celal Fatin Dagistanli from the
ANKA press agency.
16.8, police announced the arrest
of 9 alleged members of DEV-YOL in Adana.
20.8, fourteen alleged members of
DEV-SOL were arrested in Istanbul.
26.8, the trial of an alleged
member of DEV-SOL, Erol Yalcin, began at the State Security Court No.2
of Istanbul. He faces a prison term of up to 60 years.
PRESSURE ON THE MASS MEDIA
1.8, the members of the musical
group Baran were arrested in Istanbul for having protested the arrest
of another musical group, Yorum. (See: Info-Turk, July-August 1989).
2.8, a bookseller, Mehmet Orhan,
was arrested in Tunceli for selling some postcards worded with Nazim
3.8, a concert by the musical
group Yeni Yorum in Istanbul was banned by the Governor. This group had
been set up after the arrest of the Group Yorum.
10.8, the State Security Court of
Istanbul indicted Sirri Ozturk, editor of Sorun Publishing House, and
Prof. Tahsin Yilmaz for the translation and publication of a book
entitled "Lenin and Education."
14.8, police arrested Prof.
Yalcin Kucuk, chief editor of monthly Toplumsal Kurtulus, and Ekber
Kaypakkaya, editor of Yeni Demokrasi, for some articles on
hunger-strikes in prisons.
15.8, Two more journalists from
the monthly Toplumsal Kurtulus, Ahmet Ak and Aydin Isik, were arrested
for the articles on hunger-strikes in prisons.
16.8, the weekly Adimlar
announced that 13 people had been under arrest for a week for having
visited the magazine's editorial office.
16.8, Two journalists from the
monthly Gorus, Cagatay Anadol and Erdal Sahin, were indicted by the
State Security Court No.2 of Istanbul for having published some
articles on Kurdish question. They face a prison term of up to 15 years
16.8, two journalists from the
daily Cumhuriyet, Halil Nebiler and Okay Gonensin, were condemned each
to one-month imprisonment for having unveiled the forensic
pathologist's report on Melih Calaylioglu, a 15-year old high school
student arrested for communist propaganda. Their prison terms were
later commuted to a fine of 140,666 TL.
18.8, the August issue of the
monthly Yeni Oncu was confiscated.
21.8, the monthly Yeni Cozum
announced that its two correspondents, Alpaslan Dibek and Bekir Atli
had been arrested in Samsun and subjected to torture.
23.8, public prosecutor of
Istanbul opened a legal proceeding against famous folk singer Rahmi
Saltuk for having produced a musi-cassette including two Kurdish songs.
Besides, he was interrogated by the prosecutor of the State
Security Court of Istanbul for some incidents during a concert he gave
23.8, three journalists from the
weekly 2000'e Dogru, Dogu Perincek, Faik Bulut and Tunca Arslan were
tried by the State Security Court No.2 of Istanbul for some articles on
the Kurdish question. They face prison terms of up to 15 years each.
25.8, the responsible editor of
the weekly 2000e Dogru, Tunca Arslan, was tried by the State Security
Court No.1 of Istanbul for another article on Kurdish question. He
faces a prison term of up to 15 years.
26.8, the Human Rights
Association of Turkey (IHD) announced that all journalists from
socialist reviews were subjected to torture by giving electroshock and
squeezing his genital organs when they were detained. As example, he
gave the names of Ahmet Ak and Aydin Isik from Toplumsal Kurtulus and
Haydar Soylemez from Yeni Demokrasi. "Due to police terror in Ankara,
many socialist reviews had to transfer their editorial offices to
Istanbul," he added.
26.8, the number 10 of the
monthly Ozgurluk Dunyasi was confiscated by the State Security Court of
27.8, a book exhibition organized
by the Book Club of the daily Cumhuriyet in Istanbul was set on fire by
two extreme-right activists.
27.8, a concert entitled "Now,
not tomorrow for human rights" organized by the Human Rights'
Association in Istanbul was banned by the Governor.
29.8, Tunca Arslan from 2000'e
Dogru was again indicted by the State Security Court No.2 of Istanbul
for an announcement concerning human rights. He faces a 15-year prison
29.8, two journalists from the
monthly Dunya Solu, Ahmet Zengin and Sevki Omeroglu were kept in
detention for 14 hours.
30.8, the editorial board of the
monthly Yeni Demokrasi announced that 20 out of 24 numbers of the
review published until that date had been confiscated by police. It
also accused police of torturing their arrested members.
31.8, the last issues of four
magazines, 2000e Dogru, Cagdas Yol, Adimlar and Emek, were confiscated
by the State Security Court.
HEAVY FINES TO TURKISH PRESS
Prime Minister Ozal is demanding
a total of 370 million TL ($166,000) in damages from various
publications and newspapers in libel suits, announced his lawyer, on
September 6, 1989.
There are five libel cases opened
by Ozal against newspapers Hurriyet, Gazete, Sabah, Bugun in Istanbul,
and Yeni Asir in Izmir.
On the other hand, the Turkish
edition of the magazine Playboy announced on August 18, 1989 that, by
virtue of the Law on publications harmful to minors, it had been
sentenced in seven different trials for "obscenity" to a total of
263,768,696 TL ($130,000).
ANKARA'S BLOW TO THE BULGARIAN TURKS
As the number of the Bulgarian
Turks entering Turkey was soaring to 310,000, the Turkish Government
closed its borders to the immigrants at 2 a.m. on August 22, 1989.
Turkish security officials set up
a buffer zone on the Turkish side of the border and evacuated all
vehicles and people from the area. At that moment there were about
5,000 ethnic Turks waiting on the Bulgarian side of the border.
When the 3.25 a.m. Frankfurt
train pulled into the Kapikule station, it was carrying 522 ethnic
Turks from Bulgaria. They were immediately transferred to another train
in the station and at 6.10 a.m. the train moved in the direction of
Bulgaria. Then immigrants leaped out of doors and windows and refused
to go back to Bulgaria. Some threw themselves on the rails in front of
the train and said they would kill themselves if they were forced to
return to Bulgaria. Three hours later Turkish border authorities
obtained permission from Ankara for the immigrants to stay in Turkey.
The Foreign Ministry later
announced that the decision does not mean that Turkey has closed its
borders to all ethnic Bulgarian Turks. "Turkey has simply reintroduced
the visa requirement for Bulgarian nationals coming to Turkey. From now
on, Turkish consulates in Bulgaria will give priority to members of
divided families," said the Ministry spokesman.
The decision has led to a series
of attacks on the government by both the opposition and the press.
SHP leader Erdal Inonu declared
the government's Bulgarian policy bankrupt. "In June we declared we
were ready to accept everyone willing to come. Now we are suddenly
rending this policy and imposing restrictions. This is a turnabout
which causes concern. The decision is now leading to further tragedies.
" he said.
In response, Premier Ozal
justified his decision in the following terms: "If we had kept our
borders open, 1.5 million people would have arrived in Turkey within
four months. Even the most powerful countries could not afford to
accommodate so many."
According to the Turkish Dateline
of September 9, 1989, ethnic Turks immigrating from Bulgaria have so
far cost Turkey 47 billion TL ($21 million).
The Turkish press reports that
many of the immigrants have been disappointed in Turkey. They have
faced the difficulties of finding a house and a job. Their modest
savings have already run out and they find themselves in an absolute
misery. Besides, their children face now the problem of education. For
this reason, already more than 20,000 immigrants returned to Bulgaria.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT WARNS BULGARIA
The European Parliament, at its
session of September 14, 1989, adopted the following resolution on the
situation of the Turkish community in Bulgaria:
"The European Parliament,
"A. deeply disturbed at the
reports concerning the treatment in Bulgaria of ethnic Turks who have
Bulgarian nationality; the Bulgarian authorities having shown their
intention, among other things, to deprive the Turks of the symbols of
their ethnic origins, for example the right to speak Turkish, to have a
Turkish name, to go to a Turkish school and to practise their religion,
"B. whereas the infringement of
basic human rights has led to violent disturbances and demonstrations
in which human lives have been lost and which have caused well over 300
000 refugees to cross the border to Turkey,
"C. noting with indignation the
flagrant violation of the fundamental principles of human rights on the
part of the Bulgarian authorities, in total disregard for the closing
document of Vienna and the document on cooperation in the humanitarian
and other fields,
"D. noting that the Turkish
authorities have felt obliged to reimpose from 22 August 1989 the visa
requirement for Bulgarian citizens which had been waived since 30 May,
"1. Reminds the Bulgarian
authorities of the obligations deriving from current international
treaties and agreements and those laid down under the CSCE process in
relation to protection of human rights and the treatment of minorities;
"2. Points to the duty to observe
human rights and fundamental freedoms, this being enshrined in the
United Nations Charter;
"3. Reaffirms its wish that all
minority groups in countries be entitled to speak their language,
practise their religion and enjoy basic cultural rights;
"4. Calls for the unsatisfactory
treatment of the Turkish minority in Bulgaria to be halted;
"5. Points out to the Commission
that the present situation in Bulgaria regarding the fundamental rights
of the ethnic Turkish minority makes it more difficult to continue
negotiations with a view to concluding a trade and economic cooperation
agreement with Bulgaria;
"6. Calls on the Bulgarian
Government to seek satisfactory solutions to this problem as a matter
of urgency, showing a constructive spirit and a willingness to open a
dialogue with Turkey, and, proceeding on that basis, to give
consideration to the Turkish Government's call for negotiations to he
opened with a view to the earliest possible conclusion of an
immigration agreement encompassing the problem in all its aspects;
"7. Recalling the initiative of
the French Presidency on 24 August 1989 concerning the settlement of
the Turkish refugees;
"8. Instructs its President to
forward this motion for a resolution to the Commission, the Council of
Ministers, the Foreign Ministers meeting in European Political
Cooperation and the Governments of Bulgaria and Turkey."
The main opposition SHP's efforts
have been the major factor in the adoption of this resolution.
Few months ago, on June 21, 1989,
during the Socialist International meeting in Stockholm, SHP Chairman
Erdal Inonu had asked for the support of members of the Socialist
International for the cause of the ethnic Turks in Bulgaria. Meantime,
he distributed two pamphlets prepared by SHP on the issue of the
In the final communique of the
Socialist International, reference was made to the deportation of
ethnic Turks from Bulgaria.
"Despite the positive economic
developments in Bulgaria the treatment of the ethnic Turkish minority
in that country should be deplored," said the communique.
Nevertheless, a report to the
Council of Europe on September 26, 1989, holds Turkey equally
responsible for the migration of over 300,000 ethnic Turks from
Deploring the Bulgarian
Government's policy to assimilate Turks and to force them to change
their names into Bulgarian ones, the report drawn up by Friedrich Erich
Probst criticizes also the Turkish Government to carry out provocative
propaganda within the Turkish Community in Bulgaria.
The resolution based on this
report and adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly reproached both
governments in the following termes:
"Urges the Bulgarian Government:
"i. to end immediately its policy
of assimilation, with a view to allowing its ethnic and Moslem minority
to resume the practical use of their original names if that is their
wish, together with the unrestricted use of the Turkish language and of
Moslem religious practices;
"ii. to grant its ethnic and
Moslem minority the rights of a minority in the spirit of the
Concluding Document adopted by the Vienna CSCE Review Meeting in
"Also urges the Turkish
"i. as a gesture of good will, to
avoid any propaganda element in its information services to the ethnic
and Moslem minority in Bulgaria;
"ii. to take the necessary steps
to enable separated families to reunite in accordance with their wishes;
"Asks the member states of the
Council of Europe to promote the opening of negotiations between
Bulgaria and Turkey with a view to easing the tension between the two
countries, which could have dangerous political and economic
consequences for the whole of the continent."