A non-government information service on Turkey
Un service d'information non-gouvernemental sur la Turquie


14th Year - N°161
March 1990
38 rue des Eburons - 1000 Bruxelles
Tél: (32-2) 215 35 76 - Fax: (32-2) 215 58 60
 Rédacteur en chef: Dogan Özgüden - Editrice responsable: Inci Tugsavul

Kurdish Intifada in the East
Peasant Revolts in the West
Violence at University Campus


    On-going State terrorism on pretext of chasing PKK guerrillas leads to popular revolts in Turkish Kurdistan. Recently, two Kurdish towns, Nusaybin and Cizre have been the scene of violent confrontations between the State forces and the Kurdish people.
    The Kurdish Intifada began on March 13 when the regional governor announced that "a total of 17 separatist PKK members died in southeastern Turkey in two separate clashes with government troops." 13 of the these people were reportedly killed in a hamlet called Grisera near the village of Serenli in Mardin and four others near the town of Pazarcik.
    One of the slain Kurds, Kamuran Dündar, was the son of a member of the local council in Nusaybin. He was buried early on March 15 morning contrary to the Islamic practice of holding funerals at noon or in the afternoon.
    Following the burial, groups of Dündar's relatives and supporters confronted the security forces in the town and threw stones at them. The security forces responded by firing into the air. A total of six people, three civilians and three security officials, were injured during the incident. To prevent further unrest a curfew was later imposed on Nusaybin.
    These repressive measures have led to further demonstrations by Kurdish people and a skirmish between the inhabitants of Cizre and security forces on March 20 resulted in killing and wounding of many people.
    A PKK spokesman, during a press conference held next day in Brussels, claimed that more than twenty people had been shot dead during these conflicts between revolting peasants and security forces.
    Two years earlier, on April 1, 1988, the security forces had killed 20 alleged PKK members in Nusaybin. The local people accuse the Army and the Police of having shot dead many innocent people on the pretext of chasing PKK militants.
    Few months ago, on September 19, 1989, five hundred inhabitants from Derebasi village in the Silopi district of Mardin staged demonstrations against the killing of 17 Kurds, by throwing stones at the office of the district governor and shouting "Damn the Turkish State."
    Facing the growing resistance of the Kurdish people, the Turkish Army fails to restore the state authority in the area.
    The PKK spokesman, in Brussels, announced that Kurdish peasants adhere in mass to the ranks of the guerrilla forces and form "popular committees" in towns and villages. "There is no more the authority of the Turkish State in Kurdistan. The Kurdish people is setting up self-government. This is the Intifada of Kurds," he said.


    A new poisoning incident was reported on February 1st, 1990, at the Kurdish refugees camp in Diyarbakir and several hundred people were hospitalized after having eaten the bread containing poisonous substance.
    There are for the time being approximately 13,000 inhabitants at the temporary refugee centre. About 50,000 Iraqi Kurds had fled to Turkey in August 1988 after escaping from attacks by the Iraqi Government. The number of Iraqi Kurds living in camps in Turkey's southeastern provinces of Mus, Mardin and Diyarbakir is now estimated to be around 30,000, with the departure of 20,000 to Iran or Iraq following an amnesty declared by the Iraqi government last year.
    In a similar incident last June, approximately 3,000 inhabitants of the Kiziltepe refugee camp in Mardin had received treatment for stomach troubles after that ate breads distributed at the camp on June 8.
    In both cases, Turkish authorities minimized the incidents, claiming that there was a psychological side to the incident: "When they have a stomach ache, they could be panicking into thinking they have been poisoned."
    However, four British scientists dealing with the incident of last June, in a letter to the medical journal The Lancet on February 3, 1990, said they found evidence in blood samples of poison victims of a a rare kind of poison called organophosphate.


     Dr. Ismail Besikçi, a Turkish sociologist defending the fundamental rights of the Kurds in Turkey, was again arrested on March 12 by the Istanbul State Security Court on charges of making separatist propaganda.
    Besikçi faces a prison sentence of between 7,5 and 15 years if convicted, for publishing a book last month entitled: Kurdistan: A Colony of Many Nations.
    Besikçi's interest in the Kurds has landed him in prison more than once. He was released from prison most recently in May 1987 after serving a seven-year term. Besikçi, who is not a Kurd, claims that the Kurds are a totally different people than the Turks, both sociologically and culturally.
    In his last book, the sociologist writes that the basic rights of the Kurds are denied by the governments of the three countries where they are living — Turkey, Iraq and Iran. Besikçi accused these countries of trying to eradicate Kurdish culture and folklore.
    Besikçi worked as a lecturer at Atatürk University in Erzurum but was dismissed from the faculty in 1969 because he wrote a book on the sociological structure of Eastern Anatolia and the Kurds. In 1971 he was arrested and jailed until 1974.
    Besikçi continued to publish his studies on political and social issues. In 1979 he was rearrested for publishing a study on the forcible settlement of the Kurds. After he was released for a brief period, he was rearrested in 1981 for a letter which the prosecutors said he sent to the Swiss Writers Union while still in prison in 1980. Under article 140 of the Turkish Penal Code, which forbids "the dissemination of derogatory information about Turkey abroad," Besikçi was again indicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison, but was released for his good behaviour in 1987 after having served six years of his term.
    Besikci's new arrest has once more led to protest by international human right circles.


    A 22-year old artillery lieutenant who sent a telegram to President Turgut Özal saying that he cannot get used to Özal in the presidency has been subjected to a series of pressures.
    Lt. Murat Seref Baba was first put into the mental ward of a military hospital in Istanbul and held incommunicado. The headquarters of the Turkish General Staff in Ankara announced on March 6 that the lieutenant had been hospitalized in accordance with the regulations of the armed forces, because of having sent a telegram to President Özal at a time when he was suffering from a nervous breakdown.
    The lieutenant's sister, Betül Bozkurt said she was told by her brother during her visit that his telegram had infuriated Özal who called the commander of the 1st Army in Istanbul. "He complained to me about injections and other drugs he was given. He said he was not a lunatic but that he would turn into one if he was made to stay in that room any longer," she said.
    Dr. Süleyman Baba, the lieutenant's elder brother, said he believed his brother was perfectly normal and was held there for punishment.
    In his telegram to Özal, Lieutenant Baba said:
    "There are certain things which I am unable to make myself get used to, either now or in the future. I cannot get used to the violation of the principle of unity of national education by its division into religious and secular schools. I cannot get used to the upbringing of young people in some Koran schools which lead them to be hostile to the secular republic. I cannot used to the laughter of those who swindle the state while honest government officials are exiled from one city to the other.
    "I cannot used to seeing patients without money held hostage in hospitals while those who make money through corruption squander it extravagantly. I cannot used to the fact that the person occupying the position held by Atatürk [the founder of the republic], seeks to make a reputation for himself just by being photographed with heads of state. You have said that people would get used to your presidency. But I could not get used to this either."   
    Main opposition SHP deputy Fuat Atalay, in a motion,  asked Prime Minister Akbulut whether government officials who send telegram to the President would be hospitalized with a diagnosis of psychoneurosis even if they do not have mental problems.
    Esat Kiratlioglu, a DYP deputy chairman, said: "If everyone who showed reaction to Özal was sent to a mental clinic, the whole country would turn into an insane asylum."
    As the protest against this persecution was getting grower, on March 12, Lieutenant Baba was transferred to Ankara where he would be kept in prison for 28 days for breaking army disciplinary rules. Sources claimed the young officer would be dismissed after serving 28 days behind bars.


    Turgut Kazan, president of the Istanbul Bar Association, vowed on February 20 to struggle with Justice Minister Oltan Sungurlu who had asked that all the members of the executive board of the association be dismissed.
    The dispute between the Justice Minister and the Istanbul Bar Association surfaced when Sungurlu asked the chief prosecutor in Istanbul to begin legal procedures against the association. Sungurlu argued that Kazan and other members of the executive board violated law by reversing a decision by the former board expelling lawyer Alp Selek from the bar association on grounds that he had been sentenced to an eight-year prison term on charges of belonging to the Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP).
    Selek served his sentence in prison and was released in 1986 but found himself unable to perform as a lawyer because of a legal stipulation introduced by the military in the early 1980s. The legislation bars lawyers who have been found guilty of violating articles 141, 142 and 163 of the Turkish Penal Code from practicing their profession.
    "According to the legislation, the Justice Minister has no authority to decide on which attorneys can perform in their profession and which cannot," said the president of the Bar Association. The Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) too said the Justice Minister has overstepped the limits of its authority.


    The daily Cumhuriyet of December 12, 1989 published a 10-year balance sheet of the repressive regime. According to this reports, since the military coup of September 12, 1980:
    - 650 thousand people have been detained for different motives. Of these detainees 210 thousand have been indicted by military justice.
    - Millions of people have been put on the list of suspects and 388 thousand people deprived of the right to travelling abroad.
    - By virtue of Martial Law Rules, 4,891 public servants have been dismissed, 4,509 others banished.
    - Besides, 18 thousand public servants, 2 thousand judges and prosecutors, 4 thousand policemen and 5 thousand school teachers have been either dismissed or forced to resign from their posts.
    - 6,353 death sentences have been claimed for political detainees at military tribunals. 50 people  have already been executed as the death sentences for 261 others are at Parliament for ratification.
    - The number of those tried by virtue of articles 141, 142 and 163 of the Turkish Penal Code reaches 100 thousand.
    - 171 people have been killed under tortured. The number of the deaths under arrest passes over 300. Thousands of people have been mutilated under torture.
    - There are still 52 thousand condemned or accused in 644 prisons of Turkey. 5 thousand of them have been detained for political cases.
    - 14 people died during hunger strikes in prisons, thousands of prisoners have become invalid for the same reason.
    - More than 30 thousand people have been obliged to flee the country for political reasons. 14 thousand of them have been stripped of Turkish nationality by the decrees of the government.
    - Eight daily newspapers have been banned for a total of 195 days.
    - Within the five and half years rule of ANAP, 458 publications have been confiscated by administrative bodies. Besides, tribunals issued the decision of confiscation for 368 publications.
    - 133,000 books were destroyed by burning and 118,000 books by other means.
    - 937 films have been banned from public projection. Among them are 114 films by Yilmaz Güney.
    - Within last five years under ANAP rule, 2,792 writer, journalist and translators have been tried at tribunals. A total of 2,000 years of imprisonment claimed for these indicted intellectuals.
    - 13 biggest dailies of the countries have been accused of obscene publications and a total of 60 billion TL fine claimed by prosecutors.
    - 23,667 associations have been either closed down or their activities suspended.
    - New associations set up in last years for defending human rights have been under permanent pressure of authorities. Prosecutors have opened 25 legal proceedings against the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD), of which eleven resulted in acquittal.  The Association for Solidarity with the Prisoners' Families (TAYAD), the Houses of People (HE), the Association of Teachers (EGIT-DER), the Association of Women in Democratic Struggle (DEMKAD), the Democratic Women Association (DKD), the Women Association of a Human Life (IYIKD) and many other cultural and social associations have often been subjected to legal proceedings. Governors have closed down general headquarters of four associations and nine local sections. Related to these proceedings, 344 people have been detained and a total of 51 months imprisonment pronounced against the accused.


    After the assassination of journalist Emec, police mounted an intensive operation throughout the country in search of 20 to 25 left-wing militants who reportedly infiltrated Turkey from Syria.
    On March 10, a police patrol in Zeytinburnu, one of the working-class neighbourhoods of Istanbul, spotted a car that was stolen the day before. When the police ordered the car to stop two men and a woman inside opened fire. During the car chase one police detective was fatally wounded and two others suffered slight bullet wounds. Although two militants were captured, the third one, identified as Talat Coskun, forced his way into an apartment on the 11th floor of an apartment building and took hostage three people. At the end of a 17-hour long police operation, an anti-terror team wearing bulletproof vests stormed the apartment and seized Coskun after wounding him.
    Police sources said that the captured militants belonged to the Revolutionary Communist Party and received guerrilla training in a Palestinian camp. Claiming that the other hit-teams of this illegal organization were preparing attacks, especially against retired generals who held key positions during the military rule in the early 1980s, the police extended its operation other cities and arrested some other suspects.
    The captured left-wing militants have categorically refused any implication in the assassination of journalist Emec.


    1.1, police announced that during a 10-day operation in Ankara about 100 alleged members of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP) had been arrested.
    9.1, police raided the Ankara office of the Association of Women in Democratic Struggle (DEMKAD) and detained 19 women. Thereupon, 30 women went on a hunger-strike in protest.
    22.1, the leaders of 31 democratic associations went on a hunger strike for protesting against the pressure on their organizations.
    1.2, five detainees of Dev-Yol Case in the Buca Prison of Izmir went on hunger strike for protesting against ill treatment.
    4.2, the State Security Court of Istanbul indicted 11 alleged members of the Marxist-Leninist Armed Propaganda Unit (MLSPB) who face each a prison term of up to 65 years.
    7.2, women associations in Istanbul announced that 21 women detained in the Sagmalcilar Prison were subjected to inhuman conditions. They were kept in an overcharged ward together with common law criminals and were very often harassed by the guards.
    11.2, a hunger strike was started in the Prison Type E of Bursa by 61 students arrested at the Uludag University.
    17.2, in Adana, 18 people were taken into police custody on the charge of belonging to the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML).
    28.2, the Martial Law Tribunal of Ankara sentenced three Dev-Yol members to death sentence, three to life-prison and 12 others to different prison terms of from three to ten years.


    Three political parties represented at the National Assembly have jointly prepared a draft bill to set up a permanent human rights examination commission within Parliament to monitor human rights violations in Turkey and abroad.
    It was announced by the spokesmen of the Motherland Party (ANAP), the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) and the Correct Way Party (DYP) that the proposed permanent commission would be autonomous, follow internationally accepted developments on human rights and would examine claims of human rights violations.
    The commission would be entitled to examine complaints by Turkish citizens abroad who claimed their human rights had been violated. "Beside, all human rights violations committed in other countries would be dealt by the commission. For example, Sweden, which claimed to be a leader in the protection of human rights, recently deported 60 ethnic Turks from Bulgaria who had sought asylum in Sweden. This was the same Sweden which strongly criticized Turkey's attitude last year toward the Iraqis who escaped to Turkey from Iraq. " said the Turkish deputies.
    The commission would also decide what amendments were needed to bring the Turkish Constitution and laws into harmony with the international agreements on human rights signed by Turkey.
    Nevertheless, the commission would never function like a court. Moreover, it will not be authorized to deal with the complaints as long as they are being dealt by judicial bodies. Since many complaints relating to torture come from the people under arrest or on trial, this parliamentary commission's power already turns out to be ineffective, according to the human rights circles in Turkey. It seems that the real aim of the ANAP deputies who led this initiative is to deceive once again democratic institutions of Europe.
    In fact, during the presentation of this draft bill to the press, Mr. Bülent Akarcali, co-chairman of the EEC-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, commenting on Amnesty International reports on the human rights situation in Turkey, displayed once more his hostility toward this organization: "I agree 100 percent with AI's aims. However, in my opinion AI is an institution that insists on using Turkey as raw material in order to continue its existence in Europe."


    Helsinki Watch, a New York-based human rights monitoring group, announced in its February 1990 report on Turkey that it is launching a campaign against Turkish penal code articles which restrict freedom of expression.
     The human rights monitoring group asked supporters in its recently issued report to send letters to President Turgut Özal, Prime Minister Yildirim Akbulut, Justice Minister Oltan Sungurlu and Nuzhet Kandemir, the Turkish ambassador to Washington; D.C., demanding the repeal of articles 140,141,142,158,159 and 163 of the Turkish Penal Code.
    Each of these articles has been used to punish crimes of conscience in Turkey, the report said. Article 140 concerns disseminating derogatory information about Turkey abroad, while articles 141 and 142 deal with communist activities. Articles 158 and 159 state the punishment for insulting the government, the president and Parliament, and article 163 proscribes activities aimed at setting up a government based on Islamic canon.
    "Helsinki Watch is deeply concerned about continuing harsh restriction of free expression in Turkey. We call upon the government of Turkey to repeal Penal Code articles 140,141,142, 158, 159 and 163, to release immediately all journalists imprison ed for the non-violent exercise of free expression, and to assure full rights of free expression to all of its people," said Helsinki Watch.
    The report says that Turkey has broken all world records in the persecution of publishers, journalists and writers. It claims that nearly 400 journalists have been charged in 1989 for what they have written in their publications. In addition to the 183 criminal cases brought against journalists in 1989, Helsinki Watch says, "magazines have been confiscated and banned, books seized and banned and performances forbidden."
    "At the end of November 1989, at least 23 journalists and editors were in prison for what they had written or published, many serving absurdly long sentences. One journalist received a sentence of 1,086 years, later reduced to about 700 years," writes the Helsinki Watch report.


    Orhan Apaydin Human Rights and Justice Award was given on February 28, to Turkey's minors arrested on charges of making communist propaganda.
    The award was established in 1986 after the death of Apaydin, the former president of the Istanbul Bar Association. A jury of writers, lawyers and journalists announced that this year "The M.C.'s of Turkey" deserved the award. This was a reference to Melih Calaylioglu, the 15-year-old high school student who was arrested two years ago in Izmir on charges of making communist propaganda. Since Press Law bars referring to minors by name, the newspapers referred to Calaylioglu simply as M.C. until his acquittal last year.
    There have been other cases of the arrest of minors on political charges. These young people will share award with Calaylioglu.
    According to the daily Cumhuriyet of December 22, 1989, the number of the Kurdish detainees under the age of 18 reached to 40. Two special wards have recently been set up in the Prison E Type No.1 of Diyarbakir for minor prisoners: one for the detainees between 11 and 15 years old and the other for those between 15 and 18.
    In Istanbul, a 16-year old girl, S.O., was put in the Bayrampasa Prison on December 14 for having distributed propaganda leaflet for the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP).
    Recently, on March 17, 1990, a 14-year old secondary school student, N.A., was arrested in the town of Suruç on charges of communist propaganda. According to press reports, during a search in the classroom, his teacher found in his pocket a piece of paper on which there were some critical remarks on Turgut Ozal's visit to the Black Sea Area. Considering these remarks as communist propaganda, the teacher complained his young student to police authorities and N.A. was a few days later taken into police custody.   


    Muzaffer Ilhan Erdost, the president of the Ankara section of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) was detained on March 12 on charges of making separatist propaganda in a foreword he wrote for a book entitled The Truth Behind Diyarbakir by Edip Polat. After a 35-hour detention Erdost was released on March 14. It was announced that the prosecutor had mistakenly thought the book was published by the IHD.
    The investigation into the writer of the book Polat, accused of spreading separatist propaganda, still continues.


    Police arrested on March 14 nine people including a Catholic pries and charged them with illegitimately smuggling Iraqi Kurdish refugees from camps in Diyarbakir to Greece.
    Police claimed Neaziz Yalap, the priest of the Chaldean Catholic church in Istanbul, and the other eight men have been running a ring which provided Greek passports to Kurdish refugees in return for money.


    Since Özal's access to the Presidential Palace, the unrest within the Motherland Party (ANAP) has been growing so as to shake the government headed by Yildirim Akbulut. The nomination of Akbulut, known as a yes-man of Özal, has led to reactions as well among ANAP deputies as in the party's members.
    As after the 1987 elections ANAP held 289 seats in the legislative assembly, this number fell to 282 after a series of resignations. The government seems chaotic. Ministers are talking against each other in the press. Akbulut has not succeeded his authority neither on the government nor on the party organization. Akbulut's failure in governing the country has led to inventing many jokes to evoke his lack of intelligence and capacity.
    Akbulut's nomination as prime minister and the party chief was first contested by a former vice-premier, Hasan Celal Güzel at the party congress held in November 1989. Although Premier Akbulut was elected party chief thanks to the support of the Holy Alliance, Güzel proved his force by obtaining 382 votes against 739 for Akbulut.
    The second blow to the party's unity has been the recent resignation of Foreign Minister Mesut Yilmaz from the government. Yilmaz was one of two ministers in the current cabinet who had served in all Motherland Party (ANAP) governments since 1983.
    Since the formation of the new government, Akbulut's statements on various foreign policy issues have been contradicting those of the Foreign Minister. The conflict between the two men and their supporters came out into the open on February 20, the day before Parliament held a general debate on foreign policy issues, when Yilmaz gave his letter of resignation to Prime Minister. Akbulut immediately appointed State Minister Ali Bozer, who has been in charge of Turkey's relations with the European Community, to succeed Yilmaz.
    Yilmaz's resignation from the government immediately led to speculation in political lobbies in Ankara that he was taking the first step toward challenging Akbulut as head of government and party. What is more, the two resigned ministers, Hasan Celal Güzel and Mesut Yilmaz have often held talks in a view to developing a common strategy to overthrow Akbulut's direction at the next ANAP Congress scheduled for 1991.
    Facing a joint opposition by the two former prestigious ministers, Özal and Akbulut have to give more concessions to the Holy Alliance within the party and the government. For example, during his four-day trip to Iran, Prime Minister Akbulut nominated State Minister Mehmet Kececiler acting premier. Kececiler is the leader of the Islamic conservative Holy Alliance faction dominating the majority of provincial organizations of the party.
    But this move gave rise to reactions not only in secular circles and even among the Liberal-minded ministers of the Motherland Party (ANAP). As a result of this reaction, Kececiler's plan to preside over a cabinet meeting when Prime Minister is abroad was foiled when several liberal ministers threatened to boycott it.
    There are rumours that if Akbulut, failing to establish his authority, does not resign in coming days, President Özal will be obliged to replace him by another confidence man.


    Not only his prime minister, but Özal himself too has been the object of growing attacks by his opponents. Especially his family's prodigal way of living in the presidential palace and his frequent interference in the government affairs lead to protests.
    Never agreed with the way of his election, the opposition leaders continue to boycott any meeting with President Özal. Even at national day ceremonies they refuse to meet him and to exchange polite remarks.
    The President's last visits to the United States and to France  have severely been criticized by the opposition and the press.
    At the end of January Özal and his wife Semra Özal, accompanied by 14 people, made a 10-day visit to the United States and both had medical check-ups which were paid by the State.
    The daily Tercüman  of January 30, 1990, asked: "What did Özal's trip to the United States achieve except to make us learn that the president and his wife are in sound health. Millions of liras spent for this trip have created embarrassment for Turkey instead of bringing diplomatic success."
    Former prime minister and leader of the opposition Correct Way Party (DYP)
Süleyman Demirel claimed on February 27 that U.S. President George Bush sent a strongly-worded letter to Turkish President Turgut Özal about Turkey's reaction to the Armenian bill in the U.S. Congress. He accused Özal of not having reacted against Bush's stand to humiliate the Turkish State.
    All opposition leaders carry on their pressure on Özal to anticipate legislative and presidential elections as soon as possible in order to save the country from chaotic situation.


    President Turgut Özal, on the occasion of the opening of the Süleyman the Magnificent Exhibition in Paris, met President Mitterrand other French politicians on March 13, 1990.
    The controversy over Özal's one-day trip to Paris arose over reports from France that Mitterrand was somewhat reluctant to grant a meeting to the Turkish president. Besides, the absence of Mrs. Semra Özal, the president's wife, during this visit led to speculation in the press that she did not want to meet with Mrs. Danielle Mitterrand, the French President's wife, who has been criticized in Turkey for her pro-Kurdish activities.
    During the one-hour meeting between Özal and Mitterrand various topics including Turkey's application for full membership in the European Community, the Cyprus question and developments in Eastern Europe were discussed. After the meeting Özal said he observed that there was no categorical objection to Turkey's membership in the EC by France. However, a spokesman for the Elysee Palace did not do same comment and only said that the Turkish president expressed his disappointment over the EC Commission's report over Turkey's application.


    To seek closer economic and political relations with Tehran,  Prime Minister Yildirim Akbulut made a four-day visit to Iran at the end of February.
    Prior to Akbulut's visit, Iran's recently appointed Ambassador to Ankara, Muhammed Reza Bagheri said Turco-Iranian foreign trade enjoyed its best year in 1985 when Iran's exports to Turkey reached $1.578 billion and its imports from Turkey were $1.264 billion. Bilateral trade since then has declined. In the January to October period of 1989, Turkey's exports to Iran stood at $478.2 million dollars and its imports from Iran stood at $136.6 million. Referring to the seventh economic protocol signed last year, which foresaw a trade volume of $2 billion, the ambassador conceded that this target was never reached.
    Accompanied by a delegation of 40 government officials and 62 businessmen, Akbulut met in Tehran with Dr. Hasan Habibi, the deputy president of the Islamic Republic, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayeti and Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani. After visiting Rafsanjani. Akbulut went to the Iranian Parliament and was briefed on its procedures.
    Mr. Habibi said the Turkish Prime Minister's visit to Iran marked the beginning of a new phase in relations between the two countries. Akbulut, answering Habibi, said Turkey attributes great importance to its relations with Iran.
    During Akbulut's visit to Iran a joint economic committee including both Turkish and Iranian government officials discussed a number of projects including a natural gas pipeline from Iran to Turkey.
    This visit occurred during a period marked a series of terrorist acts attributed to Islamic Fundamentalist supported by Iranian regime has been interpreted "inopportune" by the press.


    Two attempts by Senator Robert Dole to get his so-called "Armenian bill" on the U.S. Senate's agenda were defeated first with a 49 to 49 tie vote on February 23 and secondly by 51 votes to 48 on February 27, 1990. The bill proposed to designate April 24 as "a day for the commemoration of the genocide of Armenians by the Turks between 1915 and 1923"
    During the second debate at the Senate, Dole defended his bill by reading a document which he claimed was taken from the Ottoman archives by the British intelligence service. He said the document clearly indicates the Ottomans deliberately killed the Armenians.
    Dole also complained about pressure coming from Turkey to block his bill. The senator claimed Turkish companies had stopped business negotiations with their American partners. "If this, is not blackmail what is?" Dole asked.
    Speaking for an hour against the Dole bill, Senator Byrd urged congressmen not to cause a confrontation between the United States and Turkey. He said  supporters of this legislation have been making references to correspondence from American ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau, who served between 1913 to 1916. However, he noted, some 2,300 messages sent by Admiral Mark Bristol, who headed the U.S. diplomatic mission in Istanbul between 1919 and 1923, were being ignored.
    "Although Admiral Bristol mentioned the human tragedy in eastern Turkey during those years he never described the situation as genocide. The suffering of the people in eastern Turkey was the result of civil strife and war," said Byrd.
    After the second failure of his move, Senator Dole said: "Both trials have shown that we don't have enough support in the Senate. It would be futile to try again with this particular resolution. Those who supported his bill are on the side of truth. In fact, David has won the debate but it was Goliath who emerged as the winner of the vote."
    Dole's failure to reintroduce his bill  caused euphoria in Ankara. Turkish press proclaimed the result as a victory of Turkish lobby in Washington and opened a campaign calling Turkish citizens in Turkey and abroad to send messages of gratitude to Senator Byrd for obstructing Dole's bill.


    The U.N. Security Council has recently adopted a resolution on the Cyprus question which is considered, for the first time in 15 years, satisfactory by all the interested parties. The Council emphasized that efforts should be made to build a federal structure in Cyprus with two communities and two zones and renewed Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar's mandate to continue his goodwill mission to bring about a federal solution in the island. Unlike previous UN documents on Cyprus, the resolution does not describe Turkish troops on the island as an occupying or invasion force.
    Rauf Denktas, the president of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC)", said the resolution was balanced and "not displeasing to the Turkish side." Immediately after he resigned from his post to test how much popular support he has in representing the Turkish-Cypriot Community. He set the presidential elections in northern Cyprus for April 22, 1990. "It is up to the people to decide whether they want me to act as their attorney," he said.
    The Turkish Foreign Ministry too welcomed the resolution, claiming that the resolution refers to the final solution in Cyprus as a federal structure with two communities enjoying equal rights and living in two separate zones.
    As for the Greek-Cypriot side, President George Vassiliou said: "The U.N. resolution justifies the position of the Greek Cypriots." However, he said he would never concede the right to self-determination to the Turkish-Cypriots.
    Greek Prime Minister Xenophon Zolotas also said that the resolution was positive for both Greece and the Greek Cypriots.
    After the adoption of the resolution, de Cuellar said his special envoy in Cyprus will contact Vassilou and Denktas for the resumption of negotiations as soon as possible.


    After the incidents in Komotini in February between the Turkish minority and Greeks, the Athens Government decided to change the minority policy and Prime Minister Kostas Zolotas discussed with the leaders of the New Democracy Party, the Left Coalition and the PASOK ways and means to end disturbances in Western Thrace. Meanwhile, the chief justice of the Komotini Court which sentenced two minority candidates for the Greek Parliament to 18 months in jail has been removed from his post.
    According to the reports by the press, Greek leaders pointed to the fact that the ethnic Turkish minority constitutes a 54 percent majority in the Rodopi province where Komotini is located. They also tagged the high fertility rate of the Turkish community as a problem compared with the low birth rate of Christian Greeks.
    They also decided to implement measures to prevent the ethnic Turks from organizing a minority political party.
    The measures planned for reversing this situation include changing the population composition in the area by providing incentives and jobs for minority Turks to settle elsewhere in Greece. They agreed also to put into force a regional development plan to increase the level of living standards which would hopefully lower the fertility rate among minority Turks.
    Among other measures decided upon by the Greek leaders was the division of Moslem foundations into separate administrative units which would be run by elected bodies. This would effectively decrease the control of the Turkish diplomatic missions over the foundations.
    They also planned to restrict the judicial powers of Moslem religious leaders, müftis, stemming from canonical Islam in the administration of property and inheritance. These judicial powers would be transferred to the courts which would make rulings according to the 1922 Treaty of Lausanne.


    General Necip Torumtay, Chief of the Turkish General Staff, said in a television interview on March 5 that no cuts should be expected in the near future in the number of enlisted men because shortages in military can only be offset by manpower.
    He claimed Turkey's strategic importance would not change whatever developments there were in the world in the next few years because of the country's geographic location. The major powers such as the United States and the Soviet Union will continue to have interests in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Middle East regions, he said.
    "Turkey also feels the heat of the Middle East which has been simmering for a long time. A new strategy can be defined, pegged to developments in the Middle East and especially in neighbouring countries," said Torumtay. "Turkey has to deploy its forces in every direction. If there is a viable peace in Europe, it will be natural for us to shift attention to the Middle East," he said.
    "The drive for modernization in the Turkish armed forces should continue for at least another 10 or 15 years. Naturally, the bill for this modernization will be high. But maintaining independence and freedom is not a cheap affair, said the army chief.
    In an answer to the question why Turkey was still holding 800,000 to 900,000 men under arms instead of reducing these numbers and using the money saved to buy new arms, Torumtay claimed: "Each soldier costs the army 2 million TL  ($834) per year. If we decrease the number of troops by 100,000 we will be saving something like 200 billion TL ($84 million). But a frigate costs 600 billion TL ($252 million). So the reduction in numbers does not save as much money as many people believe."


    Five weeks after the assassination of Professor Muammer Aksoy in February, the escalating terrorism in Turkey has recently chosen in March another public figure as victim. Cetin Emec, 55, a columnist and former editor-in-chief of the daily Hürriyet, was shot dead on March 7, by unidentified gunmen as he left his home on the Asian side of Istanbul to go to his office. As his driver was walking to the front of the vehicle, another car appeared from a side street. It stopped about 10 meters away and two masked men ran out and sprayed Emec's car with bullets from automatic weapons fitted with silencers. When the killers noticed that driver Ali Sinan Ercan, 35, was running away they pumped bullets into him too. According to eyewitness accounts there were two other men in the killers' car. After the attack, all four escaped in the getaway car.
    Unidentified men called the offices of some newspapers and claimed responsibility for the killing on behalf of the Turkish Islamic Commando Association, a hitherto unknown organization. They said: "We have killed Cetin Emec to punish the enemies of Islam."
    Ironically, in his last Hürriyet column Emec discussed the escalating terrorism in Turkey, and pointed to Turkey's precarious position in the Middle East. Neighbouring states like Syria, Iraq and Iran, he said, were known to encourage terrorism throughout the world. Emec criticized the government for not adopting a tougher line against Syria and demanded more financial and moral support for the Turkish Army.
    Following Emec's assassination, journalists staged demonstrations in Istanbul and Ankara. Hundreds of journalists marched to the Parliament building in Ankara on March 8 and presented a declaration to the Speaker demanding urgent and vigorous measures to prevent terrorism. The declaration, signed by journalists associations, unions and major newspapers, said: "These attempts are aimed at destroying Turkish democracy. The Turkish press underlines that Turkey shall always have democratic rule, with Parliament as its key body. We consider it necessary to call on Parliament as the sole representative of the nation to  prevent escalation of terrorism and uncover the dark forces behind it."
    Thereupon, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Kaya Erdem, called on March 12 Prime Minister Yildirim Akbulut and the two opposition party leaders, Erdal Inönü (SHP) and Süleyman Demirel (DYP), to discuss ways and means to combat terrorism in Turkey.
    The two opposition leaders offered full support to the government for measures needed to quell violence. However, both Inönü and Demirel argued that early parliamentary elections ahead for their scheduled time in 1992 would help renew people's confidence in the regime, making it possible to launch an effective struggle against terrorism. Akbulut rejected the opposition's argument saying that calling elections just to combat terror was irrelevant.
    Next day, President Turgut Özal blamed the press for exaggerating terrorist incidents in Turkey. According to political circles in Ankara, the meeting of political leaders revealed the latent friction between Özal and Akbulut, who was given the job of prime minister by the former only five months ago.    


    Tunca Aslan, editor of the weekly 2000'e Dogru was arrested on March 13, by the Istanbul State Security Court on charges of making propaganda detrimental to the patriotic feelings of the nation. The magazine had in its recent issue published an article in dealing with the Kurdish question in Turkey and proposing solutions to it. Aslan faces a possible prison sentence of up to 15 years under article 142 of the Turkish Penal Code.
    The Istanbul State Security Court ordered confiscation of March 7, 1990 issue of daily Günes because it published the minutes of the talks between US President George Bush and Turkish President Turgut Özal which took place last month in Washington D.C. The SSC Prosecutor said the newspaper revealed "information that should remain secret in the interest of security and the state."

    Prosecutions in February:
    7.2, professor Yalcin Kücük was condemned by the State Security Court of Malatya to a 4 years and 2 months imprisonment for a declaration defending Kurdish people's rights.
    8.2, editor Muzaffer Erdogdu was indicted by the State Security Court of Istanbul for having published Lenin's speeches to the 3rd International. He faces imprisonment of up to 15 years.
    10.2, a German citizen, Michael Dag, was indicted by a criminal court in Izmir for having distributed the newspaper Kurtulus in 1979 and faces a prison term of up to 15 years. He had earlier been condemned for a first time to a one and a half year imprisonment for the same act.
    10.2, the mayor of the district of Göcek, Behzat Akdolun, was released after being kept in prison for 18 days on charges of having insulted Turgut Ozal during a session of the Municipal Council.
    11.2, two editors of the monthly Kivilcim, Hasan Cako and Hayriye Cako, were taken into custody.
    12.2, Edip Polat's book entitled "The Real Fact of Diyarbakir" was confiscated by the State Security Court of Ankara.
    20.2, the February issue of the monthly Emek Dünyasi was confiscated by the State Security Court of Istanbul.
    23.2, two concerts by the Group Yorum in Izmir was banned by the governor.
    23.2, Velit Gök was condemned to a prison term of 4 years and 2 months for having shouted Kurdish slogan during a concert of folk singer Ferhat Tunc.


    New campus unrest throughout Turkey in the beginning of March has resulted in the arrest of hundreds of university students. The incidents began on March 1st when Yildiz University students in Istanbul roughed up a plain-clothes policeman. Following this first incident, police raided student dormitories and detained 80 students.
    Next morning, students gathered on Yildiz campus, held a demonstration against the presence of police in the university and shouted slogans demanding the release of their friends. Police again intervened and arrested about 50 students. This led to the occupation of the university buildings in the afternoon by hundreds of student who took rector Süha Toner and five other faculty members hostage. They said they would not come out of the building unless riot squads ant anti-riot vehicles positioned around the campus were withdrawn.
    The two-hour siege ended with a police charge on the building using tear-gas, water cannons and clubs. Nearly 200 students were detained after police forced their way into the building.
    About 20 students were injured during the confrontation with police and the historic building of the Yildiz University was severely damaged.
    On March 3, police released 152 students but held under police custody 155 other for questioning. In protest against police detention, smaller demonstrations took place at the Marmara University campus in Istanbul and in Canakkale.
    On March 5, about 1,000 students gathered on the main campus of Istanbul University in Beyazit. Riot police intervened when the demonstrators spilled out of the campus to stage a march to the State Security Court where they expected the detained students to appear. Students lobbed Molotov cocktails and stones at the police while riot police charged with water cannons, sticks and stones. Several civilians who were siding with the police were also seen throwing stones at the students. While two police helicopters were hovering overhead demonstrators moved back to the campus and closed the heavy iron doors.
    On March 6, the incidents spread to Adana where students demonstrated against the arrests in Istanbul. They pelted gendarmerie troops and policemen with stones and stopped a policeman using a video camera. 60 of them were arrested.
    There were also demonstrations in Ankara's Hacettepe University, but no students were detained there.
    The student resistance is provoked by the barrack discipline imposed by the military regime after the 1980 coup and still applied by the Higher Education Council (YOK). However, the leaders of the two opposition parties represented in the Parliament, Inönü and Demirel, said the students should not be carried away by provocations.


    Over 60 people were arrested on March 12 in the tobacco-growing areas of western Turkey when producers began to riot after the government announced tobacco purchasing prices far below the expected range.
    Producers expressed shock over the new prices, increased from 33 percent to 48 percent over last year's purchasing prices for various types of locally produced tobacco. They claimed they could not even cover their production costs with these prices while the inflation rate was over 70 percent.
    Thousands of tobacco producers took the streets in Akhisar, Milas, Mugla, Kinik, Süleymanoglu, Kirkagac, Kapakli, Gökceköy, Sakarya, Isikköy and Bergama, ransacking the offices of over 50 tobacco merchants and the State Tobacco Monopoly buildings. In Kirkagac, they smashed the windows of local offices of the Motherland Party (ANAP). In all the incidents, angry demonstrators called for the resignation of the government.
    Gendarme units and riot police squads were dispatched to Akhisar and surrounding towns. The protesters blocked the main Izmir-Istanbul highway and railroad to traffic for five hours during the demonstration.


    An explosion on February 7, 1990, in the Yeni Celtek coal pits claimed the lives of 68 miners. It is the worst mine disaster in Turkey since 1964 when 72 miners died in the same area.
The lack of protection measures in the area gave rise to protests by trade unions and the relatives of the victims.
    Even the arrests of three managers of the mine failed to alleviate anger among the relatives and friends of the dead miners who continued to wait before the sealed off area demanding the bodies. The protesters attacked the vehicle carrying the detained managers and shouted: "Give the murderers to us!"
    When Prime Minister and some other ministers arrived at the place of incident under heavy security, miners families shouted at them: "We want the bodies of our dead!" When the Labour Minister wanted to visit the homes of miners, she was given a cold shoulder. "You only remember us at times of disaster. We don't need your condolences," she was told.
    Miners in the coal mining areas of northern Turkey stopped work for two hours to protest the disaster.
    A report by experts said the gallery where the accident occurred was till full of poisonous gas and there was no possibility that any survivors remained.
    The Turkish Miners Union maintained there were indications of heat build-up in the gallery two days before the gas explosion. "According to regulations, the gallery should have been closed up. Despite the signs, work continued in the gallery without any precautions being taken. After the accident, the employer, instead of saving lives preferred to save equipment. The incident is a mass slaughter, not an accident," said the union report.