The mastermind of two military coups
After revelations about Gladio appeared in the
European press, the existence of a similar paramilitary force in Turkey
began to be discussed in Turkish parliamentary circles. Some former
political leaders have made spectacular revelations as if this matter
comes for the first time to the agenda.
The existence of such a paramilitary subversive
organization, which is the mastermind of the political violence and the
subsequent two military coup d'états in the years of 70 and 80, had
been revealed many times by the progressive Turkish press, but the same
political leaders, in complicity with the military, preferred to
The readers of Info-Türk Bulletins and books too
have, since 1978, been regularly informed of the sinister role of
the Counter-Guerrilla Organization in the process of destabilization in
Turkey and in the preparation of the coup d'états:
"This organization was the Special War
Department, commonly known as the Counter-guerrilla Organization, which
had been set up under a bilateral military agreement in 1959 between
Turkey and the United States. The apparent aim of this department was
to set up resistance forces in case of "uprising" or foreign
aggression. But the application and training directives show that the
organization could function against the domestic movements of social
awakening. In various written official regulations of the Department,
"uprising" was defined as "political and social opposition against the
established order in the country. [U.S. Army Field Manuel 31-16 which
was translated into Turkish in 1964 and distributed to the Turkish
Armed Forces as a classified document.] The Special War Department had
its headquarters in the building of the US Military Aid Mission in
Ankara. The training of the officers of this department was carried out
by the US Intelligence Services.
"Aided and supported by the Special War Department,
the armed bands of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) headed by Former
Colonel Alparslan Türkes, known as Grey Wolves, had already murdered 42
left-wing people during the 5-year period of Justice Party rule until
1971. After preparing instability in the country thanks to the
political violence carried out by the Grey Wolves, the Armed Forces
intervened on March 12, 1971. It is during the 2-year period of
repression that the existence of the Special War Department was brought
to the fore. It is this organization that carried out all arrests and
torture practice in collaboration with Grey Wolves." (Info-Türk,
When the social democrat SHP came to power two
times, in 1973 and in 1978, all democratic forces of Turkey which
supported it, asked Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit to close down this
sinister organization. Although Ecevit promised at the beginning to act
accordingly, he never kept his word and yielded to the military's
Today, after seeing that talking on paramilitary
subversive organization becomes a factor of prestige, Ecevit admitted
that there were strong indications that a clandestine NATO paramilitary
force also existed in Turkey as well. Following is the declaration
Ecevit did on November 13, 1990:
"In 1974, just before the military operation in
Cyprus, I was informed for the first time about the existence of a
department in charge of special warfare within the headquarters of the
Turkish general staff. They were asking for money. When I inquired who
had funded the department until then I was told that it was financed by
the United States," said Ecevit.
"When I insisted, a secret briefing on the
functioning of this organization was given to me and the then defense
minister Hasan Esat Isik. We were told the Special Warfare Department
was an organization composed of 'volunteer patriots.' They said its
headquarters was located in the same building as the US military aid
delegation to Turkey. I was told also that the organization had secret
weapons depots. Its members were trained in special warfare techniques.
If and when the country was invaded by an aggressor the members of this
clandestine organization were supposed to launch counter-guerrilla
warfare against the invaders. I was told the organization was made up
of mainly young people but that when they got elder they might
eventually become politicians.
"This was a secret weapon. I thought we should act
swiftly and put measures into force against the organization's use. But
that was at the time of the Cyprus operation. Nothing was done."
Ecevit explained that when he again became prime
minister in 1978 he discussed the matter with Kenan Evren, chief of
general staff at that time. "I told him that we should give the
Department of Special Warfare official status. Evren promised to do
this," he said.
Ecevit indicated that at that time he linked
right-wing violence with the clandestine activities of the department.
He said Turkey was in great social turmoil at the time which led the
military takeover by Evren in 1980.
At that time the armed gangs affiliated with the
neo-fascist Nationalist Action Party (MHP) were fighting left-wing
groups, Ecevit recalled. He said his party motorcade came under fire
more than once during his trip around the country: "In one small town,
I discussed the special warfare department and my suspicions about its
activities with an army general who I knew was directly connected with
"I told the general about my concern? He said people
taking part in the activities of this organization were people of good
will. He said they loved their country. When I objected saying that
members of organizations involved in violence and affiliated with MHP
might also participate in this clandestine organization he answered
that MHP chief [in the town where we were attacked] was also a
patriotic man of good will. Without knowing it, he had admitted that
the MHP chief in the town where we were at that time was also a member
of the special warfare department."
Nevertheless, it was Ecevit himself who denied the
existence of the Counter-Guerrilla in 1978, when he was prime minister.
Let us read again the February 1978 issue of
"The Counter-Guerrilla Organization within the
Turkish Armed Forces was recently brought to attention by CHP senator
Niyazi Ünsal and deputy Süleyman Genc. They claimed that the
organization has supplied arms to terrorist groups such as the Grey
Wolves and has provoked them into action.
"As a matter of fact, since the latest general
elections , Ecevit has seemed to forget his earlier statements
and he did not even say anything in the government programme about the
illegal activities of the Counter-guerrilla organization.
"After the controversy started on the subject,
Ecevit was obliged to talk, but, instead of insisting on his earlier
claims, asked that this debate be stopped.
"At a news conference on February 4, 1978, Ecevit
denied the existence of a counter-guerrilla organization and claimed
that his earlier allegations were not definite claims, but
suppositions. 'According to my investigations there is not official
counter-guerrilla organization established in the State. We must all be
respectful towards the Turkish Armed Forces and help them in the
realization of their desire to remain out of politics,' he said."
Info-Türk of February 1978 concludes this article
with the following warning:
"However, unless the government dissolves this
infamous organization within the Armed Forces, it will continue to
provoke bloody incidents and even try to overthrow the government if
necessary." It is 18 months later than the appearance
of this article, in September 1980 that General Evren overthrew the
parliamentary government and took over the power on pretext that
political violence attained uncontrolable dimensions. It was again the
Counter-Guerrilla Organization that planned and instigated political
violence giving pretext for this new military coup d'état.
As for the political assassinations of many public
figures such as journalists, writers, university professors, trade
union leaders, the authors of this provocative crimes have never been
The arrest of Mehmet Ali Agca, an extreme-right
activist who shot dead famous journalist Abdi Ipekci in 1978, was an
exception. But, a few months later, thanks to the complicity within the
Armed Forces, this notorious killer escaped from a very well protected
military detention house. It is the same Agca who was to shoot the Pope
on May 13, 1990.
The motives of this crime committed in the country
of "Gladio" by a Grey Wolf enjoying the protection of Turkish "Gladio"
have always remained in obscurity despite many public trials in Rome.
ÖZAL'S NEW DIPLOMATIC MANOEUVRES
In a new move to reinforce his direct conducting
Turkey's foreign relations, President Özal appointed, on October 28,
his cousin Hüsnü Dogan to head the Ministry of Defence. The former
minister, Safa Giray had resigned from this post, saying that there was
a lack of confidence within the government.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Ali Bozer too had to
resign in protest against being excluded from the conduct of the
country's foreign relations. He was replaced by one of Özal's yes-men,
Ahmet Kurtcebe Alptemocin.
Besides his family relations with the President,
Hüsnü Dogan is known as a figure belonging to the fundamentalist wing
of the Motherland Party (ANAP).
President Özal, addressing the 9th Round Table
Meeting of Business International, an association of foreign investors
in Turkey on October 23, said that if world stability were to be
threatened by the crisis in the Gulf, war would be inevitable.
In a move to obtain Ankara's support to a possible
US military operation against Iraq, US Secretary of State James Baker
came to Turkey on November 7 and conferred with Turkish leaders in
Arriving in Turkey from Cairo on a tour of several
Arab and European countries, Baker complained about the failure of the
UN trade sanctions to yield the expected results. He emphasized
the need for new action. Turkish Foreign Ministry sources said Turkey
assured Baker of its support in the United Nations if Washington
introduces a draft resolution calling for use of force against Iraq.
In another move, after just after Baker's, President
Bush sent Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Chief William H. Webster to
Turkey. During his 24-hour visit, Webster first had talks with Prime
Minister, Defense Minister and Foreign Minister. His most important
talks were with President Özal and the Turkish Intelligence
Organization (MIT) officials on November 8.
It is for the second time that the No. 1 of the CIA
visited Turkey. The preceding top-level visit had been made in 1982,
prior to the Constitutional referendum, by William Casey, CIA chief of
Prime Minister Akbulut said that among other topics
the CIA chief discussed the Gulf crisis. US Ambassador Morton
Abramowitz said Webster's discussions were centred on "facts known to
everyone," and that his talks also covered recent developments in the
According to the Turkish press, during these two
top-level visits, the USA urged Özal to learn what the Iranian position
when he goes to Iran.
During his visit to Tehran, on November 12, Özal
spent seven hours with Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Iranian president.
This was the longest talk Özal has had with a head of state since the
outbreak of the crisis in the Gulf.
"We have only insignificant differences of
opinion. Both Iran and Turkey have vital interests in the region. We
have emphasized the importance of maintaining both Kuwait's
independence and Iraq's territorial integrity," said Özal after he left
Tehran to attend the coronation of Japanese Emperor Akihito.
In Tokyo, Özal said that regional stability in the
Middle East depended on cooperation between Turkey, Iran, Syria,
Pakistan and even Iran rather than a military arrangement. However, he
did not rule out completely the possibility of an armed confrontation
if the United Nations trade embargo did not yield the expected results.
In the course of a meeting with several heads of
state in Tokyo, Özal spelled out the Turkish administration's
opposition to the formation of an independent Kurdish state in northern
Iraq. "Neither Turkey, Syria nor Iran would allow an independent
Kurdish state to be set up in the Middle East. We received guarantees
from the Syrian and Iranian heads of state to this effect," he added.
Manfred Wörner, NATO General Secretary, attending a
seminar on the effect of changing relations between Eastern and Western
Europe on NATO and Turkey's joint security and defense in Alanya, said
Turkish journalists on October 22: "After the present crisis is
resolved in the Middle East Turkey's role not only in terms of military
and strategic considerations but also on political grounds will be
reassessed. Turkey should look not only to NATO and Europe for a role.
Turkey must play an important role in a possible regional defense
arrangement seeking to safeguard peace and stability in the Middle
East. No progress could be made in such a regional structure without
On the other hand, Özal announced on November
3 that weapons worth $8 to $9 billion would be delivered from the USA
and Germany to Turkey. Özal named these weapons as 400 Leopard and 600
A-60 tanks, F4-E fighter planes, Cobra helicopters, naval patrol
planes, Patriot rockets, 700 armoured personnel carriers, Ronald
missiles and artillery pieces. "If we were to purchase this with cash
we would pay $8 to $9 billion," he said.
As for the European Community aid to the countries
most affected by the Gulf Crisis -Turkey, Egypt and Jordan-, following
the meeting of EC leaders in Rome, it was announced on October 27 that
this aid would not materialize until 1991.
During the meeting of the Turkish-EC Joint
Parliamentary Committee's meeting in Istanbul, on November 9, the
Committee's European Co-chairman, Alman Metten said: "The European
Parliament will not release financial aid to Turkey for its losses from
the Gulf crisis unless there is improvement in its human rights
STATE OF EMERGENCY EXTENDED
The National Security Council decided on November
1st to extend the state of emergency in ten South-eastern provinces
inhabited by Kurds for a new 4-month period from November 19.
The provinces of Diyarbakir, Batman, Bingöl, Elazig,
Hakkari, Mardin, Sirnak, Tunceli and Van have been subjected to state
of emergency since the lifting of martial law. All these provinces are
governed by a regional governor, Hayri Kozakcioglu, who was recently
given extraordinary powers.
ON-GOING PROSECUTION OF CHILDREN
While the arrest of the 16-year old schoolgirl for
saying "No To War!" continued to be a public issue (See: Info-Türk, Oct
1990, p.3) and the subject of debate in the National Assembly on
October 23, police and public prosecutors, giving no heed to
criticisms, have continued to prosecute others.
27.10, a 16-year old student of the Meram High
School in Konya, A.Ö, was taken into custody by police after the school
administration complained that he listened to some musi-cassettes
banned by authorities.
31.10, two 17-year old students of the Vocational
School of Akhisar were arrested for having read some religious
publications in the school. Tried at the State Security Court of Izmir,
each faces a prison term of up to 5 years.
3.11, in the town of Akcaabat in the province of
Trabzon, a 16-year old high school student, C.K., was indicted for
having made a sit-in in front of the Atatürk Monument with a placard
written "No to War!".
8.11, in Adana, 18 high school students were
detained for participating in some unauthorized protest actions. Four
of the detained students are younger than 18 years.
12.11, the State Security Court of Istanbul
sentenced a high-school student, I. Altun, to 4 years and 6 months
imprisonment for having participated in an unauthorized political
ARRESTS AT HUMAN RIGHTS CONGRESS
The General Assembly of the Human Rights Association
of Turkey (IHD) was held on October 28 in Ankara.
A Kurdish delegate, Vedat Aydin, addressed the
Congress in his mother tongue and his words were translated into
Turkish by lawyer Ahmet Zeki Okcuoglu. However, both the speaker and
the translator were immediately taken into custody by police.
When Mustafa Özer, Diyarbakir Chairman of the
People's Labour Party (HEP) said he supported the speech in Kurdish, he
was detained as well.
After detaining three human rights activists for a
simple reason of speaking in Kurdish language, police and the
government came under harsh criticisms from the opposition.
Fehmi Isiklar, chairman of the HEP and a member of
the National Assembly said: "Several government members have repeated
from time to time that there is no ban on the use of the Kurdish
language. The detention of IHD delegates indicates how hypocritical the
Lawyer Nevzat Helvaci was reelected IHD Chairman at
the congress. In his address, Helvaci criticized the emergency measures
enforced in southeastern Turkey and drew attention to dangerous upsurge
of Islamic fanaticism.
HUNGER-STRIKES IN TURKISH PRISONS
The hunger-strikes carried out by political
prisoners in Diyarbakir, Malatya and Gaziantep prisons ended on
November 18 after the prisons administration accepted many of the
demands of strikers.
However, the actions were going on in Nazilli,
Aydin, Kayseri, Erzincan and Buca (Izmir) prisons when this issue was
In solidarity with the political prisoners on
hunger-strike, many parallel actions have been organized throughout
Turkey and abroad.
The Committee of Kurdistan in Belgium organized a
hunger-strike in Brussels on November 6.
On this occasion, the Committee of Kurdistan, drew
attentions also to the repression in Turkish Kurdistan.
According to the information given by the Committee
at a press conference:
"In 1990, the population of more than 400 villages
in the provinces of Sirnak, Siirt, Hakkari and Van have been deported
by the Turkish Army. Executing this operation, the Army units, in a
view to preventing the peasants' return to their villages, set on fire
all houses and means of subsistence, devastate fields, forests
and orchards, mine all roads and kill domestic animals. The
deported Kurdish villagers now live under tents around Sirnak, Cizre,
Cukurca and Van.
"Today, even children are being arrested and
subjected to torture. 105 children aged from 11 to 17 have been tried
by the State Security Court of Diyarbakir. These children are been
handcuffed when they are being taken to tribunal."
DEATH SENTENCES REACHED 315
The number of prisoners waiting on death row has
recently increased to 315, when 14 more cases were transferred to the
Justice Commission of the National Assembly until November 21. Of those
who were sentenced to death 172 are from the Left-wing or Kurdish
organizations, 28 from the Right-wing, four Palestinian militants while
111 are nonpolitical prisoners.
The Turkish Government had announced on October 13
its intention to implement death sentences with a view to fight
political terror. This announcement provoked strong reactions as well
in Turkey as abroad. (See: Info-Türk, Oct 1990, p.3).
The issue of capital punishment was raised during
Secretary General of the Council of Europe Catherine Lalumière's visit
to Turkey. Mrs. Lalumière informed Turkish authorities of the Council
of Europe's concern on the issue.
Before leaving Turkey, the Secretary General told
Turkish journalists she was assured by Turkish officials that those
sentenced to death earlier would not be executed.
962,855 PERSONS RECORDED
In his response to a parliamentary question,
Interior Minister Abdülkadir Aksu announced on October 23 that there
are 962,855 people with police records in Turkey.
STATE TERRORISM IN OCTOBER
5.10, four officials of the Teachers' Association
(Egit-Der) in Izmir were sentenced to a 450,000 TL ($150) fine each for
an unauthorized press release.
6.10, the Ankara office of the Association for
Solidarity with the Families of Prisoners (TAYAD) was raided by police.
Chairman Nuran Askeri and 33 members who were inside during the raid
were taken into police custody and all documents confiscated.
10.10, the State Security Court of Malatya sentenced
4 members of the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) to a prison term of
8 years and 4 months each and another defendant to 3 years.
11.10, in Adana, 30 people were detained by police
for having shouted slogans without a preliminary permission at a
cultural festival organized by the Municipality of Seyhan.
12.10, the State Security Court of Ankara sentenced
Murat Kocak, member of the IHD, to one-year imprisonment for having put
on walls some posters without a preliminary authorization.
13.10, the Administrative Board members of the
Agricultural Employees' Association of Turkey (TZD) were interrogated
by public prosecutor for having conducted some researches on their
trade union rights.
15.10, Ali Özler, local chairman of the IHD in
Tunceli, was sentenced by the State Security Court to a prison term of
6 years and 8 months for his declarations on Kurdish question. He had
been under arrest for more than six months.
16.10, the State Security Court sentenced 35 people
to 3-year imprisonment each for having taken part in the May Day
demonstration in 1989. Three of the defendants being younger than
18-years old, their prison terms were lowered to 10 months.
17.10, a PKK member was sentenced to capital
punishment and another one to life-term by the SSC of Malatya for
having participated in PKK activities. The same tribunal, same day,
sentenced three members of the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist
-Leninist (TKP-ML) to prison terms of up to 8 years and 4 months.
18.10, the SSC of Istanbul arrested three alleged
members of the TKP-ML.
20.10, police announced the arrest of 11 alleged
members of Revolutionary Left (Dev-Sol) in the district of Ünye.
21.10, in Ankara, five members of the TAYAD were
brought before the State Security Court on the charge of having
relations with underground organizations. Each faces a prison term of
up to 5 years.
22.10, a book-keeper, Vedat Sümercan, was detained
in the town of Banaz for having written "No To War!" on his office's
24.10, seven leading members of the Nurses'
Association were brought before the SSC of Istanbul on charges of
"communist propaganda." Each faces a prison term of up to 10 years.
25.10, the local of the Association for Protecting
and Developing the Golden Horn was raided by police and 20 people
inside ware taken into custody.
27.10, during a demonstration for "Peace and Humane
Living", organized in Kocaeli by the main opposition SHP, police
detained 155 people by using force.
30.10, police announced the arrest of 15 militants
of the Workers-Peasants Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO) in Istanbul.
31.10, the Cultural Research Association of Esenler
(EKAD) in Istanbul was raided by police and 10 people taken to custody.
INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY WITH INFO-TÜRK EDITORS
The Turkish Council of State's decision turning down
the appeal by two Info-Türk editors, Dogan Özgüden and Inci
Tugsavul, for annulment a military government's decree depriving them
of Turkish nationality has continued to draw reactions from
Earlier, the US Helsinki Watch had sent President
Özal a message expressing its concern about the case of two
The International Federation of Journalists,
representing more than 175,000 journalists organised in 51 trade unions
in 43 countries around the world, raised the question at the Istanbul
meeting of the European Parliament-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee.
Mr. Aidan White, Secretary General of the IFJ,
submitting to the Committee's sitting of November 8 his report entitled
"Turkey 1990: Journalism Under Fire", said:
"The hand of official interference in Turkey extends
beyond the country itself to deny rights to Turkish citizens working as
"The IFJ has been most concerned at the deprivation
of citizenship of two journalists working abroad: Dogan Özgüden and
Inci Tugsavul, editors of the Brussels-based magazine Info-Türk.
"They were denied their nationality by the Military
Government eight years ago. Now, after a two-year examination, the
Turkish Council of State, has rejected their appeal and confirmed the
statelessness of these journalists on the basis of decrees by the
"What is just as worrying is that the Government of
Turkey in its response to the appeal claimed that the two editors
should remain stateless because they had slandered Turkish authorities
and Turkish generals in publications they edited abroad.
"By any standards this is unjust but that it affect
journalists working under the nose of the European Community, and in
defiance of the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights,
is an irony not lost on those who seriously question the Turkey's
commitment to human rights in support of its application for full
membership of the European Community."
At the same meeting of the EC-Turkey Joint
Parliamentary Committee, Mrs. Claudia Roth (Greens, Germany), drawing
attentions to the Özgüden-Tugsavul Case, asked for immediate
suppression of the practice of deprivation of citizenship.
On the other hand, the International Press
Institute's director Peter Galliner addressed to President Özal the
"The International Press Institute, representing
leading journalists, editors and publishers throughout the world, is
writing to you, on behalf of Dogan Özgüden, chief editor of Info-Türk
Agency in Brussels and his colleague, Inci Tugsavul, editor for the
English editions of Info-Türk's publications.
"Both were deprived of their nationality by the
military government eight years ago. In 1988, they appealed to the
Council of State for the annulment of this decision. However, we are
informed that their appeal has been turned down by the Council of
State, referring to a law of the military period, which we understand,
is no longer in force.
"We urgently protest, on behalf of our two
colleagues, against this unjust and inhumane decision and urge that
they be granted full reinstatement of Turkish nationality without
PROSECUTION OF THE MEDIA IN OCTOBER
2.10, the editor of the fortnightly Emegin Bayragi,
Ibrahim Cicek, was arrested in Istanbul.
2.10, a journalist from the daily Cumhuriyet, Osman
Yildiz, announced that he had been kept under police custody for three
days in Istanbul without any grounds and ill-treated by policemen.
17.10, a pamphlet on the youth question, published
by the Devrimci Genclik Publishing House was confiscated by the State
Security Court of Istanbul.
19.10, a columnist from the daily Hürriyet, Emin
Cölasan was sentenced by an Ankara court to a fine of 104 millions TL
(38,000 US Dollars) for his book about the President of the Republic
and his family.
19.10, Dogu Perincek, chief editor of the weekly
Yüzyil, was indicted by the State Security Court of Erzincan for a
conference that he had given on the Kurdish question. He faces a prison
term of up to 5 years for separatist propaganda.
24.10, the 21 October issue of the weekly Yüzyil was
confiscated by the State Security Court of Istanbul for an article on
the Kurdish question.
25.10, the October issue of the monthly Yeni Öncü
was confiscated by the State Security Court of Istanbul.
26.10, the Diyarbakir office of the weekly Yeni Ülkü
was put on fire by unidentified persons. The aggressors, in a note that
they left, said that it was a warning act by the Islamic Warriors'
27.10, the responsible editor of the monthly Emek
Dünyasi, Osman Günes, was sentenced by the Istanbul State Security
Court to a prison term of 6 years and 3 months for an article on the
27.10, the chief editor of the monthly Mücadele,
Cafer Darici was taken into custody in Kars along with the local
chairman of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) Muhammed
30.10, the Ankara representative of the monthly Yeni
Demokrasi, Ali Ekber Kaypakkaya and correspondent Kamil Eser were taken
31.10, the Izmir representative of the monthly
Mücadele, Doruk Aydogmus was taken into police custody.
31.10, the Ankara office of the daily Yeni Asya was
raided by police and two journalists, Bedrettin Ergül and Ahmet Akdag
taken into police custody. Later, the publisher of the newspaper,
Mehmet Kutlular, and 7 other journalists too were detained. Ten
journalists are accused of fundamentalist propaganda.
31.10, the issue No.36 of the monthly Toplumsal
Kurtulus was confiscated on grounds that it contains separatist
MASS PROTESTS BY UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
Boycotts, demonstrations and prostet forums
organized by university students marked the 10th anniversary of the
Higher Education Council (YÖK) on November 6 on Turkey's university
Strict security measures were enforced by large
cadres of police, particularly in Istanbul. At least 200 students were
reported detained by the police. In Eskisehir University, 17
students and three policemen were injured during the protests, with 97
YÖK was set up after the military coup in 1980. The
military administration increased the number of universities in the
country from nine to 19, but imposed on them a barracks discipline with
the institution of Higher Education Regulation No. 1750.
After the establishment of YÖK, at least 95 faculty
members were dismissed, 861 resigned and another 1,188 retired — all in
reaction to martial law No. 1402, which allowed arbitrary dismissals
Within the first eight years of the YÖK
administration, over 100,000 students were also expelled from their
schools due to YÖK's examination regulation No. 44, which has been
changed four times since its establishment.
According to a law instituted in 1987, the number of
representatives from the Council of Ministers within the YÖK
administration was increased substantially. At the same time,
businessmen and bureaucrats without teaching credentials were permitted
to become part-time faculty members.
Protesting YÖK, student union members hung political
placards saying "Long live our struggle for an autonomous, democratic
university," "No to War and to YÖK!"
AN ALARMING REPORT ON FUNDAMENTALIST PENETRATION TO EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
The upsurge of Islamic fundamentalism has given rise
to a nation-wide polemics. Recently, Turkish businessmen too have been
involved in the debate by accusing the government of encouraging
fundamentalist penetration into the Turkish educational system.
The Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's
Association (TÜSIAD) , on September 19, issued a report criticizing the
quality of Turkish education and calling state funding for education
"inadequate." It also criticized the integration of religious schools
into the public system.
"Turkey falls behind African countries in
educational spending. Only 2.7 percent of the gross national product is
spent on education," the report said. In an indictment of the
proliferation of state-run religious schools and private Koran courses,
it also called for stricter controls upon both.
The report identified three educational standards in
"Turkish students attend either state-run religious
schools (initially designed to educate Moslem clergy). low-quality
state schools or with a foreign language curriculum,.
"The Turkish education system took a step back from
the unified and standardized system before 1980 to a 'three-channel'
system similar to the one in force in the first years of the Republic.
Fundamentalism begins where standardized education fails."
TÜSIAD's main criticism of the Turkish education
system was that "privileged" private high schools. "The Imam-Hatip
religious schools originally established to educate the clergy have
been integrated into the system as general-purpose institutions
competing with normal state run high schools."
Defining the Imam-Hatip schools as "anti-secularist"
the report said that in 20 years, the number of such schools has
increased by 1,250 percent:
"Only 39,000 Imam-Hatip graduates have been employed
as clergymen since the schools were established in 1951. Their
students, meanwhile, have numbered 433,200. Figures were based on data
obtained from the Department of Religious Affairs.
"The schools educate 10 times more students than
there are clergy posts available. A 1983 amendment to the law
regulating the status of Imam-Hatip schools enabled their graduates to
transfer directly to universities, a step previously banned by law.
"These theological students are thus channelled into
a number of careers. Of the 9,931 students graduating from one
Imam-Hatip high school in 1988, only 981 entered university theology
"State and religious high schools produce two types
of people opposed to each other in cultural, social and religious
outlooks. This development contravenes the Tevhid-i Tedrisat Law (Law
of Unity in Education)."
The report also criticized obligatory religion
courses in elementary and secondary schools, and the increase in the
number of privately run Koran courses:
"The enrollment of Imam-Hatip schools should be
limited and the private Koran courses put under the control of the
Education Ministry. Most of the religious sects which were formerly
banned have been revived. Students of the Koran courses across Turkey
put pressure on Turkish children to join."
Failure in Turkish education
More than 22 percent of the Turkish nation is
illiterate; 18.5 percent are literate but did not attend elementary
school, 43.5 percent are elementary school graduates only, and a mere
15 percent have at least a secondary or high school education,
according to the report.
"State high schools lack financial resources, and
the course load is too heavy. More than two-thirds of the graduates of
these schools do not attend universities, and since they lack
professional training, they often join the ranks of the unemployed.
"Private schools that teach in foreign languages are
too few to fill the gap in the educational system.
"Only 12.2 percent of the Turkish national budget is
allocated for education, whereas the figure was 17 percent in 1971.
African countries allocate a higher percentage of the state budget to
education than Turkey. Togo, for example, allocates 20.8 percent, Libya
19.8 percent and Liberia 24.3 percent."
Suggesting that 25 percent of the national budget
should be allocated for education, the TÜSIAD report says that its
proposed Turkish Education Project should enjoy the same priorities as
the Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP).
"The total expenditures by the Education
Ministry—which controls all state elementary, high schools and
Imam-Hatip schools— and the Board of Higher Education, which regulates
universities, were a mere 2.7 percent of the gross national product in
1989. In 1971, the same figure was 4.5 percent.
"In African countries, the ratio of education
expenditures to the gross national product ranges from 5.5 percent to
7.5 percent; in Asian countries this figure is between 4 percent and 10
percent, and in Europe it is around 7 percent.
"In the world's 12 most underdeveloped countries,
school is obligatory for five years only. Turkey's five-year obligatory
school requirement should be raised to eight years funded by the state."
The report also points out that teachers' salaries
decreased by 40 percent in real terms in the last 15 years and that the
student/teacher ratio in Turkey is twice that of countries with similar
The report proposed higher salaries and improved
teaching conditions. It also encouraged courses to encourage
problem-solving, creative and analytical abilities; increased
cooperation between business circles and educational institutions; and
the establishment of democracy and secularism in the education system.
A TELEVISION SCANDAL
A new scandal broke out in Turkey concerning the
Ankara regime's televised propaganda campaign abroad.
On October 30, President Özal and several Turkish
ministers were interviewed on a television program in Ankara which they
thought was being aired live by simultaneous transmission to France.
Talking to the camera, Özal sent some words of sympathy to French
Former French prime ministers Raymond Barre and
Maurice Couve de Mourville also took part in the tele-conference
program from the Antenne-2 studios in Paris.
When presidential aides asked the Turkish Embassy in
Paris to sen a cassette of the program, supposed to have been aired by
the A2, they were told that such a program was never broadcast.
This tele-conference was co-sponsored by the
right-wing daily Türkiye and the Istanbul Club, an association founded
by a group of businessmen, politicians and journalists to promote
cultural and commercial relations with France.
QUESTIONS ON ÖZAL FAMILY'S FORTUNE
The Özal family's prodigal way of living has been
one of the major subjects of criticism and reaction in the public
On October 29, a Social Democratic Populist Party
(SHP) deputy, Ahmet Ersin, requested a National Assembly inquiry into
the assets President Özal, his brothers and his sons had acquired after
they were appointed to key public jobs.
Özal, in his declaration in 1983, said he owned two
houses and an apartment in Istanbul, five small summer houses and two
plots of land in Antalya and Gallipoli. He also said he possessed gold
worth 9 million TL and had 3.5 million TL in the bank.
Since then, Özal has refused to make public the
change in his family fortune.
In his motion, Ersin said: "The allegations [about
the Özal family] first came to light in 1986 when Özal's daughter
Zeynep was given a Jaguar by a businessman who wanted to open a
gasoline station. Following press reports the car was said to have been
returned at the request of Turgut Özal.
"Following this incident, there were many other
cases published in the press about Özal's younger brother Korkut Özal
and his sons. Despite these allegations the Özal family refuses to make
a public statement, which is very unusual for anyone who is running for
public office in a democratic country.
"There are allegations that the Özal family is worth
2.5 trillion TL ($972 million) and they own real estate outside the
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT BRIBED!
It was announced on October 30 in Ankara that the
current allocation of 7.2 billion TL ($2.6 million) would be increased
in 1991 budget to 31 billion TL ($11.3 million).
Sources in the Finance Ministry said the 7.2 billion
TL appropriated for the presidential residence in 1990 was spent during
the first half of the year. By the end of December additional
allocations were expected to bring total expenditure for 1990 to 14 to
15 billion TL.
Turkey's 450 National Assembly members succeeded in
raising their monthly salaries from 6.5 million TL to 9.5 million TL
($2,360 to 3,45O) when President Özal ratified on October 29 the bill
they had passed earlier.
The bill raising the deputies salaries also
introduces financial benefits for retired members after 20 years of
service. They would receive 4.2 million TL ($1,500) every month.
According to a press survey, Turkish members of
Parliament have, with the recent rises, become the most privileged
deputies of European countries. The new monthly salary of the deputies
($3,450) is 35 times higher than the minimum monthly salary of workers
(274,000 TL = $100) while this proportion remains at 4 times in Greece,
5-6 times in Belgium, 7 times in France, 7.6 times in Spain and 8.6
times in Germany.
ILO URGES THE TURKISH REGIME
The Administrative Board of the International Labour
Organization (ILO) has once more invited the Turkish Government to
complete as soon as possible the amendments in Turkish legislation as
regards social rights.
The complaints by the ICFTU, the WCL and the WFTU
against the Turkish regime had been dealt by the ILO's Committee of
Freedom of Association. This committee's report has recently been
adopted as a whole by the administrative board.
Reminding that these three international labour
organizations have lodged different complaints against the Turkish
regime since 1981, the ILO Administrative Board asked the Turkish
Government to amend a series of anti-democratic articles in the Turkish
These articles in question ban political activities
by trade unions, certain types of strikes, the right to strike for
teachers and prevent those trade unions which have affiliates less than
5O% in a work-place and 10% in an economic sector from being part of a
collective bargaining. Besides, certain strikes can be banned on
pretext of "national security and public order" and trade unions are
forced to accept the working conditions imposed by the Supreme
The ILO Administration Board also asks the Turkish
Government to restore the trade union rights of the Confederation of
Progressive Trade Unions (DISK) which was banned after the military
coup of 1980.
MINISTER: "FLIRTING = PROSTITUTION"
State Minister Cemil Cicek, in an interview with the
daily Cumhuriyet on November 12, defining pre-martial relationships as
human being's rapprochement with animal instincts, said: "Flirting is
nothing different from prostitution."
Cicek's declaration brought an explosive reaction
from women's associations, university lecturers, politicians and
artists across the country.
Emel Sungur, president of the Women's Commission of
the SHP, called on Cicek to resign, saying: "I am worried that the
people ruling Turkey have such a backward way of thinking, at the
threshold of the 21st century."
TURKEY'S POPULATION: 57 MILLION
The State Statistics Institute (DIE) released
preliminary findings of October 21, 1990 population census indicating
there were 57,163,085 people presently living in Turkey.
In addition to this population living in Turkey,
2,330,871 Turkish nationals are in Western European, Middle East and
North African countries as well as in Canada and Australia.
The preliminary estimates put Istanbul, the
country's most populous city, at 7,426,590 residents. Ankara followed
with 3,235,687, and Izmir ranked third with a population of 2,680,000.
The cities of Adana, Bursa, Konya, Icel, Gaziantep, Samsun, Hatay,
Manisa, Antalya, Diyarbakir and Zonguldak are each reported to have
more than one million inhabitants.
The population increase varied from area to area.
The highest rate of increase was in southeastern Turkey (Turkish
Kurdistan), which was 4.3 percent more populous. The lowest growth rate
was in the Black Sea region at 1 percent.
The rural population has further declined. Now, 58.8
percent of the population is living in urban settlements. This rate was
53 percent in the previous census.
The distribution of Turkish migrant population
abroad as follows:
Germany 1,434,300, Holland France 180,147, Saudi
Arabia 160,000, Holland 156,396, Australia 87,000, Austria 80,000,
Belgium 78,039, Switzerland 49,259, Libya 24,000, Denmark 22,313,
Sweden 21,538, Gt Britain 16,000, Iraq 4,345, Norway 3,574, Koweit
3,300, other countries 10,660.
21 MILLION DEPRIVED OF SOCIAL SECURITY
According to data given by the daily Tercüman of 23
October 1990, 21 million citizens of Turkey are deprived of social
security coverage. The total number of all social security
beneficiaries (employees, independents and their family members) rises
to 36 million.
As for the working population of 17,5 million, only
6,786,000 of them are registered to the three social security
organizations: 3.3 million to the Social Security Organization for
Private Sector Employees (SSK), 1,435,000 to the Pension Fund (Emekli
Sandigi) and 2,051,000 to the Social Security Organization for