The people of Turkey will vote on October 20, 1991,
for electing 450 members of Parliament. The Motherland Party (ANAP)
has, after having carried out a lifting by designating a new prime
minister and party leader in the person of Mesut Yilmaz, decided to
hold legislative elections one year earlier than the date stipulated by
Doing so, the ANAP's new officials hope to save the
party from an unavoidable electoral disaster which may happen if the
elections are held in 1992, because the living conditions of the
lower and middle layers of the population are going from bad to worse.
Whatsoever be the outcome of these early elections,
public opinion polls show that the electors will, despite all electoral
manoeuvres by Özal and his accomplices, put an end to the 8-year single
party ruling of the ANAP. The first public opinion polls indicate
that the Correct Way Party (DYP) of former Prime Minister Demirel, and
the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) led by Erdal Inönü are racing
with each other for the first place.
Beside these three major parties, six other parties
are taking place in the electoral contest: three with their own lists
and three others by putting their candidates on the lists of other
Three parties which are participating in elections
with their own lists are the Democratic Left Party (DSP) of former
Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, the Welfare Party (RP) of Necmettin
Erbakan and the Socialist Party (SP) of Dogu Perincek.
Three other parties which put their candidates on
the lists of more powerful parties are the People's Labour Party (HEP)
in the Left, the Nationalist Action Party (MCP) and the Reformist
Democracy Party (IDP) in the Right.
As a matter of fact, a number of obstructions
and barriers have either deprived some political parties of the right
to participate in elections or obliged them to make electoral deal with
more powerful parties.
First of all, two left-wing parties, the People's
Labour Party (HEP) and the Socialist Union Party (SBP) have not been
authorized to participate in elections on grounds that they had not
fulfilled some preliminary conditions such as having local
organizations in at least 37 provinces and having had their nationwide
convention six months prior to election day.
The HEP was founded two years ago by some deputies
of Kurdish origin who had been sacked from the SHP for having
participated without party authorization in an international
conference on the Kurdish Question in Paris. Chaired by the
former DISK Secretary General Fehmi Isiklar, this party has been well
organized in the Kurdish provinces and in some big industrial cities.
By obstructing its participation in the early elections, the government
aimed to avoid a significant Kurdish representation in the coming
However,the People's Labour Party (HEP) leaders are,
according to an agreement reached on September 5 with the leaders of
their former party, participating in the election as candidates on the
SHP tickets. Since the Electoral Law does not allow any electoral
alliance or front between political parties, the HEP Chairman Fehmi
Isiklar and some other party officials made themselves temporarily
expelled from the HEP in order to take part on the SHP lists. It is
reported that, if they are elected, they will return to their party
after the elections and will form the HEP parliamentary group.
As for the Socialist Union Party (SBP) which was
founded by a group of left-wing people including some officials of the
pro-Soviet United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP), its all attempts to
place its candidates on the SHP ticket was declined by the latter. So,
this party remains out of electoral race.
In the right, four political parties have resorted
to similar electoral tricks with a view to surmounting double-barriers.
According to the Electoral Law, whatsoever be its
strength in certain constituencies, a political party fails to be
represented in the Parliament if it cannot cross the 10 per cent
country-wide barrier. Moreover, a political party crossing the
country-wide barrier, should get votes higher than the local barrier
varying between 20 to 50 per cent for having deputies from any
First, the Democratic Center Party (DMP) of former
Istanbul Mayor Bedrettin Dalan merged into the Correct Way Party (DYP)
on September 16 and disappeared definitively from the political scene.
This party had been founded by Dalan after his defeat by the SHP
candidate in 1989 municipal elections. By transferring Dalan to his
party, Demirel hopes to gain over a part of Istanbul electorate.
However, it is one of the ironies of fate that Dalan who had been
qualified by the DYP as a corrupt in the last municipal elections now
takes place at the head of the same party's electoral list in Istanbul.
Secondly, a rather dreadful deal has been made in
extreme right between the fundamentalist Welfare Party (RP) , the
neo-fascist Nationalist Labour Party (MCP) and the fundamentalist
Reformist Democracy Party (IDP).
The leaders of the MCP and the IDP, Alparslan Türkes
and Aykut Edibali respectively have "resigned" from their parties and
become "independent" candidates in the RP lists. The lists presented by
the RP to the electoral board include the names of 120 "former" MCP and
30 "former" IDP candidates.
According to the results of the last legislative
elections of 1987, the RP obtained 7.1% of the votes, the MCP 2.9% and
the IDP 0.8%. The leaders of these three parties hope that the RP lists
including "former" MCP and IDP candidates can easily cross the 10 per
cent country-wide barrier and each of these three parties can be
represented at the future National Assembly. Moreover, the neo-fascist
movement of former colonel Alparslan Türkes, MHP, may have a political
group in Parliament.
WHAT KIND OF A COALITION?
In brief, the electors will have to make a choice
among six electoral lists representing nine political parties:
In the Left:
The Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP), including
the People's Labour Party (HEP) candidates.
The Democratic Left Party (DSP)
The Socialist Party (SP)
In the Right:
The Motherland Party (ANAP)
The Correct Way Party (DYP)
The Welfare Party (RP), including the candidates
from the Nationalist Labour Party (MCP) and the Reformist Democracy
Since public opinion polls indicate that none of
these racing lists can obtain more than 35 per cent of the votes, the
formation of a single-party government after the elections is not
Had a unity among the left-wing parties been
accomplished, the Left might obtain more than 35 per cent of the votes
and take the power thanks to the existing electoral system. It should
be recalled that the ANAP had won 64.9 per cent of the seats in the
parliament with only 36.3 per cent of the votes.
This solution has already turned out impossible
because of Ecevit's intransigence towards the SHP. Let alone a SHP-DSP
unity, Ecevit cannot tolerate even the presence of HEP candidates on
the SHP tickets. In his electoral speeches, he says: "Each vote to the
SHP means a vote to the HEP, a vote to the Kurdish separatists, a vote
to the PKK." He accuses the SHP of having received financial aid from
West European social democrat parties.
To gain over conservative or nationalist votes,
Ecevit does not hesitate to use an ultra-nationalist rhetoric, presents
himself as the main defender of Turkish communities throughout the
world and accuses very often to Kurdish political movements of dividing
In a move to get support from the big business,
Ecevit addressed on September 9 to the Turkish Industrialists and
Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) in Istanbul and said his party
supports privatisation and a free market. The TUSIAD had a blood feud
with Ecevit dating back to the 1970s. When Ecevit was prime minister
between 1977 and 1979, TUSIAD, which strongly opposed his economic
policies, financed anti-Ecevit advertisements in the newspapers. At the
start of the meeting, TUSIAD Chairman Bülent Eczacibasi said "Ecevit
comes here with renewed views and had transformed himself." Ecevit's
address at the TUSIAD was qualified by the Turkish press as a
Very content with Ecevit's attitude, ANAP leader
Mesut Yilmaz said: "Now we are fighting against the DYP, we have passed
over the task of fighting the SHP to Ecevit."
Since the possibility of a unity of force between
the SHP and the DSP turned out impossible, the Turkish press and
political observers develop a number of scenarios as regards a
coalition between right-wing parties.
The most logical one of these scenarios is no doubt
a coalition between two most powerful right-wing parties: ANAP and DYP.
But Demirel, who has turned his electoral campaign into a vendetta,
underlines on every occasion that a DYP-ANAP coalition is out of
question as long as Özal remains as the President of the Republic.
The daily Hürriyet of September 8 reported
that Demirel had already developed a formula to remove President Özal
from the presidency: "Özal can be forced to step down from the
presidency by at least 338 deputies filing a complaint against him to
the Supreme Court, charging him with treason or by amending the
Constitution and enabling the people to directly elect the president.
If the latter which requires the support of 301 deputies can be
achieved Özal term as president will automatically expire the day the
Constitution is amended. And if these fail, the government led by
Demirel will cut the presidential allocations to a mere 1 Lira, call
people to stage rallies in front of the presidential palace and thus
force Özal to resign."
In order to avoid the negative effect of the Özal
factor on the ANAP's electoral chance, new ANAP Chairman and Prime
Minister Mesut Yilmaz has been trying to give the image that the party
is no longer under Özal's control. During an ANAP rally in Rize on
September 15, Yilmaz said that the Özal family had no place in ANAP's
election campaigns and added: "It will be good for ANAP if Özal does
not respond to the opposition parties."
All electoral propaganda material of ANAP have been
illustrated with Mesut Yilmaz' photos instead of Özal and they present
Yilmaz as a young, handsome and dynamic leader. The ANAP's campaign is
being carried out by French promoter Jacques Séguéla, who conducted
François Mitterrand's electoral campaign in the past. The ANAP has
reserved TL 40 billion for the campaign of which TL 2.5 billion are
paid to Séguéla.
In another move to recuperate the voters who left
the ANAP, Yilmaz launched 10 election pledges, mainly: 1) shortening
the length of military service, 2) an increased public spending budget,
3) raising the status of some districts to provinces; 4) compensating
farmers for inflationary losses, 5) canceling farming debts, 6) an
increase for village headmen, 7) free books for students, 8) incentives
to industry, 9) early retirement, and 10) free medical treatment for
Despite all these efforts, Özal's omnipresence and
interference in party affairs continue to weaken as well the ANAP's
electoral chances as the possibility of a post-electoral DYP-ANAP
SHP leader Inönü too develops his electoral campaign
on the basis of removing Özal from the presidency. On September
12 he said that if the SHP comes to power alone and with a
parliamentary majority sufficient to amend the constitution, it would
put an end to the presidential term of Turgut Özal and ask him to give
an account of what he had done over the past eight years. Inönü also
vowed to lift the laws and amend the stipulations of the Constitution
that prohibit judicial proceedings against the 1980 Coup leaders, the
1980 military-led government and the Consultative Assembly members.
This common anti-Özal attitude may unite two major
opposition parties, SHP and DYP, in a short-term coalition which will
be charged with removing Özal from the Presidential Palace and lifting
anti-democratic provisions of the Constitution. But many political
observers have serious doubts about Demirel's sincerity as regards
human rights and freedoms. In the past, as prime minister, Demirel had
never respected human rights and his left-wing opponents had undergone
A NEW NATIONALIST FRONT?
The worst of the possible scenarios is a coalition
of DYP with two extreme-right parties, the fundamentalist RP and the
Fifteen years ago, it was the Nationalist Front, set
up by Demirel's Justice Party (AP) in coalition with Erbakan's National
Salvation Party (MSP) and Türkes's Nationalist Action Party (MHP) that
drove the country to an unprecedented political violence and created
the climate for the military coup of 1980.
Today, these three political leaders are again on
the scene. Demirel is conducting DYP, Erbakan the RP and Türkes the MCP.
If the RP lists including MCP candidates cross
10 per cent country-wide barrier and these two parties enter the
Parliament with a total of 40-50 deputies, a coalition with them may
seem to Demirel as a short-cut to a long-term government.
According to the press reports, many Islamic sects
and brotherhoods which had supported the ANAP have recently declared
that they would campaign this time either for the RP or for the DYP.
What is more significant is that the Foyer of
Intellectuals (Aydinlar Ocagi), the promoter of the Turco-Islamic
Synthesis (See: Extreme-Right in Turkey, Info-Türk, 1988), considering
that the ANAP lost its popularity, used its influence to unite the
forces of the three extreme-right parties, RP, MCP and IDP.
It was this same association that played an
important role in the formation of Nationalist Front coalitions in the
second half of the Seventies.
Now, after having accomplished the electoral
alliance between the three extreme-right parties, the Foyer of Cultural
is expected to take one more step in a view to restore the Nationalist
Front led by Demirel's DYP.
Which one of these different scenarios is near to
the reality? Probably, the outcome of the early elections will not be
sufficient to give an answer to this question? Since the balance of
forces are so complicated, if any party does not make a surprise by
coming out as a single party power, the coalition bargainings may take
a very long time. And a coalition government to be formed after these
bargainings may have to call for a new anticipated elections in a few
POLICE BRUTALITY THROUGHOUT TURKEY
Police brutality throughout Turkey increased
dramatically in prior to the forthcoming elections. SHP deputy
Secretary-General Fikri Saglar, at a press conference held on
September 10, accused the police of taking people from their
homes in the middle of the night and torturing them.
Speaking on the same issue, the Mersin provincial
chairman of the Human Rights Association (IHD), Celal Avci, said that
police brutality was a result of the new Anti-terror Law. "Unless the
law was abolished or changed, no changes should be expected in the
problem," he said.
The most touching was undoubtedly the death of
university student Seher Sahin, who was reportedly pushed out of a
school window by policemen on September 3. Sahin, 18, a member of a
student committee was helping new remonstrants when a group of
policemen entered Istanbul's Mimar Sinan University. Student were
shocked by the raid, conducted without permission from university
authorities, and in their panic tried to escape.
Sahin was found later beneath a third floor window
and was taken to hospital where she would die on September 8.
The following are the some examples of recent police
In Gaziantep, another suspect of theft, Hanefi
Göllü, detained on August 11, died at police center during his
interrogation. Police claimed that he had committed suicide, but the
victim's father said that there was no reason for such an act
because he was very happy to be married soon.
On August 14, in Kirklareli, a 16-year old youngster
detained as a suspect of theft was wounded during police interrogation
On August 16, a member of Parliament, Mahmut
Alniak, announced that a young man named Süleyman Dalga had been killed
under torture at the Dagpinar Gendarmerie post in the district of Digor
of Kars Province.
On August 17, the headman at the village of Celik in
the district of Dargecit (Sirnak), Ata Aktürk, was subjected to torture
in a gendarmerie post when they went there for getting information on
whereabouts of the two disappeared villagers.
Same day in the village of Gülgöze in Midyat
district a woman named Hediye Demir alleged that his 27-year old son,
Hayrettin Demir, was shot dead by security forces. She also said that
his son had earlier been taken into custody and subjected to torture.
On August 26, at the village of Seta of the Dargecit
district, a 46-year old Kurdish peasant was reportedly shot dead by
soldiers raiding his home.
On September 8, in Mersin, a university student
named Mustafa Ciftci was taken to the hospital while under police
interrogation. No explanation was offered for the sudden
hospitalization of the "suspect." His father, Halil Ciftci, claimed
later that his son was subject to torture.
0n September 10 that, In Gaziantep, Serafettin
Celik, who was also under police detention as a suspect of theft, died
after "jumping out of a fourth floor window".
On September 16, the commander of a gendarmerie unit
attempted to rape a woman named Hüsniye Cürükkaya during a discipline
operation in Yeniköy of Bingöl province. In protest to this act, a
group of peasants held a demonstration before the Governor's Office in
On September 18, in the district of Patnos of Agri
province, police announced that a detainee named Osman Keles died
at police custody and handed over his body to his family. Keles had
been taken by police on September 7 along with five other people. The
Keles family, claiming that the death might occur under torture, asked
for an autopsy. Although four other detainees were released, the fifth
one, Kazim Keles is still kept at police station.
On September 20, in Ankara, 55-year old Ali Hikmet
Kerkük was killed by group of policemen. According to witnesses, during
a dispute on a traffic incident, policemen intentionally drove their
car on Kerkük and caused to his death.
TURKEY: A COUNTRY OF TORTURE
The human rights report approved by the European
Parliament on September 13, 1991, cites Turkey as one of the countries
with cases of "death caused by torture," along with El Salvador, Sudan,
South Africa, Iraq, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and Kuwait.
A NEW TORTURE REHABILITATION CENTRE
The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) opened
a new rehabilitation center for the victims of torture in Izmir on
August 2. The Chairman of the TIHV, Yavuz Önen said that the first
rehabilitation center in Ankara treated 40 victims of torture in 1990
and this number will be much higher this year.
The Chairman of the International Rehabilitation
Center of Torture in Denmark, Prof. Dr. Ole Espersen participated in
the opening ceremony and said that Turkey still remains at the top of
the list of the countries where torture is systematically used.
CHILDREN STILL PROSECUTED
In spite of the protest coming human rights groups
as well in Turkey as abroad, children are still be subjected to
On August 1st, in Diyarbakir, security forces made a
razzia on a Iraqi Kurdish refugees camp and detained three Kurdish
children, aged of 14 to 16 years, were also taken into custody for
selling rosaries of three colours, green, yellow and red, which are the
colours of the Kurdish national movement. 30 local Kurds visiting the
camp were detained as well.
On August 13, the trial of two 15-year high school
students who were arrested two months ago in Canakkale for distributing
Dev-Sol tracts began at the Istanbul SSC. Public prosecutor claims a
prison term of up to 25 years for each. Both said that their police
interrogation was made under pressure.
On September 15, a 16-year old student was brought
before the Üsküdar Penal Code for having written some political slogans
on the walls of the Üsküdar High School.
STATE TERRORISM IN LAST TWO MONTHS
1.8, in Izmir, eight people were tried for carrying
out activities on behalf of an underground organization, Ekim
(October). Three of the defendants were released by the court.
1.8., eight municipal workers were beaten by a
special police team as they were discharging city garbage into a
waste area between Mardin and Diyarbakir.
2.8, in Istanbul, Ahmet Kardas and Adil Can said
that they had been tortured at the Beyoglu Police Post. A legal
medicine testified that they can not work for seven days because
of the effects of torture.
2.8, in Istanbul, five people were detained by
police as they were selling a left-wing newspaper in front of the
Cevizli Cigarette Factory.
3.8, in Istanbul, seventeen people were detained
during demonstrations for solidarity with the Pasabahce Glass Factory
workers on strike.
3.8, in Izmir, a demonstration organized by some
trade unions of civil servants was banned by the governor.
4.8, at the village of Kemerli, in the district of
Eruh, seven village protectors were arrested for asking to be relieved
of the post to counter PKK guerrillas.
4.8, public prosecutor opened a legal proceeding
against 29 alleged members of Dev-Sol (Revolutionary Left) detained in
Adana. Four of the defendants face capital punishment.
6.8, a trial against 30 alleged members of Dev-Sol
began at the Istanbul SSC. Defendant Dr. Nilay Sen said all defendants
had been tortured at police interrogation and she too had to sign the
deposition because she was pregnant and had the fear of losing her baby
6.8, in Konya, 65 people who had carried out a
meeting in protest against Vedat Aydin's killing on July 13, were sent
to the State Security Court. All defendants, of whom seven still under
arrest, faces each a prison term of up to five years.
6.8, two persons were detained in Ankara by
political police. One of them, Aziz Cakmakli had many times been
detained in relation with the proceedings against Kurtulus (Liberation)
Movement, but released each time.
9.8, public prosecutor claimed capital punishment
for a defendant in a case against the Communist Party of
Turkey/Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML) at the Istanbul SSC.
10.8, HEP's two local chairmen, Seyhmuz Dogru in
Mardin and Davut Yalcinkaya in Kiziltepe, were detained.
10.8, in Istanbul, five travesties including a
member of the Human Rights Association (IHD), Ramazan Demir, were
detained by police raiding their homes. IHD announced later on that the
detainees were subjected to torture.
12.8, a new trial against 30 alleged members of
Dev-Sol began at the Istanbul SSC. 13 of the defendants were under
arrest. A female defendant, Esma Polat said that she was raped by
torturers at the police station and asked for a medical control. The
demand was rejected by the court.
14.8, in Istanbul, five members of the Committee for
the Rights and Freedoms of Kurdish People were detained by police as
they were sending telegram to the United Nations Representative in
Ankara in protest against the Turkish Army's attack on PKK camps in
14.8, in the town of Beykent of Kurtalan two
thousand people carried out a demonstration to protest against the
Turkish Army's attack on PKK camps in Northern Iraq. During the
intervention of security forces, a demonstrator, Salih Koc, was shot
dead and four others gravely wounded. Besides, 43 demonstrators were
taken into custody. Same day, in another demonstration for the same
reason in Nusaybin, security forces opened fire on women and shot dead
a woman named Yesra Akbal.
14.8, the Izmir SSC sentenced 39 university students
to prison terms of one year and three months and two others to ten
months for having celebrated Newroz (Kurdish New Year).
14.8, the trial of five Dev-Sol members, arrested
following a police raid on May 19 began at the Istanbul SSC. Two of
their comrades, Hatice Dilek and Ismail Oral, had died during the raid
and police had claimed that they died when they provoked an armed
clash. The defendants said at the court that Dilek and Oral had been
shot dead by police after their capture alive. They also alleged
being tortured during police interrogation.
15.8, in Istanbul, 40 people were indicted at the
State Security Court by virtue of the Anti-terror Law under the charges
of separatism. Among the defendants are also HEP Istanbul Chairman
Osman Özcelik and Tunceli Chairman Mehmet Gülmez.
16.8, it is reported that political police detained
440 people in Ankara, 60 in Istanbul and 50 in Izmir during a wide
16.8 three sisters of Elif Tuncer, Adana chairman of
the IHD, who died at a traffic accident , and 17 other people were
detained in Adana during a demonstration.
16.8, five alleged PKK militants were sentenced by
the Izmir SSC to a total of 78 years and 11 months in prison.
19.8, in Istanbul, police detained 11 people
suspected as PKK sympathizers.
20.8, in Izmir 42-year old Sabri Senyüzlü was
detained for having insulted President Özal and the police by virtue of
Article 159 of the Penal Code.
21.8, in Istanbul, 37 people were sentenced by the
SSC to three years in prison each for having participated in an
unauthorized May Day march in 1990. 16 other defendants were acquitted.
21.8, the Izmir SSC sentenced six alleged Dev-Sol
militants to prison terms of up to 26 years and 4 months. The condemned
declared at the court that they were being subjected to ill-treatment
22.8, four people were detained in the district of
Yesilyurt of Malatya province for giving support to the PKK. In
the province of Mus 18 people were detained on the same accusation and
15 of whom were put under arrest by the court.
22.8, Murat Toprak and his sister, Sevgi Toprak,
were brought before the Istanbul SSC for being militants of an
underground organization. At the trial, the two defendants said that
they were arrested for saying that they were Alevis and subjected to
torture during police interrogation. Their father, Hüseyin Toprak who
was detained along with them but released later said he eye-witnessed
the torture applied to them.
22.8, two people were arrested in Adana for putting
posters on walls and distributing tracts.
23.8, a soirée of solidarity with the Pasabahce
Glass Factory workers on strike was forbidden in Istanbul by the
decision of the governor..
23.8, in the districts of Patnos and Tutak of Agri
province, twelve people were arrested for giving shelter and food to
PKK militants. On the same charge 10 people were arrested in the
district of Dargecit of Mardin province.
23.8, it is reported that a political prisoner named
Muharrem Yilmaz is not allowed to be hospitalized in the Medicine
Faculty of Aegean University despite the fact he has been suffering
from cancer of larynx.
26.8, an alleged PKK official, Alaattin Kanat, was
sent to the Diyarbakir SSC and public prosecutor claimed death sentence
by virtue of Article 125 of the Penal Code.
26.8, in Izmir, nine people were detained on charges
of being members of an underground organization.
26.8, the mayor of Dargecit in the province of
Mardin, Süleyman Anik, and his driver Abdülaziz Agirman were detained
at gendarmerie post when they went there to get information on
whereabouts of 19 people from the same village detained a week earlier.
27.8, a controversial religious figure of Turkey,
Adnan Hodja (Oktar) was brought before a penal court in Istanbul for
having insulted Atatürk in his talks. He faces a prison term of up to
27.8, the Erzincan SSC began to try 37 people for
having visited the family of a PKK militant shot dead in Dogubeyazit on
June 29. Among the defendants are also six players of a football team.
27.8, the trial of four people accused of some
political violence attempts began at the Ankara SSC and the public
prosecutor claimed capital punishment for three and a 15-year prison
term for the fourth one.The defendants said that they are victims of a
plot and their depositions were obtained under torture.
28.8, police announced the arrest of 31 alleged PKK
supporters and 19 of them were put under arrest by a court.
29.8, the Diyarbakir SSC began to try 328 people who
were detained after the incidents at the funeral of Vedat Aydin on July
10 during which police shot dead six people and wounded 119. The
defendants of whom 52 are still under arrest face a prison term of up
to eight years each. The defendants said that they were subjected to
torture during their police interrogation.
30.8, the Istanbul SSC sentenced eight alleged
militants of Dev-Sol to prison terms of up to eight years. Nine
defendants were acquitted.
1.9, in the district of Viransehir, 30 people
including some local officials of the HEP, were detained for giving
support to the PKK.
2.9, five people were detained in the district of
Hinis in Erzurum province for carrying out actions in favour of the PKK.
2.9, police detained 100 people in Izmir and six in
Eskisehir for carrying out actions for the Revolutionary Communist
Party of Turkey (TDKP).
2.9, in Iskenderun, 40 people detained during the
funeral of a political activist. Among the detainees are also the local
officials of the HEP and the SP. A 12-month baby too was taken to
police station together with her mother, Elif Reyhan.
2.9, in the district of Viransehir, a 60-year old
woman, Enzelha Agac was taken into custody on grounds that his wanted
son, Hasan Agac, local chairman of the HEP, did not surrender to
4.9, a political exile, Ramazan Duran, who is a
member of the Central Administrative Board of the Socialist Party, was
detained at the Istanbul Airport when he returned to Turkey.
5.9, the trial of five alleged members of Dev-Sol
began at the Izmir SSC. Public prosecutor claimed capital punishment
for three defendants and a 15-year prison term for two others.
5.9, in the district of Samandag of Hatay province,
three young women were detained for their political activities. Same
day, police announced the detention of a total of 38 people in Mardin,
Tunceli and Sirnak for helping an outlawed organization.
5.9, military troops searching for a group of PKK
militants who allegedly kidnapped five foreign tourists started a
fire in a forest near the Genc district of Bingöl to force the gunmen
out of their hide-outs. About 3,000 troops and special security teams
participated in the operation.
6.9, in Istanbul, 99 students were sentenced to
prison terms of up to 20 months for having clashed with police forces
during a raid on the Yildiz University on March 1st, 1990.
6.9, in Siirt, about a thousand people made a
demonstration in protest against the killing of four PKK militants and
the local tradesmen supported the action by closing their shops.
Security forces, opening fire on the people, shot dead a 10-year old
girl, Özcan Eris, wounded three persons and detained 30 people.
6.9, in Nazilli, the local chairman of the SP,
Ramiye Güran, and three party officials were detained by police.
6.9, the governor banned a festival for democracy,
organized by the Socialist Union Party (SBP).
8.9, four HEP members were detained in the district
of Silvan in Diyarbakir province.
8.9, in Istanbul, six people were detained in
relation with a meeting organized by the Human Rights Association in
protest against the Anti-terror Law.
8.9, the public prosecutor asked the Justice
Ministry to proceed for lifting parliamentary immunity of six HEP
members of Parliament in relation to the incidents during the funeral
of Vedat Aydin in Diyarbakir. If their immunity is lifted, HEP Chairman
Fehmi Isiklar and five other deputies, Ahmet Türk, Adnan Ekmen, Ibrahim
Aksoy, Mahmut Alniak and Salih Sümer will be tried by the SSC by
virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
11.9, in the district of Viransehir of Urfa
province, the military opened fire on crowd after an incident and two
peasants were wounded. Same day in the district of Kurtalan of
Siirt province, ten people were detained during a demonstration.
12.9, local IHD Chairman in Van, Yavuz Binbay, and
three other persons were detained when they went to the district of
Malazgirt of Mus province for reconciling two hostile Kurdish tribes.
12.9, in Izmir, police detained nine alleged TDKP
13.9, the inauguration of an exhibition of photos,
drawings and cartoons on the occasion of the anniversary of the 1980
Coup was raided by police, a student was wounded and 23 people detained.
14.9, in Ankara, two SP members were detained as
distributing party tracts.
14.9, in the district of Ulas of Sivas province,
five workers were detained for having protested a decision by the
15.9, the Diyarbakir SSC began to try 41 people
arrested on 1st July for protesting against the Anti-terror Law in the
district of Bismil.
15.9, in Van, twelve people were detained for giving
help to the PKK.
16.9, in Istanbul, eight SP members were detained as
putting on walls the party's electoral posters. They are accused of
16.9, the Ankara SSC sentenced four people to prison
terms of up to 15 years for having participated in the underground
Communist Party of Turkey/Union (TKP/B) actions.
18.9, seven officials of the Istanbul Branch of the
Association of Nurses were tried at the Istanbul SSC for contravening
the Code of Associations and leading communist propaganda. The
prosecutor claimed one-year prison for each and the closure of the
19.9, the Karsiyaka People's House was closed down
by the Governor of Izmir for being involved in political actions.
19.9, in Istanbul, nine SP members were detained for
putting the party's electoral posters on walls.
ÖZAL AND THE LEADERS OF IRAQI KURDS
The head of the Kurdistan Patriotic Union, Jalal
Talabani, in a move to assure the support of the United States and
Turgut Özal, claimed that: "In Turkey the Kurdish movement began with
Özal. Though the PKK has claimed responsibility for it, this had not
been so active up until Özal."
Talabani's claim was contradicted by Cumhuriyet
columnist Ugur Mumcu in his article dated September 4:
"Talabani is wrong, because the Kurdish movement has
been on the agenda since the time of the Ottoman Empire. Talabani seems
to have an inadequate knowledge of the history of Kurds of Turkey. One
might recall the 1913 uprising, as well as similar rebellions in 1921,
1925, 1926, 1930, 1937-38, and a wave of arrests in 1959 and 1963. In
brief, the Kurdish movement has always existed. Only the appearances
"Talabani is the United States-supported
representative of Kurdish nationality, and he says the Kurdish movement
has begun with Özal. Talabani's personality reflects two typical
characteristics of some Kurdish leaders: seeking support from Western
capitalist countries, and betraying the names of his associates to the
authorities. This unreliable, ever-changing attitude determines
Talabani's past and future.
"Özal's Kurdish policy includes not only the
'illegal diplomacy' conducted with the slippery Kurdish leaders through
the channels of the National Intelligence Agency [of Turkey] (MIT), but
also the 'state of emergency' forced exiles, intimidation and bans, and
the 'cross-border operation.' Because of these bans, Associate
Professor Ismail Besikci is still in jail."
KURDISH LANGUAGE STILL DENIED
As Özal is pretending to be the "big brother" of
Kurds, the Turkish Government continues to deny the existence of
Kurdish as a language.
Culture Minister Gökhan Maras of the new ANAP
Government said on August 21 that it was no question to allow free
selling of Kurdish music cassettes in Turkey. He said: "We cannot give
permission for musi-cassettes in Kurdish because Kurdish is not an
official language of the country. What is more, Kurdish cannot be
considered a language, because it is but a dialect, s patois. We do not
see it as a language. Although the Anti-Terror Law recognize freedom of
languages, but it does not cover a dialect like Kurdish."
On this occasion, the Interior Ministry refused to
give authorisation to famous folk singer Rahmi Saltuk's cassette
entitled Hoy Nare for the reason that it contains songs only in
Kurdish. Thereupon, Saltuk said that he would appeal against this
In another move against the using of Kurdish has
come from the Chief Judge of the Court of Cassation. On the occasion of
the beginning of judicial year, on September 8, Chief Judge Ismet
Ocakcioglu said: "I remind that the official language of the Turkish
Republic is Turkish. It is the duty of the State to teach every citizen
Turkish language and to develop it. By virtue of Article 42 of the
Turkish Constitution, not other language can be used and thought as a
mother tongue to Turkish citizens in educational institutions."
WARNING TO FOREIGN TOURISTS
Western embassies in Ankara have stepped up warnings
to their citizens to avoid visiting the southeast and eastern regions
of Turkey, following recent kidnapping of foreigners in the region.
The PKK had kidnapped 10 German tourists in August,
but released them after a week. On August 30, a Briton, an Australian
and three Americans were kidnapped and taken hostage near Elmali
village in the province of Bingöl.
British, German, Japanese, Austrian and Italian
embassies have warned their citizens not to go to Sirnak and Hakkari
regions. The provinces of Siirt, Mardin, Bitlis, Van, Elazig, Mus,
Batman and Tunceli should also be avoided.
As for the PKK, it announced in Brussels on
September 9 that those tourists had been detained by the ARGK [the
military wing of the PKK] for security control in the territory which
has ben for a certain time under the PKK's control, and they would be
freed when their intentions of visit to the region becomes clear.
Besides, Abdullah Öcalan, Secretary General of the PKK, stated at a
press conference on August 17, advised European tourists wishing to
visit the area to demand an authorization to be delivered by the
organisation's offices abroad.
ARREST FOR CHRISTIAN PROPAGANDA
Seven foreigners were detained in Konya for
distributing printed material of Christian propaganda on August 5.
Maref Kaikko, Johanns Vaishenenf and Mikael Vaishenenf from Finland,
Mikael Aluster Bon and Thomas Vilham from Ireland, Simone Louise from
Australia and Keh Chee Kin Stephen from Singapur were later released,
but it is reported that they will be tried by a local tribunal.
Few days later, on August 12, two Canadian tourists,
Brent Ian Start and her sister Michell Leslie Ann were detained in
Istanbul for distributing Christian propaganda material. They were
released after their interrogation by the prosecutor.
ARTICLES 141-142 STILL IN FORCE?
Although Articles 141 and 142 of the Turkish Penal
Code were suppressed by the adoption of the Anti-Terror Law, the former
victims of these articles are still suffering from their side effects.
In past, all those who were condemned or simply made
accused but later acquitted by virtue of these articles had been put on
the list of dangerous our suspected people and they had not been
allowed to work in public services or to travel abroad.
According to the daily Cumhuriyet of September 12,
many people are still refused to get a passport or to get a job in
public services, because the above-mentioned lists are not updated and
they seem on the computers as dangerous or suspected people.
8,743 PEOPLE ON A NEW BLACK LIST
The daily Milliyet of September 9 reports that a new
black list comprising the names of 8.743 Turkish citizens suspect of
anti-State activities was established by the officials of the Foreign
and Interior Ministries and the National Intelligence Organization
This list was reportedly distributed to all foreign
missions of Turkish State and they were ordered not to deliver or to
renew national passport for these people.
NO BURIAL IN TURKEY FOR A DISSIDENT
The burial in Turkey of a former youth leader, Pasa
Güven, who died in exile in Paris has not been allowed by Turkish
Güven had been deprived of Turkish nationality
because of his anti-establishment activities abroad along with about
200 other opponents of the regime.
In a reply to his wife's demand to bury him in
Turkey, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said: "Those who are deprived of
Turkish nationality cannot be buried within Turkey."
PERSECUTION OF THE MEDIA IN TWO MONTHS
1.8, the latest book of Sociologist Dr. Ismail
Besikci, entitled The State Terrorism in the Middle East was
confiscated by the Prosecutor of the Ankara SSC by virtue of Article 8
of the Anti-Terror Law on charges of separatism. A legal proceeding was
opened against Besikci and his publisher, Ünsal Öztürk, director of the
Yurt Publishing House.
6.8, the weekly Yeni Ülke's August 4 issue was
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC by virtue of Article 8 of the
Anti-Terror Law on charges of separatism.
7.8, two correspondents of the dailies Milliyet and
Hürriyet, respectively Mehmet Zeybekoglu and Ahmet Isikli, were
harassed at the police station of Sarayköy in the province Denizli as
they are making research on a murder case.
7.8, the responsibles of the fortnightly Mücadele
announced that eleven out of the review's 24 issues appeared until now
had been confiscated by court decision and 27 legal proceedings opened
against the editors. The review was sentenced to a fine of TL 23
million ($ 5,000) in total. Besides, the Istanbul, Izmir, Bursa and
Malatya offices of the review were raided eleven times by police.
About 70 voluntary correspondents of the review were detained on
different occasions and 15 of them were placed under arrest by court
8.8, lawyer Serhat Bucak, director of the weekly
Yeni Ülke was released after one-week police detention following his
interrogation by the Diyarbakir SSC.
11.8, a folk singer, Mrs. Yeliz Ipek was arrested
after her concert in Bitlis for having sung some Kurdish ballads.
12.8, a correspondent of the monthly Mücadele, Ahmet
Celik was detained in Malatya.
12.8, the first issue of a new monthly review,
Newroz, was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for its some articles in
Turkish and Kurdish.
13.8, a cultural festival and a conference on "SHP
and Democracy", organized by the Üsküdar Municipality, were banned by
the Governor of Istanbul.
13.8, the Interior Ministry warned the weekly 2000e
Dogru that its reports on the events in the Turkish Kurdistan were
intentional and that it might be closed if this kind of publication is
16.8, four correspondents of the daily Hürriyet,
Hasan Cömlekci, Bahri Karatas, Cem Bulunmaz and Sedat Özer, were
harassed by police as they were covering a police intervention in a
protest meeting. Angry policemen destroyed their cameras as well.
17.8, the Siirt correspondent of the daily
Cumhuriyet, Necati Mumay was harassed by three policemen.
17.8 in Siirt, a young Kurd named Özcan Özer Öner
was detained and subjected to torture for having sung Kurdish ballads.
18.8, guitar player Erkal Sertkaya was detained
during a cultural festival in the town of Foca for the US and USSR
flags painted on his instrument.
19.8, two correspondents of the weekly Yeni Ülke,
Vahap Aslan and Zeki Yarligac were detained respectively in Nusaybin
and Adiyaman and were subjected to torture for making them give up
20.8, the issue No. 43 of Yeni Ülke was confiscated
by the Istanbul SSC on charges of separatism.
21.8, the issue No. 10 of the monthly Özgür Halk was
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
27.8, the Court of Cassation approved a 20-month
prison term against the responsible editor of the review Akdogus,
Sinami Orhan. The journalist was immediately sent to prison.
27.8, the Mazidag (Mardin) correspondent of Yeni
Ülke, Ibrahim Yersiz, was harassed by fifteen policemen.
28.8, the Cizre correspondent of Yeni Ülke ,
Abdullah Arisoy, was detained by police in his office.
30.8, the representation of Pir Sultan Abdal by the
Ankara Birlik Theatre in Usak was banned by the Governor. This play was
subjected to ban 27 times in past and each decision was later overruled
by and administrative court.
1.9, in Batman, political police raided all
bookshops and confiscated all publications in Kurdish or concerning the
3.9, in Istanbul, a correspondent of the fortnightly
Emegin Bayragi, Bülent Genc was detained by police as he was
interviewing a group of workers in a factory.
10.9, sociologist Dr. Ismail Besikci, under arrest,
was indicted at the Ankara SSC for his book entitled The State
Terrorism in the Middle East. The prosecutor claims, by virtue of
Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law, a prison term of up to five
years and a fine of TL 100 million ($2.500) for Besikci and a fine of
TL 100 million for his publisher, Ünsal Öztürk.
10.9, the Nusaybin correspondent of Yeni Ülke, Mecit
Akgün was detained for having participated in a protest action.
13.9, the 2nd edition of a book entitled My Memoirs
by Kurdish author Musa Anter was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for
separatism. The 1st edition of this book had been confiscated
past year by virtue of Article 142 of the Turkish Penal Code. Although
Article 142 was lifted in April of this year, the book is subjected to
the censorship of the new Anti-terror Law.
13.9, a Switz writer, Mrs. Barbara Anna
Kistler was tried at the Istanbul SSC for having participated in the
actions of an underground Turkish organization. Mrs. Kistler said that
she had made some translations demanded by a Turkish opposition group,
but had never been involved in political actions.
18.9, the 2nd issue of the monthly Newroz was
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
19.9, the issue No. 29 of the weekly 2000e Dogru was
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for an article entitled "A
solution to the Kurdish Question by the Socialist Party: A
democratic, federal and labour-base Republic."
DISK RESTARTS ITS ACTIVITIES
Following the its acquittal by the Military Court of
Cassation , the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK)
restarted its activities on September 9, ten years, eleven months and
27 days after its closure, with a ceremony at its headquarters in
Istanbul. First, the confederation's administrative and executive
boards and the board of chairmen of affiliate unions met for
determining the programme of the new period.
At a press conference on this occasion, DISK
Chairman Abdullah Bastürk said: "The coup of September 12, 1980
attempted to destroy DISK, but the DISK's principles have continued to
live in spite of the fascist coup, tortures and pressures. They will
always continue to exist. On the basis of a contemporary transparent
trade unionism, we shall adapt our rules to the existing legislation
within six months and accordingly restart our struggle."
When it was suspended in 1980, DISK was composed of
29 trade unions organized in 24 sectors and represented about 580,000
If the courts accept its demand, DISK and its
affiliate unions will take over all their assets, estimated at TL1.5
trillion ($3.5 billion) which have been under the supervision of a
NO IMMEDIATE SOLUTION ON CYPRUS
The meetings held between Turkish Prime
Minister Mesut Yilmaz and his Greek counterpart, Constantine
Mitsotakis, in Paris on September 11-12 failed to bring about a
concrete result other than demonstrating the sharp differences between
the two countries over the thorny Cyprus problem as well as the Aegean
issue and the situation of the ethnic Turkish minority in Greece.
The sole resolute declaration to come out of the
meeting was the disclosure that the two countries would set up
committees to work out a "good neighbourliness, friendship and
cooperation" treaty between the two countries, which will be signed
when Mitsotakis visits Ankara "in the near future."
Both prime ministers were in Paris to attend a
session of the European Democratic Union (EDU).
After visiting Greece and Turkey in July, U.S.
president George Bush had announced the two countries and the Turkish
and Greek Cypriot leaders had agreed to meet in the United States. U.S.
Secretary of State James Baker had sent messages to Turkish Premier
Yilmaz and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas urging support for the
mediating efforts of U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar.
Greece and the Greek Cypriot Government had been
calling for the inclusion of the five permanent members of the U.N.
Security Council in an international conference on the matter.
The Turkish side insists on a conference limited
only to the officials of Turkey, Greece and leaders of the Turkish and
Greek Cypriot communities.
At the Paris meetings, the two sides refused to make
concessions on their positions.
TURKISH CONTESTATION IN GREECE
The dismissal of the Turkish mufti of Xhanti, Mehmet
Emin Aga and his replacement by an appointee of the Greek Government,
Mehmet Emin Sinikoglu, has led a series of protests as well in Greece
as in Turkey.
The Greek Government rejected the community's
selection of Mehmet Emin Aga to be the mufti. Some 300 Turks who staged
a sit-down protest on August 24 in Xhanti were attacked by a group of
Greeks while police stood by and watched. 13 people were reportedly
wounded during the incident.
On August 26, unidentified persons bombed a mosque
in Komotini where lives a large Turkish Moslem minority.
Protesting against these incidents, Turkish
religious leaders in Greece decided to shut 15 mosques for fifteen days.
In Istanbul, in protest against the Greek
Government's decision, the Thracian Turk Support Association organized
a sit-in demonstration on the steps of the Fener Orthodox Patriarchate,
which continued from 25 to 29 August.
The Lausanne Treaty of 1923 provided for the
exchange between Greece and Turkey of their respective minorities;
however, the exchange left some 100,000 Greeks in Istanbul at the time
and approximately 120,000 Turks in western Thrace.
TURKISH CONTESTATION IN BULGARIA
The Turkish community of Bulgaria has been deprived
of the right to have its own political party. A city court in Sofia
refused an application by the Bulgarian Rights and Freedoms Movement
(RFM) to form a political party. The Bulgarian High Court
rejected on September RFM's appeal against this decision.
This movement, Bulgaria's third largest political
grouping, represents 1 million ethnic Turks in Bulgaria. During the
first free elections in June 1990, the RFM won 23 seats in the 400-seat
The State prosecutor, arguing that the RFM was an
organization based on ethnicity, said that he saw "dangers" in allowing
a party to be constituted to defend the rights of people who were
members of only one distinct group.
The attorney defending the RFM held that the
strongest argument against the premise that the RFM was a party based
on ethnicity was that on the membership list there were Bulgarians of
27 different ethnic groupings.
However, the High Court did not take into
consideration this argument.
Thus in the light of the High Court decision, the
RFM has lost its chance to enter the October 13 Bulgarian Legislative
Election as a political party, it retains the right to take part as a
movement. The RFM has declared that it would either participate in
elections with independent candidates or put its candidates on the
lists of other parties.
The Bulgarian Government's another decision has led
to new protests by the Turkish minority. The Bulgarian Turks have been
asking since the fall of Zhivkov the right to have Turkish lessons from
the first grade of primary schools.
The Education Ministry has recently decided to start
Turkish lessons from the third grade of primary schools. Even in the
third grade, Turkish lessons did not start with the opening of the new
Thereupon, Turkish minority members in Bulgaria did
not send their children to schools on September 16.
The RFM said that Bulgarian Turks were not happy as
the Turkish lesson books were published in two languages in the same
time. It accuses the Bulgarian authorities of trying to give Turkish
lessons as a secondary language like English and French, not a mother