CRAZY ARMAMENT OF THE TURKISH ARMY
As the Turkish Armed Forces were carrying on a
destructive war against the Kurdish national movement, the Turkish war
industry staged a demonstration of armament by opening the first
International Defense Industry and Civil Aviation Fair (IDEF 93) on
September 14 in Ankara. On this occasion, the Defense Ministry
published a detailed inventory of the Turkish war industry under the
title of White Book 1993.
Supported by fabulous budget allocations and the
investments of a military-industrial complex, the Turkish war industry
has already become one of the most powerful death machines of the
world. Many of the weapons and ammunitions produced by this industry
are currently being used against Kurdish population.
The Turkish military, in White Book 1993, justify
this crazy armament with the increase of the threats to Turkey’s
security due to its proximity to the conflicts in the Balkans,
Caucausus and the Middle East. However, General Hursit Tolon, Secretary
General of the Turkish General Staff, said in an interview to the
Turkish Daily News of September 15 “The Gulf War had many effects on
the political and military balances in the region, including giving a
new impetus to the Kurdish recessionism. Turkey’s geopolitical and
geostrategic position does not allow it to extricate itself from
international and regional power balances. For this reason, instead of
having a front-line defense, we have adopted the strategy to have
In addition to the above-mentioned concerns, many
hawks in the military and political spheres advocate a Turkish
expansion and consider this expensive armament as indispensable for
putting their adventurist projects in practice.
The bipolar world of the Cold War period had
dictated a specific threat perception to Turkey, which as a NATO
country was given the major responsibility of securing the alliance's
southern flank. In many respects it was a clear cut role. Turkish
Army's modernization program at the time was geared very much to the
needs of this bipolar environment and toward the threat from the Warsaw
Since the Cold War period ended, defense budgets are
being cut in the West, but Turkey is going the opposite way by
increasing its own defense budget. In 1993, Turkey allocated 11.5
percent of the National Budget, that is TL 41 Trillion
($5,125,000,000), to the military expenditures. Although, in line with
other military powers, Turkey too decided to scale down its Army from
some 700,000 to 550,000 by the end of 1994, it plans to restructure the
Army from a division-regiment system to a brigade-batallion system for
having a more mobile striking force.
Turkish forces mobilized against the Kurdish national movement already
number about 180,000 in the Southeast. These forces are rapidly being
equipped with sophisticated arms produced by the war industry or
imported from other countries.
The responsibility for the development of a war
industry has been entrusted to the Under-secretary for Defense Industry
(SSM) which can be considered as the supreme authority of the
military-industrial complex growing thanks to the budget allocations
and the investments by the foreign and local private capital.
Under the Defense Industry Act of 1985, projects
worth approximately $10.5 billion have either been contracted or are
about to be contracted.
Decisions regarding the execution of projects are
made by the Defence Industry Executive Committee (SSIK) which is
comprised of the prime minister, the minister of national defense and
the chief of general staff.
The financial support for large-scale defense
industry projects, whose feasibility, evaluation, contracting and
production follow-on studies are being carried out by the SSM, is
provided by the Defense Industry Support Fund established separately
within the national budget. This fund, with revenues of $700 million
annually, constitutes a consistent resource for military industry
investments. It also further expedites SSIK decisions by reducing
bureaucratic formalities. major sources of the fund are: shares from
income and corporate taxes, shares from sales of state-owned products,
shares allotted from lotteries, and a percentage of the fuel
consumption tax. The fund is administered by the SSM in line with the
principles set by SSIK.
Turkey's defense capabilities are not limited to SSM
activities and a strong defense industry base has begun to emerge in
the last few years.
Projects under way
• 115 F-16 C/D have been manufactured to date at the
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) facilities in Mürted near Ankara.
The said facilities are the most developed next to the Lockheed (it was
General Dynamics when the contract was signed) plants in the United
States. The production program at present consists of the production of
240 aircraft for the Turkish Air Force and an additional 46 for the
Egyptian Air Force.
TEI (Turkish Engine Industries) has undertaken the
task of manufacturing the engines for the F-16s through a joint venture
• The production of 122 active and 160 passive
electronic warfare systems by the MIKES company in Akyurt, Ankara, to
be fitted to the F-16 fighter planes produced in TAI. The $325 million
project has already produced 21 systems, four of which have been fitted
to the Turkish F-16s.
• The production of 1,698 FNSS designed armoured
combat vehicles in four variants. A 1,3 billion, eight-year project
signed with the American FMC-Turkish Nurol joint venture company (JVC)
It includes the production of subsystems such as the
cupola (with Tursav) engine transmission (Taksan), 25 mm gun and turret
(French Giat and Turkish MKEK) system, and night vision systems (Texas
Instruments and Turkish Aselsan).
497 vehicles of three variants have been delivered
to the Turkish military as of August 1993, as suggested by the
contract. The production facilities are in Gölbasi near Ankara.
• The direct procurement of 45 Black Hawk
helicopters from American Sikorsky . 25 Black Hawks have been delivered
so far. The project is $ 1.1 billion. In addition to that project,
in-country coproduction of an additional 55 Black Hawks is under
consideration. The package also includes procurement of 20 Super
Puma-type (Cougar) transport helicopters from French Eurocopter.
Negotiations continue with Sikorsky and Eurocopter for the procurement
of four maritime helicopters.
• The production of 52 CN-235 model light transport
aircraft has been undertaken by Spanish CASA with Turkish partner TAI.
After the direct delivery of two planes from Spain, four more have been
jointly produced at Mürted's TAI facilities and delivered to the
Turkish Armed Forces. The project cost is $550 million.
• The production of 14 air search radars and 18 C3
(communications, command, control) systems in the framework of the
mobile radar complexes project. The mobile radars are being produced by
the French Thompson-Turkish Tekfen consortium and the C3 systems by the
American Aydin-Turkish Aymet consortium. The production facilities for
both systems are in Ankara. The first integrated system is expected to
be delivered in 1994. The project cost is $313.5 million.
• The production of 2,936 high frequency single side
band (HF/SSB) radios with frequency hopping and electronic
counter-countermeasure capabilities. British Marconi has undertaken the
$160 million project with Turkish partners Has, Cihan and Elit. 1,100
radios of three variants have been manufactured so far in the
consortium's facilities in Gölbasi, near Ankara.
• The procurement of two Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
(UAV) systems for $41 million from American Aircraft Industries and
General Atomics of the United States. meanwhile, the Turkish company
TAI has designed and produced two prototype UAVs in line with a
research ad development (R&D) project financed by the SSM.
• The production of one fleet of replenishment ships
for the Turkish Navy is being undertaken by the Turkish shipyard Sedef,
near Istanbul. The project cost is $26 million.
• The production of 40 basic trainer SF-260 model
aircraft by Italian Augusta with Turkish partner TAI, in TAI's Mürted
facilities. 32 planes have been delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces
so far. The total project cost is $17 million.
• Twelve R&D projects costing $22 million have
been awarded to a number of Turkish research institutes and
universities to be subsidized by the Defence Industry Support Fund.
Some of these projects are:
- Silicon carbide-based composite material
- Hardware&software development for defense
- Milimeter wave electronic warfare
- Ramjet liquid propellant ceramic rocket engine
- PRC/VRC 9600 VHF/FM frequency hopping radio
- Software for portable common tools environment
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
- B carbide-based armour materials
- Semiconductive technologies.
• The MAN, Mercedes-Benz Türk, Otokar (Landrover),
Otomarsan and Otosan plants are capable of and are presently
manufacturing trucks, buses, small-type wheeled tactical and utility
vehicles, and pick-up trucks. The said vehicles are produced and made
available to the Turkish armed forces and other allied countries. Half
ton utility vehicles are being produced at the Turkish armed forces
facilities in the configurations of ambulances, weapon platforms, and
• Tank upgrading industry. The M-48 (with 105 mm
guns) and M-113 repair, maintenance, and modernization activities
facilities also have the capability to modernize M-60 MBT tanks .
• Arms, weapons, ammunitions, rockets: The
wide-ranging production of artillery and ammunition; small arms and
ammunition; anti-aircraft guns; infantry weapons rocket systems;
aircraft bombs; propelling charges; antitank and limpet mines;
gunpowder; demolition blocks; primer and blasting caps; pistols;
rifles; machine guns; tank guns; mortars; 20 and 35 mm automatic
cannon; steel, brass and wooden products; construction, excavation and
industrial machinery; howitzers; mortars; hand grenades; explosives;
and fuses and gas masks are undertaken at the MKEK (Mechanical and
Chemical Industries Corp.) facilities.
• Field equipment and construction: The Turkish
construction sector is lending service ar a high level to the Turkish
armed forces and allied countries. The construction equipment and
machinery are provided by both the civilian and military sector,
including excavation and industrial machinery.
• Wireless radios: The Aselsan (Military Electronic
Industry) manufactures the 4600 series VHF/FM portable, vehicular and
tank radio, the 4800 series synthesized mobile radio, digital
encryption equipment, computer controlled fire and alarm system,
telephone encryption systems, laser range finders, avionics, night
vision systems, rocket electronics, electronic warfare systems, fuses
and electro-optic systems in a wide range and as such command
considerable export potential.
• Maintenance and modernization: Depot-level
maintenance and repair activities of the F-4, F-5, F-16, C-130, C-160,
SF-260, UH-1, and helicopters and their motors are being done in
Turkey. Modernization and evaluation studies are under way on schedule
to foresee the use of the F-4 aircraft in the year 2000, and possible
use of the F-5's, to train pilots for the F-16s. Modernization will
take place entirely in Turkey.
• Support equipment: Helmets, parachutes, uniforms,
and aircraft and helicopter spare parts are presently being produced at
Turkish armed forces facilities.
• Sea platforms: Type 209-1200 submarines, Meko-200
type frigates, guided missile-carrying assault boats, destroyer
escorts, tankers, bulk carriers, landing craft, fast patrol boats,
tugs,logistic coasters, cargo ships and floating and dry docks are
being built at Turkey's civilian and military shipyards.
Projects under consideration
The following are the projects currently under
consideration by the SSM and the Turkish General Staff, which have not
• The Multi-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) project.
Twelve systems and their rockets have already been delivered to the
Turkish Armed Forces by American LTV. 24 more systems will be produced
in the framework of an approximately $1 billion project. The MLRS
rockets are planned for production in Turkey, with the cooperation of
LTV and Turkish Roketsan, which also produces body, solid fuel and
engine parts for Stinger missiles in its facilities near Ankara within
a NATO program.
• The 35 mm anti-aircraft fire control systems
project. The project suggests in-country production of 97 such systems
at a cost of $400 million. The Dutch Signal company producing the
Flycatcher, the British Racal company producing the Eagle, and the
Swiss/Canadian Contraves company producing the Skyguard have been
short-listed for the coproduction of this project, expected to be
announced in the second half of 1993.
• The mine-hunting vessel project. The project
involves native contributed production of six such ships within the
modernization of the Turkish navy. It will cost $380 million. German
shipyards Abeking&Rasmussen and Fr-Leurssen Werft, French
SOFMA-DCN, British Vosper Thornycroft and Italian Intermarine have made
their proposals for the project which is expected to be finalized by
the end of 1993.
• Low level air defense project. Thomson-CSF of
France with Crotale, Euromissile consortium with Roland and
Oerlikon-Bührle with Adats and their Turkish partners are in the
running to co-produce low-level air defense systems in Turkey. The
evaluation by the Turkish General Staff is under way for revised
tactical and technical requirements.
• The Coast Guard vessel project. Evaluations are
under way for the construction of 24 Coast Guard vessels in Turkish
shipyards. The project's estimated cost is $200 million.
• Procurement of attack helicopters. Five Bell Super
Cobra helicopters for $100 million are expected to be provided by the
US Government through Foreign Military Sales (FMS).
• Fighter plane modernization project. Letters have
been sent to 24 companies for the F-5 modernization project. The aim is
to use the modernized F-5s as an F-16 training plane. Preliminary
studies for the structural and avionics upgrade of the F-4 Phantom
aircraft in the inventory of the Turkish Air Force have been initiated.
• The in-flight refuelling aircraft project.
Evaluations are under way for the procurement of three refuelling
Black List of the Turkish War Industry
As a fruitful market of war industry investments, in
the post-Cold War Period Turkey sees itself in a position to freely
choose its partners and to refuse the cooperation of some western
countries which have been critical against Turkey on the matters of
Those countries such as Switzerland, Austria,
Germany and Sweden have attached so conditions to Turkey's weapons
procurement and production programs as banning the use of weapons
or ammunition originating from them in the South East against
According to the Turkish Daily News of September 15,
Turkey has now established an unofficial "black list", which specifies
the countries that will be exempted from its joint-production and
direct-purchase defense projects.
Although Germany, with whom Turkey had a special
defense cooperation program during the Cold War, is not included on the
black list because it has lifted its embargo, many officials say,
nevertheless, this country actually deserves to be included on the list
because its vacillating political approach to Turkey ultimately makes
it unreliable in the planning of military modernization programs.
As a sort of irony, the yesterday's principal enemy,
Russia, takes part among the reliable partners of Turkey in armament
cooperation. In March 1993, Turkey and Russia signed various defense
cooperation protocols, such as the $75 million protocol which enables
Ankara to buy arms from Moscow.
No doubt, the most reliable partner of Turkey is
always the United States. In addition to a number of joint
projects, in December 1992, the United States signed with Ankara a $1.1
billion deal to provide the Turkish Army with Black Hawk helicopters to
be used for destroying the Kurdish nationalist movement in the South
East. The deal with Sikorsky Aircraft involved direct purchase of 45
Black Hawk helicopters for $485 million, and the manufacture and
assembly of other 50 others in Turkey --with a project cost of $615
million-- at an installation alongside Mürted, where F-16s are
coproduced with the U.S. General Dynamics company.
CILLER’S NEW ANTI-KURD PLANS
Prime Minister Ciller, in a triumphal address to the
parliamentary group of her DYP, claimed on September 1st that 1,020 PKK
militants were killed in clashes with Turkish security forces in the
last six weeks. She said that the government was determined to finish
off the PKK by forming special commando teams and procuring new
vehicles and helicopters in order to enhance the reconnaissance and
observation capability of the Army.
The daily Sabah of September 12 quoted Chief of
Staff General Dogan Güres as pledging to “finish off” the PKK by next
spring. With recent operations the Turkish Armed Forces have dealt
serious blows to the organization,” he said, adding, “The PKK has been
pushed into a tight spot. Their current actions are the result of their
desperation. They are under great strain locally and internationally.”
Ciller’s government last month announced a plan to
set tup special squads to fight the PKK. Commando conscripts would be
encouraged to volunteer for the special force after completing their
15-month military service, according to the plan.
State Minister Mustafa Ciloglu said on August 28
that a new 20,000-strong force to combat PKK guerrillas would be ready
in six months’ time.
“Until now we have always been on the defensive,
only responding to attacks. From now on we will change our strategy. In
six or seven months’ time we will knock the terrorists out like a
hammer with a 20,000-strong special team,” he said.
On the other hand, the daily Hürriyet of August 31
reported that Prime Minister Ciller has a secret plan envisaging “shock
penalties” for people who harbour “terrorists” or take part in mass
boycotts. According to the plan drafted by the Interior Ministry,
those who harbour “terrorists" or support their actions by closing
their shops or grounding their commercial motor vehicles as a show of
solidarity with the PKK will face one to three-year prison sentences.
The stores of the shop-owners in question will be closed for a period
of six months and the motor vehicles will be banned from taking to the
road for six months. The detention period will be extended for persons
detained on suspicion of being members of a “terrorist” organization.
Those making speeches abroad in a way that debases
the state will be given harsher penalties. This foresees to prevent DEP
members from making speeches abroad.
An anti-terrorism fund will be created, financed
with money channelled from the other special funds in the country and
from the National Lottery Agency’s earnings. Part of the money earned
from football matches too will go into the anti-terrorism fund.
Security officials who get injured and go into premature retirement
will receive their full salary as pension? So will the spouses and
children of the security officials who die in the struggle against
PKK WARNS OF NEW ESCALATION
As the Turkish Army’s destructive offensive was
getting new dimensions, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party
(PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, in an interview to the daily Özgür Gündem,
quoted by the Turkish Daily News of August 30, warned the government of
an escalation of its nine-year-old armed campaign.
The PKK leader said the organization, which today
counts some 10,000 militants, planned to increase this number to 20,000
by winter and to 30,000 by spring 1994.
“No government can stand against 30,000 guerrillas,”
Öcalan said. Denying reports of another cease-fire by the PKK, Öcalan
said unless the Turkish state accepted the PKK’s conditions, there
would be no cease-fire:
“I clarified the conditions for a cease-fire in may
latest press conference. Turkish army operations in the Southeast
should stop. I have also said that [a cease-fire] could only come from
the military, rather than the government. Ciller is just make-up for
the special war [in the Southeast]. No one should expect cease-fire
conditions from civilians.”
Öcalan said that the discussions by Turkish
authorities for a private army to combat the Kurdish militants started
after the Tansu Ciller government took office.
“The idea of establishing a private army is
unlawful, Öcalan said. “The idea is to recruit a bunch of bandits,
hooligans, fascists and street dwellers into the core counter-guerrilla
force the government has now. These are all men who will say, ‘I am the
law.’ The recent murders and kidnappings are indications of that. It is
not possible to assume that a private army could succeed with what a
large regular army could not. If the murders against ordinary people
and forced evacuations of villages continue, the PKK will have to
retaliate with the same means.
“If they push the limits of war, we will do the
same. We will set up special guerrilla teams against the special
Öcalan claims that the province of Elazig has been
used by the Counter-guerrilla forces as a base of torturing Kurdish
patriots to death. A journalist for Özgür Gündem, Ferhat Tepe, was
found dead in Elazig recently after being abducted in Bitlis earlier in
“We know that former fascist circles play an
important role in those kind of things. They get important support from
merchants and loan sharks in Elazig. We will inflict heavy blows to
their revenues. We plan to surround Elazig from all directions with
Öcalan mentioned the Turkish economy as another
target of PKK attacks. “Our limited actions against Turkish tourism
turned everything upside down. We will develop similar measures not
only in Kurdistan, but also in Turkey. It is not difficult to hit
Turkish economic targets.” Referring to the debate as to where to run
the Turkish-Azeri oil pipeline, he said: “International oil companies
should come and talk to us, not with Turkey.”
PKK leader said a faction within the Turkish
military apparatus may attempt a coup d’état to provide a political
solution for the Kurdish problem. “The opposite can also happen: a coup
d’état staged by further right” elements wanting a harsher stance
against the Kurdish militants could take place. The Güres-Fisunoglu
battle to determine who would be the next Chief of general Staff was a
part of that struggle,” he added.
HELSINKI WATCH REPORT ON THE MEDIA
Helsinki Watch issued in August 1993 a new report on
Turkey, entitled “Free Expression in Turkey, 1993: Killings,
In the introduction of the 40-page report, Helsinki
Watch says extremely concerned about the violation of freedom of
expression in Turkey in the first half of 1993.
“Under the Anti-Terror Law which was introduced in
1991, many left-wing and pro-Kurdish journalists, writers and
publishers continue to be tried, and many go on to be sentenced to
prison terms and fines,” says the report. “Penal Code provisions
that make it a crime to insult Atatürk, secularity, Islam, the security
forces and the president continue to be used to restrict free
expression. Newspapers and books are regularly confiscated. The Press
Law allows prosecutors to stop distribution of a newspaper without a
court order. The same provisions restrict freedom of speech on radio
and television, in electoral speeches, symposiums, posters, and
leaflets. Publishers and authors are also charged and imprisoned under
“In the first seven months of 1993, four journalists
were killed in Turkey. In southeast Turkey, one newspaper distributor
and a newspaper vendor selling left-wing newspapers were killed during
the same period. The government has made little effort to find and
prosecute their killers. Many other journalists, newspaper vendors and
distributors have received death threats. While journalists of the
mainstream press are left alone for the most part, journalists from
left-wing newspapers are frequently attacked, arrested or brought to
trial. In southeast Turkey journalists are particularly at risk.
“While the coalition government that came to power
in November 1991 suggested that past restrictions on freedom of
expression would be removed, their actions have proved extremely
“The convictions of journalists, authors, publishers
and artists under the Anti-Terror Law as well as under provisions of
the Penal Code contravene the European Convention for the Protection of
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, to which Turkey is a signatory,
as well as Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Right and
Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and
After having given hundreds of examples of the
violations of the freedom of expression, Helsinki Watch makes the
following recommendations to the Turkish government:
• Investigate promptly, thoroughly, and impartially
the murders of the sixteen journalists and five vendors and
distributors assassinated since February 1992; prosecute those
• Release from prison and detention all journalists,
writers and artists imprisoned or detained for their writings or the
peaceful expression of their views;
• Cease all legal actions against journalists,
writers, publishers and artists based on the substance or circulation
of their writings or the peaceful expression of their views;
• Repeal the Anti-Terror Law;
• Amend the Constitution to remove those portions
that restrict free expression;
• Amend the Penal Code to remove all articles that
restrict free expression;
• Amend the Press Law to remove those portions that
restrict freedom of the press;
• Repeal the law to protect Minors from Harmful
• Repeal the Act on the Works of Cinema, Video and
• Abolish the Film and Music Censorship Boards;
• Repeal or amend all other laws that unduly
restrict freedom of expression; and
• End restrictions that deprive Kurds of their
ethnic identity, including restriction on the use of Kurdish language,
music and dance.
Helsinki Watch also recommends that the United
States government publicly condemn the human rights abuses detailed in
the report and use its best efforts to persuade the government of
Turkey to put into practice Helsinki Watch’s recommendations.
In addition, Helsinki Watch recommends that the
United States government end all military and security assistance to
Turkey until Turkey no longer manifests these violations. According to
the report, Turkey is the third largest recipient of U.S. aid; in 1993,
Turkey will receive $450 million in loans for military assistance and
$125 million in economic assistance.
SCANDALS OF CORRUPTION
As the fraud charges concerning Prime Minister Tansu
Ciller and her husband, Özer Ciller, were systematically being blacked
out by the big press, another fraud story concerning a top bureaucrat,
near to the SHP, occupied the front pages of all Turkish dailies for
past two months.
Istanbul Municipal Water Works Department (ISKI)
chief Ergun Göknel is the hero of this new mediatic scandal. Eager to
marry a woman 29 years his junior, he paid his then-wife Nurdan Göknel
$800,000 in April for a quick divorce. Mrs. Göknel, after having
received the money, in an act of revenge, informed the press of this
arrangement and publicly questioned how a bureaucrat could afford it.
When the scandal broke, Istanbul Mayor Nurettin
Sözen, a former friend of Göknel and a member of the junior coalition
partner SHP, immediately sacked him as investigators moved in.
On August 19, a criminal court of Istanbul detained
Göknel on charges of embezzlement, falsifying documents and failing to
declare his assets.
Göknel’s personal diary, in his own handwriting,
revealed that the former ISKI chief has been making regular payments to
Labour Minister Mehmet Mogultay (SHP) and 29 journalists.
During his interrogation, Göknel claimed Istanbul
Mayor Nurettin Sözen took part in the massive corruption in
The police discovered a list in Göknel’s house
detailing the names of private companies and the amounts paid to, or
received from, each firm by dishing out lucrative contracts in return
There are also claims that ISKI also diverted
municipal funds to the SHP, becoming, in a way, the bread-basket of the
social democrats in Istanbul with its vast resources.
Although SHP leaders denied all allegations in this
affair, this witch hunt did more harm to the SHP than any person or
organization just prior to the municipal elections in 1994.
However, neither the other partner of the coalition,
DYP, nor the parties in opposition are cleaner than the SHP.
The daily Milliyet lists 19 alleged corruption cases
that have surfaced since March. Some of the dossiers involve the
Forestry Ministry, the National Electricity Board and the Treasury.
Five months ago, Ciller’s DYP was fending off
charges of misuse of public funds in a property transaction. President
Demirel, who was party leader and prime minister at the time, said: “I
paid the money -- so what?” The ILKSAN affair, named after a primary
school teachers’ consortium given government funds for over-priced
land, dropped from the headlines when President Özal died in April.
When Ciller replaced Demirel at the head of the
government, her fabulous wealth lead to polemics on the origin of this
richness, but no investigation has been started on the affair.
On the contrary, benefiting from the ISKI scandal
which eclipsed hers, Ciller presented herself at her TV address
to the nation on August 26 as the vanguard of the fight against to
corruption and promised to TV viewers a perfectly clean society.
“MILITARY REGIME SHOULD BE TRIED”
The Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) is
seeking to hold a symbolic trial against five former generals who
staged a military coup in 1980 and ousted the country’s elected
government and parliament.
IHD Chairman Akin Birdal said on September 27 that
they planned to hold the first hearing by the end of 1993 and
established contact with various international bodies such as the Paris
and New York bar associations as well as Helsinki Watch.
"We decided on doing this because the September 12
regime had not been tried in the field of human rights," Birdal said.
He added that the "trial" would only be symbolic in
nature, but everyone who had suffered because of the coup was invited
to file charges.
CILLER’S RIDICULOUS LESSON TO GERMANS
Prime Minister Ciller, during her visits to foreign
countries as the head of the executive, attempted to rise her image as
a real “iron lady.”
During a press conference in Berlin on September 22,
Ciller claimed that there were no minorities and there was no
discrimination in Turkey.
“I wish our Turkish citizens living in Germany had
one-tenth the human rights the Kurdish citizens living in Turkey have.
I wish our Turkish people could vote in Germany. Kurds (in Turkey) can
start a business and get into Parliament. I wish our Turkish people
could do that here,” she said.
This declaration was immediately ridiculed by the
opposition in Turkey reminding that Turks and Kurds in Germany,
although not citizens of the country, have already the right to
constitute their organizations, to have education and make publications
in their own language. As for Turkey, the Kurds trying to use these
rights are systematically persecuted.
Furthermore, although Turks arrived in Germany in
last decades, they can freely fight for obtaining more rights such as
to have double nationality and to be elected to assemblies, their
demands are being supported by German progressive forces and not any
Turk has been persecuted for demanding these rights.
On the contrary, the Kurds existed in Turkey even
before the arrival of Turks at the 11th century and are the real owners
of the region they inhabit. The Turkish rule turned the Turkish
Kurdistan into a colony and deprived the Kurds of their very
fundamental rights such as speaking or having education in Kurdish. It
is not a matter of not recognizing yet a right to those recently
arrived in a country, but of violating a right of the native population
of the country by a colonialist rule.
OLYMPIC FIASCO FOR “IRON LADY”
After having completed her three-day visit to
Germany, Ciller rushed to Monaco for a last-ditch attempt to turn odds
in favour of Istanbul for millenium Olympic Games in the year 2000, and
on the occasion, to draw the attention to herself
As a matter of fact, the Istanbul’s candidate for
Olympic games had been one of the top subjects of the Turkish media
fooling once more the population with exaggeratedly optimistic reports
on Turkey’s eligibility.
“If Istanbul wins, it will be the first time the
Games are held in a Muslim nation,” Ciller said before departing from
Berlin. She argued that Istanbul, the Turkish city that straddles
Europe and Asia, might be “one of the best platforms” for improved
international contacts. Conditioned by the slogan “Let’s meet where the
continents meet”, Turks believed that if the games take place in
Istanbul, it would bring not just a profitable audience but also a
recognition of Turkey’s growing influence in a region torn apart by
ethnic strife after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.
89 members of the International Olympic Committee
were invited to Turkey for selling them Istanbul as the best place for
the Games. Prior to Ciller’s arrival to Monaco, a 250-member Turkish
delegation attended the IOC meeting in support of Istanbul’s bid.
Ciller and the Turkish delegation were so convinced
that Istanbul will win, the Turkish media published reports claiming
that Istanbul will be one of the richest cities of the world and all
municipal problems will be solved thanks to a $207 million worth of
revenues from the Games.
Completely ignoring the on-going human rights
violations in Turkey, Ciller and Turkish media were also hopeful that
China’s human rights record will erect a barrier impossible for Beijing
to break through as a contender. Nevertheless, a large number of
international human rights organizations kept claiming that political
killings occur in Turkey on a daily basis and that Turkish security
forces are guilty of widespread human rights violations.
All these illusions collapsed on September 23 when
Istanbul was eliminated by the IOC in the first round with only seven
Next day, the daily Milliyet’s banner an “Dreams and
Despair. Olympics 2000 was our dream. We wanted it so much and got
As for Ciller, she continued to fool the people by
saying “Turkey has achieved its aim in Monaco. From now on the world
knows Turkey is a name to reckon with in such international
DREAM OF EUROPALIA ‘96
In another bid to make forget its shameful record of
human rights, Ankara launched a new campaign for making Turkey the
subject of the 1996 European promotion festival Europalia.
Meeting with about 100 business executives in
Istanbul on September 4, Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin said that such
an event would be an opportunity for the country to improve its image
in the West.
The biennial festival Europalia is based in Belgium
and actually carrying on the theme of Mexico.
“Apart from the arts, it is a forum that promotes
the economic and cultural sides of a country,” Cetin said. “It is an
important activity that will be held under the joint patronage of our
president and the Belgian king.”
The festival is estimated to cost about $30 to 40
million, of which 60 percent will be covered by the Europalia Fund and
the rest by the subject country.
Turkish business executives that met with Cetin
pledged to support the festival.
30th YEAR OF TURCO-EC RELATIONS
The 30th anniversary of the signing of the Ankara
Agreement, which set Turkey officially on the path to full membership
with the European Community, was celebrated on September 12, 1993 at a
meeting and luncheon organized by the Economic Development Foundation
(IKV) in Istanbul.
President Demirel, in an address to the assembled
guests, said that membership in the EC was not just economic but
political and security-related as well. It will enable Turkey to
However, contrary to Demirel’s optimism, Turkey’s
adhesion to the EC for the time-being seems improbable because of the
country’s poor economic conditions, high rate of inflation, growing
unemployment and, above all, bad record of human rights.
Besides, the candidacy of other developed European
countries constitutes another obstacle in the way of Turkey’s full
During the meeting of Istanbul, EC Commission member
Christina Scrievener, reminding that the EC is still in the process of
coping with the results of the establishment of the single market and
need to strengthen itself and deal with its current crisis, did not
give any concrete promise as regards Turkey’s membership soon. She was
contented with saying that Turkey has progressed rapidly during the 30
years the agreement has been in force, and the EC will continue to
encourage Turkey’s integration.
Turkey’s interest in the European Community dates
back to July 31, 1959, when the Turkish Government, two months after
the Greek government, applied for membership in the Community.
The application was concluded on September 12,
1963, with the Ankara Agreement which made Turkey an associate member
of the EC and which outlined a three-stage process by which Turkey was
expected to strengthen its commercial, economic and political relations
with its associate and eventually achieve full membership --as realized
in the case of Greece in 1981.
To insure full membership, a second agreement, known
as the Additional Protocol, signed in 1970 and put into practice in
1973, reaffirmed this engagement and allowed Turkey to prepare herself
--customs union by 1995 and an improvement of her reputation in terms
of democracy and human rights.
Although Turco-EC relations were suspended after the
1980 Coup, Ankara tabled its official application for full membership.
Nevertheless, this move was kindly rejected in 1989 by the EC. It did
not say no to membership; instead it suggested that both itself and
Turkey should not talk about full membership until it put its own house
in order --that is, completion of the Internal Market by 1992 -- and
until Turkey completely prepares itself on improvement of economic
conditions, strengthening democracy and human rights and a change
in attitude on the Cyprus issue.
In terms of Turkey’s economic conditions, the EC’s
reservations can be understood to a great extent: Turkey should not
expect the Community to accept the free movement of workers and to
provide job opportunities for the two million Turkish unemployed.
Turkey should eliminate all customs tariffs. Besides, Turkey should
find a solution to its double-digit inflation rates and to its total
public debt equivalent to half of its GNP.
None of these economic conditions has been
ameliorated since then. The rate of unemployment is permanently
rising as a result of the bad economic performance and the high
population growth rate. The Cyprus issue still remains unsolved. Above
all, Turkey continues to be the only European country continuing to
systematically violate human rights and and to use its armed forces to
suppress the Kurdish part of its population.
NEW LEADER BUT SAME POLICY IN SHP
After the change at the head of the major coalition
partner DYP, the junior partner SHP (Social Democrat Populist Party)
too changed its leader on September 12. Ankara Mayor Murat
Karayalcin, 49, who won 559 votes from 1,007 delegates against the 403
of his nearest rival, Aydin Güven Gürkan, and became SHP chairman.
Although he promised “to build the new Turkey”
during his electoral campaign, Karayalcin too, like former chairman
Erdal Inönü, accepted to be the partner of the DYP and assumed the post
of vice premier in the Ciller’s government.
As for his rival Gürkan who lost the race, he was
later elected chairman of the SHP Parliamentary Group.
Despite the existence of a coalition protocol
promising full democratization in the country, the Ciller-Karayalcin
Government too continues to escalate state terrorism and to adopt
economic measures to the detriment of the working population.
STATE TERRORISM IN AUGUST
1.8, two unidentified assailants, raiding a
house at the village of Kara Hasan in Maras, killed Ayse Rani (35) and
her two daughters, Elif (7) and Gözde (4) by hacking with an axe.
1.8, at the village of Seyhcoban in Diyarbakir, two
brothers, Abdülkadir Ates and Nedim Ates, were assassinated by
2.8, in Hazro (Diyarbakir), 25-year old Yücel Dolan,
son of the town's mayor, died at hospital after having been taken there
from a police station. Although the police claimed that he died for a
heart attack, Dolan's parents accused the police of having tortured him
to death. Dolan's father Resul Dolan, mayor of Hazro, said having
seen traces of beating and electric torture on his son's body. 30 other
people taken into custody together with Dolan too were subjected to
torture during their interrogation.
3.8, the Ministry of Finance started an
administrative proceeding against the chief officials of the Trade
Union of Finance Workers (Tüm Maliye Sen) on charges of organizing some
actions to obtain trade union rights. Besides, seven officials of the
trade union were fired from their posts at Finance departments.
3.8, during a wedding ceremony in Gümüscay town
(Canakkale), a person of Kurdish origin, Hasan Cetin, was forced to
leave the hall. After a quarrel between Turks and Kurds, a group of 300
people attacked and destroyed the houses and shops belonging to Kurds
in the town.
5.8, unidentified gunmen assassinated Ekrem Afsin
(52) and Sehmuz Ekmen (23) in Batman and Nurettin Tangüler in
5.8, in Istanbul, police detained 17 people during a
series of raids at the quarters of Ikitelli, Parseller and Güngören.
6.8, in Diyarbakir, unidentified gunmen shot dead
Murat Karacobanoglu and Ömer Tegmen.
7.8, in Nusaybin, security forces raiding a house
shot dead two persons.
7.8, unidentified people assassinated Hasan Okur and
Osman Göcer in Diyarbakir and Muhyettin Tastekin in Mus.
8.8, in Nizip (Gaziantep), a suspect of theft,
Selahattin Dörtbudak, was found dead at the gendarmerie station.
Although military authorities attributed the death to a heart attack,
Dörtbudak's mother accused the gendarmes of having tortured her son to
death after having seized TL 1 Million in his pocket. She said having
seen torture traces and blood stains on Dörtbudak's body.
8.8, in Mersin, Doctor Sabri Soysal alleged that he
had been tortured for eleven days at police station after being
detained on July 21. Claiming that his three ribs were broken, Dr.
Soysal asked for a medical examination by the Doctors' Union of Turkey
8.8, security forces detained about 40 people
including some DEP members during their operations in Izmir and Manisa.
9.8, in Diyarbakir, two tradesmen named Siddik
Adiyaman and Süleyman Ayverdi, were assassinated by unidentified
people. The victims had reportedly participated in a protest action
against the State's repressive operations. A paramilitary organization
named the Turkish Revenge Brigade (TIT) has been menacing the tradesmen
participating in such actions. The number of the tradesmen assassinated
in Diyarbakir in last ten days has already reached six.
10.8, in Istanbul, a 22-year old detainee, Osman
Akcicek, was hospitalized as a result of beating during his
interrogation at the Eminönü police station.
13.8, in Istanbul, police raiding a cafeteria at the
Perpa Business Center shot owner Nebi Akyürek (32) and cashier Selma
Citlak (22) as well as three other persons inside on claim that they
were Dev-Sol militants. The parents of the victims accused the
police of extrajudicial execution.
13.8, the Public Prosecutor's Office started a legal
action aiming to close down the Istanbul branch of the Human
Rights' Association of Turkey (IHD) on pretext that during a meeting
organized by the IHD on December 6, 1992, some speakers had made
separatist propaganda and praised the PKK.
13.8, in Gaziantep, Ahmet Elinc (27) was
assassinated by unidentified people.
14.8, in Ergani, peasant Halil Keser was shot dead
by unidentified gunmen.
14.8, a musical and cultural festival organized in
memory of the 37 victims of the Sivas Massacre was forbidden by the
16.8, in Ordu, the special security teams shot dead
two militants of the Workers'-Peasants’ Liberation Army of Turkey
17.8, in two different PKK cases, the Istanbul SSC
sentenced seven defendants to different prison terms of up to 22 years
and 6 months.
17.8, unidentified gunmen shot dead Hayrettin Celik
and Vasfettin Celik in Batman.
18.8, in Ankara, Ihsan Ertas and Gaffar Karaman
claimed that they had been tortured at the Political Police
Headquarters during their interrogations in July.
18.8, unidentified gunmen assassinated postman
Mehmet Sevim in Batman and worker Celal Konat in Diyarbakir.
19.8, in Diyarbakir, a 2-year old child perished at
a bomb explosion and eight people wounded.
19.8, two local DEP officials, Mehmet Yesil in
Batman and Musa Ak in Diyarbakir, were assassinated by unidentified
20.8, in Izmir, a meeting organized by DEP on the
friendship of peoples was banned by the Governor.
20.8, security forces detained six alleged PKK
militants in Manavgat.
20.8, the Istanbul SSC sentenced six members of the
Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP) to 15-year imprisonment
21.8, in Söke (Aydin), 27-year old Baki Erdogan was
killed under torture during his interrogation at a police
station. Erdogan had been detained on August 10 together with 11
other people on charges of having take part in Dev-Sol activities.
23.8, in Istanbul, Mustafa Akdag was brutally beaten
and menaced with killing by a police team. The victim complained
the policemen to the Prosecutor's Office.
24.8, in Adana, the headman of the Daglioglu
Quarter, Naci Gültekin, was hospitalized as a result of being tortured
at a police station. Besides, a 18-year old young woman, Ruken Seker
said that she had been tortured and sexually harassed during her
five-day police detention.
24.8, unidentified gunmen shot dead Mehmet Celik and
Ebedin Günes in Diyarbakir and Mahmut Dogan in Tunceli.
25.8, the Peace Festival organized human rights
associations in Batman for August 27, 28 and 29 was banned by the
Governor on pretext that it might be used as an occasion for PKK
26.8, in Silvan, unidentified gunmen shot dead Vahit
Demir and Yusuf Karaüzüm and wounded three other persons. Karaüzüm was
a distributor of the daily Özgür Gündem in the town. During the funeral
of the victims, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a group of women and
shot dead Menaf Günes. In another attempt on the same day, electrician
Ilhami Solmaz lost his life.
27.8, in Batman, van driver Celal Acil was
assassinated by unidentified people.
27.8, in Istanbul, Mehmet Dolmaci claimed that he
had been beaten and wounded by a policeman for a personal matter.
28.8, the trial of 16 alleged PKK members began at
the Istanbul SSC. Two of the defendants, Mahmut Baran and Ali Besenk
declared at trial that they had been tortured for two weeks during
their police interrogation.
28.8, a meeting for peace organized in Urfa by DEP
was reported for two months by the Governor. Same day, another meeting
by DEP in Adana for September 1st was banned by the Governor.
28.8, unidentified gunmen assassinated electrician
Ibrahim Hakki Baykara in Diyarbakir and tradesman Hasan Yilmaz in
29.8, in Kiziltepe (Mardin), grocer Übeydullah Eren
and his two children, Yilmaz and Ferhat, were killed with the explosion
of a bomb placed in their house.
30.8, in Yerköy (Yozgat), 39 year old Osman Sarac
claimed that he had been tortured for 24 hours after his detention by
police. The traces of torture were certified by a medical report.
30.8, a festival for peace and fraternity organized
in Diyarbakir for September 3-4 by human rights organizations was
banned by the Governor on pretext that such a festival could lead to
31.8, the Ankara SSC sentenced Dev-Sol member Erol
Özpolat to capital punishment and two other defendants to imprisonment
of up to 15 years.
PERSECUTION OF THE MEDIA IN AUGUST
2.8, two Istanbul correspondents of the review
Mücadele, Savas Karakurum and Zeynep Arikan Gülbag were wounded by an
2.8, Tatvan representative of the weekly Azadi,
Besir Gündem was taken into police custody.
3.8, weekly Gercek N°16 and monthly Hedef N°21 were
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC in virtue of Anti-Terror Law.
3.8, the prosecutor of the Istanbul SSC opened a
legal proceeding against two journalists of the daily Aydinlik and
asked for one-month ban on the daily's publication. Responsible editor
Hale Soysü faces a prison term of up to six months and publisher Mehmet
Sabuncu fines for a news about the PKK.
5.8, a photo exhibition on the Sivas Massacre in
Ankara was banned by the governor.
8.8, weekly Azadi N° 65 and fortnightly Emegin
Bayragi N°96 were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC by virtue of
9.8, Bitlis correspondent of the daily Özgür Gündem,
Ferhat Tepe, who had been kidnapped by unidentified people on July 28
was found dead in Sivrice (Elazig). Medical experts certified some
traces of torture and beating on Tepe's body. So, the number of the
journalists assassinated in last two years reached to 17. Tepe's
funeral ceremony was attended by more than 2,000 people in Bitlis and
local tradesmen shut their shops in protest against the assassination.
10.8, monthly Iscinin Yolu N° 14 was confiscated by
the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
11.8, in Adana, a demonstration in protest against
journalist Ferhat Tepe's assassination was prevented by police and
seven journalists, Haci Cetinkaya, Asiye Sürücü, Halil Isik, Arslan
Saric, Songül Genc, Bülent Türkmen and Cagatay Yödek, were taken
into custody as they were attempting to place a black wreath in front
of the Governor's office. Similar protest actions took place in Ankara,
Izmir, Istanbul and Diyarbakir as well.
12.8, the owner of the publishing house Honca,
Haydar Uc was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 20 months in
prison and TL 166,000 in fine for having published last year a book
entitled The Logic of the Revolution and the Question of Power.
The said book had already been confiscated by the same court.
12.8, in Kusadasi (Aydin), 21 people were put under
arrest by a tribunal for having shouted some political slogans during a
music festival in the town.
13.8, the Istanbul SSC confiscated a book entitled
Major Differences between The Bourgeois Unionism and The Class
Unionism, written by Ünal Erdem. The court also ordered the
confiscation of the machines of the Gül Printing House where the book
was printed. The owner of the Varyos Publishing House who published the
book faces a prison term of up to five years by virtue of Article 8 of
the Anti-terror Law.
16.8, Professor Fikret Baskaya was sentenced by the
Istanbul SSC to 20 months in prison and TL 41,666,000 ($ 4,167) in fine
for his book entitled Bankrupt of the Paradigm - Introduction to the
Criticism of the Official Ideology.
The owner of the Doz Publishing House, Selim Okcuoglu too was sentenced
to 5-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 41 Million.
17.8, two Urfa correspondents of Özgür Gündem,
Kemal Avci and Ercan Aslan were taken into custody in Adiyaman to where
they had gone for a reportage.
18.8, Dogubeyazit correspondent of Özgür
Gündem, Ahmet Icge was placed under arrest together with local
DEP chairman Halit Kasimoglu and eight other people.
19.8, Cizre correspondent of Özgür Gündem,
Salih Tekin was detained by police which had been forcing him for last
three days to leave the city.
22.8, monthly Özgür Halk N° 34 and weekly Mücadele
N° 58 were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda
and praising an outlawed organization.
22.8, the local office of the Contemporary
Journalists' Association (CGD) in Bursa was destroyed with the
explosion of a bomb placed in by unidentified persons.
22.8, a concert organized in Hatay for raising
financial support to the daily Aydinlik was banned by the Governor.
24.8, journalist Yalcin Kücük was tried by the
Ankara SSC for his recent book entitled Talks in the Kurdish Garden
containing his interviews with PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. The
prosecutor demands imprisonment of up to five years as well for Kücük
as for the publisher of the book, Hikmet Kocak.
27.8, the monthly review of the Human Rights'
Association (IHD), Human Rights Bulletin, was confiscated by the Ankara
SSC for containing Ismail Besikci's article entitled "Human-Moral
Values". Besides, the SSC Prosecutor started a legal action
against the IHD Secretary General Hüsnü Öndül and Besikci by virtue of
Article 8 of the ATL.
30.8, the former responsible editor of the monthly
Emek, Tuncay Atmaca was imprisoned in Izmir for purging his penalty.
Atmaca had been sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 30 months in prison
and TL 83 Million ($8,300) in fine for some articles in the review.
30.8, monthly Direnis N°21 and the last issue of the
bi-monthly Media-Cat were confiscated by tribunals, the first for
separatist propaganda and the second for obscene publication.
30.8, a series of cultural demonstrations entitled
Democracy and Humour organized by the Municipality of Torbali in Izmir
were banned by the governor because Aziz Nesin was among the invited
31.8, the former responsible editor of the monthly
Hedef, Elanur Kaya was imprisoned in Istanbul for purging his penalty.
The journalist had been sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to five months in
prison and TL 44 Million ($4,400) in fine by virtue of the Anti-terror
31.8, the Ankara SSC sentenced Asli Yalcinoglu,
publisher and chief editor of the review Berhem, to two years in prison
and TL 200,000 in fine for some articles in the review and a book
entitled The Ballads of Dersim that he published. The tribunal later
commuted prison term into a fine of TL 3,850,000 ($ 385). Berhem will
soon be tried by the same tribunal for another accusation liable to a
prison term of up to five years.
31.8, Newroz Atesi N°12 and Devrimci Cözüm N°6 were
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda and praising
an outlawed organization.
TURKISH FAILURE IN TURKIC REPUBLICS
When the Soviet Union collapsed and the Turkic
origin Central Asian republics and Azerbaijan became independent, the
Ankara rulers rose to the occasion and presented Turkey as their “big
brother.” As it shared common cultural links with the “Turkic”
republics, the United States and many European partners believed that
Turkey could play an important role to switch these republics to a
western-style democratic system and a free market economy, without
taking into consideration Turkey’s awful record of human rights and
tremendous economic problems.
When the DYP-SHP Coalition came to power in late
1991, a long list of Turkish delegations started touring the Turkic
republics by making unrealisable promises in economic cooperation.
President Özal and Premier Demirel promptly declared the Turkish world
now spanned from the coasts of the Adriatic Sea to the Great Wall of
Encouraged by the government, the neo-fascist Gray
Wolves movement of Turkey openly interfered in the domestic policy of
these countries in a move to gather all these countries under the flag
of the 3-continent Turkish Empire: Turan.
Many Grey Wolves and former army officers were placed in the
administrations of Azerbaijan, Türkmenistan, Uzbekistan and
Kyrgyzistan. Grey Wolves leader Alparslan Türkes personally
participated in the electoral campaign of former Azeri president
Elcibey as Demirel was visiting this country.
A series of ceremonies were organized in Turkey with
the participation of the leaders or representatives of these countries
for raising the banner of the grand Turkish union from the Adriatic Sea
to the Great Wall of China.
But while Turkish rulers were busy in this way
trying to create a myth, they were doing hardly anything constructive
to actually set up the democratic and economic infrastructure that was
seriously lacking in these countries. So what began as a grand union of
the Turkic republics started dying down in two years, and all these
countries moved back speedily to the Russian sphere of influence.
The fall of Azeri President Elcibey, most ardent
partisan of the Turkic Union, and Azerbaijan’s adhesion to the
Community of Independent States has been the coup de grace to the myth
of grand Turkish empire.
Ultra-nationalist and expansionist circles of Turkey
are now taking revenge of this fiasco by mobilizing all their forces
and possibilities to crush the Kurdish national movement in the country
and to reinforce their rule, that they could not extended to Turkic
republics, in the Turkish Kurdistan.