PERSECUTION AND ARREST OF KURDISH LEADERS
As the general offensive against Kurdish guerrilla
and Kurdish villages was being carried on by the Turkish Army, legal
pro-Kurdish organizations such as DEP pro-Kurdish publications
too underwent an unprecedented persecution. Besides, many distinguished
figures of the Kurdish people fell victims of the anti-Kurdish hysteria
organized or provoked by the State forces.
1. Former HEP Chairman and currently Deputy Speaker
of Parliament Fehmi Isiklar was stripped of his parliamentary seat and
immunity by the decision of the Constitutional Court on August 19, on
grounds that his declarations as party leader on the Kurdish Question
led to the dissolution of the HEP.
2. Mardin deputy for the DEP Mehmet Sincar was
killed in the eastern refinery city of Batman on September 4. Along
with him, local DEP official Mehmet Özdemir too was killed and
DEP deputy Nizamettin Toguç wounded.
3. The attack on Sincar and his colleagues was
followed in next day by an assassination attempt on DEP deputy Mrs.
Leyla Zana and her comrades.
4. DEP Chairman Yasar Kaya who is also owner of the
pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem was arrested on September 15 for a
speech he made at a meeting of Iraqi Kurds.
All these repressive acts by the Government or
pro-government forces lead without any doubt to the rise of tension and
Turkey rapidly falls into polarization trap.
The Turkish Daily News editor Ismet Imset who is
very often accused by the pro-PKK journalists of defending the Turkish
State’s interests, in September 23 issue of the daily, resumes
the recent events and draws attention to this dangerous polarization in
Rise of tension and polarization
Turkey's Kurdish-based Democracy Party (DEP), which
has come under fire from all fronts, is debating now whether to stay in
the Turkish parliament with its 17 deputies or to completely withdraw.
Since the Oct.20, 1991 general elections, which put
the DYP-SHP coalition into power, 54 Kurdish politicians and activists
have been killed in Turkey. At least 15 journalists writing on the
Kurdish issue or filing on human rights have also been assassinated.
A temporary cease-fire declared by the PKK last
March curbed some of the killings, but with both sides back to war, a
ruthless assassination campaign has once again gone underway.
The 54th victim was DEP Mardin deputy Mehmet Sincar.
As if to legitimize this attack, an Istanbul newspaper was immediately
leaked a document said to be Toguç's diary, through an official body,
given the duty of psychological warfare against the PKK. The diary had
notes on Toguç's earlier meeting with PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, thus
supposedly proving to the Turks that he deserved to die.
This attack was followed in next day by an
assassination attempt on DEP's most outspoken deputy, Leyla Zana, the
wife of Diyarbakir's former mayor— and well-known Kurdish
But these were not the sole "attacks" on Turkey's
one-and-only pro-Kurdish party.
In fact, the founding of DEP itself came as the
result of attacks of a different nature.
The Peoples' Labor Party (HEP), which it succeeded,
was closed down this year and its chairman of two years ago, Fehmi
Isiklar, was stripped of his parliamentary seat and immunity. The
Constitutional Court decision was so controversial that even
Parliamentary Speaker Hüsamettin Cindoruk was shocked. Although Isiklar
was the founder of HEP and its first chairman, he had long switched
sides and was with the coalition partner the Social Democrat People’s
Party (SHP). Furthermore, he was the deputy speaker of Turkish
Isiklar's verdict only showed how much tolerance
there was in Turkey to the freedom of expression, especially when it
comes to expressing Kurdish rights.
And, as if these were not enough, last week a State
Security Court in Istanbul opened 11 cases against the pro-Kurdish
Özgür Gündem newspaper owned by DEP chairman Yasar Kaya.
This move, to close down Özgür Gündem once and for
all, coincided with the arrest of Kaya by the Ankara State Security
Everything has been developing over the past two
years as if to suffocate the legal Kurdish movement altogether, and to
force it underground, and then eliminate it together with the illegal
forces of the Kurds.
Almost as if there is a master-plan.
From the press:
HEP deputies were psychically attacked by other
deputies in Parliament... Police in Izmir demonstrate and shout
“Death to the Kurds!”... Leyla Zana threatened with death by military
officer... MP Mehmet Sincar killed, Toguç wounded... Özgür Gündem
announces 54 DEP activists assassinated... 15th Kurdish journalist
shot... HEP closed down... Isiklar stripped of immunity, out of
parliament... Court demands closure of Özgür Gündem... Yasar Kaya under
Like a film strip, one can list so many developments
against the HEP/DEP in the past two years that it is normal to wonder
how the legal pro-Kurdish movement has managed to survive so far.
In the words of Kurdish activists and their journal
Özgür Gündem, "the DEP is cornered" and there is a systematic campaign
to end its existence in Turkey.
In the words of many Turks angered by PKK attacks
constantly claiming new lives in the east and south-eastern parts of
the country, such deputies do not deserve to have a place in
And the tension is rising by the day...
According to one observer of the Southeast conflict,
which the Turkish government (and military) still refuse to recognize
as the Kurdish problem, both Ankara and pro-Kurdish movements in this
country are heading now for a final showdown.
If the scenario is stretched and ear is given to
claims that a clandestine yet well-organized official force may
actually be drawing a new "Kurdish policy" in Turkey, a bizarre
scenario comes to the surface. One which is based not on social harmony
but on complete alienation.
There are so many mistaken policies put into
practice in the Southeast, policies that are in fact prompting new
recruitments for the guerrillas, that it is difficult to believe such
"mistakes" can be committed without a cause.
For months, Turkish Probe [a weekly in English] has
brought to light many drawbacks of Turkey's Southeast campaign;
behaviour of the police special crack teams, the forceful evacuation of
villages, village burnings, human rights violations, failure to
differentiate between militants and the innocent population, operations
inflicting harm on villagers and etc.
Each and every practice listed, since the PKK
started its armed campaign in 1984, has served nothing more but to
alienate the local people from the state, to recruit new militants for
the organization and to strengthen the PKK—not weaken it. Every year,
following one anti-PKK campaign after another, officials have boasted
success. Every year promises have been made to bring an end the PKK
once and for all. And, every year, the PKK has received military blows
but appeared on the scene as a stronger force.
The Chief of General Staff Gen. Dogan Güres has been
saying the same thing over the past months. Last year, the PKK was to
be crushed by the end of the winter. After winter, the PKK was to be
crushed this summer. Later the "deadline" was revised to autumn and it
is now "at the end of next winter."
One major difference over the past two years,
however, is that along with promises of success, there has been a
serious alienation of the people.
On the one hand, there appears to be a systematic
campaign against pro-Kurdish formations on the legal platform. On the
other, the alienation of the people. When the two come together, it is
like gunpowder and a flame.
Tension is rising.
And, it is becoming more and more difficult to
believe that everything is a coincidence or that the great power
circles behind the anti-PKK campaign do not see into how the campaign
Then what is it?
Could it be that some circles in Turkey, with
interests surpassing those national interests of this country, are
actually seeking a final showdown?
Could it be that they are actually after this
alienation and the policy underway intentionally seeks a social
alienation? Hopefully not. But it is truly difficult to believe that
everyone is so ignorant that no one can see how the campaign is
With each and every village being raided, evacuated
(and sometimes burned down to prevent them from being used again), with
each and every pain inflicted on the local Kurdish people of the
Southeast and with each and every human rights violation, the PKK is
strengthening. Not only is it strengthening politically but it is
gaining new recruits—sometimes en masse. The other side of the coin is
that the "undecided," those people on the fence, are being forced to
make a decision and out of the nature of the official campaign they
observe, end up on the wrong side.
But is it truly the wrong side?
Months ago, during field research in the troubled
region, the most widely heard complaint from local security officials
was that of Ankara's political pressure to "differentiate between the
innocent people and terrorists."
High and low ranking officers alike were saying then
that had the PKK been a phenomenon in a foreign country, things would
be easier. As in the words of one officer, "if we were operating in a
different country, we could then solve the PKK problem in a matter of
months. We would then openly know who the enemy is." Indeed, to know
"the enemy" is one step towards solving the problem but in the backward
Southeast, where the PKK is organizing a Vietcong style resistance and
Turks believe most villagers are part of the militia, it is difficult
to differentiate. It will be difficult—or impossible—to differentiate
between friend and foe if the people remain where they are.
If, by whatever policy, the people in the region who
in one way or the other sympathize with or support the PKK are forced
to make their choice and join the organization, the enemy would start
If through village raids, oppression and forceful
migration those who appear "undecided" but secretly sympathize with the
guerrillas can be forced to go up to the mountains, the enemy will
start taking shade.
And, if the militia (disguised but secretly armed
PKK militants living in urban and rural settlements) are forced to
become part of the mountain units, or rather if the secret ERNK [front
organization of the PKK] front members can be forced to migrate to the
openly armed ARGK [guerrilla force of the PKK], the enemy will take
The scenario can be topped with recent suggestion,
coming from within the armed forces, to use lasting chemical weapons in
Once as many people and militia are forced to openly
join the PKK and to go up to the mountains, the "enemy territory" will
also be determined.
One suggestion is to use lasting chemical gases on
five rows of mountains and end the problem once and for all.
If such a scenario ever came to being, the only
obvious hitch would be the existence of a legal pro-Kurdish movement in
Ankara or an alternative framework for pro-Kurdish activists. The
complete polarization of a mass of people to turn them into "open
enemies" would depend on giving them a single alternative: Moving
underground. Physically meaning to move to the mountains.
And in this scenario, the only hitch is the DEP.
For, as long as legal outlets for the Kurds remain in force, as long as
there is an alternative to armed insurgency, full polarization cannot
Again the "secret enemy" will continue to dwell
"among friends" and again there will be the problem of completing a
full-fledged campaign of destruction.
Thus, if such a plan is to be put into force the DEP
obstacle and others along with it such as the Özgür Gündem and other
"legal" pro-Kurdish formations also have to be removed.
Not perhaps the final solution but liquidation has
worked out successfully in the past two years with the killing of 54
pro-Kurdish politicians and at least 15 journalists, giving again the
same message: Legal pro-Kurdish activities will not be tolerated.
Meanwhile, there have been threats, such as that to
kill Leyla Zana and/or to kidnap and torture to death her daughter.
There have also been court cases launched parallel to the killings and
threats. The HEP has been closed down, the DEP leader is under arrest
and the Özgür Gündem expects closure. The message is that Turkey will
not tolerate anyone or any formation which in any way sympathizes with
separatism. As in the words of President Süleyman Demirel "those who
sympathize with those shedding blood... are killers."
It was three days after these remarks that
unidentified gunmen attacked the DEP deputies in Batman, killed Sincar
as well as another local party official and wounded Toguç. Out of the
lack of a concrete and democratic Kurdish policy, the PKK has expanded
its grassroots and now those who sympathize with it only because they
have not been able to see the state at their side, are killers.
Killers to be killed.
Today, what remains as obstacles in front of a full
alienation of the Kurdish people are being removed, in a way which
causes suspicion that it may be systematic.
The DEP has been "cornered." The Özgür Gündem is
about to be closed down. Those who avoid legal prosecution through
immunity or the lack of concrete evidence are being killed.
The scenario could well be to force the legal
pro-Kurdish movement underground. Complaints of Kurdish MPs enjoying
parliamentary immunity will thus be solved. Complaints that the PKK has
entered the Parliament will no longer be heard and if the DEP truly
decides "to move out of Ankara" as Kurdish activists have put it, many
will be pleased.
A Sept. 9 News Analysis in the Turkish Daily News
had pointed out that the DEP was at the cross-roads and that if it
failed to openly criticise the PKK, it would lose credibility as well
as its mission to bridge relations between the Turkish and Kurdish
On Sept. 19, a man using the code-name of Seyit Ciya
lashed out at the article in a critic of the Turkish language book
"PKK" and said it sounded like statements made by Prime Minister Ciller
or Gen. Gures.
According to him, "PKK terror" cannot be condemned.
According to many people in his ranks, not even the DEP should stay in
If the campaign launched against pro-Kurdish
activities aimed at alienating the people and forcing the DEP out of
parliament, it is now succeeding.
The PKK, itself under the influence of many
hard-liners which affect the leadership's position, suspects the DEP is
actually calling on trouble when it stays in the parliament.
Last week, ERNK European Representative Kani Yilmaz
held a press conference and appealed to the DEP "to withdraw from
Ankara." Later, an editorial believed to have been written by a senior
PKK commander in Özgür Gündem said "there is no way for the DEP to
remain in parliament. It should return to the people and be with the
people. It will be protected by the people." At least one flank in the
organization is pressing the DEP (and its south-eastern electorate)
from a complete withdrawal which would mean the end of free pro-Kurdish
legal activity in Turkey.
And, at least one flank in the PKK is pressing the
DEP to join their armed struggle.
"After these attacks," DEP leader Yasar Kaya said
before being hauled into prison last week "we have decided not to
repeat our appeal for peace."
Within the DEP, there are staunch PKK supporters as
well as those who believe (or used to believe) in moderate legal
activities. The latter group is rapidly losing ground, about to end up
without any local support.
Last March, when the PKK cease-fire was on, a very
senior Turkish official had told a mediator that they were waiting for
the Turkish people—his party's electoral grassroots—to support reforms
on behalf of the Kurds.
"If they support such reforms, they will push us. If
they push us, we can get the reforms through,” he had said. In other
words, this was an open reflection that the administration had fallen
behind the people and was acting according to what the people wanted.
What difference is there with the DEP?
The DEP deputies were elected to Parliament
according to the Election Law with all of their rights under a
Whether others like it or not, they represent the
people as much as those from other parties. Perhaps, their
representation in the popular sense is even stronger. But this also
means that the DEP—like the government—is acting according to its own
electorate which, obviously, is pro-PKK. Thus the DEP appears to be on
its way out of the parliamentary body.
Once this happens, along with all other developments
in the Southeast, another big step will have been taken towards the
Today, many scenarios can be conjured up for what is
truly going on in the troubled region. The only fact to be seen is that
tension is rising not only in that region but throughout Turkey.
Everything started with what looked like innocent
demonstrations in larger cities, while Ismet Sezgin was Turkey s
Interior Minister. First, organized crowds appeared outside of
buildings raided by the police and as alleged extreme leftists were
killed inside, waved Turkish flags singing national anthems. Human
rights activists claimed there were plain clothes policemen among the
Later, as each and every body of a soldier or
security officer returned to their hometowns, masses gathered in the
street shouting pro-Turkish slogans, waving Turkish flags and singing
the national anthem.
Soon, the nature of slogans changed. Instead of
targeting only the PKK, they started to target the Kurds in general and
specifically Kurdish MPs in parliament. "Death to the PKK in
parliament," shouted hundreds of people the previous week. Last year in
Istanbul, Izmir and Adana, masses of people and policemen were shouting
that their city would be "a graveyard for the Kurds" and so on.
"What I fear is that our own grassroots are becoming
more and more racist," was how Cemil Bayik, the PKK's Military Council
leader recently put it.
"It is obvious that those who join us, the
grassroots of the PKK, are very much different than the political
leadership. I have to accept there are those who hate the Turks
altogether." Most of the racist trend among the Turks comes, as Demirel
recently pointed out, from the martyred soldiers and policemen sent
back to their homes in coffins.
Most of the racist trend within the PKK comes from
either cadres who have spent many torturous years in prison or very
young people. People for whom Turkey or a Turk is nothing more than a
gendarmerie soldier searching his village or someone who has been
involved in a rights violation.
The tension is rising
In southern, western and central Turkey Turkish
businessmen have already started to organize to fire Kurdish labor at
the cost of replacing it with the more expensive Turkish one. In
several summer resorts, groups of youth are strolling the streets
checking whether pedestrians are Kurdish or not. During Sincar's recent
funeral in Ankara, the first recorded incident of racial discrimination
was spotted with policemen holding the entrance of specific streets and
looking at the IDs of citizens to see where they were born. And, there
are plenty of more examples.
The most striking development, coming at a time of
immense popular polarization was recorded in Sivas very recently. The
same Sivas where angered mobs of Sunni activists burned to death 37
Alawis. Now there is a systematic campaign there by security forces to
arm Turkish-Sunni villages.
According to Ciller and Demirel, everyone has the
right to protect themselves and this is natural. But this too, is
another interjection of polarization.
On one hand the Turks and Kurds. On the other,
Turkey's Alawis and Sunnis. According to unofficial estimates, there
are about 20 million Alawis in Turkey constituting one-third of the
whole population. There are also about 12-15 million Kurds. In Istanbul
alone, the two-thirds of the daytime city population is said to be made
up of Alawi and Kurds. Some believe this is 'the secret enemy."
Enmity is spreading now and spreading very fast.
Within the Kurdish movement, it appears that inclined to act according
to its grassroots, the PKK is also boosting polarization. Perhaps the
alienation which has started is attractive for the organization.
Perhaps it is aware that in the long run, such a polarization is
Will Turkey ever use chemical weapons? Possibly not.
Possibly these suggestions will only be regarded as the ideas of madmen
people inefficient to hold their current positions.
But a massive military crackdown in the Southeast
appears to be unavoidable for the future—specially when it comes out
that the promises of this year, like those before, cannot be fulfilled.
And that the PKK is still alive by next Spring.
Until then, the plan may well be, to create a
concrete enemy and this is where the threat lies. Unknown is the real
power behind such scenarios...
TOWARDS AN ALL-OUT WAR
As the warmonger declarations and decisions of the
Demirel-Ciller duo and their militarist allies were driving Turkey
towards an all-out war, PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan vowed to step up his
fight against the Turkish Army.
Speaking to foreign journalists in Lebanon on
September 29, Öcalan said: “The war has reached the point of no return.
There is genocide going on. The Turkish chief of staff said they
will wipe us out by next March but they cannot. We are opposing this
policy with tremendous resistance.”
In March 1994, Turkey is scheduled to hold local
elections which Kurdish activists see as an opportunity to turn them
into a self-styled referendum. The military and hard-liner
parliamentarians want the elections to be called off on grounds of
security. Gen. Güres recently told journalists that, if the PKK would
not be crushed by next Spring, Martial Law would be imposed.
Prime Minister Ciller has fully resolved on a
military solution to the crisis and has given over all authority to the
army. General Güres’s term in office was recently extended by one year
under a special government decree. Although the Constitutional Court
ruled against the law giving the government authority to issue such
decrees, the decree related to Güres remains in effect because it has
been in effect for 60 days which is the legal deadline for any petition
to be submitted against it.
Since the PKK’s armed campaign started in 1984 in
retaliation to the national oppression, more than 7,200 people have
died. But the situation has been deteriorating rapidly as of early
1993, when Ankara turned it back on all suggestions for democratic
reforms for the Kurds and sought a military solution. More than 1,600
people have been killed in east and southeast Turkey since May 24 when
Öcalan called off a two-month unilateral cease-fire which Ankara also
“We will take harsher measures. In one day 50 people
could die. We have no choice because they are destroying Kurdistan,”
He also accused the Turkish Army of genocide and of
using napalm and chemical weapons against Kurdish villagers in
mountains near Mount Agri (Ararat).
Main opposition ANAP’s leader Mesut Yilmaz too
referred to Agri province the same day and said that following a PKK
attack on September 26 tanks in the Dogubeyazit town of Agri opened
fire on the settlement and destroyed the house of former Health
Minister and ANAP deputy Yasar Eryilmaz.
Military officers announced that a new operation,
with additional 50,000 troops joining the deployed force of about
140,000, is expected to begin in early October.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTIONS ON KURDS
The European Parliament, at its session of September
16, 1993, adopted the following resolution on the situation of the
Kurds in Turkey:
“The European Parliament,
“A. condemning the assassination of Mr. Mehmet
Sincar, a Kurdish MP belonging to the Democratic Party (DEP, formerly
HEP), and another member of the party in Batman (Turkish Kurdistan) on
4 September 1993.
“B. whereas Mr. Sincar was a member of a group of
local MPs investigating political violence in Batman (more than 300
dead over the last few years),
“C. whereas the Turkish military forces and their
associates are widely suspected of involvement in this incident,
“D. whereas Mr. Sincar is one of the victims in a
long series of unsolved political assassinations,
“E. having regard to the increasing number of people
killed by armed forces in south-eastern Turkey,
“F. having regard to the increasing number of cases
in which meetings have been banned and restrictions imposed on the
freedom of the press and freedom of opinion by the confiscation and
banning of newspapers and magazines giving a true picture of the
situation in south-eastern Turkey,
“G. whereas respect for the most basic human rights,
as defined by the European Convention for the Protection of Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, is an essential precondition for
accession to the European Community by any country,
“H. having regard to its previous resolutions on the
Kurds in Turkey,
“1. Deplores the death of the two DEP officials;
“2. Demands that light be shed on these
assassinations and all others which remain unsolved and that the guilty
parties be brought to justice;
“3. Condemns all forms of violence and especially
terrorist acts committed by the PKK;
“4. Calls on the Turkish authorities to put an end
to the state of emergency obtaining in the provinces with Kurdish
majorities and to guarantee respect for human rights in the region;
“5. Calls on the Commission, the Council and the
Member States to avail themselves of every opportunity to persuade
Turkey to initiate a political dialogue with the Kurds living in Turkey;
“6. Instructs its President to forward this
resolution to the Commission, the Council, EPC and the governments of
the Member States and Turkey.”
The European Parliament also adopted the following
resolution on kidnappings by the PKK:
“The European Parliament,
“A. shocked by all the kidnappings of travellers and
notably these of citizens of Member States of the Community, by the PKK
in Eastern Turkey,
“B. insisting on the common interest and duty of the
EC and its Members States to resist blackmail by terrorists,
“C. recalling its resolutions on the problem of the
Kurdish minority in Turkey,
“1. Condemns the kidnapping of people who do not
even have anything to do with the conflict between the Turkish
Government and the PKK;
“2. Points out that these outrages can only reduce
public sympathy for the Kurds in Member States;
“3. Instructs its President to forward this
resolution to the Commission, the Council, EPC, the Government of
Turkey and the PKK office in Brussels.”
EC PRESIDENT’S RESPONSE ON KURDS
To a question tabled by Senator Kuijpers on the ban
of the People’s Labour Party (HEP), Belgian Foreign Minister and
President of the EC Council of Minister Willy Claes gave on September
3, 1993, the following answer:
“The HEP was founded in June 1990 and joined by
parliamentarians who had been excluded from the Social Democrat
Populist Party (SHP) for having participated in a Kurdish congress in
Paris in 1989.
“In July 1992, the Court of Cassation started before
the Constitutional Court an action for the dissolution of the HEP
because of the declarations made at this party’s congress. On July 14,
1993, the Constitutional Court, by a judgement, ordered the dissolution
of the HEP for separatism. HEP parliamentarians had founded the DEP
(Democracy Party) prior to the issue of this judgement.
“The Constitutional Court informed the Parliament
that, after the dissolution of the HEP and in application of Article 84
of the Constitution, Mr. Isiklar, chairman of the HEP, was deprived of
his parliamentary mandate. Mr. Isiklar is pursued in justice for
“It is in fact doubtful to have dissolve a political
party which is committed to the Kurdish interests. Although this was
made by a judgement of the Constitutional Court and on the basis of the
Constitution, the latter is in part a heritage of the 1980 military
coup. Parliament and government circles have their own doubts as
regards the judgment in question. My Turkish colleague himself declared
that Turkey faces the risk of losing the good will of the international
community. Already, HEP members have been assassinated.
“It seems so that the Turkish Government has
difficulties to go away from centralist and unitarist traditions. On
the other hand, one can only disapprove the methods of the PKK.
“Jointly with my partners of the Community and on
the bilateral plan, I have always called on my Turkish counterparts to
resort to dialogue for bringing out a solution which will take into
consideration the Kurdish specificity and satisfy Kurdish aspirations,
including their democratic and cultural rights. Up to now, however,
there has not been a concrete result: not a real dialogue, maybe
because of the lack of a sufficient will. For many months, combats have
been intensified again. Although the new Turkish Prime Minister seemed
conciliatory, they have apparently been committed again to a ‘military
solution,” in response to the ‘total war’ of the PKK.”
EP RESOLUTION ON THE GREEKS OF TURKEY
The European Parliament, at its session of September
16, 1993, adopted the following resolution on the acts of desecration
at the Christian cemetery of Neohorion (Yeniköy) in Istanbul
“The European Parliament,
“A. Alarmed by the acts of desecration at the
Christian cemetery of Neohorion (Yeniköy) in Istanbul,
“B. whereas acts of this kind directly undermine the
tranquillity and security of the Greek Orthodox minority which remained
in Istanbul following the persecutions of 1955,
“C. having regard to its resolution of 18 April 1991
concerning the setting on fire of a bus carrying orthodox believers to
“D. having regard to the relevant provision of the
Treaty of Lausanne, the Paris Charter and of other international
instruments regarding the protection of the rights of minorities in
“1. Calls on the authorities to shed light on these
incidents and to prosecute those responsible and condemns strongly any
act which is the result of religious fanaticism which infringes
fundamental human rights;
“2. Points out that this climate of insecurity and
of flagrant violations of the fundamental rights of minorities
undermines relations between Turkey and the EC;
“3. Calls upon the Turkish authorities to take the
necessary measures for the protection and peaceful existence of the
Greek Orthodox minority and to repair the damage caused by the
desecration of the cemetery;
“4. Requests EPC to appeal to the Turkish Government
to establish the necessary security for the Greek minority of Istanbul
and wishes this matter also to be referred to the EEC-Turkey
“5. Instructs its President to forward this
resolution to the Council, the Commission, EPC, the governments of the
Member States, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and to the
STATE TERRORISM IN SEPTEMBER
1.9, in Bursa, security forces detained 16 DEP
members on charges of aiding the PKK. In Gebze, seven people were put
under arrest by a tribunal for PKK activities.
2.9, in Batman, DEP official Habib Kilic was
assassinated by unidentified gunmen and his brother, Hikmet Kilic, was
seriously wounded. In Siverek (Urfa), Nusret Güngörmez was found shot
2.9, the Chief of the State Hospital in Silvan, Dr.
Zeki Tanrikulu was assassinated by two gunmen as leaving the hospital.
Last year, another doctor of the same hospital, Mehmet Emin Ayhan had
been killed in the same manner.
3.9, in Silvan, Sakir Demirtas was shot dead by
4.9, in Diyarbakir, tradesman Vedat Dayan was
assassinated by unidentified gunmen. Besides, Abdulcabar Ek who had
been kidnapped fifteen days ago was found assassinated on the
5.9, in Istanbul, 20-year old Harun Cetin who has
been in coma since March 15 because of torture at police station died
in a hospital.
5.9, in Mersin, a detainee named Resul Üzer was
hospitalized after having been tortured at police station for five days.
5.9, a victim of torture, Cuma Tepe, who had been
arrested after the 1980 Coup died in an Ankara hospital as a result of
a renal illness. He had not been allowed by the military to have a
medical treatment during his 5-year arrest. Acquitted after five years,
he was operated two years ago, but it was too late to save him.
7.9, in Diyarbakir, waiter Abdullah Coban was
assassinated by unidentified gunmen. In Bitlis, 15-year old shepherd
Seyithan Özcelik who had been kidnapped on August 30 was found killed.
7.9, in Sason (Batman), security forces, raiding the
village of Acar and opening fire on villagers, shot dead Mustafa Ekmen
and wounded four other persons.
10.9, a meeting on the occasion of the 73th
anniversary of the foundation of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP)
was banned by the Istanbul Governor.
10.9, in Diyarbakir, unidentified gunmen stopping a
minibus shot dead Ramazan Deniz and Haydar Aslan and wounded two other
13.9, in Sirnak, security forces raiding the village
of Toptepe shot dead Yusuf Bozkurt, Nesim Akil, Ahmet Duru, Nezir Emek
and Halit Akil.
14.9, a 61-year old imam, Sefik Kaplan, who had been
detained on September 5 during a raid on the village of Oymapinar in
Bitlis reportedly died during his interrogation at a gendarmery post.
14.9, in Bursa, 271 textile workers carrying out a
demonstration in front of their factory in protest against redundancies
were dispersed by police using force. Two female workers were seriously
wounded and 51 others taken into custody.
15.9, in Hazro, peasant Dursun Gülen who had been
shot on September 7 by village protectors died in a Diyarbakir hospital.
15.9, the Izmir SSC sentenced two Dev-Sol members to
life-prison and three others to prison terms of up to 16 years and 8
15.9, in Mersin, imam Talip Yüce was shot dead by
unidentified gunmen and his wife, Meliha Yüce, seriously wounded.
17.9, in Istanbul, police raided a house allegedly
inhabited by Dev-Sol militants and shot dead a young woman named Gönül
Dudu Özcan although she did not show any armed resistance. Besides,
police announced the arrest of four people during recent operations.
The attorney of one of the detainees said that his patient Muzaffer
Öztürk, who had already been imprisoned for eleven years, was subjected
to torture after his detention, by beating and tearing off his hairs
18.9, in Diyarbakir, a local DEP official, Abbas
Demiroglu , Ali Ceylan and Selahattin Gencol were assassinated by
19.9, in Karakocan (Elazig), a high school student,
Özlem Yildirim was wounded by police shooting from an armoured vehicle
without any reason. The young girl was hospitalized and her right leg
was cut off.
19.9, police announced the arrest of 18 alleged
Dev-Sol militants in Istanbul. Among them is also lawyer Fethiye Peksen
who has been defence attorney of many political detainees.
20.9, in Batman, Yusuf Üzümcü was shot dead by
unidentified gunmen opening fire from a motorcycle.
20.9, the Diyarbakir SSC issued a warrant of arrest
against 24 people who are mainly representatives of human rights
organizations, trade unions and publications. They are indicted for a
joint communique published on May 27, 1993, against human rights
20.9, the trial of the Secretary General of the
Communist Labour Party of Turkey (TKEP), Teslim Töre, and 12 other
party officials began at the Istanbul SSC. Töre and four other party
officials face capital punishment and seven others different prison
terms of up to 15 years. They are tried under arrest.
20.9, in Diyarbakir, teacher Ahmet Arcagök and a
11-year old passer-by were assassinated by unidentified gunmen.
21.9, an auto-park guard, Hamza Aksu (57) and four
youths, Hasan Simsek, Ayhan Tusan, Oktay Akyol and Ismail Vuruskan
applied to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) with the claim
that they had been detained by police without any reason on September
17 and subjected to torture at police station.
21.9, in Diyarbakir, teacher Ali Sahap Salik was
assassinated in high-school by an unidentified gunman.
22.9, in Cemisgezek (Tunceli), tents of peasants on
the Munzur Mountain were bombed by aircrafts. 18-year old Yeter Güler
was killed, seven people wounded.
23.9, the lawyers of political prisoners in the Buca
Prison of Izmir accused the prison administration to subject inmates to
inhuman conditions and ill-treatment. At the Elazig Prison Type-E, the
hunger strike of political prisoners entered its 90th day.
23.9, the Association for Rights and Freedoms
(Özgür-Der) in Konya was closed down by the order of the Governor on
pretext that the association carried out activities incompatible with
its objectives. During the closing, police detained five people in the
23.9, in Diyarbakir, tradesmen Kudbettin Akbal and
Hamit Ülgen were assassinated by unidentified gunmen. In Nusaybin,
pharmacist Abdülkadir Bayrak fell victim of an armed attack.
23.9, in Dogubeyazit (Agri), student Mehmet Konyar
who had been kidnapped was found killed.
24.9, in Batman, Sabri Özdemir was shot dead by
25.9, tradesman Ihsan Günes was shot dead in batman.
26.9, in Midyat, Kadir Elmas was assassinated in an
27.9, the Human Rights Association (IHD), in a
complaint to the Prosecutor’s office, accused superintendent Rasim Gül
of systematically harassing young women working in night clubs.
27.9, security forced announced the arrest of 30
alleged Dev-Sol militants during the operations in Adana, Mersin and
Hatay. In Aralik (Igdir), more than 500 peasants were reportedly
detained at 3-day operations in ten villages.
27.9, unidentified gunmen assassinated Mehmet Salih
Cakir and Mehmet Ali Kizmaz in Batman and Halil Kiraz in Siverek (Urfa).
28.9, at the end of the trial of 20 PKK defendants,
the Izmir SSC sentenced two persons to capital punishment and 10 others
to prison terms of up to 18 years and 9 months.
28.9, unidentified gunmen assassinated Ahmet Öner in
Bagivar (Diyarbakir), Sükrü Yavuz and Muhittin Demir in Suruc (Urfa).
29.9, in Malazgirt, Ethem Yükselir claimed that he
had been tortured by gendarmes after being detained on September 26. He
added that he was forced to be an informer.
29.9, the Izmir SSC sentenced a person to capital
punishment for PKK activities and 14 others to prison terms of up to 22
years and six months. Besides, the Kayseri SSC sentenced a PKK
defendant to 12 years and six months in prison.
29.9, in Diyarbakir, businessman Hüseyin Yildirim
was assassinated by unidentified gunmen.
30.9, unidentified gunmen shot dead student
Abdülvahap Pala and Abdülhakim Aktürk in Diyarbakir and two tradesmen,
Sükrü Tekince and Mehmeddin Zeki Tuncer in Batman.
PRESSURES ON ÖZGÜR GÜNDEM
The publisher of the daily Özgür Gündem, Yasar Kaya
who is also the chairman of the Democracy Party (DEP), is in prison
since September 15. He is accused for a speech he made while in
neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan.
Besides, Özgür Gündem faces 11 charges and faces
Six of Özgür Gündem’s reporters are under detention,
two of its distributors have been shot.
One Istanbul-based reporter of the daily, Miss Aysel
Malkac has gone “missing” for nearly one and a half months after being
detained by police. In protest against the missing of their colleague,
the journalists of Özgür Gündem carried out a one-month hunger-strike.
AN ATLAS WITHDRAWN FOR KURDISTAN
The daily Hürriyet withdrew on September 11 all
copies of an example print of the Turkish edition of Grosser Weltatlas
after realizing that it contained a region in Turkish territory called
The atlas to be given in a promotion campaign to
readers in return for 40 coupons of the newspaper had been sent to all
newspaper sellers and kiosks.
NO SCHOOL FOR KURDISH DEPUTY’S SON
DEP Sirnak deputy Mahmut Alniak declared on
September 13 that public schools in Ankara refused to accept his son
and he was insulted by school principals in several places.
The Kurdish deputy, trying to register his 16-year
old son Halit Sinan at a Turkish high school, submitted a motion to the
Grand National Assembly asking the Education Minster to explain the
reasons for the discrimination he has faced. “If they had not treated
me as if I were an enemy, there would not have been a problem,” he said.
PERSECUTION OF THE MEDIA IN SEPTEMBER
1.9, the recent issue of Yeni Demokrat Genclik and a
book entitled The Case File 2 containing documents on a Dev-Sol trial
were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for propaganda of outlawed
3.9, a cultural and artistic festival in the town of
Divrigi (Sivas) was banned by the governor.
3.9, the local office of the Komal Publishing House
was raided by police who confiscated about 250 books inside.
6.9, the Istanbul SSC sentenced two journalists of
the weekly Azadi, responsible editor Sedat Karakas to six months in
prison and TL 50 Million ($ 5,000) in fine and publisher Ikramettin
Kaya to TL 100 Million ($10,000) for some articles published on
November 8, 1992. Besides, responsible editor Kamil Ermis and publisher
Hikmet Cetin of the monthly Deng too were sentenced by the same court
to similar penalties.
6.9, the trial of journalist Adil Kurt, responsible
editor of the review Newroz, began at the Istanbul SSC. Under arrest
for two months, Kurt faces a prison term of up to five years for
separatist propaganda. The prosecutor also demands the ban of the
7.9, the Istanbul SSC began to try journalist Mahmut
Metin, responsible editor of Medya Günesi, by virtue of the Anti-Terror
Law. Under arrest for two months, he faces a prison term of up to five
years. The prosecutor also demands the ban of the review's publication.
8.9, Diyarbakir correspondent of the daily Aydinlik,
Ahmet Sümbül, was tried by the Diyarbakir SSC on charges of aiding the
PKK. He had been arrested on July 6 after having made a series of
interviews with PKK militants on the Cudi Mountain. His demand of
release was rejected.
9.9, monthly Taraf N°31 was confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC on charges of publication to instigate sect quarrels.
10.9, the Istanbul SSC sentenced two publishers,
Sirri Öztürk of Sorun Publishing House and Murat Ilyas Burak of Melsa
Publishing House, to five years in prison and TL 41,666,000 ($4,167)
each for publishing Anthology of Prison Poems Between 1980-1990.
12.9, the Batman office of the daily Özgür Gündem
was destroyed with a bomb explosion. Instead of searching the authors,
police took into custody the newspaper's two employees: Mehmet Sah
Yildiz and Vecdet Birkay.
13.9, Cizre correspondent of Özgür Gündem, Salih
Tekin, who had been detained by police on August 22, was put under
arrest by a local tribunal. Tekin said that he had been subjected to
torture during his 22-day police detention. Same day in Van, Özgür
Gündem correspondent Aslan Saraç and his translator Hasan Yildiz were
taken into custody as they were going to have an interview with foreign
parliamentarians visiting the city.
13.9, weekly Azadi N°70 and Mücadele N°62 were
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda and praising
13.9, the Adana office of the review Özgür Halk was
raided by police and eleven people inside were taken into custody.
15.9, Edip Polat, author of the book entitled We
turned the Dawns into Newroz, was put in the Ankara Central Prison to
purge his 2-year imprisonment. In addition to this penalty, Polat had
been sentenced to a fine of TL 50 Million ($5,000) for this book. After
the approval of the sentence by the Court of Cassation, he attempted to
flee the country, but was arrested at the Esenboga Airport of Ankara.
16.9, Adiyaman correspondent of the daily Zaman,
Ragip Ersoy was beaten and wounded by the Director of the Registration
Office as he was carrying out a survey.
16.9, a total of eleven trials against the daily
Özgür Gündem were held at the Istanbul SSC. In seven of these
trials, the prosecutor demands a ban on the newspaper's publication.
17.9, the trial of Özgür Gündem correspondent Seyh
Davud Karadag, under arrest for two months, began at the Istanbul SSC.
Although released at the first trial, Karadag will be tried in four
different cases by virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
19.9, the weekly Azadi N°71 was confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
20.9, the former responsible editor of the defunct
weekly Yeni Ülke, Yusuf Cacim was sentenced by a penal court of Ankara
to three months in prison and TL 2 Million in fine for having insulted
neo-fascist MHP chief Türkes.
20.9, monthly Odak N°24 was confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC by virtue of Anti-Terror Law.
21.9, For a calendar published by the defunct HEP's
Aydin section in 1992, Mehmet Duyar and Ünal Tümer were sentenced by
the Izmir SSC to 20 months in prison and TL 41,666,000 ($4,167) each.
21.9, Izmir correspondent of the monthly Özgür Halk,
Mehmet Bayraktar was sentenced to 10 months in prison and TL 83 Million
($8,300) in fine for a speech he had made at a meeting last year in
22.9, the sentence of journalist-writer Günay Aslan,
author of a book entitled 33 Bullets was approved by the Court of
Cassation. He had been sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in
prison and TL 55 Million ($5,500) by virtue of Article 8 of the ATL.
22.9, monthly Gencligin Sesi N°4 and monthly Genclik
ve Gelecek N°6 were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist
24.9, Istanbul chairman of the Human Rights
Association (IHD) was indicted by the Istanbul SSC Prosecutor for his
two articles published by Özgür Gündem on charges of having insulted
the State and its judicial system.
25.9, the Istanbul SSC confiscated three new books
for separatist propaganda: The Patriotism of Kurdistan and Selected
Works-2 by PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and The Story of A Resurrection
by Yalcin Kücük. The weekly Mücadele N°63 too was confiscated for
26.9, a distributor of Özgür Gündem in Diyarbakir,
Mehmet Balamir was seriously wounded with an axe by unidentified
28.9, a newspaper distributor in Diyarbakir, Zülküf
Akkaya was shot dead by unidentified people for selling Özgür Gündem.
28.9, the Istanbul SSC began to try the owner of the
daily Cumhuriyet, Berin Nadi, and responsible editor Celal Baslangic
for having published an article concerning three policemen accused of
torturing detainees. By virtue of Article 6 of the ATL, both face a
fine of not less than TL 5 Million ($500).
28.9, the last issues of the monthlies Partizan and
Yeni Demokrat Genclik as well as the fortnightly Özgür Gelecek were
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda. The tribunal
also confiscated a book entitled Selected Works-I containing works of
Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, a revolutionary figure killed under torture in 1973.
29.9, in Diyarbakir, a distributor of Özgür Gündem,
Abdülkadir Altan was seriously wounded with an axe by unidentified
assailants. In Yüksekova (Hakkari), the only newspaper kiosk of the
town was destroyed with explosive.
29.9, the Istanbul SSC confiscated two books for
containing propaganda of outlawed organizations: Internal
Correspondences -Internal Conflicts and Political General Strike,
published by the Eksen Publishing House.
29.9, an administrative board member of the
Contemporary Lawyers’ Association (CHD) in Istanbul, attorney Ulutan
Gün was sentenced by the criminal court N°2 of Istanbul to 10 months
for his article published by the weekly Mücadele on charges of having
insulted the judicial system. The responsible editor of the review,
Namik Kemal Cibaroglu too was sentenced to 10 months in prison.
30.9, the former responsible editor of the review
Newroz, Dogan Karakuzu was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to six months
in prison and TL 50 Million ($5,000) for separatist propaganda. The
tribunal also decided to close down the review.
INDEX OF THE 17TH YEAR INFO-TÜRK COLLECTION
November 1992, N°193
• Realpolitik! The EC raised their relations with
Ankara to a higher level for the sake of “regional stability” •
European complicity serves to instability • European Parliament’s
moderate resolution • Army’s terror pointed again at inside of Turkey •
Islamist shock at partial elections • 18 Kurdish deputies on hunger
strike • 18 deputies face capital punishment • State of emergency
extended once again • Judicial reform masquerade • Book-hunting at the
Book Fair • Two journalists assassinated • 6.5 Million magazines
December 1992, N°194
• 1992: Annus Horribilis • On the neo-Nazi terror
against Turks in Germany • Three-month state terrorism • A fine of
$222,250 for a book • “Basic Instinct” repressed • The Army asked suit
against TV • A German reporter arrested • Three-month pressure on the
media • ILO Agreement vetoed by Özal
January 1993, N°195
• 13th Assassination: Diabolic manipulations to
rehabilitate the Army and Kemalism are dragging Turkey to a dangerous
polarization • Hunger strike by Kurdish deputies • Assyrians of Turkey
under menace • State Terrorism in January • Never-ending press trials •
Confiscations and interdictions • Daily Özgür Gündem suspended under
pressures • Perincek sentenced to two years • German journalist
condemned • Sanction for a Lenin badge • Pressure on the media in
January • Pressure on two political exiles • Report on Turkey of the
European Committee for the Prevention of torture and inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment
February 1993, N°196
• The Counter-guerrilla remains untouchable •
Alarming figures of human rights violations in 1992 • Ecevit’s
black-out on Counter-guerrilla • The Military’s version of
Counter-guerrilla • Counter-guerrilla changes name • Counter-guerrilla
and the Hezbollah • Failure in the attempts to counter “Midnight
Express” • ... And the reality of Turkish prisons • A spectacular
prison escape • Encyclopedias war in the Turkish press • Nesin to
publish the Satanic Verses • Proposals for stopping torture in Turkey
March 1993, N°197
• After the Kurdish proposal for a political
solution, the government and army of Turkey are expected to make their
choice: War or peace • Two reports on human rights violations in Turkey
• Helsinki Watch report on the oppression of Kurds • The RSF report on
the murders of journalists • State terrorism in February • The
assassination of 14th journalist in one year • Nazim Hikmet’s
nationality rejected • Largest fine demanded for Besikci • Pressure on
the media in February
April 1993, N°198
• 500 DAYS: The government’s first term of power
ended in failure • Deaths during the 500-day period • The Kurdish
problem and the emergency legislation • Police demonstrations • Torture
• Amended code of criminal procedure (CMUK) @ Prisons • Freedom of
press, thought and conscious • Assassinated journalists • The Kurdish
language • Freedom of organization • Pressure on mass organizations and
political parties • Workers’ rights and trade-unions • Death penalties
• Universities and YÖK
May 1993, N°199
• Süleyman the Maleficent • Özal died, Demirel
became President • Özal and Demirel: the men of the same cause • TKEP
leader arrested • “Excrement” case against Turkey • No to the May Day
holiday • Extrajudicial executions • State terrorism in March-April •
Two journalists killed • British journalist arrested in Turkey • On the
death of a journalist • IFJ Mission to Turkey • PEN Statement at the UN
• US report on human rights in Turkey • Pressures on the media in
March-April • Military orders to universities • Extradition of a
Tunisian activist • Garbage explosion in Istanbul
June 1993, N°200
• An “Iron Lady” for Turkey: Prime Minister Tansu
Ciller • Footsteps of a new genocide in Germany • Ankara again opted
for military solution on the Kurdish Question • Ciller: the wealthiest
prime minister • Ciller’s controversial performance • Comparative
situation of women in Turkey • SHP seeks a new leader • A provocative
decree of amnesty • Perincek faces heavy prison • State terrorism in
May • Alarming rise of Islam fundamentalism • A sheikh ul-Islam in
Germany • A fundamentalist school in Belgium • Discrimination of the
Alevis • Attacks on Aydinlik for Rushdie • Pressure on Armenians and
Assyrians • Ban on private radios • Pressure on the media in May
Ciller and her allies drive Turkey to Civil War •
The pogrom in Sivas foreshadows a war of sects in Turkey • Is Ciller a
U.S. citizen? • A special army of Grey Wolves • Ciller’s anti-worker
campaign • The balance-sheet of the 9-year dirty war • Army’s assault
on Kurdish villages • Anti-Kurd aggressions intensified • HEP closed
down and replaced by DEP • Failure of the 1st Coalition government • A
symposium banned • Abduction of foreign tourists by PKK • AI report on
the terror in Kurdistan • Helsinki Citizens Assembly’s call • Higher
penalty ordered for Perincek • TKEP members face capital punishment • A
British peer detained in Turkey • State terrorism in June-July • Daily
Özgür Gündem target of the “psychological warfare” • Two-month pressure
on the media • New punishments to Ismail Besikci
September 1993, N°203
• Crazy armament of the Turkish Army • Ciller’s new
anti-Kurd plans • PKK warns of new escalation • Helsinki Watch report
on the media • Scandals of corruption • “Military regime should be
tried” • Ciller’s ridiculous lessons to Germans • Olympic fiasco for
“Iron Lady” • Dream of Europalia ‘96 • 30th Year of Turco-EC relations
• New leader but same police in SHP • State terrorism in August •
Persecution of the media in August • Turkish failure in Turkic republics
October 1993, N°204
• Assassination, persecution and arrest of Kurdish
leaders • Towards an all-out war • European Parliament resolutions on
Kurds • EC President’s response on Kurds • EP Resolution on the Greeks
of Turkey • State terrorism in September • Pressures on Özgür Gündem •
An atlas withdrawn for Kurdistan • No school for Kurdish deputy’s son •
Persecution of the media in September