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


18th Year - N°206
December 1993
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Tél: (32-2) 215 35 76 - Fax: (32-2) 215 58 60
 Rédacteur en chef: Dogan Özgüden - Editrice responsable: Inci Tugsavul


    The year 1993 is ending with further human rights violations, a deepening polarization between Turks and Kurds and  an unprecedented escalation of the state of war menacing not only Turkey's future but also the stability in the Middle-East. In fact, the 70th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey has been marked as "The Year of Hawks" because of the militarist choice of Demirel and Ciller governments.
    Associated Press reported on December 21 that the Turkish government has devoted 150,000 soldiers and paramilitary police to fight against the guerrillas. "Turkey, already burdened with nearly $60 billion of debt and 67 percent inflation, is spending about $6.6 billion a year on the war, a figure expected to rise. The economy in the Southeast has been devastated. banks are pulling out, sales of consumers good are down 20 percent and private investment has nearly ceased. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds have moved westward." said the AP report.
    Below are the large extracts of a survey on the situation by Ismet Imset published in The Turkish Daily News of December 17, 1993:
    Despite repeated pledges by the Ankara government of further democratisation, Turkey is giving the West the image that it is rapidly turning into a Latin American style country where assassinations, newspaper raids, arrests of journalists and torture are becoming increasingly wide-spread and systematic. Recent international human rights reports suggest that the coalition government in Ankara has changed its principal policies completely and no longer cares for human rights and freedoms, one of the main items on the coalition's protocol.
    There is no longer talk of abiding by the Paris Charter, transparency and international principles of human rights, while terrorism the Southeast has become instrumental in justifying various violations and a turn to government-approved repression. Recent developments, meanwhile, imply that Turkey is distancing itself from the judicial state structure it aimed to attain and is now witnessing a covert military influence that falls short of being an outright take-over by the country's hard-line commanders. 
    There is no longer any talk of the coalition's main principles such as abiding by the Paris Charter, respecting human rights and freedoms and/or an overwhelming transparency drive. Instead, there has been a vicious campaign of political assassinations committed by Salvadorian style death squads, raids on dissident newspapers, sweeping arrests and systematic torture.
    Developments have proved that the so-called CMUK or Judicial Reform Package which Ankara portrayed to the West as a milestone in rights, is only a window show. Under CMUK, only ordinary criminals; rapists, thieves, burglars and murderers have the privilege of using their human rights, contacting their lawyers after detention and serving less time in police custody. All others who fall into the category of "criminals" to be tried at state security courts — which are remnants of the military tribunals from post coup eras— such as journalists, authors, doctors, lawyers, political activists and so on, share none of these privileges. 
    According to the recent Human Rights Watch report, Turkey has turned into a country where "appalling human rights abuses" can be seen. As claimed in the same report, instead of remaining within the boundaries of law and order, "the government has chosen to deal with its problems by shooting and killing suspected members of extremist groups." 
    Again recently, journalist members of Amnesty International staged a demonstration outside the Turkish Embassy in London to protest the killing of at least 12 journalists in Turkey since the coalition government came to power. 
    According to a report issued by Helsinki Watch in November, even the United Nations Committee Against Torture has had to put in writing its condemnation of "habitual widespread, deliberate and systematic torture in Turkey."  In the year 1992, a total of 16 detainees in police custody died in suspicious circumstances, while in 1993, the figure so far stands at 18. Many of the deaths were described in police reports as resulting from suicide, heart attacks or illness.
    Most of the suffering has been inflicted on pro-Kurdish activists and writers as well as researchers who have concentrated on human rights and the Kurdish question.  Recent polls have shown that 60 percent of Turks believe in the need to launch all-out war on the Kurds. 
    In 1993, there were three most striking developments, all linked to prominent figures who were well into the Kurdish issue. 
    Ugur Mumcu, a prominent Turkish journalist and writer, was killed in a car bomb explosion in January 1993. The killing was immediately attributed to foreign intelligence services and the Iranian secret service surfaced as the main suspect. But the C-5 explosive used to prepare the car bomb was stocked by a number of regional armies and secret services, including those of Turkey.
    The death of Gendarmerie General Esref Bitlis, on the other hand, is still as bizarre a case as it was. Several intelligence officers have claimed publicly that the plane crash which claimed his life was an act of sabotage. Recently, an intelligence operative even appeared on television to describe how a hair-thin pipe had been attached from the fuselage of the plane to its exhaust so it would explode in mid air.
    Four more intelligence operatives, all connected to what appears to be a gendarmerie counter-guerrilla outfit, were abducted and killed. Even Prime Minister Tansu Ciller was forced to say after the incidents that the deaths were part of an "internal accounting." She did not give the names of the state departments who were a party to this "accounting."
    The less prominent targets of unidentified death squads, since the coalition came to power in October  91, have been some 500 civilians in the Southeast — mostly killed by a bullet through the head. Their files have been registered as "unsolved crimes." Among these, 50 pro-Kurdish activists and politicians have also been murdered. Musa Anter, a prominent Kurdish writer, was killed at the age of 74. Mehmet Sincar, a parliamentarian for the Kurdish-based Democracy Party (DEP) was also assassinated. Other Kurdish authors, journalists and politicians have been marked as targets for future assassinations.
    Meanwhile attacks have spread against the pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem newspaper. A number of its journalists have been killed, others have been arrested. Children attempting to sell the paper in the Southeast have been attacked with butchers' knives, beaten and threatened. Aysel Malkac, said to have been detained on Aug. 6, is still reported as "missing." 
    These were the developments up to November. A black mark not only for the Tansu Ciller coalition but for the previous Süleyman Demirel administration as well.  As of the end of November, however, the situation of human rights and democracy appears to have worsened even further with European countries cracking down on Kurdish activists and Ankara taking this as a signal to go ahead with human rights violations in the country.      Instead of concentrating on dealing with the spread of terrorism and violence, Turkey appears to have adopted a military-initiated policy to break the backbone of all opposition. The threat was first worded by senior commanders who declared the first targets of the new campaign would be "the supporters and sympathisers" of the terrorists. For them, anyone who thought differently to the establishment, could fall into that category. 
    And, Ciller accepted the terms. In the past three weeks alone, developments have shown that the situation will get worse and the human rights crisis on Turkey's agenda will deepen. The new targets for Ankara are not the terrorists but writers, authors and politicians: The country's intellectuals. In three weeks, Turkey moved to a position as if to prove that the end of the democratisation era had come.
    Ünsal Öztürk, a publisher in Istanbul, was sentenced to one year's imprisonment and fined TL 100 million for publishing a book by PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.
    Nine British trade unionists were detained and threatened in the Southeast. One claims she was fired on by a police officer.
    The Ankara State Security Court sentenced play writer Numan Baktas to 20 months' imprisonment and fined him TL 208 million for a book on the experience of convicts in Diyarbakir prison in 1982.
    Eleven lawyers were placed under detention in Diyarbakir and Istanbul. 
    Two members of a Turkish pop music band named Grup Yorum, Kemal Sahir Gurel and Elif Sumru, were each sentenced to one year and eight months in prison and fined TL 42 million for ''spreading verbal propaganda aiming to destroy the territorial integrity of the country."
    Two people, Selma Dogan and Erol Yalcin, were killed during a police raid on their house after which the security branded them as terrorists.
    The Istanbul SSC launched a criminal investigation against Professor Dogu Ergil, a lecturer of political sciences in Ankara University, for his written remarks published in a weekly magazine.
    Reuters reported that 200 Christians were driven from their homes in Mardin after a village chieftain branded them as Armenians on the state television.
    The Ankara SSC sentenced journalist-author Haluk Gerger to a one year and eight-month prison term and a fine of TL 208 million on the grounds of "spreading separatist propaganda."
    The Ankara SSC filed a case against Human Rights Association Chairman Akin Birdal, Contemporary Jurists' Association executive board member lawyer Ali Yildirim, Dr. Alpaslan Berktay (one of the founders of the association), former Deputy Husnu Okcuoglu and writer-journalist Yalcin Kücük, because of their speeches on the 44th anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration. They too will be tried for disseminating propaganda against the nation's sovereignty.
    As if to stress the real power circles in control of state affairs, a Chief of Staff court ordered the arrest of two newsmen and will be trying them for a programme they aired on a private television channel.  Producer Erhan Akyildiz and reporter, Ali Tevfik Berber, both civilians, have been placed in an Ankara military prison. They will be tried not by a civilian court but a military one and are charged with "aiming to turn the Turkish people against compulsory military service."
    Cumhuriyet newspaper's Berin Nadi and Birikim magazine's former editor Aydin Engin were put on trial for making a state security court prosecutor out as a target In articles published in their publications. 
    And, as if these were not enough, persecution of pro-Kurdish yet moderate and legal institutions was also boosted in this period. First, 16 DEP members including Democracy Party (DEP) Ankara provincial administrators-and the party's secretary Ibrahim Aksoy were arrested. Then the Constitutional Court opened a case for the complete closure of DEP — which will strip 17  parliamentarians of their immunity. 
    This was followed by a massive crack-down on the pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem newspaper. Acting on orders from the SSC, police raided the paper's Istanbul office and detained 107 people out of which 88 were later released. Gündem offices throughout the country were either raided or placed under a police blockade. About 30 people were arrested. The police recently said that the newspaper's editor-in-chief, Gurbetelli Ersöz, also in custody, was in poor health. Friends are worried this could imply she will also be tortured and killed. 
    Twentieth century Turkey, with all of these recent examples, hardly fits in with the contemporary state structure the prime minister and other state officials frequently talk about.
    Newspapers are still raided. Journalists and writers are arrested for what they have written.
    Politicians are arrested for what they have said.
    Lawyers can be detained even for defence speeches they make in court. 
    And, not one of the "criminals" subject to this persecution can in any way enjoy the privileges of the judicial reform package which only applies to ordinary criminals.     Turkish intellectuals can be detained for up to 15 days, have no right to see their lawyers, can be tortured and have the right to "commit suicide" in detention. 
    In Turkey, which will enter 1994 with great problems, the main problem is the situation of human rights and freedoms which are becoming non-existent.
    The country's major policy decisions are either being influenced or taken by the military.
    The Judicial system is still based on verdicts which can be passed by controversial state security courts, often run by former military officers. Military tribunals can still arrest and try journalists. 
    Any "intellectual activity," the expression of opinion, can be regarded as "disseminating propaganda against the nation's sovereignty." And, no one is free to think or express what he or she may think. 
    All priorities on human rights and freedoms have now been shelved.  The question asked in many circles though, is how far this "campaign" will go and how long it can last.     The indication from the West is that there is growing anxiety among Turkey's allies. According to a senior source in Washington, the State Department and administration are both worried about Turkey's future. Similar signals are being received from other countries  as well.
    Now that the West has dealt the expected blow to the PKK, it appears the next step will be to care more about the human rights situation in Turkey and prevent the administration from committing "hara-kiri."  If the issue is not treated with care and the sensitivity it deserves, it is inevitably going to affect the whole of Turkey's social and political future —  and foreign relations as well.
    One thing is clear for the time being. That with developments like those listed above, Turkish democracy need not fear any military coup in the next decade, since an authoritarian rule in disguise has already come into being.


    The daily Hürriyet reports on December 10 that four separate teams comprising members of the Special Operations Department have been set in motion to shoot PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and other PKK and guerrilla chiefs.
    According to the report, inspired by an American TV serial, these teams call themselves the "A-team." They have made ambitious pledges to the office of the chief of staff which in turn has informed Premier Ciller about the matter. Chief of Staff Güres reportedly told Ciller, "We are waiting for D-Day."
    The teams comprise volunteers from the department's personnel who have received special training. The political decision to have the PKK leadership cadre wiped out was taken a National Security Council meeting, and the Special Operations Department was given this task.
    On December 28, commenting some press reports that PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan had been killed by an A-team, Ciller expressed her joy by saying to Hürriyet, "Haven't I told you this job will be finished? Have some patience." However, Öcalan's death was not confirmed by further information.
    Despite official statements that the PKK received a major blow in 1993, official figures show a two  fold increase in the PKK activities during the first 11 months of the year in comparison to the same period in 1992.
    According to the official figures provided by the Interior Ministry and published by The Turkish Daily News of December 27, the number of PKK-related incidents throughout Turkey reached 3,901 in only first 11 months of this year while this figure was 1,920 in all of 1992. The civilian death toll was recorded at 1,249 as of November 30, 1993, representing an increase of about 100 percent from 1992's year-end figure of 618.
    During the same period in 1993, a total of 676 security officials, including temporary village guards, soldiers and policemen, were killed. last year, this figure stood at 634. Official figures revealed an increase in PKK casualties and injuries in 1993 with 1,552 militants killed and 121 wounded, in contrast to last year's figures of 1,228 killed and 52 wounded.
    However, the number of PKK militants caught by security forces so far in 1993 was 7,640, lower than the 7,908 militants caught in 1992.


    Despite the widespread objection from the opposition as well as from some deputies of the ruling parties, Poised Hammer's (currently dubbed Operation Provide Comfort) mandate was extended on December 28 by Parliament for another six months.
    During the voting, of the 358 deputies present, 196 voted for the extension, 160 voted against and two abstained.
    SHP Deputy Mümtaz Soysal expressed his opposition to the Poised Hammer in following terms:
    "If we are to allow foreign flags in our territory, then why did we engage in the War of Liberation? We are not a one-night hostel for Poised Hammer. We are not some 'banana republic', nor are we Washington's Middle East guard, or front line or springboard."
    The former Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, opposing to the decision, said: "Poised Hammer has not only created a power vacuum in northern Iraq, it has also created a lack of authority in the Turkish Southeast. Extending this force's mandate will mean suicide for Turkey."
    In answer to criticisms, Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin argued that the absence of Poised Hammer forces could result in another Kurdish exodus from Iraq to Turkey, as had been the case in April 1991.
    Although some deputies claimed that the Poised Hammer facilitates the PKK's guerrilla operations, Cetin contradicted it by saying: "A new migration from Iraq might create chaos in the region, which would mean an increase in PKK power. Besides, the presence of the Poised Hammer forces made easier for Turkey to carry out cross-border operations against PKK militants stationed in northern Iraq."

    Premier Ciller  announced on December 21 that Turkey and Iran had agreed on joint action against terrorism. "This action can be on our territory or on Iran's territory. The details will be handled by the security forces and the interior minister," she said after her meeting with Iran's first Deputy President Hassan Habibi in Ankara.
    Security talks between Turkey and Iran at the level of senior officials from the ministries of interior at the beginning of the month had resulted in an accord under which the sides had agreed to send observers to follow each other's "search and destroy" operations against "terrorist" bases.
    This accord is specifically aimed at the PKK militants on the Turkish side and the activities of the Iranian Kurdistan Democracy Party (IKDP) and the Mujahedeen Khalq organization, on the Iranian side


    The Democracy Party (DEP) entered a new era with Diyarbakir Deputy Hatip Dicle's election as party chairman during the 1st extraordinary convention on December 12. Dicle's election is interpreted by political observers as the DEP's orientation to more radical policies in spite of a closure case being dealt by the Constitutional Court.
    Beating two other candidates of moderate groups within the party, Dicle was elected during the third round of voting, in which he obtained 212 of the 373 votes cast.
    Contrary to the previous (now defunct) People's Labour Party (HEP) conventions, the participants were not allowed to chant radical and pro-PKK slogans. It was the first time that the Turkish flag was raised in the convention hall.
    But in contrast with the moderate atmosphere reigning at the convention, new chairman Hatip Dicle, after his election,  used expressions that praised the PKK. Pointing out that the PKK's military force could serve as a local defence unit until a true peace was restored, Dicle said that the people should be asked whether they wanted to be separate from Turkey or not, in a referendum. He said he and his colleagues would favour the idea of living in unity. But he also said that no one should consider a solution without the PKK, and his words were greeted with applause from the people present in the convention hall.

    1.12, the Istanbul SSC prosecutor indicts Sarp Kuray, a political refugee who returned from France and arrested in Istanbul on October 23 for having set up abroad the organisation Partisan's Path (PY). Sarp faces capital punishment by virtue of Article 146/1 of the TPC.
    1.12, in Dargecit (Mardin), five people are killed by the explosion of a mine placed by security forces.
    2.12, the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic started a legal proceeding at the Constitutional Court with the demand of closing down the Democracy Party (DEP).  He claims that the party chairman Yasar Kaya's several statements and the party's call for peace on September 1, 1993, violate many articles of the Constitution and the Political Parties Act.
    2.12, new victims of political murder: Mehmet Nuri Özdemir, Salahattin Özdemir and Talip Topsuz in Batman; Mehmet Korkutata in Bingöl.
    3.12, the number of the Kurdish lawyers under arrest in Diyarbakir reaches 14  with the recent detention of Tahir Elci, Fuat Hayri Durmus, Gazanfer Abbasioglu and Selim Kurbanoglu.
    3.12, unidentified gunmen assassinate Ridvan Agirman in Nusaybin, Ismet Demir in Batman and Mehmet Seycar in Diyarbakir.
    4.11, in Adana, police take into custody three people for separatist propaganda during a wedding ceremony. In Derik (Mardin), police announce the arrest of 20 people during a search operation. Besides, farmer Sehmuz Gecer is found assassinated in the same town.
    6.12,  unidentified gunmen shoot dead Abdulkadir Tekin, Burhan Atas, Seyhmuz Narin in Diyarbakir and Esat Güntay in Batman.
    7.12, the number of the detained lawyers in Diyarbakir reaches 16 with the arrest of Imam Sahin and Arzu Sahin.
    7.12, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Sukru Tavsan, Sadrettin Aydin, Recep Erbahadir, Sedat Akinci and Bulent Gül in Diyarbakir, Esat Göktal in Batman.
    8.12, security forces raiding the village of Tecirli in Igdir shoot dead 15-year old Isa Kocbas.
    8.12, in Istanbul, nine out of 30 people detained on November 26-27 for PKK activities are placed under arrest by a tribunal. In Batman, police announce the arrest of 30 people for illegal activities.
    8.12, the Malatya SSC sentences six alleged members of the Workers'- Peasants' Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO) to prison terms of up to 21 years and 10 months. In another case, three people are sentenced by the same court to prison terms of 4 years and 6 months each for Dev-Sol activities.
    8.12, new victims of political murder: Hasan Elhakan and Nazmi Efe in Diyarbakir.
    8.12, in Eruh (Siirt), Mehmet Sen and Ahmet Sen are killed by the explosion of a mine placed by security forces.
    9.12, in Ceylanpinar (Urfa), raiding a house security forces shoot dead a person and detain four others.
    9.12, in Digor (Kars), more than 30 people are detained during police operations.
    10.12, the Kayseri SSC sentences PKK member Yildirim Arican to capital punishment and two others to imprisonment of up to 15 years.
    10.12, the Diyarbakir SSC prosecutor indicts 12 Islamist militants for political violence and demands capital punishment for eight defendants.
    10.12, teacher Hayrettin Yildiz falls victim of political murders in Diyarbakir and Sitki Yildirim in Adana.
    10.12, in Ankara, police disperse by using force more than 3 Thousand public servants holding a protest march and detains 25 people.
    11.12, three of the 16 Kurdish lawyers detained earlier by police in Diyarbakir, Sabahattin  Acar, Tahir Elci and Nevzat Kaya are placed under arrest by the Diyarbakir SSC.
    12.12, in Istanbul, eight members of the Islamist organization IBDA-C are detained by police.
    13.12, three political detainees in Batman, Hamit Baltas, Diyadin Baltas and Yesil Isik announce that they were tortured during their 30-day police detention for accepting to be informers.
    14.12, former DEP Secretary General Ibrahim Aksoy and four other party officials are detained by police in relation with a party meeting held in Ankara on September 24.
    14.12, a human rights meeting at the Balikesir University is prevented by police using force. 24 students are detained. After their release on December 12, they claim to have been tortured at police station.
    14.12, three passengers of a bus in Siirt are killed by the explosion of a mine placed by security forces, seven others wounded.
    15.12, a bomb explosion at a café in the Kurdish quarters of Adana kills one person and wounds 13 others.
    15.12, After the arrest of three, the Diyarbakir SSC places under arrest six other lawyers detained earlier by police: Meral Danis Bestas, Arif Altinkalem, Fuat Hayati Demir, Mesut Bestas, Selim Kurbanoglu and Vedat Ertan. So, the number of the Kurdish lawyers under arrest rises to nine.
    16.12, in Istanbul, police detain 11 alleged members of
the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP).
    17.12, in Nazilli, four Welfare Party (RP) officials are detained for separatist propaganda.
    17.12, in Istanbul, police detain 3-year old Servan Ete together with his parents after a house raid. Same day, five other persons are taken into custody for TIKKO activities.
    17.12, the Court of Cassation approves life-prison for two Dev-Sol defendants, Ali Sahin and Serdar Demirel.
    17.12, Mehmet Elcicek falls victim of a political murder in Diyarbakir.
    18.12, in Diyarbakir, a woman named Nazime Ekinci claims to have been tortured after her detention by police on December 15.
    19.12, in Diyarbakir, Veysi Kortak is assassinated by unidentified gunmen.
    19.12, DEP Antalya official Selim Öncü is detained during an anti-PKK police operation.
    20.12, in Istanbul, 18 people are arrested during a series of police operations.
    20.12, in Mardin, Ekrem Teonay and two unidentified persons fall victims of political murders.
    21.12, two Kurdish lawyers, Arzu Sahin and Imam Sahin, detained in Istanbul are sent to Diyarbakir for being tried  there by the State Security Court. The number of the Kurdish lawyers under arrest rises to nine.
    22.12, DEP official Mehmet Zeynettin Unay is put in prison for purging his prison term of two months and 23 days.
    22.12, the Ankara SSC sentences 12 PKK defendants to prison terms of up to 22 years and 6 months.
    22.12, new victims of political murder: Sinan Erdem and Mehmet Hadi Cam in Mardin, Salih Bozcu in Batman and Zeynel Keskin in Bingöl.
    23.12, a Joint Parliamentary Commission decides to lift immunity of four DEP deputies: DEP Chairman Hatip Dicle(Diyarbakir),  Leyla Zana (Diyarbakir), Ahmet Türk (Mardin) and Mahmut Alniak (Sirnak).  If the decision is approved by the Plenary Session of the Parliament, four deputies will be tried by the Ankara SSC under the menace of capital punishment.
    23.12, the Students' Association of the Law Faculty of Ankara University is banned by the university administration for its activities during the Human Rights Week.
    23.12, security forces opening fire on a minibus in Igdir shoot dead five Kurdish peasants. Later on, about 40 peasants asking to take the bodies of the victims are taken into custody.
    24.12, the IHD Corum section is searched and its four officials taken into custody by police.
    25.12, the Democratic Women's Association (UDKD) is closed down by the Istanbul Governor and its chairwoman Necla Tanrikulu taken into custody.
    25.12, in Izmir, the Association for Freedoms and Freedoms (Özgür-Der) is raided by police and two persons inside taken into custody.
    27.12, new victims of political murder: Sadi Kortak, Halim Özboyaci, Ayhan Dogan, Mehmet Akcanli, Mehmet Kaynar and Mehmet Dayan in Diyarbakir, Zeki Yalcin in Hakkari, Fevzi Öncel and Sakine Öncel in Bismil, Sirac Cengiz in Batman.
    28.12, the chief prosecutor started a legal proceeding before the Constitutional Court for banning the Socialist Union Party (SBP). The prosecutor charges the party leaders with separatist propaganda.
    28.12, in Corum, the local IHD Section and the People's House are closed down by the governor.
    28.12, in Van, Ahmet Acar falls victim of political murder.
    29.12, in Batman, Abdurrahman Bayindir is assassinated by unidentified gunmen.
    31.12, Mehmet Yildiz falls victim of political murder in Diyarbakir.


    Two TV journalists, Erhan Akyildiz, 46, and Ali Tevfik Berber, 34, were arrested on December 14, 1993, by the order of the Chief of Staff on charges of broadcasting material that discouraged Turks from military service.
    A written statement issued by Chief of Staff Public Relations Department said the two were arrested as part of an investigation launched by the Chief of Staff military prosecutors by virtue of Article 58 of the Military Penal Code and Article 155 of the Turkish Penal Code.
    Contemporary Journalists Association (CGD) Chairman Mustafa Ekmekci said that the arrest of the journalists did not conform with democratic principles.
    Both journalists work for the Istanbul-based HBB Television station and broadcast a TV programme on draft dodgers and deserters from the army. Several people interviewed in the HBB programme "Anten" were members of an anti-war group. A spokesman of the Chief of Staff said that they too were being sought and would be arrested when found.
    The programme coincided with an outbreak of press reports that Serdar Güres, the son of Chief of Staff General Dogan Güres, was also among the country's 250,000 draft evaders.
    The two journalists were released on December 20 by the Chief of Staff's court but ordered to appear in court on January 25 for their trial. Both face a sentence of two months' to two years' imprisonment.

    Chief of General Staff General Dogan Güres, on December 24, lashed out at those journalists demanding to lift the taboos on the Turkish Armed Forces and branded them as dwarfs and miserable people.
    Speaking at the Second Commando Brigade in Bolu, Güres said: "We are living through critical days but we will overcome everything. With changing regional conditions, the threats to Turkey increased and more important duties have fallen on the Turkish Armed Forces. From time to time and especially during critical periods, people who are vociferous and organizations, low in figure and dwarfish in quantity, can appear and make baseless accusations and attacks on military commanders. These miserable people are hiding behind democratic remarks like the Turkish Armed Forces are not taboo and hiding their real intentions. The current danger is the terrorist organization, its collaborators and its verbal and written supporters. Don't have any worry, the Turkish nation is after them."


    Having made the headlines in the press --beating people up, starting fights, a lavish spending at the officers' club and getting involved in love affairs with various models-- this time, Chief of Staff General Dogan Güres' son, Serdar Güres' name has got mixed up in an education scandal.
    Güres, who has been attending the theatre department at Istanbul University's State Conservatory for the last five years, allegedly was accepted by the school due to pressures exerted by his family. Although he has not been attending classes, he has somehow managed to graduate to the fourth level.
    Actor and director Ahmet Levendoglu, who some time ago resigned from the board of education, accused at a press conference on December 27 of having violated educational rules for satisfying the top general of the Army.
    Earlier, the press had reported that Güres was attempting to avoid military service by prolonging his stay in the conservatory. On December 26, Serdar Güres claimed that his patience was running out and he could kill a journalist if his patience were exhausted any further. In his interview to the daily Milliyet, Güres said that those who spread such "rumours" were "traitors" who were actually after his father but could not reach him directly.


    The assault on the daily Özgür Gündem gained a new dimension when police cracked down on the newspaper's head office in Istanbul and detained 107 journalists and employees on December 10, 1993. Next day, raids on other offices of the daily continued. Although 88 of those in custody in istanbul were released, arrests continued nation-wide.
    Due to this repressive operation carried just on the Universal Human Rights Day, the daily could not be published for three days.
    On December 17, the daily's chief editor, Mrs. Gurbetelli Ersöz and 46 other newspaper employees were still under custody.
    Özgür Gündem journalists fear for Ersöz' life after a police officer informed them she was ill following her detention.
    Colleagues of the detained journalists fear that the Turkish police may be attempting to force the detainees into signing false confessions under torture. Authorities have banned attorneys from visiting or speaking to the detainees.
    The International Federation of Journalists said in an immediate statement that there was serious concern over the attitude of the Turkish state with regard to press freedoms.
    The PEN Writers in Prison Committee also condemned the treatment of Özgür Gündem and appealed for urgent action.
    The Reporters Without Frontiers (RSF) organization appealed for the international community to join in the protest.
    RSF director Robert Menard called on Turkey to respect press freedoms and human rights, demanding that all the detained employees of Özgür Gündem be set free.
    According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which sent a message of protest to Premier Ciller, the State Security Court, which had failed to close down Özgür Gündem using legal methods, "has succeeded in closing the newspaper for three days by arresting its employees."


    2.12, the Court of Cassation approves the sentence of two musicians of the Group Yorum, Kemal Sahir Gürel and Elif Sumru Gürel. The artists were sentenced by the Izmir SSC 20 months in prison and TL 42 Million ($ 2,800) in fine each for the songs they chanted at a concert in Denizli on March 15, 1992.
    2.12, the editor of the periodical Taraf, Esma Turan is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to one year in prison and TL 250 Million ($ 16,666) in fine. The review's owner, Kazim Albayrak too is sentenced to a fine of TL 100 Million ($ 6,666) in the same case.
    2.12, unidentified assailants beat two vendors of the daily Özgür Gündem in Van and Diyarbakir.
    3.12, the editor of the periodical Özgür Halk, Hasan Tepe is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 100 Million ($ 6,666) in fine. The review's owner, Haydar Demir too is sentenced o a fine of TL 100 Million ($ 6,666) in the same case.
    3.12, the owner of the periodical Taraf, Kazim Albayrak is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to ten months in prison and TL 208 Million ($ 13,866) in fine for an article he wrote. The tribunal also decides to ban the review's publication for one month.
    3.12, two newspaper vendors, Musa Dürü and Yahya Cilligöz are shot dead in Batman by unidentified gunmen. In Diyarbakir,  a 16-year old  Özgür Gündem vendor is stabbed by assailants.
    5.12, the Istanbul SSC confiscates famous Kurdish poet Cigerhun's book entitled Ronak ve Kime Ez for separatist propaganda. The daily Aydinlik's last issue too is confiscated for instigating the people to disorder.
    6.12, the editor of the periodical Emegin Bayragi, Nazim Taban is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to one year in prison and TL 100 Million ($ 6,666) in fine for some articles on May Day. The review's publisher Yalcin Ates too is sentenced to TL 200 Million ($ 13,333) for the same articles.  The court also decides to ban the review's publication for 15 days.
    6.12, the editor of the review Ekimler, Yalcin Ates is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a fine of TL 3 Million 970 Thousands ($ 264). The court also decides to ban the review's publication for one month.
    6.12, the weekly Azadi N°82 and the periodical Devrimci Emek N°25 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC in virtue of the ATL.
    7.12, the owner and editor of the periodical Newroz Atesi, Mrs Nedime Tunc is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to six months in prison and TL 50 Million ($ 3,333) in fine for an article concerning the assassination of journalist Musa Anter.
    8.12, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the periodical Emegin Bayragi N°104 and the first issue of a new periodical, Marksist Damar, by virtue of the ATL.
    8.12, in Istanbul, during a press conference held at the Police Headquarters; Aydinlik correspondent Imam Hantas is harassed by police and the film in his camera confiscated.
    9.12, the former editor of Özgür Gündem, Isik Yurtcu is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 28.7 Million ($ 1,913) in fine. The journal's owner Yasar Kaya too is sentenced to a fine of 56.7 Million ($ 3,783).
    9.12, the editor of the periodical Devrimci Emek, Müstak Erhan Il is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to five months in prison and TL 41.6 Million ($ 2,777) in fine. The court also decides to ban the review's publication for one month.
    9.12, the Ankara SSC sentences journalist-writer Haluk Gerger to 20 months in prison and TL 208 Million ($ 13,866) for a message of solidarity he sent to a meeting of May 23, 1993.
    9.12, the editor of the periodical Alternatif, Güray Gürel is placed under arrest by the Istanbul SSC for some articles he published.
    10.12, the former editor of Özgür Gündem, Isik Yurtcu is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to one year in prison and TL 100 Million ($ 6,666) in fine. The journal's owner Yasar Kaya too is sentenced to a fine of TL 100 Million.
    10.12, the editor of the periodical Ekimler, Nusret Öztürk is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to five months in prison and TL 41.6 Million ($ 2,777) in fine. The court also decides to ban the review's publication for one month.
    10.12, the former editor of the periodical Odak, Hidir Ates is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to nine months in prison and TL 720 Thousand ($ 48) in fine for anti-militarist propaganda.
    12.12, the Izmir public prosecutor bans a poster against capital punishment prepared by the Human Rights' Association (IHD) and the Contemporary Lawyers' Association (CHD).
    13.12, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the book entitled Nobody Can Judge The Dawn and printed by the Barikat Publishing House.
    14.12, in Iskenderun, Özgür Gündem vendor Zuhat Tepe is found assassinated by cutting his throat.
    14.12, Diyarbakir correspondent of the daily Aydinlik, Ferhat Bulak is kept under custody for 10 hours. He claims after his release that he was subjected to torture during his interrogation.
    15.12, two TV programme producers, Erhan Akyildiz and Ali Tevfik Berber are placed under arrest by the Military Tribunal of the General Staff Headquarters issues a warrant for the arrest of on charges of discrediting the Army in a programme aired on December 8.
    15.12, the monthly Odak N°26 is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC. Besides, the review's two correspondents, Mehmet Ayvali and Firat Kilic are detained in Izmir.
    16.12, writer Yalcin Kücük is sentenced by the Ankara SSC to 20 months in prison and TL 208 Million ($ 13,866) in fine for a speech he gave at a meeting in 1992.
    16.12, two journalists of the daily Cumhuriyet, editor Aydin Engin and publisher Berin Nadi are tried by the Istanbul SSC for having criticised the Ankara SSC Prosecutor Nusret Demiral. Chief editorialist of the daily Birikim Murat Belge is also tried by the same tribunal by virtue of the ATL. They face each a prison term of up to five years.
    16.12, the monthly Hedef N°26 is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    17.12, four Özgür Gündem correspondents, Haci Cetinkaya, Mehmet Özen, Beyhan Günyeli and Gürsel Sahin who were detained in Adana on December 11 claim after their release to have been subjected torture for seven days.
    19.12, the last issues of the dailies Cumhuriyet and Özgür Gündem are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
    20.12, two TV programme producers, Erhan Akyildiz and Ali Tevfik Berber are released at their first trial by the Military Court of General Staff. The tribunal prevented two members of Parliament, Sirri Sakik and Mahmut Alniak from attending the trial.
    20.12, the periodical Devrimci Cözüm N°11, Özgür Gelecek N°18 and the recent issues of Genclik Yildizi and Partizan are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
    21.12, Özgür Gündem correspondent Necmiye Aslanoglu says to have been tortured in Diyarbakir after her detention on December 9.
    21.12, IHD Istanbul Chairman Ercan Kanar is sentenced by a criminal court to ten month-prison for his article criticising the army in Özgür Gündem.
    22.12, the Court of Cassation approves a sentence against Professor Fikret Baskaya. He was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 20 months in prison and TL 41 Million ($ 2,733) in fine for his book entitled The bankrupt of the Paradigm - Introduction to the Criticism of the Official Ideology.  The publisher of the book, Selim Okcuoglu too is sentenced five months in prison and TL 41 Million ($ 2,733) in fine.
    22.12, the weekly Aktüel N°128 is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC by virtue of the ATL.
    23.12, sociologist Ismail Besikci is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 100 Million ($ 6,666) in fine for his open letter addressed to the Constitutional Court and published in Özgür Gündem. In another trial, Besikci is sentenced again to the same punishments for his conference entitled Scientific Method and My Struggle. Besikci is already in prison for his three other condemnations.
    23.12, two journalists of Cumhuriyet, responsible editor Aydin Engin is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 15 months in prison and reporter Celal Baslangic to TL 2 Million 275 Thousand ($ 151) in fine for a reportage with  Islamist Aczmendi leader Müslüm Gündüz. The latter too is sentenced to 15 months in prison for having insulted Atatürk in his interview.
    23.12, Özgür Gündem chief editor Mrs. Gurbetelli Ersöz and managing editor Ali Riza Halis are placed under arrest by an Istanbul tribunal. They were detained by police during the December 10 police raid on the journal's head office.
    23.12, German TV reporter Stefan Walberg who was arrested on October 23, 1992 for aiding the PKK, is released on an exceptional amnesty by President Süleyman Demirel.
    24.12, the editor of the periodical Ekimler, Seyit Nusret Öztürk is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years and six months in prison and TL 250 Million ($ 17,241) in fine for an article on May Day 1992. The court also decides to ban the review's publication for one month.
    24.12, the former editor of Özgür Gündem, Isik Yurtcu is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to four years in prison and TL 200 Million ($ 13,333) in fine. The journal's publisher Yasar Kaya too is sentenced to TL 200 Million ($ 13,333) in fine. The court also decides to ban the journal's publication for two months.
    24.12, the responsible editor of the arts review Hevdem is placed under arrest in relation with a political investigation.
    25.12, Sivas correspondent of the weekly Gercek, Cevat Aktas is detained after having transmitted his report on a student meeting in the city.
    28.12, the Ankara SSC decides to confiscate six books of sociologist ismail Besikci which have recently been published: 1) Besikci Case 1 from the point of view Scientific Method, Autonomy of Universities and Democratic Society Principles, 2) Besikci Case 2 from the point of view Scientific Method, Autonomy of Universities and Democratic Society Principles, 3) Besikci Case 4 from the point of view Scientific Method, Autonomy of Universities and Democratic Society Principles, 4) The General Muglali Case - 33 Bullets, 5) An Intellectual, An Organisation and the Kurdish Question, 6) On the Kurdish Society. By this decision 27 out of 31 books by Besikci happened to be banned. Besides, eight different proceedings are started against Besikci in relation with the six banned books.
    29.12, the periodical Isciler ve Toplum N°85 is confiscated by virtue of the ATL.
    30.12, a former editor of Özgür Gündem, Seyh Davut Karadag is sentenced to a one-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 71 Million ($ 4,733). The newspapers' publisher Yasar Kaya too is sentenced to a fine of TL 143 Million ($ 9,533).  The court also decides to ban the newspaper's publication for one month. So, the total of banning period about Özgür Gündem reaches four months.
    30.12, former editor of the periodical Emegin Bayragi, Nazim Taban is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to five months in prison and TL 41 Million ($ 2,733) in fine.
    30.12, the last issue of the daily Aydinlik is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for an interview with PKK spokesman Ali Sapan. The 1994 calendar published by Özgür Gündem and the periodical Yeni Demokrat Genclik N°15 too are confiscated for separatist propaganda and praising outlawed organizations.
    31.12, the responsible editor of the defunct HEP's information bulletin, Kemal Okutan is sentenced by the Ankara SSC to six months in prison and TL 50 Million ($ 3,333) in fine for the issue on the Newroz 1992 events.


    A group of Turkish intellectuals representing different political and religious creeds issued on December 14 a "declaration of unity" against the intensifying acts of violence in Turkey's troubled Southeast and the restrictions imposed on basic freedoms.
    The declarations reads:
    "We are individuals belonging top differing ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, and political creeds characterised by such dichotomies as exist between 'Kurd and Türk,' 'Islamic Fundamentalist and Secularist,' 'Alawi and Sunni,' 'Leftist and Rightist,' and 'Individualist and Populist.' We have come together as one, because intensifying acts of violence terrorise us, force us into silent submission, and threaten our freedom of thought.
    "A psychology now prevalent in society, and stemming from terror and violence, leads the masses away from democratic and political preferences towards the exponents of revengeful violence.
    "Let's not forget that totalitarian regimes are built on the foundation of the individual's fear. A society that is deprived of the right of access to information, that is denied the right to speak, debate, and compromise, can never come up with ideas for the solution of its problems. A society that cannot come up with solutions is doomed to lose self-confidence, ultimately imagining enemies, native and foreign.
    "A shortage of ideas, the corollary of the barrier of taboos erected before a solution to the Kurdish Question, is one of the fundamental reasons for the current political atmosphere of perplexity.
    "Those who attempt to silence people who suggest solutions that are different from their own by accusing them of high treason, are in fact terrorising free thought, creating a far more dangerous atmosphere and causing social divisions that may well prove impossible to mend.
    "As common sense and tolerance vanishes, Turkey, embroiled in internal strife, is severing all ties with the world instead of exerting its influence on the surrounding regions. We, the people who inhabit this land, are not entitled to ignore the reciprocal acts of violence which arise from the Kurdish issue. All responsible individuals have to oppose violence, injustice and torture, whoever commits such crimes and whoever the victims may be.
    "Let's not play into the hands of those that strive to disrupt  social peace by creating further animosity. Let's uphold, as Turkish, Kurdish, secularist, Fundamentalist, Sunni, Alawi, Leftist or Rightist individuals, the values that bind us together through reason and love."


    Following a short-lived period of relative calm in the ongoing series of mudslinging battles, the highest selling three Turkish newspapers, Hürriyet, Sabah and Milliyet, have begun vilifying each another again.
    The ongoing war broke out when Sabah declared it was giving away free sets of "Grolier International Americana Encyclopaedia" and organizing a massive lottery for those that continued collecting its volumes, involving three luxurious flats, 30 cars and 3000 TV sets.
    Its campaign was slashed by Hürriyet and Milliyet, aware that their sales, which stand around 600,000 to 800,000 copies each, ran the risk of plummeting rapidly, while that of Sabah was climbing to more than one million copies. On the first day of its campaign, on December 17, Sabah doubled its sales up to 2 million copies
    Claiming that Sabah's set was a hoax and that there was no such encyclopaedia sold in the United States, Hürriyet and Milliyet began an implacable smear campaign against Sabah. "Caution!" said Hürriyet. "Keep your kids away from Sabah's set. Otherwise, they'll fail their classes." Saturation advertising on Show TV, its business partner, poked fun at Sabah's set, saying Sabah's encyclopaedia was full of mistakes and missing entries. "Scandal in the press," read Milliyet's front-page onslaught against Sabah, arguing that Sabah's volumes were "lottery tickets disguised as encyclopaedias."
    The first war of encyclopaedias to break out among the big three dates back to the time last year when Sabah started a campaign offering a free set of encyclopaedias. Milliyet and Hürriyet quickly fastened a quarrel on Sabah, each offering their own sets.
    Owing to the enormous cost involved, however, they felt compelled to ultimately sign a gentlemen's agreement not to start any more premium campaigns.
    This cease-fire has not been respected long time and the three giants have gone on the warpath again -- in blatant violation of universal press ethics just like before.


    Despite the promise to establish a just equilibrium in taxes, at the end of the year, the Ciller Government passed from Parliament on December 27 a so-called "reform bill" favouring the big fortune in detriment of working population.
    Ciller, yielding to big business, made at last minute several sweeping changes in the original tax reform bill when it was debated in Parliament and scrapped some important articles that would have imposed new taxes on corporations.
    As for President Demirel, turning a deaf ear to appeals from the media, approved on December 30 the law. The daily Hürriyet of December 29 had demanded him to veto the new law saying that it would make the rich richer and the poor poorer. The newspaper also claimed that the big business representatives lobbied intensively in Ankara and succeeded in having the final law passed "as they wish."
    The daily Sabah criticised the new law and claimed that the government that originally aimed at extra tax revenues worth TL 125 trillion ($ 8 billion) thanks to the "reform" will lose some revenues instead. On the other hand, by increasing the rate of taxes on consumer goods, the burden of the national budget has been put one more on the shoulders of the low income earners.
    The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK) announced that, with the adoption of the new law, wage earners will pay as tax almost half of the 20 per cent share that they take from the total national income, while the other classes pay only 5 percent tax over their 75 percent share in the total national income.