RESULTS OF ELECTIONS IN FIVE YEARS
1989 1991 1994
RIGHT 47,30 51,04
DYP 25,40 27,03
ANAP 21,90 24,01
DP (new) 0,52
YDP (new) 0,39
RP (Islamist) 9,90
MHP (neo-fasciste) 4,00
BBP (scission from MHP)
MP (former IDP, islamist)
LEFT 37,30 31,50
SHP 28,40 20,75
DSP 8,90 10,75
CHP (scission from SHP)
SBP (new, marxiste)
IP (new, marxiste)
OTHERS 1,50 0,58
*) RP, MHP and IDP had participated in the 1991 elections with a common
SPECTACULAR FALL OF TWO COALITION
DYP 27,03 21,49
SHP 20,75 13,61
ANAP 24,01 21,02
DSP 10,75 8,82
DP 0,52 0,52
YDP 0,39 0,39
CHP 4,62 4,62
SBP 0,28 0,28
IP 0,28 0,28
OTHERS 0,58 0,31
Turkey's extreme-right, at March 27, 1994,
elections delivered a decisive challenge to the country's mainstream
secular parties, with widespread gains, including dramatic wins in both
Istanbul, the biggest city, and Ankara, the capital.
As all establishment parties, mainly the partners of
the government coalition, were undergoing a lost of credibility, the
main Islamist party of the country, Welfare Party (RP) of Necmeddin
Erbakan raised its votes from 9.90% at 1989 local elections to 19.01
The other component of the extreme right, the
Nationalist Action Party (MHP), neo-fascist, of former colonel
Alparslan Türkes raised its votes from 4% in 1989 to 7.96% this time.
Considering also the scores of the two other
extreme-right parties, 1.26% for the Grand Union Party (BBP), a
scission from the MHP, and 0.43% for a minor formation, the Nation
Party (MP), the extreme-right block happened to raise its total
percentage from 13.90% in 1989 to 28.66% in 1994.
The Guardian, on March 30, commented the outcome of
the recent elections in following terms: "Turkey awoke after the March
27, 1994 local elections to the news that both its main cities, Ankara
and Istanbul, had elected Islamist mayors in local elections. The
result posed in dramatic form the question Turks often ask themselves:
whether they want to be part of Europe or the Islamic world."
In fact, the RP is an anti-Zionist and anti-West
party that opposes Turkey's efforts to join the European Union. Many
observers cite Europe's failure to protect Muslims in Bosnia as a
reason of RP victory. Erbakan often raises the question whether
Turkey, the only Islamic member of NATO, should continue on its Western
trajectory as Moslems are being massacred in Bosnia. In a way he
used nationalistic feelings in addition to the religious sentiments.
The RP, advocating to adopt aspects of Sharia
law and campaigning on a "just order" and anti-corruption platform, won
28 of the country's 76 municipalities. The RP got the majority in
many provinces with an average percentage of 30 or below. In Ankara and
Istanbul, the RP votes did not go beyond 25 or 27 percent, but the
division of the votes among all the other parties brought the RP
candidates to power. As stressed by Necmeddin Erbakan, the RP leader,
the result means that 66 per cent of Turkey's 60 million population is
now ruled by RP local administrations. According to experts, the
support for the RP, if repeated in a general election, would give the
party at least 100 seats in the 450-seat parliament.
The Islamist RP managed to get the votes of the
people whose interests actually lay with social democracy but were
disillusioned with what the social democrats did in power, especially
in the major cities like Istanbul and Ankara. Using leftist slogans,
they gave the impression that they would be on the side of the people
and promote the people's interests instead of that of the higher income
groups. They offered the people security and promised a clean
administration. They managed to gain the confidence of the
Kurdish-populated Eastern provinces as well as of the Kurds who
migrated to the big cities from this region.
The RP mayoral candidates gave their word to put an
end to bribery, corruption and waste in the municipalities. Their
voters mainly voted for the RP candidates hoping they would receive
service without having to pay for it. The RP also offered an identity
to its electorate who were feeling more and more lost amid the centre
parties who kept moving left and right whichever way the winds blew.
Tayyip Erdogan, the new RP mayor of Istanbul,
promised to build a mosque in the main square of the city and to close
the city's brothels. Among Istanbul's residents, already the following
questions have been raised: Would the mayor ban alcohol? Would the RP
be able to close cinemas and clubs in the interest of public morality?
Nationally, the RP's vote was distorted somewhat by
the withdrawal of the Kurdish-based Democracy Party (DEP), which
allowed the RP a free run in the Kurdish-speaking south-east.
However, the party has made sweeping advances in
other areas. In Trabzon, for example, the RP is said to have won over
local women by promising to send home the so-called "Natashas", the
Russian and Georgian prostitutes who have turned the ancient port city
into the Bangkok of the Black Sea.
As for the MHP, it doubled its votes by presenting
itself as the champion of the chauvinist policies against the Kurdish
national movement and of the expansionist policies aimed at turning
Turkey into the "big brother" of all Turkish-speaking peoples in the
In addition to the above-mentioned factors, the real
advantage of both extreme-right parties was that they were the only
grass-roots parties in the country. As the other parties were all
centring on figureheads such as high-level bureaucrats or artists, the
unknown candidates of the RP and the MHP led a successful door-to-door
campaign thanks to their well-disciplined militants.
The biggest loser of the election is no doubt the
DYP-SHP tandem in power. As their total percentage was 53.80% in 1989,
47.78% in 1991, it fell down to 35.10% in 1994. It is the SHP,
junior partner, that underwent the most spectacular defeat. Its
percentage fell down to 13.61% in 1994 as it was 28.40% in 1989 and
20.75% in 1991.
As for the Premier Ciller's Correct Way Party (DYP),
she claimed in her first post-electoral speech that her party came out
victorious and European media hastily greeted her as a successful
leader. However, the final results showed that the DYP was the second
loser of the elections. In fact, DYP obtained 21.49% of the votes as
its score was 25.40% in 1989 and 27.02% in 1991.
It is clear that both partners of the coalition
government were punished by the electorate because of the fact that
they have completely forgotten their promises of social justice and
Many commentators have blamed RP victory on the
junior coalition partner, the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP). It
lost control of both Ankara and Istanbul because of a corruption
The main opposition formation, the Motherland Party
(ANAP) of Mesut Yilmaz, too suffered an electoral defeat, because the
party leadership has failed to inspire new hope and confidence in the
masses as a valid alternative to the existing government in a country
faced with great economic and social turmoil. After a derisory score of
21.90% in 1989 elections, the ANAP raised its votes to 24.01 in 1991
but fell to the lowest level with a 21.02% in the recent elections.
• The only winner of the last elections is the
extreme-right block which raised its total percentage from 13.90%
to 28.66% in five years.
• The ensemble of the left-wing parties fell from
37.30% to 27.61% in the same period.
• The coalition parties together fell from 47.78% to
35.10% in three years.
• The opposition parties together climbed from
52.22% to 64.90% in the same period.
TANSU CILLER'S MANOEUVRES
At the night of elections, the Turkish press as well
as the world media hastily greeted Prime Minister Ciller as the only
winner of the vote. When the returns started coming in, the State radio
and TV station that was the only media representative to be given the
official results started with declaring the DYP had won 27 percent of
the votes. The so-called independent media that was financially
supported by Ciller was quick to raise the occasion. Pro-Ciller
commentators started saying the lady had won despite all the opposition
against her even within the DYP.
Five days later, it became clear that the DYP had
won around 21.5 percent of the votes, while the Motherland Party had
won 21 percent. It also was clear that the DYP had lost most of
its strongholds like Bursa, Samsun and Aydin along with an array of
others. Although DYP gained in Izmir, the third biggest city of
the country, its candidate Burhan Özfatura is a notorious figure of the
Islamist movement and was at last moment transferred to DYP by Ciller
to defeat SHP candidate. The RP even rejoiced over the Izmir
result as Erbakan said Özfatura is a "believer" and claimed the Welfare
electorate had voted for him.
After having realised the final results of the
elections and the failure of her party, Prime Minister Ciller said,
"The people have given the message that the right must unite."
Pretending to be the guarantee of the secular state in Turkey, she
claimed that the only alternative to the rise of Islamist party would
be the union of the right-wing parties under her leadership.
Whereas, the rise of the Extreme-right in
Turkey is the result of her disastrous economic policies and the State
terrorism. Besides, the rise of Islamist movement is not result
of the efforts of the RP alone.
Despite the claim of being attached to the
secularity of the State, all right-wing political parties and the
military junta of 1980 have largely contributed to the development of
the Islamist and ultra-nationalist movements in Turkey.
Ciller's party, DYP, as well as its predecessor, the
defunct Justice Party (AP), had made their best under the leadership of
Süleyman Demirel to encourage the rise of Islamist movement in the
As for Ciller herself, she has always played on the
cards of Islamism and Ultra-nationalism since the first moment she
decided to climb to the head of the government.
At the DYP Congress of June 13, 1993, in addition to
her show à l’Américaine , considering the conservative, nationalist and
religious commitments of the DYP delegates, she claimed very often her
attachment to the music of the Ezan (the call for prayer), the sight of
the Turkish flag and the traditional values of family. What is more,
during the convention, she was surrounded by extreme-right delegates
who dared, by her side, to greet the delegates with the sign of “Grey
Wolf”, a gesture that is peculiar to the neo-fascist Nationalist Action
Her appointment as Prime Minister was coincided with
the Massacre of Sivas during which 37 left-wing and Alevi intellectuals
were burnt to death by Fundamentalist mobs guided by the RP. As Prime
Minister, she accused the victims instead of assailants and refused to
attend the funeral.
In August 1993, the Ciller Government adopted a
decree in the force of law to create a professional army, instead of
the compulsory army, to deal with the PKK. According to the decree, all
voluntary commando soldiers may apply, at least 18 months after their
discharge, to become part of this force. In practice, the first 5,000
who announced their intention of joining the new force came from the
ranks of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP). Many circles saw this as a
turn toward the creation of an army of Grey Wolves that can amplify
racial conflict between Turks and Kurds. In October 1993, the Ciller
Government started to arm Sunni peasants against Alevis and Kurds.
Meanwhile, she did her best in order to amplify her
image of "believer" by attending a number of ceremonies by covering her
head and pronouncing verses from the Koran.
Even during her visit to Brussels in January 1994,
taking no heed of her role of prime minister of a secular state, Ciller
chose a Turkish mosque for getting in touch with the migrants from
During her rule, many people having fundamentalist
commitments have been appointed to key posts in the State
DISTRIBUTION OF SEATS IN PARLIAMENT
Right-wing parties: 342
Correct Way Party (DYP) 178
Motherland Party (ANAP) 100
Welfare Party (RP) 39
Nationalist Action Party (MHP) 13
Grand Unity Party (BBP) 7
New Party (YP) 3
Nation Party (MP) 2
Left-wing parties: 89
Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) 55
Republican People's Party (CHP) 18
People's Labour Party (HEP) 13
Democratic Left Party (DSP) 3
SCANDALOUS ARREST OF DEP DEPUTIES
Prior to the local elections, Turkey witnessed a
major scandal following Parliament's decision to lift the legislative
immunity of eight deputies.
The plenary meeting of Parliament decided on 2 and 3
March by majority vote to lift the immunity of the DEP deputies Mahmut
Alniak, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Dogan, Selim Sadak, Sirri Sakik, Ahmet Türk
and Mrs. Leyla Zana on the charge of high treason, and that of the
former RP member Hasan Mezarci on the charge of "insulting Atatürk."
Just after the vote, even without waiting the
publication of the decision in the Official Gazette, the Prosecutor of
the Ankara SSC, Nusret Demiral, ordered the security forces to surround
the Parliament building and arrest the accused deputies when they come
out. So, in a scandalous way, the anti-terrorism squad first
detained Hatip Dicle and Orhan Dogan at the gate to Parliament while
the others remained holed up in Parliament to avoid being taken into
custody. Hasan Mezarci was arrested in Istanbul and the others
surrendered to the Prosecutor's Office a few days later.
The lifting of parliamentary immunity and the arrest
of deputies created an uproar as well in Turkey as abroad.
The request for lifting of immunity of 22 Kurdish
deputies had been lodged with Parliament by the Persecutor's letter
just after the 20 October 1991 elections, on the basis of article 125
of the Penal Code (high treason, for which only the death sentence can
These deputies were members of the People's Labour
Party (HEP), which had formed an electoral alliance with the SHP in
1991 and therefore belonged to the SHP Parliamentary group. By March
1992 eighteen of these deputies had left the SHP and had returned to
the HEP. On 12 July 1993 a new party, Democracy Party (DEP), was
founded of which these deputies became members. The DEP is a successor
party to HEP, which party was forbidden by the Constitutional Court on
August 14, 1993.
Between November 1991 and August 1993 no decision
was taken on the request for lifting of immunities.
Meanwhile, Prosecutor Demiral filed a petition
before the Constitutional Court on December 2, 1993 for the closure of
the DEP as a party on the grounds of separatism which led to the
closure of HEP in August 1993. The case is pending before the
Constitutional Court and a decision is expected around June 1, 1994.
After the lifting of parliamentary immunity, Selim
Sadak appealed to the Constitutional Court and his immunity was
restored by the Court decision.
The other six DEP deputies were under arrest during
the electoral campaign. Besides, many DEP officials were victims of
political assassinations or police harassments throughout Turkey.
Under this increasing pressure, the DEP decided not
to participate in March 27, 1994 elections.
BRUSSELS CONFERENCE ON KURDISTAN
The International Conference on North West Kurdistan
(South-East Turkey) organized by Kurdistan Human Rights Project and
Medico International was held in Brussels on March 12-13, 1994
despite a series of obstruction attempts by the Ankara regime.
The conference which brought together 219
participants from 26 countries heard 41 speakers, including all major
Kurdish political groups, members of the Turkish Parliament, prominent
Turkish and Kurdish intellectuals and human right activists, called on
the Turkish State to make explicit recognition of all its peoples and
their fullest democratic participation in their future.
The leader of the Workers' Party of Turkey (PKK),
Abdullah Öcalan, in his message to the meeting, guaranteed to accept
all recommendations of the conference to discuss the need for
democratic solutions to the critical situation of the Kurdish
population in South-East Turkey.
Öcalan clarified his party's position in following
"We are open to all proposals and all initiatives on
this issue from any country or international organisation.
"We are not insistent on the division of Turkey.
Such propaganda does not reflect our approach to the question.
"I am ready to sit down with the Turkish government
to discuss the issues if talks are based on dialogue within a
democratic framework where we can express the legitimate demands of our
people. We have never been opposed to tangible proposals for a
solution. We are ready to discuss any alternatives, including
"If a bilateral cease-fire is implemented under
international supervision, and talks are to be held, we will not
attempt to evade or obstruct such a process.
"We are not looking for a solution only in the
context of war. This war was not of our choosing. It is the Turkish
State which has forced us into defending our national existence, with
its intransigent determination to wage a dirty war on our people,
convinced that it can achieve a military solution through state terror."
The conference identified an immediate need for
democratic dialogue which genuinely involves all parties and called for
an urgent response from the Turkish government to the recommendation
that there be a bilateral cease-fire under international supervision.
The conference also recognised the historical
responsibility of European states for the human rights crisis facing
the Turkish people and called on European governments and the United
States to stop all military and economic aid, including effective
implementation and supervision of an arms embargo, until Turkey fulfils
its own legal and human rights commitments.
The final 31-point document of the conference sets
out Turkey's international obligations and details roles for the CSCE
and United Nations.
The conference called on the Turkish State to end
all censorship, by legal means and by the killings of journalists, and
appealed to all media, Turkish, Kurdish and international, to continue
to play their important role in reporting accurately the situation in
Other specific recommendations included the
restoration of the parliamentary immunity recently removed from eight
deputies of the Turkish Parliament and for the release of those
deputies currently in detention.
As a result of the conference, 27 parliamentarians
from around the world, including Turkey, issued an eight-point
statement calling for a democratic solution to the Kurdish problem in
Turkish Pressure on Belgium
For the International Conference on North-West
Kurdistan, the organisers first booked the Sheraton Hotel in
Saint-Josse Quarter of Brussels. In a new anti-Kurdish move, Turkish
diplomatic missions were immediately mobilised to blackmail the Belgian
authorities claiming that such a conference might provoke new incidents
in this quarter inhabited by Turkish migrants.
On this pressure, the Belgian Foreign and Interior
Ministries and the Mayor of Saint-Josse declared that they could not
allow such a conference for the sake of law and order in Brussels and
forced the organizers to hold their meeting, not in the city, but at
another hotel by the side of Zaventem Airport.
As remembered, on January 1st, another meeting of
Kurdish activists at Saint-Josse had been attacked by some Turkish
groups provoked by Turkish diplomatic missions and extreme right Grey
Wolves. During the demonstrations were sacked a number of Kurdish shops
During the talks between the conference's organisers
and the Belgian authorities, the latter said that they were also afraid
of a diplomatic incident just before the visit of Belgian Foreign
Minister Willy Claes to Turkey at the end of March. At the end, the
organisers accepted to change the place of the conference.
This result was hailed by the Turkish press as a
"diplomatic victory" of the Turkish Government.
In fact, the Belgian authorities who had
earlier accused the Turkish diplomatic missions of having
provoked the New Year incidents, this time yielded to Ankara's
blackmail. Banning Kurdish conference in Brussels on the pretext that
it might provoke new incidents was completely groundless. Just after
the New Year incidents, former Colonel Alparslan Türkes, chief of the
Nationalist Action Party (MHP), came to Brussels and held a meeting
with Grey Wolves and other extreme right activists at the Sheraton
Hotel. Belgian authorities did not show any reaction against such a
meeting and allowed the Turkish fascist leader to give a speech full of
anti-Kurdish and anti-Armenian provocations.
Willy Claes in Turkey
Belgian Foreign Minister Willy Claes, during his
visit to Turkey, promised on March 29 that his country would support
"Turkish integration with European institutions."
In response to Turkish demand of upgrading Turkish
ties with Western European Union, Claes promised his country's support
and said: "But do not ask me how this will be done. I hope a definite
solution will be made during the foreign ministers' council meeting on
Ankara's request for Belgium's support on the issue
is part of a larger initiative, through which Ankara approached
Britain, France and Germany.
As for the Belgian position concerning the Kurdish
Question, Willy Claes did not budge from Brussels's original position
that banning the PKK would be "counter-productive."
"If we close the present organizations, new ones
will be opened. Or they would go underground, which would make it more
difficult to control them," he said. "But if they act in a way that
defies Belgian law, they will be severely punished."
After his talk with Turkish Foreign Minister Hikmet
Cetin, Claes said: "We firmly support Turkish territorial integrity and
oppose terrorism, but we also believe in a political solution to
Turkey's problems. Violence breeds more violence."
As the Belgian Government is acting with prudence in
its relations with Turkish Government, a group of members of Belgian
Parliament has taken initiative in order to stop selling armaments to
A law adopted in April 1993 stipulates to stop
selling military materials to any country if there is a civil war or a
continuous violation of human rights. Volksunie Chairman Bert Anciaux
and two senators, Nelly Maes and Willie Kuijpers, claiming that Belgium
has sold to Turkey 51 aircrafts, 2 boats and 808,235 Kilo military
equipment between February 9, 1991 and March 27, 1993, asked the
government to immediately stop arm sale to this country.
TWO KURDISH WOMEN'S SUICIDE IN GERMANY
Two Kurdish women died after setting fire to
themselves on a riverbank in southern Germany on March 21 in a protest
against German arms sales to Turkey.
The autobahn blockades by Kurdish migrants began on
March 19 and climaxed on March 22 with a number of self-immolations. At
least seven other Kurds were badly injured after dousing themselves in
gasoline in front of horrified police while standing in front of
flaming tire barricades.
Germany is Turkey's biggest European arms supplier,
with $1.8 billion in sales from 1988 to 1992. Although the contracts
prohibit Turkey from using German weapons to fight Kurds, German
armoured personnel carriers have been spotted in the Kurdish regions.
A spokesman of Kurdistan Information Bureau in Köln
said Kurds were setting fire to themselves out of desperation. "What
else can they do? We've held peaceful protests for years and things
only get worse," he added.
The deaths of Bedriye Tas (Ronahî), 24, and
Nilgun Yildirim (Bêrîvan), 25, already led German authorities to think
over a possible ban on German arms sales to Turkey.
"The Turkish flag will be flying proudly in Brussels
during the Europalia 96-Turkey Festival, providing our nation an
excellent and rare opportunity to publicise and promote its economic
potential, its unique culture, its rich history and tourist
The selection of Turkey as the object of
Europalia 96 was announced in these terms by the Turkish media as a new
victory of the Turkish diplomacy.
The basic agreement under which Europalia 96-Turkey
will be organized was signed on January 31, 1994, at a ceremony in
Istanbul attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin, Cultural
Minister Fikri Saglar and International Europalia Foundation Chairman
Baron Jean Godeaux.
Under the patronage of Turkish President Demirel and
Belgium's King Albert II, the festival will take place between
September and December 1996, not just in Brussels, but in other cities
in Germany, Holland, Luxembourg and France as well.
At the signing ceremony, Turkish Foreign Minister
Cetin stressed how suitable a platform the festival will be to convey
what messages it wants to get across to the European public in order to
provide a better understanding of Turkey.
In an earlier meeting with the Turkish businessmen,
Cetin had asked them to contribute to the organization of the festival
with all their possibilities in a view to change Turkey's bad image in
western countries. A Turkish businessman, Bülent Eczacibasi, was
nominated Turkish general commissioner of Europalia 96-Turkey Festival
as the counterpart of the Belgian commissioner Marcel van de Kerckhove.
Besides, a draft law has been subjected to
Parliament in order to set up a National Europalia Organization
directly attached to Prime Minister's Office.
Since Turkey still remains as one of the countries
continuously violating human rights and denying the cultural values of
the native peoples of the country other than Turks, mainly Kurds,
Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, this selection has already led to
The Europalia 93-Mexico Festival had already been a
headache for Belgian authorities for the same reason.
According to Le Soir of January 29, to a question on
the presence of Kurdish culture at the coming Europalia, Baron Godeaux,
chairman of the Europalia Foundation said: "We are reproached for the
representation of the State-Nation's culture alone. We have looked many
times for other formulas, but without the aid of States, all the
organisation will remain on our shoulders alone, that is
unthinkable from the financial point of view."
On the other hand, the Human Rights League of
Belgium, at a press conference held on March 31 in Brussels with the
participation of Info-Türk, the Kurdish Institute, the Association of
Democrat Armenians and the Cultural Centre of Mesopotamia, announced
that they would organize alternative events during the Europalia-96
Festival for drawing attention to the situation of human rights in
Turkey if this latter does not put an end to anti-democratic practices
STATE TERRORISM IN MARCH
A report issued at the end of March 1994 by the
Human Rights Association (IHD) showed increasing human rights
violations in Turkey especially in the troubled Southeast region. The
30-page report pointed out that in March, a total of 102 civilians had
been killed and 106 others were wounded in "attacks on civilians."
According to the IHD Report, in March:
• A total of 34 "mysterious killings" were reported.
• Twenty Kurdish settlements were forcefully
evacuated and/or torched.
• During the clashes between Kurdish guerrillas and
State forces 500 people lost their lives.
• 2,198 people were detained nation-wide and 124 of
these were placed under arrest by court warrant.
• Writers and publishers were sentenced to a total
of 12,326 months imprisonment and fined TL 3.4 trillion. Sixty-four
journalists were still in prison.
• Prosecutors demanded prison terms totaling 567
months and fines of up to TL 2.5 billion for journalists and writers.
Among the incidents cited in the report were two in
which government forces were allegedly involved in the killing of 55
civilians and wounding eight others.
On March 2, the Istanbul SSC sentenced PKK member
Abdullah Kanat to capital punishment and seven other defendants to
prison terms of up to 20 years.
PRESSURE ON MEDIA IN MARCH
1.3, the Istanbul SSC issued a warrant of arrest
against Yasar Kaya, publisher of the daily Özgür Gündem and former
chairman of DEP, and writer Abdurrahman Düre. They are accused of
separatist propaganda in the four different issues of the paper.
2.3, the responsible editor of the new Kurdish
newspaper Newroz, Müslüm Celik is arrested by the Istanbul SSC for
separatist propaganda in fifteen different articles published in the
paper's first issue.
2.3, the daily Aydinlik is confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC for a report concerning Kurdish boycott of elections.
3.3, six journalists of the daily Özgür Gündem,
Serdar Karakoc, Riza Zingal, Namik Alkan, Senol Karaaslan, Oguzhan
Ögrük and Emin Ünay are brought before the Izmir SSC on the charges of
supporting the PKK. German journalist Sven Grienmert is harassed by
police as he is covering the trial.
5.3, three books published by the Dilan Publishing
House, The Contemporary History of Kurdistan, Educational Processes in
Kurdistan and Interrogation, Jail, Resistance and Life are confiscated
by the Diyarbakir SSC.
6.3, the weekly Azadi N°95 is confiscated by the
7.3, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the review Medya
Günesi N°45 for separatist propaganda.
8.3, writer Mehmet Bayrak is sentenced to two months
in prison and a fine of TL 50 million for his book entitled Kurdish
8.3, the trial of two journalists from the daily
Cumhuriyet, publisher Berin Nadi and editor Aydin Engin, on charges of
publishing the communiqué of an outlawed organization begins at the
Istanbul SSC. Each faces a 6-month prison and a fine of TL 50 million.
8.3, a distributor of the daily Özgür Gündem in
Diyarbakir, Yilmaz Yakut is taken into custody by police.
9.3, the Istanbul SSC issues four more warrants of
arrest against Yasar Kaya, publisher of Özgür Gündem. So, the number of
the arrest warrants against him reaches to nine.
10.3, former Secretary General of the DEP, Ibrahim
Aksoy is sentenced by the Konya SSC to 20 months in prison and a fine
of TL 41 million for a declaration he made in Konya in 1991.
10.3, the recent issues of two reviews, Alinteri and
Devrimci Proleter Genclik, are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for
11.3, two writers, Osman Aytar and Recep Marasli are
sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and a fine of TL
100 million each for their declaration during a IHD meeting in Istanbul.
11.3, the Istanbul SSC sentenced sociologist Ismail
Besikci to 2-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 250 million for his
book entitled The Way Opened by Tribunals. Besides, the
prosecutor opens a new proceeding against the director of Yurt
Publishing House, Ünsal Öztürk who published the book.
11.3, the responsible editor of the review Emek,
Garip Töre is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a 2-year imprisonment
and a fine of TL 250 million for separatist propaganda. The owner of
the review, Ali Demir too is sentenced to a fine of TL 100 million. The
tribunal also decided to close the review for one month.
13.3, two periodicals, Özgür Gelecek N°23 and Newroz
N°4 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda and
praising an outlawed organization.
16.3, Urfa correspondent of Özgür Gündem, Nazim
Babaoglu has disappeared since March 12. His colleagues claim that he
may have been kidnapped by hostile groups.
16.3, during the electoral campaign of Premier
Ciller in Antalya, six journalists are beaten by a police team on the
order of Antalya Security Director Mete Altan.
17.3, two periodicals, Azadi N°96 and Hedef (special
issue) are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
17.3, the Istanbul SSC sentences the publisher of
the daily Özgür Gündem, Yasar Kaya, to a fine of TL 143 million 649
thousand and a former editor of the same daily, Seyh Davut Karadag, to
TL 71 million 847 thousand for an article concerning cease-fire
proclaimed by the PKK.
18.3, three members of the musical group Kutup
Yildizi, Ayhan Sagcan, Murat Tokdemir and Haluk Akbay are taken into
custody in Adana. Police also detains Seyda Gergin, director of the
Adana Cultural Centre.
21.3, a former editor of Özgür Gündem, Gülay Celik
is sentenced by the High Penal Court N°2 of Istanbul to ten months in
prison. The tribunal also decides to close the newspaper for fifteen
days and issues a new arrest warrant against the publisher Yasar Kaya.
22.3, two periodicals, Azadi N°97 and Devrim N°24,
are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
24.3, the High Penal Court N°2 of Istanbul sentences
the cartoonist of Özgür Gündem, Dogan Güzel, to 10 months in prison and
the responsible editor, Bülent Balta, to a fine. The tribunal also
decides to close the newspaper for 15 days. So, the total duration of
ban against Özgür Gündem rises to six months.
24.3, two periodicals are confiscates by the
Istanbul SSC: Newroz for separatist propaganda and Iktidar for its
campaign to boycott the local elections.
25.3, the Istanbul SSC, in three different cases,
sentences three journalists of Özgür Gündem to heavy punishments: a
former editor, Seyh Davut Karadag, to a total of 4 years and 6 months
imprisonment and to TL 615,524 ,000 in fine, publisher Yasar Kaya
to TL 462,048,000 in fine and writer Ismail Besikci to two months in
prison and TL 50 million in fine. The tribunal also decides to close
the newspaper for 45 days.
25.3, the Istanbul SSC sentences a former editor of
the weekly Azadi, Zana Sezen, to one year 11 months and 10 days in
prison and TL 243 million in fine, the publisher of the review,
Ikramettin Oguz, to TL 83 million in fine. The tribunal also decides to
close Azadi for ten days.
26.3, a court decision to close the periodical Özgür
Gelecek for 15 days is ratified by the Court of Cassation and
immediately executed by the police.
29.3, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the weekly Azadi
N°98 for separatist propaganda.
31.3, the former editor of Özgür Gündem, Seyh Davut
Karadag is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 12 months in prison and TL
321 million in fine. The tribunal also sentences publisher Yasar Kaya
to TL 287 million in fine and decides to close the newspaper for
31.3, the daily Aydinlik is confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC on charges of instigating the people to commit crimes.
PROFESSOR BASKAYA IMPRISONED
Associate professor Dr. Fikret Baskaya was
imprisoned in Ankara on March 18, 1994, for serving his 20-month prison
term. He had been sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to imprisonment and a
fine of TL41 million for his book entitled The Failure of
Paradigm- Introduction to the Criticism of Official Ideology.
In the same case, the director of the publishing
house Doz, Selim Okcuoglu too was sentenced to 5-month imprisonment and
a fine of TL 41 million by virtue of Article 8 of the Anti-terror Law.
Both sentences were ratified by the Court of
Cassation on December 22, 1993.
Baskaya, born in 1940, is lecturer at Bolu's Abant
Izzet Baysal University. After having completed his Ph.D. in France,
Baskaya carried out research on such topics as imperialism,
underdevelopment and transition from socialism to capitalism at the
Universities of Paris and Poitiers. His books are entitled
Environmental Capitalism or Underdevelopment, From State Socialism to
the January 24 Decisions, The Continuity of Underdevelopment, A Test of
the Debt Crisis and The Failure of Paradigm. He also writes articles in
various newspapers and reviews.
THE ARMENIAN TABOO CONFISCATED
A book on the Armenian Genocide was confiscated in
March by the decision of the Istanbul SSC and its Turkish publishers
were indicted by the same court by virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
The translation of the French book entitled Les
Arméniens, histoire d'un genocide (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1977) was
published in Turkey by the Belge Publishing House under the title of
The Armenian Taboo (Ermeni Tabusu).
The owners of the publishing house, Mr Ragip
Zarakolu and Mrs. Ayse Zarakolu as well as the translator of the book,
Mr. Emirhan Oguz were accused of inciting belligerency, racial and
territorial segregation and of undermining the territorial integrity of
Mrs. Zarakolu who has already been sentenced
to a 5-month imprisonment for publishing a book by Sociologist
Ismail Besikci, faces a new imprisonment while Mr. Zarakolu and Mr.
Oguz are facing heavy fines.
The Armenian Taboo would have been only the second
book published in Turkey recognising that the deportations of the
Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire and the accompanying
massacres amounted to a premeditated policy of genocide.
The first Turkish book espousing this view was The
Turkish National Identity and the Armenian Question (Istanbul, Iletisim
Yayinlari, 1992) by Taner Akcam, who lives as a political émigré in
Germany and is a researcher at Hamburger Institut für Sozialforshung.