MASS KURDISH ESCAPE FROM TURKEY
Thousands of Turks of Turkey and their terrified
children have poured into northern Iraq to escape fighting between the
Turkish Army and Kurdish forces, a senior UN. Official said on May
10, 1994. "We have recently identified 3,600 newly arriving Kurds
but Iraqi Kurdish authorities say they number more than 6,000,"
Abdullah Saied of the UN. Higher Commission for Refugees told Reuters.
"The refugees, mostly women and children, were
stranded close to the northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Zakho with their
cattle and sheep. They are terrified. Some of the refugees refuse to
identify themselves as Turkish Kurds because they fear reprisal from
both Iraqi Kurds and Turkish troops. Their children run away whenever
they see a plane, any plane, in the sky. I fear that the ongoing
fighting in Southeast Turkey would force more Kurds to seek refuge in
northern Iraq," he said.
Meanwhile some Kurdish sources in Turkey say that
the exodus into northern Iraq is much greater than the figures quoted
and indicate that up to 30,000 people may be involved.
The Turkish Government immediately asserted that the
mass migration of villagers to northern Iraq is a ploy by the PKK aimed
at embarrassing Turkey in the West.
However, DEP Sirnak deputy Selim Sakik said at the
Parliament that he had personally talked to people leaving for Northern
Iraq and concluded that they were being forced out of their villages by
special security forces operating in the region and by government armed
One of those who decided to migrate to Northern
Iraq, the DEP candidate for mayor of Uludere in March local elections,
Abdullah Yilmaz, claimed people had decided to flee from his region
because of pressure from the government appointed local prefect and
from the regional security chief. "The state is pressurising us in
every way possible. The PKK is not pressurising us. We came here to get
away from it all but they are still firing artillery shells on us.
Planes are flying over our heads. If international organizations do not
take this matter in hand many people will die," Yilmaz said.
GENERAL GURES THREATENS A MASSACRE
Chief of General Staff Gen. Dogan Güres, said on May
16 that the state had still not used many options in combating the
outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
In response, the acting DEP chairman, Remzi Kartal, claiming that
general Güres' remarks were a "threat aimed at civilians," called on
General Güres to "clarify" his words.
"The public knows Gen. Güres, who is currently
filling his post as Chief of the General Staff due to a questionable
government decree, as someone who is pressurising the government and
the president in order to stay in his job longer. He has also said on
countless occasions that he is opposed to a political solution of the
Kurdish problem. Now he is referring to options the state has not used
to date and in this way threatening the people openly with massacres.
It is clear that Gen. Güres is referring to the fact that weapons of
mass destruction, which have been used from time to time, will be used
with greater frequency now," Kartal said.
CILLER'S CONVERSATION TAPPED
The daily Günaydin released on May 3 what it claims
are the secret transcripts of a three-way telephone conversation
between Prime Minister Ciller and State Ministers Necmettin Cevheri and
Bekir Sami Dace. In this conversation, Ciller asked her colleagues to
prepare a pretext for extending the term of office of General Güres.
Last year the government had extended Güres' term of
office by a year through legal juggling despite the fact Güres should
have been legally retired as chief of staff. At the time, the
government used the authorisation bill to prepare the legal ground to
delay the retirement of Gen. Güres. Later the bill was annulled by the
Supreme Court as unconstitutional and thus legal experts argued that
the extension of Gen. Güres' term of office was null and void. However,
Güres has preferred to remain in office.
POLICE BRUTALITY ON MAY DAY
As May Day was being celebrated in joy throughout
the world, the demonstration organized by trade unions and democratic
organizations ended once more in bloodshed. In many cities, police
intervened in demonstrations and arrested some people. In Ankara, many
demonstrators were brutally beaten by police.
Among the demonstrators being target of police
terror is Salman Kaya, a deputy of the coalition partner SHP.
After the events, Deputy Prime Minister and SHP
Chairman Murat Karayalcin said: "Our Ankara deputy Salman Kaya has been
severely beaten. I was told by the Interior Minister at first that he
had been stoned by mistake but the hospital report states that his
injuries are not due to stones, but to blows. I do not regard this as
just an assault on a deputy. It is of wider importance and the issue
needs to be looked at from the point of view of every citizen."
Karayalcin also underlined that in the past police
had beaten up civil servants and students on different occasions while
they had remained indifferent and did not intervene when Islamic
protesters attacked the UN mission and US embassy in April. He accused
the police of using a double standard in Ankara.
On this criticism, Ankara police chief Orhan
Tasanlar was suspended for a few days, but returned to his post a few
days later by the order of the Interior Minister Nahit Mentese.
ÖZGÜR GÜNDEM AND AZADI BANNED
Two pro-Kurdish newspapers, Özgür Gündem and Azadi,
were closed down respectively on April 20 and May 13, 1994, after the
Court of Cassation ratified the State Security Court decisions to this
Özgür Gündem is a Kurdish-owned Turkish-language
national newspaper with a circulation of some 30,000. Originally set up
in 1992, its headquarters are in Istanbul where it employs over 120
people. There are regional offices across Turkey and abroad which in
total employ a further 100 people.
Özgür Gündem has a predominantly left-wing political
orientation. It is also pro-Kurdish in its cultural and political
outlook. As a result of this radical cocktail, it has come under the
scrutiny of the Turkish Government and its security forces, and has
been subject to harassment, confiscations, raids and legal proceedings
from the first issue of May 31, 1992.
The combined effect of these measures led to the
closure of the newspaper on January 15, 1993, with an attendant loss of
over TL 300 million. The financial problems occurred when its
distribution company, Ergani, was induced to break its contract. The
paper's subsequent attempt to organize distribution by volunteers
failed due to intimidation.
Özgür Gündem started publication again on April 26,
1993, when it merged with another radical newspaper, Yeni Ülke.
However, the pressure on the newspaper restarted and increased in a
Since May 1992, 39 out of 228 issues of Özgür Gündem
were confiscated by the SSC under the Anti-Terror Law and the Turkish
Penal Code. As a result, its proprietor, Yasar Kaya, and its news
editor were fined in total $16,029 and $8,034 respectively.
The Kurdish-Turkish weekly newspaper Azadi,
published in Istanbul, was banned for two weeks on May 13, 1994, after
the Court of Cassation upheld the verdict of the Istanbul SSC to forbid
the publication of this newspaper on grounds of its violation of the
Anti-Terror Law. Three other verdicts to ban the newspaper for a
limited period of time, amounting to a total of six weeks, are still
pending before the Court of Cassation.
Azadi has been published since May 17, 1992. Of the
104 issues that have been published so far, 66 have been confiscated on
court orders. The distribution of the issues that have not been
confiscated has suffered from massive interference by police forces and
soldiers, especially in Kurdistan. Numerous court proceedings are
currently pending before the
In a total of 66 court proceedings, the Istanbul SSC
prosecutor has demanded a total of 38.5 years of imprisonment with hard
labour and a fine of TL 13.666 trillion against the managing editors of
the newspaper. In court actions that have been concluded, the
publishers and chief editors have been sentenced to a total of 11 years
of imprisonment and fines amounting to TL 2.716 billion.
SUFFOCATION OF THE PRESS IN TURKEY
Reporters sans frontières (Reporter without
frontiers) sent a second international delegation, made up of
Swiss, French and Spanish journalists, to Turkey at the end of March
1994 to study the evolution of the Turkish press regime since the
beginning of 1993 when its first mission to Turkey brought to light the
serious breaches in the freedom of the press.
The following is the summary of the 48-page report
1. Between three and nine journalists were killed in
Turkey in 1993, exercising or because of their profession. This large
degree of uncertainty is due partly to the inadequate definition of the
status of journalists. It is also partly due to the lack of details of
the circumstances in which the murders took place, which our delegation
was not able to investigate further. Eight newspaper sellers and
distributors were also assassinated. Once again it is to be deplored
that the Police inquiries have proved inefficient or inexistent.
Members of the security forces are probably directly or indirectly
responsible for part of the murders.
2. Our delegation noted and deplored that all the
other types of intimidation used against the press had worsened in
1993. Beforehand, these intimidations only hit the militant press. At
present it is increasingly extended to all of the press, once it risks
treating certain political subjects. These intolerable pressures
originate with the authorities as well as different armed groups,
notably from the PKK. Because of this increase in intimidations we have
chosen to call this report "Suffocation" (the report on our mission in
January 1993 was called "Intimidation").
3. The extra legal pressures (threats, arbitrary
arrests, kidnappings, physical violences, interferences in
distribution) continue, especially in the south east areas of the
country, where the consequences can be seen in the reduction in the
free-flow of information concerning a conflict which is worsening. But
these pressures are extending geographically to the rest of the country.
4. The legal pressures - seizures of publication,
convictions under laws which severely limit the freedom of expression -
have increased and go beyond the Kurd problem. Around 80% of the trials
which go before the State Security Courts, established to fight against
terrorism, are aimed at publications, which is a clear indication that
the anti-terrorism law is used more to muzzle the press than to fight
terrorism. The sanctions are becoming more and more sever, threatening
the survival of the militant publications.
5. The legislative reforms promised in 1991 in
favour of the freedom of the press have lead to nothing. On the other
hand, a reform concerning anti-terrorism is being prepared. It will
considerably worsen the breaches in the freedom of expression.
6. Lastly, our delegation deplores the sensational
tendency of the major newspapers which risk resulting new restrictions
in the freedom of the press. Hopefully all the members of the
profession will respect the same professional code of ethics.
THE TURKISH PRESS LOST READERS
The Turkish press which boasts about its
technological superiority in the world, despite this advantage, is
continuously losing readers because of its failure in journalistic and
In a country where the population has risen to
60 million, total daily circulation always remains as low as 2.7
million for years.
At first, the media managers claimed that illiteracy
was a factor in the low circulation. Yet, even when the literacy rate
increased, circulation did not move despite the rapid increase in the
So the papers tried to boost their sales through
costly promotion campaigns. In the past they have given away
apartments, cars, TV sets and electrical appliances. The promotion wars
continued, reaching new heights last year when Sabah decided to give
complete volumes of encyclopaedias to all its readers free of charge.
Milliyet and Hürriyet had to follow suit. So, each saw sales climbing
to the one million mark. This created the false impression that the
overall circulation figure in Turkey had shot up from 2.5 million to
3.5 million. Yet, as soon as the promotion handouts were finished sales
started to drop. Thousands of journalists have been fired.
One major reason why the three biggest dailies have
received so many setbacks in the past few months is the growing public
awareness that they have been extremely biased in favour of the
unpopular government of Prime Minister Tansu Ciller and have been
spreading all kinds of misinformation.
As they are losing readers, three conservative
dailies, Türkiye, Zaman and Milli Gazete, with joint sales of more than
half a million have joined the big league because of the recent rise of
Islamist movement in Turkey.
As for the left-wing or pro-Kurdish dailies, under
the impossibility of reaching readers under legal and extra-legal
pressures, they have already been condemned to low circulations.
Left-wing Aydinlik and pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem have been obliged to
stop their publication because of prison terms, fines, extra-judicial
executions, death-threats, etc.
The circulations of the dailies at the end of May
1994 are as follows:
Türkiye (Islamist) 341,000
Zaman (Islamist) 259,000
Cumhuriyet (Kemalist) 56,000
Yeni Asir 52,000
Milli Gazete (Islamist) 23,000
Süper Tan 23,000
Yeni Günaydin 13,000
Özgür Ülke (successor of Özgür Gündem) 12,500
RADIO-TV LAW CRITICISED
As the Radio-TV was adopted by the National Assembly
on April 20, waves of criticism against its contents continued with
According to the law, a Supreme Board of
Broadcasting is authorised to supervise Radio and TV stations and, if
necessary, to close down the private media channels. This supreme board
will consist of nine members, five of which will be proposed by the
government, the rest by the opposition.
The Association of Contemporary Jurists (CHD) said
the bill would not bring freedom. "While Supreme Board of Broadcasting
should be impartial, the law turns it into an extension of the
government. It is shortcoming that universities, the press,
associations, and trade unions are not represented in the SBB."
The chairman of the Istanbul Bar, Turgut Kazan said
that the structuring of the SBB was of the nature that might cause
"serious consequences" and called upon the parties not to "fall into
the trap of partisanship."
The Committee to Protect Journalists in the USA sent
a letter on May 12 to the members of the Turkish Parliament, drawing
their attention to the shortcomings of the new law.
The committee specifically complained about Article
4, which lists 20 broadcasting principles; Article 24, which denies
political parties, associations, trade unions and newspapers the right
to establish their own radio and TV stations; and Article 25, which
gives the prime minister the right to stop any broadcast without any
need for a court order.
TURCO-GERMAN TENSION ON KURDS
On the claims that German military aid was being
used against Kurdish villages, the German Government announced in April
that it would suspended its military shipment to Turkey until it
examined these claims. However, on May 4, German Foreign Minister Klaus
Kinkel announced that the suspension had been lifted. "The examination
made by the Defence Ministry experts concluded that a deployment in
violation of the assistance treaty could not be proven," he said.
However, the decision to resume shipments of
military material was severely criticised by the German opposition.
"Foreign Minister Kinkel made a mockery of the suffering of the Kurdish
population," said Social Democrat Karsten Voigt.
As for Turkey, while Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin
was welcoming the German decision, Defence Minister Mehmet Gölhan,
during his visit to Paris on May 6, said: "We can get arms from
anywhere, as scores of countries are eager to sell arms. Right after
the decision of suspension, I went to Russia and concluded a $200
million deal. The Germans have heard of my visit to France. Seeing that
we can get arms anywhere, they have decided to reverse their decision,
which might not have been reversed until after the elections."
US AID TO TURKEY REDUCED
During a private visit of Premier Ciller to the
United States at the end of May 1994, the US House of Representatives
decided to withhold 25 percent of the principal amount of direct
loans for Turkey until the Secretary of State submits to the Committees
on Appropriations a report on the allegations of abuses against
civilians by the Turkish armed forces and the situation in Cyprus.
The decision is based on a report by David R. Obey,
chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing
and Related Programs. The report severely criticised Turkey's
human rights citing "extra-judicial executions and 'disappearances',
bombings of villages in the Southeast, imprisonments and torture."
The report cites the State Department's 1993 human
rights reports, and statements from the European Committee for the
Prevention of Torture and the UN Committee Against Torture to draw
attention to the "escalation of violence and human rights abuses" in
"The committee is alarmed to learn that there are
currently dozens of prisoners of conscience in Turkey, including the
Secretary-general of the Human Rights Association. These individuals
have been detained for the non-violent expression of their beliefs,"
the report said.
The same concern was aired a short while ago in a
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE)-sponsored
International Human Rights Law Group briefing, again held in Congress.
"Finally," Obey said, "the committee condemns the
arrest following the removal of parliamentary immunity of six Kurdish
members of Parliament for expressing their views. Two of these members,
Leyla Zana and Ahmet Türk, are also charged with expressing views
before the United State Congress in a CSCE hearing (in
1993.)" Obey urged the US administration "to work
with the Turkish government to establish an independent commission with
full investigatory and persecutory powers in the next six months to
look into the abolition of the practice of torture in Turkey."
When she returned to Turkey on May 30, Prime
Minister Ciller announced that the restriction of US military aid was
unacceptable to Turkey. She claimed that she had a telephone
conversation with US president Bill Clinton and said him that Turkey
GENERAL GURES AGAINST RUSSIA
On May 31, in a statement that made headlines in
several newspapers, Chief of Staff Gen. Dogan Güres said that Russia
became a serious threat to Turkey.
Noting that everyday 40 plane loads of military
equipment are being sent to Armenia, Gen. Güres said: "We are going
through some tense days. Russian troops are positioned on our border
with Armenia. Russia is conducting an expansionist police, acting with
the same sentiments as in the czarist era."
"A year ago I had seen that Russia was pursuing
expansionist policies, and I put that fact on record at a NATO meeting.
Russia claims it should have a say concerning the 30 million people of
Russian origin living outside the borders of the Russian federation. It
is 'playing' with Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine and Azerbaijan."
Gen. Güres' statement is interpreted as an attempt
to get support from public opinion for the militarist policies adopted
by the government.
THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE RESOLUTION
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
adopted, on April 13, 1994, the following resolution on the arrest and
detention of six members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly:
1. The arrest of eight members of the Turkish Grand
National Assembly, on 2 and 3 March 1994 (two of whom were released on
March 4), immediately raised widespread and deep concern at various
political levels in Europe, especially as the detained
parliamentarians, in view of the charges brought against them and in
accordance with article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code, are liable to
the death penalty.
2. Grave concern was voiced by the President of the
Assembly in letters which he addressed to the Chairman of the Committee
of Ministers and to the Chairmen of the national parliamentary
delegations to the Council of Europe and to the leaders of the
Assembly's political groups. His proposal to hold an urgent debate
during the April 1994 part-session was taken up by the Committee on
Legal Affairs and Human Rights at its meeting of 21 March 1994.
3. The Assembly, once more, wants to express its
abhorrence of any terrorist acts, and use of violence, irrespective of
by whom it is perpetrated, and very much hopes that the dreadful and
bloody conflict in south-eastern Turkey will very soon find a peaceful
4. The Assembly is fully aware of the need to
preserve the political unity and territorial integrity of the Republic
of Turkey and acknowledges that finding a peaceful, democratic and
non-separatist solution to this problem is solely the responsibility of
the citizens of that Republic.
5. However, by making their declarations, the six
detained members of the parliament, — all of Kurdish origin and members
of the DEP — did not go beyond using their right to freedom of
expression which is guaranteed in Article 10 of the European Convention
on Human Rights as well as in the Turkish Constitution.
6. Thus, the Assembly cannot accept the lifting of
the parliamentary immunity, the prosecution, the arrest and subsequent
detention of six members of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for
charges solely based on public statements and written publications of
these members claiming the recognition of the existence of a Kurdish
identity and advocating forms of (cultural) autonomy for the region
which has a population of predominantly Kurdish origin.
7. In conclusion, the Assembly:
i. impresses on its Turkish parliamentary delegation
and on the Turkish authorities that the arrest, detention and
prosecution of members of the GNA for the political views they voice
because these views are — in the opinion of these authorities — of a
criminal nature, is a possible threat to the very essence of
parliamentary democracy, and that such a persecution — if it is
necessary — should be conducted with the greatest concern for
parliamentary rights and civil liberties;
ii. calls on the Turkish authorities to withdraw the
existing charges before the state Security Court against the six
members of parliament based on political statements that are allegedly
treasonable, as it cannot reasonably be treasonable to advocate
constitutional change by parliamentary means;
iii. calls on the Turkish authorities to withdraw
their request before the Constitutional Court to "close" the DEP party
on the grounds of treasonable aims (that is separatism), this request
being solely based on one single document and on two statements which
urge changes within the Turkish Constitution, and therefore seem to
fall within the limits of free speech, certainly for a parliamentary
iv. calls on the Turkish authorities to make use of
the possibility of preparing its case for the prosecution against the
six deputies — if the authorities insist on pursuing the persecution —
without holding them in detention, as this makes their work as
representatives of the people impossible;
v. calls on the Turkish authorities to take
initiatives for a peaceful and political solution to "the Kurdish
question" within its frontiers, inlcuding the repeal of all legislation
which makes normal political discourse and free speech about specific
changes in the Constitution (in this case "the indivisibility of the
state") a treasonable offence;
vi. calls on all its members to use every
opportunity to raise the case of their six Turkish colleagues with the
vii. urges especially its Turkish parliamentary
delegation to create a political middle-ground in the Turkish
Parliament for a dialogue that recognises the existence of "the Kurdish
question" and seeks a peaceful political solution for it.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
The European Parliament adopted on April 21 a
resolution calling on the European Union governments to cut off
military aid to Ankara, condemning human rights abuses.
The resolution condemned the detention of six
Kurdish deputies, the arrest of European observers for local elections
in the Kurdish region. The European Parliament was appalled by the
number of journalists operating in the Southeast who had been arrested,
abducted or murdered and was concerned that Turkish forces had
destroyed more than 120 villages in that area in 1994 alone.
The European Parliament also condemned terrorist
attacks in Istanbul and other places attributed to the PKK and called
on the European Union to promote a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
In answer to this resolution, Turkish Foreign
Ministry spokesman Ferhat Ataman said: "It is impossible to take this
decision seriously. The decision, taken under the influence of obvious
circles is filled with factual errors and in no way complementary with
BELGIAN MISSION TO KURDISTAN
From 20 to 28 March 1994, a Belgian-Dutch delegation
went in mission to Eastern Turkey for controlling the respect to human
rights on the occasion of March 27 elections and Newroz (Kurdish New
Year). Germain Dufour and Michiel Maertens (Belgian Senators),
Dr. Hand Feddema (anthropologist and representative of the Dutch
Green-Left Party), Peter Paul Mok (Dutch lawyer), Pim Ligtvoet (Dutch
priest), four Belgian and Dutch journalists took part in the mission.
Following are their conclusions:
1. The Kurds cannot freely celebrate Newroz.
2. In the South-East region of Turkey, the election
was held in a repressive atmosphere.
3. In Kurdistan, South-East region of Turkey, the
population was forced in many times to escape from the military who set
their houses on fire.
4. The participation to elections in the South-East
region of Turkey was very low, in many villages under 50 per cent. It
was due to the fact that many refugees could not be registered and that
Kurds boycotted the vote.
5. In the villages of Kurdistan, the percentage of
invalid votes was very high.
6. Our delegation was subjected to restrictions as
regards their freedom to voyage.
7. Very shocking were:
- the arrest of the delegation's
- the arrest of our Kurdish guides
- the torture of Kurds refusing
to aid repression
- the bombing of four Kurdish
villages near to Sirnak on 25 March ended in 41 deaths and a number of
wounded. The super governor, M. Erkan, qualified this as "an error by
8. Neither the human rights of Kurds nor the
collective rights of the Kurdish people as a national minority in
Turkey are respected. Although to speak in Kurdish is allowed, this
language cannot be used neither in radio, television, newspapers,
books, cassettes nor in official works.
The delegation calls on the Turkish Government:
1. To restore the rights of DEP parliamentarians,
particularly their right to speak in freedom, and to end the proceeding
aiming to ban the DEP.
2. To re-establish the press freedom and to release
the journalists of Özgür Gündem.
3. To negotiate a cease-fire and to open a dialogue
with all representatives of Kurds at a round-table (the PKK is one of
the Kurdish political families).
4 To organize rapidly new local and regional
elections in the South-Eastern Turkey.
- To replace the military occupation by a political
solution to the Kurdish problem. For example, a form of federalism,
with cultural and regional autonomy.
The delegation also calls on the European Union and
its member states to put a heavy pressure on Turkey for respecting all
human rights on its territory and not to conclude custom union with
this state as far as the political and cultural rights of the Kurdish
minority are not fulfilled.
SOLIDARITY WITH KURDISH LAWYERS
In a move of solidarity with the Kurdish lawyers
under pressure, the Brussels Bar Association signed a convention of
twinning with the Diyarbakir Bar Association on May 21, 1994 in
The Diyarbakir Bar Association has about 250
members. The proceedings started at the end of 1993 against 16 lawyers
before the Diyarbakir SSC were later extended to five other attorneys.
Besides, some other lawyers have been accused of having contacts with
some international organizations such as Amnesty International and
tarnished Turkey's image abroad.
Ten other lawyers subjected to menaces had to flee
What is graver, three lawyers of Diyarbakir have
been assassinated since the beginning of 1994: Kazim Ekinci, Davut Ufuk
Demirel and Yusuf Ziya Ekinci.
Trials before the Diyarbakir SSC are
increasing and hundreds' years of prison are demanded each week.
The SSC functions without making any judicial holiday.
Any attorney visiting his client in prison is
exposed to the risk of being charged as an accomplice.
In solidarity with their Kurdish colleagues, the
Brussels Bar Association and the Attorneys Without Frontiers
organization have sent missions to Turkey in five different dates.
The fifth mission, composed of Bar Association
President Pierre Legros and Attorney Georges-Henri Beauthier,
went to Turkey in May and visited first the former mayor of Diyarbakir,
Mehdi Zana, arrested on May 13, 1994, and a number of lawyers. Later,
they passed to Diyarbakir and held a series of meetings with their
colleagues on May 21-22, 1994.
According to the signed convention of twinning
between the Diyarbakir Bar Association President Fethi Gümüs and his
Belgian counterpart Pierre Legros, each side is committed:
- to favour and intensify collaboration between
- to inform each other of their activities and to
favour the participation of their members in this action,
- to exchange, in a unlimited manner, informations
on the subjects of common interest of two sides,
- to favour, respecting legal rules, the
installation of cabinets and the inscription to a bar association of
the members of the other bar association;
- to develop a mutual support for that the European
Convention on Human Rights and the Convention is respected.
The two sides also agreed to have a meeting in
Brussels at the end of September 1994, to collaborate during the
proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights, to organize a
seminary in Diyarbakir and to exchange young attorneys for training.
During this visit the Diyarbakir Bar Association
became a member of the Attorneys Without Frontiers association. On the
other hand, the names of Belgian lawyers Legros and Beauthier were
written on the table of the Diyarbakir Bar Association. They said that,
from now on, any attack on a Diyarbakir lawyer will be considered as an
attack on a Brussels attorney.
STATE TERRORISM IN APRIL
1.4, trade unionist Sükrü Sahin is detained by
police in Istanbul.
1.4, Abdülhakim Aslan, Abdullah Temiz and
Muhittin Altun fall victims of political murders in Batman, Fazil
Alay in Diyarbakir.
2.4, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Nurullah Ensari
and Lokman Altun in Batman.
2.4, the daily Özgür Gündem reports that security
forces, raiding the village of Incirli in Bitlis on March 26, shot dead
headman Sükrü Karaca and two other Kurdish peasants.
2.4, the Human Rights Association (IHD) protested
against the bombing of three villages in Sirnak, Kumcati, Sapaca and
Gever, by military planes on March 26.
2.4, the Kayseri SSC sentences five militants of the
Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP) to prison terms of up to
four years and two months.
3.4, in Bursa, 17 alleged activists of the Aczmendi
religious order are taken into custody.
3.4, in Izmir, nine people are placed under arrest
by the Izmir SSC for participating in the activities of the illegal
left-wing organization Ekim (October).
4.4, Doctor Ilhan Diken is sentenced by the
Diyarbakir SSC to three years and nine months in prison for having
given medical care to a wounded PKK militant at the Diyarbakir State
4.5, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Ekrem Uludag in
Diyarbakir and Servet Ulutas in Batman.
5.4, seven students are expelled from the 9 Eylül
University in Izmir for having led a campaign against capital
5.4, in Ankara, three relatives of DEP deputy Sirri
Sakik who is still under arrest, are taken into custody by police.
5.4, in Batman, Serif Gezer is shot dead by
5.4, the police announce the arrest of six people in
6.4, unidentified persons destroy 75 tombs at the
Jewish Graveyard in Istanbul.
6.4, the Kayseri SSC sentences two persons to
life-prison for PKK activities.
6.4, unidentified gunmen shoot dead the quarter
headman Necdet Kont in Viransehir (Urfa) and Burhanettin Araz in
6.4, in Ankara, security forces detained four
university students for illegal activities.
7.4, a penal court of Istanbul sentences eight
people to one-week imprisonment each for being members of a religious
7.4, in Izmir, trade union official Ihsan Agir
is detained by police.
7.4, unidentified assailants murder Kazim Ekinci and
Fahri Inan in Viransehir and Mehmet Ali Durak in Silvan.
9.4, in Nusaybin, Necmettin Gürbüz is found
assassinated after a three-day disappearance. Same day, unidentified
gunmen shoot dead Mehmet Tevfik Ciftsüren and Metin Güzel in Diyarbakir.
10.4, in Diyarbakir, the former chairman of the
Health Workers' Union (Tüm Saglik Sen), Necati Sen, and Mehmet Ay are
found assassinated. Aydin had been released six days ago following a
two-week police detention. Same day in Diyarbakir, tradesman Hasan
Güzel is shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
10.4, pro-government village protectors raiding the
village Kutlu in Diyarbakir shoot dead five peasants and two children
and wound twelve others.
11.4, local RP chairman of Igdir, Vahap Akar
is found assassinated after being kidnapped by PKK militants.
11.4, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Recep Dagdelen
in Diyarbakir and Tevfik Altuner in Batman.
11.4, the governor of Konya closes down the
Association for Freedoms and Rights (Özgür-Der) in Eregli for having
inside some forbidden publications. Besides, police detain the
association's chairwoman Hatice Ögüt.
12.4, in Burdur, Adnan Akgün and Cetin Yesilyayla
claim to have been tortured by five policemen after their detention.
12.4, in Izmir, three Christian graveyards in
different quarters are destroyed by unidentified people.
12.4, in Bitlis, Murat Toygun falls victim of
a political murder.
12.4, in Adana, police take into custody eight
people during a series of repressive operations. Besides, three
university students are detained for having put on walls some posters
claiming the right to higher education without any restriction.
13.4, the People's House of Yildirim District is
closed down by the governor of Bursa for having let some non-member
people enter in.
14.4, in Ankara, police disperse by using force a
student demonstration to protest education against payment, wounds 20
students and detains about 50 demonstrators. Two similar demonstrations
in Istanbul too are dispersed by force and 70 students detained.
14.4, four alleged PKK activists are indicted by the
Prosecutor of Istanbul SSC for an attempt against a military school's
cadets and face capital punishment according to Article 125 of the
Turkish Penal Code.
14.4, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Bülent Isci in
14.4, the Samsun IHD office is raided by police,
four people inside taken into custody and all documents confiscated.
15.4, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Mustafa Cengiz
in Kiziltepe and Nihat Bas in Diyarbakir.
16.4, the Istanbul SSC Prosecutor started a legal
proceeding against 17 alleged PKK militants of whom seven face capital
punishment. Among the other defendants facing prison terms of up to
fifteen years are also DEP candidate for Diyarbakir Mayorship, Metin
Toprak and the former chairwoman of the Education Workers' Trade Union
(Egit-Sen), Nezahat Koc.
16.4, the People's House of Osmangazi District is
closed down for ten days by
the governor of Bursa for having let some non-member people enter in.
16.4, the Ankara prosecutor started a legal
proceeding against the top official of the Turkish Doctors' Union (TTB)
for having carried out a demonstration in front of the Prime Minister's
office in January for protesting against the working conditions of
19.4, the police announce the arrest of 12 alleged
PKK militants in Adana four students in Sivas.
20.4, in Istanbul, the Association of the Graduates
from Alibeyköy High school (ALYED) is closed down by the order of the
governor for having inside some issued of the daily Özgür Gündem.
20.4, in last week, fifteen people have been
detained in Ankara in relation with the operation against an outlawed
20.4, unidentified gunmen assassinate Ahmet Özcelik
and Suat Evcil in Batman.
21.4, an army major, Ali Sahin, and three NCOs
accused of having tortured to death a teacher named Siddik Bilgin in
Bingöl in July 1985, are acquitted by the Criminal Court N°2 of Ankara
on grounds of prescription, although the fact of torturing is found
undeniable. The accused officers had earlier been sentenced to one-year
imprisonment each, but the Court of Cassation overruled the
sentence and sent back the file to the court.
21.4, during repressive operation against PKK
sympathisers in Karayazi (Erzurum), security forces detain twelve high
school students of whom three are not yet 18 years old. Same day, in
Adana, eight university students are detained for Pro-PKK activities.
22.4, unidentified assailants assassinate
Resat Baser in Batman and Ahmet Aydin in Diyarbakir.
22.4, in Diyarbakir, Kurdish tradesman Mehmet Serif
Avsar has been kidnapped by village protectors.
23.4, in Izmir, Sami Gümüs, Mustafa Ceylan, Kerem
Bulut, Bilge Sahin and Nazmiye Aksoy claim to have been tortured at the
Political Police Headquarters after being detained during a
demonstration against price hikes.
23.4, a DEP founder, Nevzat Teker, is sentenced by
the Izmir SSC to 20 months in prison and TL 208 million in fine for his
speech at the DEP Manisa Congress in October 1993.
23.4, the Diyarbakir SSC sentence 21 persons, mainly
leading officials of trade unions, associations and media, to 20 months
in prison and TL 208 million in fine each for a common declaration in
defence of human rights on behalf of a the Diyarbakir Platform for
Democracy. They are accused of instigating the people against law and
order by virtue of Anti-Terror Law.
25.4, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Mehmet Emin
Gölcü, Davut Toprak, Erdal Aldeniz and Bahri Tekin in Diyarbakir.
26.4, the Izmir SSC sentences 13 PKK defendants to
prison terms of up to fifteen years. Gendarmes beat the defendants when
they begin to shout slogans in protest against the verdict.
27.4, DEP Adiyaman Chairman Abuzer Önen who was
wounded by unidentified gunmen on April 11, dies at an Adana hospital.
27.4, left-wing prisoners at the Buca prison in
Izmir have reportedly been beaten by guardians raiding their wards and
about 80 of them wounded.
29.4, teacher Recep Uyur, member of the Teachers'
Trade Union (Egit-Sen), is assassinated by unidentified gunmen in
29.4, former mayor of Diyarbakir, Mehdi Zana is
sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 100
millions in fine for his speech at a HEP meeting on June 28, 1992. At
the same trials, two other defendants too are sentenced to same
30.4, in Diyarbakir, butcher Ilhan Böcküm falls
victim of a political murder.
30.4, in Adana, a housewoman named Feristay Gül
claims to have been tortured by police after being detained on April 22
together with her husband and children. "They threatened me with
throwing from the 4th floor if I do not sign a declaration invented by
themselves," she said.
30.4 the governor of Adana closes down 40 cafés for
up to 25 days for not being opened on March 21 for celebrating Newroz
(Kurdish New Year).
PRESSURE ON THE MEDIA IN APRIL
2.4, the Istanbul SSC sentences the former editor of
the periodical Mücadele, Namik Kemal Cibaroglu to six months in prison
and TL 50 million in fine. The publisher of the magazine, Gülten Sesen
too is sentenced to a fine of TL 100 million. The court also decides to
ban the publication of Mücadele for fifteen days.
3.4, the issue N°13 of the Kurdish literary magazine
Rewsen is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
4.4, the responsible editor of the periodical Sterka
Rizgari, Cihan Kartal claims to have been tortured together with her
sisters, Songül Kartal and Özgül Kartal, after their arrest on March
27. "Three readers of the review who were at the office during the
police raid too were subjected to torture," he said.
4.4, the issue N°6 of the monthly Partizan is
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
4.4, the Adana office of the periodical Özgür Halk
is raided by police and many documents inside confiscated.
5.4, the owner of the Yurt Publishing House, Ünsal
Öztürk is sentenced by the Ankara SSC to twelve months in prison and TL
250 million in fine for having published a book entitled The Crying
Breath of The Miner. Journalist Naile Tuncer who had edited the book is
sentenced to the same punishment.
5.4, the periodicals Mücadele N°96 and Gelenek N°45
are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
6.4, the publisher and editor of the periodical
Emegin Bayragi, Nazim Taban is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two
years in prison and TL 50 million in fine for some articles he
published in September 1991.
8.4, former publisher of the daily Özgür Gündem,
Yasar Kaya is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to TL 150 million 580
thousand in fine for some articles published on January 1 and 8, 1993.
The tribunal also issues an arrest warrant against the former editor of
8.4, the Istanbul SSC sentences the former editor of
the monthly Kurtulus, Mustafa Yilmaz to a 3-year imprisonment and a
fine of TL 300 million, and the magazine's former publisher Erdal Cinar
to a fine of TL 250 million. The tribunal also decides to ban the
magazine from publication for fifteen days.
8.4, the chief editor of the periodical Emegin
Bayragi, Hüseyin Tekin is placed under arrest by the Istanbul SSC for
9.4, the periodicals Gencligin Sesi N°11 and Deng
N°27 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
10.4, two journalists, Nadire Mater and Filiz
Kocali, and five members of the IHD are taken into police custody in
Istanbul for distributing an anti-racist leaflet entitled "Don't touch
to my pal!"
11.4, the Court of Cassation ratified one-year
imprisonment and a fine of TL 125 million against the former editor of
the fortnightly Mücadele, and a fine of TL 250 million against the
magazine's owner Gülten Sesen. The fines of TL 25 million and TL 50
million respectively against another former editor of Mücadele, Namik
Kemal Cibaroglu, and Gülten Sesen too are ratified by the same higher
12.4, in Istanbul, two correspondents of the
periodical Emegin Bayragi, Necibe Savaskan and Dilaver Peker claim to
have been tortured at a police station after being taken into custody.
12.4, the editor of the weekly Azadi, Sedat Karakas
is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and a fine of
TL 5O million. The owner of the weekly, Ikramettin Oguz too is
sentenced to a fine of TL 83 million.
12.4, the Istanbul SSC sentences the editor of the
periodical Serketin, Sahin Gül, to five months in prison and TL 43
million in fine, and the magazine's owner Zeynel Aydin to a fine of TL
12.4, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the periodicals
Azadi N°100 and Hedef N°30 for separatist propaganda.
13.4, a former editor of the daily Özgür Gündem,
Seyh Davut Karadag, is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in
prison and TL 31O million 628 thousand in fine. In another case against
the same newspaper, the same court sentences another former editor,
Isik Yurtcu, to TL 90 million in fine and former owner Yasar Kaya to TL
181 million 785 thousand.
13.4, the issue N°26 of the periodical Devrimci Emek
is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for propaganda in favour of the
Communist Labour Party of Turkey (TKEP).
13.4, the Adana office of the periodical Alinteri is
raided by police and some documents confiscated.
14.4, the daily Özgür Gündem is closed down for
fifteen days after the ratification of a SSC decision by the Court of
Cassation. The higher court ratifies also 5-month imprisonment and a
fine of TL 62 million against a former editor of Özgür Gündem, Seyh
Davut Karadag, and a fine of TL 125 million against the former
publisher Yasar Kaya.
14.4, the Court of Cassation ratifies two years in
prison and TL 250 million in fine against Bülent Genc, a former editor
of the periodical Emegin Bayragi, and a decision to ban the magazine's
publication for fifteen days.
14.4, during the student demonstrations in Ankara
and Istanbul, police harass a number of journalists covering events.
One of the beaten journalists, Ahmet Sik of the daily Cumhuriyet, is
hospitalised for the risk of cerebral haemorrhage.
17.4, a book entitled Kemal Fevzi of Bitlis and His
Place in Kurdish Organizations and published by the Firat Publishing
House is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
18.4, a penal court of Istanbul sentences two groups
of Interstar TV producers to heavy fines for broadcasting incompatible
with the bans imposed by the Electoral Law. First, Cem Uzan, Ozcan
Ertuna, Serpil Akillioglu, Ardan Zentürk, Özden Akbal and Duran
Dündaroglu are sentenced to a total of TL 1 billion in fine. In the
other trial, Özcan Ertuna, Özden Akbal, Jülide Ates and Engin Ardic are
sentenced to a similar punishment.
19.4, the periodical Emegin Bayragi N°111 and the
daily Aydinlik N°355 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist
20.4, the Istanbul SSC begins to try a businessman,
Besim Tibuk, for having declared to the daily Milliyet that it might
not be out of question to set up an independent Kurdish state in
South-East Turkey. Tibuk and the editor of Milliyet, Eren Güvener, face
each two-year imprisonment and a fine of up to TL 100 million.
21.4, an anti-war activist, Aytek Özel is sentenced
by the Military Court of the Turkish General Staff to one year and 15
days in prison and TL 210 thousand in fine for an interview he gave to
the private television HBB. Accused of inciting the people
against military service, he has been under arrest since February 7,
1994. Two journalists who interviewed Özel, Erhan Akyildiz and
Ali Tevfik Berber had already been sentenced by the same military court
to two months in prison each.
22.4, raiding the Ankara office of the periodical
Odak, police detain 18 people inside. Two of the detainees who are
released later for the deterioration of their health say to have been
subjected to torture along with the others.
23.4, the former publisher of the weekly Azadi,
Ikramettin Oguz, is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a total of TL 450
million in fine in four different cases against the newspaper.
24.4, a book entitled The Cadre and the Future and
written by Sinan Ciftyürek is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for
separatist propaganda. The SSC prosecutor opens a legal proceeding
against the author and the publishing house Pelê-Sor.
25.4, the periodicals Mücadele N°93 and Newroz N°9
are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
27.4, the Court of Cassation ratifies the heavy
punishment against journalist-writer Haluk Gerger. He had been
sentenced by the Ankara SSC to 20 months in prison and TL 208 million
in fine for a message he sent to a meeting in Ankara on May 22, 1993.
28.4, the first issue of the new daily Özgür Ülke is
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
29.4, the Istanbul SSC sentences the responsible
editor of the weekly Aktüel, Alev Er, to a fine of TL 210 million 675
thousand for having published an interview with PKK leader Abdullah
Öcalan. The owner of the magazine, Ercan Arikli too is sentenced to TL
421 million 351 thousand in fine on the same accusation.
30.4, the governor of Tunceli bans the sale of 38
different musi-cassettes containing Kurdish songs.
NEW RACIST ATTACKS ON TURKS
Neo-Nazis on a "hunt for foreigners" stormed
Turkish-run food stands in Magdeburg on 12 May 1994 and the Turks
fought back with knives in a bloody melee that left at least six people
The Turks were defending other foreigners who had
sought refuge inside their stands. Neo-Nazis later clashed with
left-wing groups who turned out to defend the foreigners and, after
nightfall, about 50 neo-Nazis were arrested rioting in the city centre.
The rampage was among the most serious in
post-unification Germany incited by hate mongers, and the worst for
Magdeburg, an eastern German state capital 120 kilometres west of
Two weeks later, about 4,000 anti-racist
demonstrators staged a rally in Solingen on 28 May 1994 amid tight
police security to mark the first anniversary of a neo-Nazi arson
attack that killed five Turkish immigrants.
Neo-Nazi violence has killed at least 30 people
since Germany unity in 1990.
Demonstrators and speakers demanded that German
authorities ban more than the seven neo-Nazi groups prohibited since
1992 and urged more rights for foreign residents, who number 6.5
million in a population of 80 million.
Four German rightists went on trial for murder and
arson on April 13, accused of torching the house just six months after
a racist firebombing in November 1992 killed a Turkish woman and two
girls in the northern town of Moelln.