Defying the international opinion, the
Ciller-Karayalcin Government, in collaboration with the military, has
gone beyond all limits imaginable in the violation of human rights in
According to the monthly reports of the Human Rights
Association of Turkey (IHD), "the ignorance in Turkey of extra-judicial
executions, tortures, crimes of conscience and the ban on a free press
and publications presents a very thought-provoking picture."
Prime Minister Ciller, renewing on May 31 her
declaration that the anti-terrorism struggle was being conducted with
great success, contradicted a previous statement that the PKK would be
beaten this summer by saying that the battle would now be over by the
end of year.
On the pretext of fighting terrorism, hundreds of
Kurdish villages have been bombed and destroyed, thousands of innocent
people detained and tortured, political parties and associations
closed, newspapers and books confiscated, journalists, academics and
Victims of Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law, 98
journalists, writers and publishers were in jail by May 31, the IHD
reported. They face a total of 348 years in prison.
The Democracy Party (DEP), the only legal party
defending the Kurdish people's rights, was closed down on June 16
by the Constitutional Court.
The total prison term of Turkish sociologist Ismail
Besikci, who is currently in prison for his articles on the Kurdish
Question, climbed to 42 years and the total of fines to TL 3 billion
and 18 million by a series of successive condemnations at the State
Currently, among hundreds of convicts of opinion,
six members of Parliament, Leyla Zana, Mahmut Alniak, Hatip Dicle,
Orhan Dogan, Sirri Sakik and Ahmet Türk; a former mayor, Mehdi Zana; a
trade union leader, Münir Ceylan; two academics, Ismail Besikci and
Fikret Baskaya; an artist, Kemal Sahir Güler; a lawyer, Ahmet Zeki
Okcuoglu; and ; three publishers, Ayse Nur Zarakolu, Sirri Öztürk,
Selim Okcuoglu and Ünsal Öztürk are serving their punishments in
An urgent appeal from France
"At the same time as we are celebrating the 50th
anniversary of the Normandy landings and honouring the victims of past
barbarities, close at hand, in an allied country armed and financed by
our democratic regimes, in an atmosphere of general indifference, a
people long ill-treated by history is suffering systematic destruction
of its villages, the forced depopulation if its towns and the
decimation of its intelligentsia."
An announcement by French organizations appeared in
Le Monde and The International Herald Tribune, respectively on June 8
and June 9, 1994, started with these words.
Agir ensemble pour les Droits de l'Homme, Agir ici,
CGT, CIMADE, Comité national de solidarité au peuple kurde, CRIDEV,
Fédération internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme, Fédération
internationale des SOS-Racisme, Fondation France-Libertés, FSU, LICRA,
Maison du Monde, Médecins du Monde, MRAP, Nouveaux Droits de l'Homme,
Peuples Solidaires, SNES, SNESup, SOS-Racisme, Terre des Hommes-France
and Comité de Défense des Libertés et des Droits de l'Homme resume the
atrocity in Turkish Kurdistan in following terms:
"Every month about thirty Kurdish villages are wiped
off the map, forests are burned, several Oradours [a village, in
France, wiped out by the SS in 1944] are perpetrated under cover of
'the fight against terrorism.' Public opinion and the international
community remain silent.
"In the face of an intense disinformation campaign
from Ankara, which tends to reduce the problems and aspirations of the
15 million Kurds in Turkey to "PKK terrorism", the undersigned
non-governmental organisations, which support the Kurdish civilian
population but oppose all forms of violence, wish to bring the
following facts to the attention of the public."
After giving a provisional list of Kurdish villages
destroyed by the Turkish Army, the announcement says:
"The Kurdish towns of Sirnak, Kulp, Lice and
Cukurca, have been physically destroyed to a great extent and become
ghost towns. half the population of others, like Cizre, Silvan, Idil,
Midyat and Nusaybin have fled as a result of a policy of terror and
assassination carried out by Turkish security forces. In the last two
years they have assassinated 1638 Kurdish intellectuals, political
personalities, trade unionists and teachers, including the Kurdish poet
Musa Anter, 74 years of age, Member of Parliament Mehmet Sincar and 72
other cadres of his Democracy Party (DEP) and 34 journalists and
"Many thousands of Kurdish political activists are
in prison, solely because of their opinions. Amongst these are deputies
Leyla Zana, Mahmut Alniak, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Dogan, Sirri Sakik and
Ahmet Türk, who have been in preventive detention since March 4th and
risk death sentences for their opinions; Mehdi Zana, former Mayor of
Diyarbakir, who had already spent 15 years in prison and is now serving
a 4 years sentence for his testimony before the European Parliament.
Turkish sociologist Ismail Besikci, who has already spent 12 years in
jail for his writings on the Kurdish question and is back in prison for
another 5 years; 64 journalists and many university lecturers and
"Since January 1, 1994, 5899 people have been taken
into custody and tortured, 164 have died or 'disappeared' while held
incommunicado (officially 15 days, renewable). As a result of this
systematic policy of State Terrorism since 1980 half the population of
the Kurdish provinces has been driven out. It is clearly the Turkish
authorities aim to depopulate Kurdistan, destroy the territorial basis
of the Kurdish question and scatter the Kurdish people so as to insure
assimilation. This is in the spirit of the traditional Turkish
policy of 'ethnic recomposition of the country'. This began with the
genocide of Armenians, was followed by the expulsion of 1,200,000
Greeks from Anatolia in the 1920s and now is to be completed by the
scattering of the Kurds, the last indigenous non-Turkish community in
"All these facts are well known to our governments
who also know that the war in Kurdistan has already caused more than
15,000 deaths and cost the Turkish Government over $25 billion.
"We are thus all the more indignant at their refusal
to punish Turkey, which they continue to accept in our Western
institutions, such as the Council of Europe and NATO, thus giving it a
completely undeserved certificate of good conduct.
"The undersigned organisations consider that, in the
present situation, any state selling arms to Turkey or providing it
with economic aid, which is being diverted for this war, is an
accomplice of Turkey's campaign of destruction and depopulation in
"They urge Western Democracies to act decisively to
persuade their Turkish ally to stop persecuting the Kurdish people and
to initiate a political solution for the Kurdish question under their
aegis of the CSCE, the European Union or UN. If Ankara persists in its
present policy, they should withdraw all political, economic, financial
or military support and exclude Turkey from Western institutions where
its presence can only discredit and dishonour the West."
DEMOCRACY PARTY (DEP) CLOSED
The Democracy Party (DEP), the only legal party
defending the Kurdish people's rights, was closed down on June 16
by the Constitutional Court and thirteen Kurdish deputies have been
deprived of their legislative functions. As six of these deputies are
still in prison, the Ankara SSC has already announced that seven others
too would be jailed for separatist declarations.
On this decision, former DEP Chairman Yasar Kaya and
five DEP deputies, Remzi Kartal, Mahmut Kilinc, Zübeyir Aydar,
Nizamettin Toguc and Ali Yigit held a press conference in Brussels on
June 17 and announced that would open an international campaign against
this anti-democratic decision.
By the side of these deputies, yogether with two
others who stayed in Turkey, Sedat Yurttas and Selim Sadak, all face
the menace of arrest by the Ankara SSC Prosecutor.
Prior to the decision of closure, in solidarity with
the Democracy Party (DEP), an international bureau had been opened in
Brussels, on May 26, 1994.
The opening ceremony of the International Bureau for
Solidarity with DEP was attended by the DEP Honorary President, Yasar
Kaya, DEP Deputy-Chairman Remzi Kartal as well as by Belgian and
Addressing to the meeting, Yasar Kaya said: "DEP is
not an ordinary party. It was based on the heritage of 56 martyrs of
its successor, the People's Labour Party (HEP), closed down by the
Constitutional Court. DEP is a political party fighting for democracy
and human rights in Turkey. DEP is a democratic mass party raising the
democratic demands of the Kurdish people.
"I underlines that DEP is not a separatist party. It
is leading the struggle for democracy and Kurdish people's rights
within he integrity of Turkey. Today, in Turkish Parliament, none
of the other parties can recognise the Kurdish identity and can edit a
report on the Kurdish Question. The principal reason of this situation
is the 70-year old ban on the matter.
"The honorary president of any political party does
not lead the party's political activities. Loyal to the party's
ideological stand and programme, he remains as an observer and
makes moral and intellectual contributions. However, I am not in such a
situation. The president of my party, Hatip Dicle, and our deputies,
Ahmet Türk, Leyla Zana, Sirri Sakik and Orhan Dogan are in prison for
over 70 days. The party headquarters was destroyed on February 2 by en
explosion killing one person and wounding 16 people. Earlier, on
September 4, 1993, our deputies were shot, deputy Mehmet Sincar, two
provincial party officials, Habib Kilic and Metin Özdemir
fell martyr, and deputy Nizamettin Toguc gravely wounded.
On pretext of a statement I gave on September 15,
1993, I was arrested by the Ankara SSC. Excepted the periods of
military coups, I am the only party president arrested in a period of
parliamentary regime. I stayed in prison for three months. We gave 80
martyrs in attacks on DEP. This is a world record."
The International Bureau for Solidarity with
DEP in Brussels is chaired by Yasar Kaya. Belgian senator Germain
Dufour takes part in the Bureau as secretary and Senator Paul Pataer as
(Bureau International de Solidarité avec le DEP -
Avenue Louise 129 A - 1050 Bruxelles, Tel: 32-2-539 30 33, Fax: 539 38
STATE OF EMERGENCY EXTENDED
The state of emergency was extended by the National
Assembly on June 8, for the 21st time for another four months in 10
provinces of Turkish Kurdistan. Despite its promise of lifting this
semi-military regime, the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) voted
for the extension.
During the heated parliamentary debate, DEP Deputy
Mahmut Kilinc criticising the militarist option of the Government on
the Kurdish Question, said: " Whichever country approaches the Kurdish
question and the Kurdish people in the Middle East humanely and in a
contemporary way will win the Kurds. You are wrong if you think killing
5 or 10 thousand PKK militants will solve this issue. Suppose you have
eliminated the PKK, how will you prevent another PKK from coming on the
Kilinc also claimed that 28 Kurds were recently
killed in Adiyaman had been dragged by their feet and put in garbage
trucks and buried in a mass grave. "At this time, the village of Levrek
in Beytulsebap town in Hakkari and two hamlets are being burned. If you
do not believe it, telephone now. The telephone number is 311 22 61.
The area code is 488."
Besides, referring to mysterious killings of some
Kurdish businessmen, Kilinc accused Prime Minister of instigating the
"Look at what the prime minister said during the
press conference on November 4, 1993. 'We know the names of the
businessmen and artists from whom the PKK exacts money and we will ask
for an accounting.' Look at what happened later. Behcet Cantürk was
abducted on January 15, 1994 and killed. Fevzi Aslan and his nephew
Salih Aslan were kidnapped and killed on March 289, 1994. Halil Alpsoy
was taken into custody in Istanbul on May 17. He was found dead on May
24 near Kirikkale. Behcet Cantürk's attorney, Yusuf Ziya Ekinci, was
killed. Savas Buldan, Haci Karay and Adnan Yildirim were killed. Do the
policemen, do those who have radios and weapons in their hands have the
right to take those people and kill them? If a prime minister says,
'There are 1250 names,' then she can disclose them and the police force
and prosecutor can take the necessary action. A prime minister cannot
ask for an accounting," Kilinc said.
The Interior Minister Nahit Mentese, instead of
contradicting those Kilinc said, accused the DEP deputy of speaking as
if he were a PKK representative and asked the National Assembly to vote
for the extension of the state of emergency.
CILLER DESTROYS TURKISH ECONOMY
Only two months after Prime Minister Ciller launched
on April 5 her controversial program to correct macroeconomic
imbalances, Turkey's rampant inflation broke new recordings leading the
Turkish industry to bankrupt and thousands of wage-earners to
The year-on-year wholesale price inflation in May
soared to an all-time high 138.6 per cent, rising even faster than
April's record of 125.3 per cent. Contrary to what her supporters
claim, there are no indications that inflation will decline noticeably
in the coming months.
Ciller's book of records is not limited to inflation
rates only. The deficits on fiscal accounts (domestic and foreign) and
deteriorating monetary controls are some other items on the list:
The Treasury incurred fresh borrowing worth TL 40
trillion within 10 days and at record high interest rates — 50 per cent
net on three-month treasury bills. The interest burden on the Treasury
from only two bond issues is worth TL 20 trillion for a period of three
months. In other words, the Treasury will have given up almost
one-third of its proposed extra tax receipts to interest payments.
As a Turkish citizen was paying only TL 10 thousand
to buy a US Dollar at the beginning of the year, now he has to pay
about TL 35 thousand to same purchase.
The foreign debts of the country have already
reached $70 billion.
The annual foreign deficit planes at the level of
One should add to this black table also the cost of
the military operations against Kurds which is estimated by the
government spokesmen at $10 billion per year.
The economic catastrophe has reached such a level
that it is for the first time in the Turkish Republic's history, the
trade unions and industrialists, facing a common danger, have
decided to fight on the same front against the government and the banks.
In fact, resisting the effect of the economic crisis
for only three months, Turkey's leading car producer TOFAS, a branch of
the country's number one industrial group Koc Holding company, laid off
2,404 of its workers.
Inan Kirac, chief executive officer of Koc Holding
has warned of social explosion: "Workers who are laid off used to be
able to return to their villages and labour on the farms. Now they
cannot. They are city people. When they are hungry, a social explosion,
the most feared thing of all, could happen."
Accusing the banks of imposing excessive lending
rates and pushing the producers to the edge of bankruptcy, Kirac said:
"No one is buying anything. This is very logical in an economy where
the government offers 50 per cent net on three-month government papers.
If the industrialists were to sink, the banks would do so too. Mrs.
Ciller will not be able to save the banks. We, industrialists, will
destroy them. Watch what will happen when the industrial sector debtors
fail to repay their debts."
Bayram Meral, chairman of the Turkey's biggest trade
union confederation Türk-Is, said that the workers did not blame the
employers for laying off workers under the circumstances. "It is simply
the fault of the government. How would we accuse the producers? The
banks are forcing them into crisis conditions."
The main responsible for the economic crisis, Tansu
Ciller, instead of bowing and resigning from her post, gave the IMF, in
exchange of $725 million credit, a letter of intent promising more
drastic economic measures to the detriment of working people, to freeze
the wage increases and to decrease the agricultural support prices. As
for the junior partner of the government, the SHP continues to support
any drastic measure proposed by Ciller and shares all the
responsibility of the economic earthquake.
SECOND CONQUEST OF ISTANBUL, BY RP
After the violent "Bosna" demonstrations in Ankara
and Istanbul after their electoral success, the RP Islamist staged
their second mass action on the occasion of the 541st anniversary of
the Conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) by Sultan Mehmed.
A ceremony organized at Istanbul's Ali Sam Yen
stadium on May 29, 1994, by the RP Mayor of Istanbul was turned into a
show of force for the RP.
The event began with a performance of marching tunes
by the Ottoman Martial Music Band. But, when the time came for evening
prayers, the ceremony was suspended for 15 minutes so that thousands
people could pray on the grass-covered field.
Entering the stadium in a convertible, Erbakan was
cheered with the crowd chanting, "The brave leader of the Islamic
world" and "Here is the army, here is the commander."
In their speeches, RP leaders promised to convert
the Saint-Sophia Museum into a mosque if their party comes to power in
On the other hand, the RP municipalities have
already begun to impose their conservative concepts on cultural life.
Ankara Metropolitan Mayor Melih Gökcek removed two sculptures from a
public park on the grounds that there were "obscene." He said:
"We removed them from the park, because they were totally against moral
values. I spit upon this kind of art. There will be no immoral art."
The banned sculptures, "Passion" by Azade Köker and
"In the Land of Nymphs" by Mehmet Aksoy are now in storage.
On the other hand, the daily Cumhuriyet of May 2
reported that RP cells were becoming entrenched in the Interior
Ministry. Some 700 of the 1,500 key ministry executives throughout the
country (such as provincial and county governors or inspectors) are
believed to be RP supporters. Of the country's 76 provincial governors,
24 have performed the pilgrimage to Mecca in the last few years at the
invitation of the Saudi Arabian authorities.
RP MASS MEETING IN BELGIUM
RP's another demonstration of force took place on
June 11, 1994, in Antwerpen. The European side organization of the RP,
the National Vision Organisations in Europe (AMGT) held its
annual congress at the biggest sport hall of the city with the
participation of about 30 thousand Islamists coming from all European
Addressing the meeting, RP Chairman Necmeddin
Erbakan said: "Our aim is to obtain an absolute majority at the
National Assembly, necessary to modify the constitution. It is no more
possible to stop the Just Order storm which started at March 27, 1994
A number of mayors elected on the RP ticket too were
present at the congress as "guests of honour."
The AMGT leaders raised once more in their speeches
the objective to turn Islam into the strongest religion in Europe
thanks to the presence of millions of Moslem migrant workers and to
establish the RP's "just order" in Europe as well.
CONDEMNED FOR DEFENCE IN KURDISH
The responsible editor of the weekly Welat, Mazhar
Günbat was condemned on June 14 by the Istanbul SSC for having refused
to defend himself in Turkish.
At the beginning of his trial, the defendant had
asked the presence of a Kurdish-Turkish translator in the court-room.
"Since you indicted me for Kurdish articles bu having them translated
in Turkish, you should have translated my defence in Kurdish as
well." Despite the refusal of this demand, Günbat replied to the
questions in Kurdish alone. The judge, claiming that the defendant
replied to questions in a strange language, sentenced him to two years
in prison and TL 320 thousand in fine.
TRADE UNIONIST IMPRISONED
The former chairman of the Petroleum Workers' Union
(Petrol Is), Münir Ceylan, was jailed on June 1 in the Saray prison
located in Tekirdag where he will serve out his 20-month sentence.
Ceylan has been tried under Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code
following the publication of an article on the assassination of trade
unionists and progressive people in Batman.
In the last three years alone, more than 350 people
have fallen victim of political murders in Batman, the nerve-centre of
Turkey's petrol industry. The security forces have been implicated in
many of these killings. It is also in the middle of the continuing
conflict between Turkish government forces and the PKK guerrillas.
Victims of political violence have included members
of the Petroleum Workers' Union (Petrol-Is), which has 62,000 members.
The union's chairman, Münir Ceylan, decided it was
time to speak out. In an article for Yeni Ülke newspaper, he called on
workers to do whatever they could to halt the violence.
Münir Ceylan was arrested and convicted of
incitement to "enmity and hatred". The article itself did not advocate
violence nor preach hatred. He was sentenced to 20 months.
VIRGINITY CONTROL ON WOMEN
In a report released on June 5, 1994, the Human
Rights Watch Women's Rights Project charged the Turkish Government with
the forcible imposition of virginity control examinations on women in
The report, A Matter of Power: State Control of
Women's Virginity in Turkey, finds that police force female political
detainees and common criminal suspects to undergo gynaecological
examinations for the purpose of determining the status of their hymens.
It also finds that state officials, who place no similar emphasis on
male virginity, have subjected female hospital patients, state
dormitory residents and women applying for government job to such
exams. They also participate in virginity control exams instigated by
The report concludes that, despite Turkish
Government pledges to address this problem, state agents continue to
participate in this discriminatory and invasive practice in police
custody and elsewhere. Human Rights Watch urges Prime Minister Tansu
Ciller and the Turkish Government to publicly denounce this practice
and to take action against those responsible.
Based on a July 1993 mission to Turkey, the report
documents cases of forcible virginity control exams. In the case of
political detainees, police argue that the exams are necessary
protection against custodial abuse. In fact, the exams are themselves
abusive. Women victims of virginity exams report that the exams are
degrading and often painful. In most instances, they involve the actual
and threatened use of force and the insertion of a speculum or hand
into the vagina.
In one case Human Rights Watch investigated, two
female journalists were detained for their suspected political activity
and twice forced to undergo virginity exams after a state doctor
threatened, "You better do this or they [the police] will force your
legs apart for you."
Political detainees are often taunted with the
exams' results, threatened by guards that they will have their
"virginity removed" (the report documents cases of custodial rape) and,
on occasion, are subjected to exams as a form of punishment.
Where common criminal suspects are concerned, police
defend forcible virginity control as legitimate under laws governing
public morality and prostitution. The report details how, rather than
follow legal procedures, police abuse their power to monitor public
behaviour by detaining women arbitrarily and forcing them to undergo
exams to determine their virginity or whether they have engaged in
recent sexual activity. In August 1992, Istanbul police detained a
39-year old grandmother and two of her friends while they were eating
in a restaurant. Never charged, the women were subjected to vaginal
exams against their will and held in a state venereal diseases hospital
for over one week.
Police not only subject political detainees and
common criminal suspects to virginity control exams, but routinely and
unfairly focus on female virginity when investigating sex crimes.
Virginity exams are a common element of police investigations into
allegations of sexual assault, despite the fact that no such emphasis
is placed by the state on male virginity, that virginity is irrelevant
as evidence of sexual assault and that, according to many
gynaecologists, virginity is nod medically verifiable. Under Turkish
law, gynaecological exams should occur only pursuant to a prosecutor or
judge's request, for the purpose of collecting evidence of sexual
assault (not virginity) and then only with the consent of the
individual woman. Instead, Turkish authorities engage in the
discriminatory and abusive practice of subjecting female complainants
to virginity exams, often without their consent.
As the report notes, in societies as diverse as
China and Italy, female virginity is emphasised as an important social
norm that operates as a means of controlling women's behaviour. Women
who compromise their reputations as virgins may be regarded as
unmarriageable or may be reviled by their family members. The threat of
such consequences compels women to conform to the behavioural standards
deemed honourable in their community.
The state's own use of forcible virginity exams
legitimises the regulation of female virginity in Turkey more generally
where social and legal norms combine to equate the maintenance of
female virginity with family or male honour. A woman's rights to bodily
integrity and privacy are seen as subordinate to the family's interest
in maintaining its honour, in part through the use of virginity control
exams. Although the conduct of private individuals is largely outside
the scope of the report, Human Rights Watch is concerned about state
involvement in the conduct of invasive and degrading virginity control
exams instigated by private individuals.
Human Rights Watch commends the effort of some
Turkish doctors to end the participation of medical professionals in
abusive virginity exams. Many doctors, however, continue to subject
women and girls to this gross invasion of their bodily integrity. The
report calls on the entire Turkish medical community to refuse to
participate in such exams. Human Rights Watch urges medical schools and
organizations to oppose publicly virginity exams and to educate medical
professionals of their rights and responsibilities. All health care
providers should secure a woman's consent before performing any
"IN THE TORTURE ROOMS OF TURKEY"
A young Turk who had been employed as a torturer
during his military service and fled Turkey in revolt against this
inhuman practice, revealed his dreadful experience in a book published
in Dutch under the title of Faraç: In the torture rooms of Turkey.
At a press conference held on June 15, 1994, in
Brussels, on the occasion of the publication of his book, the author
Mickaël Suphi said: "This book signs my death warrant. The organization
for which I had worked does not support any treason. But I can no more
keep my mouth shut."
In fact, he said having received a number of
menacing phone calls and having been attacked in the Geel Forest of
Belgium by unidentified people attempting to obstruct the publication
of the book.
Mickaël Suphi, son of a Turkish immigrant family in
Belgium, went to Turkey on August 24, 1987, for his military service.
Since he can speak a number of foreign languages, after a one-month
training in Kütahya, he was proposed by the National Intelligence
Organization (MIT) a post of translator and receptionist. Under the
influence of American spy films and in the hope of ending his 18-month
military service in civil dressing he accepted this offer with a big
pleasure. However, when he started to work in the service of the MIT,
he was charged with interrogating the suspect people under torture.
"After a few days, I was sent to Eskisehir and I was
given a pseudonym: Faraç," said Suphi. "First two days, Murat, Metin
and me, we were subjected to a brainwashing by two training officers
named Vedat and Doctor. All training aimed to destroy our personality
and to turn us into a machine without sentiment. They taught us in six
weeks all those concerning torture, execution, manipulation and other
dirty tasks. First two days we received theoretical courses on torture
techniques. Then, every night we were awakened at 2 a.m. by Vedat, our
chief, to put in practice that we learned in theoretical courses.
"First night, we arrived at the torture room. There
were three persons,
handcuffed, eyes and mouth covered with sticking plaster. Three
guinea-pigs for three torturer candidates. An old man aged about sixty
years and two others in their thirties were accused of opposition
activities. They were tortured during two hours. Falaka and Palestinian
hanger. Next day, the same thing. We tortured four persons of whom one
journalist. Dog cage and Cheese torture. One day, they
brought us a child of twelve years in maximum. It was a test to see if
we had sufficiently been hardened. If we were capable to torture that
child, we would be capable to do all they want. At that moment, I
thought that a child could not be a terrorist and the others that we
tortured too might be innocent. They might have been used as
guinea-pigs for these inhuman treatments. I refused to torture the
child. After that, I was subjected to beating, menace and psychological
torture. The child was tortured by my colleagues. When I asked them if
they did it, Metin bowed his head and I saw tears in Murat's eyes. I
always remember these images during my never-ending nightmares. A few
hours later, I had a big chance to escape from there. Thanks to some
corrupted functionaries, I succeeded to flee Turkey and returned to
"You may ask me why I disclose this today and why
not at the moment I came to Belgium. There are a number of reasons.
First, I was conditioned in such way that I was in afraid of death. I
also feared to put in danger the life of other persons like my two
colleagues, because Vedat had told us that the life of each depends on
the others. If anyone happened to talk, the two others would disappear
and pay the price. I decided to keep silence and to forget all. I was
married and told nothing neither to my wife nor to my family and
friends. They knew very well that I was a deserter and that it was
possible for me to return to Turkey. But they did not know the reality.
They did now that I was Faraç.
"In 1992, I applied for having Belgian nationality.
One year later, in July 1993, just after the elections in Turkey, I
received a phone call. The voice said to me "Faraç" and threatened me.
I had never pronounced this name to anybody. A few days later, I
received a second phone call. I was upset. I said "Good-bye" to my
wife, my family and my friends and I went abroad to write all that I
lived. Until now, I feel myself as a clock-bomb of that I was hearing
its tic-tacs. Today, it is exploding here, at this press conference
The book published only in Dutch for the time being
will be published in French in September 1994. (Faraç: Relaas uit
de Turkse folterkamers by Mickaël Suphi can be ordered to EPO - Lange
Pastoorstraat 25-27, 2000 Berchem, Belgium.)
A FILE ON THE OPPRESSION OF ASSYRIANS
By the side of the Kurds, the other minority peoples
of the Middle East, particularly the Assyrians, are subjected to the
persecution by the regional powers. To draw the attention to this
dramatic situation, the Assyrian Democratic Organisation and the Human
Rights Without Frontiers organisation issued a file and made it public
on 1 June 1994 at a press conference held at the Belgian
In the file take part, among other documents, the
list of 200 Assyrian villages destroyed for thirty years and the list
of 24 Assyrians assassinated in Turkey since 1990.
During the press conference chaired by Belgian
Senator Willy Kuijpers, a number of Assyrians coming from Turkey, Iraq,
Syria and Iran witnessed on the inhuman and anti-democratic practices
in these four countries.
The Assyrians of Turkey said that, after the rise of
Islam fundamentalism in Turkish local elections, their security in the
big cities as Istanbul and Izmir where they could be hiding their
ethnic identity will be in a greater danger.
The file contains the following recommendations for
the security of Assyrians:
To the Turkish authorities:
- To guarantee the security of life and property of
the Assyrians of Tur Abdin for that they can continue to live on the
land of their ancestors in dignity, peace and freedom, without any fear
of violence and reprisal.
- To ban all forms of violence by the military and
police forces against Assyrian villages and their inhabitants and to
pursue in justice whosoever commits such acts or gives order to do it.
- To carry out diligent and profound inquiries for
finding out and bringing before justice those responsible of the
- To allow Assyrians to create their cultural
association, to speak publicly and to have education in their own
language, to preserve their artistic and architectural patrimony, to
restore and enlarge their churches and monasteries.
To the ONU:
- To apply integrally the Resolution 688 of the
Security Council stipulating to put an end to the repression in Iraq,
- To maintain a permanent presence near to Assyrian
and Kurdish populations of Northern Iraq for providing them with a
humanitarian aid according to their need.
- To guarantee the accession of humanitarian
organization to these populations in Iraq.
- To lift in a selective way the sanctions taken by
the United Nations against the Northern region of Iraq subjected to a
To European and Belgian parliaments:
- To make pressure on Turkish and Iraqi authorities
for the putting in application the above-mentioned recommendations.
- To suspend arm delivery to Turkey.
- To release frozen capitals for reconstruction of
- To recognise the Assyrian ethnic and, to this end,
to replace on the delivered identity cards:
"ONU refugee coming from Turkey"
"ONU refugee of Assyrian origin"
as it is already being applied for the Armenians and Kurds from Turkey.
- To allow the Assyrian Community to teach their
language and religion in public education schools.
- To take initiative for contributing to economic
development of the Assyrian community.
- To financially support, as well in Iraq as in
Turkey, the projects of:
* construction of Assyrian
villages and their religious edifices;
* irrigation and extension of
* modernisation of agricultural
CILLER THREATENS GREECE
After Greece announced its intention to raise its
territorial limit to 12 miles, Prime Minister Ciller, in an interview
to the daily Milliyet on June 8, 1994, said: "For Turkey the 12-mile
territorial waters limit could be a cause of war in the Aegean Sea. I
would land on the [Greek] islands in 24 hours if one day Greece commits
the folly of openly attempting to raise its territorial limit to 12
miles and turning the Aegean into a Greek sea.
It was in June 1974 that Greece first referred to
the possibility of expanding its territorial waters from 6 miles to 12
miles. Turkey reacted sternly to that idea, announcing that 12 miles
would be "a cause of war" and maintained this stance without change for
Although an international convention adopted by the
majority of the countries having sea shores recognises the right to
expand territorial waters to 12 miles, Turkey refused to sign this
The Greek intention is being discussed by the
highest ranking Turkish military and civilian authorities. As an
initial deterrent measure, Ankara has decided to expand the
capacity of the airfields on the Gökceada island and in Selcuk near
Although Ciller's war-monger declaration was
applauded by the a big part of the media, even President Demirel did
not appreciate such a declaration and suggested Ciller to be calmer.
STATE TERRORISM IN MAY
1.5, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Mehmet Yücel in
Batman and Hüseyin Özdemir in Nusaybin.
1.5, the IHD Iskenderun office is raided and
searched by police, IHD local chairman Sadullah Caglar detained.
2.5, in Izmir, the police announce the arrest of
eight people for pro-PKK and five people for pro-TDKP activities. In
Derik, DEP candidate for mayorship Hadi Kabak and four other people are
taken into custody.
4.5, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Ibrahim Ertas in
5.5, in Mersin, police raiding a house shoot dead a
youth named Nezir Kücük.
7.5, Kurdish tradesman Mehmet Serif Avsar who had
been kidnapped in Diyarbakir on April 22 by village protectors is found
assassinated in Silvan.
8.5, the Iskenderun and Adana offices of the Human
Rights' Association (IHD) are closed down by the order of the governors
of these provinces.
8.5, Interior Minister Nahit Mentese says that a
total of 871 villages and hamlets have been depopulated since July
1987 in the frame of the anti-PKK operations. By this
declaration, the fact of deportation happens to be confirmed by a
9.5, the Adana section of the Association for
Freedoms and Rights (Özgür-Der) is closed down by the Governor's order.
9.5, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Cuma Sezgin in
Siverek, DEP official Medeni Göktepe and Ibrahim Gür in Batman.
10.5, unidentified gunmen assassinate Necmettin
Kaya in Diyarbakir and Ibrahim Ergül in Batman.
10.5, the police announce the arrest of 22 alleged
Hizbullah members in Diyarbakir and Batman during last one-month
11.5, the Court of Cassation approves two death
sentences and sends them to the National Assembly for ratification. One
of the two condemned is PKK member Nizamettin Özoglu.
11.5, the headman of the Kurudere Village in
Hakkari, Bedel Özkan, and villager Hasan Ates who were detained on May
8 by security forces are found assassinated out of the village. The
inhabitants of this village had a short time ago refused to serve as
pro-government village protectors.
11.5, a hundred students hold a demonstration at the
Kadiköy Square in Istanbul in protest against the rape of a high school
girl, but police disperse them by using force and detain 30
11.5, in Ankara, the Chief Inspector of the Health
Ministry, Namik Erdogan, who had been kidnapped on May 9 by
unidentified people is found assassinated in Kirikkale.
12.5, Kamil Gündogan (28) who had been detained by
gendarmes in Lice on April 29 is found buried at the city graveyard.
The legal medicine certified a number of torture traces on his body.
12.5, IHD Deputy-Chairman Sedat Aslantas is taken
into custody in Ankara. He is
accused of having signed a joint communiqué of democratic organizations
and trade unions announced on May 27, 1993 in Diyarbakir.
12.5, in Diyarbakir, the headman of the Agilli
Village, Nimet Barut who was detained six days earlier by
security forces is found assassinated in the mountains.
13.5, the former Mayor of Diyarbakir, Mehdi Zana is
arrested in Ankara by police on a court warrant.
13.5, in Suruc (Urfa), Mustafa Ates falls victim of
a political murder.
14.5, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Naci Asutay,
Ismail Asutay and Suphi Kaya in Diyarbakir
14.5, security forces raiding the Yolcati Village in
Bingöl, take peasants Resit Demirhan and Sabri Akdogan out of the
village and shoot them to death.
15.5, according to a recent report issued by a
special commission of the National Assembly, 1,477 people have fallen
victim of suspected murders within a ten-year period from 1984 to
1993. The annual numbers are reported as follows: 1984 (3), 1985 (5),
1986 (8), 1987 (5), 1988 (24), 1989 (48), 1990 (44), 1991 (68), 1992
(732), 1993 (540).
16.5, in Diyarbakir, unidentified gunmen shoot dead
Mehmet Emin Alkan and wound Aydin Eksi.
17.5, in Batman, a school director, Sitki Abdioglu
is shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
17.5, in Istanbul, a group of students demonstrating
against the price hikes are dispersed by police force, six students
17.5, the Anti-War Association (SKD) in Istanbul is
raided and closed by police. During the operation, ten people inside
are arrested. Among them are also three Germans: Walker Thomas,
Christon Arnich and Gerhart Lennert who are reportedly to be tried by
the military court of Turkish General Staff.
18.5, in Diyarbakir, high school student Kenan Aydin
is shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
19.5, in Istanbul, the churches Santa Maria and
Saint Antoine are destroyed by the explosion of bombs placed by
unidentified assailants. Some anonymous telephone calls to newspapers
claim that sabotages were carried out by the Islamist IBDA-C
24.5, in Gökcedag (Siirt), four shepherds detained
by soldiers are found assassinated.
24.5, Halil Alpsoy kidnapped in Istanbul on May 12
is found assassinated on the road Ankara-Kirikkale.
25.5, twenty-two trade union chairmen and 54 trade
union officials carrying out a hunger strike with the demand of trade
union rights for civil servants at the Guven Park in Ankara
are detained by police.
25.5, the headman of the Dibek Village in
Diyarbakir, Mehmet Sönmez, and 80-year old peasant Ali Yakar claims to
have been tortured by police after their detention on May 17. They say
having witnessed the torture to about 50 peasants brought from other
25.5, in Batman, an unidentified person is found
killed under torture.
27.5, in Tercan (Erzurum), a mob instigated by a
right-wing journal raided the Justice House to lynch eight people
detained for aiding the PKK.
27.5, in Diyarbakir, Mehmet Havas who disappeared
since May 25 is found assassinated within a sack.
27.5, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Arafat Ölmez
and Türkan Nardan in Adana.
28.5, in Idil, Hasan Kaya is shot dead by
28.5, a time-bomb is discovered and removed at the
Greek Orthodox Patriarch House just before a religious ceremony.
28.5, in Agri, police raiding the house of Mehmet
Güler shoot dead his 11-year old son Tuncer Güler and wound another son.
28.5, in Silvan, a 12-year old boy said to have been
tortured after his detention on May 25 by soldiers who were forcing him
to say the whereabouts of his elder brother Mehdi Kahraman.
31.5, in Ankara, security forces announce the arrest
of 12 Dev-Sol and 4 IBDA-C members during the last 10-day
PRESSURE ON THE MEDIA IN MAY
1.5, during May Day celebrations in Ankara and
Istanbul, a number of journalists are harassed and beaten by policemen.
Three TV correspondents, Ergün Erdil, Alptekin Aydogan and Bengi Morgül
are kept in detention for few hours and their cassettes seized.
1.5, the first issue of a new periodical, Sterka
Rizgari, and the issue N°102 of the weekly Azadi are confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
2.5, Sivas correspondent of the daily Özgür Gündem,
Ferec Cobanoglu, claims to have been tortured after his detention along
with a number of university students in custody.
2.5, the Court of Cassation ratified the sentence
against the director of the Pelê Sor Publishing House, Zeynel Abidin
Kizilyaprak. He was sentenced by the istanbul SSC to six months in
prison and TL 50 million in fine for having published a book entitled
The Reminiscences of A Soldier-How did we fight against the Kurdish
2.5, the responsible editor of the periodical Emegin
Bayragi, Haydar Demir is placed under arrest by the Istanbul SSC for
separatist propaganda in some articles he published on April 17, 1994.
3.5, the IHD Secretary General Hüsnü Öndül is
sentenced by the Ankara SSC to six months in prison and TL 53 million
850 thousand for having published in the IHD Bulletin an article by
Sociologist Ismail Besikci. The court also sentences Besikci to a
three-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 250 million for separatist
propaganda in the said article.
3.5, a recent IHD publication on the Kurdish
villages burnt by security forces and entitled The South-East
Report 1993 is confiscated by the Ankara SSC for separatist propaganda.
On the same ground, the SSC Prosecutor starts a legal proceeding
against the IHD officials.
4.5, the Court of Cassation ratifies the
condemnation of the responsible editor of Devrimci Proletarya, Naile
Tuncer, who had been sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in
prison and TL 100 million in fine. She has already been in Canakkale
Prison Type A for serving another sentence ratified earlier.
5.5, the Court of Cassation ratifies the
condemnation of the responsible editor of the periodical Mücadele,
Namik Kemal Cibaroglu, who had been sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to
six months in prison and TL 50 million in fine. The higher court also
ratifies a fine of TL 100 million against the magazine's owner Gülten
5.5, the director of the Basak Publishing House,
Hikmet Kocak is sentenced by the Ankara SSC to six months in prison and
TL 100 million in fine for having published the book entitled We
Turned Dawns to Newroz. Basak had already been tried twice for
this book; the first trial had ended in condemnation and the second in
acquittal. The author of the book, Edip Polat is currently serving a
6.5, Publisher Ayse Nur Zarakolu, director of the
Belge Publishing House, is imprisoned in Istanbul to serve a five-month
sentence for having published Besikci's book The Program of the
Republican People's Party (CHF) and The Kurdish Question.
6.5, author Namik Bektas' sentence of 20
months in prison and TL 208 million in fine for his book entitled The
Law of Resistance and Renewal is ratified by the Court of Cassation.
6.5, the periodical Devrimci Proletarya is closed
for one month and Mücadele for fifteen days on the ratification of SSC
judgement to this effect.
6.5, sociologist Ismail Besikci is sentenced again
by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 100 million in fine
for his articles published in Özgür Gündem of September 18, 1992.
At the same trial, the newspaper's owner Yasar Kaya is sentenced to a
fine of TL 100 million and the responsible editor Isik Yurtcu to six
months in prison and TL 50 million in fine.
6.5, the Istanbul SSC, dealing with four separate
trials against the daily Özgür Gündem, sentences the responsible editor
Seyh Davut Karadag, to a one-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 276
million, and the publisher Yasar Kaya to TL 552 million in fine.
6.5, a columnist of the weekly Azadi, Ibrahim Aksoy
is sentenced by the SSC to two years in prison and TL 250 million in
fine for his article published on January 10, 1993. The court also
sentences the responsible editor Sedat Karakas to six months in prison
and TL 50 million in fine and the publisher Ikramettin Oguz to TL 100
6.5, the Ankara SSC sentences Ismail Besikci to
three months in prison and TL 250 million in fine for an article, The
Moral Values of Humanity, published in the IHD newsletter. IHD
Secretary General Hüsnü Öndül too is sentenced to six months in prison
and TL 53 million in fine.
7.5, the periodicals Taraf N°39, Halkin Gücü N°3,
Azadi N°103, Newroz N°11 and Mücadele N°95 are confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
8.5, nineteen people visiting a member of the
Musical Group Yorum, Kemal Sahir Gürel, who is at the Corlu Prison are
taken into custody. After their release in the night, the detainees say
to have been beaten, insulted and threatened at the police station.
9.5, the Adana offices of the periodicals Medya
Günesi, Barikat and Alinteri are raided and searched by police. Many
documents and publications are confiscated.
10.5, a book entitled The New World Order and
Turkey, edited by journalists Hidir Göktas and Metin Gülbay, is
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda. The book
contains interviews with Deputy-Premier Karayalcin, Culture Minister
Fikri Sönmez, ANAP Chairman Mesut Yilmaz and DEP Chairman Hatip Dicle.
11.5, journalist-author Ragip Zarakolu is sentenced
by the High Criminal Court N°2 of Istanbul to a ten-month imprisonment
for insulting state security forces in his article published on
November 11, 1993, by Özgür Gündem. The court also sentences the
newspaper's responsible editor, Erkan Aydin, to the same punishment.
11.5, the art review Marksist Damar N°5 is
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
12.5, sociologist Ismail Besikci is sentenced again
by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 250 million in fine
for his article published in Özgür Gündem of August 12, 1993. At
the same trial, the newspaper's owner Yasar Kaya is sentenced to a fine
of TL 273 million 650 thousand. With this new condemnation, the total
of the prison terms to which Besikci has been sentenced rises to 34
years and 11 months, the fines to TL 2 billion 18 million. Of these
sentences, 8 years and 6 months in prison and TL 250 million have
already been ratified by the Court of Cassation and Besikci is serving
his punishment at the Ankara Prison.
12.5, the former responsible editor of Özgür Gündem,
Seyh Davut Karadag is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in
prison and TL 321 in fine for some articles he published on May 24,
1993. In the same trial, the former owner of Özgür Gündem, Yasar Kaya
too is sentenced to a fine of TL 287 million 400 thousand.
13.5, the weekly Azadi is closed down for fifteen
days on the ratification of a court decision. The Court of Cassation
also ratified a 18-month imprisonment and TL 230 million fine against
the newspaper's responsible editor Sedat Karatas and a fine of TL 250
million against publisher Ikramettin Oguz.
15.5, the responsible editor of the daily Özgür
Ülke, Kemal Ikea is arrested by the Istanbul SSC for some articles he
published at last week.
17.5, former responsible editor of Özgür Gündem,
Seyh Davut Karadag is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to six months in
prison and TL 121 million in fine for some articles he published on
June 25, 1993. The journal's owner Yasar Kaya too is sentenced to a
fine of TL 242 million 514 thousand. The court also decides to close
Özgür Gündem for ten days.
17.5, two periodicals, Devrimci Alternatif N°2 and
Iscinin Yolu N°23 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist
18.5, Özgür Ülke Izmir correspondent Mehmet Emin
Ünay is detained by police.
19.5, the Court of Cassation ratifies the
condemnation of the responsible editor of Özgür Halk, Hasan Tepe who
was sentenced to two years and six months in prison and TL 150 million
in fine. The higher court ratifies also a fine of TL 200 million
against the periodical's owner Haydar Demir.
22.5, three periodicals, Alinteri N°16, Halkin Gücü
(special issue) and Emegin Bayragi N°116 are confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
23.5, Özgür Ülke Adana correspondent Ihsan Kurt is
detained by police.
25.5, three periodicals, Denge Azadi N°1, Devrimci
Cözüm N°14 and monthly Hedef are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for
25.5, the director of the Sorun Publishing House,
Sirri Öztürk is jailed to serve his 5-month imprisonment to which he
was sentenced for having published a book entitled Prison Poems
25.5, the responsible editor of the review Yurtsever
Emekciler, Cezmi Özdemir is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to six months
in prison and TL 50 million in fine according to the Anti-Terror Law.
26.5, in Izmir, the Public Prosecutor bans the
printing and distribution of a IHD tract against racist acts.
26.5, the Military Court of Cassation ratifies the
condemnation of the former chairman of Anti-War Association, Aytek
Özel, who was sentenced by the military court of General Staff to two
months in prison and TL 160 thousand for an article he wrote to the
magazine Bakaya. Özel had already been sentenced to another prison term
of one year and fifteen days by the same military court.
27.5, five officials of the Izmir IHD are sentenced
by a penal court to 18 months in prison and TL 150 thousand each for
having held a demonstration on September 22, 1992, in protest against
inhuman treatment of political detainees in the Buca Prison. The court
also sentences 29 people, relatives of prisoners, to 18-month prison
each for having participated in this demonstration.
27.5, a former editor of Özgür Gündem, Besim Döner
is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to six months in prison and TL 63
million in fine for an article he published on October 3, 1993. Same
day, two other former editors of Özgür Gündem, Kamil Celikten and Kenan
Sahin too were sentenced to fines respectively TL 135 million and 50
million. At the same trials, the court also sentences the
journal's owner Yasar Kaya to a total of 399 million in fine.
27.5, journalist Naile Tuncer is sentenced by the
Ankara SSC to one year in prison and TL 250 million in fine for a book
she edited under the title of The Occupation of Bosphorus. The court
also sentences the director of Yurt Publishing House, Ünsal Öztürk, to
one year in prison and TL 250 million in fine for having published this
book. Naile Tuncer who is the editor of the magazine Devrimci
Proletarya has been in jail for eight months for serving prison terms
to which she was sentenced earlier.
27.5, the editor of the magazine Özgür Gelecek,
Mustafa Demirdag is arrested for some articles he published on May 16.
28.5, the private TV channel Kanal 6 is sentenced to
a fine of TL 48 million for broadcasting the film Dream Voyagers
containing some scenes on lesbian relations.
28.5, Eskisehir correspondent of the periodical
Mücadele, Hamit Akyüz is assailed and wounded by a neo-fascist MHP
29.5, the recent issues of five periodicals, Emegin
Bayragi, Newroz, Denge Azadi, Dogru Secenek and Sterka Rizgari, are
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
30.5, a former Özgür Gündem editor, Kamil Celikten
is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to six months in prison and TL 68
million in fine for separatist propaganda. In other six different cases
against the same journal, two former editors, Isik Yurtcu and Seyh
Davut Karadag are sentenced respectively to TL 847 million and TL 45
million in fine. The publisher Yasar Kaya too is sentenced to a total
of TL 908 million in fine.