DERSIM VILLAGES IN FLAME
"Soldiers told us all to get outsideand then burned
the place to the ground. Whole families are stranded. We are
devastated. Let those who love Tunceli cry for Tunceli!" cry
villagers in their telegrams to the capital.
Tunceli means the land of bronze!
Tunceli is an ancestral land of Kurds and Alevis!
Tunceli was not Tunceli until the years '30.
It was Dersim.
Dersim was the cradle of many Kurdish revolts
against the national repression.
Dersim had been put in flames many times by the
To have this drama forgotten, the province's name
had been turned by the Ankara rulers into Tunceli.
Though erased from the official maps of
Turkey, Dersim is still there: Dersim of the Kurds... Dersim of
the Alevis... Dersim of the Popular Resistance!
It is this Dersim that, in 1994, is once more the
target of the State Vandalism!
Reuter reports on October 5, 1994 that Turkish
security forces torched 17 villages in an intense two-week offensive
against separatist Kurds in the remote eastern province of Tunceli. On
October 12, it reports that the the number of the torched villages
climbed to 30.
It is the final phase of a big military operation
aiming to depopulate Kurdish villages.
Turkish security forces in southeastern Turkey have
depopulated up to 1400 villages and hamlets in their fight against the
PKK, according to Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, which has called for an
investigation of these practices.
In the report entitled Forced Displacement of
Ethnic Kurds From Southeastern Turkey, released on October 19, 1994,
Human Rights Watch/Helsinki documents a pattern of abuses by Turkish
security forces in their 10-year campaign against the PKK guerrillas.
In an effort to deprive the PKK of its logistic base of support,
security forces forcibly evict villagers from their villages and
sometimes destroy their homes. Torture and arbitrary detention often
accompany such evictions. Security forces especially target those
villages that refuse to enter the village guard system or those that
give food or shelter to PKK fighters. The report was sent with a letter
to Prime Minister Ciller deploring such practices and urging that they
immediately be ceased.
In its summary, the Report says:
"Since 1993, civilian displacement from southeastern
Turkey has become a widespread phenomenon because of increased fighting
by both the PKK and government forces. After coming to power in
mid-1993, Prime Minister Ciller's government declared that it would
defeat the PKK militarily, while the PKK vowed to increase its
operations and recruit even more fighters. Commenting on the state's
military strategy against the PKK, former Turkish Chief of Staff Dogan
Güres stated that, 'We have changed the concept. We are now
implementing area domination. There is no advancing on terrorists... We
now apply 'let them stay without logistic support — go hungry and
"Such displacement reached a high point in a
three-week operation in Tunceli province that began in late September
1994. As 40,000 Turkish troops combed the province in pursuit of the
PKK, these forces reportedly burned thirty villages and hamlets. deputy
Prime Minister Karayalcin and Human Rights Minister Azimet Köylüoglu
visited the region. Köylüoglu called the burnings and displacements
"state terrorism," adding that, "Security forces should avoid the
psychology of burning and destroying while in their relentless fight
against terrorism. The evacuated villagers must be given food and
shelter... We can't even give them Red Crescent tents.
"Until last week, there were no exact, official
figures available relating to the number of displaced persons and
forcibly evacuated villages. Fully or partly depopulated villages and
hamlets were estimated to run as many as 1,000. While some limited
out-migration was economically motivated, the majority seems forced.
Estimates of the number of displaced civilians in southeast Turkey run
as high as two million. On October 11, 1994, Human Rights Minister
Köylüoglu stated that two million had been displaced during the ten
years of the conflict and that 600 villages and 790 hamlets had been
evacuated. more than half of these have occurred since the beginning of
1993. According to the Istanbul Section of the Turkish Human Rights
Association, 108 villages and hamlets were depopulated between May 9
and July 10, 1994.
"The PKK on the other hand, attacks those villages
that join the village guard system, often killing whole families along
with village guards, as well as punishing anyone who cooperates with
the state. During its August 1994 mission to Turkey, Human Rights
Watch/Helsinki intended to investigate such PKK violence through direct
interviews with victims and asked the Turkish Government to allow
unhindered access. While the Foreign Ministry responded favourably, for
unexplained reasons the Emergency Rule Governor's Office in Diyarbakir
did not allow such meetings."
"FILE OF TORTURE" CONFISCATED
The Prosecution Office of the Ankara SSC has
recently launched an investigation in connection with the booklet File
of Torture 1980-1994 prepared by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey
(TIHV). Within the frame of the investigation launched under Article
8/1 of the Anti-Terror Law, confiscation of the booklet was decided.
In case that a trial is launched against TIHV
Chairman Yavuz Önen and Administrative Board member Fevzi Argun who
allegedly disseminated separatist propaganda through publication, they
will be tried at the Ankara SSC on demand of imprisonment terms ranging
from 2 to 5 years.
The booklet in question deals with the torture cases
and deaths in detention places or prisons, another dimension of human
rights abuses observed between the 12 September 1980 Coup and 12
The booklet states that a total of 420 persons died
during the last 14 years since the 1980 Coup. 390 of those persons died
in detention places while being interrogated or in prisons. 13 of them
during hunger strikes staged in prisons on demand of improvement in
prison conditions, and 17 of them because of illness due to torture in
detention places or prisons, or because they could not receive
necessary medical treatment.
"Effects of the system formed by the 12 September
Coup have always been felt although three general elections were held
following the coup, different governments came to power and hundreds of
promises were made," states the booklet.
"The Constitution and many main laws prepared during
the military period have been in effect for 14 years, and have become a
mainstay for inhuman implementations and pressure. Promises on change
in this system were not kept. 'Democratisation' remained a word used
during election campaigns while 'respect to human rights' did not go
beyond a concept remembered while giving statements.
"Insignificant retouches and certain legal
amendments made following the military junta period, lost their
meanings among the common human rights abuses. Even, some of these new
applications drew results which made people to miss the former ones. On
the one hand, martial law application was ended, on the other hand
changes were made on the Law on Police Duties and Authorities, and
emergency state law was made permanent; on the one hand Articles 140,
141, 142 and 163 of the Penal Code were lifted, on the other hand the
Law to Fight Terrorism was issued; on the one hand, the political
parties closed down in the 12 September period were enabled to be
opened again, on the other hand other parties were closed down.
"Approach of the government towards the Kurdish
problem was not so different from the logic of the 12 September
generals. The Kurdish problem became more complex day by day. demands
for a democratic solution to the Kurdish problem were ignored. Military
methods were introduced as the only solution and applied. On the other
hand, the PKK which staged a guerrilla war as of 1984, increased the
dose of its attacks as of 1990 to a great extent. As a result of the
struggle between the administers who insisted on military solution, and
the PKK which increased the dose of its attacks, the Kurdish problem
was jammed in a triangle of violence, pressure and death, and became
almost unsolvable.. The picture becomes more clear when we take into
consideration that the number of the persons who died was more than
13,000 while that of the wounded was more than 30,000 during the
10-year period between 15 August 1984, when the PKK staged a guerrilla
war, and 15 August 1994. The gap between the Turkish and Kurdish
people The gap between the Turkish and Kurdish people widened.
The Kurdish problem also caused a great damage to the Turkish economy.
The bill of this economic bottleneck was brought before workers, civil
servants and people of small income.
"Although many things were said in the statements or
uttered in explanations about torture, neither torture cases decreased,
nor attempts to prevent the torture cases were witnessed. The deaths in
detention, missings after being detained, infirmities because of
torture, and cases of rape and torture were neither prevented, nor
wanted to be prevented. Perpetrators were protected, encouraged and
rewarded. Investigations into the torture cases remained only a
figurehead. Manner of the pending trials or trivial sentences played a
major role in the increase of torture cases."
Torture victims Medical
1989-90 329 213
44 8 7
1991 552 218
53 9 15
1992 594 188
93 24 11
1993 827 160
126 22 29
1994 (7 months) 387
127 117 12 16
TOTAL 2689 906
433 75 78
Deaths in detention Deaths during
hunger strikes Deaths du to torture
1989 11 -
1990 12 -
1991 21 -
1992 17 -
1993 29 1
1994 (8 months) 14
- - 14
TOTAL 390 13
HUNGER STRIKES IN TURKISH PRISONS
Hunger strikes are spreading in prisons throughout
Turkey in protest against ill-treatment and brutality .The action began
over the death of a detainee, Ramazan Özüak, who was killed in
Diyarbakir prison during a prison riot.
The riot was sparked off on October 3 by a police
attempt to take a fellow prisoner to police headquarters for a second
At least 45 detainees were wounded during the police
raid, many cells were badly damaged and could no longer be used.
After the bloody incidents, 300 out of 1,350 inmates
of the Diyarbakir Prison were transferred to another prison in
Gaziantep, about 370 km to the Southwest of Diyarbakir.
About 3,000 inmates are on hunger strike in the
prisons of the following provinces: Diyarbakir, Konya, Gaziantep,
Malatya, Mardin, Batman, Adiyaman, Elazig, Bursa, Canakkale, Urfa,
Ceyhan, Cankiri, Nevsehir, Ankara, Sivas, Yozgat, Buca, Aydin and
The prisoners' relatives allege that the police
opened fire on the inmates during the Diyarbakir riots and "hundreds"
were injured, some receiving bullet wounds.
The prisoners' relatives and human rights activists
accuse the police of maltreating or torturing detainees during
STILL NO EDUCATION IN THE SOUTHEAST
Statistics issued by the Education Ministry clearly
show that political violence in Turkey's Southeast has seriously
disrupted education in the region and has deprived locals of security
in their everyday lives.
According to Turkish Education Ministry, 4-5,000 of
the 20,000 teachers posted to southeastern Turkey have not reported to
their jobs because of fear of the PKK. 591 schools have been
closed down because of staff shortages, while 4,000 schools have
remained closed due to lack of security. To date 117 teachers have been
killed in the Southeast.
The PKK has targeted teachers and educational
institutions in its ten-year fight against the Turkish state. According
to the 1993 Annual Report of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey
(TIHV)., in 1993, the PKK murdered thirty-four teachers.
In the past two months fourteen school teachers have
been murdered by the PKK, according to Turkish press reports:
On September 11, 1994, the PKK killed six teachers
in the village of Karikent, Mazgirt district of Tunceli: Metin Kaynar
(29), Ali Ihsan Cetinkaya (29), Vedat Inan (25), Buminhan Temizkan
(27), Rüstem Sen (29), and Mustafa Kaynarca (29).
On September 17, a bus travelling from Tunceli to
Nazimiye was stopped by the PKK; one teacher was killed and another
On September 22, PKK fighters raided the village of
Cevrimova; Besiri district, Batman province and executed teachers Adnan
Tunca (37) and Mustafa Gümüs (24).
On September 29, the PKK murdered a teacher, Sait
Korkmaz, in an attack on Kazan village, Dogubeyazit district, Agri
On October 10, 1994, PKK members executed teachers
Nurullah Sarac (25), Ali Bulut (27) and Ersoy Yorulmaz (28) in an
attack on Taskesenli village, Tekman district of Erzurum province.
That same night the PKK murdered educator Ragip Köse
(26) in a raid on Katranli village in the same region.
In a special report on the matter, the Executive
Director of Human Rights Watch/Helsinki Jeri Laber criticizing the PKK,
said: "The murder of teachers is a clear violation of
TURKISH UNIVERSITIES PARALYSED
All Turkish universities have been paralysed since
the beginning of the new academic year because of a country-side
boycott staged by university professors in protest against their living
A university researcher receives TL 7 million ($195)
per month while a professor receives TL 19 million ($ 528).
Academics who are demanding more pay are not coming
to classes and students are not even bothering to go to the university.
The University Members Association has declared
October 31 as a "day of warning" and called on all teachers to assemble
in the gardens of Istanbul University and not to attend classes that
STATE TERRORISM IN OCTOBER
3.10, HADEP Yüregir chairman Rebih Cubuk and another
party official, Sefer Cerf, are shot dead in Adana by unidentified
3.10, former IHD Istanbul Secretary Eren Keskin
claims to have been tortured and insulted during his three-day
detention at the Political Police Centre.
3.10, in Adana, a woman named Kadriye Gökmen is shot
dead by unidentified gunmen.
4.10, in Denizli, during the funeral of lawyer Fuat
Erdogan, shot dead by police on September 28 in Istanbul, 24 people are
taken into police custody. Among them is also IHD Denizli Chairwoman
4.10, two children, Ilyas Yigit (6) in Cat and Adil
Boztas (10) in Kagizman fall victims of bomb explosions.
4.10, in Midyat, Halil Acar and Ismail Alkan,
kidnapped on September 16 are found assassinated near to their village.
5.10, the number of the people detained in Izmir for
Rizgari activities rises to 37.
6.10, in Istanbul, six people are placed under
arrest by a tribunal for belonging to the Revolution Party of Turkey
(TDP). In Diyarbakir, HADEP member lawyer Mehmet Cem is taken into
6.10, in Midyat, Cemalettin Akbulut is shot dead by
6.10, in Midyat, two children fall victims of a bomb
explosion and two other children are wounded.
7.10, in sason, unidentified gunmen shoot dead
8.10, in Istanbul, security forces raiding a house
shoot dead two alleged Dev-Sol militants, Yilmaz Uytun and Güler Ceylan.
9.10, in Adana, Ahmet Dizman claims to have been
tortured after being kidnapped by police on October 4. A medical report
certifies that he was incapable to work for 25 days because of torture.
10.10, in Ankara, lawyer Murat Demir whose office
was raided by police on September 29 is placed under arrest by the
Ankara SSC. He was detained together with two other persons as they
were preparing a file in view to prevent the sending to Turkey of
Dev-Sol leader Dursun Karatas, under arrest in France.
10.10, the chairman of the Sea Port Workers' Union
(Liman Is), Hasan Biber is placed under arrest by the Ankara SSC on
charges of being Dev-Sol member. Besides, another Liman Is official,
Kerim Necefoglu, is detained in Mersin.
10.10, police detain Hasan Bölücek and Aysel Bölücek
in Ankara, Yasar Yagan in Izmir.
12.10, the Ankara SSC Prosecutor opens a legal
proceeding against IHD leader, Chairman Akin Birdal, Secretary General
Hüsnü Öndül, Vice-Chairman Sedat Aslantas and Press Officer Erol Anar
for having published a document concerning the burned villages. Each
faces a prison term of up to two years.
12.10, security forces detain 18 alleged PKK members
in Manisa and eight alleged TIKKO members in Istanbul.
12.10, in Diyarbakir, Aydin Kismir who had been
detained on October 6 together with his two brothers, is returned dead
to his family. His brother Turan Kismir says that Aydin Kismir was
tortured at police station.
13.10, lawyers Ahmet Düzgün Yüksel and Murat Demir,
detained on September 27, claim to have been tortured by police
and insulted by the Ankara SSC prosecutor during their interrogation.
13.10, municipal worker Mesut Yildirim is shot dead
by unidentified gunmen in Nusaybin.
13.10, in Semdinli, lorry driver Nevruz Sevim is
killed by the explosion of a mine laid by security forces.
13.10, the Izmir SSC sentences three PKK defendants
to life-prison and four others to prison terms of up to 12 years and
14.10, in Diyarbakir, cook Veysi Sizlanan is shot
dead by unidentified gunmen.
16.10, in Ankara, lawyer Nesrin Hatipoglu announces
that her client, Kenan Bilgin has disappeared since his detention by
police on September 12.
16.10, in Istanbul, Bayram Dursun is found dead in
police custody. His father Ali Dursun accuses the police of having
tortured Bayram Dursun.
16.10, security forces detain three musicians, Sirin
Esmer, Mehmet Bilir and Yahya Güler at a wedding ceremony in Iskenderun
and 17 people in Tekman.
17.10, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Fikret Un in
Diyarbakir and Ahmet Siyahtas in Van.
18.10, the Istanbul SSC sentences eight people to
life-prison and two others to prison terms of up to three years and
nine months for a sabotage act they committed in Istanbul on December
18.10, in Izmir, police announce the arrest of 18
people for underground activities. Two of the detainees are later
released and claim to have been tortured during their interrogation.
18.10, Osman Siyahkoc who was shot by unidentified
gunmen on October 16 in Dargecit dies in a Diyarbakir hospital.
19.10, the Diyarbakir SSC sentences four PKK
defendants to life-prison and eight other defendants to prison terms of
up to 18 years and nine months.
19.10, a group of village protectors raiding the
village of Sekinek in Cemisgezek shoots dead Hasan Polat and Mustafa
19.10, a 70-year Kurdish peasant who was kidnapped
on September 30 at the village of Dogancay in Midyat is found
assassinated in a cave near to the village.
20.10, the Istanbul Governor, on the directive of
the Interior Ministry, refuses to authorise the opening of the Anti-War
20.10, security forces arrest nine alleged TIKKO
members in Istanbul and eight people in Batman in relation with PKK
20.10, unidentified assailants assassinate Mehmet
Mutlu in Diyarbakir.
20.10, the Malatya SSC sentences ten defendants to
prison terms of up to 22 years and six months for illegal activities.
24.10, during his trial at the Criminal Court of
Izmir, former policeman Cigdem Koparan claims to have been tortured
during his interrogation.
24.10, the trial of five top officials of the
Association for Human Rights and Solidarity With the Victims of
Repression (Mazlum-Der), Chairman Ihsan Arslan, Mehmet Pamak, Mustafa
Islamoglu, Hasim Hasimi and Abdullah Ünalan, begins at the Ankara SSC.
They are accused of having made separatist propaganda in their speeches
delivered at a conference on Kurdish Question.
24.10, Serafettin Erci and an unidentified woman
fall victim of the explosion of a mine laid by security forces in
24.10, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Murat Tasan in
Batman and Mehmet Binbay in Urfa.
25.10, in Gebze, two youths named Öner Yildirim and
Sunay Ekinci claims to have been tortured at the police station under
26.10, ten alleged members of the Revolutionary
Communists' Union of Turkey (TIKB) are placed under arrest by the Izmir
SSC. Besides, three attendants of a HADEP meeting in Izmir are taken
26.10, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Ismet Gün in
Diyarbakir and Mahsun Kavak in Adana.
27.10, in Batman, Cemil Yildirim is shot dead by
28.10, security forces have detained 65 people in
Yüksekova and two youths in Diyarbakir.
28.10, in Beytüssebap, Kurdish peasant Ferman Timur
claims to have been tortured because he refused to be a "village
30.10, "The Festival For Peace and Fraternity",
organized by the HADEP Istanbul Section is banned by the Governor.
31.10, a one-year imprisonment and TL 100 thousand
in fine against IHD Balikesir Chairman Mahmut Akkurt are ratified by
the Court of Cassation. On the decision, Akkurt is put in the Kepsut
31.10, the trial of 6 alleged PKK members begins at
the Istanbul SSC. The prosecutor demands capital punishment of three
BESIKCI'S FOUR NEW CONDEMNATIONS
Sociologist Ismail Besikci has recently been
sentenced in four different cases to a total of six years and ten
months in prison and TL 750 million in fine.
So, the total of imprisonments against Besikci rises
to 58 years and nine months, and fines to TL 4 billion 284 million.
Besikci is already serving in Ankara Prison a part of 14 years and 6
months of these sentences ratified by the Court of Cassation. A part of
TL 850 million of his fines too have been ratified.
27.9, the Istanbul Criminal Court N°2 sentences
Besikci to ten months in prison for insulting the Turkish Republic in
an article published by Özgür Gündem. The court also sentences the
daily's editor Kemal Sahin to a fine of TL 1.5 million.
29.9, Besikci is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to
two years in prison and TL 250 million in fine for an article he wrote
for Özgür Gündem. The court also sentences the daily's editor Besim
Döner to six months in prison and TL 50 million in fine and publisher
Yasar Kaya to a fine of TL 126 million for the same article.
30.9, Besikci is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to
two years in prison and TL 250 million in fine for an article he wrote
for Özgür Gündem. The court also sentences the daily's editor Kamil
Celikten to six months in prison and TL 68 million in fine and
publisher Yasar Kaya to a fine of TL 136 million for the same article.
18.10, Besikci is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to
two years in prison and TL 250 million in fine for his book containing
one of his appeals to the Court of Cassation against his earlier
condemnations. The court also sentences the director of the Yurt
Publishing House, Ünsal Öztürk to six months in prison and TL 100
million in fine for having printed the said book.
PERSECUTION OF THE MEDIA IN OCTOBER
1.10, in Istanbul, the office of the magazine
Fabrika is raided by police and sixteen people inside taken into
custody for fifteen days.
2.10, in Trabzon, the office of the left-wing
newspaper Özgür Karadeniz is destroyed by a bomb explosion.
4.10, the editor of the defunct periodical Iscinin
Yolu, Asiye Zeybek is placed under arrest by the Istanbul SSC for some
4.10, Özgür Gündem's Diyarbakir office is again
raided by police, correspondents Nevzat Aydin and Ismail Hakki Kelleci,
and teacher Salih Aykac taken into custody.
4.10, the first issue of a new weekly, Jiyana Nû,
and Mücadele N°112 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist
propaganda and praising outlawed organizations.
6.10, in Diyarbakir, Özgür Ülke distributor Sehmuz
Baskan is taken into police custody.
7.10, in Istanbul, two Özgür Ülke correspondents,
Serpil Korkmaz and Selda Sürmeli are detained as covering a
demonstration against the burning of villages in Tunceli.
8.10, the publisher of the new Kurdish weekly,
Jiyana Nû, Selman Ciman is placed under arrest by the Istanbul SSC for
some articles he wrote.
9.10, Jiyana Nû N°2 and the first issue of a new
periodical, Atilim, are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist
propaganda and praising outlawed organizations.
11.10, Özgür Ülke editor Yusuf Sit is placed under
arrest by the Istanbul SSC. So, the number of the newspaper's editors
under arrest rises to eight.
11.10, the editor of the Kurdish newspaper Welat,
Mazhar Günbat is tried by the Istanbul SSC. The court does not allow
him to make his defence in Kurdish language.
12.10, the chairman of the Anti-War Association,
Arif Hikmet Iyidogan is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in
prison and TL 250 million in fine for some articles he published in the
magazine Zafere Dogru.
12.10, the Istanbul SSC sentences Gencligin Sesi
editor Seher Karatas to five years in prison and TL 41 million in fine,
and Gercek editor Pelin Sener to a fine of TL 75 million.
13.10, two Adana correspondents of the magazine
Atilim, Mahmut Karadag and Ibrahim Yardimci claim to have been tortured
after being detained on October 11.
13.10, the Istanbul SSC confiscates Denge Azadi N°21
and Devrimci Mücadele N°13 for separatist propaganda and praising
14.10, the governor of Ordu province bans the sale
and distribution of musi-cassettes of famous popular singers Ahmet Kaya
and Ferhat Tunc.
15.10, in Erzincan, the 4th Musical Concert for
Friendship and Solidarity organized by a local private radio is banned
by the governor.
15.10, dramatist Numan Bektas is detained in Ankara
to serve a 20-month imprisonment for his play entitled The Law of
Resistance and Renewal. He had been sentenced by the Ankara SSC to 20
months in prison and TL 208 million in fine for separatist propaganda.
The sentence was recently ratified by the Court of Cassation.
16.10, Özgür Ülke Mersin correspondent Ismet Bakac
claims to have been tortured after being detained by police.
17.10, Jiyana Nû N°3 and Kizil Bayrak N°9 are
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
19.10, the Istanbul SSC confiscates for separatist
propaganda two books issued by the Belge Publishing House: The Zagros -
The Diary of a Journalist and Our Ferhat - The Anatomy of A Murder.
19.10, the periodicals Newroz N°35 and Hedef N°36
are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC by virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
23.10, the last issue of the magazine Medya Günesi
is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
25.10, the Istanbul SSC confiscates Atilim N°3 and
Denge Azadi N°23 for separatist propaganda. Same day, 750 exemplaries
of Özgür Ülke are confiscated in Diyarbakir by the military.
26.10, in Arpacbahsis (Mersin), security forces
raiding a house shoot dead Mücadele Adana correspondent Ahmet Öztürk
and his friend Zeynep Gültekin, accused of being Dev-Sol members.
During the raid, a woman named Sevgi Erdogan is wounded and taken into
27.10, journalist Oral Calislar is sentenced by the
Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 250 million in fine for his
book containing interviews with Kurdish leaders Öcalan and Burkay. The
court also sentences the director of the Yar Publishing House, Muzaffer
Erdogdu, to six months in prison and TL 50 million in fine.
27.10, Özgür Gelecek N°37 is confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda and praising outlawed
28.10, former DEP Chairman and Özgür Gündem
publisher Yasar Kaya is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two
years in prison and TL 250 million in fine for an interview he gave to
the TV Kanal 6 on January 17, 1993.
28.10, the Court of Cassation ratifies two fines
against two journalists of the weekly Aktüel, TL 210 million for editor
Alev Er and TL 421 million for publisher Ercan Arikli, for having
published a report titled "A United Front of Kurdistan founded."
31.10, the Court of Cassation ratifies a two-year
imprisonment against the editor of Ak-Zuhur, Mustafa Asik. The court
also approves a fine of TL 200 thousand against Asik and TL 50 million
against the review's publisher Hayrettin Soykan.
The latter is already in prison for serving a 10-month imprisonment.
TURKEY CRITICIZED AT THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe, Miguel Martinez, headed a mission to Turkey at the
beginning of September. He submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly his
information report at the sitting of October 3, 1994.
Using a rather moderate language, Mr. Martinez said:
"We encountered a complex situation, one not always
familiar in its extreme ramifications, and one which is not always
perceived with total objectivity and accuracy in some of our countries;
a situation fraught with definite threats which are just as serious for
Europe and the process of European construction as they are for Turkey.
"We also noted some conspicuous and hardly
acceptable shortcomings, incompatible with the standards and values on
which the Council of Europe is based. But we also met Turkish leaders
and parliamentarians who are honestly, conscientiously and courageously
committed to overcoming these shortcomings and ensuring that the
standards in question become a reality for their people, that is to say
for all the citizens of Turkey whatever their ethnic identity.
"The general conclusion we wish to pass on to our
colleagues in the Assembly is that the situation in Turkey can be
looked at with some hope. It now lies with us, for our part, to do our
utmost to ensure that his hope becomes a reality and to monitor current
developments with extreme vigilance, in order to make sure that the
undertakings given in our presence by the various Turkish authorities
are respected in accordance with the scheduled timetable, that is to
say during the next session of the Turkish Grand National Assembly."
In his report, Martinez drew the attention to the
danger of fundamentalism in Turkey. "It is also our duty to point out
that we were confronted with fundamentalist ideas which were put to us
by the Vice-Chairman of the Welfare Party. He gave a politely negative
reply when we asked whether his party shared our principles with regard
to human rights and whether it was in favour of Turkey's participation
in the process of European construction. Strengthened by their showing
at the last municipal elections, the Islamic fundamentalists are
extremely dangerous to Turkish democracy, not only on account of their
actual activities, but also because of the radicalising effect which
their brand of nationalism has on all the other political forces. But
the rise of fundamentalism also seems to us to pose equal dangers to
the Europe we are committed to building."
However, the moderate tone of the Martinez Report
led to severe criticisms of a number of European deputies.
Ole Espersen (Denmark):
"During the 1980s, the Scandinavian countries
withdrew an application that we had lodged against Turkey regarding the
serious violation of its human rights. We did that because Turkey made
certain promises and the Commission of Human Rights accepted those
"It is now eight or nine years since we received
clear promises from Turkey to meet its human rights obligations. We
have been deceived and I am afraid that we are still being too patient.
The report concludes that we can have some hope. If those time-limits
are not observed, it is our obligation to take action. If not, we can
no longer be proud of our Organization or maintain that human rights is
the most vital subject of the Council of Europe."
Lord Kirkhill (United Kingdom):
"I have read the report carefully and with
considerable interest, but I have to say that the situation of the
detained members of parliament is mentioned barely at all. It is
surprising that an ad hoc committee led by the President of the
Assembly should make such limited reference to the core issue which led
to its making the visit to Ankara. I stress that those members of
parliament are still in prison after more than six months; that the
experience of such trials in Turkey has shown that they can last for
many years; and that, if nothing changes, those members may remain in
prison for the entire period of their trial."
Mrs Baarveld-Schlaman (Netherlands):
"I am not optimistic about the situation. Did the
delegation try to meet the parliamentarians who had had their immunity
lifted; what was the reaction of the authorities when this question was
raised: and what follow-up would there be to the visit of this ad hoc
committee? If a country refuses to allow any participation in solving
its problems from international bodies such as the Council of Europe it
should be prepared to give up membership in such bodies."
"The issue that we are discussing is not only a
legal one; it is also a matter of the mentality and practice of the
Turkish authorities. Turkey should understand that problems are not
solved by the arrest of members of parliament and journalists, by
violence and by the use of arms and the imposition of the will of the
powerful. I am astonished that the ad hoc committee visited Turkey and
failed to meet the HADEP, which succeeded the Democracy Party, and the
six members of parliament who were arrested. After the rather limited
report, the question remains: how long will the Council of Europe
continue to wait to see the promises of the Turkish authorities
CSCE PROTEST LETTER TO CILLER
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
(CSCE), on October 5, sent a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Ciller,
decrying the "trial of six former deputies of the Turkish Grand
The letter, signed by 43 members of the US House of
Representatives and 19 senators, says "this trial raises serious
questions about Turkey's commitment to free speech and other principles
which underlie democracy. In Turkey's Kurdish citizens continue to be
denied a voice in the political process, an important avenue for
resolving the Kurdish issue will have been cut off and extremists on
all sides strengthened. We believe the violence responsible for 13,000
deaths since 1984 will intensify if your government fails to
distinguish between acts of terrorism and the legitimate exercise by
individuals of their rights of free speech."
TURKEY TRIED AT STRASBOURG
The Strasbourg based European Commission of Human
Rights agreed at its meetings of October 18 and 19, 1994, to
investigate a series of human rights violations in cases brought by
Kurds against Turkey.
In four cases brought before the commission, victims
claimed the Turkish government was "pursuing a policy of death and
destruction directed against Kurdish areas, including the burning of
villages and the expulsion of their inhabitants."
OBSTACLES TO AI ACTIVISTS IN TURKEY
Although the new Turkish foreign minister, Mümtaz
Soysal, was an AI activist during his opposition years, AI activists of
today are denied entry to Turkey for human rights researches.
According to a statement released on October 26 by
Amnesty International in London, a researcher was scheduled to collect
information about human rights violations in Turkey but was notified of
the government's decision to deny entry on October 16 by the Turkish
Embassy in London.
Article 8 of Turkey's Law of Passports prohibits
entry of individuals whose "motives in Turkey are proved to be
detrimental to the security and public order of the country."
"By denying our researcher access to Turkey, the
government is choosing to hide and to deny the torture and killings
carried out by its police and gendarmerie rather than confront its
worsening human rights violations and take the necessary steps to end
them," AI stated.
On the other hand, a Kurdish human right activist,
Abdülkerim Demirer, was arrested on October 21 in Hakkari, while he was
on his way to deliver some documents to John Shattuck, US Assistant
Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs who was
visiting Turkey. During the arrest, police confiscated all the
documents he carried.
Amnesty International representative Maryam Elahi,
in Washington, said that Demirer, Chairman of Hakkari Branch of the
Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD), was someone AI had worked with
in the past and was regarded as a reliable reporter of human rights
violations in Turkey.
ERNK SPOKESMAN DETAINED IN LONDON
British police detained on October 26, 1994, the
ERNK's Representative, Kani Yilmaz, visiting London and said he
would be deported to a third country as soon as arrangements were made.
Yilmaz was taken into custody on his way to a
meeting with British parliamentarians at the House of Commons and held
overnight at a central London police station before being sent to a
A spokesman for New Scotland Yard said that Yilmaz
was arrested under his true name of Faysal Dumlayici.
Interpol department of Turkish General Directorate
of Security immediately asked for the extradition of Yilmaz from
British newspapers reported that Yilmaz was arrested
on orders issued by Home Secretary Michael Howard, which implied
Turkish pressure on the British government may have been the
reason for the arrest.
Prior to his arrest by British police, Yilmaz told
the press that the PKK was opting for a new and substantial offer for
dialogue to solve the ongoing crisis in southeastern Turkey and this
was one of the reasons he visited Britain.
Lord Avebury, Parliament's human rights commission
chairman and a supporter of Kurdish rights, issued an immediate
statement objecting strongly "that somebody invited by a member of
Parliament should be unceremoniously arrested. In fact, Yilmaz was
invited to the country by John Austin-Walker, Labor MP for Woolwich.
KURDISH CONVENTION IN MOSCOW
A convention of Kurdish organizations from the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Moscow decided on October
31 to establish a "Kurdish Union" which will have the PKK as its
According to the daily Al-Hayat, the convention
brought together 80 delegates representing 35 Kurdish organizations.
Yuri Nebiev, a Lachin Kurd from Armenia who was elected to head the
union, said the El-Hayat that they consider the PKK to be the most
important Kurdish political and military force and the nucleus of their
future national state.
Turkey through diplomatic channels had tried to halt
the conference, arguing that it was PKK-related, while Moscow has
denied this and presented the convention as a gathering of CIS Kurds.
The Turkish press claims that Moscow has been trying
to "get back at Ankara" through such conferences and conventions in
order to signal to Turkey "to keep its hands off the Turkic and Muslim
peoples" within the Russian Federation and the former Soviet Union.
According to the Turkish Daily News of October 18,
1994, the ERNK representatives are currently holding meetings in all
CIS countries. The PKK has increased its influence in a number of
countries over the past months, including Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria
ARMENIAN COMMUNITY UNDER MENACE
Armenian Patriarch Karekin Kazanciyan, in a letter
of October 23, 1994, to the Turkish authorities, asked the Turkish
Government to take an interest in the threatening letters which the
Armenian community in Istanbul received.
These letters say "Oh you parasites who think
yourselves citizens! We nourish you snakes in our bosom and you both
eat our bread and will destroy our souls and blood? The time to put a
halt to this has long come and gone." and call on Armenians living in
Turkey to leave immediately. "This is a last warning to you. Turkey is
only for the Turks and not for snakes like you. This is final and don't
forget it," they concluded.
These letters began to arrive at Armenian addresses
from October 16 onwards and because of the groundless claims of
relations between the PKK and Turkish Armenians. A right-wing newspaper
published a photograph in which PKK leader Apo is shaking hand with a
man in religious gown and titled it as a proof of PKK-Armenian
Armenian Patriarch Kazanciyan, holding a press
conference on October 18, stated that the man pictured with Apo was a
man from Aleppo who belonged to a Christian community which was not
The Patriarch referred to "a tactic in psychological
warfare" by which Armenians would be shunned by the very neighbours
they had lived side by side with, and by friends whose roots were very
different from theirs.
Kazanciyan questioned whether the people who were
responsible weren't trying to make the word Armenian a swear word,
create hatred between Muslims and Christians, prevent Armenian children
from playing in the streets and Armenian women from going shopping in
the markets, and creating a situation in which Armenian businessmen
could not work.
nINDEX OF THE 18th YEAR INFO-TÜRK COLLECTION
November 1993, N°205
• Escalation • Guernica-style assault onto Lice •
Turkish death squads in Europe • Anti-Kurdish operations in Europe •
PKK's demonstration of force • Ciller-Güres tandem's threats •
Christian village depopulated • British unionist detained • Turkey
condemned by the UNO for torture • 2-month State terrorism • Appeal by
Amnesty International • 2-month persecution of the media • Turkish
banks in Europe • Scandal of fictituous exports
December 1993, N°206
• 1993: The Year of Hawks • New escalation in the
Dirty War • Poised Hammer extended • New attack on Özgür Gündem • Joint
action with Iran against Kurds • DEP elected a radical chairman • State
terrorism in December • Persecution of the Media in December • General
Güres' attack on the media • Güres' son to shoot journalists •
Intellectuals' declaration of unity • Scandal in the Turkish press •
Failure of tax reform • Army arrests journalists
January 1994, N°207
• Human rights record of 1993 • 54 journalists in
prison • 31 journalists murdered since 1992 • 1000 victims of
Anti-Terror Law • Pressures on the media in January • Dirty War costs
$8.2 billion • Military service extended • PKK calls for liberated
zones • Hunger strikes in prisons • Ill-treatment of foreigners • The
Army's finance holding • USA: Torture persists in Turkey • State
terrorism in January • One-million bank-notes in the offing • Turkish
migrants no longer send money • New coalition in TRNC
February 1994, N°208
• Towards an upser in Turkish politics • Anti-Kurd
operation extended to Belgium • Fundamentalist RP phenomenon • Threat
of a new military coup • State of emergency extended • The Green Party
closed down • Human rights disaster in February • State terrorism in
February • Turkish jets hit Iraq and Iran • Nazim Hikmet's book banned
• A Laz editor indicted • Pressure on the media in February • Fear
fuels Christian exodus
March 1994, N°209
• Electoral shock • Spectacular fall of two
coalition partners • Tansu Ciller's manoeuvres • Scandalous arrest of
DEP deputies • Brussels conference on Kurdistan • Two Kurdish women's
suicide in Germany • Europalia 96-Turkey • State terrorism in March •
Pressure on media in March • Professor Baskaya imprisoned • The
Armenian Taboo confiscated
April 1994, N°210
• File on Islamist rise • Complicity of all
politicians • Fundamentalists in ANAP and DYP • A Sheikh-ul-Islam in
Germany • Rebirth of extremist parties • Alarming rise of extreme right
• "National Vision" in Belgium • Islamist shock at 1992 elections •
Fundamentalist offensive • Rise of Islamist violence • Islamic
investments in Turkey • Attacks on journalists and intellectuals • The
Sivas Pogrom by islamists • A report on fundamentalist education •
May 1994, N°211
• EXODUS: Mass Kurdish escape from Turkey to
Northern Iraq • Suffocation of the press in Turkey • Ciller's
conversation tapped • Police brutality on May Day • The Turkish press
lost readers • Radio-TV Law criticised • Turco-German tension on Kurds
• US aid to Turkey reduced • General Güres against Russia • Özgür
Gündem and Azadi banned • Belgian mission to Kurdistan • Solidarity
with Kurdish lawyers • State terrorism in April • Pressure on the media
in April • The Council of Europe resolution • European Parliament
June 1994, N°212
• Urgent appeal • The DEP closed • Condemned for
defence in Kurdish • State of emergency extended • Ciller destroys
Turkish economy • Second conquest of istanbul by the Islamists • RP
mass meeting in Belgium • Trade unionist imprisoned • "In torture rooms
of Turkey" • Virginity control of women in Turkey • Ciller threatens
Greece • State terrorism in May • A file on the oppression of Assyrians
• Pressure on the media in May • New racist attacks on Turks in Germany
July-August 1994, N° 213-214
• 10th year of the war • Internment camps in Turkey
• Kafkaesque trial of DEP deputies • Human rights report of June-July •
The Council of Europe Resolution • CSCE to send missions to Turkey •
Human Rights Minister resigns • Anti-semitism rising in Turkey • Human
rights violations in 1993 • Scandalous case of the Sivas Pogrom • RP
again the only rising party • Dirty affairs of RP Islamists • Ciller's
wealth shakes the Government • State terrorism in last two months •
Intellectuals in prison or under arrest • Record penalties against
Besikci • Pressure on the media in two months • Publisher Zarakolu's
challenge • Foreign debts reach $67.3 billion • A ridiculous minimum
wage • A mass labour action • Trade unions complain to ILO • National
income per capita: $1,980 • The new rules on the Straits
September 1994, N°215
• Women of Turkey: In power and In Detention •
By-elections for fooling the world opinion • European Parliament
suspends all contact with Turkish Parliament • "A 10 percent honourable
policy" • Publisher tortured in Turkey • CPJ urges the Turkish
Government • Dev-Sol leader arrested in France • Persecution of
Orthodox Christians • 2-Month State terrorism • Persecution of the Media
October 1994, N°216
• Dersim villages in flame • "File of
Torture"confiscated • Hunger strikes in Turkish prisons • Still no
education in the Southeast • Turkish univesities paralysed • State
terrorism in October • Besikci's four new condemnations • Persecution
of the media in October • Turkey criticized at the Council of Europe •
CSCE protest letter to Ciller • Turkey tried at Strasbourg • Obstacles
to AI activists in Turkey • ERNK Spokesman detained in London • Kurdish
Convention in Moscow • Armenian community under menace.