INFO-TÜRK Bulletin is entering with this issue its
19th year of publication. Since 1976, INFO-TÜRK has been the only
periodical appearing without interruption to inform the world opinion
of the social and political life of Turkey. Denouncing the repression
in that country, it also contributes to the struggle for
democracy in Turkey.
Our readers no doubt will admit that the simple fact
of carrying on this publication for such a long time despite all
material difficulties and all pressure applied by the Ankara regime on
its founders has proved INFO-TÜRK's durability.
From this issue on, INFO-TÜRK will continue as a
bimonthly. Unfortunately, the rising mailing costs and some financial
and technical difficulties have obliged us to make this change in the
However, our readers will continue to find all
information of two months in bimonthly INFO-TÜRK in a higher number of
spite of protests all over the world against their trial, eight Kurdish
deputies were sentenced to heavy prison terms - On the verdict, the
European Parliament suspended its relations with Turkey.
"Turks jail Kurdish MPs for 15 years. Severity of
sentences outrages observers in court." The Guardian of December 9,
1994, reported the most controversial court case in Turkey's recent
legal history under this headline.
Ending a long, controversial trial, widely followed
both at home and abroad, the State Security Court of Ankara sentenced
on December 8, seven former Kurdish deputies expelled from the Turkish
parliament and an independent Kurdish deputy to jail terms of up to
Hatip Dicle, also former DEP Chairman, Orhan Dogan,
Ahmet Türk, Leyla Zana and Selim Sadak were sentenced to fifteen years,
Sedat Yurttas to seven years and six months, Mahmut Alniak and Sirri
Sakik to three years and six months each, but allowed to go free
pending an appeal.
The verdict fell short of the death penalty, a
possibility which caused "deep concern" at the US State Department and
prompted President Mitterrand to write to European leaders about the
The eight were not tried for separatism and high
treason as had been expected, but according to articles 168 and 169 of
the Penal Code outlawing to help terrorists or associating with them.
The judge said in his summing up that the four —
Leyla Zana, Selim Sadak, Orhan Dogan and Hatip Dicle — had made
speeches in favour of the PKK. Another MP, Sedat Yurttas, was condemned
for allegedly declaring support for the PKK.
"This is not justice!" exploded one of the deputies,
who had to be restrained as soldiers led the group from the dock.
relatives shouted Kurdish battle cries, ignoring policemen guarding
Yusuf Alatas, head of more than 200 lawyers
defending the Kurds, said he would appeal and that he had repeatedly
been denied the chance to introduce evidence and witnesses.
Five of the DEP deputies and one independent had
been arrested in March with Premier Ciller's provocation claiming that
they were serving as the PKK's political wing and having contacts with
Three months later the party was banned and another
two MPs were imprisoned. The party's six remaining deputies fled to
asylum in Europe.
The court claimed that four of the MPs had gone into
the mountains of Southeast Turkey to visit a PKK camp. But the MPs said
they were on holiday at the time and that, as they were always followed
by police, the accusation was ridiculous.
"We don't want to defend ourselves," one of the MPs
concluded. "The decision against us was made a long time ago."
Leyla Zana wrote in The Washington Post that she was
being tried for speaking out as a Kurd.
However the prison sentences still provoked outrage
among the small army of European MPs and human rights campaigners who
filled Ankara's state security court to overflowing.
After the verdict, observers from Germany and
France, including politicians and representatives from the
International Human Rights Federation and the human rights watchdog SOS
Racism, announced to stage demonstrations in front of Turkish
diplomatic missions in Europe.
Daniel Jacoby, representing the International Human
Rights Federation said they would submit a report to a United Nations
conference on human rights, scheduled to convene in Geneva in February
"We hope Turkey will be thrown out of the Council of
Europe," the French Socialist MP and an ex-minister Segolene Royal
said. She said she would nominate the only women on trial, Leyla Zana,
for the Nobel peace prize.
IHD AND TIHV TRIALS
In two other shameful trials, the representatives
from Turkey's two leading human rights organisations, the Turkish Human
Rights Foundation (TIHV) and the Human Rights Association (IHD) were
brought before the Ankara SSC on December 19, 1994.
TIHV Chairman Yavuz Önen and administrative board
member Fevzi Argun are charged under Article 8/1 of the Anti-Terror Law
for promoting separatism in "Torture File 1980-1994," published by the
The prosecutor demanded prison terms ranging from
two to five years for both defendants, and fines of TL 100 million.
At the second trial, IHD Chairman Akin Birdal and
Secretary General Hüsnü Öndül are charged under Articles 8/1 and 8/2 of
the ATL, for promoting separatism in the book "A Scene from the Burned
Villages", published by the IHD. The prosecutor demanded prison terms
ranging from six months to two years and fines of TL 100 million.
The book's author, Sedat Aslantas, is also being
tried on the same charges and faces a prison term of up to five years.
Various authorities from Western countries have sent
messages to the Turkish authorities and expressed their concern about
the picture drawn in the human rights field.
PERINCEK SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS
The Court of Cassation, on November 11, 1994,
ratified a three-year imprisonment against the Chairman of the Workers'
Party (IP), Dogu Perincek.
Because of an electoral declaration at the TV on
October 20, 1991, Perincek had been sentenced to by the Ankara SSC to a
two-year imprisonment for separatist propaganda, but the higher court,
finding the sentence not enough, asked the SSC to give a higher prison
term. At his second trial he had been sentenced to three years.
After the ratification of his sentence, Perincek
said: "The chairman of a political party has been condemned for having
expressed his opinion on the solution of the Kurdish Question. This is
a refusal of seeking any solution to the question. The court decision
is against the fundamental principles of the law. The sentence that I
received is a separatist one and a strike on the Turkish-Kurdish
fraternity. I shall take the case to tp the European Commission of
On December 12, the Governor of Istanbul banned the
posters protesting against the condemnation of the Workers' Party (IP)
Chairman Dogu Perincek.
On December 14, the public prosecutor of Istanbul
started a new legal proceeding against Perincek for his electoral
speech at TV. He is accused of having insulted the Turkish Army and
faces a prison term of up to six years by virtue of Article 159 of the
THE EP RESOLUTION ON TURKEY
The European Parliament, at its session of December
15, 1994, decided to maintain the suspension of the EU-Turkey Joint
Parliamentary Committee until Turkey takes note of Parliament's demands
and submitted to the Council a call for the immediate suspension of the
talks on the establishment of a customs union between Turkey and the EU.
The resolution on the trial of Turkish Members of
Kurdish origin of the Turkish Grand National Assembly reads:
The European Parliament,
A. having regard to its resolutions of 10 March, 20
April and 29 September 19943 on the arrest and trial of Turkish MPs of
Kurdish origin in Turkey,
B. whereas Turkey is a member of the Council of
Europe and has signed and ratified the European Convention on Human
C. whereas the eight MPs were arrested, imprisoned
and convicted as a consequence of performing their parliamentary
duties, representing an act of intimidation against all members of
parliament and a flagrant breach of the European Convention on Human
D. whereas on 8 December 1994 the State Security
Court altered the charges, but nevertheless sentenced Mrs Leyla Zana,
Mr Hatip Dicle, Mr Ahmet Turk, Mr Orhan Dogan and Mr Selim Sadak to 15
years' imprisonment, Mr Yurttas to seven years and six months'
imprisonment, and Mr Sakik and Mr Alinak to three years and six months'
E. whereas Mrs Leyla Zana is suffering from a
serious illness, and whereas her continued imprisonment, in insanitary
conditions and with no medical care, is a major factor in the
deterioration of her health and may be regarded as unacceptable
treatment within the meaning of the ECHR,
F. noting with alarm that a prison sentence of four
years and a fine of 200 million Turkish lira has been imposed on Mehdi
Zana, apparently in connection with testimony given to the European
Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights in 1992, concerning human
rights issues in south-eastern Turkey,
G. concerned that the chairmen of the Turkish Human
Rights Foundation (which is subsidised from the Union's budget) and the
Turkish Human Rights Association, who supported the MPs and condemned
their trial, have been summoned to appear before the same court on 19
December 1994, charged with involvement in separatist activities,
H. whereas the number of persons arrested and
imprisoned in Turkey for expressing their political beliefs and support
for trade unions is continually increasing,
I. whereas the bomb attacks on the opposition
newspaper "Özgür Ülke" killed three people and wounded several others
and have made critical reporting extremely dangerous,
J. whereas, as a result of the arbitrary dismissal
of the Turkish MPs of Kurdish origin of the DEP, entire regions of
south-eastern Turkey are no longer represented in the Turkish Grand
National Assembly; whereas the Assembly is therefore no longer
representative of the whole country,
1. Condemns the fact that the parliamentary immunity
of the victims of this political trial was withdrawn on the grounds of
2. Condemns all the aspects of the trial, the
verdict handed down against the eight members of the Turkish Grand
National Assembly and the outlawing of their party, the DEP, as a
persistent violation of the principles of Turkey's representative and
pluralist democracy and of fundamental human rights ;
3. Expresses its solidarity with the convicted MPs
and calls for the verdict to be quashed, for the sentences handed down
to be rescinded, for the MPs to be released and restored to their
duties and for the decision to dissolve their party to be revoked;
4. Is horrified by the fact that Mr Faik Candan, one
of the lawyers defending the Kurdish MPs and who disappeared on 3
December 1994, has been found dead in Ankara, his body riddled with
5. Resolves to maintain the suspension of the EU
Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee until Turkey takes note of
Parliament's demands; believes, however, that unofficial contacts with
Turkish parliamentarians with democratic views should be continued;
6. Decides to submit to the Council a call for the
immediate suspension of the talks on the establishment of a customs
union between Turkey and the EU and, therefore, the postponement of the
meeting scheduled for 19 December 1994;
7. Points out that the agreement on customs union
with Turkey is subject to the assent procedure;
8. Calls on the Council of Europe to urge Turkey to
embark on a process of dialogue in order to seek a democratic solution
to the legitimate aspirations of its 15 million citizens of Kurdish
origin, thereby removing a source of tension and conflict which is
threatening peace and stability in the countries of the region and in
9. Calls on the Member States not to deport Kurdish
refugees who have fled from Turkey;
10. Instructs its President to forward this
resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the
Member States, the Turkish Grand National .Assembly and the Turkish
Government, the Council of Europe, the UN Secretary-General and the
Secretariat of the OSCE.
CUSTOMS UNION AGREEMENT DELAYED
The condemnation of DEP deputies immediately cast
its shadow over Turkey's ties with its Western allies during the
European Union summit in Essen.
Prior to the meeting, French President Mitterrand
addressing a letter to other European leaders qualified the DEP trial
as a serious attack on human rights and on the Charter of the CSCE,
urged them to join him in supporting the deputies.
German Prime Minister Kohl raised the issue at the
opening session of the summit and asked EU foreign ministers to draft a
statement and make a joint approach to the Turkish government.
After the summit, a statement issued by Germany, on
behalf of the 12 EU countries, said, "The European Union regrets that
the trial has ended with sentences condemning a number of defendants to
However, the EU leaders did not take a common stand
as regards the European Parliament's resolution asking to suspend the
signature of a customs union between Turkey and the European Union.
Although the Turkey-EU Association Council meeting,
held on December 19, 1994, in Brussels had to report the signature to a
further date, it is because of the Greek veto.
At the meeting, European foreign ministers severely
criticised Turkey for the condemnation of DEP deputies and said Ankara
would have to repair this if it wanted to get closer to the EU, but
they, except for Greece, did their best in order to conclude the
Athens vetoed agreement on the customs union, which
would open the huge EU market to Turkish goods, and stopped the release
of 600 million ECU in financial assistance to Turkey, because it wanted
a date for negotiations to begin on bringing Cyprus into the EU.
However, German Foreign Minister Kinkel, who chaired
the meeting, said the French EU presidency that starts in January 1995
plans an EU-Turkey meeting for March 7.
Even if the Association Council manages to get
through the customs union on March 7, a new debate is expected to be
spurred if the whole deal needs to go to the European parliament, which
has gained new powers under Maastricht Agreement.
TURKEY'S SHAME IN BUDAPEST
At the CSCE meeting in Budapest at the beginning of
December 1994, Turkey declared once more that it would not accept any
inspection from the standpoint of human rights.
Milliyet reporter Yalcin Dogan, in his article dated
December 4, qualified Turkish stance as "shameful" and said:
"It is a basic CSCE rule that human rights are not a
country's internal affair. References to this principle can be seen in
all CSCE documents. Like any other CSCE member, Turkey has signed all
CSCE documents. Under the circumstances, saying, 'Our human rights
performance concerns only us. You mind your own business," amounts to a
case of gross ignorance, if not a foolish kind of nationalism.
"Every country has certain weak points. For example,
when racism or xenophobia is discussed, Germany gets criticised
bitterly. When lenience towards terrorist activities is brought up,
Switzerland and Greece get blamed. Also, there are many suits filed
against France and Austria. The point is, all these countries do not
resent these actions.
"Yet, when it is Turkey's turn to be criticised, the
Turkish side becomes uneasy, even guilty. This stubborn opposition to
the CSCE inspection of the human rights situation in the member
countries, makes the other countries wonder why Turkey rejects
inspection. Is Turkey trying to cover up human rights violations.
"The CSCE tends to take to the United Nations
Security Council 'human rights abuses which endanger peace.' This is
indeed an incredible step in the human rights arena.
"While the CSCE prepares to take such a modern step,
Turkey chooses to remain where it is."
THE ECONOMIST ACCUSES TURKEY
The Economist of December 17, in an article
headlined "Turkey and the Kurds: Ethnic Cleansing," drawing the
attention to the steady evacuation of Kurdish villages and the
resultant migration to large urban cities, said: "Turkey may be winning
battles against Kurdish guerrillas, but it is losing the war for the
support of ordinary Kurds. One such city, Diyarbakir, had 380,000
people in 1990, now it is thought to have 1.25 million."
It summarised the latest campaign against the
Kurdish insurgents, where "over 40,000 Turkish troops are pursuing
1,000-3,000 guerrillas in Tunceli province."
"Turks like to say they do not have a Kurdish
problem, only a terrorism problem. If so, they are turning the one into
the other," the Economist concluded.
MINORITY RIGHTS AND TURKEY
The framework convention on the protection of
minorities was approved on November 10, 1994, in the Council of
Europe's Ministerial Committee meeting in Strasbourg.
The convention protects national minorities'
language, religious and cultural freedom and in return bars them from
The non-binding document, described as the first
such international agreement on minorities, will take effect after 12
of the member states have ratified it but will have only limited
impact, Reuters reported.
A council spokesman said controversy forced members
to drop a definition of national minorities from the final text, thus
sharply cutting its effect.
"States will probably use the loophole to say that
this or that group does not constitute a national minority," he said.
Turkey does not recognise Kurds as a minority, nor
does France recognise Corsicans or Basques as minority.
The convention authorises minorities to use and
teach their own language and practice their own religion.
It states that minorities scattered among various
countries could cooperate and bans forced assimilation.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mümtaz Soysal, who
represents Turkey in the Ministerial Committee, told Turkish
journalists that the exact description of the minority could not be
made in the conventions. "Every state will make its description on the
issue of national minorities, according to the convention. This
uncertainty is useful for us," he concluded.
LIMITED RIGHTS TO CHILDREN
The International Convention on Children Rights was
ratified by the Turkish National Assembly on December 12, 1994, by
putting reservations on Articles 17, 29 and 30 concerning the rights of
the children of national minorities to learn their own languages or
CSCE RECOMMENDS CEASE-FIRE
The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
(CSCE), in a report released on November 23, 1994, recommended a
"bilateral cease-fire" between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers' Party
The CSCE report, based on its Co-Chairman Senator
Dennis DeConcini's visit to Turkey in October, recommends that "if the
PKK were to declare a unilateral cease-fire — as it did in March 1993 —
the Turkish Government should seriously consider suspending its costly
military campaign. Such a bilateral cease-fire can be a first step
toward establishing a climate in which non-military approaches can be
discusses and implemented."
The CSCE report also said that "for years Turkey has
repressed, often brutally, a separate Kurdish cultural identity in
favour of a secular Turkish identity. Whereas Turkey is not the same as
it was only five years ago, the steady progression from denying the
mere existence of Kurds to granting certain restricted liberties, has
been accompanied by a growing gulf of mistrust between Kurds and Turks."
The CSCE report made the following recommendations
to the Turkish government regarding the Kurdish problem:
"1) Allow all non-violent political parties to
participate in political life.
"2) Abolish restrictions on free expression
including those within the Anti-Terrorism law.
"3) Repeal the State of Emergency.
"4) Dismantle the village guard system.
"5) Remove all restrictions on Kurdish linguistic
and cultural expression.
"6) Lift constraints on dissemination of Kurdish
language television and radio broadcasts, print, music and other media.
"7) Develop a government sponsored Institute of
Kurdish Studies and allow schools to offer instruction in Kurdish, and
"8) Convene a high-profile conference to examine all
aspects of Turkish-Kurdish relations."
THE PKK ASK FOR CEASE-FIRE
A few days after the CSCE report was released, the
daily Özgür Ülke of November 26 announced that PKK leader Abdullah
Öcalan had sent a letter to the governments of the United States,
Germany, France, Britain, as well as CSCE, United Nations, Council of
Europe and NATO, asking for a bilateral cease-fire.
"The PKK is not insisting on the idea of an
independent Kurdistan anymore, but we demand an immediate intervention
to the Kurdish problem. We want the Turkish and the Kurdish people to
live together", Öcalan said in his letter.
"PROVIDE COMFORT" AGAIN EXTENDED
The Turkish National Assembly approved on December
28 another extension for the mandate of a controversial Turkey-based
Western air force dubbed Provide Comfort, protecting the Iraqi Kurds
from attack by Saddam Hussein's forces.
The decision gives another six-month mandate for the
U.S., British, French and Turkish war-planes and helicopters to patrol
the Kurdish zone in northern Iraq from the Incirlik air base in
Operation Provide Comfort was deployed in Turkey in
1991 immediately after the Gulf War in order to prevent a mass influx
of northern Iraqi Kurds to Turkey. These Kurds, numbering over 400,000,
had fled the wrath of Iraqi forces loyal to Saddam Hussein after their
failed uprising in the wake of the Gulf War.
Unable to cope with such an influx, and worried that
the presence of so many Kurds on its territory would aggravate its o
Operation Provide Comfort was deployed in Turkey in
1991 immediately after the Gulf War in order to prevent a mass influx
of northern Iraqi Kurds to Turkey. These Kurds, numbering over 400,000,
had fled the wrath of Iraqi forces loyal to Saddam Hussein after their
failed uprising in the wake of the Gulf War.
Unable to cope with such an influx, and worried that
the presence of so many Kurds on its territory would aggravate its own
Kurdish problem, Turkey had called on the allies for help. The allied
response was to set up this operation in order to relieve.
These facts, however, fallen by the wayside today
and the presence of this force in Turkey are being contested by
different opposition groups for different reasons.
The opponents of the operations against the Kurds
accuse the Provide Comfort of providing the Turkish Army with
logistical information about the Kurdish guerrilla settlements in
Northern Iraq. In fact, The Turkish Daily News of December 29, 1994,
quoted some military officials saying that the cross-border operations
into northern Iraq by Turkey against PKK camps in the region would not
be taking place as easily as they do if Provide Comfort did not exist.
Many hawks politicians, on the contrary, claim that
U.S. elements attached to this operation were actually and actively
helping the PKK against Turkish security forces. DSP leader Bülent
Ecevit consistently argues that the United States is basically after a
Kurdish state in Southeast Anatolia and that Provide Comfort is the
tool by which it wants to achieve this.
As for the Islamist RP, its chairman Necmettin
Erbakan said the Provide Comfort was an occupation force which
compromised the country's sovereignty and caused Turkey to lose $20
billion of the past three years because of sanctions against Iraq.
The fact that the coalition parties, on the
directive of the National Security Council dominated by the military
commanders, voted in favour of the extension of Provide Comfort, this
force's presence in Turkey has been to the advantage of the government
forces in their operation against the Kurdish guerrilla in Turkey and
in Northern Iraq.
CILLER'S BLUNDERS IN MIDDLE EAST
Prime Minister Ciller's first tour in the Middle
East and in Maghreb at the beginning of November was marked by a series
of new gaffes displaying too plainly the lack of a Turkish policy on
First of all, as returning from the Islamic summit
in Morocco, she paid an unprogrammed visit to Libyan leader
Gadhafi, even without informing Foreign Minister Soysal, and
promised him to do her best in order to reintegrate Libya into the
During her visit to Israel, aiming to obtain, among
others, a close collaboration between Turkish and Israeli intelligence
services in fight against the Kurdish national movement, Ciller talked
of "promised lands", which angered Palestinians.
Just after this gaffe, Ciller paid an unprogrammed
visit to Palestinian Foreign Minister Faisal Husseini at Orient House
in Jerusalem, which is considered by Israeli politicians as a
confirmation that East Jerusalem is the capital of the future
Palestinian state. This gesture prompted a motion by Likud to close
down the Orient House. Prime Minister Rabin, who had hosted Ciller for
three days said, following the Ciller-Husseini meeting, "This is a
shame an a regrettable incident."
Sabah columnist Cengiz Candar depicted the visit as
a Shakespearean Comedy of Errors. "Despite her attractive physique and
permanent smile, Ciller is not able to match the intellectual
capacity," he said.
ANNUAL INFLATION RATE: 150%
Turkey's chronic inflation was, at the end of 1994,
reported to have reached the highest wholesale and retail rates in the
history of the Turkish Republic, something which Prime Minister Tansu
Ciller referred to as "a success in itself."
When she became State Minister charged with economic
affairs in 1991, Ciller had claimed to reduce the inflation rate to
Always fooling the public opinion, Ciller had
repeated on July 13, 1994: "The IMF as well as the World Bank are
expecting miracles from us... The inflation rate will stand in the 20s
in the second half of the year.
However, after her four-year period of power, the
State Institute of Statistics (DIE) announced that the year-end
(cumulative) wholesale price inflation was a record high 149.6 per
cent, more than doubling the 1991 inflation.
The following are other vital indicators showing
Ciller's performance in economic matters which led Turkey to a
• Economy shrank by 6.1 percent in the first nine
• Capacity utilisation in the January-September
period at 75.5 percent.
• There are more than 4 million unemployed and under
employed persons in the economy, representing 19.8 percent of total
• Foreign deficit at $4.5 billion in first 11 months.
• Domestic debt stock at TL 600 trillion; foreign
debt stock at $60 billion.
• Deficits of State Economic Enterprises at TL 78
• Year-end budget deficit estimated at TL 160
• Turkey ranks eight in risk criteria among
developing countries, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
• Moody's and Standard and Poor's retain Turkey in
"speculative country" category.
• Central Bank's foreign currency reserves stand at
• Money circulation at TL 115.5 trillion.
• U.S. dollar/Turkish lira parity at 40,000. Turkish
lira lost 61 percent of its value in one year.
Main opposition Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut
"For us, the government's overall rating in economic
management is a big zero. This is the worse economic picture of the
republican era. Turkey's prime minister, who is a professor of
economics, has managed to achieve a 150 percent inflation rate together
with a 5 percent contraction in the economy. This is called a failure
anywhere on the globe. The real incomes of civil servants have plunged
by 150 percent over the past year. This is breaking the record of
Islamist Welfare Party (RP) Chairman Necmettin
Erbakan claiming that 1995 will be worse than 1994 said: "Cowboy
capitalism is crushing the poor while enriching the already rich happy
GROWING ANGER OF THE WORKING PEOPLE
The principal victim of Ciller's economic policies,
the workers and civil servants held mass demonstrations in November and
Turkish trade unions, in a joint action, led a
massive protest march in Ankara on November 26 to protest the
government policies and the draft 1995 budget which again curbs wage
and salary hikes.
Police used clubs to halt some workers who wanted to
defy a ban on demonstration outside the Parliament. 3,000 policemen
were deployed throughout Ankara. Vehicles coming into Ankara were
carefully checked and some busses carrying workers were not allowed to
enter the capital.
In anger, some workers stoned Bayram Meral, Chairman
of the Turkish Trade Union Confederation (Türk-Is), claiming he had
sold out the labour movement.
On December 20, civil servants went on a series of
protest actions throughout Turkey. Tens of thousands marchers occupied
the main streets of the big cities and chanted slogans against the
RIDICULOUS SENTENCES FOR SIVAS ARSONISTS
As intellectuals are being sentenced only for their
opinions to life-long prison terms, the Ankara State Security Court
sentenced on December 26, 1994, the Fundamentalists, who set fire to a
hotel in Sivas last year and caused the deaths of 37 intellectuals, to
The court decided on 15 years for the 23 defendants
who were seen as bearing the chief responsibility for the outrage. It
sentenced 63 others to terms from two to 10 years, and acquitted a
The convicted fanatics protested at the verdicts by
shouting slogans and curses, throwing objects at the panel of judges
and at reporters covering the final hearing.
Lawyers representing the relatives of the fire
victims said they would appeal against the sentences which were
not commensurate with the gravity of the crime. The verdicts also
caused an emotional outburst from the victims' relatives, who objected
to the lenient sentences and later staged a march. "The murderers are
still free, where is the state?," and "The state is a murderer," they
The defendants had been arrested after a
fundamentalist mob burned down the Hotel Madimak in Sivas on July 2,
1993. Thirty-seven artists and academics, assembled to commemorate a
medieval Turkish bard hanged for advocating resistance against
religious and political oppression, died in the fire.
Aziz Nesin, an internationally renowned Turkish
writer who was main target for the mob because of his translations from
Salman Rushdie's controversial book "Satanic Verses", survived the
In rejecting the death penalty requested by the
prosecutor against the Fundamentalists, the court took into account
Nesin's presence in Sivas during the ceremonies. After announcing the
verdicts, the court ordered an investigation against the writer for
disregarding the official ban on the book and thereby insulting Islam
and holding the state in contempt.
As Nesin, 80, is being harassed by Turkish
authorities in his own country, the Committee to Protect Journalists in
New York honoured him on November 10, 1994, with the "International
Freedom Award" for his courageous struggle for the freedom of opinion.
In his address at the ceremony, Nesin focused on the
dangers of fundamentalism to Turkey and the whole world. He also called
on those present to support his call for an international conference on
tolerance and freedom.
BOMB ATTACK BY ISLAMISTS
A bomb attack by a fundamentalist group at the
cafe of The Marmara Hotel in Istanbul on December 30, 1994, killed
archaeologist Yasemin Cebenoyan and paralysed a distinguished Turkish
intellectual, Onat Kutlar.
The criminal act was reportedly committed by a
radical group of Islamists who started a campaign against "the
celebration of the New Year in a Muslim country."
Not only the radical Islamist groups, but also the
President of Religious Affairs, attached to the Prime Minister Ciller's
Office, had declared that the celebration of a Christian festivity by
Turks was incompatible with Islamic rules.
Onat Kutlar, a famous writer and a columnist of the
daily Cumhuriyet, was also the founder of the Turkish Cinematheque.
ISLAMIST SHOW AT ATATÜRK'S MAUSOLEUM
On November 10, 1994, the commemoration ceremony of
the 56th anniversary of the death of Atatürk was marked a new
mediatique show by the Islamists.
Just before the minute of silence held by the
President of the Republic and other political and military leaders at
the Mausoleum, an Islamist militant started to shout in front of TV
cameras: "Do not bow down to pieces of stone that do not see or hear.
Fear the retribution of Allah! Do not worship idols, Allah is the
The demonstrator was later taken into custody.
The Welfare Party (RP) Parliamentary Group Chairman
Oguzhan Asiltürk described the incident as a provocation targeted at
creating hostility toward the RP.
CILLER FLIRTING WITH FUNDAMENTALISTS
Aware of the fact that the Islamist Welfare Party
(RP) is getting stronger and stronger because of her government's
unpopular policies, Prime Minister Ciller launched a double-sided
campaign for slowing down her failure.
On December 6, 1994, talking to Turkish reporters on
her way to Budapest for the CSCE summit, Ciller said her government
possessed "important documents (incriminating the RP)" and that it
could bring the RP onto the agenda of the Parliament just like the
(now-banned) Democracy Party (DEP).
Ciller issued the threat against the RP in
connection with the charges of irregularities connected with a RP-led
funds raising campaign to help the embattled Muslims of Bosnia.
However, this threat provoked a large debate on the
government's practice to have opposition parties closed down one by one.
Main opposition ANAP spokesman Eyüp Asik immediately
responded to Ciller by saying it was not for the prime ministers but
courts to bring such issues to the agenda of the parliament. "The prime
minister's statement is an ignorant one, harmful to a state of law. She
is talking as if she can accept those she likes into the parliament and
can keep out those she doesn't. Closing a party just because it is
scoring gains can be compatible neither with democracy, nor law.
Besides, it will only serve to further strengthen it."
As she is menacing the RP, Ciller herself, in a move
to gain over the Islamist electorate, began to flirt openly with the
main figures of different fundamentalist groups.
On December 13, the daily Milliyet reported that
Ciller already met with Feyzettin Erol, the nephew of the late
Naksibendi leader Muhammed Rasit Erol. Earlier, Ciller had invited the
Fethullahci's leader to her official residence for talks and thus
tacitly gave state recognition to the legitimacy of the Fethullahci
Same day, the daily Hürriyet reported that Ciller
had met not only with Fethullah Hoca, but also with Mehmet Kutlulular,
one of the leaders of the Nurcus.
STATE'S SUPPORT TO ISLAMISTS
Despite the face-saving declarations of the
coalition partners DYP and SHP claiming to be defender of the secular
State, the national budget 1995 proves that the present government has
made the State the biggest supporter of the Islamic organizations.
In 1995, from the budget of Education Ministry, TL
4.8 trillion is located for religious education, which is TL 161.8
billion more than the grant given to 37 universities of the country.
The share that is allocated to the Directorate of
Religious Affairs, TL 12.3 trillion, is equal to the budget of five
ministries: Tourism, Environment, Industry, Transportation and Energy
and Natural Resources Ministries.
Some of the share allocated to the Directorate of
Religious Affairs is spent for imam (religious man) education. Although
Turkey only needs 1,000 imams a year, there are 476,000 students
enrolled in 454 imam-hatip schools.
When added to the number of previous graduates from
these schools, it becomes more than one million imams. This means that
there is one imam for 50 people in Turkey. In addition, there are plans
to open many more imam-hatip schools.
A person who goes to imam-hatip school to be an imam
is allowed since the Özal's period to enter universities. Subsequently,
people who graduated from imam-hatip schools hold today important
positions in the administration of the country.
One of the main reasons for the success of the RP in
the last local elections was this support given by the state.
By the side of this Islamist implantation in the
State administration, the Islamist movement has 111 members of
Parliament belonging, not only to the RP, but also to other right wing
39 RP deputies along with 39 deputies from the
ruling coalition partner DYP, 20 from the main opposition ANAP, 15 from
neo-fascist MHP and 10 deputies from the other small parties and
independents constitute a "holy alliance" in Parliament and act as one
on Islamic issues.
A NEW POLITICAL PARTY IN TURKEY
After a year-and-a-half of preparation, the New
Democracy Movement (YDH), led by young businessmen Cem Boyner, 38,
officially registered as a political party on December 22, 1994.
The 133 founders of the YDH, including some former
left-wing intellectuals, journalists and businessmen, elected Boyner as
chairman of the party.
Boyner, a giant in the textile industry in Turkey,
has criss-crossed the country since last May making public appearances
and trying to gain popular support, emphasised solving the Kurdish
question and securing democracy and freedom using a liberal approach,
both in politics and economics.
Former chairman of the Turkish Industrialists and
Businessmen's Association, Boyner told journalists in an interview in
July 1994, "We don't have a Kurdish problem, we have a Turkish problem.
It is the Turks who have the problem because they don't want to give
Kurds freedoms. But giving them these rights is not a reform, it's
giving back what he stole 70 years ago when the republic was founded."
And on the Islam:
"Since the republic's creation in 1923, Turkish
governments have sought to tame the power of Islam by paying state
approved religious leaders and institutions and restricting Islamic
garb. A complete separation of religion and state is necessary. Past
attempts to control of channel Islam have in fact helped to radicalise
Boyner's attempt to storm Turkish politics may be
reminiscent of the flamboyant style in which Italian tycoon Silvio
Berlusconi swept to power. Many people, weary of unkept promises and
corruption in high places, seem very prudent as regards the new party
and consider this handsome businessman a new mediatique figure launched
by the ruling circles to replace another mediatique figure, Prime
Minister Ciller, who failed in her economic policies.
In a recent issue of Time magazine, Boyner was
included in a list of 100 young leaders of the future in the world.
NEW CRISIS IN SOCIAL DEMOCRACY
The Turkish social democracy, divided into three
political parties, is getting weaker because of the SHP's complicity in
the coalition government's unpopular policies.
The crisis was sharpened when the four-month foreign
minister Mümtaz Soysal, a radical nationalist figure of the SHP, had to
withdraw on November 28, 1994, from the government because of his
divergences with Premier Ciller's foreign policies.
Soysal had already opposed to Ciller's ambitious
In his letter of resignation addressed to Ciller,
Soysal said, "Your attitude obstructing the arrangements I wanted to
make in the ministry falling under my responsibility, has been
incompatible with my understanding of government."
In fact, Ciller had fallen at odds with Soysal over
the appointment of a new under-secretary for the Foreign Ministry.
Behind Soysal's resignation there is also the
pressure of the United States on Ciller. In many issues such as Cyprus,
Comfort Provide Operation, visa application to foreigners and the
privatisation programme, the USA and some other western countries
expressed their dissatisfaction with Soysal.
On October 3, the daily Hürriyet reported that
National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Under-secretary Sönmez Köksal
paid a secret visit to Washington two weeks ago where he met top
officials of the CIA, pentagon and State Secretary.
Reminding that Assistant secretary of State, Peter
Tanhoff is "the American official sent to Ankara by the U.S.
administration to check out Mümtaz Soysal", the newspaper asked,
"Köksal's meeting with the CIA chief and the Pentagon official is not
extraordinary, but the meeting with the State Department official
Tanhoff is not routine. One starts thinking what has an intelligence
chief got to do at the State Department? What did Tanhoff have to
discuss with Köksal so soon after his meeting with Soysal? Did Prime
Minister Ciller send certain messages to the U.S. administration
through Köksal? Did Köksal bring some message for Ciller from the U.S.?"
Whatsoever be the reason of this meeting, it is a
fact that Soysal had to resign one month after this talk.
Although SHP leader and Vice-Premier Murat
Karayalcin replaced Soysal at the Foreign Ministry, his absolute
complicity with Ciller's unpopular and pro-U.S. policies proves that
Soysal fell victim of a secret agreement between Ankara and Washington.
This operation has further aggravated the crisis
which exists in social democrat movement and under the pressure of the
rank-and-file, the leaders of the two social democrat parties, the
Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) of Karayalcin and the
Republican People's Party (CHP) of Deniz Baykal, to start a procedure
in a view to unite two parties in a new one.
As for the third social democrat party, the
Democratic Left Party (DSP) of Ecevit, counting on its rising
popularity, preferred to rest out of this procedure.
A joint convention fixed for the end of January 1995
is also called to choose the chairman of the new unified party. Along
with Karayalcin and Baykal, Soysal too takes part among the contenders
for the party leadership.
The outcome of the joint convention will also be
determining the future of the present DYP-SHP coalition.
HADEP TO SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL
The People's Democracy Party (HADEP) announced on
December 27 its decision to apply for membership in Socialist
The party's chairman Murat Bozlak said that members
of his party had talked to the international secretaries of several
European social democratic parties during the SI working group on the
Kurds in Ankara on December 16.
"We were welcomed and told that a delegation from
the Socialist International would come to Turkey next month to gather
information relevant to our membership application," he said.
Up to now, only the Social democratic People's Party
(SHP), the junior coalition partner, has been the only member of
Socialist International in Turkey.
As regard the SHP, Bozlak said: "The SHP, rather
than being a progressive party, as is required of social democratic
organizations, actually represents an obstacle to progress in Turkey.
The SHP is responsible for every unjust practice in Turkey because it
is a government partner in the cabinet. It is not a social democratic
party any more with its current stance on democracy and human rights."
COLLECTIVE VILLAGES IN SOUTHEAST
Prime Minister Ciller, on November 28, announced
plans to set up "central" or collective villages to group together
widely-dispersed settlements, mainly in the Southeast.
According to the Turkish press, the main objective
of this plan is to take under a stricter control the Kurdish villages.
The Turkish authorities have been blaming the dispersed settlements —
over 5,000 — in the Southeast as a prime cause of rebel successes and
their ability to recruit militants, find shelter and collect provisions.
Grouping dispersed settlements into bigger and
better defensible units is reminiscent of a policy Iraq followed in the
past to assert its control over its rebellious Kurds.
Ciller said the European Resettlement Fund had
responded favourably to Turkey's request for financial backing
totalling TL 10 trillion ($277 million).
Noting that there were 72,000 villages across the
country, excluding hamlets, Ciller said the projected new settlements
would provide better security and better communications.
HADEP Vice-Chairman Ismail Arslan severely
criticised the Collective Villages project and said there is a big
similarity between this project and the Strategic Villages project
implemented by the United States in Vietnam.
"The implementation of this project means sending
many more policemen, soldiers, village protectors to the area and
harsher repression, intimidation and violence for the inhabitants."
SECURITY EVALUATION COUNCIL
Interior Minister Nahit Mentese, addressing
Parliament's Plan and Budget Commission on November 6, announced plans
to establish a new "Security Evaluation Council" which would, among
other things, work to dry out the PKK's financial sources.
According to press reports, this council will extend
its sphere of action to European countries as well and implement
measures for chasing and eliminating Kurdish activists and their
Mentese also referred to Ciller's visit to Israel
during, which she agreed with Israel leaders to develop cooperation
between the intelligence services of the two countries, and said, "The
information exchange between MOSSAD and other intelligence
organizations is important in coping with terrorism in the region."
CLUSTER BOMB SALE TO TURKEY?
The Human Rights Watch Arms Project revealed on
December 28, 1994, that the USA is considering the sale of America's
latest and most deadly cluster bomb to Turkey. Previously unknown to
the public or Congress, there is a tense debate taking place in the
State Department and Defence Department over whether or not to permit
Minnesota-based Alliant Techsystems to sell 493 CBU-87 cluster bombs to
"The State Department should under no circumstance
approve the sale of this weapon, which has such a high potential for
misuse, to the government of Turkey, which has an abominable human
rights record," said Stephen Goose, the program director of the Arms
Project. Mr. Goose noted, "We are deeply concerned that Turkey will use
these cluster bombs indiscriminately in its conflict with Kurdish
rebels, with devastating effects on the civilian population."
Each CBU-87 can saturate an area the size of a
football field with 202 small, individual bomblets. Each bomblet has
three "kill mechanisms": a bomb case designed to break into
approximately 300 fragments that can cause human death or injury up to
500 feet in all directions, a shaped charge that can penetrate five
inches of armour, and an incendiary ring that can start fires in any
combustible environment. The CBU-87 was used extensively by US Air
forces in the Gulf War, and caused a great deal of civilian suffering.
The CBU-87 costs between $14,000-15,000 each; this
is five times more expensive than a Vietnam-era cluster bomb ($1,990),
and fifteen times more expensive than a general purpose bomb.
On June 21, 1994, the US company Alliant Techsystems
signed a contract to provide 493 CBU-87 Combined Effects Munition units
to the Turkish Ministry of Defence. However, the US State Department
has yet to issue the necessary export license to permit deliveries to
The 28-page report, titled "US Cluster Bombs for
Turkey?," also points out that Turkey is the third large recipient of
US military aid, after Israel and Egypt, with $5.1 billion in grants
and loans over the past ten years. The US is Turkey's number one arms
supplier, providing about four-fifths of Turkey's arms imports.
A HIGHER BUDGET FOR THE ARMY
Despite the end of the Cold War, Turkey keeps
spending heavily on military purposes, mainly for combating Kurdish
national movement at home and for keeping its neighbours under a
Defence Minister Mehmet Gölhan stated that the major
part of the 1995 budget is allocated to military expenditures which
rise to TL 153 million ($425 million) for the coming year.
The sum makes up 11.5% of the general budget.
However, expenditure often exceeds initial estimates in view of
stepped-up military operations in Kurdish areas. Turkey currently has a
Gölhan said only TL 37 trillion, or a quarter of the
proposed sum would be spent on new weapons whereas expenditure on
personnel would take twice as much.
An initial $4.2 billion project for the home
production of 160 US designed F-16 jets was nearly complete with 153 of
the planes already handed over to the Turkish Air Force.
Gölhan said the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)
plant had also produced 17 of the 46 F16s ordered by Egypt. Twelve of
the planes had been delivered.
Under a multinational project with Turkish
participation, 323 Stinger air-to-air missiles had been delivered to
the air force.
Beside the jets, he said 40 training and 14 light
transport planes had been produced for the air force and 45 Sikorsky
Black Hawk, together with 20 Cougar helicopters acquired from the
United States had been handed over.
Preparations for the acquisition of six
remote-controlled reconnaissance planes and a ground control station
were proceeding as scheduled. Referring to recent developments
concerning the navy, Gölhan said that the fleet had been rejuvenated by
the acquisition of five more Knox-class frigates to add to four of the
same class that had entered service in 1983.
Among the new weaponry the armed forces planned to
build at home or purchase from abroad, the minister listed two
1,400-ton submarines, five 400-ton patrol boats equipped with guided
missiles, two Track-II class frigates, 20 training helicopters and
three fire-control systems for artillery.
MILITARY SERVICE TERM RAISED
The Council of Minister decreed on December 23 to
raise the term of obligatory military service from fifteen months to
As for reserve officers, their obligatory term of
service too was raised from twelve months to sixteen months.
Failed in repressive operations against the Kurdish
armed struggle, the Turkish Armed Forces will have more soldiers in
Kurdistan by this extension.
The cost of this decision is estimated at TL 5
trillion for the national budget.
EMERGENCY LAW EXTENDED AGAIN
Contrary to the promises of the coalition
government, the emergency law in ten provinces of the Southeast was
once more extended for four months by the decision of the Parliament on
November 15, 1994.
In fact, the National Assembly by doing it ratified
a decision already taken by the National Security Council, a
extra-parliamentary organ composed of army chiefs and some key
KURDISH DEPUTY'S HOUSE ATTACKED
Independent Kurdish deputy Abdülmelik Firat said on
December 12 that unidentified gunmen had sprayed his house with bullets
and that he was being targeted by circles who did not want peace but
supported the continuation of fighting in Turkey.
Firat, reminding reporters that he is the grandson
of Seyh Sait, a rebel Kurdish leader from the early years of the
Republic, said he had been subject to intimidation.
"It is obvious who sprayed my house with bullets. We
are working for a solution to the Kurdish problem in the Parliament.
The people who don't want peace are responsible for this. Police
officers who arrived at my house after the incident told me: 'Let's
just say we fired the bullets and close the matter.' The weapons
industry made a living from the bloodshed in Turkey which is being
ruled by a junta government," he said.
A KURDISH LAWYER ASSASSINATED
On November 12, distinguished Kurdish lawyer Medet
Serhat, 59, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen as returning home in
his car. His driver Ismail Karaalioglu too fell victim of the sabotage.
Serhat was one of the top officials of the Turkish Peace Association.
He was also the lawyer of a Kurdish businessman, Behcet Cantürk, who
was assassinated on January 15, 1994.
HUNGER STRIKES IN PRISONS
Security forces raiding on November 9, 1994, the
Human Rights Association (IHD) headquarters arrested more than 116
people who were on hunger strike in solidarity with the joint
resistance action of their parents in prisons. During the operation
eight people were gravely wounded and taken to hospital.
The IHD reports that hunger strikes are being
carried out in 21 prisons in protest against inhuman detention
conditions. IHD Chairman Akin Birdal says that Justice Minister Mehmet
Mogultay, in response to their complaints, claimed that he could not
make anything to end this situation because the matter passes over his
The following are the prisons in which political
prisoners are on hunger strike since the dates mentioned in
parentheses: Diyarbakir (Oct 5), Konya (Oct 3), Gaziantep (Oct 7),
Malatya (Oct 7), Mardin (Oct 10), Bursa (Oct 10), Canakkale (Oct 10),
Urfa (Oct 9), Batman (Oct 9), Adiyaman (Sept 20), Sivas (Oct 13),
Elazig (Oct 8), Izmir-Buca (Oct 6), Ceyhan (Oct 9), Cankiri (Oct 9),
Nevsehir (Oct 15), Ankara (Oct 9), Aydin (Oct 11), Yozgat (Oct 10),
Bartin (Oct 10 and Karaman (Oct 11).
ASSYRIAN DOCTOR ASSASSINATED
An Assyrian doctor was killed by gunmen in the town
of Midyat in Mardin province on December 19, 1994. The victim was
Edvard Tanriverdi, 56, a general practitioner.
The Reuter News Agency reports:
About 3,000 Assyrians, remnants of the ancient
Christian community, live uneasily in and around Midyat, where they
have an ancient Christian Orthodox church.
The Syriac Christian leader in the town, who asked
not to be named, said Tanriverdi was gunned down shortly after midnight
as he parked his car in front of his home, returning from a visit with
friends. He was shot in the head and stomach and died instantly.
Officials said two assailants were believed to be
The tiny community is caught in a region where a
separatist war led by Kurdish guerrillas since 1984 often rages as
troops and rebels fight for control. The Assyrians also fear harassment
by nationalist or religious extremist groups and complain of being
treated with suspicion by officials despite being full-fledged Turkish
"The community has no more hope, no more energy, no
more comfort," the Syriac community leader said.
He said Tanriverdi's killing was the first major
attack on a member since Sükrü Tutus, mayor of Idil township in Sirnak,
was killed in similar circumstances on June 17, 1994.
GREEK PATRIARCH ACCUSED
The Interior Minister Nahit Mentese, on December 19,
charged the Istanbul Governor with opening an investigation against the
Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartelemos. He is accused of having carried
out activities abroad against Turkey and of collaborating with Greece
and Russia for being the spiritual leader of all Orthodox believers of
BRITISH CITIZENS ON BLACK LIST
According to the Turkish Daily News of December 16,
Turkey has formulated a black list of British citizens unwelcome in
Turkey, which includes parliamentarians, journalists and human rights
The leading names in the list are Lord Avebury, the
head of the Human Rights Commission of the British Parliament; Amnesty
International Turkish desk chief Johnathan Sugden and journalist Andrew
The list was submitted to the British Embassy in
Ankara; however, no reason was given to the British diplomats as to why
the people on the list were unwelcome in Turkey.
GREENPEACE MEMBERS DETAINED
In Sinop, 33 members of Greenpeace were detained as
they were carrying on a protest action against the project of
constructing a nuclear energy station in Akkuyu. Among the detainees
are the Greenpeace Mediterranean Coordinator, Mario Damato, and 27
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
The Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD)
announced the following human rights violations in last two months of
Arrests 164 111
Dead in conflicts 326 302
Burned or evacuated villages 41 21
Bombed places 21 24
Killed by unidentified 17 10
Deaths in custody or under torture
Cases of torture 36 26
Raided associations 14 7
Sentences 36 Years 138 Years
Fines TL 2.383 billion TL 2.653
Prisoners of opinion 107 119
STATE TERRORISM IN NOVEMBER
1.11, the Secretary General of the Turkish Doctors'
Union (TTB), Ata Soyer is interrogated by the Ankara SSC Prosecutor
concerning with his criticism against the practice of sending a number
of doctors to the Emergency Law area.
1.11, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Abdülkerim
Deniz and Behcet Deniz in Batman and Baki Hanen in Diyarbakir.
1.11, in Adana, Mehmet Kazik claims to have been
tortured during his police detention together with his son Abdurrahman
2.11, in Mersin, 70-year old Ahmet Ergen claims to
have been beaten by a police team raiding his house on pretext of
searching his son wanted by security forces.
3.11, the Istanbul office of the Human Rights
Association (IHD) is raided and searched by police. Seven people are
detained during the raid.
3.11, the Court of Cassation ratifies a four-year
imprisonment against Mehdi Zana, former mayor of Diyarbakir and husband
of the DEP deputy Leyla Zana. He was also sentenced by the Ankara SSC
to a fine of TL 200 million for his declarations during a visit to the
European Parliament in Brussels. Zana was already sentenced to another
for-year imprisonment which is at the Court of Cassation. He had been
imprisoned for eleven years after the 1980 military coup.
3.11, HADEP Ankara Chairman Imam Canpolat is
sentenced by the Ankara SSC to four years in prison and TL 500 million
in fine for his speech at the last Newroz celebrations. After the
trial, Canpolat is immediately arrested and put in prison.
4.11, in Istanbul, a youth named Ecevit Balci is
shot dead as putting a political poster on walls. A young woman, Ayfer
Acil, is detained after being wounded during the police operation.
5.11, in Semdinli, Selim Demir, Ali Er and Emin Er
fall victims of the explosion of a mine laid by security forces.
5.11, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Mehmet Akin in
Silvan and Bedri Kamin in Diyarbakir.
6.11, security forces, raiding the village of
Verimli in Kars, detain 16 people on charges of aiding the PKK.
8.11, a group composed of writers, artists and human
rights militants were prevented by the Governor of the Emergency Law
Region from entering the province of Tunceli to investigate the reports
on the villages burnt by security forces.
9.11, the DYP candidate for the mayorship of Atabag
in Siirt, Ekrem Canpolat is assassinated by the village protectors.
12.11, in the village of Bulakbasi of Igdir, two
children, Resul Ürecil (9) and Harun Sahin (10) fall victims of the
explosion of a bomb left by security forces. Four other children are
wounded at the explosion.
13.11, in Mersin, HADEP sympathiser Emin Özdemir
claims to have been tortured by police after his detention on November
14.11, in Adana, Neval Colak claims to have been
tortured for two days after being detained by police on November 11.
14.11, security forces reportedly arrest tens of
people at the Kurdish quarters of Mersin and HADEP official Zeki
Altindag together with ten people in Batman.
14.11, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Haci Mustafa
Suman in Viransehir.
16.11, the Erzincan SSC Prosecutor starts a legal
proceeding against nine lawyers, Necati Güven, Mahmut Tuncer Caferoglu,
Abdürrahim Firat, Giyasettin Kaya, Eyüp Duman, Ahmet Gerez, Bahattin
Eryilmaz, Mehmet Emin Adiyaman and Ali Demir, on charges of pro-PKK
activities. The prosecutor also indicts the Director of Erzurum Prison,
Zülfikar Catici, and prison guard Ibrahim Diler on the same charges. In
relation with this legal action, three public prosecutors in Erzurum,
Salim Atici, Ömer Kocarslan and Mithat Özcan are removed from their
17.11, the Izmir SSC places under arrest thirteen
people for pro-PKK activities.
18.11, security forces raiding a house in Diyarbakir
shoot dead three people whose names are not disclosed.
18.11, in a series of police operations, nine HADEP
members are detained in Osmaniye and a TIKKO member at the Kapikule
checkpoint in Edirne.
18.11, university student Lokman Abik is
assassinated by unidentified gunmen.
18.11, a 13 year-old boy, A.S., claims to have been
tortured at the Kurtulus Police Station in Istanbul after being
detained on charge of theft. The torture is certified by the Forensic
Medicine of Sisli.
18.11, lawyer Gül Kireckaya is harassed by police as
she is trying to meet her client.
18.11, at the village of Yelkenli in Bitlis, 11-year
old Cüneyt Tarhan is killed by the explosion of a mine laid by security
19.11, a meeting to protest human rights violation
is forbidden by the Governor of Izmir.
19.11, the Governor of Istanbul bans a panel
organized by the IHD Ankara Section on "education and human rights."
20.11, security forces detain 41 people in Izmir on
charges of taking part in TIKKO activities.
20.11, in Izmir, lawyer Betül Duran claims that her
two clients, Ahmet Korkmaz and Aliyar Simsek, were tortured at the
Political Police Department.
20.11, the Ankara SSC Prosecutor starts a legal
proceeding against three lawyers, Murat Demir, Ahmet Düzgün Yüksel and
Zeki Rüzgar, who were detained on September 27, 1994, together with two
other persons in Ankara on charges of taken part in Dev-Sol activities.
20.11, in Van, Emin Aksa and Izzettin Kurt claim to
have been tortured by police after being detained on November 14.
21.11, local tribunals place under arrest 19 people
in Mersin and two in Osmaniye for pro-PKK activities.
22.11, in Batman, Serif Gök, brother of the city
mayor, is shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
24.11, in Batman, Menaf Dinler, Vahdettin Boral,
Zeynel Abidin Dinler, Saim Bütüner, Nevzat Acikalin and Sabrettin Boral
claim after their release to have been tortured after being detained on
November 21. They say that three other persons, Vecdin Dinler,
Mecdettin Dinler and Imadettin Dinler, are still kept under custody and
subjected to torture.
26.11, the Izmir office of the Mechanical Transport
Workers' Trade Union (TUMTIS) is raided by a group of unidentified
persons. The assailants who are reportedly MHP militants, after locking
up the personnel in bathroom, destroy all material inside.
27.11, security forces detain in Ankara ten alleged
members of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP) as well
as HADEP Altindag Chairman Yasin Özkan and eight other party members.
27.11, in Batman, Sait Badem is shot dead by
27.11, on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of
the PKK's foundation, security forces carry out a series of operation
at the quarters inhabited by Kurds of the big cities and detain
hundreds of people.
28.11, in Izmir, 30 out of 41 alleged TIKKO members
detained on November 21 are placed under arrest by court decision.
28.11, thirty-year old Bekir Önder who was detained
on November 4 in Kiziltepe is found dead at the Mardin Detention House.
His brother Ahmet Önder who was detained at the same time says that
they were subjected to torture at police centre until November 21.
Although Ahmet Önder was released on November 21, Bekir Önder was
placed under arrest by court decision and sent to detention house. He
also claims that his brother's demand to be sent to a hospital was
refused by the authorities.
29.11, in Istanbul, a group of IHD activists holding
a press conference in front of the Bayrampasa Prison as regards
ill-treatment of political prisoners are harassed by police and four
persons taken into custody.
29.11, in istanbul, police detain nine people for
taking part in the activities of the Revolutionary People's Liberation
30.11, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Hasim Celik in
30.11, in Batman, security forces raiding two houses
detain eight people. Among the detainees are two sons of Mehmet Yilmaz
who was found dead under detention at Batman police headquarters on
April 24, 1992.
STATE TERRORISM IN DECEMBER
1.12, in Silopi, the border guards at the Habur
checkpoint shoot dead 15 year-old Yunus Turgut when they open fire on a
truck entering Turkey without permission.
2.12, the Ankara SSC sentences eighteen people to
prison terms of up to 25 years and three months for taking part in the
activities of the People's Revolutionary Vanguards (HDÖ).
2.12, two unidentified persons are found
assassinated in Viransehir.
3.12, in Diyarbakir, Namik Kaya is shot dead by
5.12, security forces detain eight people in Mazgirt
and ten people in Van during anti-PKK operations.
7.12, in Ankara, five people are placed under arrest
by a court on charges of taking part in pro-PKK activities.
7.12, IHD Iskenderun Chairman Sadullah Caglar and
the Education Workers' Trade Union (Egit-Sen) Iskenderun Chairman
Ismail Cömertoglu are taken into custody.
7.12, unidentified gunmen shoot dead teacher Tevfik
Alma in Midyat and Memduh Cicek in Diyarbakir.
8.12, in Ankara, three youths, Selahattin Bas, Ajda
Adibelli and Hülya Saritemur, allege to have been tortured by police
after their detention on December 1.
8.12, in Batman, two PKK militants, Ferhat Demir and
Nefiye Celik are reportedly shot dead by police after being taken into
11.12, in Adana, 16-year old F. Tekdemir alleges to
have been tortured after being detained during a police raid on a house.
11.12, security forces detain 16 university students
during an operation in Of, a town of the province of Trabzon.
13.12, IHD Chairman Akin Birdal, former deputy Hüsnü
Okcuoglu and three other persons are tried by the Ankara SSC for
separatist propaganda during the Human Rights Week in 1992. The
defendants face imprisonment of up to five years.
14.12, lawyer Faik Candan, Ankara chairman of the
defunct People's Labour Party (HEP) is found assassinated in the
district of Bâlâ of the province. The Human Rights Foundation (TIHV)
Secretary General Mahmut Tali Öngören, reminding the rise of political
murders, calls on the authorities to find the authors of these
14.12, in Istanbul, security forces raiding a number
of houses, detain five HADEP members. In Mersin, Doctor Sabri Soysal is
detained for having given medical care to some PKK militants.
15.12, in Istanbul, lawyer Hasan Hüseyin Reyhan who
has been under police detention since December 7 is placed under arrest
by a court decision. His parents claim that Reyhan was subjected to
torture during his police detention.
16.12, in Istanbul, lawyer Zeynep Firat is detained
16.12, an exhibition of cartoons at the Istanbul
University is raided by a right-wing group who also attack students and
wound two of them. After the incident, police detain three of left-wing
students protesting the raid.
17.12, Abdülbaki Nayman, kidnapped on December 15 in
Kurtalan, is found assassinated at the village of Tuzla in Kozluk.
18.12, in Midyat, Assyrian doctor Edvard Tanriverdi
is shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
19.12, in Siirt, five passengers of a minibus are
killed at the explosion of a mine laid by security forces and four
others seriously wounded.
20.12, in Ankara, a HADEP official, Tevfik Kaya is
placed under arrest by the Ankara SSC for a speech he delivered at a
party meeting on October 13.
20.12, in Diyarbakir, unidentified gunmen shoot dead
20.12, in Mardin, Bayram Bal and Hamit Bal,
kidnapped by police on November 16, are found assassinated.
21.12, in Diyarbakir, Abdulkadir Celik Bilek,
kidnapped by police on December 14, is found assassinated.
21.12, the Izmir SSC sentences three PKK defendants,
Izzettin Ekren, Sabri Keve and Ceknas Ekren to capital punishment and
two others to imprisonment of up to 12 years and six months.
22.12, the trial of 12 alleged PKK militants starts
at the Istanbul SSC. The prosecutor demands capital punishment for five
22.12, the Diyarbakir SSC sentences the Mayor of
Bingöl, Selahattin Aydar, and the Chairman of the National Youth
Foundation (MGV), Bedri Baran, to one-year imprisonment each for
Aydar's speech at a Welfare Party (RP) meeting in Diyarbakir on June 22.
22.12, in Istanbul, lawyer Münevver Köz who has been
under police detention since December 16 is place under arrest by a
court. Her parents claims that Köz was tortured during his detention.
22.12, in Adana, 14 people who were detained by
police a day ago claim to have been tortured.
22.12, in Diyarbakir, Aziz Ulas and Faik Tunc are
assassinated by unidentified assailants.
23.12, an official of the IHD Izmir Section, Dervis
Altun is attacked by a group of MHP militants raiding his office.
23.12, the Diyarbakir SSC sentences three PKK
defendants to life prison and three others to prison terms of up to 12
years and six months.
25.12, in istanbul, HADEP official Orhan Kaya is
taken into custody by police raiding his house.
27.12, a group of right-wing assailants raids the
Istanbul University and wound four left-wing students.
28.12, the IHD Diyarbakir section is closed for one
month by the Governor of the province on charges of having inside some
29.12, two young girls, taken into police custody on
December 23 as putting some posters on walls, claim after release that
they have been tortured.
30.12, in Adana, HADEP official Haci Sait Macir is
shot dead by unidentified gunmen. Three months earlier, on October 3,
two other HADEP officials, Rebih Cabuk and Sefer Cerf had been
assassinated in front of the café belonging to Macir.
SABOTAGES TO ÖZGÜR ÜLKE
The attacks on the main opposition daily newspaper
Özgür Ülke reached its utmost on December 3, 1994, by a pair of
explosion ripping through the daily's Istanbul and Ankara offices.
Editorial staff member Ersin Yildiz was killed and
22 others wounded in the Istanbul blast, which gutted the four-storey
building housing the central offices of Özgür Ülke, in the Kumkapi
district of Istanbul.
The second blast destroyed the newspaper's smaller
Ankara office, which were deserted at the time.
It is noteworthy that these two criminal acts
against the freedom of press happened just after Prime Minister
Ciller's invocation of state violence against the press.
On November 30, 1994, Prime Minister Ciller signed a
letter marked top secret which openly bypassed the courts and
implicitly called for "methods to effectively combat the publications
as Özgür Ülke.
The following is the translation of this top secret
letter revealed by Özgür Ülke on December 19:
CILLER'S TOP SECRET PROVOCATION
" N°02438, 30 November 1994
"1. The activities of publications which publish in
a way that supports separatist and destructive organisations,
particularly Özgür Ülke, have in recent days taken the form of an open
assault on the very existence of the state.
"2. It has been evaluated that the profound
tolerance on the subject of press freedom in Turkey which is a
democratic and secular state that respects the rule of law, has
recently been abused on a large scale by the publications mentions,
laws broken and that efforts have been made to present the terror
organisations as if it were a legal institution. This institution has
reached dimensions that are seriously disturbing our sensible and
patriotic citizens and Turkish public opinion.
3. For the purpose of removing this significant
threat to the indivisible integrity of the motherland and people I
request the Justice Ministry to:
"a) establish and monitor this kind of publication,
"b) determine why, despite all the cases opened in
the courts, nothing effective has been done legally, and to take
measures to rectify this,
"c) see that the necessary steps are taken so that
an immediate study is undertaken for the purpose of establishing
methods to effectively combat this kind of publication, which carries
out blatant separatism against the state and supports terror
organisations and see that these methods are then put into practice as
a matter of urgency.
"(Signed) Prof. Dr. Tansu Ciller, Prime Minister
"To the Justice Ministry
"Copies to Interior Ministry, Foreign Ministry,
national security Council secretary, Prime Minister Military Advisor,
Prime Minister's Office Press and Information Directorate."
A CALL FOR SOLIDARITY WITH ÖZGÜR ÜLKE
In a letter accompanying this document, Özgür Ülke
chief editor Baki Karadeniz issued the following call:
"After the bombing of our newspaper's offices in
istanbul and Ankara we have lost everything. If we can still produce
our paper it is only because of sympathetic publishers who generously
and selflessly share their computers with us. Let no one conclude that
we will discontinue publication. we are more determined than ever to
carry on with our work even if it means working under arduous
conditions and splitting our editorial and publishing activities into
five separate buildings in Istanbul. This is reason enough to launch a
campaign for Özgür Ülke and solicit support from our friends all over
"Tansu Ciller's letter which we are sending you will
be published in our European issue on December 20, 1994 because we feel
it is our duty to inform the world media of the truth, even if we are
forced to pay with our lives in doing so. This is a constant and ever
present danger which we face.
"Following the Turkish so-called democratic law the
Ciller regime will probably close our paper down again (In April this
year - 1994 - our predecessor Özgür Gündem was closed down) because of
Tansu Ciller's letter which we intend publishing. We do hope you will
be in touch with us for further information.
"We are confident you will not abandon your
colleagues and that you will show your solidarity with us."
NEW SENTENCES AGAINST BESIKCI
The Court of Cassation, on November 1, 1994,
ratified a new sentence against sociologist Ismail Besikci. He was
sentenced by the SSC to two years in prison and TL 250 million in fine
for an open letter he wrote to the defunct weekly Yeni Ülke.
On November 10, Besikci was sentenced by a penal
court in Ankara to eighteen months in prison for his book entitled An
Intellectual, An Organisation and the Kurdish Question. The court also
sentenced the director of the Yurt Publishing House, Ünsal Öztürk to
the same term of prison on charges of insulting Atatürk.
On November 14, Besikci was sentenced again by the
Ankara SSC to two years in prison and TL 100 million in fine for his
declaration during a meeting in Ankara on December 5, 1992.
On December 16, Besikci was sentenced again by the
Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 250 million in fine for one
of his articles published by Özgür Gündem. The newspaper's responsible
editor Bülent Balta too is condemned to six months in prison and TL 127
million in fine and publisher Yasar Kaya to TL 254 million in fine for
the same article.
On December 28, Besikci was sentenced by the
Istanbul SSC to two years and four months in prison and TL 290 million
in fine for a series of articles published by Özgür Gündem on June
17-18, 1993. The court also sentences the daily's editor, Seyh Davut
Karadag, to two years in prison and TL 250 million in fine, and
publisher Yasar Kaya to a fine of TL 241 million.
So, the total of Besikci's prison terms reached to
67 years and one month, the fines to TL 5 billion 25 million.
Of these sentences, 16 years and six months in
prison and TL 1 billion 100 million in fine have already been ratified
by the Court of Cassation. Besikci is currently serving his ratified
sentences at the Ankara Prison.
Besides, on November 16, Besikci's a new book, The
Tarnished Concepts: Science, Equality, Justice, comprising his some
articles already published by newspapers and magazines, is confiscated
by the Ankara SSC for separatist propaganda.
On November 21, the Ankara SSC confiscated Besikci's
another book, An Unlawful Justice, comprising his some other articles
on the same charges.
In an interview to the press on November 13, 1994,
Besikci said that he would not pay the fines of about TL 4 billion
($100,000). In that case, he will rest in prison until the end of this
PUBLISHERS AND JOURNALISTS IMPRISONED
The director of the Yurt Publishing House, Ünsal
Öztürk is imprisoned in Ankara on November 23 for serving his two-year
term on the ratification of his sentence by the Court of Cassation.
Öztürk had been sentenced by the Ankara SSC to two
years in prison and TL 100 million in fine for having published PKK
leader Öcalan's book entitled The Fascism of 12th September and the
Resistance of PKK.
Another 6-month prison term against Öztürk for
having published Besikci's book entitled The Kurds, A Nation
Discovering Itself was already ratified by the Court of Cassation.
On December 8, journalist Yilmaz Odabasi is
imprisoned in Ankara to serve a 10-month imprisonment to which he was
sentenced for his book The Seyh Said Revolt, published in 1991.
On December 28, the first editor of the defunct
daily Özgür Gündem, Isik Yurtcu is imprisoned in Istanbul for serving
his prison term of two years and ten months.
JOURNALISTS CONDEMNED BY THE MILITARY
The Military Court of the 4th Army-Corps
Headquarters, on November 23, sentenced three TV reporters, Mehmet Ali
Birand, Deniz Arman and Halim Abanoz, to five months each for a
programme on the prolongation of military service.
The court also sentenced two soldiers named Erhan
Bay and Ismet Kantar to five months each for having talked at the TV
programme against the prolongation of the military service.
The sentences were given by virtue of Article 95 of
the Military Code Penal.
PERSECUTION OF THE MEDIA IN NOVEMBER
1,11, the Court of Cassation ratifies a total of 20
years in prison against Yasar Kaya, publisher of the defunct Özgür
Gündem, in 12 different condemnations given by three state security
courts. Accused of separatist propaganda and praising an outlawed
organization, Yasar Kaya is still trying in absentia by different
courts. At present, Kaya is living in Europe as a political refugee.
2.11, the periodical Jiyana Nû N°5 is confiscated by
the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
3.11, a meeting on the freedom of expression that
some political periodicals organized is banned by the Governor of
3.11, author Edip Polat is again indicted by the
Istanbul SSC Prosecutor for his book entitled Science or Official
Ideology? which has not yet been published. Polat is currently serving
a two-year term at the Bursa Prison for his book Into Newroz We Turned
Dawns. In his new proceeding Polat faces imprisonment of up to five
4.11, the Court of Cassation ratifies a 30-month
imprisonment and a fine of TL 300 million against author Mehmet Bayrak
for his book entitled Kurdish Folk Songs.
He had been sentenced by the Ankara SSC on charges of separatist
propaganda. Another sentence of six months for Bayrak's book Kurdish
Legends is still pending at the Court of Cassation.
4.11, an eleven-year old Özgür Ülke
distributor, M.Y., is beaten by policemen forcing him not to sell this
newspaper in Diyarbakir.
5.11, an Özgür Ülke distributor, Ismail Demirtas is
detained by gendarmes in Pirinclik.
7.11, the Urfa office of Özgür Ülke is raided by
police and two correspondents, Halil Baran and Fuat Karatas taken into
8.11, the periodical Newroz N°38 is confiscated by
the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
11.11, Özgür Ülke corespondent Metin Acet is
detained in Diyarbakir.
14.11, IHD Chairman Akin Birdal and three other top
officials, Hüsnü Öndül, Sedat Arslantas and Erol Anar are tried by the
Ankara SSC for having published a book on the villages burnt by
security forces. Each faces a prison term of up to two years by virtue
of the Anti Terror Law.
15.11, Newroz N° 39 is confiscated by the Istanbul
SSC for separatist propaganda.
16.11, the Chairman of the Sanitary Workers' Trade
Union (Tüm-Saglik-Sen), Fevzi Gercek is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC
to two years in prison for inciting the people to revolt in an article
he wrote to the periodical Direnis.
16.11, two correspondents, Hasan Hüseyin Inan (Özgür
Ülke) and Mehmet Bars (Nokta), are taken into police custody as
covering a protest action by civil servants in front of the
Municipality House of Istanbul.
17.11, Özgür Ülke distributor Ismail Demirtas, who
was detained in Pirinclik on November 5, claims after his release to
have been tortured at the Gendarmerie Station.
17.11, on the ratification of a sentence by the
Court of Cassation, the periodical Mücadele is closed down for fifteen
days. The higher court also ratifies a fine of TL 100 million against
the review's publisher, Gülten Sesen.
18.11, Özgür Ülke distributor Lokman Batur is taken
into custody in Adana.
19.11, the periodicals Devrimci Emek N°27, Direnis
N°27, Özgür Gelecek N°39, Devrimci Cözüm and Kizil Bayrak N°11 are
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC and the local newspaper Bizim Sivas by
the decision of a local court in Sivas.
21.11, the Istanbul SSC confiscates Taraf N°24 and
Yeryüzü N°17, respectively according to the Anti Terror Law and Article
312 of the Turkish Penal Code.
23.11, Newroz N°40 and Denge Azadi N°27 are
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
23.11, in Pirinclik, Özgür Ülke distributor Ismail
Demirtas is again detained by police. He was already detained on
November 5 and released on November 15.
24.11, the director of the Kaldirac Publishing
House, Serpil Köksal is placed under arrest by the Ankara SSC
Prosecutor for separatist propaganda in her two articles published in
the periodical Kaldirac.
24.11, the Istanbul offices of the periodicals
Mücadele, Halkin Gücü, Isci Hareketi and Devrimci Genclik are raided by
police and their 33 employees were taken into custody.
25.11, seven of the 33 employees of four political
reviews detained a day ago are released and claim that they were
subjected to torture at police station.
26.11, Urfa office of Özgür Ülke is raided by police
and four employees, Hanefi Aydemir, Abdurrahman Fedai, Fuat Karatas and
Turan Cihanbeyli, taken into custody.
27.11, in Adana, Özgür Ülke correspondents Serdar
Ates and Sengül Adibelli are taken into custody.
25.11, the Court of Cassation overrules the
acquittal of Ercan Kanar, Chairman of the IHD Istanbul Section. Kanar
is expected to be tried again by the Istanbul SSC for separatist
propaganda in an article he wrote for the IHD Newsletter in September
1993. Kanar and the responsible editor of the newsletter, Izzet Eray,
face imprisonment of up to five years and fine of TL 100 million each.
28.11, the Ankara SSC Prosecutor starts a legal
proceeding against the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV)
Chairman Yavuz Önen and administrative board member Fevzi Argun for the
File of Torture 1980-1994, published by the TIHV on September 12 and
confiscated in October. Each faces imprisonment of up to two years and
a fine of TL 100 million by virtue of Article 8/1 of the ATL.
29.11, in Ankara, Özgür Ülke correspondent Baha
Karakütük is detained by police.
30.11, the Adana office of the newspaper Denge Azadi
is raided by police and many documents and publications are confiscated.
30.11, two reporters of the daily Sabah, Fügen Ünal
Sen and Engin Aytas are detained by police as they are taking
photographs of the Istanbul Governor's residence.
30.11, the last issue of the review Yeni Yeryüzü is
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC on charges of instigating the people to
PERSECUTION OF THE MEDIA IN DECEMBER
1.12, the Izmir office of the Mesopotamian Cultural
Centre (MKM) is raided by police; fifteen persons are taken into
custody and many documents confiscated during the operation.
1.12, a former correspondent of the defunct Özgür
Gündem, Ahmet Icge is taken into custody in Dogu Beyazit.
4.12, Özgür Ülke's first issue published after the
sabotage to its office is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC according to
Article 6 of the Anti Terror Law.
5.12, a former vice-president of the Human Rights
Association (IHD), Sedat Arslantas is sentenced by the Ankara SSC to
three years in prison and a fine of TL 150 million for his speech at
the IHD Congress in 1992. After the decision, Arslantas is immediately
arrested and put in prison.
7.12, Özgür Ülke Diyarbakir correspondent Erdogan
Zamur and two teachers, Ünal Sahin Durmaz and Erdal Aksu, are taken
into custody. After their release on December 12, they claim to have
been tortured by police.
10.12, in Istanbul, police prevent a group of
writers and artists from selling Özgür Ülke during an action of
solidarity with this newspaper.
13.12, the public relations officer of the daily
Özgür Ülke, Türker Alp claims to have been tortured after his detention
by police in Gebze on December 10.
13.12, in Ankara, police take into custody 22
students selling Özgür Ülke during an action of solidarity with this
13.12, the Istanbul SSC sentences the chief editor
of the periodical Fabrika, Zeki Tombak, to two years in prison and TL
400 million in fine by virtue of Article 8 of the ATL. The review's
responsible editor, Ertan Kaplan too is sentenced to six months in
prisons and TL 50 million in fine.
14.12, the publication of the periodical Mücadele is
banned for one month by the Istanbul SSC. The same court confiscates
two other periodicals, Denge Azadi N°30 and Atilim N°10 for separatist
15.12, the responsible editor of Özgür Ülke, Murat
Sarac is placed under arrest by the Istanbul SSC in relation with 15
different legal proceedings for the articles he published.
16.12, the Diyarbakir SSC issues a warrant for the
arrest of seven officials of the IHD Diyarbakir Section: Chairman Halit
Temli, Secretary Mahmut Sakar, Nimetullah Gündüz, Abdullah Cager,
Melike Alp, Hayri Veznedaroglu and Hüseyin Yildiz. They are accused of
separatist propaganda in a document entitled The Report on the
Emergency Law Region that they published in 1992.
20.12, the Istanbul SSC confiscates three
periodicals, Kizil Bayrak N°13, Atilim N°11 and Hedef, for separatist
propaganda, Alinteri N°36 and a calendar published by the periodical
Atilim for praising some outlawed organizations.
21.12, IHD Istanbul Chairman Ercan Kanar and the
responsible editor of Özgür Gündem, Emel Kapilan, are sentenced by a
high criminal court to a 10-month imprisonment each for an article
published on March 25, 1994.
21.12, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the last issues
of the periodicals Medya Günesi, Devrimci Yasam, Odak and Taraf for
23.12, the Istanbul SSC sentences Özgür Gündem
editor Özdemir Toprak to two years and six months in prison and TL 430
million in fine, and Gercek editor Pelin Sener to five months in prison
and TL 125 million in fine.
24.12, Özgür Gelecek N°41, Azadi N°32 and Deng N°30
are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda and
praising some outlawed organizations.
27.12, the Governor of Erzurum bans the distribution
and sale of musi-cassettes of three famous folk singers, Ahmet Kaya,
Ferhat Tunc and Emre Saltik.
27.12, the editor of the periodical Devrimci Cözüm,
Hatice Onaran, is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 18 months in prison
and TL 325 million in fine. The court also sentences the review's
publisher Fethiye Peksen to a fine of TL 250 million and decides to ban
the publication for one month.
28.12, the building of a media group — Milliyet,
Meydan and TV Channel D — is attacked by an armed group opening fire
from automatic guns. The attack is reportedly claimed by the Communist
Labour Party of Turkey-Leninist (TKEP-L).
28.12, the Izmir SSC sentences Özgür Gündem
representative Sezai Karakoc and five others employees, Riza Zingal,
Namik Alkan, Oguzhan Ögrük and Sedat Alp, to three years and nine
months each for aiding the PKK.