AWFUL HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD IN 1996
1996 has been the first year of Turkey-Europe
Customs Union. Islamists were brought to power in 1996 by Ciller
herself who had claimed to be only chance for Europe to prevent an
Islamist power in Turkey. None of the democratic reforms promised by
Ciller has been put in practice. On the contrary, according to the
Human Rights Association (IHD), Turkey's first year in the European
Union's customs union witnessed repetition of all the usual human
The depressing, numbingly familiar litany includes
70 deaths and 46 injuries in so-called "unresolved murders", summary
executions and deaths in custody claiming 179 lives, 326 people
claiming to have been tortured in police custody, 107 non-government
organizations, newspapers and publishers being shut down and all the
editions of 183 different issues of various newspapers and magazines
seized, 379 reporters and journalists arrested, sentenced to a total
166 years and 8 months imprisonment and fined over TL 10 billion.
The most infamous of these convictions was arguably
that of Yasar Kemal on 7 March by the Istanbul State Security Court
(DGM) which imposed a 20-month suspended jail sentence on the
Nobel-nominated author for two essays he wrote on the Kurdish issue.
This conviction came as a bombshell for those who monitor human rights
condition in Turkey.
In December 1995 then-Prime Minister Tansu Ciller
had announced a list of legal relaxations, in particular for freedom of
expression, which led to the drop of charges of "terrorism through
writing" against Kemal by the same court for the same essays. This
acquittal may have influenced the European Union's (EU) decision to
admit Turkey to customs union.
Journalist Irfan Agdas was killed this year, but the
year's most infamous assault on men of letters was certainly the death
in police custody of journalist Metin Goktepe on 9 January. Göktepe was
arrested with around 1,000 people when covering a demonstration in
Istanbul for the leftist publication Evrensel. His murder raised
outrage from all sectors of the press and media, but as of yet no
arrests have been made, and the "investigation" of 48 police officers
charged with killing Goktepe proceeds at a snail's pace.
Another stain on 1996 in Turkey was the torture of
children in Manisa, in western Turkey. The affair received widespread
international attention, and on 17 April Amnesty International declared
that children between the age of 14 and 16 are held on charges of
involvement in illegal organizations, and while in custody are
subjected to sexual and physical torture, allegations documented by
State Hospital reports. The "trial" of the police officers accused
moves at glacial speed.
The only remarkable difference between this
overloaded balance sheet and that of the previous year is the decrease
in the number of villages burned and emptied by government security
forces in the Southeast, from 243 to 67. "Because there are no villages
left to be burned down," an IHD official commented wryly.
The year began with a "security operation" at
Üsküdar Prison on 4 January, which led to the deaths of four prisoners
as a result of being beaten on the head.
In fact, 1996 saw the worst violence towards
prisoners since the military rule days of the early 1980s, according to
IHD officials. Between January and November 1996, 21 prisoners were
beaten to death by prison authorities, and 10 prisoners were killed by
The wave of hunger strikes in prisons in July ended
with the government's partial compromise, but only after claiming 12
lives. Four prisoners died after the strikes by being denied proper
The worst prison incident was a gendarmerie storming
of Diyarbakir Prison on September 24, which left 10 prisoners dead and
24 seriously injured. Authorities reported the fatalities as casualties
during the suppression of a prison riot, but a recent report by the
Parliamentary Human Rights Committee established that there was no riot
sufficient to warrant a military operation, during which "prisoners
were deliberately beaten on their heads by iron bars and truncheons."
"Disappearances" in custody and "Saturday Mothers"
Claims of people disappearing while in official
custody" totalled 208 between January and November 1996. Human rights
activists interpret this figure as a dramatic increase, given that the
total number of the "disappeared" in custody between 1980 and 1996 is
420. The heroic vigil of the "Saturday Mothers," peopled by families of
the missing, who continued their silent sit in protest every Saturday
in Istanbul's Galatasaray Square for 86 weeks to date, received a lot
of attention from press and media world-wide. Istanbul police's attack
on mothers, labor and political activists and journalists in one of the
sit-in protests when the United Nations Habitat II Conference was being
held in Istanbul vindicated the international interest. Some Habitat II
delegates were also injured in the attack. Amnesty International
replied the determination of "Saturday Mothers" by launching an
international campaign in November to highlight the human rights
violations particularly the "disappearances" in Turkey.
Southeast: the bleeding wound
The year 1996 began with some hope for a solution to
the Kurdish problem; at the time the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) was
holding a unilateral cease fire in the Southeast.
On 16 January, the press reported that the PKK
ambushed a minibus in Güclükonak in the Southeast, killing 11 people,
thus ending the unilateral cease fire. The case though was later
investigated by an unofficial delegation led by the "Let's Come
Together for Peace" initiative, who established that the security
forces were responsible for the ambush. The delegation and the families
of the victims of the incident demanded the prosecution of the Chief of
Staff for murder. No legal action was taken against the Chief of
Prosecution; on the contrary, the head of the initiative, Sanar
Yurdatapan, was questioned by the Prosecutor's office with charges of
"undermining the Chief of Staff and Security Forces. "Yurdatapan would
be arrested later in the year to be prosecuted for appearing on the
Kurdish TV channel Med TV.
The PKK cease fire, which was never recognized by
the government did not last long and in the year 1996, the conflict in
the Southeast claimed 2,750 lives from both sides, including the PKK
guerrillas and Turkish security forces while leaving 118 civilians dead
as a result of the atrocities committed by one side or the other of the
same conflict. The US based human rights organization Human Rights
Watch (HRW) produced reports on the use of arms against civilians in
the Southeast Turkey, which would ironically lead to the trial of the
publisher and the translator of the reports in Turkey.
The campaign by international human rights
organizations, HRW and Amnesty International (AI), against the
maltreatment of civilians by the authorities particularly in the
Southeast Turkey led the European Parliament on 18 September to suspend
financial aids to Turkey in defiance of the CU protocol. This move led
Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tansu Ciller
to announce immediately a new parliamentary bill of democratization of
Turkish Penal Code and the Code of Penal Procedures.
There are a number of cases heard in the European
Court of Human Rights, among them that of the southeastern villagers of
Yesilyurt which resulted on 16 September 1996 with the conviction of
the Turkish government to pay compensation to the villagers. The
complain of the Yesilyurt villagers was that an army commander forced
them in 1987 to eat excrement.
Discourses of violation
"Eat excrement and your whole life will change!":
Milliyet, a Turkish daily, reported the European Human Rights Court's
conviction of the government to pay billions of TL to the Yesilyurt
villagers, with this "funny" headline. In fact, as the Turkish media
was expressing outrage with this "foreign" intervention, the lawyer of
Yesilyurt villagers Hasip Kaplan was trying to raise his voice against
the increasing persecution by the security forces in the region against
Yesilyurt villagers, including the subsequent arrests and torture of
the village headman in the local gendarmerie station.
The official argument against European bodies
portraying their criticism as "foreign intervention into Turkey's
domestic affairs" is backed and encouraged by most sectors of the
Turkish media who, in every opportunity present international criticism
as "collaboration with the PKK."
As a typical demonstration of the Turkey's official
attitude towards European criticism, British daily Financial Times
quoted on 20 December Turkey's Minister of Justice Sevket Kazan's claim
that his government was now monitoring human rights abuses in Europe,
in order to counter their allegations against Turkey.
Kazan said, "the only thing Europe does is
criticising Turkey but from now on we will criticise Europe."
As an example how Europe violates human rights,
Justice Minister said teenagers from violent homes can be separated
from their families until they reached 18. "During this time they are
not allowed to see their parents. There are about 600 cases of this."
Kazan also said Muslims are not allowed to practice
their religion freely in Europe. He said churches in Turkey are allowed
to ring their bells but European mosques cannot use loudspeakers to
broadcast their call for prayers. Kazan also accused Europe of being
behind the PKK by saying: "Where does PKK obtain their weapons? Where
does their money come from? Europe is behind the PKK. From now on we
will demand some answers."
Consequently, the general belief of the Turkish
public towards the international conventions that Turkey signed still
seems to be that "our government should not be told what to do by
foreigners." And no official or unofficial bodies influential over
public mentality seem to be concerned with informing the public on the
European and United Nations conventions on human rights, and the
Turkish government's obligations. The result is that one can still
witness demonstrations in Turkey held with the slogan of "down with
human rights," as the recent demonstration participated exclusively by
the plain clothed police officers in the disturbed southeastern town of
Lice on 30 December.
Certainly, a turn of the year would not
automatically improve Turkey's human rights records. But to expect a
gradual change in the beliefs of Turkish public in parallel to Turkey's
inclusion into customs union towards what the concepts of human rights
and Europe represent would not be unfair. This probably is the
essential opportunity that Turkey missed in the year 1996. Although
there are no optimistic indications, "there is always a space for hope
in anything that is not dead" as the old Turkish saying goes.
SILENCE AND SILENCERS IN THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE
By Zafer F. YÖRÜK
23 November, 1996, Turkish Daily News
One of Turkey's major television channels, ATV,
broadcast on November 19, 1996, a video tape showing the late
international criminal Abdullah Catli, one of the victims of the recent
controversial car crash in Susurluk in which Catli, his girlfriend and
a senior police officer were killed and a senior member of the
government was injured, at a wedding sitting next to the new Minister
of Interior, Meral Aksener.
Aksener, who is known with her close relationship to
the deputy Prime Minister Tansu Ciller, replaced Mehmet Agar as
Interior Minister following his resignation last week. The reason for
Agar's resignation was officially declared as being due to his
daughter's illness, but observers agree that Agar resigned under
pressure from Ciller after his attempts to cover up the controversial
dimensions of the road accident failed and suspicion on his links with
the alleged secret gangs within the state were revealed by the press.
It is claimed that, by distancing herself from Agar
through forcing him to resign, Ciller hoped to put an end to the
scandalous allegations that Agar and herself were at the top of a
secret organization consisting of former ultra- right wing Ülkücü
murderers, certain police chiefs, a wing of the special units officers
on active duty in the Southeast, and certain Kurdish tribes manning the
pro-state paramilitary force known as "village guards" -- best known of
these is the Bucak tribe, the head of which is the Correct Way Party
(DYP) parliamentary deputy Sedat Bucak, the only survivor of the road
accident at Susurluk.
The source of these allegations is claimed to be a
Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT) report which was first made public
by Dogu Perincek, the leader of the left wing Workers Party (IP).
Perincek quoted the report which claims that Ciller used hidden funds
under her control when prime minister to finance a secret organization
to be under her orders.
Have Ciller's plans backfired?
The new Minister of Interior Aksener took the post
as Ciller's candidate, but the fact that she is an "outsider", that is,
she is alien to the Turkish security forces, unlike Agar who had served
as a police chief for decades. This has resulted in criticism from
among police ranks.
The new evidence that Aksener, some police chiefs
and Catli had a jolly time together at the same wedding may shorten the
life of Aksener as Interior Minister and thwart Ciller's plans to
dissociate her name from the "mafia-police-politician triangle".
The allegations originating from the recent video
tape release do not end with Ciller's involvement in a secret gang
though and go as far as to claim that Turkey is sheltering certain
criminals wanted under the "red bulletin" alerts of the international
policing body Interpol in return to their "services" for Turkish state.
Alaattin Cakici is in Turkey!
Abdullah Catli was one of these criminals, who was
sentenced by Swiss courts in the 1980s to imprisonment for drug charges
but then escaped from the prison and disappeared. It is claimed that
Catli went back to Turkey after his escape and was provided by a new
identity card with the name Mehmet Ozbay, to be employed in secret
operations, including summary executions of left wing and Kurdish
activists, the assassination of Kurdish businessmen and lawyers, and
even secret operations beyond Turkey's borders such as the failed coup
attempt against Azerbeijan's president Haydar Aliev in March 1994.
Catli held a green passport with the same false name
(Ozbay) which allowed him to travel abroad without being caught by
Catli's close associate from the 1970s, Alaattin
Cakici, whose name became prominent in the 1990s through a series of
murders and violent incidents in the Turkish underworld, is also
claimed to be residing in Turkey with a false ID and green passport.
Cakici is also being searched for by Interpol on drug smuggling
charges. Reports claim that Cakici resides in Adapazari, the scene to a
series of "unresolved" murders in 1990s of Kurdish businessmen and
lawyers, and a number of left wing and Kurdish activists.
The suspicion that former pro-National Movement
Party (MHP) Ülkücü militants, who are officially "wanted" by national
and international police forces, are based in Turkey and used in
extra-judicial secret operations are backed by the statements of former
Ülkücü militants who do not want their names to be disclosed.
According to allegations, leading Ülkücü militants
of the 1970s, some of whom escaped abroad after the 1980 military coup
and were involved in various criminal activities in Europe such as the
unsuccessful attempt on Pope's life in 1980 and drug smuggling,
returned to Turkey after being charged in European courts and conducted
secret missions in the country and abroad. Others, such as Tevfik
Agansoy, who have been released from prisons after becoming
"confessors" or under a 1991 amnesty, joined in the ranks of these
"My husband became a confessor and then was
released. We were in financial difficulty at the time and asked the
state to help us to survive. But the state gave arms to my husband
instead of bread." This is the statement of Hülya Agansoy, the wife of
the deceased mobster Tevfik Agansoy in early September. It was not
known then what the state made Agansoy do with these arms but recently
former Ülkücü members made it clear that Agansoy, Cakici and Catli were
involved in a number of secret missions for "national interests".
These "missions" include the raid on the Armenian
separatist organization ASALA's camp in Lebanon in 1984 (this is
claimed to be a joint operation between the Ulkucu led by Cakici and
the Turkish secret service); the assassination of the leader of ASALA,
Agop Agopyan, in April 1988, (the names Alaattin Cakici and Tevfik
Agansoy are associated with this incident); the assassination of
Kurdish businessmen known to be leaders of the Kurdish mafia, Behcet
Cantürk, Savas Buldan, Inci Baba and Enis Karaduman, and their lawyer
Medet Serhat in 1993 (Serhat's assassination is claimed to have been
committed personally by Tevfik Agansoy); and the failed coup attempt in
Azerbaijan in March 1994 against President Haydar Aliev (a video tape
showing Abdullah Catli among the coup-makers has recently been released
on a TV program).
Most of these operations are officially
"unresolved", or they are blamed on internal fighting as in Agopyan
assassination. The most famous "unresolved" murders are those of the
Kurdish godfathers, and the lawyer Medet Serhat, the bodies of whom
were all found in the same area, on the Istanbul- Ankara motorway
between Izmit, Düzce and Adapazari.
From Ülkücü militants to Mafia godfathers
The allegations do not end with the claim that
former Ülkücü gunmen were used by the state in secret operations for
"national interests". It is alleged that all these gunmen, primarily
Abdullah Catli, Alaattin Cakici and Tevfik Agansoy were involved in the
elimination of the Kurdish mafia for personal interests as well as
"national interests". Their titles became "godfathers" since they took
over the illegal sector of drug smuggling, land speculation and
gambling rents from the "vanished" Kurdish mafia.
Through the Ülkücü gangs, their "comrades in arms" in the secret
operations, consisting of police chiefs, members of the special forces,
village guards and politicians, also entered the profitable business
dealings of the underworld.
This suspicion is supported by another chain of
"unresolved" assassinations which cost the lives of General Commander
of Gendarmerie Forces Esref Bitlis, the former chief of Gendarmerie
Intelligence (JITEM) Cem Ersever and a number of ex-JITEM officers
known as being Ersever's men. All these officials worked in the
Southeast and saw active duty in the counter-insurgency war against the
Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK). Claims suggest that these murders which
coincided with the elimination of the Kurdish mafia, amounting to the
elimination of a certain wing of the state apparatus in the underworld,
to be replaced with another wing consisting of forces within the state,
including police chiefs and top politicians as well as Ülkücü servants
of "national interests".
Another profitable item of business of the
underworld emerged as "debt collection" in the late 1980s and early
1990s, in which the new state-mafia was heavily involved. In Turkey,
where the judicial and policing mechanisms proved impotent in
regulating the business dealings, the mafia found a wide field of
activity to insert itself into. The most famous case of "debt
collection" is certainly the Civangate scandal of 1993, in which the
Ülkücü gangs of Tevfik Agansoy and Alaattin Cakici, top businessmen
including Selim Edes and the former head of Emlakbank Engin Civan and
leading politicians including the wife and son of the late President
Turgut Ozal were all involved.
"There is a special unit which was founded before
1983 for anti-terrorist struggle. But this unit, which was founded to
protect the state, has been used in the past two years for political
interests, dirty dealings, dirty money, which have nothing to do with
state interests. Among them, there are police officers, politicians and
These "speculations" are made by the leader of
opposition Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz, on November 20.
Yilmaz also claimed that the coming together of Abdullah Catli, police
chief Huseyin Kocadag and DYP deputy Sedat Bucak in Kusadasi prior to
the Susurluk accident was related to a project to take over the casinos
Following another incident before the Susurluk
accident, the assassination of Tevfik Agansoy on the orders of his
former boss Alaattin Cakici in September this year, it has been claimed
that two of Tansu Ciller's bodyguards, who were killed with Agansoy in
the shoot out in Bebek, were there to discuss a land purchase with the
The allegations go as far as to suggest that the recent discovery of a
uniformed mafia group known as the Söylemez Gang, consisting of army
and police officers, including some police chiefs, was another aspect
of the intra-state settling of accounts.
Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Ercan Karakas
said on a TV program that prior to the discovery of the gang, he
produced a report on an "unresolved" murder in the Cukurca district of
Hakkari, in which he had revealed the Söylemez Gang as responsible for
the murder. The report was suppressed by the authorities, and the
members of Söylemez Gang were arrested only after they fell into
conflict with Sedat Bucak's tribe over the control of casinos in Ankara.
"The gangs are the institutions of the war in the
Southeast. They act to secure the continuation of this conflict. Mehmet
Agar, Sedat Bucak and the police officers and paramilitary forces
included in their team are the biggest of all gangs." This is the
summary of the statement of Mehmet Sena Söylemez, the head of the
"uniformed gang", during a court hearing on November 20.
Bucak warns Yilmaz
Opposition leader Mesut Yilmaz's claims are backed
by the recent revelation that two of Bucak's official bodyguards, Ayhan
Carkin and Ömer Kaplan, have been charged with the murder of the "King
of Casinos" Omer Lütfü Topal two months ago. The same bodyguards are
currently on trial for "inappropriate use of violence" in a number of
anti- terrorism operations, which are known as "summary executions" of
left wing suspects. It was also claimed that Bucak has hashish fields
in his lands in Siverek, Urfa, where he has a paramilitary force
consisting of 15,000 armed men.
Sedat Bucak who left the hospital on November 19 and
is in Ankara at present spoke to the press for the first time since the
accident saying that he was proud of being acquainted with Abdullah
Catli and warned the opposition leader Yilmaz to stop his "unfounded
About the same time as this warning on November 20,
Yilmaz declared that he had been informed of an assassination attempt
on his life and listening devices were found in his house. Listening
devices were also found in the wreckage of the Mercedes after the
There are others who claim to have received threats
to their lives since the Susurluk accident. Journalist Ugur Dündar, one
of those threatened, says that before the information that he was to be
assassinated, Özer Ciller, the husband of deputy prime minister,
personally threatened him a number of times over the phone. Dündar also
claimed that Mr Ciller wanted his official police guard to be removed.
Özer Ciller's name is not only associated with mafia
dealings but it is also claimed that he is the architect of the
Refah-led government's recent proposal of a new press law, which is
expected to restrict reporting in the press by punishing "false news".
Since the Susurluk accident, the Turkish media made
an unprecedented leap forward with reports revealing the relations
behind the scene of the accident one by one, and it is suspected that
Cillers are the most uncomfortable of all parties from these efforts.
Silencers along with weapons were discovered in the
wreckage of the car carrying the dead and wounded suspects after the
SIX-MONTH RECORD OF STATE-POLICE-MAFIA SCANDALS
June 22 - The Söylemez Brothers gang was arrested.
The gang, with 24 members, was armed like a state within a state. It
had prepared to assassinate parliamentarians using special war
techniques, had already carried out six murders, and acquired ownership
of land and workplaces by forcing people at gunpoint to sign checks or
promissory notes. It was found that most of the weapons used by the
gang members had once belonged to the army. The gang included 11
policemen, of whom two were police chiefs and two deputy police chiefs;
four soldiers, of whom one was a first lieutenant; and a doctor.
July 23 - Following the arrest of the Söylemez
Brothers gang, a second gang which included policemen and military
members was exposed. Eight policemen including a police director, and
four military personnel, including a first lieutenant were taken into
custody. The first lieutenant was found to have prepared false weapons
licenses and carried out arms smuggling.
July 28 - Omer Lütfü Topal, owner of the Emperyal
Casino, known as the "king of casinos" was shot dead by three people in
Sariyer, Istanbul as he was on his way home in his car. The Kalashnikov
automatic rifles used in the attack were found at the scene of the
Aug. 27 - Nurullah Tevfik Agansoy, one of the most
prominent figures of the underground world, who had made his name with
the Civangate Scandal, was killed in an armed attack in Bebek,
Istanbul. It was found that the two people with Agansoy during the
attack were policemen responsible for protecting Deputy Prime Minister
Aug. 28 - Three policemen from the special police
team, alleged to be the murderers of Omer Lütfü Topal, were taken into
custody. Following preliminary interrogations, the policemen were
delivered by a special crew sent from Ankara upon the instructions of
Interior Minister Mehmet Agar, and were assigned to protect DYP
Sanliurfa Deputy Sedat Bucak.
Sept. 4 - A criminal case was filed against three
high ranking police officers, Sedat Demir, Deniz Gökcetin and Erdal
Durmaz, who were charged with accepting bribes in return for assistance
to the Söylemez Brothers. The prosecutor demanded a minimum prison
sentence of 30 years. The court issued arrest warrants against the
suspects in absentia.
Sept. 26 - Four policemen assigned to the Hakkari
Special Operations Branch Directorate and six village guards who were
members of the Yüksekova Gang were exposed. It was found that the gang
members were involved in bribery and had perpetrated many murders and
Nov. 3 - A Mercedes driven by former Istanbul deputy
police chief Huseyin Kocadag hit the back of a lorry on the Bursa-Izmir
highway near the town of Susurluk in Balikesir. The accident resulted
in the deaths of Kocadag, ultra nationalist Abdullah Catli -- who was
carrying a false ID card in the name of "Mehmet Özbay" and who had been
wanted by Interpol for 18 years for involvement in a massacre -- and
Gonca Us, who was reported to have married Catli in a religious
ceremony. True Path Party (DYP) Sanliurfa Deputy Sedat Bucak was
injured in the accident. Hasan Gökce, the driver of the truck, was
arrested. Automatic rifles, assassination weapons and hand grenades
were found in the Mercedes, which belonged to Bucak. Two silencers
hidden in special sections of the car were also found.
Nov. 4 - Interior Minister Mehmet Agar said Bucak
and Kocadag had apprehended Catli and the traffic accident had occurred
as they were taking him to Istanbul to deliver him to the police.
Meanwhile, the false ID card found in Catli's possession in the name of
"Özbay" stated that Ozbay was an "Expert at the General Security
Directorate." The document, which also gave the right to possession of
a gun, had been signed by Agar.
Nov. 5 - Abdullah Catli, killed in the Susurluk
accident, was buried in Nevsehir. The coffin, draped by the Turkish
flag, was placed in its grave by Drej Ali (Ali Yasak), famous in the
underground world, during the funeral attended by 5,000 people,
including Muhsin Yazicioglu, leader of the Grand Unity Party and former
chairman of the Idealists (Ülkücü) Club. Former Security Director
Huseyin Kocadag, also killed in the Susurluk accident, was buried in
Ankara. Interior Minister Mehmet Agar, who did not attend Kocadag's
funeral, referred to the false ID card found in Catli's possession and
said, "This is all lies. There is no such ID card." However, as well as
the false ID card, it was found that Catli had been given a "green
passport" only issued for top level state officials.
Nov. 6 - Unlawful links among the trio of
police-mafia-politics, which surfaced with the Susurluk accident, were
splashed all over the media. It was discovered that the National
Intelligence Organization (MIT) had closely monitored the activities of
Abdullah Catli and had kept the Prime Ministry informed. However, Catli
had been protected by police chiefs and had not been apprehended.
Meanwhile, it was claimed that DYP Deputy Sedat Bucak and the three
victims of the accident had spent the weekend in Kusadasi, and that TL
1 trillion worth of deals relating to casinos owned by Omer Lütfü
Topal, who was killed in Istanbul in July, had been the reason for the
Nov. 7 - Regarding the traffic accident in Susurluk,
President Süleyman Demirel said, "This is a very serious event.
Continue the investigation no matter how far it goes and be merciless
in your judgements, but do not draw conclusions from this for Turkey,
do not make Turkey a target, and do not lose your belief."
Nov. 8 - Interior Minister Mehmet Agar resigned from
his post following the demand of DYP Chairwoman Tansu Ciller. Agar was
replaced by DYP Istanbul Deputy Meral Aksener, a close friend of the
Nov. 12 - A request for a parliamentary inquiry into
the police-mafia-politics link, presented by four separate political
parties, was debated and accepted on the floor. A special commission
was set up by Parliament to probe behind the scenes into the various
relationships which surfaced with the Susurluk accident. Welfare Party
(RP) Deputy Mehmet Elkatmis was elected as chairman of this commission.
Nov. 15 - DYP Sanliurfa Deputy Sedat Bucak, who was
wounded in the Susurluk accident, was treated at the Faculty of
Medicine of Istanbul University under the surveillance and protection
of members of his tribe. He was secretly discharged from hospital at
3:00 a.m. Mehmet Agar, speaking for the first time following his
resignation said, "No longer will anyone undertake such risks for the
Nov. 16 - Motherland Party (ANAP) Chairman Mesut
Yilmaz claimed that three guards from the special team who were
protecting DYP Deputy Sedat Bucak, the only person who survived the
Susurluk accident, had killed Omer Lütfü Topal, the casino king. Yilmaz
claimed there were plans among certain circles who wanted to own the
casinos. It was found that three casinos owned by Topal were about to
change ownership. Security measures for Yilmaz were reinforced
following his allegations.
Nov. 21 - DYP Deputy Sedat Bucak, the only living
witness of the Susurluk accident, spoke about the incident and the
various relationships on a private TV channel. Bucak said he had met
Catli under his real identity and was proud of having met him. He
claimed that former deputy police director Huseyin Kocadag, who was
killed in the accident, had not known Catli's real identity. He
accepted that all the weapons found in his car belonged to him.
However, he claimed that the silencers had no connection with him or
his friends and were part of a plot.
Nov. 22 - Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan announced
he had given an assignment to the head of the Prime Ministry Inspectors
Board, the MIT Undersecretariat and the Interior Ministry Inspectors
Nov. 23 - DYP Deputy Sedat Bucak, during an
interview with a daily, altered his earlier statement made on a special
TV channel. Bucak, who had previously said the weapons found in the car
belonged to him, this time denied he owned them. He claimed the weapons
had been placed in the car by "certain circles" after the accident.
Nov. 24 - President Süleyman Demirel did not accept
Democratic Left Party (DSP) Chairman Bulent Ecevit's proposal that
allegations following the Susurluk incident also be investigated by the
State Supervisory Council.
Nov. 24 - ANAP Chairman Mesut Yilmaz was attacked by
a former ultranationalist in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel in Budapest,
Hungary. It was reported that Yilmaz, whose nose was broken, had been
attacked because of his allegations concerning Catli. It was discovered
that the aggressor, named as Veysel Özerdem, had worked at a textile
firm in which Catli was a partner.
Nov. 26 - Tansu Ciller said she had not known
Abdullah Catli, and moreover had not known whether or not he was
guilty. She said, "Those who fired a bullet or suffered a bullet for
the state are commemorated with respect. They are honourable."
Nov. 28 - ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz claimed a link
existed between certain aggressors and some Istanbul people. He
announced that he had information and documents regarding the Topal
murder. He said those documents were also in the possession of the
state and were at the Istanbul Police Directorate.
Dec. 5 - Interior Minister Meral Aksener announced
she had sacked six policemen including Istanbul Police Chief Kemal
Yazicioglu, his assistant, the deputy chairman of the Operations
Department of the special teams, as well as three special team members
whose names were linked to the Topal murder. Giving her reasons for
dismissing Yazicioglu, Aksener said he had failed to provide
information and documents which ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz had mentioned
in relation to the Topal murder.
Dec. 12 - The Criminology Department of the
Gendarmerie General Command determined that Catli had worked as an
expert at the General Security Directorate, and that the signature on
the license granting him the right to bear weapons was that of Mehmet
Agar, who was then the head of General Security. Following this
development, the Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office sent a report to the
Justice Ministry requesting the removal of Agar's parliamentary
immunity so a case could be filed against him.
Dec. 13 - The Justice Ministry returned the report
to the Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office on the grounds that the
relevant documents were incomplete.
Dec. 16 - Nihat Artiran, the Ankara prosecutor who
had prepared the report, reacted strongly against giving the assignment
on the report to the chief prosecutor and quit his post to follow up
Dec. 17 - It was discovered that the three
organizations to which Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan had earlier
given the task of investigating the Susurluk incident were still
examining the issue, and had not yet launched an investigation.
Dec. 22 - The leaders of the political parties
represented in Parliament met at a summit at the Cankaya Presidential
Palace under President Süleyman Demirel's chairmanship. During the
five-and-a-half-hour meeting, the leaders discussed allegations arising
from the Susurluk incident and the position the state should adopt in
the face of these developments. Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan said a
preliminary report presented to him by MIT mentioned the names of 58
people who came within the framework of the allegations. He said a
clear need had emerged to carry out a detailed investigation.
Dec. 24 - The parliamentary Susurluk commission
began to hear testimonies from people believed to have information on
the issue. Among those who testified at the commission were Mehmet
Eymür, head of the MIT Counter-Terrorism Department, former MIT
personnel and retired lieutenant colonel Korkut Eken, and founder of
the special operation teams and Istanbul Police Chief Kemal Yazicioglu
who was removed from his office. When it came to light that Catli had
been used by the state, both before and after 1980, in activities
against the Armenian terrorist organization ASALA, the commission
decided to hear testimonies from many more people, including former
President Kenan Evren, Chief of General Staff Gen. Ismail Karadayi,
Gendarmerie General Commander Gen. Teoman Koman and MIT Undersecretary
Dec. 31 - Investigations concerning the Susurluk
incident still continue. While groups specially set up at MIT, the
Prime Ministry Inspectors Board, the Interior Ministry Inspectors
Board, the Chief Prosecutor's Office of the Istanbul State Security
Court (DGM), the Justice Ministry and the Interior Ministry continue
their investigations, the Parliamentary investigative commission
continues to hear the testimonies of those it deems necessary.
NATIONAL SECURITY BOARD APPROVAL FOR THE GANG
Daily Radikal's Ismet Berkan reports on December 5
that the illegal gangs were established and operating with the approval
of the National Security Council (NSC), a supreme military dominated
board which dictates to Parliament the policies on national security
The details given by Berkan are as follows:
It all dates back to early 1992. At that time the
Turkish Chief of Staff's office made radical changes in its strategy in
the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The
military units which used to take action only after PKK attacks take
place, engaging in hot pursuit, started to be organized as a guerrilla
force. Now they were taking preemptive action. This change soon started
bearing fruit. The PKK no longer had the initiative. Now the PKK was on
the run with the soldiers at their heels.
In time the PKK withdrew one by one from the big
settlements where it had been staging attacks, taking refuge in the
mountains. But Turkey's "active fight" against terrorism was
continuing. This time, the logistic support for the PKK in the
mountains began to be cut down through village evacuations.
The PKK had been weakened a lot, and seemed to be on
the verge of being "finished off."
But the change in the strategy was not limited to
the "low intensity war" in the region. It was decided that a "more
active" drive was needed to dry up other sources of terrorism too. This
way, with a little effort, this job would be "finished off next spring."
This would be a two-pronged effort. Terrorists would
be caught -- or killed if necessary -- before they actually staged
attacks. And the persons who provided the terrorists with material or
moral support, would be given the same treatment as the terrorists
This change in strategy was put on the agenda of the
National Security Board toward the end of 1992.
A National Security Board document, seen by the
author of this column, gives the chart of the organization which was to
be created for this purpose, as well as the names of the persons who
would take part in it. These names included Abdullah Catli (the
fugitive who died in a car crash in Susurluk on Nov. 3 while travelling
with a top police official and a parliamentary deputy). Those taking
part in the organization would include some policemen who were members
of the "special teams" (fighting against the PKK in the Southeast),
certain soldiers and some of Catli's friends.
Initially the proposed tactics did not meet with
approval from the National Security Board. Turgut Ozal, at that time
president, and Esref Bitlis, at that time gendarmerie commander, both
opposed the state taking action in cooperation with people who had no
official status. I guess this is pure coincidence but first Gen. Bitlis
and then Ozal died, the first one in an accident and the second due to
a heart attack.
Süleyman Demirel became president and Tansu Ciller
the prime minister. Initially Ciller was quite mild on the Southeast
issue. She was talking about the Basque model and, with good
intentions, having discussions with the opposition leaders on the
issue. But after a short time she underwent a change.
She became more hawkish than all the other hawks,
declaring, "This (the PKK) will either be finished or it will be
finished." It was obvious that she was convinced that "this would be
finished". Since there was no one around raising objections anymore,
the issue was brought to the National Security Board.
And this new technique of struggle was approved in
the fall of 1993. The organization, call it "Gladio" or "special
organization," was founded with a decision taken by the National
According to a statement made at that time, Turkey
was spending more than $8 billion annually for the fight against the
PKK. No doubt the PKK was also spending a lot in its fight against
Calculations done in the higher echelons of the
state indicated that the PKK's war budget was no less than $3 billion.
In the fall of 1993, the year in which Ciller became prime minister,
the PKK had two main sources of income:
Money obtained through narcotics trade and through
extortion, and donations collected in Europe etc.
First the income coming from the European channel
was cut off. Starting with Germany and France, the local authorities
closed down the PKK associations and prevented them from collecting
funds. The PKK went underground in these two countries.
But there was also the income from narcotics trade.
Here, the "special organization" had to become involved. We all
remember that during those days Ciller was saying, "We will dry up the
PKK's sources of income." Behcet Cantürk, Savas Buldan, Yusuf Ekinci,
Haci Karay, Adnan Yildirim, Medet Serhat and, in the latest instance,
Omer Lütfü Topal. All these were figures involved in drug trafficking
in this or that manner. None of them are alive today. They were
transporting the narcotics either on behalf of the PKK or they had to
pay extortion money. In either case the PKK was getting income. All of
these people are now dead.
Daily Özgür Ülke was like a PKK publication. PKK
leader Öcalan had a column in the paper, using a pen name, "Ali Firat."
The head office and the branch offices of that daily have been bombed.
It is being claimed that the Istanbul police caught the bombers but had
to release them in line with the "orders received from high up."
This article has been written entirely on the basis
of a document which I was not permitted to photocopy. I was not
permitted either to take some notes. I just had a chance to read it
quickly. I wish that this piece of "news," the truth of which I measure
by considering a lot of other things, proves false. Naturally, I have
no doubt that it will be denied immediately. I just hope that those who
will be denying it will be telling the truth."
HEROIN-GAMBLING AND POLICE CHIEF
Daily Hürriyet's Ugur Dündar reports on December 8:
A few days prior to the Susurluk incident. The place
"Hotel Termal" in Yalova-Bursa. Late at night, DYP Sanliurfa Deputy
Sedat Bucak and mobster Abdullah Catli arrived with their guards. The
group included Sami Hostan, known as "Sami the Albanian" or "Sami the
Hollander" in the Turkish underworld. In line with their wishes, hotel
officials opened up the hotel's spa. After a bath the group retired for
a rest. The payments to the hotel management were made by Hostan.
One has to focus on Hostan to be able to clarify the
police-mafia-politician links exposed by a traffic accident which
occurred in Susurluk on Nov. 3 killing Catli and injuring Bucak.
There is documented evidence which shows that Hostan
was apprehended in Munich in October 1974 with five kilos of morphine
base. He had a stolen passport belonging to one Mehmet Safi Gürkan.
After serving a three-and-a-half year sentence he was expelled. He was
sent to Turkey. We have in our archives a photo of him taken at the
Istanbul Security Directorate on May 17, 1978, by officials preparing
his police record.
Later we see Hostan working in the Netherlands with
narcotics smugglers, a group of Turks describing themselves as Ülkücüs
(members of an ultra rightist movement). Genuine Ülkücüs should not
take offence. I know very well that they hate narcotics smugglers, that
they actually help the police catch the narcotics smugglers.
In a short time Hostan managed to become the
right-hand man of Halit Ünlü, one of the leading figures of the
Netherlands's heroin market. This is why he came to be called, "Sami
Days of affluence due to the lucrative heroin trade,
continued until early 1988. At that time, leftist groups trying to
extort a monthly sum of 100,000 guilders from the Ünlü-Hostan team,
raided the Karadeniz Cafeteria in Amsterdam which Ünlü was using as his
main office. Ünlü, Hostan and their armed men had a shoot-out with the
raiders which lasted about half an hour until police intervened.
During the shoot-out one of the guards, named Ali,
died. Hostan managed to flee before the police arrived. He went to
During his stay in the Netherlands, Hostan had set
up a number of textile companies to serve as fronts and he maintained
his contact with a number of his Turkish friends who, wanted by the
police in the wake of the 1980 military coup, had fled from Turkey to
Austria where they became involved in the narcotics trade. These too,
ostensibly, were former members of the Ülkücü movement.
After Turkey turned into a gamblers' haven, Hostan
obtained a 50 percent share in casino king Omer Lütfü Topal's "Casino
Emperyal" at Istanbul's Sheraton Hotel. One of the partners of the
casino was Ali Fevzi Bir, nicknamed "Alico." Another partner, who
joined them at a later date, was Abdullah Catli.
It is being claimed that these people were arranging
gambling parties where all kinds of cheating took place. There would be
balls manipulated by magnetic devices on the roulette table and systems
with disguised cameras reading poker players' cards and notifying some
of them of their rivals' cards by radio. Hostan, awash with money, is
rumoured to have had contacts frequently with Halit Ünlü who is
currently an inmate at Adapazari Prison in Turkey. Hostan is also
allegedly linked with narcotics gangs operating in Hungary.
Narcotics experts say that recently Hungary has
become a major heroin centre. Heroin is being sent to Britain, the
Netherlands and Spain via Budapest. But how do narcotics get shipped to
One has to look at the recent big increase in
Turkish exports to Hungary, especially textile exports. It is being
claimed that a significant part of these exports are imaginary, a fraud
which enables the smugglers to launder their illegal earnings. A
significant part of the money earned by the narcotics smugglers enters
Turkey freely after being declared at the customs houses as "foreign
exchange earned from exports." Another part of that sum is laundered
via the casinos.
Hostan is a key name in this traffic. Probably the
second biggest name after Catli. Those who know Hostan and Catli say
that they saw these two in London nearly two months ago.
After casino king Omer Lütfü Topal was murdered in
Istanbul in July 1996, police interrogated Hostan and Ali Fevzi Bir
along with three members of special teams. Currently, both Hostan and
Bir are abroad. Why have they left the country in a hurry? When will
they be back? Could they be feeling a little more at ease now that
Istanbul's security director Kemal Yazicioglu, an honest and successful
official, has been suspended? By digging into the Topal murder,
Yazicioglu has upset the game of those who, having earned trillions of
lira from the heroin trade and the gambling business, were planning to
take Turkish politics into their hands. I wonder what Ms. Tansu Ciller,
who has praised Catli as a patriot, thinks about all this.
TURKEY'S KILLING MACHINE: THE COUNTER-GUERRILLA FORCE
By Serdar Celik (From Kurdistan Report #17 - February/March 1994)
Turkey joined NATO on April 4, 1952. In the same
year, the organisation known as "Gladio", or officially as "Super
NATO", whose arm in Turkey is the counter-guerrilla force called
Seferberlik Tetkik Kurulu (STK - Mobilisation Studies Group), started
its activities in the building of a CIA organisation, JUSMATT, in the
Bahcelievler district of the Turkish capital Ankara.(*1)
During the 1960s, following on from the experience
of Korea and Vietnam, the American-dominated armies of NATO began to
set up their own special guerrilla warfare units. The 1959 military
accord between the Turkish and US governments envisaged the use of the
counter-guerrillas "also in the case of an internal rebellion against
the regime". (*2)
The STK was restructured in 1965 and was renamed
Özel Harp Dairesi (ÖHD - Special Warfare Department). It comes under
the authority of the Chief of General Staff and is also known by other
titles such as Özel Kuvvetler Komutanligi (Special Forces Command) or
Harekat Dairesi (Operations Department).
Although it was revealed through the "Gladio" affair
in Italy in 1990 that such secret organisations also existed in other
member states of NATO, and that they maintained close contacts with
these countries' secret services and had been involved in a series of
murders and bomb plots, the Turkish military and state authorities
continued to deny the existence of any such organisation in Turkey.
Only after ex-CIA chief William Colby revealed that
"there is also such an organisation in Turkey" did the Turkish
authorities withdraw their false pretensions that there was no Turkish
On December 3, 1990, General Dogan Beyazit, Chief of
the Harekat Dairesi (Operation Department) of Turkey's General Staff
and General Kemal Yilmaz, commander of the Özel Kuvvetler (Special
Forces), issued a press statement. In this statement they revealed that
the title of the special NATO organisation in Turkey was Özel Harp
Dairesi (Special Warfare Department) and that its task was "to organise
resistance in the case of a communist occupation". They further
explained that this organisation had fought in Cyprus in 1974 and
against the PKK in Kurdistan in 1980, but that its secret members, whom
they called "patriots", had "no connection with the counter-guerrilla
This latter claim is a blatant lie. The bloody
dictator of the September 12, 1980 coup, Kenan Evren, wrote in his
memoirs that Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel had in the 1970s written
to him of his wish to engage the Special Warfare Department to deal
with civil unrest(2). This was denied by Demirel. Bülent Ecevit,
another Prime Minister of the 1970s, revealed that: "As Prime Minister
I first became aware of its existence in 1974 through requests from
Semih Sancar, chief of the General Staff, for money for secret payments
to the Special Warfare Department. I was shocked".(3)
How and why was the Special Warfare Department set
up? The founding aim of the Department is: "In the case of a communist
occupation or of a rebellion, to use guerrilla methods and all possible
underground activities to bring an end to the occupation."(4) The
special war methods which are taught supposedly for the prevention of a
communist occupation include among others "assassinations, bombings,
armed robbery, torture, attacks, kidnap, threats, provocation, militia
training, hostage-taking, arson, sabotage, propaganda, misinformation,
violence and extortion."(5)
Textbooks by American counter-guerrilla experts were
translated into Turkish, and these special war methods were thus
introduced into Turkey. Some of the textbooks written by American
experts are: "U.S. Army FM 31/16" (counter-guerrilla operations), "U.S.
Army Special Warfare School" (counter-guerrilla tactics and
techniques), "FM 31/20" (special forces operational techniques), "FM
31/21 Special Forces Operations" (ST urban assignments, 31/21 guerrilla
warfare and special forces operations ), "FM 31/21 A. Special Forces
Operations (U)" (special forces secret operations).(6)
The Turkish counter-guerrilla force developed the
most complex and sophisticated methods for its war against the PKK.
Since 1985 a series of new textbooks and instructions for the
counter-guerrillas have been published. Just one example is the book Ic
Güvenlik Konsepti (The Concept of Internal Security), which was
published by the Special Warfare Command of the General Staff in 1985,
and which is used as a textbook in the counter-guerrilla camps. The
underground elements of the Special Warfare Department - that is, the
elements which carry out actions - are called counter-guerrillas. The
Special Warfare Department can be identified with the
counter-guerrillas, since it is the latter who put the Department's
work into practise. The Turkish counter-guerrillas have many schools in
Turkey, in which they receive their training - in Ankara, Bolu,
Kayseri, Buca near Izmir, Canakkale and since 1974 in Cyprus. "In the
mountain commando school in Bolu, green berets (Delta Forces) who
fought in Vietnam also got their training".(7)
The counter-guerrilla teams, who are implanted with
a fanatical hatred of the "peril" of "communism" and "separatism",
whose heads are full of chauvinism, are unleashed against anyone who
stands in opposition to the regime. For their goal, which they pursue
with the support of the USA, is "the establishment of a competent
military and semi-military force which will, jointly with the security
forces, maintain internal security".(9) In their eyes not only the
"communists", but each and every democratic movement is a danger which
they aim to counter using guerrilla methods. The American military
doctrine as presented in the textbooks holds that "our security is
threatened not only by open attacks, but also by other types of threats
which are even more dangerous than open attacks but which do not look
like open attacks. These dangers consist of the attempts to bring about
transformations and changes from the inside."(10)
Selected elements of the Turkish counter-guerrillas
together with the generals were all trained in counter-guerrilla
schools in the USA. The aims of this training are defined as follows:
"The goal of military aid is to educate soldiers from underdeveloped
countries in accordance with U.S. ideology and then to install them
advantageously in the leadership of their countries".(11)
During their training in the USA the
counter-guerrilla forces "are taught about social problems in their
countries, and shown films which demonstrate the aggression and
subversion of the communists. They learn how to handle explosives under
the supervision of green berets in Matamoros near the Mexican border,
and they are taught how to kill, stab or strangle somebody silently,
Other places where Turkish officials are
trained are the Escuela de los Americas in Panama, which is attached to
the U.S. base Southern Comfort, the Police Academy near Washington and
the Schongau and Oberammergau bases in Germany.(*3) Part of the Special
Warfare Department is made up of officers from official units known as
A-units or Special Operations Units. As the war became more intense,
B-units were formed within the Special Warfare Department, made up of
professional volunteer commando forces. Both types of units employ
counter-guerrilla tactics. The forces built by the Special Warfare
Department have everywhere formed organisations in the form of cells.
These elements, known as "patriots", are placed in front-line duties by
being infiltrated as agents-provocateurs into political parties,
administrative departments and opposition groups.
The strongest pillar of the Special Warfare
Department is the Secret Service. In Turkey the Secret Service is
subordinate to the General Staff and so also to the Special Warfare
Department. The civilian government has no control whatsoever over the
In Turkey there are various secret services: the
National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) and the Secret Services of the
Gendarmerie, the General Staff, the Foreign Ministry, the Director of
Security (the political police) and the Presidential Office. These
secret services hold quarterly meetings under the umbrella of the
National Intelligence Coordinating Committee. The MIT is the most
influential one of all these organisations. This Turkish secret service
organisation was originally called MAH and was restructured and renamed
MIT in 1965. The MIT is a branch of the CIA and collaborates with the
Israeli secret service MOSSAD, the German BND and earlier (up to 1975)
with the Iranian SAVAK.
Many operations of the Special Warfare Department
are carried out in collaboration with the MIT. A third of the MIT's
functionaries are members of the armed forces and the rest are mostly
retired military personnel. It is a legal requirement that the chief of
the MIT must be a member of the armed forces. Since the founding of the
MIT, all the heads have been generals. They are appointed by the
General Staff or by the Special Warfare Department. The 1989 budget of
the MIT amounted to 42,745 million Turkish liras. (*4)
Another organisation coming under the Special
Warfare Department is the Psychological Warfare Department. On November
9, 1983 this department became the TIB (Office for Social Relations).
Its headquarters are in Ankara. Its first chief was Dogan Beyazit, who
was at the same time also head of the Special Warfare Department. He
was in charge of propaganda operations which the CIA program divided
into "white", "grey" and "black" propaganda. Many professors were
employed within the TIB.(*5)
The TIB has brought out numerous journals and
pamphlets and even comics. It formed satellite organisations under such
names as "The Institute for Research into Turkish Culture", "Turkish
World Research Institute", etc. The main aim of the TIB since the '80s
has been to develop the psychological front in the war against the PKK.
With this aim in mind, pamphlets are printed which try to blame the PKK
for massacres committed by the counter-guerrillas. Such pamphlets are
distributed in various languages in Europe, purporting to originate
from such fictitious publishers as "the Union of Anatolian Women". Or
else bogus leaflets attacking the PKK are distributed under the names
of existing or fictitious political organisations. Posters and leaflets
are put about which are full of ridiculous propaganda such as those
claiming that the PKK is an Armenian organisation. Or television
programmes and books are produced which slander the PKK. In the towns
of Kurdistan professors hold seminars about how "Kurds are really
The most effective institution from the point of
view of the TIB - that is the Psychological Warfare Department of the
Special Warfare Department - is the press. Turkish daily newspapers
such as "Hürriyet", "Milliyet", "Tercüman", "Türkiye" and "Sabah",
which have become semi-official organs of the state, are pressured into
carrying out systematic propaganda against the PKK.
Another area where the Special Warfare Department
wields its influence is of course the political parties. All state
politicians and all establishment parties in Turkey are under the
control of the Special Warfare Department. Here are just two examples:
Turkish President Süleyman Demirel was the first Turk to get a
scholarship from the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship, which is
controlled by the CIA. Later he held for many years the agency rights
for the firm of Morrison, which built the death cells in Vietnam.(*6)
When Demirel was in the USA in 1963, he was sent
into the Adalet Partisi (Justice Party). In 1965 he became the chairman
of this party and is now President of the Republic. Turgut Özal, who
was Prime Minister from 1983 to 1990 and President from 1990 until his
death in 1993, was a collaborator of the International Monetary Fund
Special Warfare Department And Paramilitary MHP
During the 1970s the struggle for democracy was
developing in Turkey. In Kurdistan the struggle for national liberation
was growing. With the help of the National Action Party (MHP), which
was brought onto the scene in the 70s, hundreds of students, workers,
intellectuals, trades unionists and educationalists were murdered: the
president of DISK (the Confederation of Revolutionary Trades Unions)
Kemal Türkler, the journalist Abdi Ipekci, Professor Dr Bedri
Karafakioglu, professors Umit Doganay and Cavit Orhan Tütengil, Umit
Kaftancioglu, Public Prosecutor Dogan Oz, security chief Cevat
Yurdakul, University Professor Orhan Yavuz, Bedrettin Cömert, Server
Tanilli (who survived but remained disabled), Chairman of the Adana
Chamber of Agricultural Engineers Akin Özdemir and hundreds more. In
1979 in Kahramanmaras they massacred innumerable Kurdish and Alevi
people - children, women and old folk and men. This preplanned act of
genocide opened the way for the military coup of September 12, 1980.
It is known from the experiences of various
countries that the CIA works together with the police to organize
paramilitary groups in the tactics of irregular warfare. William Colby
wrote: "To prevent Turkey from falling into the hands of the
communists, the CIA gave support to anti-communist institutions".(13)
Retired general Sezai Orkunt said: "The Turkish
armed forces were more worried about the Left than the Right. The Right
was organised in the MHP and its leader Türkes was helped on his
way".(14) When the MHP's Ankara headquarters were searched at the time
of the 1980 coup, the "Counter-Guerrilla Assignment 31/15 on the Model
Plan for Underground Cells" was found there.(15) The MHP had
obtained this plan from Colonel Mehmet Alanyuva of the Agents Section
of the Special Warfare Department. The MHP's militants, who were
organised in accordance with this plan, went on to perpetuate a
veritable massacre against innocent people from the opposition.
The MHP militants are also employed for terrorist
plots on an international level. For example, the murderer of the
journalist Abdi Ipekci was the same man who in 1991 carried out the
assassination attempt on Pope John Paul.
The MHP is also organised in Europe, and
particularly in Germany. Until 1976 it was organised there under the
same title. Afterwards, they took on the title Avrupa Ülkücü Dernekleri
Federasyonu (Federation of Idealist Associations in Europe). The MHP's
organisation in Germany maintains connections with the German Secret
Service. The journalist Ugur Mumcu, who was assassinated in 1993,
wrote: "These connections were set up in Cologne by a German named
The MHP has another patron in Germany - Rudi Nazar.
He is a CIA agent who was for many years active in Ankara and was later
transferred to Bonn. Jurgen Roth went into this matter in detail in his
book Criminals Incorporated and came to the conclusion, based on
information from a president of one of the republics of the former
Soviet Union, that the MHP is also involved in the heroin trade in
General Haydar Saltik, one of those responsible for
the September 12, 1980 coup, later left the army and became Turkish
ambassador in Bern. Renewing his contacts with Turkish
nationalists he sent many officers and MHP militants to Azerbaijan.
These elements under the control of the Special Warfare Department had
already taken part in many attacks against the Armenians, After their
training, these militants were sent to Baku.
The attacks on the Kurdish population in Antalya and
other Turkish towns during the past year were also carried out by the
MIT and the MHP. The MHP is still the paramilitary wing of the Special
Warfare Department. This time, however, it was more effective, since
the entire state with all its constituent parts has grown into an even
more racist, anti-Kurdish and paramilitary organisation.
The Operations Of The Turkish Counter-Guerrillas
The bloody work of the Special Warfare Department is
so wide-ranging that we can not go into everything here. We will,
therefore, go straight over to Kurdistan, where the counter-guerrillas
are employed in the front line against the national liberation
First, however, we would like to recount some of the
decisive points of the decisive points of the counter-guerrillas'
activities prior to 1980.
Agents from the Special Warfare Department threw a
bomb into the house in Thessallonika in Greece which was used as the
Mustafa Kemal Museum, and blamed this act on the Greek police.
Consequently, on the 6 and 7 of September 1955, fanatical groups fired
up by the counter-guerrillas wrecked Greek homes and businesses in
Istanbul. The most important actions of the Special Warfare Department
were the three military coups. This Department was responsible for the
coup of May 27, 1960, and above all for the last two coups of the March
12, 1971 and September 12, 1980. The then Foreign Minister Ihsan Sabri
Caglayangil, who was invited to Teheran a few days before March 12,
1971, learned from the Shah of Iran that there was going to be a coup
in Turkey.(17) The then commander of the Turkish airforce, Muhsin
Batur, was in the USA just before this coup. In 1980, the then airforce
commander Tahsin Sahinkaya flew to the USA and the coup took place two
days after his return.
The torture chambers which opened in 1971 gave the
counter- guerrillas an important opportunity to gain practical
experience. The counter-guerrilla generals who took people to the
torture chambers in Ziverbey in Istanbul told their victims for the
first time that they were prisoners of the counter-guerrillas. The
interrogations were carried out by counter-guerrilla specialists called
EBU (Correct Information Officers). A team of interrogation specialists
called the DAL (Deep Investigation Laboratory) was set up by the
political police in Ankara. These torture specialists murdered or
caused permanent damage to hundreds of people. Later on, these
teams were dispatched all over Turkey and especially Kurdistan. In 1971
the counter-guerrillas' torture was directed by General Faik Türün,
Turgut Sunalp and Memduh Ünlütürk. (*7)
The invasion of Cyprus was an action of the Special
Warfare Department. In 1955 the Department set up a secret organisation
called the Türk Mukavemet Hareketi (Turkish Resistance Movement). This
organisation carried out systematic provocations in Cyprus in order to
prepare the conditions for the 1974 coup. To prepare for the occupation
of Cyprus, teams directed by Hiram Abbas and the Special Warfare
Department established themselves in Beirut, from where they could
organise activities in Cyprus. The Cyprus invasion was organised by the
then chief of the Special Warfare Department Kemal Yamak. Cyprus was
the first serious test for the Turkish counter-guerrillas.
After 1980 Kurdistan took the place of Cyprus in
this respect. The State Security Courts are a product of the Special
Warfare Department and they are assigned the task of restructuring the
judicial process to fit the demands of the counter-guerrillas. In
accordance with a directive of the counter-guerrillas, the State
Security Courts aim "not to condemn the defendants according to the
punishments set out for the political crimes, but to administer
punishments as severe as those set out for murder and other crimes
against the person". (18)
The detainees were severely tortured and then came
before a counter-guerrilla court. Most of the judges have come from the
military and are therefore tools of the Special Warfare Department. The
murders and terrorist acts committed by the MHP were actions of the
Special Warfare Department. Their purpose was to intimidate the
opposition and prepare the conditions for a coup. The Special Warfare
Department was successful in this task: on September 12, they carried
out the military coup d'etat. This coup was the most important action
of the counter-guerrillas. All arms of the state were reorganised on
paramilitary lines. The Special Warfare Department gained control over
the underworld (the Turkish mafia), the press, commerce, the judicial
system, parliament, the universities and all other areas of society.
All administrative organs and laws were restructured along the same
*1 The "Super-NATO" organisation was set up under
the control of the CIA in all the NATO countries. The headquarters of
this organisation was in Brussels and was named the Allied Coordination
Committee (ACC). Secret meetings were held annually in which delegates
from all the member countries took part. The official purpose of the
organisation is "to organise resistance using irregular warfare methods
in case of a communist occupation". The organisation has at its
disposal special funds and weapons depots. It is not answerable for its
activities under the laws of the individual member states. The
organisation's branch in Italy was called "Gladio", in Germany
"Anti-Communist Assault Unit", in Greece " Hide of the Red Buck". The
"Super-NATO" also set up branch organisations in non-NATO countries
such as Austria and Switzerland.
*2 Referring to counter-guerrilla warfare conducted
by the USA, former U.S. Secretary of State McNamara explained that
"partisan wars call for a change in our understanding of warfare. In
regions where partisan war has broken out, what is needed is not a
great number of military units and weapons, but rather small units who
have been well trained in guerrilla and counter-guerrilla tactics and
armed with special weapons".(8) The American Delta Forces, the British
Special Air Service (SAS), the Italian Special Forces Section and the
German GSG-9 are units of this type. The former U.S. President Johnson
declared in 1964 that 344 counter-guerrilla units had been trained by
the USA in 49 countries of the world.
*3 In the 70s the following persons, among others,
who still occupy important positions today, were members of the Turkish
police and secret service: Sükrü Balci, Ilgaz Aykutlu, Kenan Koc, Umit
Erdal, Hiram Abbas (who was killed in 1990 [by militants of the armed
communist organization Devrimci Sol, was in the 70s one of the three
most influential persons in the MIT), Mehmet Eymür (Abbas' right-hand
man in the MIT), Hayri Kozakcioglu (who was trained by Scotland Yard
and in 1987 made Governor with Special Powers), Ünal Erkan (at that
time Kozakcioglu's successor as "Supergovernor" in Diyarbakir).
*4 Divided among the 55 million people of the
Turkish and Kurdish population, this means 949 Turkish Lira per head
that every Turk and Kurd have to pay in order to finance the "work" of
spying, torture and murder of this gang of killers.
*5 Professors Abdulhalik Cay, Ibrahim Kafesoglu,
Bahattin Ögel, Ertugrul Zekai Ökte, Aydin Yalcin, among others.
*6 "In 1967 the CIA's budget for the funding of
'useful friends and elements' abroad was raised to 10 million U.S.
dollars per year. Most of these funds flowed through our trade unions,
student unions and special institutions into foreign institutions. The
use of our trade unions and associations as a sort of screen prevented
it from becoming known that the source of these funds was in reality
the CIA". (From the book "CIA, Secret Services and Democracy" by the
former CIA chief Stanfield Turner).
*7 Faik Türün became an MP for the AP (Justice
Party) in 1977. Turgut Sunalp became a minister in parliament in 1982
as a member of the MDP (National Democratic Party). The retired Memduh
Ünlütürk was killed by militants of the organization Devrimci Sol
(Revolutionary Left) in 1991.
1. Interview with the President of the Turkish
General Staff Dogan Güres, "Milliyet" 5/6 September 1992
2. "Hürriyet" 26 November 1992
3. "Milliyet" 28 November 1990
4. "Cumhuriyet" 17 November 1990
5. "Directive ST 31/15 for Operations Against
6. "The Counter-Guerrillas and the MHP" Vol 1,
Aydinlik Yayinlari, p19 and Talat Turhan "The Counter-Guerrilla
7. "The Counter-Guerrillas and the MHP", p16
8. " The American Military Doctrine, Report of the
Rockfeller Foundation", p356
9. "The Age of Imperialism", Harry Magdoff
(translated by M. Emin Deger., "CIA, Counter-Guerrillas and Turkey"),
10. ibid. p122
11. McNamara, 1967 (US State Department of Defense)
12. Franco Salinas, "State of Emergency", pp82-88
13. "Cumhuriyet" 21 November 1990
14. "Hürriyet" 19 November 1990
15. "Gunes" 17 November 1990
16. Ugur Mumcu "Pope-Mafia-Agca" p143
17. Cüneyt Arcayürek "Coups and the Secret Services"
18. "Directive ST 31/15 for Operations Against
TALABANI AND ÖCALAN CLAIM: "THEY KILLED ÖZAL"
Daily Milliyet's Güneri Civaoglu reported on
November 2, 1996, that he "seized the video cassette which
Talabani forgot in his headquarters in Erbil when he fled from Barzani
in a hurry after Barzani's assault on the city. This is a shocking
document shedding light on history, a film recording the Talabani-Apo
The film shows Iraqi Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani
having lengthy discussions in great familiarity with the
outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah
Öcalan, drinking Armenian cognac with him and inspecting
with him a "PKK honour guard".
In the film Öcalan says the late Turkish President
Turgut Özal had not met with a natural death. He had been murdered. And
Talabani replies by saying, "Yes, there are those who say he was
killed." Öcalan says, "He [Ozal] had said, 'I have
persuaded all of them [the Turkish officials]. Only [chief of staff
Dogan] Güres remains and I will convince him too.' The others were
raising a slogan against him, saying, 'We can not get accustomed to
you.' Raising voices higher and higher that they killed Ozal. I had
been told that several months prior to his death discussions were
taking place on who would replace him."
Öcalan goes on to say, "Two days ago Hikmet Cetin
had announced while he was in Azerbaijan. He had said, 'Özal said I am
returning to Ankara. The Kurdish deputies have reached an agreement. As
soon as I return I will take his issue into my hands.'"
Talabani then says, "Yes, he [Özal] had sent word to
me too. He had said that he found the cease-fire favourable, that he
had persuaded the parties concerned, and that he was on the
verge of even persuading the military. He had said, 'I am striving for
a political solution.'" Öcalan says, "Hikmet Cetin had
said, 'I was shocked when I heard Özal's words.' He [Özal] was to
announce the solution (to the Southeast problem) two days
later. He said all this on the 15th of the month and died on the 17th.
He was to make a move in the afternoon and he died one hour before
noon. These were not a coincidence. Many persons say that."
Talabani then gives Öcalan information about the
topics he had discussed with Turkish officials. Talabani had to leave
behind in his Erbil headquarters not only a number of video cassettes,
including those depicting his meeting with Öcalan, but also highly
confidential documents on various other issues.
SECURITY FORCES RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF 10 INMATES
A Parliamentary Human Rights Commission stated on
December 3, 1996, that death of 10 inmates during incidents at the
Diyarbakir maximum security prison on Sept. 24, were the result of
heavy-handed treatment by security forces.
The report, prepared by four members of the
commission after investigations in Diyarbakir on Oct. 24 and 25, said
the 68 members of police and gendarmerie forces who exceeded the limits
set by the law and killed and injured inmates should be tried in court.
However, the report also noted that a court investigation could not
take place against members of the security forces unless the local
administrative council makes the decision. "The case should be referred
to an independent court to unveil the truth and satisfy the public
conscience as well as deter other human rights violations," the report
Parliamentary Human Rights Commission Chairman Demir
Berberoglu (DYP), spokesman Hakan Tartan (DSP), Sabri Ergül (CHP) and
Musa Okcu (RP) interviewed political prisoners, PKK informers,
dismissed wardens and prison guards, prison doctors and prosecutors,
the Diyarbakir public prosecutor, members of the province's bar
association and doctors and officials from the Human Rights Association
before writing their report on the incident. Details of these
interviews were given in the report.
The concluding chapter of the report stated:
- The prison looks unsanitary in general and the
wards are rather crowded. The sewage system in the upper corridor is
- Banners and posters of a political party (The
Nationalist Movement Party) were seen in the wards where informers were
being kept. This gave the impression that the prison authorities were
tolerant on this subject.
- The Sept. 24 incidents started when 31 inmates
going to meet their families removed the drills to ask for a washing
pot. Prison wanted to stop them and the dispute between the inmates and
the guards soon turned into a fight. The inmates started hitting the
six guards but the incident didn't end there. In the afternoon around
15:30, the same group of 31 inmates met with three more inmates who
forced and opened a door while they were coming from the infirmary. The
prison authorities decided to intervene at this stage. A total of 25
gendarmery and 30 police actively took part in the intervention.
Meanwhile three officers, nine non-commissioned officers, five
gendarmery soldiers and 136 privates were called on duty at different
parts of the prison. In addition 38 riot police officials also took
- The security forces had helmets on their heads,
and shields clubs in their hands
- One inmate wanted to make confession just before
the intervention of the security forces and he was taken outside by
guards. During doctors' control, inmates were proposed to become
informers and two of them accepted this proposal.
- Of the soldiers who intervened in the incident, 18
suffered injuries in various places and they obtained final reports
from the Diyarbakir Military Hospital. None of the policemen
intervening in the incident, on the other hand, applied to obtain a
- Article 17 of the regulations - issued by the
Interior Ministry - regarding the Law Enforcement Institute, the
external protection of the prison houses, and protection of the inmates
and convicts during their transfers, specifies what the gendarmerie
must do in the face of fights or uprisings breaking out in prison
houses. These regulations include a clause which says, "If, despite the
warnings issued, the fight or the uprising continues, efforts will be
made to end the fighting or the uprising and to force the inmates to
return to their wards by using tear gas, rifle butts and truncheons. If
such attempts prove ineffective, arms will be used in ways envisaged in
the laws." It has been understood that the intervention in the incident
has not been made in compliance with these regulations. Our delegation
thinks that such grave consequences would be out of the question had
the intervention been carried out - as stated in the regulations - by
using tear gas with priority and when fires were started in the wards,
by making use of the firemen's vehicles.
- To prevent a recurrence of such incidents,
considering the hazards of keeping the criminals of terrorism together
in such big numbers, the ward system must be abandoned and the cell
STATE-TERRORISM IN OCTOBER 1996
1.10, the Ankara SSC sentences 12 alleged DHKP-C
members to different prison terms of up to 18 years.
1.10, two former HADEP officials, Kemal Okutan and
Ramazan Bulut are sentenced to one year in prison and to a fine of
TL100 million each under Article 8 of the ATL.
1.10, in Silvan, the headman of the village of
Beypinar, Mehdi Fayka is shot dead by unidentified assailants.
2.10, in Antalya, construction worker Ömer Göral
claims to have been tortured after being detained on September 23.
3.10, security forces announce the arrest of 35
people in Izmit for participating in the activities of the organization
3.10, three foreign tourists, Krzystof
Nadecz-Mrozowsk, Magdalena Gtovarka and Cemal Kerim, kidnapped on
September 22 and released six days later by the PKK are sent to the
Diyarbakir SSC on charges of collaborating with the PKK.
3.10, in Diyarbakir, a student of the Namik Kemal
High School, Sedat Yilmaz is taken from his class by two policemen and
3.10, in Elbistan, a police team beat 52 year-old
Dogan Gerek and his 17-year old son Kubilay Gerek during a dispute on a
traffic incident. More than 200 people gathering in front of the police
station protest against this police brutality. Next day, the father and
his son are placed under arrest for having insulted security forces.
4.10, the chairman of the Freedom and Solidarity
Party (ÖDP), Ufuk Uras, and 19 other top party officials are tried by a
criminal court of Ankara for having launched a protest campaign in
March. Each faces a prison term of up to six years under Article 159 of
4.10, in Batman, car dealer Nimet Cakmak and an
unidentified woman are found shot dead and later burnt near to the
village of Samanyolu.
5.10, in Istanbul, DHKP-C member Ismet Güvenc is
5.10, in Bitlis, security forces shoot dead Ahmet
Elitan, his 15-year old son Halil Elitan and an unidentified person.
5.10, the Court of Cassation ratifies a 2-year
imprisonment against Müslüm Gündüz, leader of the religious brotherhood
Aczmendi. He was sentenced for anti-secular propaganda at a television
programme of June 12, 1995.
6.10, in Istanbul, a HADEP demonstration against the
ill-treatment in prisons is attacked by police and about a hundred
people taken into custody. A demonstrator named Sahin Yildirim is
wounded by police opening fire on the crowd.
6.10, in Baskale, 58-year old Haci Meter is found
shot dead after being subjected to torture. He was detained on
September 22 on charges of giving aid to the PKK. Same day, in the
district of Aralik, peasant Cevdet Yigit is assassinated by
pro-government village protectors.
7.10, in Istanbul, security forces report the arrest
of 14 alleged members of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), a
member of the HADEP and a member of the Public Servants' Union (KESK).
8.10, political prisoner Vedat Aydemir who set
himself on fire at the Bayrampasa Prison in Istanbul on September 24 in
protest against the assassination of ten prisoners in Diyarbakir dies
at the Cerrahpasa University Hospital.
8.10, the Chairman of the Anti-War Association of
Izmir, Osman Murat Ülke is placed under arrest on a decision of the
military court of the General Staff Headquarters. He is accused of
anti-militarist propaganda under Article 155 of the TPC.
8.10, security forces announce the arrest of ten PKK
members in Istanbul and 22 Kurdish peasants in Idil.
8.10, in Diyarbakir, three trade union officials,
Halil Cabir (Tes-Is), Bedriye Ertas and Canan Kanhan (Health Workers'
Union) are taken into police custody.
9.10, in Adana, the HADEP Incirlik office is raided
by gendarmes and local chairman Mehmet Emin Akaslan taken into custody.
Same day, the residences of three other HADEP officials too are raided
by security forces.
10.10, another political prisoner, Hamdullah
Sengüler, who set himself on fire at the Bayrampasa Prison in Istanbul
on September 28 in protest against the assassination of ten prisoners
in Diyarbakir dies at the Cerrahpasa University Hospital.
10.10, in Istanbul, ten of a group high school
students protesting against the high costs of education are harassed
and detained by police. Same day in Ankara, a similar protest
demonstration of high school students is prevented by police force.
10.10, in Istanbul, seventeen alleged DHKP-C
members and fifteen Islamists are taken into police custody.
10.10, in Hakkari, Sait Yigit is shot dead by a
11.10, DHKP-C member Erol Özbolat is for the third
time sentenced to capital punishment by the Ankara SSC. The sentence
was earlier refused two times by the Court of Cassation for the lack of
some information concerning the defendant's identity.
11.10, in Diyarbakir, the Association for Solidarity
with the Families of Detainees and Prisoners (TUHAD) is closed down for
one month by the governor's decision.
11.10, security forces detain HADEP Erzurum official
Muhammed Akgüvercin and the same party's Yazihan official Süleyman Köse.
11.10, in Lice, security forces opening fire on a
lorry shoot dead Kendal Kuray and wound two other passengers.
12.10, a soirée organized in Istanbul by the Leather
Workers' Union (Deri-Is) in solidarity with the strikers in the leather
industry is prevented by police force.
13.10, in Balikesir, a penal court sentences ÖDP
local chairman Niyazi Akdeniz and 15 trade union officials to prison
terms of up to 15 months for putting on walls some protest posters
without getting authorisation.
13.10, in Istanbul, Labour Party (EP) official Ayla
Eyüpoglu and four other party members are detained by police as putting
posters on walls.
13.10, in Idil, shepherd Semsettin Orak dies at the
explosion of a mine laid by security forces.
14.10, the Ankara SSC sentences four TIKKO members
to different prison terms of up to 12 years and six months.
14.10, the trial of two NCOs, Ibrahim Dag and Mehmet
Peker, accused of being PKK members, starts at the Ankara SSC. Facing
prison terms of up to 22 years, the defendants claim to have been
tortured and to have signed their police deposition under permanent
menace of death.
14.10, in Istanbul, Gazi Ergin is arrested on
charges of being member of the Revolution Party of Turkey (TDP).
15.10, the chairman of the Workers' Party (IP), Dogu
Perincek is sentenced by the Ankara SSC to 14 months in prison and a
fine of TL 116 million for the declaration he made at television, while
he was the chairman of the defunct Socialist Party (SP), during the
1991 electoral campaign.
15.10, in Turhal, Veterinary Doctor Arslan Bilgin as
well as his father and mother are shot dead by unidentified gunmen
raiding his house.
15.10, the chairman of the Anti-War Association of
Izmir, Osman Murat Ülke, starts a hunger-strike at the Mamak Military
Prison where he is kept for being tried by a military court.
16.10, a political prisoner sentenced to
life-prison, Züleyha Alagöz commits suicide by hanging herself in her
cell at the E-type prison of Sivas.
16.10, in Bursa, Halise Sevgi and Ali Öztürk are
taken into custody as visiting their friends in prison. They are
accused of carrying messages for the PKK.
17.10, the trial of three persons chairing the
Congress of the Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association, lawyer Kazim
Genc, Ali Haydar Elveren and Ahmet Akkus, begins at a penal court of
Ankara. The prosecutor demands prison terms of up to three years
against the defendants and the closure of the association.
17.10, the Ankara SSC sentences three DHKP/C members
to prison terms of up to 12 years and six months.
17.10, security forces arrest six persons in
Diyarbakir and one person in Afyon for participating in PKK activities.
18.10, in Gaziantep, 20 teachers are sent to
tribunal by the provincial disciplinary committee for having
participated in a protest action on April 18.
18.10, in Sakarya, lawyer Cihat Tokat is taken into
custody on charges of carrying messages between the PKK and its members
in prison. In Sivas, two persons too are detained on the same charges.
18.10, in Iskenderun, 46-year old Yusuf Ay claims to
have been tortured by police and forced to be an informer.
19.10, a series of meetings organized by the
Confederation of Public Servants' Unions (KESK) are banned in many
provinces by the decision of the governors. In Diyarbakir, two union
officials are taken into custody for organizing such a meeting.
20.10, more than 100 members of the Aczmendi
brotherhood are taken into custody in Ankara for having participated in
a religious ceremony for commemorating the 36th anniversary of the
death of Said-i Nursi, the founder of the Nur Community.
22.10, the daily Evrensel reports that in Bolu more
than 40 public servants and worker are detained by police on charges of
unauthorised trade union activities.
22.10, in Diyarbakir, two trade union officials,
Hasan Kacan and Halil Öztopalan are taken into police custody.
23.10, in Ankara, university student Hüseyin
Yildirim claims to have been tortured after his detention on October 17
by police. Same day, in Izmir, university student Eylem Demirsoy
accuses the police of torturing himself under custody.
23.10, in Iskenderun, six HADEP members and
sympathizers are detained by security forces.
23.10, the Ankara SSC sentences ten DHKP/C members
to different prison terms of up to 22 years and 9 months.
24.10, in Istanbul, twelve people are detained by
police for PKK activities.
25.10, the Chief Prosecutor starts a legal
proceeding against the Alevi community's political party, the
Democratic Peace Movement (DBH). Claiming that the party programme
countervenes the Constitution and the Political Parties Code, the
prosecutor asks the Constitutional Court to close the party.
25.10, at the Literature Faculty of the Istanbul
University, a hundred of Islamist students attack left-wing student and
wound ten of them.
26.10, in Cizre, Imam Bahattin Kaymaz is shot dead
by Necim Yildizaydin. The witnesses say that the murderer cried after
shooting: "At last, I killed this communist who sent hundreds of people
to the PKK."
28.10, The bodies carrying traces of torture of two
disappeared persons, Kamber Günes and Aziz Karakus, are found in two
different villages of the district of Cemisgezek.
29.10, the dailies Demokrasi and Evrensel report the
arrest of tens of HADEP officials in Istanbul, Gaziantep, Bingöl,
Batman and Diyarbakir.
29.10, in Diyarbakir, Mehmet Veysi Eti and Fettah
Balta are assassinated by unidentified assailants.
30.10, a defendant of PKK cases, Fehim Gemli, claims
to have been tortured at the Afyon Prison for accepting to make
revelations about his organization in exchange of reducing his prison
30.10, in Adana, Yilmaz Günes claims to have been
tortured for thirteen days at police custody.
31.10, in Istanbul, university student Bülent
Özpolat claims to have been tortured after his detention on October 9.
31.10, in Mardin, police raid the houses of local
HADEP chairman Cemil Kaya and other party officials.
31.10, the Ankara SSC starts to try IHD Chairman
Akin Birdal and a number of peace activists for having organized a
peace meeting in Ankara on the occasion of the World Peace Day. Each
faces prison terms of up to six years for instigating the people to
PUBLISHER AYSE ZARAKOLU RELEASED, BUT STILL FACES IMPRISONMENT
Belge Publishing House editor Ayse Nur Zarakolu was
released on December 20 after serving a five months prison sentence in
Bayrampasa Prison, but she is under threat of another three year
Zarakolu has served time for publishing Faysal
Dagli's book Birakuji (The Kurdish Civil War). She has also been
sentenced to a fine of TL41 million. The fine has been converted into a
prison sentence of three years because of a delay in the payment.
The editor has also been given a fine of TL84
Million for publishing Sadrettin Aydinlik's book, Winter Group, and the
fine has been converted into another three year prison sentence. The
fine of TL51 Million for Hasan Bildirici's Bekaa has also been
approved. There are another 16 law suits outstanding against Ayse
Zarakolu was released after the fines totalling
TL121 Million for the cases of Winter Group and Birakuji were paid.
Belge Publishing stated in the press release that
they are inviting the attention and reaction of the public as well as
professional and press organizations to the prosecutions against the
writers, editors and publishers who have been imprisoned for delivering
the "ideas and opinions" of third parties.
The journalist and writer Ertugrul Kürkcü faces
trial along with editor Ayse Zarakolu for a statement by a senior U.S.
Embassy official in Ankara quoted in the Human Rights Watch report:
"Weapons Transfers and Violations of the Laws of War in Turkey," which
The prosecutor targets the quote in the report as
constituting "defamation and belittling of state military and security
forces" punishable by up to six years in prison under Article 159/1 of
the Turkish Penal Code.
The director of the Human Rights Watch Arms Project,
Joost Hiltermann, declared that: "The U.S. Government should convey to
the highest levels of the government in Turkey that these charges,
brought against individuals unrelated to Human Rights Watch or the U.S.
government, for a statement by a U.S. official should be dropped
unconditionally and immediately."
Human Rights Watch has invited the U.S. "to use its
close military relationship with the Turkish General Staff" in the
context of outgoing Defence Secretary William Perry's current meetings
with NATO defense ministers in Brussels, and in the spirit of NATO
principles, to uphold democracy and human rights.
PRESSURES ON INTELLECTUAL LIFE
1.10, the periodical Direnis, N°39, is sentenced by
the Istanbul SSC on charges of separatist propaganda.
2.10, musician Derya Güzel, member of the musical
group Ekin, claims to have been kidnapped by four unidentified persons
in Ankara on September 30. She was beaten and sexually harassed for
obtaining information about some people.
2.10, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the periodical
Özgür Gelecek, N°82 and its special issue on hunger strikes on charges
of disseminating the propaganda of an outlawed organization.
3.10, Diyarbakir correspondent of the daily
Evrensel, Hidayet Pehlivan is taken into police custody as getting in
touch with the families of political prisoners.
6.10, Özgür Atilim, N°27, and Kurtulus, N°10, are
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda and praising
an outlawed organization.
7.10, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the periodical Nû
Roj, N°9, for separatist propaganda.
9.10, a book written by Muzaffer Ilhan Erdost and
published by the Onur Publishing House under the title of Three Sivas -
Forcing Turkey to a new Treaty of Sevres, is confiscated by the Ankara
10.10, in Ankara, two correspondents, Baris Erbektas
(Evrensel) and Hasan Ogün Özdemir (Demokrasi) are detained by police as
covering a student demonstration.
12.10, in Istanbul, six correspondents, Aynur
Aydeniz, Salim Gümüs and Merdan Özcelik (Alinteri), Serkan Paca and
Naciye Lacin (Atilim) and Nebahat Alkan (Evrensel) are taken into
police custody as covering a protest action by leather workers.
14.10, Mrs. Oya Gökbayrak, editor of the periodical
Isci Hareketi and spokeswoman of the Platform for Rights and Freedoms,
is taken into custody by police raiding her house. This crippled
militant of democratic rights is accused of hiding 17 grams of heroin
in her wheel-chair. Her comrades qualify the operation as a plot to
discredit their movement.
15.10, the Istanbul SSC confiscates periodical
Yeniden Newroz, N°3, for separatist propaganda and Akinci Yolu, N°17,
for insulting the Republic and the Armed Forces.
15.10, the daily Evrensel is confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC for insulting the security forces.
17.10, the Izmir SSC sentences artist Gani Nar to
one-year imprisonment and a fine of TL100 million for separatist
propaganda in the speech that he gave at a meeting of the Mesopotamia
Cultural Centre (MKM) in Izmir in 1994.
17.10, The Supreme Board of Radio-Television (RTÜK)
bans for one day the broadcasting of the private Show-TV.
18.10, the editor of the satirical review Leman,
Kutlu Esendemir is sentenced by a criminal court of Istanbul to ten
years in prison for insulting the State and its armed forces. The
execution of the sentence is suspending on the condition not to commit
the same "crime" in coming five years.
19.10, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the periodical
Partizan Sesi, N°47, for separatist propaganda, and Kaldirac, N°8, for
insulting the Republic.
19.10, the former chief editor of the weekly Aktüel,
Alper Görmüs is put in prison for serving a six-month imprisonment
given by the Istanbul SSC under Article 7 of the ATL. He was also
sentenced to a fine of TL300 million.
21.10, in Istanbul, a public prosecutor starts a
legal proceeding against famous columnist Cetin Altan of the daily
Sabah and demands his imprisonment up to six years for insulting the
Turkish State. Altan, in an interview to the daily Milliyet on July 28,
1996, said that the State acts as a state of gangs.
21.10, the periodical Kervan, N°63 is confiscated by
the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
21.10, the RTÜK bans the broadcasting of three
private radio stations on charges of jamming the police's wireless
22.10, the Ankara prosecutor starts a legal
proceeding against author Turhan Dilligil for his book entitled The
Welfare Party (RP) Is Not A Legal Party. Accused of having insulted
prime minister Necmettin Erbakan, Dilligil faces a prison term of up to
one year. The same prosecutor starts another legal action against two
journalists of the daily Akit, columnist Yasar Kaplan and editor Ali
Ihsan Karahasanoglu. Both are accused of having insulted in an article
the Gendarmery Commander General Teoman Koman. Each faces a prison term
of up to 16 months.
22.10, the first issue of a new periodical, Sokak,
is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
23.10, the broadcasting of Sev Radio is banned for
seven days by the decision of the RTÜK. In Urfa, the director of the
private radio Karacadag, Mehmetcan Toprak and four programme producers,
Hikmet Tasdemir, Lütfü Sarac, Ömer Karatas and Turhan Cihanbeyli are
detained by police on the order of the RTÜK.
23.10, the Court of Cassation ratifies a prison term
of 12 years and 6 months against Diyarbakir correspondent of the
defunct daily Özgür Gündem, Hasan Özgün under Article 168/2 of the TPC.
23.10, the Ankara prosecutor starts a legal action
against Gülay Tan, publisher and editor of the Bulletin Haklar ve
Özgürlükler, for having insulted Interior Minister Mehmet Agar. She
faces a prison term of up to 16 months.
24.10, in Bursa, the public prosecutor starts a
legal action against political prisoner Aytekin Yilmaz for a book which
has not yet been published. In prison, Yilmaz wrote a series of
stories under the title of "Stories from the Country of Porks"
and gave these manuscripts to the prison administration for mailing to
a publishing house. The prison administration sent the manuscripts to
the prosecutor's office. The prosecutor considers the manuscripts
insult against Atatürk and the Turkish Republic.
24.10, security forces raiding media offices detain
Kurtulus correspondent Songül Cinar in Zonguldak and Özgür Atilim
correspondent Ismail Karacayir in Karabük.
24.10, the Istanbul SSC confiscates Alinteri, N°20,
for separatist propaganda.
25.10, the broadcasting of Kanal D-TV is banned for
two days by the decision of the RTÜK.
26.10, the Court of Cassation ratifies two sentences
against the director of the Yurt Publishing House, Ünsal Öztürk. The
publisher had been sentenced to a fine of TL2,725,000 for each one of
two books he published: Immense Oak: Kurdish Sage Musa Anter by Yasar
Kaya and An Intellectual, An Organization and the Kurdish Question by
Ismail Besikci. Since he refuses to pay these fines, Öztürk will be put
in prison according to the sentenced ratified by supreme court.
26.10, the Istanbul SSC decides to close the
periodical Proleter Halkin Birligi and sentences the publishers to pay
a fine of TL50 million for separatist propaganda.
26.10, security forces raid the office of the
periodical Partizan Sesi and detain correspondent Ali Ekber Bulut and
two other persons in the office.
27.10, the Istanbul SSC confiscates periodicals Söz,
N°89, and Siyah Bayrak, N°3.
27.10, in Diyarbakir, a wedding ceremony is raided
by police on pretext that Kurdish ballads are chanted during the
celebration. Musician Ramazan Karayel and two other persons are taken
30.10, the Diyarbakir office of the periodical Özgür
Halk is raided by police and two correspondents, Cuma Akin and Abdullah
Gündüz taken into custody.
30.10, the broadcasting of Interstar-TV is banned
for one day by the decision of the RTÜK.
31.10, the daily Evrensel has to end its publication
because of economic difficulties due to continuos pressures from
authorities. In two years, 60 issues of the newspaper were confiscated
and prosecutors started 78 legal proceedings against its journalists.
Tribunals issued bans of 125 days in total. A correspondent of
Evrensel, Metin Göktepe was assassinated under police torture on
January 9, 1996.`
31.10, Zonguldak correspondent of the periodical
Kizil Bayrak, Yildirim Dogan is taken into police custody.
DENMARK TAKES TURKEY TO HUMAN RIGHTS COURT
Denmark announced at the end of 1996 that it was
taking Turkey to the European human rights court over allegations that
Turkish police tortured a Danish citizen of Kurdish origin last summer.
Turkish officials told the Turkish press that the
Danish claims were groundless and Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller had
written a letter to her Danish counterpart rejecting the torture claims.
Turkish officials also said they felt the latest
Danish move was designed to appease the anti-Turkish left-wing parties
in Denmark who had supported the government over the passage of the
Denmark claims that Kemal Koc, a naturalised Danish
citizen of Kurdish origin, was tortured in Turkey last summer. In the
final days of December, a Danish paper had reported that Denmark
intended to bring the case before the human rights court. After this
announcement, Danish Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen said
publicly that he could confirm that officials were very seriously
mulling over such a decision.
A senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official told the
Turkish press that the Danish government budget passed through
parliament on the votes of the left-wing parties, particularly those of
the so-called "Unity List" which was actively involved in the Kemal Koc
"Now the Danish government is trying to pay back its
debt to left-wing parties by saying they will take Turkey to human
rights court. Denmark-Turkey relations are a victim of Danish internal
affairs. We are seriously ready to talk human rights issues with
Denmark. We are ready to share their experience in human rights but
their way is far from diplomatic courtesy. Serious defamation is not
the proper way to improve relations," the same senior official said.
Koc was detained when he tried to enter Turkey on
July 8 to attend the funeral of his brother.
He was officially arrested on charges of attending
pro-PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) rallies in Denmark and Germany, and
for helping the organization in various ways.
Koc, who was finally released on August 15, 1996,
and allowed to travel home pending his trial, alleged, while in Turkey
and once again back in Denmark, that he had been tortured by Turkish
BULGARIAN COURT REJECTS APPEAL TO CLOSE TURKISH PARTY
The Bulgarian Constitutional Court rejected the
Bulgaria Socialist Party's (BSP) appeal to close down the Rights and
Freedom Movement Party (HOH), most of whose members are ethnic Turks,
the Anatolia news agency reported on December 20..
The court said in its decision that BSP had appealed
to the court previously in 1992 to ban HOH from politics, alleging it
was an ethnic party; the court had investigated the situation then and
rejected the appeal. For this reason, the court thought it was
unnecessary to reinvestigate the issue.
The members of HOH said the court decision was a
victory. HOH Kircaali Deputy Hasan Ali said that BSP tried to change
the issues on agenda. Ali reiterated that HOH was not an ethnic party
and that its doors were open to everyone.
INDEX OF THE INFO-TÜRK 20TH YEAR COLLECTION
November-December 95, N°223
• Outcome of the 24 December 1995 elections • Early
elections led Turkey to a chaos • European Parliament yielded to "real
politik" • Turkey to be full WEU member • PKK declares unilateral
cease-fire • Sakharov Prize for freedom to Leyla Zana • Europalia: The
festival of shame to be held in 1997 • Ankara ignores its commitment on
Cyprus • European Parliament's resolution on the human rights situation
• Turkey candidate for UN Security Council • A new occasion for Ankara
regime's propaganda: Habitat • Water dispute between Turkey and Arab
world aggravated • Turkey file: Torture and impunity • The longest mass
trial ended in seven capital punishments • Two-month state terrorism •
New sentences against publisher Zarakolu • Article 8 modified, but 136
people still in prison for their opinions • 99 distinguished
intellectuals still under trial • 211-year imprisonment for Ismail
Besikci • The two-month persecution of the media • 1443 publications
confiscated in one year • Human rights advocates under trial
January-February 96, N°224
• A police government • Turkey's greatest novelist
Yasar Kemal sentenced to 20 months • Who committed the Güclükonak
massacre? • Constant unrest in overcrowded prisons • Pictures of the
Turkish soldiers' savagery • A new socialist party in Turkey: ÖDP •
Alevis forced to evacuate villages in Sivas • Political violence hit
big business • Imprisonment for teenager love • The European Parliament
calls on Turkey to cease-fire • Overtime at state security courts •
Leyla Zana awarded as she was kept in prison • The balance-sheet of
state terrorism in 1995 • Turkey's new legislation to match with
Customs Union • A former Kurdish deputy's life in danger • A left-wing
journalist killed under torture • "Operetta war" on the Aegean islets
and rocks • Ethnic tension in Bulgaria escalating • Close to the
Chechens, distant from Kurds • Human rights executives under trial •
Water tension between Turkey and its neighbours • US military support
to Turkey's state terrorism • US military aid to Turkey targets Kurds •
No press card to a Reuter correspondent • Two-month state terrorism •
3.3 million Turkish migrants in 26 countries • Two-month persecution of
the media • Turkish reaction against a CBS program on Kurds
March-April 96, N°225
• Major Way short circuited • Ciller's scandalous
corruption and Yilmaz' immediate submission to the military open all
the ways to Islamist RP power • Türkes fascism's expansionism supported
by the State • The Army attacks Kurds despite the cease-fire calls •
The General Staff's instructions to hide the Army's crimes • Emergency
rule extended once more • Four former DEP deputies sentenced again • 16
high school students tortured • Torture treatment centres under
pressure • Pro-Kurdish DDP banned, but replaced by the DBP • A new
socialist party: The Party of Labour (EP) • State terrorism in March •
Human rights violations continue as before • CPJ calls for the release
of all journalists imprisoned • Ismail Besikci sentenced again • 99
intellectuals tried again by the SSC • Pressure on the media in March •
The daily Evrensel closed down for one month • Turkey's trial by the
European Court and the European Commission • Nordic countries for a
peaceful solution to Kurdish question • Bulgarian supreme court
validated Turkish mayor's election • Turkey's trade deficit widens
172.5% • Turkey's foreign debt climbed to $73.3 billion • US weapons
and violations of the law of war • Racism climbs: Anti-Kurdish attacks
provoked in Erdemli • The Council of Europe's call to the Turkish
Government • Turkish ambassador's "yes gifts" to MEPs! • Habitat II in
Istanbul boycotted by human rights organizations • Kurdish provinces
more impoverished in seven years
• Ottoman duperies: Ciller flirts with Islamists for
saving herself from the justice • Turkey: The Mafia Republic • Hunger
strikes in Turkish prisons • Turkey to be tried by European Court of
Human Rights • "Where is Talat Türkoglu?" asks the IHD • Two-month
state terrorism • May Day social explosion in the metropolis of Habitat
II • Habitat II held under police repression • International PEN
centres held a day of action on Turkey • CPJ names Mesut Yilmaz "enemy
of the press" • Two-month pressure on the media • "Turkish justice
minister is a super torturer" • Journalist Gerger sentenced again •
Weapons transfers to Turkey and armament industry (II) • Yasar Kemal
awarded Hellman/Hammett Grant • Ankara's reaction to the HRW report •
Criticisms against Ankara at the Council of Europe
July-August 96, N°227
• Con Lady's reward for Customs Union •
Islamist-Militarist complicity • The Army needs $150 billion in the
next 25 years • Turkey to produce its army's helicopters •
Controversial MI-17 copters put into service in Southeast • The Labour
Party (EP) under the menace of closure • HADEP leaders imprisoned on a
flag provocation • The new government is responsible for the death of
12 hunger strikers • Police violence against the "Saturday Mothers" •
Concerns of international medical organizations on Turkey • State
terrorism in two months • Human rights violations in April-May-June
1996 • 13,665 unsolved murders at SSCs • No return to the evacuated
villages • The "accidental death" of a witness to police brutality •
Recent figures of the violation of the freedom of opinion • Publisher
Ayse Zarakolu imprisoned again • Trial on Metin Göktepe's assassination
kidnapped • A Turkish journalist assassinated in Cyprus • Two-month
pressure on the media • Police attack to journalists' association • New
sentences against Ismail Besikci • Med-TV back on air despite Ankara's
pressure • The European Parliament actions on Turkey • At last shameful
Europalia-Turkey festival cancelled • OSCE calls on Turkey to a
peaceful solution • Rise of Turkish businessmen in Europe • TIHV report
on deaths in Turkish prisons • Balance sheet of torture following the
12th September coup
September-October 96, N°228
• State-police-grey wolves triangle: Mafia • "Who
killed Colonel Özden?" asks his wife • Turkey-Belgium security
agreement • Repressive operation against Med-TV in Belgium • A bloody
fascist: Honourable guest in Belgium and Germany • Journalist Isik
Yurtcu awarded by the CPJ • Militarist-Islamist coalition doubles
army's budget • The military satisfied with Erbakan's support to the
Army • Turkey's top capitalist's remains stolen • Will 10 Super Cobra
helicopters be sent to Turkey? • The trial of 41 HADEP officials began
at Ankara • Turkish actor on trial for Kafka's "Trial" • Tunceli
deprived of all human rights and freedoms • High Court orders retrial
of Sivas arsonists • Police listening in phone calls with SSC
permission • Greenpeace demonstration ends in detention • Three foreign
tourists on trial for aiding PKK • State terrorism in two months • 12
political prisoners assassinated in Diyarbakir • The new Alevis' party
(DBH) under menace • EP member declared persona non grata in Turkey •
Children make up 34 percent of work force in Turkey • Campaign: One
million signatures for peace • An Alevi cultural organization faces
closure • Islamist attacks against a secular professor • Trial of
journalist Göktepe's killers • Musician Yurdatapan imprisoned for
peaceful activities • HRW report's Turkish publishers under accusation
• Perincek sentenced to 25-month prison • September report on the
violations of press freedom • Pressure on the media in last two months
• Yasar Kemal's sentence approved by the Higher Court • Alarming
injustice in income distribution • Turkey is on the UK's black list •
AI's campaign on Turkey • HRW defends the TIHV • The government failed
in gaining the IMF's support • European Parliament condemns Turkish
regime • European Court finds Turkey guilty for the first time •
Russia: "Saint Sophia should not be opened to Islamic prayers" • USA
and EU deplore killing of Greek-Cypriot