For maintaining Turkey as the hostage
of the militaro-islamist complicity
"Baby face" of the Turkish mafia threatens Europe
Never in the world diplomatic history happened such
a scandalous thing. A woman who has been declared an "accomplice of the
mafia" not only by the opposition parties and the press of her own
country but also by a foreign tribunal and the anti-drug institutions
of many western countries can continue to head the diplomacy of a
What is more, this "baby face" foreign minister can
be received as a credible counterpart by the foreign ministers of five
biggest partners of the European Union and she can menace them claiming
that she can block the NATO's whole process of overture to the East if
the country that her mafia rules is not accepted to the European Union,
This is the same method that she used one year ago
when Turkey's customs union with the European Union was strongly
contested by the European Parliament because of the awful situation of
Pretending to be the only obstacle against the
Islamist rise in Turkey, she used then her first blackmail on Europe:
"If you do not ratify the Customs Union I lose the coming elections and
the Islamists come to power!".
The first blackmail worked very well and many
members of European Parliament, forgetting awful violations of human
rights, voted for the Customs Union. It is mainly thanks to this vote
that she could save herself from an electoral catastrophe in Turkey.
However, after the elections, she did not hesitate
for one moment to shock her European supporters by conducting the
Islamists to power in exchange of saving herself from being sent to the
Supreme Court for corruptions.
One year later, when her obscure relations with the
Turkish mafia become evident so as to shake her coalition with the
Islamists, Ciller seems in need a new external doping to remain in
In fact, Foreign Minister and DYP leader Tansu
Ciller received a mortal blow from Germany on January 22, 1997, when
Judge Rolf Schwalbe in the Frankfurt State Court accused her of having
personal contacts with narcotics smugglers and protecting them.
According to DPA agency, the German judge, after
having sentenced three Turkish citizens for smuggling, said that one of
the defendants revealed at the court that "two families supplying
heroin to Europe, the Senocaks and the Baybasins, are protected by
The Turkish government vehemently reacted against
the judge's statement and asked for an immediate apology from Germany,
However, German Foreign Minister Kinkel, calling Ciller on January 28,
told her that the German government could not comment on the judge's
statement because of the principle of the division of powers and
declined the demand of apology.
Ciller and the Turkish government, in following
days, received further blows from the United States, Canada, the
Netherlands, France and Great Britain.
The Paris-based Geopolitical Narcotics Monitor, an
institution which regularly consults both the European Union and the
United Nations, has overtly accused Turkey of being involved in the
illegal narcotics trade. A Monitor official said 70 percent of drugs
arriving in Europe came from Turkey and added, "Can this go on if it is
not being supported by someone? It is impossible to say there is no
British Assistant Home Secretary Tom Sackville said
many narcotics operations had failed because of Turkish leaks.
Sackville said more than 80 percent of heroin seized in Britain
originated from Turkey, and further that they could not be sure of the
accuracy of information conveyed to British authorities by Turkish
security agencies with regard to drug smuggling. British anxiety
stemmed from "disturbing reports and claims that members of the Turkish
police and even members of the government are involved in drug
trafficking," he said.
Remarking that the involvement of government
officials and politicians with convicted criminals tarnished Turkey's
international image, Sackville added, "There are facts which have been
uncovered as a result of certain events and investigations. We know
that classified information regarding narcotics operations has fallen
into the hands of drug smugglers in the past. What I mean is that when
we informed Turkish authorities of these operations, they leaked the
information to the drug smugglers and the operations failed."
It is reported from the United States that, after
the Scandal of Susurluk, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US
Congress started a study on the matter in collaboration with the US
narcotics office DEA, the CIA and the State Department officials.
In Holland, a parliamentary committee working on the
organized crime said in its report: "The organized crime has closer
ties with official authorities of Turkey. The milieu of organized
crime, State services and businessmen constitute a combined force in
this country." Recently, Holland bans money operations by Turkish banks
in Holland which are under the suspect of clearing narcotics revenues.
Meanwhile Greek Public Order Minister Yorgo Romainos
said the European Union had been warned several times about drug
smuggling in Turkey and asked the EU should set up an investigative
body with power to impose sanctions against Turkey. Between 1991 and
1996 they had seized drugs weighing 957 kilograms worth $164 billion
coming from Turkey, and 360 people had been arrested, he added.
In Canada, police reportedly found the phone number
(OO-312-417 04 76) of Ciller's cabinet chief Akin Istanbullu in the
notebook of a drug smuggler recently arrested and asked from Turkey
further information on the matter. However, Turkish authorities kept
secret for a long time the holder of this phone number.
According to a Özgür Politika report of November 13,
1996, confirmed by the daily Sabah of January 25, 1997, German
intelligence service BND found out that Özer Ciller, husband of the
foreign minister, had close relations with the Turkish underworld.
On May 26, 1995, Ö. Ciller met a famous arms and
narcotics smuggler, Hüseyin Duman, a former KGB agent and nuclear
material smuggler, Metin Selvi, and the boss of the Turkish dailies
Hürriyet and Milliyet, Aydin Dogan, at the Hotel Brenner in Baden
Baden. They reportedly talked on the traffic of osmium (used in the
production of nuclear arms) and gold from Ukraine. The meeting was also
attended another international smuggler, Alaattin Cakici, ex-admiral
Ibrahim Karabulut and a former coordinator of Grey Wolves in Europe,
Besides, as seen in different articles of our
bulletin, Ciller has always been the main protector of Grey Wolves,
police chiefs, tribal chiefs who are involved in traffic and other
It is such a person that met, in Rome on January 29,
1997, German, British, French, Italian and Spanish foreign
ministers to review Turco-European relations. According to the
pro-government Turkish press, Ciller, accusing the EU of making
discrimination between Turkey and the former communist countries,
hammered on the table: "We are going to pose again Turkey's candidature
to the European Union during the coming EU summit in Amsterdam."
Speaking later to Turkish journalists, she revealed
her blackmail: "If Turkey does not take part in the photograph of
European family, we shall use our veto to the enlargement of the NATO
to the East."
However, according to Hürriyet of January 31,
Turkey's dream of becoming a full member of the European Union (EU)
received a big blow in Rome despite Ciller's hammering the table!
Foreign Ministers of Germany, Britain, France, Spain and Italy gave
Ciller the following message: "It is impossible for you to become a
full member with the existing problems."
Germany's Klaus Kinkel made remarks like, "Turkey
cannot even come close to Europe without solving its Kurdish and human
rights problems." By saying, "Let us formulate a special status for
Turkey," these five ministers offered to make Turkey a "second class
Milliyet headline of the same day said, "Two
disappointments in Rome. Ciller gets a no from the EU and meets with
the protests of Italian deputies over the narcotics smuggling issue."
In fact, 13 Italian deputies sent a letter of
protest to PM Romano Prodi and Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini, asking
them how they could meet with a person [Ciller] accused of protecting
Nevertheless, the United States, just as it was the
case one year ago, did not delay to intervene again in favour of the
Mafia regime of Ankara. White House Spokesman Nicholas Burns said, "The
United States would not favour creating any artificial or any new
conditions that might prevent Turkey from playing a full role in
Europe. We are in favour of full inclusion by Turkey in western
One may easily remember that one year ago the US
Ambassador in Brussels had visited all political group leaders of the
European Parliament for obtaining their approval for the Customs Union,
and got it!
Now it is the turn of the European diplomacy who is
preparing the June summit in Amsterdam.
Will Europe yield once more to this blackmail and
include the "Baby Face" of the Turkish Mafia into the family photo of
If yes, will the European Parliament digest once
more such an insult to the moral and democratic values of European
democracies that it has to defend?
TANSU CILLER: AN ACCOMPLICE OF THE MAFIA
The Susurluk accident, which exposed the cooperation
of a parliamentarian, a police chief and an outlaw wanted under an
Interpol red bulletin, led to further allegations that the state is
involved in dirty activities, protecting and supporting outlaws.
A number of documents have also come to light which
have resulted in new claims and allegations being made nearly every
day. These allegations indicate the involvement of official figures and
officials in shady activities in cooperation with wanted criminals.
High-ranking security department chief Huseyin
Kocadag, who lost his life in the Susurluk accident, was travelling
with Correct Way Party (DYP) parliamentary deputy Sedat Bucak, a tribal
chief with some 30,000 armed men, and Abdullah Catli.
The revelation that one of the victims of the
accident was Catli, responsible for the killing of seven youths in
Ankara in 1978 in addition to drug smuggling and being wanted by
Interpol under a red bulletin, led to serious question marks. According
to the claims, Catli was a wanted criminal, an infamous ultra-right
wing militant and his name had been mentioned along with the leading
figures of the Italian Gladio organization. Has the state protected
other outlaws in addition to Abdullah Catli?
The unholy alliance: authorities meet criminals
The Turkish Daily News of December 12, 1996, reports
some allegations that a meeting took place in 1993 between the highest
representatives of the Turkish state, top security officials and a
group of 12 people, whom, it is alleged, were outlaws.
At the meeting was Tansu Ciller, along with
President Süleyman Demirel, the then speaker of parliament, Hüsamettin
Cindoruk, the then General Commander of the Gendarmerie, Aydin Ilter,
the Interior Minister of the time, Nahit Mentese, and the then General
Chief of Police, Mehmet Agar. The 12 people they met included some who
were allegedly outlaws responsible for killing soldiers, and police
officers who were brought in from the South East secretly on a private
These people have been on state TV, on the "Aci"
program and have been hosted in a police guest house. They have been
introduced as the most influential Kurdish tribal chiefs.
These "most respected Kurdish Tribal Chiefs" were
Ahmet Zeydan, Tahir Adiyaman, Kamil Atak, Abdurrahman Özbek, Süleyman
Tatar, Abdurrahman Seylan, Hazim Abat, Osman Demir, Ramazan Cetin,
Dilbaz Uncu, Iskender Ertus and Hakki Türe.
Tansu Ciller allegedly addressed these men, who have
lengthy criminal records, saying: "We are going to overcome terrorism
together." Reports suggest that she then went on to guarantee that all
their needs were to be supplied. The said "needs" were heavy machine
guns, such as MG-3s and BCXs, RPG rocket launchers and flame throwers.
The state refused the tribal chiefs' demand of howitzers and police
tanks, but agreed wage increases for the village guards, the local
militias who are stationed in the towns and hamlets of the South East.
The Susurluk accident revealed that according to the
Turkish Criminal Code the leading figures of the state and the
government had committed a crime by hosting "the state-friendly tribal
chiefs" in their offices. Article 296 of the Turkish Criminal Code
states: "Anyone who knows the location of those who have been sentenced
or are wanted is subject to imprisonment of between three and five
years if they do not inform the authorities."
A former minister of public works and housing and a
close witness of the meeting, Serafettin Elci, states the charge
"In spite of the clear verdict of the Criminal Code,
there were people among the invited who have been accused of
manslaughter and drug smuggling, who were sentenced to death and wanted
by the authorities."
He adds that Tansu Ciller and others who attended
the meetings were quite aware of this situation.
"The state has to be a lawful institution and should
maintain its security by lawful means," Elci states. "It should not
need to cooperate with outlaws. If the state solves its problems
through unlawful activities, its very existence becomes the subject of
discussion. The state puts its self-esteem in jeopardy if it resorts to
unlawful channels, as revealed by the Susurluk accident, and citizens
will then have serious concerns. The authorities who have illegal
intentions without the information of the higher authorities should be
Elci also says that the state made the decision to
corporate with the outlaws in 1993.
"The decision was made in 1993; few were briefed
about it before the meeting. But by 1993, the National Security Council
(MGK) was informed about the invitation of these people to Ankara and
the arms aid. In other words, the MGK has approved and covered up the
aid to these outlaws," Elci says.
"Among the state-friendly outlaws, Tahir Yaman was
charged with the killing of soldiers and a prosecutor in 1975 and
should still be wanted since he was not acquitted. Yaman is also a
military service dodger. It is dangerous for the state that an outlaw
threatens people with the support of the state."
Stating that there have been many examples since
1993 of the relations that came to light with the Susurluk accident,
Elci says that there were many former PKK members in the state who had
confessed and have been used in illegal activities.
Elci then points out a statement by former Minister
of the Interior Mehmet Agar.
"Agar confirmed that they had organized thousands of
operations. No one was informed about them. There have been thousands
of summary executions in the South East and it is impossible that those
responsible for thousands of murders cannot be found. If the murderers
have not been found, it means that the state protects them. The
unresolved murders would come to light if the state did not protect the
murderers," he says.
Who is who: portraits of the state-friendly
* Tahir Adiyaman (Jirki Tribe): He has 350 armed
village guards and owns eight villages. He was prosecuted for the
murder of seven soldiers in his village in 1975. A court order for his
arrest is still in effect. His name was mentioned in connection with
the murder of the prosecutor Abdurrahman Caduk in December 16, 1976,
who had survived from incident in which the soldiers were killed. Tahir
Adiyaman has been wanted for 18 years and has been avoiding his
military service. He was a fugitive in 1993.
While Tahir Adiyaman was shaking hands with the
state, the Criminal Court Prosecutor of Isparta demanded with an
official letter, No. 988/22, to the Isparta Prosecutor's Office on
September 29, 1993 that they rule "(...) the court order in the absence
of the arrest of the accused who has not been caught to this date to
continue until the accused is caught."
* Hakki Türe (Beyzade Tribe): The population of his
village is 500 and he has 70 armed village guards. It is known that his
brother and his son served long prison terms for drug smuggling.
* Süleyman Tatar (Tatar Tribe): He has 200 armed
village guards. He does not own any villages. It is known that he has
been on the run for a murder he committed, but it is unknown whether he
served his sentence.
* Hazim Babat (Babat Tribe): He represents a family
of 1,500 people in Senoba, and has 80 armed men. It is known that a
member of his tribe, Yakup Kara, and himself killed the Hilal district
mayor and four of the mayor's men in 1990, as part of a blood feud
between the families.
* Ahmet Benek (Benek Tribe): He was prosecuted by
the State Security Court of Malatya in 1986 for drug smuggling and
sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. He had served in Malatya and Mardin
prisons until his release with the 1991 change of punishment law.
CILLER, DEFENDER OF DARK REPRESSIVE FORCES
Ciller addressing the DYP Parliamentary Group on
November 26, 1996, publicly defended Abdullah Catli with the following
words: "I do not know whether or not he was guilty. However, those who
fired a bullet or suffered a bullet for the State are commemorated with
respect. They are honourable for us."
On December 27, 1996, Ciller said that the police
force has lately been subjected to a "defamation campaign."
"No incident can prevent your epic of bravery. You
will cause those traitors who try to eliminate the defense reflex of
this state to bow their heads," Ciller said.
Ciller addressed students at the Police Academy in
Golbasi, Ankara. She said that a defamation campaign against the police
force has at times reached unbelievable proportions and regretted that
the police force must endure this.
The deputy prime minister continued, "Those who do
not feel any responsibility to respond to any problems in this country
may belittle the responsibility which you have undertaken and fulfill
bravely. This should not upset your morale. You have not received your
assignment order from them. It has been the laws, the state and your
love for the nation and the country, which have given you this
assignment order. I am here to tell you as one of the top executives of
this state, that our state and the nation are proud of you."
Ciller said, "If there are those who attempt to
judge your honorary struggle today, we have one thing to tell them:
Stop. Watch your steps." She said she and her colleagues would not give
any opportunity to Turkey's enemies, regardless of how they acted, or
which guns they use, or with which enemies they have cooperated.
Ciller said she would continue to stand behind the
police force with the same determination she had had in the past.
"CILLER TALKED WITH CATLI"
The daily Cumhuriyet reports on December 12, 1996,
that the Istanbul State Security Court, which is looking into the
"state gang" allegations triggered by Susurluk, has in its hands a
statement which incriminates Özer Ucuran Ciller, the husband of DYP
leader and Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller.
According to the statement, Özer Ciller and Catli
had had several telephone conversations. The court is trying to
determine whether there are any telephone records corroborating that
Meanwhile, it is reported that DYP Deputy Mehmet
Agar, who resigned as interior minister following the Susurluk
incident, had signed not one but two documents enabling Catli, alias
Mehmet Ozbay, to get a gun licence as a "police expert." Agar rejected
the allegation. An official said that the guns found in DYP Deputy
Sedat Bucak's Mercedes, when it crashed into a truck in Susurluk,
belonged to the Special Teams Department.
Speaking in Parliament on December 18, the main
opposition ANAP leader, Mesut Yilmaz, referred to the tale of Ali Baba
and the forty thieves, saying, "the head of the forty thieves is the
vizier of the country," referring to Tansu Ciller.
THE RELATIONS BETWEEN CATLI AND CIA
According to the weekly Aydinlik of December 8,
1996, French journalist Jean-Marie Stoerkel said that he had determined
beyond any doubt that Abdullah Catli and Oral Celik, both implicated in
the assassination attempt against the pope, had been used by the
Western secret services.
He said that Catli and Celik had been doing business
with another Turk, Bekir Celenk, who in turn was working with Henry
Arsan, a man who cooperated with the CIA and with a number of secret
organizations, fascist groups and terrorist gangs in Italy.
According to Stoerkel, Catli received his false
identification papers from France and the money he needed from Germany.
But it was Italy's notorious secret organization Gladio which took him
to the United States. Stoerkel has been
investigating Abdullah Catli and other members of the so-called
"right-wing mafia" in Europe since the attempt on the life of Pope John
CATLI WAS IN CYPRUS WITH TOPAL
The daily Radikal of December 19, 1996,
reports that Abdullah Catli, a convicted drug smuggler and a prime
massacre suspect, had flown to Cyprus in the same plane with casino
king Omer Lutfu Topal who was killed in Istanbul on July 28, 1996.
According to an item in daily Yeni Düzen, a Turkish
Cypriot publication, Catli and Agar arrived in the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus on April 26, 1996, and Catli spent most of his time at
the gambling facilities in Girne (Kyrenia), displaying interest
especially in the "Oscar Casino," which was faced with a management
crisis. Catli left Cyprus on May 1 and Topal on May 2.
The Turkish Interior Ministry announced
earlier that Catli's fingerprints were found on the drum of one
of the guns used in the Topal murder.
CATLI, THE ISRAELI CONNECTION?
The daily Cumhuriyet reports on December 22,
1996, that Catli spent this year's Bayram holiday in Northern
Cyprus. He made reservations with the OYAK tourism company for the May
26-April 1 trip, and stayed at the Jasmine Hotel, which belonged to
casino king Omer Lütfü Topal.
It has been determined that Catli, Alias Mehmet
Ozbay, had made a TL 142 million cash payment to the OYAK
representative at a flat in Istanbul's Nisantasi district.
By finding out to whom the flat belongs to,
officials can clarify yet another piece of the puzzle in the
"police-mafia-politician triangle" exposed by Susurluk. The flat had
been occupied by a Jewish man until a month ago. The place may have
served as a headquarters for secret operations.
WHILE GANGS ARE FREE, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IMPRISONED
While a variety of gangs freely operated in the
country, 10 people, in the 19-25 age group and most of them students of
a high school in the Aegean town of Manisa, were given on January 17,
1997, prison sentences ranging from two-and-a-half years to
twelve-and-a-half years for being members of an outlawed leftist
They have remained incarcerated for nearly a year.
There is no incriminating evidence other than their
"confessions" and it has been determined that the 10 had been subjected
to torture in detention.
In fact, charges have been brought against the
policemen involved but tribunals have not yet condemned them.
The lawyers representing the students, say that the
entire case has been a farce.
Turkish court frees another top right-wing terrorist
Oral Celik, a top rightist accused of complicity in
the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II and the murder of a
Turkish newspaper editor, walked out of jail as a free man on January
22 by the decision of a provincial court.
Celik, extradited by Switzerland where he completed
a sentence for drug smuggling last September, was also ordered released
by another court trying him for the journalist's murder some 20 years
The balding terrorist suspect had been accused of
masterminding the attempt on the life of Pope in May 1981 but the
Italian court which sentenced fellow Turkish rightist Mehmet Ali Agca
to life imprisonment for wounding the pontiff could not prove the
charges of complicity.
The surprise release came just months after the
death of Turkey's No.1 terrorist Abdullah Catli in a car accident which
exposed scandalous links between Turkish police chiefs, crime lords and
rogue politicians. Celik was one of the principal accomplices of Catli.
ISLAMISTS SAVED CILLER FROM BEING TRIED AT SUPREME COURT
A parliamentary commission responsible for
investigating the assets of Deputy Prime Minister and True Path Party
(DYP) Chairman Tansu Ciller, decided on January 15 not to send her to
the Supreme Court, with a majority of votes cast by coalition deputies.
The decision was taken by the votes of eight coalition deputies against
seven from opposition parties.
Similarly, two other commissions probing corruption
charges against Ciller on TOFAS and TEDAS dealings had also blocked the
way for legal prosecutions against her. Both of those commissions were
also dominated by the coalition deputies.
Turkish Parliament engaged in 1996 the most vigorous
"checking activity" in its history. A series of parliamentary
"research" and "investigation" commissions were formed to look into the
irregularity claims with which the public was preoccupied throughout
the year. But in the end, the investigation commissions, whose findings
might have caused certain politicians to appear before the Supreme
Court, failed to reach the expected results.
During the first part of 1996, political party
leaders harshly criticised one another. The RP especially put on the
agenda one after another irregularity file directed against DYP leader
Tansu Ciller. The RP, at that time in the opposition, asked Parliament
to form three investigation commissions to look into these files. And,
with the support of the other opposition parties, it attained that goal.
In retaliation, the DYP put on the agenda of a
special commission the claims that there is any illegal financial link
between the Welfare Party (RP) and Süleyman Mercümek, who is on trial
for failing to send the funds collected to help Bosnia to the relevant
At that time the DYP-ANAP coalition was in power.
The ANAP supported the opposition RP motions for investigation of the
claims directed at ANAP's coalition partner Ciller. This angered Ciller
and brought about the collapse of the DYP-ANAP coalition which had been
formed with so much difficulty.
And then, DYP leader Ciller formed a coalition
government with the RP, the party which had spearheaded the drive
against her in Parliament. That effectively killed the possibility of
her being sent to the Supreme Court. In the second part of the year, RP
deputies joined forces with the DYP deputies to clear Ciller of their
own party's accusations at the investigation commissions.
One of these commissions was formed on Apr. 24,
1996, with the aim of looking into the alleged irregularities involving
the awarding of Turkish Electricity Distribution Company (TEDAS)
projects through tenders. At that time the DYP-ANAP coalition was in
power. A group of RP deputies led by Sevket Kazan, RP's N°2 man and
currently the Justice Minister asked Parliament to form such a
commission. Kazan had argued that Tansu Ciller was responsible as the
prime minister of the time for the alleged irregularities. Kazan's
motion was adopted by Parliament thanks to the ANAP support. The
commission was formed. The DYP was upset by the ANAP stance on that
On May 9, 1996, again at Sevket Kazan's initiative,
Parliament formed another commission, this time to investigate the
claims concerning the sale of the state-owned shares in TOFAS car
company. Kazan maintained that Ciller had committed an irregularity by
personally opening at her residence the envelopes containing the bids
made by the would-be buyers. That development shook the foundations of
the DYP-ANAP coalition government.
The last blow came on Jun. 5, 1996 when Parliament
formed a third investigation commission, this one to look into the
claims that Ciller had not acquired her fortune lawfully. The motion to
this effect was presented by Lütfü Esengün, acting chairman of the RP
group in Parliament, now a state minister. The DYP was indignant over
ANAP's failure to prevent these developments. The DYP-ANAP coalition
On Jun. 7, 1996, the President asked RP leader
Necmettin Erbakan to form a new government. Erbakan offered to form a
coalition with the DYP. Ciller accepted that offer on June 28, 1996.
The RP-DYP government was formed.
With the collapse of the DYP-ANAP coalition, DYP
deputies claimed that ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz was responsible for
irregularities at Emlakbank, that is, the state-owned housing credit
bank. An investigation commission was formed to look into that issue.
Also formed was a commission which would hold Sinasi Altiner
responsible for the irregularities in the awarding of TEDAS projects as
the energy minister of the period in question.
The five investigation committees formed in the
first half of the year started "acquitting" the leaders involved one by
one in the second half of the year. According to the Constitution, a
parliamentary investigation commission can be formed only when a prime
minister or a minister is charged with having committed an offence
during his or term in office. On the basis of the findings of such a
commission, a prime minister or a minister can be put on trial at the
Constitutional Court serving as the Supreme Court. The commission
report would be debated in Parliament's General Assembly and the person
in question would be sent to the Supreme Court if a minimum 276
deputies out of a total 550 voted in this direction.
The investigation work proceeded smoothly at the
TEDAS and TOFAS commissions which involved Ciller until the time came
for these commissions to draft their reports. In both cases a vote was
taken to determine whether to pave the way to send Ciller to the
Supreme Court. Each of these commissions comprised of 15 members, eight
of which were from the ruling parties, that is, the RP and the DYP.
Three opposition parties, namely, the ANAP, the DSP and the CHP, shared
among them the remaining seven seats.
The RP and DYP deputies voted in Ciller's favour as
a bloc. The two commissions rejected even the allegation that Ciller
had been guilty of neglect of duty, let alone finding her responsible
of irregularities. Thanks to the support of her coalition partner
Ciller was saved from being tried at the Supreme Court in both of these
cases. Meanwhile, the third commission involving Ciller, that is, the
one investigating her assets, has to complete its work by January 20
and present its report. The attitude of RP deputies in the commission
will determine the outcome of the vote.
Also formed in 1996 were numerous research
commissions to brief Parliament on various topics. One of these was
formed with the aim of determining what a RP member, Süleyman Mercümek,
dubbed the "secret cashier of the RP", had done with the billions of
liras collected from the people as donations for Bosnia. Following a
time consuming research, it determined that there was indeed "an
organic link" between Mercümek and the RP. In this case the RP and the
DYP deputies reversed the roles. This time the DYP members in the
commission supported the RP members who sought an amendment of the
commission report. The RP was effectively saved from being sent to
SECURITY FORCES INVOLVED IN CRIMINAL ACTS IN KURDISTAN
Special to The Washington Post correspondent Kelly
Couturier reported on November 27, 1996:
"Yüksekova... This bleak, gritty town near the
Iranian border sits deep in Turkey's southeastern guerrilla war zone, a
harshly beautiful mountain region that has been battered by 12 years of
armed conflict between government forces and Kurdish separatists.
"Like many other towns in Turkey's Southeast,
Yüksekova is full of former villagers who have come here after losing
their homes and livelihood, if not their loved ones, to the war. More
than 21,000 people have been killed in the government's campaign
against the Marxist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), a conflict that is
costing Ankara billions of dollars and has come to affect every area of
Turkish policy, from economics to foreign relations.
"And just like throughout this region, there
are people here who have personal nightmares, stories of killings,
torture, kidnappings and other crimes against them or their families
that have left them tense and untrusting. Both sides in the war have
committed human rights abuses against the civilian population, rights
groups say, although the state has denied allegations of security force
"But here in Yüksekova, authorities recently
uncovered a gang that includes several members of security force
special counterinsurgency teams and village guard contingents who have
been arrested on charges of involvement in a kidnapping-extortion case.
And, in a highly unusual development, a group of lawmakers, including a
prominent former cabinet minister, is demanding a government
investigation to "reveal the true extent of the involvement of the
security forces" in the gang, which the lawmakers say was involved in
extrajudicial killings, extortion and drug trafficking.
"Two reports by the lawmakers, citing
eyewitness testimony, point to the involvement of an armed forces
officer in the gang.
"No charges have been filed against the officer
named in the report, Maj. Mehmet Emin Yurdakul, who has been
transferred to a foreign assignment, according to his former brigade
commander. The lawmakers' report quotes Yurdakul's commander as
describing him as a "very successful" soldier and denying any
allegations of wrongdoing involving the major.
"But Ercan Karakas, a former culture minister and
one of the authors of the report, alleges a cover-up in the Yüksekova
gang case to protect any high-ranking officers who may have been
involved. "Clearly the military must be involved in some way" in the
gang, Karakas said recently in his office at the National Assembly.
"Such allegations against the security forces by
members of the assembly are extremely rare, given the privilege and
power of the Turkish armed forces, considered by many to be the
country's most respected institution. Others who have made similar
allegations, including rights groups and journalists, have been accused
by state officials of spreading PKK propaganda and often have landed in
"The government largely has been supported by the
Turkish public and the mainstream press in its military campaign
against the PKK, which began fighting for an independent Kurdish state
in 1984. The United States also has supported Turkey against PKK acts
of terrorism, though it has been critical of human rights abuses
committed by the government.
"But as the war drags on, the state no longer
appears as immune from domestic criticism of its anti-PKK fight as it
"Karakas, a member of the opposition Republican
People's Party who said he has been approached by private citizens who
want the war stopped, claims a "war lobby" is now in place in Turkey
"which is firmly opposed to ending the conflict in the Southeast,
because a lot of people are making a lot of money from it."
"Many of the alleged human rights abuses by the
security forces in the Southeast, including in the Yüksekova gang case,
are blamed on the special counterinsurgency teams and local Kurdish
village guards enlisted by the government to fill the particular needs
of a guerrilla war. A large number of special team members and village
guards have criminal records, according to Karakas.
"In the botched kidnapping case that uncovered the
Yüksekova gang, a phone call by the kidnappers, who had passed
themselves off as members of the PKK, was traced to the headquarters of
a local special team, according to the report.
"The village guard system, in particular, has been
criticised heavily by rights groups for putting villagers in a dilemma:
either to join the guards and risk being killed by the PKK, who
frequently target village guards and their families, or to refuse to
join and risk reprisals by security forces.
"For many villagers in the Southeast, according to
reports by rights groups and others, problems begin when security
forces enter their village and give the men an ultimatum: Become
village guards or we will evacuate and/or destroy your village.
"That is what happened to Abdullah Canan, a wealthy
businessman from a village near Yüksekova, according to the lawmakers'
"Canan had filed suit against members of the
security forces who had destroyed several homes in his village after
the men there refused to become village guards, according to the report
and accounts given by his relatives.
"According to the lawmakers' report, Canan was
warned by Maj. Yurdakul to drop his complaint against the security
forces. When Canan failed to do so, he disappeared. His mutilated body
was found a month later.
"'What bothers me most was the signs of
torture on his body,' Canan's son, Vahap, said recently in Yüksekova.
'They had carved pieces off his face and ears. Bits of his fingers were
burned away by electric shocks. They had slit his throat and stuck his
identity card inside,' he said. 'A very professional job.'
"The lawmakers' report accuses the Yüksekova 'gang
in uniform' of Canan's death and calls for the National Assembly to
investigate similar extrajudicial killings in the Southeast, of which
there have been hundreds, according to rights groups."
KURDISH DISTRICT LICE UNDER SIEGE
The Human Rights Association (IHD)'s Diyarbakir
branch reported on December 26, 1996, that the inhabitants of
Diyarbakir's Lice district were under intense pressure from authorities
for one week.
According to reports, the incidents followed a visit
to the district on December 11 by Diyarbakir state officials, led by
the Diyarbakir Provincial Gendarmerie commander, to 67 village leaders .
Officials reportedly expressed their disappointment
that they could not recruit anyone from the district for the village
guards, and asked the village leaders to prepare a list of names to be
recruited as village guards. The leaders refused, arguing that joining
the guards is voluntary.
During a military raid in Lice on the evening of 20
December the entire male population between the ages of 15-60, around
2,500 men, was collected at the gendarmerie station yard. Resisters
were reportedly beaten with rifle butts, and even the sick were dragged
from their beds. A top military officer informed the crowd that 100 of
them would be assigned as village guards, and if they refused no one
would leave the yard.
The mayor of Lice also addressed the men, saying he
would provide food aid during Ramadan to the families of those who
become village guards.
The elderly and civil servants were released, and
the rest remained until early December 21 morning, under pressure to
volunteer as a village guard. Seven more were reportedly beaten.
On December 22, the detainees were beaten and
forcibly subjected to military training. The newly-assigned village
guards were released on December 24 with rifles, and seven injured men
were receiving care at home.
The village guards are the paramilitary forces in
the disturbed Southeast, armed civilians pitted against the separatist
Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas. The exact number of village
guards in the region is unknown, but one of the controversial names
involved in the Susurluk accident, DYP Urfa Deputy Sedat Bucak,
reportedly controlled 15,000 such armed men in the Siverek district of
Urfa alone. Reports from Southeast over the last
decade abound of the predominantly Kurdish population of the region
being forced to take up arms by the security forces.
Lice is known to be a stronghold of the pro-Kurdish
People's Democracy Party (HADEP), and has been subjected to similar
pressure in the past. Large parts of the town were burned down by
security forces in late October 1993, and the town partially evacuated.
The population has decreased from 1993's 10,000-plus
to little over 2,500 today. The district is sensitive from the
continuous pressures from authorities, and the recent incidents can
only serve to raise tensions even more for the remaining inhabitants.
The Human Rights Association (IHD) Diyarbakir and
Istanbul Branches, Istanbul based Lice Culture and Solidarity
Foundation, People's Democracy Party (HADEP) and Progressive Trades
Unions Confederation (DISK) have officially lodged protests against the
recent government action in Lice.
Lawyer Mahmut Sakar, the chairman of Diyarbakir IHD,
said on December 26 that Lice is turned into a concentration camp.
Sakar said that the IHD tried to contact the Lice
governor upon the incidents but they were replied that the governor was
on leave and the Gendarmerie Commander was the acting governor of the
He said the administration, which is supposed to be
civilian, has been caught red-handed, which proves that the Southeast
is not governed by civilian authorities but by the military.
HADEP Istanbul Branch condemned "the horror that is
forced onto the inhabitants of Lice" in a written statement. HADEP
statement claimed that the state is threatening the right to life and
habitat of the people of Lice. The statement continued:
"The Refah-Yol government, which is unable to
overcome the Susurluk scandal, is seeking revenge on the people of Lice
now. Instead of bringing the gangs to justice they are threatening the
lives of Kurdish people with violence."
The HADEP statement argued that the village guard
system is bankrupt: "It is impossible to realise peace and democracy
through village guards, nationalist murderers, special teams and drug
smugglers. The paramilitarization and persecution in the region should
be halted immediately."
DISK chairman Kemal Daysal also protested the
forcible paramilitarization attempts in Lice, stating:
"It has come to the light recently how the tribes in
the region are using the state facilities for their personal and
illegal ends, how they commit every form of crimes. It is a great
fallacy to insist on the village guard system at a moment when the
falsity of this system is proven."
IHD Istanbul Branch pointed out that the civilian
officials, including the mayor of Lice, are powerless before the
military authorities. The branch's statement recalled that during the
October 1993 disturbances in the region even the parliamentary deputies
were not allowed in the district.
Chairman of the Lice Culture and Solidarity
Foundation Tahsin Ekinci said at a press conference on Wednesday that
they will bring the authorities to court for the recent Lice incidents.
CHIEF OF THE TURKISH ARMY THREATENS THE REGIME'S OPPONENTS
Chief of Staff Gen. Ismail Hakki Karadayi once again
warned that any attempt to reverse secularism and any deviation from
the founding principles of Atatürk was "completely unacceptable" and
would have to face the might of the Turkish armed forces.
Speaking to Anadolu, a monthly Turkish-language
magazine published in Brussels, Karadayi said the military could not
tolerate any action aimed at eroding the secular and democratic
character of the republic.
Gen. Karadayi said success in the military's fight
against separatist terror should not disillusion the Turkish people to
believe the menace had been fully eradicated. He said terror could only
be exterminated in its entirety through a combination of military and
non-military measures applied simultaneously.
"Separatist terror can be fully exterminated only if
foreign countries cut their support to the terrorist organization and a
combination of military, social and economic measures are applied."
said the military's top man.
Karadayi also warned Turkish nationals living abroad
to keep their eyes open for the activities of separatist organizations.
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and other terrorist groups
are known to finance their activities in part by extorting money from
Turkish nationals working in Europe.
In his statement, Karadayi said he believed Turkey
would eventually become a full member of the European Union
otherwise the exclusion of Turkey would be detrimental for both the EU
"I find it very difficult to see Turkey working
efficiently as a NATO member if it is not admitted as a full member of
the EU," said the chief of general staff.
ERBAKAN YIELDED TO THE MILITARY REMOVING ISLAMIST OFFICERS
The Supreme Military Council chaired by the Islamist
Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan decided on December 10, 1996, to
remove 69 Turkish Armed Forces personnel, including 58 Islamic
Thirty-three officers and 36 non-commissioned
officers were sacked by the highest level military board. The 58 of the
dismissed personnel were fired for being involved in Islamic
fundamentalist activities. Seven of them were removed for discipline
problems and four were fired for being involved in separatist
activities, according to a military source.
A military source told the TDN that Erbakan, as the
head of the council, approved the decision to remove the
fundamentalists without objection.
In August, 50 soldiers, including 18 officers, had
been dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces by the Supreme Military
Council for similar reasons. With the latest decision, the number of
the personnel removed from the Turkish Armed Forces in 1996 is 119.
RP deputies were upset by the fact that the Council
decision to this effect bears the signature of RP leader and Prime
Minister Necmettin Erbakan.
RP deputy Halil Ibrahim Celik said: "The RP has
become a tool for an execution without trial. In a democratic society
there can be no decision outside judicial inspection. Article 125 of
the Constitution amounts to constitutionalization of execution without
trial. If the persons expelled from the army have committed crimes, the
charges against them must be brought before the courts, and they must
be punished if found guilty. Expelling those who are not guilty with a
Supreme Military Council decision would be execution without trial. For
that reason I protest vigorously the expulsion of full and
non-commissioned officers from the army on the basis of Supreme
Military Council decisions."
Celik also said that the Chief of Staff should be
attached to the Defense Ministry and the National Security Board should
be scrapped immediately.
THREE NEW POLITICAL PARTIES IN TURKEY
Recently three political parties have entered the
political scene of Turkey: the Democrat Turkey Party (DTP), the
Democratic Mass Party (DKP) and the Peace Party (BP). So the number of
political parties in the country climbed to 35, but only seven of them
are represented in Parliament because of anti-democratic Electoral Law.
Besides, eleven political parties have been closed down by the
Constitutional Court for defending the rights of the workers or the
Ever since the end of military rule in the 1980s,
during which all political organizations were banned, Turkey has had an
extremely fruitful experience with political parties. Since 1983, 92
political parties have been established in the country, but many
left-wing or Kurdish parties closed down by the Constitutional Court on
grounds that their programmes or policies do not conform to the 1982
Constitution imposed by the military.
According to data received from the chief state
prosecutor of the Court of Appeals, the Nationalist Democracy Party
(MDP) led by Turgut Sunalp, a former general, was the first party
established following the Sept. 12 coup in 1980 with the open support
of the military. The party abolished itself three years after entering
the political arena.
The Motherland Party (ANAP), then led by Turgut
Ozal, followed the MDP, and has managed to survive in the diversity of
political parties. Currently, ANAP is the main opposition party.
Only 35 of the 92 parties have succeeded in
surviving. Eleven of them have been closed down by the Constitutional
Court. Below are some of the parties which have preserved their
The Welfare Party (RP), the Motherland Party (ANAP),
the True Path Party (DYP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the
Nation Party (MP), the Democratic Left Party (DSP), the Resurrection
Party, the Workers' Party (IP), the Republican People's Party (CHP),
the Rebirth Party (YDP), the Democratic Party (the second party to have
this name), the Turkish Socialist Workers' Party (TSIP), the Grand
Unity Party (BBP), the Socialist Ruling Party, the New Party (YP), the
Main Path Party (AYP), the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), the
Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP), the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP),
the New Democracy Movement (YDH), the Grand Justice Party (BAP), the
Justice Party (AP), the Turkish Justice Party (TAP), the Revolutionary
Workers' Party (DIP), the Democracy and Peace Party (DBP), the Party of
Labour (EP), the Grand Turkey Party (BTP), the Socialist Workers' Party
(SIP), the Democratic Peace Movement (DBH), the Workers' Party (IP),
the Peace Party (BP), the Democratic Mass Party (DKP), and the
Democratic Turkey Party (DTP).
There are also other parties enriching Turkish
politics, such as the party called "Turkey is happy with its disabled
people," and the Turkish "Sultan" Party which is led by a man whose
last name is "Sultan."
Additionally, so-called "dummy parties" contributed
to the abundance of political parties during the post-1983 era. There
have been 21 dummy parties since then. They were usually utilised to
facilitate party shifts in Parliament. Some of them even terminated
themselves on the same day as their establishment.
Currently the RP, ANAP, the DYP, the DSP, the CHP,
the BBP and the DTP have representatives in Parliament.
Since 1983 when the parliamentary process was
restored, 11 parties have been banned from politics by the
Constitutional Court. These are the Grand Anatolia Party (BAP), the
Socialist Party (SP), the Green Party (YP), the People's Party (HP),
the Turkish United Communist Party (TBKP), the People's Labor Party
(HEP), the Freedom and Democracy Party (ÖZDEP), the Socialist Turkey
Party (STP), the Democracy Party (DP), the Democratic Party (DP) and
the Democracy and Transformation Party (DDP).
Meanwhile, legal procedures to close down the
Democratic Peace Movement (DBH), The Party of Labour (EP) and the
Resurrection Party (YDP) are still underway.
DTP: SCISSION FROM CILLER'S DYP
The four-month-long effort by deputies who resigned
or have been expelled from the True Path Party (DYP) during Tansu
Ciller's chairmanship and the group known as "the disappointed" to form
a new party came to a conclusion on January 7, 1997. The formal request
for the establishment of the Democrat Turkey Party (DTP) chaired by
former Parliament Speaker Hüsamettin Cindoruk was submitted to the
In a press statement on behalf of the new party's
founders, Hüsamettin Cindoruk claimed that they would soon reach the
minimum number of deputies needed to form a group in Parliament which
The DTP, whose platform includes a consistent
fight against Ciller's dirty manoeuvres, a reorganisation of the state
structure, aims at establishing a bicameral legislative system and a
two-round presidential election, elimination of by-elections, and
decreasing the number of ministers to 22.
DKP: A NEW PRO-KURDISH PARTY
A new pro-Kurdish party entered the political scene,
as former Housing Minister Serafettin Elci and a group of former
Parliamentarians applied to the Interior Ministry on January 3, 1997.
The new party called the Democratic Mass Party
(DKP), is expected to convey the Kurdish problem to the democratic
platforms through moderate policies, unlike its more radical
predecessors such as the People's Labor Party (HEP) and the Democracy
Party (DEP), which had earlier been closed down, and the People's
Democracy Party (HADEP), which is facing closure by the Constitutional
Elci, who is expected to follow a similar political
line with that of Massoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in
northern Iraq said the Kurdish issue was behind all troubles.
"DKP is a political movement that will focus on
finding a settlement to the Kurdish problem as its main objective. Once
Kurds were promised to benefit from all the means provided by the
state. But later those pledges were forgotten and Kurds found
themselves part of a policy that was (going) to change their identity
and bring an end to their existence. Our basic characteristic is our
consistency with democratic methods and refusal of violence," declared
the DKP founders.
BP: THE SECOND PARTY ATTEMPT OF THE ALEVIS
Following a move by the Constitutional Court to
close down the Democratic Peace Movement (DBH) on the grounds that it's
program challenges the role of the Religious Affairs Department, former
members have set up another party along the same lines as the DBH.
The new Peace Party (BP) was formally established
when former DBH chairman Mehmet Eti applied to the Interior Ministry on
December 8, 1996. Eti resigned from the DBH two weeks ago and is one of
the BP's founding members.
Eti said the BP would follow a democratic line that
respects human rights and the state based on law. He added that the new
party's program will not include the article about the Directorate of
the Religious Affairs.
The DBH's founder, Ali Haydar Veziroglu, is also one
of the founding members and will run for the party chairmanship, along
The leadership of the DBH, including Veziroglu and
Eti decided not to dissolve the DBH. Instead they have now resigned and
left the leadership of the DBH to others. The DBH plans to fight its
case in the Constitutional Court.
TURK-IS CONSIDERS FORMING NEW PARTY
Semsi Denizer, secretary-general of the
Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Turk-Is), said that Turkey's
present political parties were ineffective at solving the country's
problems and that citizens were calling for a new party to be formed,
the Anatolia news agency reported on December 12, 1996.
"The public has lost hope due to the recent
political developments in the country and, faced with a political
vacuum, wants Turk-Is to fill this vacuum," he said.
Noting that they evaluated this prospect during a
Dec. 3 meeting of the Turk-Is board of chairmen, Denizer said that
those present were in favour of establishing a political party.
Referring to last year's amendment to the Constitution which gave trade
unions an opportunity to enter politics, he said that the confederation
was seriously considering the idea.
TURK-IS' DEMOCRACY RALLY DRIVES THOUSANDS TO ANKARA
The anger of workers over widespread state
corruption, their low income levels, abuses of their social rights,
spilled on to the streets of Ankara on January 5 in a mass rally
organized by Turkey's largest trade union confederation.
More than 100,000 demonstrators from all over the
country jammed the main avenues of the capital, to attend the year's
first mass protest or, what was called a "struggle for democracy"
launched by the confederation of Turkish Trade Unions, Türk-Is.
The huge rally aimed at protesting the government
policies started early in the morning in front of the city's Hippodrome
district where a mass of workers, civil servants and members of civic
organizations began marching to Kizilay district.
The rally was also supported by the leftist parties.
Deputies from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Republican
People's Party (CHP) attended the march, as well as members from the
People's Democracy Party (HADEP) and the Freedom and Solidarity Party
(ÖDP) who lined up.
Turk-Is chairman Bayram Meral along with other union
leaders and DSP deputy Mümtaz Soysal led the marchers who were carrying
Turkish flags, Atatürk's portraits and Turk-Is symbols.
The security was tightened early in the morning in
Ankara and the main routes to Kizilay were closed to traffic. The
participants were searched by the police. Minor skirmishes between the
police and the protesters reported, but no arrest took place.
Addressing to the crowd, Meral stormed at the
government, accusing it for being a troublemaker creating a nearly
three-digit inflation rate and increasing commodity prices
Meral also criticised the "just order" policy of the
Islamist government, saying that the policy proved useless as many
rural people continued to immigrate to large urban centres, and
thousands of workers had been laid off.
Referring to the controversial Susurluk car crash of
Nov. 3, 1996, which revealed the scandalous links between the state and
the mafia, Meral said the government failed to prevent corruption and
bribery, as well as falling short of launching a diligent probe against
allegations of gang and clan involvements within the state's affairs.
Stressing the impossibility of providing economic
stability without restoring political stability, the Meral said the
Turk-Is would continue to struggle for a solution of those problems.
The Turk-Is chairman enumerated a series of demands
from the government, including the changing of the current constitution
which was written after the 1980 military coup, eliminating the alleged
gangs, disarming village guards, ending the terrorism problem in the
Southeast, controlling the inflation and minimising the unemployment,
paying back of compulsory savings, restoring independent courts,
limiting parliamentary immunity to the confines of the house and
allowing civil servants the right to strike and collective bargaining.
Meral said the Turk-Is would persist its strife
through legitimised and democratic ways. He warned of more
comprehensive and effective mass protests if the government refrains
from meeting their demands.
TURKISH BUSINESSMEN ASKS DEMOCRATIZATION
A report by the Turkish Industrialists' and
Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) proposing steps to raise democratic
standards in Turkey was presented to Parliament Speaker Mustafa Kalemli
on January 20, 1997.
TUSIAD Chairman Halis Komili, speaking at a press
conference in Ankara after presenting the report, said that nation-wide
distrust was rife under the current system.
Summarizing the content and aims of the report,
Komili said TUSIAD had completed its economic mission, and Turkey
needed to establish more comprehensive democratic rights following its
admission to the customs union with the European Union.
One of the motivations for a wider scale
democratization process, Komili said, was the need for communal
reconciliation and a more transparent government, and the other was the
need to comply with contemporary democratic norms for better
integration with the world's countries.
Komili said that recent developments, such as the
controversial Susurluk accident, the Aczmendi scandal and the surrender
of a Sabanci-murder suspect, were all shameful detractions from
democracy, human rights, clean politics and all of humanity. This is
why all sectors of society have started to feel a deep distrust toward
the current system, he added.
The present system was short on self-questioning and
criticising, and therefore not able to improve itself, said Komili. The
current political regime, in an effort to preserve the status quo, even
preferred silence to any kind of opposition.
The TUSIAD chairman said the reason why religious
sects or illegal gangs have had so much influence was the failure of
the system to improve itself. In such circumstances, a new package
calling for raising democratic standards was necessary.
Calling on every citizen and institution to strive
for wider scale democratic rights, Komili then described the contents
of the report, which he said was derived from examples in Western
The package contains five separate subjects prepared
by various academics. One of the chapters, titled "Democratization
Perspectives in Turkey" was suggested by TUSIAD's parliamentary affairs
commission, and was written by Prof. Bulent Tanör. The chapter
identifies the primary legal obstacles to the democratization process.
The report also contains a chapter which suggests a
new statute on organizations, and recommends changes to the law on
political parties, stipulating that political parties must function in
compliance with Atatürk's principles and reforms. It also suggests
reducing the minimum age required for political party members from 21
Other chapters in the report contain proposals on a
draft law on local and regional administrations, the prosecution of
civil servants, and an examination into the institution of the
IS ANKARA PREPARING TO REVOKE ITS EURO-COURT RECOGNITION?
The Turkish press of January 20, 1997, reports that
Turkey may be getting ready to withdraw the right of individual
petition by its citizens to the European Commission of Human Rights,
and to revoke its recognition of the legal competence of the European
Court of Human Rights.
An increase in costly convictions for alleged gross
violations of human rights, mostly relating to the crisis in the
Southeast, and a favourable decision on behalf of a Greek Cypriot
women, appear to have pushed Ankara to this point.
Turkish State Minister and deputy government
spokesman Gürcan Dagdas said on December 5 that of the 6,000
applications that have been made to the European Commission on Human
Rights 1,500 were from Turkey.
Recent press reports from Strasbourg indicated that
Ankara has signalled that it may withdraw its recognition of the
competence of the European Court of Human Rights.
Turkey's main bone of contention vis-a-vis the
European Commission of Human Rights is that it has been accepting as
admissible, cases brought by Turkish citizens against the government
even though full legal recourse in Turkey has not been exhausted.
Ankara officials accuse the London-based Kurdish
Human Rights Project organization and the Human Rights Association
(IHD) in Ankara of masterminding these cases.
In order to reinforce this view, officials point out
that in its ruling on the Akdivar case, the European Court of Human
Rights referred to the fact that the clashes in the Southeast are
between "state forces" and sections of the Kurdish population --
particularly members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) -- who want
These officials say that these remarks, which do not
reflect either the legal or the political truth, clearly indicate that
the Human Rights Court is "engaging in politics of its own."
"The European Court of Human Rights, with these
rulings that coincide with the piquing of efforts to prevent Turkey
from taking its place in the rapidly evolving new European
architecture, has lost its impartiality," the source informing the TDN
A recent ruling by the European Court of Human
Rights in favour of a Greek Cypriot is being taken in Ankara as further
evidence of anti-Turkish bias.
In the "Loizidou case" the court upheld that a Greek
Cypriot woman's rights had been violated by Turkey, which was
preventing her from accessing her house on the Turkish side of the
TURKISH BIG MEDIA SPOKE IN STRASBOURG
In December 1996, the European Parliament heard for
the first time the chief editors of four leading Turkish dailies,
namely, Sabah, Yeni Yüzyil, Hürriyet and Milliyet on the proposed
amendments to the Press Law and the overall "civil liberties" issue in
One of these journalists, Sabah's Cengiz Candar
wrote his impressions on December 12 in following terms:
"Here I am in Strasbourg once again. I had been here
about a year ago. At that time the weather had been colder but Turkey's
relations with the European Parliament and the European Union (EU) had
been warmer. The EU-Turkey customs union accord was going to be
ratified. A new, decisive era was opening up in Turkey-EU relations.
"A year later we observe that these relations have
cooled off instead of becoming more firmly institutionalised. The
distance between Turkey and Europe has grown. This is a fact.
"The stance of the EP members was milder than we had
expected. Even the Netherlands's Piet Dankert, Germany's Claudia Roth
who heads the Greens and the deputy chairman of the Socialist group
Ioannis Rubatis, who had served in the past as Papandreou's spokesman,
took care to formulate their questions in such a way that would not
hurt the Turkish feelings.
"They skirted the Southeast issue with only a brief
reference though that was a topic capable of causing Turkey a lot of
headaches. They kept speaking about Turkey's importance for Europe.
They seemed to seek advice on how they could help Turkey.
"But that does not change the fact that Turkey was
on Europe's agenda in the framework of a 'civil liberties problem.' It
was all too obvious that Turkey and Europe were not perfectly attuned
to one another.
"Europe is faced with a serious difficulty on the
Turkey issue. The Welfare Party's (RP) attitude is a veritable puzzle
for them. They know that the RP views Europe and the issue of Turkish
integration into Europe, with icy coldness. They do not want to do take
any steps against Turkey that would justify RP's anti-Europe or anti-EU
"A greater handicap is the fact that Foreign
Minister Tansu Ciller has lost credibility almost totally. She has
inspired an incredible amount of mistrust. She can do all she can but
even if she happened to be speaking "honestly" it would be very
difficult from now on for her to be convincing.
"Justice Minister Sevket Kazan and some other RP
figures have made statements such as, 'Turkey does not have a
Europeanization problem. Turkey has been European for 600 years.' But
these 'assurances' fail to eliminate the distance between Turkey and
Europe. Being European means, in our day, acting in tandem with the
European agenda, acting as part of the European institutions, and
conforming to the European norms on economic and political issues.
"Our being invited to Strasbourg was a sign
indicating that Europe did not want to give up on Turkey.
"We accepted the invitation and made at the European
Parliament the kind of speeches which could help institutionalise these
"But that would not suffice. To put the
Turkey-Europe relations on the right track we need a 'respectable"
government.' That is, a democratic and freedom-loving government which
has a 21st Century-oriented strategy."
GÖKTEPE REMEMBERED ON THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF HIS ASSASSINATION
Journalist Metin Göktepe was remembered in the first
week of 1997 with a series of activities on the first anniversary of
Goktepe was detained by the police on duty at the
funeral of the inmates who had died in the clashes at Üsküdar E Type
Prison in Istanbul.
The Contemporary Journalists Association (CGD),
Human Rights Association (IHD), Party of Labor (EP) and Republican
People's Party (CHP) and a number of non governmental organizations
organized a series of memorial activities.
At a ceremony held in front of Eyüp Sports Hall,
where Göktepe was allegedly killed by the police, Göktepe's brother
said: "My brother was killed in this hall by the police hitting his
head 365 days ago today. The suspects still have not been prosecuted.
"The family wants the name of the hall to be changed to that of Metin
Evrensel reporter Metin Göktepe was detained by the
police at the funeral of Orhan Özen and Riza Boybas who were killed in
the clashes in Üsküdar E Type Prison on January 8, 1996.
He was taken to Eyüp Sports Complex along with other
people at the funeral who were taken by the police. Goktepe was found
dead in the tea garden in front of the sports complex the following
morning. Eyüp Public Prosecutor Erol Canozkan said that he was killed
in the tea garden after he was released, while the police said Goktepe
fell of a chair and a wall and died.
These conflicting explanations prevented the
unveiling of the incident, but witnesses said that they saw the police
taking Göktepe inside, and remembered that someone who said he was a
journalist had been fatally beaten up by the police. The statements of
the witnesses unveiled the fog over the incident in which Goktepe was
beaten to death by the police.
The head of the Istanbul Security Department at the
time, Orhan Tasanlar, has accepted that Metin Goktepe was taken by the
police. According to the investigation made by the inspectors of the
Internal Ministry Security Department, Metin Goktepe was beaten to
death by the police.
The report prepared by the inspectors was sent to
the City Administration Council requiring prosecution of the police.
The High Council Court Second Office filed a suit in Istanbul Criminal
Court No.6 according to the decision of the Council of the City
Administration regarding the prosecution of the police officers and
their superiors who were involved in the murder of Goktepe.
But the hearing which was to be held on July 15,
1996 was transferred to Aydin for security reasons. According to the
High Council Court Second Office approval decision, security officers
Seydi Battal Köse, Suayip Mutluer, Saffet Hizarci, Fedai Korkmaz, Murat
Polat, Burhan Koc, Ilhan Sarioglu, Selcuk Bayraktaroglu, Metin Kusat,
Tuncay Uzun and Fikret Kayacanlar will be prosecuted for "Intended
murder in a unresolvable fashion" under the 452/1 and 463 articles of
the Turkish Penal Code.
According to the articles the suspects should be
convicted to between five and 15 years. None of the 48 police officers,
including the 11 suspects, attended the hearing on October 18 in Aydin.
The hearing was attended by the colleagues of Goktepe and a number of
people from various NGOs demanding the prosecution of the criminals.
The hearing was held in a sports complex due to the
large number of people attending the trial. Göktepe's mother, brothers
and sisters attended the hearing. Göktepe's mother protested at the
transferring of the trial to Aydin and added: "Why are the suspects
walking around freely? Why haven't they been suspended? My son was
killed in Istanbul. The police officers should be tried in Istanbul."
The witnesses said that Goktepe was beaten up while
detained by the police. The lawyers required the arrest of the
officers. The judge refused this requirement. The court postponed the
hearing to November 29, 1996, to investigate whether the officers were
still on duty. But the Aydin Public Prosecutor required the transfer of
the trial to Afyon claiming a danger of provocation due to the large
number of people at the trial. The High Council of Court Office No.10
transferred the trial to Afyon due to the requirement of the
prosecutor, where the trial of Gazi District incident is also being
held. The trial was postponed one more time to February 5, 1997 after
claims that the transfer of files had been delayed.
JOURNALIST ISIK YURTCU WINS 1996 RSF PRIZE
In a 10 December 1996 press release, RSF
reported that the 1996 Reporters Sans Frontières - Fondation de France
Prize had been awarded to the Turkish journalist Isik Yurtcu, former
editorial director of the pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem, who is
currently serving a prison sentence. The presentation was to take place
on Tuesday 10 December 1996, 11:30, at the Espace Electra, 6 rue
Recamier 75007 Paris.
Isik Yurtcu was arrested in December 1994 and
sentenced to 14 years and 10 months' imprisonment for offenses that
included "separatist propaganda" and "insulting the government." He is
currently being held at Sakarya prison, 150 km from Istanbul.
Launched in May 1992, Özgür Gündem, finally
yielded to official pressures and folded in April 1994. With a
circulation of 30,000, the Turkish-language daily Özgür Gündem --
regarded by Kurdish activists as their "resistance" paper and by the
Turkish government as the mouthpiece of the "terrorists" of the Kurdish
Workers' Party (PKK) -- is memorable as the pro-Kurdish newspaper of
Presented on 10 December, to mark the United
Nations' International Human Rights Day, the 50,000 francs (US$ 9,600)
prize has been awarded since 1992 to a journalist who, through her/his
professional activities, willingness to speak out or general bearing,
has demonstrated a commitment to press freedom.
Isik Yurtcu was born in January 1945 in Adana
(southern Turkey) into an ethnic Turkish family. In 1969 he began his
career as a reporter with the left-wing papers "Ulus" and "Yeni Halkci"
in the capital. After moving to Istanbul in the seventies, he achieved
his first editorial posts, still with the opposition press. The titles
for which he worked during this period were "Demokrat", "Politika",
"Dünya" and "Cumhuriyet". His articles were already ruffling official
feathers, and Isik Yurtcu received prison sentences which were
subsequently commuted to fines. After the 1971 coup, in "Yeni Halkci"
he published accounts by political prisoners who had been tortured in
military jails. In 1974 he supported the campaign for a general amnesty
for political prisoners. After the military take-over of September
1980, he was arrested for being one of the signatories of an "appeal by
intellectuals" criticising the coup. In 1982 he was held for a short
time for his membership of the executive of a newspaper workers' union.
Numerous former colleagues are unstinting in their
praise of the man they refer to affectionately as "Isik Baba" (Uncle
Isik). "The first time I met him," recounted Ramazan Ülek, one-time
chief editor of "Ozgur Gündem", "was before the launching of the paper.
He helped us to define an editorial line, bearing in mind that we had
very little experience. His skills made him a natural choice for the
post of managing editor. And when we asked him to take it, he accepted
without hesitation." That was in June 1992. Eight months later he
resigned, being a defendant in no fewer than 26 press trials.
On 28 December 1994, just after taking retirement,
Isik Yurtcu was arrested and imprisoned. He may not be freed until 2009.
Over five days -- from Tuesday 10 December to
Saturday 14 December -- RSF raised awareness about the case through the
pages of the French daily "Liberation". RSF took out five full pages of
the daily as a testament to the resilience of the organization and its
fight for the forgotten. From day to day, an image of Isik Yurtcu's
face disappeared gradually, leaving a black page on the fifth day.
Everyday, RSF asked "Liberation" readers to write to Turkish President
Süleyman Demirel urging the release of Isik Yurtcu. The DDB ad agency
came up with the campaign, which was donated to RSF by the former
director-general of "Liberation", Jean-Louis Peninou.
NEW PROHIBITIONS ON KURDISH PUBLICATIONS
The government banned on January 5, 1997, the
distribution of several publications allegedly propagating the PKK.
The daily Özgür Politika, who has been published in
Germany for more than one year takes place at the top of the
list. The ban also covers books written by PKK leader Abdullah
THE WEST FEARS WAR BETWEEN GREECE AND TURKEY
Western governments fear that 1997 could be a year
of war between Greece and Turkey, according to a British daily, The
Independent, on January 10, 1997.
"A steady deterioration in relations between Greece
and Turkey is worrying the Western governments, which fear that 1997
could be the year when long-simmering disputes in the eastern
Mediterranean explode into the war," the article signed by Tony Barber,
European editor, claimed.
Barber said the dispute among the two neighbouring
countries had intensified in the recent months with "the arms race that
is gathering pace in the region" the reason that has brought the
already fragile relations to the edge of the war.
Same day, on January 10, Turkey issued a strong
warning against the deployment of Russian S-300 long-range antiaircraft
missiles in southern Cyprus, not ruling out a strike despite an earlier
warning from the U.S. State Department about use of force or threats.
"These offensive weapons will either not be deployed
or not be deployed," Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller told a news
conference, using her familiar formula to indicate resolve. "If they
are deployed, the necessary thing will be done. If strikes become
necessary, they will be done," Ciller vowed.
In a simultaneous step, the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus (TRNC) withdrew its commitment to the U.N.-proposed
package of confidence building measures -- to pave the way for an
elusive settlement -- and threatened to open the Famagusta suburb of
Varosha to Turkish Cypriot Settlement.
The hardline statements came a day after U.S. State
Department slammed similar warnings from Turkish Defense Minister
Turhan Tayan and said "such action would be completely out of bounds
Same day, a spokesman of the Turkish General Staff
said: "If all the good-intended Turkish diplomatic attempts to stop the
transporting of the Russian S-300 missiles to Greek Cyprus for
deployment failed, Turkey would hit these missiles in Greek Cyprus."
State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said on
January 11 that the "unwise public threats of the Turkish Defense
Ministry" was now adopted by Turkish foreign ministry as well.
Moreover, when reminded that Turkish Defense
Ministry likened the impasse to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, Burns
suggested "Turkish general staff re-read their history."
Concerning Turkish foreign minister Ciller's
statements, Burns said: "If Foreign Minister Ciller is being quoted
accurately, we believe such dramatic statements from her or any other
Turkish official are uncalled for and most unwise."
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH OPPOSES TURKISH AIRCRAFT ORDERS
Human Rights Watch has issued on January 19, 1997, a
statement strongly opposing Turkey's plans to acquire new aircraft to
combat the PKK, what it called "an armed opposition group."
Turkey's various military orders have been either
cancelled in the past or put on hold due to such pressures brought on
by Human Rights Watch as well as anti-Turkish ethnic lobbies and arms
Super Cobra helicopters, built by Bell Textron, and
cluster bombs are two examples of orders cancelled as a result of such
pressures on the State Department, Pentagon and the U.S. Congress.
After the $140 million sale of the Super Cobras was suspended by the
U.S. State Department, Turkey announced in November 1996 that it had
cancelled the deal.
Decommissioned Knox-class frigates and 150-km range
ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) are examples of orders that have
been stalled by Washington. The ATACMS order, which was submitted back
in December 1995, however, has been approved in December 1996 and
sailed smoothly through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during
the last days of the 104th Congress.
Human Rights Watch said "negotiations for the
following military aircraft and equipment for the Turkish military and
police forces are under way:
* "Four CH-47 Chinook large-capacity military cargo
helicopters," at a cost of about $135 million. Chinook helicopters are
manufactured by Boeing in the United States.
* "Fifty S-70A Black Hawk armed transport
helicopters." These would be part of a $1.1 billion deal signed with
Sikorsky, the U.S. manufacturer, in 1992-93 for 95 helicopters. Turkey
has already received forty-five of the Black Hawks under this
arrangement, with the remaining aircraft to be co-produced. The deal is
currently suspended over disagreements about the terms of
co-production," Human Rights Watch said.
* "Thirty AS-532 Cougar combat, search-and-rescue
and utility helicopters."
Ankara has already received delivery of 20 of these
helicopters for $253 million as part of an earlier contract. A
follow-up deal is currently being negotiated with the Paris-based
German-French consortium Eurocopter for co-producing 30 helicopters,
worth about $400 million, according to Human Rights Watch.
* "Fifty-Four F-4 Phantom fighter jet upgrades."
This is an estimated $600 million modernisation
contract from Israel Aircraft Industries that was signed by Turkey's
prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan, on Dec. 6, 1996, despite all the
previous fears for Erbakan's anti-Israeli bias. The jets would receive
new radar, electronic countermeasures, weapons and navigation systems.
* Popeye missiles: "Turkey has also announced
plans to purchase 30 Popeye precision-guided stand-off missiles from
the Israeli company Rafael for the jets," according to Human Rights
* "Logistical support for the F-16 fighter jet
Turkey is negotiating a deal with U.S. defense
contractors Lockheed Martin, the aircraft engine division of General
Electric, the guidance and control systems division of Litton
Industries, and Westinghouse Electric for $125 million.
The Clinton administration has notified Congress of
its intention to approve Turkey's request for authorisation of the deal.
Human Rights Watch argued that "fighter planes and
military helicopters similar to the ones listed above" were used in
"Turkey's counterinsurgency campaign" and "has resulted in gross
violations of international humanitarian law. This has included firing
indiscriminately at villages, thereby killing civilians and destroying
property; transporting troops to and from villages which are forcibly
depopulated and burned; and abducting, torturing and killing civilians."
To add some balance to its accusations, HRW also
noted that "the PKK is also implicated in a pattern of serious human
rights abuse, such as extrajudicial killings, indiscriminate fire,
kidnappings and extortion."
HRW has urged the United States and other Western
governments "to refrain from further sales to Turkey of weapons that
are likely to be used in violations of human rights and humanitarian
"Both the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe's principles on arms transfers and section 502B of the U.S.
Foreign Assistance Act call for such a restriction on the sale of
weapons," HRW said.
TURKEY LAUNCHES TENDER FOR NUKE PLANT
Despite the reactions from ecologist circles, Turkey
on December 17, 1996, took first tentative steps into the nuclear age,
inviting bids for at least one major power plant near the Mediterranean
coastal town of Akkuyu.
The Invitation to Bid, published in the Official
Gazette called for offers for a single or multiple unit plants with
outputs ranging from 1,200 to 2,800 megawatts. The tender called for
credits covering full cost of the investment.
Industry sources earlier said a 1,400 megawatt plant
costs about $2.5 billion and takes six years to complete.
Announcing the tender at a press conference, Recai
Kutan said the government was planning further nuclear plants in the
coming years to address the country's aggravating energy shortages.
The tender crowns an inconclusive 30-year quest
which was impeded by financial constraints and bureaucratic obstacles.
"Our government is determined to build several more
nuclear plants after the one in Akkuyu to redress the country's
worsening energy shortages" Kutan said, addressing himself to critics
of the nuclear program who see it as a grave environmental threat.
Kutan said conventional power plants and energy
sources would not be capable of meeting the growing needs of the public
in the coming decades. "We have to build nuclear plants every two or
three years to save the country from darkness" the minister said,
arguing that they would be less costly then hydroelectric power plants.
The tender is open to any kind of reactor with
minimum 600 megawatt output including pressurised-water reactors (PWR),
boiling-water reactors (BWR) and heavy-water reactors (PHWR).
Although more costly to build, the heavy water
reactors, using natural uranium are cheaper to run because of the less
expensive fuel compared to enriched uranium used in light-water
General Director Afif Demirkiran of the state-run
Turkish Electricity Generation and Transmission Corporation (TEAS) said
they would look for bids offering latest technology and companies with
no record of mishaps.
The official listed ABB-Atom of Sweden, General
Electric and Westinghouse of the United States, Framatom of France,
Mitsubishi of Japan, KWU-Siemens of Germany, AECL of Canada or joint
ventures led by these as companies having right credentials for the job.
Demirkiran said the tender will expire on Jun. 30,
1997 and until then TEAS will hold talks with the bidders twice.
Turkey's first effort for nuclear energy dates back
to 1965 when the government invited bids for a heavy water reactor to
be set up in the Akkuyu site.
Similar efforts followed in 1976 to construct a
nuclear plant at the 8.5-square-kilometre site in Akkuyu.
These also proved fruitless as a Swedish firm,
Asea-Atom/Stal-Laval which won the official tender later cancelled its
guarantee in 1980.
Later Turkey sent letters of intention to KWU and
AECL for the construction of two separate plants in Akkuyu, and to
General Electric to construct nuclear plants at the Black Sea province
of Sinop. In line with the Build-Operate-Transfer model, Turkey
proposed these firms to operate the plants for 15 years then transfer
them to the Turkish Electricity Board (TEK). AECL which accepted the
proposal, signed a preliminary agreement with the TEK in 1985. This
project was also suspended.
The construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear plant was on
the agenda of the ministry of energy and natural resources last year.
The tender for consultancy at the plant was given to the South Korean
Atomic Agency which prepared the technical specifications of the tender
for the construction of the plant.
CILLER DEEMS WATER AS FUTURE THREAT TO PEACE
Deputy Prime Minister Tansu Ciller on December 17,
1996, said that in future years the Middle East would become a most
important region, especially with respect to water, and added that we
were moving rapidly toward a world which would see water, like oil, as
an invaluable natural resource, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Ciller, speaking as honorary chairman at the first
meeting of the Foundation of Strategic Research of the Future World,
noted that the global agenda of the 20th century was changing fast. She
added that in future years the water issue and the scarcity of
resources would become important strategic problems which would pose a
threat to world peace.
Pointing out that countries, through a rapid process
of establishing blocks, achieved an integration which protected them
from the outer world, Ciller said, "The United States protects its free
market through customs. Then it moves towards a unification which
emphasises political and even defense concepts. On the other side, we
witness the European Union moving towards a different unification --
other than the one within its own body -- on defense and politics. The
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been formed, while
the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), in which the North
American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) is a member, still has a long way to
go." She underlined that these three blocks, which look after 45
percent of the world's population, receive 90 percent of the world's
Ciller also said that the Middle East would become a
risky region, carrying global importance with respect to water. "Water
will become the most important variable," she said, referring to the
preservation of world peace.
Orhan Özcanli, secretary-general of the foundation,
said that the organization was established in September, 1996 with the
aim to enable utilization of strategic data obtained through objective
and scientific methods. He added that the foundation would organize
meetings every two months, and announced that former U.S. President
George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the former
U.S.S.R., will attend the meeting in Istanbul on April 6, 1997.
WHAT HAPPENED YO THE ASSYRIANS OF TURKEY?
Jan PACAL, Turkish Daily News, 29 August 1996
Despite the definition used by political leaders of
a "colourful, mosaic Turkey", the fading and disappearing of those
colors cannot be hidden any more -- and the most blatant example of
colors that are about to disappear altogether are the 45,000 Assyrians
out of a total of 50,000 who have emigrated from Turkey in the last 20
The number of Assyrians in Turkey today is about
5,000. This population is limited to the big cities only because every
single once-Assyrian village has now become a ghost town. The Assyrians
have been forced to look for a future outside Turkey. The villages that
were burnt, unequal education, pressures -- many problems can be listed
now -- all served to push them into searching for a country in which
they could live in a more democratic way.
It will be enough to look at recent history without
rose-tinted spectacles to see and judge all these developments in a
more objective way.
"My Dear Minister, I wonder if Abdullah Öcalan is
circumcised or not? The evidence I am bringing to your attention here
implicates a singer… His name is Coskun Sabah. My dear Minister, I do
not know what his real name is, but I know this person, who earns money
by playing his ud to millions of Muslims, is an Assyrian. I mean he is
an Armenian... And I want to quote here a part of his song called
Southeast, the lyrics and music of which belong to him. This is what
the Assyrian says: 'Southeast, Southeast / The way of my parents/ I
cannot stand this yearning/ I missed Diyarbakir.'
"The South East has been the home of Islam for
nearly 13 centuries. Is the `missing' Sabah mentions in his song a
missing of his private life? Or is the Assyrian the translator of the
thousand-year `missing' of the crusaders? The State Security Court has
to open an investigation into this Assyrian, and, if necessary, this
song that threatens our integrity should be banned…"
This letter, which was sent to the Interior Minister
of the period, Ismet Sezgin, and was also printed in the paper, Zaman,
and continues in the same vein. However, it is not a simple letter, but
an instrument to reveal the threatening approach the Assyrians face,
and the owner of the letter, not even able to distinguish Assyrians
from Armenians, uses Assyriano as an insult.
Right to asylum for Assyrians
In Turkey, such events do not only stay on paper:
villages are burnt and people tortured. Given the fact that this
reality is not hidden, the German Federal Court, after a resolution
passed last year, explained that the Assyrians would be taken under
consideration as a complete group.
The reason of this decision was that the Turkish
Government do not pursue the complaints of the Assyrian minority so as
not to risk the loyalty to the state of the Aghas, local chiefs, the
village guards and Hizbullah in the South East.
Another interesting point was that Germany, which
believes that Kurds can live securely outside the South East, has
concluded that the Assyrians are safe nowhere in the country, and has
given them the right to refuge.
In addition, it is also true that emigration is not
something new for the Assyrians, as they have been doing it for the
last 20 years. Researchers are generally agreed that the reason for
this emigration has not been economic, but people have been forced to
emigrate because of pressures in the region.
The pressure that started in 1970 has accelerated
and, since 1980, people have started to see emigration as the only
solution, researcher and journalist Yakup Bilge says.
In the 1980s Assyrian emigration accelerated
greatly, especially in the South East... The conflict has become more
violent with the interference of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK),
and this has put the Assyrians in a worse situation. Although the
Assyrians have taken no side, they have been submitted to unsolved
murders and pressure. All these things have taken the Assyrians away
from the land that they had been devoted to for 5,000 years. In other
words, they have been forced to seek their future somewhere else -- out
of this land, Bilge continues.
Bilge draws attention to the fact that the Assyrian
population was about 50,000 in the South East in the 1950s, but this
number has by now decreased to 2,000, with the majority in Midyat and
its surrounding villages. With the majority of Assyrians in Istanbul,
the total population for the whole country is about 5,000. According to
Yakup Bilge, the Assyrians do not see themselves as a part of the
"Turkish mosaic" any more.
Whatever the reason is, the Assyrians are living out
their new lives in exile. But even if this color is fading away, it is
still protecting its existence in Turkey. The final disappearance of
this color completely depends on Turkish democracy because the
Assyrians have decided not to live in a place where there is no peace
and democracy. And the emigration will go on unless Turkey provides
these two elements, Bilge warns.
A representative of the Orthodox churches,
journalist and writer Isa Karatas, draws attention to another point: In
Turkey only Armenians and Greeks have the rights of minorities, but
although Assyrians are Christian, they cannot benefit from these rights.
The Assyrians are Christian, but not a minority, and
because they do not have minority rights, they cannot establish their
own schools, and as a natural result cannot provide for the development
and learning of their own language. The language courses opened in the
churches have not been able to expand due to various reasons.
Unfortunately, the government cannot stand these kinds of courses and
has tried to close them.
The most blatant example of the situation was
experienced in the Deyrulzafaran monastery in Mardin. In 1979 the
education of religion and language was banned, and the reason that was
given was that the Assyrian children who were being educated there were
joining terrorist organizations. These false claims were also in the
Religion classes at school are one of the other
problems of the Assyrians -- as with other minorities. Although this
problem doesn't appear to be important, it is one of the greatest
reasons for emigration because these people are kept away from
defending their own religious values. In the official religion classes,
religions other than Islam take only three pages in the course books,
and are also not given within the framework of their own values. While
Assyrian parents introduce their children to the Bible as the book that
shows the way to God and the priests as respected people explaining
this way, the ministry's books introduce the Bible as something that
has been destroyed and changed and the priests as the ones who changed
it to their advantage.
Isa Karatas sums up the results of this situation
with the question Should Assyrian children try to explain that these
claims are untrue, or should they study their lessons? Some have tried
to be silent and accept the situation, but the emigration has been a
continuation of this; and that was the purpose, anyway.
Majority or minority?
Karatas, who states that the problem in Turkey is
not that of being an Assyrian, but of being a Christian, brings forward
the problem of religion rather than the concept of national or ethnic
He also mentions the 39th article of the Lausanne
peace treaty, signed between Turkey and the Allied powers in 1922 and
which established the sovereignty of the Turkish republic. The treaty
states that: Turkish citizens categorised as minorities will benefit
from the same political and social rights as Muslims. Religious belief
and difference of sect cannot inhibit a Turkish citizen from benefiting
from any civil or political rights or being appointed to any official
Karatas continues, Today, no member of a minority
can be a policeman or an officer. Assyrians had the rights of the
majority and not of the minority, but to be Christian inhibited them in
benefiting from the rights of majorities. The Assyrians living within
Turkey's frontiers still do not have those rights.
Another point Isa Karatas mentions is the media and
intelligentsia. He claims that there are some writers who pretend they
know a lot and write as if they knew much, but says that in one of the
books of the Education Ministry, entitled Fast and sacrifice in Islam
and other religions, writer Tahsin Feyizli declares in the section
called "Fast in the Assyrians" that "The Assyrians have been so
influenced by Christians that they are like a sect of Christianity,"
showing that this `respected' person does not even know that the
Assyrians are indeed Christian.
The article entitles Ahdi-cedid, in the first volume
of the Islamic Encyclopaedia, also contains some false claims. One of
them is that the Bible used by the Assyrians does not include two
sections. But a more important distortion is in Professor Mehlika Aktot
Kasgarli's book entitled Turco-Semites in Mardin and surrounding
populations, published by Erciyes University.
The professor writes of the Assyrians: These Turkish
Christians, who accepted our language and traditions and who do not
have the status of a minority, are called Turco-Semites, in
consideration of their origin. Turco-semites are not a different nation
from the Turkish nation, and they even have Turkish characteristics. We
should not forget that Kasgarli has also called Kurds Mountain Turks,
and so follows this new innovation, the Turco-Semites.
Burnt and evacuated villages
Karatas' revelations of facts and reasons do not
seem to end, but the concrete data underlines once again the reason for
emigration. In 1992, the graveyard of the village of Midyat Bulbuk was
bombed, and the reason given was that possibly it was a place for a
secret PKK arms cache.
In another case, a fire which started in the Ogunduk
Village police station, which was attacked by the PKK on July 21, 1992,
led to the village and its fields and vineyard being burnt, and Sükrü
Yalin, who was 17, being wounded.
On August 2, 1992 Catalcam village, located in
Dargecit, was attacked. The Assyrian graveyard and houses were
destroyed. On January 21, 1993, Izbirak village located in Midyat was
attacked by village guards and Melke, Süleyman, Borsoma and a woman
whose name is unknown were kidnapped. The villagers were forced to be
village guards. The incidents are listed like this, but in the last two
years approximately 20 Assyrian villages have been evacuated. Here are
some villages names and the provinces where they were located: Kosrali
(Silopi), Elbeyendi (Midyat), Bardakci (Midyat), Baglarbasi (Midyat),
Yamanlar (Midyat), Baristepe (Midyat), Murcemekli (Midyat), Gungoren
(Midyat), Dagici (Nusaybin), Ocyol (Nusaybin), Guzelsu (Nusaybin),
Dibek (Nusaybin), Taskoy (Nusaybin), Girmeli (Nusaybin), Sare (Idil),
Yarbasi (Idil), Izbirak Koyu (Dargecit), Alayurt Koyu (Idil), Arica
(Gercüs), Yamanlar (Gercüs) and Binkalbe (Gercüs).
Not only were the homes of many Assyrians destroyed
but the Turkish state in a number of cases went a step further,
removing the citizenship of many supposed "Turco-semites". Here is the
list of Assyrians whose Turkish citizenship has been revoked by the
ruling of the ministry commission numbered 95-6805:
Melke Davut (Midyat), Yakup Gonen (Midyat-Gevriye),
Bulut Samuel Bulut (Midyat-Yemisli), Yusuf Aykil, Edibe Aykil
(Midyat-Baglarbasi), Bahi Akil, Semun Unal, Yusuf Surer, Celil
Buyukbas, Mardin Bulbul, Fehmi Yarar (Midyat), Aho Erdinc
(Nusaybin-Taskoy), Ishak Tahan (Midyat), Afem Adil, Ismuni Adil
(Midyat-Yemisli), Mihayel Bayru, Idil Fikri Aksoy (Midyat), Yakup
Yontan (Kiziltepe) Circis Yuksel, Savur Dereici, Aydin Aydin, Nusaybin
Uckoy, Musa Demir, Yusuf Ozbakir, Isa Koc (Midyat-Yemisli), Gevriye
Durmaz, Midyat Dogancay, Gorgis Savci, Dargecit Anitli, Fuat Bayindir,
Idil Hanna (Aydin), Dargecit Anitli, Yakip Mete (Midyat), Sukru Tutus
(Idil), Aziz Ciftci (Mardin) Doctor Edvart Tanriverdi (Midyat).
Since 1980, 20 Assyrian girls, including children,
have been kidnapped. Hasine Selege, aged 14, was taken in 1994 from
Midyat Mercimekli village; in March, 1994, Turkan Gulec was taken from
Midyat Altinbas village; Marta Ilik in September, 1944 from Nusaybin
Odabasi village and Lahdo Barinc from Ogunduk village, who was
kidnapped on February 22, 1993 by people claiming they were village
guards. She was set free in return for DM 100,000 eight months later.
The priest of Ogunduk village, Melke Tok, was
kidnapped on January 9, 1994 by people suspected of being Hizbullah
supporters. After being buried alive, he succeeded in escaping. He said
he had been put under pressure to change his religion to Islam.
The arrests and the missing
Heylan Simsek explains how her husband and son,
Hamdi and Hikmet Simsek, disappeared: On January 13, 1993, my husband
and son were arrested by soldiers. They gathered us in the centre of
the village. They hung the cross that signifies our religious beliefs
on the neck of the imam of the village, Ibrahim Akil, and said, We will
kill you all because you are Christian.
The brothers Edip and Ercan Diril Idil, who wanted
to go back from Istanbul to the Kumkaya village of Silopi, got lost
somewhere near Cizre. The last news from them was that the road was
filled with mines and the soldiers were not allowing them to pass. No
one has heard from them since.
On June 18, 1994, Hurmuz Diril was arrested and put
in prison in the Beytussebab Attorney-Generalship, where he had gone to
question why the Assyrian Keldani village that had been evacuated by
security forces had been burnt. The alderman of the village is still in
prison, his stated crime was that he offered help and was an accomplice
In the face of such pressures the Assyrians of
Turkey have drifted away from the country of their birth to find a new
life in lands more accepting of their faith and identity. Another piece
of the mosaic has been chipped away.
EITHER $70 MILLION IN FINE OR 11 MILLION YEARS IN PRISON
According to the daily Radikal of November 18, 1996,
an editor of different porno publications in Istanbul, Cengiz Aynaz,
was put in prison on November 17, 1996, because of 2017 different legal
proceedings against its publications.
Prosecutors demand a total fine of TL 7 trillion. If
he cannot pay these fines, he will be kept in prison up to 11 million
STATE TERRORISM IN LAST TWO MONTHS
1.11, Istanbul SSC indicts 95 people for the May Day
4.11, trade union officials Kadri Gökdere and Taha
Gül are tried by the Diyarbakir SSC for aiding the PKK.
5.11, security forces detain trade union official
Ali Ürküt in Diyarbakir and nine alleged MLKP members in Istanbul.
6.11, the Anti-War Association of Izmir is closed
down by the governor's decision. - Hundreds of students are arrested
during the demonstrations in protest against YÖK in different cities.
7.11, six alleged DHKP-C members are detained in
8.11, a penal court of Ankara sentences eight
students to three months in prison for a protest demonstration. - The
Malatya SSC sentences a PKK member, Seyit Bulut, to life prison. - 52
HADEP members are brought before a penal court in Istanbul for a press
conference they held in protest against deaths in prison.
9.11, KESK official Emrullah Cin is taken to custody
11.11, IHD chairman Akin Birdal, Mazlum-Der chairman
Ilhan Arslan and IHD official Cemil Aydogan are tried by the Ankara SSC
on charges of aiding the PKK because they visited a PKK camp in Iraq
for liberating some Turkish prisoners of war. Each faces a prison term
of up to 7 years and 6 months.
13.11, the Malatya SSC sentences four people to
three years and nine months in prison for PKK activities.- The Konya
SSC sentences 14 PKK members to life-prison, 44 other members to
different terms of 12 years and 6 months.
14.11, in Ankara, 48 students are indicted for
unauthorised demonstrations. Each faces prison term of up to three
16.11, a meeting for peace organized by the DBH is
banned by the governor's decision.
18.11, the Istanbul prosecutor sent 343 students to
a penal court for having held an unauthorised meeting. - In Mersin,
fifteen people are detained for PKK activities.
19.11, the Istanbul SSC sentences nine people to
prison terms of up to four years and six months for DHKP-C activities.
Again in Istanbul, four people are sentenced to prison terms of up to
12 years and 6 months for PKK activities.
20.11, the Ankara SSC sentences a PKK member to
capital punishment and another one to fifteen years.
21.11, in Istanbul, 20 HADEP members are detained by
police on charges of taking part in PKK activities. - The Diyarbakir
SSC sentences a PKK member to life-prison.
22.11, in Diyarbakir, the Association for Solidarity
with the Families of Prisoners (TUHAD) is closed down by the governor.
- In Istanbul, nine people are detained for being members of the
Communist Party/Construction (KP/IO).
23.11, in Istanbul, seven trade union officials are
placed under arrest on charges of being MLKP members.
25.11, the trial of 683 trade union officials and
employees, accused of having participated in an unauthorised sit-in,
starts at a penal court of Istanbul. Each faces a prison term of up to
26.11, in Istanbul, police raid the IHD and about
ten other social and cultural associations and confiscate all documents
inside. - The former chairman of the Istanbul Bar Association, Turgut
Kazan is indicted on charges of having insulted the Justice Minister.
He faces imprisonment of up to sixteen months.
27.11, the Istanbul SSC sentences 17 persons to
prison terms of up to 12 years and 6 months for PKK activities
28.11, the emergency law is extended again for four
months from November 30 by the National Assembly following the NSC's
directive. Van, Bitlis, Tunceli, Sirnak, Hakkari, Diyarbakir, Batman,
Bingöl and Siirt have been under emergency law since July 1987.
29.11, a fifteen year old secondary school student,
A.S., is brought before the Izmir SSC along with ten other people on
charges of taking part in an outlawed organization. The teenager claims
to have been tortured at police station for accepting the accusation. -
A penal court of Ankara starts the trial of 48 students for a protest
demonstration. - Danish member of parliament Soeren Soendergaard is
expelled from Turkey on pretext that he does not have an entrance stamp
on his passport. He was in Turkey for investigating Kemal Koc case
(See: Info-Türk 229)
30.11, Swedish trade union leader Ilka Parssinen is
not allowed by the Ankara governor to speak at a panel organized in
Ankara on democratic mass organizations.
2.12, the chairman of the Anti-War Association of
Izmir, Osman Murat Ülke is put in a military prison in Eskisehir for
having refused to wear military uniform at a training regiment at
Bilecik to where he was sent after his release by the military court of
General Staff on November 19. - Former DEP deputies Mehmet Emin Sever,
Mahmut Uyanik, Muzaffer Demir and Abdülkadir Zilan are indicted by the
Ankara SSC prosecutor for aiding the PKK and separatist propaganda.
Each faces prison of up to 7.5 years.
6.12, the Ankara SSC sentences nine students to
different terms of up to 18 years for having staged an unauthorised
8.12, the Izmir SSC sentences five trade union
officials to prison terms of up to three years for a protest action. -
In Istanbul, 15 people are taken into custody for having set up a
radical Islamist organization.
10.12, IHD Vice-president lawyer Eren Keskin is
prevented to leave Turkey for participating an Amnesty International
meeting in Germany. - A criminal court of Istanbul starts to try HADEP
chairman Murat Bozlak for having insulted the Armed Forces in one of
his speeches. The Malatya SSC sentences a TIKKO member to life-prison.
11.12, thirteen Islamists are brought before the
Ankara SSC for an anti-secular demonstration on October 4.
12.12, a 22-year old Assyrian, Soner Önder is
sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 16 years and 8 months for having taken
part in an armed PKK action in Istanbul. Droits de l'homme sans
frontières in Brussels accuses the tribunal of having condemned the
Assyrian youth without any proof. - The Diyarbakir SSC arrests Turkish
soldier Ibrahim Yaylali, recently released as a prisoner of war, for
having said "Dear President Öcalan" for the PKK leader. - A penal court
of Istanbul starts to try 56 trade union officials and employees for
having held a press conference on deaths in prison.
13.12, a penal court of Kayseri sentences the local
chairmen of six trade unions to 18-month imprisonment each for an
unauthorised demonstration. - The Malatya SSC sentences three persons
to life-prison and four other people to imprisonments of up to 16
14.12, in Ankara, during a rally of public sector
employees, police detain 33 people.
16.12, the Istanbul SSC starts to try 95 people for
the May Day events during which three people were shot dead by police.
- In Istanbul, police detain five of a group of primary school children
holding a demonstration against Mafia-State relations. - The Court of
Cassation ratifies a life-prison against lawyer Süleyman Altun for PKK
17.12, a peace and friendship festival organized by
the IHD in Malatya is banned by the governor's decision. - The Ankara
SSC starts to try the Socialist Power Party (SIP) chairman Aydemir
Güler and three other party officials for their speech at the party
congress. Each faces prison of up to three years.
18.12, police raiding a dormitory of the Dicle
University in Diyarbakir detain about twenty female students. In the
same city, the chairman of the Architects' Chamber, Ahmet Cengiz is
taken in custody. - In Istanbul, the Association for Solidarity with
the Families of Prisoners (TUAD) is closed down by police.
20.12, five TDKP members are sentenced by the Konya
SSC to prison terms of up to 12 years and six months.
23.12, the Diyarbakir SSC sentences trade unionist
Kadri Gökdere and teacher Taha Gül to 18 years and nine months for
aiding the PKK.
24.12, the Istanbul SSC starts to try former IHD
chairman Ercan Kanar and former HEP chairman Felemez Basboga for an
25.12, the Istanbul SSC sentences 14 members of the
People's Revolutionary Party of Turkey (TDHP) to prison terms of up to
18 years and 9 months.
26.12, former RP deputy Hasan Mezarci is detained by
police at his arrival to Istanbul from self-exile in Europe. He has to
serve a 18-month imprisonment for insulting Atatürk. - A penal court of
Zonguldak sentences the local chairmen of six trade unions to 15-month
imprisonment and a fine of TL250 thousand each for unauthorised meeting.
28.12, the Court of Cassation ratifies prison terms
of up to 12 years and 6 months for six DHKP/C members. - The Malatya
SSC sentences a PKK member to life-prison and one other to three years
and nine months.
PERSECUTION OF THE MEDIA IN TWO MONTHS
1.11, Islamist magazine Selam's columnist Mehmet
Pamak is sentenced in Istanbul to 20 months and a fine of TL433
thousands, and editor Sukuti Memetoglu to a fine of TL 3 millions.
4.11, two journalists of Alinteri, Merdan Özcelik
and Salim Gümüs are taken to custody in Istanbul and Yildirim Dogan of
Kizil Bayrak in Zonguldak. Same day, the last issues of Özgür
Gelecek, Nüroj and Alinteri are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
5.11, Partizan Sesi and Genc Direnis are
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC. - In Istanbul, thirteen people
working for Kizil Bayrak and a member of the musical group Yorum,
Hakan Alak, are detained in Istanbul.
8.11, the Istanbul SSC decides to close down the
periodical Özgür Atilim for one month.
11.11, a new daily newspaper, Emek, successor of
Evrensel, is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
12.11, Kurtulus correspondent Umit Cirikliel claims
to have been tortured at a police station in Ankara. Another
correspondent of the same magazine, Ulas Sahintürk is detained same day
in Samsun. - In Izmir, the Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association is
closed for fifteen days. - The last issue of Atilim and a pamphlet
entitled Özgür Atilim are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
14.11, in Maras, the representation of Nazim
Hikmet's piece, Inek, is banned by the governor.
16.11, Kurtulus is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC
for praising an illegal organization.
17.11, security forces detain Özgür Atilim
correspondent Mikail Vayit in Antakya, Özgür Halk correspondent Salih
Dinc and Demokrasi correspondent Hayrettin Celik in Batman.
18.11, poet Yilmaz Odabasi is indicted by an Ankara
prosecutor for his book entitled Dream and Life. He faces a prison term
of up to three years. - The Istanbul SSC sentences the publisher of the
journal Ronahi, Ihsan Türkmen, to a fine of TL 83 million and decides
to close the journal for one month. The last issues of Ronahi and Özgür
Gelecek are confiscated by the SSC. - The Diyarbakir office of
Özgür Halk is raided by police and two persons detained.
19.11, Alinteri is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
- Demokrasi correspondent and CGD Istanbul Secretary Muteber Yildirim
is put in prison to serve a ten-month imprisonment for an article
concerning worker strikes.
20.11, in Van, Demokrasi correspondent Adil Harmanci
and his wife are detained by police. - The Court of Cassation ratifies
a one-year prison and a fin of TL 100 million against Naime Kaya, the
responsible editor of the periodical Hedef. A one-month ban on Hedef is
also ratified. - The periodical Deng is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
22.11, in Izmir, police raid the house of Demokrasi
correspondent Derya Bektas. Same day, in Batman, Özgür Halk
correspondent Cuma Akin is placed under arrest.
23.11, the Istanbul SSC confiscates Hasan Yildiz'
book Politics and Modernism at the beginning of the 20th Century. -
Alinteri correspondent Filiz Soylu is kidnapped by police in Eskisehir.
25.11, in Izmir, a concert of musical groups Ekin
and Günisigi is banned by the governor.
27.11, the first issue of a new periodical, Hevi, is
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
28.11, police detain three Kizil Bayrak
correspondents, Erol Malkoc, Bahri Colak and Gönül Sayginer, in Ankara
and Özgür Atilim correspondent Selahattin Ünsal in Kayseri.- The
Istanbul SSC confiscates the periodical Perspektif.
29.11, Newroz correspondent Yilmaz Kaplan is
detained in Antep. - The periodical Partizan is confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC. The same court closes Islamist review Akinci Yolu
for one month.
30.11, RTÜK bans the broadcasting of private Kanal D
for three days.
3.12, the Istanbul SSC decides to close the daily
Demokrasi for five days and the periodical Devrimci Cözüm for one
month. Demokrasi publisher Veli Mükyen is sentenced to a fine of TL 291
4.12, RTÜK bans the broadcasting of private Show-TV
for two days and the private Ekin Radio for an indefinite time. -
Former publisher of Newroz, Hüseyin Alatas, and the president of the
Foundation of Women for Freedom, Berivan Bozkurt are placed under
arrest in Gaziantep on charges of being members of the Communist Party
of Kurdistan (KKP).
5.12, Demokrasi correspondent Zülfikar Ali Aydin is
detained in Istanbul.
6.12, daily Emek is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
7.12, the Istanbul SSC decides to close the
periodical Proleter Halkin Birligi for one month and sentences
publishers to a total fine of TL140 million.
10.12, the Ankara SSC starts to try IHD officials
Naciye Erkol, Yildiz Temürtürkan, Oya Ersoy, Mustafa Tüm, Adnan Okur,
Ender Büyükculha, Meryem Erdal for having published a book entitled The
Human Rights Panorama in Turkey.
11.12, musician Hakan Alak of Group Yorum claims to
have been tortured for twelve days after being detained on November 5.
- RTÜK bans the broadcasting of the private Demokrat Radio for
one day. - The Istanbul SSC starts to try Aczmendi leader Müslüm Gündüz
as well as two journalists of Milliyet, Eren Güvener and Murat Sabuncu
for a reportage. - In Usak, the representation of the play Ash Colour
Mornings about an executed young revolutionary is banned by the
12.12, former directors of the defunct daily Özgür
Gündem, Gurbetelli Ersöz and Ali Riza Halis are sentenced by the
Istanbul SSC to 3 years and 9 months each.
16.12, the periodicals Odak and Direnis are
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
17.12, the Istanbul SSC sentences former chairman of
the trade union Petrol-Is, Münir Ceylan and TL600 thousand in fine for
an article he wrote to the daily Demokrasi. The court also
decides to ban Demokrasi's publication for ten days.
19.12, the periodical Hedef is confiscated by the
20.12, writer Hamit Baldemir is sentenced by the
Istanbul SSC to 16-month imprisonment and a fine of TL133 million for
his book The Kurdish Woman in Metropols. - In Aydin, Azadiya Welat
correspondent Ferec Cobanoglu is detained by police.
23.12, a penal court of Istanbul sentences writer
Orhan Gökdemir and his publisher Sirri Öztürk to TL75 million each for
a book entitled From Secret State Organizations to the Welfare Party/
The Other Islam.
24.12, a book entitled The Kurdish Question and
Proposals for a Democratic Solution and the periodical Alinteri
are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
26.12, the Istanbul SSC sentences Demokrasi
publisher Veli Mükyen to TL 2 billion 411 million and the editor Ali
Zeren to 6-month imprisonment and TL 1 billion 159 million in fine in
four different trials. The court also decides to ban the publication of
Demokrasi as well as that of the periodical Odak for one month.
27.12, the broadcasting of the private TV Kanal-D is
banned for one day by the RTÜK. - The periodicals Aydinlik,
Enternasyonalist Devrimci Maya and Proleter Halkin Birligi are
31.12, in Osmaniye, two journalists of the daily
Özgür Cukurova, Yeter Özcan and Bayram Dana are detained by police.