22e Année - N°236
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Rédacteur en chef: Dogan Özgüden
- Editrice responsable: Inci Tugsavul
REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS FOR MARCH 98
The IHD, the Turkish Human Rights Association, has published its
report for the month of March. In addition to 13 killings by unknown perpetrators
and 9 extra judicial killings, 5 people died and 14 were wounded in attacks
The report claims that 49 people were tortured. 2,062 people were
detained of whom 132 were formally arrested. Bombs exploded at the offices
of 9 democratic organisations and press offices and 12 political organisations
and publications were closed down.
135 writers and intellectuals are still in prison on account of articles
they have written or speeches made.
LA COUR DE CASSATION A INFIRME LA CONDAMNATION DES ETUDIANTS
Le jugement des 8 étudiants de l'Université de Haceteppe,
condamnés en première instance à 99 ans puis à
10 ans de prison pour avoir déployé le 28 février
1996 une pancarte au Parlement turc a, le 2 avril 1998, été
cassé à l'unanimité par la Cour de Cassation turque.
Les étudiants voulant protester contre l'importance des frais d'instruction
à l'université avaient considéré le Parlement
turc comme un lieu approprié d'expression de la nation, mais les
juges n'avaient pas entendu de cette oreille. Pour statuer, la Cour de
cassation s'est fondée sur un article du Pacte de Paris disposant
que "nul ne doit être privé de son droit d'accès à
l'éducation" et a considéré que la nature de l'action
des étudiants ne pouvait être définie dans le cadre
de la "loi sur les manifestations et réunions" régie par
Suite à cet arrêt, les étudiants comparaîtront
à nouveau devant le 15ème Tribunal pénal d'Ankara.
PARLIAMENT'S RESOLUTION ON DINO FRISULLO
The European Parliament adopted on April 2 the following Resolution
on the arrest of the Italian citizen Dino Frisullo in Turkey:
"The European Parliament,
"- having regard to its previous resolutions on the human rights
situation in Turkey,
"A. whereas Dino Frisullo, an Italian citizen, was arrested on 21
March 1998 in Diyarbakir for taking part in celebrations to mark the Kurdish
New Year ('Newroz') and for demonstrating in support of the fundamental
rights of the Kurdish people,
"B. whereas the charge brought of 'incitement to violence' is not
warranted by Dino Frisullo's behaviour, which involved the exercise of
the fundamental rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression,
"C. whereas many Community citizens, including politicians and members
of parliament, took part in the 'Newroz' celebrations,
"D. outraged by the behaviour of the Turkish police who, during the
celebrations, arrested a large number of people indiscriminately, in many
instances after having subjected them to arbitrary beatings,
"E. having regard to the diplomatic steps taken by the Italian Government
to secure the immediate release of its national,
"F. reminding the Turkish authorities of the obligations they entered
into by signing the European and international conventions on human rights,
"1. Calls on the Turkish authorities to release the Italian citizen
Dino Frisullo immediately, and supports the request to this effect made
by the Italian Government;
"2. Deplores the actions of the Turkish security forces during the
peaceful 'Newroz' celebrations;
"3. Calls on the Turkish Government to show respect for fundamental
human rights, as required by the international conventions that Turkey
has signed, and in particular to guarantee the rights of freedom of opinion
and freedom of expression;
4. Points out that closer cooperation between the European Union
and Turkey is conditional, first and foremost, upon full respect for human
"5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council,
the Commission, the Government and Parliament of Italy and the Government
PROSECUTORS CHARGE 14 INTELLECTUALS FOR BANNED SPEECHES
A Turkish prosecutor demanded on April 2 that a group of writers
and intellectuals be jailed for up to seven years for publishing a pamphlet
containing banned speeches, Anatolian news agencyreported.
It said charges had been filed against 14 people for "aiding an illegal
armed gang," by publishing speeches by blind activist Esber Yagmurdereli
and trade unionist Mahmut Konuk that called for full rights for Turkey's
Both Yagmurdereli and Konuk were convicted for the speeches, which
were later collected into a booklet and distributed outside an Istanbul
security court earlier this year.
Under Turkish law anyone distributing a banned text faces the same
charges as the original author.
Western concerns about freedom of expression in Turkey were among
the European Union's reasons for rejecting the country's membership bid
Turkey brooks little dissent from Kurdish activists who are often
equated with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels fighting for self-rule
in the country's southeast. More than Veteran activist Yagmurdereli
was released from jail late last year three weeks into a 22-year sentence
on health grounds after strong protests from European rights groups.
WORK GROUPS FOLLOW DEVELOPMENTS WORLDWIDE
Turkish Daily News, April 2, 1998
The Turkish military recently increased its efforts to catch up the
21st century professional standards, by following almost all of the international
and domestic events with its 43 large-scale work groups. The military also
maintains a think tank which focuses on long-range planning.
In addition to the well-known West Working Group (BCG), a watchdog
which monitors anti-fundamentalist activities both at home and abroad,
the military has 42 other working groups mainly focusing on vital domestic
and international developments, with special desks for key countries and
regions. The work groups meet regularly to discuss related countries or
issues. Reports prepared by the work groups are then presented to the military
A high-ranking general told the Turkish Daily News that the General
Staff is preparing for the upcoming millennium by identifying potential
military conflicts based on the changing global threats. Special work groups
are being established and maintained based on the potential threat to Turkey.
The first group was established in 1981, he said, "but the number of work
groups has increased dramatically in the last two years."
"Nobody should construe these work groups as a threat or think that
the military is intervening in politics," he said.
The General Staff took this model from the NATO standard operating procedures
in order to prepare the armed forces for any uncertainty or crisis in the
future, he said. Thus, military work groups focus on the strategic implications
of future action.
"We do the same thing everyone else does. We play by the same rules
as the other military forces in the world," the general said.
Which countries or areas are subjects of work groups ?
Among the most important work groups, there are at least seven concerning
Greece. Other subjects of study are Cyprus, the Balkans, Turkmens, Turkic
states and Central Asia, Russia, terrorism, separatist movements and extremist
leftist and right-wing movements, fundamentalist movements, biological
warfare, water problems, the Middle East, Israel, the United States, Britain,
France, Germany, relations with the European Union (EU), Iran, Iraq, Syria,
Military think tanks
Meanwhile, a specially established "think tank" based at General
Staff headquarters is continuing its work. Turkish Daily News was the first
newspaper in Turkey to report on the think tank months ago.
Apart from the 43 work groups, the military think tank is another
key body which helps to form strategies followed by the General Staff.
The think tank was actually established in 1983 and its authority
and sphere were extended by Gen. Cevik Bir in 1996 in order to make it
more pro-active. It is behind all of the military domestic and foreign
policies that are being pursued by the top generals of the Turkish Armed
From military operations to clear the separatists from northern Iraq,
to relations with the United States, fundamentalism, NATO, Greece and Cyprus,
the think tank plays a key role in various critical issues.
It has two main executive boards. One is made up of colonels and
the other is made up of lieutenant generals, called J-5 at the headquarters.
The organization is made up of three main departments, the foreign affairs
bureau, the internal affairs bureau and economics department. The recent
National Defense Policy Document that rocked Ankara last year was prepared
by this think tank.
Important internal issues such as those of terrorism and the Southeast,
the fundamentalist threat and extremist activities from both the left and
the right are discussed every day by the expert officers belonging to National
Security Department, with support in theoretical matters from academicians.
Later, the reports are presented by both colonels and the Lt. Gens (J-5
commanders) to the top generals at the headquarters. Within the think tank's
international affairs department, which handles foreign policy, are special
desks, including those dealing with Iran, Iraq, Syria, Cyprus, Greece,
Europe, the United States, Russia, and the Balkans.
The think tank is authorized to request information from academicians,
businessman and diplomats. Some prominent businessmen have also given information
to the organization concerning the pros and cons of the business angle
Chief of General Staff Gen. Ismail Hakki Karadayi, Deputy Chief of
General Staff Gen. Cevik Bir, land, naval and air force commanders and
other top officers are periodically briefed on reports prepared by the
´ POET CAN YUCEL'S
JAILING VERDICT REVERSED
The Court of Appeals, on April 2, once again reversed a previous
verdict, sentencing renowned poet Can Yucel to one year and two months
in jail, on the grounds of having insulted the president in one of his
Yucel's lawyer Mehmet Ay said in his explanation: "Can Yucel is a
significant personage; he is a poet, a writer, a translator, a thinker.
Yucel has an outstanding personality. Everyone who knows him would say
how much Can likes people and that he never wants to insult or hurt anyone."
The speech in question took place at a dance and poetry event organized
by the music department of the Gazi Education Faculty. Ay added that "Yucel
criticized the president in his speech, but he did not insult him."
The first verdict, by Ankara's Criminal Court No.14, was also sent
to the Court of Appeals on the grounds of "lack of investigation."
TURKISH MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT SAY FOUND TORTURE EVIDENCE
A Turkish government MP said on April 3 she had found evidence of
torture in police custody in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast, Anatolian
news agency said.
"We have found out that people have been tortured... while being
questioned," the agency quoted Sema Piskinsut as saying.
It said Piskinsut, who heads a parliamentary commission for human
rights, held a news conference after travelling to the remote region to
investigate allegations of rights abuses.
"I have seen the signs of torture... Electric and telephone cables,
truncheons, pipes, water in interrogation rooms," said Piskinsut, of Deputy
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's Democratic Left Party.
On the other hand, The Turkish Daily News reported that the members
of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission stated that they have discovered
some torture instruments duringinvestigations carried out at police departments
and prisons. Cables used to give electric shocks and hangers used for torturing
were found in the interrogation rooms of Batman and Diyarbakir police departments.
The Parliamentary Human Rights Commission which aimed to look into
the prison conditions completed their investigations in Diyarbakir, Urfa,
Batman and Mardin. An official from the commission stated that they had
proof of systematic torture. Members of the commission learnt of shocking
experiences through interviews with hundreds of torture victims. Photographs
and video cassettes documenting the torture instruments and victims were
According to an official, the commission found black cables in the
interrogation rooms of Batman and Diyarbakir police departments and other
smaller police offices in the region. Officials of the police department
claimed that these cables are "telephone cables" but after completing the
investigation, the commission experts stated that the cables are torture
instruments, which can give a charge of 48 volts of electricity. Many tires
were also found in the "interrogation houses." Experts stated that these
tires are used in the production of Palestinian hangers. According to their
explanation, small tires are used for hanging victims to the ceiling, bigger
ties are used for rolling the victims on the floor. There were clues that
sand bags were also used for torturing. Most of the police departments
had wet floors and some were below regulated health standards.
According to officials, the mistreatment of prisoners which continues
in these prisons, is mostly carried out during their transfer. Prisoners
are forced to take off all their clothes when they first arrive at the
Doctors associated with the commission discovered that many prisoners bearthe
scars of torture.
UN'S SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR ON TORTURE INVITED TO TURKEY
The United Nations (UN) special investigator on torture said on ON
APRIL 4 in Geneva that he had been invited to visit Turkey in November
but questioned the length of the 5-day visit proposed by his hosts.
"The Turks have formally invited me and have in fact suggested formal
dates, which is the second week in November," Nigel Rodley, a British law
professor who serves as the independent U.N. special rapporteur on torture,
"A week is not long enough and I have made that clear to the Turkish
government just yesterday," he was quoted as saying by wire services. "For
the mission to be on a proper footing, it would have to be longer than
Rodley refused to speculate on why he had been invited. "I would
like to think that it is in a general and genuine spirit of cooperation
with the international community with a view to addressing a human rights
problem constructively, and with a view to remedying it," he said.
Rodley said that his visit would have to be carried out in line with
standard U.N. terms for human rights missions, which include access to
places of detention and confidential interviews with all individuals, including
detainees. "I expect all of those terms of reference to be respected,"
Rodley's annual report on torture worldwide, submitted to the U.N.
Commission on Human Rights this week, cited allegations of "widespread
use of torture in Turkey, including that inflicted upon a significant number
"According to the information, torture was practised against most
persons interrogated by the anti-terror branch of the police and the gendarmerie,
as well as against many persons detained by the police in ordinary criminal
cases," he wrote.
Torture was reportedly administered to extract 'confessions', to
obtain information, to intimidate detainees into becoming police informants,
or as informal or summary punishment for petty offences or suspected sympathy
for illegal organizations."
Methods alleged to be commonly used in Turkey included: electric
shocks; hanging by the arms in a variety of positions; spraying with high-pressure
water; sexual abuse, including squeezing of the testicles or breasts; beatings
with fists, night sticks or sandbags; blindfolding; stripping suspects
and exposing them to extreme temperatures.
"Most of the most severe torture was said to occur in the early days
of detention, so that by the time a detainee appeared in court or underwent
a physical examination, there would remain little or no physical evidence
that torture had taken place," Rodley's report said.
The report contained allegations of torture from 1995-1997, including
mistreatment of minors involved in communist activities.
The government replied to Rodley on several specific cases, saying
medical reports established there had been no torture. In some cases, it
said investigations had been opened.
The government told Rodley that a law adopted in March 1997 was aimed
at reducing maximum periods of detention to a level compatible with European
and international standards.
TWO CHILDREN DETAINED FOR DEFACING SLOGAN OF ATATURK
amazan and Veysel Ulag aged 12 and 13, two brothers detained on the
4 April on suspicion of damaging a "How happy is one who says, I am a Turk",
inscription, were tortured while in custody.
The two brothers were accused of damaging the words, carved into
the hillside near Selen barracks in the town of Kiziltepe in Mardin province.
The children say they were tortured by soldiers who had ordered them to
damage the words.
The children were released in the evening of the same day and Ramazan
Ulag was taken to hospital.
ARREST OF ITALIAN ACTIVIST IN TURKEY CREATES DIPLOMATIC RIFT
Turkish Daily News, April 6, 1998
The arrest of an Italian peace activist in Turkey has created a diplomatic
rift between Italy and the government in Ankara.
The Turkish charge d'affaires in Rome was summoned by the Foreign
Ministry Saturday to receive a formal protest, the ministry said.
Italy was angered that Turkey refused to allow a delegation of Italian
Parliament members to visit the pacifist, Dino Frisullo.
In Ankara later Saturday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the delegation
was banned because only relatives and home country diplomats are allowed
to visit inmates.
Frisullo was arrested on charges of ``instigation of violence'' March
21 during pro-Kurdish celebrations broken up by the police in Diyarbakir,
the provincial center in Southeast Anatolia.
The Italian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the government
``strongly deplored'' the barring of the delegation.
The ministry said it hoped for a ``positive and welcome solution''
to the affair ``in full respect of fundamental principles in the matter
of human rights.''
Turkey has been under fire from Western countries for its dismal
human rights record, which includes the jailing of journalists and reports
Frisullo faces a maximum three-year prison term if convicted
Turkish police said he was carrying documents belonging to the banned
Kurdish separatist terrorist group, PKK and shouted slogans in praise of
On Sunday mass circulation daily Hurriyet showed a photo of Frisullo
waving a PKK propaganda leaflet and chanting slogans on the shoulders of
some people in a rally crowd in Diyarbakir.
POLITICAL PRISONER SETS HIMSELF ALIGHT
21 year old Welat Azad Emirhanoglu set himself alight in protest
at the oppression of the Kurdish people on the 5th April in Burdur prison,
Med-TV reported. Emirhanoglu was sent back to prison after receving treatment
but after a deterioration in his condition he was once again taken to Burdur
state hospital on the morning of 6 April
Emirhanoglu's treatment is continuing. His father, Zulkuf Emirhanoglu,
has not been allowed to see his son, who has second degree burns on many
parts of his body. Welat Azad Emirhanoglu, from Ergani in Diyarbakir province
had joined the PKK in october 1993, and was captured by Turkish state forces
on 1 January 1995 in the Lice-Hazro Kulp triangle. Emirhanoglu lost 4 fingers
on his right hand and three on his left as a result of frostbite and gangrene.
Welat Azad Emirhanoglu left a lettler in which he explained the reasons
for his action. "I am protesting against all the exploitation, opression
and massacres suffered by the Kurdish people and against all the arbitary
measures in prison, the attempts to alienate people to make them surrender
and betray their comrades. I set myself alight out of loyalty to comrades
Sema and Fikri who carried out a similar action."
TURKISH AUTHORITIES PREVENT POLITICAL PRISONERS HAVING OPEN VISITS
Once again this year the Turkish authorities have prevented politcial
prisoners benefiting from the open visits allowed at religious festivals.
More than 10.000 political prisoners, mainly from the PKK, have only
been able to have closed visits. In a directive sent by Justice minister
Oltan Sungurlu, in addition to political prisoners those who have attempted
to escape or opposed the prison authorities were also not to be allowed
an open visit.
The PKK prisoners in Mus prison are continuing their hunger strike,
which began on 2 march. While ordinary prisoners were to have open visits
on 9 and 10 April, political prisoners were to receive closed visits on
11 and 12 April. Also the hunger strike in Mus prison started by PKK prisoners
demanding the return of rights taken away by the prison authorities has
now been continuing for 6 weeks.
Eva Junke, the German ARGK guerrilla, who had been sent from Mus
to Van prison, has now been returned to Mus and has joined the hunger strike.
In a statement issued by inmates is was reported that Eva Juhnke was being
kept in solitary confinement and being constantly threatened by right wing
prison officers, called "the A team".
´ BODIES OF ARGK
The bodies of 10 ARGK guerrillas killed on 10 and 11 April in Antalya
province have been removed from the mass grave in which they were buried
and reburied twice after chauvinistic campaign in the Turkish media.
Firstly the bodies of the dead guerrillas were not handed over to
the families, who had travelled to Antalya from Malatya. The bodies, which
had been buried in the town of Manavgat, were then removed by the authorities
after protests from local far rightists.
The bodies were dug up and taken to the Antalya city cemetery where
once again, on 17 April, local fascits held a protest with Turkish flags,
demanding that the guerrilas carpses be removed and started to scrape away
the soil with their bore hands. The protesters dispersed when the authorities
promised to once again dig up the bodies. The corpses were then dug up
and taken to another cemetery.
Local parties, including HADEP, the Human Rights Association, KESK,
Mazlum-Der and the ODP, released statements condeming the inhuman treatment
of the bodies and the fascist attacks. They said: « We invite the
authorities and the people to show respect to the dead, » and added,
"We protest at the attitude of the mainstream media". The statement also
drew attention to the fact that efforts were being made to create irreparable
wounds in relations between the Kurdish and Turkish people.
L'ENLÈVEMENT DE SEMDIN SAKIK PAR L'ARMÉE TURQUE AU KURDISTAN
Une équipe de 40 hommes de forces spéciales turques
transportés à bord de deux hélicoptères ont
kidnappé dans la matinée du 13 avril Semdin Sakik, haut commandant
du PKK qui s'était récemment réfugié auprès
du PDK de Massoud Barzani. L'opération aéroportée
a eu lieu près de la bourgade de Qasrok, située entre les
villes de Dohouk et Aqra à environ 60 km de la frontière
turque. S. Sakik, son frère et les quelques gardes kurdes irakien
qui les accompagnaient vers Erbil, capitale kurde irakienne, ont été
surpris par cette embuscade militaire turque préparée dans
le plus grand secret , apparemment à l'insu du Premier ministre
et du Ministre de la défense. Arrêtés, Sakik et sa
suite ont été transportés par hélicoptères
à Diyarbakir, en Turquie.
Sakik, dit également Zeki sans-doigts, était le commandant
militaire le plus célèbre du PKK. En conflit avec le chef
de cette organisation, il s'était, le 16 mars, réfugié
auprès de Barzani. Celui-ci s'était publiquement engagé
le 23 mars à ne pas le rendre à la Turquie et avait déclaré
qu'il serait libre de ses mouvements dans le Kurdistan irakien. Le chef
du PKK, Ocalan, dans deux longues interventions sur MED-TV avaient accusé
Sakik de « trahison » et appelé la Turquie à
le faire arrêter.
Dans un communiqué rendu public en début de l'après-midi
du 13 avril, le secrétariat de l'état-major des armées
turques annonce que l'opération du kidnapping de S. Sakik «
dans le nord de l'Irak » a été décidée
à la suite du refus réitéré des Parti de démocratique
du Kurdistan irakien de le remettre aux autorités turques.
De son côté, le PDK, dans un communiqué publié
quelques heures après le kidnapping. "condamne fermement l'opération
turque et tient responsables les autorités turques pour cet acte
grave et pour la sécurité des personnes enlevées,
dont nos propres hommes." "Cet acte sape gravement les relations de bon
voisinage et constitue une violation grave de la souveraineté de
notre pays » ajoute ce communiqué qui indique par ailleurs
que le kidnapping est intervenu alors que « Semdin Sakik, son frère
ainsi que leurs gardes du corps étaient en train d'être transférés
vers un endroit plus sur dans la région d'Erbil."
La Turquie considère le Kurdistan irakien comme son arrière-cour
et y intervient à sa guise, en toute impunité. Depuis 1992
elle y a effectué 57 incursions militaire.
TO TRY ITALIAN REPORTER OVER KURDISH LINKS
An Italian reporter arrested in southeastern Turkey during a Kurdish
separatist protest last month faces up to three years in jail if convicted
of links to Kurdish guerrillas, lawyers said on April 13.
"The prosecutors' office has asked for my client to be jailed for
between one to three years," Muharrem Erbey, the journalist's lawyer, told
Reuters in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
The city's main prosecutor accused journalist Dino Frisullo in an
indictment of provoking "hatred and enmity among people," Erbey said.
The European Parliament has warned that the case could further damage
Turkey's bid to join the European Union. Frisullo and two other Italians
were detained by police last month at a march in Diyarbakir to mark Newroz
spring holiday, a traditional time of Kurdish protests.
Turkey deported two of the three after Italy protested.
Erbey said he believed the reporter had not committed any crime and
he would apply to the court on Monday for his release. It was not immediately
clear when his trial would start.
´ BAD MONTH FOR TURKISH PRESS
The Turkish Journalists' Association (TGC) declared on April 14 that
12 Turkish journalists were sentenced to various penalties in March. The
most significant of these was the decision to imprison famous poet and
journalist Can Yucel for 14 months on charges that he insulted President
In addition, 19 journalists were taken into custody during investigations
carried out at a number of leftist newspapers. Fourteen journalists were
attacked last month and ten newspapers and two books were seized following
The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) temporarily closed
17 radio and television stations for varying lengths of time in March.
OFFICERS BEAT AND DETAINED A TV JOURNALIST
According to information released by RSF on 14 April 1998, police
officers detained Selcuk Manav, sports announcer for the private television
chain ATV, on 8 April 1998.
The officers beat Manav and dragged him across the field of Ali Sami
Yen stadium in Istanbul just before the start of a soccer match. Manav
was taken, semi-conscious, to the police station in Mecidiyekoy. He was
released soon after.
RIGHTS WORKER FACES TRIAL FOR ROME SPEECH
Reuters (April 15, 1998)
A Turkish prosecutor has begun a fresh prosecution against Turkey's
top rights campaigner for a speech he made in Italy last year about Turkey's
Kurdish rebel conflict, rights activists said on Wednesday.
"A new case was opened against Akin Birdal, chairman of the IHD (Human
Rights Association)," the association said in a statement.
"State-run Anatolian news agency said Birdal had been charged with
"aiding an illegal organisation."
"Turkey allows little dissent from those advocating minority rights
for its Kurdish population and has vehemently rejected calls for dialogue
with Kurdish rebels.
Birdal already faces several charges for speeches in favour of a peaceful
end to the 13 years of conflict. He has complained that authorities have
not fully notified him of the charges and number of prosecutions against
The rights campaigner was sentenced to one year in jail last October
for spreading Kurdish rebel propaganda, but has appealed against the verdict.
Birdal's rights group, established in 1986, has long drawn official
anger for its accusations of widespread rights abuses, which Ankara says
damage the country's image abroad.
The European Union last year put Turkey's long-standing EU membership
bid on indefinite hold, citing its poor rights record.
REPORTER HUNGER STRIKE IN TURKEY JAIL
Reuters (April 15, 1998)
An Italian journalist held in a Turkish jail for his alleged part
in a Kurdish protest started a temporary hunger strike on Wednesday, his
"My client initiated a hunger strike early this morning and will
continue until April 28 when the trial starts," lawyer Muharrem Erbey told
Reuters in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
Journalist Dino Frisullo was accused of provoking "hatred and enmity
among people," after being detained by police last month at a march in
Diyarbakir to mark Newroz spring holiday, a traditional time of Kurdish
He could be jailed for up to three years if found guilty.
The lawyer said Frisullo demanded a lifting of prison restraints
on communication with the outside world and a transfer to a jail ward where
Kurdish rebel prisoners are held.
He has also urged improved human rights in Turkey. "He wants Turkey
to fulfil its promises to Europe on the human rights issue," the lawyer
´ YILMAZ BLAMES
KOHL FOR EU EXCLUSION
Reuters (April 15, 1998)
Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz on Wednesday laid the blame squarely
at the feet of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for Ankara's failure to gain
a European Union membership nomination last year.
Yilmaz, in an interview with the Die Zeit weekly newspaper, said he did
not have the slightest doubt Turkey would now be an EU member candidate
if Kohl had taken a different stance.
"To our knowledge, the former EU president (Jean-Claude) Juncker
was only carrying out the orders of the German chancellor," Yilmaz said.
The 15-nation bloc kept Turkey off its list of prospective members at a
Luxembourg summit last December because of Ankara's human rights record,
the Kurdish conflict and disputes with EU member Greece.
Yilmaz, who spoke in German, also accused Kohl of breaking an earlier
promise which he said the chancellor made to him before the Luxembourg
summit to support Turkey's later membership to the EU.
"In Luxembourg I realised that he meant a permanent delay to our
membership," Yilmaz told the newspaper, an advance copy of which was made
available on Wednesday.
The Turkish prime minister has launched a series of verbal broadsides against
Bonn since the EU decision last year, but this was the first time he has
heaped the blame on Kohl personally.
Last month Yilmaz outraged Bonn by comparing German EU foreign policy
with Hitler's ``Lebensraum'' doctrine of grabbing land for settlement in
He also said the Bonn government had done everything to ruin ties
with the Turks, Germany's largest ethnic minority.
´ VISITE DE WILLIAM
COHEN EN TURQUIE.
William Cohen, secrétaire américain à la Défense,
accompagné de Marc Grossman, assistant du secrétaire d'Etat
pour les affaires européennes et canadiennes, sont arrivés
vendredi 17 avril en Turquie pour une tournée qui le conduira également
en Jordanie, en Égypte, en Israël et en Grèce.
Les relations bilatérales entre les États-Unis et la
Turquie, ainsi que les différends avec la Grèce- toutes deux
membres de l'OTAN- à propos notamment de Chypre et des missiles
russes commandés par Nicosie qui suscitent la colère et l'inquiétude
d'Ankara, étaient à l'ordre du jour. Par ailleurs,
l'agenda du M. Cohen comprenait d'autres discussions non moins importantes;
le projet turc d'acquisition des F-15, son programme d'achat d'hélicoptères
d'assaut pour un montant de $3,5 milliards, son projet de fabrication d'au
moins 800 tanks pour un contrat de $4,5 milliards et la question des frégates
en supplément des trois premières Perry-class.
Le secrétaire américain s'est également rendu
samedi 18 à la base d'Incirlik auprès des troupes américaines
participant à l'opération "Northern Watch" de surveillance
de la zone d'exclusion aérienne dans le nord de l'Irak. Il a déclaré
que l'Irak n'obtiendra "pas d'allégement" des sanctions de l'ONU
tant qu'il ne fournira pas la preuve de la destruction de ses stocks d'armes
chimiques et bactériologiques.
D'autre part, la Turquie projette de lancer cette année un
appel d'offres international pour moderniser ses vieux chars de combat
M60 de fabrication américaine, un contrat atteignant plus de $500
millions. Des firmes américaine, israélienne et européennes
s'intéressent de près à ce marché.
En plus de la modernisation de ses M60, la Turquie a l'intention
de fabriquer quelque 1000 chars de combat avec une firme qui reste à
choisir et pour un montant de $5 milliards.
La Turquie, qui a la plus grande armée au sein de l'OTAN après
les États-Unis, projette de dépenser quelque $31 milliards
sur les dix prochaines années pour moderniser son armée.
Parmi ses grands projets figurent la production locale avec des partenaires
étrangers de 145 hélicoptères d'assaut pour $3,5 milliards
et l'éventuelle acquisition de chasseurs bombardiers américains
ACTIVISTS GIVEN PRISON SENTENCE FOR ANTI-SECULAR PROTEST
Ankara's number two State Security Court (DGM), on April 17, sentenced
four defendants to prison terms varying between one-and-a-half and six-and-a-half
years for demonstrating during commemoration ceremonies of Ataturk on Nov.
The defendants, Mahmut Kacar, Bahattin Toprak, Bekir Ozbal and Recai
Gokalp were present at yesterday's trial. Mahmut Kacar denied the charges,
and said that he and the other defendant's goal was to reveal the word
of God. Kacar claimed that he did not attack or insult anyone, but only
obeyed the word of Prophet Abraham. He said that in the modern world, idolatry
was spreading, and most people did not obey God's orders.
He continued: "If a referendum were made in Turkey, everyone would
say that they knew that Prophet Abraham was against worshipping idols.
What we did is simply repeat the word of Prophet Abraham. We are ready
for all punishments in the name of Allah. This trial will not end. At the
Final Judgement day, we will meet you and our people again. What is wrong
with telling people not to worship idols, because idols are simply made
of stone and iron. There is nothing criminal in these statements. This
case will be reopened during the Final Judgement day".
Another defendant, Bekir Ozbal, said that they did not have any problem
with Ataturk but with Kemalists who worshiped idols. The defendants' lawyer,
Huseyin Ayan, wanted an acquittal decision from the court.
After the announcement of the verdict, the defendants shouted "Allahu
ekber," which was followed by a moment of tension between relatives of
the defendants and the police.
TURKEY AND ISRAEL TO COOPERATE ON NEW MISSILE PROJECT
Turkish Daily News (April 20, 1998)
In an unexpected development, Turkey and Israel have decided to work
on a new joint project to produce medium-range defensive missiles after
the United States looked askance at earlier Tel Aviv-Ankara plans to include
Turkey in the American-Israeli Arrow missile development, a senior military
"During the recent Turkish-Israeli annual defense meeting held in
Ankara at the end March, Israeli defense officials told us that the United
States was deeply disturbed upon hearing of plans including Turkey in the
Arrow missile development," said the military official.
"Therefore, Israel and Turkey decided to work on a new project which
would be similar to the Arrow missile, which would have a range of approximately
150 kilometers, but its name and specifications would be different," he
The details of the enormous new project will be discussed during
the upcoming visit of a Turkish delegation to Israel next month. Turkey
has suffered from a lack of such defensive missiles in its arsenal, and
concerns have been raised following Iran and Syria's efforts to increase
their missile capacities, believed to be targeting Turkey and Israel.
Earlier, there had been Turkish-Israeli plans that envisaged involving
Ankara in the Arrow missile program being developed by Israel and the United
States. But Washington has long been keeping Turkey on a list of countries
under the Missile Control Regime Systems concept which closes acquisition
avenues to certain countries interested in buying missiles from European
countries and the United States.
In March, a group of 30 Israeli defense officials visited Turkey
to increase current defense industry cooperation between the two countries,
the third annual gathering of key defense officials from both sides. The
Arrow missiles were one of the key issues discussed during the meeting.
Meanwhile, the recent cooperation between Turkey and Israel has drawn
the reproach of Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Iran and Syria, who
claim that this partnership is seriously damaging the strategic balance
of power in the region.
Israel is currently upgrading 54 Turkish F-4 Phantoms in a deal worth
$632 million and recently won a bid to upgrade 48 Turkish F-5s Tigers for
$80 million. Israel also sold night-vision systems to Turkey last year.
In an earlier missile project, the two countries signed a memorandum
of understanding for the joint production of hundreds of Popeye II missiles.
The final agreement, which is expected to be concluded soon, will set production
conditions for the150-kilometer-range Popeye II missile. This is the advanced
version of the Popeye I which is currently being used on F-16's and F-4's.
MIKES will produce data-links for the Popeye II missiles, while another
Turkish firm, Roketsan, will produce the ignition system and components.
Israel's Rafael is to provide the technology.
Turkey also earlier decided to buy 200 Popeye I missiles from Israel,
the deliveries of which started at the end of last year.
The defense links between Turkey and Israel were launched with a
military training cooperation agreement signed in February, 1996. The second
agreement came in August, 1996 with a defense industry cooperation deal.
The military training accord involved reciprocal naval visits, the sending
of delegations to military academies and the use of each other's airspace
and seas for pilot training.
LE MAIRE ISLAMISTE D'ISTANBUL CONDAMNÉ À 10 MOIS DE PRISON.
Le 21 avril 1998, le maire d'Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan a été
condamné par la Cour de Sûreté de l'État de
Diyarbakir à 10 mois de prison ferme pour des propos qui constitueraient
une "provocation explicite du peuple à la haine par discrimination
religieuse, raciale ou régionale".
M. Erdogan dans une déclaration publique faite en décembre
1997 dans la ville kurde de Siirt avait dit "les mosquées sont nos
casernes, les minarets nos baïonnettes, les coupoles nos casques et
les croyants nos soldats".
Il s'agit d'extraits d'une poème de Ziya Gökalp, idéologue
et père fondateur du nationalisme turc, poème composé
il est vrai au début du siècle dans un contexte de lutte
contre "les puissances chrétiennes de l'époque". C'est la
raison pour laquelle, le procureur de Diyarbakir a demandé l'acquittement
du maire d'Istanbul mais la Cour, semi-militaire, sans doute sur instruction
de la hiérarchie militaire, a décidé de le condamner
dans le dessein de mettre fin à la carrière de cet homme
politique populaire dont la gestion semble appréciée par
les Stambouliotes. Après avoir décapité le mouvement
kurde, les militaires cherchent à décapiter la mouvance islamiste
modérée. Si sa peine est confirmée par la Cour de
cassation, le maire d'Istanbul, considéré par beaucoup comme
futur chef des islamistes en Turquie, sera déchu de son mandat de
maire et ne pourra plus se présenter à des élections
car selon le code pénal turc, tout citoyen condamné pour
"crimes contre l'État" devient inéligible ad vitam.
On sait que Sukru Karatepe, maire islamiste de Kayseri (centre) avait
été condamné, sous le même chef d'accusation,
à un an de prison en 1997, peine confirmée en appel.
Par ailleurs, la police a procédé à une opération
sans précédent dans les milieux d'affaires islamistes à
Ankara, Adana, Bursa, Istanbul et Kayseri. Une vingtaine d'arrestations
d'hommes d'affaires qui, selon la police, seraient impliqués dans
le blanchiment de fonds d'origine frauduleuse et le transfert illégal
d'argent à des organisations islamistes, ont été réalisées
dans la nuit de lundi 20 à mardi 21 avril, dans le cadre d'une enquête
lancée par la Cour de Sûreté de l'État d'Ankara.
Cinq sous-préfets et trois maires islamistes ont déjà
été déférés en justice pour menées
islamistes dans le cadre des mesures annoncées par M. Yilmaz.
´ 300 MAIRES
SOUS INSTRUCTIONS JUDICIAIRES.
Selon le ministre de l'Intérieur, Murat Baseskioglu, les procédures
judiciaires concernant 300 maires turcs sont en cours d'instruction. "J'ai
le pouvoir de les destituer de leurs fonctions, mais je ne le ferai qu'en
m'appuyant sur le rapport de l'inspection" a déclaré M. Baseskioglu.
Il a ajouté que le fondamentalisme n'était pas le seul objet
Le ministre de l'Intérieur, souvent interpellé à
ce titre par les députés du parti islamiste, le Parti de
la Vertu (FP), affirme que "ce n'est pas une affaire personnelle, il y
a des rapports très pertinents de l'Inspection les concernant" et
a ajouté que l'ancien gouvernement islamiste avait étouffé
les dossiers mettant en cause Tayyip Erdogan et Melih Gökçek,
respectivement maires islamiste d'Istanbul et d'Ankara.
Le ministre turc a avancé que le premier avait fait l'objet
de 24 informations judiciaires, dont 11 non-lieux alors que le parti islamiste
était au pouvoir et le second 25 informations, dont 17 non-lieux
toujours sous le gouvernement islamiste.
LE PARLEMENT TURC DÉCIDE DE CRÉER UNE COMMISSION D'ENQUÊTE
SUR LA FORTUNE DE MME CILLER.
La motion présentée contre Mme Tansu Ciller, ancien
Premier ministre turc, a été adoptée le mardi 21 avril
au Parlement turc. Déposée le mois dernier par des députés
des trois partis de l'actuelle coalition gouvernementale, la motion demande
une enquête sur les biens personnels de l'intéressée.
Les partis gouvernementaux affirment qu'elle a acquis illégalement
des biens d'une valeur de 2,5 millions de dollars lorsqu'elle était
Premier ministre. Une commission parlementaire sera constituée pour
enquêter sur la fortune de Mme Çiller.
A la suite du rapport de cette commission, qui devra être remis
dans les deux mois, l'Assemblée plénière aura à
se prononcer sur son sort et en cas d'approbation Mme Çiller sera
alors déférée devant la Cour constitutionnelle.
Par ailleurs la commission préparatoire examine une autre requête
demandant la levée d'immunité parlementaire des ténors
du parti de la Juste Voie (DYP) dont Mme Çiller, Mehmet Agar, Meral
Aksener, respectivement vice-premier ministre et ministre de l'Intérieur
dans le précédent gouvernement de coalition DYP- Refah (islamiste).
Mme Çiller qui avait échappé de peu, sous le
gouvernement à dominante islamiste, à trois motions parlementaires
l'accusant de corruption, dément toutes les accusations portées
contre elle et parle d'un réglement de comptes politiques.
EMERGES AS MAJOR FORCE IN FOREIGN POLICY
Ilnur Cevik (Turkish Daily News, April 21, 1998)
Who is running Turkey's foreign policy? This is the question Turkish
journalists are frequently being asked by many Europeans. Foreign governments
see that the Turkish Armed Forces are playing a serious role in shaping
and conducting foreign policy and of course have second thoughts on who
to deal with in Turkey...
Look at the recent visit of Chief of Staff Gen. Ismail Hakki Karadayi
to Greece where he attended the Western European Union meeting... Karadayi
received more attention than any Turkish official during this trip and
his statements on Turkish policy regarding Greece were taken more seriously
than the statements of Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz.
Gen. Karadayi's trip to Azerbaijan and Georgia was particularly interesting
and caught the attention of many Europeans. Karadayi made important political
statements in Azerbaijan. But more significant was the fact that he signed
a defense cooperation agreement with Georgia which had very important implications.
The agreement was signed by Karadayi on the Turkish side and the defense
minister of Georgia on the other side. So Karadayi's counterpart was the
defense minister of Georgia. Under these circumstances many Europeans question
the role of Defense Minister Ismet Sezgin...
Shouldn't he be the one to sign documents with the Georgian defense
minister? But it seems no one saw any reason why the military leader should
not sign a document with a foreign country on defense cooperation matters
because until now the government neither objected to all this nor did it
make any statements about the issue.
The fact that the government was unaware of the military operation
to arrest terrorist leader Semdin Sakik in northern Iraq and bring him
back to Turkey to face a trial is yet another example of the rather odd
situation that has emerged in Turkey in the past few months. The military
is running its own show and the civilian government is always caught unaware.
This situation cannot last forever. The foreign countries are already
questioning who really runs the show in Turkey. The fact that every prominent
foreign delegation seeks to meet the military during their visits to Ankara
shows who the Western governments want to deal with...
Those running Turkey or at least those who think they are running
the country have to address this confusion and show who is really in charge.
If they cannot do this then they have no other alternative but to resign.
CONTROVERSE ON BELGIUM'S POLICE AGREEMENT WITH TURKEY
The Belgian interior minister required to answer a serious of questions
put to him during a debate in the Belgian parliament on 22 April. The interior
minister denied an agreement had been made with Turkey and said Belgium
did not share Turkey`s view on terrorism.
The Belgian parliament discussed the September 1996 raids by Belgian
Gendarmes of MED-TV and other Kurdish institutions. MPs questioned the
interior minister regarding the agreement allegedly made with the Turkish
police. Green Party MP Lode Vanoost, who has followed the issue since the
raids, asked the interior minister whether there was a link between the
agreement made with the Turkish police and the raids. The MP also asked
whether cassettes and a list of those who had given money to Med-TV has
been transmitted to the Turkish police.
Vanoost also reminded deputies of British allegations that information
given to the Turkish police had been passed on to drug trafficking circles,
thereby causing operations to end in failure.
The Belgium interior minister Vande Lanote denied that a Turkish
police, adding that at a meeting between the Commander of the Belgian Gendarmerie
and his Turkish counterparts the posting of a Belgian official to Ankara
to be the official link regarding the fight against drug trafficking was
the only subject taken up.
The interior minister added that Turkey wished to cooperate with
Belgium in the fight against terrorism saying: "We do not accept, since
Turkey`s view of terrorism is different to ours." The minister did not
answer the question regarding whether information obtained in raids had
been given to the Turkish police.
MPs who did not receive answers to their questions said they would
continue to monitor the situation of antidemocratic raids on MED-TV and
other Kurdish institutions and individuals.
JOURNALISTS EVICTED FROM COURT PROCEEDINGS AND BEATEN
According to information released by RSF on 22 April 1998, on 21
April 1998, members of the police, both in uniform and plainclothes, forced
journalists to leave a courtroom in Aydin (in western Turkey).
Inside the courtroom a trial of police officers, accused of having
tortured a student to death in 1993, was taking place. At least five journalists
were beaten by police outside the courthouse: Mert Ilkutlug, journalist
for the daily "Milliyet", Hakan Gulce, journalist with the private television
chain ATV, editorial writer Celal Baslangic, and Selma Yildiz and Ahmet
Sik, journalists with the daily "Radikal."
Other journalists with the regional press were also manhandled.
Most of the journalists were taken to hospital to be treated for
various injuries. Mert Ilkutlug and Ahmet Sik were detained for more than
a half hour in a police station before being taken to hospital. One of
them received five stitches to the face.
´ CHILDREN'S DAY
MARCH HALTED BY POLICE
On 23 April, which is celebrated in Turkey as Children`s Day, Kurdish
children in traditional clothes were prevented by riot police from joining
the celebrations, reports Med-TV.
Kurdish children attempting to march from the Mesopotamia Cultural
Centre knows as MKM branch in Tarlabase to the MKM main building in Istiklal
street were stopped by riot police and banners proclaiming "The peoples
are brothers we do not want war", were seized. The children, MKM workers
and lawyers were jostled and sent back to the Tarlabase office.
In Izmir, Adana and Diyarbakir Kurdish children protested against
not being accepted as Kurdish at the 23 April celebrations and held separate
PRISONER'S FAMILIES CALL FOR RELEASE OF PRISONERS WITH TERMINAL ILLNESSES
In recent years 33 prisoners have died in prison because they did
not recevie treatment.
However, article 399 of legal regulations envisages the release of
prisoners with incurable illnesses. "The prisoner's families Aid and Solidarity
Association" (Tay-Der) has called on the authorities to implement article
399, in order to secure the release of 167 political prisoners who have
medical conditions that are untratable in prison.
On 18 April Tay-Der applied to the Turkish justice ministry for the
release of 167 prisoners. Tayd-der president Medeni Ayhan said that article
399 had been implemente in the past and that they had carried out investigations
in Turkey's 631 prison in order to compile the list of 167 prisoners with
serious medical conditions.
Ayhan said that in the past article 399 had only been implemented
in a few authorities to implement the article for all inmates, adding that
due to non-implementation 33 political prisoners had died in jail.
DEPUTIES SLAM ERDOGAN SENTENCE AS UNDEMOCRATIC
Turkish Daily News (April 23, 1998)
The 42nd meeting of the Turkey-European Union (EU) Joint Parliamentary
Commission (JPC) avoided the risk of remaining an apolitical gathering,
becoming the scene of heated discussions over democratization and even
certain Turkish-Greek disputes, the EU deputies told the Turkish Daily
Tuesday's court decision sentencing Istanbul Mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan
to 10 months in jail for a speech that the court said incited religious
hatred had a bombshell effect during the meeting.
The court decision perhaps came in handy at a time when some EU deputies
feared unfruitful talks that would focus on a discussion of "The European
Strategy for Turkey," a "Customs Union plus" formula with economic ratherthan
After the word was out, outspoken EU deputy Claudia Roth and others
criticized the decision. Virtue Party (FP) deputy Ertan Yulek explained
their reaction, defending the verses in Erdogan's speech, which he said
merely cited verses from a poem written a long time ago. Roth inquired
about the law that made the sentencing possible and compared the situation
to Yasar Kemal's case.
On Wednesday in an interview with the TDN, Roth blasted the decision:
"I am really preoccupied by the latest decisions taken yesterday, on the
mayor of Istanbul and MUSiAD. It has nothing to do with democracy when
a mayor who cites a famous poem is condemned to ten months. To me this
is not understandable. This has nothing to do with whether he is from a
right or left party or a fundamentalist. Human rights are indivisible,
you cannot condemn him because he is from Fazilet.
"I am really shocked that this happened, I do not know what exactly
happened with MUSIAD, but to start with, money laundering is a problem,
just remember Susurluk. It is a problem in our society, not only in Turkey.
But people have the feeling that these people were arrested because they
are from MUSIAD and that is dangerous. If you start taking in people because
they are Kurds, or from or linked with an Islamist party, that is dangerous.
"Here they say that the situation is under control, but I fear that
this is a very bad signal. We are discussing it. I do not understand, for
example, why two courts were responsible for the mayor's case. It is a
dangerous strategy to fight against a political party with law. You must
fight them politically on a democratic level, whether you like them or
Erdogan told supporters in the town of Siirt last December, "The
mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets
and the faithful our soldiers."
Roth then slammed the past and present governments about democratization
in Turkey: "I am really preoccupied because I fear that the so-called democratization
which was announced even before the customs union has not developed at
all. We are still in a situation in Turkey where people are arrested and
condemned because of expression. We asked [the banned] Welfare deputies
about the decision and they said they regretted the decision, but added
they are pleased that it would help them to become stronger, I am worried
about these reactions and incidents."
All indications before the meeting suggested that it would take place
in a very tense mood, since Turkey strongly protested the EU decisions
of the Luxembourg summit, which excluded Turkey from the list of the 11
future members to be accessed during the union's enlargement process.
The Turkish government decided to freeze political dialogue with
the EU, but leave the economic ties in place. Evaluating the JPC meeting,
Roth, who is an assistant co-chairman, said: "Parliamentarians used this
chance to dialogue, did not do what the [Turkish] government would have
preferred to do -- to freeze relations...We tried in a very serious way
and I am quite happy that it happened. We tried to develop ideas how to
get out of this situation, which is an extremely dangerous situation. We
asked the commission to give some concrete answers to the commission's
Roth, of the German Greens party, talked about the recent row in
Turkish-German relations created after Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz compared
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's interests in eastward expansion to Germany's
"Lebensraum" policy under Hitler. "These kind of battles especially between
important politicians of Germany and Turkey have to stop immediately. We
have to create not a state of escalation, but de-escalation. We have the
German election campaign and I fear that the tensions created by top politicians
will have victims, and the victims will be the migrants from Turkey in
Germany," she said.
"We had tensions already, and during the election campaign we must
make it clear that they are part of our society and Turkey is part of Europe,
that Europe has nothing to do with the Christian religion, but must be
an open concept, must be multi-cultural, multi-religious, but must be based
on the principles of human rights and democracy. Within the Union, for
a country like Germany, it means much more human rights for migrants and
it means human rights and democracy in Turkey. Secondly, I do not see at
all any movement on the Kurdish question. Once again, I do not understand
why we did not even get permission to see Leyla Zana. This means that the
political solution of the Kurdish question, which is still a key question
for the whole democratization of Turkey, does not move forward."
Roth said democratization, the Kurdish issue and human rights were
marginalized during the last months because of discussions about the Welfare
and Luxembourg decisions and added: "I agree the Luxembourg result is a
big, big mistake. I am absolutely unhappy with that. I always said Turkey
must have a clear perspective for full membership, period. It must be treated
as an equal of the others. A hierarchy established would also be dangerous
regarding the Baltic states, which are now divided into first and second
classes. I think that it is unbalanced. I hope Turkey will have a clear
perspective, but it can only happen on the conditions of human rights and
democracy and not religion, as far as I am concerned.
"In September, there will be a definite decision in Germany, the
election decision, which probably will have effects on Turkey and the EU
and Germany. If there is a red-green [Socialist-Greens] government, this
new government will makes quite clear its relation to Turkey. It will stop
speaking about friendship and sending arms, and at the same time introduce
a visa for Turkish children in Germany. In Germany we need not only a change
of government, but also a change of politics towards Turkey. I think the
foreign policy of Germany must be more credible and more accountable. I
think the problem is because for more then 30 years Turkey has been waiting
for something. There were promises. It would have been better to say 'no'
earlier, than to say 'yes, but...' Credibility means saying to Turkey that
there are conditions.
Roth also said that if Gerhard Schroder's government came into power
alone, this would not be enough to make significant changes in Germany's
policies concerning Turkey.
Addressing a press conference after the JPC meeting, EU co-chairman
Piet Dankert warned that no breakthrough should expected in the short run
in terms of Turkish-EU relations, "at least not under the British term
presidency," he emphasized.
Dankert also criticized the Erdogan decision and anti-Islamist laws
presented to the Parliament.
Turkish officials attending the meeting said they stayed out of the political
discussions as much as possible. RegardingTurkish-Greek disputes, they
said it was mainly the Greek parliamentarians who made an unsuccessful
effort to raise the issue.
On Cypriot accession to the EU, a Greek parliamentarian reportedly
asked, "Why are you opposing [Turkish] Cypriot accession to the EU while
you are battling so hard for it?" A Turkish deputy, Ahmet Tan, answered
that Turkey does not wish Turkish Cypriots an EU membership like that of
the ethnic turks in Western Thrace, who he says have been stripped of their
Bulent Akarcali, co-chairman of the meeting, said that the Turkish side
emphasized clarification of the European strategy for Turkey and defining
when it could come into being, the conditions on it, and the releasing
of promised funds.
"Okay, there is a strategy, but we don't know the whens and the hows
of this strategy's future. The Council still has to approve it and that
is not all," Akarcali said.
Akarcali said discussing human rights is not a tabu in Turkey, although
"Turkey is disturbed that this is put forward as a precondition for all
So all in all, the 42nd Turkey-EU JPC meeting was again traditionally
dominated by Turkey's human rights and democratization problems and Roth's
criticism surrounding Zana, with the exception of the refusal to discuss
politics. One would think not much has changed after Luxembourg.
UNE NOUVELLE CONDAMNATION DE LA TURQUIE PAR LA COUR EUROPÉENNE DES
DROITS DE L'HOMME.
La Turquie a été condamnée vendredi 24 avril
par la Cour européenne des droits de l'homme pour la destruction
des maisons kurdes au cours des opérations anti-guerilla au Kurdistan.
La Cour a jugé que les soldats s'étaient rendus coupable
de "traitement inhumain" violant ainsi la Convention européenne
des droits de l'homme. Les deux plaignants, Keje Selcuk et Ismet Asker,
ont vu leurs maisons et leur moulin partir en feu et privés de tout,
ont été obligés de quitter leur village d'Islamkoy
(Diyarbakir) sans aucune assistance. Ankara est également coupable
d'avoir violé les principes de la Convention européenne relatifs
au droit à une vie privée et familiale et à la libre
disposition des biens personnels.
Ce n'est pas la première fois que la Turquie est condamnée
pour de tels actes. Pour se défendre, Ankara a soutenu que toutes
les procédures juridiques au niveau national n'étaient pas
épuisées mais la Cour constatant que la lettre des plaignants
au gouverneur du district était resté lettre morte, a souverainement
décidé qu'une plainte devant les Tribunaux nationaux n'aurait
"rimé à rien". Selon la Cour, les autorités turques
n'ont pas apporté de preuve effective- les officiers chargés
de l'opération et les témoins dans le village n'ont pas été
La Cour a accordé à Keje Selcuk et Ismet Asker $46
080 et $53 800 respectivement et le remboursement des frais engagés.
´ COMMEMORATION OF ARMENIAN
The Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman regime on 24 April
1915, has been remembered all over the world. On 24 April Assyrian-Syriac
people, who also suffered in the 1915 genocide, began a hunger strike in
83 years on the genocide carried out by the Ottaman Empire against
the Armenian people is still a cause of distress.
The genocide carried out in 1915 also affected the Assyrian, Aramaic,
Chaldean, Nestorian, Syriac people and to publicise this little known fact
Assyrians in Brussels launched a one week hunger strike on 24 April.
Members of the Kurdistan Parliament in Exile (KPE) visited the hunger
strike to lend their support.
Meanwhile, the Assyrian Beth-Nahrin Patriotic Revolution organisation
released a statement condemning the genocide of 1915 against the Armenian
and Assyrian peoples and emphasised that the massacre of Assyrian-Chaldean
people had been concealed, not one case being opened by either the Ottoman
state or its continuation, the Turkish Republic, against the perpatrators.
´ STUDENT PROTESTERS FACE
An appeals court, on April 24, overturned a verdict handed down by
the Ankara State Security Court (DGM) No. 2 against a group of students
who were convicted on a variety of charges after they unfolded a banner
in Parliament to protest high university fees. The students were given
sentences of from three years nine months to 18 years in jail. The Ninth
Court of Appeals based its decision on the "lack of investigation" in the
The DGM has decided to retry the case on Monday, May 18. The original
verdict of the court sentenced Elif Kahyaoglu, Deniz Kartal and Nurdan
Baysahan to three years and nine months of imprisonment on the grounds
of "having provided aid and shelter to the illegal organization;" Mahmut
Yilmaz to twelve years and six months for "being a member of an illegal
organization and having thrown explosives;" and Ahmet Askin Dogan, Bulent
Karakas and Metin Murat Kalyoncu to eighteen years of imprisonment. The
other seven suspects were acquitted.
The defendant's lawyers and Ankara DGM Prosecutor Nuh Mete Yuksel
appealed the original verdict. Yuksel, in his argument, asserted that the
defendants who had been acquitted were also "members of the illegal leftist
After listening to the demand for an appeal by the defendants' lawyers
and Prosecutor Yuksel, the Court of Appeals upheld the DGM's acquittal
of seven of the students.
The Court of Appeals reversed the verdict on the grounds of a "lack
of investigation," and justified its ruling using the following points:
There is a need for a reexamination of the status of some suspects
who reportedly are involved in the incident.
Evidence against the students collected by the police and gendarmes
was based on their view of the outlawed Turkey's People's Liberation Party-Front
(THKP-C) and the outlawed Revolutionary Path (Dev-Yol), which reportedly
was replaced after 1995 by the Dev-Yol Turkey Revolutionary Youth Organization.
Whether the legal status of these organizations could be regarded within
the framework of the first and seventh article of the anti-terror law No.
3713 has to be investigated by the security forces before making an assumption
of their make-up."
Following the case's resumption, the DGM will decide whether to follow
the Court of Appeals decision or not. If the DGM insists on its original
verdict, the case will be discussed again, but in the higher General Council
of the Courts of Appeal. Otherwise, the retrial will take place.
´ PRO-ISLAMIC MAYOR
BEGINS JAIL TIME
The pro-Islamic mayor of a small town began serving a one-year prison
sentence on April 24 for insulting Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the secular
Sukru Karatepe, the mayor of Kayseri in central Turkey, said in a
1996 speech that his "heart was bleeding" because he had to attend a ceremony
He was convicted of "inciting hatred based onreligious differences,''
the same charges used to convict Istanbul's mayor, Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
earlier this week.
Erdogan was sentenced to 10 months in prison for a speech in which
he cited a folk poem that incensed secularists. He remains free on appeal.
Erdogan's conviction drew criticism from the United States for weakening
confidence in democracy in Turkey, a NATO member. Erdogan is the leading
contender to rebuild and lead Turkey's Islamic political movement after
the Islamic Welfare party was shut down by the Constitutional Court for
anti-secular activity in January.
Although it has long been against the law in Turkey to make statements
against Ataturk, the government is under pressure from the military to
crack down on anti-secular activities by the country's Islamic political
AN UNPRECEDENTED CAMPAIGN AGAINST DEAD PKK ACTIVISTS
Turkish Probe (April 26, 1998)
The continual movement of PKK terrorist corpses from graveyard to
graveyard in the Serik and Manavgat provinces of Antalya have brought a
new debate to the fore: the debate over the rights of the dead.
The remains of seven PKK members who were killed in a firefight near
Kapaklitepe in the Gebiz district of Serik were taken to Serik State Hospital
and later transferred to an undisclosed location following protests by
a group of self-described nationalists. The following day, three PKK terrorists
who were killed in a clash near Halitagalar village, Manavgat were buried
in the Manavgat district cemetery. As in Serik, a group of Manavgat citizens,
organized by nationalists, were on the march with Turkish flags in their
The group marched through the city screaming that if the authorities
did not remove the PKK corpses from the cemetery they would dig up the
corpses and tear them apart with their own hands. In order to keep the
peace, a joint decision was made by the provincial governor, the local
gendarmerie commander and the mayor to remove the bodies, which were exhumed
with a grader and transferred to another location. The grave problem was
then transferred to the Antalya city cemetery where the issue of interring
PKK terrorists next to law-abiding Turks once again reared its ugly head.
By April 18, news of the Serik-Manavgat transfer spread by word of
mouth and inflamed residents in the area. This time, a group composed mainly
of the Antalya families, whose sons had been killed fighting the PKK in
the Southeast, arrived at the graveyard. "We don't want bloody murderers
who have killed our soldiers in our soil," they said.
Police officers promised to respect the people's wishes and dispersed
the group without incident. In an operation resembling that of Manavgat,
the dead terrorists were removed from the Antalya graveyard to what authorities
hope will be their final resting place.
The press has given these events limited coverage, neither interested
with the issues nor concerned with the implications. But in a statement
given to the Ulkede Gundem newspaper, Aydin Erdogan, general director of
the Contemporary Lawyers' Association (CHD), pointed out that "assaulting
the dead" was regarded as a criminal offence under Article 178 of the Turkish
"No matter whose corpse it is," he continued, "no matter where it
is or in what condition or for what reason, it is the body of a human being.
It is necessary to apply basic human values to the dead... The things which
have been done are indecent and shameful."
In a similar vein, Veysi Ulgen, general director of the Health Workers'
Union, revealed thatexhuming corpses and continually moving them from place
to place constituted a health risk. Yilmaz Ensarioglu, general director
of Mazlum-Der added that such practices ran contrary to Islamic beliefs
(Ulkede Gundem, April 22).
An Antalya attorney, who asked to remain anonymous, reminded the
Turkish Probe that in Canakkale thousands of Turkish soldiers are buried
next to their Anzac opponents. He claims that the events in Antalya were
politically inspired and that the authorities should not permit this practice.
In a country where primary school teachers tell children to show respect
for the deceased, current communal tension over these events reflect how
far the situation has deteriorated.
When asked what effect the clashes with separatists would have on
tourism, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz replied: "It will have good effects...
because for a long time we had known they (the separatists) were there.
Now it is in large measure cleared up." (TDN, April 12) We do not know
whether Prime Minister Yilmaz still holds this opinion. However, the effort
he has expended to ensure the security of tourists should also be focused
on, putting problems with the dead to rest.
LE PROCES DE HADEP: 500 PERSONNES PLACEES EN GARDE-A-VUE
Le procès des responsables du Parti de la Démocratie
du Peuple (HADEP), accusés d'avoir violé le paragraphe 1
de l'article 168 du code pénal turc a débuté mardi
27 avril devant la Cour de sureté d'Etat d'Ankara. Le président
de HADEP, Murat Bozlak, secrétaire-général Hamit Geylani,
président adjoint Mehmet Satan, secrétaire-général
adjoint Zeynettin Unay, Ali Riza Yurtsever, Ishak Tepe et Melik Aygul étaient
présents dans la salle d'audience, ils répondent du chef
d'accusation d'"organisation de bande armée contre la sécurité
de l'Etat" et risque une peine de 22 ans et 6 mois de prison.
D'importantes mesures de sécurité avaient été
prises par la police tout autour du tribunal avant l'audience. Environ
500 personnes, réunies pour soutenir les responsables du HADEP ont
été placées en garde à vue et seraient libérées
prochainement et 10 véhicules de HADEP ont été interdits
d'accès à la ville.
De nombreux observateurs étaient également présents
à la Cour. Parmi eux, Mark Muller, vice-président de l'Union
des Associations des Barreaux Britaniques, Gill Higgins, responsable des
Avocats Sans Frontières, des responsables des ambassades britaniques,
américaine, allemande, française et espagnole, Yucel Sayman
de l'Association du Barreau d'Istanbul, Fikret Baskaya, Yildirim Kaya,
vice-président du Parti de la Liberté et de la Solidarité
(ODP) et anciens députés du Parti de la Démocratie
(DEP-dissous) Sedat Yurttas et Sirri Sakik.
Yusuf Alatas, un des avocats d'HADEP, a demandé la libération
de ses clients mais cela a été rejeté par la cour,
qui a ajourné les auditions jusqu'au 28 mai pour attendre l'issue
de l'"affaire du drapeau", le dépôt du témoignage de
Semdin Sakik et pour recueillir d'autres preuves et témoignages
LE RAPPORT DU CONSEIL DE L'EUROPE RELATIFE AU DEPLACEMENT DE POPULATION
ACCABLE LA TURQUIE
Un rapport élaboré par l'Assemblée du Conseil
de l'Europe relatif au déplacement de population accusant la Turquie
de "brûler des villages et de déplacer la population" a soulevé
des protestations dans les rangs des députés turcs.
Le rapport, condamnant la Turquie, affirme que "la Turquie devrait
arrêter d'user les armes contre la population civile kurde" et ferait
mieux d'améliorer la situation économique de la région.
Présenté par la députée socialiste Ruth Gaby
Vermot-Mangold siégeant à la Commission des "Migrations et
des migrants", le rapport appelle la Turquie à signer la Convention
européenne sur la protection des langues minoritaires et propose
que la Turquie paye une compensation aux personnes déplacées,
investisse d'avantage dans la région, mette fin aux opérations
extra-frontalières dans le nord de l'Irak et laisse les organisations
non gouvernementales visiter la région. Par ailleurs, le rapport
condamne le Parti des Travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK) pour ses actions
violentes et note également que ce dernier est responsable du départ
de quelques villageois.
Les propositions de ce rapport seront débatues une nouvelle
fois à la réunion de la commission des migrations les 14
et 15 mai à Genève.
VASTE CAMPAGNE DE DESINFORMATION TURQUE SUR LA BASE DES "AVEUX" DE SAKIK
Le police turque fait ces jours-ci un usage démesuré
des "aveux" attribués à Semdin Sakik pour tenter de régler
ses comptes avec tous ceux, journalistes, hommes politiques, hommes d'affaires,
qu'elle considère comme "ennemis" de l'Etat et pour relancer sa
campagne de désinformation à l'étranger. Ainsi, selon
le quotidien populaire turc Sabah du mardi 28 avril, Semdin Sakik, ancien
commandant du PKK capturé par les troupes turques dans le nord de
l'Irak le 13 avril et interrogé depuis par les services de sécurité
turcs, aurait déclaré que le PKK était responsable
de l'assassinat de l'ancien Premier ministre suédois Olof Palme
Ankara tente depuis des années de convaincre l'Occident que
le PKK est une organisation terroriste sans scrupules. Ces déclarations
qui n'ont pas été publiées officiellement et impossibles
à vérifier de manière indépendante vont dans
le sens de la stratégie turque de désinformation. Selon des
sources diplomatiques "vraie ou fausse, cette information va donner de
quoi réfléchir aux Occidentaux qui appellent la Turquie à
ouvrir un dialogue politique avec le PKK". Mesut Yilmaz, Premier ministre
turc, a déclaré que "on ne sait pas ce qu'il a dit et même
s'il l'a dit, on ne sait pas sous quelles contraintes il étaitPour
tout le monde, l'important sera ce qu'il dira au tribunal quand il passera
en jugement". Par ailleurs, Lars Nylen, chef de la police nationale suédoise
a déclaré qu'"il ya plusieurs années, la commission
d'enquête Palme a mené des investigations approfondies à
propos d'allégations similaires venant de Turquie, mais elles n'ont
mené à rien".
Présentées comme des extraits des interrogatoires de
Sakik, d'autres nouvelles sensationnalistes visent à incriminer
des militants des droits de l'Homme et certains hommes politiques d'être
à la solde du PKK. Akin Birdal, président de l'Association
des droits de l'Homme en Turquie, qui serait accusé par Sakik d'être
"davantage un combattant du PKK" que lui-même, a affirmé qu'il
considérait le PKK comme une "organisation de guérilla armée"
et a ajouté que "c'est un stratagème très primaire"
que d'accuser des opposants sur la base de "prétendus aveux sans
doutes arrachés sous la torture". Il s'agit d'un complot ourdi par
les services de police pour salir la réputation des démocrates
turcs et kurdes a-t-il conclu.
L'Allemagne, la Syrie, l'Iran, l'Arménie et la Grèce,
plusieurs hommes d'affaires turcs et des journalistes renommés seraient
également cités par Sakik comme étant des sympathisants
du PKK. A ce titre, Cengiz Candar et Mehmet Ali Birand, deux éminents
chroniqueurs, ont été suspendus par leur journal Sabah à
la suite de ces campagnes de désinformation médiatique orchestrée
par la police politique (MIT).
Ilnur Cevik, directeur du quotidien Turkish Daily News, présente
la situation en ces termes dans son éditorial du 27 avril: "Nous
sentons que ces affirmations devraient être regardées avec
beaucoup de réserves. Il est facile de calomnier les gens mais il
n'est pas facile d'effacer les dommages. Ce genre d'affirmations porte
l'ombre sur d'importantes révélations que Semdin a pu faire
à propos du PKK car cela ébranle la crédibilité
de ses confessions. Certains observateurs indépendants en Occident
sentent déjà que les autorités utilisent Semdin pour
ruiner la crédibilité de certaines personnalités éminentes
en TurquieNous ne devons pas jouer avec la dignité et l'honneur
des gens en s'appuyant sur les déclarations d'un terroriste qui
s'auto-confesse. Si ce genre de choses sont révélées
à la presse, nous croyons que les autorités devraient faire
très attention à ce qui est disponible dans les journaux".
´ TURKEY'S DESTRUCTIVE GENERALS
New York Times (April 27, 1998)
Turkey's politically meddlesome generals seem determined to push
their country into crisis by thwarting democratic solutions to its problems.
Their latest outrage is a security court's sentencing of Istanbul's Islamist
Mayor, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to 10 months in jail for a speech that supposedly
violated the military's rigid standards of secularist orthodoxy.
Earlier the generals outlawed Mayor Erdogan's former party, Welfare,
after bullying a democratically chosen Welfare Government out of office
last year. In recent months, they have jailed pro-Islamic mayors, closed
religious schools and arrested businessmen on charges of financing Islamic
Mr. Erdogan was sentenced for inciting hatred in a speech to supporters
last year in which he likened the Islamic faithful to an army on campaaign.
He says the language in question came from an old folk poem. The source
of his words should not matter. Jailing people for political speech is
offensive and usually strengthens rather than weakens the appeal of those
it makes martyrs.
Mr. Erdogan, who has been an effective mayor, was considered a likely
future leader of Turkey's Islamic electoral movement. He is appealing the
court's decision, but can now be removed from office and banned from standing
for election, even before his case is legally resolved.
Turkey is a NATO ally and an important American military partner
in the Middle East. Hence Washington maintains cordial ties with Turkish
generals. But it should reject the generals' contention that their clumsy
interventions in Turkey's political life defend the causes of secularism
and democracy. In fact, the military's conduct undermines both.
The threat of Iran-style Islamic fundamentalism understandably worries
secular Turks, especially women, and concerns Washington. But radicalizing
an Islamic electoral movement and driving it underground will only lead
its supporters to give up on the peaceful and democratic means they now
POLICE DETAIN 130 IN ISLAMIST CRACKDOWN
Turkish police have detained 130 people in a month-long crackdown
on an armed Islamist group active in the southeast of the country, Anatolian
news agency said on April 27, 1998..
It said 45 of those detained had been held in custody while searches
continued for hundreds of others wanted in connection with the Hizbullah
Turkish security forces hold Hizbullah responsible for a number of
killings and attacks in the southeast over recent years. The group is not
thought to be connected to the pro-Iranian Lebanese group of the same name.
The assault on Hizbullah mirrors a wider campaign by secularist authorities
against Islamism in general since the collapse of an Islamist-led coalition
The Islamist mayor of Istanbul last week received a 10-month jail
sentence for speeches deemed to have been seditious.
The current secularist government has clamped down on Moslem religious
schooling and investigations have started into Islamist businesses and
Overwhelmingly Moslem Turkey has a strictly secular constitution
which the powerful armed forces see it as their duty to defend.
POLICE PLAY DOWN KURDISH LINK IN PM MURDER
Reuters (April 28, 1998)
Swedish police Tuesday played down claims from a captured Kurdish
rebel leader that his group was behind the 1986 murder of Swedish Prime
Minister Olof Palme.
Lars Nylen, head of Sweden's National Criminal Police, said the claims
appeared to go over old ground.
"Several years ago the Palme investigation commission did an in-depth
investigation into similar claims from Turkey but they led to nothing,"
Nylen told Reuters.
Turkish newspapers quoted Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) commander
Semdin Sakik, seized by Turkish troops in northern Iraq, as saying: "We
killed Olof Palme."
A Swedish diplomat based in Turkey briefly met State Minister Sukru
Sina Gurel in Ankara Tuesday.
Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman Jens Olander said the diplomat
was handed information on the Palme claims.
"We have now passed this information onto the investigators of the
Palme murder," Olander told Reuters.
Palme was shot to death in a central Stockholm street in February,
1986, as he was walking home from the cinema with his wife, unguarded.
His murder remains unsolved.
Swedish prosecutors are currently seeking a retrial of Christer Pettersson,
a Stockholm man who was convicted of the murder in 1988 but later acquitted.
According to the Sabah daily newspaper, Sakik told investigators
PKK chief Abdullah Ocalan had ordered a trusted Kurdish rebel based in
Sweden to kill Palme after eight members of the group were expelled from
Sakik said Palme's government had passed a law through parliament
opening the way for deportation of members of "terrorist groups."
"Then the PKK launched a campaign against the Palme government,"
Sabah quoted the top rebel as saying.
The PKK, fighting for self-rule in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast
since 1984, has launched a number of attacks on Turkish targets in Europe.
Sakik, known as "Fingerless Zeki" after losing a thumb while firing
a rocket, was captured in northern Iraq by Turkish special forces and brought
back to Turkey earlier this month.
DEPORTS ITALIAN JOURNALIST AFTER HIS RELEASE
Turkey deported an Italian journalist on April 29 after accusing
him of stirring up trouble in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast, Anatolian
news agency said.
It said Turkish immigration and Italian consular officials had escorted
Dino Frisullo to Istanbul airport where he boarded a flight to Rome.
Frisullo was detained last month after a march in the main southeastern
city of Diyarbakir to mark the Newroz spring festival, a traditional time
of Kurdish protest.
Television pictures showed Frisullo being carried on the shoulders
of the protesting crowd touting a picture of a dead Kurdish guerrilla.
A security court in Diyarbakir ordered his release on Tuesday. He
will now be tried in absentia for allegedly "provoking hatred and enmity
among the people."
The largest party in Italy's ruling coalition last week called for
his release, saying the case was damaging relations between the two countries.
The European Union cited concerns over human rights and freedom of
expression as among its reasons when it put Turkey's membership bid on
hold late last year.
Many abuse claims come from the southeast where Turkish security
forces have been fighting separatist Kurdish rebels in a 13-year-old conflict
that has cost more than 28,000 lives.
Thousands of troops were mobilised on Wednesday in a major air and
ground operation against the rebels in the mountains of southeastern Turkey,
military sources said.
PROCESS HELD UNDER EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES
HADEP President Murat Bozlak and six other leading HADEP members
appeared in the Ankara number one state security court on 28 April. They
were not released and thousands of HADEP members wishing to attend the
trial were prevented from entering Ankara province.
Following the adjournment of the trial HADEP Ankara chair Kemal Bulbul
held a press confernce at the hadep headquarter. Bulbul said there was
no legal justification for the non-release of the party leader. Dr. Gunter
Klobner of the Austrian Trade Union left Block, who was in Ankara to observe
the trial, said: "HADEP is a party which, endeavours to raise the demands
of the people. It is a party that should be supported by all democrats
and socialists all over the world."
The HADEP administrators are charged with violating Paragraph 1 of
Article 168 of the Turkish Criminal Code. This article calls for a jail
term not less than 15 years for those who establish an armed gang against
the security of the state.
Among the accusations provided in the 33-page indictment are the
HADEP administrators are accused of making speeches in line with
those of the executives of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
in respect to the "Musa Anter Peace Train" issue; that they had displayed
intensive activities to support the "Peace Train;" that they had issued
a statement urging the government to halt the operations; that documents
pertaining to the outlawed PKK organization had been seized during the
raid on HADEP headquarters; that separatist and PKK propaganda had been
spread during HADEP's training activities; and that certain PKK militants
who had been arrested had confessed that HADEP had recruited personnel
for the outlawed PKK organization.
HADEP lawyers claimed that the indictment was based on confessions
made by informers and that it had been prepared with a political and ideological
approach. They further claimed that the indictment had not taken into consideration
the "principle of the individualization of crimes and punishments" and
that there had been intention to punish HADEP by introducing it as a criminal
before the eyes of the public. They have also claimed that most of the
documents provided in the case file belonged to a period before the foundation
of HADEP and that the thick case files were prepared with the intention
of giving the impression that there was a large amount of evidence against
On Feb. 10, after a decision of the Office of the Prosecutor at the
Ankara DGM stating that the 1998 calendar printed by HADEP headquarters
contain elements of separatism, police from the anti-terrorism branch raided
the organization's headquarters, seizing the calendar and other documents.
On Feb. 12, the Ankara DGM instructed police to take 51 HADEP executives
into custody on charges that the seized documents contain elements of separatism.
On the same day, police took Bozlak and six other party administrators
into custody. Upon completion of their interrogation, they were brought
to the court which ordered their arrest. They were put in prison. Later,
six members of the party assembly were taken into custody during raids
on their houses. While four of these members were set free, two of them
There is an arrest warrant current for 38 other members of the party
EN BREF/IN BRIEF (TIHV - La Fondation des Droits de l'Homme de Turquie)
´ La CSE d'Ankara commence à juger l'avocat Kemal Yilmaz pour appartenir
à l'organisation clandestine TIKKO. Il risque une peinde prison
jusque 15 ans.
´ A Izmir, un distributeur du journal Azadiye Welat, Davud Ozalp est battu
à un poste de police.
´ La revue Yeni Demokrat est suspendue pour un mois par la CSE d'Ankara.
´ Le procureur de la CSE d'Ankara inculpe 14 intellectuels rénommés
comme les journalistes Haluk Gerger, Can Dundar, Mahmut Tali Ongoren, Varlik
Ozmenek, Temel Demirer, l'homme politique Mahmut Alinak et plusieurs syndicalistes
pour assumer la responsibilité de l'édition d'une brochure
intitulée Dusunceye Ozgurluk (Liberté à la pensée).
´ La CSE d'Istanbul condamne trois membres de la TIKB à la peine
capitale et un autre inculpé à une peine de prison de 12
´ L'écrivain Edip Polat est arrêté à Ankara
pour purger sa peine de prison de 10 mois pour un article paru le journal
Ozgur Gundem en 1993.
´ La CSE d'Istanbul ordonne la confiscation des revues Atilim, Proleter
Dogrultu, Halkin Gunlugu et Partizan Sesi ainsi qu'un livre sur la grève
de la faim aboutissant à la mort de 12 prisonniers politiques en
´ Le gouverneur d'Izmir interdit la représentation d'une pièce
théâtrale intitulée La république des fous,
mise en scène par le groupe Jiyana Nû.
´ Le directeur de la maison d'édition Pêrî, Ahmet Onal
est inculpé par la CSE d'Istanbul pour propagande séparatiste
dans le livre intitulé La Résistance d'Agri.
´ A Siirt, l'éditeur du journal Demokrat Baykan, Erhan Palabiyik,
et le correspondant Guledin Genc sont arrêtés par la police.
´ La CSE d'Istanbul condamne l'éditeur responsable du journal Emek,
Ahmet Ergin, à une peine de prison de 20 mois. Le tribunal décide
également de suspendre la publication du journal pendant un mois.
´ Le président du parti démocrate du Kurdistan (PDK/Bakur)
Hamdi Turanli (Hamres Reso) est condamné par la CSE d'Ankara à
une peine de prison de 5 ans et une amende de 14,6 milliards de LT pour
séparatiste organisation et propagande.
´ Le Conseil supérieure de la Radio-Télévision (RTUK)
annonce la décision de suspendre l'émission d'une série
de radios et télévisions.
´ La police arrête Salih Özcelik pour qu'il purge une peine
de prison de 10 mois et 20 jours, prononcée par la CSE d'Istanbul
pour un article à la revue Azadi.
´ Le procureur de la CSE de Diyarbakir demande la peine capitale pour une
fille âgée de 13 ans, Azize Dundar, pour avoir conduit un
troupeau de moutons à la guérilla kurde à Siirt. N'ayant
aucune connaissance la langue turque, cette jeune fille kurde est interrogée
par le tribunal par l'intermédiaire d'un interprète.
´ L'ancien rédacteur du journal Kizil Bayrak, Hakan Oguz, est arrêté
par le tribunal militaire de l'Etat-Major pour une article contre le service
´ La CSE d'Istanbul condamne six membres du DHKP/C à la prison à
vie et dix autres à des peines de prison allant jusque 12 ans et
´ Un tribunal criminel à Adiyaman condamne le journaliste Ahmet
Ergin à une peine de prison de 10 mois pour un article sur les rapports
entre l'Etat et la Mafia, publié par le journal Firat à Adiyaman
´ Le gouverneur d'Ankara interdit la représentation d'une pièce
théâtrale en kurde, mise en scène par lle groupe Jiyana
´ Seize hommes d'affaires sont arrêtés à Ankara, Adana,
Kayseri, Bursa et Istanbul pour leur soutien matériel au mouvement
´ Le procureur d'Ankara inculpe 17 dirigeants des partis politiques HADEP,
EMEP et SIP pour une déclaration commune contre l'opération
militaire en Irak. Chacun risque une peine de six ans pour avoir insulté
´ A Mersin, la correspondante du journal Gundem, Yildiz Cakar, ainsi que
deux dirigeants du Centre culturel de Mésopotamie (MKM) sont arrêtés
pendant qu'ils font l'enquête sur une affaire de discrimination entre
les enfants. Après sa mise en liberté, Cakar affirme avoir
été torturée au poste de police.
´ La CSE d'Adana condamne trois membre du PKK à la prison à
perpétuité et sept autres inculpés à des peines
de prison allant jusque 10 ans.
´ A Izmir, une équipe de l'Organisation nationale des renseignements
(MIT) tente d'enlever le journaliste d'opposition Oguzhan Ogruk qui se
trouve également parmi les dirigeants de l'association anti-guerre.
´ Le dernier numéro de la revue Kurtulus est confisquée par
la police sans autorisation judiciaire.
´ Deux journalistes du quotidien Akit, l'éditorialiste Abdurrahman
Dilipak et le rédacteur Ali Ihsan Karahasanoglu sont inculpés
par le procurteur d'Istanbul pour un article critiquant le commandant de
la gendarmérie. Chacun risque une peine de prison jusque 16 mois.
´ L'ancien membre de parlement Hasan Mezarci est condamné par un
tribunal pénal d'Ankara à une peine de prison de 18 mois
pour avoir insulté Kemal Ataturk.
´ A l'approche du 1er mai, les sièges d'une série d'associations
culturelles comme le Centre culturel de Mésopotamie (MKM) et les
rédactions des revues Hedef, Kaldirac, Mucadele Birligi, Kizilbayrak,
Direnis, Halkin Gunlugu et Atilim sont perquisitionnés par la police.
´ L'Association des médecins de Turquie (TTB) attire l'attention
publique sur les conditions critiques du jeune prisonnier Selami Celik
souffrant de la cirrhose dans la prison de Siirt. Selon la TTB, il pourrait
mourir dans la prison s'il n'est pas hospitalisé tout de suite.
´ Les journalistes Sami Budak et Diya Yariyan, respectivement rédacteurs
en chef des journaux Siirt Guney et Kurtalan Ekspres, sont arrêtés
à Baykan après leur visite à deux journalistes, Erhan
Palabiyik, et Guledin Genc, qui se trouvent actuellement dans la prison.
´ Les acteurs de théâtre Servet Yalcin et Esin Dal ainsi que
la ballerine Aylin Gundogan affirme avoir été torturés
azu poste de police quand ils étaient arrêtés pendant
la razzia sur des associations culturelles à l'approche du premier