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 Chief Editor /Rédacteur en chef: Dogan Özgüden - Responsible editor/Editrice responsable: Inci Tugsavul


Earlier bulletins / Bulletins précédents

25e Année - N°276

Août/August 2001

Six nouvelles victimes

dans la grève de la faim

POLITIQUE INTERIEURE / INTERIOR POLICY
  • Le deuxième nouveau parti du mouvement islamiste
  • Poursuites contre le leader d'un nouveau parti islamiste
  • MGK decision on the Constitutional Amendment Bills


PRESSIONS SUR LES MEDIAS / PRESSURE ON THE MEDIA
 

  • Les émissions de la BBC et de la Deutsche Welle interdites
  • Saisie du livre concernant l'oppression des Kurde
  • Reality Show: "Who can survive on the minimum wage?"
  • Violations de la liberté d'expression en bref
FORCES ARMEES / ARMED FORCES
  • "Le livre rouge" de l'Armée turque
  • L'armée renvoie 15 officiers liés aux Kurdes et aux Islamistes
  • Military prepare a new National Security policy document
  • L'armée s'agace des critiques
  • General Baser is going to concentrate on propaganda
  • Gen. Asparuk says MGK derives its duties from Constitution
  • M.D. Helicopter fournira 10 hélicoptères à la police
QUESTION KURDE / KURDISH QUESTION
  • Deux villages kurdes évacués de force
  • 64% des dossiers restent non élucidés à Diyarbakir
  • Les femmes kurdes d'Arménie s'adressent à la Cour européenne
  • Un responsable de HADEP emprisonné pour "propagande séparatiste"
  • Un militant kurde et un soldat tués dans le sud-est
  • No Racism in Turkey, if You Say You're a Turk
  • Women arrested in Turkey for chanting in Kurdish
  • ECHR Grants More Time to Ocalan Lawyers to Prepare Case
  • Violations des droits des Kurdes en bref
RELATIONS MAFIEUSES / MAFIA RELATIONS
  • Une affaire rocambolesque d'homicides
MINORITES / MINORITIES
  • Turkey/Armenia: Reconciliation Commission Off To Rocky Start
  • Of genocides, massacres, and tragedies
SOCIO-ECONOMIQUE / SOCIO-ECONOMIC
  • L'inflation atteint 56,3% sur un an
  • Le FMI accorde une nouvelle tranche de crédit à la Turquie
  • Les détroits fermés pour le passage d'une plateforme géante
  • Womens' resistance: No water, no sex.
  • Cérémonie en mémoire des victimes du séisme de 1999
  • Istanbul, en avant ligne pour les risques sismiques, fait l'autruche
  • Un chômeur turc tente de se suicider au Parlement
AFFAIRES RELIGIEUSES / RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS
  • Les Frères musulmans: " L'Europe est hostile aux islamistes"
  • Investigation Against Cleric for Remarks on 'Alawistan'
RELATIONS AVEC L'OUEST / RELATIONS WITH THE WEST
  • La politique d'exportation d'armes vers la Turquie inchangée
  • Berlin autorise la vente de détonateurs à la Turquie
  • Yilmaz met en garde contre l'absence d'un accord
  • Turkey angers the NGOs
RELATIONS REGIONALES / REGIONAL RELATIONS
  • Ankara dénonce la mort d'un Turc tué par les garde-côtes grecs
  • Critiques contre la visite d'Ariel Sharon en Turquie
  • Retour de Turquie du Premier ministre israélien Ariel Sharon
  • Fourniture de chars à la Turquie:l'Ukraine a de "bonnes chances"
  • Deux Turcs armés interpellés à la frontière avec l'Arménie
  • Ouverture du procès des preneurs d'otages pro-tchétchènes
  • L'Egypte interdit l'importation de viande de Turquie
  • Azerbaijan: Turkey Pursues Ambiguous Ties
  • L'Irak fait état d'une nouvelle incursion de l'armée turque
IMMIGRATION / MIGRATION
  • Un "passeur" turc tué dans un échange de coups de feu
  • Interception de 103 immigrants clandestins
  • He fled from Turkish prison, only to die in Glasgow
  • Le projet de loi sur l'immigration en Allemagne
  • 178 candidats à l'immigration illégale arrêtés en Turquie
  • Mandat d'arrêt contre un Turc détenu en Allemagne
  • 200 immigrants clandestins interceptés sur un chalutier turc
  • Plus de 180 immigrants à nouveau interceptés en Turquie
  • Les Turcs s'intègrent moins que les Marocains
  • Ecevit appelle les expatriés à investir dans leur pays


LE TERRORISME DE L'ETAT / STATE TERRORISM

Six nouvelles victimes dans la grève de la faim

La grève de la faim des prisonniers politiques qui protestent contre le régime carcéral répressif a fait six morts en deux mois de l'été macabre en Turquie. Ainsi, le nombre total des victimes de la résistance s'est élevé à 64 depuis l'assaut sanglant des forces de l'ordre contre les prisons en décembre 2000 qui avait fait 32 victimes, dont 30 prisonniers politiques et deux soldats.

Tout récemment, le 31 août, Hulya Simsek, parente d'un des détenus, est morte après 285 jours de jeûne dans une maison d'Istanbul où plusieurs grévistes de la faim soutiennent le mouvement lancé par des prisonniers politiques en octobre dernier.

Les cinq autres victimes de deux derniers mois:

Le 4 juillet, Mahmut Gokhan Ozocak, prisonnier mis en liberté conditionnelle pour raisons de santé, est décédé à Izmir. M. Ozocak, 41 ans, avait commencé sa grève de la faim le 26 octobre 2000, alors qu'il était détenu à la prison de Buca (ouest) pour appartenance au Front-Parti de libération du peuple révolutionnaire (DHKP-C).

Le 8 juillet, Ali Koç, détenu à la prison de Sincan pour appartenance au DHKP-C, est décédé à l'hôpital Numune à Ankara au 268. jour de sa grève de la faim.

Le 14 juillet, Sevgi Erdogan, 47 ans, libérée en juin de la prison d'Usak (ouest), est décédée lors qu'elle continuait son mouvement avec une vingtaine d'autres grévistes de la faim dans une maison de la banlieue d'Istanbul. Elle avait été condamnée pour appartenance au DHKP-C.

Le 3 août, Muharrem Horoz, 28 ans, est décédé dans un hôpital d'Izmit (nord-ouest) où il avait été admis dix jours auparavant en raison de la gravité de son état, selon l'agence. Il est mort après 236 jours de jeûne. Soupçonné d'appartenir à l'Armée de libération des paysans et des ouvriers de Turquie (TIKKO), il était jugé pour un attentat perpétré en mars 1999 contre le gouverneur de la province de Cankiri.

Le 14 août, Osman Osmanagaoglu, 44 ans, est décédé dans une maison du quartier de Sariyer où il poursuivait un jeûne avec plusieurs autres camarades depuis 299 jours. Il avait entamé sa grève de la faim en octobre dernier, se sustentant d'un peu de sucre et d'eau. Hospitalisé en avril, il avait repris sa grève à son retour en prison. Il était emprisonné depuis onze ans pour appartenance au DHKP-C et avait été libéré pour une durée de six mois en juin en raison de l'aggravation de son état de santé.

Selon les autorités, 200 détenus poursuivent actuellement leur grève de la faim.

Des centaines de détenus d'extrême gauche avaient lancé en octobre une grève de la faim pour protester contre l'entrée en service de nouvelles prisons à cellules et à isolement renforcé devant remplacer celles à dortoirs pour les détenus condamnés pour activités terroristes et mafieuses.

Pour briser le mouvement, l'armée avait lancé un assaut contre 20 prisons en décembre au cours duquel 30 détenus et 2 gendarmes avaient été tués.

Un rapport d'experts a dénoncé l'excès de brutalité de cet assaut, au moins 6 détenues de la prison Bayrampasa d'Istanbul ayant alors été probablement tuées par l'abus de grenades lacrymogènes.

Le gouvernement avait profité de l'opération pour transférer plus d'un millier de détenus dans les nouvelles prisons, dites de "type F".

Le parlement turc a entre-temps adopté une série de lois permettant de contrôler et d'améliorer les conditions de détention des prisonniers, récompensés pour bonne conduite en étant autorisés à partages des activités communes.

Mais elles ont été jugées insuffisantes par les associations de défense des droits de l'Homme et les détenus.

Le Conseil de l'Europe a appelé les détenus à cesser leur mouvement, relayé par le député Vert européen Daniel Cohn-Bendit, qui a dénoncé lors d'une visite à Ankara début juin "l'idéologie préhistorique" des meneurs de la grève.

Le gouvernement turc libère progressivement les plus mal-en-point des grévistes, mais certains n'en continuent pas moins leur jeûne.

L'une d'entre eux, interviewée récemment par l'AFP dans un appartement à Ankara, Ayse Bastimur, libérée pour six mois mi-juillet en raison de son état de santé, déclarait ainsi: "Je suis prête à mourir. Notre lutte en vaut la peine". Elle avait été condamnée à 15 ans de prison pour appartenance au DHKP-C.

"La résistance du gouvernement sera vaincue. D'autres prisonniers sont prêts à suivre la grève. Nous continuerons jusqu'à ce que nous soyons tous morts", expliquait-elle.

Pressures on political prisoners and their parents

Abdullah Akengin, chairman of the Solidarity with Prisoners¹ Relatives Association (TUHAD-DER) held a press conference in the premises of the IHD Diyarbakir branch stating that the situation in prisons of the region under a state of emergency had become worse.

In Diyarbakir E-Type Prison visits had been restricted to 15 minutes and prisoners and visitors were forced to speak Turkish, since a new prison director had been appointed. In Siirt Closed Prison female prisoners were body searched after having been stripped stark naked. Akengin further alleged that the prisoners Yahya Perisan, Selim Yildirim, Mahfuz Dogrudemir, Aziz Aksahin and Fatma Kasan did not get the necessary treatment, although they are suffering from cancer.

Prisoners in Yozgat Prison announced that Sükrü Karacan was not treated, despite serious health problems. The prisoners also alleged that they were beaten during the count and did not receive papers or journals. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, August 8, 2001)

The Association of Prisoners¹ Relatives (TUYAD) held a press conference in Istanbul on 7 August stating that prisoners, who had been taken from Gebze to Bolu F-type Prison, were being tortured. Speaking for the association Arzu Bektas said that the skull pan of Yusuf Polat had been broken und Ayhan Engin had lost consciousness after forcible feeding. Süleyman Gülbahar and Abdidin Gül had to be taken to Izmir State Hospital after their health deteriorated. In Izmir, 61 prisoners, 39 of them political, were taken from Buca Closed to Buca F-type Prison.

While the pressure on visitors of the solidarity hunger strikers in Küçükarmutlu (Istanbul) continues further harassment was reported from Ankara and Izmir. On 7 August a group of 20 people attacked the flat in Izmir, where Sükran Sahin and Ali Kocak are continuing their action. They beat the people in the house with sticks. Ali Kocak was reportedly beaten until he lost his consciousness. The attackers dragged him out of the room. No information has since then been received on his whereabouts. In Tuzlucayir quarters of Ankara the police tried to make ID checks in the house, where Ayse Bastimur and Özlem Durakcan are continuing the death fast.

The group of people conducting the death fast action in houses in Küçükarmutlu quarter (Istanbul) held a press conference on 20 August. Gamze Turan spoke in the name of 18 people on solidarity hunger strikes. She stated that families, who had taken their children to hospital, had done so under pressure of the police. Groups of prisoners in all F-type prisons were continuing their action and they would continue until the F-type prisons are closed. Gamze Turan complained that the roads to their houses were under control of the police and besides ID checks, people had been body searched and detained. 15 relatives of prisoners, who had occupied the premises of the Party for Freedom and Solidarity (ÖDP) in Diyarbakir, announcing to conduct a hunger strike against military operations in the South (Northern Iraq) and for the recognition of the Kurdish identity, were detained by the police on 20 August at 3pm. The names of three of them are: Remziye Ates, Nedret Demir and Mahmut Elyakut. (Cumhuriyet-Evrensel-Yedinci Gundem-TIHV, August 8-9-21, 2001)

Bullets removed from the prisoner's corpse

It was revealed that prior to the autopsies of Murat Ördekci, Cengiz Calikopran and Mustafa Yilmaz, who were killed during the "return to life" operation on 19 December 2000, the bullets were removed from the corpses. The autopsy report on Cengiz Calikoparan stated that he was hit by three bullets and the wounds had been enlarged later. Heavy metal was discovered in his clothing.

The report on Murat Ördekci stated that he had died from one shot, but the cartridge had not been found and the wound had been enlarged later. Four bullets had hit Mustafa Yilmaz, but three had been removed before the autopsy. Experts from the Forensic Institute stated that other pieces of metal found during the autopsies were rather hra and not bullets. An arms expert from the General Directorate of Security stated that Israel used arms for bullets with effect of shrapnel, produced in the USA. The expert added that such weapons were not produced in Turkey and not in possession of the Turkish police. (Radikal-TIHV, August 27, 2001)

Statistics on Prisoners Politiques

The General Directorate for Prisons in the Ministry of Justice announced that 59,901 prisoners (on remand or as convicts) were being held in the prisons as of July 2001. 12,529 of them are accused of murder, 9,027 of robbery and 5,237 are imprisoned in connection with the Law to Fight Terrorism (political offences).

The list is followed by 4,478 prisoners imprisoned for drug offences, 3,481 prisoners on charges of rape etc. and 2,097 prisoners were imprisoned according to provisions under Articles 125 to 157 TPC (offences against the State). 69 prisoners stand accused of an offence of Article 171 TPC (founding a secret organization against the personality of the State).

The Ministry of Justice also announced that 33,109 people had benefited from the Law on Conditional Release and Suspension of Sentences that entered into force on 21 December 2000. Among them 2,527 had not been released, because of other charges. 7,232 people had benefited from the law while being "on the run". Until 10 August only 162 former prisoners had been re-arrested on separate charges. (Radikal-Cumhuriyet-TIHV, August 19-31, 2001)

Hunger striker condemned to death penalty

Hakki Alphan, on hunger strike in Ankara Closed Prison, was sentenced to death by Malatya SSC. The verdict of 17 August is based on the allegation of "leading membership of the Turkish Communist Party/ML-Workers¹ and Peasants Liberation Army of Turkey (TKP/ML TIKKO) (Evrensel-TIHV, August 18, 2001)

IHD: Human rights violations in rise

There has been a sharp increase in allegations of torture and curbs on freedom of expression in Turkey, the country's Human Rights Association (IHD) said on August 23.

IHD head Husnu Ondul said 435 people had complained of torture in detention in the first half of this year, compared to 263 for the same period last year and 334 for the same period in 1999.

"It is clear that no improvement has been made in getting rid of torture since 1999," Ondul told a news conference to present the association's half-yearly report on human rights in Turkey.

Turkey, which is keen to join the European Union (news - web sites), has long pledged to root out such abuses.

Although accepted as a candidate for EU membership in 1999, it has yet to begin negotiations partly because of concern over its human rights record.

Critics say little is done to investigate charges of abuse and those who carry it out are rarely punished.

According to IHD figures, prosecutors charged 1,519 people in the first half of this year for views expressed in speeches or writing, and sought jail terms totaling 3,125 years for them.

The human rights group did not say how many people had been charged in previous years, but said the total jail terms sought in the first half of 1999 amounted to 372 years, and 813 years in the first half of last year.

Many politicians, writers and intellectuals face jail sentences on catch-all charges such as "separatist propaganda" or "provoking hatred" for what they have said or written.

Allegations of mistreatment at the hands of security forces are also common.

The laws are most often used against Kurdish activists or proponents of political Islam, two movements the establishment sees as a serious threat to the secular Turkish state. (Reuters, August 23, 2001)

Onze manifestants de Greenpeace interpellés

La police turque a interpellé lundi 11 activistes de l'organisation internationale de protection de l'environnement Greenpeace alors qu'ils manifestaient contre le projet américain de bouclier antimissile devant une base aérienne turco-américaine dans le sud de la Turquie, a indiqué l'organisation.

La manifestation s'inscrivait dans une série d'actions organisées dans le monde par Greenpeace à l'occasion du 56e anniversaire de l'explosion de la bombe atomique sur Hiroshima, a expliqué Greenpeace dans un communiqué.

Certains militants, portant des t-shirts arborant l'inscription "Arrêtez la guerre des étoiles", s'étaient enchaînés à la porte d'entrée de la base d'Incirlik à Adana, où est stationnée une force aérienne composée d'avions américains et britanniques dont la mission est de surveiller la zone d'interdiction aérienne du nord de l'Irak.

Un des manifestants était grimé en ange de la mort, vêtu d'une tunique découpée dans un drapeau américain et portant une faux, un autre s'était enfermé dans une petite cage de fer pour figurer "les pressions du gouvernement américain visant à intimider les pacifiques défenseurs de l'environnement", selon le communiqué.

Melda Keskin, membre de la représentation à Istanbul de Greenpeace Méditerranée, a estimé dans ce texte que le programme de défense antimissile de Washington ne servirait qu'à relancer la course à l'armement nucléaire.

"La mort et les souffrances de milliers de victimes de Hiroshima et Nagasaki ne doivent pas pouvoir être répétées", a ajouté Melda Keskin.

"Ce ne sont pas les manifestations pacifiques qui doivent être interdites, c'est le programme +Guerre des Etoiles+", a-t-elle affirmé.

Les manifestants ont également dénoncé les poursuites engagées aux Etats-Unis contre 15 membres de Greenpeace et 2 journalistes après une manifestation contre de récents essais de missile à la base aérienne de Vandenberg, en Californie.

Le communiqué de Greenpeace indique que des membres de la sécurité de la base d'Incirlik ont évacué les manifestants de l'autre côté de la route pour des raisons de sécurité, avant que la police ne place tout le monde en garde à vue. (AFP, 6 août 2001)

Manifestants interpellés avant la visite de Sharon

La police turque a interpellé à Istanbul le 8 août 40 personnes qui protestaient contre la visite en Turquie du Premier ministre israélien, et des manifestants ont réclamé à Ankara l'annulation des accords bilatéraux, rapporte l'agence Anatolie.

A Istanbul, un groupe d'étudiants lançant des slogans hostiles à Israel et aux Etats-Unis s'est rassemblé dans un parc du quartier de Bakirkoy, dans la partie européenne de la ville, pour faire une déclaration, dit Anatolie.

Les policiers ont procédé à leur interpellation quand les manifestants ont refusé de se disperser, selon la même source.

Dans la capitale Ankara, des militants d'un parti de gauche et de deux syndicats ont dénoncé la visite du Premier ministre israélien en Turquie et réclamé l'annullation des accords bilatéraux conclus entre la Turquie et l'état hébreu, annonce Anatolie.

Le rassemblement s'est terminé sans violence ni intervention de la police.

le 7 août, La police turque a arrêté mardi à Istanbul 131 manifestants opposés à la politique israélienne à l'égard des Palestiniens, à la veille d'une visite d'une journée à Ankara du Premier ministre israélien Ariel Sharon, a annoncé l'agence turque Anatolie.

Les forces de l'ordre, en tenue anti-émeutes, ont d'abord arrêté dix femmes, portant le voile islamique, alors que les manifestants se réunissaient devant une grande école du district de Beyoglu, dans le quartier européen d'Istanbul, pour protester contre la politique israélienne envers les Palestiniens, rapporte Anatolie.

Les policiers, déployés en nombre dans l'attente de la manifestation, ont ensuite arrêté cinq autres personnes quand un groupe de manifestants s'est mis à scander des slogans comme "Maudit soit Israël", puis des échauffourées ont éclaté entre policiers et manifestants.

Par la suite, 116 autres personnes soupçonnées d'être venues à Beyoglu pour participer à la manifestation ont été placées en garde à vue.

Plus tard dans la journée, environ 150 manifestants se sont réunis au même endroit pour une deuxième manifestation anti-israélienne, sous haute surveillance policière. Elle s'est terminée dans le calme, a constaté un correspondant de l'AFP.

"Israël est un meurtrier", scandaient les manifestants, brandissant des pancartes qui portaient des slogans comme "Israël: sang, larmes et massacre" ou "Ariel Sharon = Adolf Hitler". (AFP, 7-8 août 2001)

Plus de 5000 balles tirées en 25 minutes

La commune d'Akkise dans la province de Konya a été, le 11 août, théâtre de violents incidents après l'intervention musclée de la gendarmerie turque sur la place communale où se déroulait une fête organisée à l'honneur des jeunes partant pour leur service national.

La commune déplore la mort d'Hasan Gultekin, un jeune appelé de 20 ans et plusieurs blessés dont certains dans une situation critique. Le commandant de la gendarmerie, Ali Çaliskan, relevé de ses fonctions depuis lors, a justifié l'intervention qu'il qualifie d'"opération de tranquillité" par le fait que les villageois aient refusé un contrôle d'identité de routine effectué par une unité de la gendarmerie.

Selon Ali Çaliskan, après un premier refus, les forces de l'ordre fortes de 50 gendarmes arrivés sur les lieux, auraient été attaquées par les villageois à coup de chaises, de couteaux et de bâtons

Les premiers éléments d'enquête ont cependant démontré qu'en vingt-cinq minutes d'altercation, plus de 5000 balles ont été tirées à l'aveuglette par la gendarmerie; des impacts de balles ont été trouvés aussi bien sur la place que sur la mosquée et les maisons aux alentours ont été criblées de balles.

Les organisations de défense des droits de l'homme ont dénoncé les troubles et les méthodes du commandant de la gendarmerie qui était auparavant en poste dans la région kurde où tout est permis aux militaires et qui n'est pas à son premier abus de pouvoir. (CILDEKT, 17 Août 2001)

Un important homme d'affaires d'origine juive assassiné

Un influent homme d'affaires turc d'origine juive, Uzeyir Garih, a été assassiné à l'arme blanche, et son corps a été retrouvé samedi dans un cimetière d'Istanbul, a annoncé la police.

Le corps de M. Garih, 72 ans, co-président avec M. Ishak Alaton du groupe Alarko fondé en 1954 et spécialisé notamment dans l'électroménager et l'énergie, a été retrouvé dans le cimetière d'Eyup, dans la partie européenne de la métropole.

Le ministre turc de l'Intérieur, Rustu Kazim Yucelen, a exclu un attentat terroriste ou à caractère politique lors d'une conférence de presse à Istanbul.

On ignore les motifs du meurtre, qui s'est produit peu avant que le cadavre, qui porte plusieurs blessures de couteau, ne soit découvert, selon la chaîne d'information NTV.

Selon un rapport d'autopsie, M. Garih, figure importante de la communauté juive de Turquie et très respecté dans les milieux d'affaires, a été assassiné de plusieurs coups de couteau dans le cimetière où il se rendait sur la tombe d'un proche. Ses objets personnels, dont un portefeuille, n'ont pas été dérobés.

Un groupe français, la Société nationale d'électricité et de thermique (SNET), et Alarko avaient scellé en avril à Istanbul un accord de partenariat pour la production d'énergie thermique en Turquie. (AFP, 25 août 2001)

Amnesty International's report concerns in Turkey

The following document has been extracted from a document, CONCERNS IN EUROPE: January - June 2001 issued by Amnesty International.

Introduction

In March Turkey submitted a National Program outlining steps to be taken to meet the Copenhagen political criteria, a precondition for the start of accession negotiations with the European Union (EU). The National Program responded to short-term (2001) and medium-term objectives outlined by the EU in a memorandum adopted in December 2000. Yet at the same time, there was no major improvement on the ground: with the opening of the fiercely debated high security ³F-Type prisons² [see below] some thousand prisoners were kept under a regime of prolonged isolation. The pressure on human rights defenders increased. Freedom of expression continued to be restricted. Torture remained widespread and the perpetrators were rarely brought to justice. There were numerous reports about political killings, some of which could be extrajudicial executions.

Regimes of isolation in the new ³F-Type² Prisons

After the prison operation on 19 December 2000 hundreds of male political prisoners were transferred under excessive force to three so-called ³F-Type² prisons. The outdated system of large dormitories, which used to hold 60 or more prisoners, was being replaced with smaller cells, mainly in the F-Type prisons. By June four F-Type prisons were already in use, and seven more were being constructed. They have single and three-person cells with adjacent yards for three prisoners at the most. For months the inmates of F-Type prisons were kept in solitary confinement or small group isolation. They were able to interact at most with two other prisoners, but had no opportunity to associate with other prisoners. Such prolonged isolation can cause serious physical and mental harm and amount too cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. AI calls for it to be ended immediately.

Since October, hundreds of political prisoners have protested against isolation with hunger strikes, as a result of which 26 people (21 prisoners and 5 relatives) had died by the end of June. Upon judicial decision isolation conditions can even be increased. AI learned that in Tekirdag F-Type prison Baki Yas, who had received an additional sentence of two years confinement, has been held in a small cell without windows since April. He has not been allowed to receive letters from his family, and only since June is he is reportedly let into the yard for two hours a day. Only every 16th and 17th day he is allowed to see a doctor, his lawyer and relatives, and to have a full day in the yard. Article 16 of the Anti-Terror Law ? which laid down the draconian regime of intense isolation, but was rarely implemented before the opening of the F-Type prisons - was finally amended in early May so as to allow prisoners to participate in communal activities such as sport and education, and to receive unobstructed visits. Although a welcome and overdue step, the wording of the law suggests that these rights will be provided at the discretion of the prison authorities.

The use of communal areas is granted only within the ³framework of rehabilitation and education programs². When an ad-hoc delegation of the European Parliament visited two F-Type prisons in early June, they found that the common areas were not yet ready for use. They concluded that ³isolation was almost total and therefore excessive, provocative and a form of unnecessary oppression, which can be a form of psychological torture². In its campaigning AI has been urging the Turkish authorities to take the following measures to bring the situation in Turkish prisons into line with international standards: regimes of small-group isolation and solitary confinement in F-Type and other prisons should end immediately and prisoners should be allowed to spend at least eight hours of the day taking part in communal activities outside their living units as called for by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT); prisoners should never be tortured or ill-treated; an independent and comprehensive investigation should be launched into the deaths and allegations of ill-treatment and torture during the December operation, the results made public and anyone identified as responsible brought to justice; prisons should be open to the scrutiny of human rights defenders, including doctors and lawyers, to ensure they are run in accordance with Turkish law and international standards.

Torture and disappearances still widespread

In the first half of 2001 AI continued to receive reports on torture and ill-treatment from different parts of the country. On a mission to Turkey in June, the AI delegates interviewed torture victims and their lawyers throughout the country and obtained numerous reports and documents on torture and ill-treatment. The victims included people suspected of protests against the F-Type prisons, pro-Kurdish, Islamist or leftist activities, corruption or criminal offences. Some of the alleged victims were women and children.

In Turkey, torture mainly occurs in the first days in police or gendarmerie custody, when the detainees are held without any contact to the outside world. Detainees are routinely blindfolded during interrogations, some of them throughout the police detention. Other methods of torture and ill-treatment regularly reported include heavy beating, being stripped naked, sexual abuse, death and rape threats, other psychological torture, and deprivation of sleep, food, drink and use of the toilet. Some detainees are also exposed to electric shocks, hanging by the arms, spraying with cold pressurized water and falaka (beating of the soles of the feet). Reports about ill-treatment in the F-Type prisons are difficult to check because of the restricted access to these prisons.

In addition AI has increasingly received reports about the use of excessive force during mass arrests, torture with the aim to recruit informers and, in the case of suspected members of the Islamist armed group Hizbullah, prolonged police detention for several weeks or months. Although some legal changes were initiated, no actual measures were taken in the first half of 2001 to reinforce the fight against torture.

The authorities remained reluctant to investigate allegations of torture.(Š) In December 2000 Turkish parliament adopted a so-called ³amnesty² law  which allows for the suspension of investigations and trials on ill-treatment. AI has documented that prosecutions for torture are rare and when convictions are secured they are usually for crimes classified as ³ill-treatment.² Under the ³amnesty² law any security force members imprisoned following conviction of ill-treatment committed before 23 April 1999 are to be released and all trials and investigations in relation to charges of ill-treatment are being suspended for five years.

During the first half of 2001 AI frequently had to appeal to the Turkish authorities because of unacknowledged detentions which carry the risk of ³disappearance². Two representatives of HADEP, Serdar Tanis and Ebubekir Deniz, still remain missing since 25 January when they were called to visit the gendarmerie station in Silopi in the southeastern province of Sirnak.

Freedom of expression remains restricted

As a result of Law 4610 on conditional releases and the postponement of trials and sentences for offences committed before 23 April 1999, reportedly some 23,000 prisoners were released between 25 December 2000 and March 2001. Among them was the blind lawyer Esber Yagmurdereli who had been adopted as a prisoner of conscience by AI. He was conditionally released on 18 January.

Yet some of the prisoners of conscience were excluded from this law because they were sentenced under articles outside the scope of the law, for example the four former MPs of the Democracy Party (DEP), which had been banned in the meantime. Human rights defenders, writers, politicians, religious leaders, trade unionists and many others in Turkey continued to be tried and imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression, particularly when they expressed opinions on the Kurdish question, the prisons or the role of Islam.

One of them is Dr Fikret Baskaya, the founder and chairman of the Turkey and Middle East Forum Foundation. On 1 June 1999, he had published an article titled ³A Question of History?² in the daily newspaper Özgür Bakis, in which he questioned the viability of the Turkish state¹s approach towards the Kurdish problem following the arrest of Abdullah Öcalan. As a result, he was indicted under Article 8/1 of the Anti-Terror Law for ³disseminating separatist propaganda through the press². Istanbul State Security Court sentenced him to 16 months¹ imprisonment and a fine on 13 June 2000. He was remanded to prison on 29 June 2001. AI has adopted Dr Fikret Baskaya as a prisoner of conscience and is campaigning for his immediate and unconditional release.

The EU and the Council of Europe have called Turkey to comply with Article 10 of the European Convention. Turkey¹s National Program mentions a ³review² of some articles which have frequently been used to restrict freedom of expression, but again links the intended reform to ³basic principles of the Turkish Constitution, in particular those concerning the secular and democratic character of the Republic, national unity and the unitary state model². AI is concerned that this wording suggests that restrictions which do not comply with Article 10 will be retained. Therefore AI continues to campaign for a thorough reform of law and practice to fully ensure freedom of expression in Turkey.

Violations des droits des droits de l'Homme en bref

EMEP Executives detained

Hasan Ertugrul, board member of the Labor Party (EMEP) in Tunceli was detained on 1 August. Apparently he was detained because he was carrying the daily "Evrensel", but released after two hours of interrogation at Tunceli Police HQ. (Evrensel, August 2, 2001)

No Prosecution of Torture

The Chief Office of Prosecution in Ankara that prepared a file against MP Sema Piskinsüt for "not providing the names of people alleging that they had been tortured" has a bad record on investigating torture complaints. G.H., who complained of torture because he used his right not to testify did not succeed in bringing the torturers to justice. Ankara Chief Office of Prosecution decided against charges despite the fact that G.H. was certified 25 days¹ inability to work. H.G. had to be taken to hospital by his brother after officers from Ankara Police HQ. beat him for 40 minutes. The prosecution again decided not to prosecute this case. D.C. (14) was taken to a police station for a confrontation in a case of theft. He alleged to have been hosed with ice-cold water and beaten in order to confess the crime. The Chief Prosecution Office of Ankara turned his complaint down, although the boy had a medical report. In the case of some 100 complaints from Ulucanlar Prison the prosecution first forwarded the file on 120 members of the security forces to the governor. The governor decided against prosecution, but the administrative court overruled the decision. The prosecutor had to bring charges, but did so without asking for any sentence. (Milliyet, August 2, 2001)

NGO executives on Trial

The Chief Prosecution's Office in Istanbul has indicted 7 representatives of organizations of civil societies (NGO) on allegations of "having insulted the security forces". On 20 December 2000 Eren Keskin, chairwoman of the Istanbul branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD), Vahit Genc, chairman of the Party for Freedom and Solidarity (ÖDP) in Istanbul, Mustafa Aytas, chairman of the Democracy and Peace Party (DBP) in Istanbul, Dogan Erbas, chairman of the HADEP in Istanbul, Kamil Tekin Sürek, chairman of the Labor Party (EMEP) in Istanbul and Ibrahim Kudis, member of the trade union KESK had filed an official complaint against some officials in connection with the "Return to Life" operation. The trial will be held at Istanbul Criminal Court No. 2 and the defendants have to expect sentences of between 2 and 12 years. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, August 3, 2001)

New torture case in Solhan

Behçet Çiçek alleged that he was tortured in Solhan (Bingöl) on 2 August, after he had been stopped in his car. He said: "When I got out of the car I asked Œwhat¹s happening?¹ and they immediately started to beat me. Later they took me to the police station in Solhan. They tied my legs with a chain and started to beat me. I was bleeding from my mouth and nose. All the police officers participated in the beating. In the evening they dropped me close to my house." Behçet Çiçek added that he was medically examined on 3 August and received a report on 3 days¹ inability to work. Later he went to the prosecutor for an official complaint. He was sent to hospital and received another report certifying inability to work for 5 days. At the police station Mr. Çiçek identified the police officers at the station where his blood could still be seen. Behçet Çiçek said that he has a record for involvement with the PKK and, therefore, the police was constantly harassing him. (Evrensel-TIHV, August 6, 2001)

Detention of EMEP officials

In Istanbul the executives and members of the Labor Party (EMEP), Özgür Sagiroglu, Mesut Sagiroglu, Meryem Durmaz, Yilmaz Agbulut and Bülent Ulus were detained on 2 August, when they distributed leaflets in front of the factories Altinyildiz and Beymen, where the workers are on strike. (Evrensel-TIHV, August 4, 2001)

Death Penalty Demanded

On 7 August the trial against Cahit Aydin, Mecit Alagöz, Mehmet Aras and Ebubekir Yalu charged with "membership of the PKK and the killing of Abdulvahap Akar" continued at Erzurum SSC. The prosecution has asked for the death penalty against the defendants under Article 125 TPC. Abdulvahap Akar, then chairman of the Welfare Party (RP) was kidnapped on 6 April 1994. Three village headmen, who had also been kidnapped, were released, but the corpse of Abdulvahap Akar was found on 11 April 1994. (TIHV, August 8, 2001)

IP Deputy Chairman to be Retried

The 4th Chamber of the Court of Cassation quashed the acquittal of Hasan Yalçin, deputy chairman of the Workers¹ Party (IP), for an article he wrote on 9 March 1997 in the journal "Aydinlik" under the title of "The brain in our hands". Ankara Penal Court No. 2 had acquitted Hasan Yalçin of the charges of "insulting the leader of the BBP, Muhsin Yazicioglu". The sentence against the editor-in-chief Ruhsar Senoglu was suspended according to Law 4304 on Suspension of Sentences of Editors-in-Chief. The Court of Cassation ruled that this verdict had to be reviewed in the light of Law 4454 of 3 September 1999 and Law 4616 of 20 December 2000. (TIHV, August 8, 2001)

Trial of an Islamic Organization

The prosecution¹s office at Istanbul SSC launched a case against 15 people on accusations of membership of the radical Islam organization "Islami Teblig Cemaati". The prosecutor demanded sentences of between 5 and 10 years¹ imprisonment for 5 defendants and a minimum of 3 years¹ imprisonment for 10 defendants. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, August 9, 2001)

Detentions and Arrests of EMEP members

On 7 August the police detained 5 members of the Labor Party (EMEP), including the executives Ali Ekber Ulusoy and Ismet Ispartali, in Eskisehir, when they distributed leaflets in front of a factory with striking workers. They were released shortly afterwards. In Manisa the trade unionists Cafer Kömürcü, Sedat Öztürk and Düzgün Kömürcü from the trade union of workers in the car industry (TÜMTIS). On 7 July Cafer Kömürcü had been the target of an armed attack. (Evrensel-TIHV, August 9, 2001)

Human Rights Defenders Hindered

Human rights defenders, who wanted to research the situation in Asat and Ortakli villages (Beytüssebap district, Sirnak), which had been evacuated on 20 July and the food embargo against Ulucak, Dagalti and Hisarkapi villages were hindered by the security forces. The delegation talked to a group of 500 people, who had settled in tents outside Beytüssebap and later went to Ulucak village. In the evening of 8 August they wanted to return to Sirnak and were kept waiting by the security forces for 2.5 hours. Notes, films and photographs were confiscated. Rasim Acan (17), who accompanied the delegation, was detained. Attempts of the delegation to meet the governor or his deputy today failed. The members of the delegation are: Osman Baydemir (IHD), Sehmus Ülek (Mazlum-Der), Celal Besiktepe (TMMOB), Ismail Poyraz (IHD), Feray Salman (TIHV), Hanefi Isik (IHD), Dr. Kamuran Yildirim (Turkish Medical Association), Zülfü Demir (Göc-Der), Arif Akkaya, Yakup Keskin and Bahri Karhan (from the Democracy Platform in Diyarbakir). (TIHV, August 9, 2001)

Child shot by the Police

On 9 August three police officers following thieves (kapkaç = grab and run) in Kocamustafapasa quarter of Istanbul fired blank cartridges in a crowded. The child Gökhan Dilmen (10) was hit at his stomach. He had to be taken to the hospital of Istanbul Medical Faculty, where he underwent surgery. His mother Müesser Dilmen said that they would file an official complaint against the police officers. (Hürriyet-TIHV, August 10, 2001)

Death Penalties Demanded

The prosecutor at Diyarbakir SSC indicted Abdülvahap Ekinci, who had been detained in Istanbul on 28 May on suspicion of involvement in the assassination of Diyarbakir Chief of Police, Gaffar Okkan and was arrested in Diyarbakir on 2 June. The prosecutor holds Mr. Ekinci responsible for the kidnapping and killing of Yasin Özalp, Hatip Pirizade, Aziz Basak, Nurettin Günes, Hasan Bozan and Suat Erciyes as well as the wounding of 3 people and demanded the death penalty according to Article 146 of the TPC. On the other hand,  the case concerning the bomb attack on Çankiri Governor Ayhan Çevik (5 March 1999), during which 4 people continued at Ankara SSC on 9 August. Five of the 29 defendants and their lawyers participated. Presiding judge Hüseyin Eken noted that the objection against the decision not to release the defendant Savas Kör because of health problems due to the death fast action had not been dealt with by Istanbul SSC. Defendant Kemal Ertürk stated that he could not present his final defense, because the notes he prepared in prison had been taken away from him. He then mentioned that the defendant Muharrem Horoz had died on day 236 of the death fast action, but was not allowed to speak on the subject. The court noted to have been informed on the death of the defendant in Izmit State Hospital on 3 August. The court rejected the demand and decided to wait for a decision of Istanbul SSC. The lawyers asked for the release of the defendants. In summing up the case the prosecution demanded the death penalty for Kemal Ertürk, Lale Açik, Nihat Konak, Küçük Hasan Çoban, Kemal Kaygisiz, Mesut Deniz and Muharrem Horoz according to Article 146 of the TPC; sentences of between 15 and 22.5 years¹ imprisonment for Sener Kökten, Savas Kör, Hakan Eren, Erkan Balçik and Devrim Karacan under Article 168/2 of the TPC for "membership of the Turkish Workers¹ and Peasants¹ Liberation Army (TIKKO); and terms of between 4.5 years¹ and 7.5 years¹ imprisonment for Özgür Deniz Demirdis, Bülent Ertürk, Arap Deniz, Bilal Ekin, Halil Köseoglu, Cemile Sönmez, Serdar Çitil and Murat Yilmaz under Article 169 TPC for "assisting members of TIKKO". The prosecution wanted Sevinç Güden, Selahattin Yurdaer, Murat Demirdis, Turan Açik, Ömer Necmi Hatipoglu, Aziz Batur, Cafer Kaya Bozkurt, Metin Sezgin and Eren Karacan to be acquitted. (Evrensel-TIHV, August 10, 2001)

Human Rights Defenders in Danger

Lawyer Osman Baydemir, deputy chairman of the Human Rights Association (IHD) was detained together with Rasim Acan (18) in Sirnak on 8 and 9 August. The detentions followed investigations of a group of 10 people made up of representatives from Turkish human rights organizations including the IHD and the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TIHV) as well as trade unionists and journalists into allegations of torture and other human rights violations by the security forces. On 8 August they had taken testimony from Rasim Acan in Beytüssebap. He was afraid that speaking to the group would put him in danger, so they were taking him home in their vehicles when they were stopped and searched at a gendarmerie checkpoint. The gendarmes detained Rasim Acan, but released the others after confiscating their notes, videos and photographs relating to their research. Three lawyers from the group were able to visit him at the gendarmerie headquarters in Sirnak the following day. They saw that he had had electrodes attached to his testicles and toes, and had been hung up by his arms which had been tied behind his back. He told them that the gendarmes had forced him to sign a confession that the delegation had bribed him to give them false testimony against the security forces. Osman Baydemir was taken in for questioning by the prosecutor in Sirnak town on 9 August, but later released. Despite the fact that Rasim Acan rejected his testimony to the police he was arrested on charges brought under Article 159 TPC (insulting the authorities). (TIHV, August 10, 2001)

Person Killed by the Gendarmerie

On 10 August at 9 pm a group of gendarmes wanted to conduct an ID check in a teahouse in Akkise town, Ahirli district (Konya). Some of the juveniles, apparently having gathered because a few were about to start their military service, refused. The quarrel intensified, when the gendarmerie wanted to detain two of the young people. Sergeant Recep Karabacak ordered the retreat of about 20 gendarmes, because the crowd had started to throw chairs at them. Having left at about 10pm another troops returned at about 11pm. Reportedly Sergeant Ali Caliskan stepped on a table and, with his automatic rifle in his hand, wanted to hold a speech. He then fired a shot in the air and ordered the soldiers to do likewise. The crowd tried to run away, but the bullets hit some. Hasan Gültekin (21), who would have started his military service next week, died on the spot. Sami Tokmak (20), Halil Ibrahim Erkul (21) and Kemal Candan (27) were severely injured. They were taken to hospital together with Ismet Tasbasi (57) and Murat Kurum, who had been injured by rifle butts. There are further allegations against Sergeant Caliskan. He reportedly ordered to shoot at women, when the gendarmerie was tracing an event of smuggling and allegedly he beat the 56-year-old woman Ümmügülsüm Erbil. Meanwhile, experts of the Ministry of the Interior and the General Command of the Gendarmerie started to investigate the incident. First reports indicated that 25 soldiers, 10 of them officers, had been injured during the event. (Cumhuriyet-Hürriyet-Radikal-TIHV, August 11-12-13, 2001)

Detentions and Arrests in different cities

 On 9 August the girls S.G. (17) and M.Y. (17) were detained together with Erkan Gümüs. It was alleged that they had come from Istanbul to Kemaliye district (Erzincan) in order to join the Turkish Communist Party/ML-Workers¹ and Peasants Liberation Army of Turkey (TKP/ML TIKKO). Kamuran Çelik, who had been detained in Gümüldür district (Izmir), was arrested by Izmir SSC on 11 August for alleged "membership of the PKK". Sinan Güngör from the music group "Munzur" and Erkan Güngör (from the theater group "Babil"). Who had been detained in Erzincan on 8 August, were arrested on 10 August. During protests against the 6th US-Fleet 12 people were detained in Istanbul on 11 August (Evrensel-Hürriyet-TIHV, August 11-12-13, 2001)

Repressive operations in Akkise

 The human rights organization Mazlum-Der published a report on the events in Akkise town (Ahirli district, Konya) of 10 August. Mustafa Akmese, chairman of the Konya branch of Mazlum-Der, Adem Seles and lawyer Mustafa Atilgan, prepared the report. They stated that the events had a previous history. Sergeant Ali Caliskan had been trying to exert pressure on the population since his appointment six months ago. Three months ago he had ordered to shoot at a house, where only women were preparing for a wedding. One young woman had been detained and tortured over 8 days. Two months ago he had detained Sükrü Gültekin (elderly brother of Hasan Gültekin, who died during the event) and Ali Arac, because they did not carry their IDs with them. He had tortured them over 1.5 hours with their eyes being blindfolded. The people from Akkise provided the following information on the latest event: "When the gendarmerie came the second time sergeant Ali Caliskan accompanied them in civilian dress. He had a pistol in one hand and an automatic rifle in the other. He was cursing and swearing and did not listen to Mayor Abdullah Kayaalp or other senior citizens. Some soldiers fired in the air and other were ordered to gather the cartridge cases. The event lasted for more than 20 minutes and more shots were fired, than the 920 found cartridge cases indicate." Yusuf Gültekin, uncle of Hasan Gültekin, apparently saw that Ali Caliskan shot his nephew. The report from Mazlum-Der further stated that despite official announcement none of the military vehicles was damaged and there were no inured soldiers. At the end of the report several questions were asked: "Why should an ID check be so important in a town, where everybody knows each other? Why did the investigation only start at 7am, although the officials arrived at 2am? Why were 86 bullets shot at the mosque? Who are the soldiers involved in the event and why have the allegedly injured soldiers not been named? Has anyone been detained?" Meanwhile Sergeant Ali Caliskan was suspended from duty and three of the five injured people were able to leave hospital. (Akit-Evrensel-TIHV, August 14, 2001)

Detentions and Arrests in Istanbul

Istanbul SSC ordered the arrest of Tekin Tangün, SG of the Association of Solidarity with Prisoners¹ Families (TAYAD), Metin Yavuz, editor-in-chief of the journal "Vatan" and the reporter Ercan Gökoglu on allegations of "organizing the hunger strikes". They had been among 13 people detained on 8 August during a raid on the premises of the journal "Vatan". (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 15, 2001) Arife Onat, Yücel Çakmak, Yilmaz Küçük and Baris Akar, executives and members of the Labor Party (EMEP) were detained, when they distributed leaflet in Istanbul Bagcilar quarters. They were released after 12 hours. Abdulkerim Yananer and Abdullah Okur, executives of the HADEP in Mersin, who had been detained during a meeting in Mersin on 12 August held in preparation for the 1 September meeting in Ankara and subsequently been arrested, were released from prison on 16 August on objection of their lawyers. In Istanbul 23 members of HADEP, who had been detained on 14 August were released. Haydar Isiktas was transferred to Diyarbakir, apparently in connection with separate charges. (Evrensel-TIHV, August 17, 2001)

Extra legal execution in Ipsala

On 16 August soldier Sedat Basakci stabbed Yusuf Alver (35) with a bayonet. The event happened in a military zone near Saricaali village, Ipsala district (Edirne). Yusuf Alver allegedly tried to take 26 foreigners over the border to Greece and did not react to "stop warnings", but walked onto the soldier. He died on his way to Ipsala State Hospital. The gendarmerie in Ipsala stated that after interrogation the 26 foreigners would be taken to the Foreigners and Passport Department of Police HQ. (Evrensel-TIHV, August 17, 2001)

Detentions and Arrests in Side

On 17 August Naim H. was detained in Side (Antalya). Allegedly a facsimile he sent to the Prime Minister, the Chief of General Staff and some ministries contained "insulting words". The police in Diyarbakir announced the detention of 18 members of the radical Islam organization Hezbollah, during operations between 1 and 8 August. Three of the unnamed suspects are said to be members of the military wing and held responsible for 15 actions including the killing of Nazmi Yildirmaz and M. Nuri Demiralp in Diyarbakir. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 18, 2001)

Petitions to the Human Rights Commission

During the last year 1,442 people appealed to the Human Rights Commission in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The Commission dealt with 1,078 of them. Most petitions came from the prisons (215), followed by complaints about criminal procedures (courts, 151). 79 people appealed to the Commission in connection with detention, torture and ill-treatment. The rest of the petitions were related to a number of areas, such as migration, pension, headscarves etc. (Yeni Safak-TIHV, August 19, 2001)

Torture in Diyarbakir

Yasar Atalan and Adil Atay, who were detained in Diyarbakir on 13 August, alleged that they were tortured at Diyarbakir Police HQ. During the first four days they were not allowed to see anybody. Five days later, two lawyers from the Human Rights Association (IHD), visited the men, in the presence of the police at the Anti- Terror branch of Diyarbakir Police HQ. The lawyers reported that Adil Atay was unable to stand on his feet, his hair was wet and his shirt was torn.  He told them how he had been tortured: he had been given electric shocks, hosed with pressurized water and had his testicles squeezed. He reported that he had fainted twice a day as a result of being tortured and that he had been suffering from heart problems. He was also kept blindfolded at all times. Although illiterate, he was forced to sign three separate documents, the contents of which he did not know. Yasar Atalan told the lawyers that he was also tortured and that he too had his testicles squeezed. On 19 August, Yasar Atalan's parents were called to the police headquarters. They were told that their son had "left the organization" (namely the PKK). The parents were asked to encourage him to become an informer in return for a reduced sentence. They were told, "otherwise actions could be taken against the family". (TIHV, August 21, 2001)

Torture in Van

From Van it was reported that the girl F.D.F. (16), who had been detained on 30 June, was subjected to a forcible test of her virginity. She was detained with another 10 people on suspicion that they might join the PKK. In his application her lawyer Bekir Kaya stated: "My client was taken from Yoldöndü Gendarmerie Station to a hospital in Van without her consent. Dr. Emine Karabulut subjected her to a test of virginity without the necessary permission. On 3 July my client was taken to Van State Hospital. Dr. Adnan Soner and Dr. Enver Sultanoglu certified that me client was not "raped". This practice amounts to a violation of Article 243 TPC and is also in violation of the decree by the Ministry of Justice of 1999, providing that nobody can be subjected to a forcible test of virginity." Lawyer Bekir Kaya added that his client was under 18 years of age and there was the necessity of a lawyer being present during interrogation. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 21, 2001)

Files on Death Penalty in Parliament

The death penalty of 31 people in connection with the events in Sivas, when 37 people burnt to death in the Hotel Madimak, reached the Grand National Assembly. The number of files on cases of death penalty awaiting ratification by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) has increased to 65. The number of people involved is 116. The names of the 31 people sentenced to death for the Sivas events are: Muhsin Erbas, Harun Gülbas, Bekir Çinar, Erol Sarikaya, Ahmet Turan Kiliç, Kenan Kale, Harun Yildiz, Zafer Yelok, Yunis Karatas, Halil Ibrahim Düzbiçer, Ömer Faruk Gez, Ahmet Oflaz, Ekrem Kurt, Erkan Çetinbas, Faruk Sarikaya, Hayrettin Gül, Harun Kavak, Süleyman Toksun, Hayrettin Yegin, Mehmet Yilmaz, Adem Kozu, Mustafa Ugur Yaras, Faruk Belkavakli, Ömer Demir, Alim Özhan, Ibrahim Duran, Etem Ceylan, Vahit Kaynar, Turan Kaya, Cafer Tayyar Soykök and Faruk Ceylan. (Hürriyet-TIHV, August 21, 2001)

Detentions and Arrests in Bingol

In Karliova district (Bingöl) Abdullah Yagan was detained, after an officer had complained that he was playing Kurdish music in his minibus. Abdullah Yagan reportedly was taken to the prosecutor, while the police confiscated three cassettes, the driving license and the paper of the car. (Evrensel-TIHV, August 22, 2001)

203 Torture Trials in 1.5 years

Rüstü Kazim Yücelen, Minister of the Interior, answered a parliamentary question raised by Rize MP Mehmet Bekaroglu. He stated that 203 police officers had been put on trial for an offence of Article 243 TPC (torture) between 1 January 2000 and 30 June 2001. The trials of 26 were still continuing and among the other defendants 117 had been acquitted, 14 had been rejected by court, 29 had resulted in decisions not to prosecute, 13 cases had been suspended and 30 police officers had been convicted. Administrative investigations had been conducted against 101 staff of the police with the result that there was no need for punishment. (Hürriyet-TIHV, August 23, 2001)

Torture Allegations in Hezbollah Trial

On 22 August the trial against Mehmet Fidanci, accused of 14 killings including the assassination of Diyarbakir Chief of Police Gaffar Okkan, started at Diyarbakir SSC. When the indictment had been read out the defendant said that he was not responsible for the killings. He accepted to be a member of the "community" (the radical Islam organization Hezbollah), but said that he did not regret it, because he had done nothing against the State. He said: "I was detained on 24 March 2001. Over 20 days I was interrogated at an unknown place. I was taken several times from the prosecutor to prison and from there to the police. I¹m still afraid of being taken to the police. Fearing for my life I prefer to talk about some things later." When the defendant was reminded of his testimonies to the police and the prosecutor and the minutes on the on-site inspection he stated that he had confessed for fear of being tortured again. Having followed the incidents from the press he had been able to show the places. The defendant asked the court for a defense lawyer and the court adjourned the hearing to a later date. At Adana SSC the trial of 12 defendants accused of "membership of Hezbollah" continued on 22 August. The defendants Sabri Yaprak, Mehmet Ali Harat, Mustafa Yayar, Orhan Harat, Mehmet Kiliç, Mehmet Faik Dogan, Tahir Kiliç, Aydin Erdem and Sabri Yüzgeç are in pre-trial detention, while the defendants Ahmet Aydin, Ömer Çelikay and Hasan Oguz are being tried without arrest. (Evrensel-Hürriyet-TIHV, August 23, 2001)

Civil Servants on Trial

A court case was opened against Durmus Bastürk, spokesperson at the time for the Confederation of Trade Unions in the Public Sector (KESK) and 11 trade unionists in connection with a press statement in Sivas on 31 May. The defendants Durmus Bastürk, Mehmet Ali Korkmaz, Mustafa Akyol, Satilmis Baskavak, Hacer Çakmakli, Güngör Malkoçoglu, Adnan Özçelik, Hidayet Yildirim, Üstüner Erdogan, Elif Karadeniz, Filiz Yildirim and Dündar Akbulut are being accused of conducting an illegal demonstration. They have to expect sentences of up to 3 years¹ imprisonment. (Yeni Safak-TIHV, August 23, 2001)

Death in police custody

Özgür Ünal (16) student in secondary education, who was detained in Edremit district (Balikesir) on 22 August, was found dead in his cell on 23 August. On 21 August police officers came to the petrol station of his father at 9pm and detained him saying that they had received complaints. He was taken to Edremit Police HQ., where his corpse was found on 23 August at 10am. Balikesir Chief of Police, Kemal Iskender, maintained that the juvenile committed suicide by tying the blanket¹s border sheet to the heating system. Following an autopsy at Bursa Forensic Institute he was buried in his hometown Manisa. His father Osman Ünal said: "Two policemen detained Özgür and took him to Edremit Police HQ. I went there, too. First they said that my son was driving a motorcycle without a license. Therefore, my motorcycle would be confiscated and I had to pay TL 54 million. They put Özgür into a cell. Later an officer told me that they had received complaints that Özgür had assaulted a woman. He would be taken to court the other day and there was nothing I could do. The next morning at 11am I was called to Edremit Police HQ. and told that he had committed suicide between 9 and 10am. The prosecutor asked me whether I wanted an autopsy to be done and I agreed. All I say were bruises at his neck." Chief of Balikesir Police, Kemal Iskender¹s name had become known in connection with torture of juvenile in Manisa in 1995. (Milliyet-Radikal-TIHV, August 25, 2001)

Two brothers tortured in Ankara

The brothers Metin and Ismail Candogan, who had been detained in Ankara-Tuzluçayir quarter for their alleged involvement in a fight, complained about torture at the police station "30 August". Ismail Candogan said that had been disturbed by three people drinking alcohol in front of their house at a very late time. His brother Metin Candogan had intervened and been injured to his neck by a knife. When the police arrived the fight started again and they were taken to the police station "30 August" being handcuffed. At the station 10 to 15 police officers allegedly started to beat them with truncheons and fists and kicked at them. The reports issued by the Forensics stated bruises at the ear and various parts of the body of Metin Candogan. The report also certified damages to the membrane and traces of the handcuffs. Ismail Candogan had a broken rip, bruises on his body and trace of handcuffs at his wrist. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 25, 2001)

Headscarved Civil Servants Dismissed

In Erzurum 323 civil servants were punished for a violation of the "instructions on dressing". Eleven of them lost their status as civil servants, two were dismissed and the others received warnings or had cuts in their salary. Erzurum Governor Osman Derya Kadioglu stated that these figure related to the last 3.5 years. The majority of the civil servants were teachers (298). (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, August 25, 2001)

Detentions and Arrests in Antep

 Among the 9 people, who had been detained in Antep as alleged members of the radical Islam organization Hezbollah Niyazi Akduman, Nedim Narinç, Ali Gümüstekin, Mustafa Fistik, Yilmaz Öztas, Ömer Annaç and Ramazan Gören were arrested on 24 August. Abuzer Baykus and Murat Kartal were released to be tried without pre-trial detention. In Kangal district (Sivas) Hasan Kackaya was arrested on 24 August on charges of "membership of the PKK". In Izmir the offices of the Culture Center "Yaren" and the journal "Yasadigimiz Vatan" were raided on 24 August. During the raids Can Erkan, Arzu Yetik, Günes Mutlu, Sadik Altinöz, Gülüs Demirpençe, Nurhan Yilmaz, Dursun Göktas, Burcu Kaya and 4 people with the first names Birol, Çaglar, Sebahattin, Gökhan and Sahin were detained. A press statement by the "Initiative of the Peace Mothers", to be read out in Galatasaray (Istanbul) on 26 August, was prevented by the police. Some 50 people were detained. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, August 25-27, 2001)

Political Killing in Istanbul

On 25 August Saban Elaltunteri and his son Mehmet were killed in Esenler (Istanbul). It was stated that Saban Elatunteri had been detained as Hezbollah member in 1998 and had become a repentant police informer. He had been tried at Diyarbakir SSC and sentenced to 15.5 years¹ imprisonment, but released in 2000 based on the Repentance Law. (Cumhuriyet-Radikal-TIHV, August 26, 2001)

Death in police custody

Minister of Interior Rüstü Kazim Yücelen appointed a state secretary to investigate the death in custody of Özgür Ünal (16) in Edremit district (Balikesir) on 23 August. Reportedly the autopsy carried out at Bursa Forensic Institute did not reveal any traces of force, except for the bruises at the neck, said to be the result of strangulation marks. However, Emin Emir, lawyer of the family, stated that he had not received a copy of the autopsy report and was prepared to take the case to the highest level, including the European Court of Human Rights. He said that even if the death was the result of suicide the police was responsible for having put the juvenile into such a situation. He added that during 15 years in his profession he had not witnessed a single case of detention for verbal sexual assault. (Hürriyet-Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 28, 2001)

Suspicious death in Andaç

On 26 August the corpse of Zeki Ölmez was found near Elamun (Andaç) village. He had been "missing" for about a week, when he left home saying that he wanted to go fishing. Local sources reported that five people from Iraq, who had entered Turkey illegally, hired Zeki Ölmez as their guide. Having walked through the mountains for 2 days they surrendered to Habur-2 Gendarmerie Station, close to Andac village. After their interrogation they were taken to the border. Three days later the corpse of Zeki Ölmez was found some 4 kilometers away from the gendarmerie station. Reportedly the broken legs and arms are the result of having been thrown from a higher place. The family asked for an autopsy to be carried out, but allegedly the soldiers took the corpse and buried it in the village. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 28, 2001)

Prisons Operations in Canakkale

The case against 154 prisoners from Çanakkale Prison charged with "killing, incitement to suicide, and rioting and causing damage to public property" continued at Çanakkale Criminal No. 1 on 28 August. The imprisoned defendants were not taken to the hearing. The court decided to wait for the decision of Burhaniye Criminal Court concerning the arrest warrants and adjourned the hearing to 25 September. (Evrensel-TIHV, August 29, 2001)

Death in police custody

The investigation into the death of Özgür Ünal (16) while being in detention in Edremit district (Balikesir) continues. Commissioner Hakan Izmir and 3 police officers, who were on duty on 22 August, were interrogated. Osman Ünal, father of Özgür Ünal alleged that his son had been in possession of TL 234 million according to the notes taken on entry to police headquarters, but he had only been given TL 4 million. (Cumhuriyet-Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 29, 2001)

Torture in Kusadasi

Ismail Bahar (57) alleged that he was beaten by police officers, who detained him in Kusadasi district (Izmir) in 22 August. He said: "I had been watching a football match in a coffee shop. Here I took some alcohol. When I wanted to watch another match in another coffee shop I was not allowed in, because of the alcohol. There was a slight discussion and they called the police. Three officers took me to the police headquarters. On entry they started to beat me. When I protested and said they should stick to the law reminding them of my military career they got even angrier. They took me to the police car and drove outside town. When I asked where we were going one police officer curse at me and said that they would shoot me to the head. After 4 or 5 kilometers they stopped, took me outside the car, beat me up and threw me into a ditch. I could not get out of it until dawn." Reportedly the governor of Kusadasi has started an investigation into the affair. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, August 31, 2001)

The Manisa Case

The trial against 10 police officers accused of having tortured the juveniles from Manisa continued at Manisa Criminal Court on 29 August. The hearing that lasted for about 10 minutes was adjourned to 10 October. In this case the officers had twice been acquitted, but in the third round received sentences. The 8th Chamber of the Court of Cassation had quashed these on the grounds that the right of defense had been violated. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, August 31, 2001)

The Egyptian Bazaar Case

On 29 August another hearing was conducted in the so-called Egyptian Bazaar Case relating to a bomb explosion there on 9 July 1998. 15 defendants are charged with the death of 7 people and injuries to 120 people. Istanbul SSC adjourned the hearing to 3 October in order to complete the files. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 31, 2001)

Hezbollah Trials

Diyarbakir SSC continued to hear the case of 16 alleged members of the radical Islam organization Hezbollah including the so-called leaders Edip Gümüs and Cemal Tutar on 29 August. Defendant Sinan Yakut, who is accused of involvement in the killing of Mardin MP Mehmet Sincar in Batman on 4 September 1993, testified to the effect that earlier Veysi Kavan, Orhan Elçin, Muhammet Faruk Akgül, Mehmet Salih Ugur and Aydin Tuncer had been acquitted for this office. He stated that he did not know anybody accused of the killing and also rejected the charges of having killed Imdat Koç and Dündar Çelebioglu. He said that he had been threatened with torturing his wife if he did not sign the confession. His wife had been held in custody for 2 days. The court decided to combine the case of Musa Özer, charged at Adana SSC, with this trial and adjourned the hearing to 25 October. (Hürriyet-TIHV, August 31, 2001)

Detentions and Arrests in Istanbul

In Istanbul Abdulbahar Velioglu (nephew of Hüseyin Velioglu, the alleged Hezbollah leader, who was killed on 17 January 2000), Salih Ulutas and Emrullah Ulutas were arrested by Istanbul SSC on 29 August on charges of "membership of the radical Islam organization Hezbollah. (Hürriyet-TIHV, August 31, 2001)

Bomb Explosion

On 29 August a bomb exploded in a house in Ümraniye (Istanbul). Fuat Daha (27) was injured, reportedly by a missile of a rocket launcher. (Akit-TIHV, August 31, 2001)

POLITIQUE INTERIEURE / INTERIOR POLICY

Le deuxième nouveau parti du mouvement islamiste

Une nouvelle formation, issue de l'interdiction par la justice turque du parti islamiste de la Vertu (Fazilet), a été, le 14 août, fondée par Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ancien maire islamiste d'Istanbul. Le parti de la Justice et du Développement (AK parti) voit le jour moins d'un mois après la création de celui du Bonheur (Saadet) par la branche conservatrice, sur les cendres du Fazilet, 3ème force politique du pays, fermée par la Cour constitutionnelle pour "activités anti-laïques".

"C'est le moment le plus heureux de ma vie. Il s'agit de l'ouverture d'une nouvelle page pour notre peuple", a déclaré M. Erdogan au cours d'une conférence de presse à Ankara après que des membres fondateurs eurent déposé les statuts de la formation au ministère de l'Intérieur comme le veut la loi. Il a assuré qu'une "transparence totale et la démocratie" régneraient au sein du parti, critiquant l'"oligarchie" dans les autres formations. "Rien ne sera comme avant en Turquie, croyez-moi", a-t-il ajouté.

Aucun ex-député Fazilet figure parmi les 73 membres fondateurs composés pour la plupart d'universitaires, d'intellectuels et de juristes, tous inconnus de l'opinion publique sauf M. Erdogan. 51 députés ont rejoint ce nouveau parti alors que le parti du Bonheur dirigé par l'ex-chef du Fazilet Recai Kutan compte 48 députés.

Selon ses fondateurs, le parti de la Justice et du Développement (AK parti) souhaite s'adresser à un électorat plus large que le Fazilet dont la rhétorique pro-islamiste séduisait essentiellement des électeurs religieux et irritait les dirigeants de cet Etat musulman mais laïque, notamment l'armée très influente qui se considère comme la gardienne des principes laïques.

M. Erdogan a été autorisé le mois dernier à rentrer dans l'arène politique, grâce à une décision de la Cour constitutionnelle levant l'interdiction de politique à vie qui l'avait frappé il y a deux ans pour un discours considéré comme une incitation à la haine raciale ou religieuse. Il avait aussi entre temps purgé quatre mois de prison. Depuis, il affirme avoir "changé" dans le but de rallier les suffrages du centre-droit. Mais ses détracteurs l'accusent de cynisme et d'opportunisme, relevant qu'un homme politique ne change pas en milieu de carrière. Les modernistes ont appelé à une réforme du système politique turc, selon eux foyer de corruption, de népotisme et responsable de la grave crise économique traversée par le pays. Concernant la liberté d'expression, ce nouveau parti est pour des émissions en kurde, a indiqué Abdullah Gul, un responsable du parti. Jeu de mots qui symbolise la volonté de ce changement: AK --sigle de Justice et de Développement (Adalet et Kalkinma)-- veut dire blanc en turc, c'est-à-dire exempt de toute corruption. Le parti est symbolisé par une ampoule électrique.

La division officialisée des ailes "traditionaliste" et "moderniste" devrait toutefois affaiblir le mouvement islamiste. Et les deux formations subiront l'épreuve du feu lors des prochaines élections, en principe prévue pour 2003, car chacune devra obtenir au moins 10% des voix pour siéger au Parlement. Le Fazilet avait recueilli 15% des suffrages aux législatives de 1999. (CILDEKT, 17 Août 2001)

Poursuites contre le leader d'un nouveau parti islamiste

Deux procureurs ont engagé chacun une procédure juridique contre Recep Tayyip Erdogan, le chef de file d'un parti islamiste récemment créé, dans le but de le démettre de ses fonctions et de l'emprisonner pour avoir insulté les responsables de l'Etat turc.

Le procureur général Sabih Kanadoglu a saisi la Cour constitutionnelle pour qu'elle prive M. Erdogan de son titre de président du Parti de la justice et du développement (AK), estimant qu'il ne pouvait exercer cette fonction après le bannissement prononcé contre lui en 1998 pour appel à la sédition, a rapporté l'agence Anatolie.

M. Kanadoglu a également réclamé que six femmes voilées soient écartées de la direction du parti, leur foulard constituant la preuve que cette formation allait oeuvrer pour introduire des pratiques islamistes dans les institutions.

Le procureur a estimé qu'après son bannissement, l'ancien maire d'Istanbul, âgé de 47 ans, emprisonné 4 mois en 1999 pour un discours aux accents islamistes, ne pouvait légalement occuper de fonctions électives. M. Erdogan avait bénéficié d'une loi d'amnistie entrée en vigueur en décembre dernier.

La Cour constitutionnelle doit maintenant statuer sur la possible convocation du Parti de la justice et du développement pour l'informer officiellement de la requête de M. Kanadoglu.

Un procureur d'Istanbul a ouvert de son côté une enquête contre Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pour avoir insulté l'Etat lors d'un discours prononcé en 1994, selon Anatolie.

Mi-août, les islamistes turcs modérés emmenés par Tayyip Erdogan ont fondé le parti AK, consacrant leur divergence avec les islamistes traditionalistes qui avaient eux lancé une nouvelle formation sur les cendres du Parti de la vertu, fermé par la Cour constitutionnelle en juin pour activités anti-laïques.

Bien que M. Erdogan ait pris ses distances avec la rhétorique islamiste et ait affiché une image plus libérale, les analystes se demandent si cette métamorphose n'est pas une simple tactique visant à occuper le centre droit de l'échiquier politique turc.

L'influente armée turque considère l'Islam politique comme l'une des principales menaces à la stabilité de la Turquie, majoritairement musulmane mais laïque. (AFP, 21 août 2001)

MGK decision on the Constitutional Amendment Bills

The participants of the National Security Council (NSC) meeting have decided to send constitutional amendment drafts to Parliament which were also proposed in Turkey`s National Program that was prepared to speed up Turkey`s entrance to the EU.

At the meeting which focused on the fight against separatist organizations, the participants reviewed the measures taken as part of the Action Plan which was put into practice in order to bring a solution to the problems of East and Southeast Anatolia regions.

NSC General Secretariat announced that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Chief of General Staff Huseyin Kivrikoglu, council member ministers, force commanders, Gendarmerie General Commander and NSC General Secretary attended the meeting which was chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

Deputy prime ministers Devlet Bahceli, Husamettin Ozkan and Mesut Yilmaz also attended the meeting while State Minister Abdulhaluk Mehmet Cay was present only during a part of the meeting.

The statement said, "at the meeting, the results of the fight against illegal fundamentalist and separatist activities and organized crime gangs which pose a threat for the country`s security were debated in light of the security and intelligence reports of the previous month. Within this framework, the implementation of measures foreseen in the Action Plan, which was put to practice to solve the problems of the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia regions rapidly, were also reviewed."

The statement continued, "during the meeting, the foreign policy developments, which are of vital importance and which closely concern Turkey`s security, were evaluated. In this context, the reports regarding our relations with Turkish Republics in Central Asia and Caucasus were discussed and the measures to be taken to promote our relations with friendly countries in the region were taken up."

 "Also, the wish to develop constitutional amendment proposals, which are in compliance with the measures foreseen in the National Program that was prepared within the framework of European Union (EU) membership, and to have these proposals passed by Parliament was expressed during the meeting," the statement added. (Anatolia, August 21, 2001)

PRESSIONS SUR LES MEDIAS / PRESSURE ON THE MEDIA

Les émissions de la BBC et de la Deutsche Welle interdites

Dans une lettre adressée au président du Haut Conseil de l'audiovisuel (RTÜK), Nuri Kayis, RSF a protesté contre l'interdiction des émissions d'information en langue turque de la British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) et de la Deutsche Welle sur les ondes FM. "L'interdiction de ces stations de radio internationales est une entrave au pluralisme de l'information. Cette mesure, si elle était appliquée, constituerait un pas en arrière par rapport aux engagements internationaux pris par la Turquie, notamment au sein du Conseil de l'Europe", a déclaré Robert Ménard, secrétaire général de l'organisation.

RSF a bien pris acte de la réserve de Kayis à l'égard de cette mesure, et de ses intentions de soumettre la question à la justice. Mais l'organisation lui a demandé de mettre ces déclarations en application, et de prendre toutes les dispositions qui incombent à sa qualité de président du RTÜK pour que cette mesure ne soit pas appliquée.

Selon les informations recueillies par RSF, l'organe gouvernemental turc de surveillance de l'audiovisuel, le RTÜK, a décidé, le 8 août 2001, d'interdire les programmes d'information en langue turque de la BBC et de la Deutsche Welle. Le président du RTÜK, Kayis, a exprimé sa défiance vis-à-vis de la mesure, et insisté sur son impuissance face à la décision prise par le Comité exécutif. Il a, par ailleurs, déclaré son intention de déposer un recours devant la justice. Ces émissions, récemment diffusées par le biais de la chaîne d'information en continu NTV, tombent sous une loi de régulation audiovisuelle, qui interdit la diffusion de programmes étrangers de façon régulière, ou en transmission directe, sur le territoire national. La Deutsche Welle a immédiatement cessé d'émettre, mais en revanche, la BBC ne veut agir qu'après décision de la justice. (RSF/IFEX, 13 août 2001)

Saisie du livre concernant l'oppression des Kurde

Dans une lettre adressée au ministre de la Justice, Hikmet Sami Türk, RSF a protesté contre la saisie du livre du journaliste Celal Baslangiç, qui contient des témoignages mettant en cause la responsabilité de l'État turc dans une série d'exactions contre des civils kurdes dans le sud-est du pays.

"Il semble que la Turquie, candidate à l'Union européenne, n'ait toujours pas l'intention de renoncer à la censure", a déclaré Robert Ménard, secrétaire général de RSF. "Nous vous demandons de vous résoudre à respecter les obligations contractées par la Turquie en matière de respect de la liberté d'expression", a ajouté Ménard.

Selon les informations recueillies par RSF, la troisième édition du livre "Le Temple de la peur" de Baslangiç, journaliste du quotidien de centre gauche "Radikal", a été saisie, le 21 août 2001, à la demande du juge Dursun Ali Gümüs. Le 21 août, le procureur de la République d'Istanbul a engagé des poursuites contre le journaliste devant le deuxième tribunal de police, pour "propos injustes et irréels à l'encontre des militaires" et "moquerie et insulte envers les forces armées turques".

Des témoignages recueillis dans le livre "Le Temple de la peur" mettent en effet en cause la responsabilité de l'État dans des massacres commis lors d'opérations militaires contre le PKK dans le sud-est du pays. L'ouvrage traite notamment de quatre séries d'exactions commises contre la population civile à partir de 1989. En vertu de l'article 159 du Code pénal turc, le journaliste risque un à six ans de prison.

RSF rappelle que le délit d'opinion est toujours passible de prison en Turquie, pays pourtant candidat à l'Union européenne. Fikret Baskaya, universitaire et éditorialiste, a été condamné par la Cour de sûreté d'État à une peine de un an et quatre mois de prison, et incarcéré le 29 juin, pour "propagande séparatiste par voie de presse".

L'éditorialiste avait écrit, dans un article publié le 1er juin 1999 dans le quotidien prokurde "Özgür Bakis", que "les dirigeants turcs ont toujours considéré le problème kurde comme un problème d'ordre public alors qu'il s'agit d'un problème national, et ont pensé pouvoir résoudre le problème en appliquant une politique chauviniste, raciste et nationaliste".

Zeynel Abidin Kizilyaprak, éditeur d'un supplément du quotidien "Özgür Bakis" intitulé "De 1900 à l'an 2000, les Kurdes", a également été condamné à un an et quatre mois de prison pour avoir tenu des "propos séparatistes".

Il sera incarcéré le 22 octobre prochain.

RSF a demandé à nouveau au ministre de la justice la libération des journalistes Baskaya, Asiye Zeybek Güzel, Hasan Özgün, Mustafa Benli et Kemal Evcimen, et un procès juste et équitable pour le journaliste Nureddin Sirin (consulter les alertes de l'IFEX du 18 avril et 7 mars 2001, 22 et 20 décembre 2000 et 7 décembre 1999). (RSF/IFEX, 27 août 2001)

Reality Show: "Who can survive on the minimum wage?"

In a new twist to reality television, a Turkish show is pitting two middle class couples against each other to see who can survive on the country's paltry minimum wage of $84 a month.

Contestant Engin Ozden walks for four hours each day from the studio to work to save 35 cents in bus fare.

His competitors, Hikmet and Suzan Kocaibrahimoglu, eat stale bread and sit under a street lamp at night to conserve electricity. They have each lost about 20 pounds since the show started Aug. 1. Suzan Kocaibrahimoglu hasn't used deodorant in a month.

"It is impossible to live on this money," said Suzan Kocaibrahimoglu. "It is a kind of torture."

But the show, broadcast daily on private Channel D television, is reality for hundreds of thousands of Turkish families struggling to make ends meet on a minimum wage that loses value almost every week as the Turkish lira plummets against the dollar. Since the start of a February financial crisis, the lira has lost about half its worth.

Half of the country's 65 million people live on a monthly income of less than $200, far below the poverty line of $474 a month for a family of four.

The couples' televised struggle has made them heroes to many Turks, who have long felt that they have been suffering in silence and are being ignored by politicians who many believe are corrupt and the cause of the financial crisis.

"They are like one of us, same difficulties, same misery," said Fikri Tektas, a janitor working in a building near the studio.

Hikmet Kocaibrahimoglu said he has received dozens of phone calls thanking him for dramatizing the nation's struggle. People have also approached him in the street to shake his hand.

They say "we are supporting you because you are showing our difficulties," Hikmet Kocaibrahimoglu said.

The television station says the show, which is broadcast at midnight, is among the country's most popular, but refuses to release any figures on viewership, saying it is a trade secret.

August's competition was the second installment of the show. The July contestants tied.

As part of the daily 30-minute show, the two couples live in apartments filled with cameras and microphones. When they go out for work, a camera crew follows them.

Both couples buy stale bread for 31/2 cents a loaf, one-third of the normal price, and carry free water in buckets from a nearby mosque to save on utility bills. Their telephones ring constantly with relatives and friends calling to offer words of support, but the couples never make outgoing calls.

The contestants are required to buy a newspaper each day and watch a movie and read a book during the contest.

Contestants are not allowed to accept discounts.

"It is really difficult and requires lots of sacrifice," said Hikmet Kocaibrahimoglu. Even a 17-cent ice cream cone is a luxury, he said.

Turkey is a conservative, overwhelmingly Muslim country and the couples have been extremely careful not to kiss in front of the cameras, which are everywhere, except the bathrooms.

In real life, Hikmet Kocaibrahimoglu is a finance manager at a private company. His wife does not work.

Engin Ozden owns a restaurant in Istanbul while his wife works at a bank. Both couples are middle class, earning about six times the minimum wage.

The couple who spends the least money during the month without exceeding the minimum wage will win an apartment, a car and a one week trip to Europe. The show ends on Thursday, but the winner will not be announced until Sunday.

"They are lucky. Most Turks are stuck with minimum wage for life, and there is no award awaiting them," said Menekse Yucel, an unemployed secretary looking for a job. (AP, August 30, 2001)

Violations de la liberté d'expression en bref

Media ban at Sincan Prison

Pressure in PrisonŠ Prisoners from Sincan F-type Prison alleged that they did not receive newspapers and journals. The prisoner Kemal Ertürk filed an official complaint stating that the prisoners did not receive newspaper and journals on 25 June and 13 July, although the publication had not been confiscated and they had paid for it. The pages of some newspapers had been ripped of. It was also reported that the water in that prison had been cut. (Evrensel, August 1, 2001)

Journalists Attacked in Igdir

In Igdir the local paper "Dilucu" reported on 18 July on fraud in the provincial directory for agriculture. On 4 August the owners of the paper, Akay Aktas and Alpaslan Siftas and Aydin Deniz, reporter for the Anatolian News Agency were attacked and injured with knifes by Muharrem Güven and his sons Alper and Mete Güven. Muharrem Güven, who previously had been working at the directorate for agriculture was detained. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, August 5, 2001)

Intellectuals accused of Separatism

65 people (politicians, writers, musicians, artists and lawyers), who had signed the booklet "Freedom of Thought ? For Everyone" as publishers, were indicted by the public prosecutor at Istanbul SSC, Ahmet Ayvaz with the demand of sentences of 8 years¹ imprisonment. Among the defendants are M. Sanar Yurdatapan, Zuhal Olcay, Ayse Lale Mansur, Emine Senlikoglu, Abdurrahman Dilipak, Mustafa Islamoglu, Canan Ceylan, Adalet Agaoglu and lawyers from Istanbul Bar Association. The booklet contains incriminated articles from Necmettin Erbakan, Hasan Celal Güzel, Akin Birdal, Murat Bozlak and Esber Yagmurdereli. (Zaman-TIHV, August 6, 2001)

Offices of the journal Vatan Raided

On 8 August the police raided the premises of the journal "Vatan" in Istanbul. Reportedly the door and walls were damaged. Hatice Ruken Kiliç, the editor-in-chief, Metin Yavuz, publication manager and Ismail Özmen (reporter), Naciye Barbaros, Ercan Gökoglu, Duygu Eygi, Ibrahim Akin, Murat Barbu, Tekin Tangül (SG of TAYAD), Feridun Yüce Batu, Yeter Gönül and Egemen Kusçu were detained.  (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, August 9, 2001)

Journal Isci-Koylu Confiscated

Istanbul SSC confiscated issues 8, 11 and 12 of the journal "Isci Köylü" on the grounds that some articles contained "propaganda for an illegal organization". (Evrensel)

Further Detentions after Festival

On 8 August Sinan Güngör (from the group "Munzur") and Erkan Güngör (from the theater group "Babil") were detained in Erzincan. They had participated in the 2nd Culture and Nature Festival of Munzur and afterwards visited their families in Cakirlar village (Erzincan). They were detained when they wanted to go to Istanbul and are being held at Erzincan Police HQ. (Evrensel-TIHV, August 10, 2001)

Fine for Delivering Journal

The public prosecutor¹s office in Torbali (Izmir) fined Güler Bakir TL 37 million for "smuggling illegal publications into prison". Güler Bakir had taken the journal "Özgür Halk" to relatives in Torbali Prison. He said that during five months during which he had provided newspapers and journals to the prisoners he had not been met with such a practice. He is facing criminal proceedings, if he does not pay the fine. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 15, 2001)

Journal Devrimci Cozum Closed

Istanbul SSC ordered the closure of the journal "Devrimci Çözüm" for one month on the grounds that one article in the issue of July 2000 contained "separatist propaganda". (Evrensel-TIHV, August 17, 2001)

Book Confiscated

The book "Voice and Braveness" published by the Bulletin of the Pensioned Women¹s Union was confiscated on the grounds that it contained "incitement to hatred and enmity". The book presents speeches and evaluations of the "Council against Sexual Assault and Rape in Custody" held in Istanbul on 10 and 11 June 2000. Sinami Orhan, writer of the journal "Akademya" (Islamic background), which was closed down in 1999, was detained in 17 August. Istanbul SSC ordered the confiscation of the 9th edition of paper "Isçi-Köylü" on the grounds that some articles contained "separatist and propaganda for TIKKO". (Evrensel-TIHV, August 19-20, 2001)

Ozgur Halk Journalist Detained

Emin Duman, reporter for the journal "Özgür Halk" in Adana was detained on 19 August. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 21, 2001)

Nine journalists on trial

On 21 August Istanbul SSC started to hear the case of 9 journalists on charges of "having made propaganda for the Karagümrük gang and its leader Nuri Ergin". The defendants rejected the charges stating that they had only made quotations. The defendants Nejdet Tatlican, editor-in-chief of Hürriyet and the reporter Fulya Çigdem Aydogan, Eren Güvener, editor-in-chief if Milliyet, Semra Uncu, editor-in-chief of Sabah and the reporter Nejdet Çokan, Mustafa Dolu, editor-in-chief of Aksam and the reporter Müjgan Akkus, Saffet Serdar Akbiyik, editor-in-chief of Star and the reporter Atilla Disbudak have to expect sentences of up to 4 years¹ imprisonment. (Evrensel-TIHV, August 22, 2001)
 

A Book Confiscated

Istanbul Penal Court No. 2 decided to have the book "Temple of Fear", written by Celal Baslangiç confiscated. The court based its decision on Article 159 of the TPC, arguing that some articles were an insult to the armed forces by holding them responsible for the terrorist events in Southeast Anatolia. Publishing house Iletisim stated that the book appeared last months and made three editions so far. The articles were basically taken from articles Celal Baslangic wrote for the daily Radikal. (Radikal-TIHV, August 23, 2001)

Arrest of newspaper distributors

On 21 August the distributors of the daily Günlük Evrensel Senel Dogan, Senol Dogan and Seda Kaya were detained in Ümraniye-Dudullu (Istanbul). They were taken to Dudullu Police Station and threatened not to sell the newspaper anymore. They were released on the same day. In Gaziantep Safiye Uçar, Fatma Bagriyanik, Islim Deniz, Sevilay Budak and two persons with the first name Sabahat and Aygül, all relatives of prisoners, were detained on 21 August, when they were about to start a solidarity hunger strike in the premises of the HADEP. Abdullah Ince, chairman of HADEP for the province, was also detained. The offices were searched and some papers and journals were confiscated. In Ardahan Metin Sanin, chairman of HADEP for the province, and Kemal Özer, chairman of HADEP for the central district were detained on 22 August. (Evrensel-Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 23, 2001)

Attack on the newspaper Isci

A bomb attack was carried out on 24 August against the offices of the newspaper "Isçi" (Worker) in Cigli district (Izmir). Nobody was killed or injured during the attack (Yeni Safak-TIHV, August 25, 2001)

Ban on TV programs

The High Council for Radio and Television (RTÜK) issued further bans on the broadcasting of certain TV stations. Kanal 6 to shut down twice for one day and one time for three days in connection with "the showing of one product and two films considered to contain pornographic elements". Another two days¹ closure were issued for Kanal 6 for a program of 3 February, because "expressions were used that might support the allegations of the Armenian genocide". RTÜK also objected to two news programs and one film of Kanal 6. The following TV stations also received orders of "darkening the screen": Show TV and ATV (3 days each), ETV and Interstar (2 days each), TGRT, CNN Türk and Cine 5 (1 day each). (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, August 31, 2001)

FORCES ARMEES / ARMED FORCES

"Le livre rouge" de l'Armée turque

Can Dundar, journaliste au quotidien turc Milliyet, saisit l'occasion de la polémique lancée par le vice-Premier ministre Mesut Yilmaz qui dans son discours au cours du congrès de son parti - où il a été élu, le 6 août, pour la cinquième fois, à une très forte majorité--, a mis en cause le concept de la sécurité nationale, domaine sacro-saint de l'armée turque, s'attirant ainsi les foudres de l'armée et des conservateurs, tous deux réunis dans l'Etat profond.

L'armée turque n'a pas tardé à réagir en déclarant le 7 août qu'"il est dangereux de critiquer le concept de sécurité nationale car cela peut avoir des développements négatifs dans le pays la sécurité nationale ne devrait pas être exploitée à des fins politiques [et que] les matières concernant l'existence, le bien être de la nation turque devraient être discutées sur des plate-formes sérieuses". Par ailleurs, le quotidien turc anglophone Turkish Daily News, a, le 8 août, annoncé l'élaboration par l'Etat-major turc d'un nouveau document de politique de sécurité nationale remplaçant celui daté de 1997.

Voici de larges extraits de l'article de Can Dundar publié sous le titre de "livre rouge" le 7 août:

"Dans un tiroir secret de l'Etat, il y a un livre avec une couverture rouge. Peu de personnes savent ce qu'il contient, mais les initiés disent que c'est "la Constitution secrète de la Turquie". Ainsi, la Turquie est régie selon les lois stipulées dans ce livre.

Parlons brièvement de l'époque du "rédacteur" de ce livre:

En 1949, un Haut Conseil de la Défense Nationale a été fondé à Ankara pour "échafauder la stratégie de la défense". Ce conseil est composé de 17 ministres civils et du chef de l'état-major turc.

En 1961, la perte de confiance vis-à-vis des civils des militaires qui ont renversé Menderes a également eu des conséquences sur cette institution. Un conseil de sécurité nationale (MGK) a été fondé pour donner des "recommandations" en matière de défense. Le chef d'état-major, qui ne disposait jusque-là que d'une seule voix, a pris auprès de lui les trois autres commandants de l'armée. Le tableau était de 4 militaires pour 8 civils.

Avec la Constitution de 1982, le MGK a commencé à donner au gouvernement des "notifications" et non plus de "propositions" en matière de défense. L'équilibre dans le conseil composé de 10 membres a été modifiée au préjudice des civils: 5 militaires, 4 civils et le président de la république.

C'est probablement cette institution qui est appelée "l'Etat profond", dont l'influence dans l'administration étatique n'a fait que s'accroître ces 50 dernières années.

Le cerveau du MGK est "le secrétaire général". Son nom est peu connu, mais il est célébré comme étant "le Premier ministre de l'ombre". 250 personnes travaillent sous ses ordres. Sa mission; "assurer la continuité de l'Etat"

Si l'on compare l'Etat à un cheval, assurer que le cheval galope dans la même direction sans tenir compte du changement de cavalier

Comment cela se passe-t-il?

"Le président de la politique de la sécurité nationale", qui est un des quatre adjoints du secrétaire général, élabore la stratégie. Du classement des menaces contre l'Etat à la politique économique, des priorités culturelles aux préférences en matière de la politique étrangère, tout sera rédigé dans ce document et puis cuisiné au secrétariat général pour être transformé en livre rouge. Après le MGK, il est d'abord approuvé par le conseil des ministres. Le Parlement, - même en sachant rien du contenu- ne peut voter de lois contraire à ce livre.

Tout pouvoir élu est invité à un briefing au secrétariat général du MGK dans les trois mois. On y explique au nouveau cavalier "la stratégie de la défense nationale".

Et s'il y avait une quelconque contradiction entre le programme du nouveau parti au pouvoir et ce livre?

Il y a de cela des années, j'avais interpellé l'ancien secrétaire général du MGK, le général Dogu Bayazit, sur cette question:

"Le parti au pouvoir change de nombreux concepts de son programme lorsqu'il est mis au courant sur le fond de la politique de la sécurité nationale", avait-il répondu.

C'est donc de cela que Mesut Yilmaz parle lorsqu'il dit que "l'on devrait soulever le rideau" sur le "syndrome de la sécurité nationale"

"Le livre rouge" ouvre la voie à ceux qui portent l'uniforme d'exercer sur les gouvernements un pouvoir despotique.

Même si les militaires prétendent que "le document de la politique de la sécurité nationale est approuvé par le conseil des ministres", l'on a pu ouvertement constater à l'instar du 28 février que dans la pratique "le cheval" se débarrasse par tout moyen du cavalier qui ne respecte pas les décisions.

 Depuis des années, à maintes reprises, en polémique avec l'armée pour ses sorties, défenseur obstiné de l'adhésion à l'UE qui "bouleversera les relations de pouvoir", Yilmaz a touché la corde hautement sensible avec ces propos.

On peut dire ce que l'on veut, après la fin de la guerre froide, alors que les dépenses en matière de défense n'ont fait que baisser partout dans le monde, le fait est que la Turquie qui prétend avoir combattu les menaces du séparatisme et de la charia, augmente ses dépenses militaires de plus 50% - Un géant comme les Etats-Unis consacre 3% de son PNB au budget de la défense ? et la part du budget de la défense représente 5,4% du PNB dans une Turquie en crise, cela ne peut que nous interpeller.

Connaître le contenu du "document de la politique de la sécurité nationale" qui définit tout notre avenir et discuter de la proportionnalité entre les menaces encourues et l'argent qui sort de nos poches est notre droit naturel.

Si la couverture du "livre rouge" s'ouvre, la Turquie ne sera pas la seule bénéficiaire puisque le MGK accusé trop souvent de "pouvoir de l'ombre" pourra également exploiter l'occasion". (CILDEKT, 8 août 2001)

L'armée renvoie 15 officiers liés aux Kurdes et aux Islamistes

L'armée turque a exclu de ses rangs quinze officiers accusés d'être liés à des mouvements kurdes et à des mouvements islamistes, a annoncé samedi un communiqué de l'armée cité par l'agence Anatolie.

Selon ce communiqué, les quinze officiers "ont été renvoyés en raison d'une conduite incompatible avec la discipline militaire", expression qui désigne habituellement l'implication dans une activité favorable aux groupes kurdes ou aux mouvements islamistes.

La décision, entérinée par le Premier ministre Bulent Ecevit, a été prise lors d'une réunion du Haut conseil militaire qui a tenu sa réunion annuelle de mercredi à vendredi derniers.

Les décisions du Conseil sont sans appel et ne peuvent pas être contestées par une cour civile.

Un nombre record d'officiers - 232 - ont été mis à la retraite au cours du mandat du premier Premier ministre pro-islamiste turc, Necmettin Erbakan, de 1996 à 1997.

L'armée a mené une campagne anti-islamiste qui a forcé M. Erbakan à démissionner en juin 1997. La Cour constitutionnelle a par la suite interdit son parti, Le Parti de la Prospérité, accusé d'activités anti-laïques. (AFP, 4 août 2001)

Military prepare a new National Security Policy document

The Turkish General Staff is reported to have prepared a new National Security Policy document, replacing the 1997 document, under which extreme Islamic fundamentalism as well as separatism are said to have been retained as imminent internal security threats. Despite the May National Security Council (MGK) meeting during which deep concerns had been raised over the country's deepening economic crisis that may lead to a social explosion, an almost 100-page new security document is said not to have mentioned the economic crisis as an internal threat.

The new document has come at a time when Mesut Yilmaz, the chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP) and deputy prime minister, made a controversial statement during the party convention held in Ankara last weekend. Yilmaz opened a debate over the national security syndrome of Turkey, entering yet another dispute with the Turkish military. Yilmaz has argued that democratization and human rights were being held up by the national security syndrome which has been busying itself with internal threats rather than the preservation of the nation against outside threats. Observers believe that Yilmaz, who has been participating in the military dominated MGK meetings, has been aware of the new security policy document of the military which has once again also concentrated on internal threat perceptions.

The fact that Yilmaz and his party have been surrounded by graft charges as part of the White Energy operation conducted by paramilitary forces and which has forced his Energy Minister Cumhur Ersumer to resign a few months ago, shadows Yilmaz's rhetoric for democratization. His latest controversial statement over the national security syndrome has been seen by many as an attempt by Yilmaz once again to cover up the graft allegations surrounding his party.

Ataturk nationalism  The new document is said to have also retained once again its adherence to the nationalism of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (Turkey's founder) rather than the nationalistic movements that might imply pan-Turkic movements. This has been described as the military's opposition to the nationalism pursued by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), one of the tri-party coalition government and which has recruited several retired generals to the party ranks.

On foreign policy issues, the new policy document is said to be favoring developing ties with the south and southeastern neighbors of Syria, Iran and Iraq provided that Turkey's national security interests have been safeguarded. However, the new document clarifies that Turkey's policies on the Middle East should not be under an Arab mortgage.
The National Security Policy document, meanwhile, is reported to be favoring the continuation of close military ties with Israel.

Turkey is trying to resolve issues with Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia. Despite improved ties with Damascus after Turkey's PKK leader Ocalan's 1999 departure from Syria and subsequent capture, the unresolved dispute over the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, of which Turkey controls the taps, is a source of friction with Syria and Iraq.

Turkey is still cautious about Iran, its southeastern neighbor, because of its perceived support for the PKK and the radical Islamist Turkish Hizbullah.

On the issue of Kurdish language the document reiterates once again its opposition to allowing the Kurdish language to be spoken while favoring the use of local languages related to the areas.

The document stresses lesser threat perceptions from conventional weapons, thus, necessitating the army to also concentrate on inner threats.

1997 document  The military's April 1997 National Security Policy document came on the eve of the overthrown of the Islamist-led coalition government through what has been described by its architects as a post-modern coup.

The fact that there has not been much change in the contents of the 1997 document compared with the 2001, has surprised some observers, who have also drawn attention to the fact that the economic crisis has not been elaborated in the new document despite the military's recent statements raising concerns over the issue.

In fact the military's continued concerns over extreme fundamentalism and separatism have been reflected recently by top generals on many occasions despite a growing uneasiness even among the business sector of the military's reluctance to move towards democratization.

For example, Turkey's once state oriented Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) urged in its latest report for the adaptation of the military dominated MGK to EU standards while calling also for Kurdish education.

At a presidential reception on Jan. 16, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu said the armed forces would "if necessary, fight Islamic fundamentalism for another 1,000 years."

On PKK, similarly, Kivrikoglu said, "The fight against terror will continue even if one terrorist is left." (Turkish Daily News, August 8, 2001)

L'armée s'agace des critiques

Si Mesut Yilmaz entendait faire sortir l'état-major de ses gonds, il a parfaitement réussi son coup... En déclarant le 5 août dernier que le syndrome de la sécurité nationale freinait la démocratisation du pays et sa marche vers l'Europe, le vice-Premier ministre a donné un coup de pied dans la fourmilière, initiant un débat sur le rôle de l'armée en Turquie.

L'extrême droite gouvernementale réagissait immédiatement déclarant que le pays ne pouvait se permettre aucune concession en matière de sécurité compte tenu de sa position géostratégique. L'état-major embrayait aussitôt et publiait une longue réponse fustigeant les propos tenus et rappelant que toute complaisance en faveur du séparatisme (les revendications kurdes dans le jargon des militaires) ou des mouvements réactionnaires (l'islam politique) ne saurait être considérée comme une avancée pour la Turquie.

L'armée considère que son devoir est de traquer la « menace intérieure »

Mais les généraux reprochent surtout à Mesut Yilmaz d'avoir abordé la question de la sécurité nationale en public. D'ordinaire en effet, il s'agit là d'un tabou ou plutôt d'une chasse gardée de l'état-major qui s'occupe seul d'évaluer les menaces et d'imaginer les ripostes.

Qui plus est, l'armée turque considère aussi que son devoir est de traquer la « menace intérieure », l'état-major se transformant à l'occasion en une sorte de « politburo », notamment au travers du Conseil de sécurité nationale (CSN) qui réunit l'élite politico-militaire du pays une fois par mois. Son secrétaire, un général, prend des initiatives sur toutes les questions de politique intérieure, de diplomatie, de société ou de culture et vérifie leur mise en ¦uvre. En d'autre mots, il gouverne le pays sans être le moins du monde responsable, résume Ali Bayramoglu dans le quotidien « Sabah ».

Les militaires sont d'ailleurs sur le point de publier leur nouveau Document de sécurité nationale. Selon la presse, ce résumé de la doctrine officielle, surnommé la « Constitution secrète de la Turquie » par le quotidien « Hürriyet », ne présenterait pas de bouleversement majeur, perpétuant le nationalisme kémaliste comme idéologie de référence.

La réaction très ferme de l'état-major aux déclarations de Mesut Yilmaz s'explique aussi par l'animosité particulièrement forte que les militaires vouent au personnage ainsi qu'à son parti. En privé, ils n'hésitent d'ailleurs pas à exprimer leur detestation du vice-Premier ministre qui a croisé le fer à plusieurs reprises avec eux. Il faut dire que Mesut Yilmaz traîne derrière lui de larges soupçons de corruption et de détournement, notamment dans les milieux de l'énergie. Ce n'est probablement pas un hasard si ce sont les gendarmes en partie subordonnés à l'état-major qui mènent l'enquête à ce sujet.

La déclaration de Mesut Yilmaz n'en a pas moins été un pavé dans la mare. Elle stigmatise le rôle des militaires en politique et désigne les blocages du régime notamment quant à la perspective européenne du pays. La Turquie a été acceptée comme candidate à l'intégration européenne fin 1999 mais les négociations d'adhésion n'ont toujours pas commencé. Au sein du gouvernement, Mesut Yilmaz gère les affaires européennes...

Parmi les demandes de l'UE, une révision du rôle du CSN figure en bonne place, mais ce sont les autres requêtes politiques de l'Union qui ont braqué les militaires. Le chef d'état-major a ainsi tué dans l'¦uf le débat sur l'opportunité de diffuser des émissions en kurde à la télévision.

Ce sont pareillement les militaires qui s'arc-boutent sur les positions les plus tranchées quant aux dossiers chypriote et grec. L'état-major freine également des quatre fers le projet de défense européenne en lui déniant tout accès garanti aux moyens de l'Otan.· (Eric Biegala, Le Soir, 17 août 2001)

General Baser is going to concentrate on propaganda

Former 2nd Command of the Army in Malatya, General Edip Baser, who was awarded a much higher rank in the 1st Army at Istanbul at the Supreme Military Council meeting last month, said that they were intensifying their efforts in the fields of politics and propaganda, despite the fact that the PKK had stopped the armed struggle.

General Baser attended a change-of-command ceremony in Amed the other day in which General Atila Isik took over command of the Diyarbakir 7th Corps from former commander Dogan Temel.

'We will make counter propaganda'

Speaking at the ceremony, General Baser relayed his views on the current situation and activities of the PKK. Baser said that improving the living conditions of the "regional people" was tied to a continuation of the atmosphere of tranquility and security, adding, "The continuation of this environment, for its part, can be secured by protecting unity and togetherness as a nation." Baser said that the PKK was stressing democracy, human rights, and religious concepts and that it was necessary to develop propaganda against these activities.

Didn't mention countries by name

General Baser at the same time described the PKK forces which had withdrawn from the country after the August 2, 1999 call as "an element of threat" that "certain countries" continued to shelter to use against Turkey.

Inspection of Siverek regiment

Following the change-of-command ceremony in Amed, General Baser departed by helicopter and flew to the 107th Artillery Regiment based in the Siverek district of Urfa. After inspections there, General Baser returned to Malatya. (Kurdish Observer, 20 August 2001)

Gen. Asparuk says MGK derives its duties from Constitution

The military members of Turkey's controversial National Security Council (MGK) whose role within Turkish politics has been openly questioned since Turkey's acceptance as a candidate member country at the Helsinki summit of the European Union in 1999, attempted to justify Turkey's national security policy documents. MGK Secretary General Gen. Cumhur Asparuk, who is appointed as new Turkish Air Force Commander as of Aug. 30, made a presentation explaining the rationale behind the national security documents during a ceremony held yesterday at the MGK headquarters in Ankara to hand over his current duty to Gen. Tuncer Kilinc.

The top generals' counter offensive that took place yesterday came a day after the monthly meeting of the MGK on Aug. 21 during which a military-civillian dispute over the national security concept was attempted to be resolved. Recalling Article 2945 of the Constitution, which stipulates the duties of MGK, Asparuk said that he was in the belief that the MGK general secretariat had been executing its duties in line with the concept that no views or arguments that stand against the preservation of the integrity of the nation, the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's nationalism and secularism could be allowed. Secular principles should be preserved under which sacred religious beliefs should not be meddled in the affairs of the state as well as in the affairs of politics, Asparuk said while outlining the duties of the MGK.

"The MGK general secretariat, distancing itself from all politics and daily affairs, has always sought to ensure the nation's independence as well as the welfare of the people by strengthening national power projections towards national targets," Asparuk said.

The generals' attempts to justify the national security documents and the way they are prepared has been part of a series of military demarches that have been launched in the past few weeks against Motherland (ANAP) Party Chairman, Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, who questioned the national security concept as a syndrome preventing the democratization of the country. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, reaffirming his support for the MGK and leaving his coalition partner Yilmaz once again, praised the MGK general secretariat in a speech he made during the change of guard ceremony at MGK headquarters. He said that the MGK is a state institution in which both the civilian and the military members have been producing some very fruitful work in harmony and within a democratic process.

Ecevit, Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan, Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu as well as the commanders of the three services were among those participating in the ceremonies. In an unusual practice some TV channels aired the change of guard ceremonies live. This was due to the expectations that the MGK, on its part, was going to justify the controversial national security concept.

Ecevit further said: "This institution [the MGK] has been examining both external and internal developments closely. And it ranks among the primary state institutions guarding the secular and democratic republic. The MGK has been making great contributions for the preservation of our [Turkey's] internal and external security. At the same time MGK, in recent years, has been showing close interest in Turkish citizens living abroad, enabling their continued bonds with Turkey. The MGK has also been aiding the state in producing solutions to strategic issues. Thus we appreciate the MGK general secretariat."

At the Aug. 21 MGK meeting, meanwhile, the military gave its conditional blessing to the proposed constitutional amendments but felt that the issue should not be rushed through during a debate on Sept. 17 when Parliament conveys.

The military opposes certain constitutional amendments, such as allowing the use of the Kurdish language in education and broadcasting as well as freedom of speech, with a fear that these changes may inflict damage on the unity and secular character of the republic.

On the first day of the ANAP convention held on Aug. 4, Yilmaz argued that the content and scope of the national security concept should be redetermined if Turkey seeks to be part of the EU. Yilmaz, addressing the party delegates at the convention during which he was reelected as the ANAP chairman, said that the key to change in Turkey is hidden in the national security concept urging it to be discussed. This prompted a counter attack which was launched by the military. The Chief of Staff's general secretariat blamed both Yilmaz and the other political parties for failing to address the current crisis of the economy and the ANAP chairman was blamed for making an effort to escape from failure by attacking others. (Turkish Daily News, August 23, 2001)

M.D. Helicopter fournira 10 hélicoptères à la police

La firme américaine M.D. Helicopter Inc. a été choisie pour fournir 10 hélicoptères légers à la police turque, pour un montant d'environ 24 millions de dollars, a indiqué jeudi l'agence Anatolie.

Le contrat, que briguaient également Eurocopter (France), Agusta (Italie) et Bell-Textron (USA), sera signé lorsque le Trésor truc aura approuvé le montage de crédit proposé par M.D. Helicopter, selon Anatolie.

La police turque projette d'acheter au total 48 hélicoptères, pour un montant d'environ 270 millions de dollars et doit lancer deux autres appels d'offre une fois finalisé le premier contrat, selon Anatolie. (AFP, 2 août 2001)

QUESTION KURDE / KURDISH QUESTION

Deux villages kurdes évacués de force

Les organisations turques de défense des droits de l'homme ont vivement dénoncé l'évacuation forcée des villages kurdes d'Asat et d'Ortali (Bêzal) du district de Beytussebap (province de Sirnak) et l'embargo alimentaire imposé aux villages d'Ilicak (Germav), Dagalti (Tivor) et de Hisarkapi, toujours du même district, après la mort d'un soldat tué par l'explosion d'une mine.

Selon les témoignages recueillis par ces organisations, les villageois auraient subi divers sévices et tortures par les forces de l'ordre sur place.

Yilmaz Ensaroglu, président de l'association MAZLUM-DER, comparant les deux évènements de la semaine impliquant la responsabilité de la gendarmerie [ndlr: l'intervention de la gendarmerie dans la commune d'Akkise (Konya- centre) et les faits du district kurde de Beytussebap] a dénoncé les réactions à géométrie variable de la presse et des autorités civiles et militaires turques: "Nous avons envoyé des observateurs pour les deux évènements. Pour le premier [Konya], ils ont pu s'y rendre aussitôt et rédiger un rapport alors que pour le second le temps que les observateurs puissent se rendre sur place sains et saufs, nous étions plein d'inquiétudes. Ils sont arrêtés à tout bout de champ et leurs cassettes et documents leur sont confisqués. Cela prouve bien évidemment, les différences manifestes dans les pratiques administratives et judiciaires existantes dans le pays. Les partis et une bonne partie des media ne franchissant pas les frontières tracées par la politique de l'Etat, l'opinion publique ne connaît pas la situation. En fait, le régime d'exception (OHAL) ne veut pas dire un régime sans droit, mais seulement que certains droits sont temporairement limités. Cependant dans notre OHAL, il n'y a ni droit et ni justice".

Les quotidiens nationaux ont totalement ignoré les événements de Betussebap, les observateurs des organisations de défense des droits de l'homme ont été, au cours de leur enquête, bousculés et brutalisés par les autorités sur place. Les villageois, peu loquaces du fait des pressions, ont par l'intermédiaire de leur maire déclaré qu'ils avaient quitté leur terre par leur propre volonté, les seuls dont Cafer Aslan et Rasim Acar, qui se sont risqués à parler ouvertement avec les observateurs se trouvent toujours en détention, accusés d'"incitation de la population à la colère". Après le témoignage de Rasim Acar, les avocats composant la délégation d'observateurs ayant peur pour sa vie l'avaient pourtant pris sous leur protection mais les gendarmes prétextant que ses papiers d'identité étaient susceptibles d'être des faux, ont réussi à l'arrêter et le placer en garde-à-vue.

Ses avocats ont d'ores et déjà dénoncé les tortures (chocs électriques) subies par leur client au cours de sa détention. Contrairement à Konya, les commandants en poste à Sirnak ne semblent nullement inquiétés par les autorités judiciaires turques. Pis encore, le colonel Levent Ersoz, en poste à Sirnak, directement mis en cause pour ses brutalités par Cafer Aslan et par la population de Sirnak, a été récompensé en devenant général (effectif le 30 août) et prendra le commandement de la gendarmerie de Diyarbakir. (CILDEKT, 17 Août 2001)

64% des dossiers restent non élucidés à Diyarbakir

Selon les données 2000 de la direction générale des statistiques et des casiers judiciaires du ministère turc de la Justice, 64,3% des dossiers, soit plus de 18 247 dossiers, des 8 parquets des cours de sûreté de l'Etat (DGM) en Turquie restent "non élucidés". C'est le parquet du DGM de Diyarbakir avec 81,9% des dossiers (11 523 affaires) non élucidés qui arrivent en tête de cette liste, suivi des villes kurdes de Van avec 75%, puis d'Erzurum avec 74,4% et de Malatya avec 68,8%. À Ankara, le pourcentage est de 39,9%, à Adana de 18,2%, à Izmir de 11,7% et à Istanbul de 1,5%. (CILDEKT, 17 Août 2001)

Les femmes kurdes d'Arménie s'adressent à la Cour européenne

Le Parti des femmes kurdes d'Arménie s'est adressé jeudi à la Cour européenne de défense des droits de l'Homme pour qu'elle annule la condamnation à la peine capitale du chef de la rébellion kurde Abdullah Ocalan, prononcée par la Turquie en 1999.

Les femmes kurdes ont indiqué avoir fait parvenir plus de 1.800 signatures réclamant l'annulation de la peine du leader du PKK, dont l'affaire doit être examinée fin août par la Cour européenne.

"La peine de mort prononcée contre le chef du peuple kurde condamne symboliquement tout le peuple kurde", ont écrit les Kurdes dans leur pétition.

Elles demandent également la "résolution du problème kurde sur une base démocratique, la reconnaissance de la souveraineté du peuple kurde et la possibilité pour lui de faire usage librement de sa langue".

Abdullah Ocalan, détenu sur l'île d'Imrali, en mer de Marmara (ouest de la Turquie), a été condamné à mort le 29 juin 1999 pour trahison et séparatisme.

Le gouvernement turc avait suspendu en janvier dernier le processus conduisant à l'exécution d'Ocalan, après que l'Union européenne, qu'Ankara souhaite intégrer, lui eût adressé une demande en ce sens.

Le PKK a mené durant quinze ans une guerre pour l'indépendance du sud-est turc, à majorité kurde, qui a fait quelque 36.500 victimes, selon un bilan officiel, jusqu'au dépôt des armes de la rébellion kurde en septembre 1999. (AFP, 16 août 2001)

Un responsable de HADEP emprisonné pour "propagande séparatiste"

Un haut-responsable du parti pro-kurde de la Démocratie du peuple (HADEP) a été emprisonné vendredi et devra effectuer une peine de 39 jours de prison pour "propagande séparatiste", a indiqué son avocat à l'AFP.

Ahmet Turan Demir, vice-président du HADEP a été condamné pour avoir suggéré, lors d'une réunion de son parti en octobre 1999, de résoudre la question kurde en Turquie en appliquant le modèle de séparation pacifique adopté par la Tchécoslovaquie en 1993.

Selon l'acte d'accusation, il aurait déclaré : "Ils ont résolu leurs problèmes en se séparant sans dispute. Nous devons résoudre le nôtre de cette manière là ou de toute autre manière".

Ahmet Turan Demir avait initialement été condamné à un an de prison mais a vu sa peine réduite en raison des jours de prison qu'il avait déjà effectués pour des affaires dans lesquelles il avait été acquitté.

Une amnistie décrétée en décembre dernier lui avait déjà permis d'échapper à une peine d'emprisonnement de 45 mois pour avoir aidé des rebelles kurdes.

Le HADEP, qui plaide pour une solution pacifique à la question kurde, est régulièrement harcelé par la police pour ses liens présumés avec le PKK, qui a mené pendant 15 ans une lutte armée pour une autonomie kurde dans le sud-est anatolien à majorité kurde.

Le HADEP risque de se voir interdit dans le cadre d'une procédure en cours, pour ces liens présumés avec le PKK, une accusation qu'il rejette catégoriquement. (AFP, 17 août 2001)

Un militant kurde et un soldat tués dans le sud-est

Un militant du PKK et un soldat ont été tués lors d'affrontements dans le Sud-Est anatolien à majorité kurde, a-t-on indiqué mercredi de source officielle.

Le maquisard a été tué dans un affrontement qui s'est produit dans la province de de Sirnak, à la frontière avec l'Irak, tandis que le soldat a trouvé la mort lors d'un accrochage dans la province voisine de Siirt, précise un communiqué des autorités responsables de l'état d'urgence à Diyarbakir. Un autre soldat a été blessé dans ce dernier accrochage.

Deux autres rebelles se sont par ailleurs rendus aux autorités dans la région, ajoute le document.

Le PKK a mené pendant 15e ans une lutte armée contre l'Etat turc pour créer un Etat kurde indépendant dans le sud-est de la Turquie.

Mais il a annoncé l'arrêt des combats et son retrait de Turquie en 1999, à l'appel de son chef Abdullah Ocalan, jugé en Turquie et condamné à mort pour trahison et séparatisme.

Depuis, les affrontements dans la région, qui ont fait quelque 36.500 morts, selon un bilan officiel, ont considérablement diminué.

Mais l'armée a rejeté les appels à la paix du PKK et a juré de poursuivre les rebelles jusqu'au dernier.

La plupart se sont réfugiés dans le nord de l'Irak contrôlé par deux factions kurdes irakiennes. (AFP, 22 août 2001)

No Racism in Turkey, if You Say You're a Turk

"I am Turkish. I am honest. I am hard-working."

So runs the oath sworn in Turkey. Its basic assertions come easily to children, who yell them with gusto at assemblies in junior schools across Turkey each morning.

But for many, particularly Kurds, it gets harder with age to accept the simplicities of the oath, based on a speech by national hero Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1933, and which ends: "Happy is he who calls himself a Turk."

For some, that careful wording makes being Turkish a matter of self-description, not birth, and is the

heart of a country that is determined to allow no state discrimination between any of the myriad ethnic groups and minorities within its borders.

For others it amounts to forced assimilation.

Constitutionally, a Turk is defined as any citizen of Turkey -- Kurdish, Armenian, Greek, Chechen or, as is most often the case in this changing country, an ethnic mix.

"The founders of the republic, 60-70 percent of whom would have been minorities themselves, were making sure the word Turk would not be monopolized by ethnic Turks," says Professor Gun Kut of Istanbul's Bosphorus University.

The objective, he says, was a state blind to ethnicity.

Growing up Kurdish

For Kurdish Institute Chairman Hasan Kaya, the oath is a daily reminder of an "unconscious, unorganized mentality of racism."

"If you look at the state textbooks and at the education system and read between the lines you find it all places a subconscious mentality of racism in the minds of children," Kaya says in small offices where scholars compose Turkish-Kurdish dictionaries and research Kurdish culture and language.

Kurds make up by far the largest ethnic group that does not have minority status in Turkey.

In keeping with its refusal to recognize ethnic difference, the Turkish state never asks people their racial background but various estimates put the ethnic Kurdish population at 12-15 million of the total Turkish population of around 65 million.

Kaya is on trial for allegedly teaching Kurdish without permission. Official curbs on Kurdish education and broadcasting stem from fears that awarding minority rights could fuel violent Kurdish separatism and lead to the kind of splits on ethnic lines that helped destabilize the Ottoman empire.

Born into a northern Iraqi Kurdish family with a tradition of political involvement, Kaya says he sensed at an early age that all was not right with the official, all-encompassing "Turkishness."

While a thousand official sayings and stories exalt "the Turk," only playground insults deal with Kurds.

Advocates of both positions will be representing Turkey at the United Nations (news - web sites) World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, which opens in Durban, South Africa on Friday (August 31).

Neither the Foreign Ministry delegation nor the representative of the Human Rights Association (IHD) expect Turkey's struggle with ethnicity to hit the agenda at Durban.

But if Turkey can resolve how to treat groups that wish to differ from the strict official vision of a country united by the one Turkish language and heritage, the country's path to European Union (news - web sites) membership would look more open.

A 17-year-old conflict with Kurdish rebels might fade, and Turkish Kurds might have TV and newspapers in their own tongue.

Shooting Kangoorus

Official Turkey denies any race discrimination.

There was a prickly reply to a suggestion from the European Commission (news - web sites) Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) that the country might benefit from laws preventing discrimination:

"Such provisions would suggest that there are such discriminations in the country. In the present setting this would be tantamount to prohibiting the shooting of kangaroos in Turkey," answered the Turkish officer on the commission.

The Kurdish activists who pass through courts and jails each year are in trouble for challenging the law and the state, not for their ethnicity, officials say. Even the activists say Turkey has little or none of the violent racism seen -- often directed against Turks and Kurds -- on the streets of western European cities.

There are outbreaks of violence against Kurds, such as rioting in the town of Susurluk in April when police found a young girl murdered in the home of a man thought to be Kurdish.

"Sparks fly and they are attacked. It has happened in a range of places," says Selahattin Esmer, who will represent the IHD in Durban. "But despite a violent and lethal war (with Kurdish rebels), despite that, in the wide majority there is no enmity against Kurds."

What many find is an undercurrent of prejudice against Kurds, many of whom have been driven to western cities by fighting in the southeast or have moved to Turkey from Iraq, fleeing gas attacks and the tanks of the Iraqi government.

While a U.S.-protected Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq now gives Kurds there a measure of stability and peace, in Turkey they find greater potential for economic success, as long as they are prepared to find happiness in calling themselves Turks.

Acceptance with conditions attached

"The so-called reality that 'there is no racism in Turkey' is constantly announced but is true only with this condition: that you accept Turkishness," says IHD chairman Husnu Ondul.

"If you accept you are a Turk, you can rise, you can be of Kurdish origin and be speaker of parliament or prime minister but the moment you say 'hello' in Kurdish, you're in the soup."

Others question how far Kurds can really rise into the elites of the Turkish state and whether examples such as former parliament speaker Hikmet Cetin are exceptions.

"That's a great claim that needs proof," says Kaya. "Let's look at the top ranks of the foreign ministry, the interior ministry, the military, the intelligence services and see."

For decades, the existence of Kurds was officially denied and their language dismissed as a debased dialect of Farsi.

Kurds were described as "mountain Turks," a clumsy formulation Professor Kut ascribes to the fact that rebellions and uprisings meant it was the security forces who formed the Turkish state's ambassadors to Kurdish regions.

"I do not blame Kurds who are offended by it but it is a misunderstanding on both sides," he said.

"In their simple way, the military said 'You are not different, you are the same people as us, you're Turks, in fact, you're mountain Turks!'. The effect has been tremendously negative," he said.

More than 30,000 soldiers, civilians, and rebels, most of them Kurds, have died in fighting with the Kurdistan Workers Party, which says it has now abandoned armed struggle in order to win Kurdish cultural rights peacefully. (Steve Bryant , Reuters, August 25 , 2001)

Women arrested in Turkey for chanting in Kurdish

Turkish riot police arrested 50 women in Istanbul's main Taxim Square on Sunday as they shouted Kurdish slogans, the state-run Anatolian news agency said.

Police broke up the protest, which called for peace in Turkey's troubled southeast, as the women tried to make a statement to the press in Kurdish -- a language the Turkish state bans in public broadcasts.

Hundreds of women, largely mothers of rebels belonging to the PKK, but also mothers of Turkish soldiers fighting the armed group, took part in the protest called the Mothers' Peace Initiative.

Ending the Kurdish language ban is a key condition for Turkey to join the European Union. It became an official candidate for membership in late 1999.

Turkey holds the PKK and its imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan responsible for a 17-year campaign of violence in which some 30,000 people have died, most of them Kurds.

Ocalan, sentenced to death for treason, wants the rebel group to turn to politics to win cultural rights for Turkey's 12 million Kurds. (Reuters, August 26 , 2001)

ECHR Grants More Time to Ocalan Lawyers to Prepare Case

European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday extended for a second time the period given to the sides to express their opinion pertaining to the application of the head of the terrorist organization.

The ECHR, following its pre-decision regarding the admissibility of the application, gave time to the Turkish government and the lawyers of the head of the terrorist organization, first till May 31 and later to August 31. The ECHR this time extended the period till September 28.

Lawyers of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, made the demand for the extension of the period.

 The ECHR on November 21, 2000 listened to the views of the Turkish government and the head of the terrorist organization regarding the application.

On December 14, 2000, the court found admissible the application of the lawyers of Ocalan who claimed that Turkey violated Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, and 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights and wanted the sides to express their opinion.

The ECHR decided to reserve their views pertaining to the merits of the case as it was a complicated case and upon the opposition of the Turkish government that ways of internal law have not been exhausted.

In the cautionary measure which the court took after the trial of the head of the terrorist organization in Turkey, the court urged Ankara to postpone the capital punishment till the application made to the ECHR is concluded. (Anatolia, August 28, 2001)

Violations des droits des Kurdes en bref

Investigation against Mayor from HADEP

The public prosecutor in Batman interrogated Abdullah Akin (Mayor from the HADEP and Murat Ceylan, chairman of HADEP for Batman province on 3 August on allegations that meetings they held in order to "listen to the problems of the people" had not been authorized. Both politicians might be charged with an offence against the Law on Demonstrations and Meetings. After testifying to the prosecutor Murat Ceylan said that no slogans had been shouted during the meeting and during the HABITAT conferences it had been stipulated that the people should take a share in the administration of municipalities. (Radikal-TIHV, August 5, 2001)

Kurdish Villagers from Sirnak on Trial

Eight villagers from Idil district (Sirnak), who filmed scenes of their villages, were indicted for "disseminating separatist propaganda". Reportedly Abdullah Kocak, living in Germany, had sent a video camera to his brother Abdülkerim Kocak. Living in Sulak village, and asked him to film the village and relatives. On 29 May Abdülkerim Kocak went to Idil Post Office, but was told that the videotape could not be send without having been inspected. The gendarmerie was informed and raided the house of Abdülkerim Kocak on 30 May. After inspecting the tape Abdülkerim Koçak, Cevher Varçin, Emin Varçin, Hüsnü Varçin, Hamza Teke, Haci Akbas, Besir Oltan and Abdülaziz Beldek were arrested on 1 June on the allegation that had instructed children to make the victory sign and thus made "separatist propaganda". After two weeks the villagers were released from prison on objection of their lawyers. (Radikal-TIHV, August 8, 2001)

Detentions and Arrests in Tunceli

In Tunceli several people were detained in connection with protests against the attitude of Governor Mustafa Erkal concerning the "2nd Munzur Culture and Nature Festival". During operations of Tunceli Police HQ. on 6 August several people were detained including Salih Gündogan, chairman of the Labor Party (EMEP) for the province, the board members Deniz Tacyildiz and Hüseyin Dogan, trade unionist Musa Kiliç and Ismet Yildirim, member of the HADEP. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 8, 2001)

HADEP Members on Trial in Van

Van SSC continued to hear the case of executives of the HADEP in Van in connection with celebrations at New Year. The defendants Ferhat Yegin, Irfan Kaval, Nezahat Ergünes, Riza Taslitepe, Azat Simsek, Tekin Topçuoglu, Remziye Umar, Memduh Dalga, Ferhat Tarhan and Selim Uskan were released. In this trial 27 defendants are charged under Article 169 TPC. The hearing was adjourned to 27 October. (TIHV, August 10, 2001)

Detentions and Arrests in Diyarbakir

In Baglar quarter of Diyarbakir an alleged member of the radical Islam organization Hezbollah was detained during a raid by the police using gas bombs. During joint operations of the secret service MIT and the police of Ankara the alleged members of the Revolutionary People¹s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) Nurzet Ünal, Cemaat Ocak and Figen Oynak were detained in Eskisehir. Reportedly the information they provided resulted in the detention of Ebru Bakirci, Veli Bakirci and Ahmet Can in Afyon. Finally Cemaat Ocak, said to be responsible for the area of mid-Anatolia, Hasan Ay, Cemaat Ay, Orhan Çetin, Gazi Yildiz, Özgür Isik, Eylem Ana Bayir, Hatice Bayir, Sirin Altay and Köksal Turan were detained in Ankara. Six of the detainees were arrested by Ankara SSC on 12 August and the others were released. The defendants are accused of planning the assassination of former President Süleyman Demirel and gathering information on attacks against police stations, official institutions and the Turkish-American Friendship Society. (Cumhuriyet-Sabah-TIHV, August 14, 2001)

Ban on Kurdish in Prison

Lawyer Hamza Yilmaz, who went to see his client Durak Tacimoglu in Malatya Prison, stated that the prison administration had imposed a ban on speaking Kurdish during the visits. He added that the time for visits had been restricted to 20 minutes and prisoners complained that they were not given books, newspapers and journals that their relatives had provided. The 47 prisoners are reportedly being held in single cells and some prisoners are denied medical treatment. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 17, 2001)

HADEP members Tortured

During a press conference on 17 August Mehmet Ali Gülün, executive of the HADEP in Bagcilar quarter (Istanbul) and his sister Kudred Gülün talked about their treatment at Bagcilar Police Station. M. Ali Gülün said that he had gone there when his sister had been detained on 12 August. He was made to wait and then both persons were taken to their homes for a search. "When I said that could not search the house without a warrant I was beaten and cursed at. They threatened Œwe put all of you Kurds on fire and will liquidate the Kurds¹." M. Ali Gülün added that they were warned not to go to HADEP and said that his sister was beaten and sexually assaulted. The prosecutor later released both detainees. (Evrensel-TIHV, August 20, 2001)

Pressure on HADEP

Ahmet Turan Demir, vice chairman of the HADEP started to serve a prison term of 1 year in Ankara Closed Prison on 17 August. He had been convicted for a speech on a congress of the youth wing of HADEP on charges of "disseminating separatist propaganda". Considering the time Ahmet Turan Demir already spent under arrest he will be released after 35 days. At Erzurum SSC the case against Abdülmelik Okyay, HADEP chair for Erzurum province, Ömer Sayan, chair for the central district and Erdal Özcakil, secretary for the province continued on 17 August. The defendants are charged with possession of banned publications, allegedly found in the premises of the party. In Bursa the HADEP members Ali Abis, Nazim Karaman, Fesih Ural and Ramazan Ural, who had been detained during a raid on seasonal workers¹ tents in Yenisehir-Bursa, were arrested on charges of "conducting activities for the PKK". On 17 August the offices of HADEP in Bingöl were raided and the executives and members Yasar Yurtsever, Mehmet Bogakan, Mehmet Bulut, Mehmet Çiçek, Saadet Gündogdu, Ali Koç, Hikmet Arat, Orhan Armutçu and Halis Seçer were detained. In Hazro (Diyarbakir), the HADEP officials Hamit Ergin and Tahsin Kaçan were detained on 19 August. In Bismil Mehmet Karaca, Hüseyin Kolay, Mehmet Günes and Sükrü Erdem were detained on 18 August. They had been preparing the activities of HADEP for 1 September World Peace Day. (Evrensel-Radikal-TIHV, August 18-19-20, 2001)

HADEP Trials and Detentions

On 20 August Adana SSC 2 started to hear the case against executives from Mersin province and surrounding towns. They had been detained during raids on the offices on 24 May and later arrested. The court ordered the release of Ahmet Bal, chairman for the central district, Ibrahim Sahin, chairman in Akdeniz town, Turgut Sahin, chairman in Toroslar town, Cafer Simsek, chairman in Yenisehir town and Zeki Akboga, chairman in Yenitaskent town. The hearing was adjourned to a later date. In Agri Haydar Öztürk, involved in the preparations for 1 September World Peace Day in the name of HADEP was detained on 19 August. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 21, 2001)

Pressures on HADEP

On 19 August the police in Batman detained the members of the HADEP Sultan Acar, Muteber Yilmaz, Nurettin Kaya and Abdulkerim Aslan. They were released after interrogation at the police headquarters. In Petrolkent quarter masked police officers intervened in a gathering at 10.30pm, but did not detain anyone. In Saglik quarter some people were detained during preparations for 1 September World Peace Day. They were accused of distributing illegal invitations and putting up posters, but later released. In Adana Hüsnü Adibelli, executive for the HADEP was detained without an official reason. He had been called to the department for political parties in Adana Police HQ. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 21, 2001)

Trial of Cevat Soysal, Demand for Death Penalty

On 21 August Ankara SSC No. 1 continued to hear the case against Cevat Soysal, who had been kidnapped in Moldavia and is charged under Article 125 TPC as a leading member of the PKK. His lawyer Levent Kanat stated that they wanted a fair trial according to the rules of justice. He reminded of the fact that another case was filed with the European Court of Human Rights and demanded the release of his client, who is suffering from the effects of torture. Cevat Soysal alleged that the court was under influence from outside and claimed that the aim was a fast execution. He complained that his statements were not noted or wrongly quoted in the minutes. He said, "They say Œwe still have business with you¹. Who are they talking about? On 10 July the car of my brother Ziya Soysal was hit by a vehicle with two officers and a Œrepentant¹ inside. One brother of mine died in this accident in Batman. He was killed by creating the impression of an accident." The court adjourned the hearing to 6 September. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 21, 2001)

Attacks and Clashes in the Southeast

In an announcement by the governorate for the region under a state of emergency clashes between PKK militants and the security forces were reported from the Siirt-Eruh region and a rocket allegedly killed one soldier. However, local sources stated that the incident occurred on 20 August, when soldiers in the Girdara area of Eruh and village guards clashed. Both sides considered the opposite side to be militants of the PKK. During the clashes a sergeant and two soldiers died. The governorate also reported clashes in the Sirnak region during which one unnamed PKK militant died. In Mus and Van two PKK militants reportedly surrendered to the security forces. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 21, 2001)

Pressure on HADEP

In Adana executives of the HADEP, including O. Fatih Sanli, chairman for the province, Ahmet Yildiz, Ahmet Gül, Kadri Yagmur, Zeki Sekin, Ferit Tatli and Cabbar Dere were detained on 22 August, but released in the evening. They were detained again the next morning and taken to the prosecutor¹s office. The prosecutor did not interrogate them and only provided them with a file number. Reportedly the investigation is based on the invitations for 1 September. In Istanbul Ahmet Üren from HADEP in Sisli was detained. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 24, 2001)

Detentions and Arrests in Van

From Baskale (Van) the detention of some 20 people was reported. The detentions appear to be connected to the tesimony of a PKK militant with the code name Zana, who is said to be a repentant. The names of some of the detainees were given as: from Xençolis (Salidere) village Hüseyin Durmaz, Kerizan (Samandöken) village Hamit Kilic (80) and nephew Hamza Kiliç, Sorxaç (German) village Bülent Koç, Soran (Baris) village Vedat, Nihat, Nejat and Baykal Ayhan. Meanwhile 10 people are said to have been released and there are allegations of torture during detention. In Istanbul, Cengiz Acari, distributor of the daily Yedinci Gündem was detained on 14 August and released on 16 August. Gaziantep Police HQ. announced the detention of 9 militants of the radical Islam organization Hezbollah. Their names were given as Niyazi Akduman, Nedim Narinç, Ali Gümüstekin, Mustafa Fistik, Murat Kartal, Yilmaz Öztas, Abuzer Baykus, Ömer Annaç and Ramazan Gören. (Cumhuriyet-Evrensel-Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 24, 2001)

Pressure on HADEP

During raids on the offices of the HADEP in Iskenderun, Erzin, Dörtyol district and Payas town of Hatay province the police detained the executives Ibrahim Polattas, Yusuf Altas, Hüseyin Kur and Mahmut Yörük on 24 August. In Besiri district (Batman) the offices of HADEP were raided on 25 August and the executives and members Dervis Bulut, Cevdet Özkök, Izettin Kaya and Mahsun Tograp were detained. In Ikiköprü town in Besiri district Zeki Kanas and Sabri Aksoy were detained on 26 August, but released after some time. (Yedinci Gündem-TIHV, August 25-27, 2001)

La police interdit une manifestation pour la Paix

Les autorités turques n'ont pas autorisé une manifestation du parti pro-kurde de la Démocratie du peuple (HADEP) prévue le premier septembre à Ankara à l'occasion de la journée mondiale de la paix, estimant qu'elle pourrait troubler l'ordre public, a annoncé mardi la police.

"La manifestation a été interdite car l'ordre public peut sérieusement être perturbé et d'éventuels événements non-souhaités peuvent se produire", précise un communiqué.

La police indique également que l'hippodrome de la capitale turque où la manifestation devait se dérouler serait toujours occupé par des unités de l'armée qui y célébreront le 30 août la fête de la Victoire, commémorant la victoire des troupes de Mustafa Kemal Ataturk sur les troupes grecques lors de la guerre de libération en 1922.

Le ministre de l'intérieur Rustu Kazim Yucelen a indiqué dans un autre communiqué qu'"il est impossible de tenir une manifestation dans l'hippodrome alors que plusieurs unités armées y seront encore stationnées".

Un porte-parole du HADEP a indiqué à l'AFP que la manifestation prévue visait à "consolider l'atmosphère de la paix en Turquie".

En 1981, le jour de l'ouverture de la session ordinaire de l'Assemblée générale des Nations unies a été proclamé "journée internationale de la paix".

La session ordinaire doit s'ouvrir le 11 septembre cette année. Mais cette journée est célébrée chaque année le 1er septembre en Turquie.

Les membres du HADEP, qui plaide pour un règlement pacifique de la question kurde, sont souvent poursuivis pour liens présumés avec le PKK.

Le parti fait l'objet d'une procédure d'interdiction pour liens présumés avec le PKK, une accusation qu'il rejette catégoriquement.

Le PKK a mené pendant 15 ans une lutte armée pour un Etat kurde indépendant dans le sud-est anatolien à majorité kurde. Le conflit et les violences qui l'ont entouré se sont soldés par 36.500 morts, selon un bilan officiel.

Les combats dans le sud-est ont considérablement diminué depuis que le PKK a annoncé l'arrêt de sa lutte armée et son retrait de Turquie en 1999. (AFP, 28 août 2001)

Use of the Kurdish language

Osman Yenidogan, Governor of Cinar district (Diyarbakir), who organized a movie show in Basalan hamlet, Karalar village, will be subjected to an investigation, because the announcement of the film "Vizontele" was not only made in Turkish but also in Kurdish. It was also reported that some scenes of the film "Commissioner Shakespeare", which was shown later, were cut because the population was felt to be conservative. (Hürriyet-TIHV, August 29, 2001)

Attacks and Clashes in the Southeast

The Governorate for the region under a state of emergency (OHAL) announced that 1 PKK militant was killed during clashes in the Hakkari region. Three members of the security forces reportedly were injured when they stepped on a mine in the rural areas of Hakkari and Sirnak. (Zaman-TIHV, August 29, 2001)

Turkish Army's operations in Iraq

During operations in the Haftanin region in Northern Iraq, which the Turkish Armed Forces started on 25 August, 15 PKK militants were reportedly killed and many more wounded. The official announcement reported that 4 soldiers were injured. On the other hand, the internet pages of Yedinci Gündem claimed that two officers and seven soldiers were killed in the Deriya Davete and Eranus regions. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, August 31, 2001)

Manifestation pro-kurde à Istanbul: 50 interpellations

Cinquante personnes, pour la plupart des femmes, ont été interpellées dimanche par la police turque à Istanbul alors qu'elles voulaient tenir une manifestation pro-kurde, a indiqué l'agence Anatolie.

Un groupe de plus d'une centaine de personnes, membres de l'"Initiative des mères de la paix", une organisation pro-kurde de femmes, s'est rassemblé dans le district de Beyoglu, dans le quartier européen de la métropole, a précisé l'agence.

La police anti-émeutes a interpellé cinquante d'entre-elles lorsque l'une de leur porte-parole a voulu lire un communiqué de presse, a ajouté l'agence sans autre précision.

Huit manifestants et 11 policiers ont été blessés vendredi lors d'affrontements entre les forces de sécurité et des manifestants kurdes dans la ville à majorité kurde de Diyarbakir (sud-est).

 25 personnes ont également été arrêtées, a indiqué un policier qui a souhaité conserver l'anonymat.

Les coups de feu tirées par les forces de sécurité n'ont fait aucun blessé.

Les affrontements ont éclaté lorsque la police a tenté de disperser quelque 3.000 manifestants qui souhaitaient se rendre en bus de Diyarbakir à Ankara afin de participer à la marche organisée par le parti pro-kurde de la Démocratie du peuple (HADEP), à l'occasion de la journée mondiale de la paix, le 1er septembre, a constaté un correspondant de l'AFP.

Les autorités turques ont interdit cette marche "considérée comme un facteur de sérieux désordres publics et d'incidents non désirés".

Les membres du HADEP, qui plaide pour un règlement pacifique de la question kurde, sont souvent poursuivis pour liens présumés avec le PKK. (AFP, 31 août 2001)

RELATIONS MAFIEUSES / MAFIA RELATIONS

Une affaire rocambolesque d'homicides

Le quotidien turc Milliyet dans son numéro du 6 août met à la Une sous le titre de "Un assassinat digne d'un film" les informations recueillies à la suite de l'assassinat, il y a quelques mois, de Cumhur Keskin, ancien député du parti socialiste du peuple (SHP) à Van. Selon le quotidien, l'affaire a débuté par l'exil forcé de la région d'un proche de Cumhur Keskin, Ali Er, lié à toutes sortes de trafics illicites au Kurdistan.

Retiré dans la région de la Mer noire, A. Er fait la connaissance d'une bande mafieuse d'extrême droite appelée "la bande de Kuleberoglu" dirigée par Bayram Ali Kuleberoglu, qui lui demande des noms proches du PKK de la région de Hakkari (Kurdistan). A. Er donne alors le nom de deux personnes d'une tribu adverse avec qui il a eu des démêlés liés au trafic illicite.

Très rapidement ces deux dernières sont kidnappées et retrouvées dans la Mer noire les pieds engloutis dans du béton. L'enquête policière conduit à la bande de Kuleberoglu et à Ali Er qui se font arrêtés. Dans sa déposition, ce dernier déclare que de nombreuses personnes étaient endettées aux deux victimes y compris Mustafa Bayram, député de Van, lié aux trafics de drogue mais aussi d'oeuvres d'art volées après que ses proches ont été arrêtés alors qu'ils étaient en train de vendre des Picasso à des policiers en civil. Finalement et le même jour Ali Er est retrouvé assassiné dans sa prison et Cumhur Keskin à Van.

Les affaires sont toujours en instruction et la justice turque ne faisant aucune connexion entre elles, l'enquête policière a conclu à une vendetta. Cela dit l'affaire prouve une nouvelle fois que des hommes politiques turcs sont liés à des trafics illégaux dans une région où règne une insécurité choquante profitant à ces trafics, mais également que l'extrême droite turque liée à certains services de l'Etat n'hésite pas à éliminer physiquement des kurdes sur simple dénonciation. (CILDEKT, 8 août 2001)

MINORITES / MINORITIES

Turkey/Armenia: Reconciliation Commission Off To Rocky Start

Last month a 10-member commission was formed to help Turks and Armenians overcome their divisions. The Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission comprises former government officials and expatriate community leaders.

The commission does not seek to directly address the greatest issue of contention between the two countries -- whether the 1915-1923 slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey constitutes genocide. But supporters say that by promoting mutual understanding and goodwill between Turks and Armenians, the commission may contribute to an eventual resolution of the divisive issue.

In a founding declaration issued in Geneva, the commission said it would emphasize "contact, dialogue, and cooperation" between civil societies. It also promised to submit appropriate recommendations to the two governments, which have no diplomatic relations.

The reaction from the Turkish side has been positive. Former Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen, one of the six Turkish members, described the commission as "a turning point" in relations between the two peoples. Aside from Turkmen, the Turkish side is represented by senior diplomats.

On the Armenian side, however, many politicians and scholars have been critical. Some have even gone so far as to accuse the Turkish government of using the commission to dissuade parliaments in the West from officially recognizing the killing of Armenians as genocide.

They say the Turkish members of the commission have devoted their efforts to denying the existence of what many historians believe was the first case of genocide of the 20th century.

Among the Armenian members is Ambassador-at-large David Hovannisian, whose current status is ambiguous. Officials say he is no longer in active diplomatic service, although he headed an Armenian Foreign Ministry delegation at an international conference in Istanbul in February.

Other Armenian members are former Foreign Minister Alexander Arzumanian; Van Krikorian, chairman of the Armenian Assembly of America (one of the two Armenian lobbying groups in Washington); and Andranik Migranian, a former adviser to former Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

Gegham Manukian is the spokesperson for the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, or Dashnaktsutyun -- an influential nationalist party with branches in Armenia and major diaspora communities. Manukian says the commission's Armenian members have come under criticism because they are acting without a mandate:

"Those individuals are targets of criticism because nobody, no political or state structure, authorized them to speak on behalf of the Armenian people."

Dashnaktsutyun has actively campaigned against the commission's work and was the main initiator of a 31 July joint statement by most factions of the Armenian parliament deploring the commission as an attempt at what it called "artificial reconciliation."

This statement has led Armenian authorities to distance themselves from the work of the commission. Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian recently went so far as to disavow his ministry's involvement:

"The Armenian Foreign Ministry has absolutely nothing to do with this commission. Yes, we were informed about it, but we are not participants [in the dialogue]."

Speaking in their defense, the Armenian members of the commission point out that the Turkish government, simply by participating, is moving toward ultimately recognizing the 1915-1923 events as genocide. Participants see the commission's work as part of a larger effort to prepare Turkish society to accept the genocide.

Yet precisely how the commission will address the genocide issue is unclear. Its Turkish and Armenian members say they will not seek to determine the validity of either side's position.

The events surrounding the issue are bitterly disputed. Armenian and other historians say more than a million people were killed or starved to death by Ottoman Turks as part of a drive to exterminate the ethnic Armenian population.

Turkish authorities, on the other hand, insist the death toll is inflated and that most Armenian deaths resulted from civil unrest.

Ankara reacted strongly to the resolutions adopted by the parliaments of France, Italy, and the European Union last year recognizing the mass killings and deportations as genocide. A last-minute intervention last October by then-President Bill Clinton halted progress of a similar resolution in the U.S. Congress.

The Armenian assembly says its participation in the commission will not affect its lobbying efforts on behalf of the genocide issue.

It remains to be seen how the Turkish government will react to that. Turkmen told RFE/RL last year that Turkey will not normalize its relations with Armenia as long as the latter supports and encourages the recognition campaign. (Emil Danielyan , RFE/RL, 13 August 2001)

Of genocides, massacres, and tragedies

Eighty-six years late, the Armenian massacres of 1915 are at last forcing themselves onto the international agenda. For a long time it was a private quarrel, with most Turks in deep denial about it while Armenians passionately claimed that they were the victims of the 20th century's first genocide, but now the whole world is getting drawn in.

By last year, the European Commission, France, Belgium, Sweden, and Italy had all formally acknowledged that there had been an Armenian genocide. The US House of Representatives was about to vote on a similar resolution until the Clinton administration persuaded the bill's sponsor to withdraw it because it would severely damage US interests in Turkey. Meanwhile, a $50 million `Armenian Holocaust' museum is under construction in Washington.

The Turkish government fights back hard: When the French parliament unanimously adopted a declaration last January “recognising the Armenian genocide of 1915”, Ankara promptly cancelled defence production deals with France worth $349 million: By now, however, the momentum of the Armenian campaign for recognition is unstoppable: France did not even blink.

Yet what actually happened 86 years ago is still open to dispute. There was certainly a great massacre of Armenians in the eastern part of what is now Turkey in 1915, early in the World War I. Even the most conservative estimates put the Armenian death toll of that year at 600,000, though most Armenians prefer the figure of 1.5 million.

The Turkish authorities don't deny that many Armenians living in the Ottoman (Turkish) empire were killed in 1915, but they claim that the deaths were triggered by an Armenian uprising in which there were massacres of both Turks and Armenians in the then-intermingled communities of eastern Anatolia. They are being highly economical with the truth here — and yet they do have a point. The killing in 1915 was so great that the word `holocaust' might well apply, but it was not the premeditated, industrialised genocide that befell the European Jews under Hitler.

It is a fact that some Armenians in eastern Anatolia conspired with the Russians to launch an uprising behind the Turkish lines in 1915 to coincide with a Russian offensive into the area. The Russian archives document it fully.

Other Armenians, further south, were plotting with the British in Egypt to start a rebellion to coincide with a planned British landing on Turkey's south coast. The British archives document it fully. But then the British switched the landing far to the west, to the Dardanelles, for a direct attack on Istanbul — and it would appear that they failed to get news of the change of plan through to their Armenian allies in southern Anatolia in time.

So there were scattered, ineffective Armenian uprisings, and then the `Young Turk' army officers who ran the Turkish empire (many of them barely out of their twenties) panicked. The Russians were flooding into eastern Anatolia, the British were about to break through to Istanbul, and they had stupidly led their country into a war that would destroy it — quite literally, for their enemies had already agreed to carve it up into colonies after victory.

So they ordered all Armenians to be “deported from the threatened regions of eastern Anatolia all the way south to Syria (knowing full well that many would be killed or die of hunger and exposure). As the Armenian death toll soared, they did nothing to rescind their orders. Many probably welcomed it, for by now they were in an apocalyptic frame of mind. But they hadn't planned it, and they did pay for it: most of the surviving Young Turk leaders were killed by Armenians in the years just after the war.

There are only 70,000 Armenians living in Turkey today, and the country has much to be ashamed of. But Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres was not just toadying to his Turkish allies when he said in an interview in April that “Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred. It is a tragedy what the Armenians went through, but not a genocide.”

The problem is the word. Nowadays the survivors of any mass killing see `genocide' as the only word adequate to describe their ordeal, but every use of the word evokes the premeditated extermination programme of the Nazis' “Final Solution”. Common sense says that while all mass murder is terrible, there was a real distinction between the Nazis and the Young Turks, but the descendants of the Armenian victims won't settle for less.

And though the Turkish government still tries to keep the past buried by bluster and threats, there is a new spirit of honesty abroad in the country as a whole. As a Turkish historian, Dr. Taner Akcam, said on a remarkable debate televised nationwide in Turkey in March: “If you can't bring yourself to describe it as genocide, call it a massacre. But it was a crime against humanity ... Ask forgiveness from the Armenian people.”

On the same day, in the newspaper `Milliyet', Yavuz Baydar wrote that “these men (the Young Turk leaders) are our Pol Pots, Berias and Stalins, and the sooner we call these crimes to account, the better our chances of redeeming ourselves from this scourge of being accused of genocide.” Much too late, and with great reluctance, the Turks are starting to come to terms with their past.

Mr. Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries. He contributed this article to the Jordan Times. (Gwynne Dyer, Media Monitors Network/Jordan Times, August 30, 2001)

SOCIO-ECONOMIQUE / SOCIO-ECONOMIC

L'inflation atteint 56,3% sur un an

Les prix à la consommation en Turquie ont augmenté de 2,4% en juillet par rapport à juin, poursuivant une décélération après des hausses de 3,1% en juin, 5,1% en mai et 10,3% en avril, a annoncé vendredi l'Institut National des Statistiques.

L'inflation annuelle s'établissait à 56,3%, contre 56,1% en juin.

Les prix de gros ont augmenté en juillet de 3,3% contre 2,9% en juin, 6,3% en mai et 14,4% en avril, enregistrant une augmentation de 65,4% en glissement annuel.

Ankara a dû abandonner fin février un plan de lutte contre l'inflation mis en place en décembre 1999 avec l'aide du Fonds Monétaire International (FMI) à la suite d'une profonde crise financière, écho d'un premier choc en novembre.

La Turquie a depuis mis en place un nouveau plan de réformes soutenu par le FMI.

Le gouvernement a récemment revu à la hausse sa prévision d'inflation, d'abord estimée à 52,5% pour 2001 (contre 12% prévus avant la crise), et table désormais sur 58%.

Le ministre de l'Economie Kemal Dervis a récemment indiqué espérer ralentir la hausse des prix à la consommation entre 30 et 35% sur les douze prochains mois. (AFP, 3 août 2001)

Le FMI accorde une nouvelle tranche de crédit à la Turquie

Le Fonds monétaire international (FMI) a annoncé vendredi qu'il autorisait la Turquie à tirer immédiatement une nouvelle tranche de 1,51 milliard de dollars sur sa ligne de crédit de 19 milliards de dollars.

La Turquie a déjà utilisé environ 10 milliards de dollars sur cette ligne, auxquels vont venir s'ajouter les 1,51 milliard de dollars débloqués vendredi, a précisé le FMI.

La décision d'accorder cette nouvelle tranche a été prise à l'issue d'une réunion du Conseil d'administration du Fonds qui a procédé à un examen de l'application par Ankara des mesures économiques décidées avec son soutien.

Le numéro deux du FMI, Stanley Fischer, a indiqué vendredi que "le Conseil d'administration félicitait les autorités turques pour l'application rigoureuse de leur programme économique ambitieux".

Il a souligné que "des progrès importants ont déjà été réalisés pour restructurer le secteur bancaire, améliorer la transparence budgétaire et préparer la privatisation des entreprises publiques".

"Avec un cadre macroéconomique solide, ces mesures posent les bases d'une réduction durable de l'inflation et d'une économie dynamique générant une croissance durable", a-t-il ajouté.

Selon Stanley Fischer, qui s'est rendu fin juillet en Turquie, "il y a des signes encourageants que la chute de l'économie s'arrête bientôt et que l'objectif de baisse de l'inflation se matérialise, ce qui pourra permettre d'abaisser les taux d'intérêt", facteur important pour contribuer à la reprise.

Le Fonds a toutefois précisé qu'il attendait des autorités turques qu'elles fassent dans les mois à venir "des efforts pour expliquer plus efficacement aux investisseurs et à d'autres observateurs la stratégie de base du programme et principalement l'objectif d'assurer une gestion correcte de la dette grâce aux ajustements budgétaires, à des politiques orientées sur la relance de la demande et au soutien exceptionnellement important du Fonds et d'autres créanciers".

Le FMI souligne notamment que les autorités turques ont décidé de se fixer un objectif d'inflation à partir du 4ème trimestre "qui renforcera et apportera une clarté très souhaitable au cadre de la politique monétaire". (AFP, 3 août 2001)

Les détroits fermés pour le passage d'une plateforme géante

Le trafic dans le détroit du Bosphore qui traverse Istanbul a été fermé lundi pour permettre le passage d'une énorme plateforme italienne devant servir à poser un gazoduc sous-marin en mer Noire, après sa remontée samedi du détroit des Dardanelles.

L'engin flottant baptisé "Saipem 7000" pèse près de 118 mille tonnes, mesure 190 mètres de long et 80 de large, et s'élève à la hauteur de 135 mètres avec ses deux tours repliées pour l'occasion, rapporte l'agence Anatolie.

Pour lui permettre de passer en-dessous des deux ponts suspendus enjambant le Bosphore, il a encore fallu lester la plateforme de milliers de mètres cube d'eau pompée dans la mer pour l'enfoncer de près de 60 mètres sous la surface, ont montré les chaînes de télévision.

"Saipem 7000", tracté par deux remorqueurs anglais surpuissants depuis l'Italie qu'il a quitté il y a trois semaines, est également dirigé par deux pilotes turcs qui aideront à la délicate remontée des 31 kilomètres du Bosphore, et suivi par deux bateaux de lutte anti-incendie et deux navires d'intervention, a expliqué à Anatolie Hucum Tulgar, qui dirige l'agence turque de sauvetage en mer.

La plateforme entamera le mois prochain la pose d'un gazoduc sous-marin reliant le terminal gazier russe de Izobilnoy au port turc de Samsun, dans le cadre du programme "Blue Stream".

Aux termes de ce contrat, la Russie livrera à partir du printemps prochain à la Turquie 8 milliards de mètre cube de gaz naturel par an, volume qui atteindra par la suite 16 milliards de mètres cube.

La plateforme "Saipem 7000" sera chargée de souder en continu les segments du gazoduc qui sera déposé par 2.150 mètres de fond, sur une distance de 1.213 kilomètres d'une rive à l'autre de la mer Noire.

Le projet "Blue Stream" -- jugé commercialement et économiquement non viable par les critiques -- fait l'objet d'une enquête dans le cadre d'une série d'investigations sur des accusations de corruption dans divers appels d'offres qui avaient notamment poussé le ministre turc de l'Energie à la démission, en avril dernier. (AFP, 6 août 2001)

Womens' resistance: No water, no sex.

That's what a group of women from a village in southern Turkey have told their husbands, who have been banished from the bedroom until they fix the village's water system.

For months the women of Siirt have been forced to line up in front of a trickling village fountain for water that they carry home in large containers, a walk that for some can be miles.

And they have had enough.

"One of the women launched the idea as a joke, but it is serious," Faliha Sari said of the boycott, which began about a month ago. "It's natural... When we cannot wash ourselves and cannot wash our clothes, we don't want to do other things," she said shyly.

Islam demands that followers bathe after having sex.

Sari, who was interviewed by phone, said most of the women in the village were dealing with the same water problem, but she did not know how many women were refusing sex. Sirt, near the Mediterranean resort of Antalya, has some 600 residents.

Local newspapers said the bedroom boycott in Sirt appeared to have been inspired by a popular Turkish movie. In the 1983 film, women in a village refuse sex to protest having to work the fields while their husbands sipped tea or played backgammon at the village coffee shop.

The sex boycott also recalled "Lysistrata," a play by Greek playwright Aristophanes in which Athenian women, fed up with the Peloponnesian War, barricade themselves in the Acropolis and go on a sex strike to force their husbands to vote for peace with Sparta.

Villagers say the 27-year-old water system breaks down frequently, leaving the village without running water for months. But this time, the women took action. And it appears to be having some impact. In recent days, men have asked the municipality to fix the village's water supply system or give them the parts.

"Our women are right to protest, but we're the ones who are suffering," Milliyet newspaper quoted village leader Ibrahim Sari as saying. Sari could not be reached by telephone. Most of Sirt's villagers are related and have the same surname.

After the boycott began, the men asked visiting local governor Mehmet Capraz for government help to repair the village water-system and even asked Capraz to provide them with the materials so they could fix damaged pipes.

Capraz was not available for comment but an aide, who asked not to be named, confirmed that the villagers asked for help.

For some, the issue had little to do with marital bliss.

"I am 70-year-old and alone I have no husband to ban from the bedroom," said Fatma Sari, also reached by telephone. "But I can tell you this much, I am fed up with the water situation." (AP, August 14, 2001)

Cérémonie en mémoire des victimes du séisme de 1999

Des milliers de personnes ont veillé et observé une minute de silence vendredi à l'aube dans le nord-ouest de la Turquie, en mémoire des victimes du séisme qui avait fait quelque 20.000 morts et dévasté la région en 1999.

A Golcuk dans la province de Kocaeli, des centaines de passants se sont réunis durant la nuit dans la cour d'un lycée, dont une cinquantaine d'élèves et cinq enseignants étaient morts dans la catastrophe, a rapporté l'agence Anatolie.

Un groupe d'adolescents, en pleurs, habillés de noir, ont lâché des ballons blancs dans le ciel, chacun portant le nom d'une victime. D'autres jeunes allumaient des cierges devant un tableau montrant les photographies des élèves décédés.

A Adapazari, ville qui a subi les dommages les plus importants, les victimes du séisme ont manifesté pour attirer l'attention sur leurs besoins, selon Anatolie.

Le tremblement de terre du 17 août 1999, d'une magnitude de 7,4 degrés sur l'échelle ouverte de Richter, avait ravagé la région la plus développée du pays, qui n'était pas préparée à l'éventualité d'un séisme, malgré les failles fracturant son sous-sol.

Un deuxième séisme trois mois plus tard avait fait 800 morts.

La première secousse avait causé des dégâts dans six provinces, touchant presque Istanbul, qui compte 12 millions d'habitants. Des milliers de personnes qui ont perdu leurs foyers habitent encore des logements préfabriqués.

Le chef de l'institut de sismologie Kandilli basé à Istanbul, Ahmet Mete Isikara, qui a passé deux ans à promouvoir une meilleure prise de conscience des risques, a participé à la veillée dans la ville de Yalova.

Il a souligné que depuis la tragédie, la Turquie demeure très mal préparée à un tremblement de terre important, que les sismologues considèrent pourtant comme inévitable dans un futur prochain dans le nord-ouest de la Turquie, et notamment à Istanbul. (AFP, 17 août 2001)

Istanbul, en avant ligne pour les risques sismiques, fait l'autruche

Deux ans après les deux secousses qui firent plus de 20.000 morts, dont un millier dans sa banlieue ouest, la grande métropole stanbouliote semble toujours faire l'autruche face aux risques sismiques que les scientifiques lui prédisent dans un avenir proche.

L'an dernier, des recherches sous-marines franco-turques -- dont la deuxième phase est actuellement en cours -- avaient conclu de l'inspection de la ligne de faille proche d'Istanbul en mer de Marmara que ses plus de 12 millions d'habitants seraient immanquablement exposés à un tremblement de terre d'une magnitude d'environ 7 sur l'échelle ouverte de Richter dans les décennies à venir.

"S'il y a un séisme demain ici, ce sera la désolation!", a expliqué à l'AFP Necile Delicioglu, de l'Association pour l'amélioration du quartier de Cihangir, dans la partie européenne d'Istanbul.

"Rien n'est prêt pour une telle situation, ni la population, ni les autorités, d'autant plus que, depuis plusieurs mois, chacun n'est plus préoccupé que par la crise économique", constate-t-elle.

"Au plan de l'organisation, nous ne sommes que partiellement prêts à affronter un éventuel tremblement de terre à Istanbul", reconnaît le gouverneur adjoint chargé des catastrophes naturelles, Ali Cafer Akyuz, cité par l'agence Anatolie.

A la faveur de ce deuxième anniversaire de la secousse de magnitude 7,4 sur Richter qui avait frappé aux premières heures du 17 août 1999, les responsables régionaux ont insisté sur les progrès faits en matière de premiers secours, plus qu'en matière de mesures préventives.

De 21 personnes spécialisées dans la recherche et le sauvetage de victimes dans les décombres, le nombre est désormais passé à 100, annonce la direction de la Sécurité Civile, et de 250 secouristes alors, on en est aujourd'hui à 7.241.

L'ONG turque de Recherche et Sauvetage (AKUT), qui regroupe des alpinistes dont l'expérience avait été fort remarquée lors des séismes de 1999, estime elle aussi que des progrès ont été faits au moins dans ce domaine.

"Ces deux dernières années ont vu se réaliser des progrès considérables au vu du demi-siècle passé, tant par les efforts financiers, d'organisation, de logistique et technique", affirme son vice-président Demir Kardas.

La municipalité a également annoncé une série de mesures renforçant la coordination entre ses différents services pour mieux réagir à l'éventualité d'un désastre.

Mais les professionnels, chercheurs ou spécialistes, restent sceptiques: "Je ne crois pas que la moindre chose ait été faite pour remédier à l'urbanisation sauvage et aux défauts de construction, et c'est un gros problème", regrette également le professeur Naci Gorur, président du Centre de Recherches sur la mer de Marmara, interrogé par Anatolie.

"Istanbul est condamnée à être gravement détruite et partiellement secourue", alerte de son côté le président de la Chambre des Ingénieurs Géologues Okan Tuysuz.

Et Necile Delicioglu ne comprend pas que "la mairie refuse d'installer un centre de crise mobile dans le quartier, d'éloigner la station service du centre, de trouver un terrain pour un éventuel hôpital de campagne, et d'inspecter le parking au-dessus duquel se trouve le seul jardin public où peut se réfugier la population".

A ces pesanteurs administratives s'ajoute un certain laisser-aller de l'opinion publique: "Les exercices de secourisme que nous organisions après les tremblements de terre de 1999 ont petit à petit perdu leurs habitués car, même si tout le monde connaît l'ampleur du risque, chacun s'en remet à la fatalité", déplore-t-elle. (AFP, 17 août 2001)

Un chômeur turc tente de se suicider au Parlement

Un Turc sans emploi a tenté de se suicider en s'ouvrant les poignets lundi dans le Parlement turc, dans un accès de désespoir engendré par la sévère crise économique qui frappe le pays, a rapporté l'agence Anatolie.

Le drame s'est produit après qu'Ismail Coskun, âgé d'une trentaine d'années, a demandé à un député du Parti de l'Action nationaliste, membre de la coalition au pouvoir, de l'aider à trouver un emploi.

"Il m'a dit que s'il ne trouvait pas un travail rapidement, il devrait faire adopter ses deux enfants", a déclaré le député à l'agence.

Ismail Coskun s'est ouvert les veines avec un rasoir dans le hall du parlement. Il a été hospitalisé et sa vie n'est pas en danger.

Des milliers de Turcs ont perdu leur travail depuis février, de nombreuses entreprises touchées par la crise ayant dû fermer leurs portes. (AFP, 27 août 2001)

AFFAIRES RELIGIEUSES / RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS

Les Frères musulmans: " L'Europe est hostile aux islamistes"

L'arrêt de la Cour européenne des droits de l'Homme, qui a approuvé l'interdiction d'un parti islamiste turque, démontre "l'hostilité" de l'Europe envers les musulmans, a affirmé jeudi la Confrérerie des Frères musulmans en Egypte dans un communiqué.

Le jugement de la Cour européenne "montre l'hostilité et la haine extrême de l'Europe envers les islamistes et les musulmans" a affirmé la Confrérerie interdite mais tolérée en Egypte.

La Cour européenne des droits de l'Homme a jugé mardi à Strasbourg que la dissolution du parti islamiste Refah en 1998 en Turquie ne violait pas la Convention européenne des droits de l'Homme, et n'était donc pas illégale.

"La décision est l'expression de la partialité européenne envers les musulmans et leur droit à vivre sous une loi islamique tolérante" précise le communiqué.

Les juges européens de Strasbourg ont estimé que les valeurs prônées par le parti Refah, comme l'instauration de la Charia, d'un système multijuridique fondé sur les croyances religieuses et la "guerre sainte" pour arriver à ses fins, ne sont pas compatibles avec celles de la Convention européenne des droits de l'Homme.

Le Refah (Parti de la Prospérité), fondé en 1983 et dirigé par l'ex-premier ministre turc Necmettin Erbakan, était devenu le premier parti politique du pays après les élections législatives de 1995, avec plus de 4,5 millions d'électeurs. (AFP, 2 août 2001)

Investigation Against Cleric for Remarks on 'Alawistan'

The director of religious affairs, Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz, announced Tuesday that an investigation has been launched against Abdulkadir Sezgin, a preacher at the Mersin Mufti`s Office, who claimed that Alawites were trying to found an Alawistan.

Yilmaz told A.A that his statement on Alawites was published incompletely in a newspaper and remarked that the Directorate of Religious Affairs, since its foundation, always tried to maintain integrity and unity among all citizens based on the basic principles of the Republic. He also indicated that Alawites and Bektasis were adding a cultural richness to Turkey.

Yilmaz pointed out that certain separatist forces in Turkey were trying to create an Alawite-Sunni conflict in the society.

"They are abusing people`s feelings and presenting Alawites as members of a different religion. I know that our Alawite and Sunni brothers will not allow this. In order to prevent such abuses, Alawism should be based on scientific findings and it should be kept away from political and ideological approaches," Yilmaz said. He also added that the Directorate of Religious Affairs always avoided statements that would lead to a discrimination between Sunnis and Alawites.

Yilmaz said that Prophet Mohammed showed mosques to all Muslims as a place of worship but the Islam religion does not force anyone to go to a mosque and that this was left up to the person`s choice.

"There is no forcing in Islam," Yilmaz said, adding that those who want can go to a mosque, and others to the places they prefer.

Yilmaz stressed that Preacher Sezgin`s statements did not reflect the views of the Directorate of Religious Affairs and added that an investigation was launched against Sezgin concerning the matter. (Anatolia, August 21, 2001)

RELATIONS AVEC L'OUEST / RELATIONS WITH THE WEST

La politique d'exportation d'armes vers la Turquie inchangée

La politique allemande d'exportation d'armes vers la Turquie demeure inchangée et ne connaît pas d'assouplissement, contrairement à ce qu'affirme un journal dominical, a indiqué la spécialiste des questions de défense des Verts, Angelika Beer, au journal Die Welt à paraître lundi.

Ces exportations sont "strictement assujetties aux critères des droits de l'Homme", a déclaré à Die Welt Mme Beer, dont le parti appartient à la coalition gouvernementale. "Il n'y a pas de raison de changer de position", a-t-elle ajouté, estimant que la Turquie n'avait pas réalisé de progrès dans ce domaine.

Une porte-parole du gouvernement allemand a pour sa part indiqué à l'AFP que la politique d'exportation d'armement vers la Turquie était inchangée.

Le journal Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) a affirmé dimanche que le gouvernement allemand avait autorisé des exportations de détonateurs vers la Turquie, ce qui correspondrait à un assouplissement de sa politique d'exportations d'armes vers ce pays.

Selon le FAS, le changement d'attitude du gouvernement serait intervenu à la suite d'une plainte déposée en début d'année par une entreprise d'armement de Nuremberg (sud), Diehl.

Cette dernière, qui avait signé depuis un an un contrat de livraison de détonateurs avec la Turquie, n'avait pu l'honorer en raison de l'obstruction du gouvernement.

Cette obstruction, d'après le journal, est surtout le fait du ministère des Affaires étrangères qui, au cours des dernières années, a systématiqment bloqué les contrats dans le domaine de l'armement avec la Turquie, lors des réunions du conseil de sécurité du gouvernement.

Face à la plainte de Diehl et sous la pression de la chancellerie, poursuit le journal, le conseil de sécurité a finalement autorisé l'exportation des détonateurs. Trop tard cependant : l'entreprise, qui a retiré sa plainte, a fait savoir qu'elle avait perdu le contrat pour cause d'atermoiement trop prolongé. (AFP, 5 août 2001)

Berlin autorise la vente de détonateurs à la Turquie

Le gouvernement allemand a confirmé lundi des informations selon lesquelles il avait autorisé l'exportation de détonateurs en Turquie, refusant toutefois d'admettre que cette autorisation marque un assouplissement de sa politique d'exportations d'armes vers ce pays.

"L'autorisation a été délivrée. Il est faux que cela marque une modification de la politique allemande d'exportations d'armes vers la Turquie", a indiqué une porte-parole du ministère de l'Economie lors de la conférence de presse du gouvernement.

La décision a été prise "sur la base du droit en vigueur", a-t-elle précisé, ajoutant que "dans ce cas également, la situation des droits de l'Homme en Turquie a été prise en compte" par le Conseil de sécurité du gouvernement chargé de délivrer ces autorisations.

Les décisions de ce conseil étant d'ordinaire strictement confidentielles, le gouvernement avait dans un premier temps refusé de confirmer cette information parue dimanche dans le journal Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS), se contentant de dire que la politique allemande d'exportation d'armes vers la Turquie demeurait "inchangée".

Selon le FAS, le ministère des Affaires étrangères avait au cours des dernières années systématiquement bloqué les contrats dans le domaine de l'armement avec la Turquie, dans le cadre du Conseil de sécurité.

Un blocage auquel il aurait renoncé lors de l'examen d'une plainte de Diehl, un fabricant d'armes de Nuremberg (sud) qui demandait depuis un an à pouvoir honorer un contrat de livraison de détonateurs en Turquie. (AFP, 6 août 2001)

Yilmaz met en garde contre l'absence d'un accord

Les relations de la Turquie avec l'Union européenne seraient, à terme, sérieusement affectées si la coalition tripartite au pouvoir à Ankara ne parviendra pas à un compromis sur une série d'amendements à la Constitution, a averti le vice-Premier ministre Mesut Yilmaz.

"Si nous ne respectons pas notre calendrier avec l'Union européenne (...) nos relations pourront être menacées d'une rupture", a déclaré M. Yilmaz vendredi soir à la chaîne d'information CNN-TURK, en référence à un rapport de la Commission européenne qui doit en novembre prochain évaluer les progrès de la Turquie dans sa candidature à l'UE.

M. Yilmaz, chargé des relations avec l'UE, a indiqué que la Constitution de 1982, rédigée sous l'influence des militaires qui avaient perpétré l'année précédente un coup d'Etat, constituait "une très sérieuse entrave" dans les liens d'Ankara avec les Quinze et devait être modifiée.

La Turquie a été déclarée candidate à l'UE en 1999 mais doit améliorer son respect des droits l'Homme et de la démocratie avant d'ouvrir des négociations d'adhésion.

Le gouvernement turc a convoqué le Parlement, en vacances jusqu'en octobre, à la mi-septembre pour qu'il adopte le projet d'amendements pour se rapprocher des normes européennes.

Ce projet, qui peut encore être modifié, prévoit l'abolition de la peine de mort sauf en cas de guerre ou pour terrorisme.

Il devrait ouvrir aussi la voie à l'utilisation de la langue kurde dans les médias. Mais le parti de l'Action nationaliste (MHP, ultra-nationaliste), partenaire de la coalition, y a mis des réserves.

M. Yilmaz a une nouvelle fois déploré que "certaines institutions, dont des civils et militaires" sont encore réticentes à favoriser l'adoption de "projets visant à élargir le champ de la liberté d'expression".

M. Yilmaz s'était récemment attiré les foudres de l'influente armée pour un discours où il avait regretté que les militaires, prétextant du concept de sécurité nationale, retardaient le développement du pays. (AFP, 25 août 2001)

Turkey angers the NGOs

As the meetings of the Human Rights Subcommission of the United Nations (UN) approach their final days, what Turkey had to say while using its right to respond has angered a great number of NGOs and UN experts. While international NGOs that defend human rights and minority rights have presented serious evidence and reports accusing Turkey of grave human rights violations, Turkey's response included quite a number of contradictory statements. The Turkish representative defended the human rights violations that have occurred until now, saying, "Our country, which has suffered great pain for many years because of terrorism, was left with no choice but to carry out a special struggle against terrorism," thus trying to blame "terrorism" for all rights violations in the country.

Cover for torture being sought

The NGOs have debated human rights violations in Turkey on many occasions in the meetings of the UN Human Rights Subcommission sessions and deciphered them, and they showed harsh reactions to the response Turkey gave. The NGOs interpreted Turkey's response as an attempt to find an excuse for torture. Turkey, for its part, asserted that wiping more than 4,000 Kurdish villages from the map and the systematic torture in prisons were part of the "struggle against terrorism."

During its right to respond, Turkey asserted that its "national security" was under threat, adding, "Terrorism is not just a threat against individual rights, but is also a threat against the existence of a nation. It is against human rights and freedoms," thus turning a blind eye to the criticisms lodged against human rights violations in this country.

Human rights defenders following the meetings said, "Despite the fact that everyone knows that Turkey's external image is one of torture and serious human rights violations, Turkish officials do not want to see this in the statements they make. Even more, they are trying to use the cover of 'struggle against terrorism' for the practice of torture."

'PKK determined in its peace policy'

On the other hand, Verena Graf of the International Organization for the Defense of Peoples' Freedoms gave a speech in which she said that the PKK was determined in its policy of peace. In her speech, in which she took up both the PKK and the Tamil Tigers, who are fighting a war of national liberation in Sri Lanka, Graf pointed out that both organizations were fighting for their own people and that they both continued to be under great pressure from the state despite their peace initiatives.

"The Tamil Elam Liberation Tigers and the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which is fighting for the national rights of the people of Turkey's Southeast, both declared unilateral cease-fires for a political solution. But the state terrorism of these states against their oppressed peoples is gradually increasing. The UN must pay attention to the suggestions for a peaceful solution of these national liberation movements and intervene," Graf said.

Graf continued to say that, "The PKK has shown it sincerity in this policy since 1999. If one wants to stop the human rights violations against the Kurds, then the PKK's recommendation for a solution must be supported," and called for UN involvement in this issue. 23 August 2001 Kurdish Observer Minibus Driver Detained for Playing Kurdish Music

Gendarmerie personnel detained Abdullah Yagan, a minibus driver in the Karliova district of Bingol, for playing Kurdish music in his vehicle.

Yagan became the victim of a captain who was a passenger on his minibus. When the minibus was stopped at the Kalencik Gendarmerie Base, the officer inside told them that they were listening to Kurdish music, after which the operation was begun and Yagan detained.

The "criminal" cassettes, which included music from Shakiro, Shiwan Perver, Kurdish dance music, and mixed tunes, were confiscated. It was learned that Yagan's driver's license and registration were also seized and that he was being sent to the Prosecutor's Office. (Ozgur Politika, Aug 18, 2001)

RELATIONS REGIONALES / REGIONAL RELATIONS

Ankara dénonce la mort d'un Turc tué par les garde-côtes grecs

La Turquie a dénoncé jeudi la mort d'un de ses ressortissants, un présumé passeur d'immigrés clandestins, lors d'un échange de tirs avec les garde-côtes grecs près de l'île de Kos.

"Cet acte fatal est inacceptable quelles que soient les circonstances de l'incident et sa justification", a souligné le ministère des Affaires étrangères dans un communiqué.

"Nous suivons de près les développements et sommes en contact avec les autorités grecques", ajoute le texte.

Oktay Deliktas, 23 ans, a été tué dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi lors d'un échange de coups de feu avec une patrouille de la police portuaire grecque alors qu'il venait de quitter Kos où il avait débarqué neuf clandestins, a indiqué jeudi le ministère grec de la Marine marchande. (AFP, 2 août 2001)

Critiques contre la visite d'Ariel Sharon en Turquie

Des manifestants et des commentaires de presse dénonçaient mardi le passé controversé et la politique répressive envers les Palestiniens du Premier ministre israélien Ariel Sharon, à la veille de sa visite d'une journée en Turquie.

Ces réactions sont inhabituelles pour ce pays majoritairement musulman, mais qui se trouve être le principal allié d'Israël dans la région depuis janvier 1996, à la suite de la signature d'un accord de coopération militaire qui a provoqué la colère des pays arabes et de l'Iran.

La police anti-émeute a interpellé mardi à Istanbul une quinzaine de personnes, la plupart des femmes couvertes d'un voile noir, qui protestaient contre les opérations meurtrières de l'armée israélienne envers les Palestiniens, a rapporté l'agence Anatolie.

Les personnes arrêtées se préparaient à participer à une manifestation de plus grande envergure plus tard dans la journée.

Toujours à Istanbul, la police a mis en garde à vue trois journalistes de deux journaux islamistes pour les interroger sur leur appel, la semaine dernière lors d'une conférence de presse, à organiser des manifestations anti-Sharon, un appel qualifié d'action illégale, a ajouté Anatolie.

Les quotidiens turcs, tant islamistes que laïcs, exprimaient mardi un sentiment anti-Sharon convergent et critiquaient l'invitation du gouvernement turc, au moment où l'état hébreu est vivement critiqué par la communauté internationale pour son usage excessif de la force contre les Palestiniens.

"C'est un criminel de guerre", titrait en "une" le journal islamiste Yeni Safak à propos de Sharon, qu'il accuse de porter la "principale responsabilité" du bain de sang au Proche-Orient.

L'éditorialiste très en vue, Cengiz Candar, qualifiait de son côté la visite de Sharon d'"événement répugnant" et accusait Ankara d'"embrasser Israël, qui est gouvernée par un Premier ministre sous le coup d'accusations de violations des droits de l'Homme et même de massacres", écrivait-il dans un article de Yeni Safak.

Malgré ses liens étroits avec Israël, la Turquie maintient aussi des relations diplomatiques très denses avec les Palestiniens, dont elle soutient les revendications concernant l'instauration d'un Etat.

Ankara a même récemment vivement critiqué Israël pour son usage excessif de la force contre les Palestiniens.

Selon Turgut Tarhanli, un quotidien de centre gauche Radikal, le resserrement des liens avec l'actuel gouvernement israélien pourrait porter atteinte à la crédibilité de la Turquie dans ses appels à la fin des violences israéliennes.

Un nouveau Groupe d'initiative palestinienne, créé à l'occasion de cette visite par des militants turcs pour dénoncer le passé controversé de Sharon, a symboliquement déposé la semaine dernière deux plaintes devant des tribunaux d'Ankara et d'Istanbul, accusant le leader israélien de crimes contre l'Humanité, en s'inspirant de l'enquête ouverte en Belgique sur le rôle d'Ariel Sharon dans les massacres de réfugiés palestiniens au Liban en 1982.

"Nous voulons que la Turquie encourage un procès international de Sharon pour ses actes meurtriers", a expliqué le porte-parole du groupe, Hilmi Ozturk, à l'AFP.

Le député turc Mahmut Goksu (indépendant) a en outre soumis au Premier Ministre Bulent Ecevit une question formelle sur les véritables dividendes qu'Ankara peut attendre de cette mini-tournée de M. Sharon, au moment où Israël est quasiment au ban de la communauté internationale, ont indiqué des sources parlementaires à l'AFP.

M. Sharon, attendu mercredi matin à Ankara, rencontrera le Premier ministre Bulent Ecevit, le Président Ahmet Necdet Sezer et le ministre de l'Economie Kemal Dervis et quittera la Turquie dans l'après-midi. (AFP, 7 août 2001)

Retour de Turquie du Premier ministre israélien Ariel Sharon

Le Premier ministre israélien Ariel Sharon a regagné mercredi soir Israël après une visite de quelques heures en Turquie.

Lors de cette visite, la Turquie s'est démarquée d'Israël, en affirmant que sa demande d'un arrêt absolu de la violence avant toute reprise des négociations avec les Palestiniens, était "irréaliste".

M. Sharon a réaffirmé son exigence d'un "arrêt absolu" de la violence avant tout dialogue politique avec les Palestiniens.

M. Sharon est arrivé à Ankara avec deux de ses ministres, Dalia Itzik et Tzippi Livni, respectivement ministre du Commerce et de l'Industrie et de la Coopération régionale, pour tenter de faire avancer plusieurs projets communs actuellement au point mort en raison de la difficile crise économique que traverse la Turquie.

Parmi ces projets figurent notamment, l'irrigation d'une vaste contrée du sud-est de l'Anatolie et l'importation d'eau potable en Israël qui connaît une grave pénurie d'eau. (AFP, 8 août 2001)

Fourniture de chars à la Turquie:l'Ukraine a de "bonnes chances"

Le ministre turc de la Défense Sabahattin Cakmakoglu a estimé mercredi à Simféropol (Crimée, sud de l'Ukraine) que Kiev avait de "bonnes chances" de remporter un appel d'offres d'un montant de 4 milliards de dollars portant sur la fourniture à la Turquie de 1.000 blindés.

"Nous prendrons une décision dans deux ou trois mois. Mais à mon avis, le char ukrainien T-84 a de bonnes chances" de l'emporter, a indiqué à l'issue d'une rencontre officielle le ministre turc, arrivé en Ukraine mercredi pour une visite de trois jours.

L'Ukraine est en lice avec l'Allemagne, les Etats-Unis et la France dans cet appel d'offres.

Le T-84 ukrainien, produit à Kharkiv (est), est un blindé lourd, équipé d'un canon de 120 mm et conforme aux normes de l'OTAN.

M. Cakmakoglu s'est entretenu mercredi avec son homologue ukrainien Olexandre Kouzmouk et le Premier ministre de la république autonome de Crimée Valery Gorbatov. Il visitera vendredi une usine spécialisée dans la production de bateaux de débarquement.

Lors de sa visite, M. Cakmakoglu doit aussi s'entretenir avec le chef du mouvement tatar Moustafa Djemilev.

Quelque 200.000 Tatars de religion musulmane, sont retournés en Crimée après l'effondrement de l'URSS. Aujourd'hui, ils se plaignent d'être traités en citoyen de "deuxième classe". (AFP, 8 août 2001)

Deux Turcs armés interpellés à la frontière avec l'Arménie

Deux Turcs armés de couteaux et de fusils de chasse ont été interpellés lundi par des garde-frontières russes alors qu'ils tentaient de passer en Arménie , a-t-on appris auprès des garde-frontières russes.

"Ils ont affirmé qu'ils s'étaient perdus", a déclaré un porte-parole des garde-frontières en ajoutant qu'une enquête avait été ouverte.

Des Turcs ont entrepris à une quarantaine de reprises de traverser la frontière entre les deux pays depuis le début de l'année, a-t-il ajouté sans donner d'autres détails.

L'Arménie et la Turquie n'ont pas de relations diplomatiques en raison de la non reconnaissance par Ankara du génocide des Arméniens sous l'empire ottoman au début du 20e siècle.

Quelque 5.000 Russes gardent aux côtés des Arméniens la frontière avec la Turquie longue de 355 km. (AFP, 12 août 2001)

Ouverture du procès des preneurs d'otages pro-tchétchènes

Les treize militants pro-tchétchènes auteurs d'une prise d'otages dans un hôtel de luxe d'Istanbul en avril ont comparu mardi pour la première fois devant une cour de sûreté de l'Etat, qui a rejetté leur demande de mise en liberté, a indiqué l'agence Anatolie.

Les deux meneurs de la séquestration pendant une douzaine d'heures de plusieurs centaines de clients du Swisotel, Muhammed Tokcan et Emin Tas, risquent entre 14 ans et demi et 26 ans de prison. Les 11 autres membres du commando encourent entre 9 et demi et 19 ans d'emprisonnement.

"Nous ne voulions pas commettre cette action en Turquie", a expliqué Muhamed Tokcan à la cour, "nous en sommes arrivés là par erreur", a-t-il dit, cité par Anatolie.

Dans un discours confus, le chef du commando a raconté être venu au Swissotel pour "rencontrer des invités" tchétchènes venus de Russie, et avoir été pris de panique lors de contrôle de sécurité à l'entrée de l'établissement, croyant avoir affaire à "des agents secrets russes", selon l'agence.

"Nous n'avons fait que nous défendre, nous ne songions pas à attaquer l'hôtel, sans quoi nous ne l'aurions pas quitté au matin", a-t-il encore dit.

"Nous l'avons fait sans le vouloir, a-t-il répondu au président du tribunal.

Dans la nuit du 22 au 23 avril, les 13 hommes lourdement armés étaient entrés dans l'hôtel, après avoir fait feu sur la porte d'entrée en verre, et avaient retenu sans violence plus de 200 clients de l'hôtel dans le salon de l'établissement, sans violence.

Ils s'étaient rendus aux autorités turques le lendemain, expliquant avoir voulu attirer l'attention sur la guerre en Tchétchénie.

Les militants pro-tchétchènes sont inculpés de "constitution et direction de bande armée dans le but de commettre un crime", "entrave à la liberté de mouvement de plus d'une personne", "détention d'armes dangereuses" et "tir dans une habitation dans le but de créer la panique", des chefs d'inculpation qui évitent soigneusement la qualification de "terrorisme".

Le leader du commando, de nationalité turque, avait déjà mené en 1996 une prise d'otages sur un ferry en mer Noire pour protester contre la répression par Moscou d'une rébellion indépendantiste en Tchétchénie. (AFP, 14 août 2001)

L'Egypte interdit l'importation de viande de Turquie

L'Egypte a interdit l'importation de tout bétail vivant, viande ou produits dérivés de Turquie et de Malaisie pour prévenir les risques de fièvre aphteuse, a déclaré le ministre égyptien de l'Agriculture Youssef Wali, cité mercredi par le quotidien gouvernemental Al Akhbar.

Cette décision frappe deux pays où sont apparus des cas de fièvre aphteuse, a précisé M. Wali, se basant sur des rapports selon lesquels l'épizootie aurait affecté leur bétail.

Une interdiction similaire, visant les bovins en provenance d'Europe, est appliquée depuis novembre pour prévenir la maladie de la vache folle.

La fièvre aphteuse est sans danger pour l'homme, mais elle est extrêmement contagieuse et oblige à sacrifier toutes les têtes de bétail suspectes. (AFP, 15 août 2001)

Azerbaijan: Turkey Pursues Ambiguous Ties

Turkish aircraft visiting Azerbaijan have been portrayed alternately as an aerobatic group and a squadron of warplanes. The two countries seem to be willing to have it both ways following last month's Caspian confrontation with Iran. RFE/RL correspondent Michael Lelyveld reports.

Turkey's ambiguous signal of support for Azerbaijan over the weekend has stirred passions in both Baku and Tehran.

The two-day visit to Azerbaijan by the Turkish chief of General Staff, General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, was portrayed on the one hand as an event that had been scheduled for a year to mark a military school graduation.

According to this low-key interpretation, the squadron of fighter jets that also flew over Baku on the occasion was nothing more than a demonstration by the "Turkish Stars," an aerobatics team that has performed in many countries before.

But the event, coming one month after an Iranian gunboat threatened two Azerbaijani survey ships in disputed Caspian waters, also carried the connotation of a show of solidarity and force. Whether it was previously planned or not, the visit highlighted the closeness between Baku and Ankara.

Both Turkey and Azerbaijan seemed content to have it both ways.

Following an expression of "concern" by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Turkey's Embassy in Tehran dismissed fears about the presence of the aircraft as "baseless," saying the planes had no military capability.

Novruz Mammadov, foreign relations adviser to Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliev, was also quoted by the "Turkish Daily News" as saying that the air show had no political aim. Cooperation with Turkey "is not against any third country," Mammadov stressed.

But in comments carried by Azerbaijan's Turan news agency, Mammadov struck a more defiant note, saying, "Azerbaijan is a sovereign country, and it has the right to cooperate with any country of the world." The position was underscored with ethnically linked Turkey, with which Azerbaijan follows a "one nation-two states' principle," Mammadov said.

In words aimed primarily at Armenia, Aliev said that military relations with Turkey had turned into "strategic cooperation," adding that Turkish forces were strong enough "to resist the biggest forces of the world," the Anatolia news agency reported.

While Turkish government officials were careful, the BBC reported that the planes were on a mission to "back up (the) Azeri position."

The British news network quoted an unnamed senior Azerbaijani official as saying that the visit was "a show of Turkish force in Azerbaijan's conflict with Iran." It also cited a retired Turkish general, Veli Kucuk, who said, "Azerbaijan's pain also affects us, and therefore we should remove that pain."

Former Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Ciller, head of the True Path Party, also praised her country's effort to preserve Azerbaijan's "sovereignty and independence."

The speeches reflected the sentiment that the Caspian confrontation was not simply about the long-stalled issue of how to divide the Caspian and Iran's claim to what Azerbaijan calls its Alov oil field. The issue now seems to have moved on to Azerbaijan's relative strength to deal with Iran as a credible power.

On 26 August, the English-language "Tehran Times" reacted angrily to the event in Baku. The paper said that Turkey's ambassador had been summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry to receive a protest against "the adventurous interference of Turkey in Iran-Azerbaijan relations" and "the political stunts staged by Turkish generals." The report was not carried by the official news agency IRNA, however.

The reaction may be in response to some of the more sweeping conclusions drawn by Azerbaijani commentators. The newspaper "Zerkalo" was especially outspoken, calling the visit a "warning" to Azerbaijan's enemies. "Zerkalo" said: "This warning cannot be regarded as purely 'Turkish.' In any case, NATO is behind it." The paper also quoted former Aliev adviser Vafa Guluzade, a longtime advocate of a NATO presence, saying, "A downpour starts with a drop."

While governments and diplomats may see the benefit of making their points through ambiguity, the Caspian situation remains sensitive and open to incitement on all sides.

On 24 August, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami declared his readiness to attend a Caspian summit in Turkmenistan in October. But yesterday, Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov announced that the meeting would be postponed indefinitely due to the country's 10th anniversary celebrations.

The cancellation may leave even more opportunities for discord in the Caspian. Cool heads will be needed to keep the situation under control. (Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty, 28 August 2001)

L'Irak fait état d'une nouvelle incursion de l'armée turque

L'Irak a fait état jeudi d'une nouvelle incursion de l'armée turque dans le nord du pays et appelé le gouvernement d'Ankara à retirer "immédiatement" ses troupes du territoire irakien.

"Les troupes turques, appuyées par des hélicoptères de combat et des éléments du Parti Démocratique du Kurdistan (PDK) de Massoud Barzani, ont mené les 25 et 26 août une nouvelle incursion dans le nord de l'Irak sous prétexte de pourchasser des éléments du PKK", a déclaré un porte-parole du ministère irakien des Affaires étrangères.

Cité par l'agence officielle INA, le porte-parole a "sommé le gouvernement turc de retirer immédiatement ses troupes et de mettre fin aux actes hostiles, contraires aux principes du droit international et de la charte de l'ONU".

"Cette incursion s'inscrit dans le cadre des agressions lancées par Ankara contre l'Irak depuis 1991, qui coïncident avec les opérations militaires américano-britanniques", selon lui.

Fin juillet, Bagdad avait dénoncé une nouvelle incursion turque dans le nord de l'Irak et appelé la Ligue arabe à intervenir auprès d'Ankara pour y mettre fin.

L'armée turque lance fréquemment des opérations contre les rebelles du PKK dans le nord de l'Irak, qui utilisent cette région comme base-arrière depuis la fin de la guerre du Golfe en 1991.

Le PDK et son rival, l'Union patriotique du Kurdistan (UPK de Jalal Talabani), se partagent le contrôle du Kurdistan, que Bagdad n'administre plus depuis l'insurrection kurde consécutive à la guerre du Golfe. (AFP, 30 août 2001)

IMMIGRATION / MIGRATION

Un "passeur" turc tué dans un échange de coups de feu

Un jeune "passeur" présumé turc a été tué dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi lors d'un échange de coups de feu avec une patrouille de la police portuaire grecque alors qu'il venait de quitter l'île de Kos (Dodécanèse, sud-est) où il avait débarqué neuf clandestins, a indiqué jeudi le ministère grec de la Marine marchande.

Deliktas Oktay, 23 ans, venait de déposer les immigrés, 3 Iraniens et 6 Irakiens, sur une côte de Kos lorsque le capitaine d'un patrouilleur de la police portuaire lui a ordonné de jeter l'ancrer et de se rendre. Il a riposté par des coups de feu et a tenté de d'attaquer le patrouilleur avec son bateau, selon le ministère.

L'équipage du navire de la police portuaire a alors tiré des coups de feu d'avertissement, toujours selon la même source, sans parvenir à stopper le jeune capitaine turc.

Lorsque l'équipage du patrouilleur est parvenu à immobiliser le navire-passeur, les policiers ont constaté que l'homme était sérieusement blessé "probablement par des balles qui ont ricoché sur son bateau et qui l'ont frappé", selon le ministère. A son arrivée à l'hôpital de Kos, les médecins ont constaté son décès.

Les clandestins qui ont affirmé avoir versé chacun 2.500 dollars USD pour faire partie du voyage, sont détenus par les autorités portuaires de l'île. Le bateau-passeur qui avait été repéré au moins deux fois par le passé dans des affaires de transfert de clandestins, a été confisqué. (AFP, 2 août 2001)

Interception de 103 immigrants clandestins

La police turque a intercepté 103 candidats à l'immigration clandestine dans la ville balnéaire de Marmaris (sud-ouest) et interpellé 6 passeurs présumés, a indiqué vendredi l'agence Anatolie.

Les immigrants --Turcs, Irakiens, Iraniens, Libanais et Afghans-- ont été retrouvés à bord d'un bateau ancré dans le port, selon l'agence. Il comptaient se rendre en Italie.

La police a interpellé 6 Turcs, dont le capitaine du bateau, soupçonnés de complicité.

La Turquie est une voie de passage majeure pour les immigrés venus d'Asie et d'Afrique qui tentent de gagner l'Europe de l'Ouest. (AFP, 3 août 2001)

He fled from Turkish prison, only to die in Glasgow

Firsat Yildiz came to Britain in search of freedom; he was met by the blade of a knife. At the hands of a man whose language he had not even fully mastered, Yildiz was murdered, on the streets of Glasgow, his 16-year-old friend by his side.

It was the horrendous end to a story of human desperation. Fuelled by dream and fear, Yildiz had fought his escape from oppression in Turkey to a place he believed he would be free. How quickly his dreams soured.

Yildiz had arrived in Scotland one year previously. Initially, he sought the help of a friend in the Ayrshire town of Irvine. But the friend, also a refugee struggling to get by, could offer little support. So Yildiz joined the thousands in the refugee dispersal programme and moved to Sighthill.

Sighthill sits grey and bleak on the outskirts of Scotland's second city. Its high rise flats are steeped in monotonous poverty: families survive on next to nothing, heroin is a hard currency. It is where Glaswegians do not want to live and, before the asylum seekers came, flats lay rotting.

For a man like Yildiz - young, small, quiet - Sighthill would have been a difficult place to live. But it was, at least, better than life in Turkey.

"He liked life in Scotland and he was becoming happy here," said Cobanoglu Ali, a housing worker who knew him well.

Yildiz had been out for a cheap meal in the city centre with a 16-year-old friend. They walked home, cutting across the M8. At 12.20am on Sunday two white men approached. An argument broke out. On a scrap of wasteground, Yildiz was stabbed. A few minutes later he died in the street. It was, said police, an unprovoked attack. His mother still does not know her son is dead.

The death of a man so far from home leaves many questions unanswered. He came to Britain in search of freedom; how he got here and what he was trying to escape from are not fully certain. It seems no one knew him well enough to be sure.

Yildiz was born 22 years ago in Gizia Antep, a tiny village buffeted by the borders of Iraq, Syria and Turkey. It seems he became involved with the PKK and the fight for a Kurdish homeland.

The Kurdish community in Glasgow say Yildiz fled Turkey after he was imprisoned by the oppressive authorities. "He was put in jail because he was involved with the PKK and wanted justice for the Kurds," said Peri Ibrahim, a Kurdish translator.

The prison, in Diyarbakir, has the reputation of nightmare. "It is worse than [the film] Midnight Express," said Seyhan Ozgurt, a Kurdish community worker. "They will torture you for at least one month until you tell them names and information. It is the worst prison in the world."

But Yildiz is said to have had friends in Diyarbakir. His family are not rich but they pulled together what money they had. "He paid a bribe in Turkey to a prison guard," said Mr Ibrahim.

After that, how he got to Britain no one knows. Within Turkey there are agents who will smuggle Kurds to Britain; $4,000 (£2,900) is the standard price on the chance of a new life.

The Scottish Refugee Council, which assisted Yildiz, said it did not know how he got here. His friend, Mr Cobanoglu, said he had no knowledge of him being in prison.

Yesterday afternoon the refugee community of Glasgow made clear he would not be forgotten. At 3.30pm, a few hundred gathered among the Victorian buildings of the city's George Square to mount a vigil.

"We must make sure that no one else is allowed to die like Yildiz," said Mohammed Narveen Asif. "We do not blame the people of Sighthill, many of them are very good people, but there are also racists responsible for this and many other attacks.

People are scared to go out. This cannot continue. Only yesterday someone else was hit by a bottle and had to go to hospital."

In the past 14 months, there have been 70 racist attacks in Sighthill.

"Unfortunately, it is not surprising," said Julia Allan, of the Scottish refugee council.

"A group of extremely vulnerable people housed in an area of high deprivation."

Poverty, more than racism, is the key. "It's difficult for folk round here when the council does nothing for them and the asylum seekers come and get flats laid out," said an elderly woman who asked not to be named.

"I know these people haven't got a lot, but people round here have got nothing and when you've got nothing it's easy to be jealous."

By yesterday afternoon, Yildiz's death had become a political issue. Community leaders and race campaigners met council officials. Charlie Gordon, leader of Glasgow council, held a press conference. "I would like to see every decent Glaswegian, and indeed every decent reasonable Scot, doing more to speak up when they are confronted by racial behaviour," he said.

But outside the city chambers Mr Cobanoglu stroked back his hair. "I come from the same village as Yildiz," he said. "I have tried to get through to my mum so I can let his family know what has happened, but nothing."

As he lies in a Glasgow morgue, even Firsat Yildiz's family, back in their grocer's shop, do not know the full story of his life. They do not know he is dead. (The Guardian, August 7, 2001)

Le projet de loi sur l'immigration en Allemagne

La communauté turque en Allemagne a jugé que le projet de loi du gouvernement sur l'immigration constituait une bonne base de discussion, tout en estimant qu'il ne fallait pas avoir peur de faire de l'immigration un thème de campagne, a déclaré mardi son vice-président.

"Sur le fond, Otto Schily (le ministre allemand de l'Intérieur) a présenté un concept d'immigration et d'intégration concluant. Mais restreindre le droit au regroupement familial et refuser la prolongation du permis de séjour en cas de non-participation à des cours d'intégration n'est pas acceptable", a souligné le vice-président, Safter Cinar.

"Schily se laisse un peu mener par l'Union-chrétienne (CDU/CSU, opposition)", or "il ne faut céder au chantage de l'Union", a-t-il martelé lors d'une conférence de presse à Berlin. Au contraire, a jugé le vice-président d'une communauté comptant 2 millions de personnes, "il ne faut pas avoir peur de faire de l'immigration un thème de campagne".
 L'opposition chrétienne-démocrate, qui entend réglementer l'immigration pour mieux la réduire, a à plusieurs reprises menacé de faire de l'immigration un thème de la campagne électorale pour les législatives de l'automne 2002, ce que le gouvernement veut à tout prix éviter en cherchant à faire adopter une loi de consensus d'ici la fin de l'année.

Parmi les différents points du projet de M. Schily présenté vendredi dernier, Safter Cinar a particulièrement salué la création d'un Office fédéral de l'immigration et de l'asile destiné à définir les besoins économiques et démographiques du pays et à favoriser l'intégration, et a souhaité que la communauté turque puisse y participer.

Le vice-président a également approuvé la réduction à deux du nombre de catégories de permis de séjour et l'introduction d'un "permis de rester indéfiniment".

En revanche, M. Cinar a vivement critiqué l'abaissement de l'âge limite des enfants dans le cadre d'un regroupement familial de 16 à 12 ans. "Cette restriction viole le droit parental et, si elle passe, nous porterons plainte devant la Cour européenne des droits de l'Homme." (AFP, 7 août 2001)

178 candidats à l'immigration illégale arrêtés en Turquie

Les forces de sécurité turques ont arrêté dans la province d'Izmir (ouest) 178 candidats à l'immigration illégale, turcs pour la plupart, qui s'apprêtaient à gagner l'Italie, a fait savoir l'agence de presse turque Anatolie.

Les immigrants, parmi lesquels 125 citoyens turcs, voyageaient à bord de 3 cars et ont été arrêtés lors d'un contrôle à la hauteur de Doganbey, près d'Izmir.

Le groupe qui comptait 33 femmes et 60 enfants a précisé qu'il venait d'Istanbul et se rendait à Izmir pour s'embarquer vers l'Italie. (AFP, 8 août 2001)

Mandat d'arrêt contre un Turc détenu en Allemagne

Un juge d'instruction de Strasbourg (est de la France) a délivré vendredi un mandat d'arrêt international à l'encontre d'un Turc de 23 ans, arrêté jeudi en Allemagne et soupçonné d'une agression à l'arme blanche et de tentatives de viol commises ces derniers jours près de Strasbourg, a-t-on appris auprès du parquet.

Sophie Thomann a entamé une procédure d'extradition auprès des autorités allemandes à l'encontre de ce Turc, qui réside en France, a-t-on précisé de même source.

L'homme a été interpellé jeudi près de Mannheim, dans le sud-est de l'Allemagne, par la police allemande qui a constaté la présence de traces de sang dans sa voiture. Il est soupçonné d'avoir agressé un médecin à l'arme blanche, mardi soir au port intérieur de Strasbourg.

La victime, attaquée dans son véhicule, est "sérieusement touchée" au dos et s'est vu prescrire un mois d'interruption de travail, selon le parquet. Le médecin a réussi à échapper à son ravisseur, qui est parti au volant de la voiture. L'agresseur a réussi toutefois à dérober la carte de crédit de la victime.

Le jeune Turc est également soupçonné d'avoir enlevé et d'avoir tenté de violer à plusieurs reprises son ex-compagne, âgée de 19 ans, qu'il était allé chercher à la sortie de son travail de nuit, le 2 août à Erstein-Krafft, près de Strasbourg.

Deux informations judiciaires, l'une pour tentative de meurtre et vol avec arme, l'autre pour enlèvement, séquestration et tentatives de viol, ont été ouvertes. Elles ont été confiées à Mme Thomann. (AFP, 10 août 2001)

200 immigrants clandestins interceptés sur un chalutier turc

Les garde-côtes turcs ont intercepté samedi 200 clandestins à bord d'un chalutier qui faisait route au large du golfe d'Izmir (sud-est de la mer Egée), rapporte l'agence Anatolie.

La nationalité des clandestins n'était pas connue, dans l'immédiat. Le navire a été conduit au port le plus proche par les forces de sécurité pour les besoins de l'enquête.

De telles interceptions de convois de candidats à l'immigration en Europe, le plus souvent par voie maritime entre Turquie et Grèce ou Italie, se sont multipliées ces derniers mois.

La Turquie est un des principaux points de passage d'immigrants clandestins asiatiques et africains vers l'Europe. (AFP, 11 août 2001)

Plus de 180 immigrants à nouveau interceptés en Turquie

Les forces de sécurité turques ont intercepté dimanche un groupe de 147 immigrants clandestins à la frontière iranienne (est de la Turquie) et 35 autres qui s'apprêtaient à embarquer pour l'Europe dans la région d'Izmir (ouest), rapporte l'agence Anatolie.

Dans un village de montagne de la province de Van (est), 49 ressortissants irakiens sans papiers ont été arrêtés, tandis que 80 autres, ainsi que 18 Iraniens, étaient découverts dans la ville de Van.

D'après les responsables locaux, la vague de chaleur actuelle est à l'origine d'une recrudescence des entrées illégales sur le territoire turc, les nuits dans cette région montagneuse étant moins rigoureuses.

Dans la région d'Izmir, un minibus transportant 35 clandestins (29 Pakistanais et 6 Sierra-Léonais) qui s'apprêtaient à embarquer sur un bateau pour tenter de rejoindre l'Europe a été arrêté.

Par ailleurs, après l'interception samedi dans les eaux au large d'Izmir d'un chalutier contenant quelque 200 clandestins, Anatolie annonce que nombre d'entre eux ont sauté à l'eau et que la police n'a pu en retrouver que 160.

Les interceptions de convois de clandestins à destination de l'Europe sont de plus en plus nombreuses en Turquie, considérée comme l'un des principaux points de passage de ressortissants asiatiques et africains. (AFP, 11 août 2001)

Les Turcs s'intègrent moins que les Marocains

"Les Turcs s'intègrent moins dans la société néerlandaise que les Marocains et les autres allochtones", relève le Volkskrant dans son grand article à la une. "C'est ce qui ressort d'une nouvelle étude du Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau (SCP) réalisée pour le compte du Conseil scientifique pour la politique gouvernementale (WRR). Jusqu'à présent, on supposait que les Marocains étaient les plus éloignés de la société néerlandaise."

"Les Turcs forment aux Pays-Bas un groupe fermé - beaucoup plus que les Marocains, les Surinamiens et les Antillais. Ils ont davantage tendance à parler leur propre langue et à fréquenter des compatriotes. En outre, ils sont plus traditionalistes que d'autres minorités des Pays-Bas."

"Ce sont surtout les différences entre la deuxième génération turque et la deuxième génération marocaine qui sont grandes. Les jeunes Marocains s'intéressent beaucoup plus à la société néerlandaise que les Turcs du même âge. Ils parlent plus souvent néerlandais avec leur famille et leurs amis et ont plus de connaissances autochtones. La jeunesse marocaine est aussi plus moderne dans ses opinions que les jeunes Turcs, qui respectent davantage les schémas de comportement sociaux traditionnels."

"J. Dagevos, chercheur du SCP et auteur du document de travail Perspectief op integratie du WRR, qualifie l'intégration de la deuxième génération marocaine de spectaculaire. 'Le fossé entre la première et la deuxième génération marocaine s'élargit de plus en plus. Chez les Turcs il n'y a presque pas de différence entre les jeunes et les personnes âgées. Selon Dagevos, cela explique aussi l'absence de tensions dans la communauté turque. 'Les parents turcs ont beaucoup plus de prise sur leurs enfants que les marocains. Dans les familles marocaines, les différences entraînent de plus en plus de problèmes d'autorité, mais aussi de discussions sur toutes sortes de normes et valeurs néerlandaises'." (Ambassade de France-YPL, 18 juillet 2001)

Ecevit appelle les expatriés à investir dans leur pays

Le Premier ministre turc Bulent Ecevit a appelé samedi les Turcs expatriés, plus de trois millions, à investir dans leur pays pour aider à surmonter une grave crise économique.

"Nos concitoyens ont d'importantes économies dans certains Etats de l'Union européenne, nous les invitons à placer leurs épargnes en Turquie", a-t-il dit devant la presse.

Il a indiqué que son gouvernement travaillait pour lever tout entrave bureaucratique devant de tels investissements. "Nous ne demandons pas un emprunt ou un don mais des investissements de nos citoyens", a-t-il ajouté.

Quelque 3,5 millions de Turcs vivent à l'étranger, dont 1,2 millions comme ouvriers, selon les chiffres du ministère turc du Travail.
 Ils sont les plus nombreux en Allemagne avec un peu plus de deux millions de personnes, suivi de la France (311.000), les Pays-Bas (300.000), l'Autriche (134.000) et les Etats-Unis (130.000).

A la suite d'une crise politique, la Turquie a été contrainte en février à laisser flotter sa monnaie nationale qui s'est dépréciée d'environ 50% face au dollar, et à abandonner un programme anti-inflation soutenu par le Fonds monétaire International (FMI).

En avril, Ankara a conclu un nouveau programme d'austérité avec le FMI et s'est engagé à mettre en oeuvre des réformes structurelles. (AFP, 25 août 2001)
 
 
 
 

Earlier informations
Informations précédentes
(January/janvier 1998 - Juillet.July  2001)

 

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