A non-government information service on Turkey
Un service d'information non-gouvernemental sur la Turquie


11th Year - N°129-130
July-August 1987
38 rue des Eburons - 1000 Bruxelles
Tél: (32-2) 215 35 76 - Fax: (32-2) 215 58 60
 Rédacteur en chef: Dogan Özgüden - Editrice responsable: Inci Tugsavul

An urgent call for solidarity with political prisoners


        While hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists were enjoying their summer holiday on the sunny beaches of Turkey, more than 2,000 political prisoners have gone on hunger-strike in this country's main military and civil prisons for protesting against inhuman detention conditions and ill-treatment.
        The hunger-strikes was launched on July 8 by political detainees of the Sagmalcilar Prison in Istanbul and extended rapidly to other prisons throughout Turkey. By the end of August 1987, the number of prisoners who joined the hunger-strike action rose to 2.222 of whom 71 were in Sagmalcilar (Istanbul), 256 in Metris (Istanbul), 50 in Central Prison (Ankara), 13 in Mamak (Ankara), 178 in Gaziantep, 5 in Burdur, 100 in Sinop, 400 in Canakkale, 184 in Erzincan, 362 in Malatya, 124 in Bursa, 87 in Elazig, 100 in Mersin, 30 in Aydin and 262 in Diyarbakir prisons.
        In an active solidarity with the hunger-strikers, their family members, distinguished writers, artists and scholars of Turkey have carried out different forms of protest actions and demanded a radical change in prison rules and an immediate "amnesty" for political prisoners. During these actions, many relatives of prisoners have been harassed and detained by police and some of them were taken to State Security Courts.
        Political prisoners, with this mass action, protest against:
        - Practice of physical and psychological torture,
        - Practice of putting some prisoners in solitary confinement,
        - Obligation to wear prison uniform,
        - Restriction on their families' visits,
        - Ban on reading newspapers and books,
        - Restriction on correspondence with the exterior,
        - Ban on listening to radio or music-recorder.
        Furthermore, prisoners said the daily appropriation of 370 Turkish Liras (less than 1 DM) per person is not sufficient for their subsistence. Prison administration does not allow prisoners' families to take supplementary food into the prison.
        On August 17, the Justice Minister announced that 1,244 detainees have died in prisoners since the military coup d'état of September 12, 1980. He claimed that 1,147 prisoners died a natural death while 74 committed suicide and 23 others died during some violent incidents in prisons.
        However, the Secretary General of the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) Fikri Saglar argued that 74 suicides might have happened during earlier hunger-strikes and 23 other deaths due to torture or ill-treatment.
        During the recent protest action, seven hunger-strikers from the Sagmalcilar Prison in Istanbul were in a state of exhaustion and hospitalized on August 14, 1987.
        Since all hunger-strikers risk their health and even life, their parents call on all democratic forces abroad, particularly the members of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, to react immediately and to send missions to Turkey.
        (For more details on the situation in Turkish jails, see the AI Report in the following pages. Also you can order us the pamphlet Military Jails in Turkey .)

        Martial law ended on July 19, 1987, throughout Turkey with the lifting of this exceptional regime in the four south-eastern provinces where it was still in force. So, the Turkish Government made a new gesture to demonstrate to western Europe, especially to the European Communities which it applied to join last April, that the military has completely withdrawn from politics.
        But the same day, eight provinces of the Turkish Kurdistan, Diyarbakir, Hakkari, Mardin, Siirt, Tunceli, Elazig, Bingöl and Van were immediately placed under the authority of a "super-governor", Hayri Kozakcioglu, who has taken over all arbitrary powers of martial law commanders. As for the most important city of Turkey, Istanbul, it also remains under the state of emergency. Furthermore, despite the so-called "demilitarization", military tribunals are still trying and condemning political prisoners detained before the lifting of martial law.
        Claiming that neither regular army units nor local police forces can crack down on the Kurdish Guerilla who carries out a series of attacks on the security forces and pro-government villages, the Government set up, on August 19, 1987, a special Army Corps in the Turkish Kurdistan and named a super-commander to the head of this special war unit.
        In fact, the Kurdish guerilla forces have shot dead 30 villagers on June 20 in Pinarcik, 31 on July 8 in two villages in Mardin and 30 villagers on August 18 in Eruh (Siirt).
        The Government accuses the Kurdish guerilla of killing children and babies as well during raids. In response, the ARGK, the guerilla unit led by the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK), argues that it is a state of war in which accidental deaths are always possible and that first the Turkish Army should give the account of the innocent people massacred during raids.
        According to the official figures, the death toll in the guerillas' campaign, started on August 15, 1983, has reached over  to 542 of whom 168 are soldiers or policemen and 374 villagers. A further 285 Kurdish militants have been killed and 9,512 "suspects" detained. Of the latters, 2,811 have been sent to milirary tribunals and 1,612 others to criminal courts.
        As for the 8 and a half year period from the proclamation of martial law in 1979 up to now, according to official figures, 4,053 people died in armed confrontations and 59,701 tried before military tribunals in the Turkish Kurdistan. In the same period, Kurdish militants have carried out 10,110 armed attacks, 6,790 sabotages and 1,288 demonstrations or protest actions without official permission.


        The referendum on September 6 to decide the fate of Turkey's pre-1980 political leaders has already caused a paradoxical situation in Turkey. Former political leaders are formally free to speak in public, but they cannot defend themselves on the State radio and television.
        According to the Financial Times of August 11, 1987, there is little of the open debate which accompanies referendums in Europe.
        A "no" vote will mean the elimination from the political scene of all the serious rivals of Prime Minister Özal. As such it would be warmly welcomed by foreign investors and Turkey's Western allies.
        Many local industrialists, headed by Mr. Sakip Sabanci, have said that they will be voting "yes" -a step which in practice amounts to endorsing former Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel against Mr. Ozal and the ruling Motherland Party. For many observers this referendum will amount to a virtual trial by the electorate of Mr. Demirel and his social democratic rival, Mr. Bulent Ecevit.
        The implicit charge against the two is that by refusing to cooperate in the 1970s they pushed Turkey into a catastrophic political and economic deadlock, during which political violence claimed more than 5 thousand lives. Ozal himself reminds insistently those days in his campaign for preventing the two men making a full return to politics long before 1992, the date when a 10-year ban on them, imposed by Turkey's former military rulers, expires.
        Regaining the right to speak at political meetings was not yet totally risk free. Both the former Prime Ministers faced a barrage of prosecutions for doing so and Mr. Ecevit actually receive an 11-month gaol sentence although he has not had to serve it.
        The Ozal Government is pressing sotto voce for a "no vote" while formally claiming to be neutral. Mr. Ozal is touring the country for a series of rallies at which he stresses the need not to return to the political violences of the 1970s.
        The campaign of the former political leaders, Demirel, Ecevit, Erbakan and Turkes, emphasises the colour blue, the colour as it happens of the "yes" ballot papers. To cast an orange ballot paper will mean the refusal of political rights to them.
        Most politically conscious citizens outside the Motherland Party tend to favour a "yes" vote. In theory this should create an impregnable coalition of "yes" votes, spanning all shades of opinion from Islamic fundemantalists through Conservatives and Social Democrats to the hard-line left.
        But more than half of Turkey's electorate still consists of peasant voters in isolated villages. Many of these seem, says the Financial Times, either ignorant or scared of the approaching poll, refusing to discuss it when asked. There is none of the talkativeness which accompanied Turkey's general elections campaigns in the 1970s. There is also a great deal of confusion about what the referendum means.
        Many villagers seem to have the impression that they are simply being called on to vote against a return to political violence and show their intention to cast an orange "no" ballot paper. The government circles well exploit this fear and intimidate the voters by saying that if the "yes" votes pass over 50 per cent, not only the former prime ministers, but also the leaders of the pre-coup extreme-left parties will have the possibility to take part in legal political life. So, the ruling party makes it clear once more that the future "democracy" of Turkey, in contradiction with the Western Europe's norms, will exclude socialist minded politicians, let alone the Kurdish ones.
        As a matter of fact, the lifting of provisional Article 4 of the Turkish Constitution by referendum is not enough for their return to political life. The new Political Parties Code stipulates that whosoever is condemned to a prison term over one year cannot take part in political activities. According to the provisional Article 4 of the Constitution, 242 political leaders have been deprived of their political rights for ten years.  82 out of them have also been condemned by military tribunals to different prison terms up to life-prison. So, their return to legal political life is out of question as long as the Political Parties Code remains in force.
        Whatsoever will be the outcome of the referendum, it will not mean the adoption of the European Community's democratic norms and the Turkish "democracy" will remain a militarist "democracy" denying the working class and the Kurdish people the right to legally organize their own political parties.

        Ozal, on June 30, 1987, abruptly cancelled a meeting of the joint civilian and military National Security Council after a rift between the Government and senior military officers on the nomination of the new Chief of General Staff to replace General Necdet Urug.
        The council meeting had been called to decide what action to take following the killing of 31 civilians two weeks ago in a raid on Pinarcik village by Kurdish guerillas. Ozal did not disguise his anger at senior officers for their failure to keep him up to date over recent Kurdish attacks, many of which he has learned of through press reports. Already he had ordered an inquiry into allegations that the army failed to come to the aid of the pro-government villagers despite being aware that the attack, which lasted two hours, was in progress.
        Much of the blame in the Government's view fallen on the shoulders of the Land Forces Commander, General Necdet Oztorun. The Pinarcik raid coincided with the retirement of General Urug, who announced that General Oztorun -the next senior officer in the military hierarchy and a close friend- would be his successor. Urug took early retirement and attempted to leave as a legacy a plan for military appointments up to the year 2000, including the choice of his immediate successor.
        But Ozal, arguing the civilian Government rather than the army should confer senior military appointments, named General Necip Torumtay, a more junior officer, as the next chief of staff.
Subsequently, General Oztorun, the favorite of the Army, was obliged to retire from the army immediately after the retirement of General Urug.
        General Urug and General Oztorun -both notorious figures of the military rule- were said to be "still shellshocked" by Ozal's intervention. Ozal's move was applauded by many newspapers and even some opposition leaders as a bold step for democracy.
        The military have always insisted in maintaining direct influence in politics, including having their candidates elected by the Assembly as the country's president or nominated by the Government for the top army posts.
        A similar open conflict between the army and the government had developed in 1977 when the then Prime Minister Demirel tried to intervene in military appointments. Eventually a compromise candidate, the Aegean commander, General Kenan Evren became chief of staff. It is General Evren who led the 1980 coup and as subsequent military leader and later "president of the Republic" has steered the country back to a militarist "democracy."
        Is Ozal's this spectacular move applauded even by his opponents a real challenge to the military's power? Taking into consideration the following facts, it is difficult to share this opinion:
        - First of all, Ozal's move was not contested by General Evren, military boss of the regime. Press reports indicate that Ozal and Evren had come to a prior understanding on the matter. It would be impossible for Ozal to make such a choice if General Evren had raised his opposition, because it is the President of the Republic who signs the nominations.
        - General Oztorun, when he was a martial law commander, was distinguished for his repressive methods. Evren and Ozal, with a purpose of ameliorating the military's image in the eyes of the Turkish press, have agreed to prevent his rise in a spectacular way. So, General Evren has sacrificed one of his closest accomplices to the military's general interests.
        - There are also the rumors that General Evren accepted Ozal's decision in the exchange for a second 7-year presidential term.
        - Premier Ozal has not upheld his "firm" stand during the appointment of the Land Forces Commander which took place a few days after the nomination of Chief of Staff. In fact, Ozal had announced that his favorite for this post was General Recep Orhan Ergun. But, due to the pressure coming from the military, he was obliged to appoint General Kemal Yamak to this 2nd highest rank in the Army and to place his favorite in a consultative post.
        What is most significant, the press reports have made it clear that the determining factor in the nomination of the top rank Turkish army officers was in fact the choice of Washington.
        The new chief of staff, General Necip Torumtay, 61, was a former commander of Turkish Forces in Cyprus and negotiator in the Turkish-US defense (DECA) talks. Also he had a special formation in Washington in 1962-64 and carried out an important military mission in the SHAPE Headquarters in 1972-74.
        During the Turkish-US talks on military cooperation he distinguished as a staunch supporter of American plans. According to the daily Milliyet of May 1st, 1987, US Vice-Minister of Defense Richard Perle said: "Had it been only in the competence of President Reagan and President Evren, all questions could immediately be solved. Or if it were left to us, General Torumtay and me, they could be solved as well, because General Torumtay is a magnificent officer."
        The real truth of the controversial appointment of General Torumtay will be understood more clearly during the Turkish-US talks and in the military's stand as regards the attempts to demilitarize the country's political, economic, social and cultural life.


        Amnesty International continues to be concerned about the imprisonment of prisoners of conscience, systematic torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners. In a report issued on June 15, 1987, Amnesty International says:
        As of 19 March 1987 martial law has been lifted in all but four of 67 provinces, but trials in military courts with often several hundred defendants in each trial continue. State Security Courts have been established in eight major cities of Turkey dealing with political offenses committed after 1 May 1984 in the area they are responsible for. Many prisoners of conscience have already been tried and sentenced by these special courts. A state of emergency remains in force in five provinces.
        Torture, ill-treatment and deaths in custody:
        Throughout 1986 and to the present date AI has continued to receive allegations of torture and deaths caused by torture and believes that any person detained for suspected political offenses is in danger of being tortured. Most allegations of torture relate to the initial detention period which under Turkish martial law amounts to 30 days and under regular law to 15 days in cases involving three or more suspects. But even these detention periods, during which suspects are denied access to lawyers or close relatives, are often extended.
        For some time AI has received reports of widespread ill-treatment and torture carried out by government security forces in the East and South-East of Turkey connected with armed clashes between guerilla groups and the security forces. Large numbers of the local civilian population have been detained and interrogated, and in many cases allegedly tortured. The Turkish press reported on the situation only after visits to the area by deputies of various political parties. These reports complement the verbal reports AI has received over the years.
        Prisoners of Conscience:
        The imprisonment of prisoners of conscience, those held solely for their political or religious beliefs and opinions, continued throughout 1986 and the first months of 1987. While some trials were still going on at military courts, new trials opened at State Security Courts.
        Prisoners of conscience adopted by AI include members of political parties and groups, writers, journalists, publishers, academics, members of the Kurdish ethnic minority and people imprisoned because of their religious activities.
        Members of political parties are usually imprisoned under Article 141 of the Turkish Penal Code, which prohibits leadership and membership of "illegal organizations". Although heavy sentences have been inflicted on some of them, only a few remain in prison. Most have been released after years of imprisonment, but others might face imprisonment if apprehended.
        All defendants in the trials of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK) and the Turkish Peace Association (TPA) have been released, but legal proceedings continue in both cases and there is the possibility of some defendants being imprisoned or reimprisoned when the final verdicts are announced.
        During 1986 and the beginning of 1987 the imprisonment of Kurds continued, some charged with or convicted of violent offenses; others, adopted by AI as prisoners of conscience, were imprisoned on account of their non-violent political or cultural activity. The publisher Recep Marasli wa sentenced in a number of trials to a total of 36 years' imprisonment for publishing books on the Kurdish ethnic minority in Turkey, for "separatist activities" and for his defense submission. Since 1982 he is held at Diyarbakir Military Prison. AI considers him a prisoner of conscience and has called for his immediate and unconditional release.
        Trials continued under Article 163 of the TPC which prohibits attempts to adapt the State to religious principles or beliefs. AI has adopted as prisoners of conscience several Islamic activists and writers who have been convicted under Article 163, among them Emine Senliklioglu, writer and chief editor of the periodical Mektup (Letter). Hasan Damar, former secretary general of an Islamic organization in the FRG, was still imprisoned in April 1987 after receiving a sentence of 25 months at Ankara Criminal Court on charges of "making religious propaganda." Members of the legal Welfare Party (RP) were imprisoned for organizing a social meeting in October 1985 in Izmir. A    t the beginning of 1987 a large number of people were arrested after they had protested against the "ban on headscraves" at universities either by sending telegrams or participating in demonstrations.
        Unfair Trial:
        Since the introduction of martial law in December 1978 more than 48,000 political prisoners had been sentenced to imprisonment or death after trials which did not meet internationally recognized minimum standards for fair trials.
        In a comment reported in the daily newspaper Milliyet, Teoman Evren, the President of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, concluded on 10 February 1987: "We are witnessing some very objectionable practices and are noticing developments that make the independence and security of judges questionable". The observations of Teoman Evren did not only refer to military courts, although the issue of unfair trials is most pronounced in these.


        One of the prerequisites of the restoration Turco-European relations has been the abolishing the death penalty for peacetime offenses in Turkey. Yet, death sentences still continue to be passed both by civilian and military courts. Only in 1986 various courts passed 134 death sentences, of which well over a hundred were passed by military courts. No executions have taken place since October 1984, but the number of people under sentence of death who had exhausted all legal remedies was 146 as of 7 May 1987. These death sentences only need confirmation by Parliament and the "President of the
Republic" and can be executed any time.
        Amnesty International, on June 1st, 1987, issued an important document on "the death penalty in Turkey". We are reproducing some extracts of this report:
        "Between 1973 and 1980 there was a de facto moratorium on executions: death sentences continued to be passed but were not ratified by the Grand National Assembly. This moratorium came to an end shortly after the military coup of 12 september 1980. Between October 1980 and October 1984 fifty people were executed; 27 of them had been convicted for politically related offenses and 23 for common crimes. The last execution was carried out on 25 October 1984.
        "After violent clashes between Kurdish guerillas and the security forces in southeastern
Turkey, which started in August 1984, President Kenan Evren called for tough measures. In his speech in Mus on 3 October 1984 he argued that 'traitors' should be executed.
        "Contrary to expectations raised by reports in the foreign press after the amendment to the Law on Execution of Sentences came into force on 19 March 1986, there is no automatic commutation of death sentences. The amendment provides, inter alia, that all death sentences not approved by the Assembly will be commuted to 3O years' imprisonment, and to 36 years' imprisonment in cases when the convicted person had escaped or attempted to escape. No further reduction of this term imprisonment is possible. Previously, however, a death sentence that was not ratified was commuted to life imprisonment, which in practice meant 16 to 20 years to be served. Since October 1984 parliament has not taken action on any of the more than 100 death sentences awaiting ratification. There have been no commutations of death sentences and there have been no further executions.
        "Although Turkey is not ruled by Islamic law, the reason for retaining the death penalty can be seen in deeply rooted Islamic beliefs in Turkish society. Thus President Kenan Evren said in his speech on 3 October 1984: 'Furthermore, the death penalty does not only exist in our law, but also in our religion. It exists in the Bible (he actually said Bible, not Koran). The Bible has accepted the death penalty. So, as it exists in the book sent by Allah, how can we abolish it?'
        "In a parliamentary debate on 11 March 1986 Prime Minister Turgut Ozal also evoked Islamic beliefs: 'How can we as deputies, how can we as a state forgive someone who killed a citizen? Only the close relatives and Allah can forgive him. If we forgive him, that would not be accepted by Allah.'
        "On 1 March 1985 the Sixth Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, abolishing the death penalty for peacetime offenses, entered into force. The Protocol has been ratified by eight European countries belonging to the Council of Europe. Seven other member states have signed the Protocol, thereby indicating their intention to ratify it. Turkey so for has neither signed nor ratified the Protocol."


        2.6, five presumed members of Dev-Sol were arrested in Istanbul.
        7.6, eight political prisoners, five condemned to death and three to life-prison, escaped from the military prison of Erzincan by digging a 50-Meter long underground tunnel. Two of them were apprehended on June 11.
        16.6, in Istanbul, two youths were arrested on charge of militating for Dev-Sol.
        8.7,  a young woman, presumed militants of TKP-ML, was arrested in Ankara.
        10.7, police arrested 23 presumed militants of TKP-ML in Ankara.
        12.7, six presumed members of TKP-B were arrested in Antalya.
        14.7., five right-wing activists were arrested in Ankara.
        30.7, in Izmir, police arrested 15 people on charge of militating for TSIP.


        The weekly 2000'e Dogru  made public a circular of the Land Forces Headquarters ordering all military units to give no more duty of guard in critical zones to those soldiers whose birth place is in Eastern and South-eastern Anatolia.
        The circular carries the date of June 30, 1986, but General Necdet Oztorun, the then commander of the Land Forces and recently retired, said that he was not aware of such an order and threw the responsibility to some other officers in the headquarters.
        Whosoever is the responsible, this circular has been in force for one year and constitutes a new discrimination against the Kurdish origin citizens of Turkey. Since the existence of a Kurdish people is officially denied and there is no official register showing the ethnical origin of citizens, all those who were born in the the eastern and south-eastern part of the country are suspect in the eyes of army chiefs.


        Poet Nevzat Celik, still under arrest for a political trial, has been declared "honorary member" by the International PEN. Earlier, he had been awarded "honorary prize" at the International Poetry Festival held in Rotterdam. In Turkey, two collections of Celik's poems, Safak Türküsü (Ballad of Dawn) and Müebbet Türküsü (Ballad of Life-prisoner), written in prison,  respectively have been printed for eight times and five times since his imprisonment in 1981.


        The Governor of Ankara banned on July 4, 1987, the activities of the Language Association (DD), newly founded by prominent academics and intellectuals, after the closure by the military of the Turkish Language Institute (TDK).
        TDK was personally established by Kemal Atatürk and was a beneficiary of his will.
        The new association aimed at"enriching and enhancing the language reforms instigated by Atatürk." The Governor's Office wrote to the 35 founders of the association that these aims were already catered for in Article 134 of the 1982 Constitution.


        While the legal persecution of anti-establishment publications is being carried on, they face now a new menace coming from the big press bosses.
        Two main distribution companies of Turkey, Hür Dagitim and Gameda, controlled by the owners of high-circulation newspapers, announced in July 13, 1987, that they would distribute no more 30 monthly reviews published by left wing groups. Two giants have also urged all their vendors throughout Turkey that their contracts for the distribution of high-circulation newspapers would be annulled if they continue to sell these 34 periodicals in question.
        The periodicals in the black list are ABECE, Bilim ve Sanat, Broy, Cagdas Yol, Edebiyat Dostlari, Felsefe, Feminist, Fotograf, Gelenek, Gün, Günese Cagri, Isciler ve Toplum, Kara, Karsi Edebiyat, Mayis, Mülkiyeliler Birligi Dergisi, Ogrenci Postasi, Ogretmen Dünyasi, Toplumsal Kurtulus, Türk Dili, Vardiya, Ve Sinema, Yarin, Yasasin Edebiyat, Yeni Asama, Yeni Cözüm, Yeni Demokrasi, Yeni Öncü, Zemin.
        The Turkish Writers' Union (TYS) had earlier announced that all these monthly publications as well as the three weekly news magazines, Nokta, Yeni Gündem and 2000'e Dogru, were very often subjected to legal proceedings and their many issues confiscated by police.


        The Land Forces Headquarters circulated on March 2, 1987, a list involving the names of 280 books written by 96 authors of which the reading by army officers, NCOs and soldiers were
banned. Among the banned authors are the world-famous novelists like Orhan Kemal, Sabahattin Ali, Yasar Kemal, Fakir Baykurt, Aziz Nesin, Kemal Tahir; academics like Hifzi Veldet Velidedeoglu, Niyazi Berkes, Server Tanilli and Dogan Avcioglu.


        The responsible editor of the weekly 2000'e Dogru, Mrs. Fatma Yazici was condemned on July 9, 1987, to a prison term of one year and four months for publishing a news about the fact that General Evren bought two flats for his daughters.
        The criminal court No.2 of Istanbul judged that this information had a purpose of discrediting the "President of the Republic".
        The same court condemned same day also three other journalists from the humorous magazine Limon. Responsible editor Kemal Murat Kürüz and two cartoonists, Ahmet Sükrü Yavuz and Birol Vural, got prison terms of 11 months and 2 days in total for the cartoons treating the subject of misuse.


        On July 7, 1987, the Criminal Court No.2 of Istanbul judged to have destroyed all copies of a novel entitled Burgu (Auger) for praising and encouraging "adultery" and condemned the author, Mrs. Füsun Erbulak, and the publisher, Ramazan Yasar, to a fine of 4,500 TL each.


        On June 18, 1987, a 61-year old teacher of Robert High School in Istanbul, Mrs. Rükzan Günaysu was dismissed, at the 34th year of her service, by the Ministry of National Education for having made her students listen to the registered music of folk-singer Ruhi Su.
        Ruhi Su was one of the distinguished folk-singers of Turkey and deprived of his passport by the military because of his anti-establishment stand. For this reason he could not go abroad for treatment and prematurely died in 1985.


        Mr. Tarik Akan, principal actor of the Cannes prize-winner film "Yol" of Yilmaz Güney, was refused to get a passport for participating in the Moscow Film Festival in July 1987. Police authorities said that he could not go abroad for the reason that the justified decision of the military tribunal on the trial of the Turkish Peace Association was not yet written. Mr. Akan was one of the defendants of this trial, but was not founded guilty. In spite of this acquittal, his right to travel abroad is not yet recognized by police.
        On the other hand, the public prosecutor has initiated, on June 2, 1987, a new inquiry about "Yol" for having in some scenes the word of "Kurdistan".


        The Governor of the province of Izmir banned folk singer Hasan Papur to sing in public places and prevented his concert on June 2, 1987 in Izmir. Papur who sings his songs in Turkish words had been indicted some time ago for having sung some songs in Kurdish. However, his trial at military tribunal  had been ended in acquittal. Despite this judgment, the Governor of Izmir considers Papur suspect.


        World famous 169 personalities have recently founded a group named "Friends of Turkey" with the purpose of aiding the Turkish people in the efforts of democratization. In their declaration entitled "Human Rights for Turkey", the founders of the group, reminding that "despite our differences, we all share a common heritage, that of humanity, with its strong points and its faults" and refusing a second-class "democracy" for Turkey, asked:
        - the end of political trials,
        - a general amnesty including pardon for those condemned to death,
        - the freedom of thought, of conscience and of association.
        Among the signatories of the declaration are former Portuguese President Costa Gomes, former Austrian Prime Minister Bruno Kreisky, former NATO commander Antoine Sanguinetti, composer Mikis Theodorakis, poet Yannis Ritsos, authors Günther Grass and Harold Pinter as well as many members of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.
        The Group "Friends of Turkey" has announced also to organize in Paris an international conference on the situation of human rights in Turkey on November 27-29, 1987.
        Contact address: M. Jean-Pierre Fourre, Assemblée Nationale, 126 rue de l'Université, 75007 Paris - France.


        A group of Turkish intellectuals have published a new document on the academic situation in Turkey: Out of Order: Turkish Universities and Totalitarianism.
        Author Harold Pinter, president of the Group "Friends of Turkey" says: "A document of the first importance. Obligatory reading for those interested in the truth about present conditions in Turkish universities and in Turkey itself."
        Order: World University Service, 20 Compton Terrace, London N1 2UN, Gt. Britain.


        Director of the US Helsinki Watch Committee, Jeri Laber, and attorney Louis Whitman held a press conference in Istanbul following their fact-finding mission to the Eastern provinces of Turkey.         Laber stated to the daily Cumhuriyet of June 22, 1987, that although there were some improvements in the human rights situation in Turkey compared with her previous visits in 1984, this was not continuous but more like two steps forward and one step back. The conditions in Diyarbakir military prison, Laber reported, had deteriorated since her last visit.


        During the 73rd Congress of the International Labour Organization (ILO) held in Geneva, the spokesman of the Trade Union Rights Commission accused the Turkish Government of "gaining time" by sending letters of intent in favour of ILO's requests for a liberalisation of Turkish legislation on Labour and then failing to act on these promises.
        Turkish legislation was heavily criticized by delegates attending the Congress who called for speedy changes in Turkish laws restricting trade union freedoms such as the right to strike and free collective bargaining.
        In a related move, the American trade union confederation AFL-CIO  has asked the United States Congress to remove Turkey from its "most favored nation" trading status unless trade union rights improve in the very near future. (Turkey Briefing, July 1987)


        The European Parliament, following a very animated debate on June 18, 1987, in Strasbourg, adopted by 68 votes against 60 and 42 abstentions, a resolution recognizing Armenian genocide committed in 1915-1917 by the Young Turk Government of the Ottoman Empire and calling on the Community Member States to dedicate a day to the memory of the genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated in the 20th century, specifically against the Armenians and Jews.
        The resolution also accuses the Turkish Government of refusing to acknowledge this genocide,  being reluctant to apply the principles of international law to its differences of opinion with Greece,  maintaining occupation forces in Cyprus and denying the existence of the Kurdish question.
        The Resolution reads:
        "The European Parliament,
        "convinced that recognition of the identity of the Armenian people in Turkey as an ethnic, cultural, linguistic an religious minority follows on from recognition of its own history,
        "whereas the Armenian side regards these events as planned genocide within the meaning of the 48 UN Charter,
        "whereas the Turkish State rejects the charge of genocide as unfounded,
        "whereas, to date, the Turkish Government, by refusing to recognize the genocide of 1915, continues to deprive the Armenian people of the right to their own history,
        "whereas the historically proven Armenian genocide has so far neither been the object of political condemnation nor received due compensation,
        "whereas the recognition of the Armenian genocide by Turkey must therefore be reviewed as a profoundly humane act of moral rehabilitation towards the Armenians, which can only bring honour to the Turkish Government;
        "profoundly regretting and condemning the mindless terrorism by groups of Armenians who were responsible between 1973 and 1986 for several attacks causing death or injury to innocent victims and deplored by an overwhelming majority of the Armenian people,
        "whereas the obdurate stance of every Turkish Government towards the Armenian question has in no way helped to reduce the tension,
        "1. Believes that the Armenian question and the question of minorities in Turkey must be resituated within the framework of relations between Turkey and the Community; points out that democracy cannot be solidly implanted in a country unless the latter recognizes and enriches its history with its ethnic and cultural diversity;
        "2. Believes that the tragic events in 1915-1917 involving the Armenians living in the territory of the Ottoman Empire constitute genocide within the meaning of the convention on the prevention and the punishment of the crime of genocide adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948; recognizes, however, that the present Turkey cannot be held responsible for the tragedy experienced by the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire and stresses that neither political nor legal or material claims against present-day Turkey can be derived from the recognition of this historical event as an act of genocide;
        "3. Calls on the Council to obtain from the present Turkish Government an acknowledgment of the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians in 1915-1917 and promote the establishment of a political dialogue between Turkey and the representatives of the Armenians;
        "4. Believes that the refusal by the present Turkish Government to acknowledge the genocide against the Armenian people committed by the Young Turk government, its reluctance to apply the principles of international law to its differences of opinion with Greece, the maintenance of Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus and the denial of the existence of the Kurdish question, together with the lack of true parliamentary democracy and the failure to respect individual and collective freedoms, in particular freedom of religion, in that country are insurmountable obstacles to consideration of the possibility of Turkey's accession to the Community;
        "5. Conscious of those past misfortunes, supports its desire for the development of a specific identity, the securing of its minority rights and the unrestricted exercise of its people's human and civil rights as defined in the European Convention on Human Rights and its five protocols;
        "6. Calls for fair treatment of the Armenian minority in Turkey as regards their identity, language, religion, culture and school system, and makes an emphatic plea for improvements in the care of monuments and for the maintenance and conservation of the Armenian religious architectural heritage in Turkey and invites the Community to examine how it could make an appropriate contribution;
        "7. Calls on Turkey in this connection to abide faithfully by the provisions for the protection of the non-Moslem minorities as stipulated in Articles 37 to 45 of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne which, moreover, was signed by most Member States of the Community;
        "8. Considers that the protection of monuments and the maintenance and conservation of the Armenian religious architectural heritage in Turkey must be regarded as part of a wider policy designed to preserve the cultural heritage of all civilizations which have developed over the centuries on present-day Turkish territory and, in particular, that of the Christian minorities that formed part of the Ottoman Empire;
        "9. Calls therefore on the Community to extend the Association Agreement with Turkey to the cultural field so that the remains of Christian or other civilizations such as the ancient classical, Hittite, Ottoman, etc., in that country are preserved and made generally accessible;
        "10. Expresses its concern at the difficulties currently being experienced by the Armenian community in Iran with respect to the Armenian language and their own education in accordance with the rules of their own religion;
        "11. Condemns the violations of individual freedoms committed in the Soviet Union against the Armenian population;
        "12. Condemns strongly any violence and any form of terrorism carried out by isolated groupings unrepresentative of the Armenian people, and calls for reconciliation between Armenians and Turks;
        "13. Calls on the Community Member States to dedicate a day to the memory of the genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated in the 20th century, specifically against the Armenians and Jews;
        "14. Commits itself to making a substantial contribution to initiatives to encourage negotiations between the Armenian and Turkish peoples;
        "15. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the European Council, the Foreign Ministers meeting in political cooperation, the EEC/Turkey Association Council and the Turkish, Iranian and Soviet Governments and the UN Secretary General."

        Reactions from Turkey

        The adoption of this resolution in spite of all efforts of the Turkish lobby in Strasbourg has given rise a fierce campaign against the European Communities. Headlines such as "Europe becomes Armenian!", "A new crusade against Turkey!" or "New European treason!" covered the first pages of Turkish newspapers.
        But it is on the killing of 31 villagers, including 16 children and 7 women, by Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey on June 21 that the Turkish Government and the Turkish press launched a furious campaign against the allied states and hinted at pulling out of NATO.
        At an emotional rally held in Sivas on June 22, General Kenan Evren, voicing his frustration at the European Parliament's resolution, said: "The terrorists have taken courage from this resolution. I hope Europe is happy with the results. Some of our NATO allies, while praising our strategic role in the alliance, want to give away our territory to others. Even the Warsaw Pact does not make such requests of us. There is clearly a need to reconsider the meaning of the NATO alliance."
        This campaign was supported with full page advertisements given by some Turkish organisations to American and European newspapers. Signed by Turkish Atlantic Treaty Association (TAAD), Union of Turkish Parliamentarians (TPB), Confederation of Turkish Labour Unions (TURK-IS), Promotion Foundation of Turkey (TTV), Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD), Confederation of Turkish Employers' Unions (TISK), Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Turkish Journalists Association (TGC), Foreign Policy Institute (DPE), Turkish Press Industry Employers' Union (TBSIS), Economic Development Foundation (IKV) and Turkish Journalists Union (TGS), the text, after refuting Armenian Genocide, voices the following views:
        "Armenians have lived with Turks in peace and harmony almost a millennium. But in 1915 those who lived in the Northeast revolted against the Ottoman Government... Armenian terrorist bands massacred tens of thousands of innocent people in order to eliminate Turks from the territory in question. The colonialist and imperialist powers of the time supported the Armenians in their efforts.
        "The Ottoman Government relocated the Armenians from the war zone to other parts of the Empire... It is true that the relocation was carried out under war conditions, with a very poor transportation infra-structure, in an exceptionally rough geography, during a period of epidemics and famine. It is deeply regretted that under these conditions many Armenians lost their lives.
        "But the same conditions, apart from the Armenian armed attacks, equally affected the Turkish population whose losses were almost three times as high as those of Armenians. Aren't they considered equal human beings or are Christians 'primus inter pares?' Why is it no one utters words of compassion about Turkish victims?
        "We know what lay behind the near extermination of jews, gypsies and invalids, with the active and moral complicity of others.
        "Furthermore, racist pressures have been resurfacing, even mounting once again, this time against foreign workers who seem to serve as easy substitutes for Jews.
        "Those who unwittingly betray their own guilts have no lesson to teach the Turkish nation.
        "Ironically, the resolution of the European Parliament links the removal of obstacles to Turkey's accession to the EC to the condition that Turkey becomes 'European' by confessing to genocide. But we are determined to take our place in a Europe which is totally cured of its past afflictions. The best proof to this effect will be for Europeans to be able to live with Turks as their equals.
        "This resolution will encourage Armenian militants to resume terrorism as they already publicly announced. It also provides justification for their demands for compensation and territory. The responsibility for terrorist incidents will be yours.
        "Turkey stands between you and the chaotic, war-stricken Middle East, the only stable and strong country in the region which now enjoys a rapidly growing liberal market economy and which is a member of all Western Institutions, including the Atlantic Alliance in which it maintains the largest army among European members. Don't take Turkey for granted."
        The menace of pulling out of NATO was aimed not only at the European Community, but also at the United States, because a similar resolution on the Armenian genocide was to be debated by the House of Representatives in August 1987. The Turkish Government already linked the conclusion of new military and economic accords with the United States to the condition that the White House prevents the U.S. Congress from adopting the Armenian resolution.
        However, this menace, according the many diplomatic observers, is very far from being applicable. In the past, former Turkish governments, including that of social-democrat Ecevit, resorted many times to similar blackmails, but gave up at the end. Furthermore, the government of today is being headed by a staunch friend of the United States. Prime Minister Turgut Ozal owes his power to the active support of the United States and the international finance organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank.
        In fact, a few days after General Evren's angry declaration, Turgut Ozal said such a withdrawal from NATO was "out of question."