NEW EUROPEAN RETREATS BEFORE ANKARA REGIME
At the beginning or March 1988, Brussels was the
scene of a new diplomatic offensive of the Ankara regime with a view to
obtaining new support for improving its relations with Europe.
Profitting from the occasion of the NATO Summit meeting, Ozal made a
series of well-publicized talks and especially after his new
tête-à-tête with Greek Premier Papandreou, Turkish Premier Özal held a
triumphal press conference at the International Press Center.
On his first day in Brussels, on March 3, 1988, Özal
had talks with West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, German Foreign
Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, chairman of the EC Council for the
current term, and Claude Cheysson, the commission member responsible
for Mediterranean countries.
But the most important step taken in the way of
improving Turco-European relations has been the joint communiqué issued
after the second Özal-Papandreou meeting. According to this communiqué,
Greece has decided to lift veto which it had opposed up to now
regarding the application of the agreement for the adaptation of the
Community/Turkey association agreement, following Greece's membership
of the Community. This question has been in the balance for seven
years: Greece has now become party to the Community/Turkey association
agreement and has taken on all the commitments and responsibilities
involved. This will happen soon, in fact before the meeting of the
Association Council which is planned for April 25, 1988.
Prior to this meeting, the Political Affairs
Committee of the European Parliament adopted a project of resoltuion
opening the way, despite the continuation of the violation of human
rights in Turkey, to the revival of relations between Turkey and the
At its meeting of February 1988, the Political
Affairs Committee, after having debated the report of its rapporteur
Mr. Gerd Walter, German socialist, adopted the following motion for a
resolution on the resumption of the EEC-Turkey Association:
The European Parliament
A. having regard to the eventful role in European
history played by Turkey over the last 600 years,
B. having regard to the political, strategic,
economic and treaty ties which have grown out of the Turkish Republic's
orientation towards Europe,
C. having regard to the conflict in the Aegean and
the partial occupation of Cyprus by Turkish troops which are
jeopardizing the political stability of this region and are detrimental
to political relations between the EEC and Turkey,
D. having regard to the EEC-Turkey Association
Agreement of 1963 and to the rupture of the association arrangements
caused by the military coup of 12 September 1980,
E. having regard to the steps taken by Turkey since
that date to restore parliamentary democracy,
F. having regard to the latest Turkish elections of
29 September 1987, which were observed by a delegation of it members,
H. having regard to its previous resolutions, in
particular those of:
- 8 July 1982 on the political
situation in Turkey
- 23 October 1985 on the human
rights situation in Turkey
- 11 December 1986 on relations
between the EEC and Turkey
- 9 April 1987 on the crisis in
the Aegean Sea;
1. Stresses Turkey's close historical connection
with the development of the countries of Europe, on the basis of which
it established in the last 65 years, on the democratic and legal model
of the Western European nations, a constitution and a legal system
which were overturned by the military coup;
2. Considers that Turkey's special significance for
Europe can best be acknowledged through the application and where
appropriate extension of the Association Agreement;
3. Is therefore prepared to consider a resumption of
the association in the light of developments in Turkey:
Regarding the situation in Turkey
a) Human Rights
4. Reaffirms the concern it has expressed in
numerous resolutions regarding the unsatisfactory state of human rights
in Turkey and refers in this context to the relevant report by its
delegation for relations with Turkey;
5. Notes that the Turkish constitution and penal
code continue to rule out the possibility of granting an amnesty to
6. Welcomes the fact that on the basis of a law
passed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly in 1987, those involved
int he trials of DISK and the Peace Movement have either had their
sentences reduced or have been released, although still subject to
limits on certain civil and political rights;
7. Notes also that although the Turkish Government
has made some effort, torture and inhuman conditions of detention are
8. Welcomes the signature by Turkey of the European
Convention on Torture and calls for comprehensive application of the
provisions of this convention, linked with the possibility of
9. Stresses that owing to the continued jurisdiction
of military courts overs civilians, the long periods of pre-trial
custody and restrictions on access to a defending lawyer, there is
still a general lack of judicial independence and an insufficient
guarantee of the right to a fair trial;
10. Call for the trials against DISK and the Turkish
Peace Movement to be brought to an end as soon as possible;
11. Wishes to see the continuing restrictions on
political and trade union activities and the freedom of expression
lifted and the abolition of the death penalty;
12. Calls for the establishment fo basic rights for
the Kurdish people living in Turkey;
Regarding the restoration of parliamentary democracy:
13. Refers to its resolutions of 23 October 1985 on
the basis of the Balfe report and of 11 December 1986, which made the
restoration of parliamentary democracy a precondition for the
reactivation of the association bodies;
14. Points out that since the reconstitution of the
Turkish Grand National Assembly, significant steps have been taken on
the path to establishing parliamentary democracy;
15. Welcomes the fact that on the basis of the
referendum held in September 1987, the political rights of leading
politicians of former parties have been restored ahead of schedule;
16. Reaffirms, however, the findings of its
delegation on the occasion of the Turkish elections of 29 November that
a) the 10% hurdle established in the electoral was
highly discrimination against smaller parties
b) the arbitrary curtailment of the electoral
campaign prevented the proper formation of opinion amongst the
c) access to the public media was unevenly allocated
to the various parties
d) the government party used the various public
authorities to influence the election result;
acknowledges, nevertheless, that all parties and political forces have
achieved a consensus that the remaining restrictions must be removed
and democracy further consolidated;
17. Reaffirms its view that the martial law still
prevailing in some provinces involves unacceptable restrictions on
Regarding the state of the Association:
18. Recalls that Turkey first applied for
association with the EEC in 1959 only one-and-a-half year after the
entry into force of the Treaties of Rome and that the Association
Agreement of 1963 which resulted was a significant outcome of the
historical process of Turkey's orientation towards Europe;
19. Notes that Article 28 of the Association
Agreement states that as soon as the operation of this Agreement has
advanced far enough to justify envisaging full acceptance by Turkey fo
the obligations arising out of the Treaty establishing the Community,
the Contracting Parties shall examine the possibility of the
accession of Turkey to the Community;
20. Stresses that Turkey —in particular because of
the events within Turkey in 1980 and the break in association relations
which resulted— has not fulfilled its obligations under the Association
Agreement, in particular with regard to:
a) tariff reduction and adaptation to the Common
Customs Tariff (reduction of tariffs on industrial products, preference
arrangements for agricultural produce, etc.)
b) removal of quantitative restrictions (for
c) movement of persons and services (Community
proposals on movement of persons still rejected by Turkey);
21. Welcomes in this context the decision by the
Turkish Government finally to implement the agreed tariff reduction;
22. Points out that after a break of 6 years, a
meeting of the Association Council took place on 16 September 1987,
although with no specific results;
23. Points out also that the protocols of adaptation
to the EEC-Turkey Association Agreement following the accession of
Spain and Portugal to the Community after referral back to the
committee responsible —were approved by Parliament at its sitting of 20
24. Stresses in this context that its approval of
these protocols does not constitute approval of the policies of the
Turkish Government to date and that its reservations about the human
rights situation and the development of parliamentary democracy remain;
Regarding resumption of the Association
25. Stresses that its persistent advocacy of
democracy and human rights has contributed to positive developments in
these areas in Turkey;
26. Takes the view that in the wake of the
Association bodies are the appropriate framework for promoting the
dialogue between the EEC and Turkey on continuing these developments;
27. Approves as a first step talks between its
Delegation for Relations with Turkey and that of the Turkish Grand
National Assembly with a view to reconvening the EEC-Turkey Joint
28. Calls on the Turkish Government in this
connection to act in accordance with the obligations incumbent upon for
the full restoration of democracy and human rights;
29. Wishes, therefore, that the Association be
resumed with this end in mind;
30. Reminds the Turkish Government that the
occupation of part of Cyprus, which is also linked to the Community by
an association agreement, is unacceptable and remains an obstacle to
the improvement of relations; regrets the inadequacy of the attempts by
the governments of the Member States to contribute to stabilizing the
situation in this region;
31. Welcomes the latest agreement between the
Governments of Greece and Turkey to seek to resolve their bilateral
disputes by peaceful means and in accordance with international
rules and stresses that the settlement of these disputes will
contribute to the improvement of relations between the EEC and Turkey;
32. Instructs, its President to forward this
resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Foreign Ministers
meeting in European Political Cooperation, the government of the Member
States, the Turkish Government and the Turkish Grand National Assembly.
STATE OF EMERGENCY EXTENDED
Although martial law has been lifted, the state of
emergency is still reigning over Istanbul and eight south-eastern
provinces. On February 20, 1988, the National Security Council, a
military-civilian body having supreme authority on the security
matters, chaired by General-President Evren, decreed to extend the
state of emergency for another 4-month period.
This regime empowers the governors of the nine
provinces to exercise some of the powers of martial law commanders. In
addition, a specially empowered Supergovernor oversees and coordinates
the actions of these governors. His field of authority has been
extended to four other Southeastern provinces which are not subjected
to the state of emergency.
At a meeting of the Supergovernor and 12 governors
held in Istanbul on February 3, 1988, the Minister of Interior Kalemli
said that security forces had detained in last six months 59 Kurdish
militants as well as 864 peasants accused of helping the former.
On February 9, 1988, the government decided to
transfer the control over Turkey's borders with Iran, Iraq and Syria,
carried out up to now by the Gendarmery, to the Land Forces.
The ERNK (the National Liberation Front of
Kurdistan) announced in Paris on January 11, 1988, that the Kurdish
Guerilla Units, in 1987, carried out 90 attacks on pro-government
positions and shot dead 10 army officers, 72 soldiers, 235 village
protectors and government agents. The annual loss of Kurdish guerillas,
according to ERNK, was but 18.
A MINI-WATERGATE IN ANKARA
The controversy overt the secret MIT (National
Intelligence Organization) report leaked to the press took a new turn
at the end of February 1988 when the former army chief, General Necdet
Urug demanded the prime minister's office identify the official who
The said report claims that during the martial law
regime General Urug and some other army generals, thanks to their
connections with Istanbul's underworld, had private relations with some
famous singers and artists in 5-star hotels of Istanbul.
An announcement from the prime ministry dated
February 25 admitted that such a document did exist but it was only a
preliminary report not submitted to higher government levels.
General Urug said he was going to sue the MIT
official who wrote the report. Although the fact that Mehmet Eymür,
head of the smuggling department of MIT, is one of the writers of the
controversial report is public knowledge, so far no government
authority officially named him the culprit.
According to the press reports, General Evren's
son-in-law Erkan Gürvit, one of the top officials of MIT and known very
close to Özal's family, might be among those who drew up this report
with a view to discrediting General Urug whose name is often mentioned
among the possible candidates for the President of Republic in 1989
It was not only Urug who was upset by the secret
report. Two other top-ranking former army generals also found
themselves in trouble because of their statements to the press about
the secret report. The public prosecutor accuses former generals Turgut
Sunalp and Nevzat Bölügiray of inciting rebellion with their comments
on the "secret report affair."
Sunalp, speaking to the daily Bulvar, accused Prime
Minister Özal of undermining the reputation of the army and said anger
towards Özal was running high within the ranks of the army.
As for Bölügiray, founder of the MIT department
against smuggling, told the daily Milliyet that Özal, by tampering with
such delicate issues as the secret service and the armed forces, was
walking in the steps of former prime minister Menderes who was hanged
after a coup in 1960.
OFFICIAL FIGURES ON STATE TERRORISM
The Turkish General Staff announced on February 18,
1988, that during a 8-year period between December 1979 and April 1987,
military tribunals tried 59,701 people for the so-called "ideological
In 1987, of these people 5,179 were still being
tried at military tribunals. The number of the detainees in military
prisons was 1,205.
3,640 of these defendants are labelled "far-left",
438 "far-right", 871 "separatist" and 230 "involved in smuggling.
NEW 20 CONDEMNATIONS TO DEATH
The trial of 146 alleged members of the Workers'
Party of Kurdistan (PKK) at the military tribunal of Diyarbakir ended
on February 5, 1988, in pronouncing 20 capital punishments, 13
life-term imprisonments and 68 different prison terms of up to 24 years.
On the other hand, with the approval of the death
sentences against three right-wing activists by the Military Court of
Cassation, the number of the death sentences waiting for Parliament's
ratification rose o 189.
Other trials and condemnations in February 1988:
4.2, in Istanbul, the State Security Court condemns
four members of the Socialist Fatherland Party (SVP) to 5-year prison
5.2, five members of the Ankara Section the Human
Rights' Association (IHD) are condemned to 3-month prison term each for
having distributed leaflets.
7.2, the condemnations to 37-year prison term to
three people accused of sabotage acts is approved by the Military Court
14.2, it is reported that a 30 years old
female militant of the PKK, Mrs. Sakine Polat has been condemned in
seven different cases to 76-year prison term in total.
17.2, in Istanbul, three members of the Human
Rights' Association (IHD) are sentenced to 3-month prison term each for
having collecting signature for the campaign of general amnesty.
Besides, the public prosecutor opens a new legal proceeding against two
leading members of the association.
19.2, seven leading members of TAYAD (Association of
Solidarity with the Families of Prisoners) are brought before the State
Security Court in Istanbul. Each faces a prison term of up to three
26.2, in Ankara, the State Security Court condemns a
member of the TKKKO to 4 years and 2 months prison term.
SUCCESS OF THE PRISONERS' RESISTANCE
A series of protest actions of prisoners and their
families such as hunger-strikes have obliged in the end the
government to yield to accept the demands relating to prison
First the inmates in the military prison of
Diyarbakir started on February 6, 1988, a new hunger-strike in protest
again barrack discipline and interdiction of communication in Kurdish
language with their Kurdish families. Of the 540 inmates of this
prison, 301 were already sentenced to capital punishment or heavy
prison terms while 239 other were still being tried by military
tribunal of Diyarbakir.
In solidarity with prisoners, their family members
as well as two social democrat members of Parliament, Adnan Ekmen and
Mehmet Alniak, joined the action later on.
The hunger-strike of Diyarbakir prisoners was
followed also by hundreds of political detainees in Mersin,
Sagmalcilar, Edirne, Bursa, Aydin and Malatya prisons.
A hunger-striker named Mehmet Emin Yavuz in the
Diyarbakir military prison became worse on the eleventh day of the
action and was taken to the city hospital, but it was too late and he
Considering the reaction in public opinion, the
Government decided to show more lenience to prison inmates and to allow
them to communicate with their relatives in Kurdish. The new rules
extended the time prisoners can spend together with their families from
30 minutes to an hour.
Another measure adopted by the government was to
lift the obligation for inmates to wear prison uniforms. Other demands
such as having access to typewriters, radios and painting materials
inside the prison were also granted.
Furthermore, the announcement from the Defense
Ministry said telephone booths will be installed inside the prison to
enable the inmates to call their families on the phone.
The prisoners will be allowed to communicate freely
with their lawyer bay sitting on the opposite sides of a table without
the glass-and-wire screen required previously. They will also be
permitted to receive 100,000 TL (80 Dollars) from their relatives,
instead of 25,000 TL in pocket money to which they were formerly
The Government also decreed on February 25 to
transfer political detainees from military prisons to civil ones.
Nevertheless, these detainees will be tried as before at military
tribunals. According to Article 23 of the Martial Law Code, even after
martial law is lifted, martial law tribunals remain in function and
carry on the trials started during martial law
The Chairman of the Turkish Law Institute, Mr.
Muammer Aksoy, visiting all political party seats on February 25, asked
them to modify the code in a view to putting an end to the trials at
The TAYAD (Association for Solidarity with Prisoners
and Their Families), holding a press conference in front of the Metris
Prison on February 23, launched a new campaign for the annulment of all
condemnations given by military tribunals during and after martial law
NEW TORTURE ALLEGATIONS
A defendant of the TKP process going on at the State
Security Court of Izmir, Miss Seviye Köprü, claiming that she was
subjected to sexual torture during her interrogation by police, went on
hunger strike on February 25, 1988, in prison.
26 other inmates of the Buca Prison, for manifesting
their solidarity, joined Köprü's hunger-strike.
On February 26, at the trial of Captain Ali Sahin,
Lieutenant Umit Eris, sergeants Mehmet Acar, Ibrahim Yildizgörür and
corporal Suat Akova, accused of having beaten dead a teacher during
interrogation in Bingöl in 1985, three former draftees declared that
they are eye-witnesses of the murder.
Sergeant Fikret Birge, private Abdullah Zehin and
driver Sakip Ay said that, after Siddik Bilgin died under the blows,
Captain Ali Sahin ordered them to take the corpse into a wood. When
they arrived at the wood, the same captain forced the soldiers to shoot
at the dead body for giving the appearance that Bilgin had been shot
dead during he was attempting to escape.
MAN-HUNTING AND ARRESTS
28.1, in Siirt, 40 peasants are arrested for helping
5.2, twelve alleged members of TKP-ML are arrested
8.2, in Mardin, a Kurdish militant is captured dead
and two others wounded.
10.2, security forces shoot dead five alleged PKK
11.2, police arrest 24 university students for
participating in a rally to protest Israeli brutality on Palestinians.
13.2, nine alleged members of TKP-ML are captured in
17.2, the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP)
announces that its 15 members were arrested for helping Kurdish
21.2, in Gaziantep, eleven people are detained on
charge of producing false passports for an illegal organization.
25.2, security forces shoot dead five Kurdish
militants in Tunceli.
CRAZY FINES TO "HARMFUL" PUBLICATIONS
Two newspapers, Tan and Ayna, accused of having
published photos "harmful to minors", were condemned by a criminal
court to heavy fines, respectively of 149,423,749 TL and 86,490,916 TL.
So the total fines pronounced by tribunals against 14 newspapers for
"harmful publications since 1984 rose to 7,258,797,342TL (about 7
million US dollars).
Distribution of fines to newspapers:
times 784,377,883 TL
Hafta Sonu 2
times 123,499,326 TL
Sabah Yildizi 2
times 735,982,800 TL
Once 77,373,750 TL
Haftanin Sesi 2
times 85,806,999 TL
times 163,077,415 TL
Playboy 11 times
times 1,342,624,999 TL
Besides, Tan is still being tried at 15 cases of
"harmful publication", Hafta Sonu 1, Playmen 3, Milliyet 1, Sabah
Yildizi 14, Haftanin Sesi 2.
Public prosecutors claim a total of 50 billion TL
(50 million US dollars) fine for all of the accused newspapers and
books. Among the hundreds of books have been the object of the
prosecution for "harmful publication" is also the "Tropic of Capricorn"
of Henry Miller.
Other violations of press freedom:
10.2, an issue of the weekly 2000'e Dogru reporting
the debate on Kurdish question et the German Parliament is confiscated
by the decision of State Security Court.
11.2, a new trial of Fatma Yazici, responsible
editor of 2000'e Dogru, begins at a criminal court. She is accused of
defaming the President of the Republic and faces a prison term of up to
13.2, two Cumhuriyet editors, Ilhan Selcuk and Okay
Gönensin, are interrogated by the public prosecutor for an article
entitled "The fascism of 12th September and ANAP".
17.2, two editors of the daily Cumhuriyet, Ugur
Mumcu and Okay Gönensin, are indicted for articles criticizing the
National Defense Minister Vuralhan.
18.2, a new press case at criminal court against two
editors of the daily Cumhuriyet, Ali Sirmen and Okay Gönensin, for on
article on the political conflicts prior to the coup.
19.2, police confiscated two novels on Bulgarian
resistance during the Second World War, published by the Habora
Publishing House. One of these novels have been printed six times in
eleven years and the other 10 times in 19 years.
19.2, the public prosecutor of Ankara ordered the
confiscation of 54 books published by the Sol and Onur publishing
houses. Among the confiscated books are also the works of Russel,
Darwin, Einstein and Gramsci.
19.2, two editors of the weekly 2000'e Dogru, Fatma
Yazici and Neyir Kalaycioglu, are condemned to a 3 months and 15 days
prison each for an article criticizing Premier Özal.
25.2, the February 1988 issue of the monthly review
Yeni Demokrasi is confiscated by the decision of the Istanbul State
Security Court for having published an article on Kurds.
26.2, the public prosecutor of Istanbul ordered to
stop the publication of a series of books edited by the Sorun
CRISIS IN THE BOOK INDUSTRY
The Writers' Union of Turkey (TYS), addressing a
petition to the Minister of Culture, criticized the current
anti-culture policy and asked to find an immediate solution to the
grave crisis in the Turkish book industry.
According to press reports, in last year, 100
publishing houses have been closed down and 50 publishing houses have
stopped to print new books because of financial difficulties and
restrictions on the freedom of press. Besides, 80 percent of 1,500
booksellers have begun not to sell books and now sell only stationery.
For an immediate solution, the TYS proposes:
- Lifting of articles 141 and 142 of the Turkish
- Reducing the price of print papers,
- Launching a campaign under the slogan of "Buy a
book instead of flower" for stimulating the sale of books.
NO PASSPORT TO A FORMER PRISONER
The Turkish police refuses to deliver a national
passport to a former detainee, Miss Aysel Zehir, who is in need of a
medical treatment abroad because of the destruction of her some
cerebral cells during a long-term hunger strike she had made in prison.
She was arrested in 1981 on the charge of being
involved in a left-wing organization. Though a lower military court
sentenced her to a 5-year prison term, this sentence was overruled and
she was released by the Court of Cassation.
Impossible to be treated in Turkey, she was invited
by Amnesty International to France, but police refuses her passport
claiming that her name takes place in the list of "suspects".
DECLARATION ON POLITICAL REFUGEES
39 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe issued, on January 27, 1987, a written declaration on
the situation of political refugees from Turkey.
Signed also by Turkish representatives Cem, Erdem
and Talay, the declaration reads:
"The undersigned members of the Assembly,
"1. Echoing the views expressed in the past by the
Assembly on the rights of political refugees;
"2. Demanding for Turkey full enjoyment of the basic
human rights and freedoms, and particularly freedom of speech and
"3. Request, for political refugees desiring to
return to their country, that all the present obstacles to their return
be removed, that their right to engage freely in political activity in
Turkey be guaranteed, and that a general amnesty be declared forthwith."
CRIES OF HUNGRY PEOPLE
The impoverishment of the people due to the
monetarist policies of Özal Government gives way to differents forms of
protest. On February 15, 1988, during General-President Evren' visit to
a the village of Döseli in the province of Kars, a 45-year old woman,
Mrs. Seher Kaya, handed over her 11-month baby to the Chief of State
and said: "We are hungry, my General! We cannot afford to feed our
children. Take him away with you. May be this poor can escape our fate
and have a better future."
On February 1st, 1988, in Kayseri, a worker named
Taner Erdogan stopped two ministers visiting the city, Minister of
National Defense Mr. Vuralhan and Minister of State Mr. Yazar, by
shouting: "I'm hungry! If you do not find any solution to my problem, I
shall immolate myself and all my family!" On this incident, Erdogan was
sequestrated by body guards and taken to police station.
A NEW BLOW AT TRADE UNIONISTS
At least 23 leading trade union officials will be
obliged to leave their posts because of the labor legislation adopted
in 1983 by the military junta. By virtue of the Provisional Article 4
of the Law No. 2821 on Trade Unions, those trade unionists elected to
administrative boards prior to 1982 cannot stay in these boards for
more than two 3-year office terms.
Among the trade union leaders who will have to leave
their posts is Mr. Sevket Yilmaz, Chairman of the Confederation of
Turkish Trade Unions (TURK-IS).
On the other hand, eleven officials of the
Automobile Workers' Union (Otomobil-Is) were arrested in Umraniye, on
February 13, 1988, for having organized a protest action against the
mass dismissal of some workplaces.
RECENT DATA ON TURKISH MIGRANTS
According to recent statistical data issued by
German authorities, the number of foreigners in the FRG is 4.6 million
whose 1,45O,000 are Turkish nationals. Within the population of
foreigners, 1,544,000 have the status of employee, of whom 510,000
16 per cent of the foreigner workers are currently
jobless, while this proportion remains at 10% for native workers.
The West German cities marked by high density of
foreigners are Frankfurt (25%), Offenbach (22%), Stuttgart (18%),
Münich (17%), Düsseldorf (16%), Mannheim (16%), Köln (15%) and Berlin
The Turkish Embassy in Brussels has announced that
the number of Turkish nationals in Belgium rose to 75,000 in
1987. In the same year, a thousand Turkish babies were born in
Belgium while 42 Turkish nationals were passing away. The number of
Turkish nationals' marriage is 216 in the past year. Only 28 of these
marriages have been acted between Turkish nationals and Belgians.
A TURKISH BRIGADE IN THE FRG
Suffering from the deficit of native young people to
be recruited, the FRG has proposed to the Turkish Government to set up
a special Turkish Brigade composed of Turkish immigrant youths.
According to estimations, the German Army will have a deficit of
100,000 soldiers in 1995. The number of Turkish population under the
age of 21 already rises to 650,000.
As a recompense, the German Government promises a
monthly salary of 1,200 DM for each Turkish soldier and the facilities
On the other hand, the Interior Minister of West
Berlin, Mr. Kewening has announced that his administration plans to
recruit Turkish youths as policemen without seeking the condition of
being naturalized. 120,000 Turkish constitute the half of the foreigner
population of West Berlin.
RACIST AND XENOPHOBIC ACTS
27.1, in Zürich, a Turkish worker, Sabahattin Ünsal,
is found dead in police station two hours after his detention for the
verification of his identity.
3.2, in Schrissheim (FRG), a dormitory inhabited by
political refugees is attacked by 12 unidentified persons. During
the quarrel between the aggressors and inhabitants, two refugees are
17.2, in Bonn, a 4-flat house inhabited by
foreigners is destroyed with explosives by unidentified persons. Five
foreigners are wounded and eight cars in front of the house are
19.2, in Offenbach (FRG), a Turkish grocery is put
on fire by unidentified persons. The material loss is estimated at
20.2, the daily Hürriyet reports that racist groups
distribute leaflets containing jokes to ridicule Turkish immigrant
workers. Police indicts two Dutch civil servants for participating in
this racist campaign.
ÖZAL CAUGHT OUT IN BRUSSELS BY INFO-TÜRK
During his triumphal press conference in Brussels,
Özal became out of spirits when some journalists asked him questions
about the situation of human rights in Turkey.
First, in response to a question of The Guardian's
correspondent, Özal recoursed to his habitual demagogy by declaring
that Turkey's signing the European Convention for preventing torture
was a proof of Turkish Government's good will.
Dissatisfied with this answer, two Info-Türk
editors, both deprived of Turkish nationality for their opinions,
invited Ozal to be more precise in his answer.
Dogan Ozgüden, reminding that "Turkish press reports
that thousands of political detainees are still being in prisons,
military tribunals are still functioning as before and more than 14
thousand citizens are still deprived of Turkish nationality," asked
Ozal: "Under these circumstances, do you frankly hope that Turkey can
be accepted to the European Community which demands first of all a full
respect of human rights?"
"No doubt there is a difference in defining
political prisoners," replied Özal. "Prior to 1980, within a 5-year
period of political violence, 5 thousand people were killed and 2O
thousand wounded. It is not possible to say political prisoners for
those who committed these crimes. As for the TKP leaders' return to
Turkey, by virtue of the Constitution and laws communist organization
and propaganda are forbidden."
Thereupon, the other Info-Türk editor, Mrs. Inci
"Mr. Prime Minister, in Europe there are about 14
thousand Turks who have been deprived of their nationality among whom
there are trade unionists, journalists, artist and writers. Do you
consider them as terrorists?"
"No, we do not qualify trade unionists and writers
as terrorists. If they are not involved in illegal activities, they can
return to Turkey whenever they wish. Turkish tribunals are impartial."
"I do not want to engage in a discussion on the
definition of democracy and illegal activities? I only want to know how
can 14 thousand people be deprived of Turkish nationality though they
have never been involved in terrorist acts."
"Have you ever been in Turkey?"
"I am a Turkish journalist, but for six years,
thanks to you, I have no right to go to Turkey."
"Because of me?"
"Yes, I am one of those 14 thousand people deprived
of Turkish citizenship. I lost my nationality by a decree carrying your
own signature. Under all decrees relating to this practice are your
"I think that many of these people do not want to
return to Turkey, because they have good jobs in Europe."
Dogan Özgüden: "Mr. Prime Minister, can you tell us
the exact number of those who do not want to return to Turkey?"
"No, I can't... I have no figures..."
RELATIONS WITH GREECE AND BULGARIA
The second meeting between Özal and Papandreou held
in Brussels on March 4, 1988, marked a further step in the development
of good relations between Turkey and "the two Prime Ministers decided
upon ways to promote the rapprochement between the two countries in the
light of the new positive momentum in their relations, following the
The ten-point joint declaration announced that a
joint military committee sill start functioning later in March.
This military sub-committee, consisting of diplomats and military
experts is to be convened, under the supervision of the two ministers
of Foreign Affairs, in order to examine issues relating to the conduct
of national military exercises as well as to problems concerning the
flights of military aircrafts.
The declaration also said Özal agreed to visit
Athens between June 13 and 15.
Persons missing in Cyprus after the military
intervention of Turkey in 1974 was another point on which the prime
minister's agreed to collaborate. The declaration said both Turkey and
Greece would revive a committee -working under a Red Cross
representative appointed by the UN Secretary General and consisting of
representatives of the two communities on the island- to investigate
the fate of these missing persons.
Another important element in improving Turco-Greek
relations has been the outcome of the presidential elections in Cyprus.
During a heated political campaign, Mr. George Vassiliou, a millionaire
businessman who draws support from the AKEL, promised to meet with Rauf
Denktash. In the spirit of Davos and Brussels, some surprise
developments can be expected in Cyprus problem as well.
While Turkey is breaking the ice with Greece in
Davos and in Brussels, a thaw in relations with its other neighbor in
the West, Bulgaria, was ushered in by a protocol signed in Belgrade by
Mesut Yilmaz and Petar Mladenov, foreign ministers of the two countries
respectively, on February 13.
The two ministers came together during the course of
the Balkan Conference, which brought the foreign ministers of six
bickering Balkan countries to Belgrade.
Two separate joint commissions are to be set up, the
first to deal with the highly sensitive issue of the ethnic Turkish
minority in Bulgaria. The second joint committee will deal with
economic and cultural exchanges between Turkey and Bulgaria.
THE PRIVATE SECTOR MOUNTS AN ATTACK
The monthly review SOUTH
published in its March 1988 issue an article on the
development of the military-industrial complex in
Turkey. We reproduce below the
integral text of this article.
Traditional guardians of the
nation and once so powerful they were dubbed the third sector of the
economy, the Turkish armed forces are being forced on the defensive by
the private sector challenge mounted under Turgut Özal's rule.
And as austerity bites, even the
rank and file are beginning to question the hefty defence slice of the
budget —now about 25%— and the continuing privileges of the officer
Through widespread investment in
key sectors, which reached its peak in the 1970s and early 1980s, the
military support funds have amassed estimated assets more than
US$2-billion. The main players are the air force, ground forces and
navy support funds, the army mutual assistance association (Oyak) and
the defence industry support fund. Military-backed industries employ
about 40,000 workers.
Oyak, the first, was established
in 1961 to cushion the declining income of army officers which had been
a key factor in the 1960 coup. Oyak set up a pension fund and provided
cheap loans and other financial benefits for 80,000 regular army
officers. Around this time, special army markets, like the US Army's PX
stores, were established to sell at a discount to army families. The
officers were obliged to contribute 10% of their salaries to the fund,
which began with investment capital of 8.9-million Turkish lira in 1961
(current rate TL1,060=US$1). This had grown to TL502-million by 1970.
Total assets are now estimated between US$600-million and
By the mid-1970s, Oyak had
accumulated controlling interests in the Turkish Automotive Industry
and Tukas (a food canning firm), and owned 42% of the share of Oyak
Renault car plant, 20% of the Petkim petrochemicals plant, 8% of TPAO
(Turkish Petroleum Industries) and 7% of the Goodyear tyre factory.
Reductions in US military aid
were the main spur for the establishment of the three forces support
funds in the 1970s, to finance local arms production.
The air force fund blazed the
trail, financed by public levies an lotteries to help shape the first
armed forced remodernization plan in 1970. The ground forces and navy
support funds followed in 1972. All embarked on extensive investment
According to a recent study by
Mehmet Ali Barlas, these are concentrated in the machinery, electronics
and telecommunications sectors. For example, in Aselsan (military
electronics industries) 51% of the shares are owned by the ground
forces support fund, and 13% by the navy support fund. Aselsan employs
about 4,000 in its factories and is involved in the production of F-16
and Maverick planes; it is expected to contribute to low-level air
The air forces support fund has
45% of the shares of Tusas (Turkish Aircraft Industries) established in
1973, and with its subsidiaries is now producing the F-16 as a joint
venture with General Dynamics and General Electric.
In the boom period of military
entrepreneurship in the 1970s, and the first half funds acted to
support public sector investments in hi-tech sectors where the
fledgling private sector could not compete. This was given ideological
support by the argument that private capital could not be trusted in
matters of national defence. Meanwhile, a growing number of ex-military
personnel took up important civilian positions.
At the same time, Turkey set out
to modernize its defences, which had relied on obsolescent US weaponry.
Remodernization to Nato standards
was estimated to require US$1.5-billion a year. In 1985, the defence
industry development and support administration (Dida) was set up to
tackle the development of a hi-tech defence industry. Funding for the
programme was through the defence industry support fund established in
1986. The Özal administration is keen to attract foreign capital and
technology in joint ventures with Turkish private capital.
The future role of the third
sector groups in these projects remains unclear. Proposals to turn over
the three forces support funds to the defence industry support fund
appear to have been shelved for the time being. Privatization plans of
the current administration involve some public and military
investments. Most recently the telecommunications company Netas, partly
owned by the navy support fund, has been earmarked for privatization.
Oyak, the oldest
military/economic unit, is suffering increasing financial problems.
Last year an internal inquiry was commissioned to examine loss-making
investments. Despite a TL11-billion profit in 1981, its services are
becoming increasingly inadequate at current prices. However, Oyak's
consumer credit facility remains useful to military families.
An uneasy relationship has
developed between the military and the civilian government, which is
seen to be moving away from the secular traditions of Kemal Atatürk and
reducing the heavy involvement of public capital and military
investments in the economy.
And within the forces, the
economic privileges which have been a key factor in maintaining
cohesion may be more and more difficult to maintain.