While the trial of the two top officials of the United Communist Party
of Turkey (TBKP) was beginning in Ankara on June 8, in another mass
trial, military prosecutor claimed 74 death sentences and hundreds of
life-imprisonments for the militants of the Revolutionary Path
(DEV-YOL). At the other outgoing mass trials, thousands of political
detainees still face capital punishment or heavy prison terms on the
charge of being militants of left-wing organizations such as TKP-ML,
TKP-B, TDKP, PKK and DEV-SOL. However these political trials pass
unnoticed in the mass media, though the European institutions focus
their attention particularly on the trial of Yagci and Sargin from the
TRIAL OF TBKP OFFICIALS
The trial of the secretary generals of the Communist
Party of Turkey (TKP) and the Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP), Nabi
Yagci and Nihat Sargin, began on June 8, 1988, at the State Security
Court of Ankara.
As reported by The Guardian, "the case has sparked
wide domestic and international interest as Turkey's 65-year ban on
communism comes under the most intense scrutiny yet. In Europe, it is
seen as one of the factors preventing Turkey's full membership of the
European Community. At home, there is often intense debate over whether
a Communist ban is appropriate, in a country supposedly returned to
democracy after the 1980 military coup, but the Government has made no
moves towards changing the law."
Brought handcuffed to the court, Yagci and Sargin
were taken under military escort through a courtroom side door, as some
800 people, including international observers, and 200 defence lawyers,
tried to gain access.
There were scuffles as journalists, international
observers and some lawyers, as well as most members of the public, were
denied access to the court, which was packed to overflowing. The
judges, two civilian and one military, rejected defence requests to
move to a bigger courtroom. As a protest, all but five defence lawyers
left the courtroom. The remaining five submitted a statement
complaining that a proper defence could not be conducted.
The prosecutors have asked for 66.5 years'
imprisonment each for Yagci and Sargin. Though reading the indictment
is expected to take three days, the judges, in an unexpected move,
adjourned the trial until June 17. No reason was given, but there was
speculation that the Turkish authorities were defusing tension by
playing for time.
All foreign and local observers as well as many
Turkish daily newspapers have qualified the trial "unfair" and
incompatible with international norms of justice. Foreign observers
were deeply disturbed that one of the judges and one of the two
prosecutors were uniformed military officers.
A group of 32 Greeks, including composer Mikis
Theodorakis, was the largest foreign delegation. Others came from
Britain, West Germany, France, Scandinavian countries and Canada. The
Central Committee of the Soviet Union sent a telegram expressing
solidarity with Yagci and Sargin.
Regretting the attitude of the court, Lord Tony
Gifford, representing the House of Lords all-party human rights group,
said: "One of the issues in my report will be whether a trial of this
magnitude shouldn't have been a room where the public has more access."
Although the Turkish Government is carrying on a
campaign to charm the European public opinion, two editors of
Info-Türk, Mr. Dogan Özgüden and Mrs. Inci Tugsavul, have recently
received a "demo-cratic" counterattack from it for having ask-ed Prime
Minister Ozal some embarrassing questions during a press conference he
held in Brussels. They have been notified by the Turkish Consulate that
they had been deprived of Turkish nationality five years ago.
In fact, Özgüden and Tugsavul, both political
refugee in Belgium, had been deprived of Turkish nationality by the
military government on June 8, 1983 for their activities abroad to
inform the world opinion of the violations of human rights in Turkey.
The governmental decree had been published then in the Official Journal
and reported by Turkish newspapers.
The two journalists are among hundreds of opponents
who have lost their nationality by the decision of the government.
Famous film director Yilmaz Güney, prize winner in the Cannes Festival
of 1982, who died in exile in 1984, too was one of the victims of this
Turkish Prime Minister Ozal, in the framework of his
diplomatic offensive, held a press conference in Brussels on March 4,
1988, after his meeting with the chiefs of government of NATO
countries. During this conference, the two journalists contradicted
with their questions the Prime Minister's claims on the restoration of
democracy in Turkey. (See: Info-Türk, March 1988).
Few weeks later, on March 21, 1988, Özgüden, as the
spokesman of the new founded Political Refugees' Solidarity and
Coordination Committee, made public a series of urgent demands of
political refugees, of which the restoration of Turkish nationality for
those who have been deprived of it.
As a counterattack, on April 18, 1988, the Turkish
Interior Ministry ordered the Turkish Consulate in Brussels to notify
once more to the two journalists the governmental decree on their
nationality issued five years ago.
Finally, on June 1st, 1988, Özgüden and Tugsavul
received from the Turkish General Consul in Brussels, Mr. Selçuk
Incesu, a registered letter notifying that they had been deprived of
Turkish nationality in 1983 and all their properties in Turkey
confiscated by the State.
On the other hand, the Interior Ministry has issued
a new communiqué calling on 94 people to surrender to military
authorities for making their military service.
The leader of the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK),
Abdullah Öcalan too takes place in the liste. The PKK is the principal
Kurdish organization which carries on the guerrilla warfare in the
The communiqué warns that if they do not surrender
to the authorities, these 94 people would be deprived of Turkish
CAMPAIGN FOR RESTORATION OF NAZIM HIKMET'S CITIZENSHIP
A group of lawyers representing family of Turkish
poet Nazim Hikmet who died in self-imposed exile in Moscow 25 years ago
handed in a petition to the prime minister's office on June 3, 1988,
demanding the restoration of the poet's citizenship and the delivery of
his remains to Turkey.
After spending 13 years in jail on charges of
inciting the army and the navy to rebellion, Hikmet was released by a
general amnesty in 1950. However, ordered to surrender himself to the
military authorities in order to be taken under compulsory military
service and menaced of being assassinated, Nazim Hikmet had to escape
from Istanbul aboard a Romanian freighter crossing the Bosphorus to the
After his escape, a government decree dated July 25,
1951 stripped him of Turkish nationality. Nazim Hikmet lived in Moscow
until his death on June 3, 1963.
Following his death, many lawyers and even legal
authorities said the verdict against Hikmet did not conform with
accepted legal procedure. There was no solid evidence of the charges
brought against him.
His sister said, if the nationality rights of the
poet are restored, she would take another initiative to bring the
remains of her brother from Moscow to Turkey for reburial.
In a poem he wrote in exile, Nazim Hikmet expressed
his desire to be buried under a poplar tree in a remote village in
74 DEATH SENTENCES CLAIMED
The biggest mass trial of the post-coup period has
entered in its final phase,on May 5, with the reading of the military
prosecutor's final act of accusation in which capital punishment was
claimed for 74 out of 723 defendants. The prosecutor demanded prison
terms of up to 15 years for 334 other alleged members of the Dev-Yol
(Revolutionary Path) organization.
The trial began six years, two months and eight days
ago at the military court of Ankara Martial Command. The writing of the
final act of accusation lasted nine months and its reading 43 days.
All defendants are accused of attempting to
overthrow the established social and political order in the country.
In another trial at the State Security Court of
Istanbul, on May 10, 1988, the prosecutor claimed prison terms
totalling 500 years for nine members of the Com-munist Party of
On the other hand, on May 11, the Military Court of
Cassation approved four death sentences and three life-term
imprisonments pronounced against a group of militants who had allegedly
been involved political violence in the district of Aybasti of the
province of Ordu.
STATE OF EMERGENCY EXTENDED
Yielding to the directive of the National Security
Council, composed of army chiefs and some ministers, the Grand National
Assembly decided, on May 25, 1988, to extend state of emergency for 4
months from July 19, in Istanbul and eight south-eastern provinces.
Though martial law has been lifted, the civilian
governors use all exceptional powers of martial law commanders in the
provinces under state of emergency. Besides, the governors of eleven
provinces in the South-eastern Anatolia were placed under the supreme
authority of a super-governor.
43 NEW PRISONS IN TWO YEARS
The Justice Ministry announced on May 14 that 43 new
prisons have been opened in Turkey for last two years. So, the total
number of the civilian prisons in Turkey has been raised to 644 in
which there are 49,219 detained or condemned people.
Although the administration of some military prisons
have been taken over recently by the Justice Ministry, the complaints
against the prison conditions continue as before.
In May, hundreds of inmates in Amasya, Diyarbakir,
Aydin, Buca (Izmir), Gaziantep and Ankara have launched different kinds
of protest actions such as hunger strikes or boycotting meals.
On May 17, 1988, two mothers of political prisoner,
Saliha Sener and Rahime Sahin, attempted to burn themselves in front of
the Diyarbakir Municipality for protesting against ill-treatment of
their sons, but they were saved by the passers-by.
Recently, two delegations from the Human Rights
Association (IHD) and the Association for Solidarity With the Parents
of Prisoners (TAYAD) came to Europe and held a series of press
conference in Brussels and other capitals for drawing attention to the
prison conditions in Turkey.
MEDICAL NEGLECT OF PRISONERS
Amnesty International issued a new report as regards
"torture and medical neglect of prisoners" in Turkey. Below we are
reproducing the extracts concerning medical neglect:
"The Turkish authorities have repeatedly argue that
political prisoners cannot expect to receive better treatment than the
population at large. However, the authorities have to accept the legal
minimum requirements for prison health care and their argument fails to
address the fact that numerous detainees suffer prison-related
problems, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, and injuries caused
by torture an dill-treatment during police interrogation or in the
prisons. While Turkish legislation provides clear instructions for the
provision of medical care to prisoners —frequency of examination,
procedures in cases of emergency, etc.— the medical care which is
provided in reality often falls short of the legal requirements.
"Allegations of medical neglect frequently assert
that the number of medical staff in the prisons is insufficient and
that they are often inexperienced. In military prisons in particular,
young physicians who have just finished medical training are appointed
for the same period as is spent in military service without having any
prior practical experience. (Ordinarily in Turkey, all fit males
between the ages of 20 to 41 must undergo a period of 18 months
military service.) The Turkish press published in August 1987 the
following figures to illustrate the ratio of doctors to inmates in a
number of prisons:
"In Mamak prison: three doctors and one dentist for
"In Sagmalcilar prison: three doctors and one
dentist for 2,829 inmates.
"In Sanliurfa and Sinop prisons: no doctor for
hundreds of inmates.
"Mamak Military Prison, despite the relatively
better ratio of doctors to prisoners than in some other prisons, is one
of the places from which many allegations of medical neglect have been
received Prisoners there have frequently complained that they have to
wait for weeks; no more than seven prisoners per ward of up to 70
prisoners are examined at a time and others requiring attention must
wait until the following week. The same applies to prisoners who want
to see a specialist such as the dentist as well as the prison doctor.
They have to wait at least two weeks before they will be examined by
"It has further been alleged that even in serious
cases medical examinations are carried out very superficially, often
merely by a visual inspection through the window in the door of the
ward. It is reported that a li-mited range of drugs is available for
prescription, what-ever the disease. Similar complaints have been made
in almost all prisons but most frequently in Diyarbakir and Metris
Military Prison. In some cases prisoners have had to pay for their own
medicines. In others, medicine provided by relatives has not been
accepted by the prison administration. These reports contradict has not
been accepted by the prison administration. These reports contradict
official statements such as one by the Legal Secretary of the General
Staff, General Cemil Sezgin, published on 9 January 1987 in the Turkish
newspaper Cumhuriyet. In an answer to complaints about Mamak
Military Prison he said:
"There are three doctors and one dentist in Mamak
Military Prison and Detention Center. Everyone is able to see a doctor
without any restrictions. Those who are diagnosed as needing a transfer
to hospital are immediately transferred to the military hospital. (…)
health conditions in the named prison are sufficient."
"Attached as Appendix 3 is a report from a former
prisoner held in Diyarbakir Military Prison between 1981 and 1986. The
details he gives are typical of the general complaints about medical
care which are received from almost all prisons.
"The Regulations on Administration and Execution of
Sentences in Military Prisons of 30 September 1986 (for the relevant
parts on medical care see Appendix 2) state in Article 50 that each
prisoner must have a general medical check-up at intervals of three
months. Reports by former prisoners, however, indicate that these
general check-ups are carried out at most once a year.
"It is commonly reported that sick prisoners have
difficulty in obtaining admission to hospital or that transfer to
hospital has been deliberately delayed. The authorities have responded
to these complaints by stating either that hospital treatment was not
necessary or that the hospital would not accept the patient.
"This is of particular concern as in most prisons
the infirmaries are badly equipped and would generally meet only
the most basic needs. Only one prison in Turkey —Sagmalcilar Prison in
Istanbul— has its own hospital facilities. In August 1987, 56 of the
2,829 inmates were in the prison hospital, another 71 were receiving
treatment in outside hospitals. In November 1987 Sagmalcilar Military
Prison, which had been closed in February 1986 because of poor hygiene
conditions, was reopened. This prison is now called Sagmalcilar L-type
Prison or Sagmalcilar II. On 10 January 1988 Kubilay Akpinar,
former editor of the journal Günese Cagri (Call to the Sun) and
on trial membership in the illegal Turkish Communist Party/Union(TKP/B)
wrote a complaint which was smuggled out of prison. In his letter
Kubilay Akpinar, who in August/September 1987 had allegedly been
tortured for 20 days during interrogation, said that he and another 25
political prisoners had been transferred to the E-type prison on 22
December 1987, but only two weeks later had they been examined by a
doctor. He alleged that seven prisoners who were seriously ill and
needed hospital treatment had not been transferred to the nearby
hospital (200 m) although the doctor had ordered their transfer. Only
three of them had been taken to hospital two days later. The denial of
medical treatment was based on the refusal by prisoners in pre-trial
detention to wear the prison uniform. Only those prisoners who agreed
to wear prison uniforms were taken to hospital.
"In cases where prisoners held in small towns have
medical needs requiring sophisticated treatment they must be taken to
either Istanbul or Ankara, but even then only very few hospitals accept
prisoners as patients. Political prisoners held in military prisons are
most commonly treated at military hospitals with security provisions.
"In smaller towns the state hospitals normally
accept prisoners, but in Adana for instance, with several hundred
prisoners, the state hospital has only one ward for prisoners which
takes a maximum of 10 patients. On 5 July 1987 Yeni Gündem
reported that prisoners in Samsun State Hospital were chained to their
beds and that all prisoners in Ankara's Numune Hospital had been
chained to their beds over long periods (apparently in 1984). Halil
Kirik, for example, a member of the illegal Kurdish Workers' Party
(PKK), was waiting for a second heart operation and was chained to his
bed there for weeks until the operation could be carried out. Hakki
Zabçi, who spent 32 months in Mamak Military Prison, is reported to
have spent four to five months in chains at Gülhane Military Hospital
"Chains appear to be used frequently when prisoners
are treated outside the prisons. In order to prevent a prisoner's
escape from hospital two guards usually stand watch (often in addition
to the constraint of the prisoner by chains). From Izmir the following
incident was brought to the attention of Amnesty International. On 1
May 1986 Adnan Kirtay was taken from Buca Prison to Tepecik Chest
Hospital for treatment of tuberculosis and on the orders of the
military commander was chained to his bed with two guards at his side.
When the doctor demanded that the patient be untied for treatment the
guards refused to remove the chains, citing their orders. Kirtay
remained chained to his bed until his discharge from hospital on 24
"On 11 August 1986 Yeni Gündem reported on
Ümit Kaya, a political prisoner who spent 27 months in Diyarbakir
Military Prison after 1981 and who is said to be still suffering from
the result of torture and ill-treatment in prison. In the article it
was further alleged that he had been chained to his bed in Elazig
Hospital for Mental Diseases for 45 days.
"Abdülkadir Genelioglu, General Director for Prisons
at the Ministry of Justice, said when asked by journalists what the
government intended to do about the lack of space for prisoners in
hospitals, in August 1987, that talks between his ministry and the
Ministry of Health were taking place to discuss provision of secure
wards in civil hospitals to allow them to take prisoners.
"Many prisoners and former prisoners are reported to
be suffering from mental illnesses related to torture and ill-treatment
in detention and prison. On 11 August 1986 Yeni Gündem reported
that Hüseyin Simsek, who had been imprisoned for several years in
Metris Military Prison, was mentally ill. In the same article Mustafa
Coskun is mentioned as being still in the same prison since 1981. He
had been detained at the age of 17 and spent seven months in Haydarpasa
Hospital. Frequently he does not recognize his mother during visits.
Veysi Kubat, a defendant in the Ankara Devrimci Yol (Revolutionary
Path) trial, held in Mamak Military Prison, was reported in August 1987
to have become violent towards fellow-inmates, screaming at night and
"The Turkish Medical Association (Türk Tabipleri
Birligi, TTB) has taken a strong position against torture, the
death penalty and on other human rights issues. Their concern for human
rights led to the submission of a letter dated 7 October 1985 to the
State authorities asking for the abolition of the death penalty. In
accordance with a decision of the 34th Assembly of the World Medical
Association in 1981 they particularly wanted doctors to be excluded
from being present during executions. Six members of the Central
Council of TTB were charged with an offence under the Law on
Associations which prohibits political statements by associations.
After a long trial they were all acquitted on 26 September 1986 by
"At the end of 1986 the TTB drafted a Statute for
Ethics in the Medical Profession in an attempt to come into line with
internationally agreed standards. Although this statute has not passed
all legal hurdles it is supposed to become the new basis for a revised
Hippocratic Oath. Article 16 of the statute presents a clear position
on torture and the death penalty and medical care for prisoners."
TRIAL OF 12 CHRISTIANS IN ANKARA
Twelve Ankara residents including seven expatriates
and five Turks went on trial on May 26, 1988, in Ankara's second
criminal court on charges of conducting "illegal Christian propaganda"
in Turkey. In the initial hearing, the defendants categorically denied
possession of outlawed materials or any violation of Turkey's secular
code of laws.
The Ankara case is one of three now in process in
Turkish courts against the allegedly illegal activities of both
expatriate and Turkish Christians in Turkey.
Since a spate of newspaper articles and police
investigations began this past February, more than 60 individuals
including 40 Turks calling themselves "me-sih inanlilari" (believers in
the Messiah" have been put under police detention and interrogated in
the cities of Samsun, Gaziantep, Eskisehir, Adana, Izmir, Iskenderun,
Ankara and Mersin.
In the first case begun May 12, West German
businessman Stefan Pilz and three Turks were formally charged with
subverting the State's secular principles for their own religious ends
under article 163.
Another case foes into its third hearing at the
State Security Court in Malatya, where two Turkish Christians from
Gaziantep are charged with "disseminating Christian propaganda."
At the Ankara trial, one of the defendants, a
27-year-old teacher said: "Of course I have copies of the New Testament
and other books relating to Christianity in my home. I have them
because I am a believer in Christ. That is not against the law."
Meanwhile, two of the expatriate defendants have
been suspended from their jobs, and one of the Turkish defendants in
effect has been demoted and exiled to a perfunctory post in a
Two English teachers at the Middle East Technical
University and the Hacettepe University, American Steve Wibberely and
British Julian Lidstone were given notice of dismissal from their
posts. Both teachers, contesting the arbitrary firing, announced that
they would have recourse to the Administrative Court.
EDUCATORS' ASSOCIATION FOUNDED
Despite all the efforts of intimidation by the by
the regime, teachers have continued to resist. After
the military coup of 1980, the Teachers' Association (TOB-DER) has been
closed down, its leading members arrested and condemned and thousands
of teachers dismissed from their teaching posts for their opinions. A
group of the leading members of TOB-DER, including Chairman Gültekin
Gazioglu, are still exiled in Europe.
Since professing teachers are forbidden to form or
to join unions, their retired or dismissed colleagues have set up a new
organization under the name of Educators' Association (EGIT-DER), which
marks a concrete step in teachers' struggle.
On behalf of the founding members, Chairman Ali
Bozkurt held a press conference on February 16, 1988 and said:
"Under ever worsened living conditions and
administrative pressures teachers are forced to leave their profession,
or forced to find a second or a third job to earn their living.
Starting from Ministry to schools, from the top to the bottom, the
administrative structure is used as a means of political repression .
In the world Turkey is the only country that does not recognize
teachers' right to form an association, let alone forming trade unions.
"Basing on these facts and on the principle of the
broadest unity of teachers, we who have carried on duties at different
levels of teachers' associations before, have founded EGIT-DER. Our
association seeks to cover professing teachers in state and private
schools and all eligible teachers and professors. Although professing
teachers cannot freely join to EGIT-DER, they could be honorary
FABULOUS PROFITS OF BIG BUSINESS
Although the majority of the population suffer from
a constant impoverishment, balance sheets of giant Turkish holdings
have verified that big business increased profits significantly in 1987.
The top two, Koc Holding and Sabanci Holding
increased their profits some 160 percent and 122 percent respectively
in past year.
When the consolidated sales of eight holdings are
compared with the national budget set for 1988 which amounted to 10,900
billion TL, the growth of these holdings becomes more visible.
Consolidated sales of eight holdings, Koc, Sabanci, Yasar, Dinckök,
Ercan, Profilo, Alarko and Sise Cam totaled 11,000 billion TL in 1987,
i.e. more than the national budget. This sum is also double that of the
largest 10 State economic enterprises operating in the industrial
In terms of exports, the top eight holdings hold 12
percent of total exports last year. While the largest 91 SEEs had made
a total of $569 million in exports in 1987, exports of the holdings
mentioned above amounted to $1.1 billion.
Koc Holding, chaired by Rahmi Koc, achieved the most
rapid growth in terms of sales in 1987. Its total sales rose from 2.300
billion TL in 1986 to 4.200 billion TL last year.This amount was
roughly equal to the total tax income of the State in 1987.
The productivity of Koc Holding workers was above
the average. In 1983, annual profit achieved by each worker at Koc
Holding was 616,000 TL. This figure went up to 1.4 million TL in 1987.
Sabanci Holding, operating in various sectors
ranging from textiles to petrochemical industry keeps its top position
since 1980 when taking into account its profits. Sabanci Holding's
consolidated sales grew by 46 percent in 1987 from 2,100 billion TL to
3,200 billion TL. Its profits also showed a considerable rise in 1987
and attained 395 billion TL, representing a 122 percent rise over
1986's 178 billion TL.
Last year, while Koc made an 8 TL profit for each
100 TL, Sabanci Holding's profit amounted to 12 TL.
Annual profit created by each worker at Sabanci
Holding increased from 533,000 TL in 1983 to 1.8 million TL in 1987.
The number of employees is 34,260 at Koc Holding and
29,100 at Sabanci Holding.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTED TWO RESOLUTIONS CONDEMNING TURKISH REGIME
The European Parliament passed two resolutions on
May 19-20, 1988, censuring Turkey on two separate counts, on the
violations of human rights and the Cyprus issue.
The first resolution condemns "flagrant violations
of democratic rights" and demands the immediate release of 69 people
arrested during the May Day celebrations in Istanbul. During the
debate, General Ev-ren's remarks two weeks ago that if Turkey finds
itself confronted with a situation reminiscent of the civil strife
prior to 1980, the army would not hesitate to takeover again were
criticized by the European parliamentarians.
The first resolutions reads:
"The European Parliament,
"A. whereas May Day celebrations are still banned in
Turkey, and have been since the coup d'état,
"B. whereas, despite this ban, 8 Social Democrat
MPs, including the President of the baned left-wing trade union
Federation, DISK, laid a wreath at the monument of the Republic in the
center of Istanbul in me-mory of the 34 demonstrators killed on 1 May
"C. whereas, on that occasion, between 500 and 1,000
people, including many trade unionists, were violently dispersed by the
police who made 69 arrests,
"D. whereas these events had been preceded two days
earlier by demonstrations against the high cost of living orchestrated
by the two opposition leaders, Mr Inönü, President of the Social
Democratic Populist Party, and Mr Demirel, President of the Correct Way
Party, and by arrests following confrontations between students and the
police at Istanbul University,
"E. whereas, in the face of this rise in tension,
the Turkish-President, Mr Kenan Evren, has pointed out that the army
would intervene "to save democracy" if there was a return "to the chaos
and terror" which preceded the coup d'état,
"F. whereas the Turkish Government has still not
responded to the appeal by the European Parliament for the release of
political prisoners, in particular Mr Kut-lu and Mr Sargin,
"1. Notes that the events connected with the ban on
May Day celebrations are a sign of the Turkish Government's lack of
determination to bring about significant improvements with regard to
respect for human rights and basic freedoms;
"2. Condemns these fresh, flagrant violations of
democratic right by the government of a country which has concluded an
association agreement with the EEC;
"3. Calls for the release of all those imprisoned
following the demonstrations, an objective inquiry into the
circumstances surrounding the deaths which occurred on 1 May and the
release of all political prisoners in Turkey;
"4. Calls for the full restoration of trade union
and political rights for all democratic groups which are currently
"5. Instructs its President to forward this
resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Foreign Ministers
meeting in political cooperation and the Turkish Government."
On the Cyprus Question
The resolution that concerns Cyprus asks the foreign
ministers to apply pressure on Turkey in order to force it to withdraw
at least some of its troops from Cyprus, resettle Greek Cypriot
refugees in Varosha near Famagusta and evacuate the families that were
sent from mainland Turkey to Cyprus to settle.
The resolution reads:
"The European Parliament,
"1. Calls on the Council, in order to facilitate the
resumption and successful outcome of negotiations between the two
communities, to devote special study to the possibility of an economic
opening by the Community towards the Republic of Cyprus as a whole, the
practical arrangements for such a move and its consequences, and also,
in the long term, the question of Cyprus's possible accession to the
"2. Notes that the unlawful occupation of part of
the territory of a country associated with the Community by the
military forces of another country, also associated with the Community,
presents a major stumbling block to the normalization of relations with
the latter, viz; Turkey;
"3. Asks the Foreign Ministers meeting in European
political cooperation to consider the ways and means whereby a state of
law might be re-established in Cyprus, and to devote particular
attention to the possibility of a resumption of negotiations between
the communities under the auspices of the United Nations
Secretary-General, with the aim of conferring on the Republic of Cyprus
the status of a federation, the constituent parts of which would be in
proportion to the composition of the population, which would guarantee
the rights of the two communities, free the island from the presence of
all foreign troops and guarantee freedom of movement, freedom of
establishment and the property of members of both communities, and
ensure the security of both the Greek and Turkish communities, and to
keep the European Parliament informed;
"4. Expects the Foreign Ministers meeting in
European political cooperation simultaneously to put pressure on the
Turkish Government, which is linked to the EEC by an association
agreement and is an applicant for membership, to draw up a precise
timetable for the withdrawal of its troops, in accordance with the
proposals made by the UN Secretary-General, and that of the Turkish
settlers, and to take a number of positive steps in accordance with
international law, in particular by withdrawing a considerable part of
its contingent without waiting for the final agreement between the two
communities to be concluded, and giving the refugees from Famagusta the
opportunity to return to and settle freely in their homes and expects
the European Parliament to be kept regularly up-to-date on the
"5. Asks the Foreign Ministers meeting in European
political cooperation to pave the way for measures providing, in
particular, for a rewriting of the school books on both sides to give
each community a positive image of the other and to teach the younger
generation to know one another better, without hatred and in a
spirit of respect for each other;
"6. Also asks the Foreign Ministers meeting in
European political cooperation to recommend partial agreements between
the two communities on, among other things, technical, economic,
cultural and sporting exchanges between the two parts of the Republic,
and stresses that such exchanges are a means of enhancing mutual
understanding and forestalling fresh complaints;
"7. Emphasizes that the families of the missing
people have a right to know the truth and calls on the Foreign
Ministers meeting in political cooperation to redouble their efforts to
find a positive solution, in agreement with the Greek-Cypriot
authorities and the representatives of the Turkish-Cypriot community,
to this humanitarian problem and suggests that they endeavor to obtain
agreement from all the sides involved to call in the International
Committee of the Red Cross to carry out a search mission unimpeded
whenever it feels it can uncover relevant facts:
"8. Draws the Ministers' attention to the need to
find a final solution to this painful problem without delay,
particularly through the release of those missing people who might be
detained in prison;
"9. Points out that the cultural heritage of each
people must be preserved and condemns the systematic policy of
expunging the past and the Hellenic and Christian culture pursued by
Turkey in the part of Cyprus occupied by its troops, as regards both
the imposition of place-names and the disappearance or transformation
of the island's cultural heritage;
"10. Views with deeps concern the legal action
launched by the Turkish-Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktash against the
leader of the largest Turkish-Cypriot opposition party Mr Özker Özgür
for alleged libel; notes with alarm that the award of £100,000 damages
against Mr Özgür by a Turkish-Cypriot court will, if implemented, lead
to the closure of Mr Özgür's party office and newspaper and to his
"11. Asks the Foreign Ministers meeting in European
political cooperation to make representations to the Turkish
authorities and the representatives of the Turkish-Cypriot community to
secure their agreement to UNESCO being entrusted with the task of
preserving the Christian and Hellenic cultural heritage in the occupied
part of the island;
"12. Instructs its President to place a
reconsideration of the Cyprus situation on the agenda for debate within
a year of the adoption of this resolution;
"13. Instructs its President to forward this
resolution and the report of tis committee to the Commission, the
Council, the Foreign Ministers meeting in European political
cooperation, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, the
representatives of the Turkish-Cypriot community, the Governments of
the Member States and the Turkish Government, the United Nations
Secretary-General, the Director-General of UNESCO and the
Secretary-General of the ICRC."
However, in Ankara, Foreign Ministry spokesman said:
"The resolutions are not of an important and serious character enough
to merit an official ripeness."
IPI CONFERENCE IN ISTANBUL
The International Press Institute held a three-day
conference in Istanbul on May 9-11, 1988, with the participation of
more than 200 journalists from 64 countries and adopted resolutions
protesting press conditions in Turkey and five other troubled areas.
The statement on Turkey cited improvements in the
press but said it was concerned about "direct and indirect pressures on
"Those pressures include the jailing of journalists,
increases in the price of government-produced newsprint, large fines
against publications under the pretext of protecting minors and the
withholding of advertising from certain newspapers by state banks,
because they are critical of the government," said the statement.
The IPI has demanded amnesty for the prosecuted
journalists, claiming no one should be jailed for expressing opinions.
NEW PRESSURES ON THE PRESS
Taking no heed of the criticisms by the IPI, Turkish
authorities go on to prosecute journalists and publishers.
Prior to the conference, on May 5, responsible
editor of the weekly 2000e Dogru, Mrs. Fatma Yazici, was sentenced by a
criminal court in Istanbul to 16 months in jail for not revealing the
name of the reporter who wrote an article criticizing General Evren.
The first day of the conference, in Ankara, the
monthly review Toplumsal Kurtulus was confiscated and its responsible
editor, Felemez Ak was arrested for some articles appeared in the May
On the second day of the conference, copies of Henry
Miller's Tropic of Capricorn were confiscated for the second time. A
court ruling made on March 22 directed that copies of the book be
confiscated and burnt on grounds of obscenity. Thereupon, 40 publishing
houses, in a joint action, prepared Tropic of Capricorn for print
omitting the chapters that were found obscene, but adding as a prologue
the verdict of the Obscenity Committee.
The reason behind the book's confiscation for a
second time before it appeared on the market in its new form was that
the judge found the ruling of the Obscenity Court, printed as a
prologue to the novel, obscene.
The 40 publishers protested censorship in Turkey and
called upon citizens and the press to join with them.
Meanwhile, the weekly 2000e Dogru reported that the
Training Department of the Naval Forces ordered all military schools
under its command to burn 40 different books taking place in the school
libraries. Among them are also many classical works written centuries
May 13, in Istanbul, two journalists from the daily
Cumhuriyet, Cüneyt Arcayürek and Okay Gönensin were indicted for having
criticized Prime Minister Ozal. They face a one-year prison term.
May 16, a concert of folk singer Sadik Gürbüz,
organized by the Human Rights Association, was banned by the order of
the Governor of Ankara.
May 22, the Governor of Kars ordered the
confiscation of all copies of a musi-cassette, "Weary Democrat",
created by another folk singer, Ahmet Kaya.
May 26, university professor and the former chairman
of the Union of Engineers, Prof. Sedat Ozkol was detained in Istanbul.
THE "GAP" PROJECT AND KURDS
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Socialist Party of Turkish
Kurdistan (TKSP) addressed to the ONU, the European Parliament, the
Council of Europe and to heads of state and government, a fourth report
on the violation of Human Rights in Turkish-Kurdistan.
In this report, the ambitious South-eastern Anatolia
Project (GAP) of the Turkish Government is evaluated in the following
"The project consists of the construction of 15 dams
and 18 power stations along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. According
to official statistics, after completion of this project, it should be
possible to generate electricity at the level of 2.5 thousand megawatts
a year. Additionally, an area of 18 million dönüm (an old Turkish area
measure, 1 dönüm = 919 sq. meters), in the Kurdish provinces Urfa,
Diyarbakir, Mardin, Adiyaman, Antep and Siirt can be irrigated. An
increase in the profitability of the agricultural production is thereby
expected. The GAP affects a region of Kurdistan in which the industrial
sector is the most underdeveloped in Turkey. Here, half-feudal
relations of production still prevail.A large portion of farming
families do not own any land. In the above mentioned provinces, 43.8%
of the farmers are landless. In Diyarbakir, this number lies at 48.5%,
in Urfa even higher at 54%. While 4.5% of the population owns 60% of
the land, 60% of the population has only 10% of the area at its
"This unjust distribution presupposes that,a
comprehensive land reform must be conducted so that the GAP benefits
the majority of the population. But exactly this is what the feudal
lords, big landowners, and Turgut Ozal's administration (cooperating
with the others) don not want.
"In the scope of land-reform it was planned
primarily to give 2000 farmers 60 dönüm farmland each. Of the 2750
applications filed by farmers, only 825 were granted, since only these
met the conditions. The conditions were as follows: the ability to read
and write must be proven; the applicant may not have been convicted of
an offense against the State." (Yeni Gündem, Nr. 67, June 14, 1987)
"Running parallel to the irrigation, more and more
machines are also used and modern applied economic methods are being
utilized in the agricultural sector. The opening up to the market is
also being accelerated. This situation will lead directly to the
failure of the small landowners, and as a result, the loss of their
property. To prevent this development, a well functioning cooperative
system, for instance, must be established for the farmers. In addition,
a granting of credit would make a higher outlay for agricultural
capital goods possible for the farmers.
"However, the Turkish Government does not give the
slightest thought to such development. For those in the government, it
is not a question of protecting the poor Kurdish farmers, but rather
the pursuit of their own goals in the realization of GAP.
"During the excursion to the GAP area, organized by
the Turkish Foreign Ministry for foreign ambassadors, the Swedish
ambassador made the following remarks: 'The energy produced by project
will be used by industry in the west. The increase in production
achieved through the irrigation and the profit thereby won will be to
the advantage of the big landowners in the region. Will the big
landowners reinvest this increased income in the region? Or will they
transfer it to the cities?' (Cumhuriyet, June 6, 1987)
"The results of the GAP will be a further
impoverishment and consequent migration of the population from the land
into the city, which causes an increase in unemployment. At this point,
it should be pointed out that poverty and unemployment in Kurdistan are
fare higher than the average for Turkey. Since there is no prospect for
work in the Kurdish provinces, most of the migrant workers are forced
to move into western Turkey. They try to find a job in the agricultural
or industrial areas there. An estimated 5 million Kurds live in Turkey
today - that is, outside of Kurdistan. The GAP will cause a drastic
increase in this number.
"The GAP proves to be particular benefit to the
large domestic and foreign enterprises, and the big landowners in
Kurdistan. Numerous firms, particularly from the USA and the
Netherlands, have applied for property to establish latin-american
style latifundia - large plantations. The administration in Ankara has
signed contracts with US arms manufacturers on the construction of F-16
military aircraft. Consequently, the door to Kurdistan is opened for
these firms. The Saudi Arabian capital is also interested in the GAP;
the Turkish-Saudi Association is, meanwhile, undertaking some things to
establish large plantations. The second largest concern in Turkey,
Sabanci Holding (See: Fabulous profits of big business in this issue),
has already bought up large areas of land.
"The villages which encircle the planned dams are
supposedly in the way of the irrigation and should therefore be
depopulated. The village inhabitants affected are forced to leave this
area. Neither house nor land is made available to them, nor are jobs
offered. The regime offers the farmers only one alternative: migration
into western Turkey.
"On the other hand, however, the Turkish Government
plans to settle the population from the Black Sea coast, s well as from
the Marmara and Aegean regions, in Kurdistan. To make this area
appealing to the Turkish population, the government propagates that
this area will be made fertile as a result of the GAP. It would be
worthwhile to emigrate there." (compare Tercüman, February 18, 1987 and
Milliyet, June 21, 1987)
(The full text of the report can be asked from P.O.
Box 674 - 11421 Stockholm - Sweden)