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


12th Year - N°141-142
July-August 1988
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


    The State Security Courts which took over the functions of the military tribunals after the lifting of martial law have launched an unprecedented prosecution campaign against the socialist press.
    In the months of June and July these courts have issued numerous warrants for the confiscation of many socialist reviews.
    According to the daily Cumhuriyet of June 25, 1988, only the State Security Court of Istanbul has, within a 3-year period, decided the ban and confiscation of 70 different publications.
    Contrary to the government's claim that the press freedom is getting more and more respected in Turkey, the half of these confiscations have been decided by the SSC in the course of the first half of 1988.
    The responsible editors of these reviews are being tried at the State Security Court by virtue of articles 141, 142, 163 and 313 of the Turkish Penal Code. Mainly accused of communist, separatist or anti-secular propaganda, they face a total of 1,000-year imprisonment.
    The responsible editor of Yeni Cözüm, Celik Malkoc faces a total of up to 261 years prison term in eight different cases. He is followed by the responsible editor of 2000e Dogru, Mrs. Fatma Yazici, with prison terms of up to 116 years.
    Not only socialist reviews, but also the oldest and distinguished daily newspapers of the country such as Cumhuriyet and Milliyet have been the object of the prosecution.
    On June 16, 1988, the State Security Court ordered the confiscation of Milliyet and indicted the newspaper's veteran foreign policy commentator Mehmet Ali Birand as well as Eren Güvener, the responsible editor, demanding prison sentences of up to 15 years for publishing interviews with the leader of the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK). The prosecutor described the series of interviews with Abdullah Öcalan as "propaganda detrimental to the feelings of patriotism in Turkey" in his petition to the Court, invoking article 142 of the Turkish Penal Code.
    Birand had visited a PKK camp in Lebanon where he interviewed Öcalan, known by his alias Apo.
    Milliyet began publishing the serial on June 14 but two days later the State Security Prosecutor ordered stopping further publication.
    On June 21, Erbil Tusalp of Cumhuriyet is charged with revealing the minutes of the interrogation of Prime Minister Ozal's would-be assassin, Kartal Demirag. Police raided the Ankara office of the newspaper and Tusalp spent 72 hours at police headquarters under interrogation.
    Other journalists standing trial in June include Engin Ardic of the weekly Tempo and Cüneyt Arcayürek of Cumhuriyet for insulting the Prime Minister and Fatma Yazici of 2000'e Dogru for printing an article on Kurds.


    Voters in Turkey will go to the polls on September 25, 1988 to decide on constitutional amendments providing for early local elections on November 13, 1988. According to the Constitution of 1982, the local elections were to be held in 1989. If the constitutional amendments are approved by the voters, the local administrations will be renewed one year earlier.
    This will be the third national referendum since the military coup of 1980.
    The first referendum held in 1982 resulted in the adoption of the Constitution imposed by the military. The second one held last year led to the lifting of political bans against former politicians who have not been condemned by the military justice for actions against the State.
    The third referendum sponsored by the prime minister were passed by the Parliament, with 283 votes from the ruling Motherland Party (ANAP) against the main opposition Social Democratic Populist Party's (SHP) 93 votes. The members of former prime minister Demirel's Correct Way Party (DYP) abstained.
    Since the votes endorsing constitutional amendments remain below 300, the government, according to the Constitution, has been obliged to go to referendum.
    At the debate in the Parliament before the voting, Ozal accused the opposition parties of "running from the judgment of the nation." "If you are claiming that there is corruption in the municipal administration let us go to the polls to change those administrators," he said.
    The opposition leader Erdal Inönü (SHP) said that early elections are no solution to the ills of the country. "The elections which ANAP wants to hold in November this year will again be unfair, without equal opportunities for all the political parties, and they will be followed by steep rises in living costs as the previous elections held by the government last year," Inönü said.
    However, after the voting in the National Assembly, Inönü declared that "the referendum is a golden opportunity for the people to get rid of the Ozal government." As for the other opposition leader, Demirel (DYP) too shares the same view by saying: "This referendum will not be held over the question of whether the local elections should be held ahead of time, it will be about whether this government should stay or go."
    In fact, Turkey has already found herself in the effervescence of an electoral campaign.
    Opposition parties, without any exception, claim that the government will have to resign if the "Yes" votes remain below 50 percent, because the refusal of the constitutional amendments will signify the people's disapproval of Ozal's policies. Then holding new legislative elections will be unavoidable.
    For Ozal, if the "Yes" votes do not fall below 36 percent, his party's score in the elections of 1987, such a result will prove the continuation of his popularity even if the constitutional amendments are refused. In order to obtain this result, the ANAP resorts to unimaginable propaganda methods.
    First, the unsuccessful assassination attempt against Ozal during the ANAP Congress is used to a great extent for exciting compassion. The video films shot during the attempt are multiplied and distributed until to remote villages of the country. On June 18, a former member of the neo-fascist party MHP, Kartal Demirag, fired at while Ozal while he was addressing the Congress and wounded him on his hand. About 20 people attending the Congress, including Labor Minister Imren Aykut, were wounded by the hail of bullets fired by policemen at the attacker. Demirag's motives in attempting to kill the prime minister are still obscure.
    In another electoral move, Ozal made a spectacular holy pilgrimage in Mecca in July by using government funds and state-owned planes. The images of Ozal's pilgrimage were abundantly broadcasted by the State Television. The opposition accused Ozal also of taking no heed of the State's secularity.
    In the diplomatic circles, Ozal's this religious gesture was commented as a move which may foil Turkey's all efforts to join the European Community.
    Whatsoever be the risk, Ozal does not hesitate for a moment to play any trump card for keeping his party's 36 percent score in the coming referendum and elections.


    The most spectacular of these prosecutions has taken as target the monthly review Toplumsal Kurtulus (Social Liberation). Operation took place as follows:
    Editor-in-chief of the review, Orhan Gökdemir was taken into custody on June 9, 1988 in Isparta where he was serving his military service, on account of an article published in November 1987. He was kept in a chilly and damp cell for days and was forced to testify against the review's other editors.
    Another writer of the review, Hüsnü Öndül, was summoned on June 13, by the State Security Court of Ankara and taken later on to the Torture Center DAL. Öndül is also the legal advisor of the review.
    The same day, the Prosecutor of the State Security Court ordered police to detain the publisher of Toplumsal Kurtulus, Mrs. Bilgesu Erenus, and the principal writer of this review, Prof. Yalcin Kücük.
    Homes were searched, Erenus and Kücük were separately taken and brought blindfolded to the Torture Center DAL and put into cells.
    The policemen who went to the office of Toplumsal Kurtulus have destroyed the belongings in the office, and confiscated all the documents and equipment.
    Seeing a note on one of the desks, bearing the name of the General Director of the Publication House, Ilhan Akalin, they also took him from his house and put him into another damp cell in DAL.
    Akalin and Gökdemir were kept for days in tiny cells the floors of which were covered with 2 cm. deep water.
    All the detainees were questioned until June 20, 1988, under bright projectors that hid the faces of the inquisitors. For days, the detainees were given daily a quarter or a half of a loaf of bread, a tiny piece of cheese at most the size of a matchbox, and at most two sips of water out of a plastic container.
    The prosecutor and police, during the questioning, accused the detainees to voice the views of the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) and of the personalities such as Ismail Besikci who defend the rights and freedoms of the Kurdish people.
    On June 20, as the last stage of DAL affairs, they were taken for fingerprints and photographing. Meanwhile, the prosecutor Ülkü Coskun issued orders to confiscate the 12th issue of Toplumsal Kurtulus which was out on the stands for 20 days and indicted five detainees for "communist and separatist propaganda".
    Their trial at the State Security Court of Ankara will start on August 18, 1988. Yalcin Kücük faces a prison term of up to 45 years, Ilhan Akalin 30 years, Bilgesu Erenus and Hüsnü Öndül 25 years each, Orhan Gökdemir 15 years. Although Erenus was released, four other defendants will be tried under arrest.
    The 11th issue of Toplumsal Kurtulus too had been confiscated and the responsible editor for that issue, Felemez Ak, had been arrested. He too faces a prison term of up to 15 years.
    Yalcin Kücük is one of the university professors who were dismissed by the military after the coup. He had already spent nearly two years in prison on charges of making communist propaganda in one of the books he published. He was acquitted later.
    Bilgesu Erenus is one of the distinguished names of the arts in Turkey. She made a stage hit with her plays Southern Lady, an allegorical piece about American playwright Lillian Hellman's struggle with McCarthy-era conservatives in the 1950s USA, and The Invited, on the drama that the Turkish immigrant workers face after the return to their country of origin.


    Protesting against the repression on the left-wing press, on June 21, the editors of five left-wing reviews, Yeni Cözüm, Yeni Demokrasi, Günese Cagri, Emegin Bayragi  and Toplumsal Dirilis, launched the campaign "Socialist Press cannot be reduced to silence!" and as a first action they left a black wreath in front of the State Security Court. Thereupon, police detained Ozcan Sapan from Emegin Bayragi and Emir Bilgin from Yeni Demokrasi.
    Two days later, on June 23, the editors of these five reviews held a press conference in Istanbul. Stressing that the confiscations and bans are carried out with a view to destroying left-wing publications, they called on all democratic forces for solidarity with the socialist press of Turkey.
    This action of the left-wing editors was supported with a press communiqué of the Writers' Union of Turkey (TYS).
    In another action, the editors and readers of four socialist reviews went on a hunger strike from July 5, 1988. The action takes place in the offices of the reviews Günese Cagri (Call to the Sun), Yeni Cözüm (New Solution), Yeni Demokrasi (New Democracy) and Emegin Bayragi (The Standard of the Labour) in Istanbul.
    The hunger strikers also went on a sit-down at the Sultanahmet Park on July 14, but they werebrutally dispersed by security forces. Six hunger-strikers were taken into custody. Meanwhile, many journalists following the incident too were harassed by police.


    2.6: The issue No. 10 of the monthly review Yeni Demokrasi is confiscated by the decision of Istanbul SSC.
    4.6: A new book entitled "After Che" and published by the Kiyi Publishing House is confiscated by the decision of Istanbul SSC. - The governor of Gaziantep bans the distribution and sale of folk singer Ahmet Kaya's musi-cassette entitled "Tired Democrat".
    7.6: Police raids the Istanbul office of the monthly review Yarin and detains 8 people inside, including the Istanbul representative of the review, Bülent Eryilmaz.
    9.6: Yeni Cözüm and Emegin Bayragi are confiscated by the order of Istanbul SSC for communist propaganda.
    12.6: Writer Muzaffer Erdost is tried at a criminal court of Ankara for his sociological study on the border town Semdinli, published 25 years ago in a weekly review. He is accused of having justified smuggling in the region.
    14.6: The June issue of the monthly Yeni Acilim is confiscated by the decision of Istanbul SSC.
    24.6: The issue No.4 of a series entitled Isciler ve Toplum is confiscated in Istanbul for containing an article on the workers' resistance at Taris Mills in 1980.
    25.6: The monthly review Yeni Demokrasi is confiscated by a court warrant on grounds that it contains articles against articles 158, 159, 311 and 312 of the Penal Code. It is announced by the editors that five out of eleven issues of this review have been the object of confiscation.
    27.6: Filmmaker Ali Ozgentürk is indicted for his last film entitled Water too may burn and sent to a criminal court in Istanbul. He faces a prison term of up to six years for "having insulted the State security forces". - Journalist Aslan Alp is detained in Ankara for a pamphlet he edited.
    1.7: Representative of the monthly review Cözüm, Caffar Akel is detained in Malatya on the charge of being member of an outlawed organization.
    13.7: Responsible editor of the monthly review Alinteri, Mr. Sefik Calik is tried at a criminal court of Istanbul for having published the torture allegations of the TBKP officials,Yagci and Sargin. He is liable to a prison term of up to six years for insulting State security forces.
    13.7: Two journalists from the monthly review Vardiya, Fuat Musaoglu and Bülent Ramazan Ongan are sentenced to 7 years, 3 months and 15 days prison term each for communist propaganda.
    14.7: Writer-poet Metin Demirtas is detained by police in Antalya and his personal books are confiscated.
    19.7: Monthly review Toplumsal Dirilis is confiscated by the order of the Istanbul SSC.
    23.7: The issue No. 11 of the monthly review Yeni Oncü is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC on the accusation of separatism.


    Internationally known Turkish humorist and writer Aziz Nesin  who last year tried unsuccessfully to bring a libel case against Kenan Evren, has taken his complaint to the European Human Rights Commission.
    In a speech in 1984 Evren described Nesin as a "traitor" in the wake of the issuing of the "Intel
-lectuals' petition" which criticized Turkey's human rights record and demanded more democratic freedoms.
    The petition was presented to the presidential office by Nesin and a group of other Turkish intellectuals including university professors, stage personalities, writers and journalists. Of the 1,383 who signed the petition 59, including Nesin, were charged with distributing illegal leaflets at a military tribunal in Ankara. At the end of the trial all the defendants were acquitted. Nesin bitterly attacked Evren in his defense statement saying that as a human being he was ashamed of some of Evren's remarks.
    Nesin's attempts to bring an action against the president were defeated when two separate courts in Ankara and the Supreme Court of Appeals refused to deal with his case. Since all the legal possibilities in his own country have been exhausted, Nesin took his case to the Human Rights Commission in Strasbourg earlier this year and had his application accepted.
    Legal experts said the commission will now draft a report evaluating Nesin's case and will subsequently submit a compromise "friendly settlement" to the disputing parties. If this friendly solution does not work out then the case may be taken to the European Hu-man Rights Court.


    Although all defendants of the case of Turkish Peace Association have been released by the Martial Law Court of Istanbul, seven of them again face imprisonment of up to 8 years. On July 8, the Chief military prosecutor asked the Military Court of Cassation to overrule the lower court's verdict by arguing that the defendants are liable to heavier prison terms.
    If the higher court accepts the chief prosecutor's point of view, 23 defendants will be tried for a fourth time at the Martial Law Court of Istanbul.


    Protest singer Joan Baez's four concerts in Istanbul and Izmir have been the highlights of the cultural life of Turkey in July. Although she got ovation from cheering crowds in each concert, Turkish authorities have reserved to her a scandalous treatment.
    After her program in Izmir, Baez went to Kusadasi, a summer spot just south of Ephesus, for two days of rest. Two Turkish diplomats and hotel employees ob-liged her to leave hotel room on the second day so that it could be given to the Turkish Foreign Minister Mesut Yilmaz who was accompanying the visiting Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
    Leaving Turkey, in a gesture of solidarity, the American singer sent a message to the detained TBKP officials.


    Contrary to expectations, Turkey again escaped being entered on the International Labour Organization's list of countries violating the ILO Convention. However, the Application Committee, ILO's highest consultative organ, decided on June 14 in Geneva to urge the Turkish Government to work to improve labour rights in compliance with international standards.
    Since 1983 Turkey has been among the countries which were top on the ILO agenda, but never put on the blacklist.
    Before the 1986 ILO conference, the Turkish Government presented a "letter of guarantee" to the ILO saying that it would make necessary modifications in labour laws. This was followed by another letter in 1987 which admitted labour laws in Turkey needed substantial changes and promised to take necessary steps to implement them.
    Recently the Turkish Parliament adopted some amendments in the labour legislation, but trade unions accused the government of making only cosmetic changes. Agreeing with the trade unions' views, the Application Committee, on June 7, put Turkey on the list of countries to be questioned.
    On this decision, the Turkish Labour Minister Imren Aykut challenged the ILO's authority in following terms: "The ILO is not a court or a prison so nothing can be done. The only thing they can do is to warn Turkey to obey the ILO norms."
    On June 14, during a two and a half-hour session of the committee, the labour wing of the ILO, headed by Jef Houthuys, supported the idea of listing Turkey among violators.  But the maneuvers of the employers' group flirting with the Turkish Government led the committee to keeping Turkey out of the blacklist, despite the fact that the Progressive Trade Unions Confederation (DISK) is still banned and that many provisions of the labour legislation are not compatible with the ILO's norms.
    According to a report transmitted by the Turkish Government to the ILO, the value of the DISK's properties confiscated by the State is estimated at 34 billion TL ($24.3 million). But DISK Chairman Abdullah Bastürk, on July 12, accused the government of deceiving the ILO and declared that the real value of the confiscated DISK properties should be more than 450 billion TL ($322 million).

    The minimum wage in Turkey for the industrial sector was raised by more than 60% on June 27 amid protests from unions that the increase WAS insufficient.
    The new ruling brings the minimum monthly gross income for anyone over age 16 to 126,000 ($90). After the deduction of taxes and other payments, the net wage is 83,766 TL ($60).
    The gross and real minimum wages set for those younger than 16 are 86,850 TL ($62) and 58,671 TL ($42), respectively.
    The minimum earnings established for the agricultural sector are lower. Those older than 16 are guaranteed a 117,000 TL ($83) gross minimum wage. Workers under 16 have wages set at 78,750 TL ($56).
    Representatives of the Confederation of Turkish Labour Unions (TURK-IS) walked out of the last meeting of the minimum wage committee, claiming that none of their proposals had been taken into consideration during the studies.
    TURK-IS stated that the new minimum wages had been instantly rendered meaningless by the newly announced price hikes.
    According to a study carried out by the Middle East Technical University (ODTU) in Ankara, considering the annual inflation rate (between 50-70 percent) the minimum net wage for a 4-person family should be 254,062 TL ($182) in 1988 and 406,499 TL  in 1989.
    Another report on workers issued by the petrochemical union (Petrol-Is) shows that Turkey, in comparison with 18 other industrialized and developing countries,  has the largest gap in income distribution, the cheapest labour and the smallest portion of national income being earned by workers.
    Ten percent of the population took the largest share of the national income in Turkey, the report says. The highest income group takes 40.7 percent of the national income while only 3.5 percent goes to the lowest income group. Thus, Turkey is comparable to countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Costa Rica in its lopsided income distribution.
    Turkey also is the country where the cost of labour is lowest. The cost of labour per hour is about average 473 TL ($O.82) according to 1986 statistics. The cost of labour per hour in the next cheapest labour market in the study, in Portugal, is $1.19. Earnings average $15.37 in Holland, $13.21 in the USA, $11.45 in Denmark, $10.15 in the FRG and more than $5 in Greece.
    In terms of the share of wages and salaries in total national income, Turkey again occupies one of the last places, with its share decreasing from 33.6 percent in 1976 to 18.6 percent in 1986. The closest country to Turkey in the study is Nigeria which has 27.1 percent of total income going to wage earners.
    According to the research, a sharp decrease in real wages is still continuing. It is necessary to work 15 hours and 28 minutes in 1987 to obtain the wage that was earned by working 8 hours per day before January 24, 1980.
    A worker earning an average wage could buy a kilo of bread working 29 minutes in 1979, but has to work 51 minutes for the same purchase today. A kilo of meat could be bought by working 7 hours and 23 minutes in 1979, but today a worker must work 13 hours and 36 minutes.


    Thirteen trade union officials were detained on June 22 at the industrial zone of Adapazari for having attempted to march to Izmit in protest against the policies of the government and the submission of the TURK-IS administration.
    After being held under arrest for 12 hours, the trade unionist were released by a local tribunal.
    On July 14, political police arrested 23 workers in Izmit for carrying out different actions in protest at the State-owned Paper Mills.


    The European Parliament which has kept the Turkish regime at a distance since the military coup of 1980 is now at a turning point. At the sessions to open in Strasbourg on September 12, 1988, just eighth anniversary of the military coup, the Plenary Assembly will discuss the Political Committee's report on the relations between Turkey and the European Communities. Though criticizing some anti-democratic practices by the Ankara regime, the report suggests the revival of Turco-European relations.
    The Political Committee adopted the report drawn up by German socialist Gerd Walter by 39 votes against 3 and 5 abstentions on June 23. (For the initial text of the report, see Info-Türk, March 1988).
    If the Walter report is adopted by the Plenary Assembly, the Turco-European association as well as the Joint Parliamentary Commission between the European Parliament and the Turkish National Assembly will be restored.
    Such a decision will be a new retreat of European institutions in the field of human rights and the final step of the legitimization of the antidemocratic Turkish regime in the international arena.


    June and July were two triumphal months for the Turkish regime. The author of the military coup of 1980 and the main responsible of the bloody repression following this coup was welcomed in the United States and in the United Kingdom by the rulers of these countries in spite of a series of protests coming from human rights organizations.
    President-general Evren's visit to the United States at the end of June was the first visit of a Turkish head-of-state since 1967. Received and praised by President Reagan at the White House, Evren expressed his gratitude by saying "In Turkey, we do not feel fatigued by our support of the Western allies; because we know that by supporting the allies, we may all continue to reap the blessings of freedom."
    But next day when journalists asked him some annoying questions on the violation of freedoms by his administration, General Evren resorted to usual demagogy claiming that the responsibles of these practices were being punished if found guilty.
    At a luncheon with American businessmen Evren said the relations between Turkey and the US were developing in all aspects "contributing to peace and stability in the world."
    As for Evren's visit to the United Kingdom in mid-July, it was the first official visit of a Turkish head-of-state in 21 years. While human rights groups were staging protest actions in the street, Evren was taken by Queen Elizabeth to Buckingham Palace through London streets. At a pompous dinner given in his honor by Queen Elizabeth at the Buckingham Palace, Evren quoted a 19th Century English writer who described Turkey as Britain's "old, loyal and natural ally." In exchange for this fidelity, he asked British support for Turkish adhesion to the European Communities.


    Greek Prime Minister Papandreou announced on July 24 that he would not be able to go to Turkey until the end of this year when he will no longer be acting as chairman of the European Communities. This announcement came as a surprise in Ankara.
    Although officially no date was set for Papandreou's visit to Turkey, there was an understanding between Turkey and Greece during Ozal's stay in Athens in June that his counterpart would come to Ankara this fall.
    According to political observers in Athens, Papandreou does not want to give the impression that relations between Greece and Turkey are completely free from trouble at a time when he is negotiating the extension of the military bases agreement with the United States. Papandreou wants to introduce a clause in the agreement providing American guarantees for Greece's security.
    On the other hand, Greek government spokesman pointed out that airspace violations by Turkish planes in the Aegean began immediately after Ozal's departure from Athens and said that the country's borders in the east are still vulnerable to Turkish military activities.
    Greek diplomats also underline the difference of approach to the Davos spirit in Ankara and Athens. Despite three rounds of meetings between Papandreou and Ozal, no compromise was reached regarding these differences. Papandreou attributes primary importance to the question of Cyprus while Ozal dwells on bilateral relations between Turkey and Greece.
    While Ozal was in Athens in June there were expectations at the Greek public that Ozal would make a gesture of goodwill by announcing troop withdrawals from Cyprus. But this announcement never came.

New Dimensions of the Kurdish
Resistance Movement in Turkey

    The Kurdish resistance has gained new dimensions in last two months.
    First of all, in an unexpected move, the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (YNK) signed, in April 1988,  a protocol of alliance, after the meeting of their general secretaries, respectively Abdullah Öcalan and Jalal Talabani.
    The spokesmen of the two organizations announced, at a press conference held on June 3, 1988 in Brussels, that they agreed to develop their common struggle in all parts of Kurdistan and the coordination between different fronts of struggle. They also agreed to refrain from resorting to any actions or behaviors which may constitute a trump in the advantage of the enemy.
    After this agreement with Talabani's powerful organization signifying the end of the political isolation of the PKK in Kurdistan, the latter has been the object of an increasing interest in the Turkish mass media.
    The daily Milliyet began, on June 15, to publish a series of interviews made with Abdullah Öcalan by Mehmet Ali Birand. However, the Turkish Government, considering the series as a "separatist propaganda", banned the rest of the interviews and opened legal proceedings against the author.
    On the occasion of the 4th anniversary of its foundation, the ERNK, the front organization of the PKK, held a press conference in Brussels on August 16, and announced the annual data concerning the armed struggle in the Turkish Kurdistan.
    According to the spokesmen of the ERNK, the Kurdish guerilla units have carried out 122 actions  in last one year. During the armed confrontations the ERNK has lost its 95 fighters while the other side lost 22 army officers, 1,193 soldiers, 22 teachers, 143 village protectors, 70 counter-guerilla agents. The Turkish Army, according to the same declaration, has lost 6 helicopters, 19 military vehicles and 49 bulldozers and graders. The guerillas have set on fire eight building sites.


    While the PKK and the YNK were signing an accord of alliance, eight Kurdish organizations of Turkey announced, at a common press conference held in Brussels on June 10, that they had set up the Liberation Movement of Kurdistan (TEVGER).
    The components of this new movement are The Flag of Liberation, the Progressive Workers Party of Kurdistan (PPKK), the Democratic Party of Turkish Kurdistan/National Organization (KDP/RN), National Liberation of Kurdistan/ Socialist Tendency (KUK/SE), the National Forces Party of Kurdistan (PARHEZ), the Socialist Party of Turkish Kurdistan (TKSP), the Socialist Unity of Kurdistan (YSK) and the Revolutionaries of Kurdistan.
    In their joint declaration, the eight organizations announced that their objective is to put an end to the hegemony of the Turkish colonialism and to establish the independent Kurdish Democratic Republic. TEVGER foresees an armed struggle in order to attain this objective.
    Answering a question, they said that TEVGER may go to an alliance with PKK if this latter refrains from labelling other Kurdish organizations as "traitors" and gives up the violence acts aiming civilian people.


    "Kurdish is not a separate language but a compilation of old Turkish words which changed from through time," the military prosecutor of the Diyarbakir Martial Law Court claimed while indicting the former mayor of this principal city of Turkish Kurdistan.
    The mayor, Mehdi Zana, who has been in prison since the military takeover of 1980 on charges of Kurdish separatist activities, now faces another 15-year prison term because he demanded to deliver his defense statement in Kurdish.
    The wife of Mehdi Zana is among the 46 people who detained during the protest action in front of the Diyarbakir Military Prison on the Sacrifice Holiday.


    Following the announcement of the cease-fire agreement between Tehran and Baghdad, Iraqi and Iranian forces have the possibility of reinforcing their attacks on the Kurdish forces. Already fighting is intense especially in areas close to the Turkish border. According to press reports, Kurdish villagers of the area are fleeing to Turkey as fighting escalates in northern Iraq between government forces and Kurdish guerrillas.
    Since the Turkish Army is carrying out a combing operation in the Turkish Kurdistan, the Kurds, whatsoever be their country of origin, find themselves in a cross-fire.
    Meanwhile, he Kurdish cause has recently gained a very important support from the world opinion. Hundreds of international personalities published in The International Herald Tribune and Le Monde an "International Appeal in Defense of Kurdish Culture in Turkey".    
    The appeal reads:
    "Like every human community, the Kurdish people have the right to preserve their cultural heritage and to freely express their identity. The Kurds' ancient culture is part of the world's cultural patrimony. The product of centuries of history, the work of generations, it deserves, like all other countries, respect and protection. That is why the undersigned, guided by the principles proclaimed in the United Nations' Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international covenants on human rights, opposed to all forms of intolerance and discrimination, concerned with justice and democracy, urge the Turkish authorities to abolish all constitutional and legal bans on the use of the Kurdish language and, more generally, on all cultural expressions of the millions of Kurdish citizens in Turkey."
    Among the signatories are also Jacques Lang, Pierre Mauroy, Ahmed Ben Bella, Alberto Moravia, Harold Pinter, Jan Myrdal, Umberto Eco, Edward Kennedy, Winnie Mandella, Danielle Mitterand, Maurice Bejart, Yves Montand, Arthur Miller, Jane Birkin, Ingmar Bergman, Desmond Tutu, Beni Sadr and Gérard Depardieu, and the appeal remains open to the signature to other personalities.
    On the other hand, about 20 members of the European Parliament have set up a special group to deal with the Kurdish Issue and to raise the question at Strasbourg. According to the spokesman of the group, Belgian deputy Willy Kuijpers, these members of parliament will visit Turkey to make researches on the spot.
    Meantime, Jalal Talabani launched in Washington a successful diplomatic campaign for the Kurdish cause. The substance of Talabani's talks in Washington was not made public. But he said he was satisfied with the exchange of views he had in the U.S. capital. "We are knocking on all the doors, from China to the USA. We have also knocked on Turkey's door but it is locked for us," said 52 year-old lawyer who  has been fighting the Iraqi Baathists for more Kurdish autonomy.
    The official treatment accorded to the Iraqi Kurdish leader by Washington triggered a strong reaction from Ankara. After this visit, the US Ambassador to Ankara, Strausz-Hupé was summoned to the foreign ministry and notified of the concern the Turkish government felt over Washington's behavior regarding the Kurdish issue.  Referring to the fact that the YNK signed a protocol with the PKK, the ministry spokesman claim that the YNK shares the responsibility for the deaths of 552 civilians and soldiers in southeast Turkey since 1984. Later on, President-General Kenan Evren, during his official visit to the USA, conveyed to US officials his displeasure with this development.


    On June 28, the martial law court of Adana condemns two alleged members of the Revolutionary Liberation (DK) to capital punishment and nine others to different prison terms.
    On July 11, the martial law court of Diyarbakir concludes the trial of 53 alleged militants of the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK), by condemning a defendant to death sentence. The court pronounces life-terms for eight defendants and different prison terms of up to 24 years for 23 others.
    On July 13, the same military court, in another group trial, condemns four alleged members of the PKK to different prison terms of up to ten years.


    On July 7, 1988, the military prosecutor in Istanbul demanded death sentences for 88 of the defendants in the mass trial of the left-wing Dev-Sol (Revolutionary Left) militants which has been dragging on for the past seven years.
    Out of the 1,243 defendants originally indicted in 1981 only 68 are currently in prison. Thirty-six of the 88 defendants for whom the military prosecutor demanded capital punishment have been released from prison in earlier hearings.
    In his final assessment of the case, the military prosecutor also asked the military tribunal to give 61 defendants life imprisonment, 26 of them sentences between 20 and 24 years, and 12 to 16 years for five of them.


    The 723 defendants of the biggest mass trial since the military coup of 1980 began to read their 800-page joint defense statement at the Martial Law Court of Ankara on August 10. The military prosecutor has demanded death penalty for 74 of the defendants.
    On behalf the defendants, Oguzhan Müftüoglu declared the military court unqualified to hear their case because martial law has been lifted in Turkey and said: "All the constitutional authorities accept that the functioning of the military tribunals after the lifting of the martial law is unconstitutional.
    He then went on to condemned torture, which he said he and his friends had to endure for months under police detention. The Dev-Yol leader said four of his friends died under torture between 1980 and 1982. He gave their names and the dates of their deaths.
    Dev-Yol sprang from the left-wing student organization Dev Genc in the early 1970s after the leaders of Dev Genc were arrested, shot dead by the security forces, or hanged following the military coup in March 1971. The group professes to an independent, radical left ideology which is neither pro-Soviet nor pro-Chinese.
    The military prosecutor claims that the Dev-Yol is guilty of many political violence acts committed in a view to overthrowing the established regime and setting up a working class dictatorship.
    Müftüoglu said that between 1974 and 1980, a total of 5,188 people lost their lives in politically-motivated killings. Of these 2,109 were left-wing victims and 1,286 were rightists.
    "The first 10 people killed were left-wing people. Of the first 100 to lose their lives 76 were leftists; and of the first 1,000, 721 were people of the left. These figures show how violence was started and escalated by the right," said Müftüoglu.


    The General Secretary of the banned Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), Mr. Nabi Yagci replied to the prosecutor's indictment in July at the State Security Court of Ankara. Following the reading of this 167-page statement, the tribunal will listen to the reply of Mr. Nihat Sargin, Secretary General of the outlawed Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP).
    The two party officials arrived in Turkey in November last year from self-imposed exile in Europe. Before they arrived in Turkey, Yagci and Sargin announced they would try to legalize the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP) which came into being with the merger of TKP and TIP.
    After the replies of the two party officials and fourteen other defendants, the prosecutor will present evidence supporting the charges. The trial will take at least more than a year to complete.
    The trials of TBKP have been attended by European observers.
    Five West European communist deputies scuffled with police during a protest action in Ankara on July 28. The confrontation took place at the Prime Minister Ozal's closely-guarded official residence in Cankaya. When Ozal refused to receive them, French parliamentarian Maxim Gremetz began to read aloud a declaration signed by 28 communist parties in Europe demanding the immediate release of Yagci and Sargin. At this point the scuffle began and the police, using force, threw the Europeans and their translator out.
    The following day the group again scuffled with police, this time before the Ankara penitentiary, when their demand to see Yagci and Sargin was refused by the prison authorities.
    The European communists said the treatment accorded to them showed to which extent democracy existed in Turkey.
    Meanwhile, Yagci and Sargin applied to the European Human Rights Commission personally through a French lawyer with a complaint that their attempts to seek legal action against policemen who tortured them under detention were foiled by the Turkish legal authorities.


    The trial of the six founders of the newly founded Socialist Party (SP) began at the State Security Court of Istanbul on June 7, 1988. Secretary General Yalcin Buyukdagli as well as five leading party members, Ali Karsilayan, Yavuz Alogan, Ali Kalan, Nusret Senem and Halil Berktay are accused of contravening Articles 141 and 142 of the Penal Code and face prison terms of up to 20 years.
    Besides, on June 6, 1988,  the Constitutional Court began to deal with the Chief Prosecutor's demand to close down the Socialist Party.


    On June 21, at a trial of the PKK before the martial law tribunal of Diyarbakir, the military prosecutor claims capital punishment for 14 defendants.
    On June 22, the trial of 57 people indicted for the unauthorized May Day celebrations of this year begins at the State Security Court of Istanbul. Eleven of the defendants are tried under arrest.
    On July 13, seventeen alleged members of the PKK are brought before the State Security Court of Malatya. Two defendants face capital punishment.


    During the months of June and July, different opposition groups throughout Turkey have been the target of State terror.
    In the fear of protest actions on the occasion of the June 15-16, 1979 workers' resistance, security forces launched a combing operation in Istanbul and detained 220  "suspected" people. Despite this emergency measures, opposition groups, throughout the city, put on the walls placards celebrating the anniversary and protesting against anti-worker policies.
    Other police operations in two months:
    6.6, in Nusaybin, a 58-year old Kurd is shot dead by security forces during an armed clash.
    18.6, security forces claim the capture of 43 "separatist" in different villages of the province of Mardin.
    5.7, in Izmir, police announces a new operation against Dev-Sol militants allegedly responsible for a robbery.
    10.7, in the provinces of Mardin and Siirt, five Kurdish militants are shot dead by security forces.
    12.7, an armed clash in Kozluk results in the killing of nine Kurdish militants and four security men.
    14.7,  police announces the capture of nine militants of an outlawed organization in Ankara.
    18.7,  police claims that a combing operation against the outlawed Dev-Yol organization in Izmir, lasted for 40 days results with the detention of 40 militants.
    19.7, security forces claim the capture of 24 PKK militants in Mardin and 24 in Ankara. Besides, 60 people are reportedly detained in Cizre for supporting PKK militants.
    27.7, security forces carry out a combing operation in the South-eastern provinces and detain 50 alleged "separatists".
    28.7, two Kurdish militants are captured in Midyat.
    30.7, security forces shoot dead 10 Kurdish militants in Hani and Midyat.


    The protest actions against the inhuman conditions and ill-treatment in prisons have been carried on during the months of June and July.
    In a move to support 285 hunger-strikers in the Aydin Prison Type E, their parents went on a hunger strike by sitting in the Güven Park of the capital Ankara on June 6. On the eleventh day of this action, police intervened in and ordered the strikers to disperse. On the refusal, police attacked on the strikers and detained 13 of them.
    On June 19, another group of parents made a sit-in action in front of the Aydin Prison.
    The same day, 235 political prisoners in Gaziantep refused to see their parents who came for a  exceptional visit allowed by the authorities on the occasion of the Fathers' Day. The inmates of the Gaziantep Prison said that they will carry on their refusal as far as their demand to ameliorate the prison conditions is not accepted.
    The hunger-strikers of Aydin Prison ended their action on June 20 when the prison administration accepted some of their demands, but the same day 147 inmates of the Eskisehir Prison began a similar action.
    On July 27, during the visit of parents to the Diyarbakir Prison on the occasion of the holy Sacrifice Day, the attitude of the guards led to incidents. When women were kept inside for a time longer than the duration of visit, their husbands and brothers entered in clash with the guards. 46 persons, including the wife of the former Diyarbakir Mayor Mehdi Zana, were detained for the protesting action.
    At the end of July, 93 inmates of the Sagmalcilar Prison in Istanbul were on hunger-strike for protesting against the beating of their five comrades on June 16.
    On the other hand, the Association for Solidarity with the Families of Prisoners (TAYAD), on June 17,  held a ceremony at the Silivrikapi Graveyard for commemorating the victims of the Hunger-strikes. After the ceremony, when the group of 200 people began to march towards the city, police intervened in and dispersed them by force.


    The number of the political prisoners who were condemned during the martial law period to prison terms higher than those which are foreseen in the Turkish Penal Code is estimated at about 10 thousand.
    By virtue of Article 17/1 of the Code on Martial Law, No. 1402, adopted after the military coup of 1980, martial law tribunals have been authorized to increase a prison term against any defendant up to its two folds. According to the daily Cumhuriyet of June 6, 1988, the total of the excess prison terms pronounced by martial law courts against 10 thousand people reaches to 31 thousand years.
    Although martial law was lifted throughout Turkey, military tribunals continue to try those who had been arrested and indicted during the martial law period. These latters too face excess prison terms while those who have been captured after the lifting of martial law for the same "crimes" and tried by civil courts are liable to prison terms settled by the Penal Code.

    The commission which has been working on a new penal code since 1985 submitted a draft to the Justice Ministry in July. As expected, the draft bill leaves intact the controversial capital punishment provision in Turkey.
    However, it decreased by half the prison sentences for such articles as 141, 142,163 dealing with setting up illegal communist organizations, making communist propaganda and organizing with an aim to create a state based on Islamic law.
    The commission has also proposed the annulment of Article 140 stipulating prison terms of not less than five years for anti-establishment activities or statements of Turkish citizens abroad.
    The Union of Turkish Bar Associations has declared that the new draft is unacceptable since it maintains capital punishment and the articles dealing with political opinions and activities.