the worst setback of his political career
Ozal claims to be victorious in
the 25 September poll
The 25 September referendum, to decide a minor constitutional change to
anticipate local elections by five months to November, resulted in the
worst setback of Prime Minister Ozal's political career, though he
threatened to resign a week ago if the outcome of the ballot was
Mr Ozal polled just 35% support, while 65% of the voters, conforming to
the common suggestion of aIl the opposition parties, leftwing as weIl
as right-wing, voted against the constitutional amendment.
Despite this defeat, just after the referendum, Ozal considered that
the 35%, close to his party's score in 1987 legislative elections
(36%), was enough to save face and withdrewhis threat to resign. "We
will now continue to serve the country for the next four years until
the next general election", he said.
Many people had already regarded his resignation threat as a mere
vote-catching tactic, anyway.
Mr Ozal was cle~ly saved from a real electoral catastrophe by the big
voting populations of Ankara -where he polled 36.5% supportand the
40.6% of Istanbul.
ln Turkey's predominant rural areas, especially in the provinces of
Turkish Kurdistan, his support was sometimes as low as 18%.
The vote against Mr Ozal reflected the electoratets dissatisfaction
with the Govemment's failure to curb high inflation - 74.8% up to the
end of August. Behind the inflation figures are a widening budget
deficit and rising domestic borrowing, the latter fuelled by the
Turkish Lira's rapid depreciation in an exceptionally heavy year for
As a result of the referendum, the people can expect five months of
municipal politicking. The municipal elections to be held in March 1989
will be a real test for Ozal as weIl as for aIl opposition parties.
There is speculation that Mr 6zal is tiring and may have planned to
resign next year anyway - or go on to the presidency when President
General Kenan Evren finishes his term in November next year.
EIGHT DEATH SENTENCES FOR DEV-YOL
The seven-year-old mass trial of 854 Dev-Yol
defendants ended on August 24, in Erzincan, when the military tribunal
handed down eight death sentences and 14 life imprisonments.
The trial of the left-wing defendants began in 1981,
about a year after Turkish military forces entered the small Black Sea
town of Fatsa near Ordu with tanks and auxiliary police personnel to
bring an end to what was described as political domination by the
"extreme leftist" Dev-Yol organization.
Unidentified men in civilian clothes, hiding their
faces behind black masks, led policemen to the houses of persons to be
arrestyed. It later turned out the masked informers were members or
sympathizers of the neo-fascist Nationalist Action Party (MHP).
Among the 854 defendants were the mayor of Fatsa,
Fikri Sönmez, public officials and teachers. All were indicted on
charges of being member of Dev-Yol and attempting to set up an
unconstitutional administration in Fatsa.
Whereas, Fikri Sönmez had been elected mayor with
the support of all political parties in the town, except the
neo-fascist MHP, and had set up a kind of autogestion.
During the seven-year trial, the military prosecutor
was arrested in 1983 on charges of receiving bribes from the families
of the arrested defendants. Though released on bail, he was sentenced
in absentia to 29.5 years in jail.
However, the trial continued with the indictment he
prepared, which sought death sentences for 341 of the defendants.
Meanwhile, Mayor Fikri Sönmez died in prison in 1985 due to
In addition to the eight death penalties and 14 life
imprisonments, the military tribunal also handed down 313 prison
sentences ranging from one to 20 years.
Following the reading of the sentences, the
defendants began shouting slogans in the courtroom: "Sown with
fascism!", "We haven't spoken our final word!", "Long live our
struggle!" as their relatives in the spectator benches clapped their
Only 38 of the 854 defendants were still under
detention when the sentences were handed down.
As we reported in the preceding issue, in another
mass trial against Dev-Yol ongoing in Ankara, the military prosecutor
claimed death sentence for 74 out of 723 defendants.
POLITICAL TRIALS IN AUGUST
7.8, a new case against 18 people accused of
collaborating with the PKK.
12.8, seven alleged members of the Communist Party
of Turkey/Union (TBK/P) are condemned by the State Security Court of
Ankara to 34-year imprisonment each for a sabotage to the State
Machinery and Chemical ProductsIndustries in Kirikkale in 1986. Next
day, seven people, parents of the condemned, are detained for shouting
slogans during the reading of the sentence at the tribunal.
13.8, two university students, Gündüz Özer and
Veysel Duvaryapan are sentenced to 11-month imprisonment each for
painting on the wall a slogan claiming the release of the two TBKP
31.8, the military prosecutor of the State Security
Court of Izmir opens a new case against 17 members of Dev-Yol for their
attempt to dig a tunnel into the Kirsehir Prison for saving their
comrades. They face prison terms of up to 50 years.
MASS ARRESTS IN AUGUST
1.8, in Mardin, police arrests 59 Kurds for having
given shelter to the PKK fighters.
6.8, in Siirt, police arrests three members of the
Oil Workers Union (Petrol-Is), three members of the Social Democrat
Populist Party (SHP) as well as 20 other people.
8.8, in Ankara, 11 alleged members of the TKP/ML are
12.8, police claims to have shot three leading
members of the PKK in Adiyaman.
13.8, seven alleged members of the Revolutionary
Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP) are arrested in Ankara.
15.8, an armed clash between security forces and the
PKK guerrilla results in the killing of one person from each side.
17.8, seven alleged members of PKK are arrested in
20.8, police announces the arrest of 22 alleged
militants of PKK in the western provinces of Izmir and Antalya.
22.8, a PKK militant is shot dead by security forces
and two others arrested in Mardin. It is reported that the killed one
is the nephew of social democrat deputy Ahmet Türk.
ACTION FOR STATELESS PEOPLE
The Human Rights Association of Turkey has launched
a campaign for the restauration of citizenship of all those who have
been deprived of Turkish nationality because of their political
During the visit of a delegation from this
association, on August 25, SHP Chairman Erdal Inönü said: "Depriving
citizens of Turkish nationality is a very primitive practice. When we
come to power, we shall immediately put an end to this practice and
restore their nationality."
On the other hand, the European Parliament, in its
resolution adopted on September 15, 1988, called on the Turkish
Government to restore the citizenship rights of Turkish nationals who
have been stripped of Turkish nationality and to provide guarantees for
political refugees who wish to return to Turkey.
NEW TORTURE ALLEGATIONS
During the trial of 17 people, accused of having
helped the political prisoners who escaped from the Metris Military
Prison, at the State Security Court of Istanbul on August 16, 1988, the
declared that they had been tortured during their interrogation at the
A 16-year old folk singer, Miss Saadet Akkaya, said
that she was kept undressed for fifteen days and tortured by giving
electric to her genital organ or by beating on the vagina with a
bottle. She added that the torturers were addressing each other with
code names such as Panzer, Echo 66, Green, Atom or Milkman.
AGAIN OBLIGATION OF PRISON UNIFORM
The penitentiary authorities have obliged all
political prisoners, including those who have not yet been
condemned, to wear one-type prison uniform. This practice had been
lifted last year after the resistance of prisoners.
On August 9, the Association for Solidarity with the
Families of Detainees and Prisoners (TAYAD) made an appeal to all
penitentiary authorities to put an end to this inhuman practice.
In return, on August 16, the Ministry of Justice
sent to all prisons which had not yet adopted this practice, an order
to start the obligation of one-type prison uniform.
Families of prisoners have reported that whoever
resists in prison against this practice is either tortured or menaced
with disciplinary measures.
At the end of August, the inmates of many prisons
announced that they would go on a new hunger-strike if this practice is
In the Bursa Prison, a group of political detainees
attempted to escape by digging a 15-meter tunnel. After having
discovered this tunnel, the penitentiary authorities have resorted to
extraordinary security measures in different prisons of the country.
PERSECUTION OF THE PRESS IN AUGUST
The number of the confiscated reviews and books in
recent months is so big that the basement of the State Security Court
of Istanbul is reportedly already cram-full. Recently, on August 21st,
police units brought to this basement 23,035 different confiscated
reviews weighing more than four tons. The daily Milliyet of August 23rd
reports that all the publications to be found guilty will be sent to
the Izmit Paper Mill for destruction.
Below we resume the persecutions against the press
7.8, the public prosecutor of Istanbul indicts two
journalists from the daily Milliyet, Talat Halman and Eren Güvener, for
libelling Premier Ozal in some articles. Each faces a prison term of up
to one year.
12.8, a book entitled Socialism and Parliamentary
Democracy is confiscated by the order of the State Security Court of
Istanbul on grounds that it contains communist propaganda.
12.8, journalist Oral Calislar, after having served
his 8-year prison terms, is detained on the ground that his name takes
place in the list of wanted people.
12.8, the August issue of the monthly review Emek
Dünyasi is confiscated by the decision of the Istanbul SSC. It is
reported that 7 out of 12 issues of this review have been confiscated
for articles defending the rights of working class and the Kurdish
13.8, the August issue of the monthly Yeni Demokrasi
is confiscated by the order of the Istanbul SSC.
19.8, Mr. Cemal Özcelik, responsible editor of the
monthly Medya Günesi, is sentenced to 3 years and 6 months prison for
publishing articles "weakening national sentiments". In a protest
against this condemnation, the editorial staff of the review go on a
hunger-strike on August 29.
28.8, the publisher of the monthly review Devrimci
Derlenis, Mr. Ahmet Kale, and the Istanbul representative of the
monthly Gün, Mr. Taner Renda are taken into custody in Ankara by the
30.8, Dogu Perincek, chief editor of the weekly
2000e Dogru, is taken under custody for a report which he published on
the assassination attempt against Premier Ozal.
31.8, the June issue of the monthly review Cagdas
Yol is confiscated by the order of the Istanbul SSC.
ANKARA GOVERNMENT'S DOUBLE-FACED ATTITUDE TOWARDS KURDISH REFUGEES
After the cease-fire between Tehran and Baghdad,
more than 100,000 Kurdish peasants escaping from the merciless
offensive of Iraqi forces have penetrated into the Turkish territory
and sought asylum. This influx of Kurdish refugees has put in
unprecedented embarrassement the Turkish Government which cannot cope
for years with the Kurdish guerilla in its own territory.
Iraq is using a 60,000-strong military force in the
northern part of the country to rout the Kurds. Refugees accuse the
regime of Saddam Hussein of using chemical warfare against the Kurds.
The Iraqi government reportedly told the Turkish counterpart that Iraq
might practice the right of hot-pursuit inside Turkish territory
against the Kurds according to an agreement signed between the two
countries four years ago. In fact, Turkish armed forces have entered
Iraqi territory twice in the past to pursue the PKK guerrillas.
Although the military opposed to the settlement of
the Iraqi Kurds in the fear of infiltration of Kurdish combatants
hostile to the Ankara regime, the government was obliged, under the
pressure coming from the public opinion and the European institutions,
to give them temporary shelter. By doing so, the government hoped first
to have the support of the Kurdish population in the approaching
referendum. Secondly, it planned to influence the European Parliament
which would vote a resolution on the Turco-European relations.
However, in a few weeks, Kurdish refugees begon to
complain against the conditions in the camps. Most of the refugees said
they preferred to stay in Turkey but they compalined to foreign
reporters about the cold, widespread illnesses because of poor sanitary
conditions and a shortage of foodstuffs. Signs of further unrest were
apparent at the camps as some refugees burned electricity polls to warm
In Hakkari, Kurdish refugees got into a fight with
Turkish soldiers that they accuse of sexually harassing young Kurdish
Moreover, the Turkish Government which does not
officially recognize the existence of Kurdish people and Kurdish
language has sent to the camps 48 teachers to teach Turkish to Iraqi
Kurds. This attempt may also give rise to the unrest in the camps.
As for the refugees' claims about the chemical
warfare carried out by Iraqi forces, the Ankara Government says: "Our
own doctors and specialists who examined the people seeking refuge in
Turkey have found no signs of chemical warfare." Whereas, the US State
Department announced that chemical weapons were used during the
offensive against the Kurds.
Turkey's attitude towards a possible UN fact-finding
committee visit to the refugee camps would be "negative", said a
Foreign Ministry spokesman.
IRANIAN REFUGEES' DRAMA IN TURKEY
Amnesty International issued in July 1988 a document
describing the situation if Iranians in Turkey and particularly the
procedures to which Iranian asylum seekers and refugees are subjected.
Basing on the information coming from Iranian
refugees who have passed through Turkey, their relatives and friends,
Amnesty International's report reads:
"Hundreds of Iranians have been summarily returned
to Iran from on or around Turkey's border with Iran without being given
an opportunity to claim for asylum to representatives of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or to the competent
Turkish authorities. Asylum seekers who report to the UNHCR in Ankara
are obliged to report to the Turkish police, and are sent back to the
border for pre-screening. Asylum seekers have reportedly been forced to
return to Iran from border camps where they are held before being
permitted to travel to so-called sattelite towns, provincial towns
around Ankara where the asylum seekers are interviewed by UNHCR to
assess their status as refugees. There they await resettlement in third
countries. In a few cases Iranians have been forcibly returned to Iran
after having been recognized as refugees by UNHCR.
"At least four of the Iranians forced to return to
Iran from Turkey since Nomvember 1986 have reportedly been executed,
and others imprisoned and tortured."
The document recommends that there should be an
immediate end to the summary return of asylum seekers before their
status has been determined by the UNHCR and that no government should
send Iranian asylum seekers to countries such as Turkey where their
protection from refoulement cannot be assured.
FOREIGN BANKS' FABULOUS PROFITS
1987 was a lucrative year for foreign banks. The
Dateline Turkey of June 11, 1988, reports that foreign banks, compared
to other countries, make high levels of profit in Turkey. Calculations
show that foreign banks operate five times more profitable against
their assets than in other countries.
The risk in loan distribution ran at very low levels
for most of these banks as most of their major borrowers were Turkey's
porominent holdings. Seven of the ten foreign banks had no
Net Profit (TL)
Standard Chartered 2.9 billion
Manufacturers Hanover 2.3 billion
Chase Manhattan 2.1 billion
Bank Mellat 2.0
The First National Bank of Boston 1.5 billion
Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait 1.4 billion
Saudi American Bank 1.3 billion
Arab Turkish Bank 0.3 billion
The Ottoman Bank is the only foreign bank in Turkey
since the foundation of the Republic, by virtue of a privileged
agreement. But after the military coup of 1980, Turkish economy was
opened to other foreign banks.
Citibank (USA) was the first to realize that there
was money to be made in Turkey. It was followed by other US and Arab
However there is not yet any German bank in Turkey
in spite of the fact that Turkey does a significant amont of trade with
Germany. Apart from one joint venture there are no Japanese banks
either, even though Turco-Japanese economic relations are being built
FOREIGN COMPANIES IN TURKEY
Not only foreign banks, but foreign investors in
other economic sectors have eight times increased after the military
coup of 1980, mainly because of the new privileges given to them and
the crackdown on trade union movement.
After Ozal's coming to power, this increase has
shown a considerable acceleration.
JOINT VENTURES AND THEIR CAPITAL
Share of foreign
Number of Total
capital of capital in
ventures Joint ventures
117.9 billion TL
254.8 billion TL
207.8 billion TL
464.9 billion TL
302.9 billion TL
707.2 billion TL
435.6 billion TL
960.0 billion TL
1988 (7 m.) 1,000
599.9 billion TL
1,287.3 billion TL
ORIGIN COUNTRIES OF FOREIGN CAPITAL
companies Capital invested
Country shared by this country by
W. Germany 154
72.9 billion TL
10.9 billion TL
63.4 billion TL
100.0 billion TL
34.6 billion TL
6.0 billion TL
28.7 billion TL
S. Arabia 28
16.9 billion TL
31.5 billion TL
234.5 billion TL
599.9 billion TL
As for the distribution of foreign capital to
different sectors, manufacturing holds the first rank with a total of
329.6 billion TL. It is followed by the sector of services
with 236.7 billion TL, the agricultural sector with 25.9 billion TL and
the mining with 7.7 billion TL.
In the sector of services, the foreign investment
that bank and finance have received is 84.7 billion TL in total.
The rate of foreign investment in all joint ventures
has reached to 46.6 % in 1987 as it was 29.7 % in 1979.
3 TURKISH FIRMS AMONG THE WORLD'S 500 TOPS
According to a survey carried out by Fortune
magazine, three Turkish companies are among the world's largest 500
firms, excluding the United States.
Turkish Petroleum Inc. (TPAO) was in 117th place
with a sales amounting to $5.7 billion. Koc Holding has climbed to
149th place from 155th place in 1987. Sabanci Holding has fallen to
178th place in 1987 from 166th place it occupied the previous year.
The survey also showed that TPAO was in 41st place
in terms of its net profit of $490 million and in 247th place in terms
of the number of workers it employs, 18,846. Koc Holding is in 147th
place in terms of its net profit which is $167 million. The holding
occupies 129th place among the 500 largest firms in terms of workers it
TPAO is a state enterprise monopolyzing oil
industry, while Koc and Sabanci holdings are private companies having
investments in different industrial and commercial sectors. The number
of the companies owned by Koc and Sabanci are respectively 91 companies
TURKEY'S TOP INDUSTRIAL COMPANIES
In the industrial sector, according to a survey
carried out by a Turkish weekly, Ekonomik Panorama, two companies
belonging to the Koç Holding, Arçelik and Tofas, ranked at the top of a
list of 100 companies in terms of of the volume of sales and
profitability on sales in 1987.
Arçelik is specialized in durable goods production
and Tofas is one of the major names in the car industry in Turkey.
They are followed by OYAK, a giant holding belonging
to Army officers and having investments in all branches of the economy
and has a joint car venture with Renault.
According to the magazine, the 100 largest Turkish
companies made sales worth 16,891 trillion TL in 1987. This was a
considerable increase compared with the 1986 figure of 5,146 trillion
TL. Their pre-tax profits reached 955 billion TL compared with 435
billion TL in 1986.
The ten top companies made sales valued at 2,151
trillion TL, approximately 13 % of the total sales of the 100 companies
and a profit of 295 billion TL, 31 % of the total.
1987 was a golden year particularly for the car
industry and the companies manufacturing cars ranked at the top of the
liste along with the chemical sector. In 1987 there was a neck-and-neck
competition between the Koc's Tofs and OYAK's Renault in terms of
sales. Koc's another car company, Otosan ranked at the eighth position.
Name of company Turnover
1. Arçelik 287.9 billion TL
2. Tofas 253.8 billion
TL 25.7 %
3. OYAK-Renault 230.2 billion TL
4. Cukurova Celik 225.0 billion TL
5. Toros Gübre 221.2 billion
TL 1.1 %
6. Aksa Akrilik Kimya 203.4 billion
TL 25.3 %
7. Sasa Suni Elyaf 189.3 billion TL
8. Otosan Otomobil 181.9 billion TL
9. Netas 181.3 billion
TL 9.7 %
10. Teletas 177.3 billion
TL 17.7 %
GREENS BECOME TENTH PARTY
The Greens Party (YP) became the 10th officially
registered political party in Turkey. The new party's primary aim will
be to protect the natural, social and cultural environment of Turkey.
The new party founded by Dr. Celal Ertug and 51
other ecologists hopes to participate in the coming local elections and
to attract ecologically concerned voters. "We feel that the traditional
partliamentary political system is losing its value," Dr. Ertug said.
"The YP is a new alternative to the old traditional political parties
of the left and right. Our political strategy will be local. We believe
in a localization of the Turkish political system whereby each
individual will be free to make his or her own decisions."
The foundation of the YP was also timely in that it
coincided with the continuing debate on the proposed construction of a
hotel complex adjacent to the breeding ground of the rare loggerhead
turtle in the small Mediterranean coastal village of Dalyan and with
the damping of poisonous wastes by foreign ships into the Black Sea
coasts of Turkey.
However the YP is not only group seeking the votes
of non-conformist people.
Already a part of the YP founders, headed by Dr.
Aydin Ayas announced that they do not see themselves in the disciplin
of the party, because the YP is bound to respect the rules imposed by
the legislation on political parties.
The daily Hürriyet of August 2, 1988, named the
other Green groups as follows:
RADICALS: Headed by Ibrahim Eren, they try to unite
all radical and marginal groups such as ecologists, atheists,
antimilitarists and homosexuals on a platform of coordination and
RADICAL DEMOCRATIC GREENS: Gathered around the Green
Peace Association and publishing a review under the same name, they
prefer organizing in the form of local associations instead of a
ISLAMIC GREENS: Animated by an islamic journalist,
Abdurrahman Dilipak, this group calls on all anti-establishment groups
except homosexuals. In a view to developing an islamic-ecologist
ethics, they prepare to publish a review titled Cevre Kültürü
SCEINTIFIC GREENS: Formed mainly by engineers of
environment, this group is preparing the publication of a review
entitled Bizim Cevre (Our Environment).
ASSOCIATION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATURAL LIFE: They
concern themselves only about the protection of the natural life.
LIBERTINES: They refuse all kind of organization and
advocate individual initiatives. Refuing the appelation of "Greens",
they name themselves Libertine ecologistes.
TRANSNATIONALISTS: They are close to the
Transnational Radical Party, founded in Italy, and Ayhan Birol takes
part in the federal council of this party.
POISONOUS BARRELS IN THE BLACK SEA
203 barrels containing poisonous and carcinogenic
materials have been found in Turkish territorial waters of the Black
Sea. The Department of Environmental Studies announced that these
materials could cause any number of diseases ranging from skin problems
The name of the West German chemicals company,
Hoechst, was seen on some of the drums; but the Turkish representative
of the company said they were not responsible for dumping the barrels
into the Black Sea.
It was reported that barrels originated in Italy.
They have been dumped in the Black Sea by a Syrian freioghter called
Zanoobia. The Italian weekly L'Espresso quotes, Ahmad Tabalou, the
capitan of Zanoobia, as saying the Jelly Wax company in Italy promised
to put $200,000 into the Swiss bank account of his brother if he dumped
the industrial xaste into Turkish waters.
On the other hand, German freighter Petersberg was
drawn back from Istanbul seaport on August 14 with its cargo of
radioactive and poisonous waste. The ship loaded a cargo described as
"industrial sand" in Vienna on May 23 and headed for Turkey where a
Turkish company was shown as the purchaser. However, a series of tests
by the Turkish Atomic Energy Commission (TAEK) found traces of
"cesium", a radioactive eklement which is usually released after
SUICIDES REACH RECORD LEVEL
Suicides in Istanbul have reached a record level in
the first six months of this year, police said on August 23. A total of
100 people in the city attempted suicide between January nd June with
64 losing their lives. Quick medical attention saved the remaining 36
lives. 40 percent of the people who attempted suicide were men between
the ages of 15 and 35.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT'S RESOLUTION ON TURKEY
The European Parliament, at its session of September
15, 1988, voted for a resolution calling for the reconvention of the
EEC/Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee for the first time in eight
years. Despite the reservations it expresses about human rights
violations, this resolution constitutes the final step taken by Europe
towards the recognition of the Turkish regime.
The Joint Parliamentary Committee in which the
Turkish National Assembly and European Parliament are represented with
18 deputies each was suspended following the military coup of 1980 in
The resolution, based on a report drawn up by West
German social democratic deputy Gerd Walter, reads:
"The European Parliament,
"1. Stress that, under the influence of the
countries of Europe, present-day Turkey has established constitutions
and a legal system on the democratic models of the Western European
nations, though these have been suspended periodically through coups
"2. Considers that Turkey's special significance for
Europe can best be acknowledged through the application and where
appropriate extension of the Association Agreement; takes the biew,
however, that this can only be considered when democracy in Turkey is
full restored and human rights are respected;
"3. Is therefore prepared to consider a resupmtion
of the association in the light of developments in Turkey;
"Regarding the situation in Turkey
"(a) Human Rights
"4. Welcomes the intrdocution on 29 January 1987 of
the individual right of petition for Turkish citizens to the European
Commission of Human Rights, in accordance with Article 25 of the
European Convention on Human Rights, but 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
political offenders who have resorted to violence and certain political
activities legal in democratic countries;
"6. Notres the fact that on the basis of a law
passed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly in 1987, those involved
in the trials of DISK and the Peace Movement have eithed had their
sentences reduced or have been released, although still subject to
limits on certain civil and political rights;
"7. Notes that although the Turkish Government has
made some effort, torture and inhuman conditions of detention are still
"8. Welcomes the signature and ratification by
Turkey of the European Convention on Torture and calls for
comprehensive application of the provisions of this convention, linked
with the possibility of international verification; welcomes also the
fact that, on 2 August 1988, Turkey ratified the UN Convention on
"9. Considers that democracy will not be fully
operational in Turkey until the supremacy and independence of the civil
courts is re-established and the right to a speedy and impartial trial
with full legal defence is guaranteed in every case;
"10. Notes that the state security courts and their
function are in opposition to the process of democratization and do not
come up to European standars;
"11. Calls for an end to the indefinite detention in
solitary confinement in Turkish gaols of people who have not been
convicted by any court;
"12. Calls for the trials against DISK; the Turkish
Peace Movement and Devrimci Yol presently before the Supreme Court to
be brought to an end as soon as possible; notes that the preferral of
charges against Mr Kutlu and Mr Sargin and the opening of legal
proceedings to ban the Socialist Party founded at the end of January
constitute major violations of the right to free political activity and
calls for a revision of the Turkish Penal Code (in particular
Paragraphs 141, 142 ab-nd 163) in order to enable a pluralist democracy
to be established; recalls its resolutions of 19 Novembner 1987
democracy to be established; recalls its resolutions of 19 November
1987 and 21 January 1988 calling for the release of Mr Kutlu and Mr
"13. Wishes to see the continuing restrictions on
political and trade union activities and the freedom of opinion lifted
and the abolition of the death penalty;
"14. Notes that a large number of Turkish citizens
have sought political asylum in ERurope, some of whom were deprived of
their nationality and have so far been unable to return to their home
"15. Wishes to see the citizenship rights of Turkish
nationals who have been stripped of their nationality for political
reasons restored and guarantees provided for political refugees
who wish to return to Turkey;
"16. Calls for the release of all political
prisoners who are prosecuted because of their political views or their
membership of a political party or association;
"17. Condemns terrorist acts whatever their origin;
calls for the recognition of the basic human rights of members of the
Kurdish minority living in Turkey;
"18. Recalls Turkey's obligations towards non-Muslim
minorities under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and, in particular,
towards the Greek community of Constantinople (Istanbul), Imbros
(Gökceada) and Tenedos (Bozcaada) and the Armenians still living in
"(b) Restoration of parliamentary democracy
"19. Refers to its abovementioned resolutions of 23
October 1985 and 11 December 1986, which made the restoration of
parliamentary democracy a precondition for the reactivation of the
"20. Points out that since the reconstitution of the
Turkish Grand National Assembly, there has been significant progress
towards establishing parliamentary democracy, which has fulfilled this
"21. Applauds 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;
"22. Reaffirms, however, the findings of its
delegation on the occasion of the Turkish elections of 19 November
1987, but notes that all the political parties and movements are united
in wishing to eliminate the remaning restrictions and seek further
consolidation of democracy;
"23. Calls on Turkish authorities to lift the state
of emergency prevailing in the 11 provinces bordering on Iran and Iraq
so as to remove the restrictions on political and parliamentary life in
Regharding the state of the Association
"24. Recalls that Turkey first applied for
association with the EEC only one-and-half years after the entry into
force of the Treaties of Rome, which resulted in the signature of the
Association Agreement of 1963;
"25. 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 of
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;
"26. Requests the Commission which, following
Turkey's application to join the Community, is responsible for drawing
up an opinion on the subject, pursuant to Article 237 of the EEC
Treaty, to take account not only of the economic aspects of Turkey's
accession to the Community if this should come about, but also of the
political aspects of such a move (internal and external developments
relating tyo Turkey, human rights, fundamental freedoms, the position
of the minorities) and of the views expressed by the European
Parliament in its various resolutions;
"27. Stresses that essential obligations under the
Association Agreement have not been fulfilled and refers in this
respect to the report drawn up by Mr Pimenta on behalf of its Committee
on External Economic Affairs;
"28. Points out also that the Protocols of
Adaptation to the EC-Turkey Association Agreement following the
accession of Spain and Portugal to the Community have been approved by
Parliament and concluded by the Commission;
"29. Stresses in this context that its approval of
these technical 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
Regarding a resumption of the Association
"30. Stresses that its persistent advocacy of
democracy and human rights has, in certain cases, contributed to
alleviating the sufferings of people convicted on political grounds in
"31. Calls on the Turkish Government to act in
accordance with the obligations incumbent upon it under the Association
Agreement and to introduce all the requisite measures for the
consolidation of parliamentary democracy and the safeguarding of human
"32. Calls on the Turkish Government, too, to give
its consent to a negotiated solution to the Cyprus problem, as stated
in its resolution of 20 May 1988, and to a settlement of its bilateral
diffrences with Greece, a Community Member State, by seeking out
solutions in keeping with international law;
"33. Takes the view that in the wake of the Turkish
elections in November 1987, the Association bodies are the appropriate
framework for promoting the dialogue between the EC and Turkey on
continuing these developments; wishes therefore that the Association be
resumed and the EEC/Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee be reconvened;
"34. 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;
"Reaffirms in this context the findings of its
resolution of 20 May 1988 and calls on:
"(a) the governments of the Member States of the
Community to support the UN Secretary-General's fresh initiative to
make a success of the talks held between the President of the Republic
of Cyprus and the representative of the Turkish community, R. Denktash,
with a view to restoring peace and stability in the region, respecting
democratic principles and the independence and unity of the Republic of
"(b) the Turkish Government to exert all its
influence on the Turkish Cypriot side to achieve a permanent and viable
solution to the Cyprus problem in accordance with the above principles;
"35. 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 the rules of
international law and stresses that the settlement of these disputes
will contribute to the improvement of relations between the EEC and
In another resolution, the European Parliament
decided to activate appropriate mechanisms for sending aid to the
Kurdish refugees in Turkey. However, a paragraph in the resolution
expressing gratitude to Turkey for opening its borders to the refugees
was taken off the final text.
US REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN TURKEY
The US Commission on Security and Cooperation in
Europe submitted to the US Congress, in July 1988, an update report on
the state of human rights in Turkey.
After having given detailed informations on the
situation of civil and political rights, political prisoners, torture,
freedom of association and trade union, freedom of the Press, freedom
of expression, minority rights, freedom of religion, the Commission
arrives to the following conclusion:
"Turkey's human rights progress in recent years has
been substantial and has been recognized by a number of organization,
including the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. The
continuing efforts of the Government to improve the human rights
situation have resulted in impressive gaines.
"At the same time, the Commission remaines concerned
about serious problems in certain areas. The Commission condemnes
torture under any circumstances as incompatible with the respect for
human dignity, which all Helsinki signatories are committed to realize.
Measures have been taken by the Turkish Government, including recent
international undertakings, with a view toward eradicating torture
entirely from the Turkish scene. The Government's commitment to this
objective will be tested in the future as those undertakings are
"With respect to the status of the Kurdish minority,
it seems to the Commission that Turkey will have to find a way to
accomodate the aspirations of those Kurds who wish to live peacefully
as citizens of the Republic of Turkey while maintaining their
traditional culture. Recent political activities suggest that the
process may already be underway.
"While there remain topics which cannot be fully
treated in word in print without considering the potential legal
consequences, the degree of freedom allowed the press compares
favorably with even a few years ago. The very fact that issues which
were virtually untouchable before or during martial law are now
tolerated is evidence of the burgeoning scope of freedom of expression.
By broadening the political discourse in this fashion, the Turkish
press helps pave the way for more resilient democratic institutions.
"With respect to religious minorities, it is
noteworthy that, gradually, administrative matters of long standing,
some of which predated the 1980 takeover, have been addressed in recent
years. This is a welcome change, and the Commission hopes that this
encouraging progress will continue.
"No society has a perfect record on human rights.
Yet countries such as Turkey, in which citizens are able to redress
human rights grievances in the court system, are far closer to the
Helsinki ideal than many signatory nations. Increasingly, the clear
decisions of the judicial system are protecting personal liberties such
as freedom of expression, assembly, and association. If the Turkish
Government is able to implement its stated policies at all levels and
throughout the country, resorting to the judiciary may become less
frequent and less necessary.
"Turkish law is now evolving to reflexct, and to
insitutionalize completely, all the freedoms Turks value and have won
for themselves since the establishment of the Republic. The Commission
believes thar process is well under way."
CHIEF JUSTICE CRITICIZED THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM
Chief Justice Ahmet Cosar started a debate on the
shortcomings of the Turkish judicial system with a speech he delivered
at the ceremony marking the opening of the new judicial year on
September 6 in Ankara.
"It is not possible to take the Turkish society
backwards from the point it arrived at when it became a republic. This
is why we consider it a duty, in the name of Turkish justice, to warn
those who are ready to give concessions or leave aside the principle of
secularism or those who want to take modern Turkish society backwards
with Ottoman and Islamic nostalgia," the president of the Court of
Those who are in this position should be aware of
that not only will the unswerving common sense of history condemn them,
but Turkish justice will put them to a more effective and early
punishment whenever necessary, even before the verdict of the
histyory," Coskun told an audience which included Justice Minister
Mehmet Topac and many political leaders.
Cosar went on to explain the shortcomings of the
Turkish judicial system, criticizing the highly sensitive subject of
"Two separate mechanisms of justice have no place in
a modern constitutional system, Cosar said. There is no need for a
eparate military judicial system because the military and the judiciary
are incompatible. The basic structure of the military is a hierarchy
closely bound with obedience while the most obvious characteristic of a
sound judiciary should be independence."
The chief justice also criticized State Security
Courts for having military personnel serve on them. He said there are
flaws in the rules regulating the appoiuntments of judges and
prosecutors which should be corrected.
He also came out against "crimes of conscience"
saying "the thoughts that are not transformed into actions should not
be punished. In the civilized world, lawyers should be given access to
their clients during police interrogation and secrecy of the initial
investigation should be discarded. The practice of solitary confinement
in our penitentiary system should be abolished and prison buldings
should be deigned to suit the honor of being a human being."
According to some reports in the press, Justice
Minister Topac had aked to take the floor at the ceremony, but the
Chief Justice did not allow the memner of the executive power to speak.
The main opposition leader, Mr. Erdal Inönü (SHP)
welcomed Coskun's remarks and expressed support for them.
Teoman Evren, chairman of the Turkish Bar
Associations Union, in a brief address referred top Cosar's remarks and
said they clearly showed Turkey is living through a constitutional
There was also a quick reaction from the military
justice. The Chairman of the Military Court of Cassation, Brig. Gen.
Hakki Erkan said: "There are military courts in all countries which are
not different from their Turkish counterparts. The military courts in
Turkey are the most independent of their sort all over the world. This
I can claim."
GERMAN GROUP: "COURTS ARE NOT FREE"
Four West German observers, who were in Ankara to
follow the mass trial of Dev-Yol, met with the deputy undersecretary of
the Justice Ministry, Yildirim Türkmen, to discuss the Turkish penal
system and the use of torture.
The group, including Udo Groenheid, deputy chairman
of the West Berlin Bar Association; Eckhard: Barthel, a Social Democrat
deputy; S. Graessner, the representative of the West Berlin Medical
Association and Brigitte Appel, a Green Party deputy in the West Berlin
Parliament, said torture was still widespread in Turkey and 167 people
have died under torture since the 1980 military coup.
Graessner said that Ankara's former martial law
commander Recep Ergun dismissed a military prosecutor when he opened a
case against policemen accused of torturing people under detention.
"This indicates that the courts do not have freedom of action," he
The group also asked the Ministry to release two
Dev-Yol defendants psychologically damaged under torture, but Türkmen
said it was impossible to order judicial authorities to release a
Dissatisfied with the answers of the Ministry's top
official, the West German group held a press conference on September 7,
saying that under with the present judicial system and continuing human
rights violations Turkey cannot possibly become a full member in the
SOVIET SUPPORT TO KUTLU ET SARGIN
Since the 1980 coup it is the first time that the
Soviet Union sent a senior lawyer as an observer to a political trial
in Turkey. Prof. Rais Tuzmuhammedov, representative of the Soviet Bar
Association, attended the hearing of August 17, 1988, of the two TBKP
(the United Communist Party of Turkey) officials in Ankara.
After the hearing, Tuzmuhammedov claimed that the
trial of Nabi Yagci (alias Haydar Kutlu) and Nihat Sargin constituted a
violation of international rules of democracy.
The Soviet leadership had refrained until this trial
from showing active solidarity with the victims of the State terror,
and even sent back to Turkey some left-wing militants who sought
political asylum in the Soviet Union. Some of these latters had been
condemned to heavy prison terms by military tribunals.