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


12th Year - N°144
October 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


Staunch anti-communist and principal responsible of 50 executions, he
now talks of legalizing "communist party" and abolishing death penalty

    During his State visit to West Germany in October, his third to a Western country after Britain and the United States, President-General Kenan Evren sought the active support of the Bonn Government for Turkey's efforts to become a member of the European Community.
    Although German leaders welcomed him by confirming their appreciation for "returning to democracy in Turkey", Turkish and Kurdish opposition groups as well as German democratic organizations protested Evren's visit, reminding that General Evren is the principal responsible of the military putsch of 1980 and the State terrorism going on for eight years in Turkey. In every city Evren visited mass demonstrations took place. On October 17, after a visit to the Bonn City Hall, an egg lobbed toward Evren hit his limousine and splashed on his suit.
    In the fear of further incidents, the German police took extraordinary security measures during Evren's visit and even put under house arrest many dissident Turks and Kurds in Munich.
    In an attempt to give the image of a "democrat chief of State", General Evren declared during his visit to the FRG that sooner or later Turkey will have its legal communist party and the death penalty should be abolished. "It must come out into to open who is a communist and who is not. Now nobody knows that. They (the communists) are infiltrating political parties," Evren said.
    Although the leaders of the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP), outcome of the fusion of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) and the Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP), immediately welcomed Evren's declaration, other left-wing opposition groups said that General Evren was not sincere and aimed at deceiving European public opinion which insists on the legalization of communist party and the lifting of capital punishment for considering Turkey a country conforming to European democratic norms.
    In fact, Evren has always used staunchly anti-communist expressions since his coming to power in 1980. He has also defended capital punishment more than once.
    Following Evren's statement, the government circles said that, if the majority of the citizens express their approval by a national referendum for such an idea, they can legalize a communist party which is engaged in renouncing radicalism and playing political game within the framework imposed by the legislation.
    For their part, the TBKP officials, of whom two top figures are still in prison after their return from self-exile in 1987, have already announced at each occasion that they are ready to act in a realistic way. ∂n such a realism that the Secretary General of the party had, before returning to Turkey, given a petition to the Turkish Consulate in West Berlin in order to make his military service in the Turkish Army, a prerequisite to make legal politics in Turkey.
    However, the TBKP is not the only communist party of Turkey. First of all, an important section of the TKP, refusing fusion into TBKP and continuing to use the title of TKP, opposes to any legalization granted by Evren's power and accuses the TBKP leadership of becoming the plaything of the present regime.
    The other communist parties or movements based on Marxist principles such as TKP/ML, TKP/B, TDKP, Dev-Yol, Dev-Sol, Kurtulus and  PKK, of which many leading members have been tried for years in the shade of gallows, share the opinion that, even if the TBKP is legalized, it is out of question to claim the existence of real democracy in Turkey until the present authoritarian regime led by Evren-∏zal tandem will be overthrown.
    Aware of this fact, Evren did not miss to complain about the activities of these groups in Europe and asked German authorities to take disciplinary measures against them in the FRG, while talking of the legalization of "communist party" in Turkey.
    This controversial subject seems to occupy an important place in Turkey's political agenda in the coming months.
    On the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the Evren's coup, the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) gave a balance-sheet of the 8-year State terrorism.
    In this period, about 700 thousand people have been detained for political reasons. The total number of those people hit by any of different antidemocratic practices of the regime is estimated at about 4 million.
    Prosecutors have opened 210 thousand legal proceedings of which 202,501 have already ended.
    In four years between October 8, 1980 and October 25, 1984, fifty people were executed on the decisions of military tribunals. For the time being 220 death sentences are attending approval at the National Assembly and 100 others at the Military Court of Cassation.
    The number of those who died under torture in the same period is 177. According to a recent report of Amnesty International, only in the year 1987, seventeen people were killed by torturers during their interrogation.
    1,392 detainees are still in five military prisons (Metris-Istanbul, Mamak-Ankara, Erzincan, Erzurum and Diyarbakir) and tried by military tribunals despite the fact that martial law was lifted. Of those people 1,099 are left-wing, 216 right-wing and 77 suspects of smuggling. In 639 civil prisons there are 49,839 people of whom 31,500 are already condemned and 18,339 are waiting for their trials. Of the condemned people 1,820 are left-wing and  389 right-wing. As for the detained people, 709 are left-wing and 39 right-wing.
    According to the IHD, about 30 thousand people escaping from the State terrorism are political refugees in Europe and 14 thousand of them have been deprived of Turkish nationality.
    On the anniversary of the coup, police took extra-ordinary security measures in big cities in the fear of violent acts of protest. Despite these measures bombs exploded in some quarters of Istanbul. Besides, the Association of Solidarity with the Families of detainees (TAYAD) held a protest demonstration in the Sultanahmet Place of Istanbul on September 12.


    1.9, in Diyarbakir, the military tribunal sentences 14 members of the PKK to capital punishment and 35 others to different prison terms of up to 15 years.
    7.9, in Adana, the trial of the members of the People's Revolutionary Union (DHB) and KAWA ends in the condemnation of four defendants to life-prison and four others to different prison terms of up to 24 years.
    15.9, a new trial against 22 alleged members of the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) begins at the State Security Court of Diyarbakir. The prosecutor claims capital punishment for two defendants and prison terms of up to 15 years for others.
    23.9, in Izmir, a former official of the Textile Workers' Union, Mr. Ibrahim ∏zcan, is condemned to 4-year imprisonment.
    28.9, in Adana, the military tribunal sentences two members of Liberation (Kurtulus) to life-prison and two others to 12 years and six months each.

    5.9, in Istanbul, police disperses by force a rally organized by the SHP in protest against the utilization of chemical weapons against Kurds in Iraq. Three party officials are taken into custody.
    8.9, an armed confrontation between security forces and PKK militants in the district of Kemah (Erzincan) ends in the killing of eight soldiers and the wounding of a NCO and a soldier.
    14.9, Chairman of the Student Association of the Letters Faculty of Istanbul University, Mr. Gπkhan Tirtil, is taken into custody for political grounds.
    15.9, security forces announce the arrest of 19 alleged members of an outlawed organization.
    27.9, two soldiers are killed and three others wounded during an armed confrontation with the PKK militants in Bingπl.


    The unrest outcoming from the Justice Ministry's order to oblige all detainees, even if they are not yet condemned, to wear one-type prison uniform has spread in military and special prisons in September.
    In some prisons detainees have gone on hunger-strike. The action was joined later on by the relatives of prisoners.
    Strikers have reported that those detainees who do not accept to wear uniform are placed in solitary confinement.
    Political detainees and their families ask:
    - Lifting of illegal disciplinary measures,
    - Putting an end to one-type uniform obligation,
    - Allowing families to visit prisoners once a week,
    - Extending the duration of visit to one hour,
    - Stopping censorship on private correspondence with families and with comrades in other prisons,
    - Allowing the entrance into prison of newspapers, reviews and books,
    - Allowing Kurdish detainees to defend themselves at tribunals in their mother tongue.
    Parallel to hunger-strike, the families of prisoners held a demonstration before the Metris military prison on September 28.
    On September 16, fourteen alleged members of the TDKP detained in the prison of Izmir came to the State Security Court for their trial with sport dresses on in protest against one-type uniform.
    On September 17, a second spectacular escape from prison was carried out by 18 political prisoners in Kirsehir. Including three prisoners condemned to capital punishment and four to life-prison, eighteen detainees succeeded to escape from prison by digging a 118-meter long underground tunnel.


    An immigrant workers, Dervis Savgas, was detained on August 25 when he came to his natal town, Viran-ªehir, for annual holiday. Eight days later, police gave his corpse to his family. A social-democrat deputy, Mahmut Ke•eli immediately asked an autopsy for determining the cause of his death. Doctors, after examining the corpse, certified that there were the traces of beating on his body and some bones had been broken.
    On September 29, another social-democrat deputy, Mr. Mustafa Yilmaz, holding a press conference at the National Assembly, presented to the press a victim of torture. Mr. Osman Can said that he had been detained in Gaziantep on September 3 and tortured by gendarmes for days during his interrogation.
    On September 5, at the trial of 1,243 alleged members of Dev-Sol at the Military Tribunal No.2 of Istanbul, defence attorney Osman Ergin, claiming that many of his clients had been tortured, asked a medical control of all defendants by a fully equiped hospital.
    At another political trial in Ankara, that of Dev-Yol, defendants unveiled a document showing that General Evren personally rewarded a torturer named Bekir Pullu in 1981. This policeman was accused of torturing two leading members of Dev-Yol, Nasuh Mitap and Oguzhan MΩftΩoµlu.   

    After his defeat at the 25 September referendum, Premier ∏zal opened a debate on another change in the election system, this time aiming to get rid of SΩleyman Demirel's Correct Way Party (DYP), the second political party in the right.
    The Motherland Party (ANAP) is now studying the possibility of a two-round election system to be implemented during the local elections in March 1989. According to the system, as in France, candidates who are not able to win a certain percentage of the vote will be eliminated in a second polling.
    ∏zal admitted that such an election system would leave only two parties on the political scene eventually: The ANAP on the right and the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) on the left.
    Mr. Demirel qualified this new project as a means of establishing ANAP dictatorship.
    As for Mr. Erdal InπnΩ, leader of SHP, he learned about ∏zal's proposals while he was attending the Labor Party Conference in Blackpool. "Until now they (the ANAP government) have not held two consecutive elections under the same election law. Changing of election system each time is being disrespectful of the constituents. The election system should be determined through compromise and agreement between the political parties," he said.


    After attending the British Labor Party Conference in Blackpool at the beginning of October, Mr. Erdal InπnΩ flew to Brussels and had meetings with European Community officials and members of the European Parliament.
    "There are difficulties in relations between Turkey and the EC because of certain democratic concepts," InπnΩ said. "The reason is ANAP's failure to lift antidemocratic obstacles. We are aware of the fact that the relations between Turkey and EC will improve as soon as the government lifts these obstacles."
    The main opposition leader asked the European Parliament to let the joint parliamentary committee with Turkey resume its sessions as soon as possible.
    According to the Turkish press, a merger between the two social democratic parties in Turkey was one of the objects of talks between Erdal InπnΩ and Mr. Rudi Arndt, chairman of the Socialist Group of the European Parliament. Mr. Arndt reportedly offered to act as mediator between InπnΩ and BΩlent Ecevit, former prime minister and founder of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) for the unification of the two parties.
    But InπnΩ seems pessimist on this subject. "I do not know how such a unification can be brought about when Ecevit does not give hope for even the discussion of this subject," he told Arndt.
    At the last elections the scores of the SHP and the DSP were respectively 25 and 8.5 percent.
Recent opinion polls show a fall in the number of the DSP's supporters, mainly for Ecevit's hostile attitude towards other left-wing organizations.


    The number of Kurdish refugees from Iraq who went to new settlements in Iran from Turkey exceeded 10,000 by the beginning of October 1988. Winter conditions already prevailing in southeastern Turkey have caused the refugees to complain about living conditions in the tent camps. Temperature already fell 6 to 10 centigrade in October and pouring rains soaked the refugee tents. According to the weekly Dateline of October 15, 1988, request from the refugees to be relocated in Iran stem from the unbearable conditions in the camps.
    For the same reason, 1,471 Kurds from these camps have been obliged to return to Iraq following an offer of amnesty by the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
    Because of a failure to reach an agreement with the Iraqi government, no International Red Cross team was present as the Kurds crossing into Iraq from the Habur border point. Moreover, the Iraqi Government refused to give firm assurances that the Kurds returning from tent camps in Turkey would not be penalized.
    Turkish officials said out of the 60,000 Kurdish refugees in Turkey 25,000 have been living in the two tent camps in YΩksekova in Hakkari. With the departure of more than 10,000 Kurds to Iran, Turkish officials said one of the tent camps will be closed down and the refugees living there will be transported to the Uzuns∑rt camp.
    A spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry said granting political asylum to the Kurdish refugees was out of question for the time being. "These people have been granted temporary refuge in Turkey. We are not obliged to grant them political asylum," he said.


    A group of folk songs, Grup Yorum, was indicted on September 20, by the prosecutor of the State Security Court of Istanbul for performing a Kurdish ballad during a cultural soirée organized by the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) in Istanbul.
    Accused of separatist propaganda, eight members of the group, Metin Kahraman, Kemal GΩrel, Tuncay Akdogan, Efkan Sesen, Ilyas Akkaya, Ejder Akdeniz, Serdar Keskin and Taci Uslu were questioned by the prosecutor.
    Following the interrogation, the court decided to arrest Metin Kahraman who is of Kurdish origin.
    On the other hand, the most popular folk singer of Turkey, Ibrahim Tatl∑ses was indicted again on September 19, for the words he pronounced during a concert.
    At a cultural soirée in Uªak, attended also by the Minister of Justice, a businessman asked Tatl∑ses to sing a song in Kurdish. But Tatl∑ses turned down this demand saying "I am a Kurd. But the laws ban me to sing in Kurdish."
    Thereupon, the local prosecutor began a legal proceeding against businessman Mehmet Y∑lmaz and singer Ibrahim Tatl∑ses for separatist propaganda.


    The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted, on 4 October 1988 in Strasbourg, a favorable opinion concerning the European Charter for regional or minority languages in Europe, adopted by the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe.
    The Charter contains two central points: the right to use one's own language and not to be discriminated against for doing so. The rapporteur of the opinion, Mr. De Puig, said that the Charter attempts to establish minimum standards that might not protect all languages or satisfy the radicals but would, he hoped, revive many.
    Afraid of the fact that the adoption of such a Charter might lead to encourage the defenders of the right to revive regional or minority languages, for example  the mother tongue of more than ten million Kurdish citizens of Turkey of which the utilization is forbidden by laws, the representatives of the Turkish regime opposed to the adoption of a favorable opinion.
    GΩneª Taner, a deputy of the ANAP in power, said:
    "In discussing the draft European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, I wish to state that, although the promotion of such languages in the various countries and regions of Europe may well represent an important step in the preservation of the European cultural heritage and diversity, each country must be considered separately, taking into account the different historical realities and existing social conditions. In its present form, the draft Charter envisages certain rights and privileges for regional or minority languages which might prove difficult to put into practice. We are also afraid that the application of some of its provisions might require major administrative provision as well as huge financial resources."
    Despite this objection, the Assembly adopted the following opinion:
    "The Assembly,
    "1. Having noted Resolution 192 (1988), on regional or minority languages, adopted by the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe;
    "2. Recalling its concern to protect the linguistic diversity of Europe, as expressed for example in Recommendation 928 (1981), on the educational and cultural problems of minority languages and dialects in Europe, and Recommendation 1067 (1988), on the cultural dimension of broadcasting in Europe;
    "3. Recalling also its Recommendation 1043 (1986), on Europe's linguistic and literary heritage, in which it recommended that the Committee of Ministers defend and encourage multilinguistism in Europe;
    "4. Noting the parallel interest expressed in Resolutions adopted by the European Parliament on 16 October 1981, 11 February 1983 and 30 October 1987;
    "5. Welcoming the initiative of the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe in preparing a draft European Charter for regional or minority languages;
    "6. Believing that the draft Charter appended to Resolution 192:
    "a. is sufficiently flexible to be applied in the widely different situations throughout Europe without interfering with the territorial integrity or official languages of contracting states;
    "b. contains basic conditions for protecting and initiating a revival of these languages and represents a practical and necessary first step in this direction;
    "7. Stressing the fact that the draft Charter concerns languages and not linguistic minorities;
    "8. Welcoming provision (under Article 13.5 of the draft) for two-yearly reports by the Secretary General to the Assembly on the application of the Charter;
    "9. Believing that provision should also be made for European non-member states to become contracting parties to the Charter,
    "10. Fully supports the request of the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe for the Committee of Ministers to adopt a European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages with the character of a convention open to all European States."
    Next day, right-wing Turkish newspapers qualified this opinion as a new "European plot in favour of Kurds" and accused the Turkish parliamentarians at the Council of Europe of not having worked enough to prevent the adoption of this opinion.


    After the cease-fire between Iran and Iraq the Turkish construction firms anticipate a boom in their fields. According to estimates made by a British company, business worth $250 billion must be created to renovate the factories, hospitals, pipelines and ports destroyed during the war. Iran and Iraq will have to spend $25 billion every year to restore their cities.
    There will be worldwide competition particularly between the British, German, French, American, Japanese and the South Korean firms to get a share of this reconstruction work.  Turkish companies hope to get renovation contracts worth up to $2.5 billion per year.
    The chairman of the ENKA Holding, ∫ar∑k Tara, reminding that Turkish construction companies worked in these countries even during the war, said:
    "Other countries willing to participate do not stand as much chance of acceptance as Turkish companies. We proved it during the war by winning    most of the contracts. ENKA Holding is actually building a dam -one of the biggest in the world- in Iraq. It will cost Iraq $1.5 billion."
    It is also expected that land transportation will boom following the cease-fire. During the period between 1978 and 1986, about 2 million tons of goods were shipped to Iran and Iraq per year.


    Sept 5: Journalist SΩleyman Coªkun who had spent three years in prison after the military coup, was incarcerated again  for serving another seven months imprisonment. He is accused of being member of the outlawed Communist Party of Turkey (TKP).
    Sept 8: The September issue of the monthly Gen•-lik DΩnyas∑ was confiscated by the decision of the State Security Court of Istanbul, for having published an article about the right to speak mother tongue.
    Sept 21: The responsible editor of the monthly Yeni †πzΩm, Mr. Ertuµrul Mavioµlu was sentenced by the State Security Court of Istanbul to 3-year prison term for having published articles allegedly containing communist and separatist propaganda.
    Same day, the Human Rights Association (IHD) issued a communiqué accusing the police of Ankara of having raided on Ankara offices of two left-wing reviews, Yeni †πzΩm and Yeni Aªama. According to the IHD, police took into custody many editorial staff members of the two reviews and tortured them during interrogation.
    Sept 22: A criminal court in Ankara began to try six journalists for having libelled Prime Minister ∏zal and Defense Minister Vuralhan in the articles they wrote or published: Engin Ard∑• (weekly Tempo), Fat-ma Yaz∑c∑ (weekly 2000e Doµru), CΩneyt ArcayΩrek, Uµur Mumcu and  Okay Gπnensin (daily Cumhuriyet). They face prison terms of up to 6 years each.


    The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN issued in July 1988 a new report on writers and journalists reported kidnapped, imprisoned, banned, under house or town arrest, or awaiting trial. Turkey occupies about seven pages in this 51-page report which gives a detailed information about writers and journalists in prison throughout the world.
    In a text presenting the report, the Committee makes the following remarks concerning Turkey:
    "According to the Turkish Human Rights Association the number of political prisoners in Turkey in November 1987 was around 18 thousand. According to the figures published by the Turkish Ministry of Justice on 6 April 1988, 5,309 defendants are still being tried by military courts with 1,392 of them held in pre-trial detention. It is impossible for the Committee to find out the exact number of writers and editors in prison and it is always learning about cases of which it had not heard before; for instance, it only recently found out about Ersin Ergun Keles, a young poet who has recently received a life sentence after an eight year trial. Even more worrying is a report in May 1988 by Amnesty International which demonstrates that many of the prisoners were tortured, usually in the initial period of interrogation at police stations."
    According to the Committee's report, the following journalists and writers are still imprisoned or awaiting trial under arrest:
    Nevzat Acan, Irfan Asik, GΩzel Aslaner, Oral Calislar, Mehmet Coban, Mustafa Colak, Servet Ziya Corakli, Ilker Demir, Bektas Erdogan, Fettah Erkan, Ersin Ergun Keles, Yasar Kaplan, Bayram Kazakli, Haydar Kutlu, Recep Marasli, Candemir ∏zler, Feyzullah ∏zer, Alaattin Sahin, Dr. Nihat Sargin, Orhan Selen, Erbil Tusalp, Erhan Tuskan, Hasan Fikret Ulusoydan, Mecit ∏nal, Ibrahim Arik, Mehmet Cetin, Mehmet Cerit, Mustafa Dum, Mustafa Eker, Muhittin Gπktas, Mustafa Kocak, AbdΩlkadir Konuk, Mehmet ∏zgen, Ali Rabus, Ersin Sarikaya, Abdullah Soydan, Osman Tas, Fatma Yaz∑c∑, Ali Haydar Yildirim, Veli Y∑lmaz, Yalcin KΩ•Ωk, Bilgesu Erenus, HΩsnΩ ∏ndπl, Ilhan Akalin, Ferhat Akday, Fuat AkyΩrek, Zeki Atas, Nurettin Baydar, Saban Bilgin, Y∑lmaz Dincberk, Ali Duman, Baki Karakol, Ulviye Kayserilioglu, Haluk Seckin Meric, Riza Olgun, Mehmet ∏zdemir, Abdurrahman Pala, Orhan SenyΩz, Necdet Sevinc, Orhan Tagi, Ali Riza Tura, Fatih Yildiz.
    Mr. Nurettin ∏ztΩrk, responsible editor of the political review Kurtulus, has disappeared after returning from exile and his mother thinks he may have been killed in police custody.


    A group of Turkish writers came together on August 29 to announce their intention of reviving the Turkish PEN Club which dissolved itself after the military coup of 1980.
    About 50 Turkish intellectuals including famous humorist Aziz Nesin and novelist Yasar Kemal elected a committee of six to begin the official procedure to legally establish the Turkish PEN. According to Turkish law concerning restrictions on connections with international groups, the Turkish PEN cannot be affiliated with the International PEN unless it is given permission by a government decree.
    Aziz Nesin, also Chairman of the Writers' Union of Turkey (TYS), criticized the former executives of the Turkish PEN who dissolved the club in 1980.
    During a meeting of the International PEN in New York in January 1986, it was proposed that a Turkish PEN Club outside of Turkey be established in the FRG by Turkish intellectuals in self-imposed exile.   
    However, the Writers' Union of Turkey opposed the idea saying that Turkish writers living in Turkey would not back such an idea. Later, Nesin wrote a letter to the West German Embassy in Ankara saying such an organization would become the fighting ground of various political factions in exile. He also said such a thing would be unfair to Turkish writers as a whole.


    The Director of the International Press Institute (IPI), Mr. Peter Galliner, in a letter sent to Prime Minister ∏zal, expressed the organization's concern about the recent repressive practices on the Turkish Press and asked him to put an end to this pressure.
    The IPI held its annual congress this year in Istanbul as a sign of solidarity with Turkish journalists. The anti-press campaign of the government restarted just after this congress.


    A world wide campaign is being carried out by international film societies and distinguished figures of the movie world. The appeal signed by thousands of defenders of freedom reads:  
    "For over seven years the works of film-maker Y∑lmaz GΩney have been censored in his own country. While moviegoers the world over can view his films freely, his fellow countrymen who should be the first to see them are not allowed to do so. This is all the more unacceptable that Ankara officials have declared their commitment to preparing the way for a return to democracy. They have even formally applied for membership in the EEC, a community composed of European democracies where personal opinions can be expressed without violating the law.
    "The undersigned parties, deeply attached to the ideals of freedom and democracy and opposed to any form of intolerance and censorship hereby demand the immediate withdrawal by the Turkish government of the ban on Y∑lmaz GΩney's films. This appeal has been signed by the majority of the participants at the Delphi Conference for the European Cinema and Television Year."
    Among the signatories are the unions of filmmakers,  critics or moviegoers from the USA, Belgium, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Spain, England, Italy, Quebec as well as many famous figures of the movie world.


    The International Institute of Social History organized from September 27 to October 1st, 1988 an "International workshop on problems and perspectives of research and documentation on the social history of 19-20th Century Turkey".
    Many Turkish and European historians and academics discussed at this workshop the possibilities and difficulties of writing a detailed, comprehensive social history of Turkey of the last 150 years and how should this collective work be organized? Many Turkish academics and writers: Korkut Boratav, Alparslan Isikli, Zafer Toprak, Tarik Zafer Tunaya, Mete Tuncay, Murat Belge, Rasih Nuri Ileri, Ilhan Tekeli, Sadun Aren, Mesut GΩlmez, Fikret Adanir, Cahit Talas, Kemal SΩlker and  S. Hanioglu from Turkey;  Sehmus GΩzel, Hakki Keskin, Dogan ∏zgΩden, Stefan Yerasimos, Orhan Silier, Oya Baydar, J. Balasz, P. Kouparanis, E. ZΩrcher, F. Georgeon, R. Pennix from different European countries participated in the workshop and expressed their points of view on the subject.
    However, the Turkish authorities did not allow two Turkish academics, Halil Berktay and Yildirim Koc, to leave Turkey for participating in this international meeting. At the end of the workshop, the participants reproached the Turkish authorities with disrespecting the freedoms of travel and expression.
    Besides, famous lawyer Halit †elenk, defender of many political defendants at military tribunals, was not allowed to go to the Great Britain for participating an international meeting organized in October in London by the Lawyers' Union.


    The Ankara police made a sweep arrest of Christians, raiding a home where they were celebrating the marriage of two Turkish converts.
    The surprise arrests began on the evening of September 29 and continued for two days. A total of 12 Turks, two Britons and one American were detained in the political division of Ankara's police headquarters.
    Five Turks who had been feting the newly married couple declared themselves not to be converts to Christianity and were released after 48 hours.
    The incident caused a diplomatic furor between Ankara and London when local police authorities denied the British embassy consular access to its citizens. A protest campaign launched by the BBC was followed by articles in The Independent, The Times and other London papers on the police action, labeling it a clear violation of article 36 of the Vienna Convention.
    On the protests, ten detainees were released a week after by the State Security Court.
    Six of the detainees had already been indicted for Christian propaganda, but received complete acquittals from the State Security Court and a criminal court in July and September.
    After their release, the Turkish Christians noted that well over half the day-and-night interrogations focused on theological issues, with the police investigators interspersing attacks against the New Testament with Moslem propaganda. "They read pages and pages of the Koran to us," one said.


    As a sign of growing social unrest in the face of low wages and high inflation, about 14,000 workers were on strike at the beginning of October 1988. Besides, approximately 409,000 workers countrywide are involved in collective bargaining which may lead to new strikes.
    10,200 of the strikers are the workers of the state-owned SEKA paper manufacturing plants. Their trade union, SelΩloz-Is, is demanding a 300 percent wage increase while SEKA is offering a 60 percent rise. The paper works' strike began on September 6 and has idled eight newsprint factories.
If the union's demands are not met, sympathy strikes may be called at various public sector companies, including the state-owned coal mines.
    In other sectors such as car or war industries, while the collective bargaining is being carried on by unions, workers often go on short-term protest actions like sit-in or boycotting meals.


    According to different surveys, the impoverishment of the lower income families is getting worse and worse.
    The daily Cumhuriyet of September 22, 1988, reports that the share of wage-earners in the  national income fell from 24.78 percent in 1983 to 13 percent in 1988, while the share of profit and interest was rising from 54.69 percent to 73 percent within the same period.
    Another survey carried out by the Middle East Technical University in Ankara splits the income groups of Turkey into five. The lowest income group comprising the first 20 percent of all families in Turkey receives only a 2.63 percent share of the national income. The fifth 20 percent group, representing the higher income families, had a 55.93 percent share of the national income. In other words, the share of the wealthiest group in the national income exceeded the combined shares of the remaining 80 percent.
    Taking into account the average price index, the minimum monthly income requirement of a family rose to 170,000 TL ($100) in August 1988, while it was 106,000 TL at the end of 1987. In order to get a minimum 170,000 TL net monthly income, a family needs a gross income of 260,750 TL. So 83,766 TL ($50) net monthly minimum wage is very far from meeting basic needs of a worker family.
    As for the average monthly net wage, including all social benefits, it is oscillating between 100,800 TL ($60) and 217,600 TL ($128) and rarely covers minimum monthly income requirement of a family.


    The continuous rise in foreign exchange rates, witnessed in the Tahtakale (the unofficial foreign exchange market) over the last month, has gone out of control.
    The Turkish Lira lost 82 percent in value against the dollar this year. The dollar which corresponds to 1,018 TL on January 1, reached 1,970 TL on October 14.
    The principal reason of this hike is the uncontrolled rise of inflation rate. According to official figures, the increase in the consumer prices over the past 12 months was 82 percent.
    In a move to slow down the inflation and foreign exchange rates, the government has recently freed interest rates. Some banks pay now an interest of 85 percent on deposits.


    Turkish and Soviet business representatives holding a three-day meeting in Istanbul in August 1988 have agreed to work for the establishment of a telecommunication network between the two countries and to lighten visa requirements.
    Soviet Ambassador A. Chernishev, speaking at the meeting, called the atmosphere situation between the two countries the "spring of economic and commercial relations."
    "Political, cultural, economic and military relations between the two countries are steadily improving," he said. "The bilateral trade volume is expected to rise from $300 million in 1986 to some $700 million in 1988. Considering that the trade volume between the Soviet Union and Finland reached $5 billion in 1987, it is a shame to have such a low level of foreign trade level between Turkey and the Soviet Union."
    Chernishev said new Soviet legislation allows cooperatives and State enterprises to have direct contacts with foreign companies and urged Turkish businessmen to forge direct links with the Soviet republics immediately.
    In the framework of the improvement of relations with the Soviet Union, from the end of June until the end of August 1988, 300 Turkish construction workers hired by the Koray-Batur Construction firm left for Moscow and began to work in Soviet health facilities. In the coming 29 months, a total of 102 Turkish supervisors and engineers and 900 workers are expected to participate in the realization of the project.
    As another sign of the amelioration of Turco-Soviet relations, the Sarp border gate, closed to traffic 51 years ago, was reopened on August 31, 1988. The town of Sarp, situated at the Turco-Soviet border in the North-East, has been divided between Turkey and the Soviet Union and many families have suffered from the impossibility to visit their relatives living at the other side of the town.
    After the reopening ceremony, several thousand people living on both sides of the border met for the first time by hugging and kissing each other in a dramatic atmosphere.

Index of the 12th Volume of Bulletins Info-TΩrk

    November 1987, No.133:
        Final act of the electoral farce: Two thirds of deputies for a third of the votes - ∏zal Government's 18 black spots - Arrests during electoral campaign - Detention of two top officials of the United  Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP) - Mass trials and condemnations - Torture and ill-treatment - Price of being tortured - Protest actions for and by prisoners - Suppression of the right to work - Pressure on intellectual life - Prosecution of religious activist - Christian minorities - Prostitution increased at 6,259% - 4 million children at the labour market - Recent data on Turkish immigration - Racist and xenophobic acts against Turks
        December 1987, No.134:
        Once more the USA deceived Turkey - After the Gorbachev-Reagan summit - Prisoners' resistance in jails - Rallies for the freedom of prisoners - ∏zal: "No amnesty general!" - New death sentences - Parliamentary debates on torture - TBKP Official's allegation of torture - Armed conflicts and arrests - Turkish journalists still in prison - New press cases - Press code to be aggravated - European Parliament delegation's visit to Turkey - Helsinki Watch report on Turkey
        January 1988, No.135:
        630,000 people detained, 76,316 tried, 50,455 condemned: thousands are still at military or state security courts - Shameful record of the 10-year state terrorism - Last one month's terror practices - Persecution of intellectuals - Confiscation of publications - Depriving opponents of nationality - Political trials and arrests - Tortures and ill-treatment - Shaky progress in Turco-EEC relations - Turco-Greek relations - Conclusions of the Beyer de Ryke mission - European Parliament's resolution on the violation of human rights - Oral question at the Council of Europe - Unequal opportunities in education in Turkey - Conference of "Friends of Turkey" - Stormy debate on Kurdish question - A Parliamentary report on Kurds - The Generals' coup in Turkey"
        February 1988, No.136:
        The US State Department's report on the situation in Turkey - ∏zal's new concessions to Washington - On the Heritage Foundation
        March 1988, No.137:
        European retreat before Ankara regime - ∏zal caught out in Brussels by Info-TΩrk - State of emergency extended - Relations with Greece and Bulgaria - A mini-Watergate in Ankara - Official figures on state terrorism - New 20 condemnations to death - Success of the prisoners' resistance -New torture allegations - Man-hunting and arrests - Crazy fines to "Harmful" publications - Other violations of press freedom - Crisis in the book industry - No passport to a former prisoner - Declaration on political refugees - Cries of hungry people - A new blow at trade unionists - Recent data on Turkish migrants - A Turkish brigade in the FRG - Racist and xenophobic acts - The private sector mounts an attack
        April 1988, No.138:
        How well "democracy" works! - The meeting of political emigres on the question of returning to Turkey - 42 journalists still in prison - Recent prosecution of intellectuals - 4.5 million recorded as "suspect" - Films banned from Istanbul Festival - Two novels to be destroyed - 29 convicts escaped from prison - Hunger strikes in prisons - New phase in guerrilla warfare - Pressures on a new socialist party - Prosecution of two communist officials - 9 new death sentences - AI: "Turkey: torture continues" - Destroying ethnic identity - Christian activists under arrest - KirkΩk scenario again on the agenda - Turkey to export water to Arab world
        May 1988, No.139:
        Evren-∏zal rule at deadlock - New trends in public opinion - Chief justice criticizes constitution - Menace of coup from general Evren - May Day under State terrorism - AI Report on death sentences - 3 death sentences approved - Workers prepare strike - New draft labour law - Arrest of university students - Conflict between ∏zal and the press - A journalist disappeared since 1984 - A new magazine confiscated - Film stars under prosecution - Pressure on a film director - An international tribunal against the Turkish regime - SP officials indicted - Official figures on state terrorism - Hunger strikes continue in prisons - Examination of virginity - Defence in Kurdish at the court - Famous Kurdish folksinger pursued - A monument to Y∑lmaz GΩney - Human rights group's petition - EEC-Turkey meeting aborted - High level Turco-Soviet talks
        June 1988, No.140:
        Inquisition in Ankara - Trial of TBKP officials - A democratic counterattack of the government upon Info-TΩrk - 74 death sentences claimed - Campaign for restoration of Nazim Hikmet's citizenship - State of emergency extended - 43 new prisons in two years - Medical neglect of prisoners - The "GAP" project and Kurds - Trial of 12 Christians in Ankara - Educators' association founded - Fabulous profits of big business - European Parliament adopted two resolutions condemning Turkish regime - IPI conference in Istanbul - New pressures on the press - On the Cyprus question
        July/August 1988, No.141-142:
    Crackdown on left-wing press - Mass trials in the shade of gallows - 88 people face death sentences - New dimensions of the Kurdish resistance movement in Turkey - Raid on "Toplumsal Kurtulus" - A new referendum on September 25 - Hunger strike of socialist editors - Other prosecutions in two months - Defense of 723 Dev-Yol defendants - Interrogation of TBKP officials - Trial of the SP founders - Other political trials - Operations "June 15-16" in Istanbul - Hunger strikes in Prison - A case against Evren in Strasbourg - Unequal punishments for the same accusation - Draft for new penal code maintains Mussolini articles - New menace on peace activists - Scandalous treatment to Joan Baez - ILO's new warning to Ankara - New minimum wage falls short - Detention of trade unionists - European Parliament steps back? - General Evren welcomed in US and UK - Troubles in relations with Greece - New dimensions of the Kurdish resistance movement in Turkey - A new Kurdish alliance: Tevger - Kurdish mayor tried for speaking Kurdish - International support for Kurds
    September 1988, No.143:
    A farcical referendum - European Parliament's resolution on Turkey - Eight death sentences for  Dev-Yol - Political trials in August - Mass arrests in August - Action for stateless people - New torture allegations - Again obligation of prison uniform - Persecution of the press in August - Chief justice criticized the judicial system - Ankara government's double-faced attitude towards Kurdish refugees - Iranian refugees' drama in Turkey - Suicides reach record level - Foreign bank's fabulous profits in Turkey - Foreign companies in  Turkey - 3 Turkish firms among the world's 500 tops - Turkey's top industrial companies - Greens become tenth party in Turkey - Poisonous barrels in the Black Sea - US report on Human Rights in Turkey - Soviet support to Kutlu and Sargin - German group: "Courts are not free"
    October 1988, No. 144:
    Evren Show in Germany - Evren's 8-Year State terrorism - Political trials in September - Arrests and Armed Conflicts - Protest actions in prisons - New torture cases in September - Ozal's new electoral maneuvers - ∂nπnΩ's talks with European socialists - European Charter for regional languages - 10,000 Kurds left for ∂ran - Arrest for singing Kurdish ballad - Turkish role in Gulf economy - Repression of the press in September - ∂nternational PEN Report on Turkey - Attempt to revive Turkish PEN Club - The ∂P∂ warns Turgut Ozal - Campaign for Yilmaz GΩney's films - Bans on travelling abroad - 15 Christians detained in Ankara - 14 thousand workers on strike - Uneven distribution of wealth - Turkish Lira's value drops - Turco-Soviet economic cooperation