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


13th Year - N°145
November 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


    About 2,000 political prisoners in military and civil prisons have been carrying out a hunger strike, protesting against the new instructions from the Justice Ministry which made prisons return to the conditions of the early 1980s, when they were under the military administration.
    The strikers demand the compulsory dark blue prison uniforms be abolished, an end to the practice of chaining a groups of prisoners together while being transported, a ban on all inhuman treatment, including beating and torture, the lifting of restrictions on their correspondence and reading material, a reduction in the prices of food at prison canteens to the level of the normal market, and permission to have typewriters, radios, cassette players and television sets in their cells.
    On November 16, the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) announced that 270 political prisoners were on hunger strike in Diyarbakir, 311 in Eskisehir, 23 in Ceyhan, 28 in Adana, 199 in Gaziantep, 126 in Malatya, 27 in Amasya, 271 in Canakkale, 300 in Bayrampasa (Istanbul), 200 in Nazilli, 30 in Buca (Izmir), 43 in Erzincan, 65 in Mamak (Ankara) and 74 in Central Prison (Ankara).
    In Bursa prison 214 prisoners launched a hunger strike on September 30, following the guards beat them and wounded 30 inmates during a discipline operation. For preventing the hunger strike, the Justice Ministry transferred 60 leading strikers to the Canakkale prison.     The ∂HD declared that the only way to put an end to the problematic situation in Turkey's prisons was to raise their standards to the levels practiced in European Council member countries.
    Many of the strikers were decided to carry on their action until death and some of them were already taken to hospital because of the deterioration of their health.
    Prisoners and their families protested the Ministry of Justice's notice that sugar and salt water should not be given to the prisoners on strike. The general secretary of the Chamber of Ankara Doctors said the action would lead the ministry to commit a crime.
    In 1984, a similar action of political prisoners had resulted in the death of four strikers.
    Justice Minister Mehmet Topac said in the Parliament that "the anarchists and terrorists who have been thrown into jail are trying to cause trouble by going on hunger strikes." He added that the prison uniform will continue to be compulsory despite demands by prisoners to banish it.
    ∂n anouther disciplinary move in October, political prisoners were shuffled around various prisons in Turkey after the discovery of escape tunnels dug in an eastern correction facility.
    A tunnel 60 meters long was discovered connecting the Diyarbakir military prison to the Kaynartepe district in the town. Prison officials said the tunnel was being dug from outside toward the penitentiary. Police reacted by setting up floodlights in the streets around prison and searching homes in the area. More than 30 people were taken into custody and 10 construction workers from a nearby project were held for questioning.
    In the midst of the search, a second tunnel, 40 meters long, was found inside the prison.
    A group of 130 prisoners were sent from the Diyarbakir military prison to Eskisehir prison afterward.
    In Istanbul 257 political prisoners were transferred from the military prison Metris to the Bayrampasa Prison, 50 prisoners from Eskisehir prison to Bursa.
    According to a report issued by NACRO in Great Britain, Turkey holds the first rank among the member countries of the Council of Europe as regards the rate of prisoners and detainees. In Turkey 51,897 people, that is to say 99.4 out of 10,000 people are in prisons.
    Amnesty International has sent letters to Ozal and Justice Minister Mehmet Topac urging them to conduct an unbiased study of complaints by the prisoners. AI emphasized the number of complaints coming from the relatives of prisoners in Turkey has increased considerably in recent weeks.


    In solidarity with political prisoners on hunger strike, their families too have started different kinds of protest actions such as hunger strikes, sit-ins, rallies, etc.
    The mother of a Diyarbakir prisoner set herself on fire in Istanbul, on November 9. Mrs. Hanim Sπnmez, 50, who had been part of a press conference called by the relatives of strikers, set her clothes on fire after sprinkling herself with gasoline on TΩrkocagi Street. People around her tore off her blazing clothes and took her to the hospital where she was treated and released. She had claimed that she had not heard from her son after his transfer to Eskisehir from Diyarbakir.
    Earlier, on October 31, 1988 in Ankara, irate relatives of political prisoners staged a five-hour sit-in inside the Parliament building, demanding the cancellation of the prison rules. As the relatives left the Parliament after sunset, police promptly arrested 22 of them on the streets. Seven of them were arrested on November 10 by the State Security Court in Ankara on charges of illegal demonstration.


    The Turkish military has proposed setting up a paramilitary territorial defense force similar to the National Guard in the United States sparked criticism from the opposition parties.
    The project, which is still being finalized in the Ministry of Defense, was discussed first at a meeting of the National Security Council, composed of army chiefs and the cabinet ministers responsible for defense and security matters. Despite the return to civilian rule, it is this council that determines, by the virtue of the 1982 Constitution, the policies as regards national security.
    According to the plan, the territorial defense force would be made up of civilians who have undergone military training for short periods of time. It will be responsible for services behind the frontline, such as defending strategically important facilities, helping communications, assisting intelligence gatherers, protecting from enemy sabotage, and controlling the refugees and prisoners of war.
    All men between 40 and 60 years of age and women between 20 and 40 will be eligible for mandatory service in the territorial defense force for a week to ten days every year.
    The law also asks that those who refuse to respond when they are called to service to be punished with prison terms ranging from six months to two years and fined not less than 50,000 TL ($3O).
    When the details of the proposal are ironed out, the plan will be put to a vote in Parliament.
    Former prime minister Demirel showed a strong reaction to the idea of a new paramilitary force. "Isn't the 800.000-strong army enough? The people are now forced to undertake additional responsibilities. There is no point in imposing responsibilities on civilians in a country which feeds the fifth biggest army in the world," he said.
    Cumhuriyet columnist Ugur Mumcu expressed the concern of many when he wrote about the counter-guerilla department which functioned under the headquarters of the general staff in the 1970s. At that time the members of this department were blamed for torturing left-leaning Turkish intellectuals.
    The Counter-guerilla Department played a sinister role in the preparation of the military coup d'état of 1980. By instigating political violence and protecting extreme-rightist Grey Wolves, this department took the country to an instability which was used a pretext of the coup by the military. (See: The Black Book on the militarist "democracy" in Turkey, Info-TΩrk, 1986, Brussels)
    "Could the paramilitary units envisaged today be used as a political force when strains increase? Or will the civilians in these paramilitary units one day stray from their original task with political motives and become the armed wing of a certain political party or organization? We have gone through bitter experiences in the past. That is why we are overly cautious today," Mumcu wrote.


    Land forces began taking over gendarmerie units at Turkey's southeastern border with Iraq and Syria on October 12, 1988.
    The headquarters of the Turkish General Staff had earlier decided that border security should be turned over to the army instead of the national gendarmerie which is mainly responsible for internal security in rural areas.
    The first gendarmerie unit to be transferred to the army Land Forces Command was the brigade located in Gaziantep, which was then renamed "Border Brigade". Officers at the army headquarters in Ankara said gendarmerie units in Van and Mardin would be transferred to the land forces shortly.


    For the first time in Turkey's recent history the government announced cutbacks in the defense budget, but  few days after it had to cede before the pressure coming from the Army chiefs.
    The headquarters of the Turkish General Staff had asked the government to allocate a total of 4,258 billion TL ($2.1 billion) for defense in the coming fiscal year. During the current fiscal year 2,399 billion TL ($1.23 billion) has been allocated to national defense.
    The government announced it would provide only 3,5OO billion TL ($1.8 billion) for defense in line with its plan to reduce government spending drastically so that inflation could be brought down to around 20 percent by 1992.
    After the announcement of defense cutbacks, General Necip Torumtay, the chief of the Turkish general staff, met with Ozal explaining to the Prime Minister that the government's plan might pose certain risks for national security.
    On the Army's pressure, the prime minister agreed on a total of 3,883 billion TL ($2.04 billion) for defense spending in the coming year.


    The National Assembly voted the extension of the state of emergency in eight Eastern provinces for four months from November 19. The Assembly decided also to lift state of emergency in the province of Istanbul.


    A move to introduce a resolution in the Turkish Parliament seeking a debate on the military coup of September 12, 1980, stirred up the controversy on the subject.
    The social-democrat deputies who drafted the proposal flinged bitter criticism at General Kenan Evren and the military, and called the regime created by them a "fascist regime".
    Mahmut Alniak, SHP's deputy from the eastern province of Kars who wrote the motion, said at the party group meeting: "The fascist coup on September 12 was carried out son the ruling circles of Turkey can exploit people more early. It should be discussed in the Grand National Assembly."
    Hasan Fehmi GΩnes, a former interior minister, said: "Those who carried out the coup wanted terror to escalate in Turkey."
    Another left-wing deputy, Ekin Dikmen said: "September 12 is a movement planned by the United States and its supporters here. They escalated the terror and used it as a pretext for the military takeover. September 12 was not carried out because of violence, the latter was instigated to justify September 12."
    The fiery attacks on General Evren, "President of the Republic", and on the military takeover drew angry reaction from Premier Ozal. "This is insolent. Those people are hiding behind their parliamentary immunity to insult the president," Ozal said.
    Alniak challenged Ozal, saying he was not afraid of his parliamentary immunity being lifted by the Parliament.
    "If President Evren is so confident of the correctness of what he has done and said, why did he escape judicial inspection with provisional Article 15 of the Constitution," Mehmet Ali Eren, another left-wing deputy, asked.
    Article 15 of the 1982 constitution prohibits law cases against the military administration between 1980 and 1983.
    However, the SHP leader Erdal InπnΩ said he did not think it appropriate to discuss the September 12 motion in the National Assembly. "Those who committed a crime or an injustice in Turkey will sooner or later be made to account for it. But in doing this we must give utmost care not to harm the basic social institutions."
    After this intervention, the motion is likely to be shelved for a while.


    Amnesty International issued in November 1988 a new detailed report on the situation of human rights in Turkey in which it describes how human rights are still systematically and brutally violated in this country.
    After having given well documented examples of the violation of human rights, Amnesty International arrives in its report to the following conclusion:
    "Eight years after the military coup and almost five years since it came to power, the civilian government of Turkey still seems reluctant to take elementary steps to ensure respect for human rights.
    "The Constitution, the penal code and other laws still allow for harsh sentences and long-term imprisonment of prisoners of conscience.
    "A proposed amendment to the penal code could reduce the number of defendants and the length of imprisonment. However, it would not end the imprisonment of political and religious activists for the peaceful expression of their beliefs.
    "Martial law was lifted in 1987, but trials at military courts continue. State security courts follow the legal rules established by military courts, which violate international standards of fair trial.
    "Thousands of allegations of torture have not been investigated thoroughly. Persistent, frequent and recent allegations are still met with blunt denials.
    "People are still sentenced to death, some on evidence obtained under torture. There have been no executions since October 1984 and proposed amendments to the penal code might reduce the number of offences punishable by death. However, only total abolition would guarantee that there will be no further executions.
    "Amnesty International has called on the Turkish Government to take the following steps to protect human rights:
    "1. Amend those sections of the Constitution, the Turkish Penal Code and other laws which allow the imprisonment of prisoners of conscience.
    "2. Stop the trial of civilians before military courts. Either replace state security courts or ensure that international standards of fair trial are observed;
    "- Ensure that defendants have adequate time and facilities to prepare their defence;
    "- give detainees the right to consult their lawyers in private;
    "- bring detainees to trial within a reasonable time or release them.
    "3. Take effective steps to prevent torture. The most important are:
    "- give detainees immediate access to lawyers, doctors and relatives;
    "- implement effective measures to prevent the use of statements extracted under torture;
    "- issue clear instructions to the security forces that under no circumstances will torture be tolerated;
    "- establish an independent body to supervise interrogations by the security forces and investigate allegations of torture.
    "4. Abolish the death penalty in practice and in law:
    "- commute all existing death sentences;
    "- amend the relevant Turkish legislation;
    "- ratify the Sixth Protocol to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which abolishes the death penalty for peace-time offences."


    The former security commander of Diyarbakir military prison, which at the time of his service was described by international human rights groups as one of the worst prisons in the world, was killed on October 22, 1988, by unidentified people who claimed to be meting out his just punishment.
    Army major Esat Oktay Yildiran was shot dead in Istanbul by two men while his wife and younger son watched. The gunmen escaped in separate cars.
    Unidentified callers to local newspaper offices said Yildiran was "punished by the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) for crimes he committed in Diyarbakir."
    While he was posted at the prison, Yildiran was accused of torturing prisoners and numerous lawyers complained about him to the local military prosecutors. No case was brought against him.
    The government said between 1981 and 1984, 32 inmates died at the prison of Diyarbakir, but unofficial reports have placed the toll as high as 67, the highest rate for any prison in Turkey. Several prisoners burned themselves to death to avoid further torture, according to the Helsinki Watch report. Other claims of abuse of prisoners, some of which appear in  court records, include stories of a prisoner being forced to eat a live rat, prisoners put in septic tanks and forced to eat excrement and drink urine and the brutal torture of a lawyer which included being pulled around by a rope tied to his penis. Most of the prisoners, until after 1984, were Kurds accused of separatist activities.
    A deputy of the ruling Motherland Party (ANAP), Nurettin Yilmaz, who served a sentence in the prison in 1981 on charges of Kurdish separatist activity said: "I know this man. Who among the inmates of the Diyarbakir prison wouldn't? He was the primary person responsible for torture when it was at its peak at the Diyarbakir prison."
    Ahmet TΩrk, a deputy of the main opposition Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP), who was released from the Diyarbakir military prison only two weeks before national elections in November last year, claimed he was tortured by Yildiran. "One day when we were returned from the court, Yildiran accused me of saluting another inmate, which was banned by him. He ordered the soldiers to beat me with truncheons. I couldn't lie on my bed for two weeks after that," TΩrk said.
    The headquarters of the Turkish general staff issued a statement on the execution, praising Yildiran as an "honorable officer loyal to AtatΩrk's principles."
    A few days later, on November 6, police announced that another plot to assassinate Former General Recep Ergun was uncovered accidentally during an investigation of a robbery. Ergun, currently the deputy chairman of the ruling Motherland Party (ANAP), was the martial law commander of Ankara during the military regime.


    The arrest of four Greeks who staged a demonstration inside a military courtroom in Ankara on November 4, 1988, became a new point of friction between Turkey and Greece.
    The four Greeks were among a group of 24 protesters, including eight West German citizens, who began chanting slogans and waving placards against political trials in Turkey during a recess at the trial in a courtroom of the Mamak military prison. The military court was hearing the case against 714 members of the left-wing organization Dev-Yol.
    Slogans such as, "Freedom for Political Prisoners", "General Amnesty", and "Dev-Yol" were written in Turkish and Greek on the streamers unfurled by the protesters. Soldiers cordoned off the demonstrators and some foreign reporters who were standing near the group and forced them out of the courtroom and into a yard.
    The following day, twelve Greeks and eight West Germans were sent to Istanbul by plane in three separate groups to be deported to Greece and Germany, while four Greeks were detained at the police headquarters.
    The event took on international dimensions when the deported Greeks declared in Athens that they were mistreated by the Turkish police and that the incident demonstrated there are no democratic freedoms in Turkey.
    Angry demonstrations by students were held before the Turkish diplomatic missions in Athens, Komotini and Khania.
    The refusal of the police to allow the Greek Embassy officials to visit the four men when they came under police custody made Turkey come under fire for violating article 36 of the 1963 Vienna Convention. The article stipulates that the host country should allow members of diplomatic missions to have access to detained nationals immediately.
    On November 7, the ambassadors of the OECD in Ankara were called to the foreign ministry and were told that the demonstration was a plot against Turkey.
    Next day, the four Greeks were taken from the police headquarters to the State Security Court building under heavy police guard. About a group of 40 Greeks, mostly relatives and friends of the detained men, gathered in front of the line of police, some chanting "Eleftheria", meaning "freedom" in Greek. After the interrogation, the four detainees were formally arrested and sent to the State penitentiary in Ankara.
    On the other hand, after the 14 October hearing of the trial of Yagci and Sargin, two top officials of the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP), police attacked on a group of sympathizers who were carrying out a demonstration and some journalists following the trial. At the end of the conflict, 23 people were taken into custody. All detainees were releasedafter one-week police arrest.
    Holding a press conference, the detainees declared that they had been tortured at the police center.


    The Istanbul police, overstepping their authority, opened a barrage of automatic gunfire on a car in Tuzla, Istanbul on October 7, killing all four men inside.
    Istanbul police were alerted by an unidentified caller on October 5 that fugitives from the Kirsehir prison would arrive in Istanbul in a car with West German license plates. Metin GΩnay, chief of the political department of the Istanbul police, gave radio order to stop the car. Thereupon, police ambushed a car in Tuzla and an undetermined number of shots were fired on it. 
    Policemen claim that the four men belonged to the extreme left-wing TKP-ML (Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist) and its military arm TIKKO (Workers and Peasants Liberation Army) and that shots were first fired from the car.
    However, when press probed into the matter, only one of the four slain was found to have a police record while there was scant information on the others.
    Nine lawyers representing the families of the victims filed a complaint with the Prosecutor's office, saying: "It was possible to capture them alive. Police could have shot the tires of the car to stop it. There are indications that the police shot to kill in this incident."
    Relatives and friends of the four youths held a silent protest, carrying the portraits of the victims, before the city morgue where they came to collect the bodies.
    On the complaints and the criticism in the press, sixteen policemen who took part in the shooting in Tuzla, were indicted on October 17. The prosecutor demanded a 56-year prison sentence for each man, charging them with manslaughter.
    On the other hand, police announced on October 24 the arrest of nine alleged members of the Liberation Army of Northern Kurdistan in Turkey (TKKKO) in Istanbul. But four days later, three of the detainees were released by the prosecutor.


    The trial of a Kurdish group, ∏zgΩrlΩk Yolu (Road to Freedom) resulted on October 12, in sentencing 27 defendants to prison terms of up to 15 years. At the same trial, the Martial Law Court of Diyarbakir pronounced two different sentences for the former Mayor of Diyarbakir, Mehdi Zana: 15 years for being member of this group and 7 years and 6 months for carrying fire arm without authorization.
    On October 25, the same court tried again Mehdi Zana in another case for making a declaration in favour of the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK).
    For the time-being Mehdi Zana is at the Prison of Eskisehir.
    On October 14, the State Security Court of Istanbul sentenced seven members of the PKK to prison terms of up to 12 years for having provided the guerrilla units with sustenance.
    On October 6, a new case opened against 11 alleged members of the PKK at the State Security Court of Diyarbakir.


    The public prosecutor opened, on October 2, a new legal pursuit against the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) and its leading members. Accusing Chairman Nevzat Helvaci and 10 other members of the administrative board of leading political activities by demanding general amnesty and abolition of capital punishment, the prosecutor claimed the ban of the association and 3-year prison term for each defendant.
    On October 6, the State Security Court of Izmir sentenced three journalists of the monthly Yeni Cozum, Mujdat Yanat, Leyla Buyukdag and Recep Guler, to 18-month imprisonment each for having led a demonstration on May Day.
    In Ankara, on October 11, the State Security Court sentenced three alleged members of the Revolutionary Left (Dev-Sol) to ten-month prison term each.


    Halit Celenk, a prominent Ankara lawyer known for his defense of political prisoners, and Muzaffer Erdost, a left-wing publisher, were taken from their homes by police midnight October 25.
     Erdost's brother, also a publisher, had been killed at the Mamak Military Prison in 1982 after being brutally beaten.
    The arrest of the two eminent intellectuals has stirred protests from opposition circles.
    The Chief prosecutor of the State Security Court of Ankara, Nusret Demiral, claimed the two men made communist propaganda in articles published in a monthly magazine in Ankara.
    Celenk and Erdost were released 18 hours after their detention following interrogations by a judge at the State Security Court, ruling that what they wrote in the magazine can only be considered legitimate criticism.
    Onur Kumbaracibasi, the deputy chairman of the SHP's parliamentary group, said the way police and the prosecutor acted was a "shame in a country where justice and law should prevail."


    The daily Cumhuriyet of October 10, 1988 issued an update list of editors who were in prison by May 1988. The following editors have been sentenced to 2242-year imprisonment in total.
    Veli Yilmaz (Halkin Kurtulusu): 748 years and 6 months.
    Alaaddin Sahin (Halkin Yolu): 130 years
    Candemir Ozler (Savas Yolu): 23 years and 10 months
    Erhan Tuskan (Ilerici Yurtsever Genclik): 123 years
    Bektas Erdogan (Kitle): 36 years
    Irfan Asik (Partizan): 17 years
    Feyzullah Ozer (Kitle): 17 years and 6 months
    HΩseyin Ulgen (Genc Sosyalist): 12 years and 3 months
    Mehmet Uzgen (Bagimsiz TΩrkiye and Devrimci Militan): 41 years
    Nevzat Acan (Halkin Kurtulusu): 21 years and 7 months
    Ali Rabus (Birlik Yolu): 18 years
    Fuat AkyΩrek (Saglikcinin Sesi): 10 years and 8 months
    Mustafa Colak (OzgΩrlΩk): 9 years and 3 months
    Galip Demircan (Halkin Kurtulusu): 15 years
    Ersan Sarikaya (GΩney): 7 years and 6 months
    Osman Tas (Halkin Kurtulusu): 661 years and 2 months
    Fikret Ulusoydan (Halkin Sesi): 66 years
    Mete Dalgin (Halkin Birligi): 30 years
    Muhittin Gπktas (Kivilcim): 7 years and 6 months
    Remzi KΩ•Ωkertan (Devrimci Proletarya): 7 years and 6 months
    Mustafa TΩtΩncΩbasi (Halkin Sesi): 42 years
    Haci Ali Ozer (Emegin Birligi): Prison term unknown
    CPJ Update, periodical of the Committee to Protect Journalists in the USA reports in its October 1988 issue the names of five other editors in Turkish prisons. Their prison terms total up to 244 years and 4 months.
    Mehmet Coban (Iktibas): 7 years and 6 months
    GΩzel Aslaner (Halkin Birligi): 146 years
    Resat GΩvenilir (Emegin Birligi): 29 years 9 months
    Ayhan Erkan (Kivilcim): 25 years
    Ilker Demir (Kitle): 36 years   


    Mrs. Fatma Yazici, responsible editor of the weekly 2000e Dogru, was condemned in two different case.
    Oct 5, the State Security Court of Istanbul sentenced her to three years in prison for "making propaganda detrimental to national feelings." The case was brought against the magazine because it published an announcement commemorating the death of an alleged leader of the PKK. The court also ruled the seizure of the copies of the magazine in which the announcement appeared.
    Oct 27, Mrs. Yazici was sentenced by the same court to a 7-year prison term for an article on the cultural rights of the Kurdish people.
    Oct 20, two journalists of the weekly Tempo, Engin Ardic and Yetkin Iscen are condemned by a criminal court in Istanbul to 21-month imprisonment each for an article criticizing Premier Ozal.
    Oct 26, a criminal court in Istanbul sentenced two journalists of the daily Cumhuriyet, CΩneyt ArcayΩrek and Okay Gπnensin, to five months, 25 days in jail on charges of insulting Premier Ozal. The court later commuted the prison sentences to fines of 81,O66 TL ($46).
    Oct 27, the martial law court of Diyarbakir sentences poet Yilmaz Odabasi to 8-year prison for being member of the outlawed Kurdish group OzgΩrlΩk Yolu (Road to Freedom).
    Oct 30, the public prosecutor opened a lawsuit against journalist Erbil Tusalp at the State Security Court of Ankara for having unveiled the deposition of the presumed author of the attempt on Premier Ozal's life. He faces a 13-year imprisonment.

    The daily Cumhuriyet of October 17, 1988 reported that Professor Yalcin KΩ•Ωk was tortured on September 18-19 when he was taken into custody in Gaziantep.
    The 50-year old professor, one of the distinguished researchers of Turkey, had been dismissed from his university post after the military coup d'état. He has written up to now 18 books of which one was confiscated. He is also the chief editor of the monthly Toplumsal Kurtulus. He has been arrested many times for his articles and books.
    Recently he went to Gaziantep for participating in a conference organized by the monthly Emek DΩnyasi. After the conference, he was taken by police to the interrogation center. KΩ•Ωk said that during the interrogation, policemen insulted, beat and kicked him until morning.


    The Bulgarian-born former chief choreographer of the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, Sonya Aslan, found herself in trouble when she complained about Turkish dancers to the West German ballet director Peter von Dyk three years ago.
    When two of the dancers failed to show up for the rehearsal, Aslan told the upset director that things in Turkey work this way. A case was brought against her on charges of insulting the Turkish nation when one of the ballerinas complained about her comments. The case is still going on.
    At the hearing of November 8, Aslan said the German director wanted to fire the dancers and she wanted to prevent this by saying there was a different sets of rules in this country.


    On October 1988, The State Security Court of Istanbul ordered the confiscation of five monthly reviews, Yeni CπzΩm, GΩnese Cagri, DΩnyaya Bakis, GπrΩs and Yeni Demokrasi.
    In Ankara, the State Security Court ordered the confiscation of the monthly Toplumsal Kurtulus and Losovsky's book entitled On Trade Unions.
    Oct 3, four musicassettes produced by three famous singers, Ahmet Kaya, Selda and ZΩlfΩ Livaneli were forbidden by the governor in the province of Bilecik.
    On the other hand, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued, on October 11, new regulations on the selection of folk songs to be printed or broadcasted. According to the new rules, the words of a folk song should not contravene the Constitution, laws and public morality. Besides, a consultative board will be charged to verify the words and notes of folk songs and to make, if necessary, changes on the words and notes before their printing or broadcasting.

    About 2,500 doctors staged a protest march in Ankara on October 23 carrying placards with slogans such as "You cannot save on human health," "Public health cannot be protected only through doctors' sacrifices."
    The demonstration comes in the wake of criticism leveled at the doctors by Labor Minister Imren Aykut accusing them of greed.
    Doctors employed by government-owned hospitals complain about low pay, long working hours and the government's policy of cutting back on health spending.


    Reinstating the citizenship rights for more than 14,000 Turks living in self-imposed exile outside the country is not possible, Prime Minister Turgut Ozal said in a written note to a parliamentary committee on October 31.
    A bill tabled by Social Democrat Populist Party deputy Erdal Kalkan to abrogate the government's authority to take the citizenship rights of people born as Turkish nationals was refused by the government majority at the Parliament.


    The Supreme Administrative Court ruled on October 24 it cannot hear the case opened by lawyers of the family of the late Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet demanding reinstatement of his citizenship rights which were abrogated by a government decree in 1951.
    The poet died 25 years ago in Moscow. After spending 13 years in jail on charges of inciting the army to rebellion, Nazim Hikmet was released from prison by a general amnesty declared following a change of government in 1950.
    After his release he received a conscription notice instructing him to report to the military authorities for compulsory service. Hikmet, who was suffering from heart disease at the time, decided to leave Turkey fearing that he would not survive the ordeal.
    Nazim Hikmet is the most famous Turkish poet whose works have been translated into many languages.
    The lawyers of Hikmet's family have said if all the judicial possibilities in Turkey are exhausted they would apply to the European Human Rights Commission in Strasbourg.


    A 46-year old journalist has been the victim of the ban on travelling abroad.
    Ismail Hakki Inanc, suffering from a heart disease, was invited by Amnesty International and the German Senate for a treatment in the FRG. But all his attempts to obtain a passport were failed by the authorities because his name was placed in the list of suspects.
    Inanc was the managing editor of the daily Politika prior to the military coup of 1980. Although prosecutors opened two political cases against him, he was acquitted by tribunals.


    Worsening weather conditions in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey led Turkish authorities to move Iraqi Kurdish refugees from temporary tent camps to more protected places. It is officially reported that 91 Kurdish refugees have died in the five tent camps
    Out of 54,000 Kurds who fled Iraq in August, about 3,000 have left either for Iraq or Iran. It is expected that between 3,000 and 4,000 more refugees will be accepted by Iran.
    On the other hand, Kurdish refugees were given questionnaires by Turkish authorities in order to find out their future plans. About 27,000 said they wanted to stay in Turkey, while around 25,000 refugees wanted to go to 12 different countries including France, Sweden, Holland and Iran. But none of these countries with the exception of Iran seemed eager to accept them.
    Eventually, the Iraqi Kurds will be taught basic Turkish and will be given job training in order to turn them from consumers to producers.
    Beside the problems of employment and shelter, thousands of Kurdish children living in camps face educational problems. None of them speaks Turkish, so they cannot study in Turkish schools.
    Providing school education in the Kurdish language is against the government's domestic policy denying the existence of such a language. The government declared to take measures with a view to assimilating these children into the Turkish culture.
    On October 14, a social democrat deputy, Cumhur Keskin announced that 13 Kurdish refugees who had been arrested on September 17  for an incident in the tent camp of YΩksekova were tortured during their interrogation by police.


    A recent visit to the Turkish Kurdistan by Robert Strausz-Hupé, the ambassador of the United States in Ankara, created a controversy in Turkey. He flew on November 6 to Van, accompanied by his wife and four other U.S. diplomats. Deputy Governor of the province said: "The ambassador and his wife wanted to see the historical and natural attractions in our area."
    However, the ambassador's presence in this sensitive area poured fuel on the fire of public debate over a proposed project to build a vacation village for retired American citizens in Van.
    The U.S. group travelled the following days to Hakkari, Diyarbakir and Mardin for visiting the tent camps where Iraqi Kurdish refugees have been staying since they crossed the border into Turkey in August. In Mardin, the U.S. Ambassador visited the Assyrian Church, Day Rul Zafaran as well.


    The first national youth conference, aimed at solving problems facing young people in Turkey, was opened on October 24 in Ankara amid student demonstrations and resulting police violence.
    Of the 473 delegates invited to the Youth Council conference only 99 represented the youth. Others attending were government ministers, university professors, educations experts and government bureaucrats.
    There were only six elected representatives of student bodies from Turkish universities. The rest of the 30 student representatives were hand picked by university rectors.
    During the election of a presiding board for the council meeting, the elected student delegates, pointing to plainclothesmen they recognized among the spectators, left the conference room shouting slogans of protest.
    Outside the convention hall anti-riot police teams, plainclothesmen and detectives began assaulting them. Students who tried to stage a sit-in were clubbed, kicked and punched before being carried to police vans.


    An estimated 1.5 million Turks live in Germany, many of whom moved there in the early 1960s when Germany had jobs to fill. Tired after so many years abroad and feeling discriminated against as German unemployment rises, they are moving back to Turkey, often with high school age children.
    But they often bring with them not only much needed capital and useful language skills, but a host of social and intellectual attitudes which conflict with Turkey's conservative Moslem society.
    This conflict mainly surfaces in the children, who were often born in Germany and had studied in German schools. Their visit to Turkey tended to be short and infrequent, and while they spoke Turkish at home, this left them poorly prepared to function in Turkish schools and society.
    Ironically, many people are returning because they believe their children will be discriminated against in Germany when they apply to a university or look for a job.
    What they find here instead is a strongly nationalistic culture that is not receptive to people who have lived abroad and return with different ideas and attitudes.
    When the German government in 1984 began actively encouraging Turkish migration through a cash incentive programme, schools in Turkey were suddenly faced with the problem of absorbing thousands of students who could barely speak the language and who knew very little about Turkish history or behavior.
    The Ministry of Education first started a one-month orientation programme to aid students from Germany. The programme focused on teaching them the national anthem, showing them the Turkish flag and explaining the basics of Turkish history such as who was Mustafa Kemal AtatΩrk, founder of the Turkish Republic.
    This orientation programme was widely seen as a failure, and by 1986 it was completely phased out and in its place the Education Ministry began sending these children to separate schools where German was the primary language of instruction.
    While this allowed them to do better academically, it neither helped the adjust socially nor prepared them for the highly competitive university entrance exams in which an average of 600,000 students compete annually for 150,000 slots.
    The Dateline Turkey of October 29, 1988, quoted Miss Nuran Ozbemar, 22, saying: "We came to Turkey three years ago because it's our homeland, but we learned that it's not our homeland. I can't say I'm more German, but I know now I'm also not a Turk."
    Already her parents, unable to find work in Turkey, have returned to Germany. She is now making plans to return to Germany when she finishes her university programme.