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


13th Year - N°146
December 1988
38 rue des Eburons - 1000 Bruxelles
Tél: (32-2) 215 35 76 - Fax: (32-2) 215 58 60
 Rédacteur en chef: Dogan Özgüden - Editrice responsable: Inci Tugsavul


The recent rapid climbing of Extreme-right in Turkey has been one of the major preoccupations of the public opinion in this country.
    Turkish extreme-right had developed prior to the 1980 Coup in two different plans: Grey Wolves Pan-Turkism on the one hand, ont the other Islamic Fundamentalism supported by Saudi Arabia.
    While the Grey Wolves, propagating the superiority of Turkish race,  advocated to unite all peopes of Turkish origin, including Moslem peoples of the Soviet Union,  within an empire called Turan, the  Islam Fundamentalists, rejecting a unity on race basis, raised the idea of the unification of Moslem peoples, including that of Turkey, within a a religious community to be headed by Saudi Arabia.
    After the coup, with a view to putting an end to conflict between the two flanks of Extreme-Right and to enlarge its mass basis, the military reshaped the legislation and structures of the Turkish State in conformity with thesis of Turco-Islamic Synthesis. This thesis stipulates to promote the traditional values of Turkish races and the principles of Islam.
    The 1982 Constitution and other laws enacted by the military junta, disrespecting the secularity of the State, increased the influence of Islam in social and cultural plans. It is the first time in the history of the Republic that the Islamic courses in the secondary education was made obligatory even for the children of non-Moslem families. Consequently, the finance holdings and foundations set up by islamist circles in collaboration with Saudi capital have become dominant in the Turkish economy. The concession given to fundamentalists have been extremely increased especially after Ozal's Government came to power.
    The rise of fundamentalism reached such an extent that citizens, in their daily life, are confronted with the intimidation exercised by Islamist militants.
    As for the Grey Wolves, they now develop their actions under the aegis of Turco-Islamic Synthesis.
    The two flanks of Extreme-Right, Islam fundamentalists and Pan-Turkists, united within a Holy Alliance, took over full control of the ruling ANAP during its last congress. Though pretending to be against the Holy Alliance in his declarations, Ozal himself is constantly carrying water to the mill of Turco-Islamic Synthesis.
    According to a public opinion poll conducted during the last week of October 1988 by the daily Hurriyet, Turkish citizens are more afraid of Islamic fundamentalism than communism. The poll was carried out in 23 provinces following General Kenan Evren's remarks that Turkey should have a legal communist party like other countries in the European Community.
    29.6 percent of Turks polled believe that communists should be allowed to have a legal party, with 51.5 percent against and 18.7 percent expresing no opinion.
    When the same gorup was asked whether they would like to see a legal political party for Islamic fundamentalists, 58.4 percent answered "No." Only 19.7 percent said the Islamic fundamentalists should be allowed to organize within an officially recognized political party. Another 21.7 percent said they have no opinion.
    However, 60.6 percent of the people participating in the poll said there should be no restrictions on thoughts in Turkey.


    The last Congress of the Motherland Party (ANAP) , held on June 20-25, 1988, in Ankara, reaffirmed the preeminence of the Turco-Islamic Synthesis within this party.
    Although Prime Minister Ozal has presented his party to the West as a liberal, pro-Western party, this profile cannot hide the fact that the ANAP's hard-core  derives from former Neo-fascist or Islamist politicians who are currently united within a "Holy Alliance".
    Despite the predictions that Ozal would not let the Islamist-Nationalist alliance sweep out the Liberals from the party's executive board, party members known as Liberals failed to be elected to the 50-strong Central Executive Council.     
    Both Mehmet Kececiler, head of the Islamist group, and Mustafa Tasar, the head of the Nationalist wing, received standing ovations from the delegates whenever they appeared in the congress hall.
    Speeches by the majority of the delegates with their strong religious tones, left no room for the expression of liberal trends. There were calls for opening the Ayasofya (Haghia Sophia), the Byzantine basilica in Istanbul now used as a museum, to Islamic worship, and prayers were recited from the rostrum with the participation of nearly 1,000 delegates.
    Though seemed dissatisfied with the spectacular success of the Holy Alliance at the party congress, Ozal himself did not delay to make a religious demonstration on the occasion of hajj (holy pilgrimage) in July 1988.
    He had completed the Islamic ritual twice before, in 1968 and in 1975. But this was the first time he was making the pilgrimage as Turkey's prime minister.
    Ozal's meeting with the religious leaders of the Turkish pilgrim groups in Jeddah sparked off a controversy back home. Some of the religious leaders present in the meeting where no reporters were allowed said Ozal told them the state in Turkey is secular but he is not.
    In addition to making the holy pilgrimage, Ozal also met with King Fahd bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and the presidents of Gambia and Bangladesh.
    After this visit, the Saudi ambassador to Ankara, Abdelaziz M. Khojah, said: "Ozal's pilgrimage will strengthen Moslem unity. The importance of Ozal's visit comes from the fact that he is the first prime minister since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey to perform hajj while still in office." (Dateline, July 30, 1988).
    In the meantime, in an interview with the Luxembourg cable television network RTL,  Ozal defended the following views concerning Ataturk, founder of the Republic: "He was a good Moslem and as such he struggled with fanatics. Ataturk opened the first session of the National Assembly with a religious ceremony. He was a good Moslem who also had modern thoughts. The claims that his principles are violated in Turkey today are groundless."
    According to the press reports, many members of ANAP's inner circle and even the Prime Minister himself have links with the powerful underground tarikat of Naksibendi.
    Though the Islam Fundamentalism getting stronger and stronger thanks to the Evren-Ozal tandem and Saudi Arabia, contradictions and inner conflicts among different sects and religious orders continue to exist.
    In the history, Islam has never been monolithic in Turkey.
    First of all, the two principal sects of Islam, the Sunnite and the Alevite, have been a permanent quarrel of power for centuries in this country.
    The Alevite, the minority sect, with a view to having a political protection against the possible Sunnite attacks, endeavor to gain influence over the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) and to place their representatives in this party's board and parliamentary group.
    As for the Sunnite, the majority sect , it is divided into different religious orders (tarikats).  Each of these orders tries to increase its own influence over the Sunnite majority of the population and, in this end, entrust its militants and propagandists with the task of being active in all new founded right-wing parties.
    Gencay Saylan, a veteran observer of tarikats in Turkey and the author of a book on religion an politics in Turkey, believes that the ancient Shiite institution of takkiye serves as an appropriate metaphor for many Turkish politicians with links to tarikats. Takkiye  had been utilized by Shiite religious leaders before the formation of a Shiite state in Iran in 1500 for the purpose of making advancements in a politically hostile domestic environment.
    As has historically been the case, the basis for the relationship between the political parties and tarikats has been secrecy. Even though most observers are aware of the linkage, it is extremely difficult to find out what the exact purpose of this relationship is. Both sides benefit: the tarikats are able to function almost out in the open, spreading their religious message, while the political parties utilize the grassroots network of the tarikats during elections which brings them the all-important conservative, Islamic vote.
    The Naksibendi is one of the oldest religious orders of the country. Although rejected by most tarikat members as heretical, some Naksibendi members are practicing takkiye by supporting the continuation of a secular Turkish state on the surface while secretly working for the eventual realization of the Shari'a in Turkey.
    In the Seventies, they supported Necmeddin Erbakan's National Salvation Party (MSP).  Today they support mainly the Motherland Party (ANAP), but are influential also in the Welfare Party (RP), the Correct Way Party (DYP)  and the Nationalist Labour Party (MCP).
    This tarikat gets the lion's share of large amounts funnelled by Saudi Arabia. Korkut Ozal, the brother of the prime minister, is known to be actively involved as a conduit of sorts for Saudi money to be distributed to various religious sects.


    While the incursions of tarikats into Turkish politics may be attributed to their arcane nature as well as foreign funding and grassroots organization, a fledgling Moslem intellectual movement has evolved on its own, in the open and independent of the organization and financial support of the tarikat network.
    In fact, the intellectuals maintain no links with political parties. They disseminate their message of a return to the original Islamic principles and way of life through rare Moslem intellectual journals such as Dis Politika and Girisim. To the uneducated Islamic populace in Turkey their writings are elitist and esoteric; however, to their followers, these men are seen as the vanguard of a new and radical direction for Islam in Turkey.
    On the surface, the philosophy of the Moslem intellectual is atavistic and simple: throughout history, Islam has been polluted by Western concepts and for Islam to reach its true potential, a return to the 7th century Islam of the prophet Mohammed is essential.
    They refute attempts by Islamic reformers to make Islam compatible with Western technology and culture and emphasize that Islam has been in a period of progressive decline ever since attempts were made in the 18th and 19th century to fuse Western concepts with Islam.
    Although highly critical of the West, many of these intellectuals are all products of Western-based, secular educations and many of them speak a second Occidental language.
    Michael Meeker, an American professor of anthropology currently residing in Istanbul, has been researching the phenomenon of the Moslem intellectual in Turkey and has found they have developed a unique ideology, exclusive of Turkish Islamic thought that dates to the early republican era.
    "In fact," Meeker points out, "traditional (20th century) Turkish Moslems are suspicious of the Moslem intellectuals. For this intelligentsia, Islam is represented solely by the Koran and the hadith, the original practices and sayings of the prophet. According to them, one cannot turn back to Ottoman institutions or traditional Turkish society to find the true Islam." Thus, despite a common belief that Shari'a is necessary in Turkey, the intellectuals and traditionalists differ significantly about the means to be used to achieve Shari'a. The Moslem intelligentsia is breaking with past practices of joining political parties, and instead offers other options.
    "There is a new aspect to these people's thinking," Meeker contends. "They have set aside the question about how to achieve a synthesis between Islam and the West and instead have addressed the problem of how to renew true Islamic values in the 20th century."     As this ideological reformation has reached fruition, the Moslem intellectuals have found themselves alienated from traditional Turkish Moslems who support the Turco-Islamic synthesis, or as the press has labeled it, the "Holy Alliance."
    Evidence of such a schism was provided earlier 1988 when one of the leading Islamic dailies in Turkey, Zaman, underwent a publicized change in editors. The previous editor, Nabi Avci, had allowed many Moslem intellectuals and even leftists of various stripes to present their disparate views on the paper's editorial pages. Observers believe that it was a break-away faction of the Nurcu tarikat, led by Fethullah Hoca, that forced Zaman to forego its open perspective in favor of the more conservative Islamic-nationalist stance.
    The Moslem intellectuals have ironically intersected at certain points with the Turkish Left. They both share the same intellectual bent, as well as an aversion to Western cultural and political imperialism. Meeker points out that their periodicals handle such topics as class conflict, environmental destruction and the absence of spiritual values.
    Although the Leftist and Moslem intellectuals may converge philosophically on some issues, the Moslems do not share the Marxists belief in a class struggle.


    On October 25, 1988, Turkish public opinion had a terrible upset when it was announced that the Second Secretary of the Saudi Arabia's Embassy in Ankara, Abdulghani Beddawi, was assassinated outside his Ankara home.
    "We declare our responsibility for executing God's death sentence on one of Saudi Arabia's secret service agents working under cover in the Embassy of the Saudi clan in Ankara," said a statement released in Beirut in the name of the pro-Iranian Islamic Jihad Hijaz. The group also threatened to carry out further attacks on Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti diplomats in Europe.
    Saudi Arabia's Ambassador, Abdulaziz Khojah, said following the incident that they had received many threats during the Holy Pilgrimage. Iran boycotted this year's hajj (pilgrimage) after a clash between Saudi police and demonstrators in Mecca in 1987 left more than 400 mostly Iranian pilgrims dead.
    Beddawi was second diplomat killed in Turkey in the last three years. The first secretary of the Jordanian Embassy, Zid Sati, had been assassinated by the Islamic Jihad on July 23, 1985.
    Again on October 25, 1988, two Iranian diplomats were caught near the eastern Anatolian city of Erzincan as they attempted to abduct a Khomeiny opponent and take him to Iran inside the trunk of an embassy car.
    The man, identified as Hassan Mochtahadzadeh, was an engineer living in Istanbul. He was kidnapped by the Iranians on October 23. Though two Iranian diplomats were sent to Iran, four other Iranians who were accompanying the two diplomats in a separate car were arrested and sent to Istanbul to be tried at the State Security Court.
    Masoud Rajavi, the leader of the Mujahadin Al-Halq had, in a press conference held earlier in Baghdad, had claimed that the agents of the Iranian secret services, SAVAMA, were abducting anti-Khomeiny Iranians living in Turkey and taking them back to Iran for questioning.
    At a press conference, the victim of the kidnapping, Mr. Mochtahadzadeh said: "They interrogated me by kicking and hitting. Finally, I admitted I am a sympathizer of the Mujahadin Al-Halq and told them 450,000 of the 500,000 Iranians living in Istanbul think like I do." He added that the Khomeiny's agents had collaborators within the Turkish police and the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT).
    Already one year ago, The Times of November 23, 1987, reported that the two opposite powers of the Islamic world, Shiite Iran and Sunnite Saudi Arabia had been trying to spread their Islamic ideologies in Turkey by resorting to every means. "For the most part Islam fundamentalism in Turkey is a moderate movement which shuns Ayatollah Khomeiny's revolutionary theology in favour of a revival of the kind of conservative Islam practices in the Gulf states.," said the British newspaper.


    The Nationalist Labour Party (MCP), the post-coup organization of Grey Wolves, held its annual congress on November 27, 1988 in Ankara and Ex-colonel Alparslan Turkes was reelected chairman with the unanimous vote of 680 delegates.
    In spite of Turkes' demonstration of force at the congress, the neo-fascist movement that he had launched in the '60s is no more in entente and his prestige has been eroded by the scissions as well in Turkey as abroad.
    Two years later, On April 8, 1987, Turkes was condemned  to a 11-year prison term by the military tribunal of Ankara. But he was already released on April 9, 1985. The military tribunal acquitted 148 Grey Wolves, including all the members of the party's administrative board, and condemned only some party activists for their armed actions: Five to death sentence, nine to life-prison end 219 to different prison terms.
    After his release, Turkes immediately took part in political life by actively supporting the Nationalist Labour Party (MCP).
    When political bans imposed in 1982 on 242 former political leaders were lifted after the referendum of September 6, 1987, Alparslan Turkes placed himself at the head of the MCP.
    However, as the outcome of the last legislative elections showed it, Turkes can no more gather all his former companions in the new party. While the MHP could get 6.6% of the votes prior to the coup, the new MCP hardly obtained  2.9%  of the votes at 1987 legislative elections.


    One of the principal reasons of this failure lays in the fact that many notorious Grey Wolves had already been placed in key posts in the military administration after the coup and took part later on within the Turco-Islamic hard core of the governing party, the ANAP.
    On September 11, 1984, The Times reported:
    "In particular they have taken effective control of the State Radio and TV Corporation (TRT), whose new director was formerly a senior figure in the MHP. Another former MHP member is secretary of the Ministry of Employment. The las development, seven more sinister, is the appointment of two deputy directors of the National Police Force, one of whom was in charge of the torture center in Ankara during the previous military regime in 1971 and has since then been kept out of sight, while the other's name was found among the secret documents of the MHP as the future director of the National Police Force had the MHP captured power. Such appointments raise the question whether the 1980 intervention was really a comprehensive defeat for terrorism as its authors claimed."   
    When Ozal founded his ANAP in 1983, a former MHP sympathizer, Mustafa Tasar was entrusted with the function of Secretary-General.
    Within the first Ozal government, well-known sympathizers of the defunct MHP were numerous: State Minister Halil Sivgin, State Minister Kazim Oksay, State Minister Mesut Yilmaz, Minister of Communication Veysel Atasoy and Under-Secretary Hasan Celal Guzel.
    Besides, former neo-fascist activists were elected mayors in many important cities, such as Ankara, Erzincan, Erzurum, Adapazari, Bingπl, Elazig, Yozgat, Gaziantep, Antakya and Kastamonu.
    And all these former companions prefer to develop their actions within a party in power like ANAP instead of wasting their efforts within a minor party like MCP.
    There are also some other former leading Grey Wolves such as Nevzat Koseoglu, Yasar Okuyan, Sadi Somuncuoglu, Agah Oktay Guner and
 Taha Akyol,  who, instead of supporting Turkes, talk of developing a "contemporary right" movement . Behaving so, they are implicitly carrying water to Ozal's mill.


    But the more serious challenge to Turkes' authority is coming from the Grey Wolves organized in West European countries.
    While his trial was going in military tribunal, Turkes was an idol martyrized by the military in the eyes of his Grey Wolves in Europe. After his release, in 1987, Alparslan Turkes made a spectacular visit to Europe. Despite his condemnation for the extreme-right violence acts he led prior to the military coup of 1980, he was allowed by the Government to go to Europe. Although there was a ban on his entry to the FRG,  German authorities too, despite protests coming from democratic organizations, annulled this ban.
    Welcomed by thousands of Grey Wolves in Frankfurt (FRG), Turkes attended the 10th Grand Convention of the Turk-Federasyon,  held on May 6, 1987, in Hamm.
    Before and during the congress, hundreds of Turkish and German anti-fascist groups held protest demonstrations in front of the congress hall and called up the German authorities to ban this meeting.
    Addressing to the convention, Turkes said that despite the ban on the Nationalist Action Party (MHP)  and the arrest of its leaders, the party's Turco-Islamic Synthesis was victorious, because it was adopted by the State. "Sooner or later we will be in power, because our cause is just", he added.
    At this congress attended by 5 thousand MHP sympathizers, Retired Colonel Hasan Yildizhan, on Turkes' proposal, was elected chairman of the Turk-Federasyon, replacing Serdar Celebi.
    A month later, Turkes addressed another extreme-right meeting in Vienna on July 5, 1987. However he was not allowed to come to Berlin by the Senate.
    Seeing the European reaction against his movement, Turkes, with a view to clearing himself, stated that he was no more in collaboration with some former leaders of the Grey Wolves in Europe, and mentioned particularly the names of Serdar Celebi and Ali Batman.    
    This declaration provoked a furious reaction among Grey Wolves in Europe. Finally, about 70 associations in Germany quitted Turk-Federasyon and set up, in the course of a meeting in Nieder-Olm, the Union of Turco-Islamic Cultural Associations (TURCO-ISLAMIC UNION). Serdar Celebi was elected chairman of the new union. 
    After this scission, Turkish diplomatic missions in Europe manifested their choice in favour of the Turco-Islamic Union.
    One of the main pillars of the new union was the Federation of Turco-Islamic Cultural Associations in Belgium (Turco-Islamic Federation). The 5th Congress of this anti-Turkes federation was held on April 2, 1988, in Beringen in the presence of Serdar Celebi, some ANAP deputies as well as Turkish Consulate Orhan Tureli. Many ministers of the Ozal Government, Turkish Ambassador Ecmel Barutcu, Belgian Prime Minister Wilfrid Martens, Deputy-Premier Guy Verhofstadt and Justice Minister Jean Gol sent the Congress sent the congress messages of sympathy.
    A month later, on May 21, 1988, the 1st Congress of Turco-Islamic Union in Germany was held in Koblenz. Ozal's chief advisor Mustafa Tasar, seven ANAP deputies as well as some former MHP leaders, Sadi Somuncuoglu, Necati Gultekin and Yasar Okuyan, attending this congress, credited the new union. Celebi was re-elected chairman. The daily Hurriyet  described the congress as an "Anti-Turkes coup".
    Turkes riposted to this challenge by attending the congress of his sympathizers in Belgium. After the scission, the remaining pro-Turkes Grey Wolves  in this country had set up another organization under the name of the Federation of Turkish Associations of Ideal in Belgium (Belcika Ulkucu Turk Dernekleri Federasyonu). Though the Mayor of Charleroi M. Emile Henry, on the protest coming from democratic organizations, annulled the permission for this federation's congress to be held on June 4, 1988, a local tribunal invalidated this decision and let Turkes to address the meeting. However, the Turkish diplomatic missions refused to attend this pro-Turkes meeting.
    A few weeks later, on June 25, 1988, pro-Turkes Turk Federasyon held its 11. Congress in Iserlohn. This time the German authorities did not delivered visa and prevented Turkes from attending this congress. This was a real strike for Turkes and his partisans. At the Congress, a former youth section leader of the defunct MHP, Turkmen Onur was elected federation chairman. Besides, the congress decided to nominate country representatives in a view to exerting a strict control on remaining pro-Turkes organizations. 


    While two fractions of  the Turkish neo-fascist movement are quarreling with each other, European judicial authorities started new proceedings against its leading figures.
    Despite the acquittal of Celebi and his companions at the 2nd Rome Trial, the Public Prosecutor announced on November 27, 1987 that he would open a third trial by indicting some leading Grey Wolves such as Serdar Celebi, Oral Celik, Abdullah Catli, Omer Bagci, etc.
    On the other hand, the Public Prosecutor of Frankfurt, Dr. Harald H. Korner declared on September 27, 1987 to the daily Hurriyet that he would indict a group of Grey Wolves in Germany for smuggling, attempting to kill, blackmailing and sabotage. Among the accused was also a former MHP Youth Section Chairman, Rifat Yildirim. He had already been arrested as smuggling one and a half kilogram heroine.


    The tension existing for a long time between the centrist and left-wing flanks of the main opposition Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) , took a new turn with the dismissal of the left-wing administrators of seven provincial party organizations.
    SHP's Istanbul organization was a stronghold of the left-wing, and offices in Bursa, Erzurum and Diyarbakir were actively supporting the prison hunger strikes. The centrists said the local administrators in Siirt went too far in speaking about the Kurdish issue.
    Chairman Inπnu who had been very attentive in his relations with the two factions of the party and had always played a conciliatory role, Erdal Inπnu, for the first time, took sides with the centrists on November 29, 1988, and approved firing local administrators of the party in seven provinces.
    "We have to hold our local organizations under true order and discipline. These organizations which do not reflect the image of our party defined by the headquarters need rectification and rehabilitation," said the writen statement from the central executive council.
    Though the leader of the Centrists, Mr. Deniz Baykal was elected Secretary General and the14-man central executive council  body was dominated by the Centrists at the last SHP Congress, the left-wing has proven its force in many provinces. Besides, the left-wing consists of distinguished labour leaders such as DISK Chairman Abdullah Basturk and many Kurdish deputies.
    A few weeks ago, Ali Topuz, one of the six deputy general secretaries, declared to the press that the party was infiltrated by extreme-leftists. He accused some local leaders of having actively support hunger strikers in prisons. This claim stirred the party and triggered a fight between the rival factions.
    At the mini-Convention of the party, gathering provincial officials, Topuz was harshly criticized for his claims. On the attacks coming from provincial organizations, Topuz had to resign on November 28, from his post as the deputy secretary general and from membership of the 14-man Central executive council.
    However, next day, the 14-man council oredominantly consisting of Centrists, decided to take drastical measures against the left-wing and announced the firing of seven provincial administrations.
    The decision led to furious reaction from the members of the left flank. Ercan Karakas, the local party chief in Istanbul, called the decision a move by a certain faction within the party to eliminate those who do not think along the same lines.
    A group of 21 left-wing deputies met on November 30 and issued a declaration criticizing the party leadership. "Our party has been damaged because of this decision on the eve of local elections. We are determined to practice our rights as guaranteed in the party statutes. We shall call the appropriate party bodies to convene in writing to Chairman Inπnu," said the deputies' declaration.
    "Suspending the members running the local organizations without even sending a party inspector is against the principles of honest politics and law," said Kemal Anadol, a leading member of the left flank deputies in the Parliament.

    Premier Ozal, during his two-day trip to France on November 27-29, failed to get solid backing for Turkey's full membership in the European Community.
    Ozal spent one day, on November 27, in Strasbourg with West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Turkish diplomats accompanying Ozal said the prime minister was not able o persuade Kohl to support Turkey's plea for full membership. However, Ozal did not come out of the meeting totally empty handed. Kohl promised the Turkish Prime Minister more military hardware next year under a military cooperation agreement signed bu the prime ministers of the two countries in 1986.
     Next day in Paris, French President Fran•ois Mitterand told Ozal that Turkey should not kindle any hope of becoming a full member before 1992. However, Mitterand added that he does not consider Turkey too economically immature to be integrated with Europe. But he made remarks mainly on the question of human rights, Turco-Greek relations and Cyprus problem.
    After his talks of Ozal, French Prime Minister Rocard said France has no objection to Turkey's membership in the EC, but a membership without due preparation would not be in the interest of Turkey or the community.
    The French finance minister Beregovoy said his country might give loans to Turkey in exchange for awarding French firms some contracts, such as a military radar station, the Ankara metro and natural gas terminals.


    Although most of the prison inmates have ended their six-week hunger strike protesting new prison regulations at the end ov November 1988, new groups have rushed to fill their place.
    At its peak, more than 1,000 inmates, virtually all political prisoners, and scores of family members and sympathizers were participating in the strike.
    In Diyarbakir prison 27 hunger strikers were taken to the state hospial. Ten others were treated at the prison infirmary. The public prosecutor said inmates will be allowed to have face-to-face visiting facilities every 15 days, prices at the prison canteen will be lowered and all legal publications will be available in the prison.
    Meanwhile, some 180 relatives and supporters of prisoners decided to continue their month-long hunger strike at the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) Diyarbakir branch unil they can visit their relatives at the Diyarbakir prison.
    Two deputies of the ruling Motherland Party (ANAP) gave their support to hunger strikers, saying the inmates were fully justified in their demands and asking Justice Ministry to find a solution to the problem. One of these deputies, Nuretin Yilmaz himself spent nearly two years in prison following the military coup of 1980 on charges ranging from Kurdish separatist activity to belonging to communist organizations.
    Protests and hunger strikes by other supporters spread  to more than a dozen Turkish cities. Police arrested nine relatives in front of a prison in Nazilli and 30 demonstrators in Izmir.
    Demonstrators in Canakkale burned an effigy of a prisoner in uniform and carried placards demanding the abolishment of the August 1st regulations.
    In Istanbul, on November 22, six crippled men staged a protest demonstration in front of the Justice Palace. Sitting in wheelchairs and supported by crutches, they shouted that they do not want people to be crippled by hunger strikes at prisons.
    Prison conditions were protested at an open air meeting on November 27, 1988, in Istanbul which was organized by the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD).
    Although the Turkish government seems determined not to scrap the entire August 1 regulation reform, agreements reached at a number of prisons indicate that the government has begun to soften its stance toward the prisoners.


    At the beginning of December, the Military Court of Cassation transmitted seven more death sentences to the National Assembly for ratification. So, the number of capital punishments attending parliamentary ratification rose to 227.
    The last execution took place in 1984 in Turkey and since then the National Assembly has not ratified any capital punishment.
    However, after the shooting dead of a former military prison commander by underground political groups, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Justice Committee said that the National Assembly might ratify death sentences for some incorrigible ones.


    1.11, in Diyarbakir, 15 people are brough before the State Security Court for being member of the PKK.
    15.11, the State Security Court of Istanbul condemns seven people to prison terms of up to 15 years for having given aid to the PKK.
    20.11, in Izmir, a former student leader, Ertugrul Kurk•u is detained for his talk at round table on the subject of Student Riots in 1968.
    30.11, in Izmir, the State Security Court condemns 13 people to prison terms of up to 6 years and 8 months for being member of the TKP.

    3.11, the Istanbul office of the monthly Toplumsal Dirilis is raided by police and its staff members are detained.
    4.11, November issue of the monthly Sorun is confiscated.
    11.11, fascicules of the Encycloepadia of Modern Times (Yakin Tarih Ansiklopedisi) are confiscated on pretext that it contains articles insulting Ataturk.
    12.11, two members of the folk music group Yorum, Efkan Sesen and Tuncay Akdogan, are detained in Ankara for singing Kurdish songs.
    15.11, daily Cumhuriyet reports that Erdal Cayir, Ankara representative of the monthly review Yeni Cπzum attempted to commit suicide hen he was under police arrest. After his detention on November 11, his father sent Prime Minister a telegramme alleging his son might be under torture.
    16.11, the prosecutor of Ankara indicts the Association of Teachers (EGIT-DER) leaders for having invited a group of French teachers to Turkey without any authorization.
    18.11, November 88 issues of two monthlies, Yeni Cπzum and Demokrat Arkadas, are confiscated by the SSC.
    18.11, cartoonist Guneri Icoglu of the weekly humorist magazine Limon is summoned for serving his 10-month imprisonment.
    23.11, journalist Erbil Tusalp is indicted by the prosecutor of the State Security Court of Istanbul for having revealed the deposition of the alleged author of the attempt on Turgut Ozal's life.
    24.11, Mustafa Zulkadiroglu, director of Emek Publishing House, is put in prison for serving his 6 years and 3 months imprisonment to which he was condemned for a pamphlet on May Day he had published eleven years ago.
    25.11, the director of Sorun Publication House, Sirri ∏zturk is condemned by a criminal court to 2-month prison term and a fine of 28,000 TL for a publication.
    25.11, 70-year old novelist Kerim Korcan and publisher Rabia Sen Suer are brought before the SSC of Istanbul. They are accused of communist propaganda in Korcan's novel entitled Bridge of Fire, relating the torture practiced in the years 30 at Political Police center of Istanbul.
    26.11, a monthly review, Yπnelis, and Lenin's work on "party organization" are confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul.
    26.11, a concert to be given by the folk music group Yorum is banned by local police in Mersin.
    30.11, two journalists of the weekly 2000e Dogru, Fatma Yazici and Emin Gπker, are condemned to imprisonment for having insulted Prime Minister Ozal. Five other journalists, Eren Guvener and Talat Halman of daily Milliyet, Hasan Kilic and Inan Gπksel of daily Gunaydin and Sabahat Aksakal of Yeni Nesil are tried for the same accusation at criminal courts of Istanbul.


    Following the experience in Denmark, the Union of Turkish Doctors (TTB) and the Human Rights Association (IHD) have decided to set up a Post-Torture Rehabilitation Center in Istanbul.
    Those who suffer physicologically or psychologically because of torture they had undergone will be treated free of charge at this center. The center will be in the form of foundation. For its financing, the International Post-Torture Rehabilitation Center in Denmark will donate 25 million TL.


    On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its foundation, the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) stroke a heavy blow to the Turkish Army. On December 5, in the district of Sirnak of the province of Siirt, a Kurdish guerrilla team laid a trap for an Army unit and shot dead a lieutenant, two NCOs, nine privates and wounded another private. In exchange, the guerrila team lost its 10 combattants in the armed conflict.
    At a press conference held on December 12 in Brussels, the spokesman of the ERNK (National Liberation Front of Kurdistan) announced that since the start of guerrilla war in 1984 in the Turkish Kurdistan, PKK combattants had killed 4,342 members of the government forces: One colonel, six majors, one commander of batallion, four captains, ten first lieutenants, one second lieutenant, 208 army officers and NCOs of different ranks, 247 members of special temas, 50 policemen, two superintendents, four sergents, three guardians, 1,056 village protectors.
    As the ERNK itself, since 1984 it lost 273 militants.


    After a 8-year interval, the Turco-European Joint Parliamentary Commission will hold its first meeting on January 17-19, 1988 in Strasbourg.
    The fist contact took place between the two parliaments in Ankara on November 25, when a delegation from the European Parliament went to Turkey.
    According to the agenda established, the Joint Commission will express their views on main priority matters such as the situation of human rights in Turkey, Turkish demand for full membership in the European Communities, Turco-European financial and economic cooperation.
    The Turkish parliamentary delegation will headed by Mehmet Kececiler who is known as the leader of the fundamentalist faction of the ruling party ANAP. He is distinguished in the past with his views against Turkish affiliation to the European Communities.
    On the other hand, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mesut Yilmaz held a briefing with Turkish ambassadors in the EC member countries. The ambassadors have been charged with to launch a new campaign in favour of Turkish affiliation to the EC and to lobby at the European Parliament to this end.
    The European Parliament, at its November 16 session adopted three resolutions as regards Turkey.
    In two resolutions, the European Parliament demands the Turkish Government to ameliorate prison conditions in Turkey and to put an end to the legal proceeding against four Greeks who were arrested on November 4 in Ankara following their demonstration during the Dev-Yol Trial.
    The third resolution is on the aggravating situation of Kurdish refugees in Turkey.
    On the other hand, 100 members of Federal German Parliament issued a declaration asking the Turkish Government to put an end to torture, capital punishment, to grant a general political amnesty, to accept the existence of the Kurdish people and to lift Articles 141 and 142 of the Turkish Penal Code.

    At the end of November while 13,696 workers were on strike throughout the country, 151,267 workers were resorting to different actions such as sit-in or boycotting to meals. In addition to this, almost half of TURK-IS (Turkish Trade Unions Confederation) members, 644,000 threaten to strike in 1989 if collective bargainings do not lead to an agreement satisfying workers. Already trade unions announced that they would lead 54,962 workers to strike.
    10,200 of the workers currently on strike are the employees of the State Paper Plants (SEKA).
    A strike by 45,000 coalminers in Zonguldak was averted on November 28, following an agreement signed by the government and the Coalminers' Union (Maden-Is), which provides for 154 percent wage increases over the next two years.
    According to a recent survey conducted for the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO), the factor income/wage ratio in Turkey is also worse than in some Latin American countries including Chile, Bolivia and Colombia and far worse than in Malaysia and some African countries like Zaïre and Kenya.
    In 1970, the share of wages in factor incomes in Turkey was 34.6 percent, and droppted to 18.5 percent in 1986 and 17.77 percent in 1987.


    According to the daily Cumhuriyet of October 24, the number of working days lost because of strikeswas 1,961,940 in 1987. This year, within the first seven months, 469,069 working days were lost due to 132 strikes and 149,969 working days lost because of 111 lock-outs.


    Neo-Nazi groups and the Skinheads have intensified in last months their attacks on Turkish immigrant groups in West Germany.
    The following is a brief report of racist and xenophobic acts against Turkish immigrants within last seven months in Europe:
    18.5, in Rothenburgsort, near to Hamburg, a Turkish grocery is set on fire by unidentified persons.
    24.5, in Radolfzell (FRG), a house inhabiuted by four Turkish families is set on fire by pouring petrol. The loss is estimated at 250,000 DM.
    1.7, in Mannheim (FRG), a German shoot at a Turkish couple.
    14.7, in Hofheim (FRG), a Turkish buffet is attacked by some 250 Skinheads shouting "Death to Foreigners!". They assult also on the police team trying to prevent the aggression. The buffet owner Mursel and a Turkish client are wounded.
    26.7, in Munich, Neo-Nazis send menacing letters to the addresses of Turkish migrants. They say in these letters: "It is claimed that we had killed more than 6 million Jews. If so, why are you foreigners coming to this damned Germany? Go home! Otherwise, your destiny will be the same!"
    15.9, a Turkish shop in the city of Moisling (FRG) is set on fire in the midnight by pouring petrol on it.
    21.9, in the city of Hoogvliet (Holland), a Turkish mosque is set on fire. This place of prayer was earlier subjected to other attacks.
    3.10, in Hamburg, a group od Skinheads attacked on Turkish youths with tear gas sprays. Five Skinheads are detained by police.
    9.10, in Hannover, some 70 Skinheads attacked Turkish youths; 14 of them are detained. Next day, the organization of the victims of Nazizm holds a rally protesting against this aggression.
    31.10, in Hamburg, four Skinheads attack on a 56-year old Turkish woman, Mrs. Fatma Tunc, and brutally beat her. The aggressors, though detained, are released a few hours after.
    12.11, in Hamburg, German and Turkish oranizations hold a rally for protesting against racist aggressions.
    14.11, in Hannover, a 15-year old Turk is stabbed by Skinheads.
    16.11, in the city of Ludwigshaffen (FRG), some 15 Skinheads attacked a Turkish club. Using hammers and chains, the agressors wounded club owner Ahmet Demirel and four other Turks inside.
    20.11, some 40 Skinheads and 45 Neo-Nazis make trouble in Hamburg by shouting "Death to Turks!" Police confiscate many fire-arms that they are carrying and detain 11 Skinheads.
    25.11, in Hannover, a Turkish youth, Turgay Merkoc, is beaten to coma by a group of Skinheads.
    8.12, in Lubeck (FRG), a Turkish worker is gravely wounded by two German shooters.