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


13th Year - N°149
March 1989
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 current world-wide outcry over publication of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses has slowly reached Turkey. Unlike other predominant Moslem countries, at the beginning, Turkey has not experienced any violent or extensive protests against the book. But a few weeks later, reactions against the Constitutional Court's ban on Islamic-style dress on Turkey's campuses coincided with the growing of anger against Salman Rushdie and gave way to fundamentalist mass demonstrations Turkey.
        The first considerable reaction to Rushdie came on February 23, when an Islamic leader called for Rushdie's death for insulting Islam and the Koran. "I am willing to kill him and I'm prepared to face any punishment," said Halil Korkut, Mufti of Osmaniye, in an interview with the daily Cumhuriyet.
        Meanwhile a religious preacher from the Mersin area, Gulcin Tavsan, reportedly said "those who take sides with the Satan will be punished," adding she supported killing Rushdie. Besides, a lawyer from the Mersin Bar Association accused the Islamic Welfare Party's (RP) mayoral candidate in Adana of saying Rushdie should be murdered, the newspaper reported.
        Mass demonstrations against the Constitutional Court's ban on Islamic-style dress  took on a more popular character on March 10, after Friday prayers. People coming out of mosques in Istanbul, Ankara and Adana staged protest marches, shouting slogans against President Evren who filed the suit at the Constitutional Court demanding it repeal the law allowing Islamic attire at the universities. (See: Info-Türk, February 1988).
        "Evren, Rushdie hand-in-hand!" shouted some demonstrators.
        Several thousand demonstrators gathered at the main entrance of Istanbul University after Friday prayers and defied police orders to disperse. Women in chadors waiting in front of the university in a separate group did not join the men as they began marching toward the Grand Bazaar.
        "Evren resign!" "Head scarves will not be taken off!" shouted the crowd.
        Instead of using force to disperse the demonstrators, the police pleaded with them to obey the law.
        The police finally went into action near Sultanahmet and dispersed the demonstrators.
Police detained 25 people, but all were released afterwards.
        In Adana, a group of 600 people, including women, staged a similar demonstration. When the demonstrators did not obey police orders to disperse, riot squads charged on them with night sticks. Police said 20 people were arrested on various charges.
        In Bursa, demonstrators protested the head scarves ban and Salman Rushdie's book after Friday prayers. Police detained four people.
        In Ankara too, a crowd of about 1,500 men gathered at the Haci Bayram Mosque after sending telegrams of protest from the Kizilay post office to the Constitutional Court, the Parliament and the prime minister's office.
        Shouting slogans like, "Break the hands that want to take off the head scarves," "Death to Rushdie" and "Down with the British and Israeli Zionism," the crowd began walking towards Ulus Square.
        When the police ordered them to disperse peacefully, some of the demonstrators shouted back, "Aren't you Moslems, too. Join us!" Finally, police charged with night sticks, arresting 18 people and dispersing the crowd.
        On March 12, demonstrations continued in Istanbul and Ankara. Police used force to disperse demonstrators in the capital after a meeting organized by the Islamic fundamentalist Zaman newspaper. The meeting, which was called "Koran Symposium '89," drew some 1,500 people to the Kocatepe mosque after noon prayers. They refused to budge from their places after the mosque orderlies announced the meeting was over.
        "People are praying inside and your noise is disturbing worshippers," said the announcements.
        About 60 women in chadors managed to move the crowd, which then began a protest march on the streets. From time to time the marchers argued with policemen, claiming they were not
demonstrating. After walking from Kocatepe to Haci Bayram mosque, the second largest mosque in the Turkish capital, the demonstrators dispersed.
        The demonstrations continued on March 14 in Adapazari, a town 200 kilometers (124 miles)  southeast of Istanbul. Police arrested 25 men and women. Several protesters were badly beaten by police using night sticks. Six of the demonstrators were formally arrested next day by the local court. The remaining 19 were released.             
        In Istanbul, a group of women in Islamic dress gathered on March 14 in front of the university campus and began collecting signatures for a protest letter. They defied police threats that they would be dispersed by force if they did not stop. However, police did not act against them and allowed the group to stay at the entrance of the university until evening.


        Since the outbreak of the.controversy over head scarves, Iranian newspapers and other mass media have been persistently attacking President Kenan Evren and Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the republic who introduced the principle of secularism.
        On March 13, about 600 women students clad in chadors held a demonstration at Tehran University carrying placards in Turkish in support of the Islamic fundamentalist students in Turkey.
        "We are protesting the banning of Islamic attire in universities in Turkey," "We are in the same trenches with our Moslem Turkish sisters," "No Moslem women without cover," read the slogans  written in Turkish on the placards  carried by the Iranian students during the demonstration .
        "Head scarves are the symbol of freedom, their absence is slavery," "The colonialists of the world are afraid of the head scarves," "Islam is our way," read others in Persian.
        The students also shouted "Khomeini leader, Allahu Akbar."
        A student in a chador read a six-point declaration during the demonstration attacking Atatürk and Evren and vowing to react against every Turkish official visiting Iran as long as the ban on
Islamic attire remains in Turkish laws.
        In a commentary broadcast on March 14, Tehran radio said those who opposed head scarves in Turkey were "the lackeys of America and imperialism."
        Thereupon, Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian ambassador to Ankara, was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry and was said that mass media commentaries on the head scarf ban and demonstrations in Iran were considered as an intrusion into Turkey's domestic affairs.


        The demonstrations by Islamic fundamentalists put more strain on the Ozal government, bringing into the open the latent disagreements between different centers of power in the Turkish capital.
        As Islamic fundamentalist militants took to the streets, Army chief Gen. Necip Torumtay paid an unexpected visit to President Kenan Evren on March 10 as  saying the army forces were following the fundamentalist students and their supporters.
        In a telephone interview wit the newspaper Cumhuriyet, Torumtay said the issue of wearing head scarves on the campuses has become a political matter. When asked whether he thought
there is a clandestine organization behind the protest demonstrations by Islamic fundamentalist
students, Gen. Torumtay said: "I don't have a definite opinion. But it is a possibility." Torumtay was also asked whether the National Security Council (MGK) would hold a meeting before its scheduled date because of the demonstrations. The council is a semi-military advisory body. "I don't think so. However, it is up to the president to decide whether to hold such a meeting. The agenda of the meeting is fixed by the general secretary of the MGK following the president's approval. So I am not in a position to comment on this subject," said Torumtay.
        Despite the mild tone used by the army chief in his replies to Cumhuriyet, his remarks led to speculation in political circles and the press that an army intervention is possible if demonstrations get out of control.
        On March 12, the army headquarters issued a written statement saying that Torumtay's answers in the telephone interview led to different interpretations in the press.
"The Turkish armed forces have full allegiance to parliamentary democracy and they are aware of their role and their duties within the constitutional regime," said the written statement.
It also said the armed forces serve the democratic and secular state as an integral
part of the nation.
        Opposition leader Erdal Inonu of the Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) said he considered Torumtay's remarks that the armed forces have been following the incidents closely as "natural." "But we are against the idea of solving such matters through an (army) intervention. We want to find solutions through democratic means," said Inonu.
        Inonu also called on the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) to take measures to prevent the infiltration of theocratic movements into Turkey from neighboring countries.
        "The Khomeini regime is behind this movement. They are even providing financial support. They want to export their regime to Turkey," said Inonu.
        Prime Minister Turgut Ozal visited President Evren on March 11, instead of his routine weekly meeting Thursday. Following the 70-minute meeting, Ozal would not say a word to journalists waiting for him and went to his official residence.
        On March 12, Ozal attended ceremonies marking Physicians Day with President Evren. Although the two men sat together at the meeting, held in Ankara University's School of Medicine, they hardly spoke to each other. Ozal, in his address during the meeting, made an oblique reference to Evren's application to the Constitutional Court demanding the ban on Islamic attire on campuses.
        Speaking about the General Health Services Law which was also repealed by the Constitutional Court, Ozal said: "Since our constitution is very detailed there is the unfortunate tendency to take every single matter to the Constitutional Court."
        Evren did not make a speech at the meeting. But on March 13, in a written statement distributed by his press secretary Ali Baransel, Evren said he did not approve of involving the armed forces in political issues. "The president believes that it is natural for institutions and persons who sincerely believe in the merits of the democratic system to be sensitive toward secularism," said the statement.
        It also said Evren thinks the statement by the army headquarters a day earlier was clear and left no room for misinterpretations. Hurriyet said in March 13 issue that Prime Minister Ozal has been under pressure from the army since the first week of January when the nation's top generals attended a dinner with a high placed civilian government officials and aired their complaints.
        According to the newspaper, the officers told the unidentified official that their complaints should not be taken as an attempt by the military to intervene in the government's business. But they said the armed forces were concerned about the upsurge in religious movements and religious education in the country. They said secular norms established by Kemal Atatürk in national education should be observed in the educational policies of the government.
        Top-ranking officers also complained about the behavior of four cabinet ministers whom they said were encouraging religious movements in the country.
        Inflation was another complaint of the brass during the dinner. According to Hurriyet, the generals said the high inflation rate has reached a dimension where it can cause social upheavals.
        Even Kaya Erdem, the former deputy prime minister who resigned from his cabinet post in January following a dispute with Ozal, broke his silence Wednesday and said the controversy is not simply whether to cover heads or not. "The basic principles of the republic established by Atatürk are at stake," said Erdem in a written statement.
        Feyzullah Ertugrul, president of the teachers association Egit-Der, said all the recent negative developments are ramifications of the Sept. 12 regime and the constitution it imposed on Turkey. He said the Sept. 12 constitution introduced compulsory religious education from first grade on and opened more religious schools.
        However, Necmettin Erbakan, the leader of the pro-Islamic Welfare Party (RP), said that the demonstrations constituted "popular reaction within the, limits of the law." He said he was against banning head scarves. Oguzhan Asilturk, the party's general secretary, praised the protesters as "glorious fighters."


        According to Mehmet Ali Birand, foreign affairs correspondent of the daily Milliyet, "Turkey's behavior in the midst of this storm is closely observed both in the West and the Islamic world, because Turkey is a Moslem country preparing to become a full member in the European Community which has hitherto been a gathering of Christian nations."
        "Turkey is asked whether it would have shown the same reaction as Greece (withdrawing its ambassador to Tehran) if it had been a member of the EC; whether it would have closed its embassy in the Iranian capital and joined the anti-Khomeini mobilization in the West? The West has the same idea. They say Turkey would not have acted as they did and that this clearly demonstrates the basic problem in Turkey's relationship with the EC," wrote Birand.
        "The Rushdie affair provided the West with the first opportunity in a long time to underline the differences between Christianity and Islam. The Western press and parts of the Western society and intelligentsia regard Khomeini's call for Rushdie's murder and the burning of his book in bloody demonstrations as an example of the backwardness of Islam. Even if they do not say it openly, they watch the developments in the Islamic world with some disdain," he added.
        "As a matter of fact the Turkish society in general has been quite mature in its response to this book and its writer. But there are certain sections of the Turkish society which have adopted a very tough stance in the matter, similar to what we have been seeing in the other Islamic countries. This is Turkey's dilemma," wrote Birand.


        Prior to mass demonstration, Ozal had been asked to comment on Rushdie's book after he bid farewell to his Iranian counterpart Mir Hussein Moussavi who was in Turkey on an official visit. The prime minister refused to comment. A spokesman for the Department of Religious Affairs also refused to give an official stance to persistent reporters.
        As for General Evren, he had hinted, after returning from India, that Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses would probably be banned from publication in Turkey. "But I am not in a position to say what should be done," Evren told journalists.
        The president added that some people can do extraordinary things in order to achieve fame in the world. "It is not only fame. There is also the financial aspect of the matter. This person (Rushdie) resorted to unbelievable sensation, with all the mass media in the world helping him. His book is now selling for $200. What more could he expect in terms of promotion? The Department of Religious Affairs is now studying the book. Probably the appropriate authorities would ban the publishing of the book in Turkey. The Ministry of Interior has such authority. The book can be included in the list of banned publications," said Evren.
        Regarding local support for Khomeini's call for Rushdie's murder, Evren said: "Turkey has been a secular republic since 1923. Our people will not take the behavior of a few people like them seriously because all the new generations have a firm footing in Ataturk's principle of secularism. Masses of people in Turkey with open allegiance to Ataturk's principles won't let others violate it," said Evren.
        Meanwhile, Yusuf Ozal, the prime minister's younger brother and a state minister, suggested he saw an opportunity for more business with Iran now that it has been isolated by the West.
        Lutfu Dogan, a former head of the department and a cabinet minister, said that although he viewed Rushdie's book as the latest attempt to cast doubt on the Islamic faith and its holy book, he did not approve of the behavior of Khomeini.
        "Khomeini's fetva (decree) is against Islam. It has been harmful to Islam. Khomeini's statement that even if Rushdie begs repentance he would not show him mercy is also against Islam. In our religion Allah shows mercy to those who repent," said Dogan.
        Dr. Mehmet Hatipoglu of the Ankara University School of Theology said that for the past 1,400 years Islam has been subjected to similar criticisms and attacks. "But you have to respond to these attacks in the same way. That is you write a book and disprove the claims. You don't just cut heads off. I don't think this is the right solution," he added.
        Rushdie's book has not yet been translated into Turkish, although negotiations between Rushdie's agents in London and a local literary agency in Turkey are underway. Mr. Erdal Oz, director of Can Publishing Co. said he had received "threats from fanatics" telling him not to publish the book. Claiming that the fundamentalist deputies within Prime Minister Turgut Ozal's Motherland Party (ANAP) might try to keep the book out of Turkey, Can added: "I don't think it's likely the book will be published here."


        Behind the rise of fundamentalism is no doubt also the growing economic power of Islamic capital.
        Islamic fundamentalism's economic activities in Turkey are getting more and more uncontrolable in Turkey thanks to the Ozal Government's encouraging attitude. Within the total foreign capital invested in Turkey, the Islamic countries holds a share of 8 percent. At the end of 1988, the number of companies founded with the participation of Islamic capital reached 309 of which 134 are shared by Iraq and 31 by Saudi Arabia. The total capital invested by Islamic countries is estimated at 64.3 billion TL. (Cumhuriyet, 21.2.1989)
        One of the main Turkish partner of these companies is Korkut Ozal, brother of the Turkish Prime Minister. He is the principal shareholder of Akabe Insaat, Ozal-Bayraktar Oil and Chemical Products Co., Hak Investment Co. and Akoz Commercial Advisory Co. He has also a share of O,1% in Al Baraka, principal international investment company of Saudi Arabia. (Milliyet, 12.1.1989)
        Islamic capital appears as the most eager in the field of foundations. While there were 754 foundations in 1984 in Turkey, their number rose to 1237 in 1988. The new 483 foundations' properties are estimated at 300 billion TL. At least 10 percent of the new foundations have been founded with religious purposes. (Cumhuriyet, 6.2.1989)
        Islamic foundations' growing control in the field of education is seriously menacing the principle of secular education, one of the main pillars of the Republican state. The number of Koran courses throughout Turkey rose to 4,691 in recent years. 633,000 children learn by heart the Koran in Arabic language, without understanding its meaning. (Cumhuriyet, 23.1.1989). Meantime, these courses, mainly founded and directed by Islamic foundations, form children according to the Shari'a (Islamic law) principles.
        As for the official religious high schools (Imam Hatip Okullari), their number rose to 384 in 1988, while it was 384 in 198O. Accordingly, the number of students educated by these schools rose from 178.000 to 290.000. (Cumhuriyet, 9.1.1989) The majority of these students are lodged in the dormitories belonging to Islamic foundations.
        Recently, a group of Islamists, led by former TV director Saban Karatas, has taken the initiative in founding a private university, Bezm-i Alem, to operate on the basis of Islamic principles. (Hurriyet, 30.1.1989)
        And some more figures on the rise of fundamentalism in Turkey:
        The number of the personnel employed by the Religious Affairs Directory was raised from 53,582 in 1984 to 84,717 in 1988. Every year at least 1,500 new mosques are being built throughout Turkey. Five mosques and seven small mosques have been opened in five universities of Ankara. The daily circulation of an Islamic daily newspaper climbed to 132,000 and that of an Islamic children magazine to 100,000. The number of the people who go to Mecca to make the pilgrimage climbed from 30,450 in 1984 to 285,724 in 1988. (Cumhuriyet, 23.1.1989)


        As the controversy on The Satanic Verses and its condemnation by Khomeini is growing, the Turkish Supreme Court, on March 2, 1989, upheld the verdict of a lower court ordering the confiscation and destruction of two books that were found obscene, provoking criticism from local officials and from around the world.
        As a result of the Supreme Court verdict, Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn and Turkish writer Ahmet Altan's Sudaki Iz (Trace on Water) will never be distributed in Turkey and available copies will be destroyed. The Supreme Court, however, cleared two other books by a Turkish author which were accused of violating the anti-obscenity law.
        The Supreme Court verdict ordering a literary work destroyed is the first to be handed down by the judicial body in nine years. Other cases from the same period, which resulted in the destruction of literature and political writing, was done upon the order of police and military regime.
        Erdal Oz, publisher of the two books which are to be destroyed, told the press that the verdict of the Supreme Court was a clear sign of an attempt to undermine freedom of thought.
        Ahmet Altan, the author of Trace on Water, said the verdict of the court is a death sentence which is similar to that given by Iranian leader Khomeini for the writer of The Satanic Verses.
        "I'm sure that my book is not obscene. One cannot sentence the whole book by focusing on certain parts," Altan said.
        The censorship law was passed in 1927 in the Turkish Parliament under President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It aimed to prevent the harmful effects of fanatic religious books on children. But none of the Turkish courts applied this law until 1985 when the ruling Motherland Party resurrected it and changed its application.
        According to a recent survey of the left-leaning paper Cumhuriyet of February 25, 1989, since the Motherland Party took power in 1983, 458 publications have been confiscated, 368 of them have been ordered by lower courts to be destroyed, and 90 await a decision.
        The same survey shows that 2,792 responsible editors, translators, reporters and publishers have been tried in 1,881 press trials since 1983. Some 39 tons of publications were destroyed and another 40 tons are awaiting destruction pending a final court decision. Political magazines confiscated in the past six years comprised the largest portion within the total, followed by political books. Fifty-five popular magazines, 78 pornographic publications, five postcards, 14 music tapes, four video cassettes, one calendar, 64 daily papers, 48 popular weekly magazines, five atlases and one telephone directory were also confiscated as a result of court rulings, the paper said.
        Reporters, translators and publishers were sentenced to a total 2,000 years in prison in the past six years while "responsible editors" of political magazines published before the military coup in 1980 were sentenced to a total of some 5,000 years and fined billions of Turkish liras. Twenty-six "responsible editors" of pre-coup publications are still in prison. Currently, 303 trials against 13 daily newspapers are still going on.
        A written statement released by the Justice Minister Tinaz Titiz protested newspapers' use of the term "burned books" to describe the destruction of unlawful publications. He said the materials are sent to state-run paper processing plant, for recycling. The ministry said publications have never been burned.
        Some parliamentarians and intellectuals in the United States and Europe strongly reacted the verdict of the Supreme Court, arguing that the destruction of books has no place in the contemporary world.
        Banned and destroyed books, allegations of systematic torture in Turkey and the duration of police detention were among topics discussed in the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee dealing with financial and military aid to Turkey for the years 1990 and 1991.
        Worse criticism came about violations and abuses of human rights and democratic freedoms in Turkey. Rep. Donald E. Lukens (D-Ohio) said two literary books, including Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn, have been recently ordered destroyed.
        The White House's spokesman Wilkinson said the administration has been only very recently informed about the bans and he argued, incorrectly, that the court rulings in Turkey against these books are still to be appealed. It was a final and irreversible Supreme Court ruling that Rep. Lukens was referring to.
        Rep. Edward Feighan (D-Ohio) referred to reports by international watchdog organizations like Amnesty International that systematic torture is practiced in Turkey.
        West German member of the Turkish-EC Joint Parliamentary Commission, Wolfgang von Nostitz, told Hurriyet that the banning and destroying of books is anachronistic. He stated he will bring the issue before the European Parliament. He also said the subject will will be discussed at the joint parliamentary commission meeting on April 24-26 in Ankara.
        Rene Tavernier, chairman of the French chapter of the PEN Club (the international association of poets, essayists and playwrights) called the verdict as a scandal and protested the move on behalf of the chapter.
        John E. Porter (R-III.), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives committee on appropriations who visited Turkey last year, told Hurriyet that the destruction of books was a practice seen during the Nazi era.


        The following is a list of books banned over the past 33 years (not all titles are included):
        Oktay Rifat's Karga ile Tilki (The Crow and the Fox), Orhan Kemal's Grev (Strike), Melih Cevdet Anday's Yanyana (Side by Side), Fethi Naci's Insan Tukenmez (Man is Inexhaustible), Sukran Kurdakul's Giderayak (In the Last Minute), Metin Eleoglu's Sultan Palamut (Sultan Bonito), Arif Damar's Gunden Gune (From One Day to the Next), Ferruh Dogan's cartoon album Asrilesen Koy (Modernized Village).
        Ercument Behzat Lav's S.O.S in 1965, Asik Ihsani's Yazacagim (I Shall Write) in 1966, Nezihe Meric's Nazim Nikmet Butun Eserleri 1 (Complete Works of Nazim Hikmet Vol. l) in 1968, Hasan Huseyin's Kizilirmak (Red River), Sukran Kurdakul's Halk Ordulari (People's Armies).
        Sevgi Soysal's Yurumek (To Walk) in 1970, Ozkan Mert's Kuracagiz Herseyi Yeniden (We Will Build Everything Anew) in 1971, Tektas Agaoglu's Politika ve Felsefe (Politics and Philosophy) in 1973, Cetin Altan's BirAvuc Gokyuzu (A Handful of Paradise) in 1974, Ceyhun Can's Umut Devrimci Savasta (Hope in the Revolutionary Struggle) in 1974, Hasan Izzettin Dinamo's Kavga Siirleri (Battle Poems) in 1977, Yasar Mirac's Trabzonlu Delikanli (The Young Man From Trabzon) in 1979.
        After 1980:
        Yasar Mirac's Taliplerin Agidi (Ode to Talip) in 1980, Ataol Behramoglu's Ne Yagmur Ne Siirler (Neither Rain Nor Poems) in 1981, Talip Apaydin's Vatan Dediler (The Country, They Said" in 1981, Kente Inen Idris (Idris Who Went to Town) in 1981, Adalet Agaloglu's Fikrimin Ince Gulu (The Rose of My Mind), published in 1976, confiscated in 1981, Koktan Ankarali (Originally From Ankara) in 1982, Asim Bezirci's Anthology On Sair, On Siir (Ten Poets, Ten Poems), published in 1971, confiscated in 1982, Gulten Akin's Kirmizi Karanfil (Red Carnation), published in 1971, confiscated in 1982, Bertolt Brecht's Halkin Ekmegi (The People's Bread), the fifth edition confiscated in 1982, Nihat Behram's Hayati Tutusturan Acilar (Agonies That Set Life on Fire) in 1983, Fikret Otyam's Mayinlar Ciceek Acmaz (Mines Don't Bloom) in 1983, Ozan Telli's Ekmegim, Sarabim, Tuzum Askina (For the Laove of My Bread, Wine, Salt) and Ishakca in 1983, Necati Gungor's Yeryuzunde Iki Golge (Two Shadows on Earth) in 1983, Yllmaz Guney's Ogluma Mektuplar (Letters to My Son) in 1983, Mehmet Yasin's Sevgili Olu Asker (Dear Dead Soldier) in 1984, Vecihi Timuroglu's BirSurgunun Ezgileri (Tunes of an Exile) in 1984, Ahmet Altan's Sudaki iz (The Trace on Water) in 1986, Pinar Kur's Bitmeyen Ask (Endless Love) in 1986; and recently, Nihat Behram's Yurekleri Safakta Kivilcimlar (Sparks with Hearts in Dawn) and Iskencede Olum Guncesi (Diary of Death Under Torture), Ibrahim Acan's Yargilayan Savunma (Judging Defense), Tayfun Mater's Devrimci Yol Davasi Savunmalari (Defense of the Devrimci Yol Case).
        On February 7, the last issue of the monthly review Yeni Demokrasi was confiscated for an article on State terrorism in Kurdistan.
        On February 11, the responsible editor of the Encyclopaedia of Socialism and Social Struggles, Mr. Abdullah Onay was indicted for having quoted some parts of Wilhelm Weitling's writing on communism, printed in 1846. He faces a prison term of up to 15 years.
        On February 21, Professor Yalcin Kucuk was detained for a fourth time. In all trials opened for his articles, he faces a total of 45-year prison term.
        On February 22, the issue No.3 of the monthly review of Ozgur Gelecek was confiscated in printing house before distribution. Responsible editor Bekir Kesen, who is already in prison for another press trial, was indicted again.
        The responsible editor of the monthly review Emek Dunyasi, Mr. Osman Gunes was sentenced to a 6-month prison term by the Istanbul SSC, on February 22, for an article about workers' resistance.

        The practice of depriving of Turkish nationality against those who are suspected of anti-regime activities or who refuse to perform military service, continues in spite of criticisms coming from international human rights organizations.
        Lately, on March 14, the Council of Minister announced that 442 Turkish citizens abroad were deprived of Turkish nationality and their properties in Turkey would be confiscated by the State.   


        Turkish film director Serif Goren was not allowed by the Turkish Government to participate in Berlin Film Festival, though his film "Polizei" was one of the runners for the prize.    
        Goren is also the co-director of Yilmaz Guney's Cannes prize-winner film "Yol". Turkish authorities refused to deliver him a passport on grounds that there were legal proceedings against him for sending "Yol" to France without authorization and for his trade union activities prior to the military coup.


        The Turkish government is preparing to make a strong defense against allegations from international groups of torture and human rights violations with a detailed report from the foreign ministry concerning prisoners who have died in custody since the 1980 coup.
        The ministry states that it is sending the report to Amnesty International's headquarters in London and to the Turkish diplomatic missions abroad. The report attempts to clarify facts about the alleged deaths by torture of 144 prisoners in Turkey between 1980-1988, as cited in Amnesty International's latest reports.
        The foreign ministry report claims that the deaths of 32 of the 144 were caused by torture. The report further claims that 102 of the prisoners either committed suicide or died as the result of various causes.
        The other causes of death were listed as: 42 from lung and/or heart disorders, 22 as a result of confrontations with security forces while in custody, 3 due to a hunger strike, and 1 murder committed by a fellow prisoner. The remaining 10 are alive, the report said.
        AI was attacked by the Turkish government for publishing the names of 144 people it believed had died by torture without first contacting Turkish officials. Ankara claims that AI and other groups are trying to hinder Turkey's chances of joining the European Community with accusations of torture.
        The foreign ministry also released a list of the persons it believes were killed under torture: 1 person in 1979, 7 in 1980, 2 in 1981, 2 in 1982, 1 in 1983, 2 in 1984, 2 in 1985, 3 in 1986, 2 in 1987 and 3 in 1988. The report also states that charges were brought against 61 officials (50 civilian and 11 military) who were implicated in the torture cases.
        The foreign ministry report would not go unchallenged, human rights groups in Ankara said. They pointed to the high rate of suicides under detention - 34 in all - admitted by the ministry, drawing attention to the case of Veysel Yildiz who is said to have hanged himself during interrogation. They said that the report did not clarify how the youth killed himself on April 1, 1984, before the eyes of his interrogators.
        The foreign ministry's criticism comes just as negotiations between Turkey and the European Community open.


        Different sections of Amnesty International have organized a series of conferences in Belgium on the situation of human rights in Turkey.
        First, Roeselare section held its meeting on February 21. After the projection of slides shot in Turkish Kurdistan, Amnesty International spokesman Pierre Tavernier and Info-Türk editor Dogan Ozgüden gave detailed information on the recent violation of human rights in Turkey. A similar conference was held in Temse on March 10.
        Another meeting organized by Amnesty International at the Brussels Free University (ULB) on February 22 was an occasion to prove the double-faced attitude of Turkish authorities.
        Amnesty International invited to this conference a representative of the Turkish Embassy in Belgium in order to explain Ankara's point of view against the arguments of other speakers.
        Ankara had always accused Amnesty International of counting only on the views of opponents and refusing to listen to Ankara's replies.
        After it received the invitation of AI, the Turkish Embassy asked if Dogan Ozgüden was to participate in the conference. When AI said that Ozgüden too was invited, the Turkish Embassy declined the invitation arguing that a representative of Turkish Government cannot take place at the same round table with an opponent deprived of Turkish nationality.
        At the ULB conference, Professor Robert Anciaux, AI spokesman Pierre Tavernier, lawyer Marie Forêt and two Turkish journalists, Dogan Ozgüden and Hadi Uluengin commented the present situation of human rights in Turkey. Ozgüden also reproached the Ankara regime with lack of courage to listen to criticisms and to explain its own stand in public.

        A Diyarbakir prison physician submitted a report to the local state security court declaring that he found evidence that torture was used on 10 inmates arrested last December in Cizre in connection with the killing of two policemen.
        There had been rumors that the suspects were being tortured by the police. The lawyers of the arrested filed a petition in the local state security court demanding a medical examination of the inmates.
        The State Security Court in Diyarbakir ruled that it had no jurisdiction over torture cases and sent the file to Mardin, the province where the torture was alleged to have taken place, for review by the local prosecutor.
        According to the report written by Dr. Turgut Dogancali, the inmates were examined on Feb. 17 and signs of torture were discovered on their bodies.
        The report included the following information:
        • Abbas Seyrek, one of the detainees, had abrasions on the sole of his left foot.
        • Ibrahim Sarica had abrasions on his hands and feet.
        • Seyfettin Vesek had abrasions on his hands and feet.
        • Hasan Baykara had signs of being hit by a sharp instrument at the back of his head and there were signs of burns on his abdomen and hands.
        • Bedrettin Vesek had evidence of beatings on his legs.
        • Nimet Elcitorunu had signs of injuries to his hands.
        • Abdurrahman Ugan had signs of burns on his right ankle.
        • Yusuf Ecevit was diagnosed as having conjunctivitis.
        • Semsettin Piskin, the worst treated according to the report, had scars on his penis and an anal fissure.


        On February 12,  a public prosecutor announced at a press conference in Istanbul hat his own son, university student Siar Risvanoglu, had been tortured by police after his arrest for carrying some TBKP tracts.
        According to the daily Cumhuriyet of February 20, 1989, in the province of Sanliurfa, a Kurdish group were subjected to torture after their arrest by police. One of the detainees, Huseyin Sutpak was paralyzed due to torture. Another victim, Abdurrezak Tay, was committed suicide in a nervous breakdown after his release.


        Protest actions began again in three prisons in February.
        Earlier, mass hunger strikes throughout Turkey had ended on the promise by penitentiary authorities to stop ill treatment and to respect the dignity of prisoners.
        Since these promises have not been kept by everywhere, 203 political prisoners in Eskisehir, 84 in Gaziantep and 59 in Ankara prison went on hunger-strike. Among the prisoners protesting against collective harassment and beating in Ankara prison are also two top officials of the TBKP, Nabi Yagci and Nihat Sargin.


        "The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK) will reorganize itself according to the conditions of our day," said Abdullah Basturk, the president of the defunct labor confederation at the ceremony on February 13, 1989, marking the 22nd anniversary of its foundation.
        The ceremony was held in Istanbul with the participation of workers, left-wing supporters and folk singers. Arif Sag, a folk musician and saz player who has been elected to the Parliament as a deputy from the opposition Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) was also present at the meeting.
        Basturk, a SHP deputy, spent four years in prison after the coup in 1980 on charges of transforming the union into a clandestine subversive group seeking to overthrow the established regime in Turkey in favor of a workers' dictatorship.
        "Everybody knows that if DISK were still legal, the government would not be able to oppress the workers to the extent it can today," said Basturk in his opening speech.
        As long as DISK and workers' rights remain oppressed. Turkey will find it impossible to become a full member in the European Community, he said.
        While the generals who took power banned DISK and suspended almost all labor rights, they commissioned the other large labor organization, Turk-Is, to defend what they were doing to the workers, the DISK leader said.
        Basturk said the generals also seized the properties of the confederation and put them under the administration of trustees consisting of retired officers and governors.         "DlSK's properties are now worth 1 trillion TL ($500 million). I am declaring here and now, we shall not leave our properties in hands of these trustees. Those properties have been bought by the money earned by the sweat of workers not by the billions made by bogus exporters or corrupt people," said Basturk.
        Basturk's address was frequently stopped by slogan-chanting workers shouting: "Freedom for DISK."
        DISK was founded in 1967 with over 500 thousand members and 25 member unions. One of its former leaders, Kemal Turkler, was among the more than 5,000 slain during the pre-1980 era of terror.
        An eight-year-long mass trial of DISK members began immediately after the 1980 coup with 1,477 people, including 50 executives, facing charges of attempting to establish a dictatorship of one social class over others. Most of its members, including Basturk, faced the death penalty.
        The trial ended in 1987 with the release of all defendants. However, legal preparation of the verdict took more than a year, setting a record. The verdict is expected to be submitted to the military appeals court this year.
        Basturk, who was in prison for four years, said there is no end in sight to the DISK trial which will be 10 years old this year in December.
        "We have to create the circumstances and the tools which would enable us to fight for our rights in an organization. We shall find the ground on which our new organization will be constructed together. There is no legal obstacle preventing DISK from functioning again." he said.

        At the beginning of March 1989, representatives of U.S. trade union leaders said they will recommend Turkey be removed from the list of countries allowed to import goods into the United States duty-free because of continuing infringements of the rights of unions and workers there.
        Officials from the American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CI0) said their evaluations showed Turkey did not adhere to International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions concerning trade union activity, which could because for removal from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) list.
        According to the U.S. Trade and Tariff Act of 1984, certain countries are permitted to import goods to the United States under preferential tariff conditions, but they are expected to abide by internationally recognized standards for worker and union rights.
        In the AFL-CI0's 1988 petition to have Turkey removed from the preferential trade list, officials criticized the Turkish government for promising reforms but not
implementing them.
        Officials said the Turkish government, through labor legislation, is violating ILO conventions concerning the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining.
        "Continuing to grant GSP benefits to Turkey under these circumstances, therefore, will simply reinforce that country's do-nothing attitude," officials write in their last petition.
        Once a report is submitted, the U.S. Trade Representative can order a review.
        The AFL-CI0 has submitted similar petitions over the past two years, but so far the trade representative has declined to review Turkey's record, officials said.
        The AFL-CI0 report is drawn up after extensive consultation with local trade unions and a study of government policy, officials said.
        In 1988, the organization recommended several countries be removed from the GSP list, including Chile, Indonesia, Paraguay, Singapore, Guatemala, Taiwan and Thailand, officials said.