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


14th Year - N°162
April 1990
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 people of Turkey is used to seeing that process of democratization be interrupted by a new military coup at the beginning of each decade, when the rulers of the country cannot cope in a democratic way with the economic and social problems of the country. The years of 1960, 1971 and 1980 have marked these dramatic turning points of the Turkish history.
    1990 is not an exception to the rule... The so-called "democratization" has recently been interrupted once more by the militaro-civil rulers of the country, with the complicity of the two principal opposition party leaders.
    After a summit meeting with the opposition leaders and a series of meetings of the National Security Council (MGK), composed of army commanders and some ministers, the government put in force on April 10, 1990, new emergency measures.
    The decree No. 413 gives the regional governor extraordinary powers to crack down on escalating Kurdish resistance in the southeastern provinces of Turkey, such as censoring the press and relocating "undesirable" residents of the Southeast to another region in Turkey. His decisions are not subject to judicial arbitration. Nor is the omnipotent governor's authority limited to the 11 provinces in the Southeast. He can reach as far as Istanbul to close printing houses or ban news and commentary.
    The same decree increased the penalties for insulting the President, although this had nothing to do with the incidents in the Southeast.
    Furthermore, the emergency measures have not been subjected to the approval of the legislative assembly which is supposed to represent the will of the people.
    The daily Hürriyet of April 11 says that the new decree is reminiscent of one of the most repressive laws in the history of the Turkish Republic: Takrir-i Sükun, the law for the establishment of public order, issued in 1925 on the pretext of the Sheik Sait Uprising in the Turkish Kurdistan.
    Chaired by President Turgut Özal for the first time since the election of Prime Minister Yildirim Akbulut, the cabinet met in session on April 9 and adopted the decree No. 413 to produce the following regulations:
    - Penalties were outlined against publications found guilty of "wrongly representing incidents occurring in a region which is under a state of emergency, disturbing its readers with distorted news stories or commentaries, causing anxiety among people in the region and obstructing security forces in performance of their jobs.
    While the regional governor in charge of security in the 11 southeastern provinces already had the authority to ban these kinds of publications from the region, the new decree expands this authority throughout the country.
    The regional governor is empowered to stop distribution of these publications and confiscate them, no matter where they are printed, and even to close down their entire printing plants. The process requires, however, that the regional governor's recommendation be approved by the Interior Ministry, which then issues the final order.
    - If it is determined that a publication has slandered an individual while covering activities within a region under a state of emergency, the publication will be subject to a very heavy indemnity. For example, if it is a daily newspaper, the amount of the fine will be assessed at no less than 90 percent of the publication's average daily sales.
    In addition to fines previously set by the Turkish Penal Code, publications which insult an individual by publishing false articles, photographs or documents will be fined between 30 million TL and 100 million TL ($10,000-33,000). The publishers will also pay an additional fine calculated according to the publication's average circulation sales. The responsible editors in question will, in addition, be fined half of this amount. The penal code stipulates three years n prison for those convicted.
    - Although seemingly unrelated, article 158 of the Turkish Penal Code which makes it a crime to insult the president was included in these measures. The penal code already stipulates up to three years imprisonment for those who insult the president. With the new addition, publications which insult the president will pay a fine up to 100 million TL ($33,000). In addition, their owners will be fined according to circulation sales, with their responsible editors, paying half of this amount.
    - The same penalty will be applied for insulting Parliament, the government, ministers and high-level state executives. In addition to the new fines, article 169 in the Turkish Penal Code already includes a stipulation providing for a maximum six year prison sentence if convicted of this crime.
    - Identical regulations will apply to cases stated in article 268 of the Turkish Penal Code. This article already calls for a maximum three year prison sentence for insulting officials, and judges in particular.
    - Broadcasting about a region under a state of emergency by the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) will be controlled by the Interior Ministry and the General Secretariat of the National Security Council.
    - Individuals who are observed to be acting against the State may be subjected to compulsory relocation, depending on the decision of the regional governor. The relocation site will be determined by the Interior Ministry, and if necessary the exiles will be given financial aid from a state fund.
    - The regional governor is authorized to control all union activities, including strikes and lockouts, prohibiting them entirely if necessary. He may also take measures to prevent boycotts and slow-down schemes, and even close down work places. Previously, regional governors were only authorized to delay strikes and lockouts for one month.
    - Public prosecutors of the State Security Courts will open litigation in all kinds of cases requested by the regional governor, as long as they are included in the category of crimes handled by the court.
    - The regional governor is authorized to request that State institutions transfer certain employees to another place or position if he does not like their performance or considers them "harmful." The State institutions in question will be required to meet these demands immediately. Previously, the regional governor was authorized to request placement changes except in the case of judges, prosecutors and military staff.
    - People who live in a region under a state of emergency will be able to move somewhere else if they so desire, with jobs to be provided for them. A total of 60,000 civil servant jobs at State institutions are being created for these people, with the cabinet authorized to increase this number by 26 percent if necessary. The distribution of created vacancies has not yet been announced; administration of the project is delegated to the Interior Ministry.
    - Another point in the measures prohibits any court case from being opened to question the manner in which Interior Ministry authorities, the regional governor or any of his officials have exercised their authority.
    - Penalties for those convicted of supporting separatist activities were also doubled.


    As the leaders of the parliamentary opposition were criticizing the measures taken by the government, President Özal justified the new regime of repression by claiming that all party leaders were unanimous on the gravity of the situation in the southeast of the country.
    In fact, the leaders of the two parties represented in Parliament, Erdal Inönü (SHP) and Süleyman Demirel (DYP), had abandoned their policy of avoiding President Turgut Özal and met with him at the president's invitation on April 2 to discuss violence in the Southeast.
    After the 3-hour meeting in which Prime Minister Akbulut also participated, Özal appeared on television to announce that he was happy to see all party leaders united in backing the measures to be taken to safeguard the integrity of the nation. "The measures that will be taken from now on were also explained to them [the opposition leaders] along general lines. There was a general consensus on this subject too. The party leaders reiterated that they would support the government in measures connected with events in southeastern Anatolia," said Özal.
    Prime Minister Akbulut too told reporters that he was happy with the Çankaya meeting: "The most concrete result of the meeting is the backing provided by all political parties to the security forces in the struggle against terrorism. All the political parties have come to an agreement on the need to combat terrorism."
    Although disappointed in their hopes to get a promise of early elections from Özal and Akbulut, both opposition leaders supported the idea of taking extraordinary measures in the Southeast. "To fight terrorism armed struggle is necessary," said Demirel, addressing the parliamentary group of his party. "The situation in the Southeast is grave. We could not possibly have ignored the invitation to the Çankaya meeting when people are shouting 'Down with Turkey' on the streets in Cizre."


    However when the measures were a few days later unveiled by the government, both Demirel and Inönü remarked that they had been fooled by Özal.
    Demirel said: "When we said we would support the measures, we meant the measures in the framework of human rights and law. No one should be thinking that we are in favour of the present measures. The decree has shown clearly that the regime imposed on Turkey by President Turgut Özal is different from the one outlined in the constitution." He asked the government to abandon the measures particularly those concerning press censorship and exile.
    Demirel, in his address to his deputies on April 17, said the government in Turkey does not carry out the work for which it is responsible. "Özal is doing that work for the government. Özal has no [executive] responsibility [according to the constitution]. But from now on his political responsibility is open to discussion. We must find a name for this regime because it is not the one envisaged in the constitution of the Turkish Republic. I haven't witnessed such measures even during wartime. It is an aberration." Demirel remarked.
    Same day, addressing his party's deputies, Inönü said the public is under the impression that the democratic process in Turkey has come to a halt. "According to the Constitution, the government should have submitted the decree it adopted to Parliament within 24 hours. Although a week has passed, the decree has not been introduced for debate in the assembly. Everyone should say what they think about such an important decree. It should not be discussed behind closed doors. Nobody disputes that separatism is a threat aimed at national integrity, but the integrity of the nation should be protected within democratic rules."
    SHP deputies Hasan Fehmi Günes and Turhan Beyazit announced they would apply to the Constitutional Court for abrogation of the government decree imposing emergency measures.    Nineteen independent deputies who broke away from the SHP last year held a two-day vigil in Parliament on April 18-19,waiting for the government to submit the emergency measures to the National Assembly
    Fehmi Isiklar, speaking on behalf of deputies staging the sit-in, said because of government practices the political crisis in Turkey is deepening.
    "Democracy is blamed for the rise of terrorism. The basic freedoms and rights of the people are jeopardized. Freedom of the press is obliterated and labour rights have been left to the arbitrary decisions of the regional governor," said Isiklar.
    Turgut Kazan, president of the Istanbul Bar Association, said the government decree allows government officials the privilege of law breaking. "Under a law-abiding government system it is up to the courts to decide on judicial matters. However, the government decree blocks the functioning of the judiciary. This is incompatible with law. Furthermore, on the pretext of stopping armed terrorism, the severity of the punishment for insulting the president and the government has been increased. It is understood from this that the real aim of these measures is to ban criticism of the government,'' said Kazan.


    Even before the issue of the new decree, emergency measures had already been imposed in 11 towns in the provinces of Mardin and Siirt, following the people's resistance against the security forces (See: Info-Türk, March 1990).
    Tension was high among the population in the area partly because the traditional Newroz, which marks the New Year in southeastern Turkey and in other countries of the Middle East, is usually celebrated by Kurds between March 21 and 28.
    On March 21, a university student in Diyarbakir, Zekiye Alkan immolated herself in protest against the oppression of the Kurdish people. The protest actions on the occasion of Newroz rapidly spread beyond the Kurdish towns. Thousands of university students of Kurdish origin organized Newroz celebrations in Istanbul, Ankara and other big cities. Hundreds of demonstrators were taken into custody by police.
    On March 26, shops and businesses in Cizre, Silopi and Idil remained closed as the population launched a silent protest against State terrorism.
    Next day, when a group of high school students started a protest demonstration in Cizre, security forces armed with anti-riot vehicles, guns and water cannons ordered them to disperse. The demonstrators did not obey and began setting tires on fire in the streets and pelting the security forces with stones. When special police intervened clashes took a bigger dimension.
    Following the first confrontation in the morning between the group of young demonstrators and police, rioting by larger groups broke out in other parts of the town.
    When security forces finally took the town under control at 16.30 and imposed a curfew, four people were dead and nine seriously wounded.      
    Mustafa Büyük, the governor of Cizre, said  shots were fired at security forces by unidentified people using long range firearms, a Turkish flag was burned and a statue of Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, was smashed. A building belonging to the Agriculture Ministry was burned and several cars were destroyed during the incidents.
    Parallel to the disturbances broke out in Cizre, six oil trucks parked at a roadside lot between Cizre and Silopi were set on fire by a group of PKK militants. Another group also caused damage at the government-owned coal mine company building outside Cizre.
    Following the incidents, 138 people were detained by police in Cizre and 74 of them were put under arrest on March 28 by the State Security Court of Diyarbakir.
    Following days the tradesmen of Silvan, Diyarbakir, Batman and Tunceli joined the protest action by pulling down their shutters and keeping closed their shops all the day. Thereupon security forces were reinforced by troops and tanks in the region. Road-blocks were set up at the entrance to towns and only government officials and local residents were allowed in.
    Emergency measures were also enforced in Sirnak, Eruh Kiziltepe, Midyat and Pervari  (provinces of Siirt and Mardin). The towns of Uludere, Beytussebab and Yüksekova (province of Hakkari), further to the east, were also put on an emergency footing.
    Independent Mardin deputy Ahmet Turk said that the incidents were in the main provoked by the special police force in the area. The deputy demanded the withdrawal of the force and the lifting of emergency measures.
    On April 5, the Constitution and Justice committees of the National Assembly started a proceeding in a view to lifting parliamentary immunity of 11 deputies, known as defenders of the Kurdish people's rights.
    On April 6, the government circles announced that some of the 267 capital punishments waiting at the National Assembly might be ratified very soon. Since 41 of these capital punishments belong to PKK militants, such a declaration aimed at intimidating Kurdish resistance.
    Next day, the security forces attacked on the Kurdish guerrilla groups in Hakkari. At the end of this two-day operation supported by some pro-government Kurdish clans, it was announced that 21 PKK militants were shot dead and 15 others captured.
    So, the National Security Council (MGK), composed of army commanders and some ministers, had pretext enough to announce extraordinary measures of repression. Since the two main opposition leaders had already given the government their support, the opening of the new period of repression on April 10, 1990 was but a simple formality.


    The new emergency measures had an immediate effect on the Turkish press.
    First, the Hürriyet's printing house announced that it would no longer be able to print the left-wing weekly 2000'e Dogru (Toward the year 2000). This magazine had been printing information about events in the Southeast which made it one of the most frequently banned publications in Turkey. 2000'e Dogru was not published for to weeks, because its publisher could not find a printing house willing to print it.
    "After the decree was officially published, Hürriyet authorities asked to meet with us," said Hüseyin Karanlik, editor-in-chief of 2000'e Dogru, in a telephone interview. "We discussed the risks of Hürriyet's whole printing facility being closed down. On April 13, the contract was cancelled. We contacted several printing plants in an effort to get printed by someone else. Nafiz Ilicak agreed to print the magazine. But later, they told us that authorities from the police department had warned them not to sign the contract."
    "(The government) is intent on fighting anti-state publications," Interior Minister Abdülkadir Aksu told journalists at a deputies' dinner in Ankara on April 17. "Look, the magazine 2000'e Dogru cannot be printed. Is this such a bad thing? It should be acknowledged that had Hürriyet continued to print the magazine, (the government) would have closed down the printing plant."
    "The decree has already served its purpose," President Turgut Özal said on April 18, referring to Hürriyet's refusal to print 2000'e Dogru.
    Tufan Türenç, editor-in-chief of  Hürriyet, said the decree was vague and "open to interpretation," and that this caused the press great difficulty. Confirming that the newspaper's printing plant had cancelled the contract of 2000'e Dogru, Türenç stressed that "although the press does not agree with the measures, we shall have to obey (the measures) for now."
    Meantime, the State Security Court of Diyarbakir issued a warrant for arresting Mr. Dogu Perincek, chief editor of the magazine.
    Earlier, on March 15, the responsible editor of 2000'e Dogru, Mr. Tunca Arslan was arrested by the State Security Court of Istanbul for an article about Kurds.
    On April 2, the same court ordered the confiscation of 2000'e Dogru as well as another weekly magazine, Nokta, for unveiling a report of the Turkish General Staff on the Kurdish question.
    On April 19, a new legal proceeding was started against Mr. Perincek, chief editor of 2000'e Dogru, by the State Security Court of Malatya, for a conference he had given in this city. He faces another 3-year prison term.
    As a matter of fact, after the adoption of the extraordinary measures, almost all of the left-wing publications face the risk of disappearing.


    The arrest of famous Turkish sociologist Dr. Ismail Besikci and the successive confiscation of his works on the Kurdish question have given rise to protests as well in Turkey as abroad. Despite this international reaction, prosecutors continue to harass him by opening new legal proceedings.
    He was jailed in March for his book entitled Kurdistan: A Colony of Many Nations. (See: Info-Türk, March 1990). A plea by 60 lawyers for the release of Besikci was rejected on April 18 by the Istanbul State Security Court. Several lawyers, foreign journalists and representatives from London-based Amnesty International and the Istanbul Human Rights Association were present at the court as observers.
    In his defense, Besikci rejected the accusations that he was making Kurdish propaganda and said that his work was a scientific one. "It is impossible to control rapidly changing social conditions with inflexible official ideology,'' he said.
    The court decided not to release Besikci and postpone the case until May 15.    
    As this trial is going on, the State Security Court ordered the seizure of a second book by Ismail Besikci. Science-Official Ideology, State-Democracy and the Kurdish Question, which went on sale March 27, examines Turkish ideology with respect to the Kurdish question and points out that official Turkish ideology runs counter to scientific fact.
    Besikci's third book, An Intellectual, An Organization and the Kurdish Problem, too was recently  confiscated by the State Security Court. In this book, Besikci blames some intellectuals, such as humorist Aziz Nesin, for not defending the rights of Kurdish people in Turkey. 
    Besikci faces, if convicted, a prison sentence of up to 45 years in total for his three confiscated books.
    Besikci is one of Turkey's most celebrated human rights activists, having spent some 10 years in prison between 1971 and 1987 because of his publications on the Kurdish question. Besikci, who is not a Kurd, was most recently released from prison in May 1987.
    In Copenhagen, Dr. Erik Siesby, chairman of the Danish Helsinki Committee, said that he was saddened by Besikçi's detention and that he had invited Besikçi to a meeting there on March 31 and April 1 that will examine the status of minorities in Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece. Besikci has sent a paper to be read in his absence on the problems of the Kurds in Turkey.
    A West German member of the European Parliament, Mrs. Claudia Roth, met with Besikci in his Istanbul prison cell for 90 minutes. Roth, who was in Turkey to attend the meeting of the Joint Turkey-European Parliament Committee in the Mediterranean city of Antalya, said after her meeting with Besikci that the sociologist's incarceration was "a very grave and serious" blow to Turkey's human rights record.


    2.3, the Governor of Ankara banned the representation of a play entitled "Why did we make this coup d'état?"
    3.3, journalist Melih Zeytinoglu, a former editor of Playboy magazine's Turkish edition, surfaced in Köln and asked political asylum in West Germany. He had been sentenced to fines totalling 40 million TL ($20,000) for breaking the Obscenity Law. The court converted fines into a 1,096-year prison term, when his employer failed to pay the sum until the deadline for payment expired.
    8.3, the daily Günes was confiscated by the State Security Court for having unveiled the minutes of the Bush-Özal talks in Washington. Mr. Uluc Gürkan, author of the article, was arrested two days later but released on bail of 5 million TL ($2,000). Gürkan and Alev Er, responsible editor of the newspaper, both face a prison term of up to 8 years.
    9.3, in Izmir, police took into custody three journalists, Doruk Aydogmus, Nusret Atasever and Mesut Avci, as well as seven readers at the office of the monthly Yeni Cözüm.
    19.3, Mrs. Katherina Bjarvail, correspondent of the Swedish daily Sydvenska Dagbladet, was detained in Diyarbakir as she was taking photos of the demonstrations and kept for three hours in custody.
    31.3, the responsibles of 40 printing houses in Izmir were indicted by the prosecutor for not having sent the publications that they print to the Board for Protecting Minors from Harmful Publications.
    1.4, A new scandal at the International Film Festival in Istanbul: The projection of a film entitled "Nights of Blackout" was banned by the Board of Censorship. The film directed by Yusuf Kurcenli has as subject the tortures applied in Turkey during the Second World War.
    4.4, the Ankara State Security Court censored the daily Sabah  for preventing the publication of an article that would have allegedly shed more light on the attempt to assassinate Turgut Özal two years ago. The newspaper claimed it had found a new witness who implicated the prosecutor of Dalaman prison in the plot against Özal's life. Two other dailies, Günes and Günaydin too were censored by the prosecutors of the same court for preventing the publication on the same subject.
    7.4, Mrs. Nazli Ilicak was sentenced to a fine totalling 306 million TL ($100,000) on charge of insulting 102 deputies of the Motherland Party (ANAP) in an article she wrote in the daily Tercüman. Mrs. Ilicak is being tried also in another case for insulting President Özal.
    11.4, Dr. Tayfun Gönül, who had launched a campaign against obligatory military service, and three journalists, Alev Er and Kutlu Özmakinaci from the daily Günes and Tugrul Eryilmaz from the weekly Sokak, were indicted by the State Security Court of Istanbul. Each faces a prison term of up to two years for anti-Army propaganda.
    15.4, the fortnightly Isciler ve Politika was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul.
    16.4, three monthly reviews, Toplumsal Kurtulus, Emegin Bayragi and Iscinin Gazetesi, as well as journalist Günay Aslan's book entitled Butchers in Uniform were confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul.
    17.4, the Council of Ministers announced that 17 people living abroad had been stripped of Turkish nationality. Among them are also former TIP official Zeki Kilic, journalist Sabri Bal and lawyer Yücel Yesilgöz.
    18.4, the fascicule No.70 of the Encyclopaedia of Socialism and Social Struggles was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul.
    21.4, the SSC of Istanbul ordered the confiscation of more publications: the monthly reviews Devrimci Genclik, Yeni Demokrasi, Özgürlük Dünyasi, Kivilcim, Genc Sosyalistler, Yeni Cözüm as well as a book on the 1st May incidents of the last year: It was not a stone but a heart in Our Hands.
    22.4, a right-wing magazine, Akdogus, was confiscated for insulting Atatürk in an article.
    24.4, two journalists from the monthly review Hedef, Ali Aslan and Mehmet Torus were taken into custody in Istanbul for "separatist publication."
    25.4, the weekly Sokak announced that it had to stop its publication because of increasing pressure.  The SSC of Istanbul ordered the confiscation of the fortnightly Iscilerin Sesi and a book entitled Kurdish Uprising in 1925, written by Cemsit Ates.

    The International Press Institute (IPI) sent a message to President Turgut Özal on March 21, strongly protesting the government's repressive measures against the press in Turkey.
    The message noted that in the last two weeks restrictions and penalties against the press in Turkey have reached record levels. The message, signed by IPI Director Peter Galliner, cited the seizure of leftist weekly 2000'e Dogru  and the arrest of its editor, Tunca Aslan, because of an article on the Kurds, court action against Tercuman columnist Nazli Ilicak for insulting the prime minister, and the arrest and release on bail of Günes editor Uluç Gurkan because he published the minutes of the meeting between Özal and U.S. President George Bush in January in Washington, D.C.
    "These acts are violations of article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which safeguards gathering and disseminating information," wrote Galliner to the Turkish president.


    As the repressive measures were being taken against the Kurdish people in Turkey, the daily Hürriyet began on April 1st, 1990 to publish a series of interviews with the most wanted Kurdish leader of the country: Abdullah Öcalan, leader of theWorkers Party of Kurdistan (PKK).
    Öcalan, who is known by his PKK alias, Apo, lives in a camp called Mahsum Korkmaz Academy, named after a PKK guerrilla leader killed in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, three hours drive from Beirut. The camp is the training ground for the PKK's armed squads, both men and women. Öcalan brought his PKK headquarters to Lebanon under the guise of the Palestine Democratic Front.
    Öcalan talked about the future of the PKK and its troubled relationship with the Turkish government.
    Despite the continuing armed struggle between the Turkish security forces and PKK members, Öcalan made a surprising declaration:
    "Let's call a cease-fire and sit at the negotiating table. The method we have used until now isn't terrorism. Real terrorism will begin now. There will be new developments in the 1990s, and a lot of blood will be spilled. I can't stop the things that will happen, but if Turkey changes its current policy of violence in the Southeast we too can give up violence. Only in this way can the pointless spilling of so much blood be prevented. Anyway, we can't secede from Turkey for the time being. We need Turkey and we won't be able to leave for at least 40 years. After that we may have a referendum and determine the future. But that's another matter.
    "Our problem is with Turkey and we are capable of dealing with it. At the moment the most important matter on Turkey's agenda is us. Tragic events are occurring. Too much blood is flowing. Innocent people, both on your side and on ours, are dying. This is a special war, and our view is 'if you don't kill, then I won't kill.' The true reason for the inflation in Turkey right now is the vast amount of money spent on special forces and security."
    Öcalan claimed that his organization is getting no material assistance from outside. "Turkey, thinking that other countries are supporting our cause, is trying to put an end to this imaginary support by selling everything to the foreigners. For example, thinking that France is giving us support, the government has sold its cement factories." he said.
    Öcalan denied PKK involvement in the murder of Hürriyet journalist Çetin Emeç:"If the PKK had killed him, we would have admitted it immediately," he said.
    He did, however, admit PKK responsibility in the abduction and killing of nine employees of the state-owned Etibank's ferrochromium plant in Elazig two weeks ago. "Turkey is fighting a war in the Southeast, everything has been given over to the government, and as such, everyone who is working for the state is a target," he said.
    Öcalan rejected claims that his PKK men were infiltrating Turkey across the Syrian border. They enter Turkey using official Turkish passports, he said. He went on to say that the PKK crossing the border illegally is impossible, the PKK leader said because it is mined and sealed off with barbed wire. "At a time when even the Berlin wall has been torn down Turkey has built an insurmountable border," he said.
    Öcalan said his organization does not have an active relationship with Syria and that Damascus was unaware that the PKK was setting up camp in the Bekaa valley. He insisted that the PKK received neither financial support nor arms from Syria.
    Öcalan charged that Turkey is using religion to subdue the people of the Southeast. "It uses excerpts from the Koran to spread the idea that rising against the government is a sin," he said. The PKK leader said his organization will also begin using religious sentiment for its own propaganda purposes "We, too, will find the relevant verses in the Koran to encourage people to raise their heads. We can leave Iran behind in the use of religious sentiments," he said.


    Amnesty International, in its latest report released in March 1990, has called on the Turkish Government to initiate impartial and independent investigations into alleged extrajudicial executions.
    Titled "Turkey: Extrajudicial Killings," the report describes 50 cases of murder or disappearance since 1981. The London-based human rights group presents statements by witnesses which allege that the cases were extrajudicial executions which may have been carried out by state security forces.
    Amnesty International has asked the Turkish government to provide information on the methods and findings of past and on-going investigations, and urges that these findings be made public.
    The report discussed political violence following the military coup of September 12, 1980, and fighting in southeastern Turkey where the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK) has been waging a guerrilla war against security forces since 1984.
    Amnesty International stated, "In the eight years after the coup over a quarter of a million people were arrested on political grounds and almost all of them were tortured. Official reports recorded 330 politically motivated killings between Sept. 12, 1980 and Feb. 16, 1982. A report issued by the General Staff covering the same period added that 202 "terrorists" were killed during clashes with the security forces.
    "lt appears that at least some of these killings were intentional shootings of opponents, either after detention or in situations where they could have been detained and brought to trial," the report said.
    Official casualty figures for Southeast Turkey quoted in the report indicate that in the first 9.5 months of 1989, 108 "terrorists", 112 civilians and 88 members of the security forces were killed.
    Amnesty International criticizes the methods used by the government to investigate killings by security forces. The report states, "Under the jurisdiction of the regional governor any offences by a state employee including members of the security forces has to be investigated by local administrative councils. Members of these councils are chosen from civil servants in the municipality. (Turkish) lawyers have not only pointed out that these people are members of the executive without any legal knowledge, but also that they are easily influenced by local commanders of the security forces.
    The report also criticizes the village protector scheme whereby the government has armed 20,000 Kurds in the Southeast to protect villages and fight the guerrillas.
    "There have been frequent allegations that some (village protectors) misuse their power and carry out private ventures such as kidnapping women or killing members of a rival tribe as part of a blood feud," the Amnesty International report said.
    The report presented cases of three murders and three disappearances which witnesses allege were committed by village protectors.
    The human rights group maintains that "The distribution of arms by the authorities divided the population according to their willingness to take up arms, qualifying them as either supporting the Turkish state or the Kurdish guerrillas. Accordingly, those supporting the state became targets for guerrilla attacks and those believed to support the guerrillas became targets for the security forces.
    "The guerrillas are reported to have attacked the civilian population, taken prisoners —in particular village protectors and people believed to be police informers— and tortured and killed some of them. As a matter of principle Amnesty International condemns the killing of prisoners whether carried out by government or non-government entities," the report said.
    Despite requests by witnesses and relatives of victims that authorities investigate killings by security forces or village protectors, the government rarely investigates, Amnesty International claimed. The group also alleges that the government sometimes intimidates or tortures witnesses to prevent them from making accusations against security forces.
    One case examined in the report was investigated by the local administrative council and the Ministry of Interior before being referred to the Supreme Administrative Court (Danistay).
    The report states that on Sept. 17, 1989, security forces killed nine people in Mardin province in a clash with PKK militants. Amnesty International maintains that witnesses immediately came forward to claim that six of the dead were villagers recruited by soldiers to guide them to the scene of the fighting.
    No decision on the case has yet been reached.

    The government suspended Ismail Özay, the mayor of Çanakkale, from office on March 18, just hours after he snubbed President Turgut Özal during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Dardanelles. The move led to a new confrontation between the opposition parties and the Motherland Party (ANAP). During the ceremony in Çanakkale last Sunday Mayor Özay, who is a member of the main  opposition Social Democratic opposition Populist Party (SHP), did not stand up to greet the President. A speech Özay made later is also alleged to have offended Özal.
    Özay was absent when the President came to Çanakkale accompanied by Prime Minister Yildirim Akbulut and a plethora of cabinet ministers. The mayor later said he was in Izmir on business.
    In his speech during the ceremony on Sunday, Özay did not mention President Özal and addressed himself only to the prime minister, ministers, other guests and the people of Çanakkale.
    "Those who make decisions on the fate of the nation in the name of the people but without their support are bound to be crushed under the burden of their decisions and to disappear in the depths of history," said the mayor in his speech.
    When Özay ended his speech. there was no clapping by the official guests, but the people cheered.
    President Özal then took the platform, beginning his address with a poem for the fallen heroes of the Dardanelles. In reply to the mayor, Özal said Marxism and Leninism had collapsed all over the world. "But in various countries and in Turkey too, there are a few people who cannot give up these ideas. Even if there are one or two such people of dubious origin in Turkey, the people will never sympathize with them."
    After the celebrations the mayor called a press conference and claimed the speech he made at the ceremony was based on a text he had written 11 years ago for a similar ceremony. The president's angry response to the mayor accusing him of having Marxist ideas was prompted by references in Özay's speech to "imperialism."
    Although it was Sunday and Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu was away from Ankara, State Minister Husnu Dogan took the necessary steps to instruct the governor of Çanakkale to suspend the mayor. Özay was notified of the government decision removing him from office after midnight on Sunday.
    The mayor's suspension led to further solidarity between the two opposition parties in Parliament. DYP leader Süleyman Demirel accused the government of attempting to terrorize and intimidate.
    SHP's Erdal Inönü said: "We all would like to show respect to the presidency. But the person who occupies the presidential office should respect his position. If he begins to use authority not prescribed in the constitution he puts the nation in a dilemma," said Inönü.
    Both Demirel and Inönü said removal of the mayor was not legitimate because there was no legal ground for such a move.

    Dr. Nihat Sargin and Nabi Yagci (Haydar Kutlu), the chairman and the general secretary of the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP), held a 20-day hunger strike for the lifting of Articles 141 and 142 of the Turkish Penal Code and their release from prison. They put an end to this action on April 25.
    Sargin and Yagci voluntarily returned to Turkey in November 1987 from self-imposed exile in Europe and said they would work openly for the legalization of their party. But they were arrested on their arrival and have been tried by the State Security Court of Istanbul since then.
    "The annulment of articles 141, 142 and 163 is the first step toward a democratic regime (in Turkey). The smashing of this first taboo will lead to the ending of other taboos. Because there is wide popular support (for the removal of these articles), they could easily be got rid of. The fact that only two of us from among the top executives of TBKP are in detention while on trial, is evidence that political motives rather than legal requirements play the decisive role in our prolonged incarceration," said Sargin and Yagci in their statement.
    Meanwhile, the TBKP Central Committee announced that an application to have the party formally legalized would be made to the Interior Ministry during the first week of May.
    Sargin and Yagci's case was discussed in Parliament Tuesday. Kemal Anadol, an independent deputy who resigned from the main opposition Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) last year, demanded the abrogation of articles 141, 142 and 163. Anadol said TBKP members who declared last year that they were communists have met with the nation's top politicians including SHP's Erdal Inönü and Süleyman Demirel of the Correct Way Party (DYP) saying openly that they were speaking on behalf of the TBKP.
    Justice Minister Oltan Sungurlu replied to Anadol saying the government has sought consensus among the political parties before lifting the articles in question. "We have not been able to reach such a consensus. We must also take into consideration the feelings of the public about this matter. It is pointless to put a question on the agenda which cannot readily be solved," said Sungurlu.
    "I must say that we would feel extremely sorry if something happened to Sargin and Yagci. But I must also emphasize that it is not right to force Turkey through pressure from abroad," he added.
    A group of four physicians from the European Human Rights Commission examined Sargin and Kutlu on April 17 in prison.    
    Meanwhile, supporters of Sargin and Yagci mounted a campaign to publicize the situation. They pasted posters on walls, lined up in front of the main post office building in Istanbul and sent telegrams to South Africa asking for political asylum because they said human rights in South Africa were respected more than they are in Turkey as evidenced by the release of Nelson Mandela.
    Although at the beginning two communist officials declared that they would carry on their action to the end if the articles are not lifted, after a 20-day action, on April 25 they announced that they put an end to their hunger strike on a promise by President Turgut Özal to review the articles at the beginning of May.


    As the TBKP announced that it would apply to the Interior Ministry for having their party formally founded and legalized, a group composed of representatives of various left-wing political movements and some members of parliament met on April 15 in Istanbul to discuss the establishment of a new political party that would gather most Turkish Marxists under its roof.
    The meeting resulted in the election of a 25-member committee which will prepare the groundwork for the formal establishment of the new party. Its first convention is scheduled for June, a spokesman for the group said.
    Haluk Gerger, a former university professor, announced at the beginning of the meeting that Turkish Marxists are determined to set up a new party as an alternative choice for the people.
    "At a time when our people are being forced to believe that the political problems of the country cannot be solved and the future is hopeless, we Marxists have decided to begin the process of establishing a socialist party which would present realistic solutions to problems. Thus (the new party) would offer a viable alternative to the forces governing the country," said Gerger. Kemal Anadol, a member of Parliament who broke away from the main opposition Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) last year, said he is talking with other independent deputies who either resigned or were expelled from the SHP. These independent deputies held a series of meetings earlier this year in an attempt to form a party but their efforts failed to bear fruit when Aydin Güven Gürkan, former SHP chairman, withdrew as leader of the group.
    Ekin Dikmen, a SHP deputy who was present at the Sunday's meeting, said he will be resigning from the SHP to take part in the establishment of the Marxist party.
    Representatives of the illegal United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP) were also present at this meeting. Zulfu Dicleli, a TBKP executive, said the TBKP will continue its struggle for legalization. Once it becomes legal, it will dissolve itself and its members will join the new Marxist party, he said.


    The Joint Parliamentary Committee of the Turkish National Assembly and the European Parliament covened on March 23-24 in Turkey.    During the meeting, Abel Matutes, the EC's Mediterranean commissioner, explained in detail why the community thought Turkey was not yet eligible for membership.
    In order to decrease the agricultural surplus within the community, Matutes said this sector is being reduced. Turkey's membership would create a problem in that the Turkish agricultural sector is on the verge of expansion, he said, referring to the Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP) in the East.
    Also, EC countries have limited their steel production, Matutes said, with subsidies being provided to steel industry workers to encourage them to move to other sectors of the economy.
    Matutes also touched upon a political obstacle to Turkey's application at a press conference he called last Friday before the meeting. Referring to the unrest in the Southeast, he said, "We support the Turkish government's struggle against terrorism. Such incidents also happen in countries in the community. Basing our opinion on experience, we think human rights should be respected while struggling against terrorism."
    Although the community does not think the Turkish government is neglecting human rights, Matutes said the EC wants Turkey to respect the rights of minorities.
    Cyprus represents a major political hindrance to Turkey's membership, Matutes said. New members must be accepted unanimously by the 12 EC countries, and Matutes said he does not believe a unanimous vote is yet possible.
    Maire George Quinn, Chairman of the EC Council of Ministers, said during the meeting that although Turkey has come a long way in improving its human rights record, further change is needed. The Irish state minister noted earlier improvements such as a series of anti-torture agreements Turkey signed in 1988.
    Foreign Minister Ali Bozer expressed Turkey's disappointment in the EC report. Bozer said Turkey had expected at least an "expression of political willingness."
    "There has been no sign to guarantee that Turkey's membership negotiations will resume after 1993," he said. Bozer dismissed the EC explanation regarding both Cyprus and minorities as having nothing to do with Turkey's membership. "


    West Germany has asked Turkey to recall 15 Turkish diplomats working in various Turkish missions around the country, it was announced on April 4, 1990.
    The names of the 15 Turkish diplomats were first publicized during a German television program "Panorama". The diplomats are accused of working for the Turkish Intelligence Agency (MIT) and gathering information about Turkish workers active in German labour unions.
    In fact, many members of the Turkish diplomatic missions in Europe have carried out this sinister activity since the military coup and hundreds of Turkish opponents have been stripped of Turkish nationality on the reports of these "agents."
    The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it will recall 15 officials working at diplomatic missions in West Germany, citing a lack of security and disturbing allegations against personnel. In retaliation, the Turkish Ministry demands that eight officials working at West Germany's diplomatic missions in Turkey be called back to West Germany, saying they were dealing with business unrelated to their work here.