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


14th Year - N°164
 June 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


Leaders of a communist party freed,
Turkish and Kurdish left-wing intellectuals
still endure in filthy Turkish prisons

    Long hot summer days, the sunny Mediterranean and Aegean shores of Turkey, thanks to attractive  gaily-coloured advertisements full of praise, once again draw millions of tourists as well from the country's interior parts as from northern European countries. They are welcomed in well equipped hotels and motels covering sunny and azure blue beaches of this country.
    President Ozal, Premier Akbulut, all leaders of the opposition parties represented in the Turkish Parliament are going to enjoy these paradise-like sea-side resorts. Even, the officials of a communist party who have spent their years in Turkish prisons are preparing themselves to join these happy holiday-makers thanks to their release by Özal. No doubt, they have already deserved it.
    Still there is another dark side of this sunny paradise. The prisons are still full of left-wing Turkish and Kurdish intellectuals. They are going to pass these long hot summer days behind iron bars. For many of them, this will be the 10th summer in filthy jails of Turkey since the proclamation of martial law in 1979.
    Although the leaders of the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP), an outcome of the merging of two former pro-Soviet parties, thanks to the efforts of its European brother parties, are now preparing themselves to take part in the political fan of the so-called Turkish democracy (See: "Legalization of a communist party" in this issue), a scores of Turkish and Kurdish intellectuals are still suffering in prisons for raising Marxist views or for defending fundamental rights and freedoms of the Kurdish population.
    It is for drawing attention to this unprecedented injustice that prisoners of conscience have recently resorted to different actions of protest throughout the country.
    First, on May 16, eight prisoners of conscience who are kept as convicts at the Canakkale E-type prison started a hunger strike. A statement by the convicts, including five journalists, declared that after the release of Nihat Sargin and  Nabi Yagci (Haydar Kutlu), respectively chairman and secretary general of the TBKP, all legal cases which regarded thought as a crime do not have any legal justification any more. "The articles 141 and 142 of the Turkish Penal Code no longer have any political, social or moral validity. We are starting a hunger strike to protest this situation and to have the articles removed completely," the prisoners said.
    Five striking journalists were:
    Erhan Tuskan, chief editor of the youth review Ilerici Yurtsever Genclik, sentenced to a 123-year prison term,
    Irfan Asik, chief editor of the review Partizan, sentenced to a 111 years,
    Hasan Fikret Ulusoydan, chief editor of the review Halkin Sesi, sentenced to 66 years,
    Mehmet Özgen, chief editor of the review Bagimsiz Türkiye and Devrimci Militan, sentenced to 43 years,
    Kazim Arli, chief editor of the review Öncü, sentenced to 22 years and 6 months.
    The action of hungerstrikes was later joined by four other journalists in two other prisons:
    In the prison of Bartin: Veli Yilmaz and Osman Tas, both the editors of the review Halkin Kurtulusu, sentenced respectively to 748 years and 661 years;
    In the prison of Nazilli: Ilker Demir, editor of the review Kitle, sentenced to 30 years, and Abdullah Soydan, editor of the Kurdish review Kawa.
    "They started the hunger strike because there is nothing left for them to do. What else can they do while surrounded by four walls and since nobody is doing anything for them. Until they began hunger strike, the plight of the journalists was not mentioned in the press at all. Unfortunately the longer they continue the hunger strike, the more effective it will be," said Neyyire Ozkan, wife of Veli Yilmaz, in an interview with Dateline of June 9, 1990.
    Yilmaz was sentenced to 748 years in prison for editing the publication of Halkin Kurtulusu and for his Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP) membership. The five-member court council refused, by a vote of three to two, to consider the charges in a single case.
    "If the two cases had been tried together at the court, he would have been sentenced to 10 years and 6 months, which would later be reduced to four years according to law, and he would now be free since he has been in prison for ten years," said Neyyire Özkan.
    "The court decided to release Nabi Yagci (Haydar Kutlu) and Nihat Sargin because of the changes with respect to the crimes of thought and the public reaction towards their case. The only difference between their case and the journalists' cases is that Kutlu and Sargin were extricated from custody in a case for which they are awaiting trial, thanks to the fact that the government manifested its intention to amend Articles 141 and 142 of the Turkish Penal Code which have been used to punish political crimes. However the government, after the release of TBKP leaders, delayed to review of Articles 141 and 142," she added.
    Sadiye Özgen, sister of Mehmet Özgen, who in 1982 was sentenced to 43 years for being the responsible editor of Bagimsiz Türkiye and Devrimci Militan , said: "Hunger strike is a warning to the democrat public. It is the only way they can put pressure on the public to make them sensitive to their plight. They are not making the hunger strike only for themselves, but for all the political detainees in prison. More than 200 prisoners who have been sentenced to death are waiting for the final decision."
    The hungerstrikes have given rise to protests as well in the country as abroad.
    The Association of Contemporary Journalists (CGD) immediately announced that it declared the journalists on strike "honorary members."
    A group of independent deputies sent a letter to President Turgut Özal, Prime Minister Yildirim Akbulut, leader of the Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) Erdal Inönü and leader of the Correct Way Party (DYP) Süleyman Demirel asking for their help to save the lives of the hunger strikers.
    Many famous journalists, writers and artists conducted different kinds of actions in solidarity with hunger strikers.
    Abroad,the International Press Institute (IPI)  wrote to President Turgut Özal asking for the release of five journalists and also requested the changing of articles 141 and 142 of the Turkish Penal Code. General Secretary Peter Galliner, said: "We strongly urge that your government immediately review these two laws which severely restrict free speech in Turkey. We believe that the imprisonment of these five journalists is a gross violation of their basic human and professional rights and we ask that they be released without delay."
    The International PEN, of whom there are honorary members among the strikers, Helsinki Watch and Amnesty International too, called President Özal to release all prisoners of conscience.
    After having succeeded to draw the attention to the injustice of which they are victims, the hungerstrikes of journalists ended their action on June 12. So, hungerstrike lasted 24 days in Canakkale, 20 days in Bartin and 12 days in Nazilli.
    In a move of revenge, the administration of the Bartin Prison banned for twenty days any visit to two journalists who had gone on hungerstrike, Veli Yilmaz and Osman Tas. On June 13, a joint delegation of the Association of Human Rights (IHD), the Association of Contemporary Journalists (CGD) and the Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS) coming to the prison to see two journalists was not allowed to enter in.


    The daily Cumhuriyet of June 4, 1990 reports that thirty-four journalists are in prison in Turkey, serving a total of 2,703 years according to the records of judicial authorities:
Journalist        Publication            Prison term

1. Alaattin Sahin    Halkin Yolu            130 years
2. Ersan Sarikaya    Güney                7 yrs, 6 months
3. Veli Yilmaz        Halkin Kurtulusu        748 yrs
4. Osman Tas        Halkin Kurtulusu        661 yrs
5. Fikret Ulusoydan    Halkin Sesi            66 yrs
6. Ilker Demir        Kitle                36 yrs
7. Mete Dalgin        Halkin Birligi            30 yrs
8. Remzi Kücükertan    Devrimci Proletarya        7 yrs, 6 months
9. Bektas Erdogan    Kitle                36 yrs
10. Irfan Asik        Partizan            36 yrs
11. Feyzullah Özer    Kitle                17 yrs, 6 months
12. Hüseyin Ülgen    Genc Sosyalist            12 yrs, 3 months
13. Ali Rabus        Birlik Yolu            18 years
14. Erhan Tuskan    Ilerici Yurtsever Genclik     123 years
15. Candemir Özler    Savas Yolu            23 yrs, 10 months
16. Mehmet Özgen    Bagimsiz Türkiye        41 years
17. Nevzat Acan    Halkin Kurtulusu        21 yrs, 7 months
18. Mustafa Colak    Özgürlük            9 years, 3 months
19. Ayhan Erkan    Kivilcim            25 years
20. M. Resat Güvenilir    Emegin Birligi            29 yrs, 9 months
21. Güzel Aslaner    Halkin Birligi            146 yrs
22. Mehmet Coban    Iktibas                7 yrs, 6 months
23. Haci Ali Özer    Emegin Birligi            7 yrs, 5 months
24. Kâzim Arli        Öncü                23 yrs, 6 months
25. Mustafa Dum    Ileri                15 yrs
26. Mustafa Eker    Kurtulus            13 yrs, 5 months
27. Recep Marasli    Komal Yayinlari        36 yrs
28. Hasan Selim Acan    Halkin Kurtulusu        307 yrs, 6 months
29. Celik Malkoc    Yeni Cözüm            7 yrs, 6 months
30. Ertugrul Mavioglu    Yeni Cözüm            3 yrs
31. Fuat Musaoglu    Vardiya            7 yrs, 3 months
32. Kubilay Pinar    Günese Cagri            7 yrs, 6 months
33. Osman Günes    Emek Dünyasi            6 yrs, 3 months
34. Mehmet Ali Kutlu    Sosyalist Dergisi        30 years


    22.5.1990, the monthly review Kivilcim was confiscated by the State Security Court of Istanbul.
    23.5, the weekly 2000'e Dogru was confiscated by the State Security Court of Istanbul for the articles on the Kurdish question.
    28.5, the following issue of the weekly 2000'e Dogru was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for criticizing the pressure on the Kurdish people.
    29.5, the weekly Halk Gercegi was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for having published a communique by hungerstrikers at the Prison of Ceyhan.
    2.6, the members of a group of folklore dances were detained by police for having waved handkerchiefs in the colours of the Kurdistan's national flag during their performance in the district of Igdir of the province of Kars.
    6.6, the trial of the responsible editor of the weekly Sokak, Tugrul Eryilmaz, a lawyer, Zeki Okcuoglu and a medical doctor, Tayfun Gönül, began at the SSC of Istanbul, for a campaign launched by Dr. Gönül against compulsory military service. Eryilmaz faces a prison term of 30 years, Okcuoglu 15 years and Gönül 2 years.
    8.6, The State Security Court of Istanbul indicted three journalists, Mehmet Emin Sert from Emek, Mehmet Torus from Hedef and Orhan Dilber from Isci Sözü.  Each faces a prison term of up to 10 years for having published the minutes of the meetings by different left-wing organizations in a view to setting a socialist union.
    10.6, the weekly humorous magazine Girgir was confiscated by a criminal court for ridiculing President Özal and Premier Akbulut in a cartoon on the cover.
    11.6, A concert of the musical group Yorum, organized by the Municipality of Sariyer, was prevented by the Governor of Istanbul. The municipality was noticed that all concerts of this group in Istanbul had been banned.
    12.6, the Governor of Istanbul refused to authorize a rally organized by the editors of 19 left-wing reviews for protesting against the law on the state of emergency in the South Eastern provinces. In a second move, the representatives of the reviews attempted to hold a press conference in the place foreseen for the rally, but all of them were immediately taken into police custody: Tuncer Dilaveroglu and Mehmet Ali Eser from Yeni Demokrasi, Sirri Öztürk from Sorun, Riza Akyüz from Yeni Öncü, Muteber Yildirim from Isciler ve Politika,  Fikret Ipek from Medya Günesi,  Kamil Ermis from Deng, Halil Celik from Sosyalizm, Saban Devres and Gürdal Cinar from Devrimci Mücadele.
    13.6, the responsible editor of the Encyclopedia of Socialism and Social Struggles, Ali Erkan Kayali was brought before the State Security Court of Istanbul for communist propaganda. He faces a prison term of up to 15 years.
    14.6, the prosecutor of Ankara filed a legal proceeding against 21 teachers who attempted to set up a trade union under the name of Egitim-Is. When they applied first time for the registration of the union's rules, their demand had been refused by the Governor of Ankara on May 29. Thereupon, they sent the rules for registration by registered mail on June 4.
    15.6, in Istanbul, Police took into custody 22 representatives of political reviews when they were leaving for Ankara to submit to Prime Minister a petition against the State of Emergency Decree, signed by 13,000 people. 16 other people who were seeing off them were also detained by police.
    15.6, a rally organized by poets and writers to protest imprisoning people for their opinions was banned by the Governor of Istanbul.
    15.6, the monthly Kurdish review Deng, was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul.


    As the convicted journalists were carrying on their hungerstrike, in other prisons of Turkey thousands of political prisoners amplified this protestation by resorting to different kind of actions.
    On the press reports that the sinister Prison of Eskisehir was to be reopened and that many political prisoners were to be transferred there, the action of hungerstrikes gained a country-wide dimension.
    The Prison of Eskisehir was famous for the harsh penitentiary conditions which led to a series of protest actions in preceding years. A 35-day long hungerstrike in last year had ended in closing down this prison and transferring in harsh conditions all detainees too the Aydin Prison during which two prisoners perished. (See: Info-Türk, July/August 1989)
    In protest against the project of reopening the Eskisehir Prison, about 2,000 political detainees in the prisons of Diyarbakir, Malatya, Aydin, Nazilli, Ceyhan, Ergani, Buca, Gaziantep, Bismil, Canakkale, Bursa and Sagmalcilar (Istanbul) went on hunger strike.
    Progressive parties and democratic organizations actively supported the hungerstrikes and their members too went on hunger strikes in their locals. Police responded to these actions by raiding locals and detaining strikers.
    The most spectacular action was the sit-in by a group of women in front of the governor's office of the district of Dargecit (Mardin) on June 2. Meantime, all tradesmen of the town joined the action by pulling down their shutters. When police teams arrested the protesters, more people joined the action and began to march to the governor's office. Police forces opened fire during which a boy was wounded and detained 100 more people. According to a social democrat deputy, Kamer Genc, all detainees were subjected to torture at police station. On June 4, eleven women were arrested by a tribunal. This arrest led on June 6 to a new action of pulling down shutters by tradesmen.


    Three foreign diplomats were taken into custody in Siirt, on May 30, on grounds that they were conducting unauthorized inspections in the Southeastern region.
    Allan Christersen, undersecretary of the Danish Embassy, Irvin Hoyland, undersecretary of the Norwegian Embassy and Pino Valinoro, second secretary of the Finnish Embassy, were held in custody for two and a half hours before being released.
    The diplomats, who interviewed Human Rights Association (IHD) local chairman Zübeyr Aydar and Mayor Ekrem Bilek in Siirt, said they were asked whether they had permission to conduct inspections in the region. The diplomats insisted that should not be required to ask for permission.

    About 30 writers, journalists and stage and screen personalities came together on June 4 in Istanbul to establish a foundation in the name of  poet Nazim Hikmet.
    Hikmet fled Turkey in 1951 after 13 years in prison on charges of inciting the army and the navy to rebellion. A government decree a year later stripped him of his Turkish citizenship, and he was unable to return. He died in 1963 in Moscow.
        The Nazim Hikmet Foundation will promote cultural work, said Samiye Yaltirim, the poet's sister. 


    The trial brought by writer Baskin Oran against the chief of the military junta, General Kenan Evren, opened on June 6. Oran has charged Evren with allegedly insulting him in a 1984 speech in Manisa. He is seeking one million TL in compensation.


    Despite the claim that those who are guilty of torture are pursued, many of them continue to be protected by the administration and the justice.
    Recently, on June 13, the trial of Major Cafer Tayyar Caglayan who is accused of forcing the people of the Kurdish village Yesilyurt in Mardin to eat human excrement in January 1989. (See: Info-Türk, February 1989), ended in his condemnation by a tribunal to a prison term of two months and fifteen days. Moreover, the tribunal commuted this penalty to a fine and also postponed it.
    This ridiculous punishment has led to protests from democratic organizations.
    Underground organizations responded to this laxity by resorting to actions of revenge.
    The same day, a former military judged, charged at the Martial Law Command of Istanbul from 1982 to 1986, Retired Colonel Durmus Aksen was shot dead in Istanbul by the Revolutionary Left (Dev-Sol) militants.
    Next day, a former political police chief, Superintendent Muhsin Bodur was shot dead by the militants of the Workers-Peasants' Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO) in Istanbul.


    Penitentiary authorities realized on May 28 that five political prisoners, three of them serving death sentences, escaped from the Bayrampasa Prison in Istanbul. The discovery was made when the father of one of the fugitives came to visit his son.
    Aslan Tayfun Özkök, Aslan Sener Yildirim and Ali Kirlangic were sentenced to death on charges of murdering former Turkish Prime Minister Nihat Erim, responsible for the State terrorism after the 1971 military coup, and  police chief Mahmut Dikler.
    Four fugitives belong to the Revolutionary Left (Dev-Sol) and one to the Workers'-Peasants' Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO).
    Two leaders of Dev-Sol, Dursun Karatas and Bedri Yagan had escaped from the same prison on October 25, 1989. It was followed in January this year by the escape of two other Dev-Sol militants, Sinan Kukul and Murat Göleli.


    The Ministry of Defense announced on May 21 that 1,011 officers have been cashiered from the Turkish Armed Forces during the last ten years for their involvement in politically subversive or religious, fundamentalist activities. Among the officers cashiered, the highest ranking were two lieutenant colonels and 26 captains.
    647 of these officers were dismissed during the military government (1980-1983), 364 others after ANAP's coming to power in 1983.
    The number of the officers dismissed for religious, fundamentalist activities after 1983 stands at 114.


    After the police terror on May Day (See: Info-Türk, May 1990), on June 7, the State Security Court of Istanbul indicted 221 people of whom 76 are under arrest.
    The defendants face prison terms of from 5 to 23 years for unauthorized demonstration, revolt to police and belonging to underground organizations.
    Among the defendants facing imprisonment of up to 23 years is also Miss Gülay Beceren, a 20 years old university student, who was shot in the back and shoulder by police. Not be able to walk for the rest of her life because a bullet pierced one of her vertebras, Beceren is still in hospital.
    The Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) launched a collect campaign for Beceren's medical treatment. Those who wish to participate in this campaign can send their contribution to the following bank account: Türkiye Ziraat Bankasi - Istanbul Taksim Subesi - Account No. 30003/203999-3.


    1.5, the leaders of the Municipal Workers Union (Belediye Is) in Istanbul were indicted by the State Security Court for having issued posters celebrating May Day. They are accused of communist propaganda.
    5.5, five alleged militants of the Workers' and Peasants' Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO) were reportedly detained in Istanbul.
    6.5, in Istanbul, 68 workers were brought before the Criminal Court No.4 of Istanbul for having sent a telegram to President Özal in protest again the coal mine disaster in Yeni Celtek. Each faces a prison term of up to 6 years for insulting the President of the Republic.
    11.5, the State Security Court of Diyarbakir issued an arrest warrant against Yalcin Büyükdagli, Secretary General of the Socialist Party (SP), un grounds that he had made communist propaganda in a speech on the events of the South-East he gave in Van.
    12.5, a meeting organized by the Association of Teachers (Egit-Der) was banned by the Governor of Ankara on grounds that it might be harmful to public order.
    15.5, the State Security Court indicted Ferit Ilsever, chairman of the Socialist Party (SP), on grounds that he incited the people to riot in an electoral speech in Pazarcik.    16.5, the State Security Court arrested seven alleged members of the Revolutionary Communists Union of Turkey (TIKB), who had been in police custody since May 2.
    17.5, police raided the Cultural Center of Sisli in Istanbul during which 30 people were detained and four sacks of books confiscated.
    18.5, two acts of the Cankaya Municipality in Ankara were subjected to administrative and legal pursuits. First, a chess tournament organized at the Güven Park was banned by the Governor of Ankara. Meantime, the Prosecutor of the State Security Court started a legal proceeding against the Municipality's decision to name a quarter as May Day Quarter.
    21.5, the Chairman of the Association for Workers' Health, Dr. Metin Berol, and three other members of the administrative board were detained by police. They are accused of being an illegal communist organization, TKP/Workers' Voice. Meantime, dentist Yüksel Karaagac announced that he had been taken by a police team without any ground and subjected to beating and insults. The Union of Doctors and Dentists in Istanbul; holding a press conference, accused the police having tortured the detained doctors.
    22.5, social democrat deputy Fuat Atalay announced that a 36-year old peasant, Besir Algan had, after being taken into custody, been shot dead by security forces in the village of Budakli of the province of Mardin.
    22.5, the trial of 155 people detained during the popular demonstrations in Cizre began at the State Security Court of Diyarbakir. 155 defendants, of whom 77 under arrest, are accused of destroying public properties. The trial is carried out in closed sessions because one of the detainees is 14 years old.
    23.5, it is reported that 14 new gendarmery stations are to be built near the Iraqi border for reinforcing the security measures.
    24. Eight people of whom a 14-year old girl, were detained bu police in Izmir for having distributed clandestine leaflets.
    24.5, A US citizen professor, Nicholas Liplek, charged at the Aegean University, was detained in Izmir for having offended President Özal.
    25.5, police announced that 14 people were detained for carrying out underground actions of the TKP/Iscinin Sesi. The State Security Court arrested eight of them and released the other.
    25.5, three former officials of the defunct Socialist Workers' Party of Turkey (TSIP), Tektas Agaoglu, Hüseyin Hasan Cebi and Ekrem Cakiroglu, who were arrested after their recent return from self-exile, were acquitted by a tribunal. During the period of martial law, other officials of the party had been kept in prison for years.
    29.5, two members of the Human Rights' Association of Turkey (IHD), attorneys Hasan Sahin and Gürbüz Özaltinli were taken into custody by police.
    5.6, 61 students of the Dicle University in Diyarbakir were detained bu police for having carried out a demonstration for defending their rights. 30 of the detainees were later arrested by the State Security Court.
    7.6, the Military Court of Cassation approved death sentences against five members of the Marxist-Leninist Armed Propaganda Unit (MLSPB). The higher court judged that 17 other death sentences be revised by the military court.
    8.6, Mayor of the city of Ankara, Ismail Özay was indicted by a criminal court for having offended President Özal in a speech he pronounced during the celebration of Dardanelles War on March 18, 1990. Already dismissed from his post by the government, Özay also faces a prison term of up to 6 years.
    12.6, a member of the Human Rights Association (IHD) and four other persons were detained in front of the Central Prison of Ankara after having visited some detainees.
    12.6, police announced that 20 alleged members of an outlawed organization had been detained in Ankara.
    13.6, ten  members of the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) were sentenced by the State Security Court of Izmir to a total of 130 years. 15 other defendants of the same case were acquitted.
    14.6, the trial of the Association for Solidarity with the Families of Prisoners (TAYAD) began at the State Security Court of Istanbul. The prosecutor asked the court to close down TAYAD and to condemn Chairwoman Gülten Sen and six other members of the administrative board to prison terms of up to 6 years for illegal activities.

    Motherland Party (ANAP) candidates won 29 of 51 mayoral posts at stake during the June 2, 1990 local elections, giving new vigour to discussion of ANAP's popularity.
    According to the final election results ANAP candidates won mayoral offices in 2 municipalities, polling 36.9 percent of the vote. The Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) candidates were elected in 11 towns with 24 percent of the vote and the Correct Way Party (DYP) candidates in five towns with 20.4 percent of the vote. Islamic fundamentalist Welfare Party (RP) candidates won four seats with 9.5 percent of the vote, and the extreme right-wing Nationalist Labor Party (MCP) which polled 2.3 percent of the vote won one seat. Former prime minister Bülent Ecevit's small Democratic Left Party (DSP) failed to win in any of the 61 municipalities but received 6.1 percent of the overall vote.
    Prime Minister Yildirim Akbulut said the election results showed once again that ANAP was the most powerful political party in Turkey.
    Deniz Baykal, Secretary General of the SHP, said last election results did not represent the general trend in the country. "About 70,000 voters took part in the polling. There are nearly 26 million voters in Turkey," he said. He also accused the government of "ruthlessly blackmailing the voters" by telling them that they should expect no municipal services if they voted for opposition candidates.
    Süleyman Demirel, leader of DYP, indulged in some self-criticism after the results were announced. He said it had been a mistake to take part in the elections because it was obvious beforehand that the government would resort to every means to come out ahead.Demirel said he was considering boycotting local elections scheduled for August 19, 1990 in 13 towns.
    The result of the local elections has also sown discord between the two opposition parties in Parliament. Demirel, addressing his deputies, criticized SHP —without naming it— for not taking strong action against the government. "To oppose law breaking is not just our business. We are looking to others to raise their voices too," he said.
    Inönü, responding to Demirel's remark that opposition parties may boycott the local elections, said he did not favor such a line of action. "First we must tackle the country's problems. I don't think we can get anywhere with boycotts. I don't know exactly what Demirel said. If he wants to make us an offer he can do so directly. Then we can decide what to do," he added.
    The SHP leader also said ANAP has no cause for jubilation over the election results. "But it has good reason to feel shame. What it did showed disrespect for the people and undermined democracy," he said.


    After its all leaders and officials were released by the State Security Court thanks to the green light given by President Ozal,the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP) took, on June 4, 1990, another step toward becoming a legal party.    
    TBKP chairman Nihat Sargin, and the party's general secretary, Nabi Yagci (Haydar Kutlu), were released from prison in May after spending two-and-a-half years behind bars. They and five other TBKP founder members submitted five folders to the Interior Ministry which contained information about 36 founding members, the party program and statutes and the address of the headquarters in Ankara. A party emblem was not included.
    Mustafa Çetin, general secretary to the Interior Ministry, accepted the documents and said they would be sent to "the appropriate authorities in due time."
    However, on June 14, the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic filed a legal proceeding before the Constitutional Court with the demand of closing down the TBKP, on grounds that Article 96 of the Political Parties' Law proscribes political parties which use the word "communist" in their names.
    According to the Turkish constitution political parties do not require permission from the government to be established. Once the necessary documents have been given to the Interior Ministry the party is considered legal. After that the chief prosecutor has the authority to go to the Constitutional Court to demand the party be disbanded if its program or its statutes violate the law.
    Despite these legal obstacles, the TBKP leaders attempt to legitimate their party by obtaining the support of other political parties, including the right-wing ones.
    The day following the application, in a move to prove that they are not against Kemalism, Sargin and Yagci visited the Atatürk Mausoleum and laid a wreath on the tomb of the founder of the Turkish Republic.
    Then they visited the headquarters of the main opposition Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) and the True Path Party (DYP), meeting Erdal Inönü and Süleyman Demirel.
    Demirel told Sargin and Yagci that he was anti-communist. "But this does not mean that I am against the existence of different political beliefs." Yagci answered Demirel by saying that the world was changing rapidly. "There are communist parties in Western democracies. We want to show the people that communists are ordinary human beings," he said.
    Demirel said he had no objection to political struggle as long as it took place legitimately and warned them: "People should not act clandestinely or illegally."
    After visiting DYP headquarters Yagci and Sargin went to see Inönü. The SHP leader said he welcomed the founding of TBKP, and that his party was against persecution of people because of their political beliefs. "It is this which most tarnishes Turkey's reputation," he added.
    Yagci and Sargin expressed satisfaction after their visits to SHP and DYP headquarters. They said they were also planning to visit President Turgut Özal, Prime Minister Yildirim Akbulut and other politicians.


    The TBKP is the outcome of the merging of two pro-Soviet parties: the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), founded in 1921 and outlawed since 1925, and the Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP), outlawed since 1980. But it is not the only Marxist party of the country.
    In fact, the former pro-Chinese Workers'-Peasants' Party of Turkey (TIKP), outlawed since 1980, was transformed into the Socialist Party (SP) in 1988 and this new party was legalized by the Constitutional Court in December of the same year.
    Recently, on  June 8, 1990, ten members of Parliament who were either expelled or resigned from the SHP, founded a new left-wing political party, the Labour Party of the People (HEP), which they claim open to all Marxists. Chairman of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK), Abdullah Bastürk as well as some other trade union leaders and Kurdish personalities take part among the founders. The Secretary General of the DISK was designated Chairman of the new party.
    On the other hand, the representatives of  some other outlawed left-wing organizations and some Marxist intellectuals have, for over one year, been developing talks with a view of founding a legal Marxist party. The representatives of the TBKP too have taken part in these works. In a further move, they will meet in a conference on June 23 to elaborate the possibilities of realizing a Socialist Unity.    
    TBKP Chairman Sargin, after their application to the Interior Ministry for legalizing their party, said TBKP's mission would end when Turkish Marxists are gathered under the umbrella of a single party.
    However, many radical organizations of the Turkish Left and especially Kurdish organizations keep a distance vis-a-vis any attempt of founding a legal party, started or joined by the leaders of the former pro-Soviet parties. They accuse the TBKP and the other groups collaborating with the TBKP of giving concessions to the Turkish regime, and claim that a legal Marxist party should be out of question as long as Articles 141 and 142 of the Penal Code remain in force, the freedoms of Kurdish people are refused and even a single political detainee remains in prison.


    In a new move to seduce European public opinion, President Özal sent an open letter to the French weekly magazine L'Express. The gist of the letter is that the European Community has much to gain by accepting Turkey as a member.
    The letter says Turkey's geographic position as a bridge between the Balkans and the Middle East could make it possible for Europe to open up trade with these regions. Turkey's cheap labor should also attract European investors according to the President.
    Besides, Özal claims that Turkey shares with Europe the common values of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, and free enterprise."
    Commenting this letter in his column in the daily Günes of June 4, 1990, Uluç Gürkan says in all these issues Turkey has serious shortcomings: "Who knows whether Europe will actually accept these arguments and admit us to membership of the EC. It has to act quickly if it is to catch the European train. The changes in Eastern Europe increase the number of competitors in the race. Even the Soviet Union is Turkey's rival for member ship in the EC. Turkey should become more democratic and improve its human rights record."


    During the presentation of its view on the Turkey's demand of adhesion to the European Community on December 18, 1989, the Commission of the European Community had announced s series of fields in which the cooperation between Turkey and the EC can be developed.
    The Council of the European Community had adopted the Commission's conclusion and charged it with preparing concrete propositions on the future cooperation.
    The Commission announced its concrete propositions, on June 6, 1990, as follows:
    1. The realization of customs union until the end of 1995.
    This objective takes place in the Association Agreement of 1963 between the Community and Turkey. To attain this objective, Turkey has to make efforts in the field of tariffs and to take into account the preferences accorded by the Community to the Third countries. Besides, it has to respect the Community policies in the anti-matter dumping, tariff rights, etc.
    The fact to come back to the Association Agreement will imply a larger liberalization of agricultural exchanges and in the matter of textile. It should, of course, has to be carried out in two directions.
    2. The promotion of the industrial and technological cooperation in the fields related directly or indirectly to the custom union.
    Its main objective will be to reduce the difference of development between Turkey and the Community and so to integrate better this country into the European economic and social structure. The cooperation in this field will be extended to a series of sectors, among which we can mention services, transports, telecommunication, energy, environment, sciences and technology, tourism, training, culture and audiovisual.
    3. The resumption of financial cooperation:
    The Commission proposes the resumption of this cooperation which had been suspended since 1981. In this respect, the Commission proposes to submit to the Council's signature the project of the 4th Financial Protocol which includes:
    - 225 Mecus by the EIB from its own sources;
    - 325 Mecus as loans under special conditions;
    - 50 Mecus as unrepayable aids.
    In this context, European Commissioner Matutes drew the attention to the fact that Turkey is the only European and Mediterranean country with which any action of cooperation cannot be engaged because of the lack of means.
    4.The intensification of political dialogue.
    Finally, Turkey is a country related to the Community by an association agreement. This relation should also be reflected in the political field by an intensification of political dialogue with this country.

    Turkey has, during the works of the Second Forum on Human Rights held in Copenhagen as part of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE),  is again the target of criticisms because of not respecting human and minority rights in the country.
    Human rights practices and the rights of minorities in Europe are being discussed at the conference attended by 35 foreign ministers from Eastern and Western European nations.
    Before the opening session a group of about 150 Kurds demonstrated in front of the conference hall. The demonstrators shouted slogans protesting Turkey's alleged violations of the Kurds' human rights. Meantime, many international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, the Helsinki Watch and the Sakharov Committee distributed to delegations some detailed reports on the violation of human and minority rights in Turkey.
    Besides, the situation of human rights in Turkey is raised during a series of Parallel Activities in the form of conference organized by different Danish democratic and human rights organizations.
    On June 6, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Hungary and Yugoslavia introduced a joint draft resolution on the rights of the minorities in Europe. The resolution calls for measures to protect the languages, cultural identities and traditions of the minorities and demands legislation to ensure the political representation and organization of national minorities. It also says minorities should have freedom of communication with people from the same ethnic roots who are living in other countries. The resolution touched a sensitive spot in Turkey's policies.
    A day before the joint resolution was introduced Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Bozer addressed the conference and devoted most of his speech to the question of minorities.
    "The only minorities in Turkey are those designated by international treaties or bilateral agreements," said Bozer, referring to the 1922 Treaty of Lausanne which recognized Turkey an independent republic and provided protection for the rights of Christian minorities.
    Bozer also said that if the Kurds were granted national minority status they would not be able to enjoy the rights they now possessed. Bozer said "terrorism by Kurdish separatists was receiving support from certain quarters" which he did not name. "Nothing can justify the support of terrorism. That is why we need to draw the line between the protection of human rights and terrorism. That is why individuals cannot be allowed to use their freedoms to destroy democracy, national integrity and the basic rights and freedoms of others," said Bozer. "There are articles to this effect in the constitutions of many European nations and in the European Human Rights Convention," he added.
    Bozer also opposed a proposal introduced by Denmark and supported by the Soviet Union to set up a human rights committee. He said while similar committees existed in other international platforms such as the Council of Europe establishment of a CSCE human rights committee would only lead to confusion.
    Bozer also met separately with West German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher and asked for Bonn's support for Turkey's request for better relations with the European Community.
    After Bozer's departure from Copenhagen, Turkey's former foreign minister Ilter Türkmen assumed the leadership of the Turkish delegation. Türkmen said that Turkey has nothing to be ashamed of in its human rights record. "Turkey will not be the human rights scapegoat some want it to be," he said.


    Helsinki Watch released a new report on Turkey in June 1990. In this new report, entitled Southeast Turkey: Harsh New Decree; The Kurdish Minority; Violations of International Law; Journalists on Hunger Strike, the Washington-based organization  is concerned about the issuance of the Decree 413, which was enacted by the Council of Ministers in April 1990.
    The decree equips the regional governor in southeastern Turkey with extraordinary powers to censor the press, exile "troublemakers," remove judges and public prosecutors, and suspend trade union rights.
    After having resumed the recent information on PKK and the Government actions, village guards, arrests, tortures and deaths, abuse of the civilian population, police harassment of civilians and foreigners, due process in legal proceedings, denial of ethnic identity and the conditions in the Iraqi Kurds' refugee camps, Helsinki Watch makes the following recommendations to the government of Turkey:
    o Rescind Decree 413 and restore the rights suspended by that decree;
    o Abolish the Village Guard System;
    o Protect the civilian population in areas where guerrilla warfare is taking place and comply with international laws governing internal armed conflicts;
    o End efforts to relocate civilians from troubled areas except in instances where their lives are endangered, and then only in accordance with Protocol 11 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions;
    o Refrain from using land mines, except in accordance with the provisions of international law;
    o Acknowledge the existence of the Kurdish minority and grant them the political and civil
    o rights held by other Turks;
    o Permit lawyers to have immediate access to detainees and prisoners, including during the preliminary investigation; to speak Kurdish with prisoners; to meet with prisoners in privacy; to have adequate time to prepare cases; and to have access to all documents necessary to a prisoner's defense;
    o End restrictions that deprive Kurds of their ethnic identity: permit official use of the Kurdish language, music and dance and the celebration of Kurdish holidays; permit the use of Kurdish names;
    o Permit the establishment of Kurdish associations and the publication of Kurdish books and periodicals;
    o Punish appropriately the abuse and humiliation of civilians by security forces;
    o Acknowledge the pattern of torture in police detention centers, take steps to end it, and increase sentences for convicted torturers;
    o Prohibit the use in court of confessions obtained by torture;
    o Amend the Penal Code to eliminate Articles 141, 142 163 and other Penal Code articles that are used to deprive Turks of their human rights;
    o Stop all legal actions against the press and against writers and publishers based on the content of their writings, and release from prisons and detention centers all those held for the expression of their peaceful political views.
    Helsinki Watch recommends that the United States Government:
    o condemn the human rights abuses detailed in this newsletter and use its best efforts to persuade the government of Turkey to carry out the recommendations listed above; and
    o as required by Section 502B of the Foreign Assistance Act, state clearly what extraordinary circumstances warrant provision of military assistance to Turkey in light of its consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally-recognized human rights.