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


14th Year - N°167
 September 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



    Under the pressure coming from Washington, President Turgut Özal has made the Motherland Party (ANAP) majority in the National Assembly give the government authority to send an unspecified number of troops to the Gulf area and allow US troops to be deployed in Turkey.
    The same National Assembly had, on August 12, to give the government an unconditional mandate by limiting the authority to use the Armed Forces in the case of an aggression on Turkey.
    Just three weeks later than this decision, Özal convened the government at his residence, Cankaya, on September 3, and persuaded the ministers to introduce a bill in Parliament to give the government power to send troops abroad. And on September 5, the ANAP majority in the National Assembly voted the bill. Voting took place in closed session. The bill was supported by 246 deputies, and opposed by 136.
    According to rumours reported by the weekly Dateline of September 8, Özal had ministers sign 10 blank sheets to be used later for government decrees. No one has the slightest doubt that it will be Özal who wills out those already-signed sheets whenever he deems it necessary - without consulting the government.
    It seems that Özal will use the authority to send troops to the Gulf area or to allow US troops to be deployed in Turkey after his talks with President Bush on September 24-26.
    In exchange, Özal is expected to discuss with Bush possible US aid, and to ask the United States to encourage European countries to send financial assistance to Turkey. The lifting of US quotas on Turkish exports is also to be discussed by the two presidents.
    The situation is rife with danger for Turkey according to Özal's critics. They argue that Özal now has the power to make decisions for motives known only to him but affecting the future of the entire nation.
    Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) leader Erdal Inönü said the administration was committing murder by failing to abide by the principle of "Peace at home; peace in the world,"  established by Kemal Atatürk, founder of the republic. "The powers obtained were tantamount to taking Turkey into war and turning Turkey's image into that of a country with expansionist policies."
    Süleyman Demirel, former prime minister and leader of the Correct Way Party (DYP), used even stronger language and said the whole affair was a "treasonous scenario."
    The SHP decided to appeal to the Constitutional Court to cancel the authorities given to the government on rounds that these measures violate the constitution.
    In addition to the parliamentary opposition, all democratic organizations of Turkey oppose to the government's Gulf policies and hold rallies to protest against the National Assembly's decision.
    According to a public survey carried out by the daily Hürriyet and the Group Kamar, more than 61 percent of the Turks do not want Turkey to go to war.


    Although the Özal administration has been committed to the defence of Saudi Arabia, the public opinion does not have a sympathy for this country which has always been the main supporter of the rising of Islam fundamentalism in Turkey.
    Even among the believers, the tragedy in Mecca where more than 1,400 pilgrims, over 600 of them Turks, died on July 2, has led to a furious reaction.
    A petition signed by 56 deputies of the Correct Way Party (DYP) asked for an emergency session of the National Assembly to discuss the deaths of the Turkish pilgrims. This move was later joined by the 73 deputies of the main opposition Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP).
    The government is also accused of not carrying out pressure on Saudi Arabia to pay compensation. Prime Minister Akbulut said: "These may be discussed later. Our sorrow is great. I don't think money would alleviate our pain."
    King Fahd of Saudi Arabia said what happened in Mecca was the "will of God." A Saudi newspaper, Al Nadwa said those Islamic nations which demanded an inquiry into the incident did not believe in the will of God.
    Both opposition parties accused the government of trying to absolve Saudi Arabia from blame for the deaths.
    The SHP leader has also accused the government of allowing 10 Turkish governors and Istanbul's police chief to make the pilgrimage who were invited by the Rabitat'ul-Alem-ul Islam (World Islamic League), a Saudi organization which promotes the Saudi version of Islam world-wide. (See: Info-Türk, Extreme Right in Turkey, 1988). "High-ranking government officials cannot make a pilgrimage either with government money or with funds provided by a foreign government," he said.

A new proof of the continuation of the military regime in Turkey


    The Turkish Council of State, following a two-year examination, has rejected an appeal by two editors of Info-Türk, Dogan Özgüden and Inci Tugsavul, against the military government's decision having them deprived of their nationality.
    The decision condemning the two journalists to remaining stateless was taken by three votes against two.
    Özgüden and Tugsavul had been stripped of their Turkish nationality in 1983 because of their activities abroad for defending human rights in Turkey.
    Although this decision was reported by the Turkish newspapers, an official notice had not been given them.
    In 1988, during a press conference held by Premier Turgut Özal in Brussels, Özgüden and Tugsavul forwarded him some questions on the situation of human rights in Turkey.
    In a quick retaliation, the Turkish Government officially notified the decision through its Consulate in Brussels in May 1988, that is to say with a 5-year delay. Thereupon, Özgüden and Tugsavul appealed to the Council of State for annulment of this decision.
    The Turkish Government, in its response to this appeal, claimed that Info-Türk editors should remain "stateless" because they had carried out "communist and separatist propaganda" and slandered Turkish authorities and Turkish generals in the publications they edited abroad.
    In the same response, the Government reported that legal proceedings were opened in Turkey against the two journalists in virtue of many articles of the Turkish Penal Code: 140 (disseminating exaggerated or slanted information with the purpose of harming Turkey's reputation and dignity abroad), 142 (carrying out communist and separatist propaganda), 156 slandering government authorities and army chiefs).
    According to these articles, both journalists are liable to prison terms of not less than 30 years each.
    The Turkish Council of State turned down the appeal by refering to a decree of the military junta of October 28, 1980 concerning "constitutional order" which stipulated that no appeal could be made against the laws or decrees promulgated by the military junta or by its military government.
    Whereas, this decree had been lifted on December 7, 1983 following the inauguration of the National Assembly and has no more been in force since then.
    The decision of the Council of State proves once more that Turkey, despite the claim that this country be a European democracy, is still subjected, with its all legislative, executive and even judicial bodies, to the arbitrary regime installed by the military.
    For the time being, more than 200 opponents of the regime abroad are still deprived of their nationality and not authorized to return to their country while all leaders of a pro-Soviet communist party, who have never been deprived of their nationality, already returned to Turkey and are tolerated to participate in political life.
    Besides, more than 14,000 Turkish citizens are also stripped of their nationality for having refused to carry out their obligatory military service in the Turkish Army.


    Although Özal claims that Turkey supports the US military operation in the Middle East in the sake of safeguarding international law and human rights in the region, one of the first steps taken by his government after having taken a bellicose stand was to suspend the application of the European Convention on Human Rights in Turkish Kurdistan.
    This decision was first reported by the French daily Libération and confirmed later by the Turkish authorities on September 20.
    This decision is based on Article 15 of the Convention, saying :"In time of war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation any High Contracting Party may take measures derogating from its obligations under this Convention to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation."
    However, the same article says: "No derogation from Article 2, except in respect of deaths resulting from lawful acts of war, or from Articles 3, 4 (paragraph 1) and 7 shall be made under this provision."
    Article 2 says: "Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law."
    Article 3: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment."
    Article 4, paragraph 1: "No one shall be held in slavery or servitude."
    Article 7: "No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed."
    Whereas, the Turkish Government has, not only after the suspension of the Convention in Turkish Kurdistan but even prior to it, never respected these articles.
    The putting in force emergency decrees which gives the Interior Ministry and the Regional Governor extraordinary powers (See: Info-Türk, April 1990 and after) were not compatible neither with the European Convention nor with the Turkish Constitution.
    The Human Rights Association announced that military troops had, on August 8, executed seven people by shooting dead in the district of Yuksekova of the province of Hakkari. The military announced at that date that seven PKK militants perished during an armed confrontation with security forces.
    The IHD, denying this official claim, said that the seven victims were not PKK militants, but simple smugglers. After being arrested and handcuffed, they were taken to the Mobile Gendarmery Battalion and executed by shooting. Then, the bodies were buried into a common grave dug by a Municipal excavator. The parents of the victims asked for the bodies to establish the real fact of the death, but the military authorities refused to open the grave. The IHD accused the security forces to execute any suspect without trial.
    On August 15, in Dogu Beyazit, all local tradesmen pulled down their shutters to manifest their sympathy to the Kurdish Guerrilla celebrating the 6th anniversary of the beginning of their armed actions. In retaliation, a big number of military troops were sent to the town and opened fire on the people.
    On August 20, the funeral of a Kurdish militant shot dead by security forces turned into a demonstration in favour of the Kurdish Guerrilla movement. The people shouting anti-government slogans in front of the local governor's office were dispersed military troops using force and 32 people were arrested.
    On September 5, three Kurds were shot dead by security forces in the town of Nusaybin. The local authorities refused to give the victims' bodies to their parents. In protest, local tradesmen pulled down their shutters and held an anti-government demonstration. Security forces cracked down on the demonstrators and arrested more than 80 people.
    The weekly Yüzyil reported on August 27 that many Kurdish villages and hamlets in the province of Sirnak had been burnt by military troops. The names of these villages and hamlets: Avyan, Govasmu, Tenge, Bacirit, Cekceko, Diryan, Girek, Cebrowil and Torkiz.
    On the other hand, from the beginning of August to September 12, security forces shot dead 42 Kurdish militants during armed confrontations or raids in Siirt, Sirnak, Yuksekova, Tunceli, Agri, Dogu Beyazit, Savur, Bingol, Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep and Mardin.


As the social unrest was amplifying throughout the country, the Gulf Crisis became for the government and employers a pretext to suspend many strikes.
Within the first six months of this year 177 strikes were carried out by 36,239 workers. In the same period, 26 employers applied lock-out against 15,109 workers.
The number of strikers still leading strike throughout the country was 10,406 in August, and 4,000 other workers announced they would go on strike. Besides, 7,000 other workers whose collective bargaining failed were preparing themselves to strike.
    The government, on the pretext of the Gulf Crisis, on August 11, suspended a strike carried out by 4,200 civilian employees at 26 American military facilities. The strike was deemed as a threat toward national interest.
    The War Industry Workers' Union (Harb-Is) announced that American employers were reducing the number of Turkish personnel and illegally employing American staff. 347 Turkish employees were fired from the bases in roughly the past year and there were more than 400 Americans working at the base illegally, the union reported.
    The government suspended on the same pretext another strike carried out at the rubber industries.

    The opening of the judicial year on September 6 was marked with a open row between the Supreme Court and the lawyers organizations.
    The Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB), it is the first time of the Republic's history, organized a ceremony other than that of the Supreme Court. This "alternative" ceremony was attended by about 2,000 lawyers.
    Turkey's bar associations already announced on June 16 that they would boycott the September 6 ceremony at the Supreme Court marking the opening of the new judicial year because of what they called the censorship imposed on the address to be delivered by the TBB President Önder Sav.
    The row between Chief Judge Ismet Ocakcioglu and the bar associations began when Ocakcioglu asked Sav to submit the text of his address prior to the ceremony. Claiming this was an attempt to censor his speech, Sav refused. Ocakcioglu responded by saying that if Sav did not submit the text of his address, he would not be allowed to speak at the ceremony. Thereupon, presidents and representatives of 43 bar associations met in Ankara and decided to hold a separate opening ceremony to stress the independence of jurisdiction.
    As for the Supreme Court ceremony, the main opposition leader Erdal Inönü (SHP) walked out of it in protest against the Chief Judge's following remarks in his speech: "There were circles who wanted to use the dispute between the Supreme Court and the Bar Associations for political aims. Some politicians fuel the dispute. There is no place here for speeches intended to turn this ceremony into a platform for political discussions."
    After leaving the ceremony, Inönü said: "Such an attitude does not suit a chief judge. The main opposition party is committed to securing the independence of jurisdiction.
    In another move to intimidate lawyers, on July 18, the public prosecutor, on the order of the Justice Ministry, opened a legal proceeding with the demand of dismissing members of the Istanbul Bar Association. The officials of the Bar are accused by the prosecutor of making declarations of political sense.
    This act of intimidation was severely protested by TBB. US Helsinki Watch too, in a message sent to Turkey on July 19, protested the action against the Istanbul Bar Association.


    A new directive by the Ministry of Justice, dated June 13, 1990, puts new restrictions on lawyers' visit to their clients in prison and bans such a talk in some cases. Lawyer Meryem Erdal appealed, on August 24, to the Council of State for obtaining the annulment of this directive. She said this new directive considers a priori all defense lawyers as "suspect".
    Same day, a lawyer, Hasan Hüseyin Reyhan, was subjected to the application of this new directive. When he went to the police headquarter in Iskenderun for getting information about the detention of his client, folk singer Gülhan Tabak, policemen refused to give him information and, when he insists, subjected him to torture. After his release, Reyhan got a medical report attesting that he cannot work for three days as a result of the torture.
    On September 7, three lawyers who went to the Bayrampasa Prison to see their clients were prevented by the guards. During the dispute, three lawyers, Fethiye Peksen, Ulutan Gün and Bedii Yarayici, were harassed by guards and forced to leave the prison.
    In fact, the unrest among the political prisoners of the Bayrampasa Prison is getting grower and grower. On September 6, a political detainee, Ali Osman Köse, during his trial at the State Security Court of Istanbul, attempted to make a declaration on some incidents at the Bayrampasa Prison. The demand was refused by the chief judge. When the detainee insisted on his demand, the judge ordered the guards to expel him from the court room, saying "Throw out this vagabond!" When journalists were trying to photograph the incident, the judge insulted them with similar words.
    On September 10, the press reported that the parents of prisoners appealed to the Public Prosecutor's Office, by complaining that the number of their visits to prison was reduced from once a week to once a fortnight. Moreover, the duration of the visit was limited into 15 minutes. They also carried out some protest demonstrations in front of the prison and blocked the main entrance. Soldiers dispersed all demonstrators by using force.


    Amnesty International  criticized again the Turkish authorities in two separate reports released at the beginning of July.
    AI points out in the report entitled Turkey: Further information on continuing violations of human rights that no further progress has been made to enact the Amnesty proposals to amend the 182 Constitution, the Turkish penal code and the Turkish criminal procedure code concerning the length of detention, as well as to provide detainees access to their lawyers, repeal the death penalty and remove provisions under which prisoners of conscience have been convicted.
    The following are the report's remarks on torture and ill-treatment:
    "Since the publication of the May Report Amnesty International has continued to receive a large number of well substantiated torture testimonies. The number of people who within just two months were reported to the organization as having suffered torture and ill-treatment in police custody is well over 100. All information available to Amnesty International indicates that torture is still widespread and systematic in Turkey, despite the fact that Turkey ratified the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture on 25 February 1988 and the UN Convention Against Torture on 2 August 1988.
    "Further reports of severe torture  and ill-treatment have come from southeastern Turkey where the majority of the population is of Kurdish origin. Ten provinces in this area under emergency legislation with the effect that the maximum length of incommunicado detention here is twice as long as in the remaining part of the country
    "Reports of torture and ill-treatment in Turkey also included allegations that detainees had died as a result of torture. Two such reports were received in May and June 1990. Ali Akan died on May in police custody in Antalya. On 4 June Serdar Cekic Abbasoglu, aged 23, was found dead in Ankara Closed Prison."
    In the other report titled Iraqi Kurds: At Risk of Forcible Repatriation from Turkey and Human Rights  Violations in Iraq, Amnesty says that in the absence of any legal protection, Iraqi Kurdish refugees in Turkey risk being "forcibly returned or extradited from Turkey to Iraq, where they could face 'disappearance,' torture or execution."
    Over 55,000 Kurds to fled to Turkey in August and September 1988 to escape Iraqi attacks but were only given "temporary shelter" by the Turks, it said. The Iraqi government has offered five amnesties since then, which encouraged a number of Kurds to return, but in the absence of international monitors no official accounting has since been made of their condition.
    Amnesty says the amnesties may have been used to lure the Kurds back to Iraq, and criticizes the Turkish government for not allowing the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to be involved in the protection of Kurdish refugees at all stages.
    "Amnesty continued to receive reports of the attempted repatriation or extradition of Kurdish refugees and is concerned that they are being systematically denied legal protection through the Turkish government's refusal to grant UNHCR direct, regular access to the camps," it writes.


    In a letter to the Turkish Embassy in Washington in July, Helsinki Watch  protested Turkey's decision not to allow its members to investigate prison conditions in Turkey.
    Prof. Herman Schwartz, author of the Helsinki Watch report on prison conditions in Turkey published in August 1989, asked the Turkish government to reconsider its decision in his letter to the Turkish Embassy.
    The Turkish government refused permission to Schwartz and members of his group to visit any Turkish prison in 1989. After they had left Turkey, the Turkish government announced they could visit the Bursa prison.
    Helsinki Watch renewed its request to undertake a comprehensive program of prison visits in Turkey. This request has again been denied by the Turkish government, which said the fact-finding mission could only visit the Bursa prison.
    Helsinki Watch said its prison report last year was criticized by the Turkish Government as "deeply flawed" and "unbalanced," since the mission "had not visited a single Turkish prison."
    In his letter to the Turkish Embassy in Washington, Schwartz said that a "balanced" investigation of a prison system cannot be made from a visit to only one prison. The Helsinki Watch release also said Schwartz pointed out that other countries, including Poland, Czechoslovakia, Brazil, Cuba and Mexico, had welcomed Helsinki Watch visits to their prisons.


    On August 1st, the Medicine Faculty of the Ankara University issued a medical report attesting that political detainee Sedat Karaagac's life might be in danger if he is not immediately released. Karaagac is reportedly suffering from skin cancer.
    August 6, the local chairman of the Welfare Party (RP) in Karaman, Nazim Boynukalin, said that he had been taken into custody when he went to the police centre to see his brother under arrest. He alleged that police tortured him in his cell.   
    Same day, the Association for Solidarity with Prisoners' Families (TAYAD) announced that 15 people were detained when they went for a picnic in Istanbul and later on subjected to torture at a police centre in Bakirköy.
    August 8, in Izmit, a university student, Cemil Demiröz, and a worker, Cem Tat, declared that they had been subjected to torture for 21 hours at police centre after their detention at the Kocaeli Fair when they were visiting the stand of the review Mücadele.
    August 20, a former political detainee, Feremez Aydin died because of the torture he had undergone at the police headquarters of the city of Antalya. According to his doctors, torture provoked cirrhosis in his liver, but he was never been allowed to have a medical treatment against it. Although he was released by a tribunal six months ago, it was already too late.   
    Next day, two women detained during an anti-USA demonstration in Ankara, Songül Özyurt and Hülya Özdemir, claimed after their release that they underwent torture for two days at the police headquarters. Their claim was confirmed by a medical certificate.
    August 27, the Association for Solidarity with the Prisoners' Families (TAYAD) announced that a political detainee, Dogan Yildirim who had been taken into custody ten days ago, was tortured at police station and went on a hunger-strike in protest.


    People living in sub-standard housing in Kücükarmutlu in Istanbul had an 11-hour confrontation with police on July 23 which continued into next day. One person died and at least 30 people were injured. Police arrested 27 residents.
    The incident began when a 150-strong police force began searching houses in Kücükarmutlu in the night. Police said they called the search after being tipped off that armed people who probably belonged to one of the left-wing extremist groups had been seen in the neighbourhood.
    As the police combed the houses and climbed toward the peak of the hill on the European side of the Bosphorus a group of residents began a protest march thinking that the police had come to the neighbourhood with municipal demolition teams and were about to tear their houses down.
    In the past there had been frequent confrontations between security forces and people living in Istanbul's slums when municipal workers arrived to demolish their unlicensed makeshift houses which are usually built on land belonging to the government.
    This time, on the people's resistance, the police had to withdraw from the neighbourhood; 27 people were arrested. Huseyin Iseri, 41, was killed by bullets to the neck and back. During the clashes 17 policemen were injured, three of them seriously, by rocks thrown by the demonstrators.
    The people of Kücükarmutlu complain about "slum underworld" which makes money out of people living in substandard housing by allowing them to build their houses on plots of land the racketeers control illegitimately.
    "We have delivered a petition, signed by 287 people living here, complaining that these people are exploiting us. We have asked for protection. But instead the police raided our houses. In fact, some of the policemen, are collaborating with the racketeers," they said.
    Recently, on September 11, gendarmery troops carried out a combing operation in the slum areas of Kartal in Istanbul. 27 people were taken into police custody.


    1.8, seven people were arrested in Istanbul by the State Security Court for having carried out a protest demonstration during the trial of 20 Islam militants on July 25, 1990.
    2.8, police announced the arrest of 20 people in the town of Batman and 17 village protectors in the town of Pervari for anti-government activities. Among the detainees of Batman are also some members of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD).
    3.8, a physician at the Health Centre No.2 of  Siirt, Dr. Ahmet Soysal was banished to another city in Central Anatolia by the Regional Governor in application of the new emergency measures.
    3.8, two lawyers under arrest, Hasan Sahin and Gürbüz Özaltinli were brought before the State Security Court of Ankara. The public prosecutors claimed that each be sentenced to prison terms of 8 to 15 years for belonging to an underground organization. The defendants, declaring that they are members of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD), accused the prosecutor of indicting progressive intellectuals because he is filled with hate for them.
    4.8, a Kurdish political detainee, Halil Celikaslan, was sentenced to a prison term of 9 years and 8 months for having made his defense at the court in Kurdish language. He had already been sentenced to a 18-year imprisonment for being member of the PKK. In addition to these two punishments, the defendant was sentenced to a 10-month imprisonment for having written his appeal to the higher court in Kurdish language.
    9.8, ten political detainees, defendants of the Dev-Sol (Revolutionary Left) Trial, were indicted in a new case, for having announced that they would go on a hunger strike in prison. The prosecutor of the SSC of Istanbul claimed a total of 160-year imprisonment for ten detainees.
    9.8, a meeting held in Istanbul by a group of socialists with a view to setting up a new legal party, the Union Party of Socialists (SBP), was raided by police. 53 participants, including journalist Oral Calislar and lawyers Serpil Aslan, Ayhan Kizilöz and Nurcan Akca, were taken into police custody.
    10.8, the daily Günes reported that all workers of Kurdish origin working at the Batikent construction area had been registered as "suspects" by the Gendarmerie Command of Ankara. This operation, confirmed by the Governor's Office, was severely protested by the Human Rights Association.
    10.8, the local chairman of the Human Rights Association (IHD) in Tunceli was tried at the State Security Court of Erzincan for inciting the people to a protest action. Under arrest for four months, he faces a prison term of up to 15 years.
    11.8, a member of the central committee of the Socialist Party (SP), Ismail Durna, was taken into custody during his talk with a group of workers fired at the town of Terme in Izmir.
    12.8, security forces arrested 14 people, allegedly members of an underground organization, when they were escaping by boat from Söke to Greece.
    14.8, two high school students, both 15 years old, were brought before the State Security Court of Istanbul on charges that they were carrying Molotov cocktails during the May Day incidents.
    15.8, the local chairman of the Correct Way Party (DYP) in the town of Pervari, Ahmet Bilen, was arrested along with three village protectors. They are accused of not having acted so as to defend a pro-government unit attacked by PKK guerrillas.
    15.8, police announced the arrest of 18 alleged members of the Acilciler (Urgent Action) in Gaziantep and Hatay.
    16.8, the local branch of the Popular Clubs (Halkevleri) at the Uskudar quarters of Istanbul was closed down by the governor. The Chairman of the Popular Clubs, Ahmet Yildiz protested this decision saying this measure proved that the actual regime is a prolongation of the military rule.
    17.8, the Association of Workingmen in Istanbul was closed down by the order of the Governor of Istanbul. During the execution of the order, police registered the names and addresses of all those who were inside.
    18.8, police announced the arrest of five alleged militants of the Revolutionary Communist Party (DKP) in Istanbul.
    20.8, the public prosecutor claimed capital punishment for a Syrian national, Muhammed Kemal, who is accused of taking part in the PKK guerrilla. He will be tried at the State Security Court of Malatya along with 17 other defendants who face imprisonment of up to 5 years.
    20.8, the public prosecutor started a legal proceeding for closing down the Mersin section of the Human Rights Association (IHD).
    21.8, police announced the arrest of 9 alleged militants of the June 16 Organization. Among them is also an Army lieutenant.
    22.8, the public prosecutor opened a legal proceeding against eight militants of the Revolutionary Communist Party (DKP), arrested after an armed confrontation with security forces in Istanbul. One of the defendants faces capital punishment while seven others are liable to prison terms of from 10 to 60 years.
    28.8, the State Security Court of Ankara sentenced four people to different prison terms of up to 2 years and 6 months for having distributed some political tracts in Ankara.
    31.8, the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) announced that a taxi driver in the township of Siverek, Adnan Bagca had disappeared since he was taken into police custody on June 11, 1990.
    5.9, in Nusaybin, three members of the Socialist Party (SP) were arrested for revealing a report on the violation of human rights in the village of Kurtköy in the district of Nusaybin. Within the frame of the same inquiry, the public prosecutor issued a warrant of arrest against the SP Secretary General Yalcin Büyükdagli and two other party officials who, together with the three members under arrest, took part in the commission drawing up the said report.
    6.9, the public prosecutor filed a proceeding in order to close down definitely the Bursa branch of the Popular Clubs (Halkevleri), claiming that it turned into a hiding place for university students wanted by police.
    9.9, police announced the capture of five alleged militants of Dev-Sol (Revolutionary Left) in Istanbul.
    11.9, four people, detained 15 days ago for belonging to the Revolutionary Workers-Peasants' Liberation Army (TIKKO), were placed under arrest by the State Security Court of Istanbul.
    12.9, the 10th anniversary of the military coup of 12 September 1980 was marked by a series of protest actions and police brutal police retaliation. Left-wing groups staged demonstrations throughout the country. On the pretext that preliminary permission was not asked for these demonstrations, police assailed the demonstrators and opened fire on crowds. In Ankara, a university student, Kenan Baysüren, was gravely wounded with police bullet. Hundreds of people were taken into police custody. At a common meeting held by many democratic organizations, the Secretary General of the Human Rights Association (IHD), Akin Birdal claimed as well the arrest of the authors of the coup as the suppression of all anti-democratic institutions set up by the military junta.


    Journalist Turan Dursun, a former clergyman and writer for the weekly Yüzyil was assassinated on September 4 in Istanbul by unidentified persons. Dursun was leaving his house on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, when seven shots were fired at him by assailants. He died at the scene.
    An advocate of secularism, Dursun had written many articles criticizing Sharia (Islamic Law) and been receiving death threats for six months. In one such letter by "a businessman from Van," he was told that if he did not publicly apologize for his accusations against Moslems, he would pay with his life. However, he did not ask for police protection against the fundamentalist threats.
    In announcing Dursun's murder, Tehran Radio said "the Turkish Salman Rushdie has been killed."
Like Rushdie, Tehran Radio said, Dursun had repeatedly betrayed and insulted Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
    In his own words, Dursun's recent autobiographic book, Kullateyn, "dealt a coup de grace" to fundamentalists, sheikhs, clergymen and religious taboos. He was also the author of Din Bu (This Is Religion), an essay on religion.
    Dursun was educated at religious schools but during his 14-year career as clergyman, he was often criticized for being secularist. He turned to journalism and became religious programs producer for Turkish Radio and Television.
    Hasan Yalcin, the Yüzyil editor-in-chief, accused the government of allowing fundamentalism to gain ground in the country. In fact, fundamentalism had also claimed the lives of lawyer Muammer Aksoy in February and journalist Cetin Emec in March, both strong advocates of secularism.
    Twelve Turkish journalists have been victims of political assassinations since 1978.
    In another violence act against the press, the central office of the daily Milliyet in Istanbul was raided on September 7 by a group of people of the underworld. Tens of employees of reception and readers were injured during the attack. The brother of a godfather, Drej Ali, supporter of the Turkish neo-fascist movement, was captured wounded after the attack. However, the judge freed him as well as other detainees despite the existence of solid proofs against them.


    At the second session of his trial on August 31, the State Security Court of Diyarbakir refused to release Dogu Perincek, the chief editor of the banned left-wing weekly magazine 2000e Dogru.The decision was met with protests by some 50 spectators in the court-room; soldiers used force to remove them. The spectators included Helmut Oberdiek, the representative of Amnesty International.
    Protesting the court's decision not to release him, Perincek said: "The fact that I am prosecuted without any solid evidence is not something of which Turkish law should be proud. Let Özal and MIT (the National Intelligence Organization) come and try me then."
    Perincek's arrest continues to give rise protests as well throughout the country as abroad.
    On August 24, fifteen members of the Socialist Party (SP) were detained in Istanbul for having carried out a demonstration by carrying posters written "Freedom to Perincek!". Next day, another group of the SP members were dispersed by police when they were demonstrating in the quarter of Cagaloglu, the press centre of Istanbul.
    On August 28, in Istanbul,  a group of intellectuals, in a press communiqué, claimed the release of Dogu Perincek. Next day, a group of the Socialist Party (SP) members went to the Ministry of Justice for introducing a petition claiming the release of Perincek, but they were prevented by the police. In Diyarbakir, two members of the Socialist Party were detained as they were putting on walls posters claiming the release of Perincek.


    1.8, a concert of the musical group Ekin at the campus of Hacettepe University was raided by gendarmery. Four members of the group and 24 university students were taken into custody.
    2.8, the responsible editor of the monthly review Emegin Bayragi, Sükrü Aksoy was sentenced by the State Security Court of Istanbul to a prison term of 10 months for communist propaganda.
    3.8, a columnist of the daily Yeni Nesil, Nurettin Sirin was indicted by the State Security Court of Izmir for his conference in Denizli on the head-cover question. He faces a prison term of up to 17 years for anti-secular propaganda.
    3.8, two journalists from the monthly Kafdagi, columnist Murat Ozden and responsible editor Aslan Ari, were indicted by the State Security Court of Ankara for an article entitled "Cultural problems of the Circassians…" Both face a prison term of ten months for destroying national feelings.
    4.8, a book entitled A General View of the Near Past and a Draft Platform, published by the Eksen Publishing House, was confiscated by the State Security Court of Istanbul on the claim that it contains "separatist propaganda."
    6.8, a concert by Ferhat Tunc was banned at the last moment by the Governor of Istanbul. Besides, Tunc was kept under police custody for four hours.
    6.8, famous folk singer Ahmet Kaya was detained in Istanbul on the charge of having caused political incidents during his concert given a few weeks ago. Although the State Security Court later released him, he will be tried by the same court for "separatist propaganda". He is liable to a prison term of up to 5 years.
    7.8, in Sanliurfa, a folk singer, Besir Kaya was arrested for having sung Kurdish songs during his performance at a night club.
    11.8, a tourist pamphlet distributed by a German travel organization, Rotel Tours,  became the object of legal proceeding in Turkey. The public prosecutor opened an inquiry on the pamphlet which presents the Eastern Anatolia under the title of "Kurdistan".
    14.8, the recent issue of the Islamist review Akdogus was confiscated on charges of insulting Atatürk and making separatist propaganda. Earlier, all the precedent issues of this review had already been confiscated.
    17.8, in Istanbul, a concert of the musical group Kizilirmak and the screening of the movie-film Ordinary Fascism were banned by the Governor.
    18.8, singer Gülhan Tabak was detained by police and later placed under arrest for having performed some Kurdish songs during his concert in Iskenderun.
    18.8, the issue No.22 of the monthly review Özgürlük Yolu was confiscated by the State Security Court of Istanbul.
    18.8, two journalists from the daily Milliyet, responsible editor Eren Güvener and editor for economic affairs Necati Dogru, were indicted for discrediting the Turkish nation in article. Both face a prison term of up to 6 months.
    20.8, a concert of the musical group Ekin in Mersin was prevented by the police. A member of the group, Metin Turan was taken into police custody.
    21.8, the new trial of Professor Yalcin Kücük, accused of "separatist propaganda" began at the State Security Court of Istanbul. He faces a prison term of up to 15 years.
    22.8, Emin Cölasan and Hasan Kilic, respectively columnist and responsible editor of the daily Hürriyet, were accused in a libel suit of insulting President Özal. Both face a prison term of up to four and a half years. The President also has a case pending against Cölasan for a book he published on the Özal family.
    23.8, the trial of three journalists from the weekly 2000e Dogru, responsible editor Tunca Arslan, correspondents Nadiye Yesiltepe and Hüseyin Kivanc, began et the State Security Court of Istanbul. Accused of "separatist propaganda", each faces a prison term of up to 15 years.
    24.8, three painters from Germany, Judith Hamann, Sahin Ince and Heiner Metzeger were not allowed to open an exhibition within the frame of the Kadiköy Festivities in Istanbul.This censorship on the Arts was severely protested as well by the artists as by the Association of Plastic Arts.
    27.8, the performance in Istanbul of the play entitled Pir Sultan Abdal was banned by the governor. Pir Sultan Abdal was a popular leader of Alevite obedience and executed by the Ottoman rulers. The manager of the Birlik Theatre of Ankara, Zeki Göker said this ban is not compatible with the freedom of Arts.
    31.8, in Bursa, the local office of the monthly review Yeni Cözüm was raided by police and 15 people inside were taken into police custody.
    31.8, the first of issue of the weekly Yeni Halk Gercegi was confiscated by the order of the State Security Court of Istanbul on charges of separatism. This new review was published instead of Halk Gercegi, closed down definitely by the Ministry of Interior.
    31.8, the responsible editor of the monthly Emek, Abuzer Kilic was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months prison term for separatism. The punishment was later commuted to a fine of TL 13,675,000 ($ 5,OOO).
    31.8, the responsible editor of the monthly Yeni Cözüm, Yasar Kopan was sentenced to a fine of TL 9,165,000 ($ 3,5OO).
    5.9, a columnist from the daily Cumhuriyet, Oktay Akbal was tried at a criminal court of Istanbul for having criticized President Ozal.
    10.9, the Ankara correspondent of the monthly Mücadele, Erol Sarikaya and a reader of the review, Tülay Gencay, were taken into custody by police. Their lawyer was not allowed to see the detainees.
    12.9, a journalist, Hasan Uysal, and an actor, Ilyas Salman, were indicted for having insulted President Özal during a meeting in Akhisar. Both face prison terms of up to 5 years.


    Along with other countries, Turkey too has recently found herself in a fight between public and private media groups to get under control Turkish TV broadcastings with the implication of press magnates like Murdoch and Maxwell.
    Until now, by virtue of the Turkish Constitution, the television and radio broadcasting monopoly has belonged to a public company under the government's control:the Turkish Radio and TV Corporation (TRT).
    With the proliferation of dishes on the roofs of Turkish homes, satellite transmission of foreign television companies have already become novel entertainment for local television viewers. Since these broadcastings are in foreign languages, this new entertainment has not bothered Turkish authorities.
    However, in June, a private television company, Magic Box, announced that it would begin transmitting from Germany its regular programs in Turkish language from September. So Turkish viewers will be able to receive this broadcasting by dishes in Turkey.
    This new initiative was warmly welcomed by the opposition parties who are always complaining from the propaganda monopoly of the government over the public television and now hoping that they can raise their voice on TV screens thanks to this private company.
    However, this hope was upset when it was realized that the principal shareholder in this new private television company is President Özal's elder son, Ahmet Özal. He appointed Tunca Toskay, one of the former TRT directors, a loyal servant of military and post-military governments, to the direction of the Magic Box.
    While the controversy on Magic Box was growing, foreign press magnates too have taken initiatives in a view to investing in the Turkish media.
    Cyprus-born British tycoon Asil Nadir, owner of Polly Peck International which includes Del Monte, the electronics firm Sansui and Vestel electronics in Turkey, has already acquired a considerable media empire in Turkey. His first venture was the acquisition of Günaydin and Tan newspapers, together with Gelisim Publications, which publishes the weekly Nokta magazine as well as 14 other periodicals and 24 encyclopedias. In January 1988, Nadir also purchased the daily Günes newspaper. He has the intention to have private TV channels as well.
    Recently, two media magnates, Rupert Murdoch and Robert Maxwell have visited Turkey for exploring the investment possibilities in this country.
    During his four-day visit Turkey, Murdoch met Özal at the Presidential Palace on July 27 and told him he wanted to invest in Turkey. Özal encouraged him that everyone was welcome to invest in Turkey and do business according to the country's law and regulations. Murdoch also visited the director of TRT, Kerim Aydin Erdem and called for a company owned jointly by TRT and himself that would operate Channel 3.
    After Murdoch's departure, British press magnate Robert Maxwell came to Turkey in a view to purchasing a 49-percent share in the biggest Turkish daily Hürriyet. He is reportedly interested in TV investment as well.
    He explained the reason of his interest by saying that he had first come penniless to Turkey from Czechoslovakia 50 years ago to escape the Gestapo. He fell in love with Turkey and the Turks, he said, and has since supported them at every opportunity.
    After being received by Özal, at a press conference he held at his private yacht in Istanbul on August 14, he gave a warm support for President Özal's handling of the Gulf Crisis and criticized the Turkish opposition for failing to unite with the government when there was a danger of war.
    Likely, very soon, Turkish press and television will fall under the control of international press groups.


    The results of the local election held on August 18 in one town and 13 newly formed districts plunged two opposition parties represented in Parliament into a big confusion.
    The Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) garnered only 11 percent, and the Correct Way Party (DYP) 9.6 of the vote in 14 constituencies.
    The ruling Motherland Party (ANAP) secured a slim victory in 11 of the 14 constituencies, receiving 24 percent of the vote, three points above its performance in the 1989 municipal elections.
    The big surprise of this election was the considerable progress registered by three oppositions parties which are not represented at the National Assembly due to the 10% vote barrage in legislative elections.
    The Democratic Left Party (DSP) of former prime minister Bülent Ecevit emerged the victor with Necdet Özkan, its candidate in Istanbul's Bayrampasa district, becoming municipal mayor ahead of the ruling ANAP. DSP's approval rating, 33 percent, raised it to first place overall.
    The fundamentalist Welfare Party (RP) of former Vice-Premier Necmettin Erbakan ranked third with 18 percent of the vote.
    The extreme-right Nationalist Labour Party (MCP) of former colonel Alparslan Türkes and his "Grey Wolves", obtained an important gain at Etimesgut municipality in Ankara. It failed to place its candidate as mayor by a margin of only 0.1 percent. ANAP candidate Ramazan Tosun was elected Etimesgut mayor by 22 percent of the vote.
    In the SHP, Secretary General Deniz Baykal and his team, on these results, had to resign from their posts and Chairman Erdal Inönü called for an extraordinary party convention on September 29 to elect new party administrative bodies. Prior to the Convention, Inönü and Baykal have been engaged in a political duel in a view to eliminate each other from the party leadership.
    As to the DYP, many eminent figures of the party are reportedly planning to ask Chairman Süleyman Demirel to resign.


    Controversy on religious headscarf grew in Turkey with the beginning of the 1990-91 academic year.
    The Budget and Planning Commission, on September 5, passed a decree which allows all generally accepted of attire to be worn. The decree also permits students to wear the türban, which was the cause of heated debates for two years. Türbans were first banned at the beginning of 1989, but the ban was reversed in December last year.
    Yusuf Özal, chairman of the commission and brother of President Özal, said there was no mention of türbans in the new decree, but that all types of attire were now allowed on campus to eliminate "discrimination between Islam and other religions." Fundamentalists were arguing last year that while Christians could freely carry a cross around their necks, Moslem girls were stopped from wearing traditional religious attire.


    The Education Ministry has decided not to require non-Moslem students to study Islam religion in primary and high schools.
    Islamic religious instruction became compulsory in the Turkish educational system after the 1980 military coup. The practice elicited complaints from Christian and Jewish families who did not want their children enroled in Islamic courses. In a number of cases brought against the ministry by families of non-Moslem students. International opinion too led a protest campaign against this practice.
    Thanks to these efforts, the Education Ministry had to announce  on August 20 that non-Moslem students would be exempt from religious classes if they produce a document showing that they belong to a faith other than Islam.


    Six foreigners, Sally Ingram, Deborah Mannveiller, Corey Schmaijen, Patrick Kelley, Ira Kaikko and Karsten Laova, were taken into police custody in Kayseri on August 6, for distributing books and pamphlets on Christianity. They were later released by the State Security Court.
    On August 25, an Australian university professor, Rudolf Michalke, and his secretary Eva Gantioler were detained by police in Istanbul as they were distributing tracts on Christianity.


    In a close ecclesiastical election on September 5, Archbishop Karekin Bedros Kazanciyan of Jerusalem defeated Presiding Bishop Sahan Simon Sivaciyan of Istanbul by two votes and became the 83rd Patriarch of the Armenian Church in Turkey, pending government approval.
    Held six months after the death of the late Patriarch Shnork Kalustyan, this election resolved tensions which had developed in the Armenian community. The Turkish Government had, in a move to have Sivaciyan elected, ordered changes in the church's long-standing procedures for choosing a patriarch. When Armenian Church protested the order, the government rescinded it and announced the church could follow the same procedures observed in the last patriarchal elections in 1961.
    Kazanciyan, 62, served lengthy terms as an archbishop in New Zealand and Australia until 1981 and then became a vicar to the Jerusalem Patriarch. He holds a degree in philosophy from Cambridge University, and pursued graduate studies in literature and philosophy in the United States.


    The Turkish minority in Bulgaria has for the first time succeeded in becoming a political power -the third in Parliament- after the June elections. The Movement of Rights and Liberties (MRL) known as the Turkish party received 7 percent of the vote and received 23 of the 400 parliamentary seats. In certain regions in the country, the party's vote was as high as 25 percent.
    Ahmet Dogan, the MRL leader said: "Not only Turks, but also Bulgarians, dark-colored citizens (gypsies), Armenians and Pomaks (Slavs who have converted to Islam) are also included in the movement. We only want to guarantee our rights."
    Stressing that Bulgaria did not want to go back to the times of Todor Zhivkov's presidency, Dogan urged Bulgarian Turks who were forced to emigrate to Turkey last year to come back.
    Although the Turkish community has taken a constructive stand in the process of democratization in Bulgaria, Bulgarian nationalists and some chauvinist elements of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (former Communist Party) carry on hostility against it.
    The opening of the new parliament on July 10 in Veliko Turnovo was a new occasion of rising ethnic and political tension. Several hundred militant nationalists filled the streets of the city, threatening to blockade the parliament building to keep out 23 members elected from the MRL. However, the nationalists did not succeed and were kept away from the building by the militiamen.
    The volatility of the ethnic issue was reflected even inside the parliament building next day. Three political leaders addressed the session, but they did not include Ahmet Dogan, head of the Turkish party, even though his group ranks third in terms of seats.

    The International Labour Organization (ILO) included Turkey on the agenda of its Application Committee on June 11 as a result of a complaint by the Turkish Trade Unions Confederation (TURK-IS).
    The TURK-IS report defined Turkey's two most important labor problems as violations of articles 87 and 98 in the ILO Charter. Article 87 defines freedom of unions and protects the right to establish unions, while Article 98 concerns collective bargaining rights.
    TURK-IS reminded the ILO that the Turkish Government has not  yet accepted Article 87. "We need international pressure to aid a campaign we will launch about this issue. It would be useful to keep putting it on record that it is shameful not to accept this article.," the report said.
    The report also noted that although Turkey had accepted Article 98, "it violates it to a serious extent.
    At the meeting of the Application Committee, European trade union leaders severely reproached the Turkish Government with not putting in application ILO standards concerning labour rights. Belgian trade union leader Jef Houthuys who handed over the presidency of the Workers' Group at the Application Committee said: "I am deeply sorry for leaving this post without seeing positive progress in Turkey."
    Neil Kearner, representative of the International Textile Workers Union said: "The present situation of labour rights in Turkey shows that she is very far from entering in the European Community."

    After six inconclusive meetings this year to determine the minimum wage, the Minimum Wage Committee announced on July 24 the pretax minimum wage for industrial, agricultural and service sector workers would be 414,000 TL per month, which amounts to 261,954 TL ($100) after taxes. This represents an increase in the minimum wage of 84 percent. However, a study carried out by the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Turk-Is) in June 1990 gave the average monthly kitchen spending for a family of four as 482,000 without taken into account the house rent and other social expenditures.


    The government's insufficient pay raise for state employees has provoked a nation-wide protest throughout the country on July 9, 1990.
    A 25 percent pay hike is considered by state employees to be inadequate since inflation is currently running at 63.5 percent.
    In Istanbul, a rally of more than 1500 in Sultanahmet Square was dispersed by force by armed police. 30 people were arrested and one porter's arm was broken. A group of demonstrators who broke away to walk to Sirkeci brought traffic in the area to a standstill.
    About 200 state employees at the Istanbul transport Office (IETT) who gathered in Tunel square in Istanbul burnt their wage slips.
Finance Ministry employees in Istanbul protested by stopping work, dressing in black and holding a sit-in in front of the Ministry. After half an hour, they returned to work.
    Protesters at Istanbul University Medical School burned a photograph of Finance Minister Adnan Kahveci.
    As protests of this type were repeated in Ankara, Izmir, Diyarbakir, Antalya and other provincial centres, State Minister Husamettin Oruc said that in addition to the 25 percent hike, all state employees would this year be able to receive aid toward rent.
    At Izmir meanwhile, there were mass demonstrations as protesters attempted to pour into Cumhuriyet Square only to be prevented by police.  The latter attempted to take placard bearers into custody, but were forced to retreat due to the protesters' strong reaction. Thirty-eight of a group of protesters who had gathered in Basmane square were taken into custody.