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


14th Year - N°168
 October 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

Turkish troops set Kurdish villages on fire
A 16-year old school girl arrested for saying "No to war!"
The Government decided to resume executions


    President Özal, after having obtained from the National Assembly the authorization to send Turkish troops to the Gulf area and allow US troops to be deployed in Turkey, rushed to the Washington for giving President Bush guarantees that Turkey would be by the side of the United States in the application of its bellicose plans.
    Flying to Washington, Özal carried another precious gift to Mr. Bush: The Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement (DECA) between Turkey and the USA had automatically been extended for another year because Turkey did not demand by September 15 that it be renegotiated. DECA  authorizes the USA to renew and modernize the monitoring bases in Pirinclik, Sinop and Belbasi, to accelerate the new construction works in some important air bases such as Incirlik where nuclear headed US aircrafts have been stationed.
    During his 10-day visit to the United States, Özal held a lengthy tête-à-tête talk with President Bush on September 23. The contents of this talk are not known even by the Turkish Government. While US Secretary of State James Baker was attending the meeting between the two Presidents, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Bozer had to wait in an adjacent room.
    After his meeting with Bush, Özal told Turkish journalists that Turkey had not been asked to send troops to the Gulf. "But this does not mean we will not be asked to do so in the future." However, during Özal's stay in the United States, The Washington Post claimed that US military officers had drafted contingency plans to mount ground attacks on Iraq from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
    According to press reports, US F-111 strategic aircrafts are waiting at the Incirlik Air Base the order to bomb targets in Iraq.  The daily Hürriyet of August 22, basing on a BBC-TV broadcasting, claimed that US anti-radar Stealth F-117A aircrafts had already been stationed at Incirlik Air Base. The AWACS flying radars are permanently overflying Turkish-Iraqi borders. All giant radars installed in Pirinclik Air Base for spying Soviet armament tests are now oriented towards the Iraqi territories.
    Özal claimed that Bush assured him that he would do his best to offset the negative effects of the Gulf crisis on Turkey. Sources close to Özal said Bush gave his approval for a project which would provide Turkey with 340 F-16 fighter jets. 160 F-16 jets would be manufactured in Turkey according to a project already underway. Some of these jets  would be sold to Egypt. President Bush also promised Özal to study the possibilities of increasing Turkish-American free trade volume and to support Turkey's demand to be accepted to the European Communities.
    The Social-Democrat Populist Party (SHP) leader Erdal Inönü said it was not known what commitments Özal made to Bush on behalf of Turkey, even though the Turkish president has no such authority.
    "The only concrete improvement that emerged from the talks in Washington was the promise by Bush that delegations from the two countries would begin negotiating a new textile agreement next month. The other promises made by Bush are simply a repeat of similar promises made earlier," said Inönü.
    "The thing that worries us most is the lack of any explanation about what role Turkey is going to take on if a military operation is mounted to make Iraq withdraw from Kuwait."
    Süleyman Demirel, chairman of the Correct Way Party (DYP), said the most important thing is that the public is still in the dark about what sort of sacrifices are expected from it in case of war.
    "It is not possible to argue that the United States will now back Turkey's application for membership in the European Community because it likes Turkey's policy in the Gulf. Besides, the United States is not even a community member," said Demirel.

A multinational NATO force to Turkey?

    Encouraged by Özal's Pentagonist attitude, General John Galvin, commander of the NATO forces in Europe, revealed on October 8 a plan to form a multinational defense force in NATO's southern wing (that is to say mainly in Turkey) and to alter current strategies in ways he said would enable greater mobility.
    Speaking at a conference at the headquarters of the War Academies in Istanbul, General Galvin said NATO had already sent a questionnaire to member countries asking their views on forming multinational force in the southern wing.
    The general, who was in Turkey for NATO's "Display Determination '90" military manoeuvres, justified his plan by saying that in the case of an attack on its southern wing, NATO would need two weeks to send US forces to the region.
    He also said a smaller NATO was envisaged for the post-Cold War period. NATO was therefore obliged to restructure the alliance to provide more military mobility if its geographical scope were to remain the same, Galvin said.
    Gavin's plan drew sparks from Turkish opposition and military specialists. Retired General Turgut Sunalp said that stationing a multinational NATO land force in Turkey would be tantamount to the deployment of US combat troops here, and that such a force would not bring any defense advantages, but rather would create enmity between Turkey and Arab nations.

Özal's one-man show in the Middle East

    Again in a move  of one-man diplomacy, without taking a government minister with him, Ozal began on October 13, a six-day tour to five Middle Eastern countries: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and Syria.
    Just before his departure, the Foreign Minister Ali Bozer resigned from his post on October 12, in a protest against being excluded from the conduct of the country's foreign relations. He was immediately replaced by one of Ozal's yes-men, Ahmet Kurtcebe Alptemocin. A week after, Defense Minister Safa Giray too resigned from his post, saying that there was a lack of confidence within the government.
    Taking no heed to the protests against his one-man conduct, Özal met during his Middle East trip with pro-USA heads of state and discussed the economic losses sustained by Turkey because of the trade sanctions against Iraq.
    After his trip, Ozal said Saudi Arabia had been meeting a great part of Turkey's oil demand since the crisis began. "We asked the Saudis for more oil and certain advantages. I think we shall get a positive answer from them within five or 10 days," he said.
    Ozal, on this occasion, criticized a Constitutional Court ruling abrogating the sale of land to Arabs sheikhs in Turkey. He said Turkey should strive to sell land to rich families from the Gulf states so they can build their summer houses. Two years ago the Constitutional Court reversed a contract to sell land to a member of Saudi royal family.
    In Qatar, Ozal said he discussed transportation of its natural gas to Turkey and the possibility of selling to Europe and added that a project envisaging two parallel pipelines between Turkey and Qatar was possible. One pipeline would carry fresh water from Turkey to Qatar and the other would transport natural gas from Qatar to Turkey.
    Concerning fresh water, the Turkish press often speaks of a possible utilisation of it as an arm against Iraq. According to the daily Cumhuriyet of October 14, technical studies were being carried out in Ankara on the possibilities of blocking the waters of the Euphrates and Tigris flowing to Iraq. Since the Euphrates is passing through Syria before entering Iraq, during his visit to Damascus, Turgut Ozal might have discussed with Hafiz Esad  how could be applied such a plan without giving harm to Syria.

War preparations in Turkey

    On the other hand, the famous scenario on a possible Turkish occupation of Northern Iraq oil fields, Kirkuk and Mosoul, has become one of the daily subjects of the US and Turkish press.
    On October 13, at the opening of the Moroccan Parliament, King Hassan claimed that super-powers had already convened to reshape the Middle East map and to give Northern part of Iraq to Turkey.
    Earlier, the daily Tercüman of September 19 openly claimed Turkish right on this region: "We can never forget Kirkuk and Mosoul and the existence of more than one million Turks there. Considering the information that the CIA is determined to play on Kurdish card against Saddam Hussein, we have to use our card of Mosoul and Kirkuk against the possibility of the creation of a Kurdish State."
    On September 24, the daily Hürriyet quoted The National Review, a press organ of US conservatives, proposing to give Mosoul and Kirkuk to Turkey under the UN guarantee.
    What is more important, on September 9, the daily Milliyet drew attentions to a very significant document, issued by the National Security Council (MGK) . This militaro-civil body, composed of all Army chiefs and some ministers of the Government,  has the authority to give directives to the Government on the national security matters.
    In a book entitled The State's Extent and Concept, the National Security Council says that any local conflict near to Turkish borders would never remain local and would sooner or later turn into a regional war of which Turkey will have to be a protagonist. The MGK suggests, in the case of such a crisis, to proclaim general military mobilisation. "A permanent peace-loving attitude in such a case should be considered as high treason," says the MGK's book.   

State of war in Turkish Kurdistan

    The Turkish Army has already been in a state of war in Turkish Kurdistan for over six years. The declared enemy was the guerillas of the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) at the beginning, but now all Kurdish population of the region is considered as a potential enemy and security forces carry out the acts of destruction, deportation and mass killings.
    The fact that the Atatürk Language, Culture and History Institute announced, on September 18, a list of some Kurdish that cannot be given to a new born reveals the level of anti-Kurdish hysteria in official circles.
    The Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) announced on October 19 that, particularly in the zone of Botan the armed forces apply a plan to turn the area into a no-man land. Recently in the province of Sirnak, the inhabitants of 27 villages were deported and the many of these villages were destroyed by burning.
    On the other hand, the daily Cumhuriyet of September 25 reported that, during a raking operation in the village of Kiragli, security forces detained all "suspects" including a 12-year old girl named Adile Coban.
    Parallel to these military operations, all meetings organized by democratic organization against a possible Turkish participation in the Gulf War have systematically been banned by governors throughout Turkey. Thereupon, on September 24, more than a thousand people carried out an unauthorized demonstration in Istanbul, but the action was crushed by police using fire arms. Two demonstrators were wounded with bullets and 86 people taken into police custody.
    The repression has become insupportable in prisons as well and political prisoners had to resume their protest actions, mainly hunger strikes.
    The prison administration transfered 95 detainees from the Prison E Type of Diyarbakir to other prisons and imposed "solitary confinement" on the remaining prisoners. Thereupon, 250 inmates started a hunger-strike on October 7. This action has been followed by hunger-strikes started by political detainees in Aydin, Ceyhan, Bayrampasa (Istanbul), Gaziantep, Malatya and Canakkale prisons.
    On September 24, the State Security Court of Erzincan began to try 349 Kurds for having participated in a solidarity action with the PKK and in the funeral of a PKK militant shot dead by security forces in Dogu Beyazit.


    In a new move of reinforcing State terrorism, the Turkish Government has recently decided to implement death sentences under the pretext of fighting political terror. But human rights groups, trade unions and relatives of prisoners under sentence of death have immediately reacted against the plan to resume hanging prisoners on death row after a six-year hiatus in carrying out executions.
    The last time a death sentence was carried out in Turkey was in October 1984. Since then, the cases of 287 prisoners sentenced to death have been forwarded to the National Assembly to be ratified. Of the prisoners on death row, 175 are political prisoners, 157 of them on the political left. Nonpolitical prisoners number 108.
    588 prisoners have been executed since the founding of the republic in 1923. The number of the executed people since the military coup of September 12, 1980 is 47 of whom 26 were political prisoners.
    The government's repressive initiative was first announced by State Minister Mehmet Kececiler on October 13. He said that the Council of Ministers had decided to implement the death penalty. Interior Minister Abdülkadir Aksu said the council's work had been based on a signal from President Özal. According to government sources Özal told a cabinet meeting on October 11 that if terrorists had been encouraged because the state was not carrying out death sentences the government should consider all measures including execution.
    Ozal had, speaking in Kayseri on October 8, said: "We must be ruthless against the perpetrators of terror. We must not let them live!"
    On October 17, at a symposium on The Present Situation and Perspective of European Community Law,  when it was reminded that the death penalty was not being carried out in any of the EC countries, Prime Minister Akbulut replied that this matter had no direct connection with the European Community: "Whether or not a country implements the death penalty depends on conditions in that country. This is my opinion. After a court has handed down the death sentence, the execution should be carried out."
    Erdal Inönü, leader of the social-democrat SHP, called the government's decision unbelievable: "Punishing prisoners to stop current terrorism is anti-democratic. The state cannot be allowed to act like a terrorist group. It should not resort to revenge. Instead of finding the criminals of today's terrorism, the government sees the solution in punishing the prisoners in hand. It is against human rights. "
    Amnesty International, in an announcement released on October 17, said Turkey was the only country in Western Europe where executions were still being carried out. "Implementation of executions will be a step back, particularly when East and Central European countries have frozen the execution process, declared the announcement.

Ankara's hypocricy concerning death sentences

    The Turkish Government's intention concerning death sentences constitutes another proof of its hypocrisy on human rights, because just one month earlier the same government had organized a very spectacular ceremony for marking the rehabilitation of three former right-wing political leaders, hanged 29 years ago.
    The remains of three right-wing political leaders, prime minister Adnan Menderes, foreign minister Fatin Rüstü Zorlu and finance minister Hasan Polatkan, received state honors on September 17, 1990,  at a ceremony during which they were reburied in a specially built mausoleum in Istanbul. This 21-meter high marble mausoleum cost 7 billion TL (3 million $).
    President Özal, Prime Minister Akbulut and most members of the government attended the ceremony along with other politicians and walked with the people behind the three coffins.  Özal, after the ceremony, said the rehabilitation of Menderes and his ministers would heal the deep scars in the nation's conscience opened by the coup.
    Human rights circles in Turkey demanded that a similar rehabilitation be applied to the victims of the military coups of 1971 and 1980 as well, if the government sincerely wish to heal the deeps scars in the nation's conscience opened by the three coups.
    Taking no heed of these rightful demand, Özal has immediately put aside "healing the deep scars" and ordered his government to take measures for implementing death sentences.
    Furthermore, on September 17, the Public Presecutor started a legal action against two members of the present National Assembly for sending them to gallows. Two deputies of Kurdish origin, Ahmet Türk and Mehmet Ali Eren are accused by the prosecutor of having made separatist declarations abroad. They will be tried by the State Security Court of Ankara if the National Assembly decides to lift their parliamentary immunity.

4th victim of the religious fundamentalism

    Mrs. Bahriye Üçok, 64, a former National Assembly member and a university professor in the Theology Faculty at Ankara University, died on October 6 after a parcel bomb sent from Istanbul exploded in her hands as she opened it.
    Also a member of the main opposition SHP's Executive Assembly, Üçok was known for her secular stand against the rise of Islam fundamentalism in Turkey.
    Ninety minutes after the explosion, calls to newspaper offices claimed an organization known as the Islamic Movement was responsible for the murder. "Those who want to impose restrictions on Islam will be sentenced to death," said the callers.
    Earlier this year, three public secular figures had been slain: University Professor Muammer Aksoy, prominent lawyer and strong advocate of secularism (January 31), journalist Cetin Emec (March 7) and journalist Turan Dursun (September 4). Police has not yet found any of the authors of these four assassinations.
    An Islamic historian, Üçok had written several books on the place and rights of women in Moslem societies. Despite  threatening letters and telephone calls from Islamic fundamentalists, Üçok had not relented in her fight against religious fanaticism.
    Tens of thousands of mourners, carrying placards reading "Secular, Democratic, Modern Turkey", attended the funeral of Bahriye Üçok on October 9 in Ankara. The funeral cortege protested the escalating terrorist activities that have been called a threat to secularism and democracy in Turkey.
    A wreath sent by President Özal triggered protests. It was placed outside the mosque but was later turned upside down. From time to time, some marchers chanted slogans accusing Özal and the government of being accomplices to Üçok's murder. They asked for the government's resignation and protested the strict security measures taken along the funeral route.


    A 16-year old schoolgirl, Aysel A., has recently been arrested on October 19, for having written "No Top War" on a wall of her school. The prosecutor of the State Security Court of Istanbul claimed a 24-year prison term for her peaceful act and she was placed by the court in Bayrampasa Prison in Istanbul pending her trial.
    According to law the name of a detainee younger than 18 cannot be published.
    Aysel A. was denounced by Süleyman Yolcu, director of Pendik High School in Istanbul and was first kept under police custody for nine days. Her father and sister, after having visited her in prison, said that Aysel A. had been beaten at the Political Department during police custody. " She could not speak to us. She was just looking with empty eyes" they said. "Now she is suffering from psychological depression in Bayrampasa Prison. Nobody seems to be aware that she is still a child."
    "My daughter's education has ended because of the School director. I want him to be dismissed from his post. He did everything to send my daughter to prison, though she was very successful in her education. "
    SHP deputy Neccar Turkcan said Aysel A.'s indictment is against to the principles of a modern state of justice. "According to law writing on the wall was considered a misdemeanour, not a criminal act. In that respect, the Istanbul State Security Court's decision restricted her freedom. She should immediately be freed," he said.


    Ten years after the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup, the Turkish judicial system has yet to shake off the effects of martial law.
    The most concrete example of the continuing effects of the coup are the several court cases begun under military rule that have yet to be resolved. The majority of these cases are now at the Supreme Military Court of Appeals. All the political cases during the martial law were initiated by military tribunals which, under normal times, only deal with offences within the army or cases of espionage. These military courts are still functioning as if Turkey is under martial law.
    One case, brought in March 1983 against 1,243 members of Dev-Sol (Revolutionary Left) has this year reached the defense stage.
    The Union of Marxist-Leninist Armed Propaganda (MLSPB) case, in which 324 members of the organization were charged in May 1981, ended last year with various sentences, including 45 life imprisonments and 22 death sentences. The Military Court of Cassation reversed the ruling on grounds that the punishments were too severe and the lower military court is reinspecting the case.
    The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK) case was opened in December 1980 against 1,477 defendants. The court sentenced 264 to prison, and 1,215 of the defendants were acquitted in 1986. The Military Court of Cassation has been reviewing the case since 1988.
    Investigation of more than 1,000 members of DISK has continued since 1980. According to Turkish law, if an investigation is not completed in 10 years, the case must be dropped, however that may take the Military Court of Cassation some time to drop the investigation. The court is still reading the 1986 court decision which filled 34 volumes.
    A case against the Peace Association, in which writers, lawyers, journalists and other intellectuals were tried in 1982, has been sent to the Military Court of Cassation for review. Of the 71 defendants, 44 were acquitted and the others served prison sentences of various duration.
    The extreme right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) case, initiated at various times following the 1980 coup against hundreds of defendants, is still being investigated by the Military Court of Cassation.
    The Turkish Socialist Workers' Party (TSIP) case opened in 1982 with 81 defendants, 40 of whom had been arrested. More party members were arrested in 1985 in a police raid, and the court tried the others in absentia.
    The court ruling, including both prison sentences and acquittals, was overturned by the Military Court of Cassation, however, on grounds that it was too mild for those who had contravened Article 142 of the Penal Code, which penalizes propaganda aimed at establishing the "rule of one class over the others". The case continues.
    Throughout Turkey, cases were brought against thousands of Dev-Yol (Revolutionary Way) members in the years before and after the coup. One Istanbul case, with 375 defendants, was tied to a 1986 local military court decision but the higher military court has been reinspecting the case.

    Helsinki Watch published on October 15 an update of its report on the Kurds of Turkey entitled Destroying Ethnic Identity. The report is based largely on a mission sent to Turkey in May 1990 by Helsinki Watch and the Danish Helsinki Committee. The mission met with lawyers, human rights activists, doctors, business people, journalists, and villagers in Istanbul and in Diyarbakir and Siirt, in Southeastern Turkey.
    Below are the major findings of the mission:
    A harshly restrictive decree aimed at suppressing Turkey's Kurdish minority was enacted by the Turkish government on April 9, 1990. The decree gives the regional governor in Southeastern Turkey extraordinary powers to censor the press, exile internally people who "act against the state," and evacuate villages for "security reasons" without prior notice, according to a report issued today by Helsinki Watch, an independent human rights organization. The decree also increased penalties for publications and writers who insult the President, Parliament, or various government officials.
    The powers of Regional Governor Hayri Kozakcioglu extend even beyond the Southeast, according to the report. He has the authority to ban or confiscate a publication anywhere in Turkey that "wrongly represents incidents occurring in a region which is under a state of emergency, disturbing its readers with distorted news stories or commentaries, causing anxiety among people in the region and obstructing security forces in the performance of their jobs." His decision is final; it cannot be challenged in a court of law.
    Since 1984, Kurdish separatists (the PKK, the Kurdish Workers' Party) have been waging guerrilla warfare against government security forces in Southeastern Turkey. More than 2,000 people have been killed by the PKK and by government security forces since that time. At least one third of the deaths are of Kurdish villagers, caught in the middle between the PKK and security forces.
    The Helsinki mission found that local Kurds had, in the spring of 1990, begun using new tactics -- "intifada tactics" -- such as demonstrations and shop closings. These tactics, according to the report, convinced the government that the PKK had considerable support among the approximately eight to ten million Kurds in the area, and led to the imposition of the draconian Decree 413.
    The Helsinki mission concluded that, in fact, support for the PKK among civilian Kurds had markedly increased since Helsinki Watch's last trip to the region in 1987. The report asserts that the increased support had resulted from the Turkish government's counterproductive tactics of killings, abuse and harassment of Kurds. The government continues to deny the existence of the Kurds as an ethnic minority in Turkey, and to forbid the official use of the Kurdish language, as well as Kurdish songs, dances, and names.
    The report criticizes both the PKK and government security forces for violations of international legal standards established for internal armed conflicts. Such violations include killings of civilians by both sides, as well as torture and inhumane treatment by security forces.
    Security forces have also unlawfully forced civilians to leave their villages -- their homes, fields, and animals. The Helsinki mission interviewed many villagers who, given a choice between acting as village guards for the military and abandoning their villages, had left their homes. The forced conscription of villagers to act as paramilitary forces has no apparent basis in Turkish law, and violates the Geneva Conventions' Common Article 3 requirement of humane treatment for non-combatants in internal armed conflicts.
    Deaths of civilians have also occurred in explosions of land mines which, according to the report, have been placed in civilian areas in a manner forbidden by the United Nations' 1981 Land Mines Protocol.
    Helsinki Watch recommends that the Turkish government rescind Decree 413, abolish the Village Guard System, protect the civilian population, stop relocating civilians from troubled areas except in instances where their lives are endangered, refrain from using land mines, acknowledge the existence of the Kurdish minority and grant it the rights held by other Turks, and end restrictions that deprive Turkish Kurds of their ethnic identity.
    Copies of the report are available for $6.00 from Helsinki Watch, 485 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017, or from the International Helsinki Federation, Rummelhardtgasse 2/18, A-1090, Vienna, Austria.


    Helsinki Watch, on October 18, 1990, sent President Turgut Özal a letter expressing its concern about the deprivation of the citizenship of two Info-Türk editors, Dogan Özgüden and Inci Tugsavul.
    The Turkish Council of State had, following a two-year examination, rejected their appeal against the military government's decision having them deprived of their nationality.
    In his letter addressed to Özal, Mr. Lois Whitman, Deputy Director of Helsinki Watch, says:
    "Helsinki Watch, the U.S.-based human rights organization, is extremely concerned about the deprivation of the citizenship of Dogan Özgüden and Inci Tugsavul, the editor-in-chief and English-language editor of Info-Türk, the newsletter issued by Turkish expatriates in Belgium.
    "As you know, Mr. Özgüden and Ms. Tugsavul were deprived of their nationality eight years ago because of their criticism of the military administration that was installed in 1980. Earlier this month, the Council of State rejected the journalists' appeal. At the same time, the Turkish government initiated proceedings against the journalists for violations of Articles 140 and 142 of the Penal Code. We know that you have said in the past that you believe those articles should be removed from the Penal Code; we have recommended such ar action for some time.
    "We urge you to reverse the decision depriving Mr. Özgüden and Ms. Tugsavul of their citizenship, and to terminate the legal proceedings against them, based on Articles 140 and 142."
    Copies of the letter were addressed to Turkish Ambassador Nuzhet Kandemir in Washington and to US Ambassador Morton Abramowitz in Ankara.
    The Council of State turned down the appeal by three votes against two with a reference to a decree of the military junta of October 28, 1980 concerning "constitutional order". This decree which stipulated that no appeal could be made against the laws or decrees promulgated by the military junta or by its military government had been lifted on December 7, 1983 following the inauguration of the National Assembly. So, the Council of State has rejected an appeal by virtue of a decree which has not been in force for seven years.
    The Turkish Government had, in its response to this appeal, claimed that Info-Türk editors should remain "stateless" because they 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 had 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 Council ve State turned down the appel by three votes against two.
    For the time being, more than 200 opponents of the regime abroad are still deprived of their nationality. 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.


    The case brought against the members of the Istanbul Bar Association's executive committee by the Justice Ministry began on October 1st in Istanbul in a courtroom tightly packed with more than 150 lawyers.
    The association is being indicted because the executive committee refused to disbar a member, Alp Selek, on instructions from the Justice Ministry. Selek received a seven-and-a-half year prison term after the 1980 military coup on charges of belonging to a communist organization.
    A decree passed by the military administration declares that one one convicted under articles 141 and 142 of the Penal Code can belong to professional organizations.
    Turgut Kazan, president of the Bar Association said at the trial:
    "Our profession is defense. For the first time we are compelled to defend ourselves. I feel both honored and ashamed. The honor belongs to the Turkish barristers but the shame does not. It is the first time in Turkey's legal history that an entire organization representing the profession of judicial defense has been summoned to court to defend itself. I feel ashamed on behalf of my country."
    The trial of Turkish lawyers was attended by the delegations from the World Union of Bar Asociations, the European Council of Bar Associations, the International Association of Lawyers, the Helsinki Watch, the International Commission of Lawyers as well as the Bar Associations of France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany, Norway and Greece.


    17.9, in Konya, a bookseller, Kerim Bozdag, was arrested by the Konya SSC for having put on window the poster of a forbidden political magazine.
    18.9, a book entitled "Reformist tendency in Revolutionary Movement" and edited by the Eksen Publishing House was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC on charges of "communist propaganda."
    19.9, a columnist of the daily Yeni Asya, Mustafa Kaplan was indicted by the Izmir SSC for a speech. Accused of anti-secular propaganda, he faces a prison term of up to 5 years.
    27.9, in Istanbul, three journalists from the monthly Isci Dünyasi, Cemal Turan, Erdal Karahanli and Hüseyin Sengul, were taken into police custody.  They were reportedly tortured at police center.
    28.9, the State Security Court ordered the confiscation of No. 32 of the monthly Yeni Demokrasi on charges of "separatist propaganda." This review had been obliged to stop its publication as a result of emergency decrees and this was the first issue after a 4-month interruption.
    1.10, film director Sema Poyraz was indicted by a criminal court of Istanbul for her speeches abroad during her self-exile. She faces a prison term of up to 5 years by virtue of Article 140 of Turkish Penal Code.
    6.10, a reporter of the monthly Adimlar, Mevlut Ilgin was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 6 years and 3 months prison for an interview with a Kurdish intellectual.
    7.10, the offices of the Sosyal Yayinlar Publishing House was destroyed with explosives by unidentified people. Publisher Enver Aytekin estimates his losses at 50 Millions TL (17,000 $).
    12.10, a new book by Professor Yalcin Küçük, entitled Theses on Kurds was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC. The same court confiscated also the last issue of the monthly Deng for having published the notes of a traditional Kurdish song.
    17.10, a columnist of the political review Özgür Gelecek, Mehmet Bayrak was sentenced by the Ankara SSC to 6 years and 3 months imprisonment for an article. The responsible editor of the same review, Bekir Kesen was sentenced to a fine of 34 million TL (10,000 $) for three articles that he published in the review.
    19.10, the responsible editor of the monthly Yeni Cözüm, Erdogan Yasar Kopan was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a fine of 11.4 million TL (3,000 $) for separatist propaganda.


    14.9, in Kayseri, five officials of the Human Rights Association (IHD) were sentenced each to 3-month imprisonment for having issued communiques without authorization. One of the defendants, Naci Yüksel had died during the trial.
    19.9, in Istanbul, 151 workers of leather industries were taken to police custody for having protested the dismissing of their some comrades. A few days later, the employer fired all of them as well.
    19.9, seventeen people were arrested in Ankara for having put posters on walls.
    21.9, in Ankara, 5 peoples were arrested by the State Security Court for belonging to an underground organization.
    22.9, in Bursa, 9 university students were detained for belonging to an underground organization.
    25.9, the office of the Nurses' Association in Istanbul was closed down by the Governor. Ten nurses went on hunger-strike for protesting against this action. Police took into custody six of the strikers.
    26.9, police detained 11 people in Konya for belonging to underground organizations.

    After an overwhelming victory over his rival Deniz Baykal in emergency party congress, chairman Erdal Inönü of the main opposition Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) declared on October 1st that the party's objective was to come to power as soon as possible.
    Inönü emerged the undisputed leader of SHP, winning 504 votes among some 1,000 party delegates. Former general secretary Baykal won 405 votes in the chairmanship race. Although the margin for the top leadership was close, Inönü's candidates won 39 seats in the 44-member Party Assembly, the party's policy-setting body. Only five Baykal followers were elected to the assembly.
    Following his victory, Inönü declared that the congress should be relegated to the past: "From now on, I choose to forget who supported me and who did not. I am the chairman of the party both for those who supported me and those who did not."
    Meeting under Inönü's leadership on October 3, the new Party Assembly elected 13 Central Executive Committee members and Hikmet Çetin as general secretary. During the meeting Inönü called for an extensive training program for all party members. He also announced he would set up a shadow cabinet to discuss and publicize alternative solutions to Turkey's day-to-day problems.
    In another move after the congress, Inönü called for all social democrats to unite under a single roof. His call was primarily aimed at Bülent Ecevit, leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP). But Ecevit, as he had always done, rejected Inönü's proposal of unification.
His response of October 2 to Inönü was terse and clear: "Let me and my party alone."


November 1989 - No 157:   

    Immediate freedom to all political prisoners! - Özal: a democrat president? - Changes to the penal code? - Freedom to all political prisoners! - The Kurdish question in international platforms - An implicit "No" to Turkish adhesion to the EEC - Comparison with 3 EC countries - Private sector and the EEC - Controversy over Armenian bill - Armenians in Soviet Union - Turco-Bulgarian conflict - Monopolies in the Turkish press - Persecution of the media - A student shot by police - Arrests at Dev-Genç anniversary - Arrests and trials in October - 220,000 Turkish refugees in Europe - Suicide of a Kurdish refugee - European Commission's mission - GDF chairman criticizes TBKP - 13 trade unionists in the dock - A Kurdish peasant tortured - Saudi diplomat maimed - Rise of prostitution in Turkey - Controversy on Islam in Europe - Racist and xenophobic acts

December 1989 - No 158:
    No to Turkey's EC membership - Turkey to Europe's farthest circle? - On-going state terrorism under Özal's presidency - State terrorism in November - Recent persecution of the media - Scandalous expulsion and prosecution of Kurdish deputies - New unrest in Turkish prisons - Persecution of children - Woman convicted of speaking Kurdish - Human rights panel in Turkey - Turkish press award to the IPI - Army against disarmament - Will Turkish army cross the border? - Inequality in serving life-prison - Islamist actions for turbans in Turkey - U.S. concern on torture in Turkey - Workers hit by taxes - Women's self-defense actions - Bad notes for Turkish economy - More foreign investments to Turkey - Turkey ratifies European charter, but… - Turkish immigrants in the European Community

January 1990 - No 159:

    Fundamentalist terror in Turkey - Soviet army's intervention in Azerbaijan reactivates pan-turanism - Positive changes in Bulgaria - 10-year balance sheet of the drastical January 24 measures - European Commission's comment on the economic and social situation in Turkey - AI campaign against the death penalty in Turkey - US lawyers on torture in Turkey

February 1990 - No 160:   

    Ankara's insolence to European justice - Press prosecution highest in 1989 - PEN's report: journalists and writers in Turkish prisons - Mass arrest of TBKP members - Centrist victory at the SHP congress - Discrimination of prostitutes - Persecution of an anti-militarist - Congress of labour confederation - New Turco-Greek tension - Water dispute with Iraq and Syria - Prosecution in last two months - Arrest of a German sociologist - Pressure on a British journalist - Information day of the Sun Workshops

March 1990 - No 161:   

    Popular uprising - A famous journalist assassinated - Poisoning of Kurdish refugees - Police operation against the left - Other cases of repression in two months - Dr. Ismail Besikçi back to jail - Pressure on masse media - 10 year balance-sheet of repression - Violence at university campus - Dissident officer to asylum - Pressure on the bar association - IHD official's detention - A priest arrested in Istanbul - Human rights commission - Helsinki Watch's new campaign - Riot by tobacco growers - Coal mine disaster: 68 deaths - Closer relations with Iran - Armenian question at US Senate - New progress in Cyprus problem - Award to young political detainees - New minority policy in Greece - Özal's controversial visits - Özal's meeting with Mitterrand - Unrest growing within the government party

April 1990 - No 162:   

    Coercion - Besikçi's never-ending torment - Parliamentary opposition fooled - Reaction against the measures - Popular resistance against terror - Amnesty International: extrajudicial killings in Turkey - Censorship on the press - Other actions against the press - Turkish agents in West Germany - A protest message from the IPI - APO warns the Turkish government - A mayor suspended from office - Hunger strike of TBKP officials - Attempt for founding a new Marxist party - Meeting of Turkish and European parliamentarians in Turkey

May 1990 - No 163:   

    May Day terror - Prisons full of socialist and Kurdish intellectuals - State terrorism in Kurdistan - Inönü protested by Kurdish people - Inönü's disappointing stand in Europe - European Parliament's resolution on human rights in Turkey - Repressive acts of two months - Unrest in Turkish prisons - Controversy on death sentence - Elections in Northern Cyprus - Amnesty International again accuses Ankara - Hunger strike of journalists in prison - Sirmen detained at airport - Other press cases in May - IPI censures Turkish regime - Interference in Armenian patriarch's election - Dr. Besikçi's scandalous trial

Juin 1990 - No 164:   

    Scandalous injustice - 2,703-year imprisonment for 34 journalists in jails - On-going unrest in prisons - Five convicts escaped from prison - Recent persecutions of opinion - Diplomats detained in Southeast - Foundation to honor Nazim Hikmet - Ridiculous penalty for a torturer - Writer sues General Evren - 369 army officers dismissed - Campaign for Gülay Beceren - Other cases of state terrorism - Controversial local elections - Legalization of a Communist party - Other left party attempts - EC Commission's proposals on the cooperation with Turkey - Özal's new appeal to Europeans - Turkey criticized at Copenhagen - New Helsinki Watch report on human rights in Turkey

July/August 1990 - No 165/166:   
    10 years of the militarist "democracy" - State terrorism reinforced by the state of war - A bellicose mission to Turkey in the Gulf crisis - Özal versus constitutional court - Pressure on Turkish big business - Arrest of two foreigners - Execution without trials - State terror in June and July - New actions against children - State massacred Kurdish peasants - SHP's report on the Kurdish question - Premier: "no Kurds, only Turks!" - HEP's long march to Kurdistan - Protests on the press day - Ismail Besikçi released - Dogu Perinçek arrested - Two reviews definitely closed - AI concert censored - Umran Baran dies in exile - Recent prosecution of the media

September 1990 - No 167:   

    Özal goes to war - A strike at US bases suspended - Mecca disaster sparks anger in Turkey - Human rights suspended in Turkish Kurdistan - Censorship on legal groups - Electoral defeat of parliamentary opposition - New pressures on defense lawyers - Two new AI reports on Turkey - Helsinki Watch protests - Recent torture allegations - State terrorism in two months - Islamists slain a journalist - Police terror in slums area - Perinçek still remains in jail - Press prosecution of last two months - Wearing Islamic headscarf freed - Controversy on private TV - No Islamic course for Christian students - New prosecutions of Christians - New Armenian patriarch elected - Turkish party's success in Bulgaria - Turkey criticized at the ILO - Minimum monthly wage: $100

October 1990 - No 168:

    Özal's logic of war - A multinational NATO force to Turkey - Özal's one-man show in the Middle East - War preparations in Turkey - State of war in Turkish Kurdistan - Government to resume executions - Ankara's hypocricy concerning death sentences - 4th victim of the religious fundamentalism - Islamists assassinated a university professor - A 16-year old schoolgirl arrested for saying "No to war!" - Military justice still in force - Helsinki Watch's update report on Kurds - Helsinki Watch's concern about Info-Türk editors - Lawyers' organization tried at tribunal - Recent prosecutions of the media - Other prosecutions in September - Inönü defeated Baykal at SHP Congress