troops set Kurdish villages on fire
A 16-year old school girl
arrested for saying "No to war!"
The Government decided to resume
ÖZAL'S LOGIC OF WAR
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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.
GOVERNMENT TO RESUME EEXECUTIONS
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
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
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
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
4th victim of the religious fundamentalism
ISLAMISTS ASSASSINATED A UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR
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 SCHOOLGIRL ARRESTED FOR SAYING "NO TO WAR!"
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
MILITARY JUSTICE STILL IN FORCE
Ten years after the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup,
the Turkish judicial system has yet to shake off the effects of martial
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
One case, brought in March 1983 against 1,243
members of Dev-Sol (Revolutionary Left) has this year reached the
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
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
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'S UPDATE REPORT ON KURDS
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
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
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,
HELSINKI WATCH'S CONCERN ABOUT INFO-TÜRK EDITORS
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
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
LAWYERS' ORGANIZATION TRIED AT TRIBUNAL
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
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
RECENT PROSECUTIONS OF THE MEDIA
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
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.
OTHER PROSECUTIONS IN SEPTEMBER
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
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.
INÖNÜ DEFEATED BAYKAL AT SHP CONGRESS
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
His response of October 2 to Inönü was terse and clear: "Let me and my
INDEX OF THE 14th YEAR COLLECTION INFO-TÜRK
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
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
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