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


15th Year - N°169
 November 1990
38 rue des Eburons - 1000 Bruxelles
Tél: (32-2) 215 35 76 - Fax: (32-2) 215 58 60
 Rédacteur en chef: Dogan Özgüden - Editrice responsable: Inci Tugsavul

The Counter-Guerrilla Organization:
The mastermind of two military coups
Turkish Gladio!

    After revelations about Gladio appeared in the European press, the existence of a similar paramilitary force in Turkey began to be discussed in Turkish parliamentary circles. Some former political leaders have made spectacular revelations as if this matter comes for the first time to the agenda.
    The existence of such a paramilitary subversive organization, which is the mastermind of the political violence and the subsequent two military coup d'états in the years of 70 and 80, had been revealed many times by the progressive Turkish press, but the same political leaders, in complicity with the military, preferred to conceal it.
    The readers of Info-Türk Bulletins and books too have, since 1978,  been regularly informed of the sinister role of the Counter-Guerrilla Organization in the process of destabilization in Turkey and in the preparation of the coup d'états:
     "This organization was the Special War Department, commonly known as the Counter-guerrilla Organization, which had been set up under a bilateral military agreement in 1959 between Turkey and the United States. The apparent aim of this department was to set up resistance forces in case of "uprising" or foreign aggression. But the application and training directives show that the organization could function against the domestic movements of social awakening. In various written official regulations of the Department, "uprising" was defined as "political and social opposition against the established order in the country. [U.S. Army Field Manuel 31-16 which was translated into Turkish in 1964 and distributed to the Turkish Armed Forces as a classified document.] The Special War Department had its headquarters in the building of the US Military Aid Mission in Ankara. The training of the officers of this department was carried out by the US Intelligence Services.
    "Aided and supported by the Special War Department, the armed bands of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) headed by Former Colonel Alparslan Türkes, known as Grey Wolves, had already murdered 42 left-wing people during the 5-year period of Justice Party rule until 1971. After preparing instability in the country thanks to the political violence carried out by the Grey Wolves, the Armed Forces intervened on March 12, 1971. It is during the 2-year period of repression that the existence of the Special War Department was brought to the fore. It is this organization that carried out all arrests and torture practice in collaboration with Grey Wolves." (Info-Türk, February 1978)
    When the social democrat SHP came to power two times, in 1973 and in 1978, all democratic forces of Turkey which supported it, asked Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit to close down this sinister organization. Although Ecevit promised at the beginning to act accordingly, he never kept his word and yielded to the military's pressure.
    Today, after seeing that talking on paramilitary subversive organization becomes a factor of prestige, Ecevit admitted that there were strong indications that a clandestine NATO paramilitary force also existed in Turkey as well. Following is the declaration Ecevit did on November 13, 1990:
    "In 1974, just before the military operation in Cyprus, I was informed for the first time about the existence of a department in charge of special warfare within the headquarters of the Turkish general staff. They were asking for money. When I inquired who had funded the department until then I was told that it was financed by the United States," said Ecevit.
    "When I insisted, a secret briefing on the functioning of this organization was given to me and the then defense minister Hasan Esat Isik. We were told the Special Warfare Department was an organization composed of 'volunteer patriots.' They said its headquarters was located in the same building as the US military aid delegation to Turkey. I was told also that the organization had secret weapons depots. Its members were trained in special warfare techniques. If and when the country was invaded by an aggressor the members of this clandestine organization were supposed to launch counter-guerrilla warfare against the invaders. I was told the organization was made up of mainly young people but that when they got elder they might eventually become politicians.
    "This was a secret weapon. I thought we should act swiftly and put measures into force against the organization's use. But that was at the time of the Cyprus operation. Nothing was done."
    Ecevit explained that when he again became prime minister in 1978 he discussed the matter with Kenan Evren, chief of general staff at that time. "I told him that we should give the Department of Special Warfare official status. Evren promised to do this," he said.
    Ecevit indicated that at that time he linked right-wing violence with the clandestine activities of the department. He said Turkey was in great social turmoil at the time which led the military takeover by Evren in 1980.
    At that time the armed gangs affiliated with the neo-fascist Nationalist Action Party (MHP) were fighting left-wing groups, Ecevit recalled. He said his party motorcade came under fire more than once during his trip around the country: "In one small town, I discussed the special warfare department and my suspicions about its activities with an army general who I knew was directly connected with the department.
    "I told the general about my concern? He said people taking part in the activities of this organization were people of good will. He said they loved their country. When I objected saying that members of organizations involved in violence and affiliated with MHP might also participate in this clandestine organization he answered that MHP chief [in the town where we were attacked] was also a patriotic man of good will. Without knowing it, he had admitted that the MHP chief in the town where we were at that time was also a member of the special warfare department."
    Nevertheless, it was Ecevit himself who denied the existence of the Counter-Guerrilla in 1978, when he was prime minister.
    Let us read again the February 1978 issue of Info-Türk Bulletin:
    "The Counter-Guerrilla Organization within the Turkish Armed Forces was recently brought to attention by CHP senator Niyazi Ünsal and deputy Süleyman Genc. They claimed that the organization has supplied arms to terrorist groups such as the Grey Wolves and has provoked them into action.
    "As a matter of fact, since the latest general elections [1977], Ecevit has seemed to forget his earlier statements and he did not even say anything in the government programme about the illegal activities of the Counter-guerrilla organization.
    "After the controversy started on the subject, Ecevit was obliged to talk, but, instead of insisting on his earlier claims, asked that this debate be stopped.
    "At a news conference on February 4, 1978, Ecevit denied the existence of a counter-guerrilla organization and claimed that his earlier allegations were not definite claims, but suppositions. 'According to my investigations there is not official counter-guerrilla organization established in the State. We must all be respectful towards the Turkish Armed Forces and help them in the realization of their desire to remain out of politics,' he said."
    Info-Türk of February 1978 concludes this article with the following warning:
    "However,  unless the government dissolves this infamous organization within the Armed Forces, it will continue to provoke bloody incidents and even try to overthrow the government if necessary."    It is 18 months later than the appearance of this article, in September 1980 that General Evren overthrew the parliamentary government and took over the power on pretext that political violence attained uncontrolable dimensions. It was again the Counter-Guerrilla Organization that planned and instigated political violence giving pretext for this new military coup d'état.
    As for the political assassinations of many public figures such as journalists, writers, university professors, trade union leaders, the authors of this provocative crimes have never been identified.
    The arrest of Mehmet Ali Agca, an extreme-right activist who shot dead famous journalist Abdi Ipekci in 1978, was an exception. But, a few months later, thanks to the complicity within the Armed Forces, this notorious killer escaped from a very well protected military detention house. It is the same Agca who was to shoot the Pope on May 13, 1990.
    The motives of this crime committed in the country of "Gladio" by a Grey Wolf enjoying the protection of Turkish "Gladio" have always remained in obscurity despite many public trials in Rome.

    In a new move to reinforce his direct conducting Turkey's foreign relations, President Özal appointed, on October 28, his cousin Hüsnü Dogan to head the Ministry of Defence. The former minister, Safa Giray had resigned from this post, saying that there was a lack of confidence within the government.
    Earlier, Foreign Minister Ali Bozer too had to resign in protest against being excluded from the conduct of the country's foreign relations. He was replaced by one of Özal's yes-men, Ahmet Kurtcebe Alptemocin.
    Besides his family relations with the President, Hüsnü Dogan is known as a figure belonging to the fundamentalist wing of the Motherland Party (ANAP).
    President Özal, addressing the 9th Round Table Meeting of Business International, an association of foreign investors in Turkey on October 23, said that if world stability were to be threatened by the crisis in the Gulf, war would be inevitable.
    In a move to obtain Ankara's support to a possible US military operation against Iraq, US Secretary of State James Baker came to Turkey on November 7 and conferred with Turkish leaders in Ankara.
    Arriving in Turkey from Cairo on a tour of several Arab and European countries, Baker complained about the failure of the UN trade sanctions to yield the expected results.  He emphasized the need for new action. Turkish Foreign Ministry sources said Turkey assured Baker of its support in the United Nations if Washington introduces a draft resolution calling for use of force against Iraq.
    In another move, after just after Baker's, President Bush sent Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Chief William H. Webster to Turkey. During his 24-hour visit, Webster first had talks with Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Foreign Minister. His most important talks were with President Özal and the Turkish Intelligence Organization (MIT) officials on November 8.
    It is for the second time that the No. 1 of the CIA visited Turkey. The preceding top-level visit had been made in 1982, prior to the Constitutional referendum, by William Casey, CIA chief of the time.
    Prime Minister Akbulut said that among other topics the CIA chief discussed the Gulf crisis. US Ambassador Morton Abramowitz said Webster's discussions were centred on "facts known to everyone," and that his talks also covered recent developments in the Soviet Union.
    According to the Turkish press, during these two top-level visits, the USA urged Özal to learn what the Iranian position when he goes to Iran.
    During his visit to Tehran, on November 12, Özal spent seven hours  with Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Iranian president. This was the longest talk Özal has had with a head of state since the outbreak of the crisis in the Gulf.
    "We have only  insignificant differences of opinion. Both Iran and Turkey have vital interests in the region. We have emphasized the importance of maintaining both Kuwait's independence and Iraq's territorial integrity," said Özal after he left Tehran to attend the coronation of Japanese Emperor Akihito.
    In Tokyo, Özal said that regional stability in the Middle East depended on cooperation between Turkey, Iran, Syria, Pakistan and even Iran rather than a military arrangement. However, he did not rule out completely the possibility of an armed confrontation if the United Nations trade embargo did not yield the expected results.
    In the course of a meeting with several heads of state in Tokyo, Özal spelled out the Turkish administration's opposition to the formation of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq. "Neither Turkey, Syria nor Iran would allow an independent Kurdish state to be set up in the Middle East. We received guarantees from the Syrian and Iranian heads of state to this effect," he added.
    Manfred Wörner, NATO General Secretary, attending a seminar on the effect of changing relations between Eastern and Western Europe on NATO and Turkey's joint security and defense in Alanya, said Turkish journalists on October 22: "After the present crisis is resolved in the Middle East Turkey's role not only in terms of military and strategic considerations but also on political grounds will be reassessed. Turkey should look not only to NATO and Europe for a role. Turkey must play an important role in a possible regional defense arrangement seeking to safeguard peace and stability in the Middle East. No progress could be made in such a regional structure without Turkey's participation."
    On the other hand, Özal announced  on November 3 that weapons worth $8 to $9 billion would be delivered from the USA and Germany to Turkey. Özal named these weapons as 400 Leopard and 600 A-60 tanks, F4-E fighter planes, Cobra helicopters, naval patrol planes, Patriot rockets, 700 armoured personnel carriers, Ronald missiles and artillery pieces. "If we were to purchase this with cash we would pay $8 to $9  billion," he said.
    As for the European Community aid to the countries most affected by the Gulf Crisis -Turkey, Egypt and Jordan-, following the meeting of EC leaders in Rome, it was announced on October 27 that this aid would not materialize until 1991.
    During the meeting of the Turkish-EC Joint Parliamentary Committee's meeting in Istanbul, on November 9, the Committee's European Co-chairman, Alman Metten said: "The European Parliament will not release financial aid to Turkey for its losses from the Gulf crisis unless there is improvement in its human rights record."   

    The National Security Council decided on November 1st to extend the state of emergency in ten South-eastern provinces inhabited by Kurds for a new 4-month period from November 19.
    The provinces of Diyarbakir, Batman, Bingöl, Elazig, Hakkari, Mardin, Sirnak, Tunceli and Van have been subjected to state of emergency since the lifting of martial law. All these provinces are governed by a regional governor, Hayri Kozakcioglu, who was recently given extraordinary powers.


    While the arrest of the 16-year old schoolgirl for saying "No To War!" continued to be a public issue (See: Info-Türk, Oct 1990, p.3) and the subject of debate in the National Assembly on October 23, police and public prosecutors, giving no heed to criticisms, have continued to prosecute others.
    27.10, a 16-year old student of the Meram High School in Konya, A.Ö, was taken into custody by police after the school administration complained that he listened to some musi-cassettes banned by authorities.
    31.10, two 17-year old students of the Vocational School of Akhisar were arrested for having read some religious publications in the school. Tried at the State Security Court of Izmir, each faces a prison term of up to 5 years.
    3.11, in the town of Akcaabat in the province of Trabzon, a 16-year old high school student, C.K., was indicted for having made a sit-in in front of the Atatürk Monument with a placard written "No to War!".
    8.11, in Adana, 18 high school students were detained for participating in some unauthorized protest actions. Four of the detained students are younger than 18 years.
    12.11, the State Security Court of Istanbul sentenced a high-school student, I. Altun, to 4 years and 6 months imprisonment for having participated in an unauthorized political demonstration.


    The General Assembly of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) was held on October 28 in Ankara.
    A Kurdish delegate, Vedat Aydin, addressed the Congress in his mother tongue and his words were translated into Turkish by lawyer Ahmet Zeki Okcuoglu. However, both the speaker and the translator were immediately taken into custody by police.
    When Mustafa Özer, Diyarbakir Chairman of the People's Labour Party (HEP) said he supported the speech in Kurdish, he was detained as well.
    After detaining three human rights activists for a simple reason of speaking in Kurdish language, police and the government came under harsh criticisms from the opposition.
    Fehmi Isiklar, chairman of the HEP and a member of the National Assembly said: "Several government members have repeated from time to time that there is no ban on the use of the Kurdish language. The detention of IHD delegates indicates how hypocritical the government is."
    Lawyer Nevzat Helvaci was reelected IHD Chairman at the congress. In his address, Helvaci criticized the emergency measures enforced in southeastern Turkey and drew attention to dangerous upsurge of Islamic fanaticism.


    The hunger-strikes carried out by political prisoners in Diyarbakir, Malatya and Gaziantep prisons ended on November 18 after the prisons administration accepted many of the demands of strikers.
    However, the actions were going on in Nazilli, Aydin, Kayseri, Erzincan and Buca (Izmir) prisons when this issue was edited.
    In solidarity with the political prisoners on hunger-strike, many parallel actions have been organized throughout Turkey and abroad.
    The Committee of Kurdistan in Belgium organized a hunger-strike in Brussels on November 6.
    On this occasion, the Committee of Kurdistan, drew attentions also to the repression in Turkish Kurdistan.
    According to the information given by the Committee at a press conference:
    "In 1990, the population of more than 400 villages in the provinces of Sirnak, Siirt, Hakkari and Van have been deported by the Turkish Army. Executing this operation, the Army units, in a view to preventing the peasants' return to their villages, set on fire all houses and means of subsistence, devastate fields, forests and  orchards, mine all roads and kill domestic animals. The deported Kurdish villagers now live under tents around Sirnak, Cizre, Cukurca and Van.
    "Today, even children are being arrested and subjected to torture. 105 children aged from 11 to 17 have been tried by the State Security Court of Diyarbakir. These children are been handcuffed when they are being taken to tribunal."


    The number of prisoners waiting on death row has recently increased to 315, when 14 more cases were transferred to the Justice Commission of the National Assembly until November 21. Of those who were sentenced to death 172 are from the Left-wing or Kurdish organizations, 28 from the Right-wing, four Palestinian militants while 111 are nonpolitical prisoners.
    The Turkish Government had announced on October 13 its intention to implement death sentences with a view to fight political terror. This announcement provoked strong reactions as well in Turkey as abroad. (See: Info-Türk, Oct 1990, p.3).
    The issue of capital punishment was raised during Secretary General of the Council of Europe Catherine Lalumière's visit to Turkey. Mrs. Lalumière informed Turkish authorities of the Council of Europe's concern on the issue.
    Before leaving Turkey, the Secretary General told Turkish journalists she was assured by Turkish officials that those sentenced to death earlier would not be executed.


    In his response to a parliamentary question, Interior Minister Abdülkadir Aksu announced on October 23 that there are 962,855 people with police records in Turkey.


    5.10, four officials of the Teachers' Association (Egit-Der) in Izmir were sentenced to a 450,000 TL ($150) fine each for an unauthorized press release.
    6.10, the Ankara office of the Association for Solidarity with the Families of Prisoners (TAYAD) was raided by police. Chairman Nuran Askeri and 33 members who were inside during the raid were taken into police custody and all documents confiscated.
    10.10, the State Security Court of Malatya sentenced 4 members of the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) to a prison term of 8 years and 4 months each and another defendant to 3 years.
    11.10, in Adana, 30 people were detained by police for having shouted slogans without a preliminary permission at a cultural festival organized by the Municipality of Seyhan.
    12.10, the State Security Court of Ankara sentenced Murat Kocak, member of the IHD, to one-year imprisonment for having put on walls some posters without a preliminary authorization.
    13.10, the Administrative Board members of the Agricultural Employees' Association of Turkey (TZD) were interrogated by public prosecutor for having conducted some researches on their trade union rights.
    15.10, Ali Özler, local chairman of the IHD in Tunceli, was sentenced by the State Security Court to a prison term of 6 years and 8 months for his declarations on Kurdish question. He had been under arrest for more than six months.
    16.10, the State Security Court sentenced 35 people to 3-year imprisonment each for having taken part in the May Day demonstration in 1989. Three of the defendants being younger than 18-years old, their prison terms were lowered to 10 months.
    17.10, a  PKK member was sentenced to capital punishment and another one to life-term by the SSC of Malatya for having participated in PKK activities. The same tribunal, same day, sentenced three members of the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist -Leninist (TKP-ML) to prison terms of up to 8 years and 4 months.
    18.10, the SSC of Istanbul arrested three alleged members of the TKP-ML.
    20.10, police announced the arrest of 11 alleged members of Revolutionary Left (Dev-Sol) in the district of Ünye.
    21.10, in Ankara, five members of the TAYAD were brought before the State Security Court on the charge of having relations with underground organizations. Each faces a prison term of up to 5 years.
    22.10, a book-keeper, Vedat Sümercan, was detained in the town of Banaz for having written "No To War!" on his office's window.
    24.10, seven leading members of the Nurses' Association were brought before the SSC of Istanbul on charges of "communist propaganda." Each faces a prison term of up to 10 years.
    25.10, the local of the Association for Protecting and Developing the Golden Horn was raided by police and 20 people inside ware taken into custody.
    27.10, during a demonstration for "Peace and Humane Living", organized in Kocaeli by the main opposition SHP, police detained 155 people by using force.
    30.10, police announced the arrest of 15 militants of the Workers-Peasants Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO) in Istanbul.
    31.10, the Cultural Research Association of Esenler (EKAD) in Istanbul was raided by police and 10 people taken to custody.



    The Turkish Council of State's decision turning down the appeal by two Info-Türk editors,  Dogan Özgüden and Inci Tugsavul, for annulment a military government's decree depriving them of Turkish nationality has continued to draw reactions from international organisations.
    Earlier, the US Helsinki Watch had sent President Özal a message expressing its concern about the case of two journalists.   
    The International Federation of Journalists, representing more than 175,000 journalists organised in 51 trade unions in 43 countries around the world, raised the question at the Istanbul meeting of the European Parliament-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee.
    Mr. Aidan White, Secretary General of the IFJ, submitting to the Committee's sitting of November 8 his report entitled "Turkey 1990: Journalism Under Fire", said:
    "The hand of official interference in Turkey extends beyond the country itself to deny rights to Turkish citizens working as journalists abroad.
    "The IFJ has been most concerned at the deprivation of citizenship of two journalists working abroad: Dogan Özgüden and Inci Tugsavul, editors of the Brussels-based magazine Info-Türk.
    "They were denied their nationality by the Military Government eight years ago. Now, after a two-year examination, the Turkish Council of State, has rejected their appeal and confirmed the statelessness of these journalists on the basis of decrees by the military junta.
    "What is just as worrying is that the Government of Turkey in its response to the appeal claimed that the two editors should remain stateless because they had slandered Turkish authorities and Turkish generals in publications they edited abroad.
    "By any standards this is unjust but that it affect journalists working under the nose of the European Community, and in defiance of the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights, is an irony not lost on those who seriously question the Turkey's commitment to human rights in support of its application for full membership of the European Community."
    At the same meeting of the EC-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, Mrs. Claudia Roth (Greens, Germany), drawing attentions to the Özgüden-Tugsavul Case, asked for immediate suppression of the practice of deprivation of citizenship.
    On the other hand, the International Press Institute's director Peter Galliner addressed to President Özal the following letter:
    "Your Excellency,
    "The International Press Institute, representing leading journalists, editors and publishers throughout the world, is writing to you, on behalf of Dogan Özgüden, chief editor of Info-Türk Agency in Brussels and his colleague, Inci Tugsavul, editor for the English editions of Info-Türk's publications.
    "Both were deprived of their nationality by the military government eight years ago. In 1988, they appealed to the Council of State for the annulment of this decision. However, we are informed that their appeal has been turned down by the Council of State, referring to a law of the military period, which we understand, is no longer in force.
    "We urgently protest, on behalf of our two colleagues, against this unjust and inhumane decision and urge that they be granted full reinstatement of Turkish nationality without further delay."


    2.10, the editor of the fortnightly Emegin Bayragi, Ibrahim Cicek, was arrested in Istanbul.
    2.10, a journalist from the daily Cumhuriyet, Osman Yildiz, announced that he had been kept under police custody for three days in Istanbul without any grounds and ill-treated by policemen.
    17.10, a pamphlet on the youth question, published by the Devrimci Genclik Publishing House was confiscated by the State Security Court of Istanbul.
    19.10, a columnist from the daily Hürriyet, Emin Cölasan was sentenced by an Ankara court to a fine of 104 millions TL (38,000 US Dollars) for his book about the President of the Republic and his family.
    19.10, Dogu Perincek, chief editor of the weekly Yüzyil, was indicted by the State Security Court of Erzincan for a conference that he had given on the Kurdish question. He faces a prison term of up to 5 years for separatist propaganda.
    24.10, the 21 October issue of the weekly Yüzyil was confiscated by the State Security Court of Istanbul for an article on the Kurdish question.
    25.10, the October issue of the monthly Yeni Öncü was confiscated by the State Security Court of Istanbul.
    26.10, the Diyarbakir office of the weekly Yeni Ülkü was put on fire by unidentified persons. The aggressors, in a note that they left, said that it was a warning act by the Islamic Warriors' Organization.
    27.10, the responsible editor of the monthly Emek Dünyasi, Osman Günes, was sentenced by the Istanbul State Security Court to a prison term of 6 years and 3 months for an article on the Kurdish question.
    27.10, the chief editor of the monthly Mücadele, Cafer Darici was taken into custody in Kars along with the local chairman of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) Muhammed Alkasi.
    30.10, the Ankara representative of the monthly Yeni Demokrasi, Ali Ekber Kaypakkaya and correspondent Kamil Eser were taken into custody.
    31.10, the Izmir representative of the monthly Mücadele, Doruk Aydogmus was taken into police custody.
    31.10, the Ankara office of the daily Yeni Asya was raided by police and two journalists, Bedrettin Ergül and Ahmet Akdag taken into police custody. Later, the publisher of the newspaper, Mehmet Kutlular, and 7 other journalists too were detained. Ten journalists are accused of fundamentalist propaganda.
    31.10, the issue No.36 of the monthly Toplumsal Kurtulus was confiscated on grounds that it contains separatist propaganda.


    Boycotts, demonstrations and prostet forums organized by university students marked the 10th anniversary of the Higher Education Council (YÖK) on November 6 on Turkey's university campuses.
    Strict security measures were enforced by large cadres of police, particularly in Istanbul. At least 200 students were reported detained by the police.  In Eskisehir University, 17 students and three policemen were injured during the protests, with 97 students detained.
    YÖK was set up after the military coup in 1980. The military administration increased the number of universities in the country from nine to 19, but imposed on them a barracks discipline with the institution of Higher Education Regulation No. 1750.
    After the establishment of YÖK, at least 95 faculty members were dismissed, 861 resigned and another 1,188 retired — all in reaction to martial law No. 1402, which allowed arbitrary dismissals without explanation.
    Within the first eight years of the YÖK administration, over 100,000 students were also expelled from their schools due to YÖK's examination regulation No. 44, which has been changed four times since its establishment.
    According to a law instituted in 1987, the number of representatives from the Council of Ministers within the YÖK administration was increased substantially. At the same time, businessmen and bureaucrats without teaching credentials were permitted to become part-time faculty members.
    Protesting YÖK, student union members hung political placards saying "Long live our struggle for an autonomous, democratic university," "No to War and to YÖK!"


    The upsurge of Islamic fundamentalism has given rise to a nation-wide polemics. Recently, Turkish businessmen too have been involved in the debate by accusing the government of encouraging fundamentalist penetration into the Turkish educational system.
    The Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TÜSIAD) , on September 19, issued a report criticizing the quality of Turkish education and calling state funding for education "inadequate." It also criticized the integration of religious schools into the public system.
    "Turkey falls behind African countries in educational spending. Only 2.7 percent of the gross national product is spent on education," the report said. In an indictment of the proliferation of state-run religious schools and private Koran courses, it also called for stricter controls upon both.
    The report identified three educational standards in Turkey:
    "Turkish students attend either state-run religious schools (initially designed to educate Moslem clergy). low-quality state schools or with a foreign language curriculum,.
    "The Turkish education system took a step back from the unified and standardized system before 1980 to a 'three-channel' system similar to the one in force in the first years of the Republic. Fundamentalism begins where standardized education fails."
    TÜSIAD's main criticism of the Turkish education system was that "privileged" private high schools. "The Imam-Hatip religious schools originally established to educate the clergy have been integrated into the system as general-purpose institutions competing with normal state run high schools."
    Defining the Imam-Hatip schools as "anti-secularist" the report said that in 20 years, the number of such schools has increased by 1,250 percent:
    "Only 39,000 Imam-Hatip graduates have been employed as clergymen since the schools were established in 1951. Their students, meanwhile, have numbered 433,200. Figures were based on data obtained from the Department of Religious Affairs.
    "The schools educate 10 times more students than there are clergy posts available. A 1983 amendment to the law regulating the status of Imam-Hatip schools enabled their graduates to transfer directly to universities, a step previously banned by law.
    "These theological students are thus channelled into a number of careers. Of the 9,931 students graduating from one Imam-Hatip high school in 1988, only 981 entered university theology departments.
    "State and religious high schools produce two types of people opposed to each other in cultural, social and religious outlooks. This development contravenes the Tevhid-i Tedrisat Law (Law of Unity in Education)."
    The report also criticized obligatory religion courses in elementary and secondary schools, and the increase in the number of privately run Koran courses:
    "The enrollment of Imam-Hatip schools should be limited and the private Koran courses put under the control of the Education Ministry. Most of the religious sects which were formerly banned have been revived. Students of the Koran courses across Turkey put pressure on Turkish children to join."

Failure in Turkish education

    More than 22 percent of the Turkish nation is illiterate; 18.5 percent are literate but did not attend elementary school, 43.5 percent are elementary school graduates only, and a mere 15 percent have at least a secondary or high school education, according to the report.
    "State high schools lack financial resources, and the course load is too heavy. More than two-thirds of the graduates of these schools do not attend universities, and since they lack professional training, they often join the ranks of the unemployed.
    "Private schools that teach in foreign languages are too few to fill the gap in the educational system.
    "Only 12.2 percent of the Turkish national budget is allocated for education, whereas the figure was 17 percent in 1971. African countries allocate a higher percentage of the state budget to education than Turkey. Togo, for example, allocates 20.8 percent, Libya 19.8 percent and Liberia 24.3 percent."
    Suggesting that 25 percent of the national budget should be allocated for education, the TÜSIAD report says that its proposed Turkish Education Project should enjoy the same priorities as the Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP).
    "The total expenditures by the Education Ministry—which controls all state elementary, high schools and Imam-Hatip schools— and the Board of Higher Education, which regulates universities, were a mere 2.7 percent of the gross national product in 1989. In 1971, the same figure was 4.5 percent.
    "In African countries, the ratio of education expenditures to the gross national product ranges from 5.5 percent to 7.5 percent; in Asian countries this figure is between 4 percent and 10 percent, and in Europe it is around 7 percent.
    "In the world's 12 most underdeveloped countries, school is obligatory for five years only. Turkey's five-year obligatory school requirement should be raised to eight years funded by the state."
    The report also points out that teachers' salaries decreased by 40 percent in real terms in the last 15 years and that the student/teacher ratio in Turkey is twice that of countries with similar economies.
    The report proposed higher salaries and improved teaching conditions. It also encouraged courses to encourage problem-solving, creative and analytical abilities; increased cooperation between business circles and educational institutions; and the establishment of democracy and secularism in the education system.


    A new scandal broke out in Turkey concerning the Ankara regime's televised propaganda campaign abroad.
    On October 30, President Özal and several Turkish ministers were interviewed on a television program in Ankara which they thought was being aired live by simultaneous transmission to France. Talking to the camera, Özal sent some words of sympathy to French spectators.
    Former French prime ministers Raymond Barre and Maurice Couve de Mourville also took part in the tele-conference program from the Antenne-2 studios in Paris.
    When presidential aides asked the Turkish Embassy in Paris to sen a cassette of the program, supposed to have been aired by the A2, they were told that such a program was never broadcast.
    This tele-conference was co-sponsored by the right-wing daily Türkiye and the Istanbul Club, an association founded by a group of businessmen, politicians and journalists to promote cultural and commercial relations with France.


    The Özal family's prodigal way of living has been one of the major subjects of criticism and reaction in the public opinion.
    On October 29, a Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) deputy, Ahmet Ersin, requested a National Assembly inquiry into the assets President Özal, his brothers and his sons had acquired after they were appointed to key public jobs.
    Özal, in his declaration in 1983, said he owned two houses and an apartment in Istanbul, five small summer houses and two plots of land in Antalya and Gallipoli. He also said he possessed gold worth 9 million TL and had 3.5 million TL in the bank.
    Since then, Özal has refused to make public the change in his family fortune.
    In his motion, Ersin said: "The allegations [about the Özal family] first came to light in 1986 when Özal's daughter Zeynep was given a Jaguar by a businessman who wanted to open a gasoline station. Following press reports the car was said to have been returned at the request of Turgut Özal.
    "Following this incident, there were many other cases published in the press about Özal's younger brother Korkut Özal and his sons. Despite these allegations the Özal family refuses to make a public statement, which is very unusual for anyone who is running for public office in a democratic country.
    "There are allegations that the Özal family is worth 2.5 trillion TL ($972 million) and they own real estate outside the country."


    It was announced on October 30 in Ankara that the current allocation of 7.2 billion TL ($2.6 million) would be increased in 1991 budget to 31 billion TL ($11.3 million).
    Sources in the Finance Ministry said the 7.2 billion TL appropriated for the presidential residence in 1990 was spent during the first half of the year. By the end of December additional allocations were expected to bring total expenditure for 1990 to 14 to 15 billion TL.
    Turkey's 450 National Assembly members succeeded in raising their monthly salaries from 6.5 million TL to 9.5 million TL ($2,360 to 3,45O) when President Özal ratified on October 29 the bill they had passed earlier.
    The bill raising the deputies salaries also introduces financial benefits for retired members after 20 years of service. They would receive 4.2 million TL ($1,500) every month.
    According to a press survey, Turkish members of Parliament have, with the recent rises, become the most privileged deputies of European countries. The new monthly salary of the deputies ($3,450) is 35 times higher than the minimum monthly salary of workers (274,000 TL = $100) while this proportion remains at 4 times in Greece, 5-6 times in Belgium, 7 times in France, 7.6 times in Spain and 8.6 times in Germany.


    The Administrative Board of the International Labour Organization (ILO) has once more invited the Turkish Government to complete as soon as possible the amendments in Turkish legislation as regards social rights.
    The complaints by the ICFTU, the WCL and the WFTU against the Turkish regime had been dealt by the ILO's Committee of Freedom of Association. This committee's report has recently been adopted as a whole by the administrative board.
    Reminding that these three international labour organizations have lodged different complaints against the Turkish regime since 1981, the ILO Administrative Board asked the Turkish Government to amend a series of anti-democratic articles in the Turkish legislation.
    These articles in question ban political activities by trade unions, certain types of strikes, the right to strike for teachers and prevent those trade unions which have affiliates less than 5O% in a work-place and 10% in an economic sector from being part of a collective bargaining. Besides, certain strikes can be banned on pretext of "national security and public order" and trade unions are forced to accept the working conditions imposed by the Supreme Arbitration Board.
    The ILO Administration Board also asks the Turkish Government to restore the trade union rights of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK) which was banned after the military coup of 1980.


    State Minister Cemil Cicek, in an interview with the daily Cumhuriyet on November 12, defining pre-martial relationships as human being's rapprochement with animal instincts, said: "Flirting is nothing different from prostitution."
    Cicek's declaration brought an explosive reaction from women's associations, university lecturers, politicians and artists across the country.
    Emel Sungur, president of the Women's Commission of the SHP, called on Cicek to resign, saying: "I am worried that the people ruling Turkey have such a backward way of thinking, at the threshold of the 21st century."


    The State Statistics Institute (DIE) released preliminary findings of October 21, 1990 population census indicating there were 57,163,085 people presently living in Turkey.
    In addition to this population living in Turkey, 2,330,871 Turkish nationals are in Western European, Middle East and North African countries as well as in Canada and Australia.
    The preliminary estimates put Istanbul, the country's most populous city, at 7,426,590 residents. Ankara followed with 3,235,687, and Izmir ranked third with a population of 2,680,000. The cities of Adana, Bursa, Konya, Icel, Gaziantep, Samsun, Hatay, Manisa, Antalya, Diyarbakir and Zonguldak are each reported to have more than one million inhabitants.
    The population increase varied from area to area. The highest rate of increase was in southeastern Turkey (Turkish Kurdistan), which was 4.3 percent more populous. The lowest growth rate was in the Black Sea region at 1 percent.
    The rural population has further declined. Now, 58.8 percent of the population is living in urban settlements. This rate was 53 percent in the previous census.
    The distribution of Turkish migrant population abroad as follows:
    Germany 1,434,300, Holland France 180,147, Saudi Arabia 160,000, Holland 156,396, Australia 87,000, Austria 80,000, Belgium 78,039, Switzerland 49,259, Libya 24,000, Denmark 22,313, Sweden 21,538, Gt Britain 16,000, Iraq 4,345, Norway 3,574, Koweit 3,300, other countries 10,660.


    According to data given by the daily Tercüman of 23 October 1990, 21 million citizens of Turkey are deprived of social security coverage. The total number of all social security beneficiaries (employees, independents and their family members) rises to 36 million.
    As for the working population of 17,5 million, only 6,786,000 of them are registered to the three social security organizations: 3.3 million to the Social Security Organization for Private Sector Employees (SSK), 1,435,000 to the Pension Fund (Emekli Sandigi) and 2,051,000 to the Social Security Organization for Independents (Bag-Kur).