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


15th Year - N°173
 March 1991
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 enormity of the dishonour brought on the United States by President Bush's decision to betray the Kurdish people is beginning to sink in at the White House... The American president repeatedly urged the Kurds to rise up against Saddam Hussein; he telecast his promise to keep the tyrant's gunships grounded. Mr. Bush then broke his word, which enabled Iraqi killers to break the back of the rebellion from the air."
    It is a prestigious US newspaper, The International Herald Tribune that wrote these lines on April 5, 1991, when more than 1 million Kurds fleeing the civil war in Iraq pressed against the borders of Iran and Turkey.
    In fact, this is one of the most spectacular betrayals of the human history! But George Bush is not alone in this shameful act. All of his allies having participated in the Gulf War for saving the monarchy of a handful corrupt emirs of Kuwait and all those who unconditionally supported US military operations at the UN Security Council are accomplices in this betrayal against the centuries-long oppressed Kurdish people.
    Isn't it Turkish President Turgut Özal that, claiming himself "tutor of all Kurds in the Middle East", instigated Iraqi Kurds to uprise? (See: Info-Türk, January and February 1991). It is same Özal that, after having "friendly talks" with George Bush at Camp David and asked him not to support any Kurdish action leading to a separate Kurdish administration in Iraq, closed the borders with Iraq as the Kurdish asylum-seekers were either being shot and wounded by Iraqi troops or perishing from the severe cold.
    After having made a gesture by promising to free Kurdish language in a move to gain over Kurds, Özal invited Iraqi Kurdish leaders to Turkey to encourage them in a possible armed action against Saddam's regime. He announced on March 11, in a jetliner on the way to Moscow for a visit to the Soviet Union, that Jalal Talabani, the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and a representative of Masoud Barzani, the leader of the Democratic Kurdish Party,  visited Ankara for talks with "bureaucrats of the Foreign Ministry and the National Intelligence Organization) (MIT)"
    "We have to be as friendly with the Kurds as possible. Since all European countries were talking with the Kurdish groups, Turkey should do so as well. We are more closely concerned with everything... We must talk with them. It would be very wrong not to talk with them (the Kurdish groups) while everyone else was talking with them," he said to Turkish journalists.
    Since the Turkish republic was born in 1923, official policy has refused to recognize estimated 25 million Kurds living in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria as a separate people. For the last seven years, Turkish Army has been in battle with the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK) guerrillas and 2,600 people have perished in the struggle.
    The PKK has considered Özal's manoeuvres with prudence while Talabani and Barzani were falling in the trap of US and Turkish administrations. Very satisfied with Özal's declarations and invitation, Talabani said: "Turkey can trust the Kurds as an ally. We shall certainly not hurt Turkey's interests." He added that the PUK had collaborated with the PKK in the past but had broken off relations with this group.
    Despite Talabani's declaration trying to assure Turkish authorities, Özal and the Turkish military have never ceased to fear that Kurdish autonomy in Iraq might lead to demands by 15 million Kurds to have their autonomy in Turkey as well.
    According to the daily Milliyet of March 28 , 1991, the military officials were asking whether the Kurdish aspirations can be limited to cultural freedom. "They also fear Turkey may be forced to accept Kurdish autonomy, and this could open the way to more Kurdish demands for an independent state. The army feels if a federation is formed in Iraq and the Kurds are a part of it, this will also affect the Kurdish movement in Turkey," said Milliyet. "The military claims the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan should not be accepted as a Kurdish counterpart."


    In fact, as Özal was trying to present himself as the "tutor of Kurds", the Turkish security forces have never stopped their repressive actions against Kurdish population, on the contrary, they have intensified their repressive actions in Turkish Kurdistan.
    This new wave of state terrorism has given rise to country-wide protests and the traditional celebration of  the Kurdish New Year (Newroz) in March turned into mass demonstrations in protest against repression.
    On February 28, the day of the cease-fire in the Gulf, Turkish security forces gunned down some 200 mules, owned by the local villagers, which were used to transport surplus and leftover coal from the Sirnak mines to their homes, and shot dead some villagers.  Tension was already high in the area, because since the beginning of the Gulf War, at least 70 villages in Sirnak province have been evacuated for "security measures".
    In protest against the killings of February 28, the people in Sirnak held next day a violent demonstration which ended in the death of one soldier. The angry demonstrators also damaged Atatürk's statute and stoned the windows of the town hall and the local military headquarters. 200 people were taken under custody.
    On March 1, a group of students from Istanbul University attacked police with stones and Molotov cocktails to protest the disturbances in Sirnak. Protesters destroyed the police sentry box in the university garden.
    On March 4,  another demonstration was organized in Idil, a township of Sirnak, after security forces held a search operation and arrested some residents in the village of Kuvuz. During the demonstration, two persons were killed by police and 10 injured in a clash between demonstrators and police. A group of reporters who came from Diyarbakir to report on the event were not allowed in Idil for "security reasons." However, it was reported that the demonstrators stoned the post office and set fire to a post office vehicle.  20 people were detained after demonstration.
    Next day, a group of people staged another demonstration in Idil to protest against the detentions.  Meanwhile, the Human Rights Association (IHD), the Chamber of Architects, the People's Labour Party (HEP), the Bar  Association and the Oil Workers' Union, issuing a joint report on the Idil incidents, stated that the State regards the residents of the region as potential criminals.
    On March 7, in the township of Dargecit, security forces shot dead a woman and wounded eight people by opening fire on Kurdish groups protesting the Sirnak and Idil incidents. Next day, more than 2 thousand people carried out a protest march in the town and tradesmen closed their shutters in protest against repression. A similar protest march was made in the same town on March 15 by shouting slogans "Long live Kurdistan", "Down with Torturers!".
    On March 16, the third anniversary of the Halabja Massacre in Iraq was another occasion to protest the oppression of Kurds as well in Iraq as in Turkey.
    On March 20, Kurds carried out mass demonstrations throughout Turkey on the occasion of Kurdish New Year (Newroz). In Adana, demonstrators set fire to four police cars. After the incidents resulted in five wounded, police detained 80 people.
    Following days, more demonstrations took place in big cities like Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, hundreds of demonstrators were arrested by police.
    On March 22, in Nusaybin a Kurds was shot dead during demonstrations.
    The repression has not remained within Turkish borders. On March 28 Turkish military units and helicopters, entering in the Iraqi territories, carried out raids on the PKK guerrilla camps. The daily Tercüman of April 3 reported that 60 PKK militants and 4 Turkish soldiers perished during the confrontation. However, the Kurdistan Committee in Brussels reported that only two militants were killed, but the Turkish units lost 30 soldiers. The committee also announced that a Turkish lieutenant-colonel, Muzaffer Alicguzel was captured by the PKK guerrillas.

    Amnesty International issued in on February 25, 199, a new report on Turkey, entitled "Still waiting for change; information on continuing human rights abuses."
    "The Turkish authorities declared in 1989 their intention to make constitutional, legislative, and procedural changes which would improve safeguards against torture for detainees in police custody, and which would abolish or amend those articles of the penal code under which most prisoners of conscience are held. In the intervening two years, there has been no legislative or practical progress in these areas of concern. Proposed amendments to the Constitution, the Turkish Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code remain in draft form while prisoners of conscience continue to serve long terms of imprisonment for expressing their beliefs and opinions. Detainees are still routinely held incommunicado in police stations, in some areas for up to 30 days, unprotected by even the most basic safeguards against ill-treatment. Torture persists as a widespread phenomenon, with the apparent collusion of the authorities and recent months have brought an alarming number of deaths allegedly resulting from torture," said the AI Report.
    The 14-page document contains recent information on prisoners of conscience, torture,  ill-treatment in prison, death in custody, extrajudicial executions and death penalty.
    As regards torture, AI  arrives to the following conclusion: "Most reported incidents of torture have occurred during the initial period of detention when detainees are denied access to relatives or a lawyer. Although Article 128 of the Turkish Criminal Procedure Code states that the maximum period permitted before a detainee is formally charged or released is 24 hours, this period may be extended to 15 days by the prosecutor without the approval of a judge in cases involving three or more suspects, or due to the "nature of crime." In the 10 provinces currently under emergency rule the maximum detention period may be doubled to 30 days. Amnesty International has received reports of detainees being held for even longer periods, thereby increasing the risk of torture and ill-treatment. A further matter of concern is a provision in the revised "Censorship and Exile" Decree Number 430 which was promulgated in December 1990, which permits detainees to be brought back from prison for further interrogation and possible torture in gendarmeries and police stations, even though this practice had been abolished as unconstitutional in 1988."
    AI shares the Helsinki Watch's concern about "death in custody" (See: Info-Turk, February 1991 and also the following article in this issue). "A report published by Amnesty International in April 1989 listed 193 names, dates and places of deaths in custody reported between 12 September 1980 and 6 March 1989. In response to information received from the Turkish authorities since the publication of this document, Amnesty International has revised its provisional list of cases of deaths in custody. This now numbers 192 cases of which 34 have been confirmed as deaths caused by torture. The organization continues to seek further information on the other cases. During the past three months there have been reports of eight deaths in custody which have allegedly occurred as a result of torture. Amnesty International believes that if these deaths were caused by torture, they would be directly attributable to the failure of the authorities to implement safeguards against torture required by the UN Convention against Torture, the UN  Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons Under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, and other internationally recognized standards."


    Helsinki Watch issued, on February 20, 1991, a second report on two more deaths in detention in Turkey. This brings the number of deaths in detention to seven in a six-week period -- the same number of detainees who died in suspicious circumstances during all of 1990. In addition, one of the two recent deaths was reported as a suicide, making a total of three cases in which authorities have alleged that the detainee had killed himself.
    The two recent deaths are:
    1. Günes reported on February 8, 1991, that Kasim Aras died in Erzurum hospital to which he had been taken in a coma right after his release from Aralik Prison in Kars. The cause was said to be a brain hemorrhage suffered during torture. Aras' brother, Halit Aras, said: "Non-commissioned officers Ihsan Karacaoglu and Salim Taskeser of Aralik County Gendarmery Station pout my brother in this situation." He also said that Kasim Ars had been hospitalized twice during the month he spent in prison. On February 13, the Ministry of the Interior launched an investigation into Aras' death.
    2. On February 14, 1991, Günes reported that 25-year-old Ali Riza Aydogan, who was being detained at the Beyoglu office of the Istanbul Security Directorate, had fallen from the fourth floor of the building and been taken to Taksim Hospital, where he later died. Authorities reported that Aydogan had committed suicide by jumping from the window. Aydogan's father, Muzaffer Aydogan, said: "There was no reason for my son to commit suicide. He was going to get married shortly. He had no relation to any organization or activity."


    Ten reporters from the Ankara office of the weekly Yüzyil were taken into custody on March 5 in connection with weapons found on the premises of the office.  Although eight journalists were released next day, the weekly's administrative manager, Güner Tokgöz, and deputy manager Hasan Yalcin were placed under arrest by a tribunal.
    Mehmet Bedri Gültekin, the deputy editor-in-chief of the weekly, held a press conference along with the newly released reporters and the weekly's defense lawyers and said reporters had undergone torture at the Ankara Security Directorate. He said that Tokgöz, under arrest, had been transferred to a hospital
    Gültekin said employees of the magazine were under constant threat, whether by letters or phone, which is why the magazine's editor Dogu Perincek and deputy manager Hasan Yalcin had applied for a gun licence. He added, however, that these applications for licences had been rejected. He said that the guns on the premises were there for self-defence.


    1.2, President Özal sued the daily Sabah for libel. He claims an indemnity of 50 million TL ($18,000).
    2.2, Sociologist Ismail Besikci was brought before the State Security Court No.2 of Istanbul for his banned book The Law of Tunceli and the Genocide of Dersim, considered as a separatist propaganda. The author and publisher Mrs. Ayse Zarakolu both face a prison term of up to 15 years.
    3.2, the Governor of  Yozgat banned selling of musi-cassettes produced by nine musicians. Among the banned songs are also those of Pir Sultan Abdal, Ahmet Kaya, Arif Sag, Selda Bagcan, Rahmi Saltuk, Group Yorum and Ferhat Tunc.
    5.2, the monthly Özgürlük Yolu was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for separatist propaganda.
    6.2, the SSC of Istanbul confiscated two monthly reviews, Mücadele and Odak, respectively for separatist and communist propaganda.
    6.2, the SSC of Istanbul confiscated a book of Ali Osman Köse on the trials of Revolutionary Left (Dev-Sol) for communist propaganda.
    8.2, President Özal sued the weekly 2000e Dogru for libel. He asks an indemnity of 150 million TL ($50,000)
    9.2, the chief editor of the monthly Hedef, Zeki Tombak was taken into custody.
    10.2, a book entitled Writings on the Woman Question,  published by the Dönüsüm Publishing House, was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for communist and separatist propaganda.
    10.2, the representation of Pir Sultan Abdal in Denizli was banned by the Governor. The pay had already been banned in the provinces of Istanbul, Kocaeli and Izmir. The Governor of Denizli called on the governors of other provinces to do the same.
    12.2, the Union of Publishers announced that, in the past year, 31 books published by 17 publishing houses were confiscated for political reasons.
    12.2 two books by the Devrimci Proletarya Publishing House, The Last Ten Years of Liquidationism and On Unity were confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for communist propaganda.
    12.2,  a correspondent of the weekly Yeni ülke, Mecit Öztunc was arrested by the SSC of Diyarbakir for belonging to an outlawed organization.
    13.2, a book entitled "The method of Learning Kurdish", written by Hüseyin Sagnic and published by the Melsa Publishing House, was confiscated on the decision of a criminal court of Istanbul for separatist propaganda.
    14.2, in Kayseri, eleven musi-cassettes produced by ten musicians were banned by the governor.
    16.2, the representation of a play entitled Papa, where were you on September 12? was banned in the counties of Karaman and Mut. Two responsibles of the theatre Halk Oyunculari, Mert Egemen and Fuat Ciyiltepe were interrogated by political police in Ankara .
    17.2, the SSC of Istanbul confiscated two books for communist and separatist propaganda: Writings of Revolutionary Way (Devrimci Yol)  written by Oguzhan Muftuoglu, and The Social Reality of Turkey and Revolutionary Strategy, issued by the Varyos Publishing House.
    17.2, the daily Mücadele which has been published for four years in the province of Kars announced that it had to put an end to its publication because of legal pressure. In four years 132 legal proceedings were opened against the newspaper and the journalists working for it were very often taken into custody.
    18.2, the last issue of the weekly Yeni Ülke was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for separatist propaganda.
    18.2, the radical Islamist review Akdogus announced that it had to put an end to its publication because of different pressures. Six collaborators of the review had been arrested by the Istanbul SSC for anti-secular activities.
    21.2, Mrs. Rüya Eser Oguztan  was brought before the Criminal Court of First Instance No. 2 of Istanbul for her book Lesbian. She is accused, together with her publisher Mehmet Cerci, of immoral publication.
    21.2, during a cultural festival organized by the Municipality of Hasandede in Kirikkale, the representation of a play entitled Amnesty: A Game of Freedom was banned by the governor on grounds that it contains dialogues against public morality.
    22.2, the representation of Pir Sultan Abdal was banned in Ankara.
    22.2, a public performance of popular actor Ilyas Salman was banned in Kayseri on grounds that the security of the hall could not be assured by the security forces.
    22.2, it was reported that within the first 18-month period of President Özal, more than 50 people, mainly journalists and cartoonists, have been indicted for insulting the President of the Republic. Each of the accused faces a prison term of up to five years.
    24.2, the issue No.2 of the political review Yeniden Üretim was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for separatist propaganda.
    25.2, the weekly Yeni Ülke and the monthly Komün were confiscated respectively for separatist and communist propaganda.
    27.2, a new legal proceeding was opened against sociologist Ismail Besikci for an interview he gave to the monthly Deng. Besikci and three journalists from the review, Kamber Soypak, Mustafa Sahlan and Demir Ermis, face each a prison term of up to 15 year for separatist propaganda.


    4.2, the Samsun section of the Educators' Association (Egit-Der) was closed down  on pretext of activities harmful to national security.
    5.2, Muzaffer Erdost, Chairman of the Ankara branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD), was indicted for a press conference during which he criticized the mass arrests of last days.
    5.2, in Elazig, 40 people were arrested by a tribunal on the accusation of aiding the PKK. Among the arrested people are also the Mayor of Karakocan, Abdusselam Cicek, who is a member of the Correct Way Party (DYP), and the local chairman of the People's Labour Party (HEP), lawyer Yavuz Yilmaz.
    6.2, in Ankara, following the detention of 13 people, members of the banned associations TAYAD and DEMKAD, four of them were placed under arrest by the tribunal.
    6.2, a raking operation in the slums of Kücükarmutlu in Istanbul resulted in the arrest of six people.
    8.2, in Ankara, nine students were detained for belonging to an underground organization.
    9.2, three women detained three days ago for being members of TAYAD and DEMKAD, Saadet Toksoy, Can Balicanli and Gamze Turan, alleged that they were tortured at police centre.
    10.2, the press reported that Engineer Ceyhan Sari, detained in Ankara on February 7,  and seven students detained during an anti-war demonstration in Konya on February 4, were subjected to torture during interrogation.
    11.2, the SSC of Malatya sentenced three members of  the Kurdish organization TEVGER to 4 years and 2 months imprisonment each, and another detainee to 2 years and 6 months.
    12.2, the security forces announced the arrest of 73 people in the area of state of emergency for having given support to the PKK.
    13.2, a German member of parliament, Ursula Fischer (PDS) was not allowed by the Super Governor to enter in the city of Siirt. She was in the area for a parliamentary mission concerning the situation of human rights.
    13.2, the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) announced that, in 1990, police raided the locals of 59 associations: 34 in Istanbul, 9 in Ankara, 16 in other provinces. Besides, 27 associations were definitely closed by governors: 16 in Istanbul and 11 in other provinces. The officials of the raided or closed association were subjected to legal proceedings.
    13.2, in Izmir, former local secretary of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD),  lawyer Mustafa Ufacik was brought before a criminal court for a speech he gave in August 1990 at a panel on human rights. He is accused of instigating the people to uprising.
    13.2,  the Socialist Party (SP) reported three party members detained in Van, Abdullah Kaya, Abdulaziz Kaya and Zeynel Cetin, were subjected to torture at police centre.
    14.2, police announced that 13 alleged members of Dev-Sol were detained in Istanbul.    15.2, in Ankara, 44 people, mainly parents of political prisoners, were indicted for having carried out a protest action against the restriction on visits to prison. Each faces a prison term of up to five years.
    16.2, the Prosecutor of the Istanbul SSC opened a legal proceeding against 55 young people for having participated in the political actions of the Revolutionary Youth (Dev-Genc). 35 of them are under arrest.
    16.2, two alleged PKK militants and 20 people aiding the former were arrested in Mardin.
    17.2, a meeting on "Children and Violence", organized by the Ankara Section of the IHD was banned by the Governor of Ankara on grounds that it might lead to disorder.
    18.2, the political police detained in last few days fifteen people for political reasons.
    19.2, Hatip Dicle, local chairman of the IHD in Diyarbakir, was detained for a press conference during which he had revealed a case of death under torture. In protest, Dicle started a hunger-strike.
    20.2, political police raided some houses in Ankara and detained ten people.
    21.2, the SSC of Istanbul arrested six people for belonging to the outlawed Communist Party of Turkey/Union (TKP/B).
    21.2,  political police started an investigation against Yüksel Cakmur, Mayor of Izmir, for having allowed to put on walls anti-war posters in the city.
    21.2, it is reported that Chairwoman of the TAYAD, Gülten Sesen, and other members of the administrative board have been on hunger strike for seven days in protest against the interdiction of the association.
    22.2, in Ankara, seven people were detained for belonging to the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP)
    24.2, as the Turkish Government was taking part in the anti-Iraq campaign, 115 political prisoners were sentenced to 6 years and 8 months imprisonment each for having signed three years ago a petition in prison in protest against Halabja bombing in in Iraq in 1988.
    24.2, political police announced that 20 people were arrested in Istanbul for belonging to underground organizations.
    25.2, a 16-year old high school student in Gümüshane was detained on the school director's denunciation that he drew sickle and hammer on the blackboard. After being released,  Dincer Sahin said that he was tortured at the police centre.
    26.2, security forces announced the arrest of a total of 19 PKK militants in Elazig, Tunceli and Cemisgezek.
    26.2, the SSC of Ankara put under arrest eleven people for being TDKP members.
    26.2, seventeen non-commissioned officers were reportedly dismissed from the Air Force for their religious activities. So, the number of the NCO dismissed for the same reason reached over 200.
    27.2, a university student, Ferda Civelek, arrested for insulting President Özal and the Turkish Justice, said at the Criminal Court No.3 of Istanbul that she had been tortured during her police interrogation. She faces a .prison term of up to 10 years.


    President Özal, who cast himself as a world statesman during the Gulf crisis, faces a messy party revolt provoked by his wife which could undercut his own power base.
    The malaise in the ruling centre-right Motherland Party (ANAP), founded by Özal in 1983, was on public .show on  March 3 when a party convention in Istanbul dissolved into a noisy brawl.     Özal's wife Semra, launching into politics with an attempt to consolidate her family's control on the party, was running against Talat YiImaz, the candidate of the nationalist-fundamentalist Holy Alliance, for the job of chairman of the party's Istanbul branch.
    Rival factions at the packed hall accused each other of vote-rigging, fists flew and State Minister Mustafa Tasar, the presiding officer, who punched the odd delegate himself, finally called off the proceedings until further notice.
    Campaigning against Semra were Interior Minister Abdülkadir Aksu, State Ministers Mehmet Kececiler and Cemil Çiçek, and former defence minister Hüsnü Dogan, sacked last month by Özal, his cousin, for opposing the first lady's political ambitions. Newspapers reported Özal might respond by changing the cabinet. "There is no place for Aksu, Kececiler and Cicek in the government," the daily Cumhuriyet quoted Özal as saying.
    Even by the robust standards of Turkish politics, the spectacle of the ruling party publicly tearing itself apart must raise questions about Özal's grip on  power, diplomats said.
    "I feel Özal is in a corner," one senior Western diplomat said. "If he can't solve the problem of who is governing the country and put order into his own party, he will not be able to go forward or innovate. He could be paralysed."
    Motherland, a broad-based coalition of interests, has won two elections since 1983. Özal has hinted he might call a third this year, one year before the party's mandate expires. In 1987 the party won 292 seats in the 450-seat single- chamber parliament on only 36 per cent of the popular vote, thanks to electoral rules which favour front-runners.
    Constitutionally, Turkish presidents are above party politics. But since Özal left the prime minister's office for the presidential palace in 1989, he has continued to call the shots through his influence over Motherland.
    According to a Reuters report published by the Turkish Daily News of March 6, Özal's party has not argued with his vision of Turkey as a secular, free-market democracy which could be a model to Islamic neighbours and a bridge between Europe and the Middle East. But the party's conservative wing seems unhappy with his views on narrower issues such as the Kurdish problem in the southeast, army reform and human rights.  They also appear to be fed up with his high-handed style of government. Özal, a devout Moslem, had previously drawn fire for appeasing the religious conservatives on social issues. Political sources said he may now have decided they have grown too strong and could upset his plans for Turkey, which include eventual entry into the European Community. By putting his wife at the sharp end of the struggle, Özal has shown he is determined to clip the wings of conservatives and fundamentalists to give his party a more centrist image.
    "This is the first time Özal's authority over Motherland has been disputed in such a striking way," wrote Ertugrul Özkök in Hürriyet. "Semra Özal couldn't get the result she wanted in a struggle she began with the financial and moral support of her husband, a large part of the cabinet, the bureaucracy and businessmen. Özal is an obstinate politician. I expect the outcome of the Istanbul congress will make him take a harder political stand," said Özkök, who is close to the president. 


    Women who seek treatment at the Ankara-based Torture Rehabilitation Centre invariably claim they have been sexually threatened or abused.
    Psychologist Aysun Yavuz, who works at the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV),
said: "Although Turkish women might be culturally conditioned to be more articulate about their weaknesses and therefore might be more resilient, many younger women can't recover from the effects of torture -- which is usually of a sexual nature. Nearly every woman that comes here has at least been verbally threatened sexually. The fact that the inflictor is a man creates psychological pressures. Women who come in for rehabilitation invariably claim they have been threatened, humiliated or raped. The women claim being routinely left naked for searches or cold showers."
    The ages of the women who apply to the rehabilitation centre range between 20 and 28, excepting one, who is 42. Most of the eleven women presently seeking treatment are university students who were taken into custody or arrested on charges of staging illegal protests or being a member of an illegal organization. The 42-year-old woman, the mother of an inmate, was arrested during a visit to her son.
    Yavuz claims that when allegedly tortured women are very young this results in irreparable problems later on in their lives. Among the problems are a wariness of men, and a changed image of their own bodies.
    "Since it is their sexual nature that has brought them under attack, they try to undermine this aspect of themselves, if not conceal it, through the way they dress or behave. Perhaps because of cultural conditioning, it is an advantage, however, that women can articulate feelings of weakness more easily. Women have a more tolerant attitude towards life. There is a different expectation of men, that they should be able to shoulder difficulties with more ease and strength. But despite this, it is easier for men to reassume a normal life than women."
    "They use all the problems of a patriarchal society in torture," says Haldun Özen, the foundation's general secretary, noting that while the male dominant role is exploited against women, similarly, men are threatened with the rape on their female relatives.
    There have been eight cases of alleged torture on women in newspapers in 1991 so far, says Özen. "The case against three police officers, who are charged with torturing Nevruz Türkdogan during custody continues. Türkdogan, who was pregnant at the time of her detention, claims to have lost her child after beatings by policemen."
    The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey's Torture Rehabilitation Centre, which has been in operation since April 1990, works solely on a voluntary basis. A project designed specifically for women who are victims of torture is in its planning stage.


    The Belgian House of Representatives adopted on March 14, 1991 a resolution concerning the Kurds and other ethnical minorities of Turkey. The resolution proposing that Belgium opposes to the Turkish adhesion to the European Communities has been interpreted by the Turkish authorities and some newspapers as a plot against Turkey. As a number of Turkish political figures were sending Belgian counterparts protest messages, some others claimed that Turkey should review its relations with Belgium and even withdraw its ambassador to Brussels..
    The Belgian resolution reads:
    "The House of Representatives:
    "asks the Government to insist before the Turkish Government and by the means of the European Community, the Council of Europe and the United Nations:
    "that the deportations of Kurds established in the South-eastern villages of Turkey immediately be lifted and that the emergency laws in force in this regions be lifted;
    "that political, social and cultural rights of Kurds and all other ethnical minorities living in Turkey be respected;
    "that an equitable part of the compensations accorded for making up the negative consequences of the Gulf War be used for repairing the social and economic damages of the population of the South-eastern Turkey;
    "proposes that Belgium oppose to the Turkish adhesion to the European Communities as long as the human rights are violated in this country and as the cultural identity of Kurds there are not recognized;
    "asks that Belgium, in a member of the Security Council of the United Nations, do its best for assuring that the Kurdish problem existing in five countries be examined with the frame of an international conference."


    In 1990 Turkey's current account deficit reached 2.611 billion dollars, according to the Central Bank's figures. In 1989 current accounts had achieved a surplus of 961 million dollars. So, current accounts deficits exceeded 2 billion dollars for the first time since 1980. The deficit was 3.4 billion dollars in 1980.
    The loss caused by the Gulf Crisis and increase in the amount of imports are the main reasons for last year's current accounts deficits. In 1990, while exports increased by 11 percent, imports increased by 41 percent. As a result,  the foreign trade deficit of Turkey, which was 4.2 billion dollars in 1989, reached 9.5 billion dollars.
    Turkey paid back 7.2 billion dollars worth of foreign loans in 1990, a 4 percent increased compared to the year before.
    In 1990 the use of mid- and long-term credits increased by 16 percent in comparison to the year before. In 1989 this amount was 3.1 billion dollars, but in 1990 Turkey used 3.6 billion dollars of mid- and long-term credits.
    On the positive side last year saw an increase in foreign investment. Tourism revenues also increased. In 1989 foreign investment was 633 million dollars. Foreign investment increased by 7.5 percent in 1990 and totalled 713 million dollars.
    Turkey's tourism revenues increased by 26 percent and reached 3.2 billion dollars. Tourism expenses, on the other hand, decreased from 565 million dollars in 1989 to 520 million dollars in 1990.
    The other item which increased the balance of payments is workers' remittances. In 1990 workers' remittances increased by 6.7 percent and reached 3.2 billion dollars. In 1989 the amount was 3.04 billion dollars.

    The Gulf countries seem that they have already forgotten the support Turkey gave gave to the allied forces during the Gulf War and have not made attempts to deliver the money they promised to Turkey.
    Kuwait did not even mention Turkey in newspaper ads it ran to thank the allied countries.
    There is no sign from Abu Dhabi of the 400 million dollars it promised and Saudi Arabia has slowed down its oil donations to Turkey.
    The United States, too, does not seem eager to supply sufficient financial support to Turkey.     During his visit to the United States in March, Özal said to President Bush that Turkey urgently needs 2 billion dollars and the success of the present government in the 1992 general election wholly depends on the US financial aid. However, according to the daily Hürriyet of March 28, Özal failed to get a positive response to his request for urgent foreign loans from his U.S. counterpart Georges Bush.
    The state is continuously borrowing, and this, according to Hürriyet, pushing up interest rates and inflation. All this means slower growth and an increase in unemployment.
    On the other hand, the European Community declared on March 4 its will to bolster its ties with Turkey but gave no hint when it would release an 800-million-dollar financial aid package for Ankara that has been frozen since 1981.
    Ankara is disappointed but hardly surprised at the European Community decision  not to release an aid package to Turkey,  diplomatic observers have said.
    While the Foreign Ministry officially declined to make announcements until evaluating the documents of the meeting, sources close to the ministry said that it was known that the package, namely the Fourth Financial Protocol, might be kept on hold.
    Official circles had been "pessimistic" about the chances of the protocol being released since the EC finance ministers' decision last week to give a 2.2 billion ECU aid to Greece last week, but to postpone discussions on the Turkish package.
    Earlier, on March 1, Turkish President Özal had sent a letter to the prime ministers of the EC countries, with the exception of Greece, saying that he "was getting increasingly concerned with the Turco-EC ties, although it was clear that Turkey deserved a better treatment from its NATO allies."
    Özal pointed out in his letter that Turkey had risked a great deal economically and politically in its solidarity with the West during the Gulf war, but had received a mere 175 million ECU in aid.
    "Compared to what the Community gave to other states, I could not refrain from saying that there was a clear discrimination against Turkey," the letter continued.
    Özal observed that the Turkish public had lost confidence in the EC. He also cited the existence of various obstructions before the bilateral ties between Turkey and the Community, such as the repetitive Greek vetoes against release of the financial protocol.
    Main opposition leader Erdal Inönü said in a press conference that Turkey had not done what was necessary for the improvement of Turco-EC relations. "I strongly deplore the government policy of not doing anything to improve  bilateral ties," Social Democrat Leader Inönü said. "The main mistake is leaving Turco-EC ties under the mortgage of a third party, Greece."


    Prior to his visit to Washington, President Özal paid a visit to the Soviet Union and signed with  Mikhail Gorbachev a friendship and cooperation treaty , including a one-year extension of an existing trade agreement.
    Özal began his six-day trip to the Soviet Union on March 11.
    Talks between Özal, the first Turkish leader to visit the Soviet Union in 22 years, and Gorbachev took place in the Grand Kremlin Palace.  For three hours , Gorbachev and Özal discussed the situation in the Gulf following the U.S.led war against Iraq.  Özal underlined that now that the war is over, concerted efforts were required to rebuild conditions required for permanent peace, stability and tranquillity in the region and to heal the wounds of war. The two leaders also discussed Özal's proposal for the creation of a Black Sea cooperation scheme.
    Özal plans to visit Romania and Bulgaria in the next few months to promote the creation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Zone, which the Soviet Union has hailed as a promising venture, sources said.
    At the end of talks, Özal and Gorbachev signed agreements on trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation, and on avoiding double taxation. The Soviet-Turkish agreement on trade for 1986-90 was extended by one year.
    Trade between the two neighbours reached 1.8 billion dollars in 1990.
    The two countries are considering opening a border crossing at Nahjivan, in addition to the crossing opened in 1988 at Sarp near the Black Sea.
    In addition, Turkey recently signed trade agreements with eight of the 15 Soviet republics.
    Özal, accompanied by 70 business leaders, also visited the Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan before returning home.


    Thousands of Turks demonstrated on March 26 near the Bulgarian city of Razgard to protest that country's policies towards its ethnic Turks. The demonstration, attended by 15,000 people, was organized by the Rights and Freedoms Movement (HOH). Ahmet Dogan, chairman of the HOH, said Bulgaria had to first solve its problems in the Balkans before it developed its relations with Europe. Dogan also criticized the Socialist Party for objecting to Turkish language education in schools. He said Turkish education continued in associations and mosques despite this party's objection.
    Following weeks of school boycotts and street blockades by the Bulgarian nationalists, parliament on March 8 postponed until autumn a government plan to offer voluntary Turkish classes on an experimental basis. The decision prompted protests from either side in the conflict.
    In an earlier meeting, held on March 17 in Krdzhali, Turkish spokesmen had reiterated calls for the immediate introduction of mandatory Turkish classes in mixed-population areas. Rejecting a government compromise calling for experimental Turkish classes in some schools, they said that ethnic Turks are not "guinea pigs."
    Turkish deputy Nureddin Mehmet declared Bulgarian Turks had not bowed to ousted Communist leader Todor Zhivkov's "terror of the 1980s," referring to a "Bulgarization campaign" that peaked in 1984-85 when ethnic Turks were forced to change their names.
    When Zhivkov opened Bulgaria's borders in summer 1989, a total of 320,000 ethnic Turks fled to Turkey to escape persecution at home. Less than half of them have since returned for lack of jobs and housing in Turkey.
    Parliament has meanwhile enacted legislation restoring the Turks' names. They are again free to practice their religion and use their language in public.
    The Rights and Freedoms Movement, which has 23 deputies in parliament, announced that Turkish language broadcasts, banned under Zhivkov, would be restored soon.
    Turkish leaders dismissed Bulgarian nationalists' claims that Turkish classes in mixed-population areas would endanger national security and stressed the need for national unity.