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


15th Year - N°174
 April 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


    After having betrayed Kurds, the Ankara regime, in a move to fool once more the world opinion, announced on April 12, 1991 the release of more than 40 thousand prisoners and the suppression of Articles 140, 141, 142 and 163 of the Turkish Penal Code as well as the Law forbidding to speak Kurdish.
    The release of the people who have been suffering in prisons since the military coup of September 12, 1980 is no doubt a rejoicing event. It is for this reason that the Turkish Parliament's decision has been applauded by the world media as a "further step towards democratization in Turkey and a significant gesture facilitating Turkish accession to the European Communities."
    Whereas, the release of prisoners and the suppression of the most criticized articles of the Turkish Penal Code are the part of a plan aimed at reinforcing the State terrorism in the country.
    In fact, the abrogation of the said articles and the release of prisoners take place in the provisional articles of The Law On Fighting The Terror, adopted on April 12 by the Parliament.
    The 23 main articles of this new law No. 3713 impose very heavy punishments for a series of acts of organization and propaganda and constitute a real menace as well against Kurdish organizations as to publications and teaching activities in Kurdish language. Besides, the agents of the State terrorism and torturers are placed under the absolute protection of the State.
    It is for deviating the attention from  the repressive substance of this new law that it was added to it provisional articles stipulating to lift some articles of the Turkish Penal Code and to release prisoners.


    In fact, the adoption of this new law does not signify a real freedom for all prisoners. The new law divides prisoners into three categories:
    1. Those sentenced or accused by virtue of Articles 140, 141, 142 and 163 of the Turkish Penal Code. Since these articles were suppressed, the victims of these articles have been released without any condition and turned into "citizens without record" if they had not been condemned for another article.
    2. A reduction of prison terms and a probational release for those prisoners who had been sentenced or accused by virtue of the articles other than 140,141, 142 and 163 of the TPC for the acts had committed up to April 8, 1991. This category includes as well a part of political prisoners as the people sentenced for ordinary crimes. In accordance with the new law , for this category, death sentenced are commuted to 10 years; life sentences reduced to eight years, and a convict who has completed one-fifth of his term in jail are set free.
    3. In the application of the probational release, the provisional article 4 of the new law makes a discrimination so as to keep the some 2,500 left-wing and Kurdish militants behind iron bars. The reduction of sentences related to crimes against the state (dealt with by virtue of Articles 125 and 146 of the TPC) have been more restricted: Capital punishment were commuted to 20 years; life sentences  reduced to 15 years and other sentences reduced to one-third of the total sentence term.
    So,  the convicts of the outlawed Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) and a number of left-wing organizations such as Dev-Yol, Dev-Sol, TKP/ML, TDKP, MLSPB, SHB, etc. cannot benefit from the immediate release, because they have been sentenced or prosecuted according to Articles 125 and 146.
    While many left-wing or Kurdish militants are remaining in prisons, all of the extreme-right terrorists like Ferhad Tüysüz, guilty of having murdered about ten people, have been released, because they had been sentenced by articles 313, 314 and 315 of the Turkish Penal Code which are not subjected to exception.
    The discrimination made between the left-wing and right-wing people whose death sentences had been approved by the Court of Appeal is very significant. Of a total of 275 condemned to death, 195 are members of the left-wing or Kurdish organizations, 23 right-wing organizations, 4 Palestinian militants and 53 condemned for ordinary crimes. Of the 195 left-wing militants, only 8 can benefit from the reduction to 10 year and be released, while all of the 23 right-wing activists, 4 Palestinians and 48 non-political convicted are being freed. The death sentences of 187 militants of left-wing or Kurdish organizations and five ordinary convicted were commuted to 20-year imprisonment and they have to remain in prison at least for ten years from the adoption of the law.
    As for those who have been released, they too are not totally free. They are not allowed to use their civil rights such as participating in political life or being public employee, because the new law does not stipulate to lift the consequences of their condemnations.
    What is the more worrying, since they were probationally released, they will have to serve the period reduced from their present sentences if they are sentenced again in future for another accusation.


    As for the political refugees, they are allowed to return to Turkey. If the returnee has been accused by virtue of an article other than 140, 141, 142 and 163 of the TPC, for example Articles 125, 146, 158, 159, 312, he or she have to surrender to the Public Prosecutor's Office. It is not excluded that the returnee be interrogated by police, facing the risk of being tortured. Following the interrogation, he or she will be sent to the concerned tribunal. There, he or she will either be acquitted or sentenced. If the tribunal pronounces a condemnation, he or she will have to serve one-fifth of the sentence in the cases concerning Articles 158, 159, 312, one-third of sentence in the cases concerning Articles 125 and 146.
    The political refugees who have been stripped of their Turkish nationality too are allowed to return to Turkey and they will be subjected to the same procedure explained in the preceding paragraph. As for the rehabilitation of their citizenship, no arrangement is foreseen in the new law. Since the anti-democratic Citizenship Code has not been amended, the rehabilitation of their nationality will depend on the arbitrary decision of the government. They also face the risk of not being allowed to go again abroad. Furthermore, the menace of being deprived of nationality will remain as a sword of Damocles above the head of all opponents of the regime abroad.
ARTICLES 140, 141, 142 AND 163

    Article 23 of the new law abrogates Articles 140, 141, 142 and 163 of the Turkish Penal Code as well as the Law No. 2932 banning to speak in Kurdish.
    Article 140 punished any declaration against the Turkish State abroad, Articles 141 and 142 communist and separatist organization and propaganda and Article 163 anti-secular activities.
    So, many condemnations given by virtue of these articles have lost their legal base and the condemned turned into people having a clean record. Among them are also the leaders and members of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK), the Peace Association of Turkey (TBD), the Teachers' Association of Turkey (TÖB-DER) and a number of left-wing or right-wing political organizations such as the Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP), the Socialist Workers' Party of Turkey (TSIP), the Workers'-Peasants' Party of Turkey (TIKP), the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) and the National Salvation Party (MSP).
    According to the daily Cumhuriyet of April 14, 1991, at the moment of the adoption of the new law, 1653 convicted and 1664 arrested were in prisons by virtue of the said articles.
    Between 1982 and 1989, the number of the people tried according to Articles 141 and 142 was 6,508. In the same period, 5,065 people were tried by virtue of Article 163.
    With the abrogation of these articles, the above-mentioned organizations too have been rehabilitated. But many of these organization had already been reactivated under other names. The Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), after having transferred some officials of the former Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP), had turned into the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP). Even before the lifting of Article 141, the TBKP had been legally constituted and its activities tolerated by the regime since its leaders renounced their "radical" stand and made public their will to collaborate even with the right-wing parties and business groups. For Özal, the TBKP was not any more a danger for the regime.
    The crucial outcome of the new legislation may be the reactivation of the Confederation of progressive Trade Unions (DISK).
When it was closed down in 1980 by the military regime, the number of the DISK members was above half a million. For depriving the DISK and its affiliated unions of their material and financial means to restart their struggle, the government added to the law the provisional article 9 which stipulates that all assets, properties and articles belonging to DISK and its affiliated unions, which reached 2 trillions of TL's (around 540 millions of US dollars), are to be confiscated by the State.  


    As the four articles were being lifted, a number of repressive articles of the Turkish Penal Code remained in force, mainly:
    Article 125: Whosoever attempts to separate the whole or  part of the State's territory shall be punished by capital punishment.
    Article 146: Whosoever attempts by use of force to alter, modify or abolish the whole or part of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, or to overthrow the Turkish Grand National Assembly formed in accordance with the said law, or to prevent the said Assembly from performing its duty shall be sentenced to capital punishment. Whosoever plots, individually or collectively, a verbal, written or actual conspiracy, or makes public speeches, or displays posters or publications in public squares, streets, and gathering places of people, and thus incites people to commit such offences, shall be sentenced to capital punishment, even if the conspiracy has remained in the planning stage.
    Article 158: Whosoever commits the crime to insult the President of the Republic shall be imprisoned from one to 3 years. If the crime is committed by the media , the punishment shall be increased by one-third up to a half.
    Article 159: Whosoever insults the Turkish nation, the Republic, the Grand National Assembly, the moral personality of the government, ministries, the military and security forces of the State or the moral personality of the Justice shall be punished by a prison term of up to 6 years
    Article 312: Whosoever publicly praises an act considered crime by the law or instigate the people to disobey shall be punished to a prison term of from six months up to two years. Whosoever publicly instigates the people to hate and hostility on the basis of the difference of class; race; religion, sect or region shall be punished by a prison term of from one year up to three years. If these crimes are committed by media, the term of prison shall be doubled.
    While Kurdish or left-wing militants are very often accused by virtue of Articles 125 and 146, journalists, writers or artists find themselves before the judge for contravening Articles 158 and 159 when they criticize the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the ministers, the Armed or Security Forces or for contravening Article 312 when  they write anything against the social injustice.


    In addition to these remaining repressive articles, the Law on Fighting The Terror imposes new crimes and stipulate prison terms and fines heavier than those existed in the abrogated articles.
    The law defines terrorism as resorting to violence, force and constraint in actions against the state. Even the actions considered harmful to public order or common health are defined as "terrorist acts." The new law also defines "organization" as a society consisting of two or more individuals united around a specific goal. And in cases of terrorist activities on the part of the organization, all of its members, even if they are not involved in the collective or single—member crime of the organization, will be considered terrorist criminals.
    Those who are convicted of establishing and organizing the activities of a terrorist organization will be sentenced to 5-10 years of imprisonment and fined TL 200 million ($ 54,000) to TL 500 million ($135,000). 
    The law also says that crimes mentioned in Penal Code articles 125, 131, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 168, 169, 171, 172 and 499 as well as the crimes mentioned in the Law on the State Security Courts will be considered terrorist crimes, carrying sentences which have been increased by half of the term of the original sentence.
    Although many of the said articles can be applied to the Kurdish militants, Article 8 of the new law brings a new punishment for the Kurdish organizations and publications:
    Article 8: No written or verbal propaganda demonstration or march can be carried out for the purpose of undermining by whatsoever method, aim and motive the territorial and national integrity of the State of Turkish Republic. Authors of these acts shall be punished by a prison term of from two up to five years and     a fine of from TL 50 million ($13,500) up to TL 100 million ($27,000).
    By introducing this article, the Parliament rendered null the abrogation of the Law forbidding to Speak Kurdish. As a matter of fact, the Kurdish language had already been spoken in the Kurdish areas, because the rural population could not speak in Turkish. The said law had been applied mainly for banning the utilisation of Kurdish language in publications and public declarations. Now, Article 8 of the new law takes over the repressive role of the abrogated law No. 2932.
    During the trials of the acts mentioned in the new law, a maximum of three lawyers will be allowed to defend people accused of terrorism. The lawyers will be under the control of prison officials while they met their clients.
    The convicted people will be confined in prisons constructed on the principle of cells and will not have the right to "open contact" with their families and relatives.     The punishment term for armed activities will be augmented, while the sentences will not be adjourned or transformed into fines.


    New limitations and punishments have been brought to the press.
    In accordance with article 6, those who publish the declarations of organizations carrying on armed struggle or who defend violence acts or who unveil the names of informers and security agents will be punished by a fine of up to TL 10 million ($2,700). If the said publication is made by a daily newspaper or another periodical, the fine shall be raised over TL 50 million ($ 13,500).
    If a daily newspaper or a periodical magazine carries out propaganda to undermine the territorial and national integrity of the State of Turkish Republic, they shall be punished by a fine of not less than TL 100 million ($27,000) and their responsible editor sentenced to a 2-year prison.


    Similar punishments are brought against those publishing organs which would explicit the names of the security force members who participated to the operations against such organizations. This procedure attempts also to limit the chances of declaring the identities of torturers.
    Appeals for the instigation of lawsuits against the torturers are rendered more difficult with a series of new limitations. Excepted those who caused death, a lawsuit could not be declared against the torturers, unless the Ministry of Interior ratified it. Those tried for torture will not be arrested until the pronouncement of their sentence. They will be defended by lawyers paid by the State.
    The identities of people who inform the authorities about terrorist actions and members of terrorist organizations will be kept secret. Citizens who help the state to apprehend terrorists will be financially awarded and will receive protection from the state.


    The days prior to the adoption of the new Anti-Terror Law were full of prosecutions of journalists, writers and artists.
    No doubt, the most spectacular was the arrest of the famous sociologist Dr. Ismail Besikci on March by the SSC of Ankara for a message he sent to a Kurdish cultural evening in the city of Stuttgart in Germany. He was indicted for separatism by virtue of Article 142 of the TPC.
    Earlier, on March 8, Dr. Ismail Besikci's recent book, The Affair of General Muglali - 33 Bullets, was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for separatist propaganda.
    In last year, five different books of Dr. Besikci have been confiscated on the same pretext. The author faced a total of 100-year imprisonment for these books.
    Theoretically, all these accusations should have been dropped following the abrogation of Article 142. However,  Besikci and other intellectuals defending national and democratic rights of the Kurdish people will be under the menace of the new Anti-Terror Law which punishes any speech or writing considered "separatism" by the authorities.
    Below are the other examples of the pressure on intellectual life until the adoption of the new legislation.:
    1.3, a concert by the musical group Yorum was banned by the Governor of Ankara.
    2.3, play writer Erol Toy and 22 actors of the Birlik Theatre were detained in Ankara and sent to the State Security Court for having carried out an unauthorized march from Kizilcahamam to the capital in protest against the interdiction of the play Pir Sultan Abdal.
    3.3, the March issues of three reviews, Özgürlük Dünyasi, Demokrat and Teori, were confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for communist and separatist propaganda.
    4.3, the trial of Professor Yalcin Kücük, for his book entitled Theses on Kurds, began at the SSC of Istanbul. Accused of separatism, he faces a 7-year and 6-month imprisonment.
    4.3, the last issue of the weekly Yeni Ülke was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for separatism.
    7.3, the chief editor of the monthly Yeryüzü, Burhan Kavuncu was detained in Konya.
    9.3, in Denizli, Refik Yilmaz, Mustafa Eris and Ahmet Fuat Özkan were sentenced by a criminal court to 3-month imprisonment each for having sold postal cards dedicated poet Nazim Hikmet and film director Yilmaz Güney, both deprived of Turkish nationality and died in exile.
    10.3, the representation of the play The History of the Fire in Istanbul was banned by the Governor.
    10.3, the Ankara office of the fortnightly Mücadele was raided by police and three persons detained.
    11.3, writer Musa Anter was indicted by the SSC of Istanbul for his book My Reminiscences for separatist propaganda.
    11.3, the March issue of the monthly Deng was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for separatist propaganda.
    13.3, the issue No. 22 of the weekly Yeni Ülke was confiscated for separatist propaganda. The review's 10 preceding issues too has been subjected to same measure.
    13.3, the responsible editor of the weekly Yeni Mücadele, Erdogan Yasar Kopan was sentenced to a 7 years and 6 months imprisonment by the SSC of Istanbul for separatist propaganda. The sentence was later commuted to a fine of TL 13 million.
    14.3, Nurettin Sirin, writer of the review Tevhid, was sentenced to a 4 years and 2 months prison term by the SSC of Izmir for anti-secular propaganda.
    14.3, the publisher of the daily Yeni Asya, Mehmet Kutlular, and nine journalists of the same newspaper, Osman Bedrettin Ergili, Hilmi Dogan, Sabahattin Aksakal, Ali Vapur, Mustafa Keloglu, Ahmet Akdag, Bekir Gönüllü, Mehmet Cevher Ilhan, Imam Cemal and Mehmet Gündogdu were indicted by the SSC of Ankara for anti-secular propaganda.
    15.3, journalist Hasan Uysal was indicted in Akhisar for having insulted the President of the Republic during a meeting in Akhisar. He faces a prison term of three years.
    18.3, the actors of the Birlik Theatre, Gül Göker, Zeki Göker, Ali Ihsan Özkök, Tuncer Tut, Birol Yilmaz, Necmi Aykar, Nursel Celebi and Metin Yildirim were detained in Mugla following the representation of the play Pir Sultan Abdal. Gül Göker's 4-year old child Günay Göker too was taken into custody along with the players
    19.3, the last issues of four reviews, Özgür Halk, Yeni Ülke, Devrimci Emek and Mücadele, were confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul.
    19.3, the responsible editor of the weekly Yüzyil, Adnan Akfirat was brought before a criminal court in Istanbul for having insulted the President of the Republic.
    24.3, the March issue of the monthly Toplumsal Kurtulus was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for communist propaganda.
    26.3, the last issues of the weeklies Yüzyil and Yeni Ülke  and the monthly Özgür Halk were confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for separatist propaganda.
    31.3, a book entitled Hemana Rezimane Kurdi (The Kurdish Language's Guidelines), written by Feqi Hüseyin Sagnic and published by the Melsa Publishing House, was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for separatist propaganda.
    1.4, the last issues of the weeklies Yüzyil and Yeni Ülke as well as the ¨fortnightly Mücadele and monthly Demokrat were confiscated  by the SSC of Istanbul for separatist propaganda.
    5.4, the April issue of the monthly Özgürlük Dünyasi was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for separatist propaganda.
    5.4, the representation of the play Pir Sultan Abdal was confiscated in Kayseri. Its representation by the Birlik Theatre has been banned until this date by the governors of ten provinces.
    7.4, the representation of Pir Sultan Abdal was banned in Nigde.
    8.4, the last issue of the Yeni Ülke was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul for separatist propaganda.
    8.4, the responsible editor of the journal Zaman, Servet Engin, and correspondent Elvan Dündar were condemned each to 3-month and 15-day imprisonment for having insulted a district governor in Amasya.
    9.4, two journalists from the monthly Yeni Demokrasi, chief editor Mehmet Ali Eser and managing editor Tuncer Dilaveroglu were detained in Istanbul.
    10.4, a book entitled The Reminiscences of the Dwarf President, published by the Habora Publishing House, was confiscated by a criminal court of Istanbul for having insulted the President of the Republic.
    10.4, the weekly 2000e Dogru was sentenced to a fine of TL 15 million ($4,050) for having insulted the President of the Republic and his wife.


Demands of the Stockholm Conference and the Resolution of the European Parliament

    The new Anti-Terror Law maintains ban on Kurdish organizations, publications and education although it recognizes the existence of Kurdish language. Moreover, the new law also discriminates Kurdish leaders and militants as regards the application of the probational release of prisoners.
    The dramatic situation of the Kurds, as well in Iraq as in Turkey, has given rise to reactions by international democratic organizations.
    Recently, on April 18, 1991, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the situation of Kurds in which the European representatives unanimously expressed the hope that the Kurdish problem be placed on the agenda of a Middle East peace conference with the participation of all the states concerned together with Kurdish representatives to secure recognition of the Kurds' right to existence and autonomy in all countries in which they are to be found.
    On the other hand, the International Conference "Recognition of Kurdish Rights", held on March 15-17, 1991 in Stockholm, adopted a declaration which groups the joint demands of the Kurds of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the Soviet Union.

The European Parliament,

    - having regard to the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council,
    - having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation of the Kurds,
    - having regard to the results of the European Council of 8 April 1991 in Luxembourg,
    A. whereas the force under the command of Saddam .Hussein are attempting to commit genocide against the Kurds,
    B. having regard to the general acts of tyranny including the widespread use of torture committed by Saddam Hussein and his forces against the population, including children, in Iraq,
    C. whereas thousands of people are dying from the effects of bombing attacks and the bombing of Kurdish areas is continuing,
    D. profoundly shocked at the terrible suffering experienced by thousands of Kurdish refugees fleeing across mountainous regions, without shelter and in absolute destitution, and alarmed at the dramatic news from humanitarian organizations on the spot, according to which thousands of refugees, predominantly children, have died on the road from hunger, cold, disease and the consequences of their wounds, and that, according to doctors, hundreds more are dying every day,
    E. emphasizing that the Iraqi army is carrying out executions among the Shiite population in the south of the country,
    F. whereas members of the coalition led the Iraqi opposition to believe that moves to out Saddam Hussein would be welcomed and supported,
    G. aware that, until a political solution is found to the Kurdish problem lt will continue to pose a threat to peace and security in the region,
    1. Strongly condemns the attempted genocide against the Kurds by Saddam Hussein's regime and the repression of the entire Iraqi population;
    2. Calls for an immediate end to attack on the population and reaffirms the need to maintain in full the United Nations embargo as long as acts of
repression against the Kurdish people and the Iraqi population as a whole
    3 . Supports the proposal submitted at the European Council for the creation of temporary protected zones to ensure the safety of Kurds and other displaced persons in Iraq, but is concerned at the consequences of prolonging this situation; supports the decision already taken to provide aid for the Kurds and urges that this aid be adequate and effective; consequently welcomes the decision of the US, British and French Governments to send troops to Iraq to guarantee the security of these zones;
    4.  Calls on the Governments of Iran and Turkey to facilitate the supply of aid to the Kurdish populations and to open their national frontiers to refugees and international non-governmental humanitarian organizations; calls on the international community, under the auspices of the United Nations, to support efforts being made to this end;
    5. Emphasizes the moral duty of the United Nations, if necessary by amending the UN Charter, to go beyond the mere preservation of national boundaries and to develop means of preventing totalitarian regimes from perpetrating genocide;
    6. Notes that the treatment of the Kurdish people is tantamount to the crime of genocide within the meaning of the 1948 Convention, as noted by the Foreign Ministers meeting European Political Cooperation; calls on the governments of the Member States to bring the matter before the International Court of Justice to ensure that these acts of genocide are acknowledged and condemned in accordance with that Convention;
    7. Hopes that the Kurdish problem can be placed on the agenda of a Middle East peace conference with the participation of all the states concerned together with Kurdish representatives to secure recognition of the Kurds' right to existence and autonomy in all countries in which they are to be found;
    8. Welcomes Resolution 688 of the UN Security Council on the situation of the Kurds in Iraq and hopes that the Security Council will take all necessary measures to guarantee the security  of the Kurdish population and enable Kurdish refugees to return to their home, with the guarantee that they will not be the victims of any form of persecution;
    9. Insists that no-one fleeing from the Iraqi regime must be forced to return to Iraq against their will and calls on the Member States of the Community to facilitate arrangements for Kurdish refugees requesting asylum;
    10. Considers that the enforcement of Resolution 688 will require the presence of an adequate United Nations peace-keeping force;
    11. Calls on the Enlarged Bureau to consider sending a parliamentary delegation to the region;
    12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the United Nations and the governments of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq.


    The International Conference "Recognition of Kurdish Rights" was convened on 15-17 March 1991 in Stockholm by the Swedish Committee for Human Rights of the Kurdish People.    
    Among the 240 participants from 20 countries were representatives of Kurdish political parties and cultural institutions as well as individual Kurdish personalities in exile. Solidarity committees from several countries took part. Present were also representatives, parliamentarians and others, from various political parties in Europe. Participation included, further, officials from international humanitarian and political organizations, some of them as observers. The media were invited.
    The conference received and analyzed reports on the human rights situation in the Kurdish areas in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the Soviet Union. It discussed remedies, also in the light of the current situation in the Middle East. It adopted the following Stockholm Declaration on Human Rights for the Kurdish People:
    "The oppression of the more than 20 million Kurds should no longer be tolerated by the world community. It is a threat to peace and stability in the Middle East and in violation of internationally agreed standards of human rights.
    "The human rights violations in Kurdistan have gone on for many years and continue to be systematic and widespread: arbitrary arrests; torture; harsh punishments after mock trials or no trials at all; 'disappearances'; extra-judicial executions; chemical warfare; deportations and destruction of habitat, livestock and means of livelihood; denial of rights to language, literature, music and education about their own history; cruel and inhumane conditions in refugee camps.
    "The Kurdish people have never enjoyed democracy, much less any meaningful right to self-determination. Iraq - the one country to grant them some autonomy on paper - has undermined its own agreement by oppression and by imposing puppet administrators.
    "Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the USSR have all, at various times, deliberately tried to dilute the Kurdish national identity by attempting to change the demographic balance of the Kurdish regions.
    "As long as these injustices continue, there will be no genuine peace in the Middle East.
    "The Conference:
    "requests that the governments in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the Soviet Union respect the Universal Declaration on Human Rights as well as the human rights treaties and implement them fully also in Kurdistan and other areas with Kurdish population;
    "requests in particular that these five governments:
    "- immediately halt all deportation of Kurds and destruction of their habitat, livestock and means and livelihood;
    "- at once release all Kurdish Prisoners of Conscience and put an end to all torture and executions;
    "- allow the return of political refugees from exile and grant them all their legitimate rights as citizens;
    "- dismantle structures within police, security and military forces which have been used to abuse the Kurdish people;
    "- reform their legislative and the judicial systems to conform with international human right standards;
    "- compensate the victims of past human rights violations;
    "- respect Kurdish language and cultural rights/ including the right to publish and broadcast in Kurdish, and the right of Kurdish children and youth to be educated in their own language;
    "- treat Kurdish refugees humanely, in accordance with agreed international human rights and refugee law;
    "- stop preventing - and start facilitating - contacts between Kurds over the international borders;
    "requests that the same governments recognize the Kurdish people's right to self-determination and encourage discussions on achieving this right in a way that would bring Kurdish and neighbouring communities into a peaceful and mutually beneficial relationship;
    "calls on all governments to raise within the UN Commission for Human Rights the serious violations which so many Kurds have suffered and continue to suffer in all the countries in which they live;
    "calls on all governments to work vigorously to implement international norms banning the use of chemical weapons;
    "calls on all governments also to raise the Kurdish issue the human rights of Kurdish individuals as well as the right to self-determination of the Kurdish people - in connection with Middle East peace initiatives in the aftermath of the Gulf war;
to include the Kurdish question if he convenes an international conference on peace in the Middle East;
    "call on the Secretary General to examine and recommend how the Kurdish people and other communities without statehood can best be represented within the UN framework;
    "requests all governments to treat Kurdish refugees in a humane manner and give them the same asylum rights as other refugee groups - taking into account the seriousness of the persecution of Kurds in their countries of origin;
    "call on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to give a high priority to protecting and aiding Kurdish refugees in the Middle East, particularly in Turkey, Iraq and Iran, and on all governments to support UNHCR in this regard.


    "During the conference, discussions were held on how to support the Kurdish struggle for human rights of their people, including their right to self-determination.
    "The following statement was addressed to all friends and supporters of the Kurds in that struggle. Its aim is to encourage more concerted efforts in support of Kurdish human rights. The Kurdish issue and the oppression of Kurds have been forgotten by the world community far too long. This negligence should now be put to an end.


    "1. People all over the world need to be informed and educated about the Kurdish issue, its background and current state and the human rights questions this issue raises.
    "2. There is a need for energetic and well-informed advocacy for Kurdish rights on national and international levels. This, in turn, requires a systematic collection of reliable data about the human rights situation in the Kurdish areas.
    "3. There is also a need for concrete support, financial and other assistance, to the Kurdish people in their present situation.
    "4. All actions taken in solidarity with the Kurds should be coordinated with Kurdish organizations. The aim should be to support the Kurds in ascertaining and achieving their own rights.
    "5. For the sake of effectiveness, the support work should, as far as possible, be based on internationally agreed standards in the field of human rights.
    "6. International standards on economic, social and cultural rights, including the rights of children and women, are also crucial.
    "7. Due to the established procedures in various international bodies, it might not be possible to raise violations against Kurds in the whole of Kurdistan at the same time; a country-based approach will sometimes be necessary. However, even with that restriction it is urgent that every possibility is used in such effort to report on and condemn the violations.
    "8. Governments all over the world are an important target group in the work for Kurdish human rights. They can influence the inter-governmental bodies. Other target groups include parliamentarians, parliamentary structure, as well as non-governmental organizations and the mass media.


    "1. Committees and groups in various countries working for human rights of the Kurdish people should endeavour to exchange information and coordinate their actions. Conferences should be planned so that the next conference builds on the previous ones. Humanitarian assistance should also be coordinated.
    "2. An international network of support groups should be established for this task. This network should, of course, coordinate the work with the major Kurdish organizations and institutions.
    "3. The network should work to implement the Stockholm Declaration. It should keep its members informed about initiatives of international  significance. Its members should disseminate information about the human rights situation in Kurdistan and also encourage scholarly research into various aspects of Kurdish society.

    United Nations

    "1. Governments should be encouraged to raise with the UN Secretary-General the possibility of including the Kurdish issue in the on-going discussions about peace initiatives for the Middle East.
    "2. Governments and non-governmental organizations with consultative status with ECOSOC should be encouraged to raise within the UN human rights machinery - in particular with the Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-commission - violations against Kurds in the countries where they live. Initiatives should be taken for systematic fact-finding on abuses as well as enforcement of UN standards. In particular, emphasis should be given to: - arbitrary arrests, "disappearances" and unfair trials; - torture and ill-treatment of prisoners; - executions and extra-judicial executions; - deportations and destruction of habitat, livestock and means of livelihood; - denial of cultural and civil rights, such as freedom of expression and the rights to use one's own language and music.
    "3. Governments and NGOs should be asked to approach the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for effective protection of Kurdish refugees in countries like Iran, Iraq and Turkey.

    European institutions
    "1. The continued human rights violations against Kurds in Turkey should be raised with the European Commission of Human Rights. As a signatory to the European Convention, Turkey has a special obligation which should be monitored and enforced.
    "2. The European Community structures should also pay attention to these violations in Turkey in talks with official representatives from that country.
    "3. The parliamentary wings of both the European Community and the Council of Europe should put the Kurdish issue on their agenda. Representatives of the major Kurdish organizations should be invited to present their points of view.


    "1. Governments should be urged to give attention to the Kurdish issue in all its aspects, including the human rights violations against Kurds. They should be urged to raise these issues in international for such as those mentioned above.
    "2. Governments should be pressured to make their views clear about the violations of human rights against the Kurdish people. Governments should also be urged to raise those views in bilateral relations with the governments directly responsible.
    "3. Governments should be urged not to contribute to the armament of security and military forces which are used in the subjection of Kurdish areas and instead act for a demilitarisation of the region.
    "4. Governments well-placed to foster dialogue between the Kurds and the states concerned should be encouraged to do so.
    "5. Governments should be requested to receive Kurdish refugees in a humane manner and give them the protection they need.
    "6. Governments should be asked to give humanitarian aid to Kurdish areas in need thereof.

    Non-governmental initiative

    "1. Parliamentarians have an important role in drawing attention to the situation of the Kurdish people; they could take actions in their own parliaments, in inter-parliamentarian bodies or through direct approaches to governments or public opinion.
     "2. Non-governmental organizations also have an important role in this regard. They can approach governments and intergovernmental bodies. They should also be encouraged to take an active role in advocacy, education and assistance for Kurdish human rights.
    "3. Missions to Kurdish areas by delegations of parliamentarians and/or NGOs have been important in the past and should be planned for the future. It is essential that such missions are planned and conducted in a competent manner.
    "4. Media should be encouraged to take a greater interest in the Kurdish issue. For that purpose they should be served with reliable information from organizations conducting research into the human rights situation in the Kurdish areas."


The colloquy of Brussels draws attentions to the alarming situation of the Christian minorities in Turkey

    Whatsoever be the progress on political plan in Turkey, the situation of the Christian minorities of the South-Eastern part of this country always remains very alarming.
    On March 16-17, 1991, an international colloquy on the situation of these minorities was held in Brussels. During this meeting; the representatives of the different components of this minority drew up a report to be addressed to the concerned European institutions.
    Below is the integral text of this colloquy's final communique:
    "Among all the peoples without country who had to turn the diaspora into their moving sojourn, the history might forget the Christians of South-eastern Turkey who are called Arameans, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syrians, each one is  as ancient as the other.
    "They belong to different Christian churches speaking Aramean or Syrian and having rich age-old traditions, but since the occupation of their country by other peoples, are no more recognized in their native countries by their faith and their cultural adherence. It is their drama and the profound reason of their exodus.
    "The Western nations, preoccupied of dismembering the Ottoman Empire, resorted to the extermination of these peoples by drawing arbitrary borders through the regions where they lived for thousands of years. By this manner that Bohtan, Hakkari and Tur Abdin have been enclosed within the so-called secular Turkey of Mustapha Kemal Atatürk. This had to give a particular coloration to the recent history of "South-eastern Turkey's Christian minorities."
    This was the object of the colloquy which took place in Brussels on March 16 and 17 in the local of the Churches' Committee for the Migrants in Europe. The works gathered for two days more than twenty experts coming from Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Sweden.
    Until the 19th Century, ethnical conscience of these minorities was more or less  veiled though the ethnical and territorial identity has been maintained through
the history in spite of interdenominational divisions.  In the course of the 19th Century, their life took again the already known rhythm of massacres and genocides. The latter reached  its highest point at the genocide of 1915 which, proportionally, hit these minorities as severely as the Armenians. These have continued until 1923, and relayed until now by numerous exactions. The responsibility of these infamies is incumbent, according to the case, either directly or indirectly, on the Ottoman and Turkish authorities, with the active complicity of certain Kurdish elements.
    As regards the juridical protection by national and international authorities, the protection of Non-moslem minorities has been foreseen by Articles 37 to 44 of the Peace Treaty with Turkey signed in Lausanne on July 24, 1923.
    It has been proven that Turkey has never respected the Treaty's dispositions and that neither the signatory powers (particularly France, the USA, the United Kingdom) nor other member states of the League of Nations have taken efficient measures for making respecter these dispositions.
    Turkey ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental freedoms on November 4, 1950, but its non-application by Turkey has been  regularly denounced by official institutions (the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the House of Representatives of the Belgian Parliament) and the associations for the defence of human rights (particularly Amnesty International).
    Although Turkey has accepted the right of individual appeal before the European Commission of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the conditions of social, political and military oppression in which are living the minorities in Turkey do not allow these populations to really use this right.
    Turkey signed the Paris Charter for a new Europe on November 21, 1990 et the preceding declarations of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), but it is difficult to expect a practical effect of declarations having no obligatory character as Turkey is not respecting real conventional obligations.
    Despite the negative balance-sheet of the Turkish Republic on the matter of international obligations, the Colloquy wishes that the works of the Council of Europe leading to a Convention on the Protection of Minority Rights come to a successful conclusion as quickly as possible.
    Outside of Turkey, Christian refugees coming from Turkey are protected for about 70 years by treaties concluded within the frame of the League of Nations and particularly by the Arrangement of May 31, 1924 and June 30, 1928 and, more recently, within the frame of the United Nations, by the Convention of July 28, 1951 concerning the status of refugees.
    In general, States formally recognize the quality of refugee of Turkey's Christians. Nevertheless, it is deplorable that in some countries, the lack of information of the officials charged of recognizing the quality of refugee leads some times to regrettable mistakes, indeed to the denial of justice.
    It is also regrettable that in some countries, particularly in Belgium, the administration refuses to recognize, on the identity documents that it delivers, the ethnical origin of refugees by recognizing only the juridical nationality attributed by the occupying State, notwithstanding the Assyro-Chaldean ethnical origin appeared on the map of refugees in the period of the League of Nations.
    By our time, the history carries on its ruthless course. In the course of the years 1990, ten people were assassinated in the South East, at the villages of Aksu, Yemisli, Bülbül and at Midyat and many other wounded or fell victims of different exactions. Parallel to this, the reception in Europe is getting more and more precarious. Different states adopt policies each time more restrictive, by refusing to deliver visa and by throwing the candidates to the exile into the hands of underground smugglers. Meantime, those who found a host country in Europe for five, ten or twenty years have settled there, without any hope of returning. They are organized for ensuring the survival of their language, their religious and cultural heritage in Europe. They do not find in all States the support that they need. What will be to-morrow the humanity's age-old patrimony?
    Will Europe be at the height of its responsibilities towards the History in making its home and foreign policies  Will the profoundly wounded communities be able to revive the richness of their tradition of dialogue with other components of the population by the refusal of the systematical distrust and the reciprocal anathema? Will the communities of diaspora be able to  take up the challenges addressed to themselves?
    To a Europe which is always in the process of construction and faces today the demand of adhesion of a new partner, we do not wish to give a lesson of history. It is important for us to free the moral, social and cultural values of these peoples and churches which can bring a "more" to the different countries of the Community where they "put up their tent." We wish to interpellate those who are responsible of Europe on the specific presence of these Eastern Christian refugees who have opted for a life in diaspora within the European nations and make us to hear the voice of those who have stayed on the ancestral lands. It is important that not only the rulers, but also the populations of the host countries can recognize them within the anonymous mass of refugees and migrants of different origins. It is necessary that, by recognizing them, these countries welcome as well the intellectual and spiritual heritage as the marvellous vitality of these families whom we have great interest to integrate in our national evolution and in the edification of a multi-cultural Europe.

Precisions on the oppression

    -The Assyro-Chaldeo-Syrians, forgotten people of the history, scattered in many countries of the Middle-East, have never been safe from from persecutions and attacks on their fundamental rights since the fall of Ninive, Babylon and the Aramean Kingdoms of Mesopotamia;
    - Victim of a genocide and.an ethnocide in 1915-1918 under the Ottoman Empire during which a half of the population perished, the Assyro-Chaldeo-Syrians of Turkey see now even their existence in danger;
    - Today like in times past, the assimilating pressure is hanging on the Assyro-Chaldeo-Syrians, on the whole of the minorities and is getting harder and harder without interruption;
    - The policy of Turkisation hits all the aspects of the life, from the ethnical identity to patronymic names;
    - On the religious plan, freedoms are without interruption reduced and the Moslem religious education -despite the secularity of the State- is obligatory for Christians. In monasteries, activities are reduced and subjected to the prior control of the authorities. In fact, there is no right to construct new churches;
    - As for the language, the situation is worse. As regards this, the authorities have made a total negation of all languages with the exception of Turkish;
    - On the educational and social plans, the Assyro-Chaldeo-Syrians are totally  impoverished: neither schools, even the elementary ones, nor social institutions. They are banned to open school establishments;
    - A policy of Turkisation of patronymic and toponymic names is being carried out. All the Assyro-Chaldeo-Syrian areas of residence are hit by this "ethnocidaire" and "écocidaire" policy. Of cultural and architectural masterpieces, have remained only ruins, devastations, abandoned and depopulated places of cult and monuments in peril. The alienation that leads to deprivation of self touches the forenames and names of people;
    - Since 1975, he emigration of Assyro-Chaldeo-Syrians has considerably developed towards Western Europe. More than 100,000 persons have found refuge in France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and in the Scandinavian countries;
    - Today estimated at 30,000 in Turkey as it was half a million at the beginning of the century, their number has been falling without interruption.

    Demands as regards the application of conventions con human rights

    - The recognition of the Assyro-Chaldeo-Syrian ethnic group according to Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which recognizes the existence of national minorities;
    - The restoration of architectural monuments and the places of cult of different religious faiths of the Assyro-Chaldeo-Syrian Community as well as the auhorisation to construct churches;
    - The recognition of he Aramean language (or Syrian), in conformity with the international diplomatic instrument signed and ratified by Turkey;
    - The right of creation of school establishments at every levels of education;
    - The right to open social institutions (social centres, dispensaries, etc.) and socio-cultural associations;
    - The end to the policy of Turkisation of the names of places and the names of Assyro-Chaldeo-Syrian people;
    - The end to the policy of exactions of all kinds of which are victims the