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


15th Year - N°176
 June 1991
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 Rédacteur en chef: Dogan Özgüden - Editrice responsable: Inci Tugsavul


ANAP has chosen a young new leader, Mesut Özal,  to recapture voters' confidence, but still Özal and the Holy Alliance of Islamists and Nationalists that dominate the party in power

    "Turkey's ruling Motherland Party (ANAP) has chosen a young new leader in what is probably a doomed attempt to recapture voters' confidence lost to the cost of the remarkable changes in Turkey over the past decade." (The Independent, 17.6.1991)
    "Mr. Yilmaz is widely seen as the man to restore the party's flagging fortunes, before a general election to be held before autumn 1992. Recent opinion polls showed ANAP fourth behind the conservative Correct Way Party (DYP), the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) and the Democratic Left Party (DSP)." (The Financial Times, 17.6.1991)
    Many media as well abroad as in Turkey share the same comment. In fact, not only for the ANAP, but also for President Özal himself, there was no solution other than to place at the head of the party a new figure.
    Mesut Yilmaz, 43, a former foreign minister, beat the Prime Minister, Yildirim Akbulut, by 631 votes to 523 on June 16, at a party congress held to elect new leaders before a general election due next year.
    Although Yilmaz enjoys liberal support, the party's 50-strong Executive Committee is still dominated by the coalition of Islamists and Nationalists who form the Holy Alliance in ANAP.
    In fact, the list of names he offered at the congress for ANAP's 50-strong central committee reconfirmed the party's traditional image as a conservative party, and offered an olive branch to his defeated conservative opponents
    Among the candidates for the central committee were many of the Islamic right who supported Akbulut in the leadership race, including Mehmet Kececiler, leader of the fundamentalists in the party.
    Mrs. Semra Özal, the president's ambitious wife, was also named, along with Hüsnü Dogan, Ozal's nephew, who was sacked as defence minister in February, because he opposed Mrs. Özal's bid to win the Istanbul party leadership.
    According to Hürriyet of June 18, the number of the Holy Alliance deputies in the new Executive Committee is 26 as the number of Liberal deputies remains at 10. Mesut Yilmaz himself is in fact a former sympathiser of the neo-fascist Nationalist Action Party (MHP), defunct since September 1980 coup, and he has always taken part in the conservative wing of the ANAP.
    After his defeat Akbulut resigned as prime minister and Yilmaz is charged with forming a new cabinet, likely to be full of new faces but unlikely to espouse any new policies.
    Although the ANAP still enjoys a 281-seat parliamentary majority, the past two years opinion polls have consistently given the ANAP less than 20 per cent support.
    At the congress, policies were not the subject of speeches, but horse-trading over government posts continued up to the last minute after a week in which delegates had been plied in luxurious hotels with privileges like car telephone licences and gun permits.
    Ozal family, whose influence over Turkish politics is widely compared to that of an Ottoman dynasty, was present in force but supporting different factions. Ozal's younger brother, Yusuf Ozal, showed his support for Akbulut; his businessman son Ahmet Özal shuttled between both sides. As for his wife Semra Özal, recently elected chairwoman of the Istanbul section of the party, openly supported Yilmaz.    The election of the new party chairman was a typically rumbustious affair, the auditorium enlivened by occasional fist fights among the delegates. Tension rose when the Culture Minister, Namik Kemal Zeybek, tried to push another minister off the rostrum.
    According to The Financial Times, Turkey looks set for a period of political uncertainty as Mesut Yilmaz seeks to heal party divisions after his leadership victory. He will have to perform a fine balancing act to reunite the party behind him with less than 18 months to go before elections. He will try to refashion its tired electoral image without alienating its tradition power base among conservative rural voters.
    It is a matter of fact that the future of the ANAP depends on the credibility of Turgut Özal, founder of the party and now president of the Republic, rather than the eventual success of the new party leader.    Whosoever chairs the party or the government, it is always Özal that rules the party and the country.  Turgut Özal takes never heed of the Constitution which stipulates that the President of the Republic stay out of party affairs and avoid to interfere in the government's policies.
    However, as clearly seen during the Gulf Crisis, it was Özal that, in permanent contact with George Bush but without asking the Turkish government's point of view nor that of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, drew up Turkey's policies and put them in practice. It is for this reason that the ministers of Foreign Affairs and National Defence as well as the Chief of General Staff had to resign during the crisis.
    As for the ANAP, Özal's involvement in the party's affairs have been more evident. For example, during the race for the party's Istanbul chairmanship between his wife, Semra Özal, and the candidate of the opposing faction, Turgut Özal personally invited all local party officials in order to force them to vote for his wife.
    Prior to the General Congress, Özal again held direct talks with the party's provincial officials and delegates and tried show that he is the real boss of the party.
    Özal's attitude incompatible with the impartiality of the President of the Republic is one of the reasons of the political and constitutional crisis in Turkey.
        The new party chief has already given the sign that he will remain as a loyal follower of  Özal. In fact, Yilmaz's first act as party chairman was to vow at the congress rostrum that he would follow in the path blazed by President Ozal, founder of the party and prime minister from 1983 to 1989 and still effective ruler of Turkey.


    The chief editor of the Turkish Daily News, Ilnur Cevik, in his article of May 28, 1991, commented Özal's unconstitutional stand in following terms:
    "Does Turkey sill have a functioning Constitution or is this document a worthless piece of paper? We felt that at the beginning, when Özal had himself elected president and had to quit the party which he founded and cherished, he was justified during the transitional period in intervening in the affairs of the party to put it on a new course.
    "Özal openly intervened in the election of Yildirim Akbulut as the party chief. He also had a say in how the Cabinet was formed and also had a role in the appointment of the party executives. At the time, no one really raised a voice because they felt the ruling party should be strong and that Özal was striving to do this. Then months passed and Özal in his own way continued to have contacts with Motherland deputies and other party officials--which we also regarded as innocent actions of keeping close relations with old friends.
    "But things did not stop there. He continued to meet ANAP executives and deputies, he intervened in party affairs. This meant he was not really the impartial president that the Constitution defines.
    "Then came Mrs. Özal's announcement a few months ago that she wanted to become the chairperson of ANAP in Istanbul. When several ministers opposed her, the president sacked defense Minister Hüsnü Dogan in a purely political move which once again brought him knee-deep in party politics. After that, Mrs. Özal was elected and now she is lobbying along with her husband for a new and reliable party chairman.
    "After Akbulut was elected as party chief, Özal also took on the executive powers of the prime minister and started running the country from the presidential Palace.
    "Özal is the founder of ANAP and no one can change this fact. He has a sentimental link with ANAP and no one can change this. But that does not mean Özal has the right to continue to have a major say in how ANAP should be run. Firstly, the Constitution does not permit it, and secondly it is morally wrong because ANAP now has a new leader and he has the legal right to run the show.
    "Until this weekend, Özal was pretending to be an impartial president who would deal with all political parties on equal footing. He was saying whatever he does with ANAP is just for old times' sake and are innocent exercises of getting together with old friends and exchanging views. But now that alibi is gone.
    "Özal openly invited the provincial chairmen and made a survey on who should be the next party boss. That is direct intervention in the internal affairs of a political party and a naked violation of the Constitution. The president may say that the breakfast was actually hosted by Mrs. Özal and that he was an innocent guest. But the president knows very well that he is not even permitted to be a guest at such a function.
    "This is a farce and it has to stop. We cannot continue to brag that this country is being run by laws, regulations and through a constitutional system while all these laws are being violated in a very ugly way. If the president starts violating the basic laws of the country, the people will then feel free to violate everything from laws to regulations and we will end up in chaos."


    Former Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, currently chairman of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) paid a surprise visit to President Turgut Özal on June 2, apparently for discussing Turkey's relations with Iraq and his recent trip to Baghdad where he met Saddam Hussein.
    Two major opposition parties, the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) and the Correct Way Party (DYP) bitterly criticized Ecevit for accepting to talk with Özal whom both parties do not recognize as the president and refuse to attend meetings where the president participates.
    SHP accused Ecevit of playing into the hands of Özal. SHP leader Erdal Inönü said: "It is regrettable to see a party, which used to defend social democracy in the past, now intending to carry out the policies of the ruling ANAP. Mr. Özal has found a new friend now. Our former friend, Mr. Ecevit, has now become friend of Mr. Özal. It looks like the ANAP has tied all its future to Mr. Ecevit. I feel sorry when I see a social democrat is trying to save Mr. Özal."
    In reply, Ecevit said he meets with leaders of foreign states and it is only natural that he should meet with the head of state of his own country. "I do this because a nationalist, a responsible politician and statesman only behaves in such a manner," he added.
    Inönü said since the American always tell Özal what the situation is in Iraq, there is no need for Ecevit to meet with Özal about that issue. "The meeting is a trick to give the impression that an opposition party leader was meeting with the president, although other opposition leaders refused to do so.


    US President George Bush will go to Turkey on July 19 for a two-day state visit. So, he will be the second American president to visit Turkey after Eisenhower who was the first in 1959.
    Following a two-day visit to Athens, Bush is expected to discuss a broad range of issues, including policy for the Gulf region, future US aid to Turkey and Cyprus issue with his Turkish counterpart Turgut Özal. Bush and Özal met last in Washington in March 1991.
    Despite the growth in Turco-US relations during and following the Gulf War, Ankara claims that the longstanding practice is still being obstructed by the Greek lobby.
    The Bush administration had requested 725 million dollars in military aid and 74.5 million dollars in economic aid for Turkey in fiscal year 1992. However, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, on May 31, cut the military aid to 503.5 million dollars and increased the economic aid to 190.4 million dollars.
    The UN embargo on Iraq is also expected to be discussed with Bush. The Turkish Government is frustrated with USS opposition to lift or ease sanctions against Iraq until President Saddam Hussein is out of power. As long as the embargo continues, Turkey cannot open the two oil  pipelines carrying Iraqi crude oil to its Mediterranean terminals. Strategic partnership with the United States, or "bilateral cooperation over a multitude of issues" which was suggested by Özal after the Gulf War, is expected to be on the agenda during Bush's visit as well.
    Bush and Özal are also expected to discuss the decades-long Cyprus problem. United Nations-sponsored talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots stalled a year ago. Bush declared that the United states would be a "catalyst" for a Cyprus solution.


    Although US President Bush will arrive in Turkey on July 19, his private doctor and 30 bodyguards arrived in Turkey 40 days earlier to inspect security measures and health measures planned for Bush, reported the daily Hürriyet of June 9.
    During the visit to Turkey, the American presidential couple will be provided with 300 security guards, and all trips of the couple in Turkey will be done aboard helicopter. In addition, a bullet-proof car will be brought for emergency use. A health unit was prepared at Hacettepe University for the US President. Bush's private doctor inspected the health center and noted its deficiencies.
    Hürriyet claimed in another article that the CIA and the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) will increase their cooperation against terrorism. "During meetings in Washington, the delegations from the two organization reached an agreement about technical cooperation and exchange of information against terrorism. Terrorist activities linked with the Middle East and protection of Americans in Turkey were also evaluated in the meetings in Washington," the papers said.   
    On the other hand, Özal himself, afraid of any attempt upon his life, ordered to equip the Presidential Palace with a security system similar to the one at the White House. Under the new system which costs  of 7.5 billion Liras,  all entrances of the presidential palace will be monitored with video cameras and all doors of the palace will be opened with coded security cards.
    Because of this fear, Özal had to cancel his six-day trip to the United States in May to avert a threatened protest at his participation in a Turkish Parade in New York.
    The daily Hürriyet reported on May 12 that President George Bush had told the Turkish president it would be wiser if he cancelled the program because there was an extremely high possibility that an attempt on his life would be made and it might not be possible to provide adequate security for him.


    The main reason of the extraordinary protection measures in Ankara is no doubt the increasing armed actions by two left-wing organizations.
    The Revolutionary Left (DEV-SOL) and the Revolutionary Workers'-Peasants'' Army of Turkey (TIKKO), the military wing of the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML) have recently carried out a series of political attempts upon the lives of some public figures known as executants of State terrorism.
    In May 1991, DEV-SOL gunned down General Temel Cingöz in Adana and retired General Ismail Selen in Istanbul. Earlier, the same organization shot death retired General Hulusi Sayin, retired General Memduh Ünlütürk, Lt. Col. Ata Burcu, US officer Lt. Col. Alin Macke and Lt. Col. John Gandy, policemen Kazim Cakmakci and Ismail Kilic as well as a prison prosecutor, Niyazi Fikret Aygen.
    TIKKO shot dead last year  former National Intelligence Agency (MIT) officers Hiram Abas and Ferdi Tamer as well as police officer Muhsin Bodur.
    As for the Turkish Kurdistan where the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK) guerrillas have been carrying on an armed struggle against Turkish security forces for seven years, the total death toll has climbed to 2.526
    In the period from 1984 to June 1991, The security forces lost 38 officers, 28 NCOs, 386 soldiers, 43 policemen, 99 village protectors, 14 village headmen, 23 teachers. As for the PKK, it lost 1,014 militants during the armed conflicts. The number of the civilian people, victims of these confrontations, raises to 881.
    Only this year, 4 officiers, one NCO, 34 soldiers, 3 policemen and 20 civilian people as well as 163 PKK militants have been killed.

    After the adoption of the new Anti-Terror Law, the State forces increased their repressive operations throughout the country, particularly in Turkish Kurdistan.
    On June 7, the police announced that 18 militants had been shot dead, 69 captured alive during a recent 15-day operation in the state of emergency area in Southeastern Turkey. The operation was concentrated in the provinces of Mus, Diyarbakir, Sirnak and Mardin.
    June 9, in the districts of Tutak and Hamur of the province of Agri, 60 people were detained on charges of aiding the PKK. The local committee of the HEP claimed that the detainees were forced at police station to turn into informers or village protectors against the PKK.
    The killing of two PKK militants, Mehdi Bulut and Sinasi Sans in Ergani on June 2 led to bloody incidents in the province of Diyarbakir. On June 10, hundreds of people from Hazro town decided to pay a condolence visit to the parents of the victims in Silvan, but the security forces prevented them from leaving the town.
    In protest against this intervention, the people carried out a march towards the office of the local governor and launched anti-government slogans. Soldiers opened fire to the marchers and wounded a 10-year old girl, Emine Latifeci. Four people, including the local HEP chairman Mahfuz Mehmetoglu, were taken into custody.
    Next day, in protest against the police terror in Hazro, about 3,000 people carried out a demonstration in the town and tradesmen closed their workplaces. A new police intervention resulted in the wounding of four people.     Thereupon some people started a sit-in.
    The local chairman of the Human Rights Association (IHD) in Diyarbakir, Hatip Dicle said that the security forces, using new powers recognized to them by the new Anti-Terror Law, make dress-rehearsal of a pogrom in the area.
    June 10, security forces, during an operation against PKK militants, opened fire on the tents of the peasants in the district of Diyadin of the province of Agri. A 30-year old woman, Gülay Yildirim was gravely wounded and many
animals belonging to peasants killed.


    The Ministry of Interior, issuing a directive on June 15, 1991, banned to use together three colours, yellow, red and green, in the area of state of emergency. These three colours are known as the symbol of the Kurdish national movement. Conforming to the directive, the security forces began to oblige the people to get rid of all objects, car accessories, billboards containing together yellow, red and green.


    A university student, Murtaza Kaya who was wounded by security forces on June 7 in the quarter of Kücükcekmece in the province of Istanbul. His elder brother said that police, instead of capturing alive, shot on the head of Murtaza Kaya. His friends accused the police to execute its victims without trial.
    When Kaya died in hospital died in hospital on June 12, a group of students went on demonstration in protest against police's abuse of power. Police dispersed the demonstrators by using force and detained 20 students.
    A few days later, on June 14, another demonstration in protest against Kaya's killing was prevented by police using fire-arms. Seven students were detained.


    The first trial by virtue of the new Anti-Terror Law began on June 13 at the SSC of Izmir.
    Two defendants, Akbulut and Zeynel Kaya, are accused of making propaganda of the Progressive Youth (Devrimci Genclik). According to Articles 2 and 7, both face a prison term of up to 5 years and a fine of up to TL 300 million ($100,000).


    The new Anti-Terror Law's provisions banning the indictment of torturers have been put in practice.
    The daily Cumhuriyet reported on May 31, 1991, that a trial against four officers and a soldier for the death under torture in 1985 of teacher Siddik Bilgin in Bingöl had been halted in conformity with the Anti-Terror Law.
    An Ankara Court decided that the new law provides that security officers cannot be prosecuted without the permission of provincial administrative councils if the security officer did not purposefully commit murder, and sent the case to the Bingol Provincial Administration Council to determine whether a new trial could be launched against the suspects. In the Bilgin trial, many witnesses, including defendant Lieutenant Umit Eris, had testified that Bilgin had been tortured to death.
    On June 7, in the district of Güroymak in the province of Bitlis, a complaint of torture by three people were not taken into consideration by the public prosecutor. Islam Aysoy, Ismet Aysoy and Ilhan Aysoy alleged that they had been tortured and forced to eat excrement at Gendarmery post. However, the prosecutor, referring to the new Anti-Terror Law, transferred the file to the Governor's office.


    Although Articles 140, 141 and 142 of the Turkish Penal Code were abrogated, the State Security Court of Ankara decided  on June 10 to carry on the trial of two top officials of the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP), Chairman Nihat Sargin and Secretary General Nabi Yagci (Haydar Kutlu).
    Their case will be dealt with by virtue of Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code. For instigating the people to crime, both face a prison term of up to 12 years.


    On June 6, the public prosecutor started a legal proceeding against the Correct Way Party (DYP) leader Süleyman Demirel and 40 members of the party's Administrative Board for having insulted the President of the Republic in a communique they issued on May 23. They are accused by virtue of Article 158 of the Turkish Penal Code.
    On June 13, the prosecutor of the SSC of Istanbul asked the Constitutional Court to try the People's Labour Party (HEP) for contravening Articles 78, 79, 81 and 82 of the Political Parties Code. The party is accused of separatist propaganda.
    Next day, a demonstration organized by HEP for celebrating the workers' resistance of 1970 was banned by the Governor of Ankara.
    June 14, the Governor of Istanbul refused to allow a demonstration organized by political parties and democratic association to protest the new Anti-Terror Law.


    Abdullah Bastürk, the chairman of the Progressive Trade Unions Confederation (DISK) applied on May 14 to the Military Court of Cassation demanding his and his colleagues' acquittal in the pending DISK case. Bastürk also demanded that the court decide to lift the barrier preventing the confederation from continuing its activities. He said all the accused DISK officials should be acquitted, since all charges had been dropped in accordance with the recently passed Anti-terror law.
    Without attending the decision of the Military Court of Cassation, the Labour Courts Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 of Ankara issued on June 5, a joint judgement stipulating the transfer of all DISK assets, of TL 1.5 Trillion ($3.5 billion) to the Social Security Organization (SSK).
    After this judgement, DISK Chairman Bastürk said: "This is confiscation. Such action is against democracy and the law. During the Franco era in Spain and the Hitler era in Germany, trade union assets were seized in the same manner. However, when the fascist administrations were toppled, the trade unions' assets were returned to their owners. I hope that the banned trade unions will receive their assets when democratic institutions are properly established here."
    On May 15, the 7th Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) adopted a resolution condemning the pressure on the DISK and declaring that European trade unions will exert pressure to stop Turco-EEC economic cooperation as long as the violation of trade union rights continues.
    On June 9, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) applied to the International Labour Organization (ILO) for exerting pressure on the Turkish Government about the question of DISK's assets.


    On June 15, at the village of Sabuncupinar in the province of Kütahya, a peasant, Ali Atlas was taken into custody for making Christian propaganda. The police confiscated 35 books, 8 video-cassettes and 10 posters in Atlas' home.


    1.6, a group of women protested the "virginity control operation" which was carried out recently on the patients in the Psychiatry Department of Bakirköy Hospital for Mental Diseases. The members of the trade unions Kam-Sen, Bem-Sen, Saglik-Sen and Özgür-Sen, gathered in front of the hospital's dining hall carrying banners and read a declaration in which they condemned the violation of human dignity.
    2.6, in Bursa, 60,000 people participated in the meeting "No to Injustices!" organized by the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (TURK-IS). At the end of the meeting, a group of 177 demonstrators attempting to carry out a further protest march were detained by police using force. Later on, a tribunal decided to keep under arrest 10 of the detained and released the rest.
    3.6, in the district of Savur in the province of Mardin, three girls, Hüsne Kizilkaya, 12, Meryem Oral, 13, and Münevver Oral, 13, announced that they had been detained by police on charge of leaving home for taking part in PKK actions. They said: "Police threatened us with sexual harassment."
    3.6, in the district of Caycuma in the province of Zonguldak, Tuncay Bostanci said he was tortured at police station during his 18-hour detention. Legal medicine gave him a medical report attesting that he cannot work for 15 days because of torture.
    4.6, four people who had been detained during a police operation in Istanbul were arrested by the State Security Court. Among them is also a Swiz woman, Barbara Anna Kistler. Her lawyer Marcen Bossoner said Kistler was tortured at police and there were traces of torture on her face and elbows during he visited her in prison.
    5.6, four members of the SHP were taken into custody in Istanbul for placing a black wreath in front of the Chinese General Consulate for protesting the Tienanmen Square events of 1989.
    5.6, the SSC of Ankara began to try five alleged members of the Revolutionary Communist Party of turkey (TDKP). Each defendant faces a prison term of up to 10 years.
    5.6, a PKK militant of Syrian origin, Muhammed Kemal was sentenced by the SSC of Malatya to capital punishment. By virtue of the Anti-Terror Law, the capital punishment was later commuted to a prison term. During his transfer to the prison he was harassed by police because he shouted slogans praising the PKK after having heard the sentence. The legal medicine gave him a medical report attesting the traces of beating.
    5.6, The SSC of Malatya sentenced a minor militant of PKK, Orhan Aydin, to capital punishment. His death sentence was commuted to 16 years and 8 months imprisonment because of his minor age. Two other defendants of the same trial were sentenced each to a prison term of 2 years and 6 months.
    5.6, in Sinop,  five teachers, Ümmet Suna, Hatice Suna, Tülay Avci and Fatma Önalan, were taken into custody and sent to Ankara for a police investigation.
    5.6, the Military Court of Cassation approved a life-term given to a coal miner at the trial of Yeni Celtek Group of the Revolutionary Way (DEV-YOL).
    6.6, a group of relatives of prisoner who went to the Parliament to visit Human Rights Commission Chairman Eyüp Asik were harassed by police. When they first stopped at the crossroads in front of the Parliament, two deputies from the People's Labour Party (HEP) intervened to say that the group was not holding an unauthorized demonstration but had an appointment with Asik. The police brushed their objections aside and tried to disperse the 100-person group by harassing the visitors as well as the two deputies. Some group members were later taken into custody. In protest against police's attitude, another group started a hunger-strike at he provincial office of the HEP.
    6.6, seven students of the Anadolu University were brought before the SSC of Diyarbakir on charge of belonging to the PKK. At interrogation by the court, they said being menaced under police arrest.
    10.6, the Health Workers' Union (SAGLIK-SEN) announced that its two officials, Chairwoman Fatma Patlar and Secretary Nazim Mercan, were subjected to torture at police station after their detention.
    12.6, in Izmit, Murat Iskenderoglu, Secaattin Sekerci, Cem Tat and Oktay Kahraman said that they were tortured during a police detention.
    12.6, five alleged members of DEV-SOL were sent to the SSC of Izmir for taking part in political violence. Three of the defendants face each capital punishment and two others a 15-year prison term.
    14.6, in Ankara, lawyer Murat Demir was  beaten by police during a raid on his office. After the raid, Demir and a woman named Cavidan Kocaacar were taken into custody.
    14.6, in Urfa, Secretary of the local IHD, lawyer Ramazan Ferat was beaten by a group of policemen. The legal medicine delivered him a report establishing that his nose was broken during the police beating.
    15.6, a 9-year old boy suspect of theft, Ömer Teker, was subjected to torture in Düzköy in the province of Giresun after being taken into custody.


    In a move to gain the sympathy of the world media and particularly to make Istanbul more attractive than Athens for Western journalists charged with covering any event in the Middle East, the Turkish Government turned a 17th century building into an International Press Center.
    The building, Sepetciler Vakfi, was originally built by Sultan Ibrahim I to review the fleet. In its restored form it now contains a 250-person conference hall, the latest in communication facilities and computer equipment as well as an information center.
    To the great astonishment of the foreign journalists, in his opening speech, President Özal took Turkish press as a target and expressed his satisfaction of making many journalists condemned by tribunals.
    Expressing his dissatisfaction with the Turkish Press Council whom he termed useless because it did not support his rights, Özal said: "Since they do not defend me, I go to court and win. Some of my wealth comes from the courts. When newspapers are against such things like weddings, I take them to court and win. I they keep on doing so, I will be rich. So far, I have won TL800-900 million from court cases. No one can ask where the money comes from."


    3.6, the responsible editor of the monthly Hedef, Mehmet Günes was detained again just after his release following a 40-day detention for belonging to an outlawed organization. The reason of his second detention was not disclosed.
    5.6, a new book by Rüya Eser Oguztan, entitled The Immorals was
confiscated by a penal court in Istanbul for obscenity.
    7.6, in Bogazlayan, the public prosecutor started a legal proceeding against the authors of a theater play,entitled Dad, where were you on September 12?, for insulting the government.
    10.6, the June 7 issue of the weekly Hafta Sonu was confiscated by a penal court decision for revelations about a person's private life.
    11.6, a penal court in Istanbul began to try 58 people who had given the daily Cumhuriyet an announcement in favour of the January 3, 1991 Workers' Action. Each faces a prison term of up to three months and the responsible editor of Cumhuriyet, Okay Gönensin, up to one year for having published the announcement.
    12.6, the public prosecutor's office in Istanbul started a legal proceeding against poet Yilmaz Odabasi for his recent book on the revolt of Sheikh Sait in Turkish Kurdistan in 1925. He is accused of contravening Article 8 of the new Anti-Terror Law.
    13.6, the representation of the play Pir Sultan Abdal by the Ankara Birlik Theatre in Malatya was banned by the decision of the governor. Earlier, the group had performed the play in fifteen cities of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands.
    14.6, the chief of the Human Rights Desk of the daily Günes, journalist Deniz Teztel was detained in Istanbul by police team which raided his apartment mid-night. During the raid, all his notes and documents concerning the DEV-SOL Trials were confiscated.


    Sociologist Ismail Besikci was acquitted on June 6, in four different trials concerning his recent books.
    The tribunal announced that there was no more legal basis of the trials since Article 142 of the Turkish Penal Code was lifted.
    After having heard the court decision, Besikci said: "This is not a real liberty, because similar provisions exist in the new adopted Anti-terror Law as well. Therefore, my acquittal has no sense."
    On the other hand, Besikci refused to receive an award attributed him by the Funds for Free Expression in the United States. Besikci was among the 22 writers who have won 10,000 dollars each from the estates of two American writers who suffered for political convictions: Lilian Hellman and Dashiel Hammett.
    However, Besikci, who had been imprisoned on three different occasions for a total of 12 years simply for writing about Turkey's Kurdish people, said he cannot accept any financial aid and prefers to carry on his academic works without an external aid.


    In protest against the Anti-Terror Law, political prisoners and their relatives have launched a country-wide hunger-strike campaign.
    According to the Turkish press reports, political detainees and convicts in the prisons of Sagmalcilar (Istanbul), Gaziantep, Malatya, Buca (Izmir), Ankara and Diyarbakir went on hunger-strikes for different periods. On June 11, 120 political prisoners were still on hunger-strike in Diyarbakir.
    Besides, hundreds of people were on hunger strikes in different cities: 60 persons in Adana, 80 in Ceyhan, 40 in Gaziantep, 87 in Bismil, 30 in Silvan, 41 in Lice, 6 in Yalova, 9 in Kayseri, 26 in Izmir.
    Similar hunger-strikes were carried out in different European cities as well.


    The new Anti-Terror Law has given rise to concerns of international human rights organizations.
    First, Amnesty International expressed its  anxiety as follows in a press release dated April 16, 1991 and entitled "Turkey: New Law May Increase Risk of Torture":
    "We are gravely concerned about new provisions in the law, one of which allows people suspected of having tortured prisoners to continue to guard and interrogate detainees while charges against them are outstanding. Police officers who have taken statements from detainees will also be exempted from being questioned in court unless they agree to do so, making it difficult for detainees to challenge the validity of any confessions or other statements made under torture. This means courts will not be able to examine the full facts about torture allegations.
    "The organization is also concerned that any trials of alleged torturers will take place before the SSC, whose prosecution service is responsible for supervising interrogation procedures in the first place. Trials of alleged torturers can only go ahead with the permission of the Interior Minister, unless the victim has actually died in custody. This new law places in question the authorities' will to bring to justice those responsible for torture.
    "AI is urging that the new provisions relating to the investigation and prosecution of alleged torturers be amended. It also urges the government to reform or repeal the provision in the new law which will allow people to be imprisoned for making 'separatist' propaganda, even when this contains no advocacy of violence.
    "The organization is also disappointed that the new law contains no proposals to shorten the maximum police detention period of 15 days, rising to 30 days in the 10 provinces of southeast Turkey under emergency rule. The length of time in which detainees are held incommunicado has played a major role in the persistence of torture in police stations."
    Helsinki Watch in the USA issued on June 10, 1991, the following communique entitled "Turkey: New Restrictive Anti-Terror Law":
    "Helsinki Watch believes that the new Anti-Terror Law contains provisions that sharply curtail the rights of Turkish citizens. Its definition of terrorism is so broad that almost anyone can be convicted of terrorism and sentenced to prison. It limits the right to counsel, restrict meetings and demonstrations, curtails press freedom and makes it more difficult to convict police and security forces of torture. The law was already been used against the press and against prisoners, and to stop the trial of five soldiers charged with the torture death of a teacher.
    "The Turkish Government, apparently responding to international pressure, took a positive step in abolishing Penal Code Articles 141, 142 and 163 and releasing a number of prisoners. Unfortunately, the government then took a step backward in passing the Anti-Terror Law. Helsinki Watch strongly urges the Turkish Government to repeal it."


    In his article to the daily Milliyet of June 7, Brussels correspondent Mehmet Ali Birant says that in the early years of Turkey's application for full membership in the EC, he was quite hopeful about the acceptance of Turkey's application. Today, facing a completely different EC, he admitted that he completely lost his hope of Turkey becoming a full member in the Community.
    The following are the reasons expressed in his article for the pessimism of one of the best informed Turkish journalists in Brussels:
    "1. The destruction of the Soviet Empire: The Soviet Union's superpower identity has led the world to believe that the war between capitalism and Communism has ended with capitalism's victory. This situation consequently fostered a superiority complex in the Western world, and especially the EC. "The superiority complex became stronger as other countries struggles to be full members of the Community. Sweden, Norway, Austria and Switzerland are the main countries which are waiting for acceptance into the Community, while all the Eastern European countries are also looking for a chance. This large demand for membership also frightens the EC, as the Community knows that their plan to realize a 'common market' will be impossible if they accept more members.       
    "2. The limitations of the EC: The EC realized its own weakness and the power of the United States during the Gulf crisis. The probability that the United States, with its giant economic and military power, might easily capture the global market has become a nightmare for the EC. Lately, the United States is apparently trying to establish a new world where it will be the only power and the gendarme. This threat naturally leads the EC to isolate itself and try to strengthen its inner mechanisms.
    "The world is changing, countries are struggling to find a place in the international arena, and no one cares about Turkey."


    The Socialist International annual council meeting was hosted this year in Istanbul by Turkey's main opposition Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP).
    The fact that the world's many distinguished social democrat leaders accepted to meet in Istanbul has been interpreted by pro-government circles as a proof of the progress of democracy in Turkey.
    Socialist leaders, avoiding in their speech any critical remark as regards the situation of human rights in Turkey, happened to serve this propaganda of the Ankara regime.
    As for the Turkish social democrats, the SHP did his best in order to prevent the Socialist International from pronouncing any courageous statement concerning the Kurdish demand of autonomy.
    The two main themes of the council meeting were "Peace, Security and Cooperation in the Middle East" and "Reform, Democracy and Economic Renewal in Central and Eastern Europe."
    In his welcoming address to the council meeting, on June 11, SHP leader Erdal Inönü said: "We do not want terrorism. We do not want any discussion about our national borders. We do not want any of our citizens to be separated from the whole of the society and be alienated."
    Prior to the SI Council meeting, the other Turkish social democrat leader, Bülent Ecevit had already made a declaration accusing Iraqi Kurds of attempting to assimilate Iraqi Turks. "If Kurds win autonomy in northern Iraq, the 2.5 million to 3 million Turks living in the area may become the 'minority of a minority' and may face assimilation pressures," said the chairman of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), which refuses to adhere to the Socialist International as long as the SHP remains as a member.
    The most striking event of the SI meeting was no doubt to refuse observer status to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Although the PLO delegation was allowed to address committee sessions on June 9, they were told later that they could not attend the SI Council meetings as observers.
    Although the SHP said that Palestinians may stay at the meeting as "guests", the PLO delegation boycotted the SI Council meeting, declaring "this has turned into a circus run by Simon Peres.

    The OECD recently raised its concerns in a report about the Turkish economy's performance. High inflation, the increasing gap between imports and exports, and a slow rate of investment in manufacturing are the principal problems for the Turkish economy, says the report.
    "The current external balance went into surplus in 1988 due to a slowdown in imports because of weak domestic demand. Increased revenue from tourism and money sent by workers abroad helped this improvement. However, exports have not increased and unemployment has not fallen. From the second half of 1989 there was some improvement in output growth and some slowing of the speed of inflation. But government borrowing increased and the current external balance started to go into deficit due to the Gulf Crisis.
    "Inflation, running at 62.5 per cent a year continues to be the biggest problem Turkey faces. High inflation and high interest rates on loans discourage investment. Low wages and falling exchange rates improved price competitiveness in international trade but did not encourage investment during the 1980s.
    "The current external balance of payments deficit has continued to worsen. Exports, with the exception of textiles, have fallen while imports have risen. Before the Gulf crisis, exports to the Middle East, the biggest market for Turkey, fell both to Kuwait and, due to repayment problems, to Iraq."
    On the other hand,World Bank Regional Deputy Manager Willi A. Wapenhans in charge of the Europe, Middle East and North Africa desk said on June 3 that bank officials were concerned about rocketing inflation and the growth of the budget deficits in Turkey. "Turkey has improved its foreign trade and balance of payments. We see this situation as a very satisfactory development and hope that it can further be improved. What worries us is the fact that the inflation rate is still cruising high in Turkey. This situation causes interest rates to increase as well. Of course, high inflation stems from budget deficits and internal debts being high. For that reason, the inflation, which also adversely affects investments, should be taken under control in order to provide stability. Since turkey's need for foreign finance has increased due to the Gulf crisis, the World Bank has decided to increase the aid it gives to Turkey, " said Wapenhans, in an interview with the semi-official Anadolu Agency in Cairo, where he was attending the 15th annual meeting of the governors board of the Islam Development Bank.


    The Treasury and Foreign Trade Under-secretariat disclosed on May 8 that the Gulf Crisis burden on Turkey totals 6.2 billion dollars. The transportation sector had the biggest deficit with 1.3 billion dollars. The export and import sectors come next with 1.1 billion dollars each.
    The banking sector faced a deficit of 850 million dollars, and the construction sector a deficit of 650 million dollars from the Gulf crisis.
    According to estimates, tourism suffered a deficit of 400 million dollars.
    In the period between the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the end of April, 400 million dollars were spent for military expenses and 150 million dollars for the refugees.


    A new private television channel will be launched soon under the name of Hilal 1 (Crescent 1), the daily Sabah of May 13 reported.
    The former Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) chief Saban Karatas will be the chief of the new channel. Some extreme Turkish right-wing organizations and some Arab banks will back the new TV channel.
    Hilal 1 will be watched through cable or satellite in Turkey.
    The ANAP Deputy Chairman Metin Gürdere said that Hilal 1 will be watched by at least 50 million people in Turkey, whereas present private television channel Star 1, run by Özal's elder son Ahmet Özal, is watched by 7 million people.