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


15th Year - N°177-178
 July-August 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


    On the eve of President Bush's visit to Turkey, violence against human rights activists and supporters escalated to an appalling level throughout Turkey. While sinister death-squads were shooting dead a number of local politicians and human rights activists, the Turkish Army extended its operation beyond the Turkish borders and bombed Kurdish peasants on pretext of crushing the PKK camps in
Northern Iraq.
    According to a press release by Amnesty International on August 9, the assassination of a series of public figures gives rise to allegations of extra-judicial killing.
    The most spectacular of these dramatic event was the assassination of Vedat Aydin, a well-known human rights activist of Kurdish origin, on July 5 and the opening fire by security forces into the crowd attending Aydin's funeral in Diyarbakir on July 10.
    Vedat Aydin, former teacher aged 37 and married, was a member of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD)  and President of the People's Labour Party  (HEP) in Diyarbakir.  He was on trial in Ankara State Security Court for giving a speech in Kurdish at the Annual General Meeting of the IHD in October 1990. Shortly before his death, Aydin made a speech in Kurdish outside a hospital in Diyarbakir after visiting Siddik Tan who was being treated for damage to his eyes in a explosion in Batman.
    The IHD, founded in 1986, faced considerable pressure from the authorities. Several of its officials have been detained and imprisoned and members of the association's regional branches have been prosecuted for producing campaigning material without government consent. Leading members have been tried on a variety of charges, most trials eventually ending in acquittal. Several branches have been closed, the branches in Batman, Gaziantep and Urfa indefinitely. Members of the IHD have received death threats in the past by letter and telephone. Helsinki Watch documented 39 cases of harassment of IHD activists during 1989, including detentions and allegations of torture, and 24 such cases during 1990.
    For the facts concerning this murder, we count on the findings of Amnesty International:
    Vedat Aydin was taken from his house in Diyarbakir at around midnight on Friday, 5 July, by several armed men, ostensibly plain-clothes police officers, and his body was found with bullet wounds on the morning of Monday, 8 July, near Ergani, some 60 kilometres from Diyarbakir.
    The body was buried by the police without a full autopsy soon after it was found, in spite of the fact that it was clearly a case of murder: the body bore eight gunshot wounds, the right leg was broken, and there were signs of torture. A hospital in Elazig offered to store the body in their refrigerated morgue, but this was declined by the police. A day after the body had been buried as "unidentifiable", the Emergency Region Governor Hayri Kozakcioglu stated that Vedat Aydin had been found murdered. This statement was made before the family had identified the body. There have also been doubts as to the thoroughness of subsequent police investigations into the circumstances of Vedat Aydin's death.
    According to Aydin's wife, Sukran Aydin, he told her on July 5 that he recognized the armed men as policemen, and would go with them to police headquarters to be interrogated.
    Aydin's funeral in Diyarbakir on July 10 was attended by thousands of people. The crowd was chanting slogans in favour of the PKK, and youths had been stoning a police station when masked members of security force "special teams" fired above and into the crowd.  The shooting resulted in the death of seven demonstrators: Behzat Ozkan (14), Bahattin Turan (19), Sehmuz Demir, Nevzat Kelekci, Zulfikar Yagan (44), and Hafsi Ekinci (55) and Mustafa Atan (27) who both died later as a result of their injuries. Although press reports at the times suggested that some of the crowd used firearms, there is no evidence to support this allegation, and no policemen were wounded by shots from the demonstrators.
    Shortly after these shootings, police and special team members broke into a bus in which were travelling journalists, photographers and deputies from HEP and fired tear-gas bombs. It is alleged that the deputies and journalists were severely beaten with rifle butts and truncheons. Several of the journalists and deputies were later transferred to hospital. HEP deputy Adnan Ekmen reported that he was beaten until nearly unconscious, when the security forces left him for dead. When he stirred and it was apparent that he was still alive, a policeman reportedly dragged him by the tie and called out to his colleagues, "Here's a deputy, come and hit him." as a result of which he was beaten further. He is currently undergoing treatment in hospital in Ankara.
    Unofficial reports indicate nine other people were killed as well. Five people have not been heard of since the day of funeral, and there has been no news of a sixth person, Muharrem Bozan, a member of HEP since he left the party headquarters in Diyarbakir at 5.00 pm on 25 July.
    Regional Governor Hayri Kozakcioglu confirmed the deaths, and reported that 107 others had been injured (38 with bullet wounds), and that 353 people have been detained.
    Two of the four deputies of the ruling ANAP, who were delegated by the Prime Minister to inquire into the events, reported on their return to Ankara on 23 July that their findings indicated that the crowd at the funeral had not used firearms and that it was dispersing in response to police warnings. The ANAP deputies for Siirt and Diyarbakir stated that they felt that the events of the day had occurred as a result of the intentional actions of the security forces: "The main cause of the incident is that the administrators of the region see all the citizens of the area as guilty."
    A declaration of former Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu on 18 July reveals the extent of the State terrorism in Turkish Kurdistan. He stated that during his term of minister, 59 villages and 304 hamlets had been evacuated and 37,477 Kurds deported.
    In fact, Aydin's death was the sixth violent incident directed against Kurdish speaking figures in June 1991..
    On 18 June, an explosive device detonated in the car of the lawyer Mustafa Özer which was parked outside his home in Diyarbakir. The powerful explosion completely destroyed the car.
    At midnight on 25 June, an explosion destroyed the office of the IHD in Diyarbakir, injuring a neighbour.
    On 28 June, Yakup Kara, mayor of the small town of Hilal, near Uludere in the province of Hakkari, his driver Mehmet Ürün, technicians Ali Benek and Hamit Kara and contractor Hüseyin Babat were shot and their bodies burned by three persons in commando uniforms and balaclava hoods, according to 80-year-old Mehmet Kara, the sole survivor. Yakup Kara's brother has stated that the family has always opposed the village guard system, that Yakup Kara received threats because of his opposition to the system, and that he was detained and tortured four times, most recently during 1990, for this very reason.
    On the morning of 2 July, a bomb exploded in Batman in the car of Huseyin Siddik Tan shortly after he had driven from home and parked his car outside his shop. Tan, a board member of the Batman branch of the IHD, as well as his 10-year son and a friend were injured in the blast, which completely destroyed the car.
    On 5 July, Police Commissioner Ilyas Kaya killed two people, Kemal Karatay and Ali Haydar Aydogan, in a restaurant in Avcilar district in Istanbul, for having spoken and sung in Kurdish.
    On 11 July, Remzi Il, Diyarbakir delegate of HEP, was topped by two people who introduced themselves as policemen and taken by car with a bag over his head to a building where he was beaten while being interrogated about his political connections. He died of a brain haemorrhage in hospital on 27 July.
    On 12 July, police officers and members of the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) raided eight houses in different districts in Istanbul, and shot dead 10 people: Ibrahim Erdogan, Hasan Eliuygun, Niyazi Aydin, Nazmi Turkcan, Cahit Ozkaya, Zeynep Eda Berk, Mustafa Ustundag, Yucel Simsek, Omer Coskun and Hakki Dogan.
The weekly Tempo  reports that these razzias were carried out on the information given by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
    On 14 July, political police raided a house in the Telsizler district of Ankara and shot dead two more people, a man and a woman Buluthan Kangalgil and Fintöz Dikme.
    On the other hand, Interior Ministry declared on August 19 that 327 suspects had been arrested on charges of staging actions nationwide to mark the foundation anniversary of the PKK's military wing ARGK. According to the Ministry, 183 people were caught conducting illegal rallies in Istanbul, Izmir, Adana and Diyarbakir. During the clashes on August 15, security forces killed 24 militants. 15 soldiers, two policemen and four village guards were also killed during the clashes.
    According to Amnesty International, many members engaged in legal opposition groups in southeast Turkey feel that they are unprotected against unwarranted use of lethal force by the security forces. These fears were heightened by comments made by President Özal in a speech in Diyarbakir on 24 July 1991 in which he appeared to indicate a shoot-to-kill policy directed towards those thought to be involved in political violence: "We shall even hit those who carry out terror in their lairs... we shall have no mercy for those who support or who are involved with terrorism. I want to say this very clearly, and most importantly right here in this place... We shall shoot them one by one. Nobody should tell Turkey to do this or that while the country is engaged in a struggle with terrorism."
    "Amnesty International believes that the authorities' attitude to the use of force, as reflected in the comments of the President, risk being perceived as condoning the unlawful use of force or even the summary execution of alleged terrorists."
    Helsinki Watch, in a letter to President Bush on 11 July, called on him to raise questions during his meeting with Turkish President Turgut Ozal about the recent violence and about serious recurring human rights abuses, particularly torture, a draconian new Anti-Terror Law, and serious restrictions on press freedom.


    President Bush's visit to Turkey on 20-22 July not only marked the beginning of a close military and political cooperation between Turkey and the USA in the Middle East, but also was a sign of encouragement for the repressive practices of Özal's rule. During his two-day visit, President Bush manifested on every occasion his personal support to Özal.
    Claiming that the PKK has training camps in various neighboring countries, including Iran and Iraq, President Ozal had already said that Turkey would no longer tolerate terrorist activities and threatened to hit the terrorists where they were based.
    The daily Sabah of August 9 claimed that United States reconnaissance spotted the PKK camps in northern Iraq through satellite transmissions and forwarded this information to Ankara before "Operation Hot Pursuit" began. According to the paper, during  Bush's recent visit to Turkey,  Ozal asked him to provide photos of the PKK camps in northern Iraq. Bush granted Ozal's request and the Turkish military found and hit the PKK camps with the help of the satellite photos.
    It is just after Bush's departure that, on August 5, 1991, the Turkish State, defying all international agreements, launched a military operation beyond the Turkish borders on pretext of crushing the last remnants of separatist terrorists in northern Iraq.
    One of the most deplorable facts as regards this military operation has been the total silence of the United States and its European allies. In fact, a week ago, a 5,000-man Allied reaction force including Turkish troops, called as "Poised Hammer" was stationed in Turkey with the aim of deterring any Iraqi army attack on Kurds.
    But this time, it was not Iraq but Turkey itself that attacked on Kurds in Iraq and the Poised Hammer charged with defending Kurds rest looking on the operation  probably with admiration.
    According to the weekly 2000e Dogru  of August 4, military operations had already taken place on Iraqi territory just the day of Bush's departure. The villages of Sineht and Sule in Iraq were raided on July 22 by a 200-man Turkish armed unit, but no Kurdish guerrilla was found in the settlements.
    According to the governmental statement, in the week-long operation which started on August 5, a Turkish soldier and a village guard were killed, while the "separatist terrorists" left behind 35 dead. This claim was later contradicted by the PKK (See: PKK Press Conference) A press release from the Office of the Chief of General Staff  on August 19, briefed the operation as follows: "The operation began on August 5 when jets bombarded the terrorist hide-outs and strongly reinforced arms positions. Two commando battalions backed by armed helicopters launched the land attack on August 7. Due to the terrain of the area, the attacks were carried out in two directions covering a 5-km wide area. After taking the control of the area, the troops later planned a subsequent operation. On August 12, the Army took control of an area measuring 10 kilometres in width, including the Hakurk Training Camp located on in the Durjan Valley."
     Iraqi Kurdish leaders have denounced the Turkish incursion in northern Iraq. They claimed at least 15 Iraqi Kurds were killed and at least 30 wounded in Turkish air raids on the villages of Begova in the former allied "security zone" and Khayre Zonk in Shewran province near the Iranian border.
    Massoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party, sent a close aide to Turkey to seek a temporary halt to the operation to allow Iraqi Kurds to withdraw from the area under attack. The other Kurdish leader, Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, was also in Ankara for talks with Toperi. Talabani was originally scheduled to meet with Premier Yilmaz. However, after he condemned the Turkish operation at a news conference in Rome as an act that violated international law, he was given a cold reception in Ankara and was received only by a top official.


    The recent Turkish military operations have given rise to the inquietudes as regards further Turkish aggressions. The weekly 2000e Dogru of August 4 claims that there was also a covert plan to hit the PKK militants in Bekaa Valley, but such an operation would largely depend on Israeli support.
    The daily Sabah raised on August 8 the anxiety concerning Mosul-Kirkuk. Columnist Guneri Civaoglu said: "Though the initial Turkish argument seems to be 'there was a strip of no man's land in northern Iraq, and we have to create a band of security,' later Turkish authorities may realize, as in Cyprus, that a military build-up on a narrow strip of land can be dangerous and may decide to take wider action, possibly towards the Mosul-Kirkuk region. After all, that area was once considered a part of Turkey by those who drew up the 'Misak-i Milli' (national borders) at the beginning of the Turkish war of independence. Since the signing of the Lausanne Treaty, the Mosul-Kirkuk issue has always been among Turkey's concerns. For the first time, Turkey is creating an actual situation closes to that area. There is a tendency to believe that Turkish dominance in part of northern Iraq may bolster Turkish chances regarding oil-rich Mosul and Kirkuk in a potential reshaping of northern Iraq in the future."


    Turkish military operation against PKK camps in Iraq was launched just after the assembling a 5,000-man Allied reaction force, called as "Poised Hammer" in Turkey to deter any Iraqi army attack on Iraq's Kurdish minority.
    A US military spokesman said on August 1st in Ankara said the force of aircraft and ground troops from six countries had been deployed at two main bases within striking distance of northern Iraq.
    The planes and 2,292 personnel from the United States, Turkey, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Italy are based at Incirlik Air Base near the southern industrial city of Adana. The air force had 132 US fixed-wing aircraft, including fighters, supply planes and surveillance planes, as well as nine Mirages and four surveillance aircraft from the French air force. Planes aboard the US aircraft carrier Forrester in the eastern Mediterranean are also dedicated to the force.
    A ground force of 2,709 troops under joint command, equipped with 75 helicopters, has been set up at Silopi close to where the Syrian, Iraqi and Turkish borders meet.
    Turkish Prime Minister Yilmaz told reporters during a visit to eastern Turkey: "This international force will not be used for any aggressive, offensive purpose. In such case it requires additional permission from the Turkish Government.
    Turkey gave the permission for the establishment of this multinational force in its territory on July 18, just before Bush's visit to Turkey. However, the Turkish Foreign Ministry underlined on July 23 that the force was just a continuation of the "Provide Comfort" operation, and insisted on calling it as "Provide Comfort II" rather than the controversial term "Poised Hammer" used by the United States for the multinational deterrent force. The force is permitted to reside in Turkey until September 30, 1991.


    Turco-German relations have become strained following the reciprocal accusations in relation with the Turkish Operation in Iraq and the kidnapping of 10 German tourists by the PKK.
    German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher said on August 9 that the Turkish offensive was hitting civilians in the Kurdish region and was a "serious violation of human rights." He also said that Turkey's act was against the principles of NATO and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE).
    Thereupon, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the German ambassador and expressed its displeasure over Genscher's statement. Ankara described the coincidence of the release of 10 German tourists by the PKK and the statement of Genscher as meaningful.
    PKK militants kidnapped 15 German tourists while they camped near a crater lake near the town of Tatvan on August 1. Five of the tourists later managed to escape.
    The PKK released the remaining tourists on August 10.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said: "The German foreign minister criticized Turkey four days after the operation started, following the release of the hostages. Such timing has created speculations that German tourists were released by the PKK in exchange for a strong attack by Germany on the Turkish operation in Iraq. This statement may create the impression that Bonn is giving support to the PKK."  However, the PKK announced that the kidnapping was in retaliation for the prosecution of its members in Germany. In fact, while Genscher was criticizing Turkey, German police detained more than 100 Kurdish exiles attacking Turkish banks and airline offices in Germany to protest Turkish military operation against PKK camps.
    On the other hand, Switzerland announced on August 9 that it decided to halt all arms sales and shipment to Turkey.


    The Constitutional Court annulled on July 22 two controversial parts of the Anti-Terror Law which imposed restrictions on the "conditional release" scheme varying according to the length of prison sentence involved.
    The sections annulled by the Court are all of Paragraph A and part of Paragraph B of Provisional Article 4 of the Anti-Terror Law. So those who were sentenced by virtue of Article 146 of the Turkish Penal Code, mainly the militants of the Turkish left-wing organizations, have been released. The annulments are in response to, and cover applications received from martial law courts.
    As for those who have been sentenced by virtue of Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code, mainly Kurdish activists, still remain in prison because the Constitutional Court has not yet dealt with the application received from the SHP which asks to annul the entire range of restrictions, including that concerning Article 125.


    On the occasion of the 7th anniversary of the beginning of its guerrilla warfare, the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) held a press conference on August 21 in Brussels. The PKK spokesman presented the balance-sheet of the 7-year struggle as follows: 
    "Our guerrilla warfare is being extended from the rural area towards big cities. From August 1990 to August 1991 , 570 armed clashes have happened between ARGK guerrillas and the colonialist forces; our guerrilla teams have carried out 75 ambushes, 24 sabotage acts, 53 mining operations, tens of actions to get under control highways and hundreds of village meetings.
    "During the last one years, 187 policemen and special team members, 148 officers and NCOs, 1,558 sergeants and privates, 162 village protectors and 82 collaborating agents have been killed. Besides, one mayor, two prison guards and eight other officials have perished during our urban operations.
    "As for our guerrilla forces, 158 fighters died a martyr and 9 wounded.
    "Tens of protest demonstrations have been carried out against the colonialism. Peasant marched towards cities in Idil, Kerboran, Kurtalan and Silopi.
    "In Diyarbakir, workers stopped the work. Tens of thousands of tradesmen and handicraftsmen have shut their shops in the cities of Diyarbakir, Batman, Cizre, Nusaybin, Kulp, Lice, Silopi, Kerboran, Silvan, Dersim, Idil and Bilsim. Taxi drivers paralyzed transport. Students boycotted their school for many days.
    "Funeral ceremonies have been organized pour nos martyrs in Dogubeyazit, Diyarbakir, Lice, Batman, Silvan, Nusaybin, Silopi, Kerboran and Idil. A total of half a million people have participated in these ceremonies.
    "Millions of people in the whole of Kurdistan have celebrated Newroz (Kurdish New Year) in 1991.
    "Since 1984, special war methods applied by the Turkish State have resulted in a fiasco.
    "For the time being, there are two powers in Kurdistan: the Turkish State's power in one hand, and the one of the ARGK on the other.
    "Towns such as Kerboran, Sirnak, Idil, Silopi, Nusaybin, Cizre, Batman, Lice and Diyarbakir are backing the PKK.
    "During the two recent events, the Turkish State has turned out to be powerless.
    "When 10 German tourists were taken as hostages by the PKK, the Turkish State has failed to save them and the ARGK released the hostages under the conditions determined by itself.
    "On the other hand, the Turkish State invaded the Southern Kurdistan with the forces of a number higher than that of the occupation forces employed during the invasion of Cyprus. The result is a a total failure.
    "Our striking forces are in the North-Eastern Kurdistan. For us, the Southern Kurdistan is a back front. Our forces in this part are there for the purpose of training and education. We have a force of 350 fighters in Xaxurke. They gave heavy coups to the Turkish State. Turkish soldiers were captured at the entrance of the town. Turkish soldiers were not able to pass from North to South. The ARGK stopped the Turkish troops.
    "The Turkish State have lost 200 soldiers and many wounded. Two aircrafts and three helicopters were destroyed.
    "As for the PKK, nine guerrillas fell martyr and five wounded. In addition to them, 25 peasants perished during the attack of the Turkish forces.
    "A number of Turkish soldiers were captured during the operation and they are still our prisoners. The Turkish Army cannot save them. Could it save the German tourists in Tatvan? We treat them as prisoners of war. They are healthy and under the protection of the PKK. We can release them only according to the rules applied in the similar cases.
    "In the Southern Kurdistan, the forces who collaborate with the Turkish Government have no national character. These forces are led by the family or clan interests. Our people as well in the North as in the South do not recognize them. The accords concluded between Talabani and the Turkish State are not valid. We do not recognize their legitimity."
    During the press conference, the PKK spokesman announced that four youths, sons of two members of the Turkish Parliament, who have recently  disappeared take place in the ranks of the ARGK forces.


    The never-ending torture practices in Turkey have been the object of two alarming reports.

    TIHV's Torture Report

    On July 14, 1991, the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), which was founded to facilitate the treatment and rehabilitation of torture victims, has presented to the public a report prepared about the torture incidents and deaths that occurred within the first six month period of 1991.
    We reproduced below a TIHV press release on this report:
    "This evaluation by the TIHV shows that torture remains as the number one human rights abuse on the agenda of Turkey.
    "According to the report, 13 persons died under suspicious circumstances either in custody or in prison within the first six months of 1991. This situation reveals that the security of life is under constant threat in places of custody and prisons.
    "The second point that calls for attention in the report is that about 200 torture incidents were alleged in this six month period. As known, in spite of the extensive application of torture methods like beating and falaka (beating on the soles of the feet) on ordinary crime suspects at the police and gendarmerie headquarters, those persons do not seek their rights and the torture inflicted on them remains unknown. Almost all of those persons who make official complaints about torture and ill-treatment or who, though very little in number, receive reports certifying torture from doctors are political people. Considering the difficulty of receiving trustworthy information from outside of Ankara and Istanbul and especially from the Emergency State Region, it becomes apparent that those 200 torture incidents reflect only a little segment of the attacks inflicted by state organs on the physical and spiritual dignity of the people.
    "Besides journalists and lawyers, there were also football players, homosexuals and even refugees from Iraq among those who were subjected to torture after being detained by the police or the gendarmerie within the first half of 1991. Prisoners' relatives who were detained during demonstrations, workers and students constitute the majority. There are women and young girls among the torture victims. Almost all or the female torture victims complain about sexual abuse.
    "Female student I.B., who was hung naked on suspenders while being in detention at the Gayrettepe political police center in Istanbul between April 8-22, displays a serious example of sexual abuse in her statement after being released: 'They applied electric shocks to my hands, toes and genital organ and threatened me with rape.' The statement by E.P., who was also in detention at Gayrettepe, that she was raped and her official complaint to the Prosecution Office constitute another striking example among the incidents mentioned in the report.
    "Three girls, aged 12 to 13, who applied to the Human Rights Association (IHD) Diyarbakir Branch on May 15, told about an incredible event. These children, who lost their way in the mountainous region of Savur, were taken to Mardin Gendarmerie Brigade for interrogation on charges that 'they may have intended to join terrorists.' The statement of 12-year old H.K.: 'Blindfolded, I was taken into a cell. They were beating me with wooden sticks and truncheons. Then, they threatened me with impregnating if I did not obey them.'
The failure to launch investigations about this incident which was dealt with the press is also striking.
    Over 50 incidents in the TIHV report tell about persons whose arms, legs and other organs were broken, who had to be hospitalized and who were able to receive medical reports. However, the report mentions torture investigations only for four incidents. Two of those investigations relate to torture incidents which were not reported to court in conformity with the Anti-Terror Law, but were conveyed to the provincial administrative councils and thus any other legal proceeding was prevented.
    For example, I.A. and his brother, who were detained on May 11, 1991, applied to the Public Prosecutor's Office in Bitlis with the claim that 'they were tortured and forced to eat dog excrement' at Bitlis Güroymak Gendarmerie Headquarters. However, Public prosecutor Ozer Tarhan, in conformity with Article 15 of the Anti-Terror Law, has not launched any investigation, and took a decision of "nonresponsibility" about the involved security officers. The cancellation of the trial about the killing of teacher Siddik Bilgin in accordance with the new law is another example in this respect.
    As a result, in evaluation of the torture incidents that occurred within the first six months of 1991 it becomes clear that torture is implemented systematically and as a method of interrogation, and rather than ending, it is being increasingly implemented by security officers without restraint by basing their authority on some protective provisions of the Anti-Terror Law. Those protective measures, especially the article stating that 'no cases can be brought to the court or investigations can be launched without the approval of the discipline commissions constituted within the governorships about the security officers participating in torture incidents,' provides for the irresponsible applications of torture by the security officers.
    Meanwhile, the Government takes no initiatives that can deter those applying torture. Government members, who mention torture only when they must, argue that torture is not applied systematically, and statements extracted under torture are widely used in the courts as evidence. There practices should be prevented. The legal regulation which was proposed by the new government program read on June 30, 1991 about the 'presence of lawyers at the pre-detention interrogations' should immediately be put into practice as a emergency measure."

    Helsinki Watch's Report

    Helsinki Watch issued on July 30, 1991 a new report entitled: "Turkey: Torture, killings by police and political violence increasing":
    We are reprinting below the report's part of introduction:
    "Helsinki Watch is deeply disturbed by a recent escalation in human rights abuses in Turkey. First, the number of people who have died in suspicious circumstances in detention in Turkey has increased dramatically. Since January 1, 1991, eleven people died in detention and two others have disappeared and are believed dead after having been detained by security forces.
    "Second, since the beginning of March 1991, the use of lethal force by security forces has escalated: police have shot and killed 19 people in raids on houses, ten during demonstrations, and 16 others in suspicious circumstances--a total of 45 people.
    "Helsinki Watch calls on the government of Turkey to end these appalling practices, which are in clear violation of international standards and agreements. Each one of these incidents should be promptly and thoroughly investigated and those responsible should be prosecuted. The Government of Turkey should make it clear that such practices will not be tolerated, and that any security force member who tortures or summarily executes anyone will be investigated, charged with criminal acts and prosecuted in court, an, if found guilty, appropriately punished.
    "Turkey is the third-largest recipient of American aid; it received approximately $550 million in military and economic aid for fiscal year 1991. In the light of Turkey's continuing pattern of gross human rights abuses, Helsinki Watch calls on the government of the United States to explain, as required by Section 502(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act, the "extraordinary circumstances" that warrant continued aid to Turkey.
    "Helsinki Watch is also deeply disturbed by an escalation in violent acts by terrorist groups in Turkey--bombings, armed attacks and assassinations. Since January 1, 1991, left-wing terrorist groups have claimed credit for the assassinations of thirteen people, including retired generals, police officers and two Americans. Helsinki Watch calls on these terrorist groups to put an end to these appalling acts.
    "Political violence in southeastern Turkey is also of great concern. Helsinki Watch calls on both the PKK and security forces to refrain from attacks on civilians, who are suffering from armed attacks by both security forces and PKK militants."
    In the following parts, the report gives detailed information on deaths in detention, 200 recent incidents of torture, killings in raids, during demonstrations and in other circumstances, killings by terrorist groups, political violence in Southeastern Turkey and reminds the requirements of International Law as regards human rights.


    The Constitutional Court ruled on July 22 that the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP) was illegal and ordered it to close.
    The Chief Prosecutor asked the court in June 1990 to order the closure of the TBKP 10 days after its formal launch.
    The Court's decision to close down the party was taken by consensus on the grounds that the party aimed to establish the domination of one social class over another and destroy the integrity of the country and the political system.
    It claims that the party had been established under an illegal name, and that it had been the continuation of an outlawed party. According to the decision, "the party had violated various Constitutional articles, like Art. 2, which defines the republic, Art. 3 which stipulates the integrity of the state, Art. 10 on equality in law, and Art. 14 on abuse of basic rights and liberties."
    The court also claims that the party violated the Code on Political Parties, in selecting "banned names and signs for parties" and "aiming to create minorities."
    The court decision stipulates the transfer of all property and assets of the closed party to the Treasury.
    Commenting on the Court decision, the TBKP Secretary General Nabi Yagci (Haydar Kutlu) said that the government was mainly responsible for the closure.
    "This decision will be yet another shame for Turkey," he said. "Regardless of the grounds, the decision to close down a political party has upset all those who believe in democracy.  When Articles 141, 142 and 163 of the Turkish Penal Code were annulled, government officials declared that they had ensured freedom of thought. Yet, thought is not such an abstract thing, and it is evident that the meaning of freedom of thought has not yet been fully understood. This closure is quite meaningless in this era which is paving the way of new freedoms.
    "When we first returned to Turkey, we were branded by President Ozal as 'terrorists," but a single suit has been filed against the TBKP since it became a legal organization a year ago. The party has even received an invitation from the High Election Board to take part in the next general election, and its convention was attended by an ANAP (ruling Motherland Party) representative."
    In defence of their decision to close down the TBKP, Chairman of the Constitutional Court said that they were obliged to act so as long as the anti-democratic articles of the Constitution and the Code on Political Parties remain in force and claimed that all democratic forces of the country assure the annulment of the articles in question.


    The Military Court of Cassation overruled on July 16 a martial law court decision closing down the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK) and all of the prison sentences imposed on the leaders of the confederation.
    The higher court, which has been investigating the DISK Case for years, ruled that as the Anti-Terror Law lifted Article 141 of the Turkish Penal Code , the legal frame with which DISK was closed down eleven years ago no longer existed in the country.
    After the 12 September 1980 Coup, DISK was immediately banned by the military and 1,477 leading members of the confederation  and its 30 affiliate unions were arrested. 244 of them, including DISK Chairman Abdullah Bastürk, were sentenced by a military court to heavy prison terms.
    The recent ruling has put a full stop to a long battle by DISK against its death ruling. But now a new process will be underway: a re-establishment of the organization and a compensation for the losses it suffered from the closure decision. When the activities of DISK were suspended in 1980, its property was put under the supervision of a state-appointed trustee. With the court ruling for its closure, the assets of DISK were turned over to the treasury and later shared among various state organizations. Now, all those assets, estimated at TL 1.5 Trillion ($3.5 billion) will have to be handed back to DISK.
    After the higher court's decision, DISK Chairman Bastürk said: "We shall start from where we had to leave off on September 12, 1980. DISK will resume its struggle for wider labour rights and democracy in the country."
    He immediately had a meeting with the executives of DISK and its affiliated trade unions, to draw the course to be followed. The statutes of DISK now had to be updated to fit in with the requirements of present laws. The confederation will urgently hold its convention in accordance with its updated statutes.
    The trial of DISK officials has attracted international interest and the Turkish regime came under immense pressure with demands of their release. Although it was closed down in Turkey, the European Trade Unions Confederation (ETUC) has maintained relations with it as one of the two trade union centers of Turkey and even gave it the status of full member.

    On July 22, a police team aided a touristic hotel at Urla, ordered the Turkish and foreign tourists staying at the hotel to show their wedding certificates. A German young woman, Angelika Wittwer, who was staying at the hotel with her Turkish boyfriend, could not produce a wedding certificate. Angered police took the German tourist to a hospital and made her undergo a virginity test and tests to determine whether she had had sexual intercourse that night. Following the tests, the German tourist was "hosted" for 15 hours by the police until her release by a court.


    18.6, the Interior Ministry issued a decree forbidding the utilisation together of three colours, green, yellow and red on any item exposed to public, including cloths, printed matters, shop windows, etc., because they constitute the colours of the Kurdish national flag used by the PKK. For practical reasons, traffic lights were not subjected to this interdiction.
    19.6, a worker, Cafer Karadag, was brought before the State Security Court of Istanbul for having distributed a political tract at the Taskizak dockyard. He faces a 10-year prison term.
    21.6, in Ankara, police attacked to public officials demonstrating for their trade union rights and detained two demonstrators.
    22.6, the Diyarbakir SSC sentenced 16 alleged PKK members to prison terms of up to life-prison. The defendants shouting slogans after hearing the judgment were beaten by the soldiers charged in the court hall.
    22.6, the Governor of Izmir banned the distribution the posters and tracts issued by the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) in protest against the Anti-Terror Law.
    23.6, in the district of Selin in Kars, thirteen peasants were detained for having taken a cup of tea with some alleged members of the PKK. Among the detainees are also a 70-year old man, Mehmet Cengiz, and his 9-year old grandson, Taner Cengiz.
    28.6, in Istanbul, police shot dead a woman, Figen Ustun, and wounded one other during a raid on a house allegedly belonging to the Dev-Sol. 2.7, in the district of Bismil in Diyarbakir province, police opened fire on a group protesting against the Anti-Terror Law. Three protesters were wounded and 20 others detained by police.
    2.7, in the district of Dargecit in Mardin province, a peasant named Ramazan Durmaz was shot dead by special police teams as he was attempting to go out of the village for searching his son who disappeared for a certain time.
    2.7, the Socialist Party (SP) announced that three party officials were subjected to torture under police detention in the province of Van.
    3.7, the Association for Freedoms (Ozgur-Der) announced that during the police raid of June 28, Figen Ustun was shot dead despite the fact that she cried "Don't shoot! I surrender!"
    4.7, in Ankara, during a demonstration by state employees for protesting the government's social and economic policies, 3O protesters were taken into custody and many officials coming from other cities for participating the demonstration were prevented by force from entering in the capital city.
    4.7, in Izmir, the guards of the Buca Prison wounded six political inmates by beating.
    5.7, the trial of 53 people, accused of acting for the Revolutionary Youth Organization (Dev-Genc), opened in Ankara. Each faces a prison term of up to 15 years.
    6.7, the Ankara section of the Teachers' Union (EGIT-SEN) was raided by police and 43 members were taken into custody.
    6.7, a 17-year old high school student, Ismet Cetinkaya, was sentenced to 2 years and 4 months imprisonment by the SSC of Istanbul for having participated in the May Day celebrations.
    8.7, four members of the Human Rights Committee of the Turkish National Assembly claimed that two lawyers, Bedii Yarayici and Murat Demir, had been subjected torture as they were in police detention in Ankara. The names of the torturers were transmitted to the Public Prosecutor's Office.
    8.7. the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) announced in a report that death squads were terrorizing the people in the East. According to the IHD, the mayor of the Hilal town in the province of Hakkari, Yakup Kara and his four friends were assassinated on June 28 and their bodies burnt by one of these squads. Two officials of the Socialist Party  (SP), Ibrahim Sarica in Cizre and Mehmet Kilic in Sirnak, too were assassinated by unidentified persons.
    8.7, in Istanbul, after the closing down of the People's House in Kadikoy by the Governor, the house chairman Sedat Gul and four other officials were taken into custody for having held a press conference in protest against the governor's action.
    8.7, the Association for Freedoms (Ozgur-Der) announced that Bulent Pak, taken into police custody on June 27, was subjected to torture and his life was in danger.
    9.7, seventeen people were tried at the SSC of Istanbul for having carried out an unauthorized meeting on May Day. Each faces a prison term of up to 3 years.
    10.7, the Human Rights Association (IHD) announced that lawyer Fethiye Peksen, detained on July 5 in Ankara, was subjected to torture and her life was in danger.
    12.7, three alleged members of the Revolutionary Left (Dev-Sol) were brought before the SSC of Ankara. Public prosecutor claimed capital punishment for each by virtue of Article 450/4 of the Turkish Penal Code.
    12.7, in Istanbul, gynaecologist Dr. Ali Tezel Erol was detained by police together with two other persons.
    13.7, the local chairman of the People's Labour Party (HEP) in Urfa, Muhsin Melik and the same party's Elazig chairman, Orhan Demirbag were taken into police custody.
    15.7, the Istanbul representative of the People's Houses, Huseyin Kahraman, who was taken into police custody on July 6 together with his four friends, alleged that he was subjected to torture and his eardrum was damaged. A medical report certifies that he, suffering from the effects of torture,  cannot work for 15 days at least. In Izmir,another political detainee, Gunes Ardic, received after his release a medical report certifying that he cannot work for 10 days because of torture he underwent during his 2-day police custody.
    17.7, in Ankara, police detained Elif Berk and three other persons for having participated in the funeral of the former's sister, Zeynep Eda Berk, shot dead during a police raid in Istanbul.
    18.7, in Ankara, lawyer Fethiye Peksen, after being kept 13 days in police custody, alleged that she was subjected to torture.
    18.7, the governor of Istanbul ordered to close down the headquarters of the Association of Freedoms (Ozgur-Der). During the execution of the order, police detained 58 association members as well.
    19.7, in Ankara, during a raid on a house, police shot dead Buluthan Kangalgil and Fintoz Dikme.
    19.7, the secretary general of the People's Labour Party (HEP), Ibrahim Aksoy said that his nephew, Naki Goksu had been assassinated by gendarmes in the district of Mazgirt in Tunceli province on June 9.
    20.7, in Istanbul, during the funeral of Fintoz Dikme, shot dead by police in Ankara, 30 people were taken into custody by security forces.
    22.7, hundreds of people were detained throughout the country during the protest demonstrations against President Bush's visit to Turkey.
    22.7, the HEP announced that a party official, Salahattin Ozcelik was taken away on July 20 by some people claiming to be policemen and there was information since then on his whereabouts.
    22.7, public prosecutor opened a legal proceeding against Turgut Kazan, chairman of the Istanbul Bar Association, because of his press conference of May 6 about the new Anti-Terror Law.
    23.7, four people were brought before the State Security Court on charges of having assassinated former Regional Gendarmerie Commander in Adana. Three of the defendants face each capital punishment, and the fourth one a prison term of up to 15 years by virtue of Article 146 of the Turkish Penal Code.
    23.7, Urfa chairman of the HEP, Muhsin Melik was arrested by the State Security Court of Diyarbakir.
    24.7, in Izmir, two members of the Socialist Party were detained for having taking part in a protest action against president Bush's visit.
    24.7, the headman of the village of Guneyce in Sirnak announced that a Kurdish shepherd from the same village, Osman Ekinci, was beaten to death at Gorendoruk Gendarmerie post on July 20. 27-year old Ekinci had six children. One of the three other shepherds detained together with him, Hasan Ekinci was gravely wounded during the beating. The whereabouts of the two other shepherds, Agit Ceker and Ramazan Gecgel, were not known.
    26.7, Dr. Ali Erol Teztel announced after his 15-day police custody that he was subjected to torture during his interrogations. Same day, in Bursa, a university student, Gulseren Havaci said that she was subjected to torture and sexual harassment during her interrogation at police station when she rejected to be a police informer.
    26.7, all people detained in Istanbul during the closure of the Ozgur-Der two weeks ago were released. They said after their release that police subjected them to torture and threatened with killing.
    26.7, in Istanbul, four high school students, one 13 and three others 15 years old, said that they were subjected to torture at police station for three days after their detention for distributing a political tract.
    27.7, the State Security Court of Istanbul issued an arrest-warrant for three people who had been released on July 24 after a 15-day police custody together with 12 other persons for being members of an underground organization.
    27.7, eight political convicts who had been freed on July 25 by virtue of the conditional release, were taken again into custody for military service.
    29.7, in Istanbul, a taxi driver, Muzaffer Onat said after his five-day police detention that he had been subjected torture at police station. He was given a medical report certifying that he cannot work for five days due to the effects of torture.
    29.7, the Chairman of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB), Attila Sav said that those lawyers who defend the victims of torture were also being subjected to torture. In a circular letter to all bar associations he said: "Lawyer Ramazan Ferat in Urfa, lawyer Osman Yetkiner in Rize, lawyer Ersoy Saglam in Ordu, lawyers Abdurrahman Alaca and Yasar Ertas in Kars, lawyers Murat Demir and Bedii Yarayici in Istanbul and lawyer Fethiye Peksen in Ankara have been victims of torture and ill-treatment as they were carrying out their professional duties."
    29.7, in Adana, seven people were detained for having insulted the President of the Republic and the members of the government. All the detainees will be tried by virtue of Article 159 of the Turkish Penal Code.
    30.7, two alleged members of Dev-Sol were detained in Eskisehir.
    30.7, Mersin chairman of the HEP Fahri Gul said that 17 people taken into custody were subjected to torture.
    31.7, the SSC of Izmir began to try 31 people for carrying out PKK activities. A 16-year old schoolgirl, H.S. faces capital punishment along with five other defendants.


    The Constitutional Court removed on July 5 a part of censorship on reporting of incidents in the emergency law region, but it gave green light to the continuation of censorship in Turkish Kurdistan.
    The Decree 430, which was passed into law last fall, carries heavy fines as well as a 10-to-30 day suspension for publications that deliberately distorted and/or intentionally misrepresented facts concerning incidents in an emergency law region.
    The Constitutional Court rescinded part of the decree concerning "additional precautions extending beyond the borders of the region to be taken during the period of emergency law."
    According to the decree which remain in effect in emergency law regions, "publications, including dailies and magazines, producing distorted or inaccurate stories about an emergency law region or about the activities of governors in the region be banned from the region or their entry be dependent upon permission of officials. The fine for monthly magazines be equal to the sum of their last month sales, periodicals that publish less frequent than monthly pay their most recent sales sum, while newly emerged publications pay at least 75 percent of the average monthly sales sum of the largest daily newspaper."
    The Emergency Law Region comprises southeastern Anatolia, inhabited mainly by Kurds, and includes Mardin, Diyarbakir, Sanliurfa, Hakkari, Bitlis, Batman, Sirnak, Bingöl and Tunceli.


    Although released in April by benefiting from provisional articles of the Anti-Terror Law, famous Turkish sociologist Dr. Ismail Besikci was arrested once more by the State Security Court of Ankara on July 31, 1991 in virtue of Article 8 of the same Anti-Terror Law.
    He is accused of separatist propaganda his recent book entitled State Terrorism in the Middle East. This book, published by Yurt Yayinevi, had already been confiscated on May 31 on same charges.
    A few weeks later, on August 15, the Public prosecutor started another legal proceeding against Dr. Besikci at the SSC of Istanbul according to the same law. This time, he is accused of separatism in a letter to a columnist of the daily Cumhuriyet, of which the full text appeared in the weekly  Yeni Ülke.
    Earlier, on July 12, Besikci's another new book, The 1931 Programme of the Republican People's Party and the Kurdish Question, too had been confiscated by the SSC for separatism.
    Dr. Besikci faces a prison term of up to five years and a fine of TL 100 million ($25,000), in each case opened by virtue of Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law.
    In last two years, five other books written by Dr. Besikci had been made the object of confiscation and legal proceeding by the State Security Courts by virtue of Article 142 of the Turkish Penal Code. Since this article was cancelled by the Anti-Terror Law, all these proceedings had been lifted and Besikci released.
    Besikci now becomes the victim of the new law which saved him from prison.


    17.6, the issue No. 8 of the monthly Özgür Halk was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC in virtue of Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code. A special issue of the monthly Haziran was also confiscated by the same court for an article criticizing the Anti-Terror Law.
    18.6, the responsible editor of the fortnightly Emegin Bayragi, Nazim Taban was detained by police in Istanbul for an article criticizing the Anti-Terror Law. Two days later, he was put under arrest by the SSC of Istanbul.
    18.6, Umit Oguztan's book entitled Queen Sissi was confiscated by a penal court of Istanbul on charges of obscenity.
    19.6, the issue No. 34 of the weekly Yeni Ülke was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul in virtue of Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law on charges of separatism.
    23.6, the representation of a theatre play about hunger strikes in prisons, entitled Don't be deceived! was banned by the district governor of Merzifon.
    27.6, poet Ahmet Telli was detained on charges of being involved in a sabotage, but freed six hours later.
    28.6, the SSC of Ankara put under arrest a journalist, Mrs. Deniz Teztel, two lawyers, Murat Demir and Bedii Yarayici, and four other persons, on charges of furnishing some information to the underground organization Dev-Sol. Deniz Teztel, chief of the Human Rights Desk of the daily Günes, and her friends had been taken into police custody two weeks ago.
    3.7, in the town of Söke in the province of Aydin, 18 people of Danish nationality were detained for distributing pamphlets including Christian propaganda.
    4.7, Mrs. Nazli Ilicak, columnist of the daily Tercüman, was sentenced to a fine of TL 369 Million ($ 85,000) for insulting 102 deputies of the governing ANAP in an article entitled "Pavlov's Dogs".
    9.7, four different cases were brought against the fortnightly Emegin Bayragi by virtue of Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law. Accused of separatism, the responsible editor faces a prison term of up to 13 years and a fine of TL 350 Million ($ 80,000) and the publisher a fine of TL 650 Million ($150,000).
    10.7, public prosecutor initiated a legal proceeding against the responsible editor of the monthly Toplumsal Kurtulus, Necdet Kanbir, by virtue of Article 312 of the TPC, for an article concerning the PKK.
    13.7, the directors of the Birlik Theatre, Erol Toy and Gül Göker, were detained in the district of Manavgat where they were preparing the representation of Toy's play Pir Sultan Abdal. The representation of this play was forbidden in the provinces of Malatya and Isparta as well. Although Pir Sultan Abdal was freely represented in many European countries by the same theatre, its representation in Turkey has until now been banned 19 times by local authorities.
    16.7, two responsibles of the monthly Sorun, Sirri Öztürk and Zeki Öztürk were prosecuted by virtue of Article 312 of the TPC for an article on the anniversary of the 1970 Workers' resistance.
    17.7, Zonguldak representative of the monthly Mücadele was taken into custody.
    22.7, two Diyarbakir correspondents of the weekly Yeni Ülke, Faysal Dagli and Haydar Gecilmez, were detained in Istanbul.
    23.7, the issue No. 39 of the weekly Yeni Ülke was confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul by virtue of Provisional Article 1 of the Law No; 5680.
    24.7, a Swiz journalist, Mrs. Barbara Anna Kistler, and three other persons were prosecuted at the SSC of Istanbul for working an underground organization. Each of the defendants who had been arrested in May faces a prison term of up to 22 years.
    24.7, the Security Directorate of Ankara refused to deliver a passport to Kurdish writer Ahmet Aras on pretext that there was a court decision banning him to go abroad. Although Aras had been prosecuted twenty years ago by virtue of Article 141 of the TPC, he benefited in 1974 from a general amnesty and he has not other court action against him since then. Moreover, the said article no longer exists since April 1991.
    26.7,  journalist-writer Umit Kivanc is pursued for an article he wrote for the satirical review Nankör. He faces a prison term of up to three years on charges of insulting Atatürk.
    30.7, a 2000e Dogru correspondent, Vedat Yayla was taken into police custody as he was covering the workers action in the Pasabahce Glass factory in Istanbul.
    31.7, Mrs. Ayse Zarakolu, director of the Belge Publishing House, was brought before the Penal Code No.2 of Istanbul for having published poet Sosyal Ekinci's book entitled Cagri. She faces a prison term of up to three years for insulting Atatürk.
    31.7, Lizzy Schmidt, correspondent of the German daily Frankfurter Rundschau, who had been arrested while covering the Diyarbakir incidents, returned to Germany after a 3-day detention. A local court found groundless all accusations brought against her by police. The German journalist said that she was subjected to ill-treatment during police interrogation. 
    31.7, the publisher of the weekly Yeni Ülke, Serhat Bucak was taken into custody by police in Istanbul.
    31.7,  in Samsun, nine people of different nationalities were taken into custody for distributing Christian propaganda material, among them are South Korean Kyungae Lee and Kyung Sihn-knm, Austrian Frank Seeley and David Richard Wight, Swiz Carl Magnus and Blond Mellanotont, German Merda Maria and South African Deborah Jean Lavler.