Turkey is living a so-called Spring Syndrome after
President Özal hinted, on January 31, new military preparations for a
major offensive on Kurdish nationalist targets in the Southeastern
region. As a prelude to this offensive, the Turkish Army units have
increased raids on Kurdish villages by shooting dead many people.
Meantime, political murders, arrests, tortures and censorship have not
not yet ended in spite of the Government’s promises for a rapid
Moreover, the government decided on February 27 to
extend the period of Emergency Law in the Southeast for another four
The SHP had, during its opposition years, been
against this extraordinary regime in Turkish Kurdistan, and after the
last legislative elections it had entered the government with the
promise of lifting it. The present stand of the SHP on this crucial
issue has given rise to severe criticisms in the human rights circles.
It is in this atmosphere that a group of
parliamentarians of Kurdish origin issued a strongly-worded
public memorandum calling for a cease-fire in Turkey's Southeast region
and appealed for a general amnesty including the removal of hard-line
military measures in the troubled regions.
The move coincided with a Cabinet meeting during
which The declaration was signed by a total of 49
deputies from the ruling Correct Way Party (DYP) and Social Democrat
Populist Party (SHP) as well as the Motherland Party (ANAP) and Welfare
"Today everyone in Turkey with the Kurds at the top
of this list, are living a Spring Syndrome," the declaration said, in a
covert reference to mounting expectation of a massive Turkish operation
against Kurdish targets as of next month. "The people are being
terrorized and there is talk of mass annihilation," the statement said.
It added that hunger, misery and unemployment had
peaked in the troubled region, but the people more concerned about
personal security than feeding themselves.
The declaration said the bloodshed in Southeast
turkey "has increased tension throughout Turkey" and stressed that this
situation had "planted the seeds of enmity, which would be difficult to
destroy later on, between the Turkish and Kurdish people. These seeds
should not be allowed to grow.
"The Kurdish issue is now Turkey's most important
problem and it is not possible to solve this problem with force and
oppression. To try to find a solution to the problem with this method,
which had been used for years, will not solve anything. This would only
mean more blood and more tears. The most important step which has to be
taken today is to pull back the bullets which have been thrust into the
barrel and to cease fire."
The statement asks the government to take the
"A general amnesty should be announced; Emergency
Law should be lifted; The village guards system should be abolished;
All anti-democratic laws and regulations, with the Anti-Terror decree
at the top of the list, should be abolished; Unidentified murders,
which have turned into a man-hunt as well as torture , should come to
an end and the culprits should be caught; All political views should be
given the right of organization."
SHP CRITICIZED BY KURDISH DEPUTIES
The SHP, the Coalition Government's left wing, faced
harsh internal criticism from Kurdish-origin parliamentarians on
February 25 over the government's southeast policy.
In a meeting of the SHP parliamentary group,
People's Labour Party (HEP) former chairman Fehmi Isiklar called for
stronger steps to be taken in the plight for democracy.
Isiklar, who said the people of the Southeast were
now facing a Spring Syndrome, --fearing a major war between Turkish
troops and the Kurdish guerrillas as of next month-- called for a
cease-fire in a bid to prevent further bloodshed in the region.
Isiklar pointed out that a Kurdish-Turkish enmity
was now escalating in Turkey and said the local people feared a mass
annihilation this spring.
SHP Diyarbakir Deputy Sedat Yurttas, lashing out at
Turkish air bombings on Cudi Mountain, stated that against promises
made after the coalition government came to power in Ankara the people
of the Southeast still faced bad treatment. He then told members at the
meeting about the six people who were killed in the Yardere village of
Saying that about 500 people were reportedly killed
in Turkish bombings, Yurttas asked, "will these bombings be directed on
villages and cities in the future? Are the people supposed to be ready
DICLE AND ZANA RESIGNED FROM THE SHP
Two popular Kurdish deputies, Hatip Dicle and Leyla
Zana, had already resigned from the SHP on January 16 after increasing
reaction to their outspoken attitude on the Kurdish issue in Turkey.
They stressed in a written statement their belief
that "hiding realities will not be in the interest of the Kurdish and
In a ceremony where Turkey's 450 MPs took the oath
of office, Dicle pointed out he was reading the oath "under pressure."
Zana shouted "Long live the brotherhood of the Kurdish and Turkish
people" in Kurdish after taking her oath. Thereupon, SHP Chairman Inönü
asked for the two to submit their resignations.
US SUPPORT TO ANTI-PKK CAMPAIGN
During his first visit to the United States, on
February 11, Premier Demirel told President Bush that Turkey was
determined to wipe out that "terrorist organization". In his statement
Bush reaffirmed support of Turkish territorial integrity, particularly
against terrorism, but did not elaborate further. However, a State
Department official said: "We don't support an independent Kurdish
state, and we believe very strongly in the territorial integrity of
Turkey. The PKK has conducted what we considered terrorist activities.
We think of it as a terrorist organisation."
AVALANCHES IN KURDISH AREA
In February, a series of avalanche disasters in
Turkish Kurdistan claimed hundreds of lives.
The first wave of avalanches, on February 2, hit
Kurdish villages in Sirnak, Siirt and Hakkari. A total of 140
bodies were plucked from the snow after the disaster. Half of the
victims were gendarmes stationed in the area for cracking down on
Another wave of avalanches killed more than fifty
people in the same region. 31 people died when an avalanche hit near
Sirnak's Beytusebap town. Over 14 people died in five villages near
Batman's Kozluk and Sason towns.
The area was already experiencing a severe winter
for the past three months. Over 2,000 villages were already cut off.
According to the PKK, the avalanche disasters might
have been provoked by the low flights of Turkish aircrafts in search of
Kurdish guerrilla groups hiding in the mountains.
At the SHP parliamentary Group meeting on February
25, Diyarbakir Deputy Sedat Yurttas strongly criticized the bombing of
PKK camps on Cudi Mountain, located on the Turkish-Iraqi border,
stating that he suspected the recent avalanches recorded in that region
may have been the result of such bombings.
HUMAN RIGHTS OVER 100 DAYS
The Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD), in a
report issued on the occasion of the 100th day of the DYP-SHP
power, announced that since the new coalition government received a
vote of confidence on November 29, 1991, the State had not ceased to
disrespect fundamental human rights in Turkey.
The report shows that in the first 100 days of the
Demirel-Inönü Coalition, which took power with promises of restoring
all fundamental rights and freedoms in the country, four people have
died under police torture, three are still missing and 28 have been
killed "under mysterious conditions", a euphemism used to indicate
possible official connections. The figure of 28 may actually be as much
as three-times lower than the real number, due to a delay in recording
new claims and cases.
A breakdown of the 28 recorded "mystery killings"
shows that there has been an increase in this secretive campaign to
eliminate pro-Kurdish and left-wing civilians.
In the Southeast, where the outlawed Workers' Party
of Kurdistan (PKK) has been waging an eight-year guerrilla war, there
has been a sudden increase in the number of killings of pro-Kurdish
civilians and politicians.
In December, five people were killed under
controversial circumstances indicating that the murders may not
necessarily related to a "terrorist" organization.
The toll of "mystery murders" in January was nine,
while in February the total jumped to 15.
None of the culprits have been caught and human
rights activists claim that most of the assassinations are actually the
work of a radical Islamic Kurdish Hezbollah organization which is
allegedly protected by the Counter-Guerrilla Organization [Turkish
Gladio] and security forces.
From November 29, 1991, to February 20, 1992,
169 people lost their lives in acts of terrorism throughout the
country. Of these, 161 were killed in the Southeast. The death toll
includes 31 soldiers, 10 village guards and 46 PKK militants, as well
as 72 civilians.
Meanwhile, six people were killed in January in what
human rights activists claim to be "executions without verdict,"
essentially meaning police operations designed to kill the suspects
whatever be the level of their implication in resistance..
At least 1,600 "suspects" have been detained by
police in the first 100 days of the coalition.
NEVER-ENDING MAN HUNTS
In the past seven months, 45 unexplained murders
have occurred in the Southeast region, with most of the victims from
the Kurdish population. All these murders have reportedly been
committed by members of the Islamic Kurdish Hezbollah organization who
are being trained by the Counter-Guerrilla Organization and the police.
The weekly Yeni Ülke reported on February 3 that
three people had been killed within last ten days by the Hezbollah
militants: Nizamettin Kisin on January 23 in Mazidag (Mardin),
Seyfettin Aktan on January 25 in Nusaybin and Hüseyin Pamukcu, headman
of the Fakiri Village on January 26 in Besiri (Batman).
Political assassinations have not ceased, but
increased in February 1992, third month of the DYP-CHP Government:
Below are the political murders recorded in February
1.2, the local secretary of the SHP in Nusaybin,
Oktay Türemen was shot dead by three unidentified persons.
11.2, in Batman, a shopkeeper, Metin Elikci was
first beaten and later murdered by unidentified persons using daggers.
Meantime, in another quarter of the city, the car of Ekrem Aslan was
set on fire.
14.2, during an operation at the Yaraköyü Village in
the province of Mardin, Kurdish peasants resisted against the security
forces. Opening fire on the peasants, the security forces shot dead six
peoples and wounded twelve. In protest to the massacre, next day, the
peasants occupied the E-24 highway and stopped the traffic for hours.
Protest demonstrations were held in Nusaybin as well.
15.2, in Diyarbakir, a primary school teacher, Ahmet
Bayhan was shot dead by unidentified persons. A eight-year old boy by
his side was wounded during the incident. The teacher had earlier been
detained for three times for aiding the PKK. His funeral was attended
by more than 5 thousand people.
16.2, at the Payamli Village in the province of
Siirt, security forces opened fire on the people commemorating a killed
PKK militant, shot dead two people and wounded four.
17.2, in protest against the massacre in Mardin, a
number of demonstrations were held and shops were not opened in the
districts of Nusaybin, idil, Silvan; Kulp and Pervari.
21.2, in Midyat, police opened fire on about 2,000
people during a protest against State terror in the area. A young man
was shot dead, five people wounded and many demonstrators were detained.
23.2, at the Altinoluk Village in the province of
Elazig, during a raid on a house, six people of whom two women were
shot dead by security forces.
27.2, in the district of Silvan of the Diyarbakir
province, a public servant, Seyhmuz Akinci was shot dead by
unidentified persons. Two hours later in Nusaybin, a member of HEP,
Emin Narin was found assassinated. Narin had been detained for giving
aid to the PKK, but released a few days later.
ASSASSINATION OF KURDISH JOURNALISTS
A reporter working for the weekly 2000e Dogru was
assassinated in Diyarbakir on February 19, two days after the magazine
ran a cover story claiming members of the Islamic Hezbollah
organization were being trained by the Counter-Guerrilla Organization
and the police in the city.
Halit Güngen, 22, received one bullet in his head
and died on way to the hospital.
Immediately after the killing, another reporter of
the magazine, Ahmet Sümbül was detained by the police.
Two reporters were the authors of the magazine's
articles concerning the Hezbollah. They reported that after the
coalition government took office, Hezbollah activities started in the
Southeast, mainly in the province of Batman. At leas five people were
killed and several shops owned by pro-Kurdish civilians were bombed.
None of the culprits have been caught.
Last year, the 2000e Dogru office in Diyarbakir
suffered a bomb attack along with another opposition magazine.
Unidentified people have been hanging posters in
front of the magazine's office threatening other occupants of the same
building and ordering them to "throw the traitors out."
The funeral of Güngen turned into a protest
demonstration attended by more than 15 thousand people.
A few days later, on February 24, journalist Cengiz
Altun, Batman correspondent of the weekly Yeni Ülke, was shot dead in
his office by unidentified gunmen. Eye-witnesses said that the killers
escaped by motorcycle having committed murder.
Altun had, a few days earlier, been taken to the
Gercüs Gendarmery headquarters and threatened for his stand on the
His funeral was attended by more than 20 thousand
people, shouting slogans: "Kurdistan will be the grave to fascism!",
"Down with the Counter-Guerrilla!" Same day, all shops in the city were
closed and schools were boycotted by students.
The Chief Editor Hüseyin Akyol and other editors of
the Yeni Ülke were attacked and harassed by soldiers and Special Team
members as they were returning from the funeral.
On February 27, the car of journalist Aykut Tuzcu,
publisher of the daily Sabah in Gaziantep, was destroyed with
explosives by unidentified persons.
SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF A TV COORDINATOR
The general coordinator of Star-1 private TV, Yekta
Okur died in Istanbul on February 18 as a result of a traffic
"accident" when his car hit the left and then the right barriers of the
Police initially said the high speed of the car,
combined with the slippery road conditions caused the accident.
However, a woman who called Star-1 claimed that she
was driving with her husband when she saw, at 2.00 a.m., a truck
hitting Okur's car from the back.
Star-1 hinted that the death was "suspicious"
considering Okur had just submitted a petition to the Public Prosecutor
saying his life was threatened. An anonymous caller had reportedly told
Okur that he would be killed soon.
Okur said in his petition that the threats were made
by Ahmet Özal, son of President Turgut Özal, and his partner Turgay
Ahmet Özal is one of the founders of Star-1 but he
is reportedly at odds with the Executive Board Chairman Cem Uzan and
Star-1 pointed out that Okur drove a Nissan, a car
that instantly locks in case of an accident. However, Okur was found on
the sidewalk with the car doors open.
"I do not believe this is an accident," said Nezih
Demirkent, the chairman of the Journalists' Association , "I cannot
explain why his guard and his driver were not with him as usual."
POLICE ATTACK JOURNALISTS
In Adana, on February 7, policemen attacked
journalists in Adana who were attending the funeral ceremony for
policeman Özer Özkaya who was killed in an armed ambush in the town.
After Adana Police Chief Mete Altan had concluded his speech of
condolence, policemen attacked the journalists, shouting, "Dogs who
serve for human rights." They broke cameras and clubbed journalists.
The reporters who were hurt in the incident were taken to various
hospitals in the city. Among the journalists who were injured were
Mehmet Aslan, the photo-journalist of the official Anadolu Agency and
Arap Filiz of the daily Cumhuriyet.
The policemen later marched on the E-5 highway
towards the area where the human rights association building is
located. They blocked the highway for nearly an hour and chanted
slogans urging the Prime Minister to resign.
As they arrived at the point where the office of the
SHP Adana Provincial branch office is located, they chanted, "Down with
NEW TORTURE ALLEGATIONS
Despite the Government's promise to stop torture
practice, new torture allegations have been arriving to the
The 100-Day Report of the IHD records the following
people died under interrogation:
- Murat Özsat (placed under custody Nov. 23, 1991 -
died Dec. 8),
- Agit Akip (detained Dec. 10, died a day later),
- Ibrahim Demir (detained Dec. 10, died a day later)
- Refik Akin who was taken by the police on Jan. 29,
but reported dead on Feb. 1.
Besides, Mus deputy Muzaffer Demir revealed that
Akan, after being forced to lie down naked in snows, was beaten to
death by policemen.
Below are the other recent cases of torture:
10.2, in Istanbul, a car dealer, Mustafa Sürer
alleged that he had been tortured at the Tozkoparan police station to
where he had been taken for a family dispute.
16.2, during a police raid on a house in Diyarbakir,
five people were brutally beaten. Among them were also a 80-year old
woman, Halime Savas, and a pregnant woman, Hanim Savas.
20.2, in Izmir, three persons who had been taken to
police station for an investigation alleged that they had been
subjected to torture between January 26 and February 7, 1992. One of
them, Kemal Gök said that he had been forced to swallow nails and
pieces of wire.
U.S. REPORT ON TORTURE IN TURKEY
A U.S. State Department report on human rights
declared that torture was widespread in Turkish police stations last
year. It also claimed it is rare for alleged torturers to be prosecuted
and that there is an overall indifference. The report said 18 deaths
were reported in police custody last year.
The report mentioned high-pressure cold water hoses,
electric shocks, beating of the genitalia and hanging by the arms as
methods used at the Turkish police stations.
It charged that police in some cases refrained from
using those methods because they left marks. Instead, the report said,
they used psychological abuse, such as verbal intimidation and
Turkish Foreign Ministry stated on February 2 that
the report was being studied.
STATE TERRORISM IN FEBRUARY
2.2, in Istanbul, police detained three people
during a demonstration claiming an end to torture and death sentence,
organized by a number of associations and trade unions.
3.2, a group of workers marching to Ankara in
protest against the deteriorating living conditions were stopped by the
police using force at the entrance of the capital city and sent back to
Izmir. During the intervention, many demonstrators were beaten and two
of them seriously wounded.
3.2, the State Security Court of Malatya arrested
ten people on the charge of giving aid to PKK militants.
3.2. it is reported that more than 20 people were
detained during police operations in the province of Urfa at the end of
3.2, about 100 workers carrying out a sit-in for 20
days at a transport company in Istanbul were dispersed by police using
force. Some of the workers were beaten and ten people detained.
4.2, the SSC of Istanbul began to try Esber
Yagmurdereli, Ragip Duran and Attila Aycin for their speeches at a
meeting organized in Istanbul by the Human Rights Association on
September 8, 1992. Each faces a prison term of up to five years by
virtue of Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law.
5.2, the daily Zaman reports that a sergeant at the
Military Air Base in Kayseri, Mehmet Ucucu was detained on January 29
for Islamist propaganda in the Army.
5.2, eighteen people were detained in Erzurum for
sheltering PKK militants.
6.2, police detained 15 people in Bursa for carrying
out activities for the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP).
Ten of them were later placed under arrest by a court.
7.2, the trial of fifteen alleged members of the
Revolutionary Left (Dev-Sol) at the SSC of Ankara ended and nine
of the defendants were sentenced to prison terms of up to 36 years and
8.2, twenty people were detained during a series of
police operations in the province of Van
8.2, in Gaziantep, police detained 17 people for
aiding the PKK, among them are also two minors: Mehmet Polat (15) and
Saadet Duran (16).
8.2, in Urfa, police detained HEP provincial
chairman Eyüp Karageci.
10.2, in Bodrum, five construction workers were
detained for aiding the PKK. Same day, in Mardin, 17 people were
detained for the same reason.
13.2, the SSC of Malatya began to try nine people
for supporting the PKK activities. The prosecutor claimed prison term
of up to 15 years for each.
14.2, Istanbul chairman of the Human Rights
Association (IHD) announced that the association officials were very
often receiving menaces of death.
14.2, security forces, during an operation in Izmir,
detained ten people for giving aid to PKK militants. Among the
detainees are also a newly confined woman and a HEP official,
14.2, the SSC of Erzincan sentenced four people to
capital punishment and one to life-prison for having carried out PKK
15.2, in Ankara, police intervened in a
demonstration by about 5,000 public servants claiming trade union
rights. During the skirmish, police wounded eight people and detained
four. A few days later, the SSC of Ankara started a legal proceeding
against the six members of the committee which had organized the
15.2, it is reported that the office of the
Association for Solidarity with the People of Elazig in Elazig had been
raided and closed down twice by police within last one month.
16.2, security forces detained 11 people in the
Silvan and four in Hasankeyf during anti-PKK operations.
16.2, the SSC of Diyarbakir sentenced Salih Dönmez
to a 10-month prison term for having disregarded the Turkish flag
during a wedding ceremony in the district of Halfeti. Two other persons
having attended the same ceremony were sentenced by the same tribunal
to 2-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 50 million each for having
shouted "separatist slogans."
16.2, in Istanbul, the office of the Association for
Studying and Developing Popular Culture was raided by police. During
the raid, all documents inside were confiscated and ten people arrested.
17.2, in Ankara; eighteen people were detained
during police operations for giving aid to the PKK. They are reportedly
to be tried by the State Security Court.
19.2, in Istanbul, the tents of a group of workers
who were carrying out a protest action against a transport company were
pulled down by the police. Many of the workers were brutally beaten and
detained by police when they resisted against this operation. Among
them are also the Chairman of the Transport Workers' Union, Sabri
Topcu, Secretary General Yurdal Senol and three legal councillors of
the union. Same day, 30 workers of the same company in Adana were also
detained for protest actions.
20.2, the State Security Court began to try
Socialist Party (SP) Chairman Dogu Perincek for his electoral speechs
prior to the October 1991 elections. Accused of separatist propaganda,
Perincek faces a prison term of up to five years in virtue of Article 8
of the Anti-Terror Law.
20.2, in Izmir, 14 people were detained for aiding
20.2, local HEP Chairman Davut Yalcin and twelve
other people were detained in Kiziltepe.
21.2, in Istanbul, 44 Islamist people were indicted
for having participated in a demonstration to protest against the
military coup in Algeria. Each faces a prison term of up to three years
for unauthorized meeting.
21.2, it is reported that 48 people were detained in
last one month during anti-PKK operations in the provinces of Mardin,
Siirt and Tunceli.
21.2, three people were detained in Canakkale and
three high-school students in Konya on the charge of giving support to
22.2, four people were detained in Izmir for
participating in the actions of an outlawed organization.
24.2, in Istanbul, fifteen workers were beaten and
detained by police during a protest demonstration.
24.2, police detained 11 people in Gaziantep and
five students in Izmir for having supported the PKK.
25.2, in Izmir, the SSC began to try 25 people for
having participated in PKK actions. A defendant faces capital
punishment and the others imprisonment of up to fifteen years.
25.2, eleven political prisoners escaped from
Kayseri top security prison through a 190-meter-long tunnel they
managed to dig. They had been detained for belonging to the
Workers'-Peasants'' Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO).
26.2, in Ankara, defence lawyer Murat Demir was not
allowed to talk with his client in the Central Prison, because he had
been in the same prison a few years ago as a political detainee.
27.2, in Istanbul, four alleged members of the
Communist Labour Party of Turkey (TKEP) were detained and sent to the
State Security Court.
27.2, security forces detained 14 people in Urfa and
23 in Mus for giving shelter to PKK militants.
27.2, in Izmir, the tents of transport workers in a
protest action were pulled down by police. As workers were
resisting against this intervention, police wounded two of them and
PERSECUTION OF THE MEDIA IN FEBRUARY
During the first 100 days, 11 magazines were seized,
16 journalists were detained and five gatherings including panels, a
concert and two "solidarity meetings" were banned. Four provincial
branch offices of unions were also closed temporarily on orders from
In the same period, the government which claims it
is against all kinds of censorship, banned 12 books --seven of them
written by prominent scholar Dr. Ismail Besikci.
The other books banned in the same period:
Abidin Kizilyaprak: How We Fought Against the
Kurdish People - The Memoirs of a Soldier.
Hüseyin Karatas: The Song of a Rebellion- Dersim.
Metin Ciyani: Fairy Tales From a Country of Eternity.
Edip Polat: The Sunrise of Newroz.
A book entitled Graffiti of Sexual Substance was
also banned in this period.
The following is the chronoligical list of the
State's repressive practices as regards the media:
1.2, the latest book of Dr. Ismail Besikci,
Observations on the PKK - Price of the Freedom, was confiscated by the
decision of the Istanbul SSC by virtue of Articles 6 and 8 of the
1.2, Anthology of Prison Poems 1980-1990, a joint
publication of Melza and Sorun Publishing Houses, was confiscated by
the Istanbul SSC.
2.2, the issue N° 18 of the political periodical
Özgür Halk was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC by virtue of Article 9
of the Anti-Terror Law, for having published the translation of an
interview with the PKK leader Öcalan.
4.2, a former Communist Party of Turkey (TKP)
official, 91-year old Mehmet Bozisik was not allowed to go abroad for a
medical treatment. He suffers from skin cancer.
6.2, the Istanbul office of the fortnightly Emegin
Bayragi was raided by the police and the chief editor Mukaddes Celik,
Managing Editor Nazim Taban and five other contributors were
taken into custody.
7.2, the Ankara SSC decided to confiscate three
books of Dr. Ismail Besikci by virtue of Article 8 of the Anti-Terror
Law: The Method of the Science, A Letter to the UNESCO and Some
Observations on Kurdish Intellectuals. The first of these three books,
the Method of the Science, had been published in 1976 and never been
subjected to a legal proceeding.
11.2, the public prosecutor opened a new lawsuit
against Professor Yalcin Kücük for his article "Öcalan, My Brother",
published in the weekly Yeni Ülke. Accused of separatism, he will be
tried by the Istanbul SSC, facing an imprisonment of up to five years
by virtue of the ATL.
12.2, Dr. Ismail Besikci was detained in Istanbul in
the night and sent to the Ankara SSC for his interrogation. However,
the SSC decided to deal with the case without placing him under arrest.
17.2, Dr. Besikci's new book, The Perquisites of
Uprising, was confiscated by the decision of the Ankara SSC for
separatist propaganda (Art 8 of the ATL)
18.2, the issue N° 18 of the weekly Yeni Ülke was
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for an article asking for the
recognition of the statute of "belligerent side" to the PKK.
19.2, the issue N° 38 of the fortnightly Mücadele
was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for publishing an obituary notice.
28.2, the Ankara SSC decided to confiscate three
books by Dr. Ismail Besikci: "Science, Official Ideology, State,
Democracy and the Kurdish Question", "The Rules of the Republican
People's Party" and "Destruction of the Sentries in Our Mind". The
first two of these books had already been confiscated two years ago by
virtue of Article 142 of the Turkish Penal Code. After the lifting of
this article last year, two books have been reprinted, but the
prosecutor considered them harmful by virtue of Article 8 of the ATL
replacing Article 142.
REINSTATEMENT OF TURKISH CITIZENSHIP
The Interior Ministry announced on February 3 that a
draft law was prepared for lifting Article 25/G in the Citizenship
Law adopted by the military junta in 1981.
Once the draft law takes effect, 209 people who were
stripped of their Turkish citizenship on the grounds that they
performed actions considered detrimental to the security of the nation
will have their citizenship restored. These people were not only
stripped of their citizenship but all their property and financial
assets were seized by the Treasury.
Among them are also two Info-Türk editors, Dogan
Özgüden and Inci Tugsavul who appealed to the European Commission of
Human Rights for the annulment of the military junta's decree.
Some of those who were stripped of citizenship
returned to Turkey without waiting this new legislation, carrying the
passports of the European countries where they are naturalized. Two
famous musicians, composer Sanar Yurdatapan and singer Melike Demirag
visited their homeland after a ten-year exile, not as Turkish citizens,
but as German citizens.
However, they returned to Germany from Turkey in a
big deception. Before leaving Turkey for Germany, Sanar Yurdatapan had
his hair cut, on February 7, in protest against the on-going human
rights violations in the homeland.
Yurdatapan explained us the reasons of his protest
"As you know very well, the October 20, 1991
elections led to the formation of a coalition government which promised
to make many reforms in the field of democratization and human rights.
"Unfortunately, recent developments in our country
have disappointed us and led to increased concern as regards human
"1. Allegations about the practice of torture in
police stations are still going on throughout Turkey. According to a
report of the Human Rights Association (IHD), dated February 7, 1992,
since the new government took over, 20 cases of torture, 2 deaths under
arrest, 12 deaths in suspicious circumstances and 3 disappearances have
"On February 6, 1992, in Istanbul, I was informed of
a new torture case: a political exile, Haydar Beltan, was arrested in
Ankara and subjected to torture when he returned from Germany after a
"In protest and in order to draw attention to the
on-going torture practices, I had my hair cut during a press conference
I held in Istanbul My head will remain shaven until the Turkish
authorities take serious steps to end this inhuman practice.
"2. Special execution groups, officially entitled
“Anti-terror teams”, are shooting dead instead of apprehending them
alive. In January 1992 alone, six people fell victims of this man-hunt.
"3. The same teams concentrate their terror in the
areas inhabited by Kurdish people. Murders committed by these teams are
openly tolerated by the State authorities.
"4. The Counter-guerrilla Organization (Turkish
Gladio),the mastermind of State terrorism, is still operational
throughout the country and the State authorities have not taken any
concrete measure to put an end to its subversive activities. For this
reason, the authors of many political murders cannot be identified.
Consequently, State terrorism provokes the rise of individual
terrorism. What is more important, the chiefs of the State and the the
General Staff, instead of dealing with the real reasons of the
political violence, publicly advocate revenge and push security forces
to more violence.
"5. Some sinister forces in the State take no heed
of the legislative. For example, the prosecutor of the State Security
Court of Ankara, Nusret Demiral, launched a legal proceeding against 20
deputies of Kurdish origin for their electoral and inaugural speeches
and demanded capital punishment for all of them. "
TBKP CLOSURE TO STRASBOURG
Leaders of the United Communist Party of Turkey
(TBKP) charged on February 3 that a Constitutional Court verdict
banning all activities of the party was a violation of democratic
principles and international agreements. Having applied to the European
Human Rights Commission, TBKP Chairman Nihat Sargin and Secretary
General Nabi Yagci (Haydar Kutlu) said Turkey should be put on trial.
The TBKP was tried on grounds that it supported
class dominance, that its name contained the word "communist", that its
views with regard to the Kurdish issue were of separatist nature and
that it was a continuation of defunct parties.
The Constitutional Court passed the judgement at the
end of January acquitting the party on charges of class struggle and
being a continuation of defunct parties but sentenced it to closure on
grounds of using the word "communist" in its name and supporting
Sargin and Yagci also criticized the court decision
referring to the party's program on the Kurdish issue as a violation of
"In a period when the Kurdish taboo is being debated
and when the government lifts bans on the Kurdish language, our party
is being closed down because of its views on the Kurds. If there are
still bans in Turkey, could one talk about a popular and democratic
constitution?" asked the party leaders.
ANKARA’S OPENING TO CENTRAL ASIA
The emergence of the new Turco-Islamic independent
states in the East and strong Moslem minorities in the Balkans have
recently increased Ankara’s chances of diplomatic manœuvres in
An Associated Press report of February 28, 1982,
resumed Turkey’s new opening in following terms:
“Boasting of its location, secular tradition and
successful transition to a market economy, Turkey is trying to become a
bridge between the west and the former Soviet republics.
“Turkey has focused its attention on six Muslim
republics, with which it has close ethnic, religious and linguistic
ties. But it is also trying to expand links with Russia, an important
trading partner. Even relations with Turkey’s historical enemy,
Armenia, are rapidly improving.
“Other regional powers, including Saudi Arabia, Iran
and Pakistan are also jockeying for influence in the Muslim republics.
“Turkey has several aims. First, the Muslim but
officially secular country hopes to curb Islamic fundamentalism and
Iran’s drive in the Muslim republics.
“Second, Turkey is seeking trade. It also intends to
show the West it remains a valuable partner.
“‘Turkey was important in the Cold war, as a pillar
of the NATO defense,’ noted a European ambassador in the Turkish
capital. ‘If Turkey wants to have this support politically and
economically from the West, they have to use this card.’
“Turkey was the first to recognize the Muslim
republics’ independence and has quickly moved to extend its influence
in several ways.
“• It has sent thousands of alphabet books to
persuade them to change from Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet rather than
to Arabic script.
“• Some 1,000 students are scheduled to receive
scholarships to Turkish universities to study business.
“• Turkey recently announced a project of 10 Million
Dollars to broadcast Turkish television to the Muslim republics, where
Turkish is widely understood.
“• Turkey’s export-import bank is extending millions
of dollars in lines of credit to the republics.
“There already is some success.
“Azerbaijan pledged to follow Turkey’s secular model
and transition from a state-directed to a free-market economy.
“Turkey and Azerbaijan ‘are like a tree with one
root and two branches,’ enthused Azerbaijan’s foreign minister,
Housseinaga Sadykhov, in a recent interview in Istanbul.
“However, the Turks admit they don’t have the
resources to single-handedly resuscitate the economies of the Muslim
“Turkey is hoping that its closest ally, the United
States, will give it a boost in this competition. By taking part in
joint projects with Turkey, Turkish officials argue, Washington would
be supporting a democratic free-market model and checking Iran’s
“‘We certainly are looking at ways we can work with
Turkey... to see what we can do for the new republics,’ said a U.S.
Embassy spokeswoman in Ankara.
“The Unites States and Turkey have already been
cooperating on spending aid to the Soviet Union. Turkey is providing 90
metric tons of foodstuffs.
“Turkeys trade with the Soviet Union has been
blossoming for a decade.
“Since a Turkish agreement to import Soviet natural
gas in 1984, trade has grown sevenfold, to 2 billion dollars, officials
say. However, most of it is with Russia, not the Muslim republics. An
intriguing aspect of the warming ties between Turkey and the new
republics is the rapprochement between the historic enemies, Turkey and
“There is a tentative plan to build port facilities
for the landlocked Armenian republic at the Black Sea city of Trabzon,
“Turkey and Armenia have not yet established
diplomatic relations but have expressed interest in improving ties,
which have suffered from allegations that Turkey committed genocide
against Armenians during World War I.”
ARMENIA ALARMED BY TURKISH MANOEUVRES
As a matter of fact, while the AP was reporting a
rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia, Soviet press reported a
growing anxiety in Erivan as regards Turkey.
The daily Hürriyet reported on February 25 that
Armenia was alarmed by the scheduled Turkish war games along the
eastern border for February 27-28. The Erivan authorities were
particularly worried by the fact that the exercise would test the
readiness of the Turkish Armed Forces to repulse an offensive against
Turkey from the east (Armenia) and the announcement that President Özal
and Premier Demirel would be observing the manoeuvres.
Hürriyet said the Turkish exercise coincided with an
Armenian concentration of troops on its borders with Azerbaijan.
The Turkish Armed Forces would use helicopters,
fighter planes, tanks and artillery in the war games.
The daily Zaman quoted President Özal as saying that
if a major problem [war] erupted between Azerbaijan and Armenia, turkey
would have to be seriously concerned. "There is the obligation of
seeking a solution before things get out of hand and spread," Özal said.
Earlier, an article in the Russian newspaper
Izvestia said the Turkish Third Army, based in Erzurum, was engrossed
in the "most massive mobilization" since World War II.
Another article in Nazavisimaya Gazeta quoted
"advisers" of Armenian President Leon Ter Petrosyan as saying that
Turkay was trying to "intimidate" Armenia by putting Turkish troops on
alert and moving them toward their common border. "At a time when the
Nagorno-Karabakh crisis is escalating, this move cannot be interpreted
as anything but a show of force to intimidate Erivan," the article said.
The article in Izvestia claimed Azerbaijan, which
already has cooperation agreements with Turkey in a number of areas,
would request Turkish military aid. Allegedly Turkey would provide this
aid from Nakhichevan --an Azerbaijan enclave inside Armenia-- and
Turkey and Azerbaijan would eventually unite.