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


16th Year - N°191
September 1992
38 rue des Eburons - 1000 Bruxelles
Tél: (32-2) 215 35 76 - Fax: (32-2) 215 58 60
 Rédacteur en chef: Dogan Özgüden - Editrice responsable: Inci Tugsavul


    The main city gate in Sirnak... In the background, a bullet-ridden entrance bears the famous words of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: “How proud it is to say I am a Turk!” Imagine the consequences of placing by State force such a provocative banner in a city of any democratic country composed of different nationalities? For example, “How proud it is to say I am a Flemish!” in Namur, “How proud it is to say I am a Wallon!” in Antwerpen.


    In August, Turkish Kurdistan underwent a new bloody provocation of the Turkish regime aiming to justify State terrorism carried out throughout the country. As a result of this provocation, Kurdish city Sirnak was completely devastated by the security forces and about all the population had to flee for saving themselves from a new bloodshed.
    According to official communiques, “a force of between 700 and 1500 PKK guerrillas launched a massive attack on government and military installations in Sirnak on the evening of 18 August.  After the riposte of the security forces, fighting continued for three days.” Interior Minister Ismet Sezgin claimed that “attackers behaved like a suicide team and maintained that at least 100 guerrillas were killed as the security forces were suffering just five dead and 13 wounded.”
    In fact, the Sirnak ravage  came three days after the eighth anniversary of the start of the PKK’s armed campaign against the security forces in the largely Kurdish south-east. Two thousand demonstrators marked the anniversary with a rally in the city of Adana with similar events in Istanbul and various towns in the south-east. Most shops remained closed in Diyarbakir, Batman, Tunceli, Hakkari, Nusaybin and Kulp. One person was reported killed and police detained 488 others.
    Earlier, in mid-July, the Turkish cross-border trade with northern Iraq had been brought to a virtual standstill when PKK militants declared the border closed.
    At first glance, the official version of the Sirnak incidents appeared acceptable for many observers and many considered it as a continuation of the PKK  campaign.
    However, when the guns became silent at the end of three-day drama, many questions remained unanswered. Neither deputies nor journalists were not allowed for days to see the facts on the spot.
    For example, Sabah columnist Mehmet Ali Birant asked in his article:  “According to the official explanation in the newspapers, hundreds of PKK guerrillas raided the town and caused wide-spread destruction with their enormous amount of weaponry. Why should the PKK want to destroy houses and force the people to flee. Sirnak is a place where those sympathizing with the PKK are in the majority. Why would that organization want to punish its sympathizers?”
    The only thing visible was an unprecedented escape from the town of Sirnak. About the total of the population had to leave the town for saving themselves from the bloodshed. About 5,000 Kurds were in makeshift camps about 20 Km from Sirnak. About 15,000 others scattered to friends and relatives elsewhere in the Southeast and beyond.
    During this period of “blackout” that the Turkish authorities, taking the advantage of disinformation, took more steps to reinforce the State terrorism.
    The National Security Council, composed of Army commanders and some ministers, was immediately called by President Özal to an extraordinary meeting for reviewing the situation. This meeting held on August 27 at military barracks in Diyarbakir, the principal city of Turkish Kurdistan, was followed at the same place by a meeting of the Council of Ministers and the directives of the generals were noticed to the government.
    The National Security Council said in its strongly worded statement: “In order to ptotect the state’s integrity and unity, the struggle against terrorism will continue under the framework of laws and with all necessary methods being put into practice. Blows will certainly be delivered to the terrorist organization which will be followed in the mountains, rural areas and in the cities, abroad and inside the country. No one has the right to give courage to the terrorist organization which has been killing the innocent citizens of the country, martyring soldiers and policemen.”
    The NSC directives immediately adopted by the government were commented by the daily Hürriyet of August 28 in following terms: “The decision adopted at the meeting has been interpreted as an order to kill APO [Abdullah Öcalan, PKK leader] and all the other PKK leaders where they are seen, using the Israeli method. Up until now, Turkey has not launched raids on the PKK terrorists abroad except for aerial bombings of the PKK camps in northern Iraq. Following the Diyarbakir decision, ground operations may also be expected against the camps in other countries.”
    In fact, Turkish planes staged on August 29 a large-scale aerial operation against the Turkish and northern Iraqi faces of Mount Cudi and Mount Gabar, where the PKK militants have their camps. As the jets bombed a wide area during the operation, called “carpet-beating,” Turkish commandoes staged a ground operation of a more limited scope.
    This operation was followed, on August 30, by a military operation in Iran. This first Turkish military operation in Iranian territory was protested by the Teheran authorities.
    It is in this successfully orchestrated anti-Kurd hysteria that judicial reform package which reduces the period of detention and allows lawyers to attend interrogations was withdrawn from the National Assembly agenda and the Chief Justice of Turkey launched an appeal for reinforcing repressive measures.

Unexplained points

    It is only after putting in practice the NSC directives that journalists were allowed to enter Sirnak and to talk with the population. The following are the observations of Ismet G. Imset published in the Turkish Daily News  of September 5.
    “In Sirnak, all we can see is a devastated city. Each and every building in the provincial center has been hit by gunfire. Almost all windows have been broken. Shutters and iron bard guarding shops have been bent or broken, reflecting post-clash attempts at forcing them open.
    “There are tens of houses which were burned down during the violence. There are also tens of houses which were hit allegedly by tank fire.
    “According to witnesses, immediately after the clashes started, four tanks were moved into the city and used to fire on an assortment of buildings.
    “Governor Mustafa Malay said that it would take a whole month only to repair the public buildings without outside help. Damages are estimated at somewhere over TL 500 billion ($70 million).
    “Until now, in the absence of supporting evidence, claims that the PKK mountain units attacked Sirnak have, unfortunately, remained only as allegations, and with eyetwitness accounts, claims to the counter have rightfully earned more attention in the region as well as in the West.
    “On the first day of fighting, senior officials in Ankara announced that Sirnak had been surrounded by security forces. After the fighting was over, Interior Minister Ismet Sezgin announced that the terrorists had moved out of the city carrying their dead along with them.
    “If the PKK did attavk the city from within, where are all the spent shells, where are all of the terrorists, more than 1,000 people, said to have been part to the attack? If there was fighting with the terrorists for two days, how could there be no victims other than 14 civilians, including children, after the initial clash on August 18?
    “If the city was surrounded, how could the terrorists leave? If the city was not surrounded when it was nearly occupied by the terrorists. why was that action not taken?
    “After the fighting and in the midst of questions on PKK weaponry, explanations on spent shells have also attracted Western attention.
    “It is known specifically that in some terrorist urban attacks, where the PKK militia can be traced through ballistic inspection of weapons, the separatists prefer to keep their spent shells with them.
    “In killings, the same method is reportedly used now by ‘other clandestine forces’” in the region as part of the campaign to "liquidate" pro-Kurdish activists.
    “But in almost all such cases, special bags attached to Kalashnikovs collect about two magazines full of empty shells and in planned attacks, this is enough.
    “Officials now argue that the terrorists,  even the mountain units, use these bags in activities and explain that this is why no one could even spot a Kalashnikov shell on the streets of Sirnak.
    “In the case of Sirnak, however, there has been a counter-argument.
    “If the local version is accepted, as many of Ankara's officials have done without a second doubt, separatists who continued an intensified clash with security forces for 46 to 48 hours and who fired perhaps tens of thousands of bullets had to collect all of their spent shells in special bags attached to their rifles, had to place them into larger bags and then just walked out of the city.
    “Meanwhile, they were carrying with them perhaps tens of bodies, according to Interior Minister Sezgin.
    “The same goes for all of the mortars and rocket launchers which have reportedly been used from within the city but were "smuggled out" by the terrorists while Sirnak was not only surrounded by troops but a curfew was also in effect for two days, preventing anyone from appearing on the streets.
    “A late coming statement made by Ankara officials when confronted with such questions was that the terrorists had used the cover of the night in escaping from the settlement along with their dead, weapons and spent cartridges after the attack.
    “Even in that case, ask foreign circles, who then did the security forces fight against during the two days'?
    “On the other hand, if the PKK attacked with its rockets and mortars not from within the city but from surrounding hills and only the militia was involved in the urban fighting, what justification is there for all of the damages which have occurred in the city itself?
    “Where are all of the weapons used by the militia? For that matter, where are all of the terrorists if only 144 suspects are still under detention?
    “Another unexplained point which appears to have raised some serious questions among diplomats and foreign newsmen is the revision in the number of PKK militants alleged to have attacked Sirnak from the first day until now.
    “The initial number, around I,500 terrorists, was revised three times until it went down to about 500 (according to Malay, who says they attacked from the outside) and seems to be going lower.
    “The first question here is obviously how the number could be confused in such a great way. If the operation on Sirnak was justified with the initial number of 1,500 terrorists attacking the city and separatist militants holding each and every house, such confusion and the reason for it is crucial.
    “Who then informed Ankara in the first place that the city was attacked by 1,500 terrorists?
    “Who informed civilian state officials that the PKK was firing from ‘each and every house?’
    “What backing did this information have.
    “Another question brought to our attention is whether this initial information, provided from Sirnak to Ankara, was actually used as a pretext to secure Ankara's permission to retaliate on the settlement in form of an all out attack.
    “In other words, was this information the key to Ankara's decision to let an operation on the city take place? And, even further questions were put to us
    “What ever happened to the 300 plus ‘suspected terrorists’ who were reported to have entered the city claiming they were students coming in for the Iycee examinations? -- A statement made from the Interior Ministry.
    “Were they caught?
    “If they were caught, how were they released?
    “Who made the claim that these students were actually terrorists?
    “If they were released, and if they were not terrorists, has any judicial move been taken against the people who informed on them?
    “Is it true that the gendarmerie regiment was sent on alert two hours before the attack and that piles of ammunition were distributed?
    “Is it true that the police were not informed of such an alert (as claimed by some officers) and some policemen were caught unprepared in their homes when the fire started?
    “Is it true that security personnel in the Emergency Law region are under orders to fire at anything which moves during the night in a state of alert?
    “And, even with a PKK attack on Sirnak, would such an attack actually legitimate the use of such great a force on a whole city.
    “Is, for instance everyone in Sirnak, including local politicians and civilian officials, PKK militia so they have come up with claims of the use of excessive force?
    “Has everyone been taken in by a PKK disinformation campaign? Horrible claims can be heard from the local people and will unavoidably reach the foreign press as well, in the very near future.
    “Claims that in the post-operation, house-to-house search, whole buildings were burned down after gasoline was poured and ignited, claims that individual suspects were shot in their legs to prevent them from escaping and claims that security forces destroyed houses, shops, cars and anything in their way to punish the local people. Already, Reuters has put out one story on these claims.
    “Whether or not the result of an effective PKK disinformation campaign, these allegations are still being heard and deserve immediate attention even if for the sole intention of disproving them.
    “As far as we have heard from the people though, they have still not been asked what happened to their property during the Sirnak incidents, not as part of an investigation, at least. We, a group of younger generation journalists, travel through the streets and men as old as our fathers stop us to charge that troops burned down their shops and homes. They have not been questioned.
    “We go to the camps of the Sirnak fugitives, and people claim they were beaten and tortured. No one has asked them their opinion of what went on other than journalists.
    “And a Sirnak resident about 65 years old tells us: ‘We may be Kurds in origin but we are citizens of the Turkish Republic. We will and can fight against three or four tramps out in the mountains. But no one should expect us to fight against the tanks and cannons.’
    “Ankara currently argues that the Sirnak incidents are engulfed with PKK disinformation and that the above questions are but part of a separatist campaign to cast doubts on the success of troops in the region.
    “Is this wrong?
    “Personally, I can assure officials as someone who has been researching and writing on terrorism for nearly 10 years, who has been quoted on the issue by many foreign academicians and terror experts, that if one sticks to this argument, it would only be branding plenty of diplomats and foreign newsmen, agencies and newspapers as potential terrorists -- or victims of terrorist disinformation -- leave alone people like myself who are only relaying a case story to thousands of readers.
    “Such would be a serious mistake and could lead to a serious confusion marking only ‘new targets’ for a different kind of ‘terrorism.’
    “Ankara is also arguing that the Sirnak incidents are related to national unity. To an extent this is correct. However, the duty here is not to take every explanation for granted but to investigate all claims and to come up with the truth.
    “We, too, keep Turkey's interests above everything, and we believe that only the truth will serve Turkey's interests in such a period.
    “Unless urgent replies are found to the questions Turkey now faces, the claims of the PKK and pro-Kurdish circles are bound to be taken as given and this will be a further blow to Ankara's credibility.” 


    The coalition parties, on August 26, failed  to reach a consensus on a major judicial reform package which promised to restore democracy and human rights in the country. Thereupon, the parliament's Justice Commission withdraw a bill modifying the Criminal Trial Procedure Law.
    The bill stipulated compulsory presence of defense advocates at interrogation; testimony obtained through torture or ill treatment will not be accepted as evidence; suspects of crimes which require prison terms of less than six months shall not be detained. It also reduced the detention period to four days instead of current 15 days. These reforms aimed to prevent torture practice throughout Turkey. At the first debate, the bill had been adopted by the majority of parliament.
    However, on the reaction of the National Security Council, dominated by the military commanders, President Özal had earlier vetoed and sent the law back to Parliament for reconsideration on June 8.
    At the second debate at Parliament, the hardliners of the DYP, major partner of the coalition, joined right-wing opposition deputies for preventing those who are accused by virtue of Anti-Terror Law from getting a share of the reforms. They also asked that the law should not be put into practice in provinces where State Security Courts have been created.
    Since the two wings of the coalition government failed to reach a consensus, the bill was withdrawn from the Parliament.
    On this failure, HEP Sirnak Deputy Mahmut Alniak described the DYP-SHP coalition government as the "general staff government."
    The Human Rights Association (IHD), in  press release of August 28,  strongly criticized the government for stopping the bill of judicial reforms.
    "By withdrawing the Criminal Trials Procedure (draft) Law from Parliament, the government has shown its true face regarding human rights and democratization. The government had come to power with promises to rid the country of the institutions installed after military coup of 1980, to bring an end to the systematic torture, to shorten detention periods. The draft was considered a first step toward putting things right. But, the system could not swallow. Thus, from now on, the government's statements that they are against torture will not convince anyone, at home or abroad. On the contrary, torture will once again have been encouraged by the hand of the state," the IHD declared.


    The chief justice of the Turkish Court of Cassation on September 7 lashed out at the government’s judicial reform package and democratization schemes, demanding for stronger anti-terrorist measures and laws.
    Ismet Ocakcioglu said that the delayed judicial reform package with the government was worrying, in view of defending Turkish integrity and sovereignty. He said it was completely legitimate for the state to use the same “tools and methods” as the terrorists, in its struggle against terrorism.
    His views, also published in a 27-page booklet, were a strong criticism of the government’s initial position with regard to democratization drive. “Seeing or trying to display the state’s stance as an attitude against human rights, in or outside of Turkey, is a hostile approach and one which is directly against the Turkish republic and its citizens. Such an approach does not deserve legal protection.,” he said.
    Noting that the issue of making changes in the Constitution was also on Turkey’s agenda, Ocakcioglu said that the new constitution should be prepared outside of the “action-reaction relation.” He stressed that some provisions of the Constitution could not be altered, such as articles which stipulated that there be only one state, one republic, one nation.
    He claimed that the Turkish nation was not formed by different peoples, but by one people which possessed common characteristics and joint values. He denied the existence of the Kurdish people and the Kurdish language in following terms: “There was not a Moslem minority in Turkey. regardless of their origin, the citizens enjoyed all the basic rights and freedoms. No other language except Turkish can be taught to Turkish citizens at training and education organizations as their mother tongue,” he said.
    Prime Minister Demirel who attended the ceremony, on the questions by reporters on Ocakcioglu’s words, said the government is open to any criticism and that he considered the chief justice’s remarks very useful.

    After a holiday break for a month-and-a-half, the Constitutional Court, on September 8, started to discuss issues on its agenda.
    One of the most important issues on the agenda is the trial case for the closure of the People’s Labour Party (HEP).
    The lawsuit for the closure of HEP, which was opened by the Chief Prosecutor’s office on the grounds of “having activities against the unity of country and people” and “becoming the focal point of the outlawed activities”, is currently at the stage of a preliminary defense by the attorney of HEP.
    The Constitution Court had earlier closed down two other left-wing parties: the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP) and the Socialist Party (SP), the latter during the period of the new government.


    The Council of Ministers, on August 12, postponed for 60 days the strike of municipal workers which had gone on or 14 days in city centers around the country. The government claimed that continuing the strike would create a major health hazard due to the garbage piled up on the streets.
    The Turkish Trade Unions Confederation (TURK-IS) and the Municipal Workers' Trade Union (BELEDIYE-IS) immediately applied to the Council of State for the annulment of the government's decision.
    Stressing that the employees' salaries ranged between TL 1.2 million and  TL1.5 million ($170 and  $214), the attorneys of the unions said that the workers should not be deprived of their constitutional rights.
    On the other hand, the minimum monthly wage in Turkey was raised, since August 1,  to TL1 Million ($143) by a tripartite commission throughout Turkey.  Turkey, with this minimum wage, is on the tail end of the European list. The average monthly minimum among European countries is $1025.


    The Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights accused Turkey of torturing political prisoners.
    In a report published on July 29, the IHF says that between 80 and 90 percent of persons detained for political reasons are tortured or ill-treated. The most frequently used methods reported are: beatings with truncheons, hanging a person from the hands with arms stretched out behind the back, electric shocks to sensitive parts of the body, beating the soles of the feet, high pressure cold water hoses, etc.
    "Furthermore it was reported to the IHF that almost every woman submitted to torture is sexually harassed," the report said.


    The British Medical Association said in a new report published in London that doctors in Turkey were involved in torture.
    "The problem of medical participation, tolerance or cover-up of torture is persistent in some countries and an occasional problem in other. The number of doctors involved is impossible to estimate due to the secret and illegal nature of the abuse," the report said.
    The committee cited reports since 1989 of doctors being involved in torture in El Salvador, Turkey, Chile, Kuwait and Yugoslavia.
    "We found that doctors had actively participated in the process of torture by certifying the prisoner's fitness for torture, reviving the prisoner after collapse, monitoring the prisoner's state during torture and giving false or inadequate medical care to the tortured person," the report said. "Equally importantly, we found that many doctors who know that torture or other abuses are happening do nothing to challenge it."


    2.8, in Sirnak, gendarmes opened fire on peasants smuggling coal and killed three of them.
    2.8, seven people were transferred to the Malatya SSC on charges of taking part in political violence. One of the defendants faces capital punishment and six others imprisonments of up to 15 years.
    2.8, three persons fell victim of Hezbollah terror:  tradesman Celal Pekgul, 24, in Batman, municipal worker Mehdi Kaydu, 27, in Silvan and Zeki Korkmaz, 70, in Nusaybin.
    2.8, two members of the Human Rights' Committee of the National Assembly, Urfa deputy  Halil Ibrahim Celik and Istanbul deputy Halit Dumankaya, were not allowed to visit the Diyarbakir E-Type Prison for talking with political prisoners there.
    3.8, two gendarmerie officers and 23 soldiers accused of opening fire on the villagers in Mardin and killing eight of them were cleared without being brought a tribunal.
    4.8, in Diyarbakir, Abdülkadir Dindar, 23, was shot dead by an unidentified person.
    4.8, in Istanbul, twelve people were arrested for carrying out PKK activities.
    4.8, the trial of an alleged Dev-Sol militant, Murat Gül, began at the Istanbul SSC. The defendant who faces capital punishment for taking part in political violence, refused the accusation and said that he had been subjected to torture at police interrogation for accepting  the accusation.
    5.8, in Ankara, ten members of the Workers' Party (IP), founded after the closing down of the Socialist Party (SP) by the Constitutional Court, were detained as distributing a tract concerning the strike of municipal workers.
    5.8, in Diyarbakir, Ibrahim Ergen, 50, was shot dead by unidentified persons.
    5.8, in Istanbul, eight persons who had been detained on August 2 during a raid on a cultural club, said after their release that they were subjected to torture at police station.
    5.8, in Siirt, a special team raiding a house arrested two persons.
    5.8, the chairmen of the HEP and the defunct SP, respectively Feridun Yazar and Dogu Perincek were tried at the Ankara SSC, for their common press conference held on the occasion of the Newroz events.
    6.8, the Governor of Usak province started an administrative action against 300 public servants for joining trade unions.
    7.8, in Istanbul, a young girl, Nermin Alkan was sentenced to a prison term of 6 months and 20 days for having put anti-war posters on the walls of the Pendik High School in 1990. At that date Alkan was sixteen years old and her indictment gave rise to world-wide protests.
    7.8, in the village of Temat (Diyarbakir province), a 50-year old Kurdish peasant, Rifat Cetiner, was assassinated by unidentified persons.
    7.8, the Central Council of the Turkish Doctors' Union (TTB), claiming that two of its members, Hüseyin Usta and Nesrin Usta, had been subjected to torture in Kocaeli, accused the governor and the police chief of giving orders for torture.
    9.8, in Diyarbakir, Muhittin Senol, 28, and Nurettin Gizli, 38, were shot dead by unidentified persons.
    9.8, in Kocaeli, 13 persons detained in July on charges of belonging to an underground organization said after their release that they had been subjected to torture during their 15-day detention. Traces of torture were certified by a legal medicine
    10.8, for preventing a visit by Kurdish groups to the tomb of a PKK militant, Sehmuz Kaya, killed by security forces on August 6 in Lice, the Governor of the Emergency Law Region banned entrance to and exit from the city of Diyarbakir. On this occasion, security forces took into custody more than 100 people among them are also four HEP officials. Same day, in Diyarbakir, Nezihi Erkan was shot dead by unidentified persons.
    10.8, the body of a 32-year old woman, Ayten Öztürk, kidnapped in the town of Mazgirt on July 27, was found at the graveyard of Elazig with the traces of torture on it.
    12.8, in Batman, police raiding a house detained a 9-month pregnant woman named Mediha Yavuz. Her husband and three other relatives had earlier been detained.
    12.8, in the town of Bismil (Diyarbakir province), Mahmut Ceylan, 50,  who had been detained twice on August 6 and 7, claimed being subjected to torture at police station. His some coastal bones were reportedly broken.
    12.8, the Istanbul Section of the Human Rights Association (IHD) was raided by police on the governor's order.
    13.8, security forces arrested 50 people in Adana and eight in Batman. Among the detainees in Adana is also a little girl named Fatma Adigüzel.
    16.8, in Izmir, police raiding a Kurdish wedding ceremony arrested 12 people. Same day, in Edirne, police announced the arrest of four alleged PKK members.
    16.8, in the district of Midyat (Mardin province), a tailor named Nazim Demir was assassinated by unidentified persons.
    17.8, the trial of 19 people, accused of belonging to the Warriors of the Great Islamic East (IBDA-C), began at the Istanbul SSC. Each faces a prison term of up to 10 years. Some defendants alleged that they had been tortured during their interrogation, but the tribunal refused to register these claims. In protest against the tribunal's attitude, more than hundred people held a protest action in front of the court-house. Resorting to force, police detained 30 demonstrators.
    18.8, in Antalya, Dogan Baygürler who had been wounded by police on August 15 during a pro-PKK demonstration died at hospital. Two other wounded persons are still under treatment.
    18.8, in Istanbul, a woman named Birsen Gülünay announced that her husband, estate agent Hasan Gülünay had disappeared since July 20. Some eye-witnesses claimed having seen him at the Political Police Department at that date.
    18.8, in the village of Elmabahce (Mardin province), the military detained nine villagers.
    19.8, in the district of Nusaybin (Mardin province), 20-year old Seyithan Kardas was shot dead by unidentified persons.
    20.8, in Corlu, two officials of the Food Workers' Union (Gida-Is), Mustafa Pacal and Agah Kafkas were detained for inciting the workers to a protest action.
    20.8, in Istanbul,during the funeral of two persons killed at a police operation in Ankara on August 13, security forces detained 38 people.
    21.8, in Van, the local section of the Union of Education and Science Workers (Egit-Sen) was closed down on the governor's order.
    21.8, the SSC of Kayseri began to interrogate 80 tradesmen, accused of having closed their shops in a pro-PKK action in some districts of Kars, Agri and Igdir on August 15-17. Besides, 27 tradesmen detained on the same charge in the district of Digor are being interrogated at the police headquarters of Kars.
    21.8, twelve people were detained in the district of Pazarcik (Maras province), six in the district of Nizip (Gaziantep province)  and three in the district of Erzin (Hatay province).
    22.8, in Istanbul, 83 persons were detained as they were demonstrating in protest against the campaign of "Denounce Suspects!" launched by the police. Among the detainees are also some IHD officials.
    23.8, in Antalya, 43 people were placed under arrest for having participated in a pro-PKK demonstration on August 15.  Besides, eleven alleged PKK membres were placed under arrest by tribunals.
    23.8, in the district of Siverek (Urfa province), two children named Murat and Orhan Dagkeser, fell victim of a bomb explosion at tradesman Murat Dagkeser's house.  Same day in the same district, another bomb explosion at the house of a school director, Ahmet Nasanli, resulted in the death of her 10-year old daughter. His mother Ayse, wife Selime and three other children were seriously wounded.
    24.8, at the village of Tekebasi in the province of Diyarbakir, 27 village protectors were detained by security forces after their resignation from this post.
    24.8, during a raid on the village of Yolac in the district of Silvan (Diyarbakir province), unidentified persons shot dead three villagers. In Batman, a tradesman named Ekrem Göynü was shot dead. The victim is the son of a local HEP official.
    24.8, in Izmir, 86 public servants carrying out a hunger-strike in protest against the Sirnak Operation were detained. 14 of the detainees were reportedly wounded by policemen.
    24.8, in Kayseri, lawyer Meryem Erdal announced that her client, Yemeni Karabulut, was subjected torture at a police centre after his detention at the village of Karaözü on charges of supporting an illegal organization.
    24.8, in the district of Karatas (Adana province), ten people including some officials of the Association for Rights and Freedoms (Özgür-Der), were detained for having some banned political publications.
    24.8, in the district of Savur (Mardin province), two persons were found shout dead.
    25.8, in Istanbul, Baki Gökce and Cafer Kilinc claimed at a press conference that they had been tortured at police centre after being detained along with 81 other persons protesting against the campaign of "Denounce Suspects!" launched by the police.
    25.8, in the district of Gercus (Batman province), 34-year old Mehmet Sait Keskin was shot dead by unidentified persons.
    27.8, in Adana, the police announced the arrest of 35 alleged PKK members.
    27.8, in Istanbul, police detained nine alleged Dev-Sol militants.
    27.8, in Izmir, the legal medicine certified that 12 people, detained for an unauthorized demonstration in protest against the Sirnak Operation were subjected to torture at the police centre. One of the victims, 3-month pregnant Ümmühan Caliskan had reportedly miscarriage under beating
    27.8, in the district of Viransehir (Urfa province), six people were placed under arrest by a tribunal for having closed their shops in a pro-PKK action on August 15.
    27.8, the SSC of Istanbul placed under arrest 63 people having participated in a pro-PKK demonstration on August 15.
    28.8, eight deputies of the coalition parties, in a letter to Prime Minister, said that the official declarations concerning the Sirnak Operation do not correspond to the reality and asked the government to open legal investigation against the responsibles. "If the claims are true, villages had been bombed from the air and the people without defence had been the target of tank rockets for three days. The number of the innocent victims is still unknown," they said.
    28.8, in Adana, a primary school teacher, Abdurrahman Tamer, and a street-hawker, Musa Yücedag, were shot dead by unidentified people in two separate incidents. In Midyat, Ibrahim Kardes who had been shot by the Hezbollah on August 20 died in a hospital.
    28.8, in Istanbul, a young man named Coskun Kücükaslan announced that he had been subjected to torture at the Sehremini Police Post after being detained for a non-political charge. The fact of torture was certified by a legal medicine report.
    28.8, the SSC of Istanbul placed under arrest 15 people for pro-PKK activities.
    29.8, in Diyarbakir, unidentified people shot dead Ahmet Siddik Turhalli, elder brother of the local HEP chairman. 
    29.8, in Hekimhan (Malatya province), Haci Osman Sungur, a former left-wing prisoner, was shot dead by unidentified people.
    29.8, the chairmen and officials of 49 local sections of the IHD went on a 24-hour hunger-strike in protest against the increasing violations of human rights. IHD Secretary General Akin Birdal, claiming that the state of emergency region in the South-East turned into the theater of an undeclared war, asked the United Nations to intervene in. "The region was at the mercy of the army, the police and subversive forces. Instead of seeking a democratic and peaceful solution to this question, they use repressive methods based on violence and armed operations. The civilian people of the region has been a hostage in this undeclared war," he said.
    30.8, in Batman , a public servant named Ömer Aslan was shot dead by unidentified people.
    30.8, the daily Özgür Gündem reports that a 8-month pregnant woman, Nurcan Özatak, and a 2-year girl, Nurcan Özatak, were shot dead on July 28, as they were going from the village of Caylica to the village of Üzümlü in the province of Hakkari.
    31.8, five employees of the Fethiye Municipality (Mugla province) were indicted for having participated in a sit-in. Each faces a prison term of up to 3 years.
    31.8, in Batman, a restaurant-keeper, Ali Basak was shot dead by unidentified people.
    31.8, in Istanbul, 20 women were detained for having carried out a demonstration in protest against the Sirnak operation.
    31.8, in the district of Malazgirt (Mus province), security forces arrested HEP local chairman Celalettin Yayla and 6 other party officials.
    31.8, SHP deputy Mustafa Kul said that the five people killed during a home raid on August 13 could have been captured without shooting dead. "That morning, a person phoned me and said that their home was surrounded by police forces using fire-arms and they were ready to surrender if they do not continue to shoot," he said.


    After the assassination of nine journalists, on September 20, 1992, a distinguished Kurdish journalist and writer, 75-year old Musa Anter was shot dead in Diyarbakir. The unidentified gunman wounded at the same time another Kurdish writer, 42-year old Orhan Miroglu, who was together with Anter.
    Anter had been writing particularly on the Kurdish Question in the daily Özgür Gündem and the weekly Yeni Ülke. He was the author of four books of which three are in Kurdish.
    As an ardent defender of the rights of Kurdish people, Anter had been arrested in 1959, 1963, 1971 and 1980. for his opinions.
    Anter had reportedly been receiving phone calls announcing that he too would be assassinated soon.
    The funeral of Musa Anter was held in his native city Nusaybin with the participation of more than 5 thousand people.
    This 10th assassination of journalist has given rise to nation-wide protests, as well from Kurdish side as Turkish side.
    HEP Sirnak Deputy Mahmut Alniak claimed that the assassination, as the precedent ones, had been committed by the Counter-Guerrilla Organization. HEP Chairman Ahmet Türk declared that the restarted of the assassination of journalist had been triggered by the declaration of the Chief Justice of the Court of Cassation claiming to reinforce repressive measures against the Kurdish national movement.
    Following the Chief Justice’s directives, the Turkish justice, instead of finding out the killers , pursues the media of opposition.
    The September 22 issue of the daily Özgür Gündem, of which Anter was one of the columnists, was confiscated by the Istanbul State Security Court by virtue of Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law. The court considered an announcement entitled “Uncle Musa [Anter] is Immortal!” and signed by PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan  in the said issue as separatist propaganda.

International Reactions to assassinations

    The assassinations of nine journalists in Turkey continue to give rise to concern at international organizations. In the precedent issue, we had given the reaction of the International Federation of Journalists, Helsinki Watch  and the French organization Reporters Sans Frontières.
    On September 8, International Press Institute (IPI) President Peter Galliner and Executive Board Chairman Cushrow Irani voiced dismay over the assassination of journalists at a press conference in Istanbul , following a 3-day fact-finding mission to Turkey.
    Galliner and Irani said:
    “The IPI is gravely concerned that eight journalists have died a violent death and is not persuaded that academic discussions as to whether they had press accreditation cards, or whether they were full-time employees of news organizations at the time, is at all relevant.”
    Referring to a question about an earlier comment by Demirel that a majority of the journalists killed were in fact terrorist militants, Irani said the Turkish Government had given them no evidence supporting that claim. He said in the absence of any evidence given by the Turkish government supporting its claim that the journalists killed were involved in terrorist activities, IPI is legitimately concerned about the fate of other journalists as well as those who were killed.
    On the other hand, the New York based Committee to Protect Journalists announced on September 9 that there is some evidence implicating Turkish security forces in the deaths of Turkish journalists covering the Kurdish resistance in the Southeast.
    Andrew Yurkovsky, representative of the committee, following his inspections in Istanbul, Diyarbakir and Ankara, told a press conference that all the killings took place in areas where the security force presence was heavy and that nobody has been arrested for the murders. He said the writings of the victims offended the police and the military, and some of them had received threats from the police before their death.
    During his talks, Interior Minister Ismet Sezgin said him that the journalists were members of the outlawed PKK or other such “terrorist” groups.
    Mr. Yurkovsky said: “Giving us evidence and accusations of past wrongs and alleged infractions is missing the point. If there is any proof that these journalists were criminals, the government should have brought them to trial.”


    4.8, the issue N°42 of the weekly Yeni Ülke was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for an article by Dr. Ismail Besikci criticizing the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court.
    6.8, the August issue of the magazine Penthouse Turkey was declared "harmful" by the Board of Censorship for printing some articles and photos considered "obscene." If a tribunal approves the decision, all copies of the August issue will be destroyed.
    6.8, the Ankara SSC decided to confiscate a book entitled Last Internationalist Struggle and published Ortadogu Publishing House.
    8.8, the Istanbul SSC punished three journalists for some articles appeared in the monthly Toplumsal Kurtulus. Responsible editor Necdet Kanbir was sentenced to 12-month imprisonment and to a fine of TL100 Million ($14.000). Two co-publishers of the review, Ahmet Zengin and Sevki Omeroglu too were sentenced to pay the same fine. 
    11.8, the issue N°13 of the weekly Azadi was confiscated for separatist propaganda by virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
    11.8, the prosecutor of the Istanbul SSC started a legal proceeding against Dr. Ismail Besikci for an interview he accorded to the monthly review Yurtsever Genclik.
    12.8, the issue N°43 of the weekly Yeni Ülke was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC by virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
    15.8, the Tatvan correspondent of the monthly Özgür Halk, Seyhmus Günuc was detained. After his release on August 17, he alleged being tortured at a police center.
    16.8, in Istanbul, the prosecutor of Istanbul SSC started a legal proceeding against 18 journalists who are editors of 18 different periodical publications. Accused of having published a press release entitled "No to the Spring Offensive!", each faces a prison term of up to five years for separatist propaganda. The indicted journalists are Nazim Taban (Emegin Bayragi), Mehmet Cangi (Devrimci Mücadele), Erdal Cinar (Kurtulus), Salih Bal (Medya Günesi), Seyit Nusret Öztürk (Ekimler), Haydar Üc (Parti Yolunda), Zekeriya Özdinc (Barikat), Asli Günes (Hedef), Ertugrul Karatas (Yeni Demokrasi), Özer Degistirici (Direnis), Süleyman Altun (Özgür Halk), Zeynep Yengil (Haziran), Naile Tuncer (Devrimci Proletarya), Fatma Karabacak (Newroz), Sadik Gülec (Özgürlük Dünyasi), Fethi Özdemir (Komün), Garip Töre (Emek).
    17.8, in Istanbul, three journalists, Nuray Kalci and Naki Erikli from the daily Özgür Gündem and Murat Özdemir from Mücadele, were detained as they were covering a protest action by the population of Kücük Armutlu slums.
    18.8, two weeklies, Azadi  and Yeni Ülke, and the monthly Özgür Halk were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda. Out of 96 issues of Yeni Ülke appeared until now, 38 have ben subjected to confiscation.
    18.8, a book entitled The Revolt of Ararat Mountain and written by Ihsan Nuri Pasha was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    24.8, the issue N° 14 of the fortnightly Devrimci Proletarya and the issue N° 9 of the quarterly Secenek were confiscated by the SSC of Istanbul on charges of separatist propaganda.
     26.8, a correspondent of the daily Sabah, Ramazan Imrag was beaten after being detained by security forces as he was covering the Sirnak Operation. Seriously wounded, Imrag was taken under treatment at the Diyarbakir University Hospital.
    27.8, the trial of Dr. Ismail Besikci for his book entitled Thoughts on the PKK, confiscated in January 1992, began at the SSC of Istanbul. The prosecutor claimed a prison term of up to five years against Besikci. Besides, Besikci and the publisher of the book, Murat Ilyas Burak, face each a TL 100 millions ($14.000).


    A much-publicized meeting in London on September 7 to mark Great Britain’s step into the Presidency of the European Community provided ample evidence that Turkey’s application to the Community and prospect of eventual membership was not presently a part of the “European scheme.”
    None of the speakers pronounced the word “Turkey” once in the day-long conference attended by nearly 600 high-powered delegates from around the world.
    There was much talk, however, of the next stage of enlargement, which is expected to incorporate countries such as Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and Finland initially, and later countries such as Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland.
    As for the closed door ministerial meeting in the town of Welwyn on September 12,
European Community ministers, acting on request by Greece, postponed a decision to enhance ties between Turkey and the Community.
    EC ministers, who came together at the beginning of September for an informal meeting near London, discussed “in a general way” the increasing role of Turkey and the need for further Turco-EC ties.
    However, the ministers agreed with Greece that a declaration on upgrading political ties with Turkey before the third round of Cyprus talks in New York would give Ankara “the wrong impression.”
    After this, the next stage will be the meeting of the Turkish-EC Association Council on November 6, when some indications may be given as to the direction of relations between Ankara and the Community.
    According to an analysis by commentator Semih Idiz in the Turkish Daily News of September 11, “The immediate future of Turkish-EC relations, as concerns Ankara’s application for membership, appears very much ‘business as usual.’ In other words ‘no business.’”


    At the Turkey-European Community Joint Parliamentary Committee meeting in Istanbul on June 29-30, the European Parliament was severely attacked by committee's Turkish co-chairman Tunc Bilget.
    Referring to the resolution of the European Parliament on the Rights of the Kurdish People (See: Info-Türk, June 1992),  Bilget described the EP as being "at best curiously uninformed or misinformed in such a was as to lead us to suspect its motives. We see the EP now in almost all foreign policy matters as a hot bed of extremism." he further urged that the EP tone down its deliberations on the Kurdish issue and listen less to agents bent on provoking trouble rather than its own emissaries.
    Bilget is a member of the DYP, principal partner of the current coalition.
    Bilget's views were echoed by Interior Minister Ismet Sezgin who said after the first day of meetings that the members of the European Parliament were "not" objective, and were only looking at events through "EC glasses."
    This aggressive attitude of the Turkish part towards European representatives constitutes a new proof of Ankara's intolerance especially on the Kurdish Question.


    The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, at its session of June 30 in Budapest, adopted a resolution urging Turkey to prevent torture, pursue reports of human rights violations more vigorously, and take more control of security forces.
    "Despite the government's good intentions, very serious human rights violations, including torture and disappearances, continue to occur in Turkey," said the Resolution.
    Although the Turkish delegation made great effort to prevent the vote and later boycotted it, the Resolution and the report prepared by Baarveld Schlaman (Holland) and  Lentz Cornette (Luxembourg) passed by a large majority. (For the full text of the report, see: Info-Türk, February 1992).
    "We, unfortunately, see that the report in front of us is partial, exaggerated, incompetent and therefore unacceptable, and certainly dos not help Turkey in her quest, " Turkish delegation President Engin Güner said before leaving the assembly debate.
    Even Turkish social-democrat deputies considered the adoption of the resolution as a German plot against Turkish interests. SHP deputy Istemihan Talay said after the vote: "The report was very prejudicial. All the  prejudices have surfaced because Turkey has become an important force in the Middle East, and Germany especially does not have a positive opinion of Turkey. Germany considers Turkey as an obstacle for relations with Central Asia and is uncomfortable with the improving Turkish-US relations in this matter."


    The International Parliamentary Union, representing 118 parliaments around the world, listed Turkey and eight other countries which it said violated the human rights of current or former members of parliament.
    Besides Turkey, the IPU condemned Bulgaria, Burma, Chile, Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia and Togo for a total of 106 cases of alleged violations of human rights.
    The IPU declared on September 13 it was concerned about indictments against the People’s Labour Party (HEP) deputies in the Turkish Parliament. HEP deputies face prosecution on charges of undermining the sovereignty or unity of the Turkish state, which carry the death penalty.


    Recent press reports have linked the recent successes of Azerbaijan, fighting against Armenia in the Azeri enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, to Turkish military experts alleged to have been dispatched there.
    Although these rumours were denied by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the Press Office of the Turkish General Staff said to the Turkish Daily News of July 14 that a military attache with the rank of general serves in the Turkish embassy in Azerbaijan, while the other two military attaches appointed to the Turkish embassies in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan hold the rank of colonel.
    What is more important, after the election of Elcibey, an admirer of the Turkish neo-fascist Grey Wolves Movement, was elected the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan,
a number of former army officers taking part in this movement were reportedly sent by the Nationalist Labour Party (MCP) to Azerbaijan for organizing the Azerbaijan Army.


    The weekly Nokta, at the end of June, made revelations about Turkish and German Nazi cooperation during the Second World War.
    "There were a number of Turks massacred in the Jewish concentration camps. These people were caught in Turkey and sent to Germany," said Monika Herzog, a German historian and the director of Ravensbruck Museum which was used as the Women's Concentration Camp during the ward.
    According to documents shown to a Nokta reporter in the museum, 71 people of Jewish origin and citizens of the Turkish Republic were transferred to Germany via Brussels because of political reasons.
    The weekly wrote that another concentration camp was at Dachau where 86 Turks of Jewish origin were sent from Turkey.