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


17th Year - N°195
January 1993
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


Diabolic manipulations to rehabilitate the Army and
Kemalism are dragging Turkey to a dangerous polarization

    Turkish journalist and author Ugur Mumcu was assassinated on January 24,  1993, as a bomb planted in his car exploded in front of his house in Ankara. Contrary to the silence as regards the 12 preceding journalist assassinations within last one year,  this murder has given rise to country-wide protest actions asking the government to find out and punish the murderers. However, diabolically exploiting this reaction to rehabilitate the prestige of the Army  and Kemalism, the military and secret organizations in their service are dragging Turkey to a dangerous polarization.
    Mumcu, a columnist of the daily Cumhuriyet, was renown both in Turkey and abroad for his investigative reporting. He gained international fame for his investigation into the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II by Turkish extreme-right gunman Mehmet Ali Agca in 1981. He was  also an outspoken voice against Islamic fundamentalism.
    The Mumcu assassination is the third major assassination of a prominent journalist in Turkey since 1979.
    Abdi Ipekci, the editor in chief of daily Milliyet was killed in February 1979 by Mehmet Ali Agca who later gained international notoriety as the would-be assailant of Pope John Paul II.
    The editor-in-chief of Hürriyet, Cetin Emec was gunned down in October 1990 as he entered his car in front of his home. His assailants remain unknown.
    In addition to these three journalists, twelve other journalists working for left-wing newspapers have been assassinated in recent years, and none of their killers has been identified.
    After the Mumcu's assassination, Premier Demirel said that there were only three unsolved murders on the police shelves.  In reply to Demirel, the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) announced that a total of 360 unsolved murder cases challenge Ankara and 90 percent of these were committed in the Southeast region. Excluding Mumcu, 12 journalists have been killed in the one-year period of the Demirel-led coalition has run the country. All of these journalists were writing articles or reports about the oppression of Kurds.
    Facing this time a big popular reaction, Interior Minister Ismet Sezgin and other senior government officials pledged to catch the culprits --stating that this was "a matter of honour" for the government. However, in the following days, the government again failed to meet public expectations.
    What is more, the following questions have remained without answer:
    • Why did the Interior Ministry fail to protect Mumcu at a distance, knowing the number of threats he had received?
    • Has any action been taken against the policemen who are on guard around the clock across from Mumcu's house and only 20 meters from where his car was parked?
    • How could they have not seen the explosives being planted?
    No answer!
    Considering these questions, one can easily arrive to the conclusion that, whosoever be the killer, this assassination was well covered by some obscure forces within the State apparatus, for example by the National Intelligence Organization and the Counter-Guerrilla Organization.
    The fact that the murderers of the 12 other left-wing or Kurdish journalists are still at large credits the hypothesis that these assassinations might have been instigated and covered by subversive organizations of the State.
    After the Mumcu’s assassination, instead of naming a reliable personality, the government charged the notorious prosecutor of the Ankara SSC, Nusret Demiral, who is known as a tool of the Counter-Guerrilla Organization, to conduct the investigation on the assassination of Mumcu.  In his articles, Mumcu  persistently voiced his distrust for Demiral. For this reason, Mumcu's wife declared that she would not give Demiral the computer disks on which Mumcu had registered all his findings as regards terror in Turkey.
    The recent increase of political assassinations remind people of past military coups, which almost always follow periods of assassinations. One can ask: Is there any reason for a new military coup in Turkey since the Army is actually the master of the country and can impose what it wishes by the means of the National Security Council?
    Although Army is still in a position of dictating to the government, the popular opposition has been getting grower since the government failed to keep its promises. This opposition might lead to such radical changes in parliamentary plan that the Army can no longer stay in the position of supreme power.
    The growing opposition  of the people to the Government’s policies on Turco-American relations has been annoying the United States as well. The Turkish public opinion reacted against striking Iraq from Incirlik Base as the Western powers rest inactive as regards the Bosnia-Herzegovina drama. Mumcu was one of the spokesmen of this reaction.   
    Although he was recently in good relations with the military and the State intelligence services and was receiving from them confidential information on the Kurdish movement for using them in a book on which he was working, he was also a critics of the government's pro-American policies. He was against the presence of the Provide Comfort force in Incirlik  and criticized the recent air operations of this force against Iraq.
    In the fear of losing Turkey’s support in the region, Washington might have provoked some spectacular assassinations in a view to justify an Army intervention and to take under guarantee US interests in Turkey under a more authoritarian regime. It is well known that the National Intelligence Organization and the Counter-Guerrilla have always served to the US interests and collaborated with the US secret services.
    In a move to prevent such kind of comments from getting more credibility, security authorities immediately hinted that either the PKK or a fundamentalist organization supported by Iran might be the author of this assassination. 
    Although Mumcu, as a Kemalist writer in defence of “unitary state”, had recently entered a polemic with some Kurdish intellectuals and accused PKK leaders of following a separatist policy and collaborating with the world of crime, even the most ardent anti-Kurdish circles and newspapers could not produce elements enough to prove  a “PKK connection.”
    Thereupon, the security authorities and the pro-government media launched a well orchestrated anti-Iran campaign, accusing Tehran of sending terrorists to Turkey to destabilize the Kemalist State. In this atmosphere that an estimated 200,000 people attending the funeral procession of Mumcu in Ankara on January 27, chanted slogans such as "Turkey will not become a second Iran," "No to Shariah", "Turkey is secular and will remain secular" and  "Mullah's to Iran."
    The presence of the Chief of General Staff Dogan Güres and other army commanders at the funeral had an exclusive publicity in the media and many newspapers attributed to the Army which had lost all its credibility in public opinion after the 1980 Coup, the mission of "supreme protector of the stability."
    Just prior to the funeral, General Güres paid a visit to the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Yekta Güngör Özden, and said "This is not only a courtesy call because this institution [Constitutional Court] has come under various attacks. In Turkey, intellectuals, young people and the military are all strong, and they uphold the principle of secularism. " Addressing to Özden, Güres added: "The Army is behind you."     Özden, as an Ultra-Kemalist and an ardent supporter of the 1980 Coup , has always been in the service of the military and obeyed to the directives of the National Security Council as regards socialist and Kurdish movements.
    Just after the funeral, the arrest of 19 suspects in relation to an abortive attempt on the life of Turkish-Jewish businessman Jak Kamhi on January 28 amplified the anti-Iran campaign as if only Teheran was responsible of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Turkey. If the secularity of Turkey is menaced today by the Islam fundamentalism, this process had been started by Iran now, but 35 years ago by the Saudi Arabia under the instigation of the United States.
    It is Saudi Arabia that really controls today religious institutions and an important part of economic and financial sectors in Turkey. Iran might recently have introduced some subversive elements into Turkey, but the fertile soil of Islamic fundamentalism in this country has been prepared by Saudi Arabia on the instigation of the USA and with the complicity of so-called “secular” governments and the Army. (See, Extreme-Right in Turkey, Info-Türk, 1988).
    Without pronouncing a single word against Saudi Arabia and its influential collaborators in Turkey, all possible scenarios were developed as regard “Iranian connection” on behalf of defending Kemalism and Secularism.
    At the end of January 1993, Turkey was promptly being dragged to a polarization between the country's practising Muslim majority and urban-based secularists on the one hand, and on the other, between the Turkish and Kurdish sections of the population.
    Exploiting Mumcu’s Kemalist and Unitarianist reputation, this polarization was systematically being provoked by the Army and the Ultra-Kemalist writers in the media.
    It is such polarizations that can, as seen in the past, easily justify any possible Army intervention claiming to defend Kemalist principles and national interests in Turkey and to guarantee the stability in the Middle East.


    In retaliation to the pressures on the Kurdish deputies at the Turkish National Assembly, the Kurdish national movement has launched a campaign to constitute a Kurdish National Assembly.
    The first part of the election was held in Europe in November-December 1992 and  87,720 Kurdish migrants and refugees elected their representatives to the Kurdish National Assembly. In the four parts of the Kurdistan shared by Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran as well as in former Soviet republics, Kurds are continuing to vote for electing their deputies.   
    The first public action of the 15 Kurdish deputies elected in Europe has been to start a hunger-strike, together with other 700  Kurds, in Brussels on January 24.
    At a press conference held on January 26 at the Saint-Géry Hall, 15 Kurdish deputies explained the aim of their action in following terms:
    "In Kurdistan the inhuman measures which the Turkish State started at the beginning of 1992 have reached hitherto unprecedented levels.
    "Towns are being bombed, villages burnt and demolished, people murdered in the streets and the civilian population forced to migrate. They want to depopulate our country.
    "Almost every day public servants, workers, writers, political activities and people from all walks of life are being slaughtered by paramilitary forces, in what the state calls "murders by unknown persons." It is well known in Turkey that these forces have state support and protection.
    "It is no coincidence that the bloodiest measures carried out by the Turkish State in Kurdistan in the last 50 years.have occured under the rule of the coalition government of the DYP and the SHP. The fact that one of these parties wears a liberal mask and the other a social democratic one serves to deceive Western governments and public opinion.
    "We are seriously concerned that in the event of Turkey being unable to depopulate Kurdistan it will take advantage of the silence of Western public opinion and the general lack of interest in massacres in our country to perpetrate a Kurdish genocide. The measures used so far by the coalition government serve to increase our fears.
    "We, the 15 members of the Kurdistan National Parliament elected from Europe, launched an indefinite hunger strike on 24 January to protest against the policies of the Turkish state, to make known to the world the tragedy of our people's situation and to make Western public opinion aware of approaching genocide with a view to preventing it.
    ""Our demands:
    "We call on governments, human rights organizations, trade unions, political parties, the international media and public opinion:
    "• To condemn the Turkish State's torture and slaughter of our civilian and defenceless people, and counter-guerrilla murders of democratic, patriotic journalists and individuals,
    "• To put pressure on the Turkish State to consider a democratic solution to the desire for freedom of the people of Kurdistan,
    "• To demand an end to military aid to the Turkish State,
    "• To stop Turkey's dirty war against our people,
    "• To call for delegations to be sent to Kurdistan by the European Parliament and national parliaments to investigate developments on the spot."


    A minibus carrying a group of Assyrians from Midyat to the village of Cayirli on January 13 was attacked by the village protectors and a Hezbollah team. The assailants shot dead five Assyrians: Aziz Kalayci, Yusuf Özbakir, Aydin Aydin, Isa Koc and Gevriye Durmaz and wounded others.
    Although security authorities attributed this murder to the PKK, the Cultural Centre of Mesopotamia in Brussels accused the Turkish military and para-military groups and launched the following appeal to international organizations, particularly the European Parliament and the Council of Europe to react for guaranteeing the Assyrian population in Tur Abdin (in Southeast Turkey).
    (For further information: Centre Culturel de Mésopotamie - Rue des Eburons 12 - 1040 Brussels, Tél: 32-2-230 71 89)


    5.1, lawyer Hasan Güler reported after his release that he had been subjected to torture during his 6-day police detention.
    6.1, the Chief Prosecutor opened a law suit at the Constitutional Court against the Greens Party (YP) for not having submitted its accounts of 1988 to State control.
    4.1, in Ankara, 30 people were detained during police operations.
    4.1, in Istanbul, seven detainees declared after their release that they were forced to discharge coals at police station.
    4.1, in Istanbul, the Cultural Research and Solidarity Association of Beykoz was closed down for disposing some banned publications.
    6.1, in Elazig, the Association for Solidarity and Culture (EHADKAD) was closed down by the governor.
    7.1, in Hazro, seven people were detained during security operations in different villages.
    9.1, IHD Vice-Chairman Yavuz Binbay was detained at the Istanbul Airport as leaving Turkey or participating in an international conference in Denmark.
    9.1, Interior Minister Ismet Sezgin disclosed that 1,300,000 people have been registered as "suspects" by security authorities and banned to travel abroad. Of these people, 300,000 have been put on registers for political reasons.  Sezgin stated that if a political "suspect" had not committed a political offence within last five years, his "suspect card" would be destroyed.
    9.1, 63 political detainees were beaten and wounded by gendarmes and guards  in the Malatya E Type Prison.
    11.1, the chairman of the People's House of Trabzon and 12 other people, detained when they were returning from a New Year celebration in Rize reported that they had been tortured by police.
    11.1, more than 50 people were detained in Adiyaman during a series of police operations.
    12.1, in Adana, a 2,5-month pregnant woman, Dilek Onat, reported after her release that she miscarried under police detention as a result of torture. She had been detained on January together with 16 people.
    12.1, the Istanbul SSC Prosecutor opened a court action against 30 alleged Dev-Sol militants with the demand of capital punishment for 16 and prison terms of not less than 10 years for the others.
    12.1, police announced the arrest 16 alleged PKK militants in Istanbul at the beginning of January.
    14.1, the Istanbul SSC Prosecutor opened a new court action against 18 alleged Dev-Sol militants with the demand of capital punishment for 16 and prison terms of not less than 10 years for two others.
    15.1, in Istanbul, during a worker demonstration in protest against redundancies, police detained Ömer Ergül, deputy-chairman of the Leather Workers' Union (Deri-Is) and five other workers.
    16.1, in Mugla, Serif Celik and Ekrem Ograk reported after their release that they were subjected to torture at police station after being detained 34 other people.
    17.1, in Istanbul, police announced that 35 people had been detained since January 8 on charges of participating in the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP) activities.
    20.1, in Istanbul, police intervened in a workers' demonstration by using force and wounded trade union official Hasan Gülüm and 7-year old Serap Uzuncayir.
    20.1, the Izmir SSC Prosecutor started a court action against 30 people detained for PKK activities. Three of the defendants face capital punishment .
    21.1, security forces detained 27 people in Nusaybin and 31 people in Gaziantep on charges of separatist activities.
    22.1, former HEP Istanbul Chairman Osman Özcelik was taken into custody as he was going to his work in Istanbul.
    22.1, in Eskisehir, 18 university students were detained for separatist propaganda during a musical concert.
    27.1, IHD member Gülseren Baysungur reported that she had been tortured after her detention by police on January 15.
    29.1, a protest rally by the families of 350 dismissed workers in Istanbul was stopped by police using force. 30 people including a 10-year old boy were wounded and 25 detained.
    29.1, the Chief Prosecutor started a court action against the Party for Freedom and Democracy (ÖZDEP) and asked the Constitution Court to close down the party for separatist activities.
    30.1, a missile launched by a Turkish military aircraft hit a house at the hamlet of Ciftekavak in Sirnak and killed two women, Hatice Ekici (80) and Ayse Ekici (35) and three children, Naze Ekici (12), Hamza Ekici (6) and Semsi Ekici (4).
    31.1, the Istanbul section of the Construction Workers' Association (YITED) was closed down by the governor for having some banned publications.
    31.1, the Cultura and Research Association of Sultandag (SULKAD) was searched by the police, some documents and publications inside were seized and four members detained.


    The daily Cumhuriyet of January 24, 1993 reports that 14 journalists have been sentenced to a total of 228 years and 5 months in prison and fined a total of  TL 4,756,775,000 ($594,500).and 341 court actions continue against 31 journalists by virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
    Although the 141 and 142 of the Turkish Penal Code had been lifted two years ago, the Anti-Terror Law adopted on same day seriously menaces the freedom of expression.
    All the journalists condemned or tried are accused for revealing the names of the security members pursuing terrorist organizations (Article 6), praising terrorist organizations (Article 7) or separatist propaganda  (Article 8).
    Below are the names of the periodical publications with the number of the cases in which they are tried:
    Azadi 6, Barikat 3, Deng 7, Devrim 1;, Devrimci Emek 11, Devrimci Genclik 13, Devrimci Yurtsever Genclik 7, Direnis 3, Emegin Bayragi 32, Gercek 7, Halkin Gücü 3, Hedef 1, 2000e Dogru 1, Iktidar 1, Iscilerin Sesi 3, Iscinin Yolu 6, Komün 3, Kurtulus 28, Medya Günesi 4, Mücadele 27, Newroz 15, Newroz Atesi 4, Odak 3, Özgür Halk 9, Özgürlük Dünyasi 2, Partizan 6, Serketin 9, Toplumsal Kurtulus 8, Vatan Günesi 3, Yeni Ülke 115.
    The names of the responsible editors sentenced to prison terms are as follows:
    Zekeriya Özdinc (Barikat) 10 months, Kamil Ermis (Deng) 16 months, Hüseyin Durmaz (Devrimci Emek) 22. months and 15 days, Tayfun Yüksekbas (Devrimci Genclik) 9 months, Naile Tuncer(Devrimci Proletarya) 11 months, Mustafa Kemal Begün (Devrimci Yurtsever Genclik) 6 months, Dursun Ali Kücük  (Devrimci Yurtsever Genclik) 24 months, Özer Degistirici (Direnis) 5 months, Nazim Taban (Emegin Bayragi) 71 months, Günnor Ilhan (Iscilerin Sesi) 20 months, Fethi Özdemir (Komün)5 months, Cemal Turan (Kurtulus) 6 months, Nejdet Kanbir (Toplumsal Kurtulus) 10 months, Riza Erdogan (Özgür Halk) 5 months, Süleyman Altin (Özgür Halk) 5 months.
    They have been sentenced a total of TL4,756,775,000 ($594,500) in fine.


    According to daily Cumhuriyet of 5 January, 546 out of 1454 issues of 39 newspapers and magazines carrying on their publication have been confiscated by the decision of the State Security Courts.
    Below are the number of the confiscated issues of 39 newspapers and magazines:
    Ak Zuhur 4, Azadi 11, Barikat 3, Deng 13, Devrim 1;, Devrimci Emek 25, Devrimci Genclik 19, Emperyalizme Karsi Devrimci Genclik 2, Devrimci Proletarya 11, Devrimci Yurtsever Genclik 6, Direnis 6, Dogru Secenek 6, Ekimler 2, Emegin Bayragi 58, Emek 22, Genclik Yildizi 4, Gercek 4, Halkin Gücü 3, Hedef 14, 2000e Dogru 32, Iktidar 2, Iscilerin Sesi 5, Iscinin Yolu 4, Komün 6, Kurtulus 19, Medya Günesi 21, Mücadele 40, Newroz 9, Newroz Atesi 4, Odak 4, Özgür Gündem 32, Özgür Halk 18, Özgürlük Dünyasi 24, Partizan 3, Serketin 4, Taraf 22, Toplumsal Kurtulus 26, Vatan Günesi 7, Yeni Ülke 50.


    Labour Party (IP) Chairman Dogu Perincek was given a two-year prison term and fined TL50 Million ($6,097) by the Ankara SSC on the grounds that he supported separatism in his election speeches and brochures.
    Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law, according to which Perincek was sentenced, states:
    "Regardless of methods, goals and opinions, no published or verbal propaganda, meetings, demonstrations and marches targeting to destroy the integrity of the Republic of Turkey's territory and its nation can be organized. Those who conduct such activities shall be sentenced from two to five years in prison and given a heavy fine from TL 50 million to TL 100 million."


    A 16-year old high school student, Serkan Koc was suspended from school for an academic year because he bought a Lenin badge, sold freely everywhere in Turkey.
    The Naci Eksi High School in Istanbul has a fundamentalist administration that conducts out-of-date practices, and this causes problems for hundreds of students in the school.
    The Koc family said the teachers were searching for cigarettes but had come upon the badge which Koc had bought in his native city of Tokat, one of the many cities where Russians gather to sell their commodities.


    The daily Özgür Gündem had to suspend its publication on January 15, 1993 because of a series of pressures.and financial difficulties.
    The daily's publisher, Yasar Kaya, in a public declaration, said: ""They advanced on us from four sides. Recently, the company which distributed our newspaper in Diyarbakir, Urfa, Mardin, Elazig and Van has refused to do it. We attempted to distribute the newspapers by using our own possibilities. The volunteers who distributed Özgür Gündem were menaced, attacked and even assassinated. This was a part of a global plan aiming to destroy us. Our financial loss has reached TL 30 Million ($3,750).  Besides, a number of our writers and correspondents have been shot dead by obscure forces. It was impossible for us to carry on the daily's publications under these conditions."


    The Diyarbakir SSC sentenced on January 22 a German freelance journalist, Stephan Waldberg, to three years and nine months imprisonment, having found him guilty of serving as a courier for the PKK.
    Custom police arrested Waldberg in November 1992 when he was about to enter the country through the Habur border gate in southeastern Turkey. In his defence, Waldberg said that he came to Turkey to do general research and broadcast it on Radio Dreyeckland. "In Northern Iraq, my purpose was to search whether the aid given by various organisations are used on the sport or not. I do not know PKK people in Germany," he said.
    He also alleged that he had been threatened with torture in Cizre and Silopi during his police detention.
    On January 21, the German Union of Journalists issued a written statement asking the Turkish government for Waldberg's release, claiming that a fair trial for the freelance journalist was not possible in Turkey.
    Before the verdict, Waldberg's Turkish lawyer put forward a plea of not guilty, saying Waldberg had been to the PKK camps in northern Iraq for interviewing only and that he was not a PKK courier at all.


    Two political exiles have undergone repressive practices after their return to Turkey and they are not allowed to leave again the country.
    Gönül Baki who had been in Germany for over 12 years and stripped of his nationality in 1984, returned to Turkey at the beginning of this year on the government's claim that political refugees can come back without any anxiety.
After his arrival, he was summoned by police for a several political charges. Baki was not allowed either to return to Germany  where he is naturalized and working as a school teacher. This practice was protested by the Teachers' Union of Bremen.
    Kurdish writer Mahmut Baksi, after a 22-year exile, returned to Turkey on the same promise, but was not allowed, following a short stay, to leave the country when he was passing the border gate Kapikule. He was informed by the border police that he should go to Diyarbakir for an investigation.
    Thereupon, Baksi informed the Swedish daily Dagens Nyether that, in the fear of being subjected to ill-treatment he began to hide himself in Istanbul.
    The Trade Union of Swedish Journalists and the Association of Swedish Writers have protested the attitude of the Turkish authorities  and asked for the immediate liberation of Baksi who is a Swedish citizen.


    3.1, the daily Özgür Gündem (N°214), the weeklies Yeni Ülke (N°115) and Mücadele (N°27) were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    5.1, a distributor of Özgür Gündem, Ali Ihsan Kaya (19) was stabbed in Diyarbakir by six unidentified assailants. Besides, in the same city, two children selling Özgür Gündem, Enver Yakut (15) and Hamit Yakut (13) were beaten by policemen.
    6.1, the monthly Partizan (N°7) was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    7.1, the issues N°218-219 of the daily Özgür Gündem were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    7.1, the responsible editor of the monthly Emegin Bayragi, Nazim Taban was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison and fined 153 Million TL (18.658 $) by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    8.1, two movie owners, Irfan Demirkol and Fatih Cilkadaroglu as well as their two technicians, Saban Sondül and Mustafa Altiparmak were fined 30 Million TL (3,658$) each for screening Basic Instinct contravening a ban put by prosecutors.
    8.1, the Van office of the daily Özgür Gündem was raided by police, distributor Orhan Karaagar was detained and many publications inside were seized.
    9.1, Meydan correspondent Bahri Kayaoglu and Milliyet correspondent Torun Dede were harassed by police as they were covering a visit of President Özal in Istanbul.
    9.1, Van correspondent of Özgür Gündem, Sadun Keve was put under arrest by a tribunal.
    10.1, the recent issues of the weekly Yeni Ülke and the monthly Newroz were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    11.1, the weekly Azadi (N°35) and the monthly Devrimci Emek (N°17) were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist and anti-militarist propaganda.
    12.1, the Court of Cassation approved a sentence against Mustafa Kaplan, columnist of the daily Yeni Asya. He had been sentenced to one-year prison by a penal court in Usak for insulting Atatürk during a public meeting.
    13.1, the recent issue of the weekly Gercek was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    16.1, an Istanbul court rejected an application to establish a Kurdish Cultural Foundation with the aim of conducting research into the Kurdish language, literature, history, geography, folklore, music, sociology and arts.
    18.1, the recent issues of five magazines, Yeni Ülke, Azadi, Medya Günesi, Emegin Bayragi and Özgür Halk, were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC by virtue of the Anti-terror Law.
    19.1, an Özgür Gündem distributor, Orhan Karaagar was assassinated by unidentified people in Van.
    20.1, the owner of the Dönüsüm Publishing House, Fikret Öntas was sentenced to a fine of 1,503,076,000 TL (187,884$) by the Istanbul SSC for having printed a book entitled The Situation in the World and in Our Country.
    20.1, a court action was started against the Urfa correspondent of the daily Özgür Gündem for having criticized Urfa Governor Ziyaeddin Akbulut for his practices against the press.
    21.1, Devrimci Proletarya correspondent Ecman Sisman was assailed by three policemen as he was taking some articles to printing house in Istanbul.
    22.1, the responsible editor of the monthly Devrimci Emek, Hüseyin Durmaz was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 20-month imprisonment and a fine of 41,666,000 TL (5,081$) by virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
    22.1, the Istanbul SSC sentenced two journalists of the weekly 2000e Dogru, owner Mehmet Sabuncu and responsible editor Hale Soysü, respectively to fines of 41,666,000 TL (5,081$) and 20,833,000 TL (2,540$) by virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
    22.1 Cüneyt Can Oguzer, editor of the Turkish edition of Penthouse, was sentenced to a total of 8,099,838,000 TL (987,785$) for four different issues of the magazine on charges of obscene publication.
    24.1, the editor of the fortnightly Medya Günesi, Osman Aytar was arrested by the Istanbul SSC in virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
    28.1, the trial of four journalists of the daily Zaman, Ahmet Yusuf Gencer, Mehmet Yale, Ilhan Bardakci, Servet Engin and Ismail Okcu, began at a penal court in Istanbul. They face varying prison terms and fines.
    29.1, Diyarbakir correspondent of the daily Özgür Gündem, Mehmet Senol was detained by police.
    30.1, the issue N°37 of the weekly Azadi was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.


    As reported in the last issue, the Council Of Europe's Committee For The Prevention Of Torture released  a highly critical report on December 21, 1992,  about police torture in Turkey.
    The report, which proved particularly embarrassing for the Turkish Government having just completed the six-month presidency of the Council, concluded that "the practice of torture and other forms of severe ill-treatment of persons in police custody remains widespread in Turkey and that such methods are applied to both ordinary criminal suspects and persons held under anti-terrorism provisions."
    Below are the extracts of the report:


    1. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has to date organised three visits to Turkey. The first two visits, carried out from 9 to 21 September 1990 and 29 September to 7 October 1991, were of an ad hoc nature. They were visits which appeared to the Committee "to be required in the circumstances" (Article 7, paragraph 1, of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment). The circumstances in question were essentially the considerable number of reports received by the Committee, from a variety of sources, containing allegations of torture or other forms of ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in Turkey. The reports related in particular to persons held in police custody. The third visit took place from 22 November to 3 December 1992, and formed part of the CPT's programme of periodic visits for that year.
    2. Throughout 1991 and 1992 an on-going dialogue has been maintained between the Turkish authorities and the CPT on matters of concern, based on the reports drawn up by the Committee after its first and second visits and the reports provided by the Turkish authorities in response. This dialogue culminated in a number of meetings between the Turkish authorities and a delegation of the CPT held in Ankara from 22 to 24 September 1992.
    Subsequently, at its 14th meeting (28 September to 2 October 1992), the CPT reviewed the action taken by the Turkish authorities upon the recommendations made by the Committee in its visit reports. The Committee concluded that the continuing failure of the Turkish authorities to improve the situation in the light of its recommendations concerning (i) the strengthening of legal safeguards against torture and other forms of ill-treatment in police (and gendarmerie) establishments and (ii) the activities of the Anti-Terror Departments of the Ankara and Diyarbakir Police, justified resort to Article 10, paragraph 2, of the Convention.
    3. The Turkish authorities were informed of the conclusion reached by the CPT and, in accordance with the Convention, invited to make known their views. Those views were received on 16 November 1992. The CPT examined the views presented by the Turkish authorities at its 1 5th meeting, held from 14 to 17 December 1992; on the same occasion, the Committee considered the facts found by the delegation which carried out the periodic visit to Turkey in November/December 1992, in particular insofar as they related to matters of police and gendarmerie custody. By the required majority of two-thirds of its members, the Committee decided to make a public statement. 

The Ad hoc visits

a) first visit

    4. In the report drawn up following its first visit to Turkey in 1990, the CPT reached the conclusion that torture and other forms of severe ill-treatment were important characteristics of police custody in that country. More specifically, in the light of all the information gathered concerning the Anti-Terror Departments of the Ankara and Diyarbakir Police, the CPT concluded that detectives in those departments frequently resorted to torture and/or other forms of severe ill-treatment, both physical and psychological, when holding and questioning suspects. A variety of elements led the Committee to those conclusions.
    5. In the first place, the CPT was struck by the extremely large number of allegations of torture and other forms of ill-treatment by the police received in the course of the visit, the wide range of persons making those allegations, and their consistency as regards the particular types of torture and ill-treatment said to have been inflicted. It should be noted that the allegations emanated from persons suspected or convicted of offences under anti-terrorism provisions and from persons suspected or convicted of ordinary criminal offences. As regards the latter, the number of allegations was especially high among persons detained for drug-related offences, offences against property (burglary, robbery, theft) and sex offences. Concerning the types of ill-treatment involved, the following forms were alleged time and time again: suspension by the arms; suspension by the wrists, which were fastened behind the victim (so-called "palestinian hanging", a technique apparently employed in particular in anti-terror departments); electric shocks to sensitive parts of the body (including the genitals); squeezing of the testicles; beating of the soles of the feet ("falaka"); hosing with pressurised cold water; incarceration for lengthy periods in very small, dark and unventilated cells; threats of torture or other forms of serious ill-treatment to the person detained or against others; severe psychological humiliation.
    6. The CPT's medical findings must also be emphasised. Indeed, a considerable number of persons examined by doctors in the CPT's visiting delegation displayed physical marks or conditions consistent with their allegations of torture or ill-treatment by the police. The delegation also met several persons in police custody who, while not stating openly that they had been ill-treated, displayed clear medical signs consistent with very recent torture or other severe ill-treatment of both a physical and psychological nature. Some specific cases were described in the Committee's report.
    7. Other on-site observations in police establishments visited (relating in particular to the often extremely poor material conditions of detention, the interrogation facilities and the general attitude and demeanour of police officers) did nothing to reassure the CPT's delegation about the fate of persons taken into custody. The same can be said of the circumstances under which certain of the visits took place, in particular at Ankara Police Headquarters, where the delegation was subjected to a series of delays and diversions (and on several occasions given false information) and a number of detainees were removed in order to prevent the delegation from meeting them. 
    8. In its report the CPT recommended a series of measures to the Turkish authorities designed to combat the problem of torture and other forms of ill-treatment. These measures related in part to the introduction or reinforcement of formal safeguards against such methods (shortening of the maximum periods of custody by the police or gendarmerie; notification of a person's custody to his next of kin or a third party of his choice; access to a lawyer; medical examination of detained persons; a code of practice for the conduct of interrogations).
The Committee also placed considerable emphasis on the need for a major and sustained effort by the Turkish authorities in the areas of education on human rights matters and professional training for law enforcement officials. It is axiomatic that the best possible guarantee against ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty is for its use to be unequivocally rejected by such officials.
    As for the Anti-Terror Departments of the Ankara and Diyarbakir Police, the Committee recommended that appropriate steps be taken immediately to remedy the situation identified in those services.
    9. The implementation of these recommendations was the subject of numerous exchanges between the Turkish authorities and the CPT during 1991. However, by the time of the Committee's second visit, few tangible results had been achieved, with the exception of the drawing up and subsequent revision of Regulations for the conduct of interrogations.

b) second visit

    10. In the course of its second visit to Turkey in the Autumn of 1991, the CPT found that no progress had been made in eliminating torture and ill-treatment by the police. Many persons alleged that they had received such treatment during the previous twelve months. The types of ill-treatment alleged remained much the same; however, an increasing number of allegations were heard of forcible penetration of bodily orifices with a stick or truncheon. Once again, a number of the persons who claimed to have been ill-treated were found, on medical examination, to display marks or conditions consistent with their allegations. The delegation also had access to a considerable number of reports drawn up during the previous twelve months, at the end of periods of police custody, by doctors belonging to Forensic Institutes; many of them contained findings consistent with particular forms of torture or severe ill-treatment. As regards more specifically the Anti-Terror Departments of the Ankara and Diyarbakir Police, the only conclusion that could be reached in the light of all the information gathered was that torture and other forms of severe ill-treatment continued unabated in those services.
    11. In the report on its second visit to Turkey, the CPT reiterated the previously-made recommendations designed to prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment. Further, the Committee recommended that a body composed of independent persons be set up immediately, with terms of reference to carry out a thorough investigation of the methods used by police officers of the Anti-Terror Departments of the Ankara and Diyarbakir Police when holding and questioning suspects. In the light of the information gathered in the course of the CPT's second visit, it was also pointed out that it would be appropriate for the terms of reference of that body to include the Anti-Terror Department of the Istanbul Police.

Review of action taken on the ad hoc visit reports

    12. One year after submission of the CPT's second report, at its meeting of September/October 1992, the Committee reviewed the action taken by the Turkish authorities upon all the recommendations set out in the reports drawn up after its two visits. It was noted that some progress had been made on certain issues. Measures of both a legal and practical nature had been taken in response to the CPT's recommendations on material conditions of detention in police and gendarmerie establishments. The dialogue between the Turkish authorities and the Committee on prison matters also appeared to be bearing fruit. However, implementation of the central recommendations concerning torture and other forms of ill-treatment in police establishments was clearly at a standstill.
    13. Legislation going in the direction of the recommendations made by the CPT on the strengthening of legal safeguards against torture and other forms of ill-treatment had been approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 21 May 1992. However, it was Subsequently returned by the President of the Republic to the Assembly for reconsideration; and at the time of the Committee's review of the situation, the fate of that legislation was a matter of conjecture.
    14. Further, no satisfactory action had been taken on the CPT's recommendation concerning the Anti-Terror Departments of the Ankara and Diyarbakir Police. The Human Rights Inquiry Commission of the Grand National Assembly - to which the task of carrying out the investigation recommended by the Committee was entrusted - had failed to act expeditiously. It was only on 29 June 1992 that the relevant Sub-Committee of the Commission visited Ankara Police Headquarters for the first time (apparently a second visit was carried out on 7 July 1992). Further, at the time of the meetings between the Turkish authorities and a delegation of the CPT held in Ankara towards the end of September 1992, the Sub-Committee had still not apprised the Human Rights Inquiry Commission of its findings. Nor had the Sub-Committee carried out any visits to the Anti-Terror Department of the Diyarbakir Police (or for that matter the Anti-Terror Department of the Istanbul Police). Moreover, from the information provided to the CPT's delegation by a member of the Sub-Committee, it was clear that the visits carried out to the Ankara Police Headquarters had been of a quite perfunctory nature. Furthermore, it was also clear that the Sub-Committee possessed neither the powers nor the relevant professional competence necessary to carry out a "thorough investigation" as envisaged in the recommendation made by the CPT in its second report.
    15. It should be added that in the course of the above-mentioned meetings in Ankara in September 1992, information received from officials of the Ministry of the Interior indicated that no credible action had been taken at the internal administrative level in response to the successive recommendations of the CPT concerning the Anti-Terror Departments of the Ankara and Diyarbakir Police. The only investigations instigated had been entrusted to the very police forces which the Committee had concluded were resorting to torture. Not surprisingly, they had led nowhere.
    16. In short, more than two years after the CPT's first visit, very little had been achieved as regards the strengthening of legal safeguards against torture and ill-treatment and no concrete steps capable of remedying the situation found by the Committee in the Anti-Terror Departments of the Ankara and Diyarbakir Police had been taken. At the same time, the Committee continued to receive reports of torture and other forms of severe ill-treatment in those departments, as well as in many other police establishments in Turkey.
    It was under those conditions that the CPT decided on 2 October 1992 to set in motion the procedure provided for in Article 10, paragraph 2, of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture.

The periodic visit

    17. The information gathered in the course of the CPT's periodic visit to Turkey, from 22 November to 3 December 1992, shows that the problem of torture and other forms of ill-treatment of persons in police custody has not been resolved, despite the importance which had been attached to this subject by the present government when it came to power at the end of 1991. The Committee's delegation was inundated with allegations of such treatment, from both ordinary criminal suspects and persons detained under anti-terrorism provisions. Further, numerous persons examined by the delegation's doctors displayed marks or conditions consistent with their allegations.

    18. By way of illustration, reference might be made to the following cases:

-    several prisoners charged with offences against property, encountered in the reception unit of Bayrampasa,a Prison (Istanbul), who bore fresh haematomas consistent with their allegations that they had recently been subjected to falaka and to beating on the palm of the hands and ventral face of the wrists;
-    a prisoner charged with a drug-related offence being held for observation in a forensic section at Bakirköy Hospital (Istanbul), who had a fresh rounded mark on his penis (reddish-brown and slightly swollen edge, whitish centre without induration), consistent with his allegation that an electrode had been placed by the police on that part of his body some five days earlier in order to deliver electric shocks;
-    a prisoner charged with smuggling examined at Adana Prison, who displayed haematomas on the soles of his feet and a series of vertical violet stripes (10 cm long/2 cm wide) across the upper part of his back, consistent with his allegation that he had recently been subjected to falaka and beaten on the back with a truncheon while in police custody.

19. Comparable cases in Ankara and Diyarbakir could also have been described, including of persons who had been held by the Anti-Terror Departments of the Ankara and Diyarbakir Police (in particular, cases of motor paralysis of the arms and severe sensory loss consistent with allegations of suspension). However, the CPT shall instead draw attention to highly incriminating material evidence found in police establishments in those cities.
    20. Acting in each case on concordant information independently received from several different sources, the Committee's delegation carried out two impromptu visits to specific rooms situated on the top floors of both the Ankara Police headquarters, the delegation discovered a low stretcher-type bed equipped with eight straps (for each side), fitting perfectly the description of the item of furniture to which persons had said they were secured when electric shocks were administered to them. No credible explanation could be proffered for the presence of this bed in what was indicated by a sign as being an "interrogation room".
    In Diyarbakir, the delegation found the equipment necessary for suspension by the arms in place and ready for use (i.e. a three meter long wooden beam which was mounted on heavily-weighted filing cabinets on opposite sides of the room and fitted with a strap made of strong material securely tied to the meddle). On both occasions, the delegation's discoveries caused considerable consternation among police officers present; some expressed regret, others defiance.

Conclusions based on the ad hoc and periodic visits

    21. In the light of all the information at its disposal, the CPT can only conclude that the practice of torture and other forms of severe ill-treatment of persons in police custody remains widespread in Turkey and that such methods are applied to both ordinary criminal suspects and persons held under anti-terrorism provisions. The words "persons in police custody" should be emphasised.

    22. The Committee has heard very few allegations of ill-treatment by prison staff in the different prisons visited over the last two years, and practically none of torture. Certainly, there are problems which need to be addressed in Turkish prisons, but the phenomenon of torture is not one of them. As already indicated, the CPT's dialogue with the Turkish authorities on prison matters is on the whole progressing satisfactorily.
    23. Further, in the course of its third visit to Turkey, the CPT visited the largest psychiatric establishment in the country, namely the Bakirköy Mental and Psychological Health Hospital. No allegations of torture or other forms of ill-treatment by hospital staff were heard by the Committee's delegation in the course of that visit; nor was any other evidence of such treatment found. In fact, the delegation was favourably impressed by staff-patient relations.
    24. As for the gendarmerie (which is responsible for police functions in rural areas), the CPT has heard allegations that suspects are frequently handled roughly and on occasion even beaten by members of the gendarmerie, in particular when apprehended. Further, the CPT has reason to believe that from time to time, ill-treatment occurs in the course of the transport of prisoners (which is another task performed by the gendarmerie). However, the CPT has heard fewer allegations _and found less medical evidence_ of torture or other forms of premeditated severe ill-treatment by members of the gendarmerie.
    25. To sum up, as far as the CPT can judge, the phenomenon of torture and other forms of ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in Turkey concerns at the present time essentially the police (and to a lesser extent the gendarmerie). All the indications are that it is a deep-rooted problem.