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


17th Year - N°199
May 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


    The 8th President of the Republic of Turkey, Turgut Özal died on April 17, 1993, of low blood pressure due to coronary insufficiency. One month later, on May 16, 1993, Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel was sworn in as the 9th President of the Republic, shortly after Parliament elected him in the third round of balloting.
     Does this succession mean a fundamental change in the Turkish politics?
    Considering the fact that Özal and Demirel were the leaders of the two different political parties of the post-Coup period, respectively the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the Correct Way Party (DYP), and that these two principal figures of the right wing of the political fan had, since the restoration of the parliamentary regime in 1983, been at feud with each other, such an expectation could easily be justified. This quarrel between the two men had developed in very aggressive and disrespectful terms after Özal made himself elected the President of the Republic. When Demirel became Prime Minister after the 1991 elections, this feud often led to a serious discordance between the top two figures of the State on the many vital questions concerning internal and external affairs.
    Nevertheless, a quick look at their political career and their commitments shows that this quarrel was very far from being  the consequence of a disagreement on the approach to the country’s major problems. Sharing the same options, they worked together until the 1980 Coup in a big harmony for about fifteen years.
    Since the beginning of their involvement in daily politics, both sought and obtained the support of the big business and the United States, adopted and put in practice anti-popular and anti-democratic policies,  distinguished as the fierce enemies of the working class and the Kurdish movements, based their powers on the direct or indirect support of the ultra-nationalist and fundamentalist circles. (See the chronoligical notes in the first page box).


    • DEMIREL: Born in 1924, he graduated as engineer in 1949 from the Istanbul Technical University. He was the first Turkish engineer to be sent to the United States for further study on irrigation and electrification. In 1955,  he was appointed director general of the State Hydraulic Works Authority (DSI) and kept his post until the 1960 Coup, after which he was employed as an expert at the newly created State Planning Organization (DPT). After completing his military service, he opted for private enterprise and represented some US companies in Turkey.
    • ÖZAL: Born in 1927, he graduated as engineer in 1950 from the Istanbul Technical University. In 1952, he left for the United States where he studied economics and engineering. After returning Turkey he worked on hydroelectric power station projects and became the Deputy General Director of the Electrical Studies and Research Administration.  In 1961, while doing his military service, he was also charged with working for the establishment of the State Planning Organization (DPT).
    • DEMIREL: At the 1964 Convention of the Justice Party (AP), the principal right-wing party of the time, he was imposed by the big business as the future prime minister of the country and, by using his photo shot together with Lyndon Johnson during his studies in the USA, was elected party chairman. After having overthrown the center-left government, the AP formed a coalition government with the support of other right-wing parties and Demirel became deputy-premier. One of the first actions of this government was to order the army to open fire on mine-workers in Zonguldak.
    • ÖZAL: He worked at the DPT as a counsellor until 1965.
    • DEMIREL: In 1965, following an electoral campaign based on the promises to develop a liberal economy, to fight the rising socialist movement and trade unions and to change the relatively democratic 1961 Constitution, the AP came to power with an absolute majority and Demirel became prime minister. Under his government, the democratic organizations and the media underwent an unprecedented repression, the resistance of the workers and peasants against anti-social policies were cracked down by force, the neo-fascist and fundamentalist movements were tolerated to organize, the Grey Wolves turned into a paramilitary force and the Army developed the Counter Guerrilla Organization.
    • ÖZAL: In 1965, Demirel chose Özal as his special technical adviser. In 1967, he became the acting under-secretary of the State Planning Organization. He also acted as the president of the Economic Coordination Committee, the RCD Coordination Committee and the European Community Coordination Committee. It is at that period that, Turgut Özal and his brother Korkut Özal entered in relations with the World Islam Ligue (Rabitat-ul-Alem-ul-Islam) and played a leading role in the Islam fundamentalism’s infiltration into the State apparatus.
    • DEMIREL: Despite the repression supported by the big business, the popular resistance gained mass dimensions and tens of thousands of industrial workers occupied Istanbul for protesting against new  measures aimed to annihilate progressive trade unions. After the assassination of a number of youth leaders by the police and the Grey Wolves, some left groups too began to resort to armed actions. Since Demirel’s government failed to restore “law and order”, the army intervened and forced Demirel to resign. This intervention was followed by a bloody repression on the left-wing forces and intellectuals. The Constitution was modified so as to lift some democratic guarantees. Three youth leaders were executed. Demirel and his party did not oppose to these measures, on the contrary they voted at Parliament for them.
    • ÖZAL: After the 1971 Coup, when Demirel was toppled, Özal preferred to go to the United States and served there as the special projects adviser to the World Bank. Later, he returned to Turkey and entered the private sector, joining Sabanci Holding, one of the two biggest business concerns of Turkey.
    • DEMIREL: In March 1975, Demirel founded his first Nationalist Front (MC) Government between the AP, the neo-fascist Nationalist Action Party (MHP), the fundamentalist National Salvation Party (MSP) and the right-wing Republican Reliance Party (CGP). During this period until 1978, the political violence was triggered again by the Counter Guerrilla Organization and the Grey Wolves and the country found itself in a general chaotic atmosphere. When he was accused of protecting  neo-fascist murders, Demirel said, "You cannot get me to say rightists in this country are committing murder." After a one-year  social-democrat government in 1978-79, he again came to power in coalition with the neo-fascist MHP in October 1979 and the terror of the Grey Wolves gained new dimensions.
    • ÖZAL: After the foundation of  the first MC Government in 1975, Özal was appointed as the under-secretary of the Prime Ministry and acting under-secretary of the State Planning Organization. In the 1977 elections, Özal became a candidate from the fundamentalist MSP ticket but was not elected. He became for a certain period the Chairman of the Metal Works Employers’ Union (MESS) and distinguished himself by his virulent attacks on trade unions. When Demirel established his sixth Cabinet in 1979 and faced the task of preparing new austerity measures following the IMF directives, Özal was again his chief aide. With instructions from Demirel, Özal prepared the January 24, 1980 austerity package.

    The military coup of September 12, 1980 was a turning point in the political career of these two companions.
    Their relations began to deteriorate when the military, after having seized power in 1980, deprived Demirel of his political rights while Özal was chosen as the economic czar of the country and given the title of Deputy Premier Minister in the military-backed government. In fact, it was a choice of the international organizations imposed on the military. The Financial Times of September 13th, 1980 published the following note from Washington: “Both the IMF and the World Bank negotiations had been conducted very closely with a small number of former Demirel’s advisers, in particular Mr. Turgut Özal. Mr. Özal’s fate will be a pointer to whether IMF and World Bank relations will continue smoothly with Turkey.”
    In the absence of any parliamentary or trade union opposition, Özal proposed weeping economic steps which were approved by the military administration. Thus, the January 24 program, which could not be fully implemented during Demirel's term because of a strong popular resistance, was put into effect under the military repression. Restrictions were imposed on labour rights, while bell-tightening measures were intensified.
    As the Deputy-Premier of the time, Özal shared all the crimes committed by the military, such as mass arrests, tortures, unfair mass trials, censorship on the media, lifting trade union rights, ban on political activities, etc. All repressive decrees of the military-backed government had the signature of Turgut Özal.
    In the mean time, taking advantage of his key post at the service of the military and of the compulsory absence of Demirel in daily political life, Özal managed to impose himself as the “brand new” leader of the Right.
    When the military rule lifted the ban on political party activity and allowed the establishment of new political parties in 1983, Özal entered daily politics as the founding chairman of the newly-established Motherland Party (ANAP). Having the support of the international monetary organizations and the Turkish business and taking over an important part of Demirel’s electorate as well as that of the other right-wing political parties, ANAP obtained 211 seats in the 400-member unicameral Parliament in 1983 elections and Özal became Prime Minister.
    It was this climb of his former aide during his compulsory absence in politics that turned Demirel into a fierce enemy of Özal and their quarrel developed for years as a real vendetta. When Demirel regained his political rights and took over the chair of the DYP in 1988, he based his electoral campaign on a sole objective: putting an end to  Özal’s power. When Özal was elected the President of the Republic through ANAP’s votes in Parliament, Demirel, in an absolute frenzy, swore that the first thing he would do if he comes to power was to oust Özal from the Presidential Palace.
    In fact, this was not an opposition to the anti-popular and anti-democratic policies of the Özal power. The DYP always voted in Parliament with the ANAP for the laws and decrees to maintain the repression.
    The 1991 elections, resulted in the defeat of the ANAP, opened an era where Özal and Demirel had to cohabit, the former as the President of the Republic and the latter as Prime Minister. Although this cohabitation was fraught with pitfalls and the feud between Özal and Demirel broke out into open animosity on more than one occasion, they continued to share repressive policies in a submission to the military.     Besides, both Özal and Demirel carried out and even reinforced their reactionary stand by competing with each other to give concessions to neo-fascist and fundamentalist movements.
    It is why during the Özal’s funeral in Istanbul, the crowd chanted, "Muslim Turkey" over and over again. Fanatical groups went further and cried: "Let the chains be broken, let Ayasofya be opened [as a mosque]", "Karabakh will be a grave for Armenia," "Bosnia will be a grave for Serbs!" They also tried to silence the band which was playing the "Funeral March" by shouting "Allahuekber [God is great]!"
    And it is for the same reason that Demirel was elected the President of the Republic thanks to the votes of the neo-fascist MHP’s deputies.
    As the President of the Republic the first thing that Demirel made was to attend a religious Friday ceremony in an Ankara mosque, and the second was to convene the National Security Council to dictate to the government new repressive plans elaborated by the military.

    Chasing the recent operations throughout the country against the outlawed Revolutionary Left (Dev-Sol), the police is accused by mass democratic organizations  and political parties, of deliberately killing the militants, instead of arresting them alive. According to a recent report by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), a total of 2,933 people were killed in the "general atmosphere of political violence" in Turkey in 1992.
    SHP Adiyaman Deputy Celal Kürkoglu, accusing the police of extrajudicial execution, said on March 30: "We are not saying that these suspects should be protected. But the duty of the security forces is to catch them alive, not to kill them.  If our security forces think that they should kill people, because if they are arrested they will just escape and start shooting again, this is very dangerous logic."
    HEP Sirnak deputy Orhan Dogan: "In our country, sometimes, the police act simultaneously as judge and executioner. This means execution without trial. In a world where death sentences are becoming more and more scarce, killing people like you are hunting animals strongly contradicts claims of democracy and human rights."
    The Chairman of the Contemporary Jurists Association (CHD), Sanal Sarihan: "The Turkish police know very well the right to life, which is guarantied not only in the Constitution but also in the police authorities law, and do not pay enough attention to catching suspects alive. This gives the impression that all these events have been carried out deliberately. And, if the power of the police is not reduced, Turkey, which has been accused of torture, will be faced with murder allegations."
    In response to these accusations, Interior Minister Ismet Sezgin said on March 28: "Execution without trial is a sophistry. Those who support this sophistry do not believe in the security forces' struggle."


    The leader of the Communist Labour Party of Turkey (TKEP), Teslim Töre (54) was arrested in Istanbul on May 7 together with eight of his comrades, after being on the run for the last 25 years.
    Töre was a known figure of the radical left in the late 1960s and 1970s. He fled to Syria in the late 70s and founded in exile the TKEP which has no known violent activities.
    Töre's family claimed after the arrest that he was back in Turkey after years of remaining underground to create a legal party.
    Istanbul police interrogated him until May 17, according to special permission granted by the Istanbul SSC prosecutor's office.
    HEP Deputy Chairman Hatip Dicle said that the extension of Töre's custody was proof that there was no freedom of opinion in Turkey.
    Amnesty International applied to Turkey for Töre's safety to insure that he was not tortured.
    Meanwhile, the Contemporary Jurists Association (CHD) and the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) decided to establish a special commission to enable his release.


    The European Commission on Human Rights accepted in January a case against the Turkish Government on grounds that a group of villagers in 1989 were harassed by security forces and forced to eat human excrement.
    Although Turkey had defended itself by saying that all judicial procedures had not ended in Turkey and that the victims still had judicial rights, according to the Commission's decision, the Ankara Government will have to sit and negotiate with the civilians of the Yesilyurt Village in Cizre in the coming months for indemnity and reparations.


    Despite the promises of the coalition parties, May Day was not celebrated as an official holiday this year.
    Although some SHP deputies introduced a bill for recognizing May Day as an official holiday, the majority of the National Assembly rejected the proposal on March 13. The deputies of the major coalition partner, DYP, too voted against the bill together with the deputies of other right-wing parties.
    The May Day which was, at a time, an official holiday celebrated as the Day of Spring and Flowers, and the workers could, benefiting from this holiday, celebrate their own international solidarity day with open air demonstrations throughout the country.
    After the 1980 coup, the military junta banned all May Day celebrations and transformed the 1st of May into a working day.
    Since the 1st of May was a Saturday this year, the trade union confederations and left-wing parties organized a series of open air or closed celebrations in big cities.
    However, they were not allowed to meet at the Taksim Square, the biggest place of Istanbul which had been the scene of mass May Day  celebrations prior to the 1980 Coup. When a group of about 1000 demonstrators tried to stage a protest march in Istanbul, police immediately intervened and took many demonstrators into custody.
    In Izmir, police detained seven people for failure to comply with orders at a mass rally in Konak district.


    1.3, three cultural associations in the quarters of Mamak, Sincan and Keciören were closed down by the Ankara Governor's order on charges of carrying out activities incompatible with their declared objectives.
    1.3, the Izmir SSC sentenced two persons to 3O months in prison and  TL 166 Million ($18,445)  in fine for illegal activities. Three other defendants too were sentenced to TL 166 Million in fine.
    2.3, in Denizli, a street hawker named Sahin Sevinc was beaten by police for having smoked cigarette in street.
    2.3, police announced the arrest of 24 alleged PKK members in Antalya and Izmir.
    2.3, in Bursa, eight people were detained for having participated in the activities of the Communist Worker Movement of Turkey (TKIH).
    3.3, in Yavuzeli (Gaziantep), police detained seven alleged militants of the Revolutionary Communists' Union of Turkey (TIKB).
    3.3, in Ankara, a protest rally organized  by the sanitary workers was dispersed by police and some protesters detained.
    3.3, unidentified people shot dead Sirin Cesur (29) in Silvan (Diyarbakir) and Tahir Demir in Nusaybin (Mardin).
    4.3, a high school student, Derbas Bekler was shot dead in Nusaybin by the Hezbollah.
    5.3, a police team raiding a house in Nusaybin shot dead six people, accused of aiding the PKK.
    5.3, unidentified people shot dead  shopkeeper Sadik Bitkin and butcher Abdülkerim Biltekin. In Nusaybin and Mehmet Özcelik in Nusaybin.
    5.3, on Batman, teacher Osman Simsek was shot dead by unidentified gunmen..
    6.3, in Istanbul, police raiding a house shot dead five people. Two leading figures of the Dev-Sol, Bedri Yagan and Gürcan Aydin are among the victims.
    6.3, the Convention of Working Women organized on the occasion of the World Women's Day in Istanbul was banned by the governor. When a group of 150 women started a march in protest against this decision police dispersed them by using force and detained 14 women.
    7.3, in Bozova (Urfa), a police team raiding the house of DYP local chairman Mehmet Gül shot dead his 21-year old son also named Mehmet Gül. During the autopsy, 61 bullets were found in its body. His family accused the police to execute Gül without trial.
    8.3; in Cizre, a crowd of 2 thousand people gathered for talking with the HEP deputies were dispersed by the security teams using force.
    8.3, in Ankara, a group of 150 people attempting to celebrate the World Women's Day in the street was dispersed by police using force, 12 demonstrators were wounded and 40 detained.
    8.3, the local IHD Chairman of Ordu and six other IHD officials were indicted by the Kayseri SSC Prosecutor for separatist propaganda. Each faces a prison term of not less than two years by virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
    13.3, the local IHD Chairman of Istanbul, Ercan Kanar was indicted for having insulted the State during a press conference held past year. Facing a 10-year imprisonment, he will be tried by the High Criminal Court N°2 of Istanbul.
    14.3, in Batman, unidentified gunmen shot dead 17-year old Osman Gülkan.
    15.3, six people were arrested after police operations in Iskenderun, Erzin and Dörtyol districts of the province of Hatay.
    15.3, in Istanbul, 20 year-old Harun Cetin was hospitalized for cerebral trauma after his interrogation at police headquarters.
    16.3, the prosecutor of the Ankara SSC indicted 126 people for having addressed a petition  to the UN Representative in Turkey on April 2, 1992.Facing a prison term of up to five years each, their trial will begin at the SSC on May 13, 1993. Among the defendants are many renown journalists, academics, human rights activists.
    16.3, the prosecutor of Istanbul SSC indicted 20 alleged members of the Islamic Movement on charges of having committed political murders. Two defendants face capital punishment and 18 others prison terms of up to 22 years.
    16.3, unidentified gunmen shot dead Abdurrahman Alkamis (37) in Diyarbakir and Sabri Kaya (37) in Batman.
     17.3, in Siverek (Urfa), an unidentified person was found assassinated by cutting the throat with traces of beating and burning on his body.
    17.3, in Fethiye (Mugla), a DYP member, Mehmet Yigit was subjected to torture during his police detention. The traces of torture were certified by a medical report.
    18.3, about 400 people, mainly women and children, holding a protest march in Izmir were dispersed by police using force. During the clash, 15 demonstrators and six policemen were wounded. Police detained more than 50 demonstrators. Same day, another demonstration at the Aegean University on the occasion of the Halabja Massacre in Iraq was stopped by police and more than 25 students were detained.
    19.3, in Istanbul, the Association for Solidarity with the Oppressed (Mazlum-Der) announced that 18 people detained for the Islamic Movement activities were subjected to torture during their interrogations.
    19.3, in Sirnak, 18-year old Hüseyin Yildirim alleged that he had been tortured during his 20-day police detention following a raid on the Ormanici Village on February 18.
He said that police forced him to eat excrement, to drink urine and fuel oil.
    19.3, unidentified gunmen shod dead teacher Faik Ayaz in Diyarbakir and Nuri Taskin in Silvan.
    20.3, the Malatya Section of the IHD was closed down by the governor's order on pretext of receiving in its office the people who are not members. Chairman of this IHD section, lawyer Metin Can had been assassinated  last month.
    20.3, police announced the arrest of 25 alleged Dev-Sol militants in Istanbul and five alleged members of the Ekim (October) Movement in Izmit..
    21.3, a shepherd named Haydar Yaskiran, shot by a special security team in Pazarcik (Maras) on November 10, 1992 died in a hospital of Ankara.
    23.3, in Batman, Hezbullah gunmen assassinated  Felemez Dündar (37) and street hawker Abdurrahman Acar.
    24.3, police raiding a house in Istanbul shot dead three leading Dev-Sol members, Yalcin Arikan (35), Avni Turan (38) and Recai Dincel (36).
    27.3, during last police operations 32 alleged PKK members were arrested in Mersin, 10 in Gebze and 12 in Adana.
    27.3, in Istanbul, five people were arrested as they were distributing a special issue of the monthly Emek.
    29.3, in Ergani (Diyarbakir), 30 people were detained during police operations.
    30.3, Cizre Mayor Hasim Hasimi was taken into police custody together with three other persons.
    30.3, the Karaman sections of three trade unions, Egit-Sen (education), Tüm Saglik Sen (sanitary) and Egitim Is (education) were closed down by a court decision. The Agri section of the Bem Sen (municipal workers) was also closed down by the order of governor.
    31.3, in Diyarbakir, 36 people were arrested for PKK activities.
    1.4, in Istanbul, police arrested seven people for fundamentalist activities.
    2.4, in Adana, 14 people have been detained for PKK activities in last few days.
    3.4, in Mersin, Adnan Yerden said that he had been tortured after being detained for distributing the review Iscilerin Sesi.
    4.4, five students, Selma Genc, Mesude Basigüzel, Nuriye Coskun, Ali Akkaya and Ercan Toprak who were detained in Istanbul as they were distributing the review Emek on March 27 alleged that were tortured and sexually harassed at police custody.
    5.4, in Ankara, six students were arrested during a series of police raids in last days.
    5.4, in Batman, Ramazan Toprak (20) was assassinated by unidentified gunmen.
    6.4, political detainees at the Malatya Prison started a hunger-strike in protest against ill-treatment.
    6.4, in Gaziantep, a series of police raids resulted in the arrest of nine people.
    7.4, in Rize, six high school students were arrested for participating in a campaign in favour of the restitution of poet Nazim Hikmet's Turkish citizenship. After their release, the detainees alleged to have been tortured.
    8.4, 45 Kurdish peasants from the Güclükonak Village of Sirnak appealed to to European Commission on Human Rights with the claim that they had been tortured after the raids on their village in February during which a girl named Abide Ekin. The peasants said in their petition: "The security forces gathered all male population of the village in a place and subjected to torture until evening. As the torture was being carried on, the soldiers shot dead all domestic animals in the village and destroyed our houses.  All our belongings were set on fire. A peasant named Ibrahim Ekinci died later because of the torture."
    8.4, university student Semra Sürücü was sentenced by a criminal court of Istanbul to one-year imprisonment for insulting Atatürk.
    8.4, in Istanbul, a demonstration in protest against the murder of Ferda Civelek by police was dispersed by security forces and thirty people were detained. In Adana, five people were put under arrest for having distributed a political tract on April 4.
    9.4, about a thousand inhabitants of the village Kelekci in the province of Diyarbakir were forced by the security forces to leave this village. Diyarbakir deputy Sedat Yurttas said the deported villagers were living under unbearable conditions in the city of Diyarbakir. Besides, the inhabitants of the villages Köprübasi, Kursunlu and Degirmen in the same province too received the order to leave these villages in one week.
    9.4, former Siirt chairwoman of the Human Rights Association (IHD), Evin Aydar was refused to leave the country for a visit to Tehran. She is the wife of Kurdish deputy Zübeyir Aydar.
    9.4, in Kocaeli, six people were detained for participating in the actions of the Worker-Peasant Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO).
    10.4, the Kiziltepe chairman of the People's Labour Party (HEP), Seyh Davut Yalcinkaya, and his brother Halim Yalcinkaya were assassinated by unidentified gunmen as they were leaving their house.
    11.4, in Tatvan, 19 out of 25 people who had been detained at the end of March were placed under arrest by a local criminal court.
    11.4, in Nusaybin, tradesman Seyfi Aslan (30) was assassinated by unidentified gunmen.
    12.4, a political detainee, Mülkiye Dogan was found killed in his cell at the Urfa Prison. He was under arrest for participating in PKK activities.
    12.4, police reportedly detained more than ten people in Izmir during a series of security operations.
    13.4, police reportedly took into custody 16 university students during security operations in Ankara.
    13.4, in Istanbul, the Popular Houses of Yeni Bosna and Pendik  were closed down by the governor's order. So, the number of the closed popular houses in Istanbul rose to nine.
    14.4, the Istanbul SSC began to try 18 people accused of having participated in the actions of the Dev-Sol/Revolutionary Armed Units (SDB). Sixteen of the defendants face capital punishment. At the opening of the trial, the defendants attempted to open a banner, but the security officers took them out by using force.
    14.4, in Izmir, 18 alleged members of the Union of Young Communists (GKB) were detained by police.
    14.4, security forces took in custody 12 people in Kayseri, three in Antalya and five in Ankara for illegal activities.
    15.4, new hunger strikes were stared by 84 political detainees in the Nevsehir Prison and by eleven in the Konya Prison.
    15.4, in Izmir, police detained 30 university students protesting against the the executions without trial.
    17.4, the governor of Malatya banned the "Day for Respect to Democracy", organized by the Musical Group Kizilirmak. on grounds that some incidents might occur during this meeting.
    16.4, the lawyers of the youths detained in Izmir on charges of GKB activities claimed that their clients were subjected to torture at police center.
    16.4, security forces detained 24 people in Diyarbakir for PKK activities and ten in Hatay for fundamentalist organization.
    18.4, police announced the arrest of 36 people in Istanbul PKK activities.
    19.4, security forces detained 14 alleged PKK activists in Siverek and 12 people in Kayseri for participating in Dev-Sol activities.
    20.4, the Association for Freedoms (Özgür-Der) announced that many people detained in Ankara after a police raid on the office of the review Tavir were subjected to torture and sexual harassment.
    21.4, the trial of three persons accused of attempting to assassinate a businessman began at the Istanbul SSC. The prosecutor demands capital punishment for the defendants.
    23.4, in Kayseri, a 80-year old grandfather, Bekir Kocak was shot dead by soldiers when he entered by error into a military zone.
    23.4, in Istanbul, Mehmet Ceylan announced after his release that he had been tortured at police station during his interrogation.
    23.4, in Seydisehir, 24 people were detained for fundamentalist activities.
    23.4, in Istanbul, an alleged Dev-Sol member, Ibrahim Yalcin was assassinated by a police team who opened fire without calling him to surrender..
    23.4, unidentified assailants assassinated teacher Alihan Han (42) in Diyarbakir and Halil Pekacar in Batman.
    24.4, Vehbi Gündüz (36) was assassinated by unidentified gunmen in Mus.
    25.4, in Istanbul, security forces announced the arrest of seven Dev-Sol members and eight other people allegedly belonging to the People's Liberation Forces (HKG).
    26.4, Haci Ibrahim Dilek, detained on March 20, 1993 at the village of Baristepe in Midyat was found assassinated on the road Midyat-Gercüs.
    26.4, the members of the Group of Intellectuals' Initiative seeking a peaceful solution for the Kurdish Question were attacked by village protectors at the village of Tepecik in Bismil. Composed of human rights activists, deputies and university professors, the group was forced to leave Tepecik under the fire opened by the protectors.
    26.4, police announced the arrest of nine PKK activists in Ankara, four persons in Adana and three in Bitlis.
    27.4, in Mersin, police detained three people for aiding the PKK.
    28.4, Prime Minister Demirel said that the government would not support a bill stipulating the suppression of capital punishment. He claimed that the capital punishment is a dissuasive measure for keeping law and order in a country such as Turkey where the rate of criminality is high.
    28.4, security forces detained a total of 23 persons during a series of operations in the districts of Diyarbakir.
    29.4, the Bursa officials of the Human Rights Association (IHD) were indicted by the prosecutor of the Istanbul SSC for having organized a solidarity evening on January 10. They will be tried on charges of anti-militarist propaganda and activities.
    29.4, security forces detained 25 people in Elazig and 17 in Ergani (Diyarbakir).
    29.4, the trial of 32 alleged Dev-Sol members began at the Istanbul SSC. 17 of the defendants face capital punishment and others prison terms of up to 25 years.
    29.4, worker Mahmut Haneyaz (26) was assassinated by unidentified gunmen.
    30.4, security forces raiding a house in Istanbul shot dead two university students, Sengül Yildiran and Ugur Yasar Kilic. Eye-witnesses accused the police of opening fire without calling the suspects to surrender.
    30.4, the prosecutor of the Ankara SSC started a legal proceeding against HEP Chairman Ahmet Türk for having participated in a press conference by PKK leader Öcalan.
    30.4, in Düzce, ten university students were detained by police.  In Ankara, police announced the arrest of 38 alleged Dev-Sol militants.


    Recently, two more journalists have been victims of the ungoing violence against the media in Turkey.
    On March 13, in the town of Silvan (Diyarbakir province), 53-year old Ihsan Karakus, owner of the newspaper Silvan was shot dead by unidentified gunmen as he was going to his office in the morning.
    On May 20, the Bergama correspondent of the daily Hürriyet, Ercan Gürel was shot dead by unidentified people. Police attributed the murder to a personal matter between the journalist and his murderers.
    So, the number of the assassinated journalists in the period of the Demirel Government rose to 17. The following is the complete list of the assassinated journalists reported by the TIHV:
    Halit Güngen, Diyarbakir, 18.2.1992
    Cengiz Altun, Batman, 24.2.1992
    Izzet Kezer, Cizre, 23.3.1992
    Bülent Ülkü, Bursa, 1.4.1992
    Mecit Akgün, Nusaybin, 2.6.1992
    Hafiz Akdemir, Diyarbakir, 8.6.1992
    Cetin Ababay, Batman, 29.7.1992
    Yahya Orhan, Gercüs, 29.7.1992
    Hüseyin Deniz, Ceylanpinar, 9.8.1992
    Musa Anter, Diyarbakir, 10.9.1992
    Kemal Aktay, Hani, 9.11.1992
    Hatip Kapçak, Mazidagi, 18.11.1992
    Namik Taranci, Diyarbakir, 20.11.1992
    Ugur Mumcu, Ankara, 24.1.1993
    Kemal Kilic, Urfa, 18.2.1993
    Ihsan Karakus, Silvan, 13.3.1993
    Ercan Gürel, Bergama, 20.5.1993


    As the assassination of journalists was going on, a 40-year old journalist died at the end on March 1993 of a heart attack. Although any journalist at the same age may die of heart attack in any country, the early death of Veli Yilmaz has a particular signification.
    Yilmaz was a journalist who set a record in a particular field, a record which no one may ever better. He was condemned to spend 748 years in prison after the 1980 Coup. He was kept in prison for 11 years until the adoption of a law stipulating conditional release of some political prisoners.
    Ilhan Selcuk, columnist of the daily Cumhuriyet, commented this death in his article of April 1st in following terms:
    "Do you know any other country where the editor of a magazine has been given a 748-year prison sentence?
    "Veli Yilmaz was a journalist, but was not working for a big newspaper. He was on the editorial staff of a socialist magazine. It was one of the magazines described as 'marginal.' After doing time in prison for 11 years, Veli Yilmaz was released two years ago. His daughter Hazal was 1 year old when he was put into prison.
    "Was it his heart that killed him? According to the medical report he died of a heart attack. Yet, does that explain everything? When he was in prison, Veli Yilmaz took part in a number of hunger strikes. he remained on a hunger strike for a total period of six and a half months.
    "Veli Yilmaz did not die. He was killed. There are times when we fail to see a clear picture of ourselves in the mirrors. The mirror gets clouded over. Then we wipe it clean to be able to see our face clearly.
    "There are times when the image we see in the mirror when we wipe it clean resembles that of a person with a criminal record. The collective image of society in the mirror may resemble a lot the photograph of a criminal in the police files.
    "He was given a total of 748 years in prison on a number of counts. Would you not be curious to know what articles warranted this kind of sentence? I think that those articles must be collected in a book and that the book must be displayed in a museum of humanity so that the future generations too can read it. On the cover of the book there should be an inscription: In Anatolia in the 20th century a journalist was condemned to 748 years in prison because of these articles."


    A British freelance journalist, Andrew Norman Penny, 39, was arrested on May 15 by local authorities while entering Turkey from the Habur border gate at the Iraqi border.
    Both he and a Turkish writer and journalist, Faik Bulut, were taken under custody for allegedly possessing illegal Kurdish documents and video tapes. However, the Turkish journalist, who works for the daily Özgür Gündem, was released after it was determined that he had no connection with the incident.
    An official reportedly said they suspected Penny was acting like a courier for the outlawed PKK rather than a journalist.
    The British National Union of Journalists (NUJ) issued a statement on May 17 accrediting Penny as a bona fide journalist and appealed for his immediate release, noting that the PKK literature this journalist was carrying was part of his work.
    Earlier, a Turkish court sentenced a German journalist, Stefan Waldberg, to 45 months in jail on April 28 for working as a messenger for the PKK.
    Another German reporter, Michael Enger, of the German television ZDF, was taken into custody last November under the same circumstances, but the authorities set him free a day later.
    In March, a Turkish journalist and writer, Prof. Yalcin Kücük, was detained for 36 hours at the Istanbul airport after police seized PKK literature, his interviews and video recordings. Kücük's belongings and all results of his professional work, were later given to the state-run Turkish television to be presented in the form of a propaganda campaign against the organization. He is currently at court with the TRT, demanding TL 200 million ($20,000)in compensation for the seizure and use of his work.


    Concerned about conditions for media freedom and violations against journalists for a number of years, the International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) sent  a mission to Turkey on March 14-22, 1993.
    The Mission members were Robert Bakker, IFJ Honourary Treasurer; Leena Paukku, Secretary for International Affairs for the Union of Journalists in Finland, and Lee Woodyear, IFJ Human Rights Officer. Jan-Willem Bertens, Member of the European Parliament from the Netherlands was an observer on the mission.
    In Turkey, the Mission met with the IFJ member union in Turkey, the Journalists' Trade Union of Turkey (TGS), and with local journalists, foreign correspondents, journalists' associations, the Turkish Press Council, human rights groups and government officials.
    On the base of its observations in Turkey, the Mission made public the following analyses and recommendations in a ten-page special report entitled Media Freedom in Turkey: Time for Dialogue:
    "• Journalists working in Turkey, and especially in the south east, are under intolerable pressure. There is no free-flow of information in the south east of Turkey where censorship, however defined, prevails. Journalists cannot freely undertake their professional activities.
    "Recommendation: The Turkish Government must be more vociferous in condemning all attacks against journalists in Turkey. The Government must work harder to create an environment in the south east where journalists' rights are respected and where journalists can undertake their professional activities with a minimum of interference.
    "• The Mission deplores the actions of senior representatives of Turkish Government in condemning bona fide and recognised working journalists as 'militants.' In so doing these officials undermine the fabric of press freedom in the country. Questioning the identity of recognised reporters encourages security forces to be suspicious of all journalists. This creates a climate of intimidation and fear for media in the region and puts journalists at physical risk.
    "Recommendation:  All members of the Turkish Government and official representatives must respect the definition of a journalist as it is set down along international standards by representative journalist organisations in Turkey. Journalists are independent professionals who should not depend upon Government license or authority in order to carry out their work.
    "• Many journalists and journalists organisations in Turkey are frustrated by the lack of practical solutions to the present crisis. On the other hand, many government ministries and officials consider they have been unjustly attacked for not doing more to protect journalists. Communication between journalists and the authorities, whether military, police or political is not open and, in many cases, is unacceptably tense.
    "Recommendation: The Mission recommends that urgent action should be taken to restore a coherent and sensible dialogue between the authorities and media professionals. In order to assist this process a one week symposium should be held this year in Diyarbakir to address the problems facing journalists in Turkey and especially in the south east. The Mission welcomes the support already received for this suggestion, from the IFJ member union, the Association of Journalists in the south east, the Turkish Press Council, the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Interior, the Emergency Governor of the south east, and others. The Mission believes that the symposium must include on its agenda, at least one day of talks between journalists with military officials, police officials and government officials.
    "• There is a paucity of information outside of Turkey concerning daily violations against journalists in Turkey and especially in the south east. Many journalists in the south east regularly receive threats. many of the 14 journalists killed in this region had received threats before they were killed.
    "Recommendation:  The Mission recommends that the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Journalists and organisations working through the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) seek to establish, in Istanbul or Diyarbakir, a half-time position, through the professional organisations in Turkey, for someone to monitor information on violations against journalists and the media. This information could then be distributed to journalists and human rights organisation in Turkey and to the international community through IFEX.
    "• Solidarity between journalists and journalist organisations and between publishers and publishers organisation in Turkey is not as strong as it could be. Many journalists and publishers in Turkey live and work in conditions where they are constantly fearful of their physical safety. The Mission noted that little attention was given to the death of Ihsan Karakus, the owner and editor of a local paper in Silvan, who reportedly was known as an independent journalist.
    "Recommendation: The Mission calls on professional organisations of journalists and publishers in Turkey to coordinate their efforts to fight the violent censorship in the country. Coordinated demonstrations, joint investigative missions and pooling of limited resources by publishers and journalists could assist in the present crisis. The vital interests of both journalists and publishers would be served by such co-ordination and solidarity."


    International PEN made an oral statement on killings and arrests of writers and journalists in Turkey to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in February.
    The statement called on the UN to encourage the Turkish authorities to investigate the killing of journalists in Turkey and to bring those found responsible to justice.
    PEN's statement also declared its concerns about decree number 3713 (the so called Law to Fight Terrorism) which it believes is being used to censor and imprison writers and journalists for the peaceful expression of their views.
    International PEN also expressed its concern at the widespread powers accorded to police in the mainly Kurdish southeast region of Turkey by the state of emergency regulations in operation there.


    Turkey "still denies" full human rights to its citizens, despite democracy in the country being "stronger” than it was 10 years ago, a group of U.S. scholars and human rights activists agreed in a panel on April 5 held in Washington
    The panel was organized by the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), made up of 18 members of Congress and one representative each from the departments of State, Commerce and Defense.
    "There is no question that Turkey has made great strides," said Maru Sue Hafner, the commission's deputy staff director and general counsel, who chaired the hearing. "But why have 12 journalists been killed, and no serious investigation been made into their deaths?"
    Mark Epstein, a former State Department scholar-in-residence, said "Torture persists, especially in the first few days of police detention, and whether Turkey can accommodate itself to Turkish cultural and political rights remains a question."
    Maryam Elahi of Amnesty International: "We are asking that the government of Turkey recognize the current problems in the human rights arena, and set out to implement safeguards in order to end torture and comply with its obligations under the international human rights treaties to which it is a state party. The United States, as a friend of the Turkish people, has a serious responsibility to urge the Turkish government to abide by its international obligations."
    Lois Whitman, deputy director of Helsinki Watch: "Prime Minister Demirel's coalition government, installed in November 1991, has not kept its promises of human rights improvements. The overall human rights picture has, in fact, deteriorated rather than improved."
    Whitman said that Helsinki Watch has recommended to the U.S. Government that it end all military and security assistance to Turkey until that country "no longer manifests a consistent pattern of gross human rights violations."
    Turkey is the third largest recipient of U.S. aid, receiving loans of $450 million in military assistance and $125 million in economic support grants for the 1993 fiscal year.

    1.3, the Derik correspondent of the daily Özgür Gündem, Salih Tekin said that he had been tortured by police after his detention on  February 16.
    1.3, the performance of a Kurdish play, Mirin ü Jiyan (Life and Death), by the Jiyana Nü Theatre in Ankara was banned by the governor.
    5.3, Prof. Ilhan Arsel's book Intellectual and "Intellectual" and two weeklies, Haftalik Telgraf and Siyasi Cizgi were confiscated by the decision of a local penal court in Istanbul.
    6.3, in Istanbul, two journalists of the daily Hürriyet, Beyhan Tolan and Kürsat Yilmaz were detained as they were covering the police attack on a women group protesting against the ban of the Convention of Working Women and the films in their cameras were destroyed.
    6.3, in Ankara, two journalists of the daily Hürriyet, Selcuk Senyüz and Mehmet Oguz Senol, were beaten by police as they were covering the police attack on a group celebrating the World Women's Day.
    9.3, the latest issues of three reviews, Medya Günesi, Direnis and Azadi, were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    9.3, the Van office of the weekly Azadi was raided and searched by police. After the operation, the weekly's correspondent, Hakan Kartal was taken into custody.
    10.3, the Istanbul SSC began to try Professor Yalcin Kücük for an interview that he made with PKK leader Öcalan in December 1992. He faces imprisonment of up to five years for separatist propaganda.
    11.3, poet Hüseyin Karatas was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 20 months in prison and TL 41 Million ($4,556) in fine for his poetry book entitled Dersim: The Story of a Revolt. Publisher Sevki Ömeroglu too was sentenced to a fine of TL 1,016,028,000 ($122,889) by virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
    12.3, For their words on the Kurdish question published by the monthly Demokrat, Ömer Agin and Ahmet Zeki Okcuoglu were sentenced to 8-month imprisonment each by the Istanbul SSC.  The court also sentenced the review's publisher, Hikmet Kocak, to TL 100 Million ($11,111) in fine, and the responsible editor Engin Günay to six months in prison and TL 50 Million ($5,556) in fine by virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
    12.3, the owner of the fortnightly Medya Günesi, Cemal Özcelik was arrested for an article on the military operations in Kurdistan. He will be tried by virtue of Article 8 of the ATL.  19 out of the review's 25 issues have been confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
    15.3, the latest issues of the reviews Mücadele and Genc Kurtulus were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
     15.3, the responsible editor of the defunct daily Günes, Isik Yurtcu was arrested for not having paid a fine to which he had been sentenced for an article.
    17.5, a book fair organized in Afyon by the Islamic publishing houses was raided by police and some books were confiscated.
    18.3, the responsible editors of the reviews Newroz and Emek, respectively Hasan Lekesiz and Garip Töre were arrested in Istanbul for distributing Newroz posters.
    18.3, the Malatya office of the weekly Azadi was raided by police and many documents inside confiscated.
    20.3, N°51 of the weekly Gercek and N°24 of the fortnightly Devrimci Proletarya were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda and praising some outlawed organizations.
    22.3, N°26 of the fortnightly Medya Günesi was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    28.3, the latest issues of the reviews Yeni Ülke, Devrimci Proletarya, Emegin Bayragi and Mücadele was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC in virtue of Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the ATL.
    28.3, the Diyarbakir office of the monthly Newroz was raided and destroyed by unidentified people.
    1.4, the last issue of the magazine of strip cartoon Eroskop was confiscated by a penal court for obscene publication.
    2.4, journalist Haluk Gerger was indicted by the Ankara SSC Prosecutor for his article on Kurdish Question published by the daily Özgür Gündem on September 15, 1992. He faces imprisonment of up to five years.
    3.4, the last issues of the reviews Azadi, Yeni Ülke and Mücadele were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    4.4, publisher Ünsal Öztürk was indicted by the Ankara SSC for making propaganda of  terrorist organizations by publishing a book entitled The Bosphorus Occupation concerning a student action at the Bogazici University. He is also indicted for the same book by a penal court in Ankara  on charges of praising terrorist acts and by a criminal court on charges of insulting security forces. In three cases, Ünsal faces prison terms of up to eleven years in total.
    5.4, Fatma Karabacak, responsible editor of the weekly Newroz, was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a 5-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 41 Million ($4,556) for an article concerning the Newroz incidents of 1992. The owner of the review, Hüseyin Alatas too was sentenced to a fine of TL 83 Million ($9,222) for the same article.
    7.4, in Nazilli, the owners of four private radio stations, Atilla Toraman (Radio Özlem), Orhan Narin (Radio Nazar), Mustafa Subakan (Radio Gün) and Filiz Güven (Radio Venus) were arrested by a penal court for unauthorized broadcasting.
    8.4, the former responsible editor the monthly Newroz, Celal Albayrak was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to five months in prison and TL 41 Million ($ 4,556) for separatist propaganda.
    9.4, the former responsible editor of the weekly Hedef, Elanur Kaya was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a 5-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 41 Million ($4,556) for some articles published in 1991. The owner of the review, Emel Atici too was sentenced to a fine of TL 83 Million ($9,222) for the same articles.
    11.4, the Court of Cassation approved a five-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 41 Million ($ 4,556)given against Kamil Ermis, responsible editor of the monthly review Deng.  A fine of TL 83 Million  ($ 9,222) against Hikmet Cetin, owner of the review, was approved as well.
    12.4, Ümit Oguztan, author of three books, Queen Sisi, The Lesbian and the Immorals, fled Turkey and reportedly seeks political asylum in France. He had been sentenced to a fine of TL 4 Billion ($ 444,444) in total for obscene publication. Since he could not pay this sum, he was to be imprisoned.
    12.4, the last issue of the review Devrimci Proleter Genclik was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    15.4, the last issues of three reviews, Direnis, Newroz and Toplumsal Dayanisma, were confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    15.4, three journalists, Nurdogan Aydogan (Özgür Gündem), Aslan Türk and Serpil Yildirim (Özgür Halk) were taken into custody when they were in front of the Ankara office of the HEP.
    17.4, the issue N°17 of the review Yeni Insan was confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for Besikci's article entitled "Turkey is not really independent."
    19.4, the security forces raided the Ankara office of the review Tavir and destroyed the material inside. After this raid, police detained about 80 people in Ankara.
    23.4, the Elazig correspondent of the daily Zaman, Erdogan Atilgan was arrested for having taken photos of a trial without an authorization by the judge.
    26.4, in Bursa, police detained thirty people distributing the special May Day issue of the review Kurtulus.
    27.4, the owner of the daily Özgür Gündem, Yasar Kaya, and two TV reporters who interviewed him, Nese Düzel and Ahmet Altan, were indicted by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.  Each faces a prison term of up to five years et fine of TL 100 Million ($ 11,111)
    27.4, the coordinator of a private TV, Ozcan Ertuna was sentenced by the Censorship Board to a fine of TL 30 Million ($ 3,333) for broadcasting a TV film considered "obscene."' If Ertuna does not pay the sum, the board will start a court action against him.
    28.4,  the responsible editor of the review Devrimci Proletarya, Naile Tuncer was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 11 months in prison and TL 90 Million ($ 10,000) for two articles that she published. The review's owner, Hacer Demirkiran too was sentenced to TL 183 Million ($  20,333) by the same court.
    28.4, the Court of Cassation approved the imprisonment of 3 years and 9 months against German journalist Stefan Waldberg who had been arrested on October 29, 1992 on charges of carrying PKK documents into Turkey. Benefiting from a conditional release he will remain in prison for 20 months.
    29.4, the monthly Devrim was confiscated by the order of the Istanbul Governor and the local newspaper Güneydogu by the penal court of Urfa for separatist propaganda.
    29.4, the responsible editor of the daily Zaman, Servet Engin was sentenced to a 10-month imprisonment for having republished an article which had been the object of another condemnation after its first publication.

    The National Security Council, on April 12, sent a classified document to Turkish universities, asking them to be "more sensitive on national problems" and to send the Council regular monthly reports.
    "The Higher Education Board (YÖK) has not been successful in the psychological operations area, and this has caused a certain uneasiness," the secret document says.
    It asks the academicians to research subjects pertaining to national security and publish their findings. The following are the main points of the Council's orders:
    "More scientific work is published on Turkey at foreign universities than those in Turkey. The universities in the country fail to attach adequate importance to intelligence activities. The work of those academicians who have worked against the state are being taught at the universities. The dialogue between the YÖK president and the universities is inadequate. Universities should not teach the works of those persons considered harmful. Close contacts should be established with international organizations, and university senates should take protest decisions (against the decisions adopted by these organizations) when required. Orders related to psychological operations should be given verbally and not in writing, and the progress in this area should be monitored. Conferences should be staged against separatist and subversive circles."


    A Turkish tribunal decided to extradite Tunisian political activists, Riyadh ben Amor Makhlouf, arrested in Turkey on January 29, 1993. Currently waiting in Kirikkale prison for a final decision to be passed by the Turkish Government, Makhlouf claims he will be tortured to death if extradited to his country. "I am not an ordinary criminal, but one of the top members of an organization who battled against the dictatorship in Tunisia," he said.
    Istanbul newspapers and the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) are campaigning for Ankara to prevent Makhlouf's extradition.

    An explosion at the Umraniye garbage dump in Istanbul on April 28 killed more than 30 people. This tragic event due to the explosion of methane gas accumulated in the dump is a new proof of the irresponsible attitude of the State officials which take no heed of the environmental and human concerns.
    Umraniye dump is the second biggest on the Asian side of Istanbul, a city of 10 million people, and the garbage of millions of people in Umraniye, Usküdar, Kadiköy, Beykoz and Maltepe is dumped there.
    Umraniye is one of the poorest districts of Istanbul suffering many un planned urbanization problems. Although an Environment Ministry regulation stipulates that a garbage dump can only be built a minimum of 1 kilometre away from any settlement area, and that the accumulated methane gas must be released into the atmosphere, the greater Istanbul mayor Nurettin Sözen has never respected these rules.
    Moreover, Umraniye Municipality had won court cases against neighbouring municipalities in order to prohibit them from dumping garbage in Umraniye, but has not succeeded in enforcing these rulings.