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


18th Year - N°207
 January 1994
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


    Turkey's human rights record has suffered another blow with an increasing number of deaths and abuses occurring in 1993, according to the Human Rights Association (IHD).
    According to a detailed report issued by the IHD, in 1993, attacks by security forces on groups and individuals increased as did extra judicial deaths (killings by security forces without due legal process), especially in Istanbul.
    The report notes that 1993 was a negative year regarding democratisation and human rights and says that "day by day Turkey is being dragged into darkness."
    The following are the highlights of the IHD 1993 report:
    • In the Southeast 3,750 civilians were killed and 1,490 wounded in ongoing clashes between the security forces and Kurdish guerrilla.
    • During security operations in south-eastern Turkey, security forces evacuated a total of 874 villages and hamlets, of which some were torched to prevent them from being used again by the villagers.
    • 510 people were killed in "mystery murders," a reference normally used to explain political assassinations in which the killer escape.
    • 21 people are suspected of being killed by police under torture and 29 people disappeared while in detention.
    • Six journalists, three of whom were working for Özgür Gündem, were killed along with eight newspaper distributors.
    • A total of 51 journalists were imprisoned in 1993, while in the 1992-93 period 260 newspapers and magazines were seized.
    • Some 33 books were banned from publication and all copies were confiscated.
    • Journalists and authors were sentenced to a total of 231 years imprisonment and fined TL 21,000 billion.
    • Four political parties were closed down while cases  were being prepared for the closure of two others. The defunct parties were identified as the Socialist Party (SP), the People's Labour Party (HEP), the Socialist Turkey Party (STP) and the Freedom and Democracy Party (ÖZDEP). The Socialist Unity Party (SBP) and the Democracy Party (DEP) now face the threat of closure. A total of 48 associations were closed down in 1993.
    • A total of 323 people applied to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) for medical treatment and to participate in rehabilitation programs for torture victims. Of these, 115 applied in Ankara, 107 in Izmir and 101 in Istanbul.
    • The debate on capital punishment surfaced in 1993 and a death sentence was ratified by the National Assembly.
    The IHD Secretary General Hüsnü Öndül evaluated the present government's stance on the abuse of human rights in following terms:
    "The present coalition government has promised that it will amend all the acts in the Constitution which were enacted since September 12. Even though these parties are still  in government, they have not amended any of the basic acts.  Not only has the present government been neglecting human rights issues, it has also been abusing human rights and ignoring democratic principles. Turkey is being turned into a prison for thinking people: for authors, artists, and all those who voice their opinions. A nation which restricts its authors; journalists and scientists because of their thoughts or opinions cannot be called democratic.
    "Those in power want to implement a militarist democracy in the country. They wish that the government and the military bureaucracy give orders and the public will obey them. Those students who want to form associations, workers and civil servants who want to form unions, and politicians who want to establish their own parties have to put up with torture, detention and the closure of their institutions."


    The State Minister Ali Sevki Erek announced on January 20 that Turkey would spend 164  trillion liras ($8.2 billion) "fighting Kurdish rebels in the Southeast this year. The expenditure forecast is equivalent to a fifth of Turkey's 1994 budget of 820 trillion liras ($41 billion).
    Officials have said Turkey spent about $7 billion last year on the struggle against the PKK.  The guerrilla activities by the PKK reportedly inflicted losses of $1 billion to $1.5 billion on Turkey's tourism industry last year.
    On the other hand, Justice Minister Seyfi Oktay said on February 13 that  the number of "terrorists" arrested and imprisoned had already reached 6,500, and predicted that it would reach 10,000 very soon.
    Oktay added that, before the time of the present coalition government, this figure had been between 800-900, and that now, according to the report from the Office of the Chief of Staff,  22 "terrorists" were being arrested every day.


    The Council of Ministers revealed on January 6 a new decree to extend compulsory military service by five months, which had already been adopted on December 20, 1993, under the pressure of the Army.
    According to this decision, at least 40,000 soldiers in the Southeast who would have been discharged in March will be kept for more five months in the military units operating against the Kurdish guerrilla. Military sources say that the next three months are crucial for Turkey and that the Army needs all the trained commandos it had to fight the separatists.
    The Turkish Daily News of January 8 quoted some military sources as saying: "Turkey, under normal conditions, had nine divisions in the troubled Southeast region, meaning some 90,000 to 95,000 troops. But we now have around 160,000 troops here. We needed troops and we increased the number of divisions to 52. If the decision to extend military service was not taken, some 40,000 trained soldiers would have left service. It is not easy to train commando fighters."
    National Defence Minister Mehmet Gölhan had announced earlier that there were 250,000 conscription dodgers in Turkey -amounting to nearly half of the whole number of the Turkish Army.
    Under fire from her own party for making a move which would lose the party electoral support, Prime Minister Ciller said the decision was taken at the request of the Chief of Staff. "The issue was put in front of us at the National Security Council as an absolute demand," she said.
    The daily Aydinlik, on January 8, reported that the ministers signed the decision without even reading it. "Soldiers and their families are reacting angrily to the decision. A group of soldiers in Istanbul told a reporter that they were going to desert. Soldiers stationed at the Ankara Cartography Division Command smashed chairs. Large numbers of families phoned the DYP and the SHP headquarters protesting against the decision," said the newspaper.
    On the same day, Özgür Gündem said that public reaction to the decision was one of anger, quoting DEP Deputy Chairman Remzi Kartal as saying that the decision was indicative of the state's insistence on a military solution.


    As the conscript soldiers are being pushed to die in exchange of a derisory salary, the Army officers are getting richer thanks to their involvement in profitable affairs by the means of a giant finance holding.
    The monthly salary paid to a Turkish private is still TL 37,000. In other words, a Turkish private gets less than 2 dollars every month for "protecting his country, risking his life on an hourly basis. The monthly salary for a Turkish corporal is TL 57,000 and for a sergeant TL 75,000.
    As for the Army officers, they get the highest salaries of the public services. Besides, all of them are the shareholders of the Army Mutual Assistance Fund (OYAK).
    Founded on January 3, 1961, only seven months after the 1960 military intervention, OYAK has flourished incredibly rapidly over the past three decades, expanding more and more after each of the two further military coups, in 1971 and 1980. Officers, paying 10 per cent of their salaries to this institution, benefit from many economic and social advantages provided by OYAK. When they are retired, officers get a substantial share from the  fund's accumulated profits.
    Today, OYAK employs a labor force of approximately 25,000 and is listed among the largest 500 companies in Turkey. It is also a shareholder in eight major companies.
    OYAK's current annual turnover is reported at TL 75 trillion ($ 5 billion). This turnover is tax-exempt. In other words, OYAK does not pay tax on its commercial activities. It is active in the automotive sector, the cement industry, petrochemical industry, food sector, electronics, agricultural chemicals, service industries, and banking.
    This financial giant is administrated by a board composed of high-ranking officers.
    In the last days of 1993, OYAK, acting along with its smaller share holding Turkish investors, bought a huge share of the Türk-Boston Bank.
    Some claim that with this move, the Turkish army is the second army in the world, after that of Guatemala, to own a bank.
    Although non-commissioned officers every month pay OYAK contribution money, they are not allowed to be members of OYAK and cannot benefits from its economic and social advantages enjoyed  by their superiors.


    PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, in a declaration published by the party's monthly Serxwebun in November, announced that the organization would soon be attempting to create at least two liberated zones in the Southeast.
    According to Öcalan, in some areas the PKK was able to carry out a single attack with as many as 1,000 fighters.
    Defining his new guerrilla strategy as similar to the experiences in China and Vietnam, Öcalan said that the Botan area, consisting of four separate parts, had reached the level of becoming a Red Zone, meaning a liberated zone.
    The PKK, following its 4th Congress in 1990, has divided its action zones in the Southeast into nine separate regions which it refers to also as eyalet (province). These include the Botan (North) and Behdinan (South or northern Iraq), Garzan, Amed, Mardin, Dersim, Middle (Orta) and the Serhad (northern area) provinces.
    In his orders, Öcalan argued that according to the nature of the combat zone, whether it be where is strong (Red), only now gaining strength (Mixed) or weak (White), there should be different tactics put into force.


    A wave of hunger strikes staged by political prisoners at several Turkish prisons entered its 40th consecutive day on January 12.
    The hunger strikes at the Sagmalcilar (Istanbul), Kayseri, Yozgat, Cankiri, Nevsehir, Erzurum and Ankara prisons are being carried out by the prisoners from the PKK as well as other outlawed organizations such as Revolutionary Left (Dev-Sol), the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP) and the Peasants-Workers' Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO).
    The inmates are said to be demanding the abolition of disciplinary measures against hunger strikers and the right of inmates on medical diets to be permitted to provide their own food from outside. They also demand that male and female prisoners, who are in prison on similar charges, gain the right to meet each other at least once a week.
    About 40 relatives of the inmates are residing at the IHD headquarters in Ankara where they will remain throughout the duration of their own hunger strike, which they are conducting in solidarity with the inmates.


    Despite pledges of reform by the Turkish government, torture and excessive use of force by the security forces persisted in 1993, the US State Department reported on January 31, 1994.
    "Turkey's primary human rights problems in 1993 continued to be the torture of people in police custody during periods of incommunicado detention and interrogation," the annual world human rights survey said.
    It said that "security forces used excessive force against non-combatants in the south-eastern provinces "where the government continued to face terrorist violence from separatist insurgency of the PKK. The Kurdish uprising led to authorities restricting freedom of expression and association and to disappearances and mystery killings that appear to be politically motivated."


    Amnesty International claimed at the end of  January 1994 that detained foreign nationals are being mistreated in Turkey and urged the Ciller Government to take urgent steps to avoid repetition of similar incidents in the future.
    Turkish police had recently reported foreign nationals who had entered Turkey illegally had been rounded up in Istanbul and were then sent to detention centres in the Central Anatolian provincial capital of Sivas.
    AI said it received reports that hundreds of foreign nationals, most from Africa and the West Indies, who were detained for infringements of immigration law, have been held incommunicado for long periods in inhuman and degrading conditions in various police stations throughout Istanbul. A detainee who was held in the Second Branch of istanbul police headquarters during October 1993 reportedly told AI that he saw dozens of prisoners kept in filthy conditions without proper food or sanitary arrangements, several of whom were sick and had received no medical treatment.
    Detainees who had been held in Aksaray police station in November reported that they had seen and talked to six Africans in an adjacent cell, where they had already been held for 15 days in a space estimated to be 2.4 meter square. According to their statements the sanitary conditions were extremely poor and there were no toilet facilities.
    Amnesty said none of the detainees about whom it was informed had been charged with any offence - nor had they been given any access to legal counsel. Amnesty also charged that the principal consistent factor in the detention of the foreigners was the colour of their skin.
    Amnesty said on October 23 a group of about 150 such prisoners were taken to a UN Refugee Camp in Sivas province, and then to a former refugee camp in Silopi, in Sirnak province of south-eastern Turkey, close to the border with northern Iraq. A number of prisoners have escaped and there are now about 80 left in the camp in Silopi, living in tents without proper heating or food (apart from whatever the prisoners are able to buy for themselves.)
    According to reports, Francos Marcos, a Kenyan citizen, was crushed by an armoured car which intervened in a heated but non-violent dispute between security forces and the detainees.
    Amnesty urged the Turkish authorities to initiate urgent investigation of the circumstances of these detained foreign nationals, and to insure that they are not subjected to condition which amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, or conditions which could put their health in danger.


    2.1, a security team raiding a house at the village of Evci in Igdir break both arms of Ece Kuas (45), mother of a wanted youth. 
    2.1, in Midyat, Zekeriya Akgün is shot death by unidentified gunmen.
    3.1, three persons, Abdülkerim Ergun (38) in Midyat, Resat Kilic (58) in Batman and Sinan Karga (51) in Viransehir, fall victims of political murders.
    5.1, in Ankara, the Popular House of Keciören is closed by the governor for unauthorised activities. Besides, the police take into custody 18 members of the association.
    5.1, the police announces the arrest of 12 alleged PKK militants in Manisa and 12 alleged Dev-Sol militants in Istanbul. In Izmir, the SSC puts under arrest eight people detained earlier by police.
    5.1, in Antalya, two young women, Huriye Öztunc and Mülkiye Bilik are imprisoned for serving their 20-month sentence on grounds of PKK activities.
    5.1, in Cinar (Diyarbakir), worker Hamza Duran is shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
    8.1, In two-day operations, police detains nine members of the Public Workers' Trade Union (Genel Is) and a member of the Sanitary Workers' Union (Tüm Saglik Sen).
    9.1, in Cizre, security forces opening fire at random murder six people and wound five others.
    9.1, in Cizre, security forces opening fire at random murder three people.
    6.1, unknown assailants shoot dead Hisar Demir in Adana and an unidentified person in Mus.
    7.1, in Adana, Haydar Bektas and Ismail Altunbas are found assassinated by unidentified gunmen. Same day, Metin Demir falls victim of political murder in Batman.
    9.1, in Cizre, security forces opening fire at random murder six people and wound five others.
    10.1, security forces announce the arrest a total of 30 alleged PKK militants during their recent operations in Adana and Mersin.
    10.1, DEP Ergani official Bisar Sener and his sons, Vedat Sener and Zafer Sener, are taken into police custody.
    10.1, a 60-year old Syriac priest, Melki Tok is reportedly kidnapped by pro-government forces in the district of Idil (Sirnak).
    10.1, security forces raiding the village of DEP Siirt Deputy Zübey Aydar arrest 26 villagers and set their houses on fire.
    11.1, unidentified gunmen shoot dead trade unionist Isa Özer and retailer Feyrusah Sacan in Batman, and Firat Caglar in Diyarbakir. Cevdet Günes who was wounded two days ago dies in a hospital.
    11.1, the Istanbul branch of the Pir Sultan Abdal Association is closed down by the governor and three members of the association are taken into custody by police.
    12.1, in Batman, unidentified gunmen shoot dead three students, Abdurrahman Ata, Firat Soyvural and Serif Cogöz. In Diyarbakir, Selahattin Bicin falls victim of political murder.
    12.1, in Nusaybin, a worker named Ekrem is shot dead by unidentified persons.
    12.1, twelve peasants from the Fistikli Village of Mardin are subjected to torture after a security team raided the village and set their houses on fire.
    13.1, in Ankara, a demonstration of 5 thousand public servants in protest against insufficient salary rise is prevented by police using force. During the assault of police, 30 demonstrators are wounded and 67 others taken into custody.
    13.1, the trial of five intellectuals for their speeches during Human Rights celebrations in 1992 begins at the Ankara SSC. IHD Chairman Akin Birdal, IHD Izmir official Alparslan Berktay, former member of Parliament Hüsnü Okcuoglu, lawyer Ali Yildirim and journalist Yalcin Kücük face prison terms of up to five years.
    13.1, former IHD deputy chairman Yavuz Binbay is taken into custody in Van.
    13.1, in Diyarbakir, unidentified assailants murder student Azad Önen with gun and student Serdar Kaya with axe.
    14.1, Mahmut Aslan falls victim of a political murder in Diyarbakir.
    15.1, in Diyarbakir, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Mehmet Metin Kaplan and Sedat Cagatay. Same day, Ramazan Akbulut and Mehmet Tasan fall victim of political murder in Batman.
    15.1, in Izmir, lawyer Ahmet Aksüt claims that his client, Mahmut Sahindogan was tortured during his police interrogation.
    15.1, in Ankara, Oguz Aksac claims to have been tortured by police after his detention after a raid to the Ekin Arts Centre.
    15.1, the mayor of the town Tatvan, Mehmet Özalp is taken into custody. He was accused a few days ago by the local military commander of having relations with the PKK.
    15.1, Kurdish businessman Behcet Cantürk and his driver, Recep Kuzucu, were found assassinated in Sapanca.
    16.1, in Izmir, the Association for Rights and Freedoms (Özgür-Der) is closed down by the governor.
    16.1, in Bitlis, Kerem Gencer is kidnapped by three unidentified assailants and his dead body is found at a village near Tatvan.
    17.1, the police announces the arrest eight alleged members of the Workers and Peasant's Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO) during last ten-day operations.
    17.1, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Ahmet Anis in Diyarbakir and Semsettin Ural in Nusaybin.
    18.1, the Istanbul SSC indicts three mayors for their declarations to the daily Özgür Gündem. Sükrü Calli (mayor of Hakkari), Nazmi Balkas (Lice) and Abdullah Kaya (Kozluk) face each a prison term of up to five years for separatist propaganda.
    18.1, in Diyarbakir, Süleyman Dün falls victim of a political murder.
    18.1, security forces raiding a house in Kiziltepe shoot dead three persons inside.
    18.1, IHD Siirt Chairman Haci Oguz is taken into custody together with his wife, daughter and sister.
    19.1,  police raiding a café in Izmir detains IHD member Ahmet Gerertil.
    20.1, the Istanbul SSC sentences two TIKKO members to capital punishment and two others to 36 years in prison.
    20.1, In istanbul, three trade union officials Munzur Pekgülec, Faruk Beskisiz and Cem Tiryaki, and nine other people  detained during a raid on January 8 are placed under arrest by a tribunal.
    20.1, a local DEP office in Ankara is destroyed by a bomb explosion and an employee, Fahrettin Aydogan gravely wounded.
    21.1, the Izmir SSC sentences a PKK defendant to capital punishment, three defendants to life-prison and seven others to three years and nine months each.
    21.1, unidentified gunmen shoot dead bookseller Giyasettin Ugur in Batman, Abdülbaki Türk in Nusaybin and Mehmet Celik in Diyarbakir.
    23.1, in Istanbul, Mrs. Lamia Aygün claims that his son Ahmet Aygün is subjected to torture after his detention on January 19.
    23.1, student Cengiz Altun falls victim of political murder in Diyarbakir.
    24.1, in Ankara, two local officials of the Workers' Party (IP), Mahsuni Akgus and Ali Temelci are detained by police.
    24.1, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Hüsnü Türk and Sitki Fidan in Silvan and Fuat Tunc in Nusaybin.
    25.1, the public prosecutor opens a legal proceeding against IHD Bursa Chairman Muhammed Aydin and six other officials of the association for contravening the Law on Association.  Each faces a prison term of not less than three months.
    26.1, the Izmir Chairman of the Workers' Party (IP), Ali Karsilayan is arrested by a tribunal for putting party posters on walls.
    26.1, new victims of political murders: Eyüp Aslan and Firat Alayli in Diyarbakir,  Veysi Kirtay in Silvan and Zeynel Gülgen in Midyat.
    27.1, unidentified assailants murder Abdulselam Kizmaz, Ridvan Yabanci, Arif Cicikiz and Mahmut Dogan in Diyarbakir and Mehmet Barlin in Urfa.
    28.1, the IHD Izmir office is raided by police and some publications inside confiscated.
    28.1, the Adiyaman office of the People's Houses is closed down by the governor.
    28.1, Musa Kaya and Hatip Gundogan fall victim of political murders in Diyarbakir.
    29.1, in Ankara, the DEP Mamak office is destroyed by a bomb explosion. DEP Chairman Hatip Dicle accuses the Counter-Guerrilla Organization of this sabotage.
    30.1, engineer Mehmet Altuntas is assassinated by unidentified assailants in Diyarbakir.
    31.1, in Diyarbakir, Dr. Seyhmus Akin, Sevket Demircan and Halit Pinar fall victim of political murders.
    31.1, a university student, G.K. claims to have been tortured after being detained together with three other students by police on December 29.
    31.1, police announces the arrest of 17 alleged members of the Kurdish organization KAWA.


    Turkey's Human Rights Association (IHD) has announced on January 25, 1994, that 54 journalists and writers in this country are in prison for violating laws in their reports and books.
    IHD Secretary-General Hüsnü Öndül said in a statement on the issue that all the inmates were imprisoned on the grounds that they had violated the Anti-Terrorism Law, and noted that "the crime of opinion cannot be accepted as a crime."
    Öndül said his association would be in solidarity with the writers in prison, stressing that even if one writer in a country is imprisoned, there can be no talk of freedom there.
    According to a recent report issued by the IHD, writers and journalists currently in prison in Turkey were listed as follows:  
    Osman Günes (Emek Dünyasi), Hidir Ates, (Odak), Zana Sezen (Azadi), Omer Agin (writer), Tuncay Atmaca (Emek), Hacay Yilmaz (Emek), Hidir Batusal (Özgür Gelecek), Naile Tuncer (Devrimci Proleterya), Erdogan Yasar Kopan (Devrimci Mucadele), Kemal Bilget (Nevroz), Edip Polat (writer), Ismail Besikci (writer), Günay Aslan (writer), Ergun Gümgüm (Hevdam), Fethiye Peksen (Devrimci Cözüm), Hikmet Cetin (Deng ), Mustafa Cubuk (Emek magazine), Kenan Kalyon (Toplumsal Dayanisma), Nabi Barut (Zagros) Süleyman Bakirman (Tavir), Ahmet Zeki Okcuoglu (writer), Gülperi Türüz (Alinteri ), Hidir Guyildar (Gercek), Deniz Gezen (Mücadele), Cemal Uc (Mücadele ), Hüseyin Solak (Mücadele ), Veysel Sahin (Mücadele), Ahmet Ibili (Mücadele), Necati Önder (Mücadele), Murat Kirsoy (Mücadele ), Ozcan Yildiz (Mücadele), Gurbetelli Ersöz (Özgür Gündem), Ali Riza Halis (Özgür Gündem), Serdar Karakoc (Özgür Gündem), Riza Zingal (Özgür Gündem), Serdar Caycioglu (Özgür Gündem), Namik Alkan (Özgür Gündem), Oguzhan Ogruk (Özgür Gündem), Sadi Salik (Özgür Gündem), Nizamettin Karaciger (Özgür Gündem), Mehmet Sah Yildiz (Özgür Gündem), Hasan Özgün (Özgür Gündem), M. Sirin Koc, (Özgür Gündem), Cengiz Tas (Özgür Gündem), Manaf Avci (Özgür Gündem), Bulent Derik (Özgür Gündem), Özgür Aslan (Özgür Gündem), Gulay Celik (Özgür Gündem), Ahmet Caldiran (Özgür Gündem), Ercan Aslan (Özgür Gündem), Mustafa Yildiz, Kemal Sahin (Özgür Gündem), Erkan Aydin (Özgür Gündem) and Sabri Bölek (Özgür Gündem).     These writers and journalists were reportedly incarcerated in the prisons of Elazig, Istanbul, Adiyaman, Igdir, Ankara, Izmit, Tunceli, Malatya, Bursa. Izmir, Diyarbaklr, Erzurum, Urla and Mugla.


    Helsinki Watch is appalled at the continuing assassinations of journalists and vendors in Southeast Turkey. In a two-year period seventeen journalists and fourteen distributors have been killed—a horrifying total of thirty-one deaths. Most of the victims wrote for or distributed left-wing and/or pro-Kurdish journals.
    Helsinki Watch began monitoring human rights in Turkey in 1982. More than three times as many journalists have been killed since November 1991, when the present government came into power, as in the previous ten years.
    (Five journalists were killed between 1988 and 1990: Mevlut Isik, Türkiye, 1988; Sami Basaran, Gazete, 1989; Kamil Basaran, Gazete, 1989; Cetin Emec, Hürriyet, 1990; Turan Dursun, 2000'e Dogru, 1990.)
    Most of the journalists and distributors were killed in Southeast Turkey, the site of an increasingly vicious guerrilla war waged between Turkish security forces and the PKK.
    Many of the assassinations have followed a pattern: a journalist or distributor is shot in the back of the head, death-squad style, by unknown assailants. Many of these victims are believed to have been killed by a counter-guerrilla force associated with Turkish security forces. Others have reportedly been killed by the PKK or by Hizbullah, an Islamic fundamentalist group.
    Helsinki Watch is shocked to report that no one has been convicted in any of these killings. With few exceptions, the Turkish government has failed even to investigate these deaths.
    In December 1992, Helsinki Watch issued a newsletter entitled: "Turkey: Censorship by assassination: Eleven Journalists and One Newspaper Distributor Murdered since February."
    Since that time, information on the killings in 1992 of three more distributors has reached us, making a total of fifteen journalists and distributors killed during that year. The death toll for 1993 is also fifteen—five journalists and ten vendors. In addition one journalist was killed in January 1994.

    Death in 1994. The most recent death of a journalist is that of:

    • RUHICAN TUL, a young journalist who wrote for the English-language newspaper, The Turkish Daily  News. Tul's death does not fit the previous pattern; he was apparently not targeted, but was one of three people killed in bombings of buses leaving Ankara on January 14, 1994. The PKK claimed responsibility for the killings.

    Deaths of journalists in 1993. Five journalists were killed in 1993:

    • UGUR MUMCU. On January 24, Ugur Mumcu, the author of a daily editorial column in Cumhuriyet, a mainstream newspaper, was killed when a bomb exploded in his car seconds after he turned on the ignition. Mumcu was a well-known reporter who had published articles critical of Islamic fundamentalism,  government corruption, drug trading, and terrorist violence. The Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for the killing, as have two previously unknown organizations. 
    • KEMAL KILIC. February l8, 1993, Kemal Kilic was shot dead as he was on his way home from work. Kilic was walking toward the village of Kulunce when he was ambushed by four people.  A night watchman witnessed the killing. Kilic was the Urfa  representative Özgür Gündem and a founding member of the IHD Urfa branch. On January l8 Kilic had been arrested for making a statement accusing the Urfa governor and police headquarters of ignoring the obstruction of Özgür Gündem distribution. 
    • IHSAN KARAKUS. On March 13, 1993, Ihsan Karakus, owner of the local newspaper Silvan, published was killed. Karakus was attacked by two unidentified men on the way to his office. 
    • FERHAT TEPE. Ferhat Tepe, 19, the Bitlis correspondent for Özgür Gündem, was kidnapped by unidentified persons on July 28, 1993. An anonymous caller claiming to represent the Turkish Ottoman Revenge Brigade reportedly called his family and claimed responsibility. Tepe's bruised body was found in Elazig on August 3, 1993. 
    • MUZAFFER AKKUS. Muzaffer Akkus, 34, a Bingöl part-time correspondent for the mainstream newspaper Milliyet, was shot and killed, reportedly by members of the  PKK, at a roadblock outside Bingöl on September 20, 1993.

    Deaths of vendors in 1993. Ten newspaper vendors or distributors were killed in Southeast Turkey in 1993; most had been threatened and told not to sell or distribute Yeni Ulke and Özgür Gündem:

    • ORHAN KARAGAAR. 30, in Van on January 19.
    • TEGMEN DEMIR, in Batman on June 5.
    • YUSUF KARAÜZÜM, 27, in Diyarbakir on August 28.
    • ZÜLKÜF AKKAYA, in Diyarbakir on September 28.
    • YALCIN YASA, 12, in Diyarbakir on October 10.
    • KADIR IPEKSÜMER, in Urfa in November.
    • ADNAN ISIK, 30, in Van on November 27.
    • MUSU DURU, in Batman on December 3.
    • YAHYA CILLIGÖZ, in Batman on December 3.
    • ZUHAT TEPE, 27, in Iskenderun on December 14.

    Previously unreported deaths of vendors in 1992. In addition, Helsinki Watch has learned of three additional deaths of vendor-s in 1192:

    • KEMAL EKINCI, 35, in Diyarbakir; on December 16, 1992.
    • LOKMAN GÜNDÜZ, 3O, in Nusaybin on December 16, 1992.
    • MEHMET PENCE, 14, in Ergani in December 1992.

    Missing journalist. AYSEL MALKAC, a reporter for  Özgür Gündem ,  was abducted in broad daylight on August 7, 1993, and has not been heard of since.

    Paralysed journalist. BURHAN KARADENIZ, an Özgür Gündem reporter, remains paralysed after having been attacked in August 1992.

    The Turkish government has made no serious effort to investigate these killings and prosecute those responsible. The government has been extremely unsympathetic to the plight of the reporters; on August 11, 1992, then-Prime Minister Demirel said, "Those killed were not real journalists. They were militants in the guise of journalists. They kill each other." On January 4, 1993, State Minister Mehmet Battal claimed that Izzet Kezer was the only journalist to have been killed in the Southeast.

    Helsinki Watch continues to be deeply disturbed by what appears to be a systematic campaign to silence the press about events in Southeast Turkey. We urge the government to take immediate steps to investigate these thirty-one killings and to prosecute those responsible to the full extent of the law. Helsinki Watch urged the United States government and the international community to examine the killings and to openly press Turkey to investigate the killings and prosecute the killers.


     According to the Turkish Daily News of January 26, 1994,  approximately 1,000 people have been charged so far under the Anti Terror Law, No. 3713.
    This law was passed by Parliament on  April 12,1991 and was soon enforced with many editors and writers being charged with disseminating propaganda through the media.
    Article 8 of this law, dealing with propaganda against the sovereignty of  the state, is the one that concerns writers, publishers and journalists. The article reads as follows: 
    "Whatever the idea, method or aim, no written or oral propaganda, meeting, demonstration or march will be allowed that threatens the sovereignty  of the Turkish Republic. 'those who do not observe this rule, shall be sentenced to between two and five years' imprisonment and fined between TL  50 and 100 million." 
    Half of the fine will be imposed on the editors responsible for the offending publications and they can be sentenced to prison terms ranging from six  months to two years. 
    It has been revealed that 54 journalists and writers are being tried or are  in jail in accordance with this act. 


    2.1, two recent issues of the daily Özgür Gündem as well as the periodicals Özgür Gelecek N°19 and Azadi N°86 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    3.1, the Court of Cassation ratifies a sentence against Münir Ceylan, Chairman of the Petro-Chemical Workers' Union (Petrol-Is). He was condemned by the SSC to 20 months in prison and TL 83 millions ($ 5,187) in fine for an article he wrote to the weekly Yeni Ülke.
    3.1, two correspondents of Özgür Gündem, Metin Dag in Diyarbakir and Rezzan Günes in Batman, are taken into police custody.
    3.1, Antakya correspondent of the Alinteri, Gülperi Türüz, and a reader named Nursel Ünlüer are taken into custody by police raiding the magazine's office.
    4.1, the Court of Cassation ratifies sociologist Ismail Besikci's sentence to two years in prison and TL 50 millions ($3,125) in fine for an article he wrote to the magazine Yurtsever Genclik. With this condemnation, the total of Besikci's sentences rises to six years and six months in prison and to TL 134 millions ($ 8,375). He has been in prison since November 1993.
    5.1, five correspondents of Özgür Gündem who had been detained by police, Serap Aksu (Izmir), Ahmet Birgül (Adana), Metin Dag (Diyarbakir), Halil Ceviz and Vehbiye Tüzün (Batman) are released. They say to have been tortured under detention.
    5.1, the Istanbul SSC sentences the responsible editor of the review Yeni Dünya, Züleyha Sahinkaya, to twelve months in prison and TL 500 million ($ 31,250) for separatist propaganda. In the same case, the review's publisher Nazim Düzenli too is sentenced to a fine of TL 1 billion ($ 62,500).
    5.1, Antalya correspondent of the daily Aydinlik, Bayram Atasoy is stabbed by unidentified assailants.
    5.1, Zonguldak correspondent of the magazine Devrim, Burhan Coroglu is detained by police.
    6.1, the Higher Electoral Board bans the broadcast of the private TV Interstar for five days on charges of contravening the Law on Elections.
    6.1, the Van office of the daily Özgür Gündem is raided by police and an employee named Mesut Batur taken into custody. After his release, Batur said to have been tortured at police station.
    7.1, the prosecutor of the Ankara SSC starts a legal proceeding against famous German author Günter Walraff for having criticised the tribunal dealing with the Sivas Massacre.
    7.1, two correspondents of Özgür Gündem, Mehmet Sah and Sirac Koc who have been under police custody for one month, are placed under arrest by the Diyarbakir SSC.
    8.1, the editor of the magazine Toplumsal Dayanisma, Ese Yilmaz is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to eight months in prison and TL 208 million ($ 13,000) in fine for separatist propaganda.
    8.1, in Van, nine vendors of the daily Özgür Gündem are taken into custody by police.
    8.1, police takes into custody two journalists of the magazine Devrim, Haluk Yurtsever and Sabri Ipekci in Istanbul.
    10.1, sociologist Ismail Besikci is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 50 millions ($ 3,125) in fine for separatist propaganda in an article he wrote to the weekly Yeni Ülke.  The tribunal sentences, in the same case, Yeni Ülke's publisher Serhat Bucak to a fine of TL 200 millions ($ 12,500) and responsible editor Özkan Kilic to one year in prison and TL 100 millions ($ 6,250) for having published Besikci's article.
    10.1, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the daily Aydinlik N°253  for anti-militarist propaganda and the periodical Mücadele N°79 for praising an outlawed organization.
    11.1, the chief editor of Aydinlik, Ferit Ilsever is sentenced by a penal court of Istanbul to ten months in prison and the responsible editor, Hale Soysü to a fine of TL 1.5 million ($ 93) for having insulted the Armed Forces in an article. Same day, Tunceli correspondent of Aydinlik, Hidir Gülyildar is taken into police custody in Tunceli.
    11.1, the recent issue of Aydinlik as well as the periodicals Azadi N°87, and Taraf N°35 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
    11.1, in Izmir, five distributors of the review Alinteri are detained by police.
    12.1, the responsible editor of Özgür Gündem, Kemal Sahin is arrested for separatist propaganda. So, the number of Özgür Gündem editors under arrest rises to four. Özgül Arslan, Bülent Balta and Erkan Aydin were arrested earlier.
    12.1, the Ankara office of the magazine Özgür Gelecek is raided by police, journalists Nebahat Polat, Badegül Atav and Kamil Eser are taken into custody. In Istanbul, police raids the office of the magazine Alternatif and detains two editors, Fahrettin Dülcek and Ahmet Köksal.
    12.1, the Diyarbakir office of Özgür Gündem is raided by police and chief correspondent Salih Tekin and eleven other people inside taken into custody.
    13.1, the Ankara office of the periodical Mücadele is raided by police and the magazine's representative Burhan Kardas taken into custody.
    13.1, two journalists, Evin Güvendik from Ulusal Basin Agency and Günes Gürson from Cumhuriyet, are beaten by police as they are covering public servants demonstration in Ankara.
    13.1, lawyer Ahmet Zeki Okcuoglu and writer Ömer Agin are imprisoned to serve their 20-month prison term for articles they wrote to the monthly Demokrat in 1991.
    13.1, the head office of the daily Sabah in Istanbul is subjected to damage with the explosion of a grenade thrown by an unidentified person.
    14.1, the director of Dönüsüm Publishing House, Fikret Öntas is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a fine of TL 41,666,000 ($ 2,451) for a book entitled The Development in the World and in Our Country.
    18.1, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the weekly Azadi N° 88 and the periodical Yeni Dünya N°12 for separatist propaganda.
    19.1, three periodicals, Hedef N°27, Deng N°26 and Gencligin Sesi N°8 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for praising some outlawed organizations.
    20.1, sociologist Ismail Besikci is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 250 millions ($ 14,705) in fine  for his book entitled A Nation Discovering itself: Kurds. Yurt Publishing House Director Ünsal Öztürk who published the book too is sentenced to six months in prison and TL 50 millions ($ 2,941) in fine. The total of the sentences to which Besikci has been condemned for his different books and articles rise to 16 years and six months in prison and TL 784 millions ($ 46,117) in fine.
    20.1, the chief editor of the daily Aydinlik, Ferit Ilsever is sentenced by the High Penal Code N°2 of Istanbul to a ten-month prison for two different articles he published. The same court also sentences the responsible editor of Aydinlik, Hale Soysü to ten months in prison and TL 1.5 million in fine.
    20.1, Tunceli correspondent of the weekly Gercek, Hidir Güyildar who has been under police detention since January 11 is placed under arrest by a tribunal.
    23.1, the chief editor of the periodical Alternatif, Fahrettin Dülcek, and responsible editor Ahmet Köksal claim to have been tortured at the political police centre after their detention on January 18.
    24.1, the military prosecutor of the 4th Army-Corps opens a legal proceeding against two TV journalists, Mehmet Ali Birand and Halim Abanoz, for having interviewed some soldiers for a TV programme.  They are accused of propaganda against military service.
    24.1, the periodical Özgür Gelecek N°20 is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for an article about deserters. 
    25.1, in Van, a distributor of Özgür Gündem, Ismail Erörs claims to have been tortured and sexually harassed after being detained on January 19.
    25.1, the Court of Cassation ratifies the sentences against three journalists of the periodical Medya Günesi. Chief editor Osman Aytar was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 100 millions ($ 5,882), editor Salih Bal to five months in prison and TL 50 millions ($ 2,941) in fine and publisher Cemal Özcelik to a fine of TL 100 millions ($ 5,882).
    25.1, weekly Azadi N°89, periodicals Yeni Demokrat Genclik N°16 and Liseli Arkadas N°6 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda and praising outlawed organizations.
    26.1, a cartoonist of Özgür Gündem, Halil Incesu is sentenced by the High Penal Court N°2 of Istanbul to ten months in prison for a cartoon on the assassination of DEP deputy Mehmet Sincar. The daily's editor Besim Döner too is sentenced to the same imprisonment, but his imprisonment is later commuted to a fine.
    26.1, the directors of the publishing houses Sorun and Melsa, respectively Sirri Öztürk and Ilyas Burak, are sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to five months in prison and TL 41,666,000 ($ 2,451) in fine each for a joint publication: An Anthology of Prison Poems 1989-1990.
    26.1, Igdir correspondent of Özgür Gündem Meral Tikiz is detained together with five children as she was preparing a report. The children who are released later on said that Meral Tikiz was subjected to torture during her interrogation at the gendarmerie post..
    26.1, the latest issues of the periodical Genclik Yildizi, Dogru Secenek and Direnis are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist and anti-militarist propaganda.
    26.1, two TV journalists, Kutlu Esendemir and Levent Öztürk, are kidnapped by the PKK guerrillas as they are driving in Sirnak for a reportage.
    27.1, the Ankara office of Özgür Gündem is destroyed in explosion of a bomb placed by unidentified people.
    27.1, the publisher and editor of the periodical Berhem, Asli Yalcinoglu is sentenced by the Ankara SSC to a fine of TL 208 millions ($ 12,235) for separatist propaganda.
    28.1, the responsible editor of Özgür Gündem, Ömer Özdemir is placed under arrest by the Istanbul SSC.
    30.1, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the periodicals Hewdem N°4, Devrimci Genclik N°26 and Emegin Bayragi N°107 for separatist propaganda.
    31.1, the Istanbul SSC starts the trial of Mazhar Günbat, editor of the Kurdish weekly Welat. Since Günbat refuses to answer question in any language other than Kurdish, the trials is reported to another day for finding a Kurdish translator. The journalist faces a prison term of up to five years for separatist propaganda.
    31.1, the periodical Devrim N°23 is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.


    Hürriyet reports on December 20 that four large truckloads of fresh bank notes printed surreptitiously in Germany were on their way to Turkey. The trucks contain the first TL one-million bank notes. Currently, the largest denomination in Turkey is TL 500,000.
    Since the trucks are travelling across the Balkans, special security measures have been taken. In case of a hold up en route, the bank notes are being transported in a half-finished state. While most of the printing has been completed, the colouring will take place in Turkey.


    Foreign workers in Germany transfer less money back to their countries than before, a German Embassy press release said on November 29, 1993.
    While in 1984, Germany's "guest- workers" transferred a record DM 9 billion, the present figure is two billion less than that amount.
    Officials say there are two reasons for this net decrease in repatriated money. The families of many of the workers have also emigrated to Germany, making the transfer of money no longer necessary. Second, many of these workers are settled in Germany and do not wish to return to their countries of origin. They therefore spend their money to build lives in Germany. Turks, the largest group of foreign workers in Germany, have net earnings of DM 18 billion. Compared to previous years, a larger share of these earnings is spent in Germany. Despite the fact that the number of Turks increased to 654,000 in 1992 from 498,000 in 1984, their transfer of money fell to DM 2.3 billion in 1992 from the record DM 3.6 billion of 1984.
    Compared to the homes of German families with the same income levels, Turkish homes appear to be better equipped, especially in terms of electronic goods. While 82 per cent of Turks own video players, only 46 per cent of Germans report having them. Similarly, 72 per cent of Turks have hi-fi systems in their homes, while the figure is 68 per cent in German homes. As for computers, 15 per cent of Turks and 11 per cent of Germans have them at home.
    Most Turks want to be homeowners. One third of the Turks in Germany have signed housing savings contracts (compared to 19 per cent of Germans) and some 45,000 Turks have bought houses or apartments in Germany.


    The December 12, 1993, election in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has led to the formation of a new coalition government.  The Democratic Party (DP) supported by Rauf Denktash and the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) share in the new government the 10 ministries equally.
    In the elections the DP won 15 seats and the CTP took 13, breaking the dominance of the National Unity Party (UBP), which remained the largest single party with 17 seats. A fourth party, the Social Liberation Party (TKP), won five seats.
    In its campaign, the UBP had promised Turkish Cypriots that "not an inch of land" would be given to the South and that no Greek Cypriot would be allowed to return to the North.
    The new coalition favours a negotiated agreement, including territorial concessions, with Greek Cypriot South, but say any deal must contain strong security guarantees for the North.
    Although President Denktash's view is nearer to the UBP that he founded, as a result of some internal divergences with the leadership of this party, he supported in the last elections the DP.