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


18th Year - N°209
March 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



    1989    1991    1994
RIGHT    47,30    51,04    43,42
DYP    25,40    27,03    21,49
ANAP    21,90    24,01    21,02
DP (new)            0,52
YDP (new)            0,39

EXTREME-RIGHT*    13,90    16,88    28,66
RP (Islamist)    9,90        19,01
MHP (neo-fasciste)    4,00        7,96
BBP (scission from MHP)            1,26
MP (former IDP, islamist)            0,43

LEFT    37,30    31,50    27,61
SHP    28,40    20,75    13,61
DSP    8,90    10,75    8,82
CHP (scission from SHP)            4,62
SBP (new, marxiste)            0,28
IP (new, marxiste)            0,28

OTHERS    1,50    0,58    0,31
TOTAL    100,00    100,00    100,00
*) RP, MHP and IDP had participated in the 1991 elections with a common list.           
    1991    1994    DIFFERENCE
COALITION    47,78    35,10    -12,68
DYP    27,03    21,49    -5,54
SHP    20,75    13,61    -7,14

OPPOSITION    52,22    64,90    12,68

ANAP    24,01    21,02    -2,99
DSP    10,75    8,82    -1,93
RP+MHP+MP+BBP    16,88    28,66    11,78
DP        0,52    0,52
YDP        0,39    0,39
CHP        4,62    4,62
SBP        0,28    0,28
IP        0,28    0,28
OTHERS    0,58    0,31    -0,27
TOTAL    100,00    100,00    0,00

    Turkey's extreme-right, at March 27, 1994,  elections delivered a decisive challenge to the country's mainstream secular parties, with widespread gains, including dramatic wins in both Istanbul, the biggest city, and Ankara, the capital.
    As all establishment parties, mainly the partners of the government coalition, were undergoing a lost of credibility, the main Islamist party of the country, Welfare Party (RP) of Necmeddin Erbakan raised its votes from 9.90% at 1989 local elections to 19.01 percent.
    The other component of the extreme right, the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), neo-fascist, of former colonel Alparslan Türkes raised its votes from 4% in 1989 to 7.96% this time.
    Considering also the scores of the two other extreme-right parties, 1.26% for the Grand Union Party (BBP), a scission from the MHP, and 0.43% for a minor formation, the Nation Party (MP), the extreme-right block happened to raise its total percentage from 13.90% in 1989 to 28.66% in 1994.
    The Guardian, on March 30, commented the outcome of the recent elections in following terms: "Turkey awoke after the March 27, 1994 local elections to the news that both its main cities, Ankara and Istanbul, had elected Islamist mayors in local elections. The result posed in dramatic form the question Turks often ask themselves: whether they want to be part of Europe or the Islamic world."
    In fact, the RP is an anti-Zionist and anti-West party that opposes Turkey's efforts to join the European Union. Many observers cite Europe's failure to protect Muslims in Bosnia as a reason  of RP victory. Erbakan often raises the question whether Turkey, the only Islamic member of NATO, should continue on its Western trajectory as Moslems are being massacred  in Bosnia. In a way he used nationalistic feelings in addition to the religious sentiments.
    The RP,  advocating to adopt aspects of Sharia law and campaigning on a "just order" and anti-corruption platform, won 28 of the country's 76 municipalities.  The RP got the majority in many provinces with an average percentage of 30 or below. In Ankara and Istanbul, the RP votes did not go beyond 25 or 27 percent, but the division of the votes among all the other parties brought the RP candidates to power. As stressed by Necmeddin Erbakan, the RP leader, the result means that 66 per cent of Turkey's 60 million population is now ruled by RP local administrations. According to experts, the support for the RP, if repeated in a general election, would give the party at least 100 seats in the 450-seat parliament.
    The Islamist RP managed to get the votes of the people whose interests actually lay with social democracy but were disillusioned with what the social democrats did in power, especially in the major cities like Istanbul and Ankara. Using leftist slogans, they gave the impression that they would be on the side of the people and promote the people's interests instead of that of the higher income groups. They offered the people security and promised a clean administration. They managed to gain the confidence of the Kurdish-populated Eastern provinces as well as of the Kurds who migrated to the big cities from this region.
    The RP mayoral candidates gave their word to put an end to bribery, corruption and waste in the municipalities. Their voters mainly voted for the RP candidates hoping they would receive service without having to pay for it. The RP also offered an identity to its electorate who were feeling more and more lost amid the centre parties who kept moving left and right whichever way the winds blew.
    Tayyip Erdogan, the new RP mayor of Istanbul, promised to build a mosque in the main square of the city and to close the city's brothels. Among Istanbul's residents, already the following questions have been raised: Would the mayor ban alcohol? Would the RP be able to close cinemas and clubs in the interest of public morality?
    Nationally, the RP's vote was distorted somewhat by the withdrawal of the Kurdish-based Democracy Party (DEP), which allowed the RP a free run in the Kurdish-speaking south-east.
    However, the party has made sweeping advances in other areas. In Trabzon, for example, the RP is said to have won over local women by promising to send home the so-called "Natashas", the Russian and Georgian prostitutes who have turned the ancient port city into the Bangkok of the Black Sea.
    As for the MHP, it doubled its votes by presenting itself as the champion of the chauvinist policies against the Kurdish national movement and of the expansionist policies aimed at turning Turkey into the "big brother" of all Turkish-speaking peoples in the world.
    In addition to the above-mentioned factors, the real advantage of both extreme-right parties was that they were the only grass-roots parties in the country. As the other parties were all centring on figureheads such as high-level bureaucrats or artists, the unknown candidates of the RP and the MHP led a successful door-to-door campaign  thanks to their well-disciplined militants.
    The biggest loser of the election is no doubt the DYP-SHP tandem in power. As their total percentage was 53.80% in 1989, 47.78% in 1991, it fell down to 35.10% in 1994.  It is the SHP, junior partner, that underwent the most spectacular defeat. Its percentage fell down to 13.61% in 1994 as it was 28.40% in 1989 and 20.75% in 1991.
    As for the Premier Ciller's Correct Way Party (DYP), she claimed in her first post-electoral speech that her party came out victorious and European media hastily greeted her as a successful leader. However, the final results showed that the DYP was the second loser of the elections. In fact, DYP obtained 21.49% of the votes as its score was 25.40% in 1989 and 27.02% in 1991.
    It is clear that both partners of the coalition government were punished by the electorate because of the fact that they have completely forgotten their promises of social justice and democratisation.
    Many commentators have blamed RP victory on the junior coalition partner, the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP). It lost control of both Ankara and Istanbul because of a corruption scandal.
    The main opposition formation, the Motherland Party (ANAP) of Mesut Yilmaz, too suffered an electoral defeat, because the party leadership has failed to inspire new hope and confidence in the masses as a valid alternative to the existing government in a country faced with great economic and social turmoil. After a derisory score of 21.90% in 1989 elections, the ANAP raised its votes to 24.01 in 1991 but fell to the lowest level with a 21.02% in the recent elections.
    • The only winner of the last elections is the extreme-right block which raised its total percentage from 13.90%  to 28.66% in five years.
    • The ensemble of the left-wing parties fell from 37.30% to 27.61% in the same period.
    • The coalition parties together fell from 47.78% to 35.10% in three years.
    • The opposition parties together climbed from 52.22% to 64.90% in the same period.


    At the night of elections, the Turkish press as well as the world media hastily greeted Prime Minister Ciller as the only winner of the vote. When the returns started coming in, the State radio and TV station that was the only media representative to be given the official results started with declaring the DYP had won 27 percent of the votes. The so-called independent media that was financially supported by Ciller was quick to raise the occasion. Pro-Ciller commentators started saying the lady had won despite all the opposition against her even within the DYP.
    Five days later, it became clear that the DYP had won around 21.5 percent of the votes, while the Motherland Party had won 21 percent.  It also was clear that the DYP had lost most of its strongholds like Bursa, Samsun and Aydin along with an array of others. Although DYP gained in Izmir,  the third biggest city of the country, its candidate Burhan Özfatura is a notorious figure of the Islamist movement and was at last moment transferred to DYP by Ciller to defeat SHP candidate. The RP even rejoiced  over the Izmir result as Erbakan said Özfatura is a "believer" and claimed the Welfare electorate had voted for him.  
    After having realised the final results of the elections and the failure of her party, Prime Minister Ciller said, "The people have given the message that the right must unite." Pretending to be the guarantee of the secular state in Turkey, she claimed that the only alternative to the rise of Islamist party would be the union of the right-wing parties under her leadership. 
    Whereas, the rise of the Extreme-right  in Turkey is the result of her disastrous economic policies and the State terrorism.  Besides, the rise of Islamist movement is not result of the efforts of the RP alone.
    Despite the claim of being attached to the secularity of the State, all right-wing political parties and the military junta of 1980 have largely contributed to the development of the Islamist and ultra-nationalist movements in Turkey.
    Ciller's party, DYP, as well as its predecessor, the defunct Justice Party (AP), had made their best under the leadership of Süleyman Demirel to encourage the rise of Islamist movement in the country.
    As for Ciller herself, she has always played on the cards of Islamism and Ultra-nationalism since the first moment she decided to climb to the head of the government.
    At the DYP Congress of June 13, 1993, in addition to her show à l’Américaine , considering the conservative, nationalist and religious commitments of the DYP delegates, she claimed very often her attachment to the music of the Ezan (the call for prayer), the sight of the Turkish flag and the traditional values of family. What is more, during the convention, she was surrounded by extreme-right delegates who dared, by her side, to greet the delegates with the sign of “Grey Wolf”, a gesture that is peculiar to the neo-fascist Nationalist Action Party (MHP).
    Her appointment as Prime Minister was coincided with the Massacre of Sivas during which 37 left-wing and Alevi intellectuals were burnt to death by Fundamentalist mobs guided by the RP. As Prime Minister, she accused the victims instead of assailants and refused to attend the funeral.
    In August 1993, the Ciller Government adopted a decree in the force of law to create a professional army, instead of the compulsory army, to deal with the PKK. According to the decree, all voluntary commando soldiers may apply, at least 18 months after their discharge, to become part of this force. In practice, the first 5,000 who announced their intention of joining the new force came from the ranks of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP). Many circles saw this as a turn toward the creation of an army of Grey Wolves that can amplify racial conflict between Turks and Kurds. In October 1993, the Ciller Government started to arm Sunni peasants against Alevis and Kurds.
    Meanwhile, she did her best in order to amplify her image of "believer" by attending a number of ceremonies by covering her head and pronouncing verses from the Koran.
    Even during her visit to Brussels in January 1994, taking no heed of her role of prime minister of a secular state, Ciller chose a Turkish mosque for getting in touch with the migrants from Turkey.
    During her rule, many people having fundamentalist commitments have been appointed to key posts in the State administration.

Right-wing parties:    342

Correct Way Party (DYP)    178
Motherland Party (ANAP)    100
Welfare Party (RP)    39
Nationalist Action Party (MHP)    13
Grand Unity Party (BBP)    7
New Party (YP)    3
Nation Party (MP)    2

Left-wing parties:    89

Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP)    55
Republican People's Party (CHP)    18
People's Labour Party (HEP)    13
Democratic Left Party (DSP)    3

Independents    11
Empty    8

Total    450


    Prior to the local elections, Turkey witnessed a major scandal following Parliament's decision to lift the legislative immunity of eight deputies.
    The plenary meeting of Parliament decided on 2 and 3 March by majority vote to lift the immunity of the DEP deputies Mahmut Alniak, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Dogan, Selim Sadak, Sirri Sakik, Ahmet Türk and Mrs. Leyla Zana on the charge of high treason, and that of the former RP member Hasan Mezarci on the charge of "insulting Atatürk."
    Just after the vote, even without waiting the publication of the decision in the Official Gazette, the Prosecutor of the Ankara SSC, Nusret Demiral, ordered the security forces to surround the Parliament building and arrest the accused deputies when they come out. So, in a scandalous way, the anti-terrorism squad  first detained Hatip Dicle and Orhan Dogan at the gate to Parliament while the others remained holed up in Parliament to avoid being taken into custody. Hasan Mezarci was arrested  in Istanbul and the others surrendered to the Prosecutor's Office a few days later.
    The lifting of parliamentary immunity and the arrest of deputies created an uproar as well in Turkey as abroad.
    The request for lifting of immunity of 22 Kurdish deputies had been lodged with Parliament by the Persecutor's letter just after the 20 October 1991 elections, on the basis of article 125 of the Penal Code (high treason, for which only the death sentence can be imposed.)
    These deputies were members of the People's Labour Party (HEP), which had formed an electoral alliance with the SHP in 1991 and therefore belonged to the SHP Parliamentary group. By March 1992 eighteen of these deputies had left the SHP and had returned to the HEP. On 12 July 1993 a new party, Democracy Party (DEP), was founded of which these deputies became members. The DEP is a successor party to HEP, which party was forbidden by the Constitutional Court on August 14, 1993.
    Between November 1991 and August 1993 no decision was taken on the request for lifting of immunities.
    Meanwhile, Prosecutor Demiral filed a petition before the Constitutional Court on December 2, 1993 for the closure of the DEP as a party on the grounds of separatism which led to the closure of HEP in August 1993. The case is pending before the Constitutional Court and a decision is expected around June 1, 1994.
    After the lifting of parliamentary immunity, Selim Sadak appealed to the Constitutional Court and his immunity was restored by the Court decision.
    The other six DEP deputies were under arrest during the electoral campaign. Besides, many DEP officials were victims of political assassinations or police harassments throughout Turkey.
    Under this increasing pressure, the DEP decided not to participate in March 27, 1994  elections.

    The International Conference on North West Kurdistan (South-East Turkey) organized by Kurdistan Human Rights Project and Medico International was held in Brussels on March 12-13, 1994  despite a series of obstruction attempts by the Ankara regime.
    The conference which brought together 219 participants from 26 countries heard 41 speakers, including all major Kurdish political groups, members of the Turkish Parliament, prominent Turkish and Kurdish intellectuals and human right activists, called on the Turkish State to make explicit recognition of all its peoples and their fullest democratic participation in their future.
    The leader of the Workers' Party of Turkey (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, in his message to the meeting, guaranteed to accept all recommendations of the conference to discuss the need for democratic solutions to the critical situation of the Kurdish population in South-East Turkey.
    Öcalan clarified his party's position in following terms:
    "We are open to all proposals and all initiatives on this issue from any country or international organisation.
    "We are not insistent on the division of Turkey. Such propaganda does not reflect our approach to the question.
    "I am ready to sit down with the Turkish government to discuss the issues if talks are based on dialogue within a democratic framework where we can express the legitimate demands of our people. We have never been opposed to tangible proposals for a solution. We are ready to discuss any alternatives, including federation.
    "If a bilateral cease-fire is implemented under international supervision, and talks are to be held, we will not attempt to evade or obstruct such a process.
    "We are not looking for a solution only in the context of war. This war was not of our choosing. It is the Turkish State which has forced us into defending our national existence, with its intransigent determination to wage a dirty war on our people, convinced that it can achieve a military solution through state terror."
    The conference identified an immediate need for democratic dialogue which genuinely involves all parties and called for an urgent response from the Turkish government to the recommendation that there be a bilateral cease-fire under international supervision.
    The conference also recognised the historical responsibility of European states for the human rights crisis facing the Turkish people and called on European governments and the United States to stop all military and economic aid, including effective implementation and supervision of an arms embargo, until Turkey fulfils its own legal and human rights commitments.
    The final 31-point document of the conference sets out Turkey's international obligations and details roles for the CSCE and United Nations.
    The conference called on the Turkish State to end all censorship, by legal means and by the killings of journalists, and appealed to all media, Turkish, Kurdish and international, to continue to play their important role in reporting accurately the situation in Kurdistan.
    Other specific recommendations included the restoration of the parliamentary immunity recently removed from eight deputies of the Turkish Parliament and for the release of those deputies currently in detention.
    As a result of the conference, 27 parliamentarians from around the world, including Turkey, issued an eight-point statement calling for a democratic solution to the Kurdish problem in Turkey.

    Turkish Pressure on Belgium

    For the International Conference on North-West Kurdistan, the organisers first booked the Sheraton Hotel in Saint-Josse Quarter of Brussels. In a new anti-Kurdish move, Turkish diplomatic missions were immediately mobilised to blackmail the Belgian authorities claiming that such a conference might provoke new incidents in this quarter inhabited by Turkish migrants.
    On this pressure, the Belgian Foreign and Interior Ministries and the Mayor of Saint-Josse declared that they could not allow such a conference for the sake of law and order in Brussels and forced the organizers to hold their meeting, not in the city, but at another hotel by the side of Zaventem Airport.
    As remembered, on January 1st, another meeting of Kurdish activists at Saint-Josse had been attacked by some Turkish groups provoked by Turkish diplomatic missions and extreme right Grey Wolves. During the demonstrations were sacked a number of Kurdish shops and offices. 
    During the talks between the conference's organisers and the Belgian authorities, the latter said that they were also afraid of a diplomatic incident just before the visit of Belgian Foreign Minister Willy Claes to Turkey at the end of March. At the end, the organisers accepted to change the place of the conference.
    This result was hailed by the Turkish press as a "diplomatic victory" of the Turkish Government.
    In fact,  the Belgian authorities who had earlier accused the Turkish diplomatic missions  of having provoked the New Year incidents, this time yielded to Ankara's blackmail. Banning Kurdish conference in Brussels on the pretext that it might provoke new incidents was completely groundless. Just after the New Year incidents, former Colonel Alparslan Türkes, chief of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), came to Brussels and held a meeting with Grey Wolves and other extreme right activists at the Sheraton Hotel. Belgian authorities did not show any reaction against such a meeting and allowed the Turkish fascist leader to give a speech full of anti-Kurdish and anti-Armenian provocations.

    Willy Claes in Turkey

    Belgian Foreign Minister Willy Claes, during his visit to Turkey, promised on March 29 that his country would support "Turkish integration with European institutions."
    In response to Turkish demand of upgrading Turkish ties with Western European Union, Claes promised his country's support and said: "But do not ask me how this will be done. I hope a definite solution will be made during the foreign ministers' council meeting on May 9-10.
    Ankara's request for Belgium's support on the issue is part of a larger initiative, through which Ankara approached Britain, France and Germany.
    As for the Belgian position concerning the Kurdish Question, Willy Claes did not budge from Brussels's original position that banning the PKK would be "counter-productive."
    "If we close the present organizations, new ones will be opened. Or they would go underground, which would make it more difficult to control them," he said. "But if they act in a way that defies Belgian law, they will be severely punished."
    After his talk with Turkish Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin, Claes said: "We firmly support Turkish territorial integrity and oppose terrorism, but we also believe in a political solution to Turkey's problems. Violence breeds more violence."
    As the Belgian Government is acting with prudence in its relations with Turkish Government, a group of members of Belgian Parliament has taken initiative in order to stop selling armaments to Turkey.
    A law adopted in April 1993 stipulates to stop selling military materials to any country if there is a civil war or a continuous violation of human rights. Volksunie Chairman Bert Anciaux and two senators, Nelly Maes and Willie Kuijpers, claiming that Belgium has sold to Turkey 51 aircrafts, 2 boats and 808,235 Kilo military equipment between February 9, 1991 and March 27, 1993, asked the government to immediately stop arm sale to this country.

    Two Kurdish women died after setting fire to themselves on a riverbank in southern Germany on March 21 in a protest against German arms sales to Turkey.
    The autobahn blockades by Kurdish migrants began on March 19 and climaxed on March 22 with a number of self-immolations. At least seven other Kurds were badly injured after dousing themselves in gasoline in front of horrified police while standing in front of flaming tire barricades.
    Germany is Turkey's biggest European arms supplier, with $1.8 billion in sales from 1988 to 1992. Although the contracts prohibit Turkey from using German weapons to fight Kurds, German armoured personnel carriers have been spotted in the Kurdish regions.
    A spokesman of Kurdistan Information Bureau in Köln said Kurds were setting fire to themselves out of desperation. "What else can they do? We've held peaceful protests for years and things only get worse," he added.
    The deaths of Bedriye Tas (Ronahî), 24,  and Nilgun Yildirim (Bêrîvan), 25, already led German authorities to think over a possible ban on German arms sales to Turkey.

    "The Turkish flag will be flying proudly in Brussels during the Europalia 96-Turkey Festival, providing our nation an excellent and rare opportunity to publicise and promote its economic potential, its unique culture, its rich history and tourist attractions."
    The selection of Turkey as the object of  Europalia 96 was announced in these terms by the Turkish media as a new victory of the Turkish diplomacy.
    The basic agreement under which Europalia 96-Turkey will be organized was signed on January 31, 1994, at a ceremony in Istanbul attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin, Cultural Minister Fikri Saglar and International Europalia Foundation Chairman Baron Jean Godeaux.
    Under the patronage of Turkish President Demirel and Belgium's King Albert II, the festival will take place between September and December 1996, not just in Brussels, but in other cities in Germany, Holland, Luxembourg and France as well.
    At the signing ceremony, Turkish Foreign Minister Cetin stressed how suitable a platform the festival will be to convey what messages it wants to get across to the European public in order to provide a better understanding of Turkey.
    In an earlier meeting with the Turkish businessmen, Cetin had asked them to contribute to the organization of the festival with all their possibilities in a view to change Turkey's bad image in western countries. A Turkish businessman, Bülent Eczacibasi, was nominated Turkish general commissioner of Europalia 96-Turkey Festival as the counterpart of the Belgian commissioner Marcel van de Kerckhove.
    Besides, a draft law has been subjected to Parliament in order to set up a National Europalia Organization directly attached to Prime Minister's Office.
    Since Turkey still remains as one of the countries continuously violating human rights and denying the cultural values of the native peoples of the country  other than Turks, mainly Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, this selection has already led to criticisms.
    The Europalia 93-Mexico Festival had already been a headache for Belgian authorities for the same reason.
    According to Le Soir of January 29, to a question on the presence of Kurdish culture at the coming Europalia, Baron Godeaux, chairman of the Europalia Foundation said: "We are reproached for the representation of the State-Nation's culture alone. We have looked many times for other formulas, but without the aid of States, all the organisation will remain on our shoulders alone, that is  unthinkable from the financial point of view."
    On the other hand, the Human Rights League of Belgium, at a press conference held on March 31 in Brussels with the participation of Info-Türk, the Kurdish Institute, the Association of Democrat Armenians and the Cultural Centre of Mesopotamia, announced that they would organize alternative events during the Europalia-96 Festival for drawing attention to the situation of human rights in Turkey if this latter does not put an end to anti-democratic practices until 1996. 


    A report issued at the end of March 1994 by the Human Rights Association (IHD) showed increasing human rights violations in Turkey especially in the troubled Southeast region. The 30-page report pointed out that in March, a total of 102 civilians had been killed and 106 others were wounded in "attacks on civilians."
    According to the IHD Report, in March:
    • A total of 34 "mysterious killings" were reported.
    • Twenty Kurdish settlements were forcefully evacuated and/or torched.
    • During the clashes between Kurdish guerrillas and State forces 500 people lost their lives.
    • 2,198 people were detained nation-wide and 124 of these were placed under arrest by court warrant.
    • Writers and publishers were sentenced to a total of 12,326 months imprisonment and fined TL 3.4 trillion. Sixty-four journalists were still in prison.
    • Prosecutors demanded prison terms totaling 567 months and fines of up to TL 2.5 billion for journalists and writers.
    Among the incidents cited in the report were two in which government forces were allegedly involved in the killing of 55 civilians and wounding eight others.
    On March 2, the Istanbul SSC sentenced PKK member Abdullah Kanat to capital punishment and seven other defendants to prison terms of up to 20 years.


    1.3, the Istanbul SSC issued a warrant of arrest against Yasar Kaya, publisher of the daily Özgür Gündem and former chairman of DEP, and writer Abdurrahman Düre. They are accused of separatist propaganda in the four different issues of the paper.
    2.3, the responsible editor of the new Kurdish newspaper Newroz, Müslüm Celik is arrested by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda in fifteen different articles published in the paper's first issue.
    2.3, the daily Aydinlik is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for a report concerning Kurdish boycott of elections.
    3.3, six journalists of the daily Özgür Gündem, Serdar Karakoc, Riza Zingal, Namik Alkan, Senol Karaaslan, Oguzhan Ögrük and Emin Ünay are brought before the Izmir SSC on the charges of supporting the PKK. German journalist Sven Grienmert is harassed by police as he is covering the trial.
    5.3, three books published by the Dilan Publishing House, The Contemporary History of Kurdistan, Educational Processes in Kurdistan and Interrogation, Jail, Resistance and Life are confiscated by the Diyarbakir SSC.
    6.3, the weekly Azadi N°95 is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
    7.3, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the review Medya Günesi N°45 for separatist propaganda.
    8.3, writer Mehmet Bayrak is sentenced to two months in prison and a fine of TL 50 million for his book entitled Kurdish Popular Songs..
    8.3, the trial of two journalists from the daily Cumhuriyet, publisher Berin Nadi and editor Aydin Engin, on charges of publishing the communiqué of an outlawed organization begins at the Istanbul SSC. Each faces a 6-month prison and a fine of TL 50 million.
    8.3, a distributor of the daily Özgür Gündem in Diyarbakir, Yilmaz Yakut is taken into custody by police.
    9.3, the Istanbul SSC issues four more warrants of arrest against Yasar Kaya, publisher of Özgür Gündem. So, the number of the arrest warrants against him reaches to nine.
    10.3, former Secretary General of the DEP, Ibrahim Aksoy is sentenced by the Konya SSC to 20 months in prison and a fine of TL 41 million for a declaration he made in Konya in 1991.
    10.3, the recent issues of two reviews, Alinteri and Devrimci Proleter Genclik, are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    11.3, two writers, Osman Aytar and Recep Marasli are sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and a fine of TL 100 million each for their declaration during a IHD meeting in Istanbul.
    11.3, the Istanbul SSC sentenced sociologist Ismail Besikci to 2-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 250 million for his book entitled The Way Opened by Tribunals.  Besides, the prosecutor opens a new proceeding against the director of Yurt Publishing House, Ünsal Öztürk who published the book.
    11.3, the responsible editor of the review Emek, Garip Töre is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a 2-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 250 million for separatist propaganda. The owner of the review, Ali Demir too is sentenced to a fine of TL 100 million. The tribunal also decided to close the review for one month.
    13.3, two periodicals, Özgür Gelecek N°23 and Newroz N°4 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda and praising an outlawed organization.
    16.3, Urfa correspondent of Özgür Gündem, Nazim Babaoglu has disappeared since March 12. His colleagues claim that he may have been kidnapped by hostile groups.
    16.3, during the electoral campaign of Premier Ciller in Antalya, six journalists are beaten by a police team on the order of Antalya Security Director Mete Altan.
    17.3, two periodicals, Azadi N°96 and Hedef (special issue) are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
    17.3, the Istanbul SSC sentences the publisher of the daily Özgür Gündem, Yasar Kaya, to a fine of TL 143 million 649 thousand and a former editor of the same daily, Seyh Davut Karadag, to TL 71 million 847 thousand for an article concerning cease-fire proclaimed by the PKK.
    18.3, three members of the musical group Kutup Yildizi, Ayhan Sagcan, Murat Tokdemir and Haluk Akbay are taken into custody in Adana. Police also detains Seyda Gergin, director of the Adana Cultural Centre.
    21.3, a former editor of Özgür Gündem, Gülay Celik is sentenced by the High Penal Court N°2 of Istanbul to ten months in prison. The tribunal also decides to close the newspaper for fifteen days and issues a new arrest warrant against the publisher Yasar Kaya.
    22.3, two periodicals, Azadi N°97 and Devrim N°24, are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    24.3, the High Penal Court N°2 of Istanbul sentences the cartoonist of Özgür Gündem, Dogan Güzel, to 10 months in prison and the responsible editor, Bülent Balta, to a fine. The tribunal also decides to close the newspaper for 15 days. So, the total duration of ban against Özgür Gündem rises to six months.
    24.3, two periodicals are confiscates by the Istanbul SSC: Newroz for separatist propaganda and Iktidar for its campaign to boycott the local elections.
    25.3, the Istanbul SSC, in three different cases, sentences three journalists of Özgür Gündem to heavy punishments: a former editor, Seyh Davut Karadag, to a total of 4 years and 6 months imprisonment and to TL 615,524 ,000 in fine,  publisher Yasar Kaya to TL 462,048,000 in fine and writer Ismail Besikci to two months in prison and TL 50 million in fine. The tribunal also decides to close the newspaper for 45 days.
    25.3, the Istanbul SSC sentences a former editor of the weekly Azadi, Zana Sezen, to one year 11 months and 10 days in prison and TL 243 million in fine, the publisher of the review, Ikramettin Oguz, to TL 83 million in fine. The tribunal also decides to close Azadi for ten days.
    26.3, a court decision to close the periodical Özgür Gelecek for 15 days is ratified by the Court of Cassation and immediately executed by the police.
    29.3, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the weekly Azadi N°98 for separatist propaganda.
    31.3, the former editor of Özgür Gündem, Seyh Davut Karadag is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 12 months in prison and TL 321 million in fine. The tribunal also sentences publisher Yasar Kaya to TL 287 million in fine and decides to close the newspaper for fifteen days.
    31.3, the daily Aydinlik is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC on charges of instigating the people to commit crimes.


    Associate professor Dr. Fikret Baskaya was imprisoned in Ankara on March 18, 1994, for serving his 20-month prison term. He had been sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to imprisonment and a fine of TL41 million for his book entitled  The Failure of Paradigm- Introduction to the Criticism of Official Ideology.
    In the same case, the director of the publishing house Doz, Selim Okcuoglu too was sentenced to 5-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 41 million by virtue of Article 8 of the Anti-terror Law.
    Both sentences were ratified by the Court of Cassation on December 22, 1993.
    Baskaya, born in 1940, is lecturer at Bolu's Abant Izzet Baysal University. After having completed his Ph.D. in France, Baskaya carried out research on such topics as imperialism, underdevelopment and transition from socialism to capitalism at the Universities of Paris and Poitiers. His books are entitled Environmental Capitalism or Underdevelopment, From State Socialism to the January 24 Decisions, The Continuity of Underdevelopment, A Test of the Debt Crisis and The Failure of Paradigm. He also writes articles in various newspapers and reviews.


    A book on the Armenian Genocide was confiscated in March by the decision of the Istanbul SSC and its Turkish publishers were indicted by the same court by virtue of the Anti-Terror Law.
    The translation of the French book entitled Les Arméniens, histoire d'un genocide (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1977) was published in Turkey by the Belge Publishing House under the title of The Armenian Taboo (Ermeni Tabusu).
    The owners of the publishing house, Mr Ragip Zarakolu and Mrs. Ayse Zarakolu as well as the translator of the book, Mr. Emirhan Oguz were accused of inciting belligerency, racial and territorial segregation and of undermining the territorial integrity of Turkey.
    Mrs. Zarakolu who has already been sentenced to  a 5-month imprisonment for publishing a book by Sociologist Ismail Besikci, faces a new imprisonment while Mr. Zarakolu and Mr. Oguz are facing heavy fines.
    The Armenian Taboo would have been only the second book published in Turkey recognising that the deportations of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire and the accompanying massacres amounted to a premeditated policy of genocide.
    The first Turkish book espousing this view was The Turkish National Identity and the Armenian Question (Istanbul, Iletisim Yayinlari, 1992) by Taner Akcam, who lives as a political émigré in Germany and is a researcher at Hamburger Institut für Sozialforshung.