10th year of the war
Turkey marks, on August 15, 1994, the 10th year of a
war which is constantly pushing the country to an irreversible
polarization between Turks and Kurds as well as to a total ruin in
economic, social and international plans.
Although this war was started by a PKK guerrilla
attack on a gendarmerie station in Eruh, it is known that the field for
such a war had already been prepared for years by the Ankara rulers
denying a Kurdish identity, oppressing even the most innocent Kurdish
demands for their fundamental rights and mainly by the State terrorism
carried out in Turkish Kurdistan after the 1980 military coup.
In this context, the first PKK attack on Turkish
military positions was an attempt of self-defence rather than an
For ten years, the Turkish military have always
minimised the strength of the Kurdish national movement and claimed
each year that the PKK would be over in the coming year. When the PKK
proposed to search a political solution to the Kurdish Question, the
Turkish governments and military have categorically refused to have
talks with "terrorists." Due to Ankara's this
stubborn stand that the war has reached to the horrible dimensions of
today with catastrophic consequences for Turkish economy. What is
more, in the course of this war, the PKK, let alone to be crushed, has
turned into a country-side national movement.
According to Turkish figures, the PKK, which started
off with only 15 people in 1978, has 375,000 supporters including
10,000 militants and 50,000 to 60,000 militias. The PKK itself
claims that it has 30,000 full-time fighters or guerrillas and some 4
million members of its ERNK — including those based in Europe
The most dramatic consequence of the war is no doubt
the the death of tens of thousands people in never-ending armed
The General Security Directorate, according to the
Cumhuriyet, May 9, 1994, claims that the total number of the killed
people on both sides during the last ten-year armed conflicts rises to
9, 982. The following are the figures given by to government side:
The number of actions: 9,595
Killed members of government
Wounded members of government
Killed "separatists": 4,757
Arrested "separatists": 2,082
Killed civilians: 3,028
Wounded civilians: 3,188
On the contrary, the PKK claims that the total
number of the ten-year war victims on both sides reaches to some
34,000. The following are the figures given by the ERNK spokesman Kani
Yilmaz on August 12, 1994, in Brussels:
The number of actions: 10,384
Killed soldiers: 16,642
Killed officers: 509
Killed policemen and
Killed village protectors: 4,024
Killed guerrillas: 3,206
Killed civilians: 5,000
Villages burned by security forces
Kurds forced to migrate: 3,500,000
Although the Ankara rulers and the military claim
victory in last one-year repressive operations against the Kurdish
national movement —raids on Kurdish villages, bombing civil
populations, burning and destroying houses and workplaces in Kurdish
villages and hamlets, air operations on the so-called PKK bases in
Iraq, mass arrests, torture, closing newspapers and publications,
arrest and trial distinguished Kurdish and Turkish intellectuals
defending the Kurdish population's rights, the civil war seems
very from being concluded.
At a press conference held on August 12, 1994, in
Brussels, the Popular Liberation Front of Kurdistan (ERNK) spokesman
Kani Yilmaz said:
"The government in Ankara is not just waging a war
against the Kurds; it is also fighting the Turkish people. There are
Turkish journalists ho have been put behind bars for years. The Ankara
SSC Prosecutor is acting not as an appointed public servant but seems
to display qualities that are beyond the normal chain of command. He is
obviously taking his cues from the office of the Chief of Staff.
"The war in Kurdistan has reached levels that can
only be described as barbarism. Thousands of villages have been burnt.
Fires are raging everywhere. The harvests go up in smoke. Civilian
Kurdish activists are assassinated.
"The Turkish press continues to play its role as a
loyal ally of the Turkish military. they not only give one sided news
but also incite the soldiers. They fabricate stories and wage a
psychological war of their own.
"Lately they have returned to their favourite
subject that 'the PKK is over.' Notwithstanding their wishes, the PKK
is growing. Our army, the ARGK, is not only getting the new recruits,
but also improving qualitatively. The standing Turkish army is no match
to it. This is reason the Chief of Staff stopped to discharge those
soldiers whose services have ended. The Turkish army has thousands of
casualties but the officials want to keep this as a secret. The so
called invincible Turkish army is only invincible when it burns the
villages and displays the dead bodies of the Kurdish guerrillas. The
recent pictures [published by the daily Özgür Ülke] show the savagery.
The Turkish army is beyond the pale of humanity. Those pictures too can
tell the world who is the 'terrorist' in this war.
"We prefer a political solution. The Turkish
government, to date, has resisted our overtures. Its policy of force
has resulted in both internal and external mass migrations of the Kurds.
"This leaves us no choice but to continue with the
war. The world should know that there is no future for Turkey as we
know it. You should cross out the thought that Turkey could win this
"The balance of power is shifting in the Middle
East. New forces are emerging in the region. We are urging the states
and the international organization to inter into dialogue with us.
"The economy of Turkey is bankrupt. Its army is
pursuing a fictitious victory. Its standing in the international
communist is tarnished. Rejecting the European Union, the CSCE and the
international human rights organizations recommendations that it gives
the political solution a chance, Turkey is entering a period of
KAFKAESQUE TRIAL OF DEP DEPUTIES
The trial of five former deputies from the Democracy
Party (DEP) and one independent Kurdish deputy began at the Ankara SSC
on August 3 in a tense atmosphere amidst massive security measures and
close international scrutiny.
All six deputies —whose parliamentary immunity was
lifted by the National Assembly following a vote in March— are being
charged with treason under article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code.
Former DEP Chairman Hatip Dicle and four other
deputies, Orhan Dogan, Leyla Zana, Ahmet Türk and Sirri Sakik have also
lost their parliamentary seats because their party was banned by the
Constitutional Court. All six defendants, who have been in prison for
six months, face the death penalty on charges of having established
organic links with the PKK and received orders over the telephone from
the PKK leader Öcalan
Apart from the European diplomats based in Ankara,
around 80 foreign observers included representatives from human rights
groups such as Helsinki Watch, the International Federation of Human
Rights Associations, Lawyers without Frontiers as well as
parliamentarians attended the first trial. A member of the German
Parliament, Siggi Martsch —deputy for the Green Party— was not allowed
to enter the court hall.
At least 300 lawyers have applied to defend the
former deputies, but security officers said only lawyers officially
delegated to represent them by the defendants were being allowed in.
Inside of the court hall, the dock was surrounded by
policemen obscuring the defendants from view. Outside, bus loads of
blue-helmeted riot police, backed by an armoured car and dog patrols,
surrounded the court building.
The supporters from the constituencies of the former
deputies were not allowed to enter Ankara. A dozen buses from across
Turkey were halted at checkpoints outside Ankara. Police checked
identity cards and turned back those from the mainly-Kurdish Southeast.
During the first day trial, two prosecutors
started to read the 452-page indictment. In afternoon, the deputies
objected to the lengthy reading out of the indictment on the grounds
that this represented a waste of time, but the court rejected this
One of the foreign observers, European Parliament
member Jannis Sekellariou said "This is not a trial, it is Kafka's
Former DEP deputies on trial, issuing a fax message
on August 14, charged the Turkish government was staging a show trial
using faked evidence.
"With faked evidence produced by its imagination,
the government does not hesitate to trample under its feet all our
rights, including our right to be tried justly," the imprisoned
deputies said in a statement faxed to newspapers.
The deputies accused Chief of Staff General Dogan
Güres of plotting their plight in Parliament under the approval
of the presidency. They said Prime Minister Ciller had exerted pressure
on the judiciary to speed up the trial and "finish off" the former
deputies. They quoted Ciller as saying "I requested the judiciary to
finish off this case as soon as possible." They charged Ciller had
condemned them without a trial and what was now happening was mere
The ex-deputies also pointed to the statements of
Interior Minister Nahit Mentese who said after the Parliament lifted
the immunities of the deputies, "they will never come back to this
Apart the six deputies on trial, two other DEP
deputies, Selim Sadak and Sedat Yurttas, were arrested by the Ankara
SSC on July 12 and sent to prison under tight security. They are
expected to appear in court along with six other Kurdish deputies
under the similar charges.
Six other DEP deputies having lost their
parliamentary seats and immunity had already fled to Europe in order to
develop a campaign against the repression in Turkey.
INTERNMENT CAMPS IN TURKEY
Human rights organizations and officials in Europe
and in the United States are alarmed over new reports from Turkey that
security forces have started to set up internment camps in
South-eastern Turkey to hold and interrogate villagers en masse.
Amnesty International, in a report issued at the end
of July, said at least two internment areas had been set up by the
military troops in the region and thousands of villagers, including
women and children, detained in these camps.
"These detentions," said Amnesty, "occurred in the
course of burning and brutal evacuation of Kurdish villages during
military operations against PKK guerrillas."
Amnesty claimed a number of villages around Evrek in
Hakkari had been forcibly evacuated and many houses and crops had been
burned by security forces because of the villagers' refusal to join the
system of village guards. About 1,500 villagers, including women and
children, were held in an internment camp near Evrek in Hakkari
province and some 2,000 were herded into containment area set up
next to the Topcular Gendarmerie Post near Damlatepe in Diyarbakir
The Turkish Daily News of July 23 reports that US
officials are also looking into the alarming claims as regards
internment camps in Turkey.
THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE RESOLUTION
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
adopted on June 30, 1994, the following resoltuion on the consequences
of the dissolution of the DEP:
1. The Assembly recalls its Resolution 1030 (1994)
of 13 April 1994 on the arrest and detention of six members of the
Turkish Grand National Assembly on 2 and 3 March 1994 in which it,
inter alia, expressed its concern on the arrest and detention of some
members of the Grand National Assembly for their political views, and
called on the Turkish authorities to withdraw their request before the
Constitutional Court to "close" the DEP Party and in which it also
called on the Turkish authorities—if they insist on pursuing the
prosecution of the six DEP deputies—to release them from detention and
to repeal all legislation which makes normal political discourse and
free speech about specific changes in the constitution a treasonable
2. The Assembly considers that, since the adoption
of its Resolution 1030 (1994) the situation has worsened, especially
following, firstly, the decision of the Constitutional Court in Ankara
of 17 June to "close", that is to declare unconstitutional, the DEP
Party which had—apart from the six who were already detained since 23
March—thirteen members in the Grand National Assembly and, secondly,
the filing on 21 June last of the indictments with the State Security
Court against the six deputies, in which the death sentence has been
3. The Assembly is concerned that, as a result of
the decision of the Constitutional Court, legal proceedings will be
initiated against the others as well.
4. The Assembly notes that applications were filed
with the European Commission of Human Rights by, or on behalf of, the
imprisoned members of the Grand National Assembly.
5. The Assembly reiterates, as it did in Resolution
1030, its full awareness of the need to preserve the political unity
and territorial integrity of the Republic of Turkey and acknowledges
that finding a peaceful, democratic and non-separatist solution to this
problem is solely the responsibility of the citizens of that republic.
6. The Assembly is convinced that a solution to the
serious problems and the grave situation in south-east Turkey must be
found by peaceful means, and that—apart from other considerations—the
Turkish authorities made a considerable political error in eliminating
the elected representatives of a part of the Turkish people rather than
trying to establish a dialogue with and through them, and with others
seeking a peaceful, political solution to the Kurdish problem within
7. The Assembly stresses the danger of the measures
against the DEP deputies escalating into further breaches of the rule
of law and of human rights in a democratic society, now advocacy in the
public debate of changes in the Constitution (in this case urging a
measure of (cultural) autonomy for the Kurdish provinces) is being
construed by the authorities as a form of aiding and abetting acts of
separatism and terrorism.
8. The Assembly reiterates its abhorrence of any
kind of terrorism, and wishes to stress the importance of Articles 10
and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which grant freedom
of expression, of assembly and of association—rights which take a
particular dimension for members of parliament.
9. The Assembly expresses its wish that the Turkish
Grand National Assembly make all necessary efforts to adopt amendments
to the Constitution, as early as possible, to bring it into line with
the standards of the Council of Europe and to give back their mandates
to those deputies who lost them as a result of the dissolution of the
10. In conclusion, the Assembly therefore
i. urges the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the
Turkish authorities and the parliamentary delegation from Turkey to
comply immediately with the proposals made in its Resolution 1030
ii. instructs its Bureau to arrange for a
delegation, headed by its President, to visit Ankara in the very near
future to make yet further and, hopefully, positive contacts with the
Turkish authorities regarding a situation which is of such immediacy as
to cause considerable distress; and
iii. expresses the wish that Turkey receive CSCE
delegations to implement the human rights mechanisms set up by that
CSCE TO SEND MISSIONS TO TURKEY
The Assembly of the Conference on Security and
Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) recommended on July 9 that two delegations
be sent to Turkey to study the case of Kurdish deputies who have been
put in prison and to monitor human rights situation in Southeast Turkey.
This decision was protested angrily by attending
Turkish deputies who said Turkey would refuse to accept these
delegations or any sent by the CSCE.
The chief of the Turkish delegation, Uluc Gürkan,
went further by saying to the daily Cumhuriyet of July 14 that some
Western parliamentarians criticising Turkey are "the persons getting
profit from the so-called drug traffic carried out by the PKK."
HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT OF JUNE-JULY
In its monthly reports for June and July 1994, the
Human Rights Association (IHD) horrifying numbers concerning violation
of human rights in Turkey. IHD Chairman Akin Birdal, criticising
officials for not taking the necessary measures to prevent such
violations, said: "Each day, democracy and human rights lose blood in
Turkey. The fact that people's hopes and faith in the future are
rapidly being destroyed by the situation is the most dangerous aspect
• 27 people died as a result of torture and extra
judicial executions and 16 were victims of mystery murders. Another 26
people sustained injuries in attempts on their lives.
• In clashes between the PKK guerrillas and
government forces, 431 people lost their lives.
• A total of 664 people was taken into custody and
63 of these were arrested by tribunals
• 98 villages and hamlets were either evacuated or
• The number of victims of "crimes of conscience"
went up to 103.
• Tribunals gave a total of 112 years and six months
imprisonment and a total fine of TL 22 billion.
• 36 people were killed while being tortured.
• 46 people claimed they were subjected to torture.
• 1315 people were taken into custody and 53 of
these were arrested by tribunals.
• 49 people were reported missing after taken into
• 30 publications of various kinds were confiscated
and 31 media members detained..
• Tribunals gave a total of 44 years imprisonment
and a total fine of TL 4 billion 238 million. Besides, in other cases,
prosecutors asked a total of 39 years and six months imprisonment and
TL 200 million in fine.
• 9 associations were raided and closed.
• 16 people were killed by unidentified assailants.
• 97 villages and hamlets were either evacuated or
• 29 people lost their lives through civilian
• 524 people lost their lives in armed clashes.
According to the July report, 109 Turkish and
Kurdish intellectuals — journalists, writers, publishers, trade
unionists, deputies and scientists — were in prison. With this number,
Turkey holds the second rank after China among the countries
where intellectuals are systematically persecuted.
IHD Chairman Birdal said: "July has been a tragedy
regarding crimes of conscience and freedom. On one hand, the deputies
who lost their Parliamentary status because they expressed their
opinions face the possibility of the death penalty, and on the other,
the ones who couldn't be burned in Sivas — writer Aziz Nesin — now may
face death at the hands of the court."
(For further information: Insan Haklari Dernegi -
Yüksel Caddesi 29/13, Yenisehir - Ankara; Tel: 90-312-432 09 57, Fax:
90-312-425 95 47).
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN 1993
The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), in a
336-page report released in July, made public the following balance
sheet of human rights violations in 1993:
Deaths in custody or in prison 29
Deaths during Newroz incidents 3
Deaths during attacks on settlements 46
Those killed during house raids 57
Those killed as a result of shooting demonstrators 20
Those killed for ignoring stop warnings, etc. 109
Deaths as a result of mine explosions 123
Killings by unidentified assailants 467
Deaths during Sivas incidents 37
Killings by attacks on civilians 406
Those killed in armed attacks and assassinations 341
Security personnel killed in combat 776
Militants killed in clashes 1078
Total number of people killed in 1993 3492
Deaths in custody or in prison 29
"Disappearances" after detention 13
The number of tortured individuals* 827
Freedom Of Press, Thought And Belief
Killed journalists 7
Killed newspaper vendors 11
Press workers who disappeared 3
Journalists attacked by public officers 52
Confiscated newspapers and periodicals 425
Confiscated books 29
Closed newspapers and periodicals 14
Convicted journalists and writers 116
Total of imprisonment sentences given to journalists and
writers 165 years 3 months 10 days
Total of fines given to journalists and writers TL
Journalists imprisoned after their sentences became
Arrested journalists 60
Freedom Of Organization
Killed IHD officials 3
Shut down IHD branches 4
Shut down democratic mass organizations 31
Killed political party leaders 15
Killed teachers 50
Closed political parties 4
Political parties demanded to be closed 2
Banned strike 1
* 160 of them, including 29 children and 126 women,
verified the torture with medical reports they had received from
official institutions. 22 of the females who reported that they had
been tortured, stated that they had been raped or sexually harassed.
** Approximately 1.5 million US Dollars.
[The report can be asked from Türkiye Insan
Haklari Vakfi - Menekse 2. Sokak N°16/6 - Kizilay - Ankara, Tel:
(90-312) 417 71 80, Fax: (90-312) 425 45 52]
HUMAN RIGHTS MINISTER RESIGNS
Turkey's State Minister in charge of human rights,
Mehmet Kahraman, resigned on June 25 from his government post and the
SHP in protest of efforts to prevent the creation of a Human Rights
"Until today I have shown patience in trying
to create the organization of a human rights ministry as planned by the
DYP-SHP Coalition. Because of the negative attitude the DYP group has
taken on the issue of passing the law with this regard, there is no
value to stay on as a minister," he said.
ANTI-SEMITISM RISING IN TURKEY
Alarmed by the rise of the Islamist Welfare Party
(RP) in the March 27 local elections, the Institute of Jewish Affairs
in London cited Turkey as one of the countries where
anti-Semitism was "on the rise."
In its report entitled Anti-Semitism 1994, the
institute said that Turkey and Romania were two countries where the
Jewish community was under the most severe risk.
Two years ago, the Jews of Turkey had
celebrated the five centuries of religious tolerance they have enjoyed
in a Muslim-dominated environment.
The Jews who had a special minority status under the
Ottomans chose to give it up in favour of ordinary Turkish citizenship
after the proclamation of the Republic in 1923, seeing themselves under
the protection of the State's secularism.
However, a special tax on minorities during World
War II ruined some Jewish families. About 100,000 Jews have emigrated
to Israel since its creation in 1948, including some who left because
of political violence which hit Turkey in the 1970s.
Now the community has shrunk to about 25,000,
concentrated in Istanbul.
RP leaders often denounce the "evils" of US
imperialism and Zionism. RP leader Erbakan very often repeats its
opposition to Turkish adhesion to the European Union on grounds that
"The European Union is a fifth column of Zionism."
The Institute of Jewish Affairs report cites as a
worrisome development the attack against Jak Kamhi, a famous Jewish
businessman, Kamhi was the chairman of the Quincentennial Foundation -
a group that organized the large-scale celebration for the 500th
anniversary of the Jewish arrival in Turkey, after the Ottoman Empire
opened its borders to Jews fleeing the Spanish inquisition.
Other attacks include the desecration of the largest
Jewish cemetery in istanbul soon after the March elections. A group
calling itself the Islamic Avengers Front of the Great East threatened
Turkish Jews after an Israeli settler in Hebron massacred 30
Palestinians in a mosque in March.
The Turkish press constantly speculates on so-called
Jewish "finger" in some corruption cases.
SCANDALOUS CASE OF THE SIVAS POGROM
The first anniversary of the Sivas pogrom of July 2,
1993, during which 37 left-wing or Alevi intellectuals were
assassinated by Islamists putting a hotel on fire was commemorated
throughout Turkey with mass demonstrations.
As for the legal proceeding against the accused of
this horrible act, it turned into a scandalous case with the release of
the majority of the 124 defendants by the Ankara State Security
Court. In an unbelievable move, the SSC Prosecutor Nusret Demiral
requested capital punishment for the world-famous humorist Aziz Nesin
on charges of provoking the Sivas massacre.
On July 3, 1994, some political parties, trade
unions and associations held a mass meeting in Sivas to mark the
anniversary. Extra security forces were brought in from the
neighbouring cities to prevent any new incident. Many demonstrators
were harassed by the police and a police helicopter was seen attempting
to disrupt the demonstration by hovering close to the ground, causing
many people to lose their balance and fall to the ground. A group of
Alevi demonstrators were beaten by police and 27 of them were arrested.
.Same day some 30,000 demonstrators rallied
down-town in Ankara with banners carrying such slogans as "Sivas will
not be forgotten" and "While fanatics lit fires, the government
Commemoration ceremonies were also held in Frankfurt
(Germany) where 12,000 people organized a downtown meeting supervised
The assassination of 37 intellectuals celebrating
the festivities of Pir Sultan Abdal, a historical figure of the Alevi
sect fighting Ottoman repression, was instigated by RP Deputy Mayor
Cafer Ercakmak and other local RP officials. Even RP Mayor Temel
Karamollaoglu was seen addressing the mob during the attack and saying
them "I congratulate your holy cause." Ercakmak is still at large.
According to a rumour, he has returned to Sivas and is presently living
in this "city of radical fundamentalism." Karamollaoglu has never been
indicted and was reelected mayor on the RP ticket at the last March 27
The Ankara State Security Court began to try 124
suspects on October 21, 1993. The fact that the accused are being
defended at the tribunal by one of the top officials and deputies of
the RP, Sevket Kazan, is taken as confirmation that the RP was somehow
implicated in the Sivas pogrom.
During the trials, the Ankara SSC has made all
possible in order to save the defendants from a condemnation and
already released 91 out of 124 defendants among them are also those for
whom capital punishment was demanded.
What is more, SSC Prosecutor Nusret Demiral,
minimising the responsibility of those having committed the massacre,
requested death penalty for writer Aziz Nesin who had published some
extracts of Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses in a newspaper.
The prosecutor now claims that his presence in Sivas during the
festivities provoked the people to attack the hotel where Nesin and
other intellectuals stayed.
The relatives of the Sivas victims, reacting against
the prosecutor's demand, said: "We want to face the trial together with
Aziz Nesin and the organisational committee of the Pir Sultan Abdal
festivities. We all committed the mistake of trusting the government
security forces and the legislative and judicial system. The SSC
prosecutor wants to make it seem like the intellectuals who believe in
democracy, freedom and human rights are the ones responsible, not the
RP AGAIN THE ONLY RISING PARTY
The three municipal re-elections held on July 10,
1994, in Istanbul confirmed the RP's rising although it happened to win
only one of the mayorships, that of Beykoz district..
The RP's votes considerably increased in each of the
three municipalities, while the the DYP and the ANAP were climbing each
only in one municipality. Thanks to the alliance with other right-wing
parties, the DYP and the ANAP overpassing the RP votes took over the
mayorships respectively in Yalova and Fatih.
As for the three social democrat parties, SHP, DSP
and CHP, all of them underwent an absolute defeat in each of the three
In composite percentages of the three
municipalities, the RP comes out as the second strongest party with
29.46% after the ANAP (30.61%). DYP comes as third with 16.14% and is
followed by DSP (12.75%), SHP (9.66%) and CHP (0.59%).
DIRTY AFFAIRS OF RP ISLAMISTS
German TV Channel 1 has found out that Turkey's
Welfare Party (RP) owns 17 business ventures in Germany via the
National Vision Organisation in Europe (AMGT), reports the daily
Hürriyet on August 21.
These ventures operate in various sectors including
construction and food processing. Millions of Marks earned by these
ventures flow into the coffers of the RP.
The front organization, AMGT, also owns 105 pieces
of real estate in Germany with a total value of DM 82 million. The TV
newscasters stressed during a program that one of the executives of
these business ventures is RP Chairman Necmettin Erbakan's nephew Sabri
Erbakan, who is one of the leaders of the AMGT.
During the program it was stated that the revenues
the RP get from Europe come from two sources: the AMGT and the
International Humanitarian Aid Organization (IHH).
Freiburg Prosecutor Fluck indicated that the money
the IHH collected from the Turkish migrant workers in Germany as aid
for Bosnia, was "laundered" by being transferred into the bank account
held in Turkey by an Islamist businessman named Mercümek, who is known
as the "RP's cashier." The prosecutor said that they have significant
documents in their hands attesting to the fact that the RP used the
money collected for aid to Bosnian Muslims to finance its election
CILLER'S WEALTH SHAKES THE GOVERNMENT
Daily Milliyet of June 17, 1994, revealed the
fabulous wealth owned by Prime Minister Tansu Ciller in the United
States. According to the report, the Ciller couple, who say that they
had $200 alone when they first went to the United States to attend
university, now have assets worth over $7 million in that country.
Their estates are mostly in New Hampshire and were
bought discreetly over the past two years during the time Ciller served
as state minister.
Their possessions in the United States include:
granite shopping centre, a luxury villa with a solarium in Salem city,
a 120-room hotel and an 18-apartment building.
On the other hand, the Britannica Yearbook 1994
disclosed in Ciller's biography that she had amassed a fortune of some
60 million dollars through real estate speculations as well in Turkey
Although the Turkish Grand National Assembly debated
on July 15 an investigation motion concerning the source of Ciller's
assets, the majority of coalition parties, DYP and SHP, in
alliance with the neo-fascist MHP decided to open an investigation on
the wealth of all political leaders. So, Ciller saved herself from a
special investigation on her wealth.
The compromising attitudes of SHP leadership led to
a big unrest in rank and file of this partner of the coalition.
To calm or divide the opposition within his party,
Deputy-Premier Murat Karayalcin had to change the SHP ministers in the
cabinet and to appoint some figures of the opposition to ministerial
So, one of the hard-liners of the party, Mümtaz
Soysal, who has made annulled some government decrees by applying to
the Constitutional Court, was appointed foreign minister instead of
STATE TERRORISM IN LAST TWO MONTHS
1.6, security forces raiding the village of Bayrakli
in Derik set on fire many houses and agricultural machines. During the
operation, two Kurdish peasants are beaten for having refused to join
pro-government Village Protectors.
1.6, the prosecutor of the Diyarbakir SSC starts a
court action against 35 alleged militants of the Menzil wing of the
fundamentalist Hizbullah Movement. For a series of acts of
violence, 15 of the defendants face capital punishment, and 20 others,
imprisonment of up to 15 years.
1.6, the Malatya SSC sentences two PKK militants to
life prison and five others to different prison terms of up to 18 years
and 9 months.
2.6, in Diyarbakir, Nail Talan is shot dead and
teacher Nuri Demiralp wounded by unidentified assailants. Same day, the
dead bodies of Bayram Kanat and Fehmi Altun are found by the side of
the river Tigris.
2.6, a top official of the HADEP and the defunct
DEP, Muhsin Melik and his driver, Mehmet Ayyildiz, are shot dead by
four unidentified gunmen as leaving his home in Urfa. Just before
dying, Melik says to the witnesses that he identified among the killers
some policemen who were following himself everywhere.
2.6, Özgür Ülke reports that security forces raided
two Kurdish villages, Kocalar in Bismil and Alaca in Kulp on May 30 and
set on fire 29 houses by pouring gasoline upon them. During the
operations, two peasants are wounded in the Alaca Village that had
already been raided four times.
3.6, in Diyarbakir, unidentified assailants shoot
dead teacher Kemal Göcer and wounds another teacher, Ahmet
Meraloglu. Same day, in Kiziltepe, farmers Mehmet Öncel and Sirin Özkul
are shot dead after being taken out of their houses.
4.6, a Workers' Party (IP) official in Tunceli,
Önder Kirmizitas, claims to have been kidnapped and tortured by police
on May 30. The traces of cigarette burnings and beatings on his body
were certified by a report of the Ankara Forensic Medicine.
5.6, Kurdish businessman Savas Buldan and his two
friends, Adnan Yildirim and Haci Koray, who were kidnapped in Istanbul
on June 4 are found assassinated in Bolu. The brother of the
assassinated businessman and former mayor of Yüksekova, Necdet Buldan,
accuses the security forces of committing this crime for intimidating
Kurdish business circles. He claims that the guns that killed his
brother had been used during the assassination of another Kurdish
businessman, Behcet Cantürk, and his three friends.
5.6, teacher Nuri Demiralp, wounded on June 2,
passes away in a Diyarbakir hospital.
5.6, security forces attacking the village of Yukari
Karatas with rockets and automatic weapons shoot dead a 7-year old
girl, Didar Elmas, and wound three people. A number of houses are
destroyed during the operation.
7.6, the Malatya SSC sentences four alleged PKK
members to prison terms of up to 12 years and 6 months. In another
case, the same tribunal sentences three people to prison terms of up to
three years and nine months for sheltering some Dev-Sol militants.
7.6, in Eruh, shepherd Yusuf Elik is shot dead by
7.6, security forces raiding the village of Üzümlü
in Erzincan arrest nine peasants.
7.6, in Van, four students of the Centenary
University are taken into police custody.
8.6, in Viransehir, ten members of HADEP are taken
into custody under accusation of giving shelter and aid to the PKK.
8.6, the Ankara SSC sentences four alleged PKK
members to prison terms of up to 15 years.
9.6, a woman named Güllü Küncülü claims to have been
tortured by police for 48 hours after being detained on June 6 in
Gaziantep. She also says that his husband, DEP official Hüseyin
Küncülü, and Ismet Dikici who were detained at the same time are still
under torture. The torture traces on Mrs. Küncülü's body were attested
by a medical report.
11.6, former mayor of Hazro (Diyarbakir), Resul
Dolan is taken into police custody together with three other persons.
His son, Yücel Dolan had been detained last year and died under torture.
11.6, sixteen Iranian political refugees, allegedly
members of the People's Combatants, are taken into custody in Ankara
and taken to Silopi in order to be delivered to Iranian authorities.
14.6, eight members of a radical Islamist
organization, the Union of Islamic Communities, are sentenced by the
Istanbul SSC to different prison terms of up to two years and six
months and TL 416 million in fine.
15.6, the metropolitan mayor of Konya City, Halil
Ürün is sentenced by a penal court to a fine of TL 1 million 825
thousand for having insulted Atatürk in a speech he addressed to a RP
meeting. Same day, the prosecutor of the Diyarbakir SSC started a legal
proceeding against the mayor of Bingöl, Selahattin Aydar, on charge of
instigating the people to commit crime.
16.6, twelve police officers accused of having
assassinated Hatice Dilek Aslan and Ismail Oral during a raid on May
19, 1991, are acquitted by the Criminal Court N°1 of Kadiköy in
Istanbul. The court has not taken into account the testimony of 9-year
old Özgür Cihan Aslan, son of the victim Hatice Dilek Aslan, against
16.6, in Izmir, security forces have reportedly
detained in recent days a total of 17 people accused of taking part in
15.6, a Kurdish peasant from the Kislacik Village of
Siirt, Ali Beki, is found dead after his detention. The parents of the
victim accuse the police of torturing him to death.
16.6, the Izmir SSC sentences four defendants to
prison terms of up to 12 years and 6 months for being PKK members.
16.6, in Divrigi, a protest march of mine workers is
prevented by police using force and about 50 protesters are taken into
17.6, in Lice (Diyarbakir), a 70-year old woman,
Rehime Pehlivan, claims to have been tortured during 15-day detention.
She says three other people detained together with herself too were
subjected to torture.
17.6, in Idil (Sirnak), a former mayor of Assyrian
origin, Sükrü Tutas is shot dead by unidentified gunmen. Same day,
Veysi Benlice in Diyarbakir and Ziver Özdemir in Batman fall victim of
17.6, in Diyarbakir, Musa Günes dies and two
other prayers are wounded during the explosion of a bomb placed in a
18.6, in Batman, Ahmet Arik is shot dead at an armed
20.6, the Socialist Power Party (SIP) announces that
its two members, Ilker Pinar and Volkan Yalcinkoklu were tortured after
their detention on June 14.
20.6, the prosecutor of the Ankara SSC starts a
court action against 17 alleged members of the Islamist organization
IBDA-C. The defendants face imprisonment of up to 15 years each.
20.6, in Idil, the headman of the village Kalaz,
Sehabettin Elcioglu is shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
21.6, during recent operations, security forces have
taken into custody nine alleged members of the Revolutionary
Communists' Union of Turkey (TIKB) in Istanbul and eight people in
21.6, Sehmuz Öncel who was wounded last week during
an armed attack in Diyarbakir passes away as he is being taken to a
hospital in Ankara.
22.6, in Nusaybin, unidentified gunmen shoot dead a
minibus driver, Ali Özdemir, and wound two passengers.
23.6, the Istanbul SSC sentences the Chairman of the
Aviation Workers' Trade Union (Hava-Is), Atilay Aycin, and lawyer Esber
Yagmurdereli to a 20-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 250 million
each for their speeches at a meeting in Istanbul. By the same
sentence, they are deprived of the right to perform their professions.
24.6, in Manisa, teacher Taner Yenice claims to have
been tortured by ten policemen after being taken into custody.
24.6, in Cay (Afyon), Osman Köksen claims to have
been tortured for 24 hours during his detention at a gendarmery station.
24.6, in Izmir, five officials of the Socialist
Power Party (SIP), Hamdi Samancilar, Hayrettin Akbas, Faik Bicer, Recai
Gün and Semanur Özel, are sentenced by the Izmir SSC to 20 months
in prison and TL 333 million in fine each for a political tract they
distributed in January.
26.6, Kamil Hulak and Abdullah Sayin are found
assassinated near the village Dalda in Bitlis.
28.6, the former chairman of the defunct DEP is
sentenced by the Ankara SSC to four years in prison and TL 500 million
in fine for his statements in Iraq and Germany.
28.6, a Dev-Sol defendant, Selmani Özcan is
sentenced by the Ankara SSC to capital punishment.
29.6, in two trials against the alleged PKK
militants, the Istanbul SSC sentences two defendants to imprisonments
of up to three years and nine months and the Kayseri SSC sentences four
defendants to terms of up to 12 years and six months.
30.6, the imam of the Doganli village of Mardin,
Mehmet Ali Kilic, is assassinated during an armed attack.
1.7, the Ankara SSC sentences five alleged members
of the Communist Labour Party of Turkey-Leninist (TKEP-L) to life
1.7, in Nusaybin, a series of armed attacks result
in the death of Hamdin Kaya, Zafer Yildirim, Abdulmecit Kaya, Yusuf
Yagiz and Sabri Arar.
1.7, security forces raiding the Pasayurdu village
in Erzincan take 20 villagers into custody.
2.7, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Ahmet Özcan in
2.7, village protectors raiding the Aktepe hamlet
shoot dead Bayram Tekin, nephew of Özgür Gündem Diyarbakir
representative Salih Tekin.
3.7, Aydogan Ozcan, Yüksel Özcan, Durmaz Deli and
Göksal Oguz claim to have been tortured at the Gayrettepe Police
Station for three days after their detention on June 28.
3.7, a meeting to commemorate the victims of the
Sivas Massacre of July 2, 1994, is dispersed by police using force and
wounding six people. In Izmir, another commemoration meeting on the
same anniversary is forbidden by the Governor.
4.7, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Hasan Topbik and
Ihsan Karabulut in Batman.
5.7, in Aydin, lawyers Hülya Ücpinar, Mustafa Ufacik
and Mustafa Alp are beaten by gendarmes at the Justice Palace and later
during a visit to their clients detained at the Aydin Prison.
5.7, in Istanbul, a worker named Ali Riza Kartal
claims to have been tortured at the Icerenkôoy Police Station after
being detained as putting posters on walls.
5.7, in Gebze, a group of workers carrying on a
protest action was dispersed by police using force and four of them
5.7, in Hakkari, Recep Yasar, Behcet Yasar and
Fikret Kaya are found assassinated on the highway Yüksekova-Semdinli.
6.7, a new trial against five alleged PKK members
begins at the Istanbul SSC. The prosecutor demands capital punishment
for four of the defendants. One of them, Serif Mercan had committed
suicide a few months ago at the Bursa Prison.
6.7, the former chairman of the Izmir Municipal
Employees' Trade Union (Tüm Bel Sen), Ikram Mihyas who was kidnapped on
July 5 is found assassinated.
6.7, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Cemil Boga and
wound Vedat Boga in Kiziltepe.
8.7, in Gebze, a new protest action by a group of
municipal workers is dispersed by police using force and wounding more
than 100 people. After the operation, 20 workers are taken into
custody and a local tribunal decides to stop the protest action.
8.7, in Diyarbakir, unidentified gunmen shoot dead
9.7, in Batman, Halil Basma who was kidnapped by
unidentified assailants is found assassinated under a bridge.
9.7, security forces have detained nine alleged PKK
militants during recent operations.
9.7, security forces raiding a house in Nusaybin
shoot dead Semsettin Kaplan and detain his wife.
10.7, a member of the Human Rights Association
(IHD), Yelda Özcan claims to have been tortured after his detention on
July 4 in Istanbul.
11.7, the Izmir police announces the arrest of 28
alleged PKK militants during operations since the beginning of July.
11.7, in Nusaybin, unidentified assailants shoot
dead Mehmet Emin Algin and destroy later his house.
12.7, the trial of Arif Hikmet Iyidogan, accused of
anti-militarist activities, begins at the Military Tribunal of General
Staff. Facing imprisonment of up to one year, Iyidogan is being
detained at the Mamak Military Prison.
13.7, a series of police operations in Adana, Mersin
and Tarsus result in the arrest of about 40 people for underground
13.7, the Malatya SSC sentences two members of the
Workers' and Peasants' Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO) to life prison
and two other to imprisonments of up to 12 years and six months.
13.7, security forces raiding the Veskan village in
Yüksekova put on fire two houses after having shot dead Feysel
Aslan and arrested eight villagers.
14.7, Özgür Ülke reports that security forces,
during last one-month operations, depopulated 24 villages in the
Cukurca district of Hakkari province. About 12 thousand villagers were
searching shelter in the neighbouring towns and villages or in Northern
15.7, in Izmir, security forces carrying out a
series of repressive operations arrest IHD officials Ali Aslan and
Naile Erogluer, Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association's Chairman Haydar
Arslan and five other people.
15.7, five alleged PKK members are sentenced by the
Ankara SSC to prison terms of up to 15 years.
15.7, in Cizre, an imam named Süleyman Turgut who
was kidnapped by two unidentified persons on July 13 is found
15.7, during a raid on the 3rd and 6th wings of the
Malatya E Type Prison, 40 political detainees are wounded, nine being
16.7, in Nusaybin, Ibrahim Cekin falls victim of a
18.7, in Ankara, a youth named Irfan Barat Efe
claims to have been tortured after his detention on July 16. The
Forensic Medicine Institute certifies his incapability of working for
15 days because of the torture.
18.7, during the police operation within the last
ten days, 15 people have reportedly been detained on charges of being
18.7, the security forces that launched an operation
upon gunshots heard in the Lice district of Diyarbakir burn and destroy
more than 100 houses, shops and sheds. Haci Tahir Kozat (70) was
suffocated to death, two youths and a number of animals are killed.
19.7, Muzaffer Yildirim who was wounded in Nusaybin
on June 29 by unidentified people, lost his life at the hospital.
20.7, upon the call of their trade unions, hundred
thousands of workers and civil servants stage a one-day warning act in
overall Turkey to protest the government. They either do not go to work
or do not work at their work places for periods ranging from one hour
to eight. In Istanbul, a group of 500 marching workers is dispersed by
the police under beating and 18 of them detained.
21.7, Abdulaziz Saltan and Yusuf Baskan claim to
have been tortured after being detained by police in Istanbul.
22.7, the Diyarbakir SSC prosecutor starts a legal
proceeding against the mayor of Bingöl, Selahattin Aydar, and the local
chairman of the Diyarbakir National Youth Foundation, Bedri Baran, for
instigating the people to hostility in their post-electoral speeches.
22.7, thirteen alleged members of the Hizbullah
organization are indicted by the Diyarbakir SSC Prosecutor for a series
of terrorist actions. Eight of the defendants face capital punishment.
22.7, in Nusaybin, Süleyman Yaman falls victim of a
23.7, three farmers, Fadil Toptan, Abdurrahman
Arikan and Muhittin Tekin are found assassinated in Besiri (Batman).
23.7, in Yüksekova, security forces opening fire on
the people in the street shoot dead a woman named Perihan Soylu, wound
two persons and destroyed four houses and 12 shops.
24.7, DEP member Kerim Tek who was kidnapped on July
22 by unidentified assailants is found assassinated near the Gökcebag
town. He had been taken into custody for few times on charges of aiding
the PKK. Three bullet holes and torture traces are discovered on his
25.7, during a ceremony on the occasion of the
assassination of trade unionist Kenan Budak on July 25, 1980, police
detain ten participants.
25.7, security forces raiding two houses in Istanbul
detain more than 20 people among them are also two children.
26.7, the Leather Workers' Trade Union announces
that five of the ten people detained during the commemoration of Kenan
Budak one day ago were subjected torture during their interrogation.
Their names: Murat Emin Özdemir, Berna Bozkurt, Oya Kosar, Sibel
Altinok and Bülent Catar.
27.7, a youth named Muzaffer Karagöz claims to have
been tortured for fifteen hours at the Umraniye Police Station in
27.7, the Diyarbakir SSC begins to try five people
accused of PKK activities. Two of the defendants face capital
28.7, in Kayseri, peasant Osman Akin who was
detained by gendarmes on charges of insulting the State is found dead
in his cell.
28.7, in Adana, Fehmi Saygili claims to have been
tortured at the PTT Police Station for having participated in Kurdish
28.7, unidentified assailants raiding a house at the
Aralik Village in Bismil shoot dead an 11-year old boy and wound two
30.7, Ali Vural, in Diyarbakir, and Celal Bulut, in
Nusaybin, are shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
31.7, in Silvan, unidentified assailants beat Tahir
Güvenc to death. In Hasankeyf, health worker Hasan Keles is shot death
during a raid on his house.
INTELLECTUALS IN PRISON OR UNDER ARREST:
According to the information given by the Human
Rights Association (IHD), the following intellectuals were in prison or
under arrest by the end of July 1994:
Journalists in Prison
Osman Günes (Emek Dünyasi), six months, in
Bayrampasa Prison -Istanbul;
Hidir Ates (Odak), six months, Bayrampasa ; Zana Sezen (Azadi), six
months, Bursa; Hidir Batusal (Özgür Gelecek), six months, Erzurum;
Tuncay Atmaca (Emek), 20 months, Urla; Naile Tuncer (Devrimci
Proletarya), six months, Canakkale; Besir Günden (Azadi), Mus;
Ergün Gümgüm (Hevdem), six months, Buca; Hidir Gülyildar (Gercek), six
months; Fethiye Peksen (Devrimci Cözüm), Bayrampasa; Hikmet Cetin
(Deng), six months, Bayrampasa; Gülperi Türüz (Alinteri), six months,
Antakya; Mustafa Cubuk (Emek), one year, Bayrampasa; Kenan Kalyon
(Toplumsal Dayanisma), six months, Bayrampasa; Süleyman Bakirman
(Tavir), Adana-Kürkcüler; Deniz Gezen (Mücadele), Izmit; Cemal Uc
(Mücadele), Tunceli; Hüseyin Solak (Mücadele), Malatya; Veysel Sahin
(Mücadele), Bursa; Necati Önder (Mücadele), Malatya; Murat Kirsoy
(Mücadele), Malatya; Özcan Yildiz (Mücadele), Malatya; Nizamettin
Karaciger (Özgür Gündem), Mus; Ercan Arslan (Özgür Gündem), Adiyaman;
Kemal Sahin (Özgür Gündem), Bayrampasa; Sabri Bölek (Özgür Gündem),
Erzurum; Cemile Yürümez (Emekci Kadinlar), Bayrampasa; Fahrettin Dülger
(Alternatif), Sagmalcilar; Nebahat Polat (Özgür Gelecek), Ankara; M.
Emin Unay (Özgür Gündem), Buca; Salih Tekin (Özgür Gündem), Mardin;
Hasan Deger (Özgür Gündem), Diyarbakir ; Meral Tikiz (Özgür Gündem),
Erzurum; Botan Önen (Özgür Gündem), Diyarbakir; Cafer Cakmak
(Mücadele), Bayrampasa; Emine Serhat (Özgür Gündem), Erzurum; Ahmet
Önal (Newroz Atesi), Kirklareli; Ramazan Öcalan (Özgür Gündem), Urfa;
M. Emin Baser (Özgür Gündem), Bayrampasa; Hanim Harman (Mücadele),
Malatya; Hamdullah Akyol (Medya Günesi), Diyarbakir; Mehmet Kesli
(Newroz), Bayrampasa; Hasan Özgün (Özgür Gündem), Diyarbakir;
Müslim Yilmaz (Newroz), Bayrampasa; Mehmet Dönmez (Özgür Ülke),
Bayrampasa; Özdemir Toprak (Özgür Gündem), Bayrampasa; Hüseyin
Tekin (Emegin Bayragi), Bayrampasa; Selman Cimen (Serketin),
Bayrampasa; Bahattin Sevim (Özgür Gündem), Mus; Hayrettin Dündar (Özgür
Gündem), Elazig; Mustafa Kemal Akkaya (Özgür Ülke), Bayrampasa;
Hekimoglu Ismail (Zaman), Sile; Mustafa Kaplan (Yeni Asya), Buca;
Türker Alp (Özgür Gündem), Bayrampasa; Mustafa Demirdag (Özgür
Gelecek), Bayrampasa; Ismail Günes (Özgür Gündem), Erzurum; Ibrahim
Özen (Devrimci Cözüm), Gebze; Kenan Topalak (Devrimci Cözüm), Gebze;
Bektas Cansever (Devrimci Cözüm), Gebze; Sakine Fidan (Mücadele),
Diyarbakir; Burhan Gardas (Mücadele), Ankara; Ilhan Özdemir (Özgür
Halk), Malatya; Salih Özcelik (Azadi), Ankara; Özgür Arslan (Özgür
Gündem), Bayrampasa; Özkan Kilic (Yeni Ülke), 20 months, Bayrampasa;
Selcuk Tas (S.Y. Kurtulus), Ankara; Metin Dag (Özgür Gündem),
Diyarbakir; Sadi Etdöger (Özgür Gündem), Erzurum; Suha Soysal Demirci
(Özgür Ülke), Bayrampasa; Murat Yesilirmak (Medya Günesi), Bayrampasa;
Nalan Alici (Özgür Ülke), Diyarbakir; Mehmet Kesli (Newroz),
Bayrampasa; Yemliha Kaya (Yoksul Halkin Gücü), Bayrampasa; Asli Günes
(Hedef), Ankara; Umit Erdogdu (Demokrat), 20 months; Nazim Taban
(Emegin Bayragi), five months; Isik Yurtcu (Özgür Gündem), 11 months;
Adnan Akfirat (Aydinlik), 20 months; Emel Kapilan (Özgür Gündem),
under arrest; Mustafa Kemal Begüm (Kurtulus), under arrest; Elanur Kaya
(Hedef), under arrest; Günay Güler (Alternatif), under arrest; Mehmet
Sah Yildiz (Özgür Gündem), under arrest; Halim Yurtoglu (Mücadele),
under arrest; Aysel Bölücek (Mücadele), under arrest; Serdar Gelir
(Mücadele), under arrest; Özgür Güdenoglu (Mücadele), under arrest;
Ahmet Fethi Yildirim (Toplumsal Dayanisma), under arrest; Emel Atici
(Hedef), under arrest; Nergis Gülmez (Özgür Gelecek), under arrest;
Vatan Dinc (Emegin Bayragi), under arrest; Mehmet Efe (Özgür Halk),
under arrest; Hacay Yilmaz (Emek), two years, Buca ;
Journalists Sentenced and Wanted
Hacer Temirkan (Devrimci Proletarya); Sedat Karatas
(Azadi); Kamil Ermis (Deng); Rifat Sefali (Vatan Günesi); Fatma Yazici
(2000e Dogru); Hale Soysü (2000e Dogru); Celik Malkoc (Yeni Cözüm);
Yasar Kaya (Özgür Gündem)
Authors and Artists In Prison
Günay Aslan, two years, Mugla(Köycegiz); Ahmet Zeki
Okcuoglu, two years, Gemlik; Hasan Bildirici, two years, France.; Edip
Polat, three years, Buca-Izmir; Ismail Besikci, 14 years and six
months, Ankara ; Fikret Baskaya, two years, Haymana ; Haluk
Gerger, 20 months, Haymana ; Mustafa Kaplan, one year, Izmit ; Mehdi
Zana, two years, Ankara ; Naile Tuncer, two years, Bayrampasa ; Munir
Ceylan, 20 months, Tekirdag/Saray ; Mehmet Cetin, two years, Gemlik ;
Ömer Agin, two years, Bayrampasa; Numan Bektas, two years, to be
imprisoned soon; Kemal Sahir Gürel (musician), 20 months, Kesan; Metin
Bakirci (actor), Bayrampasa; Engin Günay, 20 months.
Publishers in Prison
Aysenur Zarakolu (Belge Publications), five months,
Bayrampasa ; Sirri Öztürk (Sorun Publications), five months, Babaeski ;
Nabi Barut (Zagros Publications), six months, Bayrampasa ; Selim
Okcuoglu (Doz Publications), 20 months, Gemlik ; Recep Marasli (Komal),
five months, Istanbul.
Publishers To Be Prisoned Soon
Ilyas Burak (Melsa Publications), five months.;
Zeynel Abidin Kizilyaprak (Pele Sor Publications), five months; Ünsal
Öztürk (Yurt Publications), 20 months.
Publishing Houses Under Prosecution
Alan, Belge, Basak, Berhem, Berfin, Cep, Deng, Doz,
Dönüsüm, Evrensel, Firat, Haziran, Iletisim, Komal, Pencere, Melsa,
Med, Özge, Pelesor, Umut, Yaba, Yurt, Zagros.
RECORD PENALTIES AGAINST BESIKCI
Among the authors imprisoned in Turkey, Sociologist
Ismail Besikci, of Turkish origin, has been for over twenty years
the target N°1 of the State terrorism. After the two military
coups, in 1971 and 1980, he was arrested for his works for defending
the fundamental rights of the Kurdish population and remained for years
After the adoption of the Anti-Terror Law, he has
been indicted 81 times on charges of separatist propaganda by the
State Security Courts for each of more than thirty books and different
articles he wrote.
Besikci is currently serving in the Ankara Prison a
part of 14 years and six months of his sentences ratified by the Court
of Cassation. The higher court has also ratified a total fine of
TL 850 million against Besikci.
With the last condemnations in June and July,
the total punishment to which Ismail Besikci has been sentenced
by the SSC in 22 cases until the end of July 1994 rises to
55 years and 3 months in prison and TL 3 billion 534 million in fine.
In addition to these condemnations, Besikci is still
being tried in 59 other cases by the SSC and facing 118 years in prison
and TL 14 billion 750 thousand in fine.
Since he does not have financial possibilities to
pay the fines, according to the Anti-Terror Law, these fines will be
commuted to imprisonment and the total of his prison terms will reach
The following are the last court decisions against
Besikci and his publishers:
7.6, Besikci is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two
years in prison and TL 250 million in fine for his article appeared in
the periodical Yeni Insan. The editor of the review, Levent Aslan too
is sentenced to six months in prison and TL 50 million in fine for
14.6, Besikci is sentenced by the Ankara SSC
to two years in prison and TL 250 million in fine for a book entitled
The Besikci Case from the point of view of university autonomy and
democratic society principles. The director of the Yurt Publishing
House having published the said book, Ünsal Öztürk too is sentenced to
six months in prison and TL 100 million in fine for separatist
16.6, Besikci is sentenced by the Ankara SSC to a
total of four years in prison and TL 500 million in fine for his two
books entitled An Intellectual, An organisation and the Kurdish
Question and On the Kurdish Society. The director of the Yurt
Publishing House having published the said book, Ünsal Öztürk too is
sentenced to one year in prison and TL 100 million in fine for
21.6, Besikci is again sentenced by the Istanbul SSC
to two years in prison and TL 100 million in fine for one of his
articles published by the weekly Yeni Ülke on October 25, 1992.
The tribunal also decides to ban Yeni Ülke's publication for one month,
though the review has not been published for more than one year.
30.6, Besikci is again sentenced by the Ankara SSC
to a total of ten years and four months in prison and TL 416 million in
fine for his 15 different books.
6.7, the Court of Cassation ratifies a four-year
imprisonment and TL 350 million in fine against sociologist Ismail
Besikci for his article entitled Open Letter to the Chairman of the
Constitutional Court and his book entitled The Rise of Consciousness.
13.7, the Court of Cassation ratifies a two-year
imprisonment and TL 250 million in fine against sociologist Ismail
Besikci for his book entitled The Kurds Recognising Themselves.
The higher court also ratifies a 6-month imprisonment and TL 50 million
in fine against the publisher of the book, Ünsal Öztürk.
PUBLISHER ZARAKOLU'S CHALLENGE
Mrs. Ayse Nur Zarakolu, director of Belge Publishing
House, has been in the Bayrampasa Prison of Istanbul since May 4, 1994,
for five-month imprisonment inflicted upon her being publisher of
Ismail Besikci's book titled The Republican People's Party Program
(1931) and Kurdish Problem.
From the prison, she released the following press
"I am present here today by reason of thought being
deemed as 'crime', furthermore being 'terror crime.' After the writers,
the publishers are also preparing their suitcases not for new studies
and works, but for prisons. Today Turkey's 'democratisation' mean this!
A convoy of the writers and publishers put in prisons. After me, almost
ten publishers will be put behind iron bars.
"In Turkey books and publishers are quite opposite
to a new attack spell. Today, there is no freedom of thought, one of
the most basic acquisitions of the humanity in Turkey.
"It is absurd for us to expect such a thing of the
State which is in the modality and habit of violating this freedom.
"The only contribution of the so called civil
governments to the 'democratisation' is to begin to prosecute book
publishers. Nowadays, as a contribution of the 9th Panel of the Court
of Cassation, publishing house owners are being sentenced to
imprisonment, and such imprisonments being approved.
"In accordance with their own Anti-Terror Law,
newspaper and magazine owners were not subject to imprisonment, but
only to pay a fine. Now, imprisonment was begun to be inflicted upon
publishers printing such books. This is a law scandal, because
publishers are being deemed exactly editor in chief. A parliamentary
bill providing that publishing house owners too will be sentenced to
imprisonment was recently submitted to be discussed by the Parliament.
It is not known whether such a modification in the Anti-Terror
Law drafted by DYP deputy Baki Tug will be approved or not.
Without waiting the Parliament's decision, the State Security Courts
and the Court of Cassation, putting themselves in the place of the
Parliament, allude to a crime not included in the law and began to
apply it to publishing house owners.
"Yes, in Turkey, the freedom of opinion cannot be
expected to be effected by the State. Under these conditions how will
writer express him/herself, explain his/her thoughts? How will the
universal culture richness be translated? How will information about
the present struggles for freedom be communicated?
"Today the media are withdrawing the programs which
they announced from the broadcast upon an order by any superior ones.
But publishers must not behave in accord with such 'orders from above'
and must give life to freedom of opinion. They must do what the State
does not do, even impedes. They must present their all possibilities to
the writer who wants to explain his/her thought. If the cost thereof is
imprisonment, they must bear it.
"If the prohibition for Nazim Hikmet's books was
abrogated today, this is not a grace of the Minister of Culture, but
thanks to the publishers who died in the court halls, such as Mehmet
Ali Ermis and the valiant readers who were interrogated for many days
for carrying a single poem of Nazim Hikmet in their pockets.
"If the socialist literature is freely published
today, this is thanks to such as Ilhan Erdost who was killed by
brutally beating under custody. If the opposite publishing is surviving
today in spite of all pressures, this is thanks to the publishers who
make their publishing continue under the extraordinary SS decrees and
struggle against the official ideology and taboos.
"We will make this 'free' publishing tradition
continue not yielding to any limitation with taboos and official
ideology, and act as a protector of thought, expression and creation
freedom. Not yielding to censorship and self-censorship, our publishing
house shall continue to be open all writers who wish to freely express
their own thoughts.
I believe that we are right and will win."
PRESSURE ON THE MEDIA IN TWO MONTHS
1.6, two political magazines, Gercek N°9 and Ocak,
are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist and anti-militarist
1.6, the director of Doz Publishing House, Selim
Okcuoglu is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a fine of TL 50 million
for having published a book entitled The Turkish Industry in Kurdistan.
2.6, the Istanbul SSC sentences five writers, Sungur
Savran, Ali Riza Tura, Mehmet Sadi Ozansu, Hasan San and Mehmet Yalcin
Kayalar, to two years in prison and TL 100 million in fine each for
their articles published by the review Cagri. They are accused of
having violated the Anti-Terror Law.
4.6, the responsible editor of Özgür Ülke, Suha
Soysal Demirci is placed under arrest by the Istanbul SSC for the
articles he published in the paper's 12 different issues on charges of
separatist propaganda. Same day, in Urfa, two distributors of Özgür
Ülke, Mehmet Askin and Ibrahim Nas are taken into police custody.
7.6, the daily Özgür Ülke announces that 34 out of
its 39 issues since the beginning of its publication on April 28, 1994,
have been confiscated by the Istanbul SSC on charges of making
separatist and anti-militarist propaganda and publishing communiqués of
some outlawed organisations. Within the same period, the paper's two
editors, Kemal Akkaya and Suha Soysal Demirci, correspondent Mehmet
Emin Ünay, manager Türker Alp and driver Mehmet Dönmez have been
arrested by court decision.
6.6, two political reviews, Denge Azadi N°3 and
Gercek N°9, as well as the first issue of a newsletter entitled Haklar
ve Özgürlükler (Rights and Freedoms) are confiscated by the Istanbul
SSC for separatist propaganda.
6.6, during a concert by the Musical Group Yorum in
Gaziantep, more than 50 listeners are taken into police custody for
having shouted political slogans. When another group of listeners
starts to protest the operation, police disperse them by opening fire
into the air.
7.6, one of the former editors of the defunct Özgür
Gündem, Seyh Davud Karadag is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to four
years and eight months in prison and TL 371 million 683 thousand in
fine for four news reports and two articles he published on June 16,
1993. The newspaper's owner, Yasar Kaya too is sentenced to TL
363 million in fine on charge of separatism. Although Özgür Gündem has
not been published since April 1994 because of heavy pressures, the
tribunal also decides to ban its publication for one month.
7.6, writer Mehmet Bayrak is sentenced by the Ankara
SSC to a 6-month imprisonment and a TL 100 million fine for his book
entitled Cagdas Kürt Destanlari (Contemporary Kurdish Legends).
7.6, condemned for having published a book
entitled The Failure of Paradigms, the director of the Doz Publishing
House, Lawyer Selim Okcuoglu is arrested for serving his 5-month
imprisonment. Okcuoglu is later sent to the Gemlik Prison where his
brother, Ahmet Zeki Okcuoglu, is currently serving his prison term for
an article. As for the author of The Failure of Paradigms, Professor
Fikret Baskaya, he is currently serving his 20-month imprisonment for
this book at the Haymana Prison.
7.6, the editor of the periodical Medya Günesi,
Murat Yesilirmak, is arrested by the Istanbul SSC for separatist
propaganda in some articles he published on May 16, 1994.
8.6, two periodicals, Emegin Bayragi N°118 and
Mücadele N°97 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist
propaganda and praising outlawed organizations.
9.6, in Diyarbakir, a distributor of the daily Özgür
Ülke, Zafer Tüzün, and his 16-year old assistant are taken into
custody. Another distributor in Batman, Ismail Agaya, has reportedly
disappeared since May 29 when he was taken by three unidentified
12.6, the editor of the weekly Gercek, Pelin Sener
is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to one year in prison and TL 125
million in fine by virtue of the ATL. The tribunal also decides
to ban the review's publication for one month.
10.6, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the latest issues
of the periodicals Liseli Genclik, Emegin Bayragi, Denge Azadi and
Toplumsal Dayanisma for separatist and agitating publication.
13.6, the editor of the Kurdish review Welat, Mazhar
Günbat is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL
320 thousand in fine for instigating hostility in the population. The
tribunal also decides to ban the review's publication for one month.
During the trial, Günbat insisted to defend himself in Kurdish
language, but the tribunal refused this demand by claiming that the
defendant wishes to speak in an incomprehensible language.
14.6, the trial of eleven journalists of the defunct
Özgür Gündem, arrested on December 10, 1993, begins at the Istanbul
SSC. Chief editor Gurbetelli Ersöz, chief correspondent Gülten
Kisanak, Ferda Cetin, Ali Riza Halis, Faysal Dagli, Mahmut Dogan,
Mehtap Gürbüz, Yurdusev Özsökmenler, Mehmet Balamir, Müslim Yücel,
Hüseyin Olgun and Ferhat Tugan are accused of being PKK members and
turning the newspaper into a PKK organ. The newspaper's owner Yasar
Kaya too is mentioned as defendant although he is currently in
Europe. At the end of the first trial, Gurbetelli Ersöz and Ali
Riza Halis who have been under arrest for six months, are released.
15.6, a cartoonist of Özgür Gündem, Dogan Güzel is
sentenced by a criminal court of Istanbul to a 10-month
imprisonment and a fine of TL 1.5 million for one of his drawings
published on September 22, 1993. The tribunal also sentences the
newspaper's editor, Besim Döner, to the same punishments and decides to
ban Özgür Gündem's publication for fifteen days, though the newspaper
had already stopped its publication since April.
15.6, the Istanbul SSC sentences a former editor of
the defunct Özgür Gündem, Erkan Aydin, to a fine of TL 53 million 322
thousand for having published an interview with PKK leader Öcalan. The
tribunal also decides to ban the newspaper's publication for ten days.
15.6, Chairman of the Mesopotamia Cultural Centre
(MKM) Ibrahim Gürbüz is placed under arrest by the Istanbul SSC for his
article published in Özgür Ülke on May 26, 1994.
15.5, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the weekly Nokta
for an article on the Islamist organisation IBDA-C.
16.6, the editor of the periodical Özgür Halk, Emine
Buyrukcan is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to six months in prison and
TL 50 million in fine for the articles she published on November 15,
1993. The tribunal also sentences the periodical's owner, Haydar Demir,
to a fine of TL 100 million and decides to ban the review's publication
for one month.
16.6, the editor of the periodical Newroz, Mehmet
Kesli is put under arrest by the Istanbul SSC for contravening the ATL.
17.6, the editor of the periodical Gencligin Sesi,
Seher Karatas is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 6-month imprisonment
and a fine of TL 100 million. The tribunal also decides to ban the
review's publication for ten days.
17.6, the Secretary General of the Communist Labour
Party of Turkey (TKEP), Teslim Töre is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to
20-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 333 million by virtue of Article
8 of the ATL.
18.6, the last issues of the periodicals Hedef,
Halkin Gücü and Devrimci Alternatif are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC
for separatist propaganda.
19.6, Diyarbakir correspondent of the daily Özgür
Ülke, Nalan Atici is taken into police custody as returning home.
21.6, one of the former editors of the defunct Özgür
Gündem, Seyh Davud Karadag is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two
years in prison and TL 250 million in fine. At the same trial, the
owner of the newspaper, Yasar Kaya too is sentenced to a fine of TL 121
million. The tribunal also decides to ban the defunct journal's
publication for one month. In four other trials, Yasar Kaya is
sentenced to a total of TL 753 million in fine for different articles.
22.6, publisher Burhan Günel is sentenced by the
Ankara SSC to six months in prison and TL 50 million in fine for having
published a book entitled The Law of Resistance and Defeat. The author
of the book, Numan Bektas had already been sentenced to a 20-month
imprisonment and a fine of TL 208 million.
22.6, Diyarbakir correspondent of the daily Özgür
Ülke, Nalan Atici who was taken into police custody three days ago is
placed under arrest by the Diyarbakir SSC.
22.6, the periodical Emegin Bayragi N°120 is
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
23.6, two writers of the periodical Pir Sultan
Abdal, Ibrahim Halit Elci and Kemal Altintas who are under arrest, are
sentenced by the Ankara SSC to two years in prison and 250 million in
fine each. The tribunal also sentences the review's editor, Metin
Kuzugüdenlioglu, to a 6-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 2 billion,
publisher Murtaza Demir and printer Burhan Günel to a 6-month
imprisonment and a fine of TL 5 billion each.
23.6, the Ankara SSC sentences Mustafa Pala to two
years in prison and TL 250 million in fine and Aydin Dogan to six
months in prison and TL 100 million in fine for having published
a book containing interviews with journalist Musa Anter, victim of a
23.6, two periodicals, Özgür Gelecek N°29 and
Partizan N°18, are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist
propaganda and praising an outlawed organization.
24.6, the former editor of Özgür Gündem, Seyh Davut
Karadag is again sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a total of four-year
imprisonment and a fine of TL 682 million. The tribunal also
decides to ban the defunct newspaper's publication for 25 days. Same
day, the newspaper's owner, Yasar Kaya too is sentenced to a total of
TL 743 million in fine.
24.6, the Ankara SSC sentences the director of the
Yurt Publishing House, Ünsal Öztürk, to two years in prison and TL 100
million in fine for having published PKK leader Öcalan's book entitled
The Fascism of September 12 and the PKK's Resistance.
24.6, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the periodical
Yeni Demokrat Genclik N°21 and journalist Faysal Dagli's book entitled
24.6, famous Turkish humorist Aziz Nesin is tried by
the Criminal Court of Izmir for a speech he gave at a meeting in
December 1993. Under the accusation of insulting the Turkish
Republic and its governments, Nesin faces a prison term of up to five
years by virtue of Article 159 of the Turkish Penal Code.
27.6, journalist and author Haluk Gerger is
imprisoned in Ankara for serving his 20-month prison term. He had been
condemned by the Ankara SSC for a message he sent to a meeting by
virtue of Article 8 of the ATL.
28.6, two journalists of the daily Zaman, editor
Servet Engin and columnist Mustafa Güner Yazgan are sentenced by a
penal Court in Ankara to three months and 15 days in prison and TL 2
million in fine each for having insulted the Justice Minister. In
another trial against the same newspaper, publisher Servet Engin and
columnist Varol Bektas are sentenced to similar punishments.
29.6, the editor of the periodical Newroz Atesi,
Nedime Tunc is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to four years in prison
and TL 550 million in fine. The tribunal also decided to ban the
periodical's publication for one month.
29.6, three periodicals, Denge Azadi N°6, Newroz
N°19 and Kizil Bayrak N°3 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for
separatist propaganda and praising outlawed organizations.
1.7, a special issue of the periodical Hedef is
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
3.7, a concert in solidarity with the musical group
Yorum, subject to State terrorism, is forbidden by the governor of
Istanbul. Police disperse the crowd gathering in front of the
concert hall in protest against the decision and detain 20 people
including Özgür Ülke correspondent Hüseyin Inan and two lawyers, Metin
Narin and Mustafa Coban.
4.7, two periodicals, Denge Azadi N°7 and Kizil
Bayrak N°3, are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist
5.7, the director of the Zagros Publishing House,
Nabi Barut is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to one year in prison and
5L 250 million in fine for having published a book containing the
articles of PKK leader Öcalan.
5.7, the editor of the weekly Gercek, Pelin Sener is
sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to six months in prison and TL 50 million
in fine for publishing an article entitled An Intellectual's
Confessions. In another trial against Gercek, the former publisher of
the periodical, Kamil Tekin Sürek is sentences to a fine of TL 50
6.7, the Istanbul office of the Islamist review
Beklenen Vakit is destroyed with the explosion of a bomb placed by
9.7, the Kütahya chairman of the Human Rights
Association (IHD), Seydi Bayram is sentenced by the Konya SSC to 20
months in prison and TL 208 million in fine for a press release
containing the word Kurdistan that he issued in 1993.
9.7, Kurdish author and publisher Recep Marasli is
taken into custody after a police raid on his home in Istanbul. He is
accused of separatist propaganda in an interview aired by a private TV
in 1993 and in his book entitled The Defence at the Diyarbakir Rizgari
One of the two persons detained together with the author, Nurcan Balci
is later taken to hospital. The Human Rights Association claims that
Balci was subjected to torture.
10.7, the last issue of the periodical Denge Azadi
is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
12.7, a former editor of the defunct Özgür Gündem,
Erkan Aydin is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 20 months in prison and
TL 208 million 333 thousand in fine by virtue of the ATL. The tribunal
also decides to ban the publication of Özgür Gündem for ten days though
the newspaper is already closed.
12.7, the periodical Hedef N° 33 is confiscated by
the Istanbul SSC for an article on the Circassian Question.
15.7, publisher Sirri Öztürk who is serving his
five-month prison term for having published The Anthology of Prison
Poems 1980-1990 is hospitalised on a heart attack in Babaeski Prison.
16.7, Diyarbakir correspondent of Özgür Ülke,
Necmiye Aslanoglu is taken into custody by police after being beaten in
19.7, the last issues of the periodicals Denge
Azadi, Aydinlik, Genclik Yildizi, Deng and Halkin Gücü are confiscated
by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
20.7, the chief editor of the periodical Medya
Günesi, Vedat Aydin is arrested in Istanbul. He will be tried by the
Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
20.7, an Özgür Ülke correspondent, Yüksel
Diker is arrested in Van for aiding the PKK and harbouring its members.
20.7, the editor of the periodical Emegin Bayragi,
Cem Özen is put under arrest by the Istanbul SSC by virtue of the ATL.
21.7, one of the editors of the defunct Özgür
Gündem, Seyh Davut Karadag is sentenced again by the Istanbul SSC to a
fine of TL 121 million 257 thousand for some articles he published. The
tribunal also sentence the newspaper's owner, Yasar Kaya to a fine of
TL 242 million 514 thousand and to close the newspaper for fifteen
days. In another case, the SSC fines Yasar Kaya to TL 273 million 627
thousand and decides to close the newspaper for 20 days.
21.7, the chief editor of the periodical Özgür
Bilim, Medeni Ayhan is sentenced to by the Ankara SSC two years in
prison and TL 250 million in fine for using the word "Kurdistan" in
articles. The publishing board members of the review, Riza Dogan,
Abdurrahim Kocbin, Haydar Karayel, Cengiz Yasar and Mehmet Tanrikulu
too are each sentenced two years in prison and a fine of TL 250 million.
21.7, Kurdish author and publisher Recep Marasli who
was detained on July 9 during a raid on his house in Istanbul was
placed under arrest by the Istanbul SSC on allegation that he is the
leader of an organization named Freedom Party of Kurdistan (PRK)..
Along with Marasli, two other persons named Ergül Kiyak and Yüksel
Bekiroglu too are placed under arrest.
22.7, Özgür Ülke editor Halil Kalkilic is placed
under arrest by the Istanbul SSC for a number of articles and news he
published in the newspaper's July issues. He will be tried under the
25.7, two periodicals, Denge Azadi N°10 and Yeni
Demokrat Genclik N°22 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for
26.7, the Istanbul SSC decides to confiscate five
periodicals, Newroz N°23, Gercek N°17, Özgür Gelecek N°31, Ekspres N°26
and Gencligin Sesi N°14, on charges of separatist and anti-army
26.7, a book of the detained TKEP leader, Teslim
Töre, entitled Capitalism, Socialism and Organization is confiscated by
the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
27.7, the last issue of the periodical Odak is
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
29.7, Özgür Ülke correspondent Mihriban Artiklar is
subjected to torture and insults at the Istanbul Police Directorate to
where she went to take her passport.
29.7, Özgür Ülke N°45 is confiscated by the Istanbul
SSC for separatist propaganda.
31.7, in Gaziantep, a police team raiding a house
detain six musicians, Saban Kilic, Mustafa Gümüs, Ilyas Gümüs, Salih
Ceylan, Ahmet Sezer and Celal Sezer during a musical work.
A RIDICULOUS MINIMUM WAGE
A tripartite commission announced, on August 5, the
new minimum wage for workers as TL 4,173,750 gross. After social
security and income tax cuts, a worker will be paid TL 2,759,429 ($ 81)
The figure represents a 67.12 per cent increase in
comparison with the minimum wage of last year while the inflation rate
of the past one year is over 110 per cent.
The Trade Unions Confederation of Turkey (Türk-Is),
considering ridiculous the wage increase proposed by the government,
refused to take part in the deliberations of the Minimum Wage
Commission. So, the new minimum wage was adopted by the representatives
of the government and the employers in the absence of the trade union
A MASS LABOUR ACTION
Trade unions staged, on July 20, a one-day
countrywide "general action" to press for salary increases to cope with
the sky-rocketing inflation. The action was marked by staging
demonstrations in big cities, leaving work and stopping public
transport in many places.
This was the first giant common action carried out
by the Trade Unions Confederation of Turkey (Türk-Is), the Progressive
Trade Unions Confederation (DISK), Hak-Is Confederation and the Public
Workers Unions Platform, which have organized themselves under an
umbrella group called the Democracy Platform.
The trade unions accused the government of failing
to honour previous agreements to increase the wages of public sector
workers. They also demanded a halt to mass layoffs. Some 52,000 workers
have been laid off under the austerity package announced by Prime
Minister Ciller on April 5.
TRADE UNIONS COMPLAIN TO ILO
The Turkish Trade Unions Confederation (Türk-Is)
complained to the ILO about the anti-worker policies of the Turkish
In a speech to the ILO's Executive Board, Türk-Is
Chairman Bayram Meral said that Turkey is still being administrated by
the constitution and laws of the 12 September 1980 military coup and
that Turkey is consistently violating the agreements of ILO agreements.
"Limitations put on the collective bargaining and
strike rights of public workers are still continuing. Public employees
are faced with administrative obstacles, anti-union separatism and
various forms of oppression when they try to use their basic democratic
and union rights. It is stressing to observe that some unionists have
been detained, taken into custody or even sentenced to jail terms and
deprived of their basic union rights as a result or the anti-democratic
laws," Meral said.
Stressing that workers' problems in Turkey had been
increased by the stability programme [adopted on April 5], Meral said
that the trade unions had not been consulted when preparing the
austerity package and that only the demands and interests of the IMF
and employers had been taken into account.
"The austerity package is anti-democratic and it
tried to put the burden of the crisis on the shoulders of the workers,"
NATIONAL INCOME PER CAPITA: $1,980
Turkey's annual per capita income, calculated at
$1,980, ranked 50th in the world in 1992, according to World Bank
report, while Switzerland topped with $36,080. Japan and Sweden ranked
second and third with respective per capita income figures of $28,190
Meanwhile, the World Bank data shows that Turkey's
per capita income calculated on a purchasing power parity basis was
$5,170 in 1992, ranking 49th in the world, as the USA topped with
$23,120. Switzerland and Germany ranked second and third with
respective PPP per capita income figures of $22,100 and $20,610.
In another ranking, Turkey was put into 26th place
in terms of the size of the gross national product (GNP), which
amounted to $115,8 billion in 1992. Turkey's PPP-GNP was $302.5 billion
and ranked 19th.
FOREIGN DEBTS REACH $67.3 BILLION
Turkey's foreign debt stock went up to $67.3 billion
at the end of last year and its ratio to Gross National Product
increased to 40.6 per cent, the official Anatolia news agency reported
on July 15.
In all, 72.5 per cent of the total foreign debt
stock is made up of middle and long-term and the remaining portion, of
According to Treasury data, the ratio of total
foreign debt stock to GNP, which showed an upward trend between the
years 1988 and 1991, continued to increase to 36.2 per cent in 1992 and
40.6 per cent in 1993.
THE NEW RULES ON THE STRAITS
The new rules as regards ships passing through the
Straits, put in force on July 1, 1994, by the Turkish Government, have
led to a series of protests from the countries using this waterway.
The passage through the Straits had been regulated
in 1936 by the Montreux Convention. However, the volume of shipping
using the Straits has vastly expanded since 1936. Turkish maritime
officials say about 60 per cent of the 45,000 ships now passing through
every year carry natural gas, chemicals, oil or oil derivatives, or
even nuclear waste.
After the collision of two vessels flying Greek
Cypriot flags, one of which was carrying oil from Russia, the Turkish
Government decreed that vessels carrying hazardous materials must
declare their intention to pass the Straits 24 hours in advance. If
necessary, other traffic may be halted while they go through.
Ankara also "strongly urges" them take pilots on board, although,
according to the Montreux Convention, this cannot be made obligatory.
Two of Turkey's neighbours, Russia and Greece have
criticised the new regulations, claiming they are against international
law and the 1936 Montreux Convention. Other countries — Ukraine,
Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Oman — have also objected to the rules
unveiled by Turkey in a meeting of the International Maritime
Organization meeting held a month ago.