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


20th Year - N°223
November-December 1995
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



    1991    1995    Difference

Electorate    29,978,837    34,155,981    +4,177,144
Participants    25,157,089    29,101,469    +3,944,380
Rate of Participation    83.92%    85.20%    +1.28%

VALID VOTES    24,416,526    28,126,993    +3,710,467

DYP    6,600,644 (27.03%)    5,396,009 (19.18%)    -1,204,635 (-7,85%)
ANAP    5,862,639 (24.01%)    5,527,288 (19.65%)    - 335,351 (-4,36%)
RP    4,121,292 (16.88%)    6,012,450 (21.38%)    +1,891,158 (+4,50%)
MHP    -    2,301,343 ( 8.18%)    +2,301,343 (+8,18%)
YDH    -    133,889 (0.48%)    +133,889 (0,48%)
MP (former IDP)    -    127,630 (0.45%)    +127,630 (0,45%)
YDP    -    95,484 (0.34%)    +95,484 (0.34%)
YP    -    36,853 (0.13%)    +36,853 (0.13%)

TOTAL RIGHT    16,584,575 (67.92%)    19,630,946 (69.79%)    +3,046,371 (+1.87%)   

CHP (former SHP)    5,066,546 (20.75%)    3,011,076 (10.71%)    -2,055,470 (-10.04%)
DSP    2,624,310 (10.75%)    4,118,025 (14.64%)    +1,493,715 (+3,89%)
IP (former SP)    108,374 (0.44%)    61,428 (0.22%)    -46,946 (-0.22%)
HADEP    -    1,171,623 (4.17%)    +1,171,623 (+4.17%)

TOTAL LEFT    7,799,230 (31.94%)    8,362,152 (29.74%)    +562,922 (-2.20%)

INDEPENDENTS    32,721 (0.14%)    133,895 (0.47%)    +101,174 (+0,33%)


    1991    1995    Difference

TOTAL SEATS    450    550    +100

DYP    178 (39.55%%)    135 (24.54%)    -43 (-15.01%)
ANAP    115 (25.55%)    132 (24,00%)    +17 (-1.55%)
RP    62 (13.78)    158 (28.73%)    +96 (+14.95%)

TOTAL RIGHT    355 (78.88%)    425 (77,27%)    +70 (-1.61%)

SHP    88 (19.56%)    49 (8.91%)    -39 (-10.65%)
DSP    7 (1.56%)    76 (13.82%)    +69 (+12.26%)

TOTAL LEFT    95 (21.12%)    125 (22.73%)    +30 (+1.61%)

    The December 24 elections, contradicting the claim of Ciller and her Western supporters that the ratification of the Customs Union was the last chance to stop the fundamentalist rise in Turkey, made the Welfare Party (RP) of Necmeddin Erbakan with 21.38% the most representative political force of the country. In a 550-seat National Assembly, the RP is now represented by 158 deputies.
    Together with the votes of two other Turco-Islamist parties, 8.18% of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and 0.45% of the Nation Party (MP), the percentage of the extreme right in Turkey climbed at these elections to 30 percent. Considering the fact that RP, MHP and MP together obtained 16.9 percent of the votes when they entered the 1991 elections with a joint list, this result of elections shows that the extreme right in Turkey has two folded its strength during the last 4-year period of DP-CHP coalitions.
    The principal losers of these elections are no doubt the two coalition partners, the Correct Way Party (DYP) and the Republican People's Party (CHP). The percentage of Ciller's party DYP fell from 27.03% in 1991 to 19.18% at these elections, and Deniz Baykal's CHP from 20.75% to 10.71%. The total percentage of the two partners rest at 29.89% while it was 46.21% in 1991.
    So they paid the invoice of their catastrophic economic policies marked mainly by high inflation, unemployment and foreign debts as well as the never-ending State terrorism. The irregularities and doubtful wealth of Ciller's family were one of the main factors of this spectacular denial by the impoverishing population.
    As an important part of their disappointed electorate was voting for the extreme right parties, mainly for the RP and the MHP, some of them preferred to vote for Bülent Ecevit's Democratic Left Party (DSP). So the percentage of the DSP climbed from 10.75% in 1991 to 14.64 in 1995.
    As for the main opposition Motherland Party (ANAP) of Mesut Yilmaz, contrary to all expectations, it failed to come out as the first party. Unable to give the image of a consistent "liberal and democratic" party, the ANAP's percentage, instead of increasing, fell from 24.01% in 1991 to 19.65% in 1995.
    Three other new minor centre-right parties, the New Party (YP), the New Democracy Movement (YDH) and the Rebirth Party (YDP), too failed to obtain popular support, the total of their votes remained under 1%.
    It was also the case for the Workers' Party (IP). Its votes fell from 0.44% in 1991 to 0.22% in 1995.
    The real surprise of these elections was the spectacular results obtained by the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), founded as the successor of the forbidden Democracy Party (DEP).
    In spite of all repressive practices it underwent such as arrests, raids on meetings, assassinations, the HADEP had a real success in southeastern Kurdish provinces of the country. HADEP's percentage reached 54.35% in Hakkari, 46.47% in Diyarbakir, 37.40% in Batman, 27.77% in Van, 26.68% in Siirt, 25.86% in Sirnak, 22.01% in Mardin, 21.70% in Igdir, 18.04% in Agri, 17% in Tunceli, 16.77% in Mus and 13.61% in Sanliurfa.
    In many of these provinces, the combined vote of two or three of the major parties was less than that of HADEP. However, 24 HADEP candidates elected by the people could not enter the Parliament because of the national 10 percent threshold.
    For example, in Diyarbakir, the electoral district of Mrs. Leyla Zana, former Kurdish deputy in prison, the HADEP has not any deputy though it obtained 46.47% of the votes. On the contrary, in this province, Ciller's DYP obtained two seats with 10.78%, the ANAP 3 seats with 13.79% and the RP 5 seats with 18.04%.
    After the expulsion and arrest of DEP deputies in the past legislative period, this obstruction has been a new blow to the choice of the Kurdish population.
    In fact, not only the injustice as regards the HADEP, but the way of organizing hastily the early elections by adopting an anti-democratic electoral law has already cast a shade on the legitimacy of these elections. Besides, the presence of the emergency law in Kurdish provinces, the deprivation of migrants abroad of the possibility to vote in their host countries and the lack of time for the opposition parties such as HADEP in preparing themselves to elections and in organizing their electoral campaign have prevented the electorate from making a well-elaborated choice. The high number of abstention, 5,156,094 out of 24 million, despite the fact that the voting is obligatory on pain of indictment is the proof of that.
    Moreover, 988,265 citizens manifested their protest by casting invalid votes.
    Of those who cast a valid vote, 3,866,822 are not represented in Parliament by the candidates for whom they voted, because they are replaced by other the candidates of bigger parties because of the national 10 percent threshold.
    In brief, 10,203,353 electors out of 34 million, about one thirds, have no their representatives in the new parliament.
    In spite of all these unjust practices and the support of the Western powers, the coalition parties DYP and CHP were doomed to an unprecedented defeat.
    Despite this downfall, Ciller has not given up the dream of governing the country as Prime Minister. Claiming that a government headed by the Islamists may lead Turkey to a catastrophe, she launched a new campaign to form a new coalition with the ANAP and one of the two center-left parties, CHP or DSP.
    It is a new proof of Ciller's hypocrisy.
    The real reason of the RP's rising is not only a wish of returning to the religious values, ignored  by the Kemalist governments since the beginning of the Republic. As explained above, the popular strata impoverished by Ciller's catastrophic economic policies, had to vote, with the exception of Kurdish provinces, for the extreme-right parties such as RP and MHP, in the absence of a real alternative to solve their problems. It is Ciller herself and her social-democrat partners are the main responsibles of the situation alarming the Western world.
    Besides, it is not only the RP which exploits the religious sentiments of the people.
    Since the beginning of her rule, Ciller has given all concessions to fundamentalist circles. It is very significant that during her 2.5-year rule, Ciller opened 71 secondary level religious schools in the country. Furthermore, the graduates of these schools have been allowed to enter State posts having no relation with religious functions.
    The coalition of DYP and CHP always had very close relations with another Turco-Islamic party, MHP, and got its support during parliamentary works for passing many repressive laws. Last months, Ciller attempted to enter elections with a joint electoral list gathering DYP and MHP leaders, but failed at last moment because of a dispute on sharing the ranks in the lists. However, after this last defeat, her collaborators are talking of leading Turkey to a new early election during which the DYP will not repeat the "error" of losing the MHP partnership. So she hopes to obtain about 30 percent of the votes and to share the future government with this neo-fascist party.
    Besides, it is Ciller herself and her partner Baykal that did not hesitate to make a collaboration with the RP during the enactment of the new Electoral Code. Thanks to this law that the RP obtained, to the detriment of smaller parties, a number of deputies higher than that it really deserves.
    What is the worst, among the new elected deputies, more than a hundred are the active members of different religious orders and brotherhoods. These Islamist deputies belong not only to the RP, but also to the two centre-right parties, DYP and ANAP, which claim to defend the secular State against Islamist RP.
    Among the DYP deputies, there are two figures from the Naksibendi order, eleven from the Nurcu order, one from Kadiri orders. Three DYP deputies are known as the godfathers of some religious communities.
    Famous State Minister, Ayvaz Gökdemir, whom Ciller kept in her government until the elections despite the fact that he insulted as "prostitutes" the chairwomen of the three political groups of the European Parliament, is known as the representative of the Rifai order in the Parliament!
    Whatsoever be the outcome of the new coalition bargainings in the New Year, either a government headed by the RP or another government formed by DYP and ANAP with the participation or external support of a centre-left party or a new early election, the Extreme Right will be a determining factor in shaping the future of Turkey.


    To the European Parliament's appeal for the Turkish government and the Kurdish representatives to find a "non-violent and political solution" to the conflict, first positive response came from the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK).
    During a Kurdish MED-TV programme on December 14, PKK Chairman Abdullah Öcalan said: "We respect the decision taken by the European Parliament yesterday concerning the finding of a political solution with the PKK and other concerned bodies. To help put this decision into effect and fulfil our responsibilities we have also decided to bring about an end to the long conflict between the Kurdish parties in south Kurdistan and declare a unilateral cease-fire and halt our military actions in Turkey.
    "If the Turkish army does not attempt to destroy us, we will not undertake military operation in Kurdistan or Turkey. If the Turkish forces attempt to destroy us, we will defend ourselves and also broaden our use of the right of retaliation.
    "If I am a 'terrorist', or the PKK is 'terrorist', there are other Kurdish circles which are not. If they won't talk to us let them talk with those Kurds who have nothing to do with 'terror'. What about meeting with these Kurdish circles? Are they terrorists too?
    "Turkey has now joined the Customs Union. Therefore the European Parliament is bound to take responsibility for the resolutions it has passed. If the European Parliament does not want war and is sincere on the question of a political solution, it should take steps along the lines of its resolution. It should make its financial aid dependent on democratisation. If it cannot do this, it must realise that every penny will be spent on the dirty war."
    On this call, the chairwoman of the Socialist Group of the European Parliament, Pauline Green  welcomed the unilateral cease-fire by the PKK.
    In a press release on December 15, Green called on the Turkish Government to take reciprocal measures to build up "a momentum for peace."
    "I am delighted that the PKK has listened to our call and decided to walk the extra mile for peace.  The Turkish Government now has the opportunity to exercise leadership and to meet the challenge presented in the South East of Turkey. Appropriate measures could include a lifting of the state of emergency and a gesture of goodwill to the Kurdish people such as the release of Kurdish MPs, including Leyla Zana."
    However, the Turkish Government has categorically refused the EP's proposal. After having celebrated the ratification of the Customs Union, Ankara restarted its attacks to the EP. On December 27, Foreign Ministry Spokesman  Omer Akbel accused the European Parliament of adopting  double standards on the question of terrorism, treating Spain's  ETA and Turkey's PKK differently.


    The European Parliament, ignoring its preliminary conditions as regards "democratization" and taking no heed of last minute warnings from international human rights organizations, legitimated the repressive Ankara regime within the European Union with the ratification of the Customs Union on December 13, 1995.
    The European Parliament's vote, 343 to 149, with 36 abstentions, also enabled Turkey to obtain ECU 375 million ($300 million) from the European Union for financial cooperation assistance during a five-year term.
    Many members of the assembly who advocated the refusal or the postponement of the Customs Union changed their stand at the last moment by capitulating to Premier Ciller's blackmail claiming that the Islamist Welfare Party (RP) would come out as the first political force of the country if the accord was not ratified by the European Parliament.
    Prior to the vote, for weeks, a number of Turkish ministers, diplomats and businessmen filled the Parliament buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg to carry out lobby activities for obtaining the ratification of the Customs Union. They went so far that, during an earlier meeting in Strasbourg, a sumptuous feast was offered by Turkish businessmen to the members of European Parliament.
    Besides, the leaders of the Western super powers, giving priority to their economic and strategic interests instead of the respect to human rights, did their best to influence the political groups of the European Parliament for increasing Ciller's electoral chance by the ratification of the accord.
    To the grand astonishment of observers, the US Ambassador in Brussels visited one after other the presidents of political groups in European Parliament and asked them to support the Ankara regime.
    Israeli Ambassador to Turkey, Zvi Elpeleg told Turkish journalists on December 17 in Ankara that Israel, a country enjoying close relations with the European Union (EU), had extended support to Turkey by engaging in lobbying activities in favour of the Turkey-EU customs union prior to the European Parliament voting. Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres sent letters to EP group chairmen, and Ambassador Elpeleg worked in coordination with the embassies of EU member-countries in Turkey.
    However, the results of the 24th December elections showed once again that all these efforts could not prevent the RP from being the first political party of the country and the DYP and the CHP from undergoing the worst electoral results of their history.
    By considering sufficient some cosmetic changes to Article 8, the European Parliament has turned into an accomplice of the shameful violations of human rights in the south-eastern flank of Europe with its prisons full of political detainees.
    Although the decision of the plenary assembly was followed by a much-debated resolution on human rights, the members of European Parliament know very well that none of the similar resolutions adopted in the past have never been taken serious by the Ankara regime.
    In this resolution on human rights, the Parliament called on Turkey to continue with democratic reforms, do all it can for a political solution to the Southeast problem and end its "occupation of Cyprus." The EP also called on the European Commission to prepare a report on the evolution of these matters to be submitted to them "at least once a month,"
    However, the human rights resolution, which is not binding, did not irritate Turkish officials who said that the version adopted was "much more moderate" than the original form.
    After the vote, the Ankara regime hailed the EP decision as a triumph of Turkish diplomacy over "Turkey's enemies." Prime Minister Ciller ordered to organize celebration demonstrations throughout Turkey in a view to exploit this decision for her electoral campaign. Addressing students at Ankara's Bilkent University on December 15, she claimed Turkey would be a full member of the European Union in three years' time.
    Whatsoever be the reasons of the "yes" by the European Parliament, the explanatory statement by Spanish MEP Carlos Carnero Gonzales, the rapporteur of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, remains as an undeniable document putting in evidence the real face of a repressive regime embraced by the European Union.


    1. The new political, economic and strategic framework in the regions of the Middle East and the Caucasus means that it is vital for Europe to step up its links with Turkey, particularly in view of the end of the Cold War and the implementation of the new Euro-Mediterranean policy. Turkey rapidly took on a greater role in the international community in the 1990s - examples of this are Ankara's role in the Gulf War and the fact that its territory acts as a 'buffer zone' between Europe and Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Caucasus. Today Turkey is required to play a major role at regional level and in the south-eastern Mediterranean, particularly in view of the attention focused in recent years on the Middle East and its uncertain peace processes, and the outbreak of war in the Balkans. It is in this context that Turkey is seeking to redefine its system of international relations, especially with Europe and Central Asia, in order to achieve a suitable geopolitical order.
    It is precisely because of the potential offered by EU-Turkey relations that, in recent months, the European Parliament has stressed the need for irreversible signs of greater democracy in the Turkish political system. Customs Union 'anchors' a country structurally to Europe and must therefore be extended to countries in which the rule of law and the free exercise of fundamental civil, political, cultural, social and economic rights are fully respected. Europe's appeals to Turkey must be seen in this context - they are indications of the types of reforms needed for high-quality, sustainable relations between the EU and Turkey, as desired by all parties. Europe and the European Parliament hope that Turkey will be an integral part of the continent's political and economic system, for obvious reasons, but they cannot allow human rights violations, military policies aimed at denying the existence of the Kurds or de facto situations contrary to international law to prevail in a country with which they are seeking to establish preferential relations in all sectors.
    The Customs Union is an irreversible step towards anchoring Turkey to Europe and it has a political significance for that country which far exceeds its actual commercial and economic content. The Customs Union was provided for in the 1963 EEC-Turkey Association Agreement, and the Additional Protocol (which entered into force in 1973) laid down the timetable for its entry into force, involving a transitional period of 22 years. The 36th session of the EC-Turkey Association Council, held on 6 March 1995, put the finishing touches to the Customs Union which is due to enter into force on 1 January 1996, and the 37th session of the EC-Turkey Council, held on 30 October 1995, confirmed that all the technical conditions had been fulfilled for the customs union.
    The European Parliament has never opposed the principle of the Customs Union. As the European Union's democratic body, it has stressed that the Turkish political system must develop in such a way as to allow for the normalization of relations between the parties. To this end, Parliament has dwelt in its resolutions on a series of issues on which it considers that progress must be made if we are to develop further relations of any kind, including economic relations, with Turkey. These issues are as follows:


    Turkey's current constitution was drawn up in 1982 by the leaders of the military coup who seized power in Ankara on 12 September 1980. It is a text in which the exercise of political, civil and social freedoms is sacrificed to the protection and supremacy of the state, and contains a sophisticated system for restricting the rights of citizens which, as far as ordinary legislation is concerned, has led to mechanisms for political and police repression which are incompatible with a constitutional state. In January 1995 the necessary number of signatures was collected to submit to the Turkish Grand National Assembly a 'democracy package' of 21 amendments to the military constitution which were supported by the main political movements and were aimed at abolishing a series of restrictions so that civilian society could play a greater role in Turkey's institutional and political life. Of the 16 amendments approved on 23 July 1995, which were described in detail in PE 211.399 (drawn up by the Directorate General for Research), it should be pointed out that not one explicitly involves provisions for promoting and protecting individual rights and freedoms or guarantees for safeguarding human rights. Indeed, the amendments often amount to institutional adjustments (on the number of MPs, convening Parliament, lowering voting age or lowering the age at which a person may join political parties, etc.) or marginal reforms. This does not mean that certain important amendments have not been made, such as the amendment to the Preamble, which no longer confers political legitimacy on the coup d'etat, the amendment which extends to trade unions and associations the right to participate in politics or the amendment on collective bargaining.
    The adoption of these constitutional reforms can be considered a positive step in Turkish democratic life. It should be pointed out that this is the first time that a Turkish parliament composed of civilians has amended a constitution imposed by the military. It confers a highly symbolic value on the role of political forces in Turkey, and it is significant that only the Refah Party voted against the reforms which were finally adopted by 360 votes to 32. However, it should also be pointed out that a large number of the proposed amendments were subject to political horse trading, in the course of which they were substantially altered. Reforms aimed at calling the military leaders of the coup to account or at guaranteeing all state officials of whatever rank or grade full trade union rights fell victim to the power struggles between the political parties in the Turkish parliament. Lastly, it should be noted that there are other articles in the Turkish Constitution providing for restrictions on individual rights which were not even mentioned in the debate and were not the subject of any discussion.
    There is no doubt that the constitutional reforms are more important for the political and institutional impetus they have provided than for their actual substance - this being insufficient for the purpose of promoting higher democratic standards. Amending the Constitution to take account of the guidelines set out by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe does not mean adopting just any constitutional reform, as testified by the existence of other articles which could have been amended but which were not and by the defeat of amendments which would have been highly significant at political level. It is to be hoped that this reform is just the first step towards other more radical reforms and that the parties which supported the amendments adopted on 23 July 1995 will now harmonize various ordinary laws in line with the new constitutional principles, thereby responding to international criticism by taking specific measures. The greater freedoms contained in the new Constitution must now be reflected in greater freedom of expression and information, greater freedom to participate in the democratic process and greater freedom to express constructive criticism at all levels of the law.


    On 7 June 1990 the People's Labour Party (HEP) was founded in Turkey, and an electoral alliance with the Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) led to some members of Kurdish origin, who are deeply committed to the defence of Kurdish political identity, being elected members of the Grand National Assembly in October 1991. Their political activities, which were openly aimed at defending the rights of the Kurdish people, led to considerable tension in the Turkish parliament. On 14 August 1993 the Constitutional court ordered that the HEP be disbanded. This led the members affected by this decision to form, first of all, the Freedom and Democracy Party (ÖZDEP) (which was disbanded by the Constitutional Court on 23 November 1993) and, subsequently, the Democracy Party (DEP) (which was dissolved by the Constitutional Court on 16 June 1994). In an overtly political act, and at the request of the Public Prosecutor of Ankara, the parliamentary immunity of six members of the DEP was waived on 2 March 1994 - the members being Hatip Dicle, the chairman of the DEP, Ahmet Turk, Leyla Zana, Orhan Dogan, Sirri Sakik and Mahmut Alliance. The following day, the parliamentary immunity of Salim Sadak and Hasan Mezarci was also waived. The European Parliament has a report drawn up by Mr Marc Galle on 15 March 1994 (PE 207.032) outlining the whole affair concerning the DEP MPs, which gives full details of the arrest of the Turkish MPs of Kurdish origin; we would simply like to point out here that the report rightly stresses that 'there is no doubt that the immunity of these eight members of parliament was waived mainly for political reasons. No attempt was made to conceal this by those chiefly responsible, particularly Mrs Tansu Ciller, the Prime Minister, since it was her party, the DYP (the True Path Party), that, together with ANAP (the Motherland Party), took steps to place at the top of the Assembly's agenda the proposals of the joint committee on the constitution and justice for the waiver of immunity' of the DEP members. On 8 December 1994, in a farcical trial condemned by the international community, which drew protests from the public throughout the world and which was attended by many MEPs, Mrs Zana, Mr Dogan, Mr Dicle, Mr Sadak and Mr Turk were sentenced to 15 years in prison for supporting an armed group; Mr Sedat Yurttas, MP, was sentenced to seven and a half years while Sirri Sakik and Mahmut Alniak were sentenced to three and a half years for separatist propaganda on the basis of Article 8 of the anti-terrorist law.
    During my visit to Ankara, I was able to convey to the imprisoned MPs the European Parliament's support, as expressed in various resolutions, and to tell them that the EP Assembly in Strasbourg had repeatedly condemned the whole trial mounted against them - a trial that was certainly incompatible with the aims of a state aspiring to democracy, that was notable for the absence of guarantees for the defence and in which the persecution of the representatives of the people by the organs of the state police was made very manifest. The Turkish authorities should not be surprised at the indignation aroused internationally, and in Europe in particular, at the arrest and sentencing of the MPs; it is indeed totally unacceptable that our colleagues, in whatever part of the world, should be prevented from carrying out their political activities. These should, if necessary, be the subject of a political- debate that is natural to a democratic system. A democracy and a constitutional state are not defined by the imposition of the political positions of the majority but by respect for minorities and the expression of their views, in a system of mutual respect within republican legality which must guarantee a peaceful debate between all parties.
    On 26 October 1995, the Turkish Supreme Court, the highest judiciary authority in the country, issued a judgement confirming in its entirety the 15-year prison sentence imposed on Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak and Orhan Dogan for 'setting up and being members of an armed group', while the sentences imposed on two MPs - Ahmet Turk and Sedat Yurttas - were quashed and the two were released. It should also be borne in mind that the Supreme Court considered reviewing the trial of two other MPs of Kurdish origin, Sirri Sakik and Mahmut Alniak, based on Article 8 of the anti-terrorist law, although the two men have already been released after serving two-thirds of their sentence.
    I am bitterly disappointed at the decision of the Turkish Supreme Court, which was based more on political than judicial criteria, and believe that the Community must reiterate its unanimous wish to see the remaining four MPs released.
    The Court's judgement opens up the supranational aspects of this issue - it should be pointed out that four appeals submitted by the four imprisoned MPs are pending before the European Court of Human Rights, whose jurisdiction in the matter of individual appeals has been recognized by Turkey since 22 January 1990. Moreover, the lawyers acting for the DEP MPs have announced that they are to appeal to the European Commission of Human Rights, whose jurisdiction has been recognized by Turkey since 28 January 1987. In a statement to the press on 26 October 1995, the Turkish Government announced that Turkey recognized the jurisdiction of these two European bodies and would therefore comply with the judgement delivered. I have confidence in the European judicial bodies on human rights and hope that the two judiciaries will deliver their opinion on the case without delay. At the same time, however, we must bear in mind the warnings of many Turkish journalists who have condemned the 'half-measures' designed to calm European fears rather than to bring about a decisive improvement in the welfare of the Turkish people and transform Turkey into an irreversibly modern country.
    Lastly, I believe that other ways must be sought of securing the release of the four MPs still in prison, particularly the possibility of a presidential pardon as provided for in the Turkish legal codes or the granting of an amnesty.


    The 'anti-terrorist law' (No 3713), hereinafter referred to as the ATL, was adopted on 12 April 1991 in order to combat those organizations which 'intend to alter the nature of the Republic as defined in the Constitution'. Article 8 in particular was to arouse international criticism in that it was used to repress forms of political dissent targeted at the integrity of the state. Although the reasoning behind the law was to confer legitimate instruments on the Turkish state to defend itself from any terrorist and subversive attempts to change the nature of the state and its unity, it must be said that the wording of Article 8 of the ATL and, in particular, its implementation have introduced repressive, intimidatory and essentially anti-democratic practices into Turkish society by the State Security Courts.
    Obviously, no one is challenging the Turkish Government's right to use legal instruments to maintain its territorial integrity; what is being called into question is the large-scale repression of any form of dissent, which often has nothing to do with the question of territorial integrity. Combating separatism is often used as a pretext for curbing any criticism of the state and its methods of resolving the 'Kurdish question'; the process has been exacerbated by the concept of the 'integrity of the state' which, as interpreted by the
Turkish State Security Courts, has put hundreds of journalists, intellectuals and human rights activists in prison. Article 8 particularly curtails the exercise of the right to freedom of information and freedom of expression. It has led to a series of arrests, abuses of power, the closure of daily newspapers, violation of the right to a legal defence and arbitrary imprisonment. Those daily newspapers which speak more openly than others of government policy towards the areas in the south-east of the country are obvious targets.
    In response to the appeals of the European Parliament and the meetings I held in Turkey and Brussels with many Turkish political leaders, the Turkish parliament decided on Friday, 27 October 1995 by 189 votes to 83, with 2 abstentions, to reform the ATL. The main changes are: (a) the prison sentence for 'separatist propaganda' has been reduced from between 2 and 5 years to between 1 and 3 years; (b) the prison sentence may be converted into a fine of between 100 and 300 million Turkish lira, at the total discretion of the judge; (c) the notion of 'intentionally' has been introduced; (d) the 'explanatory memorandum' makes it incumbent on judges to implement the new law in the light of the European Convention on Human Rights; (e) all the trials conducted hitherto on the basis of Article 8 must be reviewed, which, it is hoped, will lead to the release of many people.
    At the same time, however: (1) the charge of 'propaganda aimed at destroying the indivisible integrity of the state', with all the ambiguity this entails, remains part of the dubious case-law applied by the State Security Courts; (2) owners of newspapers containing 'separatist propaganda' are still liable to fines and imprisonment; (3) paradoxically, the new law 'modernizes' repression by imposing fines and imprisonment also on owners of television and radio stations broadcasting 'propaganda'.
    In short, although the sentence has been reduced, expressing one's opinion in certain matters remains a crime, even though it had been hoped that this would be revoked. Indeed, if the application of Article 8 by the State Security Courts does not change, and if the government does not provide specific assurances in this regard, there is a danger that the proposed reform will not result in the political liberality and democracy that is being called for in many quarters. This feeling is echoed by various leaders of Turkish and international associations concerned with the defence of human rights, who have denounced the 'cosmetic changes' to Article 8 which neither affect the nature of the crimes nor abolish the crime of expressing political opinions, which is indeed reinforced.
    I am also concerned still at the existence of many other laws whose substance is very similar to the anti-terrorist law, and which are often unknown. It must not be imagined that simply abolishing Article 8 will lead to total freedom of expression in Turkey; a whole system of legislation based on the same principles must be reviewed, and the very existence of a division between 'civil justice' (administered by ordinary courts) and 'military-justice' (administered by the State Security Courts) speaks volumes. Your rapporteur therefore believes that, as a matter of principle, all military legislation should be abolished or reviewed as it is a source of abuse of power against the civil and political rights- of citizens which, as mentioned earlier, dates back to the 1982 Constitution.
    The human rights situation in Turkey continues to be a cause of concern to the international community, thanks to the extensive monitoring carried out by the main Turkish and international organizations aimed at defending human dignity. For the whole of 1994 and most of 1995, all these organizations have documented many cases of torture, extra-judicial executions and suspicious deaths in custody, the forced disappearance of dissidents, excessive use of force by the security forces and the imprisonment of journalists, intellectuals and human rights activists.
    Furthermore, as revealed in the 1995 US State Department report, the government rarely prosecutes members of the police or security forces for extra-judicial executions, torture and other human rights violations. When they do prosecute somebody, the sentences handed down are generally very light. The ensuing climate of impunity is the greatest obstacle to reducing the number of illegal executions, torture and other human rights violations. Impunity is indeed the greatest obstacle to improving the human rights situation in Turkey.
    When presenting their 1995 annual reports, the Turkish Human Rights Association and the Turkish Human Rights Foundation, whose activities are often financed by the Union in view of the guarantees of reliability which they offer, confirmed that the situation had worsened in 1994, as borne out by information provided by Amnesty International.
    Amnesty claims that the atmosphere of impunity in which soldiers are authorized to act in the south-east of the country now extends to all police officers and members of the security forces throughout the country. In an attempt to disguise the scale of human rights violations in Turkey, the government is persecuting Turkish human rights activists, ordering the closure of the headquarters of Turkish associations aimed at safeguarding human dignity, and is taking measures to curtail the freedom of the opposition press. The report states that 'torture continues to be reported on a daily basis from many parts of Turkey - but particularly Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana and the south-east. Torture is practised mainly in police stations and gendarmeries (...)'.
    The 1995 Human Rights Watch World Report also states that the situation 'continued to deteriorate in 1994, in large part due to the government's heavy-handed response to an escalation of the conflict in south-eastern Turkey'. The report contains serious accusations, which have not been disproved: 'such death squads-style assassinations and suspicious disappearances have plagued Turkey in the past few years, especially in the south-east, increasing to new levels in 1994. Either the victim was killed by unidentified assailants with a single shot to the head, or he was detained by security forces, who then alleged that the individual detained earlier was released and was no longer in custody. Victims included suspected PKK sympathizers, HADEP and DEP organizers, journalists, especially of pro-Kurdish publications, and trade union activists. Sometimes the victim's body was discovered days later by the side of the road, or he simply disappeared. The assassins were suspected of having unofficial links with security forces. Often the police simply did not investigate the crime seriously'. Rumours of paramilitary or para-governmental 'death squads' cannot fail to be a source of concern for all those concerned with the safeguard of human rights.
    Your rapporteur is deeply concerned at the inertia displayed by the Turkish judiciary and its political leaders on the question of human rights, particularly in view of flagrant, well-documented and detailed cases of violations of human dignity which should be strongly combated in order to set an example. While it may be true, as the Commission maintains in its documents, that there is a 'latent predisposition of Turkish society to accept the use of physical force to obtain otherwise legitimate results', it cannot be accepted by any system calling itself democratic - that the army, the military, the state security forces and the secret services should be allowed total freedom of action, with no formal effective democratic supervision, in the name of the independence, the integrity or the greater good of the state.
    Unfortunately, some major international conventions already ratified by Ankara, such as the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and the European Convention on Human Rights, are still not being put into practice. Some action has been taken recently, such as the reform of the Criminal Procedure Law, the new provisions on the treatment of prisoners, the ban on using torture under any circumstances, the commuting of the death penalty into life imprisonment and the setting up of certain parliamentary or governmental bodies to monitor human rights. However, these are insufficient measures and should be backed up by a clear political will to prosecute the perpetrators of crimes against human dignity rather than supporting them.


    The Turkish Government's policy of forced assimilation of the population of Kurdish origin in the south-east of the country through military means, the radicalization of the PKK and its use of terrorist methods and the spread of poverty in the south-east of Turkey with the subsequent marginalization of young people are all amongst the main causes of what is now known as the 'Kurdish question' in Turkey. The European Parliament has long considered that the Kurdish problem cannot be resolved militarily, as the war is leading to large-scale human rights violations and preventing the creation of a political and social framework for the peaceful coexistence of Turks and Kurds.
    The war has had a devastating effect economically, militarily, socially and politically. It is estimated that at least 300 000 soldiers from the Turkish army are operating in the south-east provinces and that Ankara is spending over US$ 8 billion a year on the war. Turkey's foreign debt (totalling at least $ 67 billion) is increasing all the time because of the vast military spending. Ten years on, Turkish military sources speak of at least 9 982 people killed in anti-Kurdish military activities, including 2197 Turkish soldiers, 4757 PKK militia and 3028 civilians, with 3188 people being seriously wounded. Kurdish sources speak of at least 34 000 killed, including at least 5000 civilians. To these figures must be added the 1 400 villages bombed or burnt down by the army and around 3 million evacuees. Independent reports speak of government policies based on the forced deportation of people from villages in the south-east, large-scale bombings and burnings of entire villages and a food embargo against over one hundred villages. These measures have often been condemned, inter alia by leading figures in the Turkish parliament and in Turkish political life.
    The fact is that flagrant human rights violations have been committed by all parties in the south-east of the country in the name of a cause which can never be solved by weapons. The essence of the Kurdish question cannot be ignored, in that the Kurdish people have an awareness of their collective identity. And as a harmonious entity of peoples which are friendly to Turkey and interested in stronger relations with Ankara, Europe, with its historical experience, proves that peaceful coexistence of different specific groups while maintaining the integrity of the various states is possible provided dialogue and negotiation prevail. Dialogue and mutual respect must be restored and must prevail over respective types of extremism because it is possible everywhere, even in Turkey, to restore a tolerant community which allows for the expression of differing views in a unitary state.
    The armed struggle must therefore be abandoned in Turkey and in the south-east of the country, and other ways must be found to establish the conditions for democratic, peaceful coexistence. Such coexistence is crucial for Turks and Kurds, and the accepted wisdom of civil society confirms that it is possible in daily practice without insurmountable difficulties. In this context, political debate in Turkey on the 'Kurdish question' and the role of a genuinely independent press are of fundamental importance - both of which have been hampered by the existence of intimidatory laws and practices in respect of any kind of information relating to the Kurds. As always, combating one set of propaganda produces another set of propaganda, simplifying the political positions of both sides, so that 'all Kurds' become 'PKK terrorists and separatists' even when they are not (as shown by a recent survey carried out by the Union of Turkish Chambers of Commerce (TOBB)), and 'all Turks want to exterminate' the Kurds even when all they want is an end to terrorism. Your rapporteur deplores this situation and believes that the end of military hostilities could create the political conditions for the peaceful coexistence of the Turkish and Kurdish communities in Turkey, in the context of respect for Turkey's territorial integrity as a state, as the majority of the population certainly wants.


    On 20 July 1974 Turkey intervened militarily in Cyprus. In November 1983 the self-styled 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' was declared in total defiance of international law and with no constitutional basis. UN Security Council Resolution 541/83 declared that this proclamation was illegal and called on the international community not to recognize the de facto situation created by the Turks.
    The Foreign Ministers meeting in European Political Cooperation have always followed the guidelines set by the United Nations, recognizing the government of the Republic of Cyprus as the only legitimate entity exercising jurisdiction over the whole territory of the island. In the meantime, they have always supported the diplomatic and political efforts to find a solution to the 'Cyprus problem' which has until now complicated relations between Turkey and the European Union. For an in-depth analysis of the Cyprus question and recent developments, see the Bertens report on Cyprus's application for membership of the European Union (A4-0156/95) adopted in Strasbourg in July 1995, which gives a very clear account of the European contribution and the progress of negotiations - which have been at a standstill for some time now ¬taking place under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. It should be pointed out that, in his report of 30 May 1994, the UN Secretary-General condemned the stalemate in the talks given that the 'lack of agreement was essentially due to a lack of political will on the part of the Turkish Cypriots'. On 19 July 1994 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 939/94 which stated that maintenance of the status quo in Cyprus was 'unacceptable' and further exacerbated by the decision of the illegal parliament of the northern sector of Cyprus to abandon the idea of a Federation as the basis for a peace settlement, in contrast with all the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. This decision appears to be a deliberate boycott of the diplomatic efforts of the United Nations.
    In accordance with the resolutions on this subject by the United Nations and the European Parliament, your rapporteur maintains that Turkey must respect all international decisions and implement the UN Security Council resolutions, thereby putting an end to the illegal occupation of Cyprus.


    I should now like very briefly to make a few general remarks on the overall situation relating to Turkey and the EC/Turkey Customs Union:
    2.1. The political situation in Turkey is extraordinarily complex, and may be described as a transitional phase. I believe that the stance taken by the EP so far is contributing - and can continue to contribute -to bringing about and speeding up this process of transition. I do not believe that the positions taken by the EP are giving or indeed can give encouragement either to the conservative forces or the fundamentalists, whose influence derives from political and socio-economic phenomena which are a feature of Turkish society;
    2.2. The existing political system in Turkey is in all respects a democracy which must be perfected, in which there is a distinct lack of essential mechanisms for the exercise of important fundamental freedoms. Setting up the Customs Union should help to ensure, in due course, that the process of transition which Turkey is currently undergoing will lead to the establishment of full democracy, which can then set about tackling the country's main problems. We in the EP are in a position to help the most dynamic sectors of Turkish society to further this process successfully, by facing up to those sectors most opposed to the process which, certainly, still occupy an important place in the political and institutional power structure;
    2.3. In the complex situation which prevails in Turkey, issues such as those raised by the EP in its resolutions and discussed by the rapporteur during his recent trip (on the one hand, constitutional reforms, release of the DEP MPs, the abolition or substantial amendment of Article 8 of the anti-terrorist law and the concomitant provisions of ordinary law and an end to human rights violations, and, on the other hand, a non-military solution to the Kurdish question and acceptance of the UN resolutions on Cyprus) have been clearly seen as a demand for the deepening, extension, improvement and normalization of democracy;
    2.4. Lastly, I believe that the EP should give its assent to the customs union with Turkey only if genuinely substantial and practical progress is made in the short term in the main areas discussed in this report, i.e. the widening and deepening of democracy and the exercise of fundamental freedoms, otherwise we would forfeit the opportunity now open to us to contribute to the development of democracy in Turkey - an objective which most Turkish citizens undoubtedly wish to achieve.
    2.5. Early elections are in any case due to be held shortly in Turkey. The European Parliament hopes that the new government and the new majority following the elections will undertake to promote further, radical political and institutional reforms in Turkey, to respond to the desire for greater democracy evinced by civil society. These elections will provide a further opportunity for the European Parliament to contribute to the consolidation of democracy in the Turkish political system.


The European Parliament,
    A. having given its assent on 13 December 1995 to a common position by the Community in the EC-Turkey Association Council on implementing the final phase of the Customs Union,
    B. whereas Turkey should respect the rules of international organizations it has joined and agreements it has signed, notably those of the UN, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the European Convention of Human Rights and the International Convention Against Torture,
    C. whereas the Heads of State of the EU Member States, when deciding upon the creation of the Union, confirmed their commitment to the principles of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law,
    D. convinced that the implementation of the final phase of the Customs Union constitutes a decisive step towards the development of Turkey's relationship with Europe; whereas therefore the European Union, its Member States and Turkey must ensure through dialogue that these shared values are being implemented ever more effectively,
    E. convinced that this relationship and dialogue will benefit both sides by strengthening Turkey as a secular democracy at the crossroads of Central Asia and the Middle East,
    F. whereas at the same time reports keep coming in which show that human rights violations are still being committed; whereas although certain improvements have been made, the situation of human rights and democracy in Turkey still leaves much to be desired,
    G. whereas recently the Turkish Government and Grand National Assembly started bringing about positive changes in constitutional and other laws regarding human rights and fundamental freedoms,
    H. whereas terrorist actions by the PKK are still continuing, especially but not only, in the south-eastern region of Turkey,
    I. whereas in that same region the Turkish Government continues to take repressive military measures, such as the evacuation of Kurdish villages,
    J. whereas no concrete steps have been taken to solve the conflict in Cyprus and to end the Turkish occupation of part of this country,
    1. Calls upon the European Union, its Member States and Turkey to give their full backing to a continuous and broad dialogue to promote respect for human rights and freedoms and calls on the Turkish Government and the Grand National Assembly to continue the necessary process of reform of the Constitution and the criminal laws in order to guarantee an ongoing improvement of the human rights situation and democratic reform in Turkey;
2. Calls upon the European Union, its Member States and Turkey to use every available mechanism to translate this dialogue into practice, including the Association Council and the Joint Parliamentary Committee and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership agreed at the Conference in Barcelona;
    3. Appeals to the Turkish Government, the PKK and other Kurdish organizations to do all in their power to find a non-violent and political solution to the Kurdish issue, calls upon the PKK to refrain from violence and calls upon the Turkish Government and Grand National Assembly to lift the curfew operating in the south-eastern region and to consider ways and means of allowing citizens of Kurdish origin to express their cultural identity while ensuring that the territorial unity of Turkey is guaranteed and respected;
    4. Calls upon the Turkish Government and Grand National Assembly to review the case of the four members of the Grand National Assembly and others still in prison by considering a new amnesty bill;
    5. Calls on the Council, the Commission, the United Nations and the Cyprus Government to do all in their power to bring the partition of Cyprus to an end and urges the Turkish Government to undertake concrete steps in that direction by implementing the UN Security Council Resolution on this issue;
    6. Calls on the Commission and the Council to monitor permanently human rights and democratic development in Turkey and requests the Commission to present a report on the situation to the European Parliament at least once a year;
    7. Calls on the Turkish Government to be rigorous in applying the law against torture and maltreatment of prisoners; points out that torture is a particularly serious problem in police stations and calls on the Turkish Government not to shelter behind any Article of the International Convention Against Torture, which allows it to refuse the publication of reports on torture in Turkey;
    8. Will remain vigilant regarding developments in Turkey in order to react immediately if the Government of Turkey or the Grand National Assembly were to backtrack on moves towards strengthening democracy and guaranteeing full respect for human rights, principles which characterize Western European democracy to which Turkey aspires; reminds Turkey that its assent is to be considered as an encouragement to the Turkish Government's commitment to continue the process of democratization and improvement of the human rights situation;
    9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the Government and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the Government of Cyprus and the UN Secretary-General.


    Just two weeks after the ratification of Customs Union, Turkey came against the its commitment concerning Cyprus Problem in the accord.
    Ankara assured the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) at the highest level of its continuing and unwavering support, and promised Turkish Cypriots they will avail themselves "in the broadest manner possible" of the advantages to accrue from the customs union accord Ankara has concluded with the European Union.
    A joint declaration issued after a summit meeting in Ankara on December 28 between Turkish President Süleyman Demirel and TRNC President Rauf Denktas also spelled out that the Turkish side could consent to EU membership for a federal Cyprus only after Ankara's full membership in the Union and not before.
    Ankara also promised to match all the armament efforts by the Greek-Greek Cypriot alliance on the island, although it fell short of the "Defense Cooperation Agreement" being sought by the Turkish Cypriot side to counter a similar accord on the Greek side.
    A visibly joyous Denktas told reporters following the announcement of the Joint Declaration at a press conference after the Turkey-TRNC summit that this was "the best New Year's present they could have received." "Naturally, there were some concerned about where things were heading and what would happen. Now our people and the whole world will find the answer to these questions in this declaration," Denktas said.
    Demirel for his part told reporters at the joint press conference with Denktas that they would be some difficulties to shoulder as Turkey becomes a part of the customs union with the EU.
    "As Turkey tries to keep up with Europe so the TRNC will have to keep up with Turkey. This will result in the TRNC keeping up with Europe. Turkey will help the TRNC in shouldering the difficulties that will appear," Denktas said.
    Diplomatic analysts in Ankara said this declaration "would send the Greek side and its supporters in Europe reeling with anger." They added that the Turkish move appears "preemptive" given that there is much talk and activity about "Cyprus' EU membership" and Washington using the "Bosnia model for settling this dispute." "Clearly Ankara does not want to appear inactive at a time when there is so much speculation surrounding the Cyprus issue.


    Jailed Kurdish deputy Leyla Zana was awarded on November 9 the European Parliament's prestigious Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought.
    Mrs. Zana, 34, who is now serving a 15-year jail term in Turkey for defending the human rights of Kurdish people, was nominated for the prize by the Parliament's 217-strong Socialist Group.
    EP Socialist leader Pauline Green said after the decision: "The award recognizes the steadfastness of Leyla Zana, her courage and leadership in the face of heartless repression. Leyla Zana today takes her place in a roll of honour of Sakharov Prize winners who have included Nelson Mandela, Alexander Dubcek, Nobel laureate Aung San Quu Kyi and banned writer Teslima Nasreen."
    "The European Parliament has recognised the soundness of our battle and condemns the politicians who, for their personal interests and their groups or in the name of a fanatic and outdated nationalism, have led our country to the brink of social catastrophe and civil war,'' Leyla Zana said. Zana, 34, made the comment in a statement from her Ankara prison which was issued by the Paris-based International Committee for Jailed Kurdish Parliamentarians in Turkey.
    A Turkish foreign ministry official told Reuters, "This decision does no credit to the Sakharov prize. It is not a happy event from the point of view of human rights that a prize has been given to an individual whose links with a terrorist group have been proved by a court decision. We do not think the issue merits any more comment."


    The Parliamentary Assembly of the Western European Union (WEU) adopted on December 8 a report which proposes that Turkey's membership status in this organization should be upgraded from associate member to full member. The report  calls for an invitation to be issued to Turkey, along with Norway and Iceland, who also have associate member status at present, to sign Article 5 of the Brussels Agreement.
    Like NATO's Article 5, this article in the Brussels Agreement which governs the WEU, also foresees a "one for all and all for one" arrangement, but one which is more binding than its counterpart in NATO.
    Pointing out Turkey's vital strategic importance for Europe, the Report says that Ankara's inclusion in Article 5, along with Norway and Iceland, will also do away with some confusion presently experienced within the organization. The report also maintains that if Turkey is kept out of the WEU this could force Ankara to even question its place within the NATO.


    The finalization by Ankara of a credit agreement for the Birecik Dam on the Euphrates river has become a new trouble spot between Turkey and neighbour Arab countries.
    Birecik Dam, which has a reservoir capacity of 620 million cubic meters, will be able to produce between 1.7 and 2.5 billion kw/h, annually.
    Birecik Dam is an after-bay, or a regulation dam, that aims to regulate the flow of waters from the Atatürk Dam. Syria itself has an after-bay dam called Al-Baath Dam located just downstream of Tabqa Dam. Turkey claims that Birecik will regulate the fluctuation in the quantity of water for the purpose of providing a more regular supply of water to downstream countries.
    Syria, uneasy with the construction, has lobbied vis-a-vis various  Arab and Western states.
    First, the Arab League made a declaration to urge Turkey to reach a just agreement with Syria.
    On December 28, Egypt and six Gulf Arab states, six Gulf Arab states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman,  Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, sided with Syria in its water dispute with Turkey, urging Ankara to  sign a just agreement with Damascus on sharing the Euphrates' waters.
    Foreign ministers criticized Ankara for building  dams on the river without consulting with the other states through  which it flows -- Syria and Iraq. "The ministers call upon the Turkish government to stop allowing dirty  waters to flow to Syria and to reach a just and acceptable agreement  on the sharing of the Euphrates waters," the Statement added.
    The tensions between Turkey and Syria over the water question  were carried into the new year as Turkish Foreign Minister Deniz Baykal accused  Syria of wanting to wash the blood on their hands with more water.
    Baykal said that the PKK was supported by Syria and its leader,  Abdullah Öcalan, was allowed to reside in this country. He urged Syria to take up a new attitude in its relations  with Turkey.


    The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) has recently issued a new document entitled Turkey File: Torture and Impunity: What Reactions?
    The file is made up of two parts. The first part concerns systematic human rights violations in Turkey, in particular torture. It shows that an almost absolute impunity exists for the persons responsible of such violations, in particular of the persecutions against human rights defenders; this impunity is favoured by a whole set of various mechanisms.
    The second part of the file considers the official Turkish reactions to criticisms against violence, torture and impunity of torturers, as well as the reactions from the international community, in particular Europe. The expectations and attitudes of both sides appear through this synthesis.
    The report reads:
    "One must underline that when facing torture and other human rights violations, the Turkish authorities have to some extent attempted to provide better guarantees. A few examples: the internal document issued by the Prime Minister in March 1995, on a better monitoring of the methods used by the police, the establishment and the report of the High Consultative Council on Human Rights, a succession of seminars on human rights organised for police officers or also the introduction of human rights training at school.
    "But the way will still be long for attitudes to change and be in accordance with human rights and for mechanisms able to prevent methods presently resorted to be introduced, not to mention the eradication of such evils. Firm commitments in that direction must therefore be called upon. Indeed, in observing the current situation closely, one unfortunately concludes that the measures currently introduced by the Turkish authorities are much too feeble to bring about appreciable changes.
    "All these measures, as positive as they are, will indeed not be sufficient to eradicate the practice of torture in Turkey, unless a comprehensive group of consistent measures is introduced at the constitutional, legislative, structural and procedural levels, and in particular for fighting against impunity.
    "Torture indeed remains systematic during police custody. It also exists, more sporadically however in prisons, as well as inhuman and degrading treatment and serious medical problems. Political prisoners as well as common law detainees are victims of such treatments, though one notes that repression is less systematic against the later. And the impunity of the persons responsible for these violations of human rights is fed by a very strong repressive machinery (powers of the army and of the police, special forces, State security courts, etc.).
    "One call only conclude to a lack of firm commitment in the fight against torture and other human rights violations. Some Turkish leaders are happy with certain superficial changes without seeing the necessity of setting up really democratic institutions and procedures (for example when they do not react to the condemnation of Parliamentarians who peacefully used the right of freedom of expression), and considering these minor changes as sufficient for a full integration to Europe.
    "The present leading team does not seem to have the power to ensure that its supposed political will is followed through: for instance when the Security General Directorate refuses to collaborate with the High Consultative Council on Human Rights, who has a mandate directly from the Prime Minister, or when the Minister of State in charge of human rights is qualified as a 'traitor' by the Director of the Security of Istanbul (and that the latter still is in charge), or when a Minister of State insults some European deputies, there no visible response from the Government.
    "To that must be added a state of exception that has been going on for the last 17 years in the South-East region of Turkey. In addition to a 'super governor' with extraordinary powers the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as other fundamental guarantees, has been suspended in this region. This leads to the coexistence of one State and two legislations, or a State within the State.
    "This state of exception also coincides with a more systematic repression against the Kurdish population than for other less numerous minorities in Turkey (Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin represent one quarter of the population according to official statistics). The Turkish authorities deal with the 'Kurdish question' by confusing a minority which democratically claims constitutional rights, and the fraction of that minority which resorts to armed fighting. Thus the authorities justify the repression not only against this fraction but against the minority as a whole. The introduction of the measures necessary to improve the practice of human rights is postponed, and this in turn put a stop to the democratisation process.
    "The Turkish authorities have responsibility by virtue of the international commitments subscribed to, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman Degrading Treatment or Punishment (ECPT) and the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Turkey, as a State Party to the latter, is amongst other under the obligation of '(...) taking effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.' (art. 2). And having ratified the ECPT, Turkey accepted the visits from the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and committed itself to improve the situation in the light of the recommendations of the Committee. Up to date insufficient cooperation has been shown.
    "But one must not forget that the international community, in particular Europe, has responsibilities as well, by virtue of international obligations that request not only to respect but also to ensure respect of fundamental universal values. For this reason, one of the main directions given to this file is to consider the international reactions to the serious human rights violations in Turkey. It is true that since the incarceration and the condemnation of the Kurdish deputies, members of the DEP, criticisms and resolutions have become numerous. But discussions ought not to focus around this question only, for the problems are deeply rooted. Many reports from intergovernmental or non-governmental European institutions recognise this fact. But the strategic importance of Turkey appears to encourage some mildness in the pressure to be exerted on Turkey because of the human rights violations.
    "However, one can expect from European Governments the same requirements from Turkey as requested from the new Eastern and Central European democracies, unless one accepts double standards. Moreover, it is also the unique way to build a Europe really unified and to identify together to supreme values for a democratic Turkey, respectful of human rights, can only reinforce the Europe faithful to its human rights principles.
    "Finally one must acknowledge the efforts and the courage (given the repression on them) of those in Turkey who commit themselves to support the process of democratisation and to promote better respect for human rights, be they organisations, lawyers, intellectuals, journalists. Our wish is that a democratic dialogue be installed between the Turkish authorities and these persons, who are there to defend human dignity and true citizenship. Their presence in Turkey is precious and an important lever for the democratisation of Turkey, as well as a guarantee for democracy, not only in Turkey but also in Europe."
    [The full text of the file can be asked from APT - C.P. 2267, 1211 Genève 2 - Switzerland; Tel 41-22-734 20 88, Fax: 41-22-734 56 49]


    The longest mass trial of Turkey resulted in the ratification of seven capital punishments on December 28. The Dev-Yol (Revolutionary Path) trial concerning 723 defendants started by the Ankara Martial Law Tribunal on February 26, 1982. On July 19, 1989, the tribunal sentenced seven defendants to capital punishment, 34 to life imprisonment and 346 to different prison terms of up to 20 years.
    Although all the condemned were conditionally released in 1991 under some provisional articles of the Anti-Terror Law, the examining of the verdict by the Court of Cassation has continued up to now.
    According to the higher court's decision, seven capital punishments and 153 prison terms were ratified. The court also ordered to try again 23 defendants at a high criminal court with the demand of raising their prison terms.
    Whatsoever be the new verdict, none of the defendants will be imprisoned again under the conditional amnesty of 1991. Yet if any commits a new "political crime", he will serve the suspended prison term together with his new sentence.


    1.11, security forces announce the arrest of 19 alleged PKK members in Mersin.
    2.11, the Istanbul SSC starts to try an alleged member of Islamist organization IBDC-A, Mehmet Firat, and his wife Ipek Zeytin Firat. The former faces capital punishment.
    6.11, in Tunceli, eight students are placed under arrest by a tribunal for having participated in a demonstration on October 24.
    6.11, the Izmir SSC sentences seven PKK members to capital punishment and six other defendants to prison terms of up to 12 years and six months.
    6.11, three members of the Islamic Movement Organization (IHÖ) are sentenced by the Izmir SSC to life-prison and another defendant to 2 years and 9 months in prison.
    9.11, the Istanbul SSC sentences four TDKP members to 12 years and 6 months, and five other defendants to 3 years and 9 months in prison.   
    9.11, nine TDKP members are sentenced to prison terms of up to 12 years and six months by the Istanbul SSC.
    9.11, in Diyarbakir, Fehmi Akyürek and Ramazan Ayhan are found assassinated in a rubbish area.
    10.11, in Manisa, the office of the Educational Workers' Trade Union (Egitim Sen) is destroyed by unidentified assailants with a molotof cocktail.
    10.11, security forces raiding a house in Diyarbakir shoot dead Erhan Ilhan and Vasfi Ömer.
    15.11, security forces detain 21 alleged Dev-Sol members in Istanbul. Ten of the detainees are younger than 17 years.
    16.11, in Istanbul, a young woman named Kelime Tunc claims to have been tortured after her detention during a student demonstration on November 8.
    16.11, in protest against ill-treatment, 108 political detainees in the Erzurum Prison start a hunger strike.
    17.11, the Istanbul SSC sentences four Dev Sol members to life imprisonment and four others to prison terms of up to 18 years and 6 months.
    19.11, security forces detain 15 people in Izmir on charges of taking part in the activities of the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP). In Istanbul, 16 people are detained for being members of the DHKP-C/Dev-Sol.
    18.11, the Istanbul SSC starts the trial of six PKK defendants. The prosecutor claims capital punishment for two defendants under Article 125 of the TPC and prison terms of up to seven years and six months under Article 169.
    20.11, in Izmir, eleven people are placed under arrest by a tribunal for having staged a protest action against the insufficiency of the measures preventing the flood occurred on November 4.
    21.11, in Van, three unidentified gunmen shoot dead teacher Mehmet Atmaca.
    21.11, a group of Grey Wolves raiding a vocational school in Darica wound two left-wing students.
    22.11, a high school student, Ceyhun Emre Dagdelen claims to have been tortured by the police after his detention at the beginning of November.
    23.11, the trial of 32 people accused of having staged a demonstration against the Chinese nuclear tests on August 19, 1995, starts at a penal court in Istanbul. The prosecutor claims imprisonment of up to three years for each defendant.
    26.11, in Istanbul, thirteen people are detained on charges of PKK activities.
    27.11, in Adana, a woman named Sadiye Alkis claims to have been tortured after her detention on charges of giving shelter to her brother, wanted by security forces.
    27.11, security forces arrest fourteen people in Istanbul for PKK activities.
    28.11, in the district of Araban in the Gaziantep province, Mustafa Akbulut is found killed under custody.
    28.11, in Bursa, a Jewish businessman, Nesim Malki falls victim of an armed attack. He is probably killed by an Islamist organization for taking the revenge of the death of Islamist Holy War Organization leader Fethi Sakaki.
    29.11, in Dargecit, the villages of Zengen, Akcaköy and Kumdere are evacuated by the security forces because the peasants refuse to join the village protectors. During the operation a house in Akcaköy is burnt down and twenty peasants taken into custody.
    29.11, the chairman of the Association of Political Sciences Students of the Ankara University, Nurettin Öztatar is sentenced by the Ankara SSC to three years and nine months in prison for being member of an outlawed organization, the Young Communists' Union. 
    30.11, in Istanbul, a 12-year old boy, Halil Ibrahim Okkali claims to have been tortured in a police station to where he was taken on November 27 on suspect of theft.
    30.11, in Ankara, a group of university students holding a meeting in protest against capital punishment is dispersed by the gendarmerie using force. A student is wounded and about 40 students taken into custody.
    30.11, in Sivas, police detain eight university students on charges of being members of the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP).
    1.12, in Istanbul, security forces detain 12 people suspect of PKK activities.
    2.12, the Izmir SSC sentences two PKK defendants to life-prison and nine other defendants to prison terms of up to 18 years and 9 months.
    4.12, a group of right wing students raid a vocational high school in Burdur and wound five left wing students. Same day, right wing students raid the Karaelmas University in Zonguldak.
    4.12, the Izmir SSC sentences six PKK defendants to life-prison and 11 other defendants to prison terms of up to 16 years and 8 months.
    5.12, in Istanbul, 19 people have been detained by police on charges of participating in DHKP-C/Dev Sol activities.
    8.12, the Istanbul SSC tries eight people for participating in DHKP-C/Dev-Sol activities. The prosecutor claims capital punishment for six defendants and prison terms of up to 15 years for two others.
    10.12, in Batman, unidentified gunmen shoot dead bank employee Ekrem Demir and his two children as travelling in a car to the village of Günesli.
    11.12, a group of right-wing students raid the Mining Faculty of the Istanbul Technical University. The fights between the right and left wing students end in 15 students wounded.
    11.12, in Adana, security forces detain 16 people on charges of carrying out illegal political activities.
    11.12, in Midyat, Besir Dolasmaz, kidnapped on November 30 by village protectors, is found assassinated under torture.
    17.12, a hunger strike by political prisoners in the Elbistan Prison enters its 35th day.
    18.12, the Izmir SSC sentences eight PKK defendants to life-prison and 26 other defendants to different punishments of up to 18 years and 9 months. The same tribunal also sentences a TDKP member to 12 years and 6 months in prison.
    18.12, in Adana, security forces arrest 13 people for TIKKO activities.
    19.12, the Ankara SSC sentences four DHKP-C/Dev-Sol defendants to capital punishment and four other defendants to imprisonment of up to 15 years.
    18.12, security forces raiding a café in Istanbul detain four people.
    19.12, university students protesting against the Grey Wolves attacks on universities is dispersed by police using force, a passer-by wounded and ten student detained.
    19.12, in Batman, Mehmet Ayan is shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
    20.12, the Istanbul SSC starts the trial of four alleged members of the Revolution Party of Turkey (TDP). The prosecutor demands capital punishment for all of them. Two defendants, Kamil Yildiz and Gülderen Baran claim to have been tortured under police detention. In fact, Baran was brought to the court room her two arms broken during the interrogation.
    21.12, in Adana, thirteen people are detained for participating in TIKKO activities.
    21.12, in Mersin, Abdülmenaf Zengin, detained on December 18, dies in a hospital after being tortured during police custody.
    22.12, in Gökcesu, Nevzat Onur and Gülcin Kenan claims to have been tortured after being detained by gendarmes on December 18.
    23.11, a 20-month imprisonment against the DDP (Democracy and Evolution Party) Chairman, Ibrahim Aksoy, is reduced by the Konya SSC to 10 months. The court refuses to release him on grounds that he has another 4-year imprisonment under Article 8.
    26.12, the Iskenderun prosecutor starts a legal proceeding with the demand of closing down the IHD Iskenderun Section for illegal activities. The same section was already closed for one month in 1994 and for ten days in 1995.
    26.11, the IHD Ankara Section reports that the number of the people forced by the police to be informer has been increasing. IHD official lawyer Oya Ersoy says that more than fifteen youths claimed to have been forced to be informer under the menace of being killed.
    26.12, MHP militants attack the Abdülkadir Paksoy High School in Adana and the Higher Education Faculty in Akcaabat.
    27.12, the Istanbul SSC starts to try ten people for PKK activities. The Public Prosecutor demands capital punishment for three defendants and imprisonment of up to 20 years for the other defendants.
    27.12, the Malatya SSC sentences a Dev-Sol member to life-prison.
    28.12, HADEP official Seracettin Kirici and theatre actor Orhan Aydin are tried by the Ankara SSC under Article 8 for their speeches on the World Peace Day.
    28.12, the Izmir Section of Egit Der (Association of Teachers) is closed down by the Governor on charges of unauthorised meetings.
    28.12, in Istanbul, eleven people are detained for participating in the activities of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).


    As the leaders of Europe and Turkey were preparing themselves to celebrate on January 1st, 1996, the opening of the new period of Customs Union, which was recently ratified by the European Parliament, 136 prisoners of opinion are still in Turkish jails on December 31, 1995.
    Although some 70 intellectuals were being released for obtaining this ratification, some others were kept in prison and many others detained under different articles of the Turkish legislation including famous Article 8.
    Among the prisoners of opinion who are going to observe the New Year behind iron bars are also four DEP deputies, Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Dogan and Selim Sadak, DDP Chairman Ibrahim Aksoy and sociologist Ismail Besikci.
    Although the DYP-CHP coalition had promised four years ago to lift all repressive articles in the Turkish legislation, only Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law underwent a cosmetic modification. About 800 repressive articles in 160 laws have been kept in force and abundantly used for indicting and condemning many people for their opinions.
    In its original form Article 8, which pertains to "separatism" charges, envisaged jail sentences from two to five years and fines from TL 50 million to TL 100 million. Now it stipulates for the same crimes jail sentences from one year to three years and fines from TL 100 million to TL 300 million.
    This modified Article 8 is still being used for detaining and sentencing many journalists, politicians, trade union and human rights association officials.
    Besides, many other people are being tried by the State Security Courts, penal courts and military courts for their opinions without arrest warrant. In the case of condemnation, they too will be imprisoned.
    In other columns takes part a detailed chronological list of the persecution of the media in November and December 1995.
    According to a report by the Istanbul Section of the Human Rights Association, the following people are in prisons on December 31, 1995, for their opinions:
    1. Ismail Besikci, 2. Numan Bektas, 3. Hamit Baldemir, 4. Erdal Dogan, 5. Melek Tukur, 6. Selma Bükükdag, 7. Neslihan Göktepe, 8. Metin Göktepe, 9. Ali Kemal Yildiz, 10. Hasan Abali, 11. Bülent Öner, 12. Cemal Dag, 13. Fatma Harman, 14. Mesut Bozkurt, 15. Bayram Namaz, 16. Salih Özçelik, 17. Songül Yüksel, 18. Ali Yegin, 19. Gülnur Aslan, 20. Hatip Dicle, 21. Leyla Zana, 22. Orhan Dogan, 23. Selim Sadak, 24. Kemal Okutan, 25. Riza Demirci, 26. Ibrahim Ozen, 27. Kemal Topalak, 28. Bektas Canseven, 29. Fethiye Peksen, 30. Sedat Hayta, 31. Kadir Önder, 32. Yilmaz Eksi, 33. Hava Suiçmez, 34. Naile Tuncer, 35. Yildiz Ozdemir, 36. Kezban Mavi, 37. Hakan Bahçivan, 38. Gulseren Duman, 39. Erdal Sahin, 40. Tuncay Atmaca, 41. Mustafa Cubuk, 42. Ali Avci, 43. Ömer Genç, 44. Sahabettin Yilmaz, 45. Mine Sagniç, 46. Sahabettin Özaslaner, 47. Hikmet Fidan, 48. Ferhan Türk, 49. A. Kadir Cager, 50. Tevfik Kaya, 51. Nevzat Sagniç, 52. Metin Bakici, 53. Ibrahim Polat, 54. Sinan Yavuz, 55. Zülküf Karakoç, 56. Mehmet Akdemir, 57. Kenan Karakas, 58. Yeter Yalçintas, 59. Ahmet Subasi, 60. Kadir Satik, 61. Necla Can, 62. Metin Alkas, 63. Burhan Gardas, 64. A. Muharrem Gündüz, 65. Gülcan Sarioglu, 66. N. Aydan Ceylan, 67. Kamber Inan, 68. Ufuk Dogubay, 69. Mehmet Mamaç, 70. Mehmet Göcekli, 71. Bülent Sönmez, 72. Ferhat Karaduman, 73. A. Kerim Mecefoglu, 74. Salih Dündar, 75. Hamdullah Akyol, 76. Murat Yesilirmak, 77. Vedat Aydin, 78. Salih Bal, 79. Ilyas Burak, 80. Sakine Fidan, 81. Aysel Bölücek, 82. Serdar Gelir, 83. Özgür Gündenoglu, 84. Hanim Harman, 85. Hüseyin Solak, 86. Ali Sinan Caglar, 87. Özlem Türk, 88. Metin Atlas, 89. Teoman Gül, 90. Hasan Gül, 91. Süleyman Yaman, 92. Mustafa Kiliç, 93. Ahmet Önal, 94. Ocak Isik Yurtçu, 95. Murat Saraç, 96. Nafiz Karakas, 97. Mensure Yüksel, 98. Özden Özbey, 99. Yusuf Sit, 100. Mustafa Aladag, 101. Veysi Harman, 102. Ismail Günes, 103. Sabri Bölek, 104. Faruk Deniz, 105. Nevzat Bulut, 106. Halit Yalcin, 107. Sevda Öztekin, 108. Medeni Ayhan, 109. Mustafa Ciftçi, 110. Nebahat Polat, 111. Ilhan Özdemir, 112. Emine Buyrukçu, 113. Vahit Demir, 114. Necmiye Arslanoglu, 115. Hüseyin Akbulut, 116. Hatun Yildirim, 117. Kemal Külahçi, 118. Bülent Abbasoglu, 119. M. Sefe Fersal, 120. Gürcan Yildiz, 121. Ayse Idil, 122. Süleyman Bakirman, 123. Aylin Ürkmez, 124. Recep Üzmez, 125. Fevzi Gerçek, 126. Mustafa Kaplan, 127. Mehmet Gemsiz, 128. Suat Kiliç, 129. Mevlüt Daslik, 130. Emine Arslanoglu, 131. Özgül Tasçi, 132. Özkan Kiliç, 133. Nuray Gezici, 134. Leyla Tastan, 135. Haydar Özdemir, 136. Mirali Demir.


    Turkish sociologist and author Ismail Besikci has been sentenced to a total of 211 years in jail for more than one hundred "separatist propaganda" cases opened against him mainly under Article 8.
    Of these cases brought against him, due to the content of his books and articles which appeared in a variety of publications, some have been finalised with the Court of Cassation upholding jail sentences amounting to a total 37 years and three months as well as fines amounting to TL 3.2 billion. Meanwhile, the Court of Cassation is examining court verdicts against Besikci which involve a total 30 years in jail and fines amounting to TL 3.7 billion.
    Since Besikci has refused to pay fines, in each finalised case he has received an extra three-year jail sentence with the conversion of these fines. As a result, his jail sentences have already risen to more than 200 years.
    Ünsal Öztürk, the owner of Yurt Publishing House, the company which published Besikci's works, faced similar charges in 62 cases and has been sentenced to a total of 50 years in jail. So far, the Court of Cassation has finalised jail sentenced against Öztürk amounting to seven and a half years as well as fines amounting to TL 837.3 million.
    The Court of Cassation is currently looking into the remaining appeals against the verdicts involving Öztürk. As a result of finalised cases, Öztürk was given jail sentences totalling seven years and two months as well as fines amounting to TL 599.9 million.
    Since Öztürk too has refused to pay his fines, they have been converted to jail sentences which amount to 50 years.
    Recently, on November 15, the Court of Cassation ratified  a further ten years and four months in  prison and a fine of TL 416 million 660 thousand for fifteen books of the author. His publisher, Ünsal Öztürk too, was sentenced to two years and seven months in prison and a fine of TL 516 million 660 thousand.
    Few days later, on November 24, the Ankara SSC reduced an earlier prison term of 12 years against Besikci to six years and a fine of TL 1.5 billion to TL 600 million. This sentence had been given for fifteen of Besikci's other books. However, the court refused to release him on pretext that he might commit same crimes if he is released.
    On December 27, the Ankara SSC again sentenced Ismail Besikci for his other fifteen books to four years and four months in prison and a fine of TL 433 million. His publisher Ünsal Öztürk too was sentenced to two years and two months in prison and a fine of TL 253 million in the same case.
    Same day, the same court sentenced Besikci in another case to one year in prison and a fine of TL 100 million for an article he wrote to the IHD newsletter.
    The court refused to postpone the execution of all these sentences.
    Besikci, who is not a Kurd, holds the record for the longest jail terms under Turkey's restraints on freedom of expression. The sociologist, 56, is in a high-security prison in the  capital since November 13, 1993. Earlier he had already imprisoned for ten years in total after the military coups of 1971 and 1980.


    The trial of 99 intellectuals who signed a petition assuming collective responsibility of a confiscated book, Freedom of Thought, was postponed on December 7, 1995, to a date after the Customs Union's entrance in force.
    The Istanbul SSC N°4 is expected to indict later a total of 1080 co-signers for the same offence as well.
    During the trial, the defence lawyers said that all the laws under which they had been charged were unconstitutional and requested the matter be sent to the Constitutional Court. However the judges did not take seriously this claim.
    Following the hearing, the defendants said that the changes which had been made to Article 8 because of the Customs Union were merely cosmetic, and only famous people like author Yasar Kemal had been acquitted, while the Security Courts continue to try dozens of people every day.

    The director of the Belge Publishing House, Mrs. Ayse Zarakolu was sentenced again in some of her trials under Article 8 of the ATL.
    On December 22, Zarakolu was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC N°4 to six months in prison for former DEP Chairman Yasar Kaya's book entitled The Gündem Writings. The prison term was later commuted to a fine of TL 50 million 900 thousand.
    In another trial, the same court sentenced Zarakolu to six months in prison and a fine of TL 82 million for Sadrettin Aydinlik's book The Dawn of Hard Winter. The prison terms was later commuted to a fine of TL 1 million.
    The court refused to suspend the execution of the sentence on grounds that the defendant might continue to commit same crimes.
    On December 29, the Istanbul SSC N°5 sentenced Zarakolu to 6-month prison for having published journalist Abdülkadir Konuk's work on an assassinated journalist Ferhat Tepe. The prison term was later commuted to a fine of TL 42 million.
    Same day, Zarakolu's another trial concerning Prof. Vahakn Dadrian's work Genocide was resulted in her acquittal.
    Mrs. Zarakolu had already been served a 5-month prison for Ismail Besikci's book The CHF Programme and the Kurdish Question.
    Besides, Zarakolu's one sentence under Article 8 was ratified by the Court of Cassation and four other sentences are being examined by the same higher court.
    In addition to them, Zarakolu is being tried the Istanbul SSC by the Istanbul SSC in three other cases
    On the other hand, after the modification of Article 8, the first two publications confiscated under this article have been two books published by Zarakolu: The Freedom Born in the Mountains by journalist Abdülkadir Konuk and Dear Leyla/It was a long exile that night by former Diyarbakir Mayor Mehdi Zana.


    The Ankara Prosecutor launched a trial on December 10, 1995, against ten human rights advocates under Article 159/3 of the Turkish Penal Code for an article published in June in a book of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV).
    The article written by lawyer Turgut Inal, former Chairman of the Balikesir Bar, and entitled "We Protect Human Rights with Imperfect Constitution and Laws" is considered an insult to the laws of the Turkish Republic and decisions of the National Assembly.
    The trial of Turgut Inal as well as TIHV Chairman Yavuz Önen, TIHV Secretary General Okan Akhan and other TIHV officials Murat Yetkin, Mahmut Tali Öngören, Fevzi Argun, Mehmet Vural, Haldun Özen, Veli Lök and Sükran Akin will start at an Ankara penal court on January 18, 1996. Each faces a prison term of up to six months.
    On the other hand, on December 23, IHD Chairman Akin Birdal was sentenced by a penal court of Ankara to three-month imprisonment for some IHD posters under the Law on Associations. The imprisonment is later commuted to a fine of TL 450 thousand.
    On December 28, the Istanbul SSC started to try Birdal for his speech given on the occasion of the World Peace Day on September 5. The prosecutor demanded imprisonment of up to three years under Article 312 of the TPC.


    According to the daily Siyah Beyaz of November 8, 1995, 1.443 different publications have been confiscated by court decisions in last one year. Of these publications, 56 are books, 784 periodicals, 602 newspapers and 1 newsletter.
    Besides, in the emergency law region 73 musi-cassettes have been forbidden.
    Because of the pressures, 13 printing houses have been stopped their activities, reports the newspaper.


    1.11, the Adana office of the periodical Kizil Bayrak is raided by police, employee Mahir Kayir detained and many documents confiscated.
    2.11, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the issues N°12 and 13 of the periodical Sterka Rizgari under Article 312 of the TPC.
    4.11, Kaan Aslanoglu's novel The Personalities is confiscated by a penal court under a special law punishing the writings against Atatürk.
    6.11, the responsible editor of the periodical Devrimci Emek, Sedat Hayta claims to have been tortured after being detained on October 24 during a demonstration.
    7.11, the Istanbul SSC and a penal court of Istanbul issue two separate orders to confiscate the last issues of the periodicals Partizanin Sesi and Partizan Genclik, the former under Article 6 of the ATL and the latter under Article 312 of the TPC.
    8.11, lawyer Esber Yagmurdereli  is put in prison for serving his 20-month imprisonment for a speech he gave in December 1992.
    8.11, the daily Evrensel is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda under Article 8.
    12.11, a correspondent of the daily Önder, Bünyamin Düz is beaten by police and his arm broken as covering a football match in Karadeniz Ereglisi.
    13.11, an attorney of the DEP deputies, Yusuf Alatas is tried by a penal court in Ankara for having criticised the Ankara SSC's partial attitude during the DEP trial. He faces a prison term of up to six months under Article 30/2 of the Press Law.
    14.11, in Istanbul, seven members of the musical groups Munzur, Kutup Yildizi and Genc Ekin, Murat Tokdemir, Bülent Simsek, Havva Neslihan Tokur, Ibrahim Yildiz, Berrin Tekdemir, Ipek Rencper and Sinel Deniz Karakaya, are placed under arrest by the Istanbul SSC for having participated in a hunger strike at the CHP Istanbul office. They claim to have been tortured during their police detention.
    14.11, journalist Abdükadir Konuk's book The Freedom Born in The Mountains is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC under Article 8 of the ATL for separatist propaganda. The court also confiscates the periodical Ronahi, N°26 for the same reason.
    17.11, the Ankara SSC reduces two-year imprisonment to journalist Yalcin Kücük to one year and a fine from TL 250 million to 100 million, but refused the postponement of the execution. The court also issues an arrest warrant against Kücük who is in France at present. Kücük was condemned for his book entitled Talks in Kurdish Garden.
    18.11, in Konya, the book shop Ilkezgi is set on fire by unidentified assailants. The owner of the book shop has already been threatened many times for having sold Aziz Nesin's books and destroyed on April 2, 1995.
    19.11, the Radio Television Supreme Board (RTÜK) decided to suspend the Kanal D TV Channel for one day on November 30 on charges of broadcasting about homosexual members of Parliament.
    19.11, the weekly Roj has to suspend its publication for one month because of material difficulties due to the confiscation of its all 23 issues published up to now.
    20.11, the public prosecutor opens a new legal proceeding against former DEP deputy Hatip Dicle, in prison,  for his article published by the daily Yeni Politika on August 9, 1995. Accused of having insulted the courts, Dicle faces a new imprisonment of up to six years under Article 169 of the TPC.
    20.11, the responsible editor of the daily Yeni Yüzyil, Ismet Berkan, and columnist Ali Bayramoglu are tried by the Istanbul SSC under Article 312 of the TPC. Both face imprisonments of up to six years for instigating racial and ethnic hostility.
    20.11, a two-year imprisonment against writer Mehmet Bayrak is reduced to one year, but the court refuses the postponement of the execution. Bayrak was condemned for his book entitled Kurdish Folk Songs.
    21.11, the Court of Cassation ratifies the punishment of theatre actress Bilgesu Erenus. She was sentenced by the Military Court of General Staff to two-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 100 thousand for calling on mothers not to send their boys to military services.
    24.11, two journalists of the daily Milliyet, Melih Asik and Eren Güvener are sentenced to one month in prison and TL 161 thousand in fine each for having disclosed some judiciary documents.
    24.11, the Diyarbakir SSC places under arrest seven people detained on November 10 during a police raid on the Mesopotamian Cultural Centre in Diyarbakir.
    25.11, three collaborators of the review Kizil Bayrak, Safter Korkmaz, Suzan Geridönmez and Gülcan Öztürk are detained by police as covering a workers' action in Istanbul.
    26.11, the broadcasting of the private TV Interstar is banned for three days by the Radio Television Supreme Board (RTÜK) in relations with its programs accusing Prime Minister Ciller of unlawful transactions.
    28.11, Kurdish writer Recep Marasli is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to one year and four months in prison under Article 8 for one of his articles published by the newspaper Jiyana Nû. Although the court also decides to release him under the modification in Article 8, he is not freed because of other arrest warrants against him.
    30.11, the Yenigün Cultural Centre in Istanbul is closed down by the Istanbul Governor's order for activities incompatible with its objectives.
    1.12, in Istanbul, a correspondent of the daily Evrensel, Hasim Demir is attacked by unidentified assailants who attempt to kidnap him.
    1.12, a former editor of the defunct daily Özgür Gündem, Besim Döner is sentenced by the Military Tribunal of the General Staff to two months in prison and TL 160 thousand in fine under Article 155 of the Penal Code for publication against military service.
    2.12, the last issue of the daily Evrensel is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC under Article 6 of the ATL for having denounced the names of the personnel responsible for the ill-treatment in prisons.
    3.12, the Izmir correspondent of the periodical Atilim, Hayrettin Özkurt claims to have been tortured during his police detention between November 16 and 27, 1995. He also reports that another journalist of Atilim, Mithat Yildiz is still under custody in Istanbul and subject to torture.
    4.12, the chief editor of the periodical Özgür Bilim, Medeni Ayhan is sentenced by the Ankara SSC to two years in prison and TL 550 million in fine under Article 8. The review's responsible editor Sait Cakar too is sentenced to 6-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 50 million.
    5.12, the Ankara SSC sentences four persons to different punishments under Article 8. Ibrahim Halit Elci and Kemal Altintas are sentenced to one year in prison and TL 100 million in fine for their articles published in August 1993 by the periodical Pir Sultan Abdal. The review's responsible editor, Metin Kuzugüdenlioglu is sentenced to 6-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 50 million, and publisher Murtaza Demir to a fine of TL 100 million. Under the recent modification in Article 8, the prison terms are commuted to fines.  
    5.12, a correspondent of the daily Evrensel, Nebahat Alkan is taken into custody after having interviewed the workers on strike in Tuzla.
    6.12, the periodical Proleter Halkin Birligi N°2 is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC by virtue of Articles 6 and 8 of the ATL.
    7.12, former DEP deputy Hatip Dicle, still in prison together with three other DEP deputies, is sentenced by the Ankara SSC to one-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 100 million under Article 8 for a letter he wrote to another political prisoner. According to the modification of this article, his prison terms is reduced to eight months and fine to TL 660 thousand.
    13.12, the Radio Television Supreme Board (RTÜK) decided to suspend the Kanal D TV Channel for one day on January 3 on charges of broadcasting harmful to public order and Turkish family conception.
    15.12, a 20-month imprisonment against lawyer Esber Yagmurdereli, who is blind and under arrest since November 8, is reduced from 20 months to 10 months. Although he is released, the court refuses to postpone the execution of punishment on pretext that he may again contravene the law. So, Yagmurdereli will be imprisoned again if the Court of Cassation ratifies the verdict.
    17.12, the periodicals Özgür Yasam, N°11, Atilim, N°61, Odak, N°49, Kaldirac, N°14 and Alinteri, N° 63 and the December issues of Hedef and Direnis are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC under the ATL.
    18.12, a book entitled The Barricade Days issued by the Varyos Publishing House is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC under Article 6 of the ATL and Article 312 of the TPC.
    19.12, journalist Ragip Duran is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to ten months in prison and TL 333 thousand in fine under Article 7 of the ATL for one of his articles published by the daily Özgür Gündem.
    19.12, the December issue of the magazine Savasa Karsi Baris is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC. The magazine contained a reprinted excerpt of the Human Rights Watch Arms Project report about violations of the laws of war in Turkey.
    20.12, the last issue of the periodical Sosyalist Iktidar is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC under Article 8.
    21.12, the newspapers Milliyet, Fanatik, Evrensel and Posta are confiscated by a penal court for having published public opinion polls on the December 24 elections. The responsible editors of these publications face imprisonment of up to one year each.
    21.12, the last issue of the periodical Ates Hirsizi is confiscated by a penal court for having insulted the National Assembly. The Istanbul SSC confiscates the periodical Özgür Gelecek N°65 for the propaganda of outlawed organizations.
    21.12, the RTÜK decides to suspend for one day the broadcasting of the TV stations Flash TV and HBB.
    22.12, in Elazig, Evrensel correspondent Ersel Dag and his friend, Vahit Tekin, are subjected to tortured after being detained by police.
    22.12, three journalists of the periodical Atilim, Eylem Semint, Yusuf Güzel and Zahide Honca are subjected to torture in Istanbul after being detained during their visit to a political detainee in Bayrampasa Prison.
    23.12, the newspapers Hürriyet and Posta are confiscated by a penal court for having published public opinion polls on the December 24 elections. The responsible editors of these publications face imprisonment of up to one year each.
    23.12, the broadcasting of the local station Harran FM is suspended by the RTÜK for one day on charges of insulting the Harran University officials.
    26.12, the periodical Alinteri N°64 is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for the propaganda of some outlawed organizations.
    26.12, writer Inönü Alpat and publisher Mustafa Tüm are indicted by the Ankara SSC Prosecutor under Article 7 of the ATL for the former's book We gave an appointment to the Mountains. Alpat faces an imprisonment of up to five years and Tüm to two years.
    26.12, a group of Grey Wolves raid the Ankara office of the periodical Umut. Police detain some employees of the review.
    28.12, university professor Ilhan Arsel and publisher Nazar Fikri are tried by a penal court of Istanbul for the former's book We, The Professors. The prosecutor demands two-year imprisonment for Arsel and a fine of TL 3 million for Fikri under Article 175 of the TPC on charges of insulting Islam.


    Following the ratification of the Customs Union by the European Parliament, the Belgian Government did not delay to credits the Turkish regime by lifting the suspension of the Europalia-Turkey Festival. For practical reasons, this festival is reportedly to be held in 1997 instead of 1996.
    The Belgian Government announced on December 22 that no obstacle remained in the path of Europalia Turkey.
    The decision to dedicate Europalia 96 to Turkey where human rights are systematically violated had led to a series of protest from democratic organizations of Turkey and Belgium. (Info-Türk, Jan/Feb 95).
    On these reactions, this festival of shame had been suspended by the Belgian Europalia Foundation when the Foreign Minister of the time, Mr. Frank Vandenbroucke considered the festival "ignoring other cultures — Kurdish, Armenian, Assyrian, etc.— in Anatolia" and the Belgian federal and Flemish governments suspended their financial contribution to the organization. (Info-Türk, March/April 95).
    The Belgian official statement said "the Turkish file has seen important improvements in the last weeks and the Turkish program for the festival is balanced and extensive" — a reference to Brussels' earlier criticism that the program did not reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of Turkey.
    The festival is jointly financed by Turkey and Belgian public and private sponsors. The original plan was that 460 million Belgian francs would be contributed by Turkey, and the rest by the Belgian side.
    For the Turkish regime this is a very profitable investment for its propaganda in the capital of Europe where human rights violation in Turkey have always been a permanent subject of criticism by the European institutions.
    In fact, prior to the change of Belgian stand, the Turkish co-chairman for Europalia Turkey, Bülent Eczacibasi told the Turkish Daily News, on December 1st, "We have lobbied intensively in Belgium for lifting the decision of suspension."
    Since the violation of human rights, the arrest of intellectuals and artists are still going on and the Kurds and other minorities of Anatolia are still being subjected to State terrorism, the Belgian Government's new decision constitutes a new submission to the Ankara's blackmail.
    As far as the situation of human and minority rights remain the same until 1997, the Europalia Turkey Festival will enter in the European cultural history as a Festival of Shame.


    Encouraged by the comprehensive stand by the US and European governments on the Customs Union matter, Turkey presented itself as a candidate for UN. Security Council membership.
    Turkey declared to the 185 UN. member countries that it would run for Security Council membership in the election scheduled for 2000, announced Turkey's UN. representative, Huseyin Celem, on December 7.
    The Security Council consists of 15 members, five of which have permanent seats. The remaining 10 members are elected for two years by the General Assembly and do not have the right of veto. Security Council members are not eligible for immediate re-election. Turkey was last a member of the Security Council in 1951.
    Turkey, which is a member of the Western European Alliance in the UN., has only a slight chance of being elected to the council. Greece is also likely to run for council membership and this will limit Turkey's chances, diplomatic observers say.


    An agreement governing Turkey's hosting The Habitat II Conference in Istanbul on June 3-14, 1996, was expected to be signed at the end of December in spite of Turkish Government's anti-democratic reservations.
    This last major UN. conference of the century on  human settlements is billed  as a global effort to exchange ideas among governments, mayors, city  planners and scientists.
    The Turkish Foreign Ministry rejected the "Host Country Draft  Agreement" for the conference, since it does not want immunity that  prevents prosecution of its own citizens attending the conference as  representatives of local governments or private groups.
    The Turkish government fears the  conference will be used for pro-Kurdish propaganda.