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


20th Year - N°226
 May-June 1996
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Tél: (32-2) 215 35 76 - Fax: (32-2) 215 58 60
 Rédacteur en chef: Dogan Özgüden - Editrice responsable: Inci Tugsavul


As the menace of military coup is haunting the country, Ciller flirts with Islamists for saving herself from the justice. As for the Islamists, champions of the "clean hands" campaign, they seem ready to forget all their accusations against her for taking over the government in coalition with the DYP

    After the spectacular defeat of the coalition parties in the last local elections and the consequent resignation of the DYP-ANAP coalition, Turkey has entered a new period full of Ottoman duperies.
    The Islamist Welfare Party (RP) won a fresh victory in the June 2 local elections, while the two partners of the Major Way coalition, the Correct Way Party (DYP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP) suffered losses.
    In the 41 settlements where the local elections took place, the RP's votes rose from 28.8 percent in the December 24, 1995, general election to 33.5 percent on June 2. The ANAP vote fell from 26.8 percent to 20.9 percent, and the DYP vote from 16.7 percent to 12 percent. The Nationalist Action Party (MHP), on the other hand, managed to increase its vote from 5.1 percent to 6.4 percent.
    On the same basis, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) vote declined from 12.1 percent to 9.1 percent and the Republican People Party (CHP) vote from 7.7 percent to 6.7 percent.
    As a rule, parties in power should be in an advantageous position in local elections. Despite this advantage, the aggregate of the DYP-ANAP votes fell from 43.5 percent in the December 24 general election to 32.9 percent, behind the RP's 33.5 percent. The drop in DYP vote was spectacular especially in Istanbul's Bakirköy district. There, the DYP vote fell from 28.7 percent to 17.8 percent.
    Even before the elections, the Major Way coalition had already short circuited because of the revelations on DYP leader Ciller's scandalous irregularities and corruption.
    After the disastrous election results, the second blow came from the Constitutional Court invalidating the vote of confidence the DYP-ANAP Government received three months ago.     In an appeal to the court, the RP had said the coalition needed an absolute majority of those who attended the assembly, in this case 273 "yes" votes. Whereas, the Yilmaz Government won the confidence by 257 votes against 207 with 80 abstentions. Although the supreme court found the RP's appeal valid, the written decision was published in the Official Journal after the elections.
    Thereupon, Prime Minister Yilmaz submitted his resignation to President Demirel on June 6. President Demirel first held a series of meetings of all party leaders in a view to form a new coalition government, but they failed to present him with a viable alternative. Without losing time, on June 7, Demirel asked pro-Islamic leader Necmettin Erbakan to form the new government.
    This time, as well the political circles as mass media, in the light of the results of the last elections and consequently in the absence of a valuable alternative from so-called "secular" parties, seem more tolerant to the possibility of a new coalition government headed by Islamists.
    Even the Turkish business world which has close relations of interests with the United States and Israel declared that such a government might be unavoidable. The businessman N°2 of the country, Sakip Sabanci, stated that a government headed by Erbakan happened to be necessary for putting an end to the stagnation in the economic life.
    However, the Western world, particularly the United States and Israel seem to be extremely annoyed from the possibility of a coalition with the RP. According to a news analysis sent from Washington to the Turkish Daily News on June 11, 1996, the Clinton administration is debating the pros and cons of several future scenarios that does and does not include the RP as a senior coalition partner.
    "The bottom line is, the White House, as well as the Pentagon and the State Department would all prefer to see RP stay in the opposition — although they'd rather be caught dead than admit so in public, especially after RP increased its votes to 33.5%," reports the TDN.
    "The silent opposition to Refah in Washington seems to have intensified in the aftermath of the military agreement that Turkey and Israel signed in February. RP opposes this agreement vehemently, just like many Arab governments.
    "Sources claim that the Clinton administration would like to see a second Major Way minority coalition without Ciller or Yilmaz, under the Prime Ministry of a 'third name'. Such a coalition is also believed to be one of the best ways to stop another rumour which is circulating lately in Washington: that a military coup might be on its way unless a quick solution is found this summer to Turkey's mounting economic and political problems."
    Already, in Turkey, neo-fascist MHP leader Alparslan Türkes, the main instigator of the previous three military coups, started to openly talk of the possibility of a new military coup.
    Under these circumstances, all political leaders, putting aside their earlier declarations, start to resort to Ottoman-type duperies for their short-term interests.
    First of all, DYP leader Tansu Ciller, knowing very well that she lost all her chance of being again prime minister, has started to flirt with Erbakan in a view to form a DYP-RP coalition.
    She counts on such a coalition for saving herself from being sentenced for irregularities before the Constitutional Court. In addition to her irregularities on the privatisation of some State enterprises and her fabulous doubtful wealth, Ciller was also accused by Prime Minister Mesut  Yilmaz of embezzling TL 500 billion of secret funds before leaving office.
    Erbakan too, in order to come to power with the support of the DYP, seems ready to forget all the accusations against Ciller that his party brought to the Parliament. Furthermore, isn't Erbakan himself, despite his vicious attacks on Ciller for her millions, that has the difficulty to explain how did he become the owner of many real estates, 148 Kg of gold in ingots and hundreds of thousands of German Marks and Swiss Francs.
    So, despite their supposedly irreconcilable political and moral differences, the people watched in amazement as Mr Erbakan and Ciller quietly agreed to bury the hatchets and  to form a new government
    After her talks tête-à-tête with Erbakan, Ciller said: "This country is unique and united, and always will remain so. Turkey which has one hand in Asia and the other in Europe will imprint its stamp on the coming century. To do it, we should impose our flag and our mosque to Europe. We are nationalist, we are conservative. Our eyes are at the flag, our ears at the ezan [call to prayer]!" (Milliyet, 16.6.1996)
    This is the latest message of the Turkish iron lady so appreciated once by the European Union as the only guarantee against the rise of Islamism in Turkey. Now she takes over the mission to impose Turkish flag and Moslim mosque to Europe.
    As to the two social democrat parties, Baykal's CHP and Ecevit's DSP, instead of raising the policies to defend the interests of impoverished people, they are continuing to quarrel by accusing each other of causing to lose the chance of being the spare wheel of past or future right-wing governments.


    In last two months, the biggest metropolis of Turkey, Istanbul became the scene of two spectacular events: Bloody May Day celebrations on May 1, 1996, and the Habitat II meetings on June 3-14, 1996. All the matters discussed at the Habitat II were, in fact, the real reason of the May Day social explosion in Istanbul: Wild urbanisation, unemployment, lack of democratic rights, ethnic and opinion discriminations, etc.
    The peaceful celebration of working class unity, solidarity and struggle day, organized by trade union confederations turned into open warfare when police attacked demonstrators and shot dead a young man.
    The response of the demonstrators was also violent. Angry youngsters broke shop windows with sticks in their hands and burned cars. Three civilians were killed and more than one hundred demonstrators, policemen and bystanders injured during repeated confrontations throughout the day.
    According to officials, these people who damaged the district of Kadiköy were terrorists, militants and enemies of the State. They had only one aim: to topple the existing order and bring about the alternative order they want.
    It is the same argument used by the authorities in the analysis of the never-ending conflict in the South-East of Turkey. For them, there is not any Kurdish question in Turkey. It is a handful "PKK terrorists" that are responsible for the 13-year old war. If the powerful Turkish Army annihilate this "band of terrorists", Southeastern Turkey will turn into a paradise!
    In the same reasoning, the authorities, closing their eyes to social and economic realities of metropolis like Istanbul, launched a man-hunting after the May Day incidents. Hundreds of young people were arrested and sent to tribunals.
    However, millions of young people are still living in the insupportable conditions of shanty towns which represent 60 percent of the population of Istanbul.  The youth and children of Istanbul participate in work life in increasing numbers each day. The rate of 12-19 year-old working youth increased by 64 percent between 1980 and 1990.
    Whatsoever be their political options, either radical left or Islamic fundamentalist, they are seeking solution to their problems in radical ways, because they have not been allowed to opt for democratic ways. Many of them are seeking revenge for the death of their comrades, revenge for everything that they are deprived of.
    Their actions very often take violent forms when they see that the most corrupted people of the country can occupy the posts of prime minister and minister and police chiefs get profit from the mafia which exploits shanty towns.
    Social democrat parties who had once a big popular support in big cities have already lost all their credibility because of their complicity with the corrupt right-wing politicians and their direct implication in irregularities and repressive practices.
    The Gazi events of the past year were one of these violent social explosions. May Day events of this year are a new step in the radicalisation of the opposition in shanty towns of metropolis.
    Another sign of this radicalisation was no doubt the successful results obtained by the Islam fundamentalist RP in the June 2 local elections.


    As the official Habitat II organized by the United Nations was being held in the most beautiful valley of Istanbul, one of the most polluted cities of the world, during the first half of June 1996, Turkish authorities have not failed to show their hostility against human rights defenders.
    After human rights topics were excluded from the official programme of the conference, on May 31, Turkish police banned all Alternative Habitat activities organized by 35 non government organizations that boycott the official Habitat II Conference.
    Alternative Habitat was to be a forum for organizations not involved in the official Habitat activities to highlight a number of issues, such as human rights abuses in Turkey, that were not on the official conference agenda.
    The activities of the Alternative Habitat started on May 29 in the meeting halls outside of the Habitat Valley, the venue in central Istanbul for the official summit. However, Turkish authorities could not support this alternative action more than two days. They gave as the excuse for banning the Alternative Habitat that the NGOs had not got permission from the governor office to convene their counter conference.
    The Istanbul Chairman of the Human Rights Association (IHD), Ercan Kanar said that the state was afraid of the realities and its crimes that were to be attacked at the Alternative Habitat and announced that the state was caught red handed by this act.
    By the side of a series of routine police interventions, the most spectacular police action during Habitat II was the detention of about 1,500 people, including several foreign participants at the UN Habitat II Conference, on June 8 when they staged protests for the defense of human rights in Turkey.
    One of the demonstrations was organized by the Public Workers Trade Union Confederation (KESK) for the recognition of trade union rights to public servants. The other one was the traditional Saturday meeting of mothers staging a protest for their sons and daughters missing when in custody.
    Police immediately attacked the demonstrators with wooden batons and arrested the protesters who were staging a sit down demonstration on Istiklal Street at Galatasaray Square.
    This repression was protested against next day by representatives of NGOs at the Habitat Valley. Hundreds of Habitat II participants from different countries gathered at the ITU Taskisla Campus with black stripes covering their mouths signifying the gagging of free speech. A spokesman then read a declaration protesting the police brutality against peaceful demonstrators.
    The declaration said Turkish police should go and catch their colleagues who are responsible for 400 people who have gone missing in custody rather than attacking the missing persons' families.
    The NGOs also expressed support for Turkish public servants' struggle for their trade union and social rights.
    Same day a further 15 people were arrested when they gathered in front of the Police Headquarters in Aksaray asking for information as to the fate of those arrested on Saturday.
    Istanbul Chief of Police Kemal Yazicioglu said, "It should be known that we shall not allow illegal actions to go ahead which aim to give a bad impression to the world by putting Turkey and the Turkish police into a difficult position."
    Whereas, it is not such kind of actions but the repressive attitude of the Turkish Government and police that put Turkey into shameful position.


    Below is an analysis by Hakan Aslaneli, published in The Turkish Daily News on May 19, 1996:
    The name appears behind the debt-collection crimes, the cases of impropriety and scandals that have been gaining greater prominence in the media and in the courts over the last few last years. Turkey, accustomed to living under the threat of coups d'état living with governmental failings and bureaucratic weaknesses, has begun to understand the severity of a new problem in society — the mafia.
    Claims about senior state representatives and their staff being involved in irregularities have been dominating the headlines.
    Does the mafia, whose name is repeatedly mentioned in rumours, work with the representatives of the state? Or are the representatives themselves a part of the mafia? For many Turkish people the mafia, and the undermining of society that it represents, is one of the greatest problems facing the country today. What is the mafia? Who are its members? What kind of power is behind it? How far has its reach extended? What do mafia members eat, drink, wear? How do they earn their money? What are the differences between the Turkish mafia and its counterparts in the rest of the world? Today, Turkey accepts the reality of the existence of the mafia in all its forms and acknowledges the trillions of lira that it sucks out of the economy. The mafia itself has become part of the living tissue of the country. 

    The Street Mafia

    The street mafia, made up of people calling themselves külhanbeyler (roughnecks) who started to appear in numbers in Istanbul in the 1930s, is known today as the "gang." The Street mafia, which once was thought to earn its money through courage and power, now attacks houses and work places and even commits mass crimes in groups of up to 100 people. So how does one become a member of the street mafia? The major requirement is to be ruthless enough to kill a man without hesitation. The gang will not accept a new member unless he is close to one of its members who will vouch for him. First of all, the new member is given routine duties such as making tea, cleaning the gang's headquarters, driving the car. If he is able to adapt himself to the gang, he will be assigned a real mission. The first thing that he will be called upon to do is to kill someone. Since the gang would not risk the possibility of one of its experienced men going to prison, the new young members are used in these cases, taking the risk of imprisonment if arrested. A member of the street mafia has to spend some time in prison otherwise he doesn't earn the respect of his criminal peers.
    The tesbihler or worry beads of the gang members are their most characteristic accessories. The qualities of the tesbihler, consisting of 33 beads, also show the worth of its owners. The most precious tesbihler are those made of obsidian from Erzurum and embedded with gold or diamonds. His tesbih is the only thing that a mafia member cannot neglect.
    Even in death it plays a part, being placed on the coffin. The second thing in the life of a mafioso, one that is as important as the tesbih, is drugs. Members of the Turkish mafia usually smoke hashish. A new member has to know how to make a hashish cigarette called a "couple" or "trio." The hashish cigarettes that are prepared by the new members are smoked by the more senior gang members during discussions. The long-established members of the criminal organizations are especially recognized by their eyes. Their eyes are red and exhausted looking due to the hashish that they so freely use. The older members, who have become weakened by the continuous use of drugs, don't undertake "business" that necessitates great physical exertion.
    This is to say the street mafia members are generally retired after they reach 30 years of age. These people have a very active life between 18-30, but age before their time and seem to be in their 50s when they are only 30. Their clothing is another distinguishing feature and is common to most gang members.
    In summer they prefer to dress in clothes made of thin, brilliantly colored materials, especially silken shirts decorated with flower patterns. Many have a taste for shoes which are sharply pointed with raised heels. This somewhat extravagant style of dress is complemented by the characteristic attitudes and behavior patterns of mafia members, who like to play the part of the larger than life "filmland mobster."
    A preferred form of entertainment for gang members is to send flowers to the singers at casinos and to mingle with the elite of the social and entertainment worlds. Apart from their excessive drug use many like to indulge in drinking whisky. And there is a great danger from wild gun shots once both the drugs and alcohol, so freely used, start to take their toll on temper and judgement.
    Mafia members prefer to marry when very young and to have sons who will follow in their criminal footsteps. Those who become wealthy like to send their children to private colleges and even abroad to provide them with a good education. Despite being married, it is the accepted thing for mafioso to take a lover or lovers. They are not afraid to attend social events with their lovers. It is part of this male-dominated world that their wives have no right to object to this behavior.

    What Do They Do?
    The mafia, which justifies its crimes by claiming to defend the weak and poor people of Turkey and not to make money, has many branches in Turkey. The reality is that some of those branches have moved from the streets and, like a cancer or virus, have entered into the organs of the state itself, thus giving the mafia far greater opportunities to garner wealth.  The street mafia earns money in the following ways: 

    • Debt Collection

    Members of the mafia who are engaged in debt collection intervene when there are problems in collecting money in the trade sector and are known for their ruthless methods. The underworld takes 50 percent of the amount that has to be collected as well as a payment from the creditor to cover the gang's "expenses." So, for the collection of a debt, gang members get up to two-thirds of the total sum of the money owed.
    The mafia members use the name of some powerful and famous mafia leader with whom they are associated to threaten their target in order to extract money. Should this threat be insufficient to motivate the debtor to pay, the mafia resorts to violence and guns. They are in action every day and their activities are often featured in the newspapers, making them the most well known branch of the mafia in the country. 

    • Gambling

    The mafia was involved in gambling in Turkey long before the opening of the big casinos, which gave new life to an old profession. In the gambling world, where huge amounts of money circulate, mafia members are known by their wealth and their luxurious life styles.
    Members have invested their earnings in Switzerland and in the United States and are renowned for their dislike of news of their activities appearing in the media. A mafia member who hears that his activities will be featured in the papers or on radio or television is never loath to use the threat of mafia intervention to kill the story. There is also a rumor that huge amounts of money play a role when the threat of mafia intervention is not effective enough. 

    • Sale of State Owned Land

    The mafia has branches within the state agencies in cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa and Adana. It sells state-owned land to encourage the development of shanty towns and manages its business without using guns. Members are known to be close to the municipal representatives of their region and are known for giving bribes.

    • Parking Lot Operations

    A new mafia activity stemming from the sale of state-owned land, which is most prevalent in the big cities and run by migrants to the major centres involves parking lots. The occupation of the streets by these people, their extortion of money from car owners, and their expansion to nearly all the streets of the big cities lead to questions of whether the municipal officials and the police are also associated with this branch of the mafia. Members of the parking lot mafia don't hesitate to damage the cars of those who fail to give money. Car owners who lodge complaints with the authorities are ignored, strengthening the belief that the municipality and police may be involved with organized crime.

    • Running of Tea Gardens and Market Places

    Tea gardens and market places are dominated by the famous names of the world of crime and are big money earners. The mafia transforms every empty location on the shores of the Bosphorus in Istanbul into tea gardens or market places without any legal lease. This branch of the mafia is well known for its close relations to officials at every level of government. These gang members are able to maintain their illegal way of life due to their friends in the government and they determine the prices of the products in their marketplaces on their own. For example, the price of a cup of coffee in a tea garden with a beautiful view can amount to TL 250,000. The non-intervention of the municipal authorities again brings to mind the same question. Are they partners in crime?

    • Inside Information

    Some mafia members make their living by informing people of state property that is to be put on sale or when bids are to be invited for a contract before it is officially announced. These people are usually elegantly dressed and frequently appear in official circles, carrying on the business of their bosses who do not appear in public.
    They hold meetings with members of Parliament, ministers and bureaucrats in the luxurious hotels of Ankara and especially like to take pan in the construction of highways and plaza buildings as well as of the parking lots and gardens belonging to the city municipalities.

    • Inside the Judicial System 

    There is a rumor that various branches of organized crime are also interfering with Turkey's judicial system. Their influence on some lawyers and Judges concerning serious cases of corruption or cases concerning famous families and their interests have been receiving much attention in the media of late.

    • Obtaining Visas

    Active in the streets where foreign embassies and consulates are located, these mafiosi help obtain visas for Turkish citizens to allow them to enter countries that demand visas. These members approach people who want to get a visa, ask them to follow the procedures they outline, and give guarantees to them that they will receive the required documents.
    The charge varies according to the country; they can ask DM 2000 for Germany and $3000 for the United States. A person who enters into an agreement with the mafia pays half of the sum in advance and the rest after he or she gets the visa. They are frequently robbed by the mafia member who can easily disappear after taking the money.
    The mafia is expanding its activities throughout society in order to strengthen its hold on the economy and on power and has become a reality that has to faced. The mafia is developing daily and is drawing to its ranks many young people who are attracted to the potentials of a life of crime due to the lack of opportunities in the work place and the inadequate educational system that offers little hope of gainful employment for many. The mafia's activities appear attractive to the young and enrich those who become involved in them.
    In a society where the acquisition of wealth is becoming more of a central focus for many, especially the young, the mafia is a heaven-sent fast track to the goals to which they aspire. In a country where the population has the improprieties of the rich and powerful paraded before it daily in the media, where corruption is seen as an acceptable way of life, where crime and injustice are seen to go unpunished and indeed rewarded, is it any wonder that the ranks of the mafia are being swollen by eager recruits?
    Members of organized crime are known for their blind courage and willingness to take any risk.
    They do not fear being killed and do not quit their job until the end of their lives. The mafia is a way of life rather than a way of making money, and it is a way of life that is being adopted by more and more people in Turkey. We will see in the coming days how successful Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz will be in keeping his promise to eliminate the mafia.


    As thousands of delegates from the world were gathering in Istanbul for Habitat II, about 10 thousand political prisoners in 37 prisons of Turkey were on hunger strike in protest against inhuman prison conditions.
    The protest began last year in December with the occupation by inmates of Umraniye Prison and then spread to other prisons and reached a bloody end with the intervention of security forces.
    Now the prisons, which for a while have been quite silent, are once more beginning to boil over because of the repressive attitude of Justice Minister Mehmet Agar.
    The new wave of protests started with a hunger strike in the Diyarbakir E Type prison and has spread to other prisons just as happened last year. Yavuzeli Prison, Gaziantep and Bursa Prisons, Tokat Zile Prison and the Mardin Closed Prison followed suit after Sakarya with hunger strikes from 23 May onwards. The people being held in these prisons have announced that they will continue their hunger strike if their demands are not met.
    It has further been announced that the condition of 11 of the prisoners who are on an extended hunger strike is not good. Attention has been drawn to the fact that the prisoners are continually bleeding internally, have blood circulation problems and are suffering from fainting spells to the point that they might die at any moment.
    The daily Cumhuriyet of June 16 reports that the hunger strikes in prisons since September 1980 coup had cost the life of fifteen prisoners. Last year, political prisoner Fesih Beyazcicek lost his life on July 23, 1995, at the Yozgat Prison, and Remzi Altintas, on August 13, 1995, in the Amasya Prison.
    The prisoners have said that they feel that the prime minister and other officials including the president of the Republic are playing "blind and deaf" where their rightful demands are concerned and they have decided to completely boycott the state courts.
    The families which are supporting the hunger strike in the prisons have started their own hunger strikes in many cities and towns.
    In Europe, thousands of immigrants from Turkey too have carried out hunger strikes in an act of solidarity.
    HADEP Chairman Murat Bozlak has named the new Justice Minister as the person who will be responsible if there are any deaths. Bozlak drew attention to the fact that pressure in the prisons has been on the increase.
    The Human Rights Association's (IHD) too accused Agar of being the instigator of the hunger strikes. "In spite of the innumerable charges which have made against him Agar has now been made the Minister of Justice, This situation again brings out the reality that he continually wants a police state. The police who intervene in many community affairs are being used in a way in which they are acting not to prevent something or break up an incident but are being used to open fire on the people," said an IHD communiqué.
    "The result of opening fire is either death by struck in the head or chest or remaining maimed or wounded. In many of the assaults in the prisons many of the prisoners and those in custody lost their lives.
    "The same style that applies on the street is used in prison and the cells are entered using tear gas bombs and iron bars. Even the wounded who were taken to hospital are struck inside the ambulances and their treatment prevented. In this situation then government statements concerning the murders are aimed at making the murders legitimate in a defensive manner and deceiving public opinion.
    "If the Justice Ministry were to turn into an organization which encourages state terrorism, this is to say that the future of the people in the society and their basic rights and freedoms will be in danger of falling into deep darkness and danger."


    Turkish Minister of Justice and former Director General of Police Mehmet Agar was accused, on May 8 at the US Congress, of being a "super torturer."
    Dr. Inge Genefke, a Danish expert on torture and medical director of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), testifying before the U.S. House Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, said that in Turkey torture was conducted by police. She referred to Mehmet Agar, the former chief of Turkish police, as the "super torturer of Turkey."
    The hearing is conducted to call attention to the trial in Adana of Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TIHV) members on May 10. "The IRCT was behind the foundation of [the TIHV] centres [in Turkey] and has a close collaboration with our colleagues in Turkey concerning rehabilitation of torture victims," Genefke said.
    "The reason a doctor and a lawyer from Adana HRFT centre was put on trial in Turkey was because they refused to give to Turkish Ministry of Health the names of their clients treated at these centres.
    "The IRCT is deeply concerned about this. Our principle is to protect our clients as much as possible, and bearing this principle in mind we work under the strictest professional secrecy which is a universal and basic condition for all medical treatment. An attack on this professional silence would be totally destructive for our work for torture victims.
    "Furthermore, in a country like Turkey where the state is behind the execution of torture, it is obvious that only an inconsiderable percentage of the victims dare come forward and risk their own safety, life and the safety and lives of their family," she said.


    The European Commission of Human Rights has accepted two more cases against Turkey as "admissible" and referred them to the European Court of Human Rights on April 17, 1996.
    The first case, "Aziz Mentes and others vs. Turkey," involves allegations on the part of four women that Turkish soldiers burned their homes on June 25, 1993. The report said that according to the applicants, Turkish security forces had arrived the day after an attack on the village of Sagoze in Bingöl province by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on June 23. "Again according to the applicants, the security forces burned their homes the following day on the basis that the villagers had helped the PKK separatists."
    The commission has declared admissible the applicants' complaints that on June 25, 1993, state security forces burned their homes, destroying their property and forcing them to evacuate their village and causing, in the case of Suriye Uvat who was pregnant at the time, the premature delivery of twins, who died shortly afterwards. The commission found Turkey in violation of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which assures the right to respect for family life.
    The report also cites Turkey as being in violation of Article 3, which protects from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. According to the report, Turkey is also in breach of law in regard to Articles 6.1 and 13, which call for effective domestic remedies. "Turkey's decision not to pursue the cases of these women in the domestic legal system is fundamentally flawed," the report argued.
    The second application that was accepted as "admissible" by the commission is Sükran Aydin's complaint that she was raped while in custody.
    "In the early hours of June 29, 1993, the applicant, her father Sevdo Aydin and her sister-in-law Ferahdiba Aydin were taken from their village Tasit, in Derik district, by the village guards and gendarme officers. They were taken to Derik gendarme headquarters. During her detention, the applicant was blind¬folded. She was taken to a 'torture room' where she was beaten, stripped naked, placed in a tyre and hosed with pressurised water. In another separate room, she was stripped and raped by a member of the security forces. She and the other members of her family were released after three days on or about July 2, 1993," the report said, quoting the applicants' alleged complaints.
    According to the report, the commission has found Turkey in violation of Article 3, considering Aydin's treatment while in custody to be so severe as to amount to torture. It further stated that the right to a fair hearing by the judicial system (as defined in Article 6.1) was also violated.

    The IHD Istanbul Branch held an open air press conference in Istanbul to raise their claim that Talat Türkoglu has disappeared in the state forces' hands.
    Talat Türkoglu has been missing since April 1. His wife and family claim that Türkoglu was arrested and is in custody. The IHD said that their queries since April 26 to Minister of Interior Ülkü Güney and other authorities have not been answered yet.
    "We ask to the state once again," said the IHD declaration, "where is Türkoglu? You who govern us, how long will you continue to keep silent? If Türkoglu does not reappear alive the responsibility will be on the present government and the existing state mentality."


    3.4, in Istanbul, Ali Ocak who was detained on March 15, claims to have been tortured in police custody.
    3.4, a group of Grey Wolves raids a university canteen and seriously wounded six left-wing students.
    3.4, security forces announce the arrest of 16 PKK militants in Istanbul and six DHKP-C militants in Adana.
    4.4, in Birecik, a 15-year old high school student, F.I., is placed under arrest by a local court for having raised Kurdish flag in school.
    4.4, security forces arrest 22 people for DHKP-C activities in Istanbul.
    5.4, the public prosecutor of Ankara indicted 385 university students for holding demonstrations without authorisation and occupying university buildings. The defendants face heavy imprisonment of up to nine years.
    6.4, in Adana, Zeki Zeper claims to have been tortured at a police station.
    6.4, the daily Demokrasi reports that the village of Dilek, in Mardin, was depopulated by security forces and about 150 inhabitants had to migrate to the town of Dargecit.
    7.4, in Diyarbakir, Ramazan Uran who was wounded during an armed attack died in a city hospital.
    7.4, the IHD Kirsehir branch was set on fire by unidentified assailants. A press conference organised to protest against this attack was forbidden by police. Seventeen people are taken into custody for unauthorised demonstration.
    8.4, in the village of Besikkaya in Mardin, 37-year old Hasret Gündüz falls victim of the explosion of a mine laid by security forces.
    9.4, in Eskisehir, 24 university students are indicted for a demonstration they held on March 17 against the hike of university charges.
    9.4, the Ankara SSC sentences three members of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP) to prison terms of up to fifteen years.
    10.4, the trial of 51 university students for protest actions against the hike of university charges starts at a criminal court of Istanbul. The prosecutor asks for imprisonments of up to 19 years.
    10.4, in Ankara, a group of university students are attacked by Grey Wolves as they are protesting against the earlier attacks by the same assailants. Grey Wolves wound nine students and a Cumhuriyet photo reporter, Tarik Tinazay.
    10.4, security forces announce the arrest of fifteen people in Elazig and nine people in Bingöl for supporting outlawed organizations.
    10.4, in Diyarbakir, Hasan Gen is shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
    11.4, IHD Aydin Chairman Abdurrahman Saran is indicted for his speech at a meeting in protest against the Umraniye Prison incidents. He faces a prison term of not less than three months.
    11.4, in Karakocan, the headman of the village of Cayirgülü, Kaya Altun, and two other people are taken into custody for aiding the PKK.
    12.2, in Istanbul, IHD member Tamis Akpinar is taken into custody and subjected to torture when he goes to the police headquarters for receiving his passport.
    13.4, former CHP Tunceli deputy Sinan Yerlikaya is accused by the prosecutor of the Ankara SSC of having given help and shelter to TIKKO militants. Under Article 169 of the Turkish Penal Code, Yerlikaya faces a prison term of up to five years.
    13.4, security forces detain a total of eight people in Rize and Artvin for PKK activities.
    14.4, at the Hacettepe University of Ankara, eight students are taken into custody for refusing to show their identity cards to gendarmes.
    14.4, in Nusaybin, Yusuf Demir is shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
    14.4, demonstrations for peace, democracy and trade union rights, organized by the Confederation of Public Servants Unions (KESK) are banned by the governors of Gaziantep and Samsun. This decision is protested in Samsun with an unauthorised demonstration and about eighty people are taken into custody.
    14.4, the Giresun office of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) is raided by police and some documents confiscated. Police also detain ÖDP local chairman Mustafa Erol and another party official.
    14.4, in Mersin, security forces raiding a house and an orange garden shoot dead four people on charges of being PKK sympathisers. The IHD accuses police of executing people without trial.
    14.4, in Izmir, five people are taken into custody for having waves Kurdish tricolour (green-yellow-red) scarves during a wedding ceremony.
    14.4, police raid on some houses in Gaziemir result in the arrest of four people.
    14.4, in Hasankeyf, security forces arrest 40 people including HADEP local chairman Hayrettin Topkan.
    15.4, in Ankara, Grey Wolves raid the canteen of the Gazi University and wound three left-wing students.
    16.4, in Adana, student Meral Ordu claims to have been tortured during her police detention.
    17.4, the Ankara prosecutor opens a legal proceeding against the representatives of a series of democratic organizations and trade unions on charges of having supported a student action against the hike of university charges.
    17.4, in Ankara, security forces detain 33 university students during a discipline operation.
    18.4, the central campus of the Hacettepe University in Ankara is raided by a group of Grey Wolves. In Istanbul, police wound a student during a protest demonstration.
    19.4, in Istanbul, twelve people are detained by police on charges of illegal activities.
    20.4, in Diyarbakir,  Mehmet Senyigit is assassinated at police detention and his dead body is found at the mortuary of the State Hospital.
    21.4, after a meeting for peace and democracy, organized by the HADEP in Istanbul, six participants are detained by police.
    22.4, a penal court of Ankara starts to try former SHP deputy Mahmut Alniak for insulting the defunct president of the Republic, Turgut Özal, and his family. He faces a prison term of up to four years.
    22.4, in Istanbul, tens of militants of the Party of Labour (EP) and the Socialist Power Party (SIP) are taken into custody as distributing May Day tracts.
    22.4, HADEP's Siirt provincial office is raided by police, nine party members taken into custody.
    22.4, in Maras, three teachers, Nurettin Arslan, Haci Ömer Serin and Aydin Yilmaz, are shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
    23.4, some May Day posters produced by the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) are banned by the governor of Istanbul.
    24.4, the prosecutor of Istanbul opened a legal proceeding against 453 political detainees for their resistance action in the Bayrampasa Prison at the beginning of January 1996.
    24.4, a student demonstration in Istanbul is attacked by police and more than 50 students taken into custody.
    25.4, HADEP Batman chairman Rifat Basalak is taken into police custody.
    25.4, the Kayseri SSC sentences four people to prison terms of up to 18 years and 9 months for participating in the activities of the Workers'-Peasants' Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO).
    26.4, HADEP deputy chairman Osman Özcelik is arrested by the Ankara SSC for his press release on the assassination of eleven Kurdish peasants by State forces in Güclükonak on January 15. Same day, in Hasankeyf, HADEP local chairman Hayrettin Topkan is placed under arrest by a tribunal. In Diyarbakir, a HADEP official, Veli Türkyilmaz is taken into police custody after a raid on his house.
    27.4, a HADEP official in Turgutlu, Seyhmus Celik and four other people are put under arrest by the Izmir SSC. Same day, in Batman, security forces arrest 16 people.
    28.4, a private soldier, Ömer Marulcu, is arrested by a military tribunal for having participated in the meeting for peace and democracy, organized by HADEP in Istanbul on April 21.
    1.5, in Tunceli, 58-year old Hasan Tuntas who was shot on April 30 by soldiers, dies at a city hospital.
    1.5, security forces announce the arrest of eight people accused of taking part in TIKKO activities.
    2.5, seven university students who were detained by police on April 17 are placed under arrest by the Ankara SSC's decision; The IHD claims that the students were subjected to torture during their police custody.
    2.5, in Siirt, a 17-year old girl, Hazal Sevim is shot dead by security forces as she was pasturing animals.
    2.5, in Ankara, a high school student, Yasin Akkaya, who was detained on April 12, claims to have been tortured by policemen forcing him to turn into a police informer.
    2.5, in Mersin, four people who were detained in April are placed under arrest by a tribunal.
    3.5, in Istanbul, an unidentified person is shot dead by military guards on pretext that he did not obey to the order not to enter a forbidden zone.
    3.5, in Karacabey, Hasan Tanis who was detained one day ago, is found stabbed at the police station. He dies as being taken to hospital.
    3.5, in Izmir, seven alleged members of the Revolutionary Communists' Union of Turkey (TIKB) are placed under arrest by a local court.
    4.5, during a commemoration ceremony for a former mayor of Fatsa, Fikri Sönmez, who was one of the victims of the September 12 regime, security forces take more than 50 people into custody.
    4.5, in Izmir, two members of the Party of Labour (EP), Özgür Turna and Ferhat Kanza, claim to have been tortured at a Grey Wolves local to where they were taken after being detained for a time at a police station.
    5.5, the chairman of the Diyarbakir Doctors' Chamber and the Chief of the Social Security Hospital, Seyfettin Kiziltan, is taken into custody by police raiding his house. Accused of aiding the PKK, Kiziltan had already been taken into custody last year for giving medical care to a wounded PKK militant.
    6.5, the Ankara SSC sentences three Hizbullah members to capital punishment under Article 146/1 of the Turkish Penal Code, for attempting to overthrow the constitutional regime and to establish a religious order. Death sentences are later commuted to life prison. In the same case, six other defendants are sentenced to prison terms of up to nine years under Article 169 of the TPC.
    6.5, the Istanbul SSC sentences three PKK militants to imprisonments of up to 12 years.
    7.5, a penal court of Ankara begins to try 115 university students, of whom 26 under arrest, for having occupied on March 23 some buildings of the Ankara University in protest against the hike of university charges. The prosecutor asks for sentencing the defendants to imprisonment of up to nine years.
    7.5, in Hakkari, a HADEP official, Mustafa Gümüslü is taken into custody by police raiding his house.
    7.5, in Siirt, Tahir Özer and Ali Cetinkaya who were kidnapped on May 2 by unidentified assailants are found assassinated.
    8.5, in Siirt, HADEP official Abdülsamet Calapkulu and eighteen other people who were taken into custody on April 22, are placed under arrest by a local tribunal. In Istanbul, four members of the HADEP Youth Section are detained by police. Same day, in Adana, police detain five people for PKK activities.
    8.5, a former SHP deputy, Mahmut Alniak is indicted again by the prosecutor for a press conference he held in 1993 in Sirnak. Under Article 159/1 of the TPC, Alniak faces a prison term of up to six years for insulting the Armed Forces.
    9.5, two representatives of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), Mustafa Cinkilic and Dr. Turan Köse are brought before a penal court of Adana. Accused of not having informed the police directorate of the identities of the victims of torture asking for rehabilitation treatment, each faces a prison term of up to six months under Articles 526 and 530 of the Turkish Penal Code.
    9.5, two members of the Socialist Power Party (SIP), Cengiz Sucu and Nihat Sular claims to have been tortured after being detained on May 8 while putting party posters on walls.
    9.5, a HADEP provincial official, Veli Türkyilmaz is taken into custody by police raiding his house. His two sons too were earlier detained.
    11.5, the Ankara chairman of the War Industry Workers' Union (Harp-Is) Necmettin Dogan, Vice-chairman Ibrahim Yalcin and three other union officials are indicted by Ankara Prosecutor for a press release they issued in 1994. Each faces imprisonment of up to two years.
    11.5, tens of university students have reportedly been taken into custody by police in last days.
    12.5, in Istanbul, a group of 200 people visiting the grave of one of the victims of May Day incidents are dispersed by police using force and ten people wounded. 60 people coming to the visit in bus are also stopped at Tuzla and all of them taken into custody.
    12.5, in Hakkari, three former DEP officials, Ferzende Abi, Sirin Abi and Bazi Bor, are placed under arrest by a local tribunal. Same day, HADEP member Rifat Özbek and his son, Sahin Özbek, are taken into police custody in Seyhan.
    12.5, in Istanbul, security forces announce the arrest of fifteen people for participating in the activities of the Communist Labour Party of Turkey-Leninist (TKEP-L). Same day, police operations in Denizli, Aydin, Mugla and Manisa end in the arrest of nine alleged DHKP-C members and one TDKP member.
    13.5, in Istanbul, 17-year old Irfan Agdas is shot dead by police as he was selling the periodical Kurtulus.
    13.5, in Mersin, a woman named Remziye Karakoc claims to have been tortured and sexually harassed by police after being detained together with her father Mehmet Karakoc.
    14.5, about one hundred university students are dispersed by police using force as they are holding a protest demonstration during the opening ceremony of the National Education Council meeting. 81 students are detained.
    14.5, in Istanbul, during the funeral of Irfan Agdas, shot dead a day ago by police as selling Kurtulus, more than 300 people are dispersed by security forces and fifteen people taken into custody.
    14.5, two student canteens of the Ankara University are raided by Grey Wolves and eight left-wing students seriously wounded.
    14.5, sixteen years old Sükran Polat who was detained on May 8 in Istanbul, claims to have been forced under custody to being a police informer.
    14.5, in Sirnak, a public servant, Ahmet Ürün, and another unidentified person are found assassinated in the waste area of the Brigade Headquarters. Ürün's parents claim that they were killed under torture at least two weeks ago and buried there by soldiers for hiding their crime.
    14.5, HADEP Bingöl chairman Niyazi Azak is taken to police custody.
    15.5, in istanbul, 17-year old Önder Ürün claims to have been tortured by Grey Wolves after being kidnapped on May 13.
    16.5, police detain fifteen people in Istanbul on charges of participating in DHKP-C activities.
    16.5, the prosecutor of the Ankara SSC starts a legal action against a former member of Parliament, Hasan Mezarci, for a speech he gave in 1992. Accused of separatist propaganda, Mezarci faces a prison term of up to three years.
    17.5, in Ankara, 130 students from different provinces of Turkey organize an alternative educational council meeting. When they go to the Ministry of National Education, the students are attacked by police and 60 of them taken into custody. Detainees are brutally beaten in police cars as being taken to police headquarters. Same day, at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), gendarmes take into custody fifteen students.
    18.5, in Istanbul, an international congress on disappearances under custody is harassed by police. During an action to lit candles to the memory of the victims, 33 people including a British and a French citizen are taken into custody. Another action to visit the grave of a victim of May Day too ends in the arrest of 30 people.
    18.5, in Ankara, a new demonstration in protest against the detention of students a day ago ends in the arrest of 148 more students.
    18.5, in Van, 45-year old Nazmi Balik is found assassinated in his house.
    19.5, in Izmir, two suspects of theft, Hüseyin Sunal and Hüseyin Türkmen claim after their release to have been subjected to torture under custody.
    19.5, in Izmir, a meeting organized by the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) is banned by the governor.
    20.5, eighteen years old Akin Rencper who was kept in police custody in Istanbul in relation with the May Day incidents dies in Ankara because of ill-treatment he got at police headquarters.
    20.5, in Erzincan, 18 people are detained by security forces in relation with an operation against the Workers'-Peasants' Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO).
    20.5, in Adana, security forces announce the arrest of thirteen people on charges of being members of the Marxist-Leninist Armed Propaganda Unit (MLSPB) and October (Ekim).
    21.5, the Court of Cassation ratifies a one-year imprisonment against Imam Hasan Hüseyin Kiymik for having insulted Atatürk.
    21.5, in Adana, the Culture and Solidarity Association of Yüregir is closed down by the order of the Adana Governor.
    21.5, in Adana, seven people are detained for being members of the Revolutionary Communists' Union of Turkey (TIKB).
    22.5, a new trial against former SHP deputy Mahmut Alniak starts at a penal court of Ankara. Accused of having insulted former Interior Minister Mustafa Kalemli, now the speaker of the National Assembly, Kalemli faces a prison term of up to two years.
    22.5, in Bursa, Grey Wolves attack a bus carrying left-wing students and wound seven of the latter.
    23.5, in Van, police detain former DEP members Zahir Kartal and Burhan Keskin.
    23.5, a quarrel between Grey Wolves and left-wing students at the Political Sciences Faculty of the Ankara University ends in the wounding of two left-wing students.
    23.5, a festival organized in Balikesir by the ÖDP and a concert of folk singer Ferhat Tunc in Izmir are banned by local governors.
    23.5, in Ankara, security forces detain thirty people in relation with PKK and thirteen other people in relation with October (Ekim) in Ankara.
    23.5, five students in the Gazi University in Ankara and four students at the Atatürk University in Erzincan are taken into police custody.
    24.5, Grey Wolves attacking the Akdeniz University in Antalya wound four students.
    24.5, twelve top officials of the Confederation of Public Servants' Trade Unions (KESK) are taken into custody in front of the Istanbul Governorship during a protest action.
    27.5, in Van, former DEP official Ferzende Abi claims to have been tortured during his 15-day police custody. Same day, in Ergani, 42-year old Hasip Erdogan too said to have been tortured.
    27.5, in Ankara, the Maltepe section of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) becomes the target of a bomb attack.
    28.5, in Ankara, Yasin Cetin and Hakki Seker claims to have been tortured.
    28.5, in Istanbul, seven officials of the Health Workers' Union (Tüm Saglik Sen) are taken into police custody. Same day fort people too are detained for DHKP-C activities.
    28.5, in Pervari, security forces looking for Tahir Aydinalp, arrest her 80-year old mother Maver Aydinalp and his wife Diyari Aydinalp when they fail to find him.
    29.5, sixteen high school students who were subjected to torture and are still being tried by the Izmir SSC for DHKP-C activities are indicted again. They are to be tried by a penal court under Article 536 of the TPC. Each faces a second prison term of up to two years for unauthorised poster campaign.
    29.5, in Istanbul, ten people are detained for DHKP-C activities.


    Writer and journalist Dr Haluk Gerger was, on May 15, sentenced by an Istanbul court to 20 months in prison and fined TL 500,000 for an article published in the 30 June 1995 edition of the daily Evrensel on the state of emergency in Southeast Turkey.
    In the same trial, Fatma Bayer, the former editor-in-chief of Evrensel, was also sentenced to 20 months in prison; however, the sentence was later commuted to TL 3.5 million.
    They are both sentenced under Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code for "inciting the public to enmity against each other by making regional and racial discrimination."
    Gerger is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in nuclear weapons and strategy, the United Nations, and international issues. Formerly an assistant professor of International Relations at the University of Ankara, he is a founding member of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) and was Secretary General of the Turkish United Nations Association from 1984 to 1994.
    On 9 December 1993, he was sentenced to twenty months in prison and fined TL 208 million in connection with a message of solidarity he had sent to a 23 May 1993 meeting in Ankara. This meeting was held to commemorate the 1972 execution of three political prisoners. He was tried under Article 8 of the Anti- Terror Law for "separatist propaganda." His twenty month sentence was ratified by the Appeal Court in late April 1994, although he was made to serve 15 months.


    The Human Rights Watch (HRW) awarded a Hellman/Hammett grant to world-renowned Turkish writer Yasar Kemal, who was tried and convicted in March 1996 on charges of "inciting racial hatred by way of regional and racial discrimination."     Kemal, who was given a 20-month suspended sentence, "was warned that if he repeated his crime in the next five years, the sentence would become active."
    In recognising Kemal, HRW "noted the courage he has shown in defending freedom of expression for himself and the others currently on trial. It is ironic that Turkey, which prides itself on Kemal's place on the short list of candidates for the Nobel Prize, is at the same time harassing him and his colleagues for expressing thoughtful concern."


    Writers around the world held a day of solidarity with their imprisoned and censored colleagues in Turkey on 30 May, reports the Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN.
    Members of International PEN centres around the world lobbied Turkish authorities, their own governments and Turkish representatives in their countries, "calling for the Turkish laws to be brought into line with international norms protecting freedom of expression."
    For its day of action, the WiPC noted, many writers and intellectuals in Turkey are being tried in connection with the publication of the book "Freedom of Expression in Turkey", which includes the article by Kemal for which he was charged. "Ninety-nine intellectuals who signed up as responsible editors of the book to challenge the government over freedom of expression restrictions were investigated and charged," says the WiPC, adding, "One, the well-known author Aziz Nesin, has since died and a second trial has been launched against 86 others who were identified after investigations."
    The 98 intellectuals went to court on 31 May.
    At a recent International PEN meeting in Denmark, writers from 19 countries signed up as responsible editors of "Freedom of Expression in Turkey" as a gesture of solidarity. The writers are from Denmark, Sweden, the United States of America, England, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Austria, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Kenya, Germany, Norway, Nepal, the Czech Republic, Malawi, Finland and Croatia.
    The WiPC reports that, in 1995, "human rights groups concentrated on pressuring the government to amend Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law," and, in October, this law was slightly amended and several writers released as a result.     However, some of these writers have now been sentenced again, says the WiPC, citing Dr. Haluk Gerger, another 1996 Hellman/Hammett grant recipient who was imprisoned from June 1994 until late 1995 under Article 8. He was sentenced for "inciting racism" on 15 May to 20 months in prison for an article on the state of emergency in Southeast Turkey. "Turkish human rights groups have identified around 500 laws which can be used to restrict freedom of expression in Turkey," says the WiPC.
    The PEN American Centre released a "Message of Solidarity to 98 Turkish Writers and Intellectuals Standing Trial in Turkey on May 31, 1996, from 98 Writers around the Globe", in both English and Turkish.


    Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz is among 10 world figures identified by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) as "Enemies of the Press."
    The fourth in the list of the "enemies" of the press,  "Yilmaz runs a government that at any given moment holds more journalists in jail than any other in the world," says the CPJ, adding, "Yilmaz has done nothing to improve on his predecessor Tansu Ciller's dismal press freedom record."
    The Committee to Protect Journalists says, "All are responsible for brutal campaigns against journalists and press freedom, as documented by CPJ in its ongoing monitoring of press freedom violations world-wide."
    The Enemies of the Press list is released annually on 3 May to mark World Press Freedom Day. 
    "Each of these 10 men is actively committed to the eradication of the independent press," said CPJ Executive Director William Orme. "Scores of working journalists were killed, imprisoned, or driven into exile as a result of their direct or covert actions."
    The other Enemies of the Press are, in order, Abu Abdul Rahman Amin, the head of Algeria's rebel Armed Islamic Group, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping,  Nigerian President Sani Abacha, Tajikistan's President Emomali Rakhmonov,  Indonesian President Suharto, Cuban President Fidel Castro, Saudi Arabia's King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, Kenya's President Daniel arap Moi and Slovakia's Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar


    2.4, the military court of the General Staff sentences a former responsible editor of the daily Özgür Gündem, Besim Döner, to four months in prison and TL 320 thousand in fine for anti-militarist publication. The military court also sentences Ali Akkaya, Selma Genc and Mesude Basigüzel to 2-month imprisonment each for anti-militarist propaganda.
    3.4, in Istanbul, a correspondent of the periodical Proleter Halkin Birligi, Muammer Kalkan claims to have been tortured during his police custody.
    3.4, former DEP deputy Hatip Dicle who is prison together with three other Kurdish deputies, is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a 2-year imprisonment for an article he had written for the daily Yeni Politika. Same day, the publisher of Yeni Politika, Necati Taniyan is sentenced for another article to a fine of TL 163 million.
    4.4, the responsible editor of the daily Evrensel, Ali Erol is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 600 thousand in fine. The court also decides to ban the newspaper's publication for month.
    4.4, a former responsible editor of the daily Özgür Gündem, Ömer Özdemir is sentenced by the military court of General Staff to two months in prison and TL 220 thousand in fine for an anti-militarist publication. The author of the article, Arif Hikmet Iyidogan too is sentenced to the same punishment.
    4.4, a penal court of Istanbul sentences six members of the musical group Yorum, Hakan Alak, Satilmis Lüker, Irsad Aydin, Özcan Senver, Güner Algül, Olcay Karadah, Ahmet Latif Tiftikci and Fatih Ertüre, a one-year imprisonment each for a protest action they carried out in August 1995. The imprisonments are later commuted to a fine of TL 150 thousand for each.
    5.4, the chairman of the Kurdish Institute, Sefik Beyaz is put in prison for serving his one-year imprisonment. He was sentenced by the Istanbul SSC for his speech at a meeting organized by the Greens Group of the European Parliament in Istanbul on April 29, 1994, on the subject of "nationalism and racism in Europe." The punishment is based on Article 312/2 of the Turkish Penal Code.
    8.4, the director of the Yurt Publishing House, Ünsal Öztürk is sentenced by a penal court of Ankara to 18 months in prison for having published PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan's book entitled The 12th September Fascism and the PKK's Resistance. The imprisonment is later commuted into a fine of TL 2.7 million.
    9.4, the responsible editor of the daily Evrensel, Ali Erol is sentenced to two years in prison and TL 74 million in fine for an article he published. The court also sentences the newspaper's publisher, Vedat Korkmaz, to a fine of TL 146.5 million and bans the newspaper's publication for one month.
    10.4, the Court of Cassation ratifies an 18-month imprisonment against sociologist Ismail Besikci for his book entitled An intellectual, an organization and the Kurdish Question. This sentence had been given by a penal court of Ankara on charges of insulting Atatürk. For the same book, Besikci is also being tried by two other courts for two different accusations. The Ankara SSC is trying him on charges of separatist propaganda, and a criminal court, on charges of insulting the National Assembly, the government and state security forces. Besikci has been in prison since November 13, 1993.
    12.4, the special May Day issue of the periodical Öncü Partizan is confiscated by the decision of a penal court of Istanbul.
    13.4, a 30-day ban on the publication of the periodical Hedef is ratified by the Court of Cassation and put in practice. The higher court also ratifies a one-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 4 million against the review's former responsible editor, Asli Günes.
    15.4, a cartoonist of the daily Evrensel, Ertan Aydin is imprisoned in Istanbul for serving his ten-month imprisonment for a cartoon he made for the defunct daily Özgür Gündem. He is accused of insulting the State under Article 159 of the Turkish Penal Code.  Aydin had already served a four-month imprisonment in 1995 for another cartoon.
    16.4, security forces take into custody the responsible editor of the periodical Odak, Erhan Duman, and two employees of the Günes Ülkesi Publishing House, Nazif Cetinkaya and Nihal Ciplak.
    18.4, the Istanbul SSC sentences the publisher of the daily Evrensel, Vedat Korkmaz, and the responsible editor Ali Erol, respectively to TL 160 million and TL 80 million in fine for having published a communiqué of the DHKP-C. The court also decides to ban the newspaper's publication for ten days.
    17.4, two Batman correspondents of the daily Demokrasi, Salih Güler and Lale Kurt are taken into custody during a private visit to the home of their friends.
    17.4, a penal court of Istanbul bans the publication of three reviews, Sosyalizm Yolunda Kizil Bayrak, Ekim Gencligi and Kizil Bayrak, on the pretext that the publisher and editor of these reviews, Ahmet Turan, is no more at the head of this publications.
    17.4, the head office of the daily Hürriyet in Istanbul is attacked by armed assailants.
    18.4, the Istanbul SSC decides to ban for one month the publication of the periodicals Partizan Sesi and Atilim.
    19.4, the chief editor of the periodical Zülfikar, Hüseyin Karatas is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 16 months in prison and TL 133 million in fine for his poems book entitled Dersim is the ballad of a revolt.
    19.4, two editors of the daily Akit, Abdurrahman Dilipak and Yilmaz Yalciner are tried by a penal court of Istanbul under Articles 311 and 312 of the TPC. Each faces a prison term of not less than two years.
    20.4, a penal court of Istanbul bans the publication of the reviews Liseli Arkadas and Karadeniz Günesi on pretext that they have not fulfilled some bureaucratic formalities.
    21.4, the periodicals Yeni Demokratik Genclik, N°42, and Özgür Gelecek, N°73, are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    22.4, theatre actress Bilgesu Erenus is put in prison in Ankara for serving her two-month imprisonment given by the Military Court of General Staff because she called all mothers to refusing to send their boys to military service. The sentence was ratified by the Military Court of Cassation.
    22.4, the Giresun correspondent of the daily Türkiye, Bekir Bayram is reportedly beaten at a police station.
    22.4, the periodicals Odak, N°53, and Öncü Partizan, Special N°3, are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC under Article 6 of the ATL.
    23.4, in Istanbul, the responsible editor of the periodical Partizan Sesi, Özlem Dalmaz, and correspondent Sadeli Aydin; five employees of the periodical Sosyalizm Yolunda Kizil Bayrak, Safter Korkmaz, Canan Kaya, Selma Baran, Ali Taskale and Zehir Colak were taken into custody for distributing May Day posters.
    23.4, the latest issues of the periodicals Emekcinin Alinteri, Proleter Halkin Birligi and Kaldirac are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC under Article 6 of the ATL.
    24.4, a 10-month prison term against IHD Istanbul chairman Ercan Kanar, for his article published by the defunct Özgür Gündem, is ratified by the Court of Cassation. However, the execution of the punishment is suspended on condition of not committing another contravention.
    25.4, The Higher Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) decides to ban the broadcasting of Kanal 50 TV in Nevsehir for one day and issues warning to many local TV and radios.
    29.4, a penal court of Istanbul confiscates the periodical Gencligin Sesi, N°15, under Article 312 of the TPC, for having published photos of assassinated youth leaders.
    30.4, the governor of Diyarbakir bans the selling of some music and video-cassettes containing songs in Kurdish.
    2.5, the Adana offices of the periodicals Alinteri, Kurtulus and Tavir are raided and searched by police. All printed materials are confiscated and twelve people in the offices detained.
    2.5, a book entitled Philosopher Ehmede Xane of Kurdistan, written by Medeni Ayhan, is confiscated by the Ankara SSC under Article 8.
    3.5, in Istanbul, Atilim correspondents Sabiha Budak, Incigül Basel, Mehtap Kurucay and Filiz Budak are taken into custody during a police raid to Budak's house. Father Ibrahim Budak too is detained during the operation.
    3.5, the responsible editor of the periodical Devrimci Genclik, Attila Yesil, is sentenced to sixteen months in prison and a fine of TL 133 million for an article he published in 1994. The court also decides to ban the publication of the periodical for one month for separatist propaganda under Article 8.
    4.5, in Fatsa, all journalists covering a collective visit to the grave of a May Day victim are expelled by force from the city.
    5.5, Ankara RP deputy Hasan Hüseyin Ceylan's book The Treason of Saint Sophia is confiscated by the Ankara SSC under Article 312 of the TPC. Besides, the periodical Proleter Halkin Birligi N°12 is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    6.5, Evrensel Adana correspondent Necati Öztürk and employee Izzet Sarikaya are taken into police custody.
    7.5, security forces raiding the Sivas office of the periodical Kurtulus detain correspondent Hülya Dagli.
    7.5, IHD Istanbul Chairman Ercan Kanar is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a fine of 83 million for some articles in a 1993 issue of IHD press release, Insan Haklari Bülteni. The responsible editor of the press release, Izzet Eray too is sentenced to five months in prison and TL 42 million in fine.
    8.5, Seyit Soydan and Halit Elci are sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to a fine of TL 4.2 million each for their articles in a the review Savasa Karsi Baris. The responsible editor of the review, Ömer Ucar too is sentenced to the same fine.
    8.5, the Istanbul SSC confiscates Özgür Gelecek, N°74 under Article 312 and Partizan N°16 under Article 6 of the ATL.
    9.5, Atilim correspondent Incigül Basel, after her release, claims to have been beaten and sexually harassed by police.
    9.5, Evrensel editor Ali Erol is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 600 thousand in fine for an article published on December 18, 1995.
    12.5, Evrensel Lüleburgaz correspondent and a Kizil Bayrak correspondent in Ankara are reportedly taken into custody by police raiding their houses. Same day, during a visit to the grave of a May Day victim, the correspondents of Özgür Gelecek, Yeni Demokrat Genclik and Uzun Yürüyüs are detained together with sixty people.
    14.5, the soloist of the musical group Kizilirmak, Ilkay Akkaya is sentenced by the Malatya SSC to one year in prison and TL 100 million in fine. Her prison term is later commuted to a fine of TL 93 million. She is accused of separatist propaganda in a song under Article 8.
    16.5, the director of the Yurt Publishing House, Ünsal Öztürk is sentenced by a penal court of Ankara to a 18-year imprisonment for having published Besikci's book entitled An Intellectual, An Organization and the Kurdish Question. His prison term is later commuted to a fine of TL 2 million 725 thousand.
    17.5, Cumhuriyet columnist Ergin Yildizoglu is kept under custody five hours in relation with a former court warrant against him.
    17.5, in Samsun, a concert of the musical group Gündogarken is attacked by Grey Wolves.
    19.5, the Istanbul SSC confiscates periodical Odak N°54 and Roza N°2 for separatist propaganda.
    18.5, in Adana, an employee of the periodical Özgür Halk, Veysel Erol claims to have been forced under police custody to converting to a police informer.
    19.5, in Izmir, four people putting Evrensel posters on walls are taken into police custody.
    20.5, the Iskenderun office of the periodical Özgür Atilim is raided by police and two employees, Altan Koman and Bülent Inanc taken into custody. Same day, Adana offices of Alinteri, Kurtulus and Tavir are raided by police, two people detained.
    21.5, the Istanbul SSC sentences the editor of the periodical Newroz Atesi, Nedime Tunc, to one-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 160 million under Article 8. Same day, the Istanbul SSC sentences another person, Hüseyin Durmaz, to sixteen months in prison and a fine of TL 333 million for separatist propaganda under Article 8.
    21.5, the periodical Ri Heval N°5 and Uzun Yürüyüs N°3 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC under Article 8, Yeni Demokrat Genclik N°43 and Özgür Gelecek N°75 under Article 6 of the ATL.
    22.5, in Istanbul, Evrensel correspondent Irfan Kurt and Kurtulus correspondents Bülent Sari, Banu Güdenoglu, Arzu Uzun and Özcan Özgül are taken into custody as going to a press conference concerning the assassination of Irfan Kurt in Alibeyköy.
    23.5,, Istanbul police arrest Finnish Broadcasting Company journalist Leena Reikko along with her cameraman, Kemal Gokakan, and two Kurdish refugees she was interviewing. Police confiscate the videotape of the interview.
    23.5, Evrensel editor Ali Erol is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to one-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 550 million for propaganda of outlawed organizations. The newspaper's publisher Vedat Korkmaz too is sentenced to a fine of TL 146.6 million. The court also decides to ban the newspaper's publication for twenty days.
    23.5, the Istanbul SSC sentences Cumhuriyet correspondent Oral Calislar to a fine of 5 million under Article 6/2 of the ATL for his book containing reportages with Kurdish leaders Öcalan and Burkay. The director of Yar publishing house, Muzaffer Erdogdu too is sentenced to a fine of TL 25 million. The court also decides to confiscate the book.
    23.5, Özgür Atilim employee Tarip Kizilkaya is detained in Istanbul.
    26.5, the periodical Aydinlik is confiscated by a penal court of Istanbul for preventing the publication of a reportage accusing the Justice Minister. Same day, the periodicals Partizan Sesi and Öncü Partizan too are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC under articles 6 and 312.
    26.5, the Iskenderun correspondent of the journal Güney Uyanis (Adana), Sükran Kaplan is taken into police custody.
    27.5, lawyer Eren Keskin is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to thirteen months in prison and a fine of TL 111 million for an article she wrote to the defunct daily Özgür Gündem. In another case, Keskin is sentenced to a fine of TL 50 million for having published a book about a Kurdish conference in Paris in 1993.


    The Human Rights Watch report has led Turkish authorities to angry reactions. The most spectacular reaction was no doubt the confiscation of its Turkish version in Turkey in January 1996.
    On April 24, the publisher of the Turkish version, Seyit Soydan, was brought before the Istanbul State Security Court under Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code.
    Soydan, chief editor of the review Savasa Karsi Baris (Peace Versus War), is accused of inciting peoples against each other on the basis of regional differences. He faces a prison term of not less than two years.
    On the other hand, the deputy director general of the Department of Human Rights in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara, Türel Özkarol, accused HRW of falsifying the facts and being one-sided.
    Thereupon, Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth responded in writing to critical comments made by Ozkarol,     In a letter which was made public at the beginning of May 1996 through Inter Press Service (IPS), Roth pointed out that his organization and the government of Turkey had "widely divergent positions on the key issues" but the readiness to maintain a dialogue over human rights was appreciated.
    Among the issues under contention were the applicability of international law, the methodology used in arriving at the report's findings and the substance of the findings.
    Roth rejected the idea that the report's referring to "the Turkish-Kurdish conflict" was a way of characterising the conflict as a civil war. He insisted that the report "characterised the violence as an internal armed conflict (as opposed to an international armed conflict) under international humanitarian law." Therefore Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions to which Turkey is fully bound was applicable, that is, armed hostilities over time and at least one of the protagonists, a relatively organized group.
    Roth further rejected an assertion by Özkarol that it was "deliberately" invoking humanitarian law in order to put the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on an equal basis with the Turkish state and thus bestowing a measure of legitimacy on the organization.
    Pointing out that another Turkish official, also in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had referred to United Nations' resolutions against terrorism were "soft" law, Roth noted that existing international law on terrorism only applied to certain kinds of attacks such as airplane hijacking. However, if international humanitarian law does not apply to the conflict in the Southeast as the Turkish government claims, then the standards regarding police behavior must apply. And these standards such as only using lethal force to stop an immediate threat to life, are much stricter.
    Roth also notes that Human Rights Watch is accused of being one-sided in its selection of violations; however, he accuses the government of trying to hijack the attempt made to investigate PKK abuses thereby putting the mission's integrity in jeopardy. The mission was aborted. Accusations over the withholding of names of people interviewed were rejected in the letter as being done in order to prevent retaliation against those people who spoke with Human Rights Watch.
    As for the substance of the findings, Roth rejected the idea that their information was only based on media sources, pointing out that where they had taken information from such sources it had been where the latter had quoted government officials and figures.
    Roth concluded his letter by expressing the hope that the report which is also available in English would be read by officials of the government of Turkey and the general public.


    In this issue, we are reprinting a second extract from the Human Rights Watch report entitled Weapons Transfers and Violations of the Laws of War in Turkey. This part contains the arm deliveries to Turkey from its European partners and the Turkey's own armement industry.


    Since the 1960s, Germany has been the second largest military supplier of Turkey. Germany has delivered numerous defense items ranging from communications equipment to fighter aircraft. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Turkey ordered the following items from Germany between 1990 and 1993: forty-six F-4F Phantom fighter aircraft, forty-six RF-4E Phantom reconnaissance aircraft, 131 LARS 110mm rocket launchers, 131 M-110-A2 203mm self-propelled guns, 300 BTR-60P armored personnel carriers (former GDR equipment), one hundred Leopard l-AI main battle tanks, and twenty M-48 armored recovery vehicles. These figures represent the number of items ordered; information on actual deliveries is incomplete.
    In the 1994 U.N. Register of Conventional Arms, Turkey reported receiving in 1993 eighty-five Leopard tanks (from the original one hundred ordered as cited by SIPRI), 187 M-113 armored combat vehicles, fifteen F-4 combat aircraft, and one training ship from Germany. Germany's report to the register concurs.
    The German F-4E Phantom has been in service with the Turkish Air Force since the 1970s. The Turkish Air Force is reportedly fond of the Phantom for its capacity to carry Laser Guided Bombs and Maverick missiles.
    Germany supplies not only the Turkish armed forces but the police as well, in the form of equipment and training aid. This aid has consisted of cash donated to facilitate the purchase of arms for the police force; equipment such as computers, supplied by the firm Siemens; and training of special police forces in "counter-terrorism."
    According to one defense trade journal, Germany has supplied Turkey with 256,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 5,000 machine guns, and a hundred million rounds of ammunition from former East German Army stocks. Other weapons transferred from ex-GDR Army stocks include ammunition for BTR-60 cannon, trucks, 5,000 RPG-7 rocket propelled grenades, and various unnamed missiles and bombs with fuses. The German government stated that these weapons must not be used against-the Kurds.
    In 1992, the German aid organization Medico International investigated the use of German weaponry in Turkey. It found that GDR Leopard tanks and BTR armored personnel carriers were used in the depopulation of several Kurdish villages.
    Despite the close military ties between Germany and Turkey, this relationship has been disrupted several times during Turkey's war in the southeast. Germany instituted an arms embargo against Turkey in 1992 in reaction to Turkish attacks against the Kurds, but the embargo was lifted three months later. In April 1994, Germany halted arms sales again while it investigated allegations that Turkey used German supplied BTR-60 armored personnel carriers in southeastern Turkey. The embargo was lifted after Turkey asserted that the BTR-60s had come from Russia, not Germany. Following Turkey's March 20, 1995, invasion of northern Iraq to rout the PKK there, Germany again froze military sales to Turkey. That embargo was lifted at the end of September 1995, when Germany released frozen military aid worth $ 110 million to support the manufacture of two frigates for the Turkish Navy.
    The Russian Federation

    Because Russia's requirements for the selling of weapons are not as strict as those of many western countries, Turkey has recently turned to Russia for much of its equipment. Turkey's economic crisis has also prompted it to consider less expensive Russian weapons. In early 1994, the Turkish defense minister visited Moscow and signed a military cooperation agreement to allow joint production of arms and import of Russian weapons.
    In 1994, Turkey reported to the U.N. Register that it had received 115 BTR-60/80 combat vehicles from the Russian Federation. The Russian submission to the register noted that these vehicles came "with ammunition." As noted above, Turkey has acknowledged that Russian BTRs have been used in the southeast. BTRs are used by Jandarma and Army troops en route to committing violations such as village destructions, summary executions and torture.
    In 1992, Russia sold Turkey an undetermined number of Mi-8 Hip-E and Mi-17 Hip-H transport helicopters, armored vehicles, rifles and night vision goggles. SIPRI notes that this sale consisted of seventeen of the Mi-17 helicopters and was worth $75 million. However, although the deal for the Mi-17s was finalized in February 1995, in September 1995 Moscow announced that it was suspending their delivery, pending settlement of a dispute over payments. Despite the problems with this particular agreement, Russia is now hoping to sell its Ka-50 attack helicopter to Turkey following Turkey's announcement that it will purchase 200 new helicopters over the next ten years.
    Also according to SIPRI, ten BTR-60 personnel carriers were delivered to Turkey in 1992 for the Jandarma, as part of a larger deal worth $75 million. Russia is continuing to promote further sales of armored vehicles such as the BTR-80. For example, the BTR-80 was featured at the International Defense Industry and Civil Aviation Fair held in Ankara in September 1995.


    France has not been a major supplier of arms to Turkey, but has been involved in cooperative agreements. For instance, France and Germany co-produce the Cougar AS-532UL transport helicopter (Eurocopter), twenty of which were sold to Turkey in 1994 in a deal worth $253 million. Although France condemned Turkey for its spring 1995 incursion into Iraq, it did not reverse its plans to carry out the sale. In a June 1995 agreement, France approved the sale of a further thirty Cougars to Turkey for $370 million. Since transport helicopters have been used in villages where abuses take place, there is reason to be concerned about the Turkish helicopter build-up.


    Italy became a key arms supplier to Turkey in 1975, after the U.S. imposed an arms embargo against Turkey for its invasion of Cyprus (which remained in force until 1978). At that time, Turkey purchased Starfighter aircraft from Italy. More recently, the Italian company Agusta completed a deal for forty training aircraft, most of which were built in Turkey under a license production agreement.
    According to SIPRI, Italy transferred one hundred M-113 armored personnel carriers to Turkey in 1991 as part of the CFE cascading process. Between 1990 and 1992, Italy also sold radars and Aspide ship-to-air missiles for MEKO-type frigates to Turkey.

    The Netherlands

    The Netherlands has had a small portion of the arms market to Turkey. In 1988, the government decided to increase aid to the three poorer NATO countries: Greece, Portugal, and Turkey. The Netherlands supplied Turkey with sixty NF-5 fighter aircraft between 1989 and 1993. Dutch personnel will train Turkish forces in the use of the NF-5 aircraft, as well as the older F-104 Starfighter aircraft sold to Turkey in the early 1980s.
    The Dutch company Eurometaal also signed a contract with Turkey to supply M-483-AI artillery shells. M-483-AI shells are designed to be delivered by 155mm howitzers and have a range of up to thirty kilometres. This is a coproduction deal in which the majority of the shells will be produced in an MKEK factory in Turkey. Other sales or potential sales to Turkey include radars, combat information systems for the Turkish Navy, 40,000 fuses for howitzer shells, and Leopard-l tanks.
    This defense relationship ceased briefly in April 1995, when Turkey announced that it would no longer purchase military equipment from the Netherlands, placing it on the "red" list, because the Netherlands had permitted the self-declared Kurdish parliament in exile to meet in The Hague. Then on June 24, 1995, Turkey lifted the ban, supposedly "because of Dutch efforts to help Turkey combat the PKK." The Netherlands is now bidding to supply Turkey with eight frigates.


    Other NATO and non-NATO countries have had minor defense relationships with Turkey. The United Kingdom for example, has recently been mainly involved with supplying radios, night vision equipment and mine sweepers.
    Spain sold second-hand Phantom fighter aircraft to Turkey in the 1980s, and more recently has signed a contract to supply light transport airplanes. This deal will involve coproduction of fifty-two CN-235 aircraft between the Spanish company CASA and the Turkish company TAI.
    Switzerland was a regular supplier of small arms and ammunition to Turkey until 1991, when it imposed an arms embargo against Turkey because of Turkish human rights violations. Despite a series of short embargoes since 1991, Turkey has managed to obtain Swiss technology and equipment through licensing. Furthermore, the Italian branch of the Swiss company Oerlikon Contraves has supplied Turkey with 25mm cannon for armored vehicles.
    In 1986, the Canadian government transferred fifty CF-104 aircraft from its bases in Germany to Turkey. According to one source, "The CF-104s, together with F-4s and F-Ss, are frequently called upon to attack Kurdish PKK bases." The Canadian government is also considering the sale of CF-5 trainer/fighter aircraft to Turkey.
    The Czech Republic has apparently targeted Turkey as a potentially lucrative market. In 1993, the Turkish police force was the largest customer of 9xl8mm CZ-75 pistols, produced by the Czech plant Uhersky Brod.
    In 1994, Turkey purchased an unspecified number of 500 lb. and 2,000 lb. bombs from Pakistan. The Turkish government stated that the reason it had turned to Pakistan was the delays in receiving such ordnance from the U.S.
    Israel has also expressed an interest in sharing technology with and selling arms to Turkey. Turkey and Israel are currently discussing the sharing of air force technology such as night-targeting systems. Earlier this year, Turkey chose Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) to upgrade its F-4 Phantom aircraft in a deal worth $500 million. The deal, which will provide for the upgrading of fifty-four F-4s, was finalized in September 1995. Israeli officials see this deal as the beginning of "future bilateral strategic projects." Hints of possible closer military ties came in 1994, when Turkey and Israel agreed to exchange military attaches, the first such exchange since 1980.
    The Turkish Arms Industry: Joint Production

    Turkey began to pursue an indigenous arms industry after the U.S. imposed an arms embargo on Turkey for its invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Presently, Turkey is involved in a number of co-production operations as well as production of its own weapons systems. The creation of Turkish Aerospace Industries in 1984 spearheaded Turkey's move toward independent arms production. Further impetus to develop its own arms industry came with the German decision to suspend arms sales in March 1995 (revoked in September 1995). A new Turkish law stipulates plans "to convert its local industries for military production to meet…the requirements of its armed forces."
    Many of the arms produced in Turkey today are still licensed or coproduced by foreign industries. The largest joint venture has been the U.S. F-16 Peace Onyx program mentioned above. The Turkish company TUSAS Aerospace Industries (TAI) was established to produce the F- 1 6s for the Turkish Air Force. TAI is also involved with an Italian aircraft company, Agusta, which is providing a license to produce training aircraft.
    Another joint production project in which Turkey is involved is the Euro-Stinger project, licensed by the U.S. company Raytheon. In the 1980s, Turkey became the largest partner in a joint venture with Germany, Greece and the Netherlands to develop a European version of the U.S. Stinger shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile. The four participating countries manufacture parts and assemble the final product in either the German plant Dornier or the Turkish plant Roketsan AS.
    The U.S. company FMC entered into a joint venture with the Turkish Nurol SS in 1989 to form the company FNSS, which has been assembling and producing, under license, 1,698 armored combat vehicles. The designation of these vehicles is unspecified; the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management notes that they will be of "various configurations...based on an FMC design," and parts will be supplied by various U.S. companies. However, this program has been delayed indefinitely due to a lack of funds.
    Other examples of joint production include:
    • the Turkish company Aselsan collaborating with Philips (Netherlands), Texas Instruments (USA) and Litton (USA), producing components for the F-16 fighter and night vision equipment for infantry vehicles; Aselsan also collaborates on the Euro-Stinger project.
    • the Arifiye Tank upgrading plant collaborates with Zeiss, Rheinmetall, MTU and GLS (all in Germany) on M-48 tanks.
    • Baris assembles M-72 rocket launchers and launching tubes for the Euro-Stinger missile.
    • ENKA assembles the Black Hawk helicopter in a joint venture with United Technologies in the U.S.
    • Eskisehir collaborates with Rolls Royce (U.K.), producing motors for the F-104, F-4 Phantom, and Northrop F-5 combat aircraft.
    • Kayseri Werkplaats is engaged in joint ventures with Sergant Fletcher (USA), SIAI-August (Italy) and MBB (Germany) in upgrading M-113s and producing components for the F- 16.
    • MKEK produces anti-aircraft artillery, rocket launchers, machine guns and ammunition, working with Oerlikon Contraves (Switzerland), Heckler&Koch (Germany), General Defense Corporation (USA), Rheinmetall (Germany), Eurometaal (Netherlands) and GIAT (France).
    Other Turkish plants also upgrade systems and produce parts and non lethal equipment. As Turkey faces further cuts in foreign and military aid, especially from the U.S. and Germany, it will likely continue to develop its own arms industry with self-sufficiency in all facets of weapons production as ultimate goal.


    As we reported in the preceding issue, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, on April 25, 1996, adopted a recommendation based on the report of Hungarian socialist deputy Andreas Barsony which mainly asks Ankara to seek a peaceful settlement to the Kurdish question and to lift Article 8 and other antidemocratic laws and articles in the Turkish legislation.
    Below our readers will find some extracts from the criticisms of European deputies during the debates on the recommendation:
    Mr GJELLEROD (Denmark).- Recommendation No. 1266 from the Assembly to the Committee of Ministers clearly states four conditions to be implemented on the Turkish issue. Unfortunately, the committee has not been able to follow the recommendation, and now, one year later, we are still discussing the same issues.
    First, we must recognise that Turkey has fulfilled its obligation to withdraw its troops from northern Iraq. However, the Turkish authorities are still creating problems in the region, preventing international humanitarian organisations from entering northern Iraq from Turkey.
    Another condition in Recommendation No. 1266 is that the Committee of Ministers set a specific timetable for Turkey to bring its constitution and legislation into line with the principles and standards of the Council of Europe. That is a clear statement, but the Committee of Ministers seems to have paid no attention to the words stipulated by this Assembly. Consequently, the timetable is blowing in the wind, and developments in the spheres of human rights and democracy in Turkey are still far too slow.
    On the positive side, we are happy to learn that Prime Minister Yilmaz has expressed his willingness to solve the language aspect of the Kurdish issue. Another positive element comes in the form of Turkey's small legislative steps in the right direction. I hope that such developments will continue, and that the Committee of Ministers will in future show more support.
    The human rights situation in Turkey looks somewhat desperate. Torture is still common when people are questioned at Turkish police stations. Even in some prisons people are subject to torture.
    In the past five years nearly 3 000 victims of torture have been treated at the four rehabilitation centres for torture victims in Turkey. Those centres are not appreciated by the Turkish authorities, who demand to know the names of all who are treated at the centres. I need not add that it is an impossible demand   people are afraid of being tortured yet again.
    I therefore appeal to the Turkish authorities: if you want the centres to close, stop torturing your citizens instead of trying to interrupt the humanitarian work of the centres.
    We all know about the four parliamentarians who are still in prison. In October of last year, Mr Ibrahim Aksoy, a former parliamentarian, was gaoled too. Throughout his career he has fought for Kurdish identify and political freedom in non violent ways. He was put in gaol simply for his opinions.
    I feel confident that the Committee of Ministers has been strongly supportive of efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem. But we have not seen much willingness on the part of Turkey - nothing has happened. On the contrary, in the past couple of months there has been some of the worst violence in the entire unhappy conflict in south east Turkey.
    Turkish politicians and civil servants are much too sensitive when it comes to discussing minorities. They have to learn that they can solve most of their problems by introducing democracy and self determination locally and regionally, without posing any threat to the integrity of the state. Indeed, that could be the way to a politically negotiated peaceful solution.
    I appeal to our colleagues in the new Turkish delegation to take this message back with them. I also stress that these problems will not be solved by Kurdish and Turkish lobbyists writing to us and phoning us all the time. Colleagues, your efforts to solve your problems are appreciated, but progress is too slow. Please understand that we say this to you as your close colleagues and friends in the Council of Europe.
    Mr SPERONI (Italy) said that although some progress had been made by the Turkish Government to develop democracy and freedom of expression, it was insufficient to allow congratulations. In particular, despite the changes that had been made to Article 8 of the anti-terrorism law, written or oral propaganda or advocacy challenging the territorial integrity of the Turkish state was punishable by three years imprisonment. This was an obvious fettering of the right of free speech. While terrorism was indefensible, the will of the people had to be understood and accepted.
    Mrs HOLAND (Norway).- As the report states, Turkish forces have been withdrawn from the territory of Iraq. I remind the Assembly, however, that the Turkish authorities still exercise considerable and unacceptable influence in the area. For quite some time Turkey has sabotaged the Danish-Norwegian mine clearance project in northern Iraq. Implementation of it has been delayed due to the illegal confiscation of material owned by the United Nations by Turkey. That is totally unacceptable.
    Secondly, let us consider Turkey's attempts to set a specific timetable for changing laws. As the rapporteur states, some improvements have been made to the legislation and I welcome those steps, but they are far from satisfactory according to the obligations inherent in Council of Europe membership. Although several articles of the anti-terrorist law have been amended, it still raises serious human rights issues. It is necessary for the Assembly to call for the abolition of Article 8 in that anti-terrorist law, together with the abolition of similar provisions in other legislation.
    The cultural rights of minorities and freedom of speech must be granted. We are still waiting for the timetable as stated in the recommendation made by the Assembly.
    I have read the letter from the Turkish delegation to the Assembly with great interest and astonishment. It is most depressing and I hope that the chairman of the delegation does not speak on behalf of all of it when he says of the Kurdish question addressed in the draft, "We don't define the problem as one of ethnic character, but that of terrorism afflicting the whole region, including South East Turkey". One simply cannot deny the existence of a large minority in one's country. The first condition when solving a problem is to accept the existence of that problem. Although there are many difficult problems to solve, the first step must be open dialogue.
    There has been no progress on human rights and attempts to get a peaceful solution to the conflict. I remind the Assembly that the PKK declared a unilateral cease fire in December 1995 - a cease fire that the European Parliament welcomed in 1996 in the hope that it would facilitate dialogue. It is tragic that up until now the Turkish authorities have not been willing to seek such a peaceful solution. The operation launched three weeks ago, which cost more than 150 lives, was shocking.
    Mr LUMMER (Germany) said that there were many Turks in Germany, many of whom regarded themselves as Kurds. Turkey might resent interference in affairs it regarded as internal, but the truth was that the Kurdish problem went beyond the borders of Turkey. There must be open discussions. He noted that the Kurdish problem had been an expensive burden for Turkey. The new prime minister had given promises, but those who were sceptical would note that promises had been broken in the past. Progress should not, however, be ignored. There could not be a military solution.
    Turkey was entitled to territorial integrity, but those Kurds who desired a degree of autonomy were also entitled to that. Not all Kurds, however, were in favour of complete autonomy. It would be a good thing if claims for separatism were dropped. Minority rights were much discussed in international forums and Turkey had more progress to make. It was not up to the Assembly to spell out the detailed measures Turkey should take, and members should not pretend that no other country had problems in their human rights records.
    The problems in Turkey had to be solved in the country itself. They had continued for years and should not be allowed to continue much longer. It was not good enough for the Turkish government to refuse to talk to any people it considered to be terrorists.
    Mr BERGQVIST (Sweden).-  Last Monday, we received a letter from the new Turkish delegation defending the imprisonment of the four parliamentarians. Mrs Holand also referred to that letter. It states that the revised Article 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Law no longer raises serious human rights issues and that, with its recent constitutional and legislative reforms, Turkey has attained standards that are equal to those of any other member of the Council of Europe.
    Mr Demiralp asked the Council of Europe to launch a thorough study into the legal framework of all member countries in order to detect and overcome any shortcomings. It appears, however, that he himself has carried out such a survey, as he jumped to the conclusion that Turkey has attained the same standards as those in other member countries of the Council of Europe.
    I am sorry to say that I do not agree with that letter. Turkey still has a long way to go in order to safeguard human rights and the rule of law. We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that invading a neighbouring country is a flagrant violation of international law. That is clearly stated in the United Nations charter.
    Human rights in Turkey have improved due to constitutional and legal reforms. That is good, but the reforms are fairly small in comparison with the lack of human rights. Amnesty International and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey continue to report many serious violations.
    It is claimed that Turkey's legislative and constitutional standards are not inferior to those in any other member country, so I shall give a concrete example to the contrary. The Swedish author, Riza Erguven, wrote a novel in which he voices controversial opinions about certain religious matters. His book was published in Turkey and now his Turkish publisher, Ismet Arslan, has been indicted and Riza Erguven has been accused of blasphemy. I know of no other member country where that could have occurred. In Turkey, those convicted for blasphemy may be imprisoned for six months. I hope that the so-called blasphemy paragraph of the Turkish criminal code will be abolished without further delay.
    Mr BENETATOS (Greece).- As the report states, Turkey complied with our recommendation that it should withdraw its troops from northern Iraq. However, as any military expert could tell us, a raiding army would have withdrawn after the successful raid, but an invading army remains in the occupied territory, and that is the case in Cyprus. Therefore, Turkey complied only with the military considerations and not with our institutional recommendations.
    I now turn to the limited progress that has already been made. Let us put it to the test. This morning, we were talking about the fact that four colleagues of ours, who are elected representatives, are still in gaol. Is that a cause for rejoicing? Perhaps it is because they are four and not 14, as they were a few days ago. However, tomorrow they may be 104. Perhaps we should rejoice because gaol is better than the grave, as many journalists and Kurdish activists would advise us, if it were not too late for them.
    We should continue urgently to examine events in Turkey because lives are at stake. Yet our collective effort and the work of Mr Bársony has not been lost. It has had a good effect because it has made us realise that the real cause of human rights violations in Turkey is the Turkish regime's perceived fear of minorities. We can no longer identify as terrorists those who have the nationalist aspirations of the Kurdish people. The Turkish state has shown in the past similar fears and those fears have resulted in tragedies and a great loss of life and property. I will not refer to history here, but we should all give a clear message to our distinguished colleagues from Turkey that the answer to the Armenian problem will not be acceptable for the Kurdish problem. That message must be carried back to Turkey and to the Turkish authorities for the benefit of its people, including the Kurdish people.
    I believe that no representative in this Assembly wishes ill of the territorial integrity of Turkey. Examples have been given of countries with minorities, such as Canada, and Turkey must come to understand that oppression will only result in more violence. We can condemn violence but we cannot stop it unless the Turkish state changes its view of the problems. No ostrich has saved itself by burying its head in the sand for too long.
    Mr BOLINAGA (Spain) said that his experience of Kurdistan was of being detained, interrogated and followed by the police or the military all the time. The official reason was terrorism and drug trafficking but the underlying reason was that there was armed conflict in the country. He was no apologist for terrorism, but the fact was that villages were being razed to the ground in Kurdistan and it was not a matter of a few terrorists but of a desperate people involved in armed conflict.
    Mr RUFFY (Switzerland) said that democracies showed their maturity by the extent to which they recognized minorities. Given what had happened in Turkey in the previous 10 years, it was legitimate to question the usefulness of attempts to persuade Turkey to act differently. The Council of Europe could not demand that Turkey change its constitution. He wondered why it was not possible for Kurds to be given autonomy.
    It was not necessary to make concessions to Turkey with regard to human rights because of geo-strategic concerns. Human rights should be paramount. When a population was prevented from speaking its own language, people were deprived not only of their identity but also of many aspects of their culture. This was unacceptable.
    Turkey had said that it hoped that the Council of Europe would be a useful forum to discover how other countries changed their constitutions. Switzerland had recently introduced a new criminal code on xenophobia and racism. This had been in response to the influx of immigrants, many of whom had themselves escaped violence. Switzerland had reacted to this situation by introducing new laws, but had not succeeded in overcoming certain impulsive reactions.
    Mr KORAKAS (Greece) said that Mr Ruffy should have been given more time to speak since he had identified the crucial problem.
    The Turkish constitution had been drawn up by a military dictatorship. Mr Demiralp [Chief of the Turkish delegation] had said that the constitution had been reformed as far as possible. It was absurd when the existence of a people was not recognized. It was not possible for a person to call himself a Kurd because he would be labelled a separatist. Apparently, Turkey did not consider that it was possible to have autonomy without destroying the country.
    Article 8 of the anti-terrorism law was anti-democratic. Any opposition to the regime was deemed a crime. The PKK was used as a pretext to act against all Kurds. He reminded the Assembly that during the Nazi occupation of Greece resistance fighters were described as terrorists by the Germans.
    Turkish prisons overflowed with Kurds and Turks who had pleaded for their rights. Hundreds had been killed and dozens of villages razed. Although Turkey had withdrawn from northern Iraq, Mr Demiralp had told the Assembly that Turkey would enter the country again if necessary.
    The Kurds were still not recognised by the Turkish Government, which had seemed to rule out a peaceful solution. The two released parliamentarians had been deprived of their political rights for the whole of their lives. Some 100 000 people had lost their liberty. The Rapporteur had not even been allowed to visit Turkey and the new delegation had attempted to delay consideration of the report.
    Mr LIE (Norway).- We have noticed that various statements have been made by the former as well as the new Turkish Government on the issue. It is noted that promises have been made but they are not enough. Now it is time for deeds to follow words through the proper implementation of stated intentions. Those intentions should include safeguarding the cultural rights of the Kurdish population, broadcasting in their own language and educational reforms for that minority.
    I urge the new Turkish Government to lift the state of emergency in south-east Turkey. It must immediately provide assistance to evacuated villagers so that they can return in safety and dignity. Humanitarian organisations must be granted access to the area. The fulfilment of those promises will also constitute an important step towards a peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem in Turkey.
    The Kurdish conflict must be solved by political means and not by military or paramilitary actions. Lawfully elected Kurdish representatives such as Leyla Zana should be released from prison immediately to be able to participate in the political process of solving that minority conflict.
    It goes without saying that we condemn all forms of terrorist acts. Furthermore, I am convinced that self realisation by a minority can be very well achieved within the framework of the state. That desire would not necessarily have to find territorial expression because it could be realised through legislation to promote and develop the identity of that minority in various sectors, for example education, local government, culture and so on.
    In relation to northern Iraq, I take note of the information about the withdrawal of Turkish forces from the territory of Iraq in accordance with one of the four requirements in Recommendation 1266. However, I should like to remind the Council that Turkish authorities still exercise considerable and unacceptable influence on the situation in this area. For some time, Turkey has sabotaged a Danish/Norwegian mine clearance project in northern Iraq. Implementation of the project has been delayed due to the illegal confiscation of UN-owned material by Turkey. That is unacceptable.
    Mr PAVLIDIS (Greece).- The report is not a product of a visit. It does not give me any proper new information. Mr Bársony asked Turkish government for permission to visit Turkey to collect proper information and they did not help him.
    I have in my hand a document from the Office of the Clerk dated 29 January 1996. It states "The Bureau of the Assembly, at its meeting on 26 January 1996 in Strasbourg, with Mrs Fischer in the Chair…authorised the visit of the Sub-Committee on Human Rights to visit Turkey. Dates to be confirmed". But they have not yet been confirmed due to Ankara's tactics. That is why there is no proper information for the Assembly.
     I have more information from Amnesty International and from a Belgian international organisation - "Lawyers without Frontiers". I can let you see them, Mr Demiralp. We also have the most recent report from the State Department. Of course you know that, Mr Demiralp. You can read the text, which runs to 62 pages and does not support the idea that everything in Turkey is fine in regard to the respect for human rights, and not only of Kurdish people but of Turks. I have, also in my hands, press releases, even from the Council of Europe, and many Turks have made applications to the European Court of Human Rights here in Strasbourg. That court will be presenting its decision from tomorrow.
    We have collated much information from various sources, but not from Mr Bársony, who did not visit Turkey, or from our colleagues of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, who have repeatedly asked to visit Turkey. A week ago, in the lovely city of Istanbul, or Constantinoplis, there was a great conference - the Inter-Parliamentary Union ¬which was attended by 140 parliamentarians. The Committee of Experts on Human Rights declared, officially, that the imprisonment of Turkish members of parliament to be absolutely unacceptable.