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


20th Year - N°228
September-October 1996
38 rue des Eburons - 1000 Bruxelles
Tél: (32-2) 215 35 76 - Fax: (32-2) 215 58 60
 Rédacteur en chef: Dogan Özgüden - Editrice responsable: Inci Tugsavul



    As European authorities were chasing and discrediting Kurdish opponents of the Turkish regime as suspects of Mafia relations, a recent traffic accident in Turkey upset all Ankara-made scenarios by revealing that it is in fact the Turkish State's rulers themselves that are in genuine transnational Mafia relations.
    The road accident occurred on November 3 near Susurluk, Balikesir; a parliamentary deputy of Mrs Ciller's party (DYP), a police chief and a Grey Wolf (a criminal belonging to the neo-fascist MHP's youth organization Ülkü Ocaklari/Idealists Foyers) were found in the same car.
    Grey Wolf Abdullah Catli,  who has been sought for 18 years by the security forces, and the former deputy security chairman of Istanbul, Hüseyin Kocadag, died in the accident along with a little heralded woman, Gonca Uz, who is known for her relations with characters from criminal underworld.
    The fourth person in the car, Sedat Bucak, DYP Urfa deputy and the head of Bucak tribe, the tribe that fills many of the ranks of the paramilitary forces in the Southeast known as "village guards", survived the accident with a fractured skull and a broken leg.
     In the boot of the wrecked Mercedes, five pistols of different types and sizes, two MP-5 machine guns, silencers for these weapons and two listening devices were found. Also in the wreckage, a green passport and a number of police ID cards were discovered. An ID card in the name of Mehmet Özbay  and a green passport, normally given to top state officials, were in Catli's possession.
     It has been alleged that the only female victim of the accident, Gonca Uz, the girlfriend of Catli, was involved in the National Intelligence Organization (MIT). It has also been learnt that Bucak, when being taken to Balikesir hospital after the incident talked about a white bag containing TL 10 billion and that upon this being said members of the Bucak tribe who came to the incident scene took the bag away from the car.
    This togetherness of two top-level State representatives with an extreme right criminal puts once more in evidence the major role of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) in these Mafia relations.
    What is important for European countries is that the leaders of this Mafia-type party are very active not only in Turkey, but also in Europe, and organize spectacular meetings with the benediction of European, particularly Belgian and German, authorities.
    The undermining approach of the Minister of Interior, Mehmet Agar, who was the general director of the police before being elected to Parliament on Ciller's ticket, helped to raise more suspicions regarding the incident. Agar at first claimed that Abdullah Catli was not in the car. Following the proof that Catli was among the victims, he shifted his position to make another untrue claim -- that Kocadag and Bucak were taking Catli to Istanbul to hand over to security forces.
     When it was asked him whether there will be an investigation into the incident, Agar said that this was an ordinary traffic accident and the local authorities would investigate it according to the traffic procedures. He claimed "there is nothing special" in the incident.
    Next day, however, it was revealed that all the four victims of the incident had stayed in the same hotel in Kusadasi for three days before setting off for Istanbul and that the minister's family too was at that hotel in the same time. In the light of the new information, Agar had to give up his earlier attempts to cover up and to resign from his post.
     The obvious attempts by the Minister of Interior to undermine the importance of the road accident which proves occult relations between the security forces, Grey Wolves and the special forces in the Southeast, raise the question as to what Agar was attempting to cover up in his statements.
     The possible answer to the question came from Dogu Perincek, the leader of the left-wing Workers Party (IP), in a press conference when he claimed that the Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister Tansu Ciller were at the head of a 700 strong conspirative organization consisting of the members of security forces, National Intelligence Organization (MIT), the Ülkücü mafia and the special forces.
    Perincek also pointed out that he had previously prepared reports about Ciller's alleged criminal gang and sent them to the President and the Speaker of the Parliament. Perincek said that he had mentioned in these reports the involvement of Abdullah Catli as a key person in the organization, and revealed the name that he bears on his fake ID cards, Mehmet Özbay. However, these reports were not taken into consideration by the summit of the State.
     Referring to the discoveries in the wreckage of the car after the accident, Perincek said: "The listening apparatus, weapons and silencers prove that we are facing a criminal organization. This illegal organization is linked with the plans of the USA to make Turkey an intervention force in regions of crisis. This criminal ring was involved in a coup attempt in Azerbaijan against Haydar Aliev, which was personally conducted by Abdullah Catli. The US is trying to create a Turkey-Iran clash in Azerbaijan and Chechnya. But the primary region of crisis is for now northern Iraq. As the leading members of this organization, Abdullah Catli and Alaattin Cakici are involved in this issue. There is also the dimension of drug trafficking in this issue."
    The road accident of November 3 is the fourth major incident which symbolises the mafia-state relations in recent years.
    The first of these incidents is the "Civangate" scandal which began with the armed attack on the former manager of Emlakbank, Engin Civan, in 1994 over a matter of unpaid loans and services not rendered. The most important angle of this scandal was the alleged involvement of the family of the deceased President Turgut Ozal in the affair.
     The second incident was the assassination of Tevfik Agansoy,  a hitman of the Ülkücü mafia boss Alaaddin Cakici. When he made statements claiming the involvement of Ozal family in the Civangate scandal, this led to a war of words between himself and Cakici. The duel was concluded in September this year in Bebek, Istanbul, with Agansoy's assassination. Two special protection officers of Deputy Prime Minister Ciller, who were with Agansoy during the incident were also killed in the shooting. Their presence has not been explained.
     The third incident is the discovery of the Söylemez Brothers mafia gang this summer. The gang was mainly made up of police and army officers. The head of the gang is helicopter officer Faysal Söylemez, and among the top officials whose involvement in the gang are the former deputy chief of Istanbul Police, Deniz Gökcetin, and the former head of Istanbul Security branch, Sedat Demir.
     The traffic accident of November 3 is the fourth incident which "accidentally" brought together all of these former incidents.
     Abdullah Catli is one of the top names in the ultra right-wing terrorism of the "Ülkücü" militants of the 1970s; so were Alaaddin Cakici and Tevfik Agansoy. All these three names were allegedly involved in MIT operations in the 1980s, including the raid on the camp of the Armenian guerrilla group ASALA in Beirut in 1982. It is even alleged that although officially "wanted," Catli was one of the organizers of the Special Forces formed to be deployed in the Kurdish conflict in southeastern Turkey.
     The Söylemez Brothers gang, on the other hand, were caught with plans to raid the headquarters of the Bucak clan in Siverek, Urfa, the head of which is the DYP member of parliament (MP) Sedat Bucak, the only survivor of November 3 car crash. The blood feud between the Bucaks and the Söylemez gang is allegedly based on the control of arms and drugs trafficking in Turkey and particularly in the South East.
     A former top MIT officer, Professor Mahir Kaynak, ruled out any optimism to emerge from the controversial accident. In a declaration to the Turkish press, he said: "No official investigation has been carried out into the secrete illegal dealings within the state so far, although everyone in the street is talking about them. Only an accident, a coincidence, could bring these conspiracies onto the official agenda. But I do not expect an investigation to go far enough because there are no independent powers able to do this. In Italy, Gladio collapsed with the intervention of the European Union, not of the Italians. There are no such conditions in Turkey. If a super-prosecutor like di Pietro came forward in Turkey, tomorrow he would be dragged through Taksim Square as an enemy of the nation."


    It should be reminded that Interior Minister Agar who had to resign from his ministerial post for his doubtful relations with the Mafia was the initiator of a recent security agreement signed between Turkey and Belgium.
    Extending Ankara's dirty war against Kurds into the Belgian territories, the agreement was signed on July 9 in Ankara by security chief Alaaddin Yüksel on behalf of Turkey and by General Commander of Gendarmerie Willy Derrider on behalf of Belgium.
    The following is what was reported by the official Anatolian news agency about this ceremony:
    "Yüksel said that the agreement included such areas as international drug smuggling, terrorism, organized crimes, cooperation on illegal migration, illegal workers, expert training and the appointment of liaison teams.
    "Derrider stated his confidence that the measures would be put into force rapidly and said that despite the differences between the two countries, efficient liaison would bring about effective cooperation.
    "Asked his opinion of the pro-Kurdish private television channel, MED TV, broadcasting from Belgium, Derrider answered that the Belgian police would do its best as soon as they had concrete evidence.
    "The Belgian security chief acknowledged the presence of PKK offices in Belgium. He said the representations were being watched but cautioned that his department had limited authority because it was a political matter.
    "When a journalist confronted him with the fact that Belgium has files on over 100,000 Turkish citizens in Belgium, Derrider responded that such files were compiled on Belgian citizens too. It was part of a successful effort to understand the structure of the Turkish community, he said.
    "After the ceremony, Derrider and Yüksel met with Interior Minister Mehmet Agar. Agar said that the large number of Turks in Belgium and the rise in terrorist activity there made cooperation between the two countries all the more important."


    Two months after the signature of this new police agreement between Belgium and Turkey, on September 17, Belgian security forces launched a very extensive operation against the Kurdish institutions, mainly against the Med-TV studios. Just while Belgian people were upset in learning the unbelievable laxity of Belgian security forces and justice in the dramatic pedophilia affair, this anti-Kurdish operation was presented to the media as a praiseworthy performance of the Belgian gendarmerie in fight against the evil.
    What is more unbelievable, certain Belgian newspapers, crediting only the version of the Gendarmerie and the Turkish regime, made their best to discredit Kurdish institutions in Belgium. They continued to justify this anti-Kurd operation even after the release of all suspsects by the justice.
    It is very well known that the Turkish regime, who has banned since 70 years the use of Kurdish language in Turkey, resorts to all means to stop the airing the only Kurdish TV even from the United Kingdom or the United States. Unfortunately, the Belgian media preferred not to talk of this side of the Med-TV operation.
    For example, a press conference on September 26 by the President of the Journalists' Union of Kurdistan, Günay Aslan, who had been imprisoned for years in Turkey for his opinions and is currently a grand reporter of the Med-TV, did not find any echo in the Belgian media. Günay said:
    "On September 17th 1996, security forces of Belgium raided the premises of Roj PTY Ltd. an international press organisation. Roj PTY Ltd. distributes, through Med-TV, news and informs the world public about the human rights violations and the oppression of Turkey, Iran and Iraq on the Kurdish people.
    "As a result of this raid, doors and windows of Roj premises were broken violently and its computers and technical equipment have been destroyed.
    "During the raid, journalists working at the Roj PTY LTD. (a production, information and documentation campaign) who are also members of our union were treated very badly and roughly and as if the hand cuffs were not enough of a bad treatment they were pulled on the ground. This must have not been adequate for the Belgium government departments because they later sealed off the building of Roj PTY LTD. where approximately 100 Kurdish journalists earned a living.
    "The reason for this violent attack by the Belgium security forces and judicial department being the money laundry of MED-TV. There has been a wave of terror on the MED-TV and Roj PTY LTD. Money coming from unknown sources was shown as the reason.
    "However, claims as such could have been investigated within the frame work of legality. Appointed personnel and inspectors by the Belgium government departments could have inspected the bank accounts and financial books of the MED-TV and Roj. If the result of such investigation was in breach of law, the necessary legal actions could have then been taken.     "Yet, on the contrary, the laws were broken by the terrorising action. Furthermore, the government departments responsible for the operations have also conducted a campaign of misinformation. As a result, Kurds in Belgium are declared as potential threats so that any terrorist attacks on the Kurds can be justified.
    "As the Journalist' Union of Kurdistan, we have followed the matter with great anxiety. What has increased our anxiety was the Belgium press which we have long admired the democracy tradition it has followed, to be a tool in this repulsive and aggressive campaign.
    "Belgium newspapers and TV channels tried to show baseless claims and lies as the reason, most of which have been created by the Turkish state. The victimised side is tried to be shown as the guilty one.
    "It is clear that the Belgium media in this plot against the Kurdish organisation, have been in a shameful position from the point of view of the freedom of press. We ask our Belgian colleagues who have been a tool in this victimising campaign of Turkish government (and Belgium government being in co-operation) to reflect the reality."
    "Turkish state diplomatically continues in its efforts to close down MED-TV which has an unbiased and multicultural broadcasting concept. Threatening, blackmailing and bribing which the Turkish state diplomacy is based on, unfortunately, had a positive effect on some of the European governments. We really wonder what the Belgium government's interest was from the Turkish state.
    "What led us think in this manner was the visit of the Belgium Ambassador in London to the ministry of foreign affairs and asked the cancellation of the MED TV license in August.     "According to the information we have, Turkish state bought military equipment and air defence systems. The result of our investigation showed that the Ministry of Defence of Belgium will give military equipment to Turkey via French Tomson Company to overcome any legal obstacles. This is a critical situation.     "First of all, Belgium government does not allow arm sales to countries where human rights violations occur. The Turkish state's despotic and anti-democratic attitude is well known by the whole world. Hence, the European Parliament just recently postponed the financial assistant to Turkey. Amnesty International is about to start a campaign against Turkish state for its ongoing human rights violations.
    "In order to be able to sell arms to a country where human right violations occur so often, Belgium government displayed an example of double-standard by attacking tens of millions of Kurdish people's democratic voice; the MED-TV and Roj PTY LTD.
    "I invite Belgium press institutions and democratic public opinion to protect the democracy and freedom of press in this country. As you know that on 24 September 14 Kurdish prisoners in Diyarbakir are killed by the state forces. The closure of MED TV has encouraged Turkish state to do such attacks. We present this for the information of Belgium Press in its baseless campaign on MED TV. The closure of Med-TV has encouraged the Turkish State in its attacks.
    "The Journalist's Union of Kurdistan demands the Belgian government to allow the use of Roj premises, return all its technical equipment and Roj PTY LTD. to continue with its activities. In addition to this, all the damages must be compensated."


    As Kurdish opponents were undergoing the repression by Belgian and German security services in the name of fighting Mafia activities, MHP Chairman Alparslan Türkes whose militants have actively been involved in Mafia activities recently came to these countries for creating a world-wide structure of his neo-fascist movement.
    First, on May 11, Türkes attended as the guest of honor to the 5th Grand Congress of the Belgian section of the Türk-Federasyon (Federation of Democratic Idealist Turkish Associations) in Hasselt and delivered a speech on the "unavoidable" triumph of his Turkist movement all over the world. His speech was very often interrupted by about 3 thousand Grey Wolves shouting slogans such as "Tell us to die, we shall die! Tell us to hit, we shall hit!"
    During these frenetic demonstrations, Turkish Embassy's Cultural Attaché Tolga Yarman and the Mayor of Hasselt, Jef Gabriels, too were present in the congress hall. According to Hürriyet of May 13, Gabriels, first addressing to the congress and later personally chatting with Türkes, promised to give more support to them.
    Not only in Hasselt, but also in Brussels, Türk-Federasyon has a privileged position in Turkish immigration because of the Turkish Embassy's special support and the Belgian authorities' tolerance. Türk-Federasyon is currently taking part in a coalition of Embassy-oriented Turkish associations in order to organize a Turkish Day in Brussels in 1997. According to Hürriyet of September 26, Turkish Day will be celebrated mainly in Schaerbeek of which the mayor declared committed to give all municipal support for the success of this event.
    During the football match between Turkish and Belgian national teams at the Heysel Stadium on August 31, Grey Wolves were allowed to open their flags with three crescents and this gratuitous propaganda of the Turkish neo-fascist movement were largely transmitted by Belgian and Turkish televisions.
    It is the same movement that sent more than 3 thousand Grey Wolves to Cyprus for defending the Green Line against Greek demonstrators and savagely assassinated two of them before the TV cameras on August 11 and 14.
    Encouraged by the laxity of Turkish and European authorities, the MHP recently decided to legalise its activities in a new structure covering all the world.
    The European congress of Türk-Federasyon held with the participation of 15 thousand Grey Wolves on October 5 in Essen (Germany) decided to set up a world organization under the name of Dünya Türk-Konfederasyonu (World-wide Turkish Confederation).     Türkes was again the guest of honour of this "historical" congress and Turkish Ambassador Volkan Vural, with his participation, gave once more the proof of the Turkish State's open support to this neo-fascist organization.
    With this new world-wide structure and thanks to the open benediction of the Turkish and European authorities, Grey Wolves will easily enlarge their Mafia relations throughout the world under the guise of uniting all Turkish-speaking people, either from Central Asia or from Europe, America and Australia, under the three crescents flag of a Turkish empire headed by Anatolian Turks.
    Isn't it their chief, Türkes, who had already said at a party meeting in Antalya: "After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Turkish states have gained their independence. Now everybody asks: 'Hell! If 210 millions Turks are united, what will be our future?' They feel afraid. Let them do! In a very near future it will be a reality. The sun of 210 million Turks will soon rise. The 21st century will be a Turkish century!" (Tercüman, May 13, 1992).
    Now it turns out that the rising sun is not the sun of 210 million Turks, but the sun of a handful Grey Wolves developing their Mafia relations with the benediction of Turkish and European authorities!


    A new proof of the Militarist-Islamist complicity has been given by the government with the 1997 budget proposal presented by Finance Minister Abdüllatif Sener on October 18 in Ankara. The defense allocations for 1997 were set at TL 671 trillion ($7 billion) double the sum for the current year. Together with the expenditures for the gendarmery and police services (TL290 trillion) and for the justice (TL63 trillion), the total share of the repressive institutions rises to TL 1,024 trillion ($10.8 billion).
    The budget draft targets a TL 6.255 quadrillion ($658 billion) GNP, with a 78.2 percent increase from last year's initial allocation.
    Interest payments on foreign and domestic debt take a 29.8 percent share in overall expenditures.
    Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan said that the 1997 budget that envisages a zero deficit would relieve the treasury from the requirement of domestic borrowing at the current high interest rates. "The new budget is the first balanced budget in Turkey for the past 50 years. This is a revolution," Erbakan said.
    The government forecasted the 1997 year-on-year wholesale inflation rate to be 57.7 percent. This year's forecast was for 65 percent, but is expected to be somewhere around 80 percent.
    Since the economic crisis of 1994 when the economy shrunk by 6 percent and the IMF-backed austerity plan of that year, the growth rate for 1995 was 8 percent and in 1996 estimated as 7.5 percent. The draft budget forecasts growth in 1997 to be 4 percent.
    The government will try to finance public deficits through tax revenues, forecast to be TL 4.368 quadrillion. Other unnamed revenues were estimated at TL 1.445 quadrillion, special investment and fund revenues at TL 425 trillion and annexed budget revenues at TL 17 trillion.
    Civil service wages are expected to account for the greatest part of expenditures at TL 1.675 quadrillion, followed by transfer expenditures at TL 3.385 quadrillion, other expenditures TL 669 trillion and investment expenditures at TL 524.6 trillion.
    This year's budget forecasts an average dollar rate of TL 135,000. This year's forecast was TL 81,250.
    The budget forecasts imports to rise to $50 billion in 1997. The target for 1996 was $37.5 billion. Exports are forecast to rise to $29.5 billion, up from the 1996 target of $25 billion.


    The Erbakan government is reportedly planning to sign military agreements envisaging defense industry cooperation with Britain, Spain, Ukraine, China and Bangladesh in the coming months. It is also evaluating the possibility of reaching such accords with three Muslim countries -- Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkmenistan -- aiming to boost ties in the defense field, reported the Turkish Daily News of September 13.
    According to this newspaper, military sources have voiced their satisfaction with Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan's views on encouraging the Turkish defense industry to build the capability to survive by itself in the future and his plans to cooperate with another countries in the defense field. Erbakan reportedly said recently that he looked warmly on the controversial Turco-Israeli agreement, as it seemed to be good for Turkey. He also said that Turkey should increase its local input in the defense industry.
    Military officials earlier had noted that at present only 21 percent of the main weapons, equipment and spare parts needed by the Turkish Armed Forces could be met by domestic production, with the remaining 79 percent supplied from abroad.
    In recent years other countries have started to show an interest in Turkey's developing defense industry. Low labor costs are an advantage for Turkey in attracting buyers from other countries.
    This year a series of military training and defense industry cooperation agreements signed between Turkey and Israel sparked a row and angered Arab countries throughout the Middle East who called it a betrayal of solidarity against the Jewish state. Turkey later rebuffed the criticism, saying it was based on a misunderstanding of the terms of the agreement.

    According to a US specialised magazine in the field of the military industry, Defense News, Turkey is to purchase 145 assault helicopters, valued at $3 billion, over the next ten years, reported the Anatolian News Agency. Super Cobra producer Bell Helicopter Textron Company, McDonnell Douglas Corp., Boeing Co., Sikorsky Aircraft and Eurocopter firms are competing with each other in supplying the helicopters.
    Turkey has already concluded some deals with Textron and received ten Super Cobra helicopters. The delivery of a second part of 10 Super Cobra helicopters was suspended for about a year by the U.S. administration due to pressure from human rights groups.
    However, senior officials from the maker of the Cobra, Bell-Textron Co., who visited Turkey for bilateral talks with defense authorities said on October 9 that they were confident that after the U.S. presidential elections the U.S. Congress -- with a slightly changed composition -- would approve the delivery of the ten Super Cobra helicopters by March 1997.
    According to earlier reports, the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union and around 30 congressmen who promised to vote for Turkey were trying hard to win approval for the sale of the helicopters to Turkey. The union's representatives, under pressure from workers, had talked with U.S. President Bill Clinton about the issue, reports said.
    To date, a total of 10 AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters have been purchased under two separate contracts worth $135 million, signed in 1990 and 1993 respectively with Bell-Textron. If approved by Congress the latest deal will bring the number of Super Cobra AH-1W helicopters to 20.
    On the other hand Turkey is reportedly finalizing plans to buy 20 military cargo helicopters. According to sources who asked not to be identified, the final choice is to be made shortly between the competing Boeing CH-47 and the Sikorsky CH-53. The purchase will cost Turkey an estimated $500 million.
    Turkey requires the heavy-lift copters to allow it to transport brigade-size units along with logistical support at short notice, military sources said.
    The Sikorsky Black Hawks and Eurocopter Cougars the Turkish Army currently uses are both designed for light lifting and personnel transport and cannot handle heavy payloads such as artillery, jeeps and fuel.
    Meanwhile, the second phase of a project for 30 Cougar helicopters which Turkey had decided to buy from France using 30 percent local input could be suspended as Turkey reconsiders its helicopter needs.



    Tomris Özden, the wife of the deceased commander of the Mardin Provincial Gendarmerie Regiment, Colonel Ridvan Özden, declared on October 17 that she had exhausted her hopes for a just investigation into the circumstances of her husband's death and that she will bring her demand for a post-mortem on Colonel Özden's body to the European Court of Human Rights.
    Mrs Özden said in a press conference that whilst according to law, any post-mortem demand should be acted upon within one month, her insistent demands for a thorough independent examination of her husband's body have been turned down continuously by the Turkish authorities, including Eyüp Public Prosecutor's Office and the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors.
    Colonel Ridvan Özden was killed on August 14, 1995, in Mardin and his death was officially declared to have occurred during an armed clash with the outlawed PKK. Mrs Özden said that she had always suspected the official account and she received many letters from her husband's friends in the armed services claiming that the Colonel was the victim of an internal conflict within the army.
    Before his death, Colonel Özden had an officer charged by the court for executing captured PKK guerrillas and he vocally opposed the burning down of villages by the soldiers. Mrs Özden said, "My husband was telling me everyday prior to his death that he was in disagreement with his colleagues and that he was expecting to die."
    Mrs Özden said that she received many letters from army officers suggesting that her husband was "executed" by "dark forces" within the army which vindicate her doubts about the circumstances of Colonel Özden's death.
    "I am not prepared to disclose the names of the writers of these letters", she said, "because I do not trust the state. Just as my husband was eliminated these people may be eliminated too."


    The trial of HADEP (The People's Democracy Party) Chairman Murat Bozlak and 40 other party officials began on September 25 before the Ankara State Security Court in connection with the party's June 23 congress in which some persons tore down the Turkish flag and replaced it with PKK banners and portraits of its leader.
    Bozlak and 23 party officials are charged with forming an illegal armed organization, and if convicted they will receive sentences of up to 22.5 years. Meanwhile 17 other party members are facing up to 15 years in prison if they are convicted of being members of an illegal armed organization.
    In his indictment, the prosecutor claimed that the HADEP was in fact the political wing of the PKK and the HADEP congress turned into a PKK propaganda event. He also said that party chairman Bozlak did not even bother to interrupt his speech when the Turkish flag was thrown to the floor and the banner of the PKK and posters of its leader were hung in its place.
    The indictment goes on to explain that illegal banners were displayed during the congress and many illegal documents clearly linking HADEP to the PKK were seized when the party's offices in Ankara were searched.
    Top HADEP officials, including Chairman Murat Bozlak, have denied all charges against them and said that the flag tearing incident took place completely outside the control of party officials. They claim that the press reported the incident in a frenzy of "exaggeration, conceit and chauvinism."
    The defendant attorneys said the case is outside the jurisdiction of the SSC because it is HADEP itself that is on trial and claimed that the Constitutional Court should try the case.
    Two individuals who are accused of actually tearing down the Turkish flag, Faysal Akcan and Giyasettin Mordeniz, were later included into the trial. They face capital punishment according to article 125 of the Penal Code which punishes "crimes against the personality of the State".
    The trial has already drawn domestic and foreign human rights activists and politicians.
    The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has called for an end to the prosecution of the HADEP officials, the Anatolia news agency reported on September 26.
    A draft proposal prepared by nine members of the Socialist group demanded that Turkey halt the litigation of the HADEP officials charged with being PKK members. The draft resolution calls for the release of all HADEP defendants.
    The bill also demands that the Turkish government "quit some of its practices in its prisons," referring to hunger strikes by inmates.
    The draft resolution will be discussed at the Assembly's Presidential Board to determine if it should be placed on the general assembly's agenda.


    A group of Republican People's Party (CHP) deputies having visited the Tunceli province, Algan Hacaloglu, Ercan Karakas, Orhan Veli Yildirim and Mustafa Yilmaz, on October 25, announced that the population of this province is completely deprived of their fundamental rights and asked to put an end to their oppression.
    The deputies noted that since October 1994, 287 of the 417 villages in Tunceli have been evacuated totally by the security forces. They said, "Houses and the animal sheds have been destroyed, many of these have been burned down. Pastures have been sealed off. Crops have been destroyed. Beehives, walnut groves, oak growing areas which supply wood, and vegetable gardens have been seized from the hands of the citizens. A great part of these citizens are now unemployed, hungry and miserable, left out in the open without dwellings in winter conditions, without any protection. They are struggling to survive in unhealthy conditions not compatible with human dignity."
    The CHP deputies stressed that the people of the region could not understand why they are being "subjected to this cruelty". Some of them are appalled because they have applied to the governor's office, to the interior ministry, or directly to the prime ministry but have not received any reply in the past two years.
    Of the province's 268 primary schools, 242 remain closed. There is only one specialised doctor in the hospitals. Despite the "record unemployment" in the province, the prime ministry is keeping vacant some 1,500 of the positions assigned to the official departments in the province.
    The deputies stressed that people are frustrated because of the injustices, lack of law, and pressures arising from the "racist and fundamentalist structuring of the special security teams" and from the "inadequacy of the education level" of those civilians who become regular members of the security forces by choice after completing their mandatory military service.
    The four deputies stressed that it is unacceptable to enforce a "food embargo" and "food rationing" on tens of thousands of people on the grounds of "fighting against terrorism". They called for an immediate end to this "shame on the state, this shame on the humanity and these human rights violations". They urged the government to let the farmers return to their villages immediately and provide them with financial aid. They said, "We want the state to turn to its citizens its peaceful, warm and affectionate face."


    The Court of Cassation ruled on October 3 that the trial of 124 people accused of involvement in the arson attack on a hotel in Sivas in 1993 which killed 37 people including writers, musicians and artists must be re-opened. The Appeals Court ruling means that many of the accused will be retried for crimes which demand a longer period of imprisonment, and in some cases, capital punishment.
    The Criminal Chamber No. 9 reversed verdicts given by Ankara State Security Court No. 1 and ordered that 42 of the defendants be tried under Article 146 of the Penal Code calling for capital punishment for those who attempt to alter the constitutional order of the state with armed force.
    The Ankara State Security Court had given 15 years imprisonment to 41 of those defendants and ordered the acquittal of another. All 42 now face another trial.
    The new ruling also calls for 39 other defendants to be retried on charges of participating in the attempt to alter the constitutional order of the state by armed force under paragraph 3 of the same article. This offence calls for prison terms ranging from between five to 15 years.
    The court also said that the Ankara State Security Court had been unjustified in reducing some sentences on the grounds of provocation. The earlier decision had said that the presence and actions of Aziz Nesin in Sivas had amounted to provocation of the religious fundamentalists.
    The higher court, however, held that the slogans which were steadily chanted during the incidents resembled those chanted by members of outlawed organizations in other incidents and showed that such actions were carried out in line with the same purpose and strategy and within an organization.
    Poets, writers and bards were in Sivas on July 2, 1993, to take part in a cultural symposium in which famous writer and humorist Aziz Nesin played a leading role. Rioters set fire to a hotel in central Sivas where they were staying to protest against Nesin's presence. He had been widely criticised for translating and publishing some sections of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses in an Istanbul newspaper; Rushdie has been condemned to death by a fatwa or Islamic religious decree. Nesin was one of the few survivors of the fire. He died of a heart attack, unrelated to the arson attack in July of 1995.
    The case will now be reheard at the Ankara State Security Court under sections of the Penal Code specified by the Appeals Court in its verdict.
    However, if the Ankara State Security Court insists on its initial ruling, the dispute will be examined by the United Criminal Chambers of the High Appeals Court. The verdict of this chamber is not appealable. It will be final and binding.


    A State Security Court (SSC) in Ankara has, in two separate rulings, empowered the police to collect all necessary data on all telephone subscribers, and to connect all the necessary technical equipment to PTT or private telephone exchanges in order to listen in on all telephone conversations, including those on automobile and mobile cellular phones.
    The police, according to the Turkish Daily News of September 10,  have been using these powers for over a year and a half now, and have been monitoring all telephone conversations in eight major provinces of Turkey. The scope of the rulings covers Ankara, Samsun, Bolu, Zonguldak, Kastamonu, Amasya, Corum and Bartin.
    Republican Peoples' Party (CHP) deputy Sabri Ergül said he would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights to have the decision empowering the police to listen into all telephone conversations to be deemed illegal.
European Court of Human Rights.
    Ergül said Turkey was on its way to becoming a police state. A former police chief had informed him that the police are listening to telephone conversations of businessmen and remarked that under current law the police do not have such jurisdiction.



    A new political party founded by a group of Alevis community in Turkey, the Democratic Peace Movement (DBH), has immediately faced the menace of being forbidden by the Constitutional Court.
    The Chief Prosecutor's office has started a legal proceeding to close the DBH on grounds that the party program contradicts the law for political parties. The party program said that the Directorate of Religious Affairs should cease to be a state agency and instead be handed over to believers.
    In fact, the Alevis community in Turkey, about 20 million, are not being represented at the Directorate of Religious Affairs and their cult is subject to a discrimination in the face of the Sunnite majority.
    DBH Chairman Mehmet Eti, holding a press conference on October 27, said that Turkey should find a way out of being a country which closes down political parties. He pointed out the party defends democracy and secularism in its regulations and program and deems secularism to be indispensable for democracy.


    The international environmental organization Greenpeace held a demonstration, on October 4, at the thermal power plant in Kemerköy, Gökova, which had been kept open despite a court order for its closure.
    Greenpeace activists walked to the main gates of the powerhouse wearing white clothing and holding banners saying "Enough" and then chained themselves to the powerhouse gates. The guards, failing to persuade the activists to unchain themselves, called for the gendarme forces who used chain saws to cut the chains.
    Meanwhile, it was reported that three activists had managed to penetrate the facility's grounds and had placed a banner near the chimneys of the building. All the activists were detained.
    Melda Keskin, energy campaign official from the Greenpeace Mediterranean Office, said that the demonstration was held to speed the closure of the facility. The continued operation of the plant was unlawful, she said.
    "The power plants in Kemerkoy, Yatagan and Yeniköy are being run falsely as 'trial production' operation without permission. Our aim is to close down all power plants operating on coal and show officials, who claim that nuclear power plants are clean, that the current energy policy is a dead end. I do not see nuclear plants as an alternative to power plants operating on coal. Nuclear plants pose a greater danger with their waste," she added.



    Turkey's leading industrialist who died eight months ago were stolen by unidentified persons October 23 night.  The aggressors later fled, leaving Koc's grave at Istanbul's Zincirlikuyu cemetery uncovered. Only a piece of the shroud remains at the site.
    Police detained for interrogation four cemetery guards along with two persons hired by the Koc family to look after the grave, but there is no clue as to the identity of the grave robbers. A person phoned the daily Hürriyet's premises on October 24 night and said, "We abducted the body for ransom. We demand TL 500 billion."


    Three foreign tourists arrested on charges of aiding the PKK, were brought to trial in the southeastern town of Diyarbakir, the Anatolia news agency reported on October 10.
    The three foreign nationals of the United States, Poland and Iran were arrested by security forces in the eastern province of Bingöl on September 22.
    The three were brought before the Diyarbakir State Security Court where they pleaded innocent to the charges. Although the court ordered their release, American Christopher Michael Mrozowski, Polish Maldena Glowacka and Iranian Jamel Kartili will be tried without detention.


    1.8, security forces detain four PKK militants in Istanbul.
    1.8, in Izmir, a local office of the Workers' Party (IP) becomes the target of a bomb attack.
    2.8, in Lice (Diyarbakir), Abdüllatif Bayhan claims to have been tortured together with his wife, Vahide Bayhan, and his 5-year old son.
    2.8, in Iskenderun, Dr. Nezihi Galioglu claims to have been tortured after being taken to a police station on July 29. A medical report certifies that his arm and some fingers were broken under torture.
    2.8, in Izmir, an official of the Municipal Employees' Trade Union is detained together with eight other people.
    3.8, in Sarigöl (Manisa), a military patrol is accused of having killed under torture 27-year old peasant Servet Sürücü whom they forced to indicate the whereabouts of a suspect.
    3.8, in Tunceli, one of the 50 richest businessmen of Turkey, Celal Yasar, is taken into custody on charges of giving aid to the illegal organizations such as PKK and TIKKO. Among other 40 people detained together with Yasar are also Tunceli Provincial Assembly member Hasan Günes and another businessman Yasar Simsek.
    3.8, in Bismil, the houses of two HADEP sympathizers, Rahim Dag and Zeki Dag, are raided by security forces. Following this operation, 20 people are taken into custody.
    3.8, in Siirt, eight people are taken into custody for illegal activities.
    4.8, detainee Fuat Önder is found dead in the Tomarza prison of the province of Kayseri. Mother Azize Önder accuses the prison administration of having assassinated her son.
    4.8, in Yüksekova, two passengers and a 6-year old boy playing in the street are killed at the explosion of a bomb place in a car. Besides, three children are wounded at the incident.
    4.8, security forces detain nine people in Siirt and four people in Van for illegal activities.
    5.8, the Diyarbakir SSC Prosecutor indicts Vezir Perisan, local chairman of the Municipal Employees' Trade Union (Belediye-Is), and Enver Ölmez, local secretary of the Highway Workers' Trade Union (Yol-Is). Both are accused of giving support to the PKK.
    6.8, in Ankara, five alleged members of the DHKP-C are detained. Same day, the Izmir SSC places under arrest nine people for taking part in the activities of the Devrimci Kurtulus.
    6.8, in Mersin, five people are detained during a police raid to a house.
    6.8, the mutilated body of 20-year old Necip Avci is found wrapped in a graveyard of Diyarbakir. He is reportedly a victim of the conflicts between two fractions of the Islamist Hizbullah movement.
    6.8, in Hakkari, three officials of the Democracy and Peace Party (DBP) are taken into police custody.
    7.8, the Ankara SSC places under arrest eight people who were taken into police custody in July.
    7.8, Altun Calim and Zülküf Calim are found assassinated on the Diyarbakir-Ergani highway.
    7.8, the daily Demokrasi reports the arrest of some army officers and NCOs on charges of supporting some illegal organizations. The IHD claims that one of the detainee, Sergeant Mehmet Peker was hospitalised because of the torture he underwent.
    7.8, in Bolu, two teachers, Ramazan Kaman and Fikret Konca, as well as a school technician, Mahir Koparan, are indicted for having participated in a protest action organized by the Confederation of the Public Servants' Trade Unions (KESK).
    8.8, in Adana, security forces raiding the house of a Kurdish family shoot dead two babies, Dilan Bayram and Berivan Bayram, along with three people, Ridvan Altun, Abdurrahman Sari and Ömer Bayram. HADEP local chairman Yusuf Tuncer accuses the security forces of having performed a new execution without trial.
    8.8, in Istanbul, Hamza Capkurt claims to have been tortured by police after being detained one day ago. In Ankara, Serdar Karakul says that he was subjected to torture for accepting to become a police informer. IHD Ankara Section announces that since the beginning of 1995 about 30 youths have claimed to be subjected to torture on the same purpose.
    8.9, after a series of operations in Kocaeli, Yalova, Sakarya, Bolu and Zonguldak, ten people including some members of the Labour Party (EP) are taken into custody on charges of being members of the underground Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP). Some detainees claims to have been subjected to torture.
    8.9, in Diyarbakir, IHD member Hanefi Isik is taken into police custody. Earlier, he had been kept in custody for two months.
    9.10, in Milas, security forces arrest nine people in a quarter inhabited by Kurds.
    10.8, in Istanbul, security forces take into custody about a hundred people during the funeral ceremony for MLKP militant Ali Haydar Gökcek who was shot dead by police.
    11.8, in Mersin, Halil Celik claims to have been taken by security personnel to the local of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and tortured there because he was Kurd.
    12.8, in Hakkari, peasant Rahman Ecer claims to have been tortured during his detention at the Gendarmery station after August 8.
    12.8, in Dargecit (Mardin), the chairman of the Social Aid and Solidarity Foundation, Semsettin Gezici, and another person named Ahmet Ay are shot dead by a military team after being taken into custody on charges of aiding separatist movement. The parents of both victims claim that they had already been subjected to menaces and harassments by security forces.
    12.8, unidentified assailants raid and destroy HADEP Balcova office in Izmir and the Workers' Party (IP) local office in Zonguldak.
    14.8, the prosecutor of the Beyoglu district in Istanbul starts a legal proceeding against 680 people for taking part in some protest actions in solidarity with the families of disappeared detainees. Under the charge of demonstrating without permission, each faces a prison term of up to three years.
    13.8, in Birecik, peasant Zekeriya Polat claims to have been tortured after his detention by police on August 6.
    13.8, in Turgutlu, four children aged from nine to 15 years are detained in relation with the destruction of an Atatürk bust in a school garden.
    14.8, security forces, during a series of repressive operations in Ankara, detain HADEP official Besbine Ürper and the Ankara Secretary of the Finances Employee's Union (Tüm Maliye Sen). Same day, in Istanbul police raid HADEP local secretary Hüseyin Bilgili's house and beat hem together with his wife Zeyi Bilgili and his father Ali Bilgili.
    14.8, in Bingöl, 60 people including some HADEP officials and members are taken into police custody.
    14.9, in Sivas, 14 members of the Aczmendi brotherhood are detained for acting against the Law on attire. Same day in Antalya, six people are taken into custody on charges of being members of the Islamic Movement Organization.
    15.8, an 18-month imprisonment against a former member of Parliament, Hasan Mezarci, is ratified by the Court of Cassation. Mezarci was condemned at the beginning of this year for having insulted Atatürk.
    15.8, five people are indicted by the Istanbul SSC prosecutor for having participated in the actions of the Revolutionary Communists' Union of Turkey (TIKB). Each faces a prison term of up to 30 years.
    15.8, in Van, security forces raiding a number of houses take thirty people into custody.
    15.8, in the district of Baglarbasi (Diyarbakir), security forces raiding a house shoot dead Naci Karatay and Fehmi Tosun, accused of being PKK members.
    16.8, two NCOs, Mehmet Peker and Ibrahim Dag are taken into custody after being expelled from the Army on charges of taking part in PKK actions. Same day, in Istanbul, three people are taken into custody for being PKK members.
    17.8, police detain a number of HADEP officials in Kumluca (Antalya) and in Istanbul.
    18.8, in Mersin, 30-year old Muzaffer Adiyaman puts himself on fire in protest against the fact that he was tortured for 21 days and sexually harassed by two policemen after his detention on June 24.
    19.8, the dailies Demokrasi and Evrensel report that in Tunceli 28 year-old Mazlum Mensuroglu was killed by security forces on August 15 after his eyes were extracted under torture.
    19.8, three HADEP officials, Mehmet Salih Yalcin, Necla Hazar and Diyadin Özboga are taken into custody in Antalya.
    20.8, in Istanbul, security forces raiding a house shoot dead Senem Adali and Mohammed Kaya on charges of being members of the DHKP-C. The parents of the victims deny their alleged relation with the DHKP-C and accuse the police of carrying out summary execution.
    20.8, in Kulp (Diyarbakir), the special teams are accused of shooting dead Mehmet Odun whom they detained and throwing his corpse into a well.
    20.8, in Istanbul, Sevgi Toka claims that her son Kemal Toka was tortured by police after his detention on August 17.
    20.8, the trial of 137 people, relatives of political prisoners, begins at a penal court of Ankara. They are accused of having carried out unauthorised demonstration against the ill-treatment in prisons.
    20.8, in Diyarbakir, Harun Cayir is assassinated by unidentified gunmen.
    21.8, security forces detain five HADEP officials in Adiyaman and six in Durankaya (Hakkari). Same day, the 65-year old headman of the village of Cukurcayi in Erzurum, Giyasettin Aytekin, is taken into custody for aiding the PKK.
    21.8, in Cukurca (Hakkari), Semra Seven (19) and two children, Fatih Seven (5) and Selim Seven (6) are killed by rockets that security forces fired.
    22.8, in Van, the chairman of the Union of Tradesmen and Handicraftsmen, Sevket Alparslan is shot dead by unidentified gunmen. Same day in Sivas, a CHP official, Mustafa Totos who was kidnapped earlier is found assassinated.
    22.8, in Bingöl, the president of the HADEP Women Committee, Mrs. Müzeyyen Kaya is taken into police custody.
    22.8, in Kulp, Tevfik Karaaslan, Ihsan Donat and Vehbi Kilic are killed in the explosion of a mine placed by security forces.
    24.8, in Tuzla, security forces attacking the workers of a leather factory on sit-in since 67 days, wound 15 workers and take 28 workers into custody.
    25.8, in Turhal, two people are detained on charges of serving to the DHKP/C.
    27.8, security forces detain ten people for participating in the activities of the Revolutionary People's Party (DHP).
    28.8, in Antakya, the Provincial Council decides to start legal proceedings against 237 teachers for having taken part in some protest actions.
    28.8, tribunals place under arrest six members of the DHKP/C in Denizli, two MLKP members in Izmir and a PRK member in Antalya.
    29.8, in Mardin, four children are killed at the explosion of a bomb left at a waste area by the military.
    29.8, a prisoner named Yunus Yaman dies at the Numune Hospital of Ankara. Although the police claim that Yaman's death was due to his sickness, the victim's father, Mehmet Yaman says his son was subjected to torture for weeks after his arrest four months ago in a mountainous area between Diyarbakir and Elazig.
    31.8, Hürriyet reports that a Nigerian businessman, Dennis Joel Imomion was beaten to death by a narcotic police team as being taken to police centre on charges of smuggling drugs.
    31.8, in Mersin, 32-year old Fesih Akar is shot dead by a group of policemen as leaving a wedding ceremony.
    31.8, in Istanbul, police detain three members of the Labour Party (EP).
    1.9, the celebration of the World Peace Day is banned in the provinces of Izmir, Gaziantep and Diyarbakir. Besides, a tract issued by the HADEP with the title of "That is enough!" is confiscated in different provinces by the decision of state security courts.
    1.9, a provincial disciplinary committee decides to send 64 teachers in Caycuma to tribunal for being tried on charges of having participated in a protest demonstration.
    1.9, in Istanbul, police take into custody about 30 employees of the super market Carrefour for their action against the firing of their two colleagues.
    1.9, security forces announce the arrest of 44 people in Istanbul and eight people in Sivas for having taken part in DHKP/C activities. In Adiyaman, four peasants are placed under arrest by a tribunal on charges of giving aid to PKK militants.
    2.9, in Istanbul, 29-year old Emin Abay is shot dead by a police team during a traffic control. Same day, again in Istanbul, a policeman shoots dead a taxi driver, Sabri Yesilbag, during a personal row.
    2.9, two students of the Diyarbakir University are arrested in Diyarbakir.
    3.9, in Soma, a provincial disciplinary committee decides to send 18 teachers to tribunal to be tried for having participated in a protest action.
    3.9, two students of the Karsiyaka High School are detained by police in Izmir and two others in Antalya.
    4.9, in Hakkari, five HADEP members are taken into custody.
    5.9, an association of solidarity with prisoners, TAYD-DER reports that the health of twelve female prisoners in the Usak Prison is getting worse and worse because of the torture they had undergone.
    5.9, the Court of Cassation ratifies a prison term of four years and two months against a person accused of having participated in Newroz demonstrations in Sirnak.
    5.9, in Istanbul, the sister of the assassinated journalist Metin Göktepe, Meryem Göktepe Türkmen and her visitor Nesrin Yildirmazlar are detained by police raiding her house.
    6.9, in Istanbul, Nedim Atman is reportedly assassinated by the PKK on charges of having collaborated with the police.
    7.9, in Mersin, the representatives of the Democratic Platform and some journalists are harassed and detained during a press conference in protest against the ban of the celebration of the World Peace Day.
    8.9, a 39-year old political prisoner, Ahmet Akkurt reportedly commits suicide at the Special Type Prison of Bayrampasa in Istanbul. He was sentenced to life prison for PKK activities and went on hunger strike in protest against his transfer to another prison.
    8.9, in Adana, police intervening in a meeting for peace detain ten participants. One of the detainees, 55-year old Emine Ökmen is gravely wounded and hospitalised.
    8.9, in Hakkari, a political prisoner, Ali Yasar is reportedly hospitalised as a result of the tortures he was subjected to.
    9.9, in Hizan, Mehmet Can Gezici and Takdire Gezici are killed and five peasants wounded at the explosion of a mine laid by security forces.
    9.9, in Zonguldak, 81 teachers are indicted for having participated in some protest actions.
    9.9, the Diyarbakir SSC starts the trial of Vezir Perisan, local chairman of the Municipal Employees' Union (Belediye-Is) on charges of aiding the PKK.
    9.9, the prosecutor of the Ankara SSC starts a legal proceeding against the Chairman of the defunct Democracy and Peace Party (DBP), Refik Karakoc, and the same party's Diyarbakir chairman Semir Güzel for separatist propaganda.
    9.9, in Adana, three provincial chairmen of the Workers' Party (IP), Ecdet Güvel (Adana), Ibrahim Yigit (Antep) and Hüseyin Güler (Hatay) are taken into custody for having organized a meeting to demand the closure of the Incirlik Air Base.
    10.9, in Ankara, 59 people are tried for having held a press conference in front of the National Education Ministry to announce the decision of the Alternative Education Council in May. Each faces a prison term of up to three years.
    10.9, in Adana, 26 people are taken into custody on charges of aiding the PKK.
    10.9, in Van, 65-year old Abit Yurtseven is found assassinated.
    11.9, two NCOs, Mehmet Peker and Ibrahim Dag, are tried by the Ankara SSC for aiding the PKK and each faces a prison term of up to 22.5 years.
    11.9, in Adana, nine people are detained for MLKP activities.
    12.9, in Adana, security forces raiding a house shoot dead Enver Bozcali, suspect of being PKK representative in the area. All witnesses of this assassination are later taken into custody.
    13.9, in Istanbul, a penal court starts the trial of 668 people accused of having participated or supported the protest action of the parents of disappeared people. Among them are also the chairman of the Socialist Power Party (SIP), Aydemir Güler, and the Chairman of the Confederation of Public Servants' Trade Unions (KESK), Siyami Erdem.
    13.9, in Ankara, a protest action of the KESK is prevented by security forces and about 30 public servants taken into custody.
    13.9, in Mersin, fifteen people are placed under arrest by a tribunal on charges of being PKK members.
    13.9, in Istanbul, ten alleged members of the TIKKO are taken into custody.
    14.9, security forces detain five HADEP members in Van and three HADEP members in Diyarbakir.
    14.9, in Bismil, five people are found shot dead near to the village of Baharli. Three of the victims are identified as Nasir Alan, Faik Oran and Nuri Yigit who had been detained by security forces in Diyarbakir on September 8-9.
    15.9, in Hakkari, five HADEP members are placed under arrest by a penal court on charges of aiding the PKK.
    16.9, HADEP Tarsus chairman Ahmet Kizmaz is indicted by the Konya SSC for his speech at the 1996 Newroz celebrations. He is accused of instigating the people to racial hatred.
    16.9, in Ankara, a penal court sentences five members of the Aczmendi brotherhood to fines of up to TL 2 million for contravening the Law on Attire.
    17.9, in Diyarbakir, an official of the municipal workers' union Belediye-Is, Adem Güzel is taken into police custody.
    17.9, in Edremit, 21-year old Canol Kaner who was detained on September 11, is hospitalised because of the sexual torture he underwent at police station. In Izmir, another victim of torture, Kurbani Tektas is hospitalised because his artery was seriously damaged under pressure.
    17.9, in Adana, teacher Müslüm Yurtman is tried by a penal court on charges of having insulted Atatürk. He faces a prison term of up to five years.
    17.9, in Hatay, two teachers, Ali Elaltuneri and Servet Kavukoglu, are placed under arrest by a penal court. Both declare to have been tortured during their police detention.
    18.9, in Izmir, security forces announce the arrest of seventeen people for participating in the activities of the Revolutionary Communists' Union of Turkey (TIKB). In Istanbul, twenty people are taken into police custody for being members of the MLKP.
    18.9, the daily Demokrasi reports that four people, three men and a woman, have been found assassinated in different districts of Diyarbakir. Witnesses claim that one of the bodies belongs to a man who had been detained by security forces.
    18.9, in Elbistan, Ahmet Cerit, Cemal Karahan and Fazli Karahan are found assassinated.
    18.9, in Bingöl, four HADEP members are taken into police custody.
    19.9, the Istanbul SSC starts to try twenty people for having participated in the activities of the Communist Labour Party of Turkey-Leninist (TKEP-L). Five defendants face capital punishment. At their interrogation, all defendants claim to have been subjected to torture. A female defendant says she miscarried her baby because of torture.
    19.9, police again detain 20 workers and trade unionists during a protest action at the super market Carrefour.
    19.9, in Adana, ten people including the parents of Enver Bozcali who was shot dead by police on September 12 are taken into police custody.
    19.9, At the Aydin Prison, five political prisoners are seriously wounded during a skirmish between prisoners and guards.
    19.9, in Eruh, three children aged between 2 and 9 fall victims of the explosion of a mine laid by security forces, four other children seriously wounded.
    19.9, in Diyarbakir, a retired worker, Ensari Akalp is assassinated by unidentified people attacking with hatchets.
    21.9, in Diyarbakir, unidentified assailants shoot dead municipal employee Nezir Cicek.
    22.9, in Bursa, two alleged members of the TIKB are taken into police custody.
    23.9, the Istanbul SSC starts to try thirteen members of the Islamist Action Organisation (IHÖ) on charges of having assassinated secular intellectuals Turan Dursun and Cetin Emec as well as some opponents of the Iranian regime. The defendants face prison terms of up to 22 years and 6 months.
    23.9, security forces detain four alleged PKK members in Osmaniye.
    24.9, the daily Demokrasi reports that soldiers shot dead two peasants, Hüseyin Kuzu in Lice on September 31 and Selami Tuncer in Antakya on September 22.
    27.9, in Diyarbakir, a woman named Gönül Kutlu dies after having fallen from the fourth floor of the Police Headquarters. The police authorities claim that she committed suicide.
    28.9, the Istanbul prosecutor starts a legal proceeding against the Istanbul representative of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), Sükran Akin, on charge of having opened a centre of therapy and rehabilitation for torture victims. She faces a prison term of up to six months.
    28.9, in Istanbul, a conference-debate on the emergency rule is raided by security forces and about 30 participants taken into custody.
    30.9, in Mersin, two ÖDP officials, Abdurrahman Yildiz and Hüseyin Gür are tried by a penal court for having organized a meeting in protest against the ban on the celebration of the World Peace Day.


    A group of public figures has recently launched the "One million signatures for peace" campaign. This pluralist and non governmental initiative, started on October 25, with the simple slogan "I want peace," aims to gather all peace-supporting groups, individuals and establishments, regardless of their differences, together to put an end to the ongoing conflict and to establish peace.
    In the opening speech of the campaign, Esber Yagmurdereli. a blind lawyer who has been imprisoned many times for his opinions, said: "We never decided for war, but we can decide for peace. Let death be silent and life speak up. Peace has been the most common dream of humanity since the beginning of the world. Turkey's area has witnessed more than 10 years of fighting. Dozens of people are killed and injured everyday. Nearly 3,000 people are in custody. More than three million have been exiled from their land. And the most important thing is that all those things are considered normal. Social insensitivity forms the common speciality of a population that has lost its common dreams and future. We are accustomed to live through deaths. We are always looking for reality, but there isn't any, we know where it is, but we can't reach it.
    "Our right to life is not secure in this country. Unknown people decide about our lives. According to the needs of the war policy, our dead bodies are shown to the public in the newspapers, on TVs in forms of accursed or sacred funerals. We want to be together in order to express our opinions and feelings. We want to write, to speak. But the population is under the threat and domination of fear and doubts, as a war is going on in this country with all its violence -- whether or not it is of `low intensity.'
    "Perhaps for very different reasons, we all want peace. But we are dispersed and our voice is not loud. But we are the ones who have responsibilities for the future of this country. We are the ones who produce all the financial and spiritual values of this country. We cannot leave the fate of our country only to politicians. This is why we want peace, democracy and freedom. We need democracy in order to secure and not to lose once again our freedom, and we need peace in order to reach democracy. We have to come together and to make our voices heard, at least as loudly as those who are asking for the continuation of the war. What we have lost or what we will lose doesn't matter too much, since there is a common future that we will gain."
    The first signatures were given by famous writers, journalists, artists, politicians and industrialists, such as CHP member of parliament Aydin Güven Gürkan, the writer Adalet Agaoglu, movie director Atif Yilmaz, ANAP member of parliament Bülent Akarcali, Turkish Labor Unions Confederation (TURK-IS) chairman Bayram Meral, journalist-writer Can Dündar, poet Can Yücel, RP member of parliament Fethullah Erbas, DSP member of parliament Hakan Tartan, Dr. Haluk Gerger, the industrialist Ishak Alaton and Confederation of Progressive Workers' Unions (DISK) general secretary Kemal Daysal.
    The petition will be given to the Turkish Grand National Assembly, or parliament, in order to make heard the powerful voice of those who are asking for peace.


    The Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association, an Alevi organization, is facing danger of being closed down on charges that speeches "that discriminate among religious denominations" were made in the annual congress of its Ankara branch's in 1995.
    The congress chairman and two other officials were also put on trial on October 17 for responsibility in the incident and face sentences of up to three years in prison.
    The congress Chairman Kazim Genc, who is also the head of the Contemporary Jurists Association (CHD) Ankara branch, pleaded innocent to the charges against him and said the association could not be held accountable for its members' conduct.
    He said: "In my speech I stressed the importance of preserving Alevi culture. My words can not be considered discriminatory. Restrictions on associations prohibiting them from political action have been lifted with the recent amendment in Article 33 of the Constitution. We had an appeal claiming that the Law on Associations has not been brought in line with the Constitutional amendment. Therefore the prosecutor's indictment asking for the association to be closed is not justified."
    The trial is going on in the Ankara Criminal Court of First Instance.


    Researcher-writer Professor Ilhan Arsel's recent book, Stories from the Canonical Law attracted the attention of many Islamists, so much so that a court ordered on August 9 the copies of the book seized. The publishers of Arsel's work, Kaynak Publications, too have become the target of the radical Islamists.
    Writers and non Islamist intellectuals, reacting to the confiscation of the book and the attacks against Arsel, said that the forces ranged against the freedom of expression have once again shown their real face.
    Arsel has been called by Islamist circles as the "Psycho Professor" and the "Second Salman Rushdie". Arsel discusses in his book stories in the Koran with their historical origin. The radical Islamists on the other hand see the book as insulting to Islamic prophet Mohammed, his supporters and to Islamist values.
    The threats and pressure directed towards Arsel and Kaynak Publications are not limited to words, but have also extended to armed attacks.
    The militants of the radical Islamist terror organization, the Greater Islamist Eastern Raiders Front (IBDA-C) attacked Kaynak Elektronik Magazine on August 5, mistaking it for Kaynak Publishing.
    Stories from the Canonical Law went on sale on July 24. But the reactions to it only started after a test prepared to introduce the book by Kurthan Fisek in Tempo magazine four weeks later. The first reaction came from the newspaper Akit, a supporter of IBDA-C. Two days after the publication of the piece in Tempo, Akit published an article entitled "Tempo support for the Psychotic Professor". In the article the book is presented as blasphemous.
    In another article published in Akit dated August 8, written by Abdülvahap Telci, it was said: "The book written by the psychotic professor Ilhan Arsel and being on the shelves of the book sellers for some time is not the first and only ugliness of the publishing house that published it. Those persons injuring Islam and its sacred values for years under the mask of freedom of expression, will be absolutely punished. No one can doubt it".
    Kaynak publishing house owner, Ismet Ögütücü, to the TDN is that the extracts in Fisek's article that had caused the arguments were not in the book, and that provocations had been aimed at pressurizing democratic and secular writers and publishing houses.
    The writer of the book, Ilhan Arsel, sent a letter to the writer of Tempo, who is a university lecturer like himself, and said that the phrases in his article which had caused a reaction did not exactly belong to him. He also said the incidents in the book had been based on the Publishers of Religious Works management and mentioned that Fisek had apologized to prove his innocence.
    As for Kurthan Fisek, he accepts that there is no exact quotation of the book in the article, but says that there is nothing there that contradicts Arsel's opinions.



    In September 1996, one journalist was killed, another injured and five beaten, 13 journalists taken into custody, two publications and a radio station closed down, 11 newspaper offices searched, 14 newspapers and magazines were seized, according to a report issued on October 6 by the Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS).
    The TGS report also indicated that journalists, authors and publishers were sentenced to a total of 10 years and 8 months in prison, and a total fine of TL 3,437,666,000. Besides, a TL 9,400,000,000 fine is being demanded in pending cases.



    A Turkish actor faces up to three years in jail for reciting a passage of Franz Kafka's novel "The Trial" in court to judges.
    Actor Mahir Günsiray has originally been on trial with almost 100 other people who had published a banned book to draw attention to Turkey's freedom of expression laws. During his interrogation at the Istanbul SSC he had referred to Kafka's book.
    The Istanbul SSC considered this gesture as an insult against itself and started a second legal proceeding against the actor.


    The trial of forty-eight police officers accused of the murder of journalist Metin Göktepe in Istanbul on 8 January 1996 began on 18 October in Aydin. However, the delegation from Reporters sans frontieres (RSF) present at the trial has serious concerns regarding the conditions in which the hearings will take place.
    None of the officers charged was present in Aydin. While their absence may not be illegal, it is nonetheless both surprising and worrying. Furthermore, it would seem that this is the first time that people charged with murder have not been obliged to be present during their trial. The judge deplored the fact that the officers have yet to be heard by the public prosecutor. Moreover, none of their statements has yet been transmitted to the Court.
    Only five of the witnesses called on to give evidence by the lawyers representing the Göktepe family were present. It would seem that those who remained absent have been under pressure not to testify. Last July, one of the principal witnesses for the prosecution, Deniz Ozcan, was kidnapped and tortured.
    RSF also has serious doubts about the choice of Aydin, 600 kilometres from Istanbul, for the trial, and regrets that demands to have the trial transferred to Istanbul were rejected.
    Although the presiding judge has refused to restrict public access to the hearings, RSF points out that the trial of Göktepe's killers is, at this stage, neither fair nor equitable. Too many hindrances to the judicial process have been noted. In particular, Istanbul police chief Orhan Tasanlar, whose responsibility cannot be denied in the death of Goktepe, does not yet figure among the accused.



    The Court of Cassation approved, on October 18, the 1.8-year prison term given to famous novelist Yasar Kemal Gökceli on charges that he openly influenced citizens toward hatred and enmity by observing class, race, religion, sect and regional public differences in "Black Sky Over Turkey," a chapter of his book "Freedom of Thought," the Anatolia news agency reported.
    The Istanbul SSC passed the prison sentence on Gökceli but suspended it for a period of five years. In layman's terms, if Gökceli commits the same crime during the next five years, the sentence will stand. The court acquitted the writer of all charges for another chapter in the same book.
    Following the SSC's decision, Gökceli's attorney Enver Nalbant had appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeals, claiming that Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code, under which Gökceli was being tried, is unconstitutional, and demanded that the case be tried at the Constitutional Court level.


    Composer and musician Sanar Yurdatapan was arrested by the Ankara State Security Court on October 17 charged with disseminating separatist propaganda, generally a reference to support for Kurdish rights.
    Yurdatapan was detained earlier in the week in Istanbul immediately after attending a press conference with Tomris Özden, wife of Col. Ridvan Özden who was killed last year in the Southeast in mysterious circumstances during an operation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
    Yurdatapan was charged with composing the music for a documentary entitled "Kursun Kalem" (Pencil), broadcast by the Kurdish television network MED-TV.
    On 17 October 1996, Sanar Yurdatapan  was placed under arrest by the court and charged under Article 169 of the Turkish Penal Code with "aiding and abetting illegal groups." The charge reportedly stems from an appearance that he made on Kurdish satellite television station MED-TV during which he signed a statement condemning a reported assassination attempt against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan. He has been transferred to Ankara Prison and his case is to be heard in the State Security Court.
    "Freedom of Thought Platform" which Yurdatapan is the spokesman is a group of 1008 intellectuals and writers who came together to challenge Turkey's restrictive laws on free expression.
    Yurdatapan told reporters as he was being taken to prison pending his trial that he was being charged for his ideas and expressed his belief that he would be found innocent.
    He added that if he is not acquitted by Turkish courts he would take his case to the European Court for Human Rights.
    Yurdatapan's lawyer Senal Sarihan told reporters that his client was not the producer of the documentary whose music he was charged with composing.
    Sarihan added that the producers of "Kursun Kalem" had used Yurdatapan's music. He said that Yurdatapan did not know that interviews with him had appeared on MED-TV, or that his music had been used for a documentary prepared by this network.
    Sarihan also said his client had told the prosecutor he had signed the petition condemning the attempt on Öcalan's life because he believed this would contribute to peace.


    Prosecutors in Istanbul have brought charges against Mr. Ertugrul Kürkcü and Ayse Nur Zarakolu for translating and publishing a November 1995 report by the Human Rights Watch Arms Project.
    The report, Weapons Transfers and Violations of the Laws of War in Turkey, was translated by Mr. Kürkcü and published in May 1996 by Belge Publishing House in Istanbul, of which Mrs. Zarakolu is director.
    Both Ms. Zarakolu and Mr. Kürkcü have been charged under Article 159/1 of the Turkish Penal Code for "defamation and belittling of the state's security and military forces".
    Representatives of Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a statement protesting against the charges laid against Mr. Kürkcü and Mrs. Zarakolu, neither of whom have any direct link with HRW and neither of whom played any part in the production of the report.
    "Rather than punishing the messengers, the Turkish government should punish the abusers and end the impunity that has allowed violations by the security forces to continue for so long," said the director of the HRW Arms Project, Mr. Joost Hiltermann.
    The HRW Arms Project report on Turkey provided witness testimony of serious and widespread abuses committed by both the Turkish security forces, using U.S. and European supplied weapons, and the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party
in their ongoing conflict in the south east of the country.
    "Both the Turkish government and arms supplying western governments are bound by treaty obligations to protect human rights," says the HRW statement. "A couple of the cases highlighted in the report had previously also been publicized in the Turkish press. This underscores the arbitrary nature of the charges brought against the reports translator and publisher."
    A large extract of this report was published in the earlier issues of Info-Türk.


    The Ankara State Security Court No.1 sentenced the Workers' Party (IP) Chairman Dogu Perincek, on October 15, to two years and two months in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of TL 116,166,000, for spreading separatist propaganda in the speeches he delivered prior to the 1991 general election.
    Mehmet Cengiz, one of the lawyers who defended Perincek at the hearing, said under the amendment carried in Article 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Law, the crime which his client was alleged to have committed no longer constituted a
crime, therefore he (Perincek) should be acquitted.
    Attorney Ali Kalan, who also defended Perincek, requested that the court take into consideration the principle of individuality of punishments, because the documents provided in the dossier of his client had previously been evaluated during the closure of the Socialist Party. Kalan said that a second punishment could not be given for the same issue.
    He continued that Perincek had made the speeches which were now the subject of the current case as a chairman of the now-defunct Socialist Party. He added that the
views which Perincek had then delivered were the views of the Socialist Party which was then a legal entity.
    The court had earlier sentenced Perincek to a two-year prison term but that ruling had been reversed two times by the High Court.



    The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) decided at the end of October to give one of its "Press Freedom Awards" this year to Ocak Isik Yurtcu, the imprisoned former editor in chief of now-defunct Özgür Gündem, a daily defending the rights of Kurdish people and closed down by the Turkish government.
    CPJ said Yurtcu was selected for the award due to his "extraordinary devotion to the principles of press freedom through extensive and balanced reporting of the Kurdish conflict in principled defiance of Turkish government censorship orders."
    Yurtcu is currently serving a 15-year sentence, upheld on appeal in December 1994, for "disseminating separatist propaganda," in accordance with the Anti-Terror Law and Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code.
    Other selected award winners are three journalists from Mexico, India and Israel-controlled Palestinian territories.
    "The journalists we honor this year with Press Freedom Awards have courageously provided independent news coverage and viewpoints under extraordinary circumstances," said CPJ Executive Director William A. Orme, Jr. "They have placed their lives and careers on the line every day, and journalists everywhere are in their debt."


    3.8, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the periodicals Odak, N°56, Atilim, Special N°3, and Proleter Dogrultu, N°6, on charges of separatist propaganda and instigation to hatred and hostility.
    4.8, the governor of the Sisli district in Istanbul bans the representation of the play Pir Sultan Abdal by the Ankara Birlik Theatre. Besides, the theatre director, Mrs. Gül Göker is taken into custody.
    4.8, in Istanbul, security forces raiding the Tohum Cultural Centre detain the centre's owner, Pinar Tamis Akpinar, the director, Sevim Kalman, and two other persons.
    6.8, in Devrek, a local radio station, Devrek'in Sesi, is banned from broadcasting by the decision of the Radio-Television Higher Board (RTÜK).
    6.8, the Bursa correspondents of the periodical Alinteri, Özgür Akbaba and Sabahat Yaman, as well as a reader, Celal Gül, who were detained in July, are placed under arrest by a local tribunal.
    7.8, two correspondents of the periodical Özgür Gelecek, Bektas Toptas and Hülya Falcioglu, are detained by police as they are leaving the Tohum Cultural Centre in Istanbul.
    7.8, a correspondent of the periodical Kizilbayrak, Metin Yildirim, and his wife Zekiye Yildirim are taken into custody on charges of being members of the illegal organization Ekim.
    8.8, the Secretary of the Human Rights Association (IHD), Erol Anar is indicted by the Istanbul SSC Prosecutor for his book entitled The History of Human Rights. Under the charge of separatism, Anar faces an imprisonment of up to three years. The publisher of the book, Özcan Sapan too will be tried under Article 8 of the ATL.
    8.8, the issues N°45 and 46 of the periodical Yeni Demokrat Genclik are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC. Same day, the August issue of the periodical Kaldirac is confiscated by a penal court on charges of insulting the Republic of Turkey.
    10.8, in Adana, a representative of the periodical Odak, Mahir Yilmaz Sari claims to have been tortured after his detention on August 8.
    12.8, in Adana, two correspondents of the periodical Kizilbayrak, Gülten Üstüner and Mahir Kayir are taken into police custody.
    12.8, in Mersin, five journalists, Yeter Özcan and Bayram Dana (Özgür Cukurova), Ethem Aciklani and Mehmet Kargilar (Kurtulus), Eylem Ileri (Tavir) as well as twenty other people are detained during a ceremony commemorating a left-wing political activist who fell victim of a police attack one year ago.
    12.8, the last issues of the periodicals Proleter Halkin Birligi, Kurtulus and Özgürlük are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    14.8, the periodical Hedef, N°58, is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC. Same day, the Adana office of the periodical Nu Roj is raided and searched by a police team.
    16.8, the Istanbul SSC sentences the former editor of the daily Evrensel, Ali Erol, to two years in prison and TL560 thousand in fine for news reports about the police raids on Kurdish quarters. The tribunal also decides to suspend the daily's publication for one month. So, the total duration of bans decided by tribunals rises to 125 days.
    17.8, the last issue of the daily Evrensel is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC on charges of praising outlawed organisations.
    18.8, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the periodical Partizan Sesi, N°44, for the propaganda of the Workers'-Peasants' Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO).
    19.8, in Ankara, a book entitled The Panorama of Human Rights in Turkey, published by the IHD, is confiscated by the decision of the Ankara SSC for separatist propaganda.
    19.8, the periodicals Özgür Gelecek, N°79, and Nu Roj, N°2, are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for inciting the people to hatred and hostility.
    19.8, in Istanbul, lawyer Ahmet Düzgün Yüksel and two musicians, Suat Kaya (from Group Yorum) and Kazim Arslan (from Özgürlük Türküsü) are taken into custody at the Justice Palace of Istanbul when they trying to introduce to Public Prosecutor's office a complaint against the Justice Minister.
    21.8, the issue N°62 of the periodical Kervan become the object of a double confiscation. The Istanbul SSC and a penal court of Istanbul issue same day two different warrants of confiscation for the same articles in the review.
    22.8, in Istanbul, the publisher of the periodical Vanguard Patriotic Youth, Hülya Özveren, and her three collaborators, Pinar Günyel, Tekin Bozkurt and Demet Uzun, are taken into custody on charges of being members of the Patriotic Youth Union (YCK), allegedly a side-organization of the PKK.
    23.8, the Izmir SSC places under arrest two employees of the magazine Kizil Bayrak, Mesut Akcay and Irfan Sayginer. Same day, four other employees of the same magazine too are placed under arrest: Mahir Kayir and Gülten Üstün in Adana and Metin Yildirim and Fatos Cal in Istanbul.
    24.8, in Diyarbakir, the studios of the Can TV are raided by security forces by police while a programme on the Kurdish Question and Peace is on the air. They also take into custody HADEP provincial chairman Abdullah Akin, DBP provincial chairman Semir Güzel, the Diyarbakir Bar Association Secretary Sabahattin Cetin and IHD official Vedat Cetin for participating in this programme.
    25.8, the periodical Devrimci Cözüm, N°26, is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    25.8, as a victim of the police raid in Istanbul of August 20, Senem Adali, is being buried, security forces take emergency measures to prevent any protest. The spokesman of the Platform for Rights and Freedoms, Oya Gökbayrak, and ten journalists are taken into custody along with about sixty people. This operation is followed in the afternoon by the detention of about 150 people.
    27.8, a former DYP deputy, Abdülmelik Firat, is indicted by the Istanbul prosecutor for having insulted the National Assembly in his article published by the daily Demokrasi on June 16. Firat and Ali Zeren, responsible editor of Demokrasi, each faces a prison term of up to six years.
    27.8, the RTÜK orders to close Radio Mosaic in Ankara for one day on charges of using "Mister" when talking of PKK leader Öcalan and qualifying the war against the PKK as a "dirty war."
    28.8, the Istanbul SSC confiscates two books on charges of separatist propaganda: Özlem/Garod (Nostalgia) by Hraçya Kocar and The Short History of the Kurds in the 19th Century by Kaws Kaftan. The tribunal also confiscates the first issue of a new Islamist magazine, Siyah Bayrak.
    28.8, the RTÜK orders to close Ekim TV in Trabzon for two days and the Radio Sok in Mersin for one day for their anti-military broadcasting.
    29.8, the Culture Ministry refuses to give permission for a concert by famous musician Zülfü Livaneli in Ankara on the occasion of the World Peace Day.
    30.8, Mrs. Ayse Nur Zarakolu, director of the Belge Publishing House, is put in prison to serve five-month imprisonment for publishing Faysal Dagli's book entitled Brakuji-Civil War of Kurds.
    30.8, a peace festival organized in Diyarbakir by HADEP is forbidden.
    30.8, Izmir representative of the periodical Alinteri, Ali Eksi is taken into police custody.
    31.8, a correspondent of the periodical Proleter Halkin Birligi, Selvan Yazar is detained by police in Istanbul as covering a funeral ceremony.
    1.9, the Istanbul SSC confiscates Özgür Gelecek, N°80, and Proleter Halkin Birligi, N°20, for separatist propaganda.
    2.9, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the weekly Express, N°132, and the periodical Partizan Sesi, N°45, for separatist propaganda.
    2.9, a correspondent of Kizil Bayrak, Gönül Sayginer, is taken into custody in Istanbul along with a doctor and a teacher as covering a press conference held a group of workers on strike at Hyatt Regency Hotel.
    3.9, the Ankara SSC confiscates the monthly review Yeniden and a press communiqué of the Labour Party (EP) on the World Peace Day.
    4.9, the governor's office in Istanbul bans the distribution of a tract issued by the Democracy and Peace Party (DBP) on the World Peace Day. Same day, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the daily Evrensel for separatist propaganda.
    5.9, the Istanbul SSC starts to try two journalists of the Radio Cevre for their programme on the assassination of eleven peasants in Güclükonak on January 15. Chief editor Mine Türe and Programme Director Seyit Soydan face prison terms of up to six years.
    5.9, the periodical Odak, N°57, is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    7.9, security forces raid the offices of Kurtulus and Tavir in Adana and confiscate many printed materials.
    8.9, in Istanbul, 63-year old journalist Turgay Daloglu is found assassinated and later burnt in his house.
    8.9, the Izmir office of the periodical Alinteri is raided by police and two journalists, Ali Eksi and Ayca Taskaya taken into custody.
    8.9, RTÜK bans the broadcasting of the Radio FM Marmara Iletisim in Istanbul on charges of not having fulfilled some legal formalities.
    9.9, in Istanbul, police raiding the office of the periodical Kurtulus detain two correspondents, Banu Güdenoglu and Bülent Sari.
    10.9, the former chairmen of the Petroleum Workers' Trade Union (Petrol-Is), Münir Ceylan is sentenced by the SSC to 16 months in prison and a fine of TL 133 million for an interview to the periodical Ada in 1995. The tribunal also sentences the responsible editor Atakan Sayin to a fine of 100 million and bans the periodical's publication for one month.
    10.9, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the periodical Alinteri for separatist propaganda.
    12.9, a press conference organized at the Taksim Square in Istanbul by democratic organization on the occasion of the anniversary of the 1980 Coup is banned by authorities and many people gathered in the square are taken into custody.
    12.9, a book written by former DYP deputy Abdülmelik Firat, Euphrates Is Running in Sadness, is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    12.9, a penal court of Istanbul confiscates the periodical Gencligin Sesi, N°17, on charges of insulting security forces.
    13.9, the sister of the assassinated journalist Ferhat Tepe, Mükrime Tepe is taken into custody in Istanbul after she visited her sister Ayse Tepe under detention. Ferhat Tepe, correspondent of the daily Özgür Gündem, had been assassinated in 1993 after being kidnapped by police in Bitlis. Another relative, Sayfettin Tepe, correspondent of the Yeni Politika, too had been assassinated following his detention in 1995 at the Bitlis Police Headquarters. Father Isak Tepe, in the fear that her daughter too may be victim of police terror, applies to the Justice Ministry with the demand of preventing Mükrime Tepe's transfer to the Bitlis Police Headquarters.
    13.9, four members of the musical group Yorum, Kemal Sahir Gürel, Ufuk Satilmis Lüker, Irsad Aydin and Özcan Senver are tried by the Istanbul SSC on charges of being members of the DHKP-C. Each faces a prison term of up to 15 years.
    13.9, political police detain Atilim correspondent Ilkay Sezici during a visit to the Bayrampasa Prison in Istanbul.
    16.9, the periodical Hedef, N°59, is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    19.9, the Istanbul SSC decides to ban the publication of the periodical Proleter Halkin Birligi for one month and sentences the publisher to a fine of TL 72 million. Besides, Alinteri, N°81, and the newsletter of the Union of Working Women (EKB), N°10, are confiscated by the same court.
    20.9, the Istanbul SSC sentences the editor of the periodical Newroz Atesi, Nedime Tunc, to one year and four months in prison and TL 133 million in fine for separatist propaganda.  In another trial, the responsible editor of the review Barikat, Zekeriya Özdinc, and two other contributors, Ertugrul Karakas and Özer Degistirici, are sentenced each to 16-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 133 million.
    22.9, in Adana, two journalists, Mehmet Kargilar (Kurtulus) and Eylem Ileri (Tavir) are placed under arrest by a penal court.
    23.9, in Izmir, three people are detained as taking to Buca Prison some issues of the periodical Kurtulus. Same day, the offices of Kurtulus and the Aegean Cultural Centre are raided by police.
    24.9, in Adana, the local office of the periodical Kizil Bayrak is raided by security forces.
    25.9, the Istanbul SSC sentences two directors of the Evrensel Publishing House, Semra Caralan and Songül Özkan, to eight years in prison and TL 133 million in fine each for having published a book entitled A reportage on the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP).
    25.9, two collaborators of the periodical Kurtulus, Mehmet Tanrici and Mehmet Artakoglu are taken into custody when they bring this publication to the National Assembly in Ankara.
    26.9, the director of the Yurt Publishing House, Ünsal Öztürk is put in Ankara Central Prison for serving his imprisonment of twelve months. After twelve months he will remain in prison for a longer period because he refuses to pay a fine of TL 1 billion for his publications.
    27.9, a cultural festival organized in Divrigi is banned by the decision of the provincial council.
    28.9, a book entitled Rose Image of Nostalgia, written by journalist Hafiz Akdemir, assassinated in 1992 in Diyarbakir, is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC prosecutor for separatist propaganda.
    29.9, Proleter Halkin Birligi, N°22, and the latest issue of Kurtulus are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    30.9, security forces raiding a local office of the periodical Kurtulus detain correspondent Bülent Görgülü.
    30.9, in Turgutlu, six people are taken into custody for having looked at Kurdish Med-TV programmes.


    The Turkish Government's efforts to get the support of the International Monetary Fund, for the second time in two years, seem to have failed this time.
    At the end of a IMF mission to Turkey in October, headed by Martin Hardy, no standby agreement with the IMF has been agreed to and none seems to be in the offing in the near future, reports the Turkish Daily News on October 28. Talks between the two will continue early next year.
    After a two-week examination, the IMF team apparently expressed its concern over Turkey's ambitious 1997 budget targets and urged the government to implement an urgent and comprehensive stabilisation program, one that addressed the high inflation rate and external deficits in particular. The mission also made it clear that the fund is wary of the growing social security system deficit.
    After the completion of their final report, the IMF team will submit their findings to the fund's board who will then decide the best way to assist Turkey. It is expected that the IMF will most likely urge Turkey to revise its 1997 targets before an agreement on possible new loans would be given.
    The government presented to Parliament a "zero-deficit" budget recently. The budget predicted that revenues would reach $8.5 billion thanks to the selling off of state assets and a minority stake in the telecommunications giant Turk Telekom. The IMF team expressed serious doubts as to whether such a level of income could be achieved.
    As the relations with the IMF were deteriorating, Prime Minister Erbakan challenged the West by claiming that the Welfare Party (RP) has become a model for the world through its planned and disciplined work, likening the party to the Turkish army.
    Speaking at a meeting of RP provincial chairmen and inspectors on October 27, Erbakan said that the entire world was watching the party. "The RP, through its disciplined work, is the party of not only Turkey or Islam, but the salvation party of all mankind."
    Contrary to the reports of the Turkish press, Erbakan claimed that the IMF officials called the new budget as the "greatest event of the decade."



    Official statistics show continuing imbalances in the distribution of income with the top fifth of the population receiving more than half of the country's total revenues.
    The State Institute of Statistics (DIE) said on October 18 that 54.9 percent of the total disposable income was going to the top 20 percent of the population. In contrast, 20 percent of the population with lowest income was receiving only 4.9 percent of the total revenues,
    On the other hand, the daily Cumhuriyet of October 16 revealed that roughly one-third of the Turkish population live in poverty, unable to afford a daily food supply which would give them more than 2,450 calories. That is, this fraction of Turks are living below the poverty line.
     According to a report prepared by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation, some 20 million persons in Turkey have less than $27.30 a month for food expenditures.



    The general secretary of the Turkish Confederation of Labor Unions (Turk-Is), Salih Kilic, said on October 10 that 3.5 million workers, out of a total work force of 11 million, are children and that it is both a social and ethical duty to stop child labor.
    "We have been working with the International Labor Organization (ILO) for three years in order to prevent child labor," said Kilic. "The using of child labour is mainly due to the unjust distribution of income, and due to the cheapness of child labour. The most important step to prevent child labour is to raise the duration of compulsory education to eight and to strengthen the state's control mechanisms," said Kilic.
    The representative of the Labour and Social Security Ministry, Ramazan Güclü, who is also the head of the Labour Inspection Commission, said that 200 million children work illegally world-wide and that in Turkey there are 3.5 million child labourers aged between 12 and 19. He said that 34 percent of all children and young people are actively participating in working life and that 1 million children aged between 6 and 14 are actively working. Forty-five percent of child workers are not older than 16 years old and 56 percent of them has no right to take annual leave. Fifty-one percent of them are working without insurance.


    Amnesty International, on October 1, launched a very extended campaign on the violation of human rights in Turkey. Announcing a 13-point plan to improve the situation Amnesty International pledged a world-wide public awareness campaign.
    The AI plan includes the abolition of incommunicado detention and shortening of the 30-day maximum period of police detention; ensuring that all detainees are properly registered as a safeguard against disappearances; and the reform or repeal of Article 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Law to ensure that freedom of expression is a genuine right for all citizens.
    At a press conference held on October 1 in Istanbul, AI Secretary General Pierre Sane blamed successive Turkish governments for thinking that the violation of human rights was a necessity to maintain national security, and for trying to blame all the violations on the conflict in the Southeast.
    The Turkish Foreign Ministry replied that the AI findings included "nothing new." In a written statement the ministry said Amnesty International was merely continuing to repeat old allegations without acknowledging any of the positive developments that had taken place in Turkey.
    "As always the AI report is one-sided and ill intentioned," the Foreign Ministry said.
    In a second move, an international delegation from Amnesty International participated, on October 26, in the Saturday Mothers protest at Galatasaray, Istanbul, the traditional gathering of relatives of persons who have disappeared in police custody.
    AI's researcher on Turkey, Carsten Jurgensen, said that these activities were only the beginning of a major campaign against the human rights violations and disappearances in custody in Turkey.
    The AI delegation consists of relatives of persons who have disappeared in custody from around the world, including Bosnia, Lebanon, Taiwan, Pakistan, Columbia and Argentina.
    Randi Skeie of the Norwegian section of Amnesty said: "Turkey is the country with the fastest growing rate of involuntary disappearances in recent years. Ten years ago, people in Turkey were not disappearing in custody in Turkey, but since then disappearances have gained momentum."
    Filiz Karakus of the Committee for the Disappeared outlined the development of the Saturday Mothers experience in Turkey. Karakus said that by the end of the year 1994, there were a total of 295 missing persons. The disappearance of Huseyin Toroman in 1994 became a turning point for people who were concerned with disappearances. In 1995, when Hasan Ocak disappeared, determination of his family to find their son's body encouraged the human rights activists to launch a campaign against increasing disappearances in Turkey.
    Karakus pointed out that with the Saturday Mothers protest there is no concern about the reason of involuntary disappearance, the only criterion is to go missing under custody.
    A representative of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo of Argentina -- the inspiration of all the similar protests around the world -- Mirta Acuna de Baravalles, was another speaker at the press conference.


    The Human Rights Watch (HRW), on October 31, sent the Turkish Justice Minister a letter condemning two upcoming trials against administrators in the Istanbul and Adana offices of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV).
    The charges in two separate cases were brought in March and September 1996 and are based on the fact that, according to authorities, the centres were "unlicensed" and did not inform the police of the information patients provided. HRW considers that the real reason behind the charges was the harassment of the Foundation, since the documentation provided by the Turkish group was used by foreign embassies and organizations as well as groups within Turkey to document human rights abuses by both the government and illegal organizations such as the PKK.
    "It is extremely disappointing to learn that your ministry has chosen to open another case against the Foundation, rather than dismiss the charges in the first case," HRW executive director Holly Cartner said in the letter.


    Disappointed with the human rights record in Turkey, the European Parliament condemned the Turkish regime two times in last one month and opened the way to freezing EU aid to Turkey.
    First, on September 19, the European Parliament passed a resolution demanding all European Union aid to Turkey be frozen immediately.
    Six of the Parliament's eight political groups supported the resolution saying "human rights abuses are still going on in Turkey." The resolution also accuses the Turkish regime of fomenting tension by actions such as "provocations in the Aegean Sea and Cyprus and aggression in northern Iraq."
    During the debates, European parliamentarians expressed their anger against Tansu Ciller who openly fooled them last year for obtaining the ratification of the Customs Union between Turkey and Europe.
    This first resolution reads:
    "The European Parliament,
    "  having regard to its previous resolutions on Turkey,
    "A. with particular reference to its resolution of 13 December 1995 on the human rights situation in Turkey, adopted in connection with its assent to the EU Turkey customs union, in which the improvements promised by the then Prime Minister Tansu Ciller in the areas of democratization and human rights, progress in the Cyprus question and a peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem were emphasised as the firm expectations of the new contractual relationship between the European Union and Turkey,
    "B. having regard to the recent judgement of the European Court on Human Rights on the human rights situation in Turkey,
    "C. whereas, since the establishment of the customs union, the human rights situation in Turkey has noticeably deteriorated and no appreciable progress has been made towards democratization, while external tensions, such as provocations in the Aegean Sea and Cyprus and aggression in northern Iraq, have multiplied,
    "D. deploring the fact that Leyla Zana, winner of the Sakharov Prize, and three other DEP ex parliamentarians of Kurdish origin are still in prison despite appeals from the European Parliament and from all over the world,
    "E. deeply concerned at the military operations recently conducted by the Turkish armed forces in eastern Turkey and their refusal to seek ways of reaching a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Kurdistan,
    "F. whereas, in signing several international agreements, including the Council of Europe's Convention on Human Rights, Turkey has committed itself to guaranteeing human rights and multi party democracy,
    "G. whereas the negotiations on the accession of Cyprus will begin six months after the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference,
    "H. appalled at the brutal, cold blooded killing of two young unarmed Cypriots by Turkish soldiers supported by Turkish paramilitary forces at the demarcation line of the occupied part of the island,
    "I. deploring the many incidents in the neutral zone, which have claimed several victims from both sides of the demarcation line,
    "J. concerned at the Turkish authorities' plan to set up a 'security zone' in northern Iraq, in violation of international agreements,
    "1. Demands that the Turkish Government explain clearly its position to the European Union in the four areas   human rights, democratization, the Cyprus question and the Kurdish problem   raised in Parliament's above mentioned resolution of 13 December 1995, which was the basis for its assent to the customs union;
    "2. Expects the Turkish Government to confirm the obligations ensuing from its signing of the agreement on the customs union;
    "3. Declares that the continuing human rights violations in Turkey are in conflict with the letter and spirit of the agreement and irreconcilable with the specific financial aid instruments and the MEDA programme;
    "4. Decides, therefore, to begin the procedure for entering in the reserve the appropriations relating to the EC Turkey agreement;
    "5. Calls on the Commission, for the same reason, to block, with immediate effect, all appropriations set aside under the MEDA programme for projects in Turkey, except those concerning the promotion of democracy, human rights and civil society, pending clarification of unresolved questions and improvements in the above mentioned areas;
    "6. Condemns vigorously the killing of Anastasios Isaak and Solomos Solomou by Turkish soldiers and paramilitary forces and calls for all those who took part in these killings to be arrested and convicted;
    "7. Urges the Turkish Government to accept and apply the UN resolutions that call, in particular, for the withdrawal of the occupying military forces and for a fair and viable solution to the Cyprus question and appeals to the Government of Cyprus and to the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community to continue to look for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions;
    "8. Believes it to be more than ever necessary to open the negotiations on the accession of Cyprus six months after the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference in order to defuse an explosive situation and emphasises that the security of the two Cypriot communities should take precedence over any other consideration;
    "9. Denounces in the strongest possible terms Turkey's intention to create a security zone in northern Iraq, seeing this as a grave violation of international law, and calls on the Council to persuade Turkey to abandon this plan."    Observing that the Turkish regime had no intention to change its anti-democratic and anti-European stand, the European Parliament voted on October 24 to block hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to help Ankara set up a customs union with the European Union.
    In addition, the Parliament voted to review substantial financing for Turkey from the EU's MEDA programme, through which up to 842 million Ecus was envisaged for Mediterranean countries in 1997.
    Reaction to the resolution, Foreign Minister Ciller said: "It is a biased resolution. It is a sign of injustice to Turkey."



    A member of the European Parliament, Angelika Beer (Greens/Germany) has been declared persona non grata in Turkey.
    Beer came to Turkey on July 27 and held a series of talks with political prisoners and the Justice Minister Sevket Kazan. During these talks, the German Embassy in Ankara informed Beer that she had to leave Turkey immediately because of the decision of the Turkish authorities.
    Thereupon, Angelica Beer left Turkey on August 2.


    The European Court of Human Rights condemned Turkey on September 16 for the first time in a case involving the Southeast where security forces are pitted against PKK militants.
    The Strasbourg-based court ruled that Turkey had violated the European Convention on Human Rights because its forces had destroyed a village in the Southeast.
    The case related to an application made by Huseyin Adivar and six of his friends from the village of Kelekci, near Diyarbakir, to the European Commission on Human Rights.  Adivar and his friends had alleged that their houses had been burned down by Turkish security forces in 1992 following an attack by the PKK on a nearby gendarmerie station.
    In its defense, the Turkish government argued that these houses were burned by the PKK itself and that the security forces, while searching the village, had done no harm at all.  Turkey also argued that the plaintiffs had not gone through the proper procedures for applying to the European Court because they had not sought full recourse in the Turkish courts.
    Under normal circumstances the European Commission asks the applicants to exhaust all legal possibilities in their own country before applying to the European Court of Human Rights. This stipulation is, however, increasingly being waived in cases involving Turkey. The European Court of Human rights found that Turkish security forces were to blame and ruled that the "deliberate setting alight of the plaintiffs' houses was a grave violation of their right to respect of their family life, home and property".
    The court ordered Turkey to pay the applicants a sum covering costs and expenses and recommended negotiations on further compensation. It was the first time the court, whose jurisdiction takes precedence over national courts, had heard a case involving Kurdish charges of human rights violations by Turkey. Several other similar complaints have been filed in Strasbourg.
    The court also ruled that Turkey had failed to comply with her obligation not to hinder the effective exercise of the right of individual petition to the Human Rights Commission.


    The Welfare Party's intention to reopen the Byzantine church of Saint Sophia (Aya Sofya) in Istanbul to Islamic prayers has led to reactions in the Orthodox circles.
    Aya Sofya had been turned into a mosque on the
Islamic conquest of the city in 1453 and was then turned into a museum at the order of Atatürk after the founding or the Republic
    On September 4, a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs voiced that country's disquiet at the RP's intention.
    At the press conference, Mihail Demurin, said that it would be better if Ankara avoided these kinds of enterprises. "The statute of Saint Sophia, unfortunately, is always on the agenda of Turkey. Also these sometimes include political agitations. We should not forget that, in the long term, this will effect the international relations of Turkey, including with Russia."
    Other countries, such as Greece, with large Orthodox Christian populations such as Russia, have also expressed concern at the proposal.



    A long awaited white list of countries, from which the asylum applications will be considered as bogus, was announced on October 17 in the House of Commons, leaving Turkey on the "black list" of countries.
    "The white list country means that there is not a need for fear of persecution to flee home to seek asylum in Britain," a Home Office spokesman said.
The announcement came after a Cabinet meeting as to whom to be included on the list. Turkey's name was not included on the white countries list, thus marking it as a country where applications for political asylum may well be genuine. Despite some support for the diplomatic effort to include     The white list includes Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ghana, India, Pakistan, Poland and Romania.


    The United States declared on October 16 that it "deeply regrets and condemns" killing of a Greek-Cypriot who crossed into the territory of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
    Nicholas Burns, State Department spokesman said: "The use of deadly force under the circumstances was unwarranted and unnecessary. The United States urges all sides in Cyprus to avoid violence, to work closely with the United Nations, to establish mechanisms to peacefully addressing events along the buffer zone."
    Next day, the European Union presidency spoke out against the shooting of a Greek Cypriot civilian by the soldiers of the forces of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. "The EU deplores the latest tragic death as all the deaths that occur in Cyprus," the statement said.
    The statement, which carefully refrained from blaming any particular side, said that the EU fully endorsed the principle that deadly force should not be used against any person who crosses the border that divides the island.