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


21st Year - N°232
May-June 1997
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

Turkey between the devil and the deep sea


The current polarization obliges the people to choose in coming early elections one of the two evils: The Islamists or The Militarists.

    The tension developed for months by the military and their secular allies, on the one hand, and the Islamists and their satanic accomplice Tansu Ciller, on the other, has finally led Turkey to a dilemma which put the people between the devil and the deep sea. After the resignation of Turkey's first Islamist Prime Minister, Necmettin Erbakan, President Süleyman Demirel, on June 19, dove into the difficult task of finding a new government to lead the country to early elections.
    Erbakan told reporters that, in addition to his resignation, he presented the president a letter signed by himself, DYP leader and vice-premier Tansu Ciller and BBP leader Muhsin Yazicioglu. The letter stated that the three parties have agreed to support Ciller in forming the new coalition government. The leaders of three parties claim to have absolute majority in the National Assembly and that the President should immediately charge Ciller with forming the government.
    Under the grave accusations of corruption and irregularities, Ciller insists on having a coalition with Islamist RP which had saved herself three times from being sent to the Supreme Court.
    However, under the pressure of the military who absolutely wish the exclusion of the RP from any future government,  President Demirel, instead of naming Ciller   preferred to charge ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz with forming a new coalition government.
    Although the military's pressure remains the principal factor in forming the new government, that is a government without RP, the minority of the total of all opposition deputies in the National Assembly and the differences among themselves make rather difficult to assure a new government without having the support of one of the two partners of the outgoing government.
    In the current crisis, President Demirel has to find a solution acceptable as well by the majority of the following political leaders.
    • Necmettin Erbakan: His Islamist Welfare Party (RP) is the biggest group in parliament with 156 seats. He is looking to revamp his coalition with the DYP under Tansu Ciller and believes that his party, as a victim of the military, will come into power after the early elections with a greater number of deputies.
    • Mesut Yilmaz: Leader of the second largest party with 129 MPs. Precedent dictated that the president offer Yilmaz the first chance to form a government after Erbakan's resignation but there are no certainties. His Motherland Party (ANAP) has almost identical policies to Ciller's grouping, although a bitter personal rivalry ruined a short-lived coalition between the pair last June and makes another similar alliance unlikely. Yilmaz, slow-spoken and earnest, has been prime minister briefly twice but secularist commentators complain he lacks the punch needed to tackle the Islamists.
    • Tansu Ciller: The most corrupt politician of the Turkish Republic who shocked many last June by dragging her party into a coalition with the Islamists. An astute political tactician, she knows very well that if remains outside the government her political career will absolutely end. She successfully he persuaded Erbakan to resign and try to transfer power to her to defuse tension with the army. Her Correct Way Party (DYP) has 116 MPs and has been beset by defections among those disillusioned with the pro-Islamic alliance.
    • Bülent Ecevit: As prime minister in 1974, Ecevit gained much popularity for ordering Turkish troops to intervene in Cyprus. However he failed to unite all social-democrat forces of the country in a single political party. His Democratic Left Party (DSP) is the larger of the left-wing parties and has 67 deputies in National Assembly.
    • Deniz Baykal: His left-wing Republican Peoples' Party (CHP) was founded in the 1920s by Kemal Atatürk and led later on by Ismet Inönü and Bülent Ecevit. After the 1980 Coup, the CHP lost his monopoly in centre-left when Ecevit left it and found another party. The CHP lost its remaining credibility during its coalition with the DYP, particularly under Ciller's premiership.
    • Muhsin Yazicioglu: Former leader of the ultra-right "Grey Wolves" movement, notorious for street fighting with left-wingers in the 1970s. Yazicioglu and his seven MPs of Grand Unity Party (BBP)could hold the balance in a vote of confidence in any new government. He has announced he would support the effort to resurrect Erbakan's coalition under Ciller's leadership.
    • Hüsamettin Cindoruk: Former speaker of the National Assembly. He left the DYP in protest against Ciller's irregularities. His Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) has seven MPs, defectors from Ciller's faction who were upset at her alliance with the Islamists.


    For months, the military have been at odds with the Islamist-led coalition government. Among the sore points are the military's belief that the RP is involved with and sanctioning increasingly Islamist-oriented activities, fundamentalist nepotism and that the RP has not yielded to the measures recommended by the National Security Council (MGK) at its Feb. 28 meeting, particularly the imposition of 8-year continuous education.
    The military's criticisms against the government were in fact parts of a new operation aimed at to justify the increasing interference of the Army in politics. It is well known that Islamist rise in Turkey is not the affair of the last one-year Islamist government but is a phenomenon created for decades by all governments and even by the military juntas of 1971 and 1980.
    In an ultimate campaign to overthrow the government, the Turkish General Staff held a series of briefings on radical Islamist activities in Turkey, addressing to high bureaucrats, judges, public prosecutors, university teachers, trade unions, associations and journalists, etc.
    At the briefing on June 11, the military said that if necessary, the Turkish Armed Forces would be used to protect the country's democratic and secular system that separates the state and religion, adding that its authority to protect and defend the republic comes from both Turkish laws and the Constitution. They also claimed that fast growing Islamist activities aimed at changing the regime in Turkey, in recent times, had equalled the other biggest threat, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
    Following the "Internal Security Operation Concept" to deal with separatist activities, the "West Operation Concept" and "West Working Group" have been established to monitor and evaluate radical fundamentalist activities. According to the Army's spokesmen, this concept also aims to deal with political Islam in Turkey.
    Repeating all information about Islamist movement, already echoed for years by progressive media, the military called on the justice to start legal actions against all those who are suspects of being implicated in Islamist movement.
    It is for the first time that even the big businessmen of Islamic obedience are declared dangerous and the public institutions are called on to block their funds and to refuse any contract with them. The chief of staff ordered the armed forces not to buy supplies from Islamist companies, asserting they were financing the spread of radical Islam.
    What is more, the Chief Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation, following the military's directives, started a legal action against at the Constitutional Court for banning the Welfare Party (RP).
    Under these circumstances that Erbakan had to resign from his post in a view to gain a new electoral victory in early elections before the Constitutional Court bans his party.
    Whatsoever be the composition of the new government, it seems unavoidable to hold early elections, either at the end of this year or in first months of 1998.
    These elections will no doubt turn into a referendum which puts the people between the devil and the deep sea.
    The RP and its allies will present themselves as the real defenders of democratic civilian rule and ask the people to vote for themselves to prevent the military's domination. Their victory will lead to the establishment of an Islamic regime incompatible with the European standards of democracy and human rights.
    On the other side, the anti-RP parties will present themselves as the defenders of secular regime and Western values and ask the people to vote for themselves to exclude the Islamists from the country's political life. Since they, including the social democrat DSP and CHP, have not the courage to come against the military's interference, their victory will inevitably lead to the reinforcement of the military's domination in politics under the guise of promoting secularism.
    The only chance of Turkey may be the birth of a third political alternative launched by civilian forces which can come against both the Islamists and the military with a real political and social programme conforming to European norms of democracy.
    Though there are many signs of the birth of such an alternative among progressive parties such as the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP), the Workers' Party (IP) and the Democratic Peace Movement (DBH) and particularly in the circles of human rights, trade unions and associations, its success will depend on the degree of their will of unity and the degree of the repressive measures they will be subjected by the Militarists and the Islamists.


    Amnesty International's annual report, which was released on June 18, portrayed Turkey as one of the major countries in the European region where human rights violations continue with vigour. The report said that torture was still widespread in police stations and gendarmeries in Turkey.
    Covering human rights abuses in 151 countries and territories during 1996, the report underlined that at least 11 people had died in custody in Turkey during last year.
    The report said that challenging government policies in the Southeast was a reason for prosecuting writers, journalists and political activists in Turkey, adding that Articles 168, 169 and 312 of the Turkish Penal Code were used to prosecute such people.
    Among incidents included as examples of human rights violations was the trial of 184 members of Turkey's literary and cultural elite for publishing a book, Freedom of Thought.
    The report said that Seyfettin Kizilkan, president of the Diyarbakir Medical Association, had been arrested and charged with membership of the outlawed PKK but it later became apparent that his detention was the result of a statement he had made on human rights to a visiting foreign delegation.
    The arrest and trial of Sanar Yurdatapan, spokesperson for Together for Peace, was also an example of "trial for thoughts." The AI report claimed the sole reason for Yurdatapan's imprisonment was his work to further peace and freedom of expression. [This year he is again in prison as a result of a police plot.]
    Referring to allegations of torture, the report emphasised that victims of torture included those detained for common criminal offences under the Anti-Terror Law. "Children and juveniles were among the victims," the report claimed, citing the example of 16 high school detainees who were allegedly tortured while held at Manisa Police Headquarters.
    "The police officers reportedly raped the male detainees with truncheons and squeezed their testicles, while female detainees were compelled to undergo forced gynaecological tests and were threatened with rape," the report said about the allegations of torture by the 16 detainees.
    Metin Göktepe's death was given wide coverage in the report, which said he had died in January 1996 after being detained by police while attempting to photograph the funeral of prisoners beaten to death in an Istanbul prison.
    The report also mentioned the second public statement of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, saying it had described torture as "widespread and a common occurrence in Turkey."
    The European Court of Human Rights decision, which found Turkish security forces responsible for the torture of Zeki Aksoy in November 1992, also gained a mention in the report. "The ECHR found Turkish security forces guilty of burning houses in a village in southeastern Turkey, causing the Kurdish villagers to flee," the report said.
    According to the human rights organization 10 prisoners were beaten to death by gendarmes at Diyarbakir Prison. "The circumstances, as outlined in a report prepared by the Diyarbakir Bar Association, strongly suggest that the killings were the consequence of a premeditated assault by security forces," the report outlined.
    The report said the Güclükonak incident, where 11 villagers were machine-gunned and the minibus in which they were travelling was set on fire in January 1996, was portrayed by the military and government as a PKK killing. "However, a broad based delegation organized by Sanar Yurdatapan found evidence that the villagers had been killed by the security forces, apparently in an attempt to discredit a unilateral cease-fire declared by the PKK in December 1995," the report stated.
    However, the report also highlighted violence committed by armed opposition groups, such as the PKK and the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party Front (DHKP-C), and said they were responsible for 40 deliberate killings. AI, the report said, had condemned these abuses and publicly called the armed opposition groups to respect humanitarian law and international human rights standards.
    The report also said that AI had appealed to the Turkish authorities to release prisoners of conscience and had urged the government to initiate an impartial investigation into allegations of torture and extrajudicial executions and "disappearances."


    The following three-month statistics about human rights violations in Turkey for March, April and May 1997 were taken from the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD):
    * 33 people died in unsolved murders.
    * 21 people lost their lives through execution without trial, after torture or while in custody.
    * 718 people died in armed clashes.
    * Attacks on civilians left 35 dead and 24 injured.
    * 30 people "disappeared" while in custody.
    * 91 people were tortured or claimed to have been tortured.
    * 5,812 people were taken into police custody, 98 of whom from the press.
    * 542 people were placed under arrest by courts.
    * 6 villages and hamlets were evacuated.
    * 45 locations were bombed.
    * 25 associations, trade unions and press agencies were closed.
    * 51 associations, trade unions and press agencies were raided.
    * 70 publications were confiscated.
    * Courts have approved of prison terms exceeding 31 years and fines totalling TL 1.203 billion for opinion.
    * At present, there are 150 prisoners of conscience in jail.


    Since her coming to power in as minister of economic affairs and her upgrading to the post of prime minister in 1993, we have continuously informed the world opinion of her intentions harmful as well to Turkey as to its friends.
    In spite of these warnings, charmed by her modern look and demagogy, Western institutions supported this doubtful "Turkish iron lady". Even the European Parliament did not hesitate to ratify the Customs Union agreement in a view to reinforce her electoral chance in 1995 general elections under the pretext of obstructing an Islamist power in the south eastern wing of Europe.
    Turkey has been administrated by an Islamist power with Ciller's support as a recompense of saving herself from giving the account of her occult relations with Mafia and the mysterious source of her unbelievable wealth. Turkey, let aside respecting human rights, has been thrown into an unprecedented chaos created by a never-ending dirty war in Turkish Kurdistan on the one hand, and on the other, by a dangerous quarrel between the Islamists and the secular forces, the Army which carries the responsibility of two bloody coups in 1971 and 1980, resuscitates once more as the real master of the country.
    At this point, instead of repeating our remarks on this shameful lady, we reprint a recent article of the New York Times, one of America's most influential dailies known for its close links to the Democratic administration.
    The article of April 7, 1997, by Steven Kinzer says:
    "Today, Mrs. Ciller is foreign minister and a leading member of a coalition government headed by a Muslim-based party. Many Turkish political leaders accuse her of forging the alliance to shield herself from a series of inquiries into her personal finances.
    "Parliamentary investigators, leading political figures, and Turkish newspapers have been examining how Mrs. Ciller and her husband, Özer Ciller, became multi-millionaires. They have raised questions about her statement that she inherited more than $1 million in cash and gold from her mother, a woman whose former neighbours have described as a penniless pensioner.
    "Mrs. Ciller's critics have also examined the purchase of $1.5-million worth of properties in New Hampshire by an American company headed by her husband. They assert that Mr. and Mrs. Ciller enriched themselves through illicit use of government funds in her years as prime minister from 1993 to 1996.
    "Some opposition figures have even suggested that Mrs. Ciller once held American citizenship, which if true could complicate her political position here. They have sued in federal court in New York to obtain her passport records.
    "While the United States has declined to confirm or deny the existence of such documents, it is fighting the legal action. The State Department has said that disclosing any foreign official's passport records could cause "great disadvantage, and perhaps personal and familial danger, abroad.
    "Mrs. Ciller has denied any wrongdoing. Tim Platt, her New Hampshire lawyer, said she has never held an American passport or been an American citizen. Platt also said that her investments in the United States comply fully with American law.
    "But is it true?
    "Some aspects of Mrs. Ciller's rise to the status of a multi-millionaire, however, remain unclear. She has said, for example, that some of her wealth stems from wise investment of the $1.1 million inheritance from her mother, who died in 1995."
    "But neighbours of Muazzez Ciller said last week that she had lived near poverty in a shabby Istanbul apartment, and doubted that she could have left such a substantial sum.
    "'This poor woman was sick and barely had enough to eat,' said one resident of the building where the elder Mrs. Ciller lived. 'She used to do her shopping, wash her dishes, and help her cook because she couldn't afford a maid. She got in trouble with the landlord because she was always late with the rent. If she had any money, I'm sure she would have used it to make her life a little easier.'
    "Platt said that the elder Mrs. Ciller had made 'personal and life style choices' not to spend her savings. The fact that she held cash at home or in a safe deposit box is not inconsistent with the practice of people in her society at the time.
    "Questions about Mrs. Ciller's finances were of little interest outside Turkey until June, when she astonished many world leaders by agreeing to join in a coalition government with the Islamic-oriented Welfare Party. Until then, she had bitterly attacked Welfare, calling it a fundamentalist threat and vowing never to cooperate with it. Under the coalition agreement, the Welfare Party leader, Necmettin Erbakan, became prime minister and Mrs. Ciller became deputy prime minister and foreign minister.
    "After the alliance was sealed, Erbakan's supporters in Parliament helped Mrs. Ciller defeat a series of proposals -- some of which they themselves had filed while in opposition -- that would have referred questions about her wealth to the Supreme Court.
    "This has led critics to charge that a deal has been struck under which Mrs. Ciller keeps the Welfare party in power and, in exchange, it protects her against judicial investigation."
    "Charges of corruption and abuse of power began to swirl around Mrs. Ciller as she ended her term as prime minister. In recent months, the charges have become a major topic of public discussion. This year, Mrs. Ciller has faced a series of parliamentary votes on charges that she illicitly diverted funds from several government-owned companies, including an electric utility, an auto manufacturer, and a hotel chain. The closest vote, however, came not on motions based directly on those charges but on one that asked the Supreme Court to investigate the source of her wealth.
    "Mrs. Ciller agreed to an interview in February to discuss the charges against her, but cancelled it moments after Parliament voted 270-263 not to send charges against her to the Supreme Court. The vote was along party lines. Afterward, her office provided a statement that said: 'The parliamentary commission conducted an extensive inquiry into Mrs. Ciller's finances, releasing publicly numerous confidential tax returns and financial documents which she provided voluntarily. The commission issued a report of over 300 pages and cleared her of any improprieties. The Parliament has confirmed that finding and the matter is now closed.'
    "Parliamentary inquiries into two other allegations, which were clearly of a political nature, have also resulted in a finding that she acted properly. She has been fully cleared of all charges. No other inquiries involving Mrs. Ciller are now pending."
    "Under Turkish law, Parliament cannot reopen any investigation within one year after it has been closed. But some Turks believe the charges against Mrs. Ciller will not fade away.
    "'These dossiers will be opened sooner or later and taken to an independent judiciary,' predicted Mehmet Kececiler, deputy chairman of the opposition Motherland party.
    "Many former allies of Mrs. Ciller say they are furious at her for having formed a coalition with the Islamic party against which she had campaigned so strenuously. Among them is Hüsamettin Cindoruk, one of the patriarchs of Turkish politics, who is a former chairman of her Correct Way Party and served as president of Parliament from 1991-95.
    "'Tansu Ciller is what allowed the Welfare party to come to power,' Cindoruk said. 'She agreed to form a coalition with Welfare because they promised they would shield her from investigations. This has brought great trouble to Turkey.
    "Turkish news reports based on reviews of the Cillers' property holdings here, which include homes, apartment buildings, and large plots of land, put their net worth in the tens of millions of dollars. Mrs. Ciller says that she and her husband built their fortune largely from the inheritance from her mother and another of several hundred thousand dollars from her father.
    "Among the Ciller family's investments was the purchase in the early 1990s of a Holiday Inn in Salem, N.H., and the Granite State Business Centre, in Hooksett, N.H. The property was bought by GCD, a New Hampshire company. Ciller and his family have a controlling interest in the company, according to Platt, the New Hampshire lawyer.
    "The $1-million purchase was paid for with five treasurer's checks drawn on The Bank of New Hampshire, according to copies of the checks provided by the Turkish opposition. Platt declined to say how that money was raised, and whether it was borrowed."
    "Mrs. Ciller attended colleges and taught for a time in the United States, but she has steadfastly denied reports that she held a U.S. passport for a time. Her lawyer, Platt, said she could not have done so because she lived in the United States for less than the required five years."
    "A New York lawyer who represents a member of the Turkish parliamentary commission that investigated Mrs. Ciller, Jerrold Morgulas, has filed suit in federal court seeking release of Mrs. Ciller's passport and immigration records. A federal judge hearing the case expressed deep scepticism about that suit in a recent hearing."
    "In addition to the accusations of financial impropriety, Mrs. Ciller has been touched by one of the most serious scandals in recent Turkish history, which began unfolding in November when a senior police official was killed in a car crash along with a convicted heroin smuggler who was being sought by Interpol.
    "Also in the car was an influential member of Parliament from Mrs. Ciller's party. Questions about what they were doing together quickly resulted in the resignation of the interior minister, a close ally of Mrs. Ciller, and led to a series of revelations about government sponsorship of death squads over the last 20 years.
    "Several of the most spectacular 'mystery killings' occurred while Mrs. Ciller was prime minister, and some politicians say they suspect officials of her government may have ordered or approved them. Many of the victims were suspected of maintaining ties to the separatist guerrilla army that calls itself the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.
    "Evidence that has come to light since November suggests that senior government officials approved such killings. There has been no proof that Mrs. Ciller was involved, but several political figures have publicly accused her.
    "'In November 1993, Mrs. Ciller said at a press conference that she had a list of businessmen, artists, and other people who were helping the PKK,' said Esat Canan, who was a member of Parliament at the time. 'She said she was going to eliminate this problem. After that, people started to get killed one after another. I think there is a connection. If she knew the names of people who were guilty of illegal acts, why didn't she have them brought to trial?
    "This year, officials of several European governments have charged that Turkish drug traffickers seem to have enjoyed official protection. 'There have been incidents where information definitely got back to drug dealers,' said Tom Sackville, a British Home Office minister.
    "A German judge who was hearing a case against three accused Turkish heroin smugglers told reporters in January that he believed the smugglers had 'personal contacts' with Mrs. Ciller."

Furious at the fiasco in its last Iraq operation, the Turkish Army declares all neighbour countries "enemies"

    Just after launching its anti-Islamist operation inside, the Turkish Army started a new very extensive military operation in Northern Iraq on pretext to annihilate the remnants of the PKK guerrillas. Although the Turkish General Staff claims to have killed thousands of Kurdish guerrillas in this operation led by the land and air forces, the operation failed in disaster according to recent press reports. The PKK spokesmen denied the Turkish claims and reported heavy losses in the ranks of Turkish forces.
    Reuters reports on June 11 that "two deadly missile strikes against Turkish helicopters over northern Iraq have threatened to rewrite the military and political rules of engagement in the army's 12-year battle with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)."
    "The admission by the authorities that Kurdish SA-7 missiles brought down two Turkish helicopters, Cougar and Cobra, has rocked Turkey's elite armed forces and touched off a nasty round of finger-pointing. It has also raised the spectre of a humiliating pull-back from direct confrontation with the PKK, reminiscent of the Soviet retreat from Afghanistan once U.S.-made Stinger missiles allowed the mujaheddin to deny the Russians control of the air," said Reuters.
    The Turkish generals immediately accused the Islamist-led government of under-funding the Iraq operation, part of a multi-billion dollar annual allocation for anti-PKK activities.
    The generals also slammed the foreign ministry for not preventing the PKK from getting hold of up to 60 Russian-made SA-7 missiles abroad.
    A leading general said that the army had warned diplomats five times since 1992 that the separatists were receiving armaments from Iran, Syria, Armenia, Greece and Cyprus.
    The said countries have immediately reacted against this claim and accused the Turkish military of spoiling good relations between the neighbours.
    On the other hand, the Turkish military operation in Iraq has led to big reaction in Iran, Iraq, Syria and other Arab countries who accused Turkey of trying to extend its domination in the region in complicity with the United States and Israel.


    The Workers Party (IP) leader Dogu Perincek, holding a press conference in Istanbul on May 2, claimed that Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller has been working for the CIA since 1967. According to Perincek, as going to the United States in 1967 to for further study following her graduation from Robert College Economy Department in Istanbul. Ciller also applied to the Embassy and said that she was ready to "take duty" for the interests of the USA, which enabled her to achieve scholarship for her education in this country.
    Perincek also said:
    - She was admitted to America with a special visa given by the Ambassador to special people under extraordinary conditions. She received her green card on August 10, 1970 with the number of A 149 33 25 N 95 the year she completed her post graduate education at Connecticut University.
    - Ciller was specially trained by the CIA in Camp Peary in Virginia, and learned to lie well there.
    - Ciller was listed under the "walk in" staff of the CIA on which volunteer applications to the organization are listed and she is valued as an "asset", a name given to certain type of CIA agents who will be valuable for CIA in their own country.
    - Ciller was appointed to the Near East and North African Table of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the USA as an "invited personnel" after completing her doctorate and training in Camp Peary. Ciller told her friends that she was going to skiing in the winter of 1973, and went to Libya for a special CIA mission. The mission was undercover with an agricultural project marketing.
    - Kaddafi stated in the recent past that his friendship with Ciller goes back years. Ciller went to other North African countries as a personnel of the American Foreign Ministry after this first trip to Libya. Ciller visited Kaddafi in his tent in 1992 while she was serving as the State Minister in charge of Economy. This visit was exceeding the boundaries of the ministry she was responsible for.
    - Ciller applied for American citizenship in April 23, 1973. Her application was accepted on May 3, 1973. Her references were CIA Aliens Information Department, FBI and Foreign Ministry Bureau of Research and Investigation. She was accepted to the citizenship in 1979 with the special letter of the CIA President and with the number Ph 195 000 318. There are serious obstacles in front of USA citizenship. She came over these obstacles with the special letter of the CIA president. Concerned law authorizes CIA president directly to require citizenship from the Justice Ministry.
    - She has been making periodical reportings to the CIA about the anti-American activities in Turkey. Her reports to the USA has been printed in the newspapers,
    - USA Adana Consul Elizabeth Shelton was Ciller's colleague and a very important name in her life. Their friendship started in the USA Foreign Ministry in 1971. Shelton is a CIA personnel as well and the organizer of the General Esref Bitlis assassination in 1994. It is known that Adana Consulate is the Kurdish Bureau of the USA.
    Perincek concluded that Ciller's connection with the CIA can not be covered anymore and it is a big responsibility and shame that CIA attends National Security Council and Cabinet meetings in Ciller's identity.


    The Ankara State Security Court, on June 4, sentenced the leaders of the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) to heavy prison terms on charges of "having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Moreover, the SSC announced that an indictment to close down the party would be sent to the Court of Cassation because of this alleged connection.
    The case grew out of incidents that occurred during HADEP's second general congress on June 23 last year, when the Turkish flag was torn down by an individual at the meeting.
    Yusuf Alatas, HADEP's attorney, said that the result of the trial was predictable as the case was completely political. Alatas also said that they would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
    Nearly 30 members of HADEP were sentenced to four years in prison for "assisting the terrorists." The chairman of the party, Murat Bozlak, and Hikmet Fidan both received a sentence of six years. Bozlak has reportedly been abroad for some time.
    Faysal Akcan, who was accused of pulling down the flag at the congress, was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Security officials who were present in the hall during the party congress will also be indicted on the grounds that they did not show any objections to the flag being pulled down, court officials said.
    The police arrested the leading members of the party shortly after the congress last year and the prosecutor brought charges against them.
    HADEP was established in 1994 after the Democracy Party (DEP) was closed by the constitutional court for alleged separatism and 13 of its deputies were expelled from Parliament. Four DEP members are still imprisoned for having links with the outlawed PKK.

    In a few weeks after Alparslan Türkes' death, the ultra-nationalist movement of Grey Wolves has shown its real face and restarted violence within its own ranks. The Nationalist Action Party's (MHP) tense congress on May 18, which was held to choose the party's next chairman, ended in fistfights and was ultimately postponed. Quarrels erupted as five MHP leadership candidates -- Devlet Bahceli, Ramiz Ongun, Muharrem Semsek, Enis Öksüz and Ibrahim Ciftci -- united against the remaining candidate, Tugrul Türkes, son of the late MHP leader.
    The second round of voting was postponed after the convention broke out in violence that included gunfire. The congress will be repeated in one to two months' time.
    Tensions rose during the congress as delegates fell out over who would chair the congress. MHP member Erzincan Mayor Talip Kaban was supported by all candidates except Türkes and was eventually elected as congress chairman.
    After the first round of voting for the party leadership, Türkes received 412 votes while Bahceli won 359, Angina 231, Öksüz 104, Semsek 80, and Ciftci 13 votes. After the results were announced the other four candidates withdrew in favour of Bahceli. With that, Tugrul Türkes said the other candidates were fearful of Bahceli's strength and pledged to continue the race by himself.
    Meanwhile, it was reported that a group including Azmi Karamahmutoglu, the former head of the MHP's youth branch, arrived on the scene and started to demolish chairs and desks. Karamahmutoglu took the microphone by force and said he and his group would not surrender the party to "traitors" and would be acting outside of the law from now on.
    Later, Karamahmutoglu's supporters began fighting with those of Bahceli and five gunshots were heard during the strife. Security forces had difficulty controlling the situation. Several television reporters were said to be injured, some having had their cameras broken. The authorities later postponed the congress.
    After the first round of votes, Türkes is said to have no chance to be elected since the votes he received amounted to a third of the total delegates' votes while an absolute majority is required to win. Bahceli is expected to win the second round (out of a possible three) since the other candidates are now supporting him. But a declaration by the party's Ülkücü (idealists) group that it will not recognize the results of the next congress, indicates that severe and perhaps even bloodier clashes within the MHP may be in the offing.
    An official statement by the MHP next day said that the congress would resume no earlier than a month, and no later than two months from now. It said the congress had started in a highly charged atmosphere and that later the delegates had reacted emotionally to the alliance formed against Türkes.

    A Parliamentary commission on May 20 deferred its decision to remove the immunity of two DYP deputies, Mehmet Agar and Sedat Bucak, whose names were implicated in the Susurluk scandal until a Constitutional amendment limiting the scope of parliamentary immunity is accepted.
    The joint Constitution and Justice Commission voted to postpone deliberating 62 cases requesting the removal of parliamentary immunity, including those of Sedat Bucak and Mehmet Agar, until article 83 of the Constitution is amended.
    The True Path Party (DYP), in spite of resistance from its Islamist coalition partner, had come to an agreement with opposition parties to limit the scope of legislative immunity. However, since then, the government parties have blocked the amendment proposal from being voted on the Parliament floor and observers believe there is a low probability that the amendment will be approved.
    The parliamentary commission also voted to form a sub-commission specifically to look into the Bucak and Agar cases. It has been learned that coalition deputies, along with Metin Emiroglu from the Motherland Party (ANAP), voted in favour of postponing a decision on Agar and Bucak.
    Opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) group chairwoman Oya Arasli said the decision to postpone lifting the immunity of the two deputies was the latest attempt to cover up Susurluk. Arasli added that the decision was in contravention of the Constitution and Standing Orders of Parliament.
    The RP holds the lead in the number of requests to lift the immunity of its members, with 29 cases brought against its deputies, including Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. The DYP is facing 7 requests, the CHP 6, and ANAP 16.


    A new bill to enforce correct usage of Turkish language was submitted to the government at the beginning of this year. If the bill is accepted by the National Assembly, businesses, stores, products, goods and services will have to be labelled only in Turkish language.
    The Turkish dictionary of the Turkish Language Institute (TDK) will be used as the basis for Turkish names.     Public and private institutions will have to use Turkish in all agreements, documents, meetings and promotions.
    The media is also included in the new legislation, and those not following the new rules will be subject to fines. TV announcers and hosts will have to obey certain regulations on language use.
    A general language monitoring committee and sub committees in the cities will be formed to monitor the use of Turkish in advertisements and promotions.
    The new regulations:
     * Businesses that use a second language for their logos and signs will have to write the foreign names after the Turkish name and will have to use half of the space that the Turkish names use. Companies and stores who use foreign names, however, will have to pay taxes four times higher than what they pay for Turkish signs.
    * Turkish names will also be mandatory for products, goods and services, their introduction, billing and promotion, with the TDK's Turkish dictionary the basis for naming brands, products, goods and services.
    * All advertisements, commercials and promotions will be made in Turkish. Those which do not will be subject to heavy fines. All public and private institutions will have to use Turkish in all their activities and documentation.
    * Language Monitoring Committees will monitor all publications regarding grammar, punctuation and pronunciation.
    * In case of incorrect usage of the language, the publication and media organizations will be fined and persistent offences will result in the banning of the publication or broadcast for between one and 15 days.
    * Announcers on radio and TV will have to be certified, the certificate being issued by a "Speaker Certification Committee".
    * Publication and visual media organizations will have to employ between one and 10 Turkish language experts.
    The Turkish Young Businessmen Association (TUGIAD) leader, Murat Bedik, said that correct usage of Turkish could not be encouraged through law enforcement. He stated that the problem was based in the education system and added: "Societies possess their languages parallel to the level of their development. If we think Turkish is not used correctly, we should increase the level of development. The solution for this is not law enforcement but education reform."

    Turkish prime minister Necmettin Erbakan was declared, at the beginning of May, one of the ten top enemies of the press in the world by the  Committee to protect Journalists (CPJ) in the United States. In a related development, Freedom House, another non-profit organization which monitors political rights and civil liberties around the world, called Turkey in its recent global survey of press freedoms as a country in which the press was "not free."
    The list of CPJ's top ten "enemies of free press" is as follows:
    1. Algeria's Antar Zouabri. 2. China's President Jiang Zemin 3. Cuba's President Fidel Castro. 4. Nigeria's General Sani Abacha. 5. Turkey's Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. 6. Belarus's President Alexander Lukashenko. 7. Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. 8. Indonesia's President Suharto. 9. Burma's Senior General Than Shwe. 10. Albania's President Sali Berisha.
    CPJ explained why Erbakan was placed on this list as follows:
    "Erbakan keeps up Turkey's repression of independent journalists," CPJ claimed. "The press remains under threat from the sweeping provisions of the anti-terror law and the penal code, which permit the arrest and prosecution of journalists for critical reporting on the government's ongoing conflict with Kurdish insurgents."
    "Broadening his assault, he increasingly subjects journalists to arbitrary detention and trial for expression of unfavorable political opinions. Under Erbakan's regime, 78 journalists were in jail at the beginning of 1997 -- more than in any other country," the CPJ report said.
    Freedom House
    Turkey was included by Freedom House (FH) in the category of countries in which the press is not free. The report on "Press Freedom 1997: Law Epidemic" placed Turkey in the same class with some countries where the press does not exist like Saudi Arabia, Central African Republic, Yemen, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Syria, Zambia, Togo, Oman, Niger, Laos, etc.
    Turkish broadcasting and printed press, according to FH, especially suffered from "laws and regulations that influence media content" as well as the "political pressures and controls on media content."
5 May 1997

    Ankara-Long at odds with the media, Deputy Prime Minister Ciller effectively launched an acrimonious war on the two main media groups in Turkey over the weekend.
    Addressing a crowd of supporters in Istanbul on May 10 Ciller accused the "media cartel" of trying to take the "public's power into its own hands" by calling for "this government to go and that government to come."
    The DYP leader also had disparaging words for KOC Holding, one of Turkey's largest holding companies with manufacturing concerns from automobiles to electronics, white goods and other household appliances.
    "Would you surrender to a government to be formed by monopolistic capital and a cartel of the media?" Ciller asked a crowd of about 6,000 to 10,000 supporters.
    Ciller went on to reveal figures allegedly representing hundreds of millions of dollars of incentive credits to the Aydin Dogan Group -- which owns daily Hürriyet and Milliyet -- and the Dinc Bilgin Group -- representing daily Sabah.
    She said that the Dogan Group had received $424.8 million, while the Bilgin Group got $200.4 million in incentive credits from the state.
    She said that these credits represented nearly 90 percent of all the credits given the media in general in Turkey.
    She also said that the Koc group, which she maintains is behind the Dogan and Bilgin groups, had itself received $311 million in state export incentive credits.
    Both media groups, which have a host of subsidiary publications, were quick to respond to Ciller's accusations by accusing her of "lying" and giving their own facts concerning her allegations.
    "She can't get enough of lies," screamed Hürriyet's banner headline. "Ciller's lie," yelled Milliyet's headline. "She is lying," Sabah shouted in its own banner headline.
    The Dogan group, in its official response to Ciller published on May 11, said it would take her to court for "misleading the public and demeaning the group's good name by means of a false declaration."


    On 2 May 1997, a group of some 50 unidentified armed assailants entered the Flash TV's Istanbul office and opened fire, shooting randomly. The armed men fled the scene after the attack, which lasted approximately five minutes, according to witnesses. Although no one was injured during the incident, the office sustained substantial damage.     According to several reports, the attackers, who shouted threats at station employees during the attack, appeared to have been motivated by a live telephone interview with fugitive organized crime figure Alaattin Cakici which had been aired on Flash TV the previous day. In the interview, Cakici implicated the husband of Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller in financial improprieties and contacts with the criminal underworld.
    In another disturbing development, Turkish police sealed Flash TV's headquarters in Bursa the following day, forcing the station off the air. They cited the station's alleged improper licensing for its satellite up-links as the reason for their action. Currently, Flash TV has been able to resume broadcasting through alternate transmission methods, but has been deprived of using its satellite up-links, severely curtailing its viewing audience.


    On the morning of 12 May 1997, Huseyin Vuran, a theology student at the University of Marmara, entered the building which houses the office of the daily Hürriyet and, armed with a knife, threatened the guard and seized his gun. Vuran then made his way to the fifth floor of the building and shot a maintenance worker in the leg after the worker refused to tell him where Hürriyet's office was located. Vuran later gave himself up to police, at which point he was taken to the police's anti-terrorist section in Istanbul.
    On 20 May 1997, three unidentified individuals arrived on foot at the building which houses the daily Sabah and the privately-owned television channel ATV, two media outlets which are part of the Istanbul-based Sabah media group.
    The individuals, who were armed, opened fire on the building's windows; however, nobody was injured. The individuals fled on foot. Police have opened an investigation into the attack.


    The Demokrasi newspaper, which mainly focuses on human rights issues and Kurdish problem, was closed on May 3 for one month by a decision of the Istanbul State Security Court.
    In a statement released by the newspaper, the decision was condemned in following terms:
    "The state, who wants to silence all opposition, closed our paper on International Press Freedom Day because of an article entitled 'Direnisin Sonrasi,' ('After the Resistance')."
    Since 1992, pro-Kurdish dailies Özgür Gündem, Özgür Ülke and Yeni Politika have also been shut down by SSC decisions.


    The Ministry of Justice has initiated legal proceedings against eight journalists over articles, published in April, which are deemed to be "calls to insurrection and a coup d'Etat". The journalists in question are: Ertugrul Kürkcü of the daily Radikal; Necati Dogru and Fatih Cekirge and cartoonist Salih Memecan of the daily Sabah; Bekir Coskun of Hürriyet; Murat Birsel of the daily Yeni Yüzyil; Ömer Tarkan of the daily Posta; and Mustafa Basoglu of the daily Son Cagri, who is the author of an article published on 28 April in the daily Yeni Asir.
    The legal actions taken against these journalists follow comments by Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan in which he publicly criticised the media for "publishing lies" and creating a "fake crisis" in their critical coverage of political developments relating to the coalition government.     On 6 May, in an address to members of Parliament, Erbakan expressed his intention to draft a new libel law in order to place legal restraints on outspoken journalists, a proposal previously discussed in late 1996 and later postponed following protests from several newspapers.


    Publisher Recep Marasli, who has been under arrest since 6 March 1997, is now on trial. In hiding since late 1995, he was arrested at Istanbul airport as he attempted to flee the country. He had been convicted on at least three charges under the anti-terror law for statements published in Sterka Rizgari, a publication said by the authorities to support terrorism.
    Marasli is currently detained for having used another person's passport to facilitate his unsuccessful attempt to flee the country. The legitimate passport holder was briefly detained on 6 March, and is now free. Trial on the charges of false passport is still ongoing, as are legal proceedings related to his writings. The next hearing on the latter charges was due to be held on 29 May 1997.
    Detained on political charges from 1982 to 1991, Marasli is said to have been severely tortured during that time, resulting in critical neurological disorder. He is said to be extremely ill. The main reason for his attempt to flee Turkey was to receive medical treatment.


    On 28 May 1997, the fourth hearing in the trial of the police officers accused of the murder of journalist Metin Goktepe was held in Afyon. At the beginning, the court decided to force journalists out of the courtroom, even after objections from those involved in the case and the plaintiffs' lawyers. Some of the lawyers left the courtroom to allow room for the journalists, but the court held its ground.
    In response to the request of the lawyers for Göktepe's family, the judge in the case ordered the arrest of five of the eleven police officers charged. They are: Seydi Battal Köse (one of the chiefs of police for the district of Eyup), Selcuk Bayraktaroglu, Saffet Hizarci, Suayip Mutluer and Ilhan Sarioglu. These men now need to be found since, as of the first hearing on 18 October 1996, very contradictory information has been circulating as to the whereabouts of the eleven accused. RSF now hopes that, for the first time, some of the officers charged will be present in court in the next hearing, scheduled for 26 June 1997.

    After months of waiting, the 1996 trade figures have finally come out and the news is not good for Turkey, with the trade deficit rising to $19.382 billion, a 37.7 percent increase on the deficit in 1995.
    The figures have been delayed due to new ways of counting trade after the introduction of the EU-Turkey customs union on Jan. 1 1996.
    According to figures released by the State Institute of Statistics on May 27, imports for 1996 climbed to $42.464 billion, up from $35.709 billion for 1995, while Turkey only exported $23.082 billion, leaving a trade deficit for the period of $19.382 billion.
    Compared to December 1995, exports for the month fell 0.1 percent, while imports increased 5.2 percent, leading to an increase in the monthly deficit from $1.921 billion in December 1995 to $2.150 billion for December 1996.
    Turkish agricultural exports increased by 16.9 percent, industrial exports by 5.7 percent, while mining exports fell by 5.9 percent.
    A huge 53.4 percent of Turkish imports in 1996 were raw materials, 31 percent plant equipment and 15.6 percent were consumption goods.
    The EU-Turkey customs union, which came into effect on Jan. 1 1996, could be said to have had a great effect on the figures. Imports for early 1996 were inflated due to Turkish importers preferring to wait in late 1995 until certain tariffs were lowered or abolished with the coming of the customs union, but this does not explain the large rise in the deficit over the last few months of the year.
    The European Union seems to have gained the most from the customs union, with Turkey importing 32.5 percent more from the EU in 1996 than in 1997, while only managing to increase exports to the EU by 3.7 percent. The EU accounted for 52.6 percent of all Turkish imports and 49.8 of all exports in 1996.
    Germany remains Turkey's biggest trading partner with Turkey exporting $5.168 billion-worth of goods, and importing $7.464 billion.
    Italy came in second on the list of Turkey's biggest export markets in 1996, with Turkey exporting $1.616 billion-worth of goods. Italy was followed by Russia, the United States and then Britain.
    Italy was also second on the list of Turkey's biggest import countries, with Turkey importing $4.175 billion-worth of goods. Next came the United States, followed by France and then Britain.

    Around 45,000 Kurds demonstrated in the western German city of Düsseldorf on April 27  for a peaceful solution to the conflict between Turks and Kurds in southeastern Turkey.
    Speakers urged Germany to put pressure on Turkey to enter negotiations with Kurdish groups including the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is waging an armed resistance against the Turkish Army.
    Germany is home to over 400,000 Kurds, and Kurdish militants have frequently staged violent protests in the country to draw attention to their cause, leading to the banning of the PKK in Germany as well.
    Police said this latest demonstration had been peaceful, and they declined to confiscate banned PKK banners and insignia to avoid provoking a confrontation.
    But earlier in the day a nearby motorway was blocked for 90 minutes as border police stopped seven buses bringing demonstrators to the rally, confiscating banners and flags and detaining one wanted person.


    In Washington, Stuart Eizenstat, undersecretary of commerce for international trade and special envoy of the State Department, said on May 7 that neutral countries such as Switzerland and Turkey kept much of the gold they received from Nazi Germany during World War II.
    In a State Department report entitled "U.S. and Allied Efforts to Recover and Restore Gold and Other Assets Stolen or Hidden by Germany During World War II" concluded that the neutral nations had "cooperated with Nazi Germany for their own economic benefit."
    Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey are among the countries studied in the report.
    There was enough evidence that "the Nazis had hidden assets in Turkey and used it as a centre of espionage during the war to warrant Safehaven controls," the report said. "Furthermore, the United States believed that the Nazi Ambassador to Turkey, Franz von Papen, had secreted Turkey at the end of his tenure gold pieces, other valuables, and documents that could bear on the Nuremberg trials."
    Beginning on January 25, 1945, the U.S. government, via the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, apparently made several attempts to "warn" and "convince" Turks that "they should reserve German assets for disposition in accordance with Allied policy." Turkey did not respond in a way that satisfied the Allies.
    As of 1946, the U.S. State Department figured that "there were $28 million to $44 million in private, and $23 million in state assets, against which Turkey was demanding a total of $15.5 million in compensation" for its own claims against Germany.


    1.3, in Istanbul, teachers Mahmut Öktem and Memnune Öktem are reportedly kept under police arrest since February 27.
    3.3, the Chairman of the Democracy and Peace Party (DBP), Refik Karakoc, is taken into police custody at the Diyarbakir airport.  Eighty university students are expelled from student campus on charges of having participated in a protest action.
    4.3, in Istanbul, two children, 12 and 13-year old, are subjected to torture and sexually harassed after their detention on charges of theft.  16 Kurdish peasants from the Refahiye District are brought before the Erzincan SSC for giving aid to the PKK.
    5.3, seven people are brought before the Istanbul SSC on charges of being DHKP-C members and having prepared an attempt upon former military junta chief General Kenan Evren. Three of the defendants face capital punishment.  The Mayor of Dicle in Diyarbakir, Behrun Aygörun (RP) is detained for giving support to the PKK.  In Adana, Grey Wolves attack a group of citizens protesting against State-Mafia relations.  The Istanbul SSC sentences Özlem Erkek to three years and nine months in prison for aiding the DHKP/C.  The Malatya SSC sentences Davut Avci to life-prison for aiding the PKK.  In Adana, teachers Günay Resit Sertasar and Sevgi Sertasar are placed under arrest by a tribunal for having relations with the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP).  Security forces shoot dead two children of the Adsiz family as playing on a bridge near to the village of Arican in Urfa.
    6.3, the chairman of the Anti-War Association of Izmir (ISKD), Osman Murat Ülke is again sentenced to a five-month imprisonment by a military court of Eskisehir for having refused to wear military uniform at the Birecik Gendarmerie Training Regiment N°9 to where he was sent, by the decision of the Military Court of General Staff, to purge his compulsory military service.  The Avcilar local office of the HADEP in Istanbul is raided by security forces and chairman Mehmet Toguc is detained together with six other party members.
    7.3, twenty political prisoners belonging to the PKK and the MLKP escaped from the special prison of Iskenderun by digging a tunnel.  Former DEP deputy Mahmut Alinak is sentenced by a penal court in Sirnak to six months in prison and a fine of TL 60 thousand for having given a speech in Kurdish language in 1991 electoral campaign. The prison term is later commuted to a fine of TL 900 thousand.
    9.3, the Mayor of the Esendere Quarters of Hakkari, Tahir Akarsu is detained by police in Ankara together with his brother.
     10.3, in Istanbul, Osman Gültekin claims to have been tortured for twelve days  after his detention on August 20, 1996. He is still incapable to use his arms because of torture.  IHD Aydin chairman Abdurrahman Saran and the chairman of the Headmen's Association, Hikmet Ersoy, are indicted for a press release concerning the trial of policemen accused of having assassinated journalist Metin Göktepe.
    11.3, in Istanbul, six people are placed under arrest for PKK activities.  In Istanbul, 19-year old Nesin Celik is found assassinated.  In Izmit, the local chairman of the Municipal Employees' Trade Union (Belediye-Is), Remzi Polat is detained together with ten people on charges of being DHKP/C members.
    12.3, in Ankara, HADEP Gaziosmanpasa office is destroyed by unidentified assailants throwing a molotof-cocktail. In Izmir, HADEP officials Lezgin Biyan and Ismail Kaya are taken to police custody.  In Malatya, HADEP provincial chairman Mustafa Türk is taken into custody together with 12 human rights activists for a press released issued on March 8 on the occasion of the World Women's Day.  Grey Wolves attack left-wing students at the Hacettepe University in Ankara and a group of female students in Kirklareli.  Two persons in Diyarbakir and two other persons in Istanbul are found assassinated.
    14.3, the Istanbul SSC places under arrest six people for being members of the Revolutionary Communists' Union of Turkey (TIKB).  A penal court of Istanbul starts to try 433 high school students for an open air press conference that they held in 1996 for protesting the Higher Education Board (YÖK).
    15.3, in Savur (Mardin), 30-year old woman Hatice Güler is shot dead in the street by a military patrol.
    16.3, security forces opening fire on a car in Antalya shoot dead 37-year old Ibrahim Etli and wound a woman.  A former IHD official, Mustafa Tüm is taken to police custody and beaten during is interrogation.
    17.3, in Isparta, university student Ertan Dag claims to have been tortured by police agents forcing him to turn into an informer.  the Erzurum SSC sentences five members of the Revolution Party of Turkey (TDP) to imprisonment of up to 12 years and 4 months. The same prison term given to three other defendants is decreased to 8 years and 4 months because they are younger than 18 years.  The Malatya SSC places under arrest ten university students for holding a rally on the occasion of the anniversary of Halapja Massacre.  The Diyarbakir SSC places under arrest two alleged Hizbullah members.
    19.3, IHD Adana office is raided and searched by police.  The Istanbul SSC sentences Cumali Karsu and Enver Özek to capital punishment for a bomb attack resulted in the death of five military cadets. Another defendant is sentenced to 12 years and 6 months in prison.  The Izmir SSC sentences PKK members Fatma Tunc and Nuri Akbulut to capital punishment and 21 other defendants to prison terms of up to 18 years.  The Malatya SSC sentences a DHKP/C member to life-prison.  The Constitutional Court decides to close down the Rebirth Party (DP) for not having participated in two legislative elections.
    20.3, in Adana, HADEP official Sait Eren is sentenced to a one-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 100 million for using the word of Kurdistan in a speech he gave in 1993.  In Istanbul, 17-year old O.K. claims to have been tortured during his police detention on March 18.
    21.3, at the village of Kocan in Erzurum, Nuri Kaplan is shot dead by soldiers.  HADEP local chairman Lezgin Biyan and five other party members are tried by a penal court of Söke.  In Saray, unidentified gunmen attack the house of HADEP local chairman Kadir Ayyildiz.  In Sirvan, HADEP official Sükrü Öngülü is forced by security forces to leave his village.
    22.3, after a country-wide protest action by the Confederation of Public Servants' Union (KESK), security forces detain about 100 demonstrators in Bursa and three union officials in Ankara.
    24.3, the village of Üzümlü in Eruh is bombed for two hours by Turkish artillery during which 45-year old woman Halime Turhan killed.  In Mersin, 55-year old Besir Gaman, detained on charges of theft, is killed under torture at police station.
    25.3, in Corlu, five members of the Party of Labour (EMEP) are taken into custody.  The Ankara SSC sentences three members of the Revolutionary Communists' Union of Turkey (TIKB) to prison terms of up to 21 years and 8 months.  A penal court of Ankara sentences 125 Aczmendi members to two months in prison and TL 300 thousand in fine each for having insulted Atatürk during a demonstration on October 20, 1996, in Ankara.
    26.3, in Suruc, IHD official Sevket Binici is taken into custody together with 21 other people.  In Mersin, EMEP local chairman Abdurrahman Cakmak and other party officials are indicted for having insulted the police during a poster campaign against price hikes.  In Istanbul, HADEP Güngören office is destroyed at a bomb attack.
    27.3, the Diyarbakir SSC places under arrest five people detained during the Newroz celebrations in Diyarbakir.  The Izmir SSC places under arrest two alleged PKK militants.
    28.3, the prosecutor of the Istanbul SSC opens a trial against eleven alleged DHKP-C members on charges of having participated in the attempt to the life of famous businessman Özdemir Sabanci and her secretary Nilgün Hasefe on January 9, 1996. The prosecutor demands capital punishment for four defendants as the others, including one lawyer, face imprisonment of up to seven years and six months.  Two political prisoners, Yasin Islek and Turhan Gecgel, claim to have been tortured after their failing attempt to escape from the Iskenderun Prison.
    29.3, after the protests actions by the KESK, security forces detain about 200 public servants by using force in Istanbul. Two similar actions in Malatya and Diyarbakir are banned by authorities.  In Istanbul, 20 EMEP members are taken into custody.
    30.3, IHD warns the judicial authorities that two prisoners in Ankara Prison, Mehmet Salih Celikpence and Resit Kayran, and another prisoner in Siirt Prison, Selami Celik, face death because of not being fairly treated.  EMEP Mardin chairman Mahmut Kilinc is detained after being beaten at his house in front of his wife and children.  In Samandag, twenty people including IHD and HADEP officials are taken to police custody as they are paying a commemorative visit to the grave of a victim of repression killed two years ago.
    1.4, a penal court in Manisa places under arrest two alleged DHKP-C members.  In Istanbul, police detain EMEP local chairman Kemal Cicek and four other people during a student protest action.  The Kayseri SSC sentences four PKK members to life-prison.
    2.4, the Izmir SSC sentences two PKK militants to capital punishment, another militant to life-prison and two others to prison terms of up to 12 years and six months.  IHD's attempt to place a black wrath in front of the Interior Ministry in Ankara is prevented by security forces.  In Kilyos, Mustafa Sami is beaten by a military patrol after a traffic accident.  The Izmir SSC sentences 20 members of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey/Youth Communists' Union (TSKP/GKB) to different prison terms of up to thirty years.
    3.4, Demokrasi reports that political prisoner Mehmet Sirin Önen, having escaped from Iskenderun Prison on March 7, was killed under torture after his detention on March 14.  The Diyarbakir SSC Prosecutor starts a legal action against IHD officials Mahmut Sakar and Cemil Aydogan for their speeches at a meeting on charges of separatist propaganda.  In Istanbul, parents of political prisoners are attacked during a demonstration and seventeen of them taken to custody.  EMEP office in Sincan is closed down by district governor.
    4.4, in Igdir, security forces opening fire to a group of Kurdish peasants shoot dead Halis Karatas and Ali Karatas.  In Kozluk, an unidentified person is found killed.
    5.4, in Sason, four Kurdish peasants are detained because of claiming that they were forced by security forces to walk in a mined area in December 1996.  Two persons are found burnt to dead on the Bitlis-Batman highway.  In Ankara, a propaganda bus of the EMEP is attacked by Grey Wolves and two party members wounded.
    7.4, five university students are detained in Istanbul as protesting against Israeli Foreign Minister's visit to Turkey.  A penal court in Antalya starts to try three people for having resisted to security forces during a meeting.  HADEP Antep official Ismail Polat is detained by police.  In Bursa, 24 university students are detained during a demonstration again State-Mafia relations.
    8.4, Demokrasi reports that prisoner Haluk Duran became blind because he was not treated in time despite warnings of other prisoners.  Political prisoner Besir Gün claims to have been tortured after the failed attempt of escape from Iskenderun Prison.  In Menemen, after a demonstration against State-Mafia relations, twenty teachers and five other people are taken to police custody.
    9.4, the Ankara SSC sentences six TDKP members to prison terms of up to 12 years and six months.  In Mardin HADEP official Ramazan Kalkan and three other persons are taken to police custody.
    10.4, the Ankara SSC starts to try Sincan Mayor Bekir Yildiz and ten other Islamists for the Jerusalem Evening held on January 31 after which the military tanks made a demonstration of force in the city's streets. Each faces a prison term of up to twelve years on charges of attempting to set up a religious state in Turkey.  At the Gazi University of Ankara, Grey Wolves attack left-wing students and wound three persons. Same day they wound six students at the Hacettepe University.  In Tokat, Yagmur Mayor (DYP) Hasan Utku is shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
    11.4, Mehmet Salih Celikpence, 46, condemned for PKK activities, dies at hospital for a liver disease because he was not fairly treated despite a number of warnings. IHD protest the attitude of prison authorities and the President of the Republic who has not intervened.  A penal court in Sakarya sentences six trade union officials to 15 months in prison and TL 575 thousand in fine for an unauthorised demonstration.  The Istanbul SSC sentences three TIKB members to prison terms of up to 12 years and six months.  The trial of 13 DHKP-C members starts at the Istanbul SSC.  The Diyarbakir SSC continues to try 27 Hizbullah members.
    12.4, in Mardin, Hikmet Duman and Veysel Bertan claim to have been tortured after their detention on April 5 by soldiers and village protectors.  In Istanbul, Umraniye and Kartal offices of the Press Workers' Trade Union (Basin-Is) are closed down by the governor.
    13.4, in Kayseri, HADEP official Vedat Gürbüz detained and subjected to torture at police station.
    14.4, the Court of Cassation ratifies capital punishment against DHKP-C militant Erol Özbolat and a ten-year imprisonment for another militant.  HADEP Ankara official Babür Pinar is indicted for a statement asking to establish dialogue with the PKK.
    15.4, a penal court in Ankara sentences 22 university students to 20 months in prison each for their protest action against Gorbatchov's visit on April 28, 1995.  EMEP Malatya officials Tacettin Yasar, Cihat Kinik and Azmi Öztürk are detained by police and forced to stop their party activities.
    16.4, in Istanbul, police attack a demonstration in protest against State-Mafia relations and detain more than 20 university students.
    17.4, Emek reports that a woman named Zeki Iscan, detained by police in Izmir on April 15, dies at police station.
    18.4, in Adiyaman, teacher Enis Sahin is detained and subjected to torture by security forces.  In Izmir, lawyer Zeynep Sedef Özdogan claims that political prisoners Selahattin Bagci, Selahattin Güven and Faruk Güven were brutally beaten  as they were being transferred to another prison.
    19.4, the Istanbul SSC prosecutor opens a trial against five PKK members and demands capital punishment for four of the accused.  In Bursa, five workers are detained during a protest action. 
    20.4, a demonstration against State-Mafia relations in Istanbul is prevented by security forces and six people detained.  HADEP official Kadir Dogan is placed under arrest by a penal court of Osmaniye.  In Diyarbakir, police raiding some houses detain HADEP official Ziya Okcu and many other people.  In Van, 10-year old Cevdet Isik dies at the explosion of a grenade left by security forces.  EMEP official Bilal Bilgic is detained in Antalya.
    23.4, in Istanbul, Tuncay Topyildiz is shot dead by gendarmes on pretext that he disobeyed to the order to stop.  In Diyarbakir, Mehmet Akgül claims to have been tortured after his detention at the beginning of April.  In Mardin, a police armoured car kills 12-year old Mehmet Serif Özcelik by running over during the Children Day celebrations.
    24.4, in Erzurum, two children, Muhammed Kulcur and Gökhan Kulcur die at the explosion of a bomb left by soldiers.  In Istanbul, police shoot dead an unidentified person as trying to prevent a protest action.
    30.4, the Ankara SSC sentences 122 Aczmendi members to prison terms of up to four years in prison and TL 100 million in fine for having insulted Atatürk during a demonstration in Ankara on October 20, 1996.  HADEP Tunceli chairman Serafettin Halis is taken into police custody.  In Adana, Doctor Tufan Köse is sentenced by a penal court to TL 18.7 million for having treated the victims of torture at the Rehabilitation Centre of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) without having official authorisation.
    1.5, the inmates of Ceyhan Prison announce that a group of political prisoners were tortured when they were taken to another prison.
    2.5, in Kiziltepe, a 70-year old woman named Emine Can claims to have been tortured at police station after her detention together with her sister and son.
    4.5, an international conference on the question of local press, organized by the Union of Architects and Engineers Chambers of Turkey (TMMOB) and the Foundation of Communication (IPS) is subjected to police interferences on charges of not having permission of the participation of foreign speakers.
    5.5, in Istanbul, Grey Wolves attack a group of EMEP members and wounded two of them with cutting arms.  In Istanbul, 17-year old Kadir Gül claims to have been forced by police to turn into an informer.
    6.5, an Ankara Court starts to deal with a legal action aimed at to close down the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD). The Ankara prosecutor claims that an article in the IHD's Statutes recognizing the right to refuse any demand of affiliation is not compatible with the Associations Act. Same day, a conference organized by the IHD on Capital Punishment and Right to Life is banned by the governor. A similar conference held in Elazig is raided by police.  In Adana, Education Trade Union (Egitim Sen) local chairman Gülabi Köseoglu is indicted for a press conference against the police's anti-democratic practices. He faces a prison term of up to six years for insulting police.
    7.5, in Mersin, Aydin Gök claims to have been tortured after his detention during May Day celebrations.
    8.5, in Ankara, a 16-year high school student, I.C. claims to have been kidnapped and beaten by plainclothesmen in a deserted area.  In Eregli, 19 people are tried by a penal court for having participated in demonstrations in protest against State-Mafia relations.  A former HEP official, lawyer Hasan Dogan is placed under arrest by the Malatya SSC for relations with PKK.  In Pasinler, 4-year old Fedai Ögürce dies at the explosion of a bomb left by security forces and four other children gravely wounded.
    9.5, in Ankara, the Association for Solidarity and Friendship with Palestine is banned by the Interior Ministry.
    10.5, in Ankara, Ismail Cengiz Mumcu claims to have been tortured by police after his detention on May 6.
    11.5, in Diyarbakir, security forces raiding a house shoot dead two people.
    12.5, the Istanbul SSC starts to try IHD Istanbul chairwoman Nimet Tanrikulu and six other officials on pretext that a video cassette confiscated during the police raid to the IHD office on November 26, 1996, contains separatist propaganda. Each faces imprisonment of up to ten years.  The chairman of the Transport Workers' Trade Union (Nakliyat-Is), Ali Riza Kücükosmanoglu is detained in Bursa together with 12 workers on strike.
    13.5, in Izmir, Hüseyin Uludag claims to have been threatened by MIT agents for accepting to turn into a MIT informer.  In Istanbul, a group of Grey Wolves attack left-wing students at the Mimar Sinan University and wound two students.  In Istanbul, seven people are taken into police custody on charges of contravening the law which bans to wear religious dresses. The operation is carried out on the directives of the National Security Council.  Three teachers are detained by security forces in Adana and Gaziantep.
    14.5, in Istanbul, 23-year old Fethullah Kaya is found dead at a police station after his arrest by police.  In Gaziantep, lawyer Burhan Veli Torun is shot dead by unidentified gunmen.  In Istanbul, 28 people are taken into police custody on charges of contravening the law which bans to wear religious dresses.
    15.4, in Istanbul, the number of those who were taken into custody on charges of contravening the law which bans to wear religious dresses rises to 81.  In Izmir, HADEP officials Bedriye Celil and Osman Bor are taken into custody.  In Ankara, eight people are detained for protesting against the pressure on construction workers joining a trade union.  In Nigde, 20 Aczmendi members in prison are again indicted for insulting Atatürk.  An EMEP meeting for trade union rights in Izmir is banned by the governor.
    16.5, at the village of Asmakaya in Bingöl, two children named Hatice Turan and Mesut Demir are killed with the explosion of a mine laid by security forces.
    17.5, in Antalya, university student Hakan Günaslan claims to have been tortured after his detention on May 15.  In Ankara, police disperse a group of students protesting against the privatisation of health services and wound nine of them.
    18.5, in Tunceli, an EMEP festival is banned by the governor.
    19.5, in Diyarbakir, three alleged Hizbullah members are taken into police custody.
    20.5, a new State Security Court is opened in Adana to deal with the political "crimes" committed in the provinces of Adana, Aksaray, Gaziantep, Hatay, Icel, Karaman, Kilis, Konya and Nigde. At the same time, the SSC of Kayseri is closed and the cases dealt by this court are transferred to the Ankara SSC.
    21.5, in Kilis, 17-year old Yahya Polatli is killed at the explosion of a mine laid by security forces.
    22.5, security forces raiding a house in Istanbul shoot dead PKK militant Selahattin Ückardes and detain two other people.  In Diyarbakir, IHD local chairman Mahmut Sakar, and Secretary Sinan Tanrikulu are taken into police custody. Later, police teams raiding IHD and Egitim-Sen offices in Diyarbakir confiscate many publications and detain about ten people.  At the Istanbul University, Grey Wolves attack left-wing students and wound tens of them.
    23.5, a criminal court of Izmir starts to try IHD official Alp Ayan and three other human rights activists for having insulted the State during the funeral of a victim of hunger strike in prison in July 1996. Each faces imprisonment of up to six months.  Police attack university students holding a press conference about the Grey Wolves attack one day ago: twenty students are wounded and 159 students taken into custody.  The Istanbul SSC sentences five IBDA-C members to 15-year imprisonment each for radical religious activities.  The Izmir SSC places under arrest 13 alleged DHKP-C and MLKP members.
    24.5, IHD Diyarbakir Office is banned by the governor on charges of leading activities against the State's security.  In Istanbul, a member of the Young Lawyers' Initiative (GAG), Ilknur Yüksek is detained by police.
    25.5, in Adana, an official of the United Transport Workers' Trade Union (BTS), Ilker Önal claims to have been kidnapped and tortured by police on May 24.   In Hozat, a child named Engin Singin is killed at the explosion of a mine laid by security forces.
    26.5, an Istanbul prosecutor starts a legal action against the Chairman of the Liberal Democrat Party (LDP), Besim Tibuk, on charges of having insulted the Army at a TV programme. Tibuk faces imprisonment of up to six years.  An Ankara prosecutor indicts the chairman of the Peace Party (BP), Ali Haydar Veziroglu on charges of having insulted Premier Erbakan. Veziroglu faces imprisonment of up to four years.  The Istanbul SSC sentences two members of the Revolution Party of Turkey (TDP) to twelve years and six months in prison.  In Silvan, Nimet Mecin is shot dead by unidentified assailants.
    27.5, in Izmir, security forces raid the house of IHD official Dervis Altun who was detained during a press conference against Turkish military operation in Iraq.  The Ankara SSC sentences 13 alleged DHKP-C members to imprisonment of up to 26 years.  In Suruc, unidentified gunmen shoot dead Ümit Sahin.
    28.5, security forces arrest four PKK members in Istanbul.
    29.5, a military tribunal in Eskisehir starts to try Osman Murat Ülke, chairman of the Izmir Anti-War Association (ISKD) for having refused to wear military uniform. He faces a prison term of up to ten years.  Grey Wolves attack left-wing students in Ankara and Denizli and wound seven of them.  In Istanbul, police detain six people during a meeting in protest against the dismissing of 137 public servants.  In Ankara, the offices of the Vahdet Foundation for Solidarity and Friendship in Education are raided by security forces and five officials detained.
    30.5, the Ankara SSC Prosecutor indicts IHD chairman Akin Birdal together with four other human rights activists for their speeches at the Human Rights Week in December 1996. Each faces prison terms of up to three years.
    30.5, an Istanbul prosecutor starts a legal proceeding against 35 people for the incidents during the May Day demonstration of this year in Istanbul.
    31.5, EMEP Mersin chairman Abdurrahman Cakmak is sentenced by a penal court to a fine of TL 528 thousand for not having hoisted Turkish flag in front of the party building.


    3.3, the Chairman of the Workers' Party (IP) Dogu Perincek and the director of the Belge Publishing House, Ayse Nur Zarakolu are sentenced by the Ankara SSC to one year in prison and TL 100 million each for their speeches at the IHD Congress in 1994.
    4.3, the director of the Akis Publishing House, Ertürk Aksun is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to one-year imprisonment and a fine of TL 850 million for having published Yalcin Kücük's book entitled Marching.  The Chief editor of the cultural review Evrensel, Aydin Cubukcu is taken to custody by the political police.  The Ankara SSC starts to try three journalists of the periodical Kizil Bayrak, Erol Malkoc, Gönül Sayginer and Bahri Colak on charges of being members of the outlawed organization Ekim.  In Gaziantep, a correspondent of the journal Antep Kurtulus, Mehmet Balci is taken to police custody and reportedly subjected to torture.
    5.3, the public prosecutor of the Urfa province, Ömer Kocarslan, is indicted for having written a book entitled The Government's Honesty and is to be tried by a criminal court for having insulted the government and the President of the Republic. Published under an alias, Ferit Ergül, the book was already confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
    6.3, the Ankara SSC sentences writer-poet Yilmaz Odabasi to one year and six months in prison and a fine of TL 933 million for his book Dream and Life. The book's publisher Niyazi Kocak too is sentenced to a fine of TL 67 million. After the announce of the judgement, Odabasi shouts ad judges "I am ashamed to live with you in the same country." On this gesture he is immediately placed under arrest.  Nu Roj writer Zeynel Abidin Kizilyaprak, detained by police on February 27, is placed under arrest by the decision of the Istanbul SSC.  The Istanbul SSC confiscates Hidir Yesil's book Teaching on the Construction of A Bolshevik Party.  In Izmir, Kizil Bayrak correspondents Ahmet Subasi and Bülent Taskin are taken into police custody.
    7.3, the Istanbul SSC places under  arrest 11 journalists and trade union officials who were detained by police on February 21. Among them are Özgür Atilim chief editor Bayram Namaz and correspondents Sedat Senogul, Sultan Secik, Zabit Iltemur and Mukaddes Celik.  the chief editor of the defunct journal Newroz, Hüseyin Alatas is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to one year, eleven months and ten days in prison and a fine of TL 111 million.
    8.3, security forces detain Kurtulus correspondent Mehmet Kargilar and Tavir correspondent Ayfer Yildiz in Adana, and Mücadele editor Cafer Cakmak in Istanbul.  In Aydin, Demokrasi correspondents Ferit Sever and Derya Bektas are detained as covering the celebration of the World Women's Day. Mrs. Bektas is reportedly subjected to sexual harassment at the central police station.
    10.3, two musicians of the Group Yorum, Hakan Alak and Ufuk Lüker, Tavir correspondent Aynur Cihan and Partizan Sesi correspondent Haydar Sürgec are taken into police custody in Istanbul.  Kizil Bayrak Izmir office is raided by police.  Özgür Gelecek, N°91, and Odak, N°62, are confiscated by court decision.
    11.3, movie actor Mahir Günsiray is tried by a penal court of Istanbul for having insulted the Istanbul SSC by reading a passage from Kafka's book The Trial during his interrogation at the trial against of a group of intellectuals. He faces a prison term of up to three years.  Demokrasi correspondent Düzgün Akbaba is detained in Erzincan.  One of the ultra-nationalist Mafia fathers, Ali Yasak (Drej Ali)attacked two journalists of the UBA news agency, Cengiz Aldemir and Ahmet Ergen, in Ankara and seized a film which documented his secret interview with MIT agent Korkut Eken in a hotel.
    12.3, the Kizil Bayrak office in Zonguldak is raided by police and correspondent Orhan Kavci taken into custody.  The Istanbul SSC confiscates the special March 12 issue of Kizil Bayrak.  In Malatya, Demokrasi correspondents Ali Kemal Sel, Ayse Oyman and Cem Dogan, Özgür Halk correspondents Erdal Söylemez and Serpil Kilic are taken to police custody for a press release issued on March 8 on the occasion of the World Women's Day.
    14.3, Mrs. Nadire Mater, Turkey representative of the Reporters Sans Frontières, is taken into custody in Diyarbakir together with two Finnish journalists.  Kizil Bayrak Zonguldak correspondent Orhan Kavci is placed under arrest by a penal court.  Kurtulus Kocaeli correspondent Sincan Demir and two other correspondents of the same periodical, Gülay Yücel and Nihat Özcan, are placed under arrest by penal court decisions.
    15.3, in Istanbul, Proleter Halkin Birligi correspondent Hatun Temizalp claims to have been tortured after her detention on March 7.  Devrimci Genclik office in Istanbul is raided by police and 32 people taken into custody.  Kizil Bayrak editor Gonca Dönmezer is detained in Istanbul.  Sterka Rizgari, N°14, is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    17.3, lawyer and writer Ahmet Zeki Okcuoglu is tried by the Istanbul SSC for having translated a book entitled Kurdistan and Kurds, written by Vlademir Minorsky, Thomas Boysand D.N. MacKenzy.  The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor Erdal Gökcen bans the presence of TV cameramen in the court room during the trial of political offences. According to an earlier decision, only the journalists carrying an official card delivered by the government are authorized to cover the trials.
    18.3, the Prosecutor of the Diyarbakir SSC bans the presence of all journalists at the court room during political trials.  In Istanbul, Devrimci Genclik office is again raided by police and two employees, Bünyamin Bicer and Nilüfer Altinkaya taken into custody.  The Istanbul SSC confiscates Hedef N°65 and Özgür Atilim N°50.  Former Adana correspondent of the periodical Alinteri, Hatice Gül is placed under arrest by court decision.  A penal court of Istanbul sentences satirical magazine Leman to a total of TL 12.6 billion for a cartoon by Galip Tekin.
    20.3, the editor of the defunct Özgür Ülke, Veysi Harman is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 2 years and 4 months in prison and a fine of TL 770 million, writer Ali Riza Yurtsever to 16-month imprisonment and a fine of TL 133 million and publisher Hasan Kücükoba to TL 704 million.  The Istanbul SSC bans the Turkish translation of a doctorate thesis by Toronto University lecturer Emir Hasanpur and entitled State Policies Concerning Kurdish Language and Rights to Language.  In Istanbul, Demokrasi distributor Hüseyin Yilmaz is detained.
    21.3, in Ankara, Özgür Halk correspondent Tanju Kuruözü is detained during the non-official Newroz celebrations and subjected to torture at police station.  Milliyet editor Mehmet Murat Sabuncu and correspondent Eren Güvener are tried by the Istanbul SSC for a reportage with Aczmendi leader Müslüm Gündüz. Two journalists and Gündüz face imprisonment of up to six years each.
    22.3, in Kayseri, Atilim correspondent Ali Nihat Eroglu and IHD official Salahattin Ünsal are detained together with 21 other persons.
    24.3, The Istanbul SSC starts to try the publisher of the daily Radikal, Aydin Dogan, and the former responsible editor Yesim Denizel Bedük for a declaration of PKK leader Öcalan. Each faces a fine of not less than TL 50 million.
    25.3, a prosecutor of the Istanbul SSC, Mete Göktürk is indicted by the Chief Public Prosecutor on the order of Justice Minister for his declaration to the daily Yeni Yüzyil concerning the autonomy of justice. Accused of insulting the Justice, Göktürk faces a prison term of up to twelve years.
    26.3, the Court of Cassation ratifies a total of 4 years and 4 months in prison and TL 333 million in fine against sociologist Besikci for separatist propaganda in his 15 different books.
    27.3, Özgür Halk responsible editor Cavidan Dogan  is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to 1 year and 4 months in prison and TL 133 million in fine for an article she published. The court also decides to close down the review for one month.  The Istanbul Prosecutor confiscates Gerald Messadi's book My life of love and crime with Martin Heidegger on charges of obscene publication.  In Istanbul, The Upper Mesopotamia Cultural Centre (MKM) is raided by police and 27 members taken into custody.
    29.3, the Court of Cassation ratifies a six-month imprisonment against a journalist of the Adana newspaper Bölge, Erhan Ünal, for having insulted a State functionary.
    30.3, a cultural day organised by HADEP in Antep is banned by authorities.  Kizil Bayrak correspondent Ahmet Subasi, detained on March 6 in Izmir, claims to have been tortured at police centre.
    1.4, the military court of General Staff continues to try 12 members of the IHD and the Izmir Anti-War Association (ISKD) for having published a book entitled The Human Rights Panorama in Turkey. Each faces prison terms of up to two years.  The last issues of Direnis and Özgürlüge Yürüyüs are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.  In Urfa, Cumhuriyet correspondent Özcan Günes is taken into custody.  Kurtulus correspondent Hatice Köngec is detained in Adana.  The newspaper Hatay's correspondent Hülya Döver is attacked and beaten by unidentified assailants in Iskenderun.
    2.4, the members of the theatre group Cansenligi Players are indicted by the military prosecutor for having incited the people against military service in a play. They will be tried by the military court of General Staff under Article 155 of the TPC.  RTÜK bans the broadcasting of Kanal D TV for three days.  The two different trials against 86 and 98 intellectuals for having assumed the responsibility of the book entitled Freedom to Thought are incorporated by the Istanbul SSC.  The Istanbul SSC sentences two programme makers of the private Radio Cevre, Seyit Soydan and Nese Tükenmez, to one year and eight months in prison and TL 500 thousand in fine each for a programme about the assassination of 11 peasants by security forces in Güclükonak on January 15, 1996.  The chairman of the Kurdish Institute in Istanbul, Sefik Beyaz is sentenced TO TL 84 million for his speech at a meeting "Nationalism and Racism in Europe", organized by the EP Greens' Group in Istanbul in May  1994.  In Istanbul, a boy distributing Emek is attacked and beaten by Grey Wolves.
    3.4, in Istanbul, the car of the Show TV journalist Kadir Celik is attacked by unidentified gunmen in front of his house.
    4.4, Kurtulus correspondent Cenk Aksan is detained in Sivas together with three other people.
    5.4, RTÜK bans the broadcasting of Show TV for one day.
    6.4, the military prosecutor opens three different legal actions against Osman Murat Ülke, chairman of the Izmir Anti-War Association (ISKD) for his declarations against military service. To be tried again by the military court of General Staff, Ülke faces a total of 14-year imprisonment.  Local Chairman of the Mesopotamia Cultural Centre (MKM) Servet Özkan is taken into custody.
    7.4, Kurtulus N°24 is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.  In Adana, Kurtulus correspondent Mehmet Kargilar is detained by police.
    8.4, April issue of the review Uzun Yürüyüs is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for the propaganda of an outlawed organization.
    9.4, the Diyarbakir SSC sentences Özgür Gündem representative Salih Tekin, correspondent Cemal Dag and distributor Ihsan Erdem to three years and nine months in prison each.  A penal court in Ankara sentences the responsible editor of the satirical magazine Leman, Kutlu Esendemir, to 3 months and 15 days in prison and TL 2.3 million in fine for having insulted Premier Erbakan in a cartoon.  Selam correspondent Burhan Kavuncu and Haksöz correspondent Ridvan Kaya are taken into police custody after an anti-Israel protest action.
    10.4, Istanbul prosecutor opens two trials against Islamist Akit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak with the demand of 12-year imprisonment.  Indicted together with Sincan Mayor, the chief editor of the Islamist journal Selam, Nurettin Sirin faces a prison term of up to 31 years on charges of attempting to set up a religious state.  Kurtulus office in Ankara is raided by police; Kurtulus correspondents Volkan Aydin and Halil Aksu detained together with Kizil Bayrak correspondents Enis Colak and Gönül Sayginer as well as eight other people.
    11.4, in Istanbul, Hedef office is destroyed at a bomb explosion.
    13.4, IHD campaign for freedom of opinion and Ismail Besikci is banned by the governor of Mus.
    14.4, Kurtulus N°25 is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda and praising an outlawed organization.
    16.4, Demokrasi correspondent Zülfikar Ali Aydin is harassed by police in Istanbul as covering a student demonstration and subjected to torture during his police detention.  Kurtulus correspondent Murat Kuyumcu is detained in Istanbul.  Atilim Iskenderun representative Altan Koman is detained by police raiding his office.
    17.4, Kurtulus distributor Mehmet Öztürk is detained in Antakya.
    19.4, a demand by the Kurdish Foundation for Culture and Researches (Kürt-Kav) to organize Kurdish courses is refused by the National Education Direction.  Kurtulus correspondents Sinan Gürz and Baris Karatepe are detained in Malatya.
    20.4, Kurtulus correspondents Banu Gündogdu, Mehmet Yildiz, Ibrahim Caglar and Nilüfer Günes and Devrimci Genclik correspondent Bülent Özpolat are detained in Istanbul.
    21.4, Devrimci Genclik editor Cem Duman and correspondent Yalcin Hafci, Atilim distributors Özgül Itmec and Gülay Coban are detained in Istanbul.
    22.4, in Istanbul, Kurtulus correspondent Ali Ihsan Kilic is detained after being wounded by police fire.
    23.4, Tuzla office of the journal Dayanisma is raided by gendarmes, journalist Mahsuni Yilmaz, Zafer Dolu and Nail Bozdemir detained.
    24.4, Partizan Sesi N°8 and its special issue N°3 are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.  Three members of the Izmir Fetih Theatre, Mehmet Vahi Yazar, Memet Elmas and Ahmet Cakir are detained in Izmir for insulting Atatürk in a play they presented. The Ankara SSC Prosecutor orders the arrest of other members of the theatre as well.
    25.4, a group of journalists attempting to interview some religious persons is attacked by Islam fundamentalists and a cameraman of HBB TV gravely beaten.  Istanbul SSC sentences Özgür Halk editor  Ismail Cim to 6-month prison and a fine of TL 50 million and columnist Mehmet Can Yüce to 2-year prison and a fine of TL 400 million. The court also decides to ban the journal's publication for one month.  In Adana, the editor of a local journal, Güney Uyanis, Hamdi Batman is detained by police.  Fifteen people are detained in Amasya, Izmir, Eskisehir and Balikesir in relations with the case of Izmir Fetih Theatre.
    26.4, Demokrasi chief correspondent Temel Demirer is detained by police raiding his house in Ankara.  In Adana, Kurtulus and Tavir offices are raided by police. During the raids, a member of the musical group Nisan Günesi, Selcuk Eroglu is detained together with some other people.
    27.4, the Istanbul SSC confiscates the last issues of Devrimci Emek, Direnis, Alinteri, Kurtulus and Hedef for separatist propaganda and praising outlawed organizations.
    28.4, the Show TV and Radio D broadcastings are banned for one day by the RTÜK.  Ayse Kavci, the wife of Kizil Bayrak correspondent Orhan Kavci, claims to have been forced to be a police informer after her husband's detention on March 11.  Belge Publishing House Director Ayse Nur Zarakolu is sentenced again by the Istanbul SSC to six months in prison for having published Yves Ternon's book on Armenian Genocide entitled The Armenian Taboo. The prison term is later commuted into a fine of TL 101 million. For the same book Zarakolu had been sentenced to two years but the Court of Cassation asked the SSC to review the sentence.  Poet-writer Yilmaz Odabasi is tried by a penal court of Ankara for insulting Atatürk in his book Dream and Life. For the same book Odabasi had already been sentenced to one year and six months in prison and a fine of TL 933 million on charges of separatist propaganda. In the new trial, the prosecutor demands a prison term of up to 7 years and 6 months.
    29.4, the Kanal D broadcastings are banned for one day by the RTÜK.  Partizan Sesi office in Adana is raided by police and a number of posters on May Day confiscated.
    30.4, the Istanbul SSC sentences the editor of Sterka Rizgari, Mete Demirkol to six months in prison and TL 75 million in fine and the publisher Riza Dinc to a fine of TL 150 million for separatist propaganda. The court also decides to ban the review's publication for one month.  In Tuzla, Dayanisma correspondent Mahsuni Yilmaz claims to have been tortured for four days after his detention on April 23.
    2.5, the publication of the weekly Aydinlik is banned for one month according to a decision of the Istanbul SSC ratified by the Court of Cassation.  The higher court also ratifies a fine of TL 105 million against the editor of Aydinlik, Serhan Bolluk.
    4.5, in Ankara, 25 members of the Socialist Power Party (SIP) are detained as selling their review entitled Sosyalist Iktidar.
    5.5, a poster campaign by the EMEP for commemorating the revolutionary youth leaders of 60s, Deniz Gezmis, Yusuf Arslan and Hüseyin Inan, is forbidden by the Ankara Governor.
    6.5, special May Day issue of Proleter Halkin Birligi is confiscated y the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.  Atilim Iskenderun correspondent Mikail Vayic is tried by the Malatya SSC on charges of being member of an outlawed organization.
    7.5, the governor of Yozgat bans the Birikim Theatre to stage its two plays on pretext of ridiculing a general.
    9.5, Hasim Kutlu's book To Discuss the Alevi Identity, published by the Belge Yayinlari, is banned by the Istanbul SSC on charges of inciting the Alevis to hostility.  The representation of the play Stories from the Country by the Ekin Theatre is banned by the governors of Diyarbakir, Batman and Adiyaman.
    10.5, a concert of the Group Kizilirmak, organized in Sivas by the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) is forbidden by the governor.
    12.5, the head office of the daily Hürriyet in Istanbul is attacked by an armed Islamic fanatic following Ciller's provocative declaration against the media.
    13.5, in Batman, the broadcasting of the local TV Kanal 72 is banned by the Mayor's order for a programme on the water question of the city.  Odak N°64 is confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
    14.5, in Gaziantep, the General Coordinator of the journal Metropol, Burhan Veli Torun, is shot dead by unidentified gunmen. He had accused at a TV programme the security chiefs of kidnapping the owner of the Yaprak TV on April 25, 1996.
    15.5, the Adana offices of Kurtulus and Tavir are raided by police and some people inside taken into custody.
    17.5, the Istanbul SSC Prosecutor starts a legal action against Emin Karaca, Secretary General of the Writers' Union of Turkey (TYS) and publisher Muzaffer Erdogdu for having translated and published German writer Leo Müller's book entitled Gladio Kontrgerilla.
    20.5, the head offices of the daily Sabah and the television ATV are attacked by three unidentified gunmen.  In Gaziantep, the owner of the Yaprak TV, Mehmet Ali Yaprak is taken into custody in relation with the assassination of Burhan Veli Torun on May 14.  The responsible editor of the periodical Hedef, Celal Dönmez is taken into police custody in Istanbul.
    21.5, the Sisli prosecutor in Istanbul orders the confiscation of all published issues of the weekly Devrimci Aydinlik on pretext that it is a continuation of the weekly Aydinlik which has recently been closed by a court decision.  In Edirne, the governor bans the EMEP posters against price hikes, unemployment, fascist attacks and Counter-guerrilla.
    22.5, the Ankara SSC sentences the director of the Yurt Yayinlari, Ünsal Öztürk, to a fine of TL 220.6 million for having published fifteen books of Ismail Besikci. He is accused of separatist propaganda.  During the Grey Wolves attack at the Istanbul University, Kanal E cameraman Deniz Dursun, Demokrasi correspondent Cengiz Cinar and Radikal correspondent Sebnem Aksoy are wounded by assailants and policemen.
    23.5, the editor of the defunct Islamist review Taraf, Kazim Albayrak is sentenced by the Izmir SSC to fifteen years in prison for taking part in IBDA-C activities.  Periodical Nu Roj is banned for an indefinite period on charge of not giving a declaration in time about the change of its address.
    28.5, Bulent Balta, a 27-year-old chemistry graduate, is jailed to serve a two and a half year prison term under the Anti-Terror Law for articles published in late 1993 in the now banned newspaper, Özgür Gündem. Balta served as editor of Özgür Gündem for only twelve days before he was arrested in November 1993.
    30.5, the Ankara SSC Prosecutor indicts Cumhuriyet columnist Mustafa Ekmekci, who died one week ago, together with four other human rights activists for his speech at the Human Rights Week in December 1996.  The Chief Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation asked the Ankara Prosecutor to starts legal proceedings against eight journalists from Milli Gazete, Akit and Yeni Safak for having criticised the lawsuit opened by himself with the demand of closing down the RP.
    31.5, the Ankara SSC bans two posters issued by the Education Workers' Trade Union (Egitim Sen) for separatist propaganda.


    Hürriyet reports on May 27: "Prison sentences totalling 760 years demanded for the persons involved in the theatrical play which angered the Pasha."
    The investigation into a controversial Islamist play in which people were allegedly incited to rebel against the army has been completed. Prosecutor of the Ankara SSC has demanded record prison sentences of a total 780 years for the 39 defendants including executives of the pro-RP National Youth Foundation who organized the event.
    The play had triggered an angry outburst from General Osman Özbek, the gendarmerie commander for the Erzurum region.