22e Année - N°236
Avril/April 1998
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


 The IHD, the Turkish Human Rights Association, has published its report for the month of March. In addition to 13 killings by unknown perpetrators and 9 extra judicial killings, 5 people died and 14 were wounded in attacks on non-combatants.
 The report claims that 49 people were tortured. 2,062 people were detained of whom 132 were formally arrested. Bombs exploded at the offices of 9 democratic organisations and press offices and 12 political organisations and publications were closed down.
 135 writers and intellectuals are still in prison on account of articles they have written or speeches made.


 Le jugement des 8 étudiants de l'Université de Haceteppe, condamnés en première instance à 99 ans puis à 10 ans de prison pour avoir déployé le 28 février 1996 une pancarte au Parlement turc a, le 2 avril 1998, été cassé à l'unanimité par la Cour de Cassation turque. Les étudiants voulant protester contre l'importance des frais d'instruction à l'université avaient considéré le Parlement turc comme un lieu approprié d'expression de la nation, mais les juges n'avaient pas entendu de cette oreille. Pour statuer, la Cour de cassation s'est fondée sur un article du Pacte de Paris disposant que "nul ne doit être privé de son droit d'accès à l'éducation" et a considéré que la nature de l'action des étudiants ne pouvait être définie dans le cadre de la "loi sur les manifestations et réunions" régie par l'article 2911.
 Suite à cet arrêt, les étudiants comparaîtront à nouveau devant le 15ème Tribunal pénal d'Ankara.


 The European Parliament adopted on April 2 the following Resolution on the arrest of the Italian citizen Dino Frisullo in Turkey:
 "The European Parliament,
 "- having regard to its previous resolutions on the human rights situation in Turkey,
 "A. whereas Dino Frisullo, an Italian citizen, was arrested on 21 March 1998 in Diyarbakir for taking part in celebrations to mark the Kurdish New Year ('Newroz') and for demonstrating in support of the fundamental rights of the Kurdish people,
 "B. whereas the charge brought of 'incitement to violence' is not warranted by Dino Frisullo's behaviour, which involved the exercise of the fundamental rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression,
 "C. whereas many Community citizens, including politicians and members of parliament, took part in the 'Newroz' celebrations,
 "D. outraged by the behaviour of the Turkish police who, during the celebrations, arrested a large number of people indiscriminately, in many instances after having subjected them to arbitrary beatings,
 "E. having regard to the diplomatic steps taken by the Italian Government to secure the immediate release of its national,
 "F. reminding the Turkish authorities of the obligations they entered into by signing the European and international conventions on human rights,
 "1. Calls on the Turkish authorities to release the Italian citizen Dino Frisullo immediately, and supports the request to this effect made by the Italian Government;
 "2. Deplores the actions of the Turkish security forces during the peaceful 'Newroz' celebrations;
 "3. Calls on the Turkish Government to show respect for fundamental human rights, as required by the international conventions that Turkey has signed, and in particular to guarantee the rights of freedom of opinion and freedom of expression;
 4. Points out that closer cooperation between the European Union and Turkey is conditional, first and foremost, upon full respect for human rights;
 "5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government and Parliament of Italy and the Government of Turkey."


 A Turkish prosecutor demanded on April 2 that a group of writers and intellectuals be jailed for up to seven years for publishing a pamphlet containing banned speeches, Anatolian news agencyreported.
 It said charges had been filed against 14 people for "aiding an illegal armed gang," by publishing speeches by blind activist Esber Yagmurdereli and trade unionist Mahmut Konuk that called for full rights for Turkey's Kurdish minority.
 Both Yagmurdereli and Konuk were convicted for the speeches, which were later collected into a booklet and distributed outside an Istanbul security court earlier this year.
 Under Turkish law anyone distributing a banned text faces the same charges as the original author.
 Western concerns about freedom of expression in Turkey were among the European Union's reasons for rejecting the country's membership bid last year.
 Turkey brooks little dissent from Kurdish activists who are often equated with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels fighting for self-rule in the country's southeast. More than  Veteran activist Yagmurdereli was released from jail late last year three weeks into a 22-year sentence on health grounds after strong protests from European rights groups.


 Turkish Daily News, April 2, 1998
 The Turkish military recently increased its efforts to catch up the 21st century professional standards, by following almost all of the international and domestic events with its 43 large-scale work groups. The military also maintains a think tank which focuses on long-range planning.
 In addition to the well-known West Working Group (BCG), a watchdog which monitors anti-fundamentalist activities both at home and abroad, the military has 42 other working groups mainly focusing on vital domestic and international developments, with special desks for key countries and regions. The work groups meet regularly to discuss related countries or issues. Reports prepared by the work groups are then presented to the military commanders.
 A high-ranking general told the Turkish Daily News that the General Staff is preparing for the upcoming millennium by identifying potential military conflicts based on the changing global threats. Special work groups are being established and maintained based on the potential threat to Turkey. The first group was established in 1981, he said, "but the number of work groups has increased dramatically in the last two years."
 "Nobody should construe these work groups as a threat or think that the military is intervening in politics," he said.
The General Staff took this model from the NATO standard operating procedures in order to prepare the armed forces for any uncertainty or crisis in the future, he said. Thus, military work groups focus on the strategic implications of future action.
 "We do the same thing everyone else does. We play by the same rules as the other military forces in the world," the general said.
 Which countries or areas are subjects of work groups ?
 Among the most important work groups, there are at least seven concerning Greece. Other subjects of study are Cyprus, the Balkans, Turkmens, Turkic states and Central Asia, Russia, terrorism, separatist movements and extremist leftist and right-wing movements, fundamentalist movements, biological warfare, water problems, the Middle East, Israel, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, relations with the European Union (EU), Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Armenia.
 Military think tanks
 Meanwhile, a specially established "think tank" based at General Staff headquarters is continuing its work. Turkish Daily News was the first newspaper in Turkey to report on the think tank months ago.
 Apart from the 43 work groups, the military think tank is another key body which helps to form strategies followed by the General Staff.
 The think tank was actually established in 1983 and its authority and sphere were extended by Gen. Cevik Bir in 1996 in order to make it more pro-active. It is behind all of the military domestic and foreign policies that are being pursued by the top generals of the Turkish Armed Forces,
 From military operations to clear the separatists from northern Iraq, to relations with the United States, fundamentalism, NATO, Greece and Cyprus, the think tank plays a key role in various critical issues.
 It has two main executive boards. One is made up of colonels and the other is made up of lieutenant generals, called J-5 at the headquarters. The organization is made up of three main departments, the foreign affairs bureau, the internal affairs bureau and economics department. The recent National Defense Policy Document that rocked Ankara last year was prepared by this think tank.
 Important internal issues such as those of terrorism and the Southeast, the fundamentalist threat and extremist activities from both the left and the right are discussed every day by the expert officers belonging to National Security Department, with support in theoretical matters from academicians. Later, the reports are presented by both colonels and the Lt. Gens (J-5 commanders) to the top generals at the headquarters. Within the think tank's international affairs department, which handles foreign policy, are special desks, including those dealing with Iran, Iraq, Syria, Cyprus, Greece, Europe, the United States, Russia, and the Balkans.
 The think tank is authorized to request information from academicians, businessman and diplomats. Some prominent businessmen have also given information to the organization concerning the pros and cons of the business angle of policies.
 Chief of General Staff Gen. Ismail Hakki Karadayi, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Cevik Bir, land, naval and air force commanders and other top officers are periodically briefed on reports prepared by the think tank.


 The Court of Appeals, on April 2, once again reversed a previous verdict, sentencing renowned poet Can Yucel to one year and two months in jail, on the grounds of having insulted the president in one of his speeches.
 Yucel's lawyer Mehmet Ay said in his explanation: "Can Yucel is a significant personage; he is a poet, a writer, a translator, a thinker. Yucel has an outstanding personality. Everyone who knows him would say how much Can likes people and that he never wants to insult or hurt anyone." The speech in question took place at a dance and poetry event organized by the music department of the Gazi Education Faculty. Ay added that "Yucel criticized the president in his speech, but he did not insult him."
 The first verdict, by Ankara's Criminal Court No.14, was also sent to the Court of Appeals on the grounds of "lack of investigation."


 A Turkish government MP said on April 3 she had found evidence of torture in police custody in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast, Anatolian news agency said.
  "We have found out that people have been tortured... while being questioned," the agency quoted Sema Piskinsut as saying.
  It said Piskinsut, who heads a parliamentary commission for human rights, held a news conference after travelling to the remote region to investigate allegations of rights abuses.
  "I have seen the signs of torture... Electric and telephone cables, truncheons, pipes, water in interrogation rooms," said Piskinsut, of Deputy
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's Democratic Left Party.
 On the other hand, The Turkish Daily News reported that the members of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission stated that they have discovered some torture instruments duringinvestigations carried out at police departments and prisons. Cables used to give electric shocks and hangers used for torturing were found in the interrogation rooms of Batman and Diyarbakir police departments.
 The Parliamentary Human Rights Commission which aimed to look into the prison conditions completed their investigations in Diyarbakir, Urfa, Batman and Mardin. An official from the commission stated that they had proof of systematic torture. Members of the commission learnt of shocking experiences through interviews with hundreds of torture victims. Photographs and video cassettes documenting the torture instruments and victims were taken.
 According to an official, the commission found black cables in the interrogation rooms of Batman and Diyarbakir police departments and other smaller police offices in the region. Officials of the police department claimed that these cables are "telephone cables" but after completing the investigation, the commission experts stated that the cables are torture instruments, which can give a charge of 48 volts of electricity. Many tires were also found in the "interrogation houses." Experts stated that these tires are used in the production of Palestinian hangers. According to their explanation, small tires are used for hanging victims to the ceiling, bigger ties are used for rolling the victims on the floor. There were clues that sand bags were also used for torturing. Most of the police departments had wet floors and some were below regulated health standards.
 According to officials, the mistreatment of prisoners which continues in these prisons, is mostly carried out during their transfer. Prisoners are forced to take off all their clothes when they first arrive at the prison.
Doctors associated with the commission discovered that many prisoners bearthe scars of torture.


 The United Nations (UN) special investigator on torture said on ON APRIL 4 in Geneva that he had been invited to visit Turkey in November but questioned the length of the 5-day visit proposed by his hosts.
 "The Turks have formally invited me and have in fact suggested formal dates, which is the second week in November," Nigel Rodley, a British law professor who serves as the independent U.N. special rapporteur on torture, told reporters.
 "A week is not long enough and I have made that clear to the Turkish government just yesterday," he was quoted as saying by wire services. "For the mission to be on a proper footing, it would have to be longer than five days."
 Rodley refused to speculate on why he had been invited. "I would like to think that it is in a general and genuine spirit of cooperation with the international community with a view to addressing a human rights problem constructively, and with a view to remedying it," he said.
 Rodley said that his visit would have to be carried out in line with standard U.N. terms for human rights missions, which include access to places of detention and confidential interviews with all individuals, including detainees. "I expect all of those terms of reference to be respected," he said.
 Rodley's annual report on torture worldwide, submitted to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights this week, cited allegations of "widespread use of torture in Turkey, including that inflicted upon a significant number of children."
 "According to the information, torture was practised against most persons interrogated by the anti-terror branch of the police and the gendarmerie, as well as against many persons detained by the police in ordinary criminal cases," he wrote.
 Torture was reportedly administered to extract 'confessions', to obtain information, to intimidate detainees into becoming police informants, or as informal or summary punishment for petty offences or suspected sympathy for illegal organizations."
 Methods alleged to be commonly used in Turkey included: electric shocks; hanging by the arms in a variety of positions; spraying with high-pressure water; sexual abuse, including squeezing of the testicles or breasts; beatings with fists, night sticks or sandbags; blindfolding; stripping suspects and exposing them to extreme temperatures.
 "Most of the most severe torture was said to occur in the early days of detention, so that by the time a detainee appeared in court or underwent a physical examination, there would remain little or no physical evidence that torture had taken place," Rodley's report said.
 The report contained allegations of torture from 1995-1997, including mistreatment of minors involved in communist activities.
 The government replied to Rodley on several specific cases, saying medical reports established there had been no torture. In some cases, it said investigations had been opened.
 The government told Rodley that a law adopted in March 1997 was aimed at reducing maximum periods of detention to a level compatible with European and international standards.


 amazan and Veysel Ulag aged 12 and 13, two brothers detained on the 4 April on suspicion of damaging a "How happy is one who says, I am a Turk", inscription, were tortured while in custody.
 The two brothers were accused of damaging the words, carved into the hillside near Selen barracks in the town of Kiziltepe in Mardin province. The children say they were tortured by soldiers who had ordered them to damage the words.
 The children were released in the evening of the same day and Ramazan Ulag was taken to hospital.


 Turkish Daily News, April 6, 1998
 The arrest of an Italian peace activist in Turkey has created a diplomatic rift between Italy and the government in Ankara.
 The Turkish charge d'affaires in Rome was summoned by the Foreign Ministry Saturday to receive a formal protest, the ministry said.
 Italy was angered that Turkey refused to allow a delegation of Italian Parliament members to visit the pacifist, Dino Frisullo.
 In Ankara later Saturday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the delegation was banned because only relatives and home country diplomats are allowed to visit inmates.
 Frisullo was arrested on charges of ``instigation of violence'' March 21 during pro-Kurdish celebrations broken up by the police in Diyarbakir, the provincial center in Southeast Anatolia.
 The Italian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the government ``strongly deplored'' the barring of the delegation.
 The ministry said it hoped for a ``positive and welcome solution'' to the affair ``in full respect of fundamental principles in the matter of human rights.''
 Turkey has been under fire from Western countries for its dismal human rights record, which includes the jailing of journalists and reports of torture.
 Frisullo faces a maximum three-year prison term if convicted
 Turkish police said he was carrying documents belonging to the banned Kurdish separatist terrorist group, PKK and shouted slogans in praise of the group.
 On Sunday mass circulation daily Hurriyet showed a photo of Frisullo waving a PKK propaganda leaflet and chanting slogans on the shoulders of some people in a rally crowd in Diyarbakir.


 21 year old Welat Azad Emirhanoglu set himself alight in protest at the oppression of the Kurdish people on the 5th April in Burdur prison, Med-TV reported. Emirhanoglu was sent back to prison after receving treatment but after a deterioration in his condition he was once again taken to Burdur state hospital on the morning of 6 April
 Emirhanoglu's treatment is continuing. His father, Zulkuf Emirhanoglu, has not been allowed to see his son, who has second degree burns on many parts of his body. Welat Azad Emirhanoglu, from Ergani in Diyarbakir province had joined the PKK in october 1993, and was captured by Turkish state forces on 1 January 1995 in the Lice-Hazro Kulp triangle. Emirhanoglu lost 4 fingers on his right hand and three on his left as a result of frostbite and gangrene.
 Welat Azad Emirhanoglu left a lettler in which he explained the reasons for his action. "I am protesting against all the exploitation, opression and massacres suffered by the Kurdish people and against all the arbitary measures in prison, the attempts to alienate people to make them surrender and betray their comrades. I set myself alight out of loyalty to comrades Sema and Fikri who carried out a similar action."


 Once again this year the Turkish authorities have prevented politcial prisoners benefiting from the open visits allowed at religious festivals.
 More than 10.000 political prisoners, mainly from the PKK, have only been able to have closed visits. In a directive sent by Justice minister Oltan Sungurlu, in addition to political prisoners those who have attempted to escape or opposed the prison authorities were also not to be allowed an open visit.
 The PKK prisoners in Mus prison are continuing their hunger strike, which began on 2 march. While ordinary prisoners were to have open visits on 9 and 10 April, political prisoners were to receive closed visits on 11 and 12 April. Also the hunger strike in Mus prison started by PKK prisoners demanding the return of rights taken away by the prison authorities has now been continuing for 6 weeks.
 Eva Junke, the German ARGK guerrilla, who had been sent from Mus to Van prison, has now been returned to Mus and has joined the hunger strike. In a statement issued by inmates is was reported that Eva Juhnke was being kept in solitary confinement and being constantly threatened by right wing prison officers, called "the A team".


 The bodies of 10 ARGK guerrillas killed on 10 and 11 April in Antalya province have been removed from the mass grave in which they were buried and reburied twice after chauvinistic campaign in the Turkish media.
 Firstly the bodies of the dead guerrillas were not handed over to the families, who had travelled to Antalya from Malatya. The bodies, which had been buried in the town of Manavgat, were then removed by the authorities after protests from local far rightists.
 The bodies were dug up and taken to the Antalya city cemetery where once again, on 17 April, local fascits held a protest with Turkish flags, demanding that the guerrilas carpses be removed and started to scrape away the soil with their bore hands. The protesters dispersed when the authorities promised to once again dig up the bodies. The corpses were then dug up and taken to another cemetery.
 Local parties, including HADEP, the Human Rights Association, KESK, Mazlum-Der and the ODP, released statements condeming the inhuman treatment of the bodies and the fascist attacks. They said: « We invite the authorities and the people to show respect to the dead, » and added, "We protest at the attitude of the mainstream media". The statement also drew attention to the fact that efforts were being made to create irreparable wounds in relations between the Kurdish and Turkish people.


 Une équipe de 40 hommes de forces spéciales turques transportés à bord de deux hélicoptères ont kidnappé dans la matinée du 13 avril Semdin Sakik, haut commandant du PKK qui s'était récemment réfugié auprès du PDK de Massoud Barzani. L'opération aéroportée a eu lieu près de la bourgade de Qasrok, située entre les villes de Dohouk et Aqra à environ 60 km de la frontière turque. S. Sakik, son frère et les quelques gardes kurdes irakien qui les accompagnaient vers Erbil, capitale kurde irakienne, ont été surpris par cette embuscade militaire turque préparée dans le plus grand secret , apparemment à l'insu du Premier ministre et du Ministre de la défense. Arrêtés, Sakik et sa suite ont été transportés par hélicoptères à Diyarbakir, en Turquie.
 Sakik, dit également Zeki sans-doigts, était le commandant militaire le plus célèbre du PKK. En conflit avec le chef de cette organisation, il s'était, le 16 mars, réfugié auprès de Barzani. Celui-ci s'était publiquement engagé le 23 mars à ne pas le rendre à la Turquie et avait déclaré qu'il serait libre de ses mouvements dans le Kurdistan irakien. Le chef du PKK, Ocalan, dans deux longues interventions sur MED-TV avaient accusé Sakik de « trahison » et appelé la Turquie à le faire arrêter.
 Dans un communiqué rendu public en début de l'après-midi du 13 avril, le secrétariat de l'état-major des armées turques annonce que l'opération du kidnapping de S. Sakik « dans le nord de l'Irak » a été décidée à la suite du refus réitéré des Parti de démocratique du Kurdistan irakien de le remettre aux autorités turques.
 De son côté, le PDK, dans un communiqué publié quelques heures après le kidnapping. "condamne fermement l'opération turque et tient responsables les autorités turques pour cet acte grave et pour la sécurité des personnes enlevées, dont nos propres hommes." "Cet acte sape gravement les relations de bon voisinage et constitue une violation grave de la souveraineté de notre pays » ajoute ce communiqué qui indique par ailleurs que le kidnapping est intervenu alors que « Semdin Sakik, son frère ainsi que leurs gardes du corps étaient en train d'être transférés vers un endroit plus sur dans la région d'Erbil."
 La Turquie considère le Kurdistan irakien comme son arrière-cour et y intervient à sa guise, en toute impunité. Depuis 1992 elle y a effectué 57 incursions militaire.


 An Italian reporter arrested in southeastern Turkey during a Kurdish separatist protest last month faces up to three years in jail if convicted of links to Kurdish guerrillas, lawyers said on April 13.
 "The prosecutors' office has asked for my client to be jailed for between one to three years," Muharrem Erbey, the journalist's lawyer, told Reuters in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
 The city's main prosecutor accused journalist Dino Frisullo in an indictment of provoking "hatred and enmity among people," Erbey said.
 The European Parliament has warned that the case could further damage Turkey's bid to join the European Union. Frisullo and two other Italians were detained by police last month at a march in Diyarbakir to mark Newroz spring holiday, a traditional time of Kurdish protests.
 Turkey deported two of the three after Italy protested.
 Erbey said he believed the reporter had not committed any crime and he would apply to the court on Monday for his release. It was not immediately clear when his trial would start.


 The Turkish Journalists' Association (TGC) declared on April 14 that 12 Turkish journalists were sentenced to various penalties in March. The most significant of these was the decision to imprison famous poet and journalist Can Yucel for 14 months on charges that he insulted President Suleyman Demirel.
 In addition, 19 journalists were taken into custody during investigations carried out at a number of leftist newspapers. Fourteen journalists were attacked last month and ten newspapers and two books were seized following court orders.
 The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) temporarily closed 17 radio and television stations for varying lengths of time in March.


 According to information released by RSF on 14 April 1998, police officers detained Selcuk Manav, sports announcer for the private television chain ATV, on 8 April 1998.
 The officers beat Manav and dragged him across the field of Ali Sami Yen stadium in Istanbul just before the start of a soccer match. Manav was taken, semi-conscious, to the police station in Mecidiyekoy. He was released soon after.


 Reuters (April 15, 1998)
 A Turkish prosecutor has begun a fresh prosecution against Turkey's top rights campaigner for a speech he made in Italy last year about Turkey's Kurdish rebel conflict, rights activists said on Wednesday.
 "A new case was opened against Akin Birdal, chairman of the IHD (Human Rights Association)," the association said in a statement.
 "State-run Anatolian news agency said Birdal had been charged with "aiding an illegal organisation."
 "Turkey allows little dissent from those advocating minority rights for its Kurdish population and has vehemently rejected calls for dialogue with Kurdish rebels.
Birdal already faces several charges for speeches in favour of a peaceful end to the 13 years of conflict. He has complained that authorities have not fully notified him of the charges and number of prosecutions against him.
 The rights campaigner was sentenced to one year in jail last October for spreading Kurdish rebel propaganda, but has appealed against the verdict.
 Birdal's rights group, established in 1986, has long drawn official anger for its accusations of widespread rights abuses, which Ankara says damage the country's image abroad.
 The European Union last year put Turkey's long-standing EU membership bid on indefinite hold, citing its poor rights record.


 Reuters (April 15, 1998)
 An Italian journalist held in a Turkish jail for his alleged part in a Kurdish protest started a temporary hunger strike on Wednesday, his lawyer said.
 "My client initiated a hunger strike early this morning and will continue until April 28 when the trial starts," lawyer Muharrem Erbey told Reuters in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
 Journalist Dino Frisullo was accused of provoking "hatred and enmity among people," after being detained by police last month at a march in Diyarbakir to mark Newroz spring holiday, a traditional time of Kurdish protest.
He could be jailed for up to three years if found guilty.
 The lawyer said Frisullo demanded a lifting of prison restraints on communication with the outside world and a transfer to a jail ward where Kurdish rebel prisoners are held.
 He has also urged improved human rights in Turkey. "He wants Turkey to fulfil its promises to Europe on the human rights issue," the lawyer said.


Reuters (April 15, 1998)
 Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz on Wednesday laid the blame squarely at the feet of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for Ankara's failure to gain a European Union membership nomination last year.
Yilmaz, in an interview with the Die Zeit weekly newspaper, said he did not have the slightest doubt Turkey would now be an EU member candidate if Kohl had taken a different stance.
 "To our knowledge, the former EU president (Jean-Claude) Juncker was only carrying out the orders of the German chancellor," Yilmaz said.
The 15-nation bloc kept Turkey off its list of prospective members at a Luxembourg summit last December because of Ankara's human rights record, the Kurdish conflict and disputes with EU member Greece.
 Yilmaz, who spoke in German, also accused Kohl of breaking an earlier promise which he said the chancellor made to him before the Luxembourg summit to support Turkey's later membership to the EU.
 "In Luxembourg I realised that he meant a permanent delay to our membership," Yilmaz told the newspaper, an advance copy of which was made available on Wednesday.
The Turkish prime minister has launched a series of verbal broadsides against Bonn since the EU decision last year, but this was the first time he has heaped the blame on Kohl personally.
 Last month Yilmaz outraged Bonn by comparing German EU foreign policy with Hitler's ``Lebensraum'' doctrine of grabbing land for settlement in eastern Europe.
 He also said the Bonn government had done everything to ruin ties with the Turks, Germany's largest ethnic minority.


 William Cohen, secrétaire américain à la Défense, accompagné de Marc Grossman, assistant du secrétaire d'Etat pour les affaires européennes et canadiennes, sont arrivés vendredi 17 avril en Turquie pour une tournée qui le conduira également en Jordanie, en Égypte, en Israël et en Grèce.
 Les relations bilatérales entre les États-Unis et la Turquie, ainsi que les différends avec la Grèce- toutes deux membres de l'OTAN- à propos notamment de Chypre et des missiles russes commandés par Nicosie qui suscitent la colère et l'inquiétude d'Ankara, étaient à l'ordre du jour.  Par ailleurs, l'agenda du M. Cohen comprenait d'autres discussions non moins importantes; le projet turc d'acquisition des F-15, son programme d'achat d'hélicoptères d'assaut pour un montant de $3,5 milliards, son projet de fabrication d'au moins 800 tanks pour un contrat de $4,5 milliards et la question des frégates en supplément des trois premières Perry-class.
 Le secrétaire américain s'est également rendu samedi 18 à la base d'Incirlik auprès des troupes américaines participant à l'opération "Northern Watch" de surveillance de la zone d'exclusion aérienne dans le nord de l'Irak. Il a déclaré que l'Irak n'obtiendra "pas d'allégement" des sanctions de l'ONU tant qu'il ne fournira pas la preuve de la destruction de ses stocks d'armes chimiques et bactériologiques.
 D'autre part, la Turquie projette de lancer cette année un appel d'offres international pour moderniser ses vieux chars de combat M60 de fabrication américaine, un contrat atteignant plus de $500 millions. Des firmes américaine, israélienne et européennes s'intéressent de près à ce marché.
 En plus de la modernisation de ses M60, la Turquie a l'intention de fabriquer quelque 1000 chars de combat avec une firme qui reste à choisir et pour un montant de $5 milliards.
 La Turquie, qui a la plus grande armée au sein de l'OTAN après les États-Unis, projette de dépenser quelque $31 milliards sur les dix prochaines années pour moderniser son armée. Parmi ses grands projets figurent la production locale avec des partenaires étrangers de 145 hélicoptères d'assaut pour $3,5 milliards et l'éventuelle acquisition de chasseurs bombardiers américains F-15.


 Ankara's number two State Security Court (DGM), on April 17, sentenced four defendants to prison terms varying between one-and-a-half and six-and-a-half years for demonstrating during commemoration ceremonies of Ataturk on Nov. 10, 1997.
 The defendants, Mahmut Kacar, Bahattin Toprak, Bekir Ozbal and Recai Gokalp were present at yesterday's trial. Mahmut Kacar denied the charges, and said that he and the other defendant's goal was to reveal the word of God. Kacar claimed that he did not attack or insult anyone, but only obeyed the word of Prophet Abraham. He said that in the modern world, idolatry was spreading, and most people did not obey God's orders.
 He continued: "If a referendum were made in Turkey, everyone would say that they knew that Prophet Abraham was against worshipping idols. What we did is simply repeat the word of Prophet Abraham. We are ready for all punishments in the name of Allah. This trial will not end. At the Final Judgement day, we will meet you and our people again. What is wrong with telling people not to worship idols, because idols are simply made of stone and iron. There is nothing criminal in these statements. This case will be reopened during the Final Judgement day".
 Another defendant, Bekir Ozbal, said that they did not have any problem with Ataturk but with Kemalists who worshiped idols. The defendants' lawyer, Huseyin Ayan, wanted an acquittal decision from the court.
 After the announcement of the verdict, the defendants shouted "Allahu ekber," which was followed by a moment of tension between relatives of the defendants and the police.


 Turkish Daily News (April 20, 1998)
 In an unexpected development, Turkey and Israel have decided to work on a new joint project to produce medium-range defensive missiles after the United States looked askance at earlier Tel Aviv-Ankara plans to include Turkey in the American-Israeli Arrow missile development, a senior military official said.
 "During the recent Turkish-Israeli annual defense meeting held in Ankara at the end March, Israeli defense officials told us that the United States was deeply disturbed upon hearing of plans including Turkey in the Arrow missile development," said the military official.
 "Therefore, Israel and Turkey decided to work on a new project which would be similar to the Arrow missile, which would have a range of approximately 150 kilometers, but its name and specifications would be different," he said.
 The details of the enormous new project will be discussed during the upcoming visit of a Turkish delegation to Israel next month. Turkey has suffered from a lack of such defensive missiles in its arsenal, and concerns have been raised following Iran and Syria's efforts to increase their missile capacities, believed to be targeting Turkey and Israel.
 Earlier, there had been Turkish-Israeli plans that envisaged involving Ankara in the Arrow missile program being developed by Israel and the United States. But Washington has long been keeping Turkey on a list of countries under the Missile Control Regime Systems concept which closes acquisition avenues to certain countries interested in buying missiles from European countries and the United States.
 In March, a group of 30 Israeli defense officials visited Turkey to increase current defense industry cooperation between the two countries, the third annual gathering of key defense officials from both sides. The Arrow missiles were one of the key issues discussed during the meeting.
 Meanwhile, the recent cooperation between Turkey and Israel has drawn the reproach of Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Iran and Syria, who claim that this partnership is seriously damaging the strategic balance of power in the region.
 Israel is currently upgrading 54 Turkish F-4 Phantoms in a deal worth $632 million and recently won a bid to upgrade 48 Turkish F-5s Tigers for $80 million. Israel also sold night-vision systems to Turkey last year.
 In an earlier missile project, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding for the joint production of hundreds of Popeye II missiles. The final agreement, which is expected to be concluded soon, will set production conditions for the150-kilometer-range Popeye II missile. This is the advanced version of the Popeye I which is currently being used on F-16's and F-4's. MIKES will produce data-links for the Popeye II missiles, while another Turkish firm, Roketsan, will produce the ignition system and components. Israel's Rafael is to provide the technology.
 Turkey also earlier decided to buy 200 Popeye I missiles from Israel, the deliveries of which started at the end of last year.
 The defense links between Turkey and Israel were launched with a military training cooperation agreement signed in February, 1996. The second agreement came in August, 1996 with a defense industry cooperation deal. The military training accord involved reciprocal naval visits, the sending of delegations to military academies and the use of each other's airspace and seas for pilot training.


 Le 21 avril 1998, le maire d'Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan a été condamné par la Cour de Sûreté de l'État de Diyarbakir à 10 mois de prison ferme pour des propos qui constitueraient une "provocation explicite du peuple à la haine par discrimination religieuse, raciale ou régionale".
 M. Erdogan dans une déclaration publique faite en décembre 1997 dans la ville kurde de Siirt avait dit "les mosquées sont nos casernes, les minarets nos baïonnettes, les coupoles nos casques et les croyants nos soldats".
 Il s'agit d'extraits d'une poème de Ziya Gökalp, idéologue et père fondateur du nationalisme turc, poème composé il est vrai au début du siècle dans un contexte de lutte contre "les puissances chrétiennes de l'époque". C'est la raison pour laquelle, le procureur de Diyarbakir a demandé l'acquittement du maire d'Istanbul mais la Cour, semi-militaire, sans doute sur instruction de la hiérarchie militaire, a décidé de le condamner dans le dessein de mettre fin à la carrière de cet homme politique populaire dont la gestion semble appréciée par les Stambouliotes. Après avoir décapité le mouvement kurde, les militaires cherchent à décapiter la mouvance islamiste modérée. Si sa peine est confirmée par la Cour de cassation, le maire d'Istanbul, considéré par beaucoup comme futur chef des islamistes en Turquie, sera déchu de son mandat de maire et ne pourra plus se présenter à des élections car selon le code pénal turc, tout citoyen condamné pour "crimes contre l'État" devient inéligible ad vitam.
 On sait que Sukru Karatepe, maire islamiste de Kayseri (centre) avait été condamné, sous le même chef d'accusation, à un an de prison en 1997, peine confirmée en appel.
 Par ailleurs, la police a procédé à une opération sans précédent dans les milieux d'affaires islamistes à Ankara, Adana, Bursa, Istanbul et Kayseri. Une vingtaine d'arrestations d'hommes d'affaires qui, selon la police, seraient impliqués dans le blanchiment de fonds d'origine frauduleuse et le transfert illégal d'argent à des organisations islamistes, ont été réalisées dans la nuit de lundi 20 à mardi 21 avril, dans le cadre d'une enquête lancée par la Cour de Sûreté de l'État d'Ankara. Cinq sous-préfets et trois maires islamistes ont déjà été déférés en justice pour menées islamistes dans le cadre des mesures annoncées par M. Yilmaz.


 Selon le ministre de l'Intérieur, Murat Baseskioglu, les procédures judiciaires concernant 300 maires turcs sont en cours d'instruction. "J'ai le pouvoir de les destituer de leurs fonctions, mais je ne le ferai qu'en m'appuyant sur le rapport de l'inspection" a déclaré M. Baseskioglu. Il a ajouté que le fondamentalisme n'était pas le seul objet des instructions.
 Le ministre de l'Intérieur, souvent interpellé à ce titre par les députés du parti islamiste, le Parti de la Vertu (FP), affirme que "ce n'est pas une affaire personnelle, il y a des rapports très pertinents de l'Inspection les concernant" et a ajouté que l'ancien gouvernement islamiste avait étouffé les dossiers mettant en cause Tayyip Erdogan et Melih Gökçek, respectivement maires islamiste d'Istanbul et d'Ankara.
 Le ministre turc a avancé que le premier avait fait l'objet de 24 informations judiciaires, dont 11 non-lieux alors que le parti islamiste était au pouvoir et le second 25 informations, dont 17 non-lieux toujours sous le gouvernement islamiste.


 La motion présentée contre Mme Tansu Ciller, ancien Premier ministre turc, a été adoptée le mardi 21 avril au Parlement turc. Déposée le mois dernier par des députés des trois partis de l'actuelle coalition gouvernementale, la motion demande une enquête sur les biens personnels de l'intéressée.
 Les partis gouvernementaux affirment qu'elle a acquis illégalement des biens d'une valeur de 2,5 millions de dollars lorsqu'elle était Premier ministre. Une commission parlementaire sera constituée pour enquêter sur la fortune de Mme Çiller.
 A la suite du rapport de cette commission, qui devra être remis dans les deux mois, l'Assemblée plénière aura à se prononcer sur son sort et en cas d'approbation Mme Çiller sera alors déférée devant la Cour constitutionnelle.  Par ailleurs la commission préparatoire examine une autre requête demandant la levée d'immunité parlementaire des ténors du parti de la Juste Voie (DYP) dont Mme Çiller, Mehmet Agar, Meral Aksener, respectivement vice-premier ministre et ministre de l'Intérieur dans le précédent gouvernement de coalition DYP- Refah (islamiste).
 Mme Çiller qui avait échappé de peu, sous le gouvernement à dominante islamiste, à trois motions parlementaires l'accusant de corruption, dément toutes les accusations portées contre elle et parle d'un réglement de comptes politiques.


 Ilnur Cevik (Turkish Daily News, April 21, 1998)
 Who is running Turkey's foreign policy? This is the question Turkish journalists are frequently being asked by many Europeans. Foreign governments see that the Turkish Armed Forces are playing a serious role in shaping and conducting foreign policy and of course have second thoughts on who to deal with in Turkey...
 Look at the recent visit of Chief of Staff Gen. Ismail Hakki Karadayi to Greece where he attended the Western European Union meeting... Karadayi received more attention than any Turkish official during this trip and his statements on Turkish policy regarding Greece were taken more seriously than the statements of Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz.
 Gen. Karadayi's trip to Azerbaijan and Georgia was particularly interesting and caught the attention of many Europeans. Karadayi made important political statements in Azerbaijan. But more significant was the fact that he signed a defense cooperation agreement with Georgia which had very important implications. The agreement was signed by Karadayi on the Turkish side and the defense minister of Georgia on the other side. So Karadayi's counterpart was the defense minister of Georgia. Under these circumstances many Europeans question the role of Defense Minister Ismet Sezgin...
 Shouldn't he be the one to sign documents with the Georgian defense minister? But it seems no one saw any reason why the military leader should not sign a document with a foreign country on defense cooperation matters because until now the government neither objected to all this nor did it make any statements about the issue.
 The fact that the government was unaware of the military operation to arrest terrorist leader Semdin Sakik in northern Iraq and bring him back to Turkey to face a trial is yet another example of the rather odd situation that has emerged in Turkey in the past few months. The military is running its own show and the civilian government is always caught unaware.
 This situation cannot last forever. The foreign countries are already questioning who really runs the show in Turkey. The fact that every prominent foreign delegation seeks to meet the military during their visits to Ankara shows who the Western governments want to deal with...
 Those running Turkey or at least those who think they are running the country have to address this confusion and show who is really in charge. If they cannot do this then they have no other alternative but to resign.


 The Belgian interior minister required to answer a serious of questions put to him during a debate in the Belgian parliament on 22 April. The interior minister denied an agreement had been made with Turkey and said Belgium did not share Turkey`s view on terrorism.
 The Belgian parliament discussed the September 1996 raids by Belgian Gendarmes of MED-TV and other Kurdish institutions. MPs questioned the interior minister regarding the agreement allegedly made with the Turkish police. Green Party MP Lode Vanoost, who has followed the issue since the raids, asked the interior minister whether there was a link between the agreement made with the Turkish police and the raids. The MP also asked whether cassettes and a list of those who had given money to Med-TV has been transmitted to the Turkish police.
 Vanoost also reminded deputies of British allegations that information given to the Turkish police had been passed on to drug trafficking circles, thereby causing operations to end in failure.
 The Belgium interior minister Vande Lanote denied that a Turkish police, adding that at a meeting between the Commander of the Belgian Gendarmerie and his Turkish counterparts the posting of a Belgian official to Ankara to be the official link regarding the fight against drug trafficking was the only subject taken up.
 The interior minister added that Turkey wished to cooperate with Belgium in the fight against terrorism saying: "We do not accept, since Turkey`s view of terrorism is different to ours." The minister did not answer the question regarding whether information obtained in raids had been given to the Turkish police.
 MPs who did not receive answers to their questions said they would continue to monitor the situation of antidemocratic raids on MED-TV and other Kurdish institutions and individuals.


 According to information released by RSF on 22 April 1998, on 21 April 1998, members of the police, both in uniform and plainclothes, forced journalists to leave a courtroom in Aydin (in western Turkey).
 Inside the courtroom a trial of police officers, accused of having tortured a student to death in 1993, was taking place. At least five journalists were beaten by police outside the courthouse: Mert Ilkutlug, journalist for the daily "Milliyet", Hakan Gulce, journalist with the private television chain ATV, editorial writer Celal Baslangic, and Selma Yildiz and Ahmet Sik, journalists with the daily "Radikal."
 Other journalists with the regional press were also manhandled.
 Most of the journalists were taken to hospital to be treated for various injuries. Mert Ilkutlug and Ahmet Sik were detained for more than a half hour in a police station before being taken to hospital. One of them received five stitches to the face.


 On 23 April, which is celebrated in Turkey as Children`s Day, Kurdish children in traditional clothes were prevented by riot police from joining the celebrations, reports Med-TV.
 Kurdish children attempting to march from the Mesopotamia Cultural Centre knows as MKM branch in Tarlabase to the MKM main building in Istiklal street were stopped by riot police and banners proclaiming "The peoples are brothers we do not want war", were seized. The children, MKM workers and lawyers were jostled and sent back to the Tarlabase office.
 In Izmir, Adana and Diyarbakir Kurdish children protested against not being accepted as Kurdish at the 23 April celebrations and held separate gatherings.


 In recent years 33 prisoners have died in prison because they did not recevie treatment.
 However, article 399 of legal regulations envisages the release of prisoners with incurable illnesses. "The prisoner's families Aid and Solidarity Association" (Tay-Der) has called on the authorities to implement article 399, in order to secure the release of 167 political prisoners who have medical conditions that are untratable in prison.
 On 18 April Tay-Der applied to the Turkish justice ministry for the release of 167 prisoners. Tayd-der president Medeni Ayhan said that article 399 had been implemente in the past and that they had carried out investigations in Turkey's 631 prison in order to compile the list of 167 prisoners with serious medical conditions.
 Ayhan said that in the past article 399 had only been implemented in a few authorities to implement the article for all inmates, adding that due to non-implementation 33 political prisoners had died in jail.


 Turkish Daily News (April 23, 1998)
 The 42nd meeting of the Turkey-European Union (EU) Joint Parliamentary Commission (JPC) avoided the risk of remaining an apolitical gathering, becoming the scene of heated discussions over democratization and even certain Turkish-Greek disputes, the EU deputies told the Turkish Daily News.
 Tuesday's court decision sentencing Istanbul Mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan to 10 months in jail for a speech that the court said incited religious hatred had a bombshell effect during the meeting.
 The court decision perhaps came in handy at a time when some EU deputies feared unfruitful talks that would focus on a discussion of "The European Strategy for Turkey," a "Customs Union plus" formula with economic ratherthan political perspectives.
 After the word was out, outspoken EU deputy Claudia Roth and others criticized the decision. Virtue Party (FP) deputy Ertan Yulek explained their reaction, defending the verses in Erdogan's speech, which he said merely cited verses from a poem written a long time ago. Roth inquired about the law that made the sentencing possible and compared the situation to Yasar Kemal's case.
 On Wednesday in an interview with the TDN, Roth blasted the decision: "I am really preoccupied by the latest decisions taken yesterday, on the mayor of Istanbul and MUSiAD. It has nothing to do with democracy when a mayor who cites a famous poem is condemned to ten months. To me this is not understandable. This has nothing to do with whether he is from a right or left party or a fundamentalist. Human rights are indivisible, you cannot condemn him because he is from Fazilet.
 "I am really shocked that this happened, I do not know what exactly happened with MUSIAD, but to start with, money laundering is a problem, just remember Susurluk. It is a problem in our society, not only in Turkey. But people have the feeling that these people were arrested because they are from MUSIAD and that is dangerous. If you start taking in people because they are Kurds, or from or linked with an Islamist party, that is dangerous.
 "Here they say that the situation is under control, but I fear that this is a very bad signal. We are discussing it. I do not understand, for example, why two courts were responsible for the mayor's case. It is a dangerous strategy to fight against a political party with law. You must fight them politically on a democratic level, whether you like them or not."
 Erdogan told supporters in the town of Siirt last December, "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers."
 Roth then slammed the past and present governments about democratization in Turkey: "I am really preoccupied because I fear that the so-called democratization which was announced even before the customs union has not developed at all. We are still in a situation in Turkey where people are arrested and condemned because of expression. We asked [the banned] Welfare deputies about the decision and they said they regretted the decision, but added they are pleased that it would help them to become stronger, I am worried about these reactions and incidents."
 All indications before the meeting suggested that it would take place in a very tense mood, since Turkey strongly protested the EU decisions of the Luxembourg summit, which excluded Turkey from the list of the 11 future members to be accessed during the union's enlargement process.
 The Turkish government decided to freeze political dialogue with the EU, but leave the economic ties in place. Evaluating the JPC meeting, Roth, who is an assistant co-chairman, said: "Parliamentarians used this chance to dialogue, did not do what the [Turkish] government would have preferred to do -- to freeze relations...We tried in a very serious way and I am quite happy that it happened. We tried to develop ideas how to get out of this situation, which is an extremely dangerous situation. We asked the commission to give some concrete answers to the commission's strategy paper."
 Roth, of the German Greens party, talked about the recent row in Turkish-German relations created after Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz compared German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's interests in eastward expansion to Germany's "Lebensraum" policy under Hitler. "These kind of battles especially between important politicians of Germany and Turkey have to stop immediately. We have to create not a state of escalation, but de-escalation. We have the German election campaign and I fear that the tensions created by top politicians will have victims, and the victims will be the migrants from Turkey in Germany," she said.
 "We had tensions already, and during the election campaign we must make it clear that they are part of our society and Turkey is part of Europe, that Europe has nothing to do with the Christian religion, but must be an open concept, must be multi-cultural, multi-religious, but must be based on the principles of human rights and democracy. Within the Union, for a country like Germany, it means much more human rights for migrants and it means human rights and democracy in Turkey. Secondly, I do not see at all any movement on the Kurdish question. Once again, I do not understand why we did not even get permission to see Leyla Zana. This means that the political solution of the Kurdish question, which is still a key question for the whole democratization of Turkey, does not move forward."
 Roth said democratization, the Kurdish issue and human rights were marginalized during the last months because of discussions about the Welfare and Luxembourg decisions and added: "I agree the Luxembourg result is a big, big mistake. I am absolutely unhappy with that. I always said Turkey must have a clear perspective for full membership, period. It must be treated as an equal of the others. A hierarchy established would also be dangerous regarding the Baltic states, which are now divided into first and second classes. I think that it is unbalanced. I hope Turkey will have a clear perspective, but it can only happen on the conditions of human rights and democracy and not religion, as far as I am concerned.
 "In September, there will be a definite decision in Germany, the election decision, which probably will have effects on Turkey and the EU and Germany. If there is a red-green [Socialist-Greens] government, this new government will makes quite clear its relation to Turkey. It will stop speaking about friendship and sending arms, and at the same time introduce a visa for Turkish children in Germany. In Germany we need not only a change of government, but also a change of politics towards Turkey. I think the foreign policy of Germany must be more credible and more accountable. I think the problem is because for more then 30 years Turkey has been waiting for something. There were promises. It would have been better to say 'no' earlier, than to say 'yes, but...' Credibility means saying to Turkey that there are conditions.
 Roth also said that if Gerhard Schroder's government came into power alone, this would not be enough to make significant changes in Germany's policies concerning Turkey.
 Addressing a press conference after the JPC meeting, EU co-chairman Piet Dankert warned that no breakthrough should expected in the short run in terms of Turkish-EU relations, "at least not under the British term presidency," he emphasized.
 Dankert also criticized the Erdogan decision and anti-Islamist laws presented to the Parliament.
Turkish officials attending the meeting said they stayed out of the political discussions as much as possible. RegardingTurkish-Greek disputes, they said it was mainly the Greek parliamentarians who made an unsuccessful effort to raise the issue.
 On Cypriot accession to the EU, a Greek parliamentarian reportedly asked, "Why are you opposing [Turkish] Cypriot accession to the EU while you are battling so hard for it?" A Turkish deputy, Ahmet Tan, answered that Turkey does not wish Turkish Cypriots an EU membership like that of the ethnic turks in Western Thrace, who he says have been stripped of their rights.
Bulent Akarcali, co-chairman of the meeting, said that the Turkish side emphasized clarification of the European strategy for Turkey and defining when it could come into being, the conditions on it, and the releasing of promised funds.
 "Okay, there is a strategy, but we don't know the whens and the hows of this strategy's future. The Council still has to approve it and that is not all," Akarcali said.
 Akarcali said discussing human rights is not a tabu in Turkey, although "Turkey is disturbed that this is put forward as a precondition for all EU agreements."
 So all in all, the 42nd Turkey-EU JPC meeting was again traditionally dominated by Turkey's human rights and democratization problems and Roth's criticism surrounding Zana, with the exception of the refusal to discuss politics. One would think not much has changed after Luxembourg.


 La Turquie a été condamnée vendredi 24 avril par la Cour européenne des droits de l'homme pour la destruction des maisons kurdes au cours des opérations anti-guerilla au Kurdistan. La Cour a jugé que les soldats s'étaient rendus coupable de "traitement inhumain" violant ainsi la Convention européenne des droits de l'homme. Les deux plaignants, Keje Selcuk et Ismet Asker, ont vu leurs maisons et leur moulin partir en feu et privés de tout, ont été obligés de quitter leur village d'Islamkoy (Diyarbakir) sans aucune assistance. Ankara est également coupable d'avoir violé les principes de la Convention européenne relatifs au droit à une vie privée et familiale et à la libre disposition des biens personnels.
 Ce n'est pas la première fois que la Turquie est condamnée pour de tels actes. Pour se défendre, Ankara a soutenu que toutes les procédures juridiques au niveau national n'étaient pas épuisées mais la Cour constatant que la lettre des plaignants au gouverneur du district était resté lettre morte, a souverainement décidé qu'une plainte devant les Tribunaux nationaux n'aurait "rimé à rien". Selon la Cour, les autorités turques n'ont pas apporté de preuve effective- les officiers chargés de l'opération et les témoins dans le village n'ont pas été interrogés.
 La Cour a accordé à Keje Selcuk et Ismet Asker $46 080 et $53 800 respectivement et le remboursement des frais engagés.


 The Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman regime on 24 April 1915, has been remembered all over the world. On 24 April Assyrian-Syriac people, who also suffered in the 1915 genocide, began a hunger strike in Brussels.
 83 years on the genocide carried out by the Ottaman Empire against the Armenian people is still a cause of distress.
 The genocide carried out in 1915 also affected the Assyrian, Aramaic, Chaldean, Nestorian, Syriac people and to publicise this little known fact Assyrians in Brussels launched a one week hunger strike on 24 April.
 Members of the Kurdistan Parliament in Exile (KPE) visited the hunger strike to lend their support.
 Meanwhile, the Assyrian Beth-Nahrin Patriotic Revolution organisation released a statement condemning the genocide of 1915 against the Armenian and Assyrian peoples and emphasised that the massacre of Assyrian-Chaldean people had been concealed, not one case being opened by either the Ottoman state or its continuation, the Turkish Republic, against the perpatrators.


 An appeals court, on April 24, overturned a verdict handed down by the Ankara State Security Court (DGM) No. 2 against a group of students who were convicted on a variety of charges after they unfolded a banner in Parliament to protest high university fees. The students were given sentences of from three years nine months to 18 years in jail. The Ninth Court of Appeals based its decision on the "lack of investigation" in the original case.
 The DGM has decided to retry the case on Monday, May 18. The original verdict of the court sentenced Elif Kahyaoglu, Deniz Kartal and Nurdan Baysahan to three years and nine months of imprisonment on the grounds of "having provided aid and shelter to the illegal organization;" Mahmut Yilmaz to twelve years and six months for "being a member of an illegal organization and having thrown explosives;" and Ahmet Askin Dogan, Bulent Karakas and Metin Murat Kalyoncu to eighteen years of imprisonment. The other seven suspects were acquitted.
 The defendant's lawyers and Ankara DGM Prosecutor Nuh Mete Yuksel appealed the original verdict. Yuksel, in his argument, asserted that the defendants who had been acquitted were also "members of the illegal leftist organization."
 After listening to the demand for an appeal by the defendants' lawyers and Prosecutor Yuksel, the Court of Appeals upheld the DGM's acquittal of seven of the students.
 The Court of Appeals reversed the verdict on the grounds of a "lack of investigation," and justified its ruling using the following points:
 There is a need for a reexamination of the status of some suspects who reportedly are involved in the incident.
 Evidence against the students collected by the police and gendarmes was based on their view of the outlawed Turkey's People's Liberation Party-Front (THKP-C) and the outlawed Revolutionary Path (Dev-Yol), which reportedly was replaced after 1995 by the Dev-Yol Turkey Revolutionary Youth Organization. Whether the legal status of these organizations could be regarded within the framework of the first and seventh article of the anti-terror law No. 3713 has to be investigated by the security forces before making an assumption of their make-up."
 Following the case's resumption, the DGM will decide whether to follow the Court of Appeals decision or not. If the DGM insists on its original verdict, the case will be discussed again, but in the higher General Council of the Courts of Appeal. Otherwise, the retrial will take place.


 The pro-Islamic mayor of a small town began serving a one-year prison sentence on April 24 for insulting Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the secular Turkish state.
 Sukru Karatepe, the mayor of Kayseri in central Turkey, said in a 1996 speech that his "heart was bleeding" because he had to attend a ceremony honoring Ataturk.
 He was convicted of "inciting hatred based onreligious differences,'' the same charges used to convict Istanbul's mayor, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, earlier this week.
 Erdogan was sentenced to 10 months in prison for a speech in which he cited a folk poem that incensed secularists. He remains free on appeal.
 Erdogan's conviction drew criticism from the United States for weakening confidence in democracy in Turkey, a NATO member. Erdogan is the leading contender to rebuild and lead Turkey's Islamic political movement after the Islamic Welfare party was shut down by the Constitutional Court for anti-secular activity in January.
 Although it has long been against the law in Turkey to make statements against Ataturk, the government is under pressure from the military to crack down on anti-secular activities by the country's Islamic political movement.


 Turkish Probe (April 26, 1998)
 The continual movement of PKK terrorist corpses from graveyard to graveyard in the Serik and Manavgat provinces of Antalya have brought a new debate to the fore: the debate over the rights of the dead.
 The remains of seven PKK members who were killed in a firefight near Kapaklitepe in the Gebiz district of Serik were taken to Serik State Hospital and later transferred to an undisclosed location following protests by a group of self-described nationalists. The following day, three PKK terrorists who were killed in a clash near Halitagalar village, Manavgat were buried in the Manavgat district cemetery. As in Serik, a group of Manavgat citizens, organized by nationalists, were on the march with Turkish flags in their hands.
 The group marched through the city screaming that if the authorities did not remove the PKK corpses from the cemetery they would dig up the corpses and tear them apart with their own hands. In order to keep the peace, a joint decision was made by the provincial governor, the local gendarmerie commander and the mayor to remove the bodies, which were exhumed with a grader and transferred to another location. The grave problem was then transferred to the Antalya city cemetery where the issue of interring PKK terrorists next to law-abiding Turks once again reared its ugly head.
 By April 18, news of the Serik-Manavgat transfer spread by word of mouth and inflamed residents in the area. This time, a group composed mainly of the Antalya families, whose sons had been killed fighting the PKK in the Southeast, arrived at the graveyard. "We don't want bloody murderers who have killed our soldiers in our soil," they said.
 Police officers promised to respect the people's wishes and dispersed the group without incident. In an operation resembling that of Manavgat, the dead terrorists were removed from the Antalya graveyard to what authorities hope will be their final resting place.
 The press has given these events limited coverage, neither interested with the issues nor concerned with the implications. But in a statement given to the Ulkede Gundem newspaper, Aydin Erdogan, general director of the Contemporary Lawyers' Association (CHD), pointed out that "assaulting the dead" was regarded as a criminal offence under Article 178 of the Turkish Penal Code.
 "No matter whose corpse it is," he continued, "no matter where it is or in what condition or for what reason, it is the body of a human being. It is necessary to apply basic human values to the dead... The things which have been done are indecent and shameful."
 In a similar vein, Veysi Ulgen, general director of the Health Workers' Union, revealed thatexhuming corpses and continually moving them from place to place constituted a health risk. Yilmaz Ensarioglu, general director of Mazlum-Der added that such practices ran contrary to Islamic beliefs (Ulkede Gundem, April 22).
 An Antalya attorney, who asked to remain anonymous, reminded the Turkish Probe that in Canakkale thousands of Turkish soldiers are buried next to their Anzac opponents. He claims that the events in Antalya were politically inspired and that the authorities should not permit this practice. In a country where primary school teachers tell children to show respect for the deceased, current communal tension over these events reflect how far the situation has deteriorated.
 When asked what effect the clashes with separatists would have on tourism, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz replied: "It will have good effects... because for a long time we had known they (the separatists) were there. Now it is in large measure cleared up." (TDN, April 12) We do not know whether Prime Minister Yilmaz still holds this opinion. However, the effort he has expended to ensure the security of tourists should also be focused on, putting problems with the dead to rest.


 Le procès des responsables du Parti de la Démocratie du Peuple (HADEP), accusés d'avoir violé le paragraphe 1 de l'article 168 du code pénal turc a débuté mardi 27 avril devant la Cour de sureté d'Etat d'Ankara. Le président de HADEP, Murat Bozlak, secrétaire-général Hamit Geylani, président adjoint Mehmet Satan, secrétaire-général adjoint Zeynettin Unay, Ali Riza Yurtsever, Ishak Tepe et Melik Aygul étaient présents dans la salle d'audience, ils répondent du chef d'accusation d'"organisation de bande armée contre la sécurité de l'Etat" et risque une peine de 22 ans et 6 mois de prison.
 D'importantes mesures de sécurité avaient été prises par la police tout autour du tribunal avant l'audience. Environ 500 personnes, réunies pour soutenir les responsables du HADEP ont été placées en garde à vue et seraient libérées prochainement et 10 véhicules de HADEP ont été interdits d'accès à la ville.
 De nombreux observateurs étaient également présents à la Cour. Parmi eux, Mark Muller, vice-président de l'Union des Associations des Barreaux Britaniques, Gill Higgins, responsable des Avocats Sans Frontières, des responsables des ambassades britaniques, américaine, allemande, française et espagnole, Yucel Sayman de l'Association du Barreau d'Istanbul, Fikret Baskaya, Yildirim Kaya, vice-président du Parti de la Liberté et de la Solidarité (ODP) et anciens députés du Parti de la Démocratie (DEP-dissous) Sedat Yurttas et Sirri Sakik.
 Yusuf Alatas, un des avocats d'HADEP, a demandé la libération de ses clients mais cela a été rejeté par la cour, qui a ajourné les auditions jusqu'au 28 mai pour attendre l'issue de l'"affaire du drapeau", le dépôt du témoignage de Semdin Sakik et pour recueillir d'autres preuves et témoignages contre HADEP.


 Un rapport élaboré par l'Assemblée du Conseil de l'Europe relatif au déplacement de population accusant la Turquie de "brûler des villages et de déplacer la population" a soulevé des protestations dans les rangs des députés turcs.
 Le rapport, condamnant la Turquie, affirme que "la Turquie devrait arrêter d'user les armes contre la population civile kurde" et ferait mieux d'améliorer la situation économique de la région. Présenté par la députée socialiste Ruth Gaby Vermot-Mangold siégeant à la Commission des "Migrations et des migrants", le rapport appelle la Turquie à signer la Convention européenne sur la protection des langues minoritaires et propose que la Turquie paye une compensation aux personnes déplacées, investisse d'avantage dans la région, mette fin aux opérations extra-frontalières dans le nord de l'Irak et laisse les organisations non gouvernementales visiter la région. Par ailleurs, le rapport condamne le Parti des Travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK) pour ses actions violentes et note également que ce dernier est responsable du départ de quelques villageois.
 Les propositions de ce rapport seront débatues une nouvelle fois à la réunion de la commission des migrations les 14 et 15 mai à Genève.


 Le police turque fait ces jours-ci un usage démesuré des "aveux" attribués à Semdin Sakik pour tenter de régler ses comptes avec tous ceux, journalistes, hommes politiques, hommes d'affaires, qu'elle considère comme "ennemis" de l'Etat et pour relancer sa campagne de désinformation à l'étranger. Ainsi, selon le quotidien populaire turc Sabah du mardi 28 avril, Semdin Sakik, ancien commandant du PKK capturé par les troupes turques dans le nord de l'Irak le 13 avril et interrogé depuis par les services de sécurité turcs, aurait déclaré que le PKK était responsable de l'assassinat de l'ancien Premier ministre suédois Olof Palme en 1986.
 Ankara tente depuis des années de convaincre l'Occident que le PKK est une organisation terroriste sans scrupules. Ces déclarations qui n'ont pas été publiées officiellement et impossibles à vérifier de manière indépendante vont dans le sens de la stratégie turque de désinformation. Selon des sources diplomatiques "vraie ou fausse, cette information va donner de quoi réfléchir aux Occidentaux qui appellent la Turquie à ouvrir un dialogue politique avec le PKK". Mesut Yilmaz, Premier ministre turc, a déclaré que "on ne sait pas ce qu'il a dit et même s'il l'a dit, on ne sait pas sous quelles contraintes il étaitPour tout le monde, l'important sera ce qu'il dira au tribunal quand il passera en jugement". Par ailleurs, Lars Nylen, chef de la police nationale suédoise a déclaré qu'"il ya plusieurs années, la commission d'enquête Palme a mené des investigations approfondies à propos d'allégations similaires venant de Turquie, mais elles n'ont mené à rien".
 Présentées comme des extraits des interrogatoires de Sakik, d'autres nouvelles sensationnalistes visent à incriminer des militants des droits de l'Homme et certains hommes politiques d'être à la solde du PKK. Akin Birdal, président de l'Association des droits de l'Homme en Turquie, qui serait accusé par Sakik d'être "davantage un combattant du PKK" que lui-même, a affirmé qu'il considérait le PKK comme une "organisation de guérilla armée" et a ajouté que "c'est un stratagème très primaire" que d'accuser des opposants sur la base de "prétendus aveux sans doutes arrachés sous la torture". Il s'agit d'un complot ourdi par les services de police pour salir la réputation des démocrates turcs et kurdes a-t-il conclu.
 L'Allemagne, la Syrie, l'Iran, l'Arménie et la Grèce, plusieurs hommes d'affaires turcs et des journalistes renommés seraient également cités par Sakik comme étant des sympathisants du PKK. A ce titre, Cengiz Candar et Mehmet Ali Birand, deux éminents chroniqueurs, ont été suspendus par leur journal Sabah à la suite de ces campagnes de désinformation médiatique orchestrée par la police politique (MIT).
 Ilnur Cevik, directeur du quotidien Turkish Daily News, présente la situation en ces termes dans son éditorial du 27 avril: "Nous sentons que ces affirmations devraient être regardées avec beaucoup de réserves. Il est facile de calomnier les gens mais il n'est pas facile d'effacer les dommages. Ce genre d'affirmations porte l'ombre sur d'importantes révélations que Semdin a pu faire à propos du PKK car cela ébranle la crédibilité de ses confessions. Certains observateurs indépendants en Occident sentent déjà que les autorités utilisent Semdin pour ruiner la crédibilité de certaines personnalités éminentes en TurquieNous ne devons pas jouer avec la dignité et l'honneur des gens en s'appuyant sur les déclarations d'un terroriste qui s'auto-confesse. Si ce genre de choses sont révélées à la presse, nous croyons que les autorités devraient faire très attention à ce qui est disponible dans les journaux".


 New York Times (April 27, 1998)
 Turkey's politically meddlesome generals seem determined to push their country into crisis by thwarting democratic solutions to its problems. Their latest outrage is a security court's sentencing of Istanbul's Islamist Mayor, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to 10 months in jail for a speech that supposedly violated the military's rigid standards of secularist orthodoxy.
 Earlier the generals outlawed Mayor Erdogan's former party, Welfare, after bullying a democratically chosen Welfare Government out of office last year. In recent months, they have jailed pro-Islamic mayors, closed religious schools and arrested businessmen on charges of financing Islamic politics.
 Mr. Erdogan was sentenced for inciting hatred in a speech to supporters last year in which he likened the Islamic faithful to an army on campaaign. He says the language in question came from an old folk poem. The source of his words should not matter. Jailing people for political speech is offensive and usually strengthens rather than weakens the appeal of those it makes martyrs.
 Mr. Erdogan, who has been an effective mayor, was considered a likely future leader of Turkey's Islamic electoral movement. He is appealing the court's decision, but can now be removed from office and banned from standing for election, even before his case is legally resolved.
 Turkey is a NATO ally and an important American military partner in the Middle East. Hence Washington maintains cordial ties with Turkish generals. But it should reject the generals' contention that their clumsy interventions in Turkey's political life defend the causes of secularism and democracy. In fact, the military's conduct undermines both.
 The threat of Iran-style Islamic fundamentalism understandably worries secular Turks, especially women, and concerns Washington. But radicalizing an Islamic electoral movement and driving it underground will only lead its supporters to give up on the peaceful and democratic means they now believe in.


 Turkish police have detained 130 people in a month-long crackdown on an armed Islamist group active in the southeast of the country, Anatolian news agency said on April 27, 1998..
 It said 45 of those detained had been held in custody while searches continued for hundreds of others wanted in connection with the Hizbullah group.
 Turkish security forces hold Hizbullah responsible for a number of killings and attacks in the southeast over recent years. The group is not thought to be connected to the pro-Iranian Lebanese group of the same name.
 The assault on Hizbullah mirrors a wider campaign by secularist authorities against Islamism in general since the collapse of an Islamist-led coalition last year.
 The Islamist mayor of Istanbul last week received a 10-month jail sentence for speeches deemed to have been seditious.
 The current secularist government has clamped down on Moslem religious schooling and investigations have started into Islamist businesses and broadcasters.
 Overwhelmingly Moslem Turkey has a strictly secular constitution which the powerful armed forces see it as their duty to defend.


 Reuters (April 28, 1998)
 Swedish police Tuesday played down claims from a captured Kurdish rebel leader that his group was behind the 1986 murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme.
 Lars Nylen, head of Sweden's National Criminal Police, said the claims appeared to go over old ground.
 "Several years ago the Palme investigation commission did an in-depth investigation into similar claims from Turkey but they led to nothing," Nylen told Reuters.
 Turkish newspapers quoted Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) commander Semdin Sakik, seized by Turkish troops in northern Iraq, as saying: "We killed Olof Palme."
 A Swedish diplomat based in Turkey briefly met State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel in Ankara Tuesday.
 Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman Jens Olander said the diplomat was handed information on the Palme claims.
 "We have now passed this information onto the investigators of the Palme murder," Olander told Reuters.
 Palme was shot to death in a central Stockholm street in February, 1986, as he was walking home from the cinema with his wife, unguarded. His murder remains unsolved.
 Swedish prosecutors are currently seeking a retrial of Christer Pettersson, a Stockholm man who was convicted of the murder in 1988 but later acquitted.
 According to the Sabah daily newspaper, Sakik told investigators PKK chief Abdullah Ocalan had ordered a trusted Kurdish rebel based in Sweden to kill Palme after eight members of the group were expelled from the country.
 Sakik said Palme's government had passed a law through parliament opening the way for deportation of members of "terrorist groups."
 "Then the PKK launched a campaign against the Palme government," Sabah quoted the top rebel as saying.
 The PKK, fighting for self-rule in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984, has launched a number of attacks on Turkish targets in Europe.
 Sakik, known as "Fingerless Zeki" after losing a thumb while firing a rocket, was captured in northern Iraq by Turkish special forces and brought back to Turkey earlier this month.


 Turkey deported an Italian journalist on April 29 after accusing him of stirring up trouble in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast, Anatolian news agency said.
 It said Turkish immigration and Italian consular officials had escorted Dino Frisullo to Istanbul airport where he boarded a flight to Rome.
 Frisullo was detained last month after a march in the main southeastern city of Diyarbakir to mark the Newroz spring festival, a traditional time of Kurdish protest.
 Television pictures showed Frisullo being carried on the shoulders of the protesting crowd touting a picture of a dead Kurdish guerrilla.
 A security court in Diyarbakir ordered his release on Tuesday. He will now be tried in absentia for allegedly "provoking hatred and enmity among the people."
 The largest party in Italy's ruling coalition last week called for his release, saying the case was damaging relations between the two countries.
 The European Union cited concerns over human rights and freedom of expression as among its reasons when it put Turkey's membership bid on hold late last year.
 Many abuse claims come from the southeast where Turkish security forces have been fighting separatist Kurdish rebels in a 13-year-old conflict that has cost more than 28,000 lives.
 Thousands of troops were mobilised on Wednesday in a major air and ground operation against the rebels in the mountains of southeastern Turkey, military sources said.


 HADEP President Murat Bozlak and six other leading HADEP members appeared in the Ankara number one state security court on 28 April. They were not released and thousands of HADEP members wishing to attend the trial were prevented from entering Ankara province.
 Following the adjournment of the trial HADEP Ankara chair Kemal Bulbul held a press confernce at the hadep headquarter. Bulbul said there was no legal justification for the non-release of the party leader. Dr. Gunter Klobner of the Austrian Trade Union left Block, who was in Ankara to observe the trial, said: "HADEP is a party which, endeavours to raise the demands of the people. It is a party that should be supported by all democrats and socialists all over the world."
 The HADEP administrators are charged with violating Paragraph 1 of Article 168 of the Turkish Criminal Code. This article calls for a jail term not less than 15 years for those who establish an armed gang against the security of the state.
 Among the accusations provided in the 33-page indictment are the following:
 HADEP administrators are accused of making speeches in line with those of the executives of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in respect to the "Musa Anter Peace Train" issue; that they had displayed intensive activities to support the "Peace Train;" that they had issued a statement urging the government to halt the operations; that documents pertaining to the outlawed PKK organization had been seized during the raid on HADEP headquarters; that separatist and PKK propaganda had been spread during HADEP's training activities; and that certain PKK militants who had been arrested had confessed that HADEP had recruited personnel for the outlawed PKK organization.
 HADEP lawyers claimed that the indictment was based on confessions made by informers and that it had been prepared with a political and ideological approach. They further claimed that the indictment had not taken into consideration the "principle of the individualization of crimes and punishments" and that there had been intention to punish HADEP by introducing it as a criminal before the eyes of the public. They have also claimed that most of the documents provided in the case file belonged to a period before the foundation of HADEP and that the thick case files were prepared with the intention of giving the impression that there was a large amount of evidence against their clients.
 On Feb. 10, after a decision of the Office of the Prosecutor at the Ankara DGM stating that the 1998 calendar printed by HADEP headquarters contain elements of separatism, police from the anti-terrorism branch raided the organization's headquarters, seizing the calendar and other documents.
 On Feb. 12, the Ankara DGM instructed police to take 51 HADEP executives into custody on charges that the seized documents contain elements of separatism. On the same day, police took Bozlak and six other party administrators into custody. Upon completion of their interrogation, they were brought to the court which ordered their arrest. They were put in prison. Later, six members of the party assembly were taken into custody during raids on their houses. While four of these members were set free, two of them arrested.
 There is an arrest warrant current for 38 other members of the party assembly.

´ EN BREF/IN BRIEF (TIHV - La Fondation des Droits de l'Homme de Turquie)

´ La CSE d'Ankara commence à juger l'avocat Kemal Yilmaz pour appartenir à l'organisation clandestine TIKKO. Il risque une peinde prison jusque 15 ans.
´ A Izmir, un distributeur du journal Azadiye Welat, Davud Ozalp est battu à un poste de police.
´ La revue Yeni Demokrat est suspendue pour un mois par la CSE d'Ankara.
´ Le procureur de la CSE d'Ankara inculpe 14 intellectuels rénommés comme les journalistes Haluk Gerger, Can Dundar, Mahmut Tali Ongoren, Varlik Ozmenek, Temel Demirer, l'homme politique Mahmut Alinak et plusieurs syndicalistes pour assumer la responsibilité de l'édition d'une brochure intitulée Dusunceye Ozgurluk (Liberté à la pensée).
´ La CSE d'Istanbul condamne trois membres de la TIKB à la peine capitale et un autre inculpé à une peine de prison de 12 ans.
´ L'écrivain Edip Polat est arrêté à Ankara pour purger sa peine de prison de 10 mois pour un article paru le journal Ozgur Gundem en 1993.
´ La CSE d'Istanbul ordonne la confiscation des revues Atilim, Proleter Dogrultu, Halkin Gunlugu et Partizan Sesi ainsi qu'un livre sur la grève de la faim aboutissant à la mort de 12 prisonniers politiques en 1996.
´ Le gouverneur d'Izmir interdit la représentation d'une pièce théâtrale intitulée La république des fous, mise en scène par le groupe Jiyana Nû.
´ Le directeur de la maison d'édition Pêrî, Ahmet Onal est inculpé par la CSE d'Istanbul pour propagande séparatiste dans le livre intitulé La Résistance d'Agri.
´ A Siirt, l'éditeur du journal Demokrat Baykan, Erhan Palabiyik, et le correspondant Guledin Genc sont arrêtés par la police.
´ La CSE d'Istanbul condamne l'éditeur responsable du journal Emek, Ahmet Ergin, à une peine de prison de 20 mois. Le tribunal décide également de suspendre la publication du journal pendant un mois.
´ Le président du parti démocrate du Kurdistan (PDK/Bakur) Hamdi Turanli (Hamres Reso) est condamné par la CSE d'Ankara à une peine de prison de 5 ans et une amende de 14,6 milliards de LT pour séparatiste organisation et propagande.
´ Le Conseil supérieure de la Radio-Télévision (RTUK) annonce la décision de suspendre l'émission d'une série de radios et télévisions.
´ La police arrête Salih Özcelik pour qu'il purge une peine de prison de 10 mois et 20 jours, prononcée par la CSE d'Istanbul pour un article à la revue Azadi.
´ Le procureur de la CSE de Diyarbakir demande la peine capitale pour une fille âgée de 13 ans, Azize Dundar, pour avoir conduit un troupeau de moutons à la guérilla kurde à Siirt. N'ayant aucune connaissance la langue turque, cette jeune fille kurde est interrogée par le tribunal par l'intermédiaire d'un interprète.
´ L'ancien rédacteur du journal Kizil Bayrak, Hakan Oguz, est arrêté par le tribunal militaire de l'Etat-Major pour une article contre le service militaire obligatoire.
´ La CSE d'Istanbul condamne six membres du DHKP/C à la prison à vie et dix autres à des peines de prison allant jusque 12 ans et 6 mois.
´ Un tribunal criminel à Adiyaman condamne le journaliste Ahmet Ergin à une peine de prison de 10 mois pour un article sur les rapports entre l'Etat et la Mafia, publié par le journal Firat à Adiyaman en 1996.
´ Le gouverneur d'Ankara interdit la représentation d'une pièce théâtrale en kurde, mise en scène par lle groupe Jiyana Nû.
´ Seize hommes d'affaires sont arrêtés à Ankara, Adana, Kayseri, Bursa et Istanbul pour leur soutien matériel au mouvement islamiste.
´ Le procureur d'Ankara inculpe 17 dirigeants des partis politiques HADEP, EMEP et SIP pour une déclaration commune contre l'opération militaire en Irak. Chacun risque une peine de six ans pour avoir insulté la République.
´ A Mersin, la correspondante du journal Gundem, Yildiz Cakar, ainsi que deux dirigeants du Centre culturel de Mésopotamie (MKM) sont arrêtés pendant qu'ils font l'enquête sur une affaire de discrimination entre les enfants. Après sa mise en liberté, Cakar affirme avoir été torturée au poste de police.
´ La CSE d'Adana condamne trois membre du PKK à la prison à perpétuité et sept autres inculpés à des peines de prison allant jusque 10 ans.
´ A Izmir, une équipe de l'Organisation nationale des renseignements (MIT) tente d'enlever le journaliste d'opposition Oguzhan Ogruk qui se trouve également parmi les dirigeants de l'association anti-guerre.
´ Le dernier numéro de la revue Kurtulus est confisquée par la police sans autorisation judiciaire.
´ Deux journalistes du quotidien Akit, l'éditorialiste Abdurrahman Dilipak et le rédacteur Ali Ihsan Karahasanoglu sont inculpés par le procurteur d'Istanbul pour un article critiquant le commandant de la gendarmérie. Chacun risque une peine de prison jusque 16 mois.
´ L'ancien membre de parlement Hasan Mezarci est condamné par un tribunal pénal d'Ankara à une peine de prison de 18 mois pour avoir insulté Kemal Ataturk.
´ A l'approche du 1er mai, les sièges d'une série d'associations culturelles comme le Centre culturel de Mésopotamie (MKM) et les rédactions des revues Hedef, Kaldirac, Mucadele Birligi, Kizilbayrak, Direnis, Halkin Gunlugu et Atilim sont perquisitionnés par la police.
´ L'Association des médecins de Turquie (TTB) attire l'attention publique sur les conditions critiques du jeune prisonnier Selami Celik souffrant de la cirrhose dans la prison de Siirt. Selon la TTB, il pourrait mourir dans la prison s'il n'est pas hospitalisé tout de suite.
´ Les journalistes Sami Budak et Diya Yariyan, respectivement rédacteurs en chef des journaux Siirt Guney et Kurtalan Ekspres, sont arrêtés à Baykan après leur visite à deux journalistes, Erhan Palabiyik, et Guledin Genc, qui se trouvent actuellement dans la prison.
´ Les acteurs de théâtre Servet Yalcin et Esin Dal ainsi que la ballerine Aylin Gundogan affirme avoir été torturés azu poste de police quand ils étaient arrêtés pendant la razzia sur des associations culturelles à l'approche du premier mai.
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