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22e Année - N°240

Août/August 1998
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 Chief Editor /Rédacteur en chef: Dogan Özgüden - Responsible editor/Editrice responsable: Inci Tugsavul

Early elections set for April 1999

 Turkey's parliament on July 30, 1998, formally set early elections for next April in a near-unanimous confirmation that Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz's minority coalition is running out of steam. Speaker Kamer Genc said MPs had voted by 488 votes to 12 for a government-backed motion to go to the polls on April 18, 1999.
 Furthermore, according to Reuters News Agency, there was little sign that elections would clear up the political fractiousness that has plagued Turkey since the mid-1990s.
 The one-year-old government has been hamstrung recently by a secularist opposition party that has frequently threatened to withdraw its support for Yilmaz if early polls were not held.
 A cabinet member acknowledged that the three-party alliance was too weak to see out the remaining 2 1/2 years of its term. "We wanted to stay on until December 2000, but it was clear from the parliamentary arithmetic that we did not have the strength," Justice Minister Oltan Sungurlu told deputies.
 Yilmaz had vowed to resign by the end of the year to make way for an unnamed "independent prime minister" to oversee the run-up to elections. The plan has been criticised by senior government figures as a recipe for further uncertainty.
 Turkey has not had a strong government since a left-right coalition split up in 1995. A string of fragile governments has allowed the army to increase its influence as the main deterrent to the rise of political Islam.
 Yilmaz, a conservative, came to office just over a year ago after the generals forced officially secularist Turkey's first Islamist-led government from office.
 Analysts say Yilmaz's main achievements have been a sweeping tax law passed last week, anti-Islamist education reforms and forcing rampant inflation onto a downwards curve.
 The staunchly secularist security apparatus has carried out a legal crackdown on Moslem religious activists with Yilmaz's tacit backing.
 Courts have outlawed the main Islamist party, banned its leader and sentenced Islamist mayors on public order charges.
 The Islamists, however, have regrouped and regained their position as the biggest grouping in the splintered parliament.
 The Islam-based Virtue Party is tipped to do well at the elections, although opinion polls also show Yilmaz's Motherland Party and a rival conservative faction as strong challengers.
 "The elections will be a turning point for Turkey," Virtue MP Mehmet Ali Sahin told the national assembly. Parliamentary speakers refused to bring an Islamist motion calling for elections on November 29, 1998, onto the agenda on Thursday.
 Nationwide local elections are also set to be held on next April 18 in the first test of support for dozens of Islamist mayors who swept to power at 1994 polls on a wave of discontent at corruption and inefficiency in secularist-run town halls.
 The Islamists control Ankara and Istanbul.
 Political concerns were on the backburner as stocks in Istanbul closed up 2.3 percent, mainly on hopes for an accelerated privatisation drive.
 Turkey's privatisation chief Ugur Bayar vowed that pending polls would not slow down state sell-offs, which have earned a record $2.18 billion so far this year.
 "Our (privatisation) programme is not something that can be affected," Bayar told Reuters.
 Yilmaz and other secularist politicans have not acted on suggestions that the electoral laws be changed to hinder the Islamists, although parliament can set new balloting regulations almost up until polling day.
 The Islamists picked up dozens of seats in southeast Turkey at the last polls in 1995 at the expense of a Kurdish party that did well regionally but failed to make it over a national vote threshold. (Reuters, July 30, 1998)

Kurd party in uphill battle to Turk polls

 His face stared down from a huge portrait and his words brought rapturous applause, but the the leader of Turkey's main Kurdish party sat in prison as preparations began for next spring's elections. The detention of chairman Murat Bozlak and three other top party officials, charged with links to separatist rebels, cast a shadow over the Istanbul congress of the People's Democracy Party (HADEP).
 Despite a prosecutor's call to outlaw the party like its two previous Kurdish predecessors, HADEP is single-minded in its uphill struggle to garner the 10 percent of votes necessary to enter parliament at polls set for next April.
 "The party has been gathering support since the last polls and if everyone is allowed to vote freely, the 10 percent barrier does not present a problem," said acting party chairman Bahattin Gunel. He said polling irregularities had undermined the party's showing at the last elections in 1995, when it attracted 4.1 percent of votes nationwide. In the mainly-Kurdish southeast it won some 30 percent of votes.
 Gunel quoted a recent survey as showing that HADEP currently had seven percent support. An alliance with a new leftist group has been proposed as a way of overcoming the 10 percent hurdle.
 Since its foundation in 1994 HADEP has sought to rally Turkey's some 10 million Kurds in a campaign to win minority rights. Gunel said the authorities had made no positive steps on the issue and instead kept up steady intimidation of HADEP.
 "Turkey has an official policy which has never recognised the Kurdish people. This has not changed and we still face the threat of police raids," he said as party members sat watching the London-based, Kurdish MED-TV channel in HADEP's offices.
 Under restrictions designed to protect Turkey's integrity, the Turkish authorities refuse to grant permission for Kurdish language broadcasts or for the teaching of Kurdish in schools.
 Emergency rule remains in force in the southeast, where more than 28,000 people have died in a 14-year-old conflict between the armed forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which seeks self-rule in the region.
 On July 31, police raided a Kurdish cultural centre in central Istanbul, halting the group's programme of Kurdish concerts, films and theatre performances. The group's branches in the southeast have also been closed.
 Human rights abuses and strict limits on freedom of expression were cited last year by the European Union as part of its justification for rejecting Turkey's membership application.
 "HADEP wants a state structure under which Kurds have peace, equality, democracy and the ability to express themselves freely," Gunel said.
 In a highly visual display of ethnic identity, women at the Istanbul congress wore traditional, brightly-coloured dresses and headbands in the Kurdish colours of yellow and green and sang songs in Kurdish.
 Among those looking on were leftists from the small Freedom and Solidarity Party, which has been suggested as a potential election partner for HADEP.
 "I am Turkish but I support their struggle for Kurdish rights," said party member Omer Aydin.
 HADEP has won little support for its policies from among mainstream parties which see it as the rebels' political wing.
 However, in a new report on the problems of the southeast, the leftist Republican People's Party (CHP) called for the recognition of Kurdish identity and moves to allow Kurdish language teaching in schools.
 HADEP was formed in 1994 to replace another Kurdish group, the Democracy Party (DEP) which was outlawed on the grounds of separatism and its 13 deputies expelled from parliament.
 Four Kurdish members of parliament sentenced at the time to 15 years in jail for links with the rebels are still imprisoned. They include Leyla Zana, a recipient of the Andrei Sakharov Peace Prize.
 Party leader Bozlak is currently being tried on charges of promoting separatism through the publication of a 1998 party calendar and faces a possible 22-1/2 years in jail. The Supreme Court has overturned convictions against 31 party officials including Bozlak, imposed after the Turkish flag was torn down at a 1996 congress and replaced with PKK banners.
 The party's uneasy position was illustrated at the Istanbul meeting where masked youths briefly paraded a PKK flag before being overpowered by HADEP officials.
 Newspapers, which generally give little coverage of HADEP, criticised the party's failure to sing the national anthem and display the Turkish national flag at the congress, which Bozlak addressed by way of a written statement from an Ankara prison.
 More than 15,000 party supporters packed the Istanbul sports hall, while riot police and armoured cars waited outside.
 A state security court prosecutor subsequently launched an investigation into the congress and was studying its video footage, raising the possibility of a fresh case against the party.
 HADEP advocates negotiations to end the fighting between the armed forces and Kurdish guerrillas and rejects accusations that is linked to the rebels.
 "There is no organic link between HADEP and the PKK. They choose armed struggle and we operate in a different area, though we share some ideas," Gunel said.
 He said that state policy was ultimately responsible for the conflict. "The state mentality is the ultimate source. If Kurdish identity and culture was recognised there wouldn't be a war."
 The conflict in the mountainous southeast has left the region far behind the rest of Turkey in economic terms. Many politicians see economic development as the key to resolving the Kurdish problem and ending the fighting, but Gunel rejected this.
 He said economic development would remain a secondary factor for as long as the issue of Kurdish identity was unresolved. (Reuters, August 12, 1998)

Turkish Islamists face fresh legal battle

 Secular Turkey's top prosecutor recently announced legal action against main opposition Islamist leaders that looked set to overshadow campaigning for general elections early next year. Opposition head Recai Kutan and former prime minister Necmettin Erbakan were among 12 prominent Islamists accused of massive misappropriation of party funds.
 Prosecutor Vural Savas said he had asked courts to put the Islamists on trial for illegally diverting one trillion lira ($3.6 million) from the Islam-based Welfare Party just before it was outlawed by the constitutional court this year for sedition. "It is clear that the party's leadership carried out the biggest fraud in the history of our republic to prevent the treasury seizing the party's funds and goods," said a document distributed to journalists by Savas' office.
 The accused face between one and three years in jail. Convicts sentenced to more than a year are forbidden from running for office under Turkish electoral laws. Erbakan, Turkey's first Islamist prime minister, was banned from political leadership for five years in January's constitutional court verdict. He handed his baton over to Kutan, a soft-spoken former energy minister who is due to lead a new Islamist grouping to the polls in April, 1999. Kutan was taciturn in response to the charges. "Turkey is a state of law and this issue will be assessed on those principles," he told journalists at a meeting with the Saudi Arabian ambassador"o Turkey.
 An accused Islamist MP denied the fraud charges. "It's a ridiculous claim," MP Abdulkadir Aksu told Reuters. Kutan's Virtue Party is the biggest formation in Turkey's parliament and is tipped as a polls frontrunner, along with rival conservatives of Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and former prime minister Tansu Ciller. Turkey's secularist establishment has hounded the Islamists since they tried to ease restrictions on the role of religion in public life when in office in coalition last year. Dozens of Koranic education centres have been closed down and Islamist local government officials, including Istanbul's mayor, have been taken to court on public order charges. Erbakan was forced from office by the military, which has declared the Islamists "public enemy number one" -- even a greater threat than Kurdish separatist guerrillas in the southeast.
 Armed forces chief Ismail Hakki Karadayi is to be presented with Turkey's highest medal when he retires on Friday, in civilian recognition of his role in the anti-Islamist campaign. His replacement has vowed to press home the assault despite government reticence to back a secularist crackdown that might alienate traditional Moslems at election time. President Suleyman Demirel warned the Islamists to tone down the rhetoric that helped them to narrowly win the last general elections in 1995.
 "Election propaganda or a campaign dependent on exploiting religion and enmity of the army is against the framework of the constitution. Those who do this will mobilise the state (against them)," he told the Hurriyet daily. He said the fact that previously unknown prosecutors began the case that ended with Welfare's closure was a healthy sign. "This is a very proud event for the Turkish republic. When you step out of line, the republic's legal mechanisms go into action," Demirel said. (Reuters, August 25, 1998)


Le nouveau chef d'état-major turc: Kivrikoglu

 À la suite de quatre jours de réunion, le Conseil Suprême Militaire (YAS), a annoncé, jeudi 6 août 1998, la nouvelle composition du haut commandement des forces armées turques après la retraite, à la fin du mois d'août, du chef d'état-major turc, Ismail Hakki Karadayi. Ce dernier prendra en effet sa retraite cette année avec le commandant en chef des forces de la Gendarmerie, le Général Fikret Ozden Boztepe.
 Le poste du général Karadayi, le plus puissant et prestigieux de l'État turc, sera occupé par l'actuel commandant de l'Armée de terre; le Général Huseyin Kivrikoglu qui a occupé des postes au sein de l'OTAN. Il sera remplacé dans ses fonctions par le commandant de la Première l'Armée, le Général Attila Ates.
 Les membres du Conseil ont également décidé que le chef adjoint de l'état-major, le général Cevik Bir sera nommé au poste de commandant de la Première. Celui qui étant souvent présenté comme le "Lebed turc" semble écarté de la course au commandement suprême.
 Au total, 31 généraux et amiraux ont été promus à des hauts rangs durant la réunion de YAS de cette année, tandis que 49 d'entre eux ont vu leur nomination actuelle prolongée d'une année et 39 généraux et amiraux ont été mis à la retraite par les membres du conseil. Ces décisions ont été, jeudi 6 août 1998, "approuvées" par le Président Suleyman Demirel, par pure formalité.
 Le général Kivrikoglu, anglophone et américanophile, sera donc le nouvel homme fort de la Turquie. La presse turque lui prête l'intention de tenir l'armée à l'écart de la vie politique domestique. Les observateurs attendent avec curiosité ses premières actions en tant que chef suprême. (CILDEKT, 20 août 1998)

Mini-purge dans les rangs de l'armée turque

 Le Conseil militaire suprême de Turquie a décidé d'expulser des rangs de l'armée 25 officiers et sous-officiers suspects de sympathies fondamentalistes, a-t-on appris jeudi de source gouvernementale.
 Réuni depuis lundi sous la présidence du Premier ministre, Mesut Yilmaz, le Conseil, plus haut organe exécutif militaire turc qui se réunit deux fois par an, procède lors de chaque réunion à ce genre de mesures.
 "Le Conseil a pris les mesures nécessaires à l'encontre d'un certain nombre de personnes", a indiqué l'état-major général dans une déclaration, sans préciser de chiffre.
 Ces militaires sont impliciitement accusés d'avoir des liens avec des groupes extrémistes religieux.
 Plus de 160 officiers et sous-officiers avaient été radiés lors de la dernière réunion du Conseil en juin dernier. L'armée, qui se considère comme la garante du caractère laïc de l'Etat, est très sensible à toute tentative d'infiltrer ses rangs par les islamistes.
 Le Conseil a décidé, par ailleurs, de nommer chef d'état-major des armées turques le général Huseyin Kivrikoglu, l'ex-commandant en chef de l'armée de terre, remplacant le général Ismail Hakki Karadayi, qui part en retraite. Plusieurs autres généraux ont également été affectés à d'autres postes. (AFP, 6 août 1998)

L'armée exclut des économies dans les dépenses militaires

 Un rapport préparé par l'armée turque et rendu public vendredi estime que le budget de la défense continuera d'avoir la part de lion dans le budget national, excluant toute économie dans ces dépenses.
 Le rapport élaboré par l'académie de guerre pour l'état-major des armées estime que la Turquie est située dans une région où la situation est "volatile" et qu'elle est confrontée à divers risques et menaces de la part de ses voisins.
 "La Grèce voisine mène actuellement une politique d'animosité envers la Turquie", précise le rapport, qui souligne que les voisins de la Turquie dans l'est et le sud-est Anatolien (Iran, Irak, Syrie), qui sont "loins d'êtres démocratiques", font face à de graves crises politiques, économiques et militaires.
 Les relations de la Grèce et de la Turquie, frères ennemis au sein de l'OTAN, traversent une phase de tension, en raison du déploiement prévu à l'automne dans la partie grecque de Chypre (sud) de missiles russes S-300, auquel Ankara a menacé de riposter.
 "Pour ces raisons, le budget réservé à la défense constituera, dans les vingt prochaines années aussi, les dépenses les plus importantes au sein du budget national", estime ce rapport. La Turquie utilise 11% de son budget national pour des dépenses militaires.
 Elle envisage de moderniser ses armées dans le cadre d'un programme d'envergure et de dépenser 150 milliards de dollars dans les 30 ans à venir pour l'achat ou la fabrication locale en co-entreprise de matériels militaires modernes. (AFP, 14 août 1998)


La situation acutuelle de la liberté de presse en Turquie

 La Turquie est sans doute le doyen et le champion incontesté des pays européens bafouant la liberté de presse non seulement depuis la constitution de la République en 1923 mais également depuis son adhésion au Conseil de l'Europe en 1949.
 Alors que l'emprisonnement d'un journaliste ou d'un artiste pour ses opinions contre l'idéologie officielle de l'Etat est monnaie courante de ce pays, car la législation turque constitue une véritable arsenal de répression avec plus de centaines d'articles ou règlements incompatibles avec les conventions des droits de l'homme, chaque coup d'état militaire (en 1971 et 1980), des dizaines de milliers d'intellectuels ont subi non seulement l'arrestation ou l'emprisonnement mais également les tortures les plus féroces sauvages.
 Depuis le retour au régime parlementaire en 1983, tous les gouvernements de coalitions ne cessent promettre aux institutions européennes que la liberté de presse et d'opinion serait reconnue comme prévue dans les conventions internationales dont la Turquie est signataire et qu'il ne resterait plus aucun journaliste ou intellectuels dans les prisons turques.
 Pourtant les prisons turques continuent toujours à héberger des centaines de journalistes et écrivains malgré les protestations des droits de l'homme aussi bien en Turquie qu'à l'étranger.
 A la veille de la Journée internationale de la liberté de la presse le 3 mai 1998, Reporters sans frontières a publié son rapport annuel faisant le point sur les violations de la liberté de la presse dans 140 pays.
 Selon cette institution prestigieuse, la Turquie est un des pays qui enregistre le plus de violations des libertés à l'égard des journalistes. D'après le rapport, en 1997, près d'une vingtaine de journalistes ont été torturés en détention et au moins 255 ont été interpellés ou incarcérés. Le procès des onze policiers accusés du meurtre de Metin Göktepe, journaliste d'extrême gauche battu à mort, est largement retracé avec ses rebondissements dans le rapport. De même, l'édition de 1998 dénonce la pratique de torture quasi systématique en Turquie et souligne que "les collaborateurs d'organes de presse pro-kurdes ou d'extrême gauche sont très souvent torturés dans les locaux des sections en charge de la lutte anti-terroriste. En 1997, au moins 16 journalistes ont subi ce sort.
 Toujours selon le rapport, 91 journalistes sont détenus en Turquie "sans qu'il soit possible d'affirmer qu'ils le sont pour leurs opinions ou pour avoir exercé leur profession". 62 journalistes y ont fait l'objet d'agressions et 73 autres ont été menacés ou harcelés en 1997 (estimation minimale). De plus, d'autres moyens de pressions sont utilisés contre les journalistes, tels que des pressions juridiques, administratives ou économiques; des procès ont été organisés contre des journalistes appartenant à au moins 44 médias turcs entre le 1er janvier et le 31 décembre 1997. 89 médias ont été suspendus pour des périodes variables ou fermés ou encore suspendus pour une durée indéfinie et au moins 33 quotidiens ou périodiques ont été saisis.
 Tout récemment, le 23 juillet 1998, l'organisation internationale de lutte contre la censure, Article 19, a dénoncé la répression exercée par la Turquie contre les journalistes, les partis politiques et les minorités culturelles et religieuses.
 L'organisation affirme d'une part qu'avec 67 journalistes emprisonnés, plusieurs partis politiques dissous et interdits, de plus la répression sévère des minorités religieuses et culturelles appuyée par la détermination du gouvernement à soutenir de telles mesures, la Turquie ne peut pas sérieusement prétendre devenir membre de l'Union Européenne dans ces conditions.
 "Les autorités turques considèrent les journalistes comme une menace, et refusent volontairement de distinguer les journalistes des sujets ou des personnes qu'ils traitent" affirme le communiqué.
 Article 19 souligne également que "la détermination des autorités turques pour la préservation du système séculaire de l'État, centralisé et unifié, conduit à la suppression, si nécessaire par la force, de toutes tentatives d'exercice publique du droit à la liberté de l'expression sur les questions culturelles, politiques et religieuses. Cela a conduit aux poursuites judiciaires et emprisonnement des universitaires, journalistes, et vendeurs de journaux et même des hommes politiques élus démocratiquement. D'autres ont fait face à des mesures extrajudiciaires, allant de l'harcellement policier aux assassinats perpétrés par des groupes armés liés à l'État".
 Frances D'Souza, directrice exécutive de l'organisation, note qu'"il est ironique que la Turquie se plaigne d'être tenue à l'écart de l'UE à cause de sa population musulmane quand le même État persécute quiconque tente d'exprimer une identité islamique dans le pays".
 Article 19 demande à la Turquie de mettre en place "de manière urgente" des réformes de la constitution permettant d'assurer "le droit fondamental à la liberté d'expression".
 Malgré ces réactions, le gouvernement actuel, totalement soumis aux militaires, ne prend aucune initiative pour lever ou modifier les articles de loi anti-démocratiques. Alors que les intellectuels comme le sociologue Ismail Besikci continuent à purger leurs peines de prison de centaines d'années, les intellectuels et journalistes rénommés comme Haluk Gerger, Esber Yagmurdereli, Ragip Duran entrent dans la prison l'un après l'autre pour leurs articles ou allocutions.
 Les journaux d'opposition comme Ülkede Gündem sont souvent interdits même avant leur parution et centaines de livres, revues ou musi-cassettes sont saisis par les procureurs pour contenir des textes contestataires.
 Même une amnistie générale envisagée à l'occasion du 75e anniversaire de la République (le 29 octobre 1998) n'abouitra jamais à la mise en liberté des journalistes parce que la Constitution de 1982 imposée par la junte militaire interdit l'amnistie pour ceux qui sont condamnés en vertu des articles du Code pénal et la Loi contre le terrorisme.
 Ainsi, même en cas d'une amnistie générale, tous les journalistes et intellectuels emprisonnés resteront toujours dans les prisons alors qu'on libère des dizaines de milliers de prisonniers de droit commun, y compris les politiciens impliqués dans les affaires louches et les membres de la Mafia turque qui sont employés par les militaires dans la liquidation physique des journalistes et d'autres personnalités d'opposition.
 Au lieu de lever ou modifier d'une manière démocratique tous les articles de la Constitution, du Code pénal turc ou de la Loi contre le terrorisme, le gouvernement, afin de calmer les réactions occidentales contre une telle amnistie injuste, peut chercher d'autres solutions comme reporter l'exécution des peines des journalistes emprisonnés sous condition de ne plus commettre le même délit dans cinq ans à venir.
 Il s'agira donc de transformer la censure et la répression actuelles en une auto-censure continuelle.(Info-Türk)

Birdal case opens amid high security

 The beginning of the trial concerning the May 12 armed attack on Akin Birdal, chairman of the Human Rights Association (IHD), was marked by unpleasant incidents on August 3. The eleven defendants who allegedly collaborated in the incident are being charged with attempted murder and face from one to 24 years in jail.
 Cengiz Ersever, the founder of the so-called Turkish Revenge Brigade (TIT), claimed that he did not intend to kill Birdal. "If I was inclined to do that, I bet I could have had his brain splattered on the wall within 24 hours," Ersever told the judges, which prompted strong protests from Birdal's lawyers, who asked the court to put the defendants words on record. Ersever reacted to the request by walking towards the lawyer, provoking a physical confrontation, and yelled, "Look at me, lawyer!" The fight was broken up by security personnel and the defendants were dragged out of the courtroom by the police, following which the hearing was adjourned for a few hours.
 Before the court hearing, tight security measures were taken in and around the State Security Court (DGM) building. The majority of the people who had came to witness the court proceedings were not allowed into the courtroom and those who were given permission to enter the room were thoroughly searched.
 Defendants Cengiz Ersever, Kerem Deretarla, Bahri Eken, Semih Tufan Gulaltay, Hasan Hasanoglu, Ahmet Fulin, Demir Demirok and Namik Zihni Ozansoy, all under arrest, were brought to the courtroom with their lawyers. Akin Birdal and his group of lawyers took their seats in the complainants section. Ufuk Uras, the chairman of the Freedom and Democracy Party (ODP), and the party's deputy chairman, Yildirim Kaya, were among those who had come to witness the trial. Many lawyers volunteered to sit with Birdal, however Judge Mehmet Orhan Karadeniz rejected their request and stated that those lawyers not officially representing Birdal should sit with the rest of the gallery.
 I am the founder of TIT
 Ersever told the court that he formerly served for five years as a senior army sergeant in Tunceli fighting against the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), during which period he witnessed many terrorist activities conducted by the PKK. "Upon my reassignment in Istanbul, I founded the Turkish Revenge Brigade and trained many people. I served as a sergeant in the army during the day but at night I was involved in activities with the TIT, which is not a terrorist organization. It was formed to fight against threats to national security, including those separatist and reactionary individuals and groups involved in activities against Ataturk's principles and reforms. This is a nationalist movement."
 Ersever continued: "I did not give instructions for the murder or wounding of Akin Birdal. My instructions to Hasan Hasanoglu were to have him kidnapped and get him to make a press statement saying that he regretted his pro-separatist speeches." In response to a question, Ersever explained that the weapons used during the incident were obtained by Bahri Eken, another defendant. "The TIT organization does not own any weaponry. The country is surrounded with fire all around. In Turkey, the Turkish people are in jeopardy. There is the PKK on one end and the reactionaries on the other. Akin Birdal and the ones like him are engineering separatist activities in Turkey," Ersever added.
 Psychological and physical training
  Ersever further stated that he provided both the psychological and the physical training to TIT members in their "struggle against separatist and reactionary powers." Ersever denied any affinity to Mahmut Yildirim, code named "Yesil." He also denied taking part in the murder of Cem Ersever. In response to a question, Ersever disclosed that his code name was "Firat," and that the code name for defendant Bahri Eker was "Serdar." "Kerem Deretarla and Hasan Hasanoglu did not have any code names," said Ersever.
 An indictment prepared by prosecutor Unal Haney states that Mahmut Yildirim had ordered that Akin Birdal be punished. It also states that the eleven defendants had formed an armed gang with criminal intent based on their political and social concepts.
 The indictment explains in great detail how the armed attack was planned and implemented and how the duties were designated. According to the Turkish Criminal Code, Ersever, along with Kerem Deretarla and Bahri Eken, is facing charges for which a prison term of not less then 23 years is prescribed. Semih Tufan Gulaltay is facing a prison sentence of not less then 24 years, whereas from one to 23 years in prison is being requested for the other four defendants.
 The IHD has made an announcement protesting the incidents that took place during the hearing and indicated that there were "state terror" and injustice during this first day of the trial. (TDN, August 4, 1998).

Two actors and a cartoonist jailed for their works

 A Turkish court has sentenced a playwright and actor to 24 years in prison for staging a play depicting the military as persecutors of Muslims. Four cast members were given 16-year jail sentences for their part in the play, which was performed last year.
 An Enemy of God portrays an un-named country in which Muslims are oppressed by the armed forces and retaliate by declaring a holy war. Playwright Mehmet Vahi Yazar was jailed for inciting regional and racial hatred for his production, which depicted the army as "an enemy of the people". Prosecutors said the drama encouraged revolt by portraying the military as an obstacle to the establishment of a state based on Islamic Sharia law.
 In a separate case, a cartoonist for a pro-Kurdish newspaper has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for insulting the Turkish republic.
 He is said to have used his cartoon character Kirik to label Turkey "villain".
 The Paris-based international organisation Reporters Sans Frontieres have called for his release, saying the cartoonist was exercising his right to express his opinions.
 Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz announced 1998 to be the year of human rights in Turkey but the BBC Ankara correspondent Chris Morris says laws limiting freedom of expression remain untouched.  Writers and artists who question state policy are often prosecuted. (BBC, August 4, 1998)

Hatip Dicle est condamné à une année de plus

 La Cour de Sûreté de l'État d'Ankara a, mercredi 5 août 1998, condamné Hatip Dicle, ancien président du Parti de la Démocratie (DEP-dissous), ex-député de Diyarbakir à une année de plus d'emprisonnement pour "incitation du public à la haine par son message". Le procureur de la République Levent Kanat, reprochait à Hatip Dicle, déjà condamné à 15 ans de prison comme Leyla Zana et incarcéré à la prison centrale d'Ankara, le message qu'il a envoyé à un panel de discussion organisée par l'Association turque des droits de l'homme (IHD). (CILDEKT, 10 août 1998)

IHD launches a campaign for a general amnesty

 On August 6, the Human Rights Association (IHD), calling on all its branches across Turkey, launched a campaign to obtain a general amnesty, the IHD secretary-general declared on Friday in a written statement.
 Secretary-General Nazmi Gur stressed that the IHD's aim is a general amnesty without discriminating between crimes of conscience and felonies. Gur said the IHD considered launching the campaign on May 15, 1998, but the assassination attempt on IHD Chairman Akin Birdal prevented this.
 "However, because of its principles, the IHD thinks that those who have formed gangs within the state, tortured, been involved in unsolved killings or kidnappings as well as those who have committed crimes against humanity should not be included in the general amnesty," stated Gur.
 The campaign initiated by the IHD will consist of requesting people to sign a form letter which presents the reasons for a general amnesty and then sending the collected letters to Parliament as a call to action.
 IHD's letter cites Turkey's existing socioeconomic order and the justice system's deficiencies as the causes of the large number of people crowding the prisons. "For the creation of a free and dynamic social environment by ending imprisonment for crimes of conscience, which is a concrete form of oppression; for peace, for freedom and for democracy we want a general amnesty," the letter reads.
 The 50-year-old activist Akin Birdal, who was shot six times on May 12, helped found the IHD in 1986. He is a persevering and outspoken critic of Turkey's shaky human rights record, having accused the state of conducting a "dirty war" in its fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

When An Amnesty Is Not The Answer To Human Rights Crisis

 An analysis by NADIRE MATER
 "They are free. And you?" read the ironic slogan on the placards raised alongside pictures of Turkey's four most famous prisoners of conscience: sociologist Ismail Besikci, playwright Esber Yagmurdereli, journalist Ragip Duran and international relations analyst Haluk Gerger.
 Hundreds of people, including prominent journalists and human rights activists, gathered in Istanbul's Ortakoy District Square at the weekend, calling for the immediate release of all Turkey's political prisoners, jailed journalists and writers. Street p erformers and musicians gave the event a festive air.
 The government, which includes several figures who were jailed as 'subversives' and 'terrorists' during the years of military rule in the 1970s, has tabled general amnesty proposals for the Turkish Republic's forthcoming 75th anniversary.
 But they exclude freedom for "prisoners of conscience". For the political prisoners in Turkish jails, a national amnesty that excludes them is nonsense.
 "It is a universally accepted standard that 'amnesty' means the state's annulment of so-called crimes committed by its political dissidnts," Esber Yagmurdereli told IPS during an interview in Cankiri Central Prison last week.
 Having spent 13 of his 53 years of life in prison, the veteran peace campaigner, blind since the age of 11, is expected to serve another 22 and a half years in jail. The media has called for freedom of "prisoners of conscience" and for changes to the l aw, while insisting that captured Kurdish guerrillas stay in jail.
 Most of Turkey's prisoners of conscience were jailed for their efforts to spread the word about the country's debilitating 14 year civil conflict in the south-east, where Turkish Kurds seek autonomy for their region.
 Support for the Kurdish case, even voicing concern about the conduct of the war, is dubbed by the Turkish state as illegal support for 'separatism'. Dozens of people, from paliamentarians to playwrights, have been jailed for speaking out.
 "For every gain a price should be paid," Yagmurdereli said, in a special message to the weekend event in Ortakoy. "The price should be paid for final victory. I greet those who have been paying and those who are lined up to pay for their part." Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has proposed a limited general amnesty for the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Turkish Republic.
 But citing constitutional articles 14 and 87, which restrict parliament's power to pardon crimes against the state, Ecevit says a general amnesty is out of question. "However," he adds, "we can pardon those prisoners who have committed crimes due to p overty and want."
 Rights activists argued that the amnesty should free its dissidents, not pick out prisoners whose release would make the state look sweet. Instead Ecevit has redefined 'crimes against the state' as 'crimes of terrorism' and grouped them with state frauds ters, torturers, murderers, rapists and tax evaders -- all of whom will be denied amnesty as well.
 "They (the government) say, `If you are a prisoner of conscience, you better stay inside'," says journalist Oral Calislar mockingly. A leading columnist with the Istanbul daily Cumhuriyet, Calislar spent 20 months in jail on charges of 'separatism' after he interviewed two Kurdish leaders in 1993, Abdullah Ocalan of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Kemales Burkay of the Kurdistan Socialist Party (PSK). Optimism rang in Calislar's words: "Turkey's democratic public should not lose hope, for we are fighting to change the world."
 "This is a century old story," says journalist Nazim Alpman, spokesman for the group behind the weekend protest, Uninterrupted Fight for Freedom of Conscience (DOSS). "Esber Yagmurdereli was released on health reasons, in November, on the eve of the E uropean Union's Luxembourg summit, against his will as well."
 The summit announced the next group of nations to join the bloc, but Yagmurdereli's release was not enough to ease the EU's concerns about Turkey's rights record, and Ankara's name was left off the list. "Turkey was not admitted to the EU and Yagmurdere li was once again jailed," Alpman noted wryly.
 "According to the globalisation legend the world has become smaller. Well it has for all, campaigners of freedom of expression included," he said. "We are determined to internationalise our campaign until the last prisoner of consciece released and all the restrictive laws are abolished."
 The campaign is collecting signatures from Turkey's prominent
political and intellectual figures who urge all, "including parliamentary deputies, to assume their responsibilities and bring about freedom of conscience and expression." The petition has already been signed by some 500 hundred major figures, including veteran novelists Yasar Kemal and Adalet Agaoglu, poet Can Yucel, and human rights activists Akin Birdal and Ercan Kanar.
 According to Turkish Ministry of Justice figures, at last cunt there were 63,468 prisoners in Turkey's jails, 24,708 or 44 percent of whom will be denied amnesty if parliament passes Ecevit's proposal in October.
 Of that total, 9,306 were convicted under anti-terrorism laws, 13,024 for murder, 4,037 for rape, 709 for bribery, 2,633 for fraud and 3,640 for drugs related crimes. The 9,306 'terrorism' convicts include almost all of Turkey's prisoners of conscience, jailed under articles 6,7 and 8 of the 'anti-terror law' and Article 312 of the Penal Code.
 The law's ambiguous terminology gives the State Security Court judges to decide freely what constitutes 'support for separatism'. Ismail Besikci, Haluk Gerger and Ragip Duran all fell foul of these draconian laws.
 Sociologist Ismail Besikci, 53, doyen of Turkey's 'criminals of conscience' is srving his 15th year in prison. He has served several jail terms for his views on the Kurdish separatist question and his latest stint began in 1991. Already condemned to a t otal of 100 years in jail, Besikci faces sentences totalling another 104 years in cases pending against him in the State Security courts.
 Associate Professor Haluk Gerger, 50, international relations analyst and former lecturer at Ankara University' Faculty of Political Sciences, is currently serving eight months for separatism in Ankara's Gudul District Prison. He has published a book, Th e Political Economy of Turkish Foreign Policy, while in prison and also faces fresh charges and sentences for his writing and speeches.
 Journalist Ragip Duran, 44, is serving out a 10 month sentence in Saray District Prison in north west Turkey. He was jailed for writing a commentary on PKK guerrilla leader Ocalan, whom he had interviewed in 1994.
 "I should remind that the four of us are not heroes but just symbols for the ongoing fight for freedom of expression," said Duran, speaking to IPS by phone from jail this week. "You must not forget the 90 other journalists now in prison. We do not cla im any special privilege and we have no right to that."
 But for him, amnesty will be an inadequate response if the laws stay on the statute book and the state retains its power to jail journalists and parliamentary deputies as it sees fit.  "I do not look for an amnesty," Duran says. "This should be finished once and at all. The concept of 'crime of conscience` should be abolished for ever. This is the final answer." (IPS, August 11, 1998)

German woman protests forced virginity test in Turkish prison

 Turkish prosecutors are refusing to allow an imprisoned German woman to sue prison officials for subjecting her to a forced virginity test, her lawyer said.
 Turkish prisons often force the tests on female prisoners, saying the exams reduce allegations of rape by guards. Human rights groups say the tests are a way of harassing female political prisoners.
 Eva Junckhe was arrested in October 1997 on charges of belonging to an outlawed Kurdish rebel group. She has been locked up in a prison in southeastern Turkey pending a verdict in her trial. Junckhe claims to have been forcibly examined by doctors two weeks after her arrest.
 Lawyer Eren Keskin said Wednesday the chief state security court prosecutor for the southeastern city of Van rejected an application for a lawsuit. If a renewed application is denied, Junckhe will take her protest to the European Court of Human Rights, Keskin said. (Associated Press, August 17, 1998)

Sanar Yurdatapan acquitted, appeals decision!

 Sanar Yurdatapan, who was acquitted on 11 August 1998 in the trial of the publication of the pamphlet entitled "FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION 2"(*) which contained the words which led to the imprisonment of lawyer Esber Yagmurdereli, is appealing the decision.
 This pamphlet, which is part of the civil-disobedience campaign being carried out for freedom of expression, was published by 26 people from various professions who, by going to the State Security Court, denounced themselves before the public prosecutor(**). The prosecutor filed charges only against Sanar Yurdatapan, despite the protests of the other 25 people.
 Sanar Yurdatapan explains his appeal of the decision in his favour thus:
 "This decision has been taken in contravention of several laws, the first of which is the principle of 'equality before the law' in the Constitution. At the start we set out to block anti-democratic laws. But now it falls to us to fight for the implementation of the law and to put an end to arbitrary acts.
 "The verdict is not 'in my favour'. I believe that it is 1000 times worse to live in a country where there is no guarantee of the 'State of LawÝ than going to prison or paying a fine. What could be worse than this?
 "In Turkish law the right of 'appeal' has been recognized and although it has not been stated that this right is limited, I have this right. I am exercising it." (Initiative for Freedom of Expression Press Release August 25, 1998)
 (*) Editors of "FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION 2": Prof. Ali Bayramo?lu (Professor, Journalist), Prof. Ali Nesin (Professor), Aytaç Arman (Actor), Berhan ?im?ek (Actor), Cüneyt Özdemir (TV news programmer), Derya Alabora (Actress), Etyen Mahcupyan (Journalist), Füsun Demirel (Actress), Halil Ergün (Actor), Haluk Bilginer (Actor), Lale Mansur (Actress), Mehmet Güleryüz (Painter), Metin Özek (Professor), Murathan Mungan (Poet), Müjdat Gezen (Actor), Nur Sürer (Actress), Orhan Alkaya (Actor, Director), Orhan Pamuk (Author), Rutkay Aziz (Actor), Semra Somersan (Journalist), ?anar Yurdatapan (Musician), Tar?k Akan (Actor), Ümit Kivanç (Journalist), Yildirim Türker (Journalist), Zeki Demirkubuz (Director), Zuhal Olcay (Actress)
 (**) Turkish Penal Code, article 162: Republishing an article which is defined as a crime, is a new crime. And the publisher is to be sentenced equally as the writer.

Police arrest four for unfurling Kurd flag

 Turkish police have arrested four people for waving the flag of an outlawed Kurdish separatist rebel group at a congress of the country's main pro-Kurd party, state-run Anatolian news agency said on Tuesday.
 It said the four were accused of ``membership of an illegal organisation'' for unfurling the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) flag at the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) conference held in an Istanbul sports hall two weeks ago.
 State security court prosecutors are still considering whether to bring charges against HADEP after reports that delegates at the conference did not sing the Turkish national anthem and did not put the national flag on display.
 HADEP party chairman Murat Bozlak and three other top party officials are in custody and face a possible 22 1/2 years in jail on charges of links to the PKK guerrillas.
 More than 28,000 people have been killed in the 14-year conflict between the Turkish armed forces and the PKK, who are fighting for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast.
 HADEP, which has called for a peaceful end to the conflict, was formed in 1994 to replace another Kurdish group, the Democracy Party (DEP), which was outlawed for separatism.
 Istanbul's police chief said on Tuesday two people had confessed to planting a bomb that killed seven people in a busy Turkish tourist market last month on behalf of the PKK rebels.
 The blast ripped through the entrance to Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar, also known as the Spice Market, killing seven people and injuring dozens. Several tourists were among those hurt. (Reuters, August 18, 1998)

Reprise du procès dans l'affaire d'un journaliste mort en garde à vue

 Le procès d'un journaliste turc retrouvé mort après sa détention par la police a repris jeudi à la Cour d'assises d'Afyon (ouest) après que la Cour de cassation eut cassé fin juillet le verdict prononcé en mars dernier contre cinq policiers accusés de son meurtre, a rapporté la chaine de télévision NTV.
 Cinq policiers accusés du meurtre de Metin Goktepe avaient été condamnés le 19 mars dernier à sept ans et demi de prison par la Cour d'assises d'Afyon pour homicide involontaire mais la Cour de cassation avait cassé le verdict pour "vice de procédure", justifiant sa décision pour le "manque d'enquête approfondie".
 Ce nouveau procès de l'affaire, qui avait été très suivie tant en Turquie qu'à l'étranger, donnera lieu à un examen des plaintes déposées par les avocats de la famille du journaliste.
 Les cinq policiers condamnés avaient été tout d'abord condamnés à 12 ans de prison mais cette peine avait été immédiatement ramenée à sept ans et demi, en application d'une loi sur les réductions de peine. Six autres policiers avaient été acquittés, pour insuffisance de preuves.
 Le verdict contre les policiers accusés avait été qualifié de "beaucoup trop clément" par les défenseurs des droits de l'Homme.
 Journaliste de l'ex-quotidien de gauche Evrensel, Metin Goktepe, 27 ans, avait été battu à mort par un groupe de policiers, selon des témoins, après son arrestation le 8 janvier 1996 à Istanbul alors qu'il couvrait les obsèques de deux détenus, tués lors de la répression d'une mutinerie dans une prison de la ville.
 Metin Goktepe avait succombé à une hémorragie et son corps avait été retrouvé dans l'enceinte d'une salle de sports du quartier d'Eyup, dans la partie européenne d'Istanbul.
 Le procès s'était initialement ouvert le 18 octobre 1996 à Aydin (ouest) et non à Istanbul, où s'étaient déroulés les faits, officiellement pour des "raisons de sécurité". Il avait été plus tard déplacé à Afyon, toujours pour des raisons de sécurité. (AFP, 20 août 1998)

TV and newspaper offices attacked

 The offices of the private television network ATV and the daily "Sabah" in Istanbul were attacked on the night of 19 to 20 August 1998. According to RSF's information, shots were fired from a car at the building housing ATV and "Sabah". Ten bullets reportedly went through the windows of the building but nobody was injured by them. President Süleyman Demirel reportedly denounced the attack, for which no group or individual has taken responsibility. (RSF, August 21, 1998)

AI calls for release of "Saturday Mothers"

 Amnesty International's International Committee Against Disappearances (ICAD) sent a letter on Saturday Aug. 22 to the prime minister of Turkey asking for the urgent release of the Saturday Mothers. ICAD stated in the letter that Turkish police had that same day attacked the peaceful protest of relatives of "disappeared" people, known as the Saturday Mothers, at their regular weekly vigil outside Galatasaray Lycee in Istanbul. Thirty-two people who participated in the demonstration have reportedly been arrested, according to the letter.
 ICAD's letter states that they are very concerned for the safety of these individuals and asks for their immediate release.
 The police had made similar arrests on May 9 earlier this year. "There seems to be a campaign to stop the Saturday Mothers protest. On what grounds has this campaign been initiated? We demand that it ceases," states the letter.
 ICAD has called on the prime minister to halt the prosecution of relatives of the disappeared and address itself to their legitimate concerns, if it indeed respects human rights as it claims. (TDN, August 25, 1998)

Turkish women urge action on feminist's abduction

 Turkish women's rights campaigners on Thursday demanded that police step up action to solve the mystery kidnapping of Islamist feminist Konca Kuris, abducted more than a month ago. "We find it hard to believe that security officials say they have done all that is necessary," a spokeswoman for the Independent Women's Association said in Kuris' home town of Mersin.
 "This woman was abducted because of her opinions, she is our friend and we must stand up for her," she said.
 Kuris, who appeared regularly on Turkish television, shot into the limelight by advocating that women take a more active role in Moslem practice, including standing beside men during funeral prayers.
 She also upset traditionalists by backing proposals that Moslem worship in Turkey should be carried out in Turkish as opposed to Arabic.
 Her colleagues at the association said she frequently received threatening telephone calls exhorting her not to speak out.
 Kuris was abducted early on July 17 outside her home by armed assailants. Her husband, the only witness, was knocked out in the scuffle. The women have posted signs in the streets of Mersin bearing a picture of Kuris wearing an Islamic-style headscarf. They say: "We want our Konca back."
 Early news reports said Kuris was abducted by an extreme Islamist group that found her flexible interpretation of women's role in Islam too unpalatable. But since then silence has reigned. There has been no ransom demand, nobody has claimed responsibility for the abduction or contacted her family.
 A senior policeman said the security forces were stumped by the lack of clues. "We have searched all over this point, if she is still alive she will come home herself," Mersin deputy police chief Durust Oktay told the daily Yeni Yuzyil.
 Her husband, Osman Kuris, told Reuters the family had no idea who the kidnappers could be. "We are just praying for her safe return," he said.
 Police raids on homes belonging to members of the outlawed Islamist group Hizbullah have drawn a blank. Turkey's Hizbullah, which favours a strict adherence to Islamic rules, is not believed to be linked to the Lebanese group Hizbollah.
 After breaking news of the Kuris kidnapping, even the normally vocal Turkish press has kept a lid on the whole affair, ostensibly on the family's wishes.
 "We kept silent because we did not want to place Konca in danger...but we have no patience anymore," a member of the women's association told Reuters.
 Turkey's Human Rights Association will begin holding candle vigils for Kuris later this week, a representative said. (Reuters, August 27, 1998)

Radio station ordered closed for 90 days

 According to information available to RSF on 27 August 1998, Radio Özgür (an Istanbul-based radio station associated with the extreme left) was suspended for a period of 90 days, starting on 19 August.
 The suspension was based on a decision by the RTÜK (Superior Audiovisual Council) for "inciting violence, hatred, racial discrimination and terrorism." This sanction follows quotes, which were read on the 8 June programme "Tersname", from an article by Semih Içyilmaz which appeared on 2 June in the daily "Günlük Emek".
 The article alleged that some murders of Kurd villagers had been committed by JITEM (Intelligence Service of the Turkish police).

Une centaine de manifestants placés en garde à vue à Istanbul

 Une centaine de personnes ont été placées en garde à vue samedi à Istanbul par la police qui a dispersé par la force une manifestation en faveur de personnes disparues lors d'interrogatoires policiers, a rapporté l'agence Anatolie.
 Surnommé "les mères du samedi", un groupe de familles de kurdes ou d'extrémistes de gauche qui affirment n'avoir plus revu leur proches après leur interpellation par la police a tenu une manifestation devenue habituelle devant le lycée francophone Galatasaray, dans la partie européenne d'Istanbul, selon l'agence.
 La police a sommé la foule de se disperser, mais le groupe a refusé d'obéir et a continué à manifester. Les forces de l'ordre sont alors intervenues pour mettre fin à la manifestation et ont placé une centaine de participants en garde à vue.
 "Les mères du samedi", qui se rassemblent tous les samedi devant le lycée Galatasaray, demandent que l'Etat turc retrouve leurs proches interpellés ces dernières années en raison de leurs opinions politiques. (AFP, 29 août 1998)

La deuxième marche pour la paix à Diyarbakir empêchée par l'Etat

 A l'occasion de la journée mondiale de la paix l'association turque des droits de l'homme (IHD) voulait organiser le 1er septembre une vaste manifestation pacifiste à Diyarbakir, capitale du Kurdistan turc.
 Un affrété par l'IHD partant d'Istanbul devait emmener des intellectuels et artistes turcs désireux de participer aux manifestations de Diyarbakir. Le 31 août, la police turque est intervenue avec brutalité contre les pacifistes, interdit le départ des bus, arrêté et placé en garde-à-vue 128 personnes dont plusieurs dirigeants de la branche d'Istanbul d'IHD et du Hadep et des syndicalistes.
 Les personnes placées en garde-vue ont été relâchées le lendemain et un groupe d'avocats conduit par Me Eren Keskin, vice-présidente de l'IHD a porté plainte contre les policiers auteurs de violences à l'égard des manifestants pacifiques.
 A Diyarbakir, la police a placé des blindés aux principaux carrefours, verrouillé les entrées et sorties de la ville et interdit toute manifestation.
 Près de 150 pacifistes passant outre à cette interdiction ont été placés en garde-à-vue. Les autorités turques ont interdit les manifestations pacifistes dans plusieurs autres villes comme Adana, Batman, Siirt.
 A Istanbul, des pacifistes distribuant des tracts en faveur de la paix sur la place de Taksim ont été interpellés par la police.
 Le 29 aôut, toujours à Istanbul, la police avait dispersé à coups de matraques et de jets d'eau une manifestation en faveur des personnes disparues lors d'interrogatoires policiers et placé à vue une centaine de manifestants, dont plusieurs dizaines de mères du samedi.  Celles-ci se rassemblent tous les samedis devant le lycée francophone Galatasaray, dans la partie européenne d'Istanbul, pour demander que l'État turc retrouve leurs proches, disparus ces dernières années en raison de leurs opinions politiques. (CILDEKT, 4 septembre 1998)

Des enfants condamnés pour vol de sucreries: la justice turque en question

 La confirmation lundi par une Cour d'appel de la condamnation de quatre enfants à de lourdes peines de prison pour un vol de sucreries a relancé en Turquie un débat sur le fonctionnement de la justice, considérée par beaucoup comme vétuste et inéquitable.
 Cette version turque des Misérables a débuté en août 1997 lorsque quatre adolescents de Gaziantep (sud), âgés alors de moins de 18 ans, attirés par la vitrine alléchante d'un vendeur de baklavas, patisserie turque à base de pâte de pistache et spécialité de la ville, ont volé deux kilos de ce dessert.
 Arrêtés sur plainte du commerçant, les jeunes reconnaissent les faits et sont condamnés chacun à neuf ans de prison pour "vol avec préméditation". Une instance supérieure a confirmé leur peine lundi et ils n'ont plus de recours.
 "Notre appel a été rejeté. Ces lourdes condamnations sont la preuve de l'état pathétique de la justice turque", a déclaré Hakan Gencer, avocat des quatre garçons.
 M. Gencer estime que leur vie est maintenant "détruite" et qu'ils récidiveront à leur sortie de prison. "Nous n'allons nulle part avec un système judiciaire comme celui-la", a-t-il estimé.
 La presse turque, qui dès la comparution des quatre garçons devant le tribunal a largement couvert l'affaire, s'indigne de la décision de la justice qu'elle qualifie de beaucoup trop sévère, estimant qu'elle ferait mieux de s'occuper de retrouver des dizaines de mafieux en cavale plutôt que de condamner des enfants à des peines de prison.
 Selon les médias, ces jeunes ont "certes eu tort", mais ne méritaient pas une telle punition.
 "Il ne faut pas oublier que le vol est l'un des délits les plus sévèrement réprimés par la législation turque. Les juges sont obligés de respecter les lois, ce qu'il faut c'est une réforme de la justice", a déclaré à l'AFP Osman Akbay, un avocat.
 "Cette décision altère la confiance de l'opinion dans la justice", a-t-il ajouté.
 "C'est incompréhensible. Ces jeunes auraient dû être jugés par un tribunal pour enfants (...) La décision les poussera à commettre de nouveaux crimes", a estimé Turkay Asma, avocate et membre de la commission des droits des enfants au barreau d'Ankara.
 La loi sur les tribunaux pour enfants est entrée en vigueur en 1989 en Turquie. Depuis, six tribunaux ont été mis en place dans des grandes villes comme Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir et Trabzon. "Ces tribunaux sont très loins de satisfaire les besoins et ne fonctionnent pas correctement faute de spécialistes comme des psychologues et des conseillers sociaux", indique Mme Asma.
 Cinq mille enfants de 11 à 15 ans et plus de 10.000 autres de 15 à 18 ans purgent des peines de prisons. Moins de 5% de ces cas ont été confiés à des tribunaux spéciaux.
 "Aucun de ces enfants n'a formé un réseau de malfaiteurs. Ils ont été jugés comme s'ils en avaient formé", précise Mme Asma. "Ils font les frais d'un système juridique vétuste et dépassé. A leur sortie de prison, ils deviendront de vrais criminels", ajoute l'avocate.
 L'annonce de la condamnation des voleurs de baklavas survient alors que le Premier ministre, Mesut Yilmaz, tente de persuader ses compatriotes lassés par les injustices, que l'Etat est en mesure de capturer en Turquie ou à l'étranger des mafieux recherchés par la justice, suite à la capture en août en France d'Alaattin Cakici, le criminel turc le plus recherché, en cavale depuis 12 ans. (AFP, 31 août 1998)


CHP presents report on Southeast

 The Republican People's Party (CHP) parliamentarians presented their party's report on the Southeast to the public in a press meeting held in Diyarbakir, the Anatolia news agency reported on Wednesday.
 Speaking at the meeting, CHP Istanbul Deputy Algan Hacaloglu stated that the problems in the region represent a threat against peace at home. He also said that some economic development institutes must be established for the regulation of further development policies in the region.
 The report states that the Kurdish problem cannot be solved with fire power and calls for recognition of the Kurdish identity. In an effort to establish smoother relations with the regional constituency and regain the support they lost during the era of the Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP), CHP members are proposing radical steps.
 The report envisions reverse migration to the region as part of a new regional development plan. It focuses on the encouragement of livestock breeding in the Southeast and proposes land reform to put an end to the existing feudal structure. Above all, the report highlights the Kurdish problem as the most serious issue facing the country and describes the killings in the Southeast as "fratricide." (TDN, August 6, 1998)

Northern region banned for seasonal Kurdish workers

 Truckloads of mainly Kurdish seasonal workers were turned away on Thursday from a Turkish province for fear they could have links to the Kurdistan Workers Party rebel group, a regional official said.
 "The governor has banned all outside labourers because of concern that some workers could be members of the separatist organisation," the official in the Black Sea province of Ordu said. "This may be somewhat discriminatory."
 Local hazelnut growers depend on seasonal labourers from the poor southeast, which is mainly Kurdish, to harvest the prime crop in late August.
 "Security troops are sending away truckloads of these workers at the (provinces) border," the official said.
 Ordu Governor Kemal Yazicioglu, who ordered the ban, is a nationalist known for his close ties to Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, and is widely tipped by the Turkish press to be the countrys next security chief.
 Small groups of guerrillas have killed security and civilian officials in the Black Sea region in the past two years in an effort to draw the security forces away from the southeast.
 More than 28,000 people have died in almost 14 years of fighting between security forces and the rebels, who demand self rule in southeastern Turkey.(Reuters, August 6, 1998)

Discrimination à l'égard des ouvriers kurdes

 Quelque 280 travailleurs saisonniers kurdes chargés dans des camions ont été, jeudi 6 août 1998, interdits d'accès dans une province turque, qui dépend de la main d'oeuvre saisonnière des Kurdes pour le ramassage des noisettes. "Le gouverneur a interdit tous les ouvriers étrangers parce que certains peuvent être membres de l'organisation séparatiste Cela peut être quelque peu discriminatoire" a déclaré un responsable de la préfecture d'Ordu. Le préfet d'Ordu n'est autre que Kemal Yazicioglu, connu pour ses opinions ultra-nationalistes et pour ses liens au Premier ministre Mesut Yilmaz. Il est actuellement pressenti pour le poste de directeur de la Sûreté nationale qu'il convoite depuis longtemps.
 Par ailleurs, le maire d'Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a déclaré ce même jeudi 6, que la clé du problème de surpopulation d'Istanbul se trouve dans l'instauration d'un visa d'accès à la ville et donc préconise de claquer la porte aux migrants indésirables. M. Erdogan a ajouté que Istanbul ne pouvait pas faire face à une croissance "artificielle" de la population due à la migration économique. Il est vrai que la population d'Istanbul, qui accueille plus de trois millions de Kurdes fuyant la misère et la guerre opposant le PKK aux forces de sécurité turques, a fortement augmenté. Le conflit kurde finit par affecter la vie quotidienne dans les métropoles turques. (CILDEKT, 10 août 1998)

Kurds protest at closure of Istanbul cultural centre

 Kurdish activists protested on Saturday against the closure of a cultural centre by Turkish police in the latest of a series of moves against a group promoting Kurdish identity.
 Groups of uniformed and plain clothes police looked on as around 200 protesters demonstrated against a police raid which brought an end to the group's programme of Kurdish concerts, films and theatre performances in central Istanbul.
 "We call on the public to defend this foundation," said Yusuf Cetin, one of centre's proprietors.
 Around 100 police raided the centre on July 31 and carried out identity searches.
 Three people were taken away by police and one of them remains in custody. The police sealed up the centre's performance hall, saying it did not have permission to screen films.
 "The centre has been subject to repression since it started operations
seven years ago to act as a voice of the Kurdish people and frustrate efforts to destroy Kurdish identity and culture," Cetin said.
 "The culture of the people cannot be suppressed," the demonstrators chanted. They sang Kurdish folk songs as the police stood a short distance away.
 Tight restrictions on freedom of expression target both Kurdish and
leftist activists in Turkey and are used to justify police raids on newspapers, cultural and political assocations. Journalists and writers are frequently prosecuted for falling foul of those laws.
 The Mezopotamya Cultural Centre (MKM) was formed in 1991 with the aim of supporting the development of Kurdish culture with a programme of theatre, concerts and discussions.
 It has set up two branches in Istanbul and has tried to establish premises elsewhere across Turkey.
 Its branches in the southeastern cities of Diyarbakir and Urfa have been closed by authorities under the region's strict emergency rule laws. Performance halls in Adana and Mersin have also been closed, Gokdag said.
  More than 28,000 people have been killed in nearly 14 years of conflict between the armed forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrilla group, which is seeking self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country. (Reuters, August 8, 1998)

Kurdish workers forcibly deported from Black Sea coast

 Hundreds of Kurdish migrant workers from Turkey's southeast are being deported from the Turkish province of Ordu on the Black Sea coast, the daily Cumhuriyet reported Sunday.
 Gendarmerie forces acting on orders from provincial governor Kemal Yazicioglu are ejecting the workers, who come to the region annually for the hazelnut harvest, the paper said.
 Some 280 harvest workers from Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeast were turned back from neighboring Giresun province earlier this month for fear that Kurdish rebel forces might infiltrate with them.
 The separatist Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) has recently been staging attacks outside its usual area of operation and targeting the Black Sea area, which has next to no Kurdish population.
 At least a dozen villagers have been killed in PKK-attacks along the Black Sea since mid-July.
 The governor's ban on employing Kurdish workers in Ordu has led to a desperate humanitarian situation, Cumhuriyet said.
 "People who have spent three or four days on the back of a truck coming here, who arrive hungry and thirsty and looking for work, are arrested, taken to the district line and sent back," the mayor of Ulubey town in Ordu province, Seyit Torun, said.
 "It's a disgrace," Torun complained.
 Many desperate and destitute workers are hiding out in the province and trying to obtain illegal employment in the fields to earn their return fare to the southeast, Cumhuriyet reported.
 The men, women and children are sleeping under bridges and in ditches to avoid detection, exposed to traffic hazards and the weather.
 "God forbid there should be a flood now, we couldn't save a single one of them," a local official, Salih Karatas, told the paper.
 At least a dozen people died last week in floods in Trabzon, which is the next province but one to Ordu.
 A leading member of the social democratic Republican People's Party, Ali Riza Gulcicek, appealed to Ankara to intervene.
 "Anyone with citizenship of the Turkish Republic has equal rights and has the right to work anywhere in the country," Gulcicek said. "The government must put a stop to this ugly and inhuman disgrace." (AFP, August 16, 1998)

Turk Islamists slam government's southeast record

 Turkey's main opposition Islamist party on Wednesday criticised the conservative-led coalition for ignoring social problems in the mainly Kurdish southeast and failing in a military campaign against Kurdish rebels.
 "Under this government, just as there have been no concrete solutions produced to solve the southeast's socio-ecomomic problems, sufficient progress in the fight against terrorism has not been secured," senior Islamist MP Abdulkadir Aksu said in a statement issued in the southeastern capital Diyarbakir.
Turkey is scheduled to hold a general election next April. Aksu's Islam-based Virtue Party is widely expected to do well.
 The southeast has been the centre of a 14-year-old conflict between security forces and rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), fighting for self rule in the region.
 Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz's government has announced a number of investment programmes for the region, but the 14-year conflict which has killed more than 28,000 people has held back econonic development, closed schools and led to mass migration.
 Despite government and military claims to have all but eradicated the PKK, the rebels have staged a lethal bombing in Istanbul and a number of attacks on military outposts in the southeast in recent months.
 Human rights activists accuse security forces of committing widespread rights abuses in the southeast, governed under emergency rule from Diyarbakir. Aksu called for a rethink of Turkey's policy to the region.
 "When $85 billion have been spent to prevent terror and only false sermonising offered for the southeast's other basic problems, we have to sit down and think," he said. (Reuters, August 19, 1998)

Saglar: Ordu governor should be removed from office

 CHP (Republican People's Party) Icel Deputy Fikri Saglar has called for the immediate removal of Ordu Governor Kemal Yazicioglu from office. Saglar harshly criticized former police chief Yazicioglu, whose name had previously been mentioned in connection with alleged torture claims, because he wouldn't allow agricultural workers of Kurdish origin into the city.
 In his written declaration at Parliament, Saglar said, "The latest act of the Ordu governor creates separatism, racism and social chaos."
 Claiming that Yazicioglu had saved an extremist terrorist who murdered a teacher, covered up the homicide investigation of some of his friends from the special police forces and whose names were mentioned in the Susurluk incident, and altered official documents, Saglar stated: "Kemal Yazicioglu now is at the stage of not letting people of Kurdish origin who have traveled thousands of kilometers to earn their living by collecting hazelnuts, leading them to hunger and death. He is aiming to become a security chief or reach a higher position with his latest action.
 "This act is racist and separatist and is against social peace. It is giving logistical support to terrorism and forms the basis for terrorism."
 Saglar added that if the government was sincere about democracy and human rights issues, Yazicioglu should be removed from office and an investigation on him should be opened. (TDN, August 20, 1998)

Les députés kurdes en prison accusent le régime

 Les ex-députés du Parti de la Démocratie (DEP), Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak et Orhan Dogan, incarcérés depuis déjà quatre ans et demi à la Prison Centrale d'Ankara, ont accordé une interview collective au quotidien turc Milliyet du 13-08-1998. Ils se sont exprimés sur les conditions de leur détention et sur les futures élections anticipées du 18 avril 1999, alors qu'ils sont, eux, condamnés à une inéligibilité à vie.
 Leyla Zana: "Tant que la Constitution turque de 1982 sera en vigueur, je ne crois à aucune amélioration, à aucune démocratisation À mon avis, même le gouvernement est incertain sur l'avenir de la Turquie, d'ailleurs il l'avoue parfois. Tout est sous le contrôle du Conseil de Sécurité nationale (MGK). Si les élections ont effectivement lieu- ce qui est encore incertain- ce sera donc dans ce cadre Je n'attends aucune libération personnelle. Et le cadre de l'amnistie proposée par le couple Ecevit est clair. Même Cindoruk [NDLR: Ancien Président du Parlement allié de la coalition gouvernementale] apporte des critiques. (Il critique le fait que l'État ne compte nullement amnistier les infractions commises à son encontre mais celles commises envers la société et des individus). Drôle d'analyse. L'État se voit donc au-dessus du peuple. Un moment donné il était question, pour des raisons différentes, de ma libération ( ) Qu'est ce qui changera avec ma libération? Les problèmes de la Turquie, la guerre, les tortures persisteront. Seulement moi, je serais dehors. Pourquoi? Dehors, pour servir de cosmétique vis-à-vis de l'Europe. Je ne veux pas être décorative. J'étais souffrante à un moment donné. l'État a conclu que j'étais "malade" afin de me libérer sous ce prétexte sans reconnaître ses torts Aujourd'hui je me porte mieux L'État continue à nous infliger de nouvelles peines et le fera tant que nous continuerons à parler et à écrire. Il n'a qu'à le faire. Je me soumets. Mon époux, ma fille et mon fils sont tous à l'étranger. Je suis restée seule, mais je suis satisfaite de ma situation".
 Hatip Dicle: "Pour nous, il n'est pas question de candidature aux élections, de toute façon, nous sommes privés à vie de tous nos droits civiques. On ne peut même pas voter Je n'attends pas être amnistié. Surtout pas moi. Il me reste d'ores et déjà à purger 6 ans- condamnations définitives complémentaires- pour mes écrits. Et comme je continue à écrire, les condamnations sont susceptibles de s'accroître Dans ses colonnes, le journaliste turc Sukru Elekdag laisse entendre que le PKK est susceptible de devenir un mouvement comme l'Organisation de la Libération de Palestine. Si j'étais l'auteur de ces lignes, je serais à nouveau condamné Quant à la question de savoir si l'opinion publique nous a oubliés; Je suis persuadé que l'opinion publique kurde ne nous a pas oubliés"
 Orhan Dogan: "La Turquie ne vie pas la démocratisation. Il n'y a seulement la volonté de museler et d'effacer l'opposition. L'État se réorganise à nouveau. Il intensifie la guerre et l'oppression ancrée dans le système. L'État continue également par erreur sa lutte contre le PKK. Mais la paix ne peut pas être évitée. À mon avis, nous allons vers une réunion autour d'une table. La Turquie devrait prendre l'exemple de la Colombie, et de l'Angleterre La politique du CHP (Parti Républicain du Peuple) est une nouvelle version de l'assimilation. Elle est loin des solutions La solution n'est pas de présenter une liste HADEP aux élections, non plus de baisser le seuil minimum légal, ni de laisser pourrir l'issue Nous ne nous attendons pas à être amnistiés. Nous resterons ici en prison jusqu'en 2005. Je ne pense pas que l'opinion publique nous ait oubliés et particulièrement pas l'opinion publique kurde. Mais le temps adoucit parfois les choses Nous sommes en train de payer pour la paix et la liberté. Mais je ne doute pas que nous obtiendrons la liberté à force de lutter. Le peuple kurde est en train de vivre le processus que de nombreux autres peuples au monde ont dû vivre. Il n'y a pas de démocratisation dans la politique étatique. Ainsi, dernièrement, on en est arrivé à interdire l'accès des provinces de la Mer Noire pour cause de conflit. Le système est fracturé, le système est brisé; cette faille apportera la paix "
 Selim Sadak: "Je ne crois pas que ces prochaines élections vont apporter une solution. La Turquie a besoin d'hommes politiques très courageux, mais il n'y a pas encore sur la scène politique de partis ou de groupes capables de faire ces pas. C'est l'affaire des personnes prêtes à payer le prix fort comme nous Je suis convaincu que nous avons fait ce qui était juste. Nos convictions politiques reflètent en fait la réalité en Turquie Qui sera amnistié? Pas les prisonniers politiques. De toute façon les prisonniers politiques ne se considèrent pas coupables Quand à nous, nous avons porté nos convictions en nous, nous n'avons ni volé ni escroqué et n'attendons pas non plus à être amnistiés. L'État dit "ne me mettez pas en question", mais je crois qu'il faut justement le mettre en question et faire que du maître du peuple il en devienne le serviteur Je crois aussi qu'il n'y a pas d'indépendance de la justice. Tout mon procès a duré, en tout et pour tout, 38 jours. Je pense qu'aujourd'hui il y a beaucoup plus d'innocents en prison que des coupables". (CILDEKT, 20 août 1998)

Le PKK décrète un cessez-le-feu unilatéral

 Abdullah Ocalan, leader du PKK a décrété le 28 août un cessez-le-feu unilatéral dans le conflit qui oppose depuis août 1984 ses partisans aux forces armées turques. a déclaré Ocalan dans un entretien téléphonique sur l'antenne de Med TV, chaîne de télévision kurde par satellite proche du PKK. Ce cessez-le-feu unilatéral devrait rester en vigueur jusqu'au terme des élections législatives anticipées d'avril 1999.
 Le chef du PKK s'est dit prêt à engager des pourparlers avec les autorités turques afin de trouver une solution politique à la question kurde et de mettre un terme à un conflit qui a à ce jour fait au moins 37.000 morts et des millions de déplacés.
 Cet appel a été accueilli avec satisfaction par de nombreuses ONG turques et occidentales ainsi que par certains parlementaires européens.
 En Turquie, outre de petites formations de gauche politiques non représentées au Parlement et les milieux pacifistes, le Parti de la démocratie du peuple (Hadep), pro-kurde, qui avait accueilli 4,5% des voix aux législatives de 1995, s'est prononcé en faveur du cessez-le-feu et de la recherche d'une solution négociée au problème kurde.
 Cependant l'appel du Hadep a peu de chances d'être entendu par les autorités turques car les principaux dirigeants de ce parti sont actuellement détenus, sous l'accusation . A Ankara, le Premier ministre M. Yilmaz a, dès le 29 août, rejeté catégoriquement l'offre de cessez-le-feu d'Ocalan a déclaré M. Yilmaz. a ajouté le Premier ministre. De son côté le nouveau chef d'état-major, le général Huseyin Kuvrikoglu, a également rejeté l'offre du cessez-le-feu. a-t-il déclarée à des journalistes lors d'une réception le 31 août à Ankara. Le chef du PKK avait par le passé déclaré au moins à deux reprises un cessez-le-feu pour plusieurs mois, en mars 1993 et décembre 1995. Ces trêves n'avaient pas été reconnues par les forces armées turques.(CILDEKT, 5 septembre 1998)

Turkish Kurd rebel chief announces ceasefire

 "We found it appropriate to begin a ceasefire from September 1," Ocalan said on Friday, speaking by telephone in a debate programme on the Kurdish television channel Med TV. He did not specify how long the ceasefire would last.
 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Ocalan declared unilateral ceasefires in 1993 and 1995 and has made a series of other calls for a halt to hostilities -- largely ignored by Turkey, which refuses to negotiate with the outlawed rebels.
 More than 28,000 people have been killed in the conflict between the Turkish armed forces and the PKK, which has been fighting for autonomy in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country since 1984.
 Ocalan added in answer to a question that the ceasefire did not apply to the group's conflict with a rival Iraqi Kurdish group in northern Iraq, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
 The PKK has in the past used northern Iraq as a base to launch attacks into southeast Turkey, but its ability to operate in the region has been hampered by an alliance between Turkey and the KDP.
 During the Med-TV programme, seen in the main southeastern city of Diyarbakir, the rebel chief cited the human cost of the fighting as motivation for ``a new peace process'' in Turkey.  "It is vital to prepare suitable conditions for a political solution,"
Ocalan said.
 Kurdish sources said the ceasefire announcement was designed to coincide with a handover of power by Turkey's top general, Ismail Hakki Karadayi, to the new chief of general staff, General Huseyin Kivrikoglu.
 They said the PKK wanted to play a political role and move away from armed conflict ahead of early general elections in Turkey called for April 18 next year.
 Ocalan is thought to live in the Syrian capital Damascus, but Syria denies repeated Turkish charges that it backs the rebels. He regularly participates in Med-TV discussion programmes, which are broadcast by satellite from studios in Belgium.
 One of the rebel group's most feared former commanders is currently on trial in Diyarbakir on charges of murder and treason, which carry the death penalty.
 The capture of Semdin Sakik, previously number two in the PKK, followed his defection from the group in a row with Ocalan over tactics. His seizure was hailed by the Turkish mainstream media as a major triumph for the armed forces.
 It reinforced Turkish assertions that the group was falling apart under sustained military pressure. However, the rebels have kept up guerrilla operations in the intervening months, kidnapping local officials and attacking military and civil installations. (Reuters, August 28, 1998)

Ankara rejette la trêve proposée par le PKK

 Le Premier ministre turc Mesut Yilmaz a rejeté samedi la trêve inconditionelle proclamée la veille par Abdullah Ocalan, le chef de la rébellion armée des séparatistes kurdes de Turquie, affichant la détermination de son gouvernement à lutter contre cette organisation qu'il considère comme "séparatiste".
 "Nous ne le prendrons jamais comme un interlocuteur (...) S'il fait un pas pour se rendre, après avoir compris qu'il est dans une situation désespérée et qu'il ne peut pas lutter contre l'Etat turc, je considère cela comme positif", a déclaré M. Yilmaz .
 "Mais si ses efforts visent à créer une plateforme politique en Europe, alors ils sont vains", a ajouté M. Yilmaz sans autre précision.
 Abdullah Ocalan, alias "Apo", le chef du Parti des Travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK), a proclamé une trêve à compter du 1er septembre, lors d'une émission diffusée sur Med-TV, une chaîne de télévision financée par le PKK qui émet en Europe et peut être captée dans le Sud-Est anatolien à majorité kurde.
 Le PKK, créé en 1978, mène une rébellion depuis 1984 pour créer un Etat kurde indépendant dans le Sud-Est anatolien. Les violences liées à cette rébellion ont fait près de 31.000 morts.
 "Apo", qui réside généralement à Damas ou dans la Bekaa libanaise sous contrôle syrien, affirme que le PKK représente les 8 à 12 millions de Kurdes de Turquie, sur une population totale de 62,8 millions de personnes.
 L'Etat turc réfute cette représentativité et refuse tout dialogue avec le PKK, qu'il qualifie "d'organisation terroriste et séparatiste".
 Le chef du PKK avait par le passé déclaré au moins à deux reprises un cessez-le-feu pour plusieurs mois, en mars 1993 et décembre 1995.
 Ces trêves n'avaient pas été reconnues par les forces de l'ordre turques. En 1993, quelque semaines après avoir proclamé une trêve unilatérale, le chef du PKK avait ordonné personnellement une action armée contre un groupe d'une quarantaine de soldats qui voyageaient en autocar dans la province de Bingol (sud-est), tuant 33 d'entre eux.
 L'armée turque a enregisté un succès en capturant en avril un ancien commandant du PKK, Semdin Sakik, dans le nord de l'Irak. Sakik a été, avant de faire défection, le commandant des rebelles du PKK dans le "Kurdistan nord", c'est-à-dire le Sud-Est anatolien selon la terminologie du PKK. Dans cette terminologie, le "Kurdistan sud" est le nord de l'Irak.
 Son procès s'ouvrira le 3 septembre à Diyarbakir (sud-est). La peine capitale est réclamée à son encontre.
 Ankara affirme avoir marginalisé dans une large mesure le PKK, qui a subi d'importants revers face à l'armée turque qui continue ses opérations contre les rebelles dans le Sud-Est et le nord de l'Irak, région montagneuse qui échappe à l'autorité de Bagdad depuis 1991 et est utilisée par le PKK comme base arrière.
 L'armée turque y mène de fréquentes opérations contre les positions du PKK, avec le soutien des combattants du Parti démocratique du Kurdistan (PDK) du chef kurde Massoud Barzani, allié d'Ankara dans la lutte contre le PKK. (AFP, 29 août 1998)

L'armée turque rejette à son tour la trève proposée par le PKK

 L'armée turque a rejeté à son tour la trève inconditionnelle proclamée la semaine dernière par Abdullah Ocalan, le chef de la rébellion armée des séparatistes kurdes de Turquie, dans des déclarations lundi soir de son nouveau commandant en chef, le général Huseyin Kivrikoglu.
 Cette trêve, proposée par le chef du PKK (Parti des Travailleurs du Kurdistan) et qui devait entrer en principe en vigueur mardi, avait été une première fois rejetée par le premier ministre Mesut Yilmaz, affirmant que le PKK ne peut être considéré comme un interlocuteur.
 "Le PKK est en train de mourir comme une bougie qui s'éteint. Qu'il (Abdullah Ocalan) se rende à l'Etat, ou qu'il abandonne la lutte avec tous ses hommes. Il n'existe pas d'autre issue", a dit le général Kivrikoglu à des journalistes lors d'une réception lundi soir à Ankara.
 Le général Kivrikoglu a pris dimanche les fonctions de chef de l'état-major général des forces armées turques, dans le cadre de nominations administratives décidées début août.
 "Nous ne le prendrons jamais comme un interlocuteur (Í) S'il fait un pas pour se rendre, après avoir compris qu'il est dans une situation désespérée et qu'il ne peut pas lutter contre l'Etat turc, je considèrerais cela comme positif", avait déclaré M. Yilmaz, en rejetant la trêve du PKK.
 Le PKK mène une rébellion armée depuis 1984 pour créer un Etat kurde indépendant dans le Sud-Est anatolien. Les violences liées à cette rébellion ont fait près de 31.000 morts.
 Le chef du PKK avait déclaré à plusieurs reprises par le passé un cessez-le-feu unilatéral pour quelques mois, en mars 1993 et décembre 1995. Ceux-ci n'avaient pas été reconnus par l'Etat turc.
 Abdullah Ocalan, alias "Apo", a proclamé une trêve à compter du 1er septembre, lors d'une émission diffusée sur Med-TV, une chaîne de télévision financée par le PKK qui émet en Europe et peut être captée dans le Sud-Est anatolien à majorité kurde. (AFP, 31 août 1998)


Turkish State blocks election of new Armenian patriarch

 Orders from the Istanbul Governor's Office have prevented Turkey's largest Christian community from electing its next spiritual leader in accordance with the church's constitution, in effect since 1863.
 Since the late Armenian Patriarch Karekin II's death on March 10, the Turkish Cabinet has refused to approve an election calendar permitting the nations 55,000 Armenian Christians to elect his successor. It is normally a 15-day process. Democratic church elections for Istanbul's 84th Armenian Patriarch were scheduled in May, after the traditional 40 days of mourning.
 But without explanation, an April 28 letter from the Istanbul Governor's Office ordered a halt in the church's plans until further notice. Osman Demir, one of 12 deputies to the governor, signed the order.
 Compass has learned that the Armenian community was informed orally that of the two candidates for the new Armenian patriarch, the Turkish state preferred the older man. Under church canons and Turkish law, only Archbishop Shahan Sivaciyan, 72, and Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan, 42, qualify for the post.
 "We deliberated and prayed as a church," a member of the community commented, "and we agreed that we cannot allow the state to dictate the choice of our next spiritual leader." Although Turkey requires separation of religion and the state under a strictly secular constitution, its Interior Ministry was accused of interfering in the last Armenian patriarchal elections in 1990.
 Meanwhile, a direct slander campaign in the rightist Turkish media had already begun to target Mutafyan, accusing him of anti-Turkish activities. When the "Turkiye" newspaper refused to retract its allegations, Mutafyan promptly filed and won a lawsuit for libel. The paper still refuses to obey court orders to print a retraction.
 During May, the "Turkiye"-owned TGRT television station broadcast more allegations against Mutafyan, claiming that the government was very concerned about his candidacy for patriarch and preferred Archbishop Sivaciyan.
 While the church waited for a resolution in the standoff, the patriarchate sent a routine application on June 5 to raise humanitarian aid through the church for Black Sea coast flood victims. It triggered four increasingly stern directives from Demir in late June.
 Refusing to recognize the signature of Mutafyan as the "Locum Tenens" (official representative) of the patriarchate, Demir declared that under Turkish law the eldest and most senior cleric in line for patriarch must fill the interim post until a successor is elected.
 The church protested that no such practice had been followed after the death of the past two patriarchs, and that Mutafyan had been designated Locum Tenens both by the previous patriarch and the unanimous decision of the Religious Council. The government's demands were then submitted to the legal scrutiny of Dr. Huseyin Hatemi, a leading scholar in Istanbul University's Faculty of Law.
 Meanwhile, Demir issued two more memos, declaring Sivaciyan the official Locum Tenens of the patriarchate and warning that any resistance to this decision would be prosecuted under specified criminal codes.
 In a written legal analysis, Hatemi concluded that Mutafyan's legal certification as Locum Tenens during the late patriarch's last illness was specified to continue after the patriarch's death. Under the secular principles of the Turkish state, he declared, no penal code could be applied to force the church to abandon its own religious traditions.
 With tensions heating, Interior Minister Murat Basesgioglu met on June 26 with Pilo Atan, chairman of the church's Electoral Committee, together with Mutafyan and Cefi Kahmi, a Jewish businessman and the only ethnic non-Muslim in the Turkish Parliament.
 In what the Turkish-language Armenian weekly "Agos" called a "constructive and informative meeting," the minister blamed the unresolved crisis on "insufficient information and some wrong interpretations." Basesgioglu promised that the impasse would soon be straightened out, so that patriarchal elections could be conducted according to church bylaws and the long-standing regulations outlined by the Turkish Cabinet in 1961.
 Assuming the crisis was over, the Patriarchal Religious Council waited for over a month for written confirmation of the Interior Minister's assurances. Instead, on July 30, the church received a notarized warning from Sivaciyan, demanding that the office of Locum Tenens "be handed over to him immediately," as ordered by Demir. Failure to comply, the elder cleric stated, "would not be in the best interests of Archbishop Mutafyan."
 The church promptly called for an extraordinary General Clerical Assembly to resolve any ambiguities concerning the interim leadership of the Armenian Church. During the August 3 meeting, Mutafyan resigned his Locum Tenens position, while Sivaciyan urged the assembly to bow to the state's wishes. In a subsequent secret ballot, Mutafyan was elected 23 to 3 as Acting Patriarch, giving him even stronger authority under church protocols to represent the patriarchate.
 In a press release announcing the decision, the assembly noted Mutafyan's position had been challenged by a small sector of the Turkish media, one of the deputy governors of Istanbul and a small minority within the Armenian community of Istanbul.
 According to the Armenian daily "Jamanak" newspaper, the host of "artificially created marginal issues" surrounding the election process can be blamed on "certain communal circles" trying to bring the Turkish-Armenian community to a deadlock.
 Writing in "Agos," commentator Etyen Mahcupyan identified the culprits as a small group of opportunists trying to take over a particularly lucrative Armenian church foundation in Istanbul's Balikpazari district. Due to population shifts in the area, only a handful of Armenians remain in the congregation of Holy Trinity Church. Intent on siphoning off the real estate income of the church, a few Armenians allegedly have teamed up with former city officials and Minority Police Chief Orhan.
 "They are against Mutafyan because they don't want a dynamic patriarch who would stop their illegal maneuverings," Machupyan said.
 According to an Associated Press report May 28, the Interior Ministry allegedly wants to gain more control over the selection process of the Armenian Patriarch. Turkey's Foreign Ministry, fearing it will create a bad public image for Turkey, reportedly opposes such a move. The local tourism industry is promoting a massive Faith Tourism campaign to attract Christian tourists to Turkey's biblical sites during the 2,000-year observance of the birth of Christ. (Compass Direct, August 17, 1998)

La position turque sur le génocide arménien

 Après l'adoption, le 29 mai 1998, par l'Assemblée française d'une proposition de loi reconnaissant le génocide arménien, la Turquie mène une vaste offensive diplomatique doublée de menaces économiques afin de dissuader le Sénat français d'adopter à son tour le dit texte. Dans ce cadre, le ministre turc des affaires étrangères, Ismail Cem, vient d'adresser une longue note aux sénateurs français pour "soulever de sérieuses inquiétudes quant [aux] répercussions négatives" sur les relations franco-turques de l'adoption définitive d'une résolution sur le génocide arménien.
 M. Cem qualifie d'abord d'injuste la loi "à la fois envers l'Histoire et la République de Turquie" puis accuse d'"indulgence envers le terrorisme" le contenu de cette loi, pourtant résumée en un article. Il n'hésite pas à réitérer les menaces économiques en soulignant que "la proposition de loi ouvre la voie à une atmosphère qui ne manquera pas d'endommager les relations politiques et économiques turco-françaises".
 Le ministre turc soutient que les allégations de génocide sont fondées "sur des documents falsifiés, des photographies truquées et des chiffres exagérés" et accuse les Arméniens de l'époque d'engager "des attaques systématiques, non seulement contre les troupes ottomanes, mais aussi contre leurs compatriotes musulmans", ce qui, selon lui, a conduit "le gouvernement ottoman à ( ) déplacer les Arméniens". Pour ce qui est du massacre, M. Cem met cela sur le compte des "conditions hivernales difficiles" et sur "un environnement général d'hostilité".
 Pour finir Ismail Cem déplore qu'en votant cette loi les députés français aient refusé "de soutenir les intérêts nationaux français".
 En Turquie, pour moins que cela ils auraient été qualifiés de traîtres à la patrie, exclus du Parlement et emprisonnés. Au moment où un peu partout dans le monde, les gouvernements, les Églises et les institutions font leur mea-culpa, présentent leurs excuses aux minorités pour les persécutions et injustices passées, le gouvernement turc refuse de reconnaître les crimes perpétrés sous un empire ottoman révolu alors même que les tribunaux de cet empire avaient eux-mêmes, au lendemain de la Première Guerre mondiale reconnu les massacres et crimes contre l'humanité commis contre la population arménienne et condamné leurs auteurs. La Turquie républicaine est revenue sur les décisions et réhabilité les auteurs du génocide arménien. (CILDEKT, 20 août 1998)


Le soutien du sommet de l'Etat à un accusé de Susurluk

 Voici l'article d'Ertugrul Özkök, rédacteur en chef du quotidien turc Hürriyet, publié le 5 août 1998 sous le titre de "les témoins d'Agar":
 "J'ai reçu une invitation pour la cérémonie de mariage de Tolga Agar, le fils de Mehmet Agar, député du Parti de la Juste Voie (DYP). Il y aura deux grands invités au mariage, l'un et l'autre étant témoins des mariés: l'ancien Président [leader du coup d'état militaire de 1980] Kenan Evren et l'actuel Président, Suleyman Demirel.
 [Agar a été contraint de démissionner de son poste de ministre de l'Intérieur, après avoir été impliqué dans le scandale de gang d'État de Susurluk. Le Parlement a suspendu son immunité parlementaire afin qu'il puisse être jugé pour avoir formé une bande ayant des intentions criminelles - selon les allégations, une sorte de brigade de la mort et d'extorsion utilisée dans la lutte contre le Parti illégal, le Parti des Travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK). Agar a nié les accusations, indiquant qu'il n'a rien fait sans la connaissance de ses supérieurs.]
 La cérémonie de mariage aura lieu à Istanbul le 17 août. Il sera curieux de voir qui d'autre sera présent à cet événement puisque cela contribuerait à l'idée de réhabilitation sociale d'Agar.
 L'immunité parlementaire d'Agar a été levée par le Parlement avec 6 voix marginales. De nombreux députés de DYP, y compris le leader de DYP, Tansu Ciller, n'ont pas pris part au vote. S'ils étaient présents, l'immunité d'Agar n'aurait pas été levée. C'est pour cette raison qu'Agar est plein de rancoeur contre Ciller. En fait, selon certains de ses proches, il a récemment indiqué que le mois prochain il révélera peut-être certaines choses.
 Un discours prononcé par Agar lors de la réunion du groupe parlementaire de DYP n'a pas reçu toute l'attention qu'elle aurait dû par la presse. Dans ce discours, Agar a rappelé à ses compagnons du DYP que dans le scandale de Susurluk il "n'a pas choisi la voie de rejeter sa propre responsabilité (en tant que directeur général de la Sûreté de l'époque) sur la plus haute autorité politique".
 Ceux qui suivent de près les développements peuvent facilement voir ce que ces mots veulent dire. L'affaire Agar est sur le point de devenir le plus intéressant événement politique de notre histoire récente.
 Il y a quelques mois, le quotidien Hürriyet a publié une intéressante nouvelle. Le parc du quartier général des généraux qui expose les statues des "commandants héroïques turcs" comprend maintenant la statue de Mustafa Muglali. Elle est là depuis suffisamment longtemps, mais aucun de nous n'a entendu parler de ce développement. Muglali était un officier turc qui a été condamné à 30 ans de prison pour avoir exécuté quelques 30 personnes lors des soulèvements kurdes [NDLR; En fait il s'agit du massacre de sang froid de 33 paysans kurdes en 1944 dans la province de Van en absence de toute révolte armée] Plus tard, il a été gracié et ses restes ont été transférés au cimetière des soldats des forces armées. Ceci veut dire qu'il a été "réhabilité". Mais cette statue placée dans le parc des généraux, a une signification qui dépasse de loin cela.
 Aujourd'hui tout le monde se demande si la Turquie, qui a placé la statue de Muglali parmi les statues des commandants braves, condamnera Agar? Nous attendrons et nous verrons". (CILDEKT, 10 août 1998)

Turkish mafia suspect's capture rekindles scandal

 The capture of Turkey's most wanted Mafia suspect has rekindled a two-year-old security scandal which has rocked the country with allegations of ties between organised crime and the state. French police seized suspected Mafia boss Alaattin Cakici, a bodyguard and a female companion as they were leaving a luxury hotel in Nice last week.
 Turkey's top policeman has said the arrest could stir up the scandal again. Cakici was carrying a Turkish diplomatic passport, suggesting his alleged campaign of murder and extortion was being aided from above.
 "This is bigger than the Susurluk scandal," national police chief Necati Bilican was quoted as saying in the newspaper Sabah.
 Allegations that right-wing death squads were employed by the state to kill political enemies and business rivals emerged after a car carrying a senior policeman, a wanted Mafia boss and a government MP crashed near the town of Susurluk in 1996.
 Only the MP survived the crash. Prosecutions of him, a former interior minister and a number of other people have yet to lift the lid fully on state-Mafia links.
 Cakici, a former far-right gang member, is accused of extortion, involvement in illegal property deals and ordering several murders, including that of his ex-wife and business partners.
 Turkish media, quoting sources close to Cakici, say he will name names at a court appearance in France on Monday and point the finger at Turkish political figures he says once protected him.
 Turkey's National Security Council will meet on the same day to discuss Cakici's arrest and an application for his extradition from France. Reports of clandestine phone calls from Cakici to cabinet ministers have added to the intrigue.
 "Everything will come out during the investigation. Now everyone is afraid that they will also be exposed," Bilican said.
 Columnist Ismet Berkan wrote in the liberal newspaper Radikal: "The capture of Alaattin Cakici has made a lot of people nervous in Turkey."
 Bilican said the Turkish diplomatic passport found at Cakici's five-star French Riviera hideout was genuine but had been tampered with.
 A notebook seized with him listed the telephone numbers of Turkish intelligence agents, politicians and senior policemen, the police chief said.
 Bilican, appointed last year by Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz to clear up the scandal, said the operation to capture Cakici had to be carried out in the utmost secrecy to avoid the fugitive being tipped off about the plan.
 "We worked in great secrecy in a very narrow team. No one knew what we were doing," he said.
 Observers say people keen on frustrating attempts to clean up the state are still influential in the corridors of power.  "Don't forget since he came to office, there have been a full four attempts to remove Bilican. His every move has been opposed with great resistance," Berkan wrote.
 Many regard the arrest of Cakici as a sign that things may be changing and those wishing to see an end to the state's protection of criminals are in the ascendant.
 Another alleged underworld boss, Sedat Peker, flew to Istanbul on a private jet from exile in Romania last week and gave himself up to police. A third accused Mafia godfather Kursat Yilmaz had also been caught.
 "Alaattin Cakici, Kursat Yilmaz, Sedat Peker are people on the inside of the Susurluk events," said Bilican. "All three thought they could flee abroad and be safe. Two were captured and third had to return to Turkey as the noose tightened around himÍ This is Susurluk. We will not give up the pursuit." (Reuters, August 23, 1998)

Arrestation en France d'une chef de la mafia lié à l'Etat turc

 Alaattin Çakici, l'un des plus célèbres chefs de la mafia turque d'extrême droite liée aux services de renseignement turcs (MIT) a été arrêté le 17 août dans un palace de Nice avec sa compagne et un garde du corps armé. Recherché par Interpole pour meurtre et activités mafieuses, Çakici étaient en possession d'un passeport diplomatique turc lui permettant de circuler sans visa dans la plupart des pays du monde.
 Au cours de conversations téléphoniques enregistrées divulguées par la presse turque, A. Çakici a déclaré avoir des liens avec plusieurs ministres, les services de renseignement turcs et les hommes politique de premier plan. a affirmé Çakici selon le quotidien turc Sabah du 30 août.
 Membre d'un groupe de Loups Gris (milice para militaire néo-fasciste du Colonel Turkes) impliqué dans une quarantaine d'assassinats de militants de gauche à la fin des années 1970, Çakici avait été arrêté et emprisonné pendant quelques mois après le Coup d'État militaire de septembre 1980. Puis comme bon nombre d'activistes de l'extrême droite il a été recruté par la MIT pour ses bases besognes en Turquie et en Europe. Trafic de drogue, contre les Kurdes et les Arméniens, etc).
 Au début des années 1990, surtout à partir de l'accession au pouvoir de Mme Çiller en juillet 1993 les services turcs ont décidé de systématiser et d'amplifier leurs activités d'assassinats d'opposants et de trafic de drogue pour financer la guerre de l'ombre. Selon la déposition en février 1997 devant la Commission Susurluk du Parlement de Havefi AVCI, chef-adjoint du Bureau de renseignement de la police d'Istanbul, Çakici est l'un des éléments mafieux d'extrême droite utilisé par l'unité de guerre spéciale de la MIT, organisée par Mehmet Eymu, actuellement en poste à l'ambassade turque à Washington et Yavuz Ataç en poste à Pékin. Quant leur chef de la MIT pendant cette période où plus de 4500 civils supposés ont été assassinés Sounnez Koksal, a été promu au poste d'ambassadeur de Turquie en France.
 Après avoir servi le gouvernement Çiller dans ses basses besognes, Çakici et ses acolyte, sur instruction de la MIT, se sont retournés contre «Mme. Çiller lorsque celle-ci s'est alliée aux islamistes. Les Turcs se souviennent d'une émission de télévision de Flash TV au cours de laquelle Çakici était intervenu par téléphone pour dénoncer en affirmant notamment que le mari de Mme. Çiller avait réclamé une commission de $20 millions pour arranger la vente d'une banque publique (Turkbank) à un homme d'affaires par Çakici. Le lendemain plusieurs dizaines de
 Récemment il avait appelé deux ministres du gouvernement Yilmaz pour exiger le rappel à Ankara de son de la MIT, Yavuz Ataç. La décision tardant à venir, il avait rappelé pour dire que si on ne satisfaisait pas sa demande rapidement, il punirait le Premier ministre en personne. C'est sans doute cette menace qui a incité Ankara à demander à Interpole son arrestation et à réclamer son extradition. Sans compter, une fois en Turquie il pourrait faire des révélations contre la famille Çiller, ce qui en période électorale pourrait servir le parti de M. Yilmaz qui pourrait ainsi se targuer d'avoir commencé à lutté contre. En attendant, le vice-Premier ministre turc Bulent Ecevit a confirmé que Çakici était effectivement porteur d'un vrai passeport diplomatique turc et qu'il avait effectivement téléphoné récemment à deux ministres. les ministres eux-mêmes l'avaient appelé, il y aurait eu un problème, mais c'est lui qui a appelé les ministres à qui on ne peut donc rien reprocher. M. Ecevit n'a pas préciser pourquoi un chef mafieux pouvait avoir un accès direct facile à deux ministres en exercice. (AFP, 7 septembre 1998)

Islamist comment on Cakici: "Caught red-handed!"

 "On August 24 the National Security Council (MGK) discussed what may be the most interesting topic in its history. For the first time in the last three years, fundamentalism was not on the MGK agenda and, again for the first time, they talked about the "gang" issue.
 "The MGK as a constitutional institution works for the continuation of the state. Since 1996, it has been observed that the MGK has been making statements about every single topic on the country's agenda. It is clear that any decision cannot be considered "state policy" unless it is discussed at the MGK meeting. It is certain that the MGK is a supra-state institution. From this point of view, the state's attitude towards gangs is clear, since the issue never found a place before in the MGK meetings.
 "After Alaattin Cakici was caught in France, the connection between Cakici and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) became clear. The reason why the MGK put the gang issue onto its agenda is that the state was caught red-handed." (From an August 26, 1998, article by Zaman's Fehmi Koru)


Turkey's neighbors head towards new alliances

 Agitated by the growing Turkish-Israeli relationship, some of Turkey's neighbors have reportedly become involved in new military alliances, having approved various agreements among each other.
 Iran, Armenia, Greece and Syria, which openly complained about Turkey's ties to the Jewish state, have signed some military cooperation agreements.
 The most recent accord between Armenia and Iran provides training in Iran for Armenian officers and a discount to Armenia in the prices of weapons manufactured by Iran. That agreement has angered neighboring Azerbaijan since Baku has had tense relations with Tehran because of its aid to Yerevan during the Azeri-Armenian war over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh. Iran's main concern is said to have originated with demands to suppress its more than 20-million-strong ethnic Azeri population living in the country's north.
 According to another military agreement signed between Greece and Syria three months ago, Athens has agreed to train Syrian officers. Intelligence sources say that currently 12 Syrian military officers are in Greece to receive training.
 The sources said both Athens and Damascus were willing to extend their military cooperation into a defense relationship, adding that Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlas is expected to visit Greece with three of his generals, most probably in October. (TDN, August 1st, 1998)

Turkey appeals to EU over human rights

 Human Rights Minister Hikmet Sami Turk urged the European Union on Friday not to block Turkey's membership because of human rights concerns.
 "We do not want the human rights issue to be used as a pretext to prevent our membership," he told Reuters in an interview.
 Turkey, struggling to join the European club since the 1960s, was excluded from a list of prospective members in December when the EU put its membership bid on hold citing the country's shaky rights record high among its concerns.
 The Turkish government responded by cutting dialogue with the EU over sensitive issues, including human rights.
 The minister said Turkey would improve its rights record for its own benefit and not because of EU pressure.
 "Progressing in the human rights field is a matter of honour for Turkey," he said.
 Allegations of rife abuse, including torture in police custody and extrajudical killings have long troubled Turkey's relations with Europe.
 The imprisonment of politicians, journalists and dissident activists for what they have said or written have added to those woes.
 The country's main rights campaigner, Akin Birdal, shot and severely wounded by right-wing gunmen in May, was sentented to one year in jail last month for provoking hatred in a speech. He is currently appealing the verdict.
 "I do not deny that we have problems but we are in the process of more democratisation. This is a process which cannot be ended in one day," Turk said.
 But Turk said when it came to the threat posed by Kurdish separatism and Islamist activism there were limits to what concessions could be made to improve the country's rights record.
 "There are two important dangers in Turkey. One of them is a terrorist movement against our country's territorial integrity and the second one is a fundemantalist movement which aims to change the secular character of Turkey. Both must be prevented."
 The European court of human rights has found Turkey guilty in several cases of ill-treatment of civilians caught in the crossfire of its conflict with Kurdish separatist rebels, fighting for self-rule since 1984.
 Rights lawyers say most of the cases relate to complaints of torture, mystery killings and missing persons.
 A court in January banned the country's biggest party, the Islam-based Welfare Party and barred its leader, former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan from politics for five years, further adding to Western concerns.
 A secularist clampdown has followed with a plethora of prosecutions against against prominent Islamists and a clampdown on Islamic attire in universities.
 Turk said he supported the measures: "It has a connection with the country's secular character," he said.
 Despite a parliamentary decision to take the country to early polls next April, the minister pledged to push through legal measures to ease tight restrictions on freedom of expression.
 He said new draft laws aimed to cut the jail terms for separatist propaganda and inciting hatred from the present maximum of six years to two years.
 But Conservative Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz announced he would resign at the end of the year to make way for a pre-election government, a plan that leaves only a few months for the government to pass the bills through parliament.
 "I am hopeful that we will push these bills through parliament. But this is not only our problem. I hope the new government also will work in that way," Turk said. (Reuters, August 7, 1998)

Turkey urges end to U.S. missile sales to Greece

 Turkey will try to persuade the United States to halt anti-aircraft missiles sales to its neighbour and ancient rival Greece, state-run Anatolian news agency said on Friday. It said Turkey would present evidence to U.S. officials allegedly showing Greek government support for Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas and expressing its concern that the portable "Stinger" missiles would fall into Kurdish rebel hands.
 A Turkish foreign ministry spokesman declined to comment on the agency report
 More than 28,000 people have been killed since the PKK launched its campaign for Kurdish self-rule in 1984.
 NATO members Turkey and Greece have long been at odds over a number of issues, especially the divided island of Cyprus, territorial rights in the Aegean Sea and minority rights in each country.
 Greece denies Turkish accusations that it backs the PKK.
 Turkey has threatened military force to prevent the planned deployment later this year of Russian-made anti-aircraft missile batteries by the Greek Cypriot government. Greece has said such an attack would be a cause for war.
 Last-minute intervention by the United States averted conflict between Greece and Turkey over a series of rocky islets in the Aegean Sea in 1996. (Reuters, August 7, 1998)

Turkish Grey Wolves in Kosova

 A Turkish nationalist group has been recruiting volunteers to take part in a self-styled humanitarian aid mission in the war-torn southern Yugoslav region of Kosovo, the group's leader said Tuesday. "We are seeking to create a 5,000-strong Kosovo Volunteers Army and have already recruited some 2,500 men whose conditions are suitable," Tuna Koc, head of the Nizami Alem (World Order organisation), told AFP.
 "But do not be misled by the name, army. It will be an unarmed unit and will be involved in humanitarian missions. Our aim is not to fight the Serbs on the ground, but to provide the Kosovo refugees with humanitarian aid," he said.
 "We did similar things in Bosnia and Chechnya in the past," Koc said without elaborating.
 He charged that the "Serbs are committing the worst kind of crimes against the Albanian population of Kosovo and the western world is merely watching this. "So we have to do something to relieve the plight of those suffering," he said. "But we are waiting for the result of the planned peace talks for Kosovo. If they fail, we will step up efforts to send our men to Kosovo," Koc added.
 The Turkish group's move came amid increased attacks by Serb troops against independence-seeking Kosovo Albanians, led by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA.
 The KLA, which only a month ago claimed control of some 40 percent of Kosovo territory, has suffered a series of blows after Serb forces launched a massive offensive aimed at securing major roads connecting the capital Pristina with the west and south of the province.
 The Serb onslaught has caused tens of thousands of civilians to flee. International aid agencies put the figure at more than 230,000. Kosovo's whole population is around two million.
 The international community, headed by the United States, has been pressing Belgrade and ethnic Albanians to resume talks over restive Kosovo province, as NATO troops began manoeuvres in neighbouring Albania.
 Turkey has special links with Kosovo as the region was part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire between the 14th century and late last century.
 More than two million Moslem Albanians, many of them relatives of those in Kosovo, live in Turkey, according to ethnic Albanian groups in the country.
 But despite its strong ethnic and religious ties with the Kosovo Albanians, Turkey has refrained from supporting the region's independence aspirations. Ankara instead favours the restoration of Kosovo's autonomy and a solution within Yugoslavia's territorial integrity.
 However, this did not prevent Turkish President Suleyman Demirel from condemning Serb attacks as a crime against humanity and calling for western intervention during a visit to Albania last month.
 Koc said his group did not want to undertake anything that might be viewed as an "illegal move in the eyes of the Turkish government and the United Nations, and will be seeking their green light before sending our men to Kosovo.
 "If get that kind of green light, we will apparently not wait for permission from the Serb perpetrators," added the leader of the nationalist Turkish group.
 But Turkish government officials ruled out any support for the initiative.
 Koc's Nizami Alem is an organisation on the sidelines of the right-wing Grand Union Party, a seven-MP opposition group in Turkey's 550-seat parliament. That party supported an Islamist-led cabinet from outside the government when it ruled the country between June 1996 and June last year. (AFP, August 19, 1998)

La CSU condamne une "ingérence stupide" de M. Yilmaz

 L'Union chrétienne-sociale (CSU), branche bavaroise des Unions conservatrices du chancelier Helmut Kohl, a condamné mercredi "l'ingérence stupide" du Premier ministre turc Mesut Yilmaz qui a indirectement appelé à voter contre M. Kohl aux élections de septembre.
 "L'ingérence maladroite de M. Yilmaz dans la campagne électorale allemande est stupide, et indigne d'un homme politique qui veut faire partie des démocrates européens", a estimé le porte-parole du groupe parlementaire de la CSU aux affaires étrangères, Christian Schmidt.
 Dans un entretien au quotidien turc Milliyet paru mardi, M. Yilmaz a demandé aux Allemands d'origine turque de "se souvenir de Luxembourg" au moment du vote, en allusion au sommet européen qui a exclu la Turquie des candidats à l'adhésion. Ankara tient le chancelier pour principal responsable de ce barrage.
 "Avec sa polémique primaire M. Yilmaz empoisonne l'atmosphère nécessaire à une cohabitation pacifique entre étrangers et Allemands", a ajouté M. Schmidt dans un communiqué. Il y voit une confirmation de la justesse de la ligne de son parti, qui est contre l'accord de la double nationalité aux enfants d'immigrés, estimant qu'elle créera "un conflit de loyauté".
 Quelque 150.000 Turcs naturalisés allemands auront le droit de voter en septembre en Allemagne, où vit une communauté de 2 millions de Turcs. (AFP, 19 août 1998)

Germany bans two Turkish political groups

 Germany on Thursday banned two Turkish political organisations it accused of terrorising and extorting cash from Germany's two-million-plus Turkish population.
 The Interior Ministry said the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party (DHKP-C) and the Turkish People's Liberation Party (THKP-C) were responsible for a series of murders and attempted murders.
 It said the two had been involved in a bitter struggle for supremacy following the banning in 1983 of their predecessor, the far-left Devrimci Sol organisation.
 "This has to be stopped...for the sake of the rule of law and so German and Turkish fellow citizens can live together peacefully," Interior Minister Manfred Kanther said in a statement.
 Tough action against crime by foreigners living in Germany has been a major theme of Chancellor Helmut Kohl's campaign to be re-elected on September 27. The campaign has tended to focus on criminality by individuals rather than that by organised, politically motivated groups.
 Three former members of the Devrimci Sol are on trial in Hamburg for attempted murder and arms offences.
 The ban, effective immediately, means the two groups will be stripped of their assets and forbidden from continuing their activities in Germany. Any representation of the insignia of the two groups is also illegal.
 Germany's Federal Agency for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), which is responsible for internal security, said the groups had a combined membership of 1,300.
 The DHKP-C, by far the larger of the two groups, stated in a recently published manifesto its aim was the creation of a democratic, multi-cultural state for Turks, Kurds and other ethnic groups. (Reuters, August 13, 1998)

DHKP/C communiqué on the ban in Germany

 DHKP/C Information Office in Holland issued on August 14, 1998, the following communiqué on the ban:
 On 13 August German Federal Minister of the Interior Manfred Kant, declared our organizing for "Forbidden". As reason robbery, bodily injury, extortion of donation funds and attempted murders were called. Our organization was called a "heavy criminal gang".
 We explained again and again and do repeat it again: The DHKP-C fights against the fascist regime in Turkey. The strategic target of this fight is too smash fascism, to free our peoples from suppression and exploitation and to create an independent country, in which the peoples can live freely. We stress, our organization is a people's liberation movement and the soil, on which she fights her struggle is Turkey.
 Our peoples, our friends, our enemies and everyone than knows us, knows that DHKP-C is a liberation organisation, which does what she says and defends what she does. There is not a single action carried out by the DHKP-C, which was not acknowledged. In Germany it gave violent actions with which we have to do nothing at all. By complots and with the influence of the police one tried to put these actions in our shoes. Such cases were corrected by our organization by statements.
 In each statement of our organization it is said, "everything that concerns our organization should be based on the the statements of our organization". Without doubt this also well known by the German authorities. Nevertheless was consciously tried to produce in Germany a phobie with the topic "internal security" This resolution is politically conditioned. It is calculated that this approach would be the best in the light of the upcoming elections and the new phase of Germany's relation with Turkey.
 Because of numerous speculations, we find it important to stress the following again: Our organization fights not with political and/or military support of any state, but with the voluntary support of our peoples. Our fight is based on voluntariness. We want and fight for the liberty of our peoples.
 Nobody can seriously defend the demagogie as that our organization collects money with the use of "pressure", not alone because in the demonstrations of our organization ten thousands of humans participate.
 The crucial question is the own position to fascism, for or against it. This question should be answered and one should behave accordingly.
 The German government offers its political - economic - military support to the fascist regime in Turkey.
 - while at demonstrators shoots the armed fascist state forces in Turkey, the German government watches.
 - while the state in Turkey lets humans disappear, the German government watches.
 - while fascism in Turkey commits massacres, with German weapons and ammunition, the German government does move a finger.
 - while to the crimes of fascism in Turkey are made public by our people with the use of actions and publications, the German state hits our people: with clubs on the heads of demonstrators, with arrests, condemnations and prohibitions.
 Our organization, DHKP-C, leads a completely legitimate fight against the fascist state in the Turkey, whose history is one the most brutal and bloodiest in modern history.

Germany transfers $265 million in weapons to Turkey this year

 Germany reportedly sold DM 449.2 million (approximately $265 million) worth of weapons and military equipment to Turkey in the first half of 1998, the Anatolia news agency reported from Bonn.
 The number was derived from a response by the German government to a questionnaire submitted by the Green Alliance 90, a united opposition movement, on the transfer of weapons to some countries in recent years.
 According to the German government's statement, the value of weapons and military equipment delivered to Turkey by year is as follows: DM 619.3 million in 1994; DM 177.9 million in 1995; DM 600.8 million in 1996; DM 145 million in 1997; and DM 449.2 million in the first half of 1998.
 The government statement also said that a cargo ship used by the German military had been sold to Turkey as surplus equipment. Both Germany and Turkey are NATO members.
 The federal government additionally said that Germany had also transferred weapons to Greece, another NATO member, worth DM 30.7 million in the first half of this year. (TDN, August 14, 1998)

Turkey rejects Syrian demand to convene water committee

 Putting forth "adverse developments" in bilateral relations as the reason, Turkey has rejected demands from Syria that a joint Turco-Syrian-Iraqi technical committee dealing with water issues be revived in 1998, the Anatolia news agency reported on Tuesday.
 The joint Turco-Syrian-Iraqi technical committee convened for the last time in 1992. It was established between Turkey and Iraq in 1980, and Syria joined it three years later. The committee has reached no compromise on longstanding disputes between the three neighbors regarding the share of the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which originate in Turkey and flow down to Syria and Iraq.
 "It is too early to revive the [water committee] process. This does not appear to be possible in the near future. First Syria should take steps on a number of disputed issues, including terrorism," a Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying.
 Turkey accuses Syria of sheltering the leader of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, and providing support for the terrorist organization. Turkey links a compromise on the water issue to a halt of Syrian support for the PKK.
 Under a 1987 protocol, Turkey allocated at least 500 cubic meters of water per second from the Euphrates to Syria prior to the completion of the construction of the huge Ataturk Dam, built over the river in Turkish territory. The same protocol stipulated that once the construction of the dam was finished, Turkey and Syria should hammer out a new agreement on the amount of water to be allocated to Syria. The dam was finished in 1991, but severe disputes between Ankara and Damascus have obstructed negotiations on the issue and no agreement has been reached to date.
 An average of more than 900 cubic meters of water per second has flowed from Turkey to Syria from the Euphrates during the last three years. However, the increase in the water flow is not an indication of Turkey's thawing stance to its southern neighbor, but a natural outcome of the accelerated electricity production at the Ataturk Dam.
 Ankara: Iraqi warnings unfounded
 Commenting on warnings by Baghdad that it would submit the water issue to international justice if Turkey proceeds with its current water policies and continues plans for dam construction, the Foreign Ministry official said that Iraq had no legal grounds to do this.
 He stated that no international mechanism or agreement existed with respect to this and emphasized that Turkey was not a signatory to a U.N. treaty on the utilization of international waterways for purposes other than transport.
 Other Turkish officials, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, commented that Iraqi demands to halt dam construction over the Tigris and Euphrates were "interference in Turkey's national sovereignty."
 Syria and Iraq maintain that a permanent agreement on the sharing of the water should be hammered out, while Turkey insists that the water should be allocated according to just, reasonable and optimal criteria. (TDN, August 26, 1998)

The Guardian: "Turkey could be expelled from Council of Europe"

 One of Britain's prestigious newspapers, The Guardian, said in an article on August 28, 1998, that Turkey could be expelled from the Council of Europe for saying it will defy a European Court of Human rights (ECHR) ruling that it should compensate a Greek Cypriot tourist guide for the loss of her home after the Turkish intervention in Cyprus in 1974.
 Already at loggerheads with the European Union, which has refused to make it a candidate for membership, Turkey is now on a collision course with the one European body," Martin Walker said in his article.
 After reiterating that Ankara had officially denounced the court ruling, the paper said the Council of Europe's committee of ministers were to meet on Sept. 14, to enforce their decision.
 According to Walker, the Council of Europe can either make Turkey comply or sabotage the authority of the court.
 "Enforcing this judgement is not a battle the Council of Europe wants to fight. It has always said the place to resolve the Cyprus dispute is in the UN-sponsored talks," Walker said.
 After indicating that the case against Turkey had been brought in 1989 by Titina Loizidou under Article 50 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Walker said that Turkey was forced to pay 544,000 pounds sterling in damages. "Turkey was found guilty of violating the right of every natural or legal who are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions," Walker stated.
 He went on to say that Loizidou was now entitled to ask any court in Europe to help enforce the judgement. "Lawyers in Cyprus are now looking at sizeable assets such as Turkish Airlines property and aircraft," Walker wrote, adding that Ankara is currently trying to privatize the airline. Walker quoted Greek Cypriot Attorney-General Alekos Markides as saying that the ruling of the ECHR was of historic significance. "Hundreds of similar cases are now in the pipeline: up to 200,000 Greek Cypriots may have legal grounds to join them," Walker stated.
 He said that Turkey had many problems to deal with at present; "The Turkish government, beset by Islamic fundamentalists and nationalists, and Westernisers who want to join the EU, has little room to manoeuvre," Walker stated, and added, that defying the court would strengthen the hand of the Greeks and other critics of Turkey.


Turks Still on Strike at US Bases

 A spokesman for 1,400 Turkish employees at U.S. military facilities vowed today to continue a 2-week-old strike over pay, benefits and other issues.
 The strike has disrupted life at bases in Ankara, Izmir and at Incirlik air base, near the southern city of Adana, home to 2,000 service members and the center of a major air operation over Iraq. The action has shut down the commissary, gas station, dining halls and other facilities
 ``We are determined to keep up our struggle until the end,'' said Ibrahim Yalcin, deputy head of Harb-Is, the union that organized the strike.
 The strikers are demanding that salaries be raised every three months in line with inflation, now running around 70 percent, the union's Yalcin said.
 Yalcin also accused the U.S. Air Force of breaking Turkish laws by getting servicemen to take on duties normally done by the strikers, including repair work and garbage collecting.
 The sides are awaiting a judge's ruling to settle a dispute over which facilities can be operated by whom, said Capt. Max Torrens, spokeswoman for the base.
 An airman and a striking worker were briefly detained in the first week of the strike after an argument at Incirlik air base, but they were released when a prosecutor decided not to file charges.
 Another U.S. airman, Robert Rodriguez, was assaulted in the parking lot of a supermarket in Adana on Saturday, Torrens said.
 Normally, servicemen are barred from traveling to the town, but authorities lifted the restriction because of the strike to allow base members to pick up supplies.
 Rodriguez was not seriously injured. There was no indication the attack had anything to do with the labor dispute
 The base, some six miles northeast of Adana, is home to "Operation Northern Watch," which patrols the no-fly zone north of the 36th parallel in northern Iraq. More than 45 U.S. and British planes monitor Iraq's treatment of the Kurds in the zone. (Associated Press, August 5, 1998)

Istanbul mayor mulls shutting door on migrants

 Istanbul mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday the key to stemming the citys sprawling growth lies in issuing entrance visas to residents -- and locking out unwanted migrants. Turkeys state-run Anatolian news agency reported Erdogan as saying the citys shaky infrastructure, already crumbling under the weight of its 10 million inhabitants, could not cope with "artificial" population growth through economic migration.
 "What I am talking about is not like the visas in international passports...but controlling entrance to the city through a travel document," Erdogan said at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new road junction in the city suburbs.
 He said the measure was aimed at stopping uncontrolled migration, illegal construction and the expansion of shanty towns in the city. Istanbul's population has been swelled in recent years by migrants fleeing economic hardship and armed rebellion in mainly-Kurdish southeast Turkey.
 More than 28,000 people have died in nearly 14 years of conflict between the armed forces and Kurdish rebels, seeking self-rule in a region which has been ravaged economically by the fighting.
 Before introducing the measure, aimed at keeping out those without homes or jobs in Istanbul, there should be steps to eradicate the causes of migration, the Islamist official said.   Erdogan was quoted as saying in a newspaper on Thursday that he would put the proposal to Turkeys new interior minister, Kutlu Aktas, who gave up his post as Istanbul governor this week to join the government.
 He said the city council had arranged the return of 3,700 families from Istanbul to their former villages -- at the families request.
 Erdogan was found guilty in April of "inciting hatred" in what was seen as an anti-secularist speech and sentenced to 10 months in prison. He is currently appealing the verdict.
 Erdogan is one of several leading Islamists targeted by the courts after the closure of the former ruling Welfare Party for threatening the countrys secular order. (Reuters, August 6, 1998)

Performances économiques louables mais difficilement soutenables

 Le Fonds Monétaire International a félicité la Turquie pour ses performances économiques mais n'est pas certain que la situation soit soutenable, dans son avis annuel sur l'économie turque publié jeudi.
 "L'économie turque a maintenu une croissance rapide, un déficit extérieur des comptes courants gérable, des ratios d'endettement relativement stable et des réserves en devises croissantes, en dépit d'un très important déficit budgétaire et d'une haute inflation chronique", écrit le FMI.
 Les administrateurs trouvent ces performances "louables mais éventuellement impossibles à soutenir".
 Ils estiment que les autorités devrait faire un effort "important et de longue durée" au niveau du budget, des salaires publics, des privatisations et des réformes structurelles en particulier dans le secteur bancaire.
 Le PIB de l'économie turque devrait croître de 4,5% en 1998 après 8% en 1997. L'inflation atteindra 55% après déjà près de 100% l'année dernière et le déficit budgétaire demeurera autour de 7,5% du PIB. (AFP, 13 août 1998)


(Dépêches de la Fondation des Droits de l'Homme de Turquie-TIHV)

´ Le journal Halkin Gunlugu, N°24, est confisqué par la CSE d'Istanbul pour propagande séparatiste. Le même tribunal confisque également la traduction du livre Carol Brown, intitulé "Les liaisons entre nous", pour "un contenu incompatible avec la moralité publique".
´ La CSE d'Istanbul confisque pour propagande séparatiste un livre intitulé Le Secret de l'Affaire Sait Kirimizitoprak-Sait Elci, écrit par Hüseyin Akar.
´ A Silifke, onze personnes ayant participé à la commémoration d'un militant de Dev-Sol, abattu par les forces de sécurité en 1993, sont arrêtées par la gendarmerie.
´ Le caricaturiste Dogan Güzel des quotidiens Ozgur Gündem et Özgür Ülke, est incarcéré pour purger sa peine de prison suite à sa condamnation.
´ Les numéros des 2 et 3 août 1998 du quotidien Gündem sont publiés avec plusieurs colonnes vides à cause de la censure imposée par le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul sur certains articles.
´ Le périodique Alternatif rapporte que Cetin Gündes qui a été condamné par la CSE d'Istanbul à une peine de 16 mois pour un article publié dans cette revue avait subi la torture pendant son interrogatoire à la Sûreté de Gaziantep.
´ La CSE d'Ankara condamne le dramaturge du théâtre Izmir Fetih Sahnesi, Mehmet Vahi Oz, à une peine de prison de 24 ans et une amende de 12,3 millions de LT pour sa pièce intitulé "Un ennemi de Dieu". Quatre acteurs du théâtre, Zekeriya Özen, Fuat Basarili, Nazmi Kar et Osman Yavuz sont condamné dans le même procès à une peine de 16 ans et une amende 10,5 millions de LT.
´ Le quotidien Gündem rapporte qu'un prisonnier politique, Safi Genc, qui purge actuellement sa peine de prison dans la prison spéciale de Gaziantep, est systématiquement privé des soins médicaux alors qu'il souffre toujours des troubles nerveux à cause de la torture pendant sa garde à vue de 45 jours en 1994.
´ Le journal Halkin Birligi, N°60, est confisqué par la CSE d'Istanbul pour propagande séparatiste.
´ L'ancien député DEP Hatip Dicle qui purge actuellement sa peine de plus de sept ans est condamné une fois de plus par la CSE d'Ankara à une peine d'un an pour son communiqué à une conférence sur les droits de l'Homme en Turquie en 1995.
´ Suite à une descente au Centre culturel Mart Ekin à Izmir, la police arrête deux dirigeants du centre, Safak Gumussoy et Kadir Önder, ainsi que les artistes du Mouvement théâtral d'Ankara (ATH), Nevzat Sus, Mehmet Yurdal, Derya Özen, Muge Savut et Goknur Goral s'y trouvant pour la préparation d'une représentation.
´ Le quotidien Gündem est publié avec plusieurs colonnes vides à cause de la censure imposée par le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul sur certains articles.
´ La CSE d'Ankara commence à juger un groupe de dirigeants du parti, Halit Celik (SIP), Hamza Abay et Yilmaz Acikyuz (HADEP) ainsi que le journaliste Ahmet Ulucelebi (Atilim) à cause de leur communiqué relatif à l'attentat contre Akin Birdal.
´ Un livre intitulé "L'homme dans les religions célestes", écrit par Özdemir Basargan, est confisqué par un tribunal pénal d'Istanbul pour insulte à la religion.
´ Le quotidien Gündem est publié avec plusieurs colonnes vides à cause de la censure imposée par le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul sur certains articles.
´ A Istanbul, Ramazan Özgür, Ahmet Özgür et Selami Aydemir affirment avoir été torturés après leur arrestation le 3 août pour protester contre l'infraction grave d'une voiture appartenant à la police.
´ La présidente de la Fondation pour la Solidarité avec les femmes kurdes (Kurt KADAV), Zeynep Baran est condamnée par la CSE d'Istanbul une peine de prison de deux ans et une amende de 1,8 millions de LT, pour incitation au désordre.
´ Le périodique Odak, N°79, est confisqué par la CSE d'Istanbul pour propagande séparatiste.
´ L'ancien rédacteur en chef du périodique Devrimci Cözüm, Erdal Özdemir est arrêté à Istanbul.
´ A Amasya, trois personnes sont mises en état d'arrestation par un tribunal pour aider le TKP(ML)-TIKKO.
´ Les numéros des 9 et 10 août 1998 du quotidien Gündem sont publiés avec plusieurs colonnes vides à cause de la censure imposée par le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul sur certains articles.
´ A Osmaniye, le correspondant du quotidien Gündem, Ahmet Birgul, est arrêté et soumise aux insultes et menaces pour son article sur l'arrestation de certains dirigeants de HADEP.
´ A Diyarbakir, le président provincial du parti du Travail (EMEP) Sukru Abay déclare avoir été soumis aux menaces pendant sa garde à vue à la police.
´ Une employée du bureau du quotidien Gündem à Mersin, Zelal Arslan est arrêtée lors qu'elle sorte du bureau.
´ A Istanbul, un cireur âgé de 11 ans, Hakan Kizil est emmené au poste de police et battu pour refusé de cirer gratuitement les chaussures d'un policier.
´ Le quotidien Gündem est publié avec plusieurs colonnes vides à cause de la censure imposée par le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul sur certains articles.
´ Le quotidien Gündem rapporte qu'un prisonnier politique, Mehmet Oner, qui purge actuellement sa peine de prison de 12,5 ans dans la prison d'Amasya, est privé des soins médicaux alors qu'il souffre toujours des troubles cardiaques.
´ Un tribunal pénal d'Ankara décide d'interdire la maison du peuple de Dikmen à cause des slogans scandés pendant un concert organisée par l'association en 1997. Cinq dirigeants de l'association, Sükran Eken, Halil Kures, Demet Tekin, Erkan Adiguzel et Fatma Aytekin sont condamnés chacun à un an de prison.
´ A Bodrum, le peintre Vezir Dolancay déclare avoir été battu et gardé à vue au poste de police pendant 27 heures pour avoir refusé de badigeonner gratuitement le bâtiment du poste.
´ A Istanbul, un tribunal pénal commence à juger le président local de EMEP Ahmet Karatay et quatre autres dirigeants du parti pour avoir organisé une manifestation sans autorisation à l'occasion de la journée de la femme du 8 mars.
´ Le journal Alinteri, N°26, est confisqué par la CSE d'Istanbul pour propagande séparatiste.
´ Le rédacteur en chef du journal Özgür Gelecek, Celal Aslandogan, est arrêté à Istanbul.
´ A Osmaniye, six adolescents, V.Y.(12), I.B.(11), B.K.(10), M.K.(11), H.K.(11) et M.K.(10) sont emmenés au poste de police sous accusation de lancer des pierres à un train passant et sont passés à tabac.
´ Les numéros des 12 et 13 août 1998 du quotidien Gündem sont publiés avec plusieurs colonnes vides à cause de la censure imposée par le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul sur certains articles.
´ Le rédacteur en chef du journal Emek, Ahmet Ergin, est condamné par la CSE d'Istanbul à une amende de 5,7 millions de LT pour propagande séparatiste. Le tribunal décide également de former le journal pour trois jours.
´ Le correspondant du périodique Özgür Gelecek, Murat Deniz, est arrêté à Balikesir.
´ Le président local de HADEP à Batman, le Dr. Sakir Kakalicoglu et dix autres dirigeants du parti sont traduits devant la CSE de Diyarbakir sous l'accusation de soutenir le PKK.
´ Le quotidien Gündem est publié avec plusieurs colonnes vides à cause de la censure imposée par le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul sur les articles relatifs à la proclamation du cessez-le-feu par le PKK.
´ Le poète Ömer Tekercioglu est inculpé par le procureur d'Ankara pour avoir insulté le président de la République dans son recueil intitulé Cerci.
´ L'ancien secrétaire générale des Maisons du peuple, Abdullah Aydin, est incarcéré à Ankara pour purger sa peine de prison d'un an à cause de son discours à un meeting à l'occasion de la journée de la Paix en 1996.
´ A Ankara, deux dirigeantes de parti, Sema Basok (EMEP) et Gülizar Malgaz (HADEP) sont arrêtées pour une manifestation organisée à l'occasion de la journée de la Femme du 8 mars.
´ Le journal Emek rapporte qu'un adolescent de 14 ans, D.C., a été torturé à Ankara après son arrestation le 29 juillet 1998 sous accusation de vol.
´ Le rassemblement habituel des "Mères du samedi" devant le lycée de Galatasaray à Istanbul est interdit par la police et plusieurs personnes arrêtée pour résister à cette interdiction.
´ Le journal Azadiya Welat rapporte que ses plusieurs collaborateurs ont récemment arrêtés à Adana, Mersin, Izmir et Mardin.
´ Un employé de la revue Kaldirac, Ergun Kose, est arrêté à Istanbul.
´ A Istanbul, le cireur Hakan Kizil, âgé de 11 ans, est arrêté pour une deuxième fois pour à cause de dénoncer par l'intermédiaire de l'IHD les mauvais traitements qu'il a subi pendant son arrestation du 10 août.
´ Le prisonnier politique Cetin Gunes est privé des soins médicaux dans la prison d'Araban alors qu'il souffre d'une maladie cardiaque. Il a été condamné à une peine de 16 mois pour propagande séparatiste.
´ Le quotidien Öncü est confisqué pour un article.
´ La section d'Istanbul de l'IHD annonce qu'une détenue politique âgée de 16 ans, Sevgi Ince, est privée des soins médicaux à la prison de Bayrampasa d'Istanbul alors qu'elle souffre toujours de la présence d'une balle dans sa jambe. Elle avait été capturée en 1996 pendant une escarmouche entre un groupe de résistants et les forces de sécurité.
´ A Aydin, un prisonnier politique âgé de 70 ans, Halef Özer, déclare être privé des soins médicaux malgré le fait qu'il souffre de maladies cardiaques, de prostate et de haute tension.
´ La police arrête plusieurs universitaires à Ankara pour faire une manifestation à l'occasion du procès d'un groupe de jeunes universitaires jugés pour déferler une pancarte contre l'augmentation des frais d'inscription aux universités.
´ Le quotidien Gündem est publié avec des colonnes vides à cause de la censure imposée par le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul sur un article.
´ Le journal Halkin Günlügü, N°25, est confisqué par la CSE d'Istanbul.
´ Le bureau de Mersin du journal Azadiye Welat est attaqué par des militant de MHP et les matériels à l'intérieur sont saccagés? Les assaillants passent à tabac Ekrem Özer se trouvant à ce moment au bureau.
´ A Mersin, un correspondant du journal Alinteri, Servet Özdemir est emmené par la police et passé à tabac.
´ Deux dirigeants du parti de la Liberté et de la Solidarité (ÖDP), Haydar Yildirim et Mustafa Kocaoglu, sont incarcérés à Ankara pour purger leur peine de prison de deux ans chacun, à laquelle ont-ils été condamnés par la CSE d'Ankara pour organiser un meeting le 1er septembre 1996 à l'occasion de la Journée mondiale de la Paix.
´ Les derniers numéros des journaux Hedef et Proleter Halkin Birligi sont confisqué par la CSE d'Istanbul.
´ Le quotidien Gündem est publié avec des colonnes vides à cause de la censure imposée par le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul sur un article.
´ A Istanbul, un distributeur du quotidien Gündem et huit autres personnes y compris deux mineurs d'âge sont arrêtés par la police.
´ Le quotidien Gündem est publié avec des colonnes vides à cause de la censure imposée par le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul sur un article.
´ La revue Zindan, N°3, est confisquée par la CSE d'Istanbul pour propagande séparatiste.
´ Le rassemblement habituel des "Mères du samedi" devant le lycée de Galatasaray à Istanbul est interdit par la police. Un groupe composé de représentants des organisations politiques et démocratiques comme IHD, ÖDP, HADEP et Reporters sans frontières (RSF) sont harcelés quant ils organisent un autre rassemblement en protestation contre cette interdiction. La représentante de RSF Nadire Mater et la dirigeante de IHD Nimet Tanrikulu ainsi que plusieurs personnes sont arrêtées par la police.
´ A Istanbul, cinq personnes sont arrêtées par la police alors qu'elles sont en train de faire la lecture d'une communiqué en protestation contre l'interdiction la Radio Özgür par le RTUK.
´ Le président provincial de HADEP à Ankara, Kemal Bulbul, et cinq autres dirigeants de ce parti sont traduits devant la CSE d'Ankara sous l'inculpation d'aider une organisation illégale. Chacun risque une peine de prison jusque 7 ans et demi.
´ La revue Kizil Bayrak, N°68, est confisquée par la CSE d'Istanbul pour incitation à la haine.
´ A Izmir, deux adolescents âgés de 14 ans, U.O. et C.A., affirment avoir été torturés au poste de police pendant leur garde à vue. Le même jour, un dirigeant de la section de la jeunesse du HADEP à Istanbul, Selam Inan, déclare avoir été kidnappée par lkes policiers le 11 août et soumis à la torture pendant plusieurs jours.
´ Après la cassation de leur première condamnation, le procès du président de HADEP Murat Bozlak et trois autres hauts dirigeants du parti, Hamit Geylani, Ali Riza Yurtsever et Kemal Okutan, est recommencé à la CSE d'Ankara. Ils sont tenu responsables de l'enlèvement du drapeau turc pendant le congrès du parti en 1996.
´ Le bureau de liaison du journal Kizilbayrak à Antakya est perquisitionné par la police et plusieurs publications et documents y sont confisqués. Les bureaux des journaux Atilim et Kurtulus à Antep sont également perquisitionnés le même jour par la police.
´ Un des dirigeants du parti pour la démocratie et la paix (DBP), Fikret Sahin, est incarcéré à Gudul pour purger sa peine de prison d'un an à laquelle a-t-il été condamné par la CSE d'Ankara à cause de son discours à la journée pour la paix en 1997.
´ Trois membres du groupe de musique Yorum, Irsad Aydin, Vefa Saygin et Aziz Akal, sont placés en détention préventive par la CSE d'Istanbul suite à leur arrestation au centre culturel d'Idil le 21 août. Le même jour, la CSE d'Adana place en détention préventive un autre musicien, Mehmet Öztürk, membre du groupe de musique Özgürlük Türküsü.
´ Le président de HADEP Murat Bozlak et 50 autres dirigeants du parti son jugés par la CSE d'Ankara sous l'inculpation de constituer l'aile légale du PKK.
 Le quotidien Gündem rapporte que le traitement médical de trois prisonniers politiques à la prison de Diyarbakir, Mehmet Cubukcu (72), Mehmet Seyhan et Kadri Gokdere, est empêchés par les autorités pénitentiaires malgré la gravité de leur état de santé.
´ Le journal Emek, N°656, est confisqué par la CSE d'Istanbul pour l'incitation à la haine.
´ Le quotidien Gündem est publié avec des colonnes vides à cause de la censure imposée par le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul sur deux articles.
´ Le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul inculpe quatre membres de HADEP pour avoir exposé le drapeau du PKK pendant le congrès de HADEP tenu le 9 août à Istanbul. Chacun risque une peine de prison jusque 7 ans et demi.
´ Onze membres de Greenpeace sont arrêtés pendant une manifestation contre la construction d'une centrale nucléaire à Akkaya. Parmi eux se trouvent également sept écologistes d'origines étrangères.
´ Le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul inculpe deux journaliste du journal islamiste Akit, Hasan Karakaya et Veli Kucuk, pour avoir critiqué le rapporteur de la Cour constitutionnelle qui avait demandé la fermeture du RP.
´ Le procureur de la CSE d'Istanbul demande la peine capital pour une femme âgée de 20 ans, Gülseren Özdemir, qui a été arrêtée le 13 août pour faire partie d'un groupe armé proche du PKK. Sa soeur Gülistan Özdemir, âgée de 156 ans, avait été abattue par les policiers lors d'une opération le 11 février à Istanbul.
´ Le journal Alinteri, N°128, est confisqué par la CSE d'Istanbul pour l'incitation à la haine.
´ Le correspondant du journal Kurtulus, Özgül Emre, est arrêté à Istanbul.

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