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23e Année - N°247

March/Mars 1999


21 political parties taking part in April 18 elections

 More than 35 million electors of Turkey will vote on April 18, 1999, for electing as well 550 members of the National Assembly as municipal and local council and mayors. A number of maneuvres to prevent pro-Kurdish HADEP and pro-islamist FP from taking part in elections having failed, twenty-one political parties are running for the most complicated elections of the Republican history.
 In the right, twelve political parties have entered electoral campaign. In 1995 elections, six right-wing parties had gained 69.79 percent of the votes and obtained 425 deputies in the 550-seat National Assembly. This time, twelve parties are racing for sharing about 70 percent right-wing votes.
 According to recent estimations, three of the right-wing parties (FP, ANAP and DYP) again have the chance to enter the Parliament. Although two extreme-right parties, MHP and BBP, also claim a share in the new assembly, only MHP is recognized a chance if it can climb over the 10% national treshold.
 As for the left, among nine political parties, only three (DSP, CHP and HADEP) may claim a share in about 30 percent left-wing votes. There is no doubt that Prime Minister Ecevit's DSP has the biggest chance in the left.
 The CHP, the oldest political party of the Republic which had undergone an unprecedented defeat in 1995 elections is fighting for not falling under the 10% national treshold.
 As for the pro-Kurdish HADEP, it faces as well the problem of climbing over the 10 percent national treshold, although all observers see it as the first political power in the Kurdish provinces.
 In fact, despite all repressive practices it underwent such as arrests, raids on meetings, assassinations prior to the 1995 elections, the HADEP's percentage had reached 54.35% in Hakkari, 46.47% in Diyarbakir, 37.40% in Batman, 27.77% in Van, 26.68% in Siirt, 25.86% in Sirnak, 22.01% in Mardin, 21.70% in Igdir, 18.04% in Agri, 17% in Tunceli, 16.77% in Mus and 13.61% in Sanliurfa. In many of these provinces, the combined vote of two or three of the major parties was less than that of HADEP. However, 24 HADEP candidates elected by the people could not enter the Parliament because of the national 10 percent threshold.
 This time, repressive measures against HADEP have been increased, its leaeders imprisoned and a nation-wide campaign organized for destroying its electoral chance.
 On the other hand, the fact that six other left-wing parties (ODP, IP, DBP, EMEP, BP and SIP) refused to establish an electoral alliance as well with HADEP as among themselves has destroyed to a great extent a representation of the radical left in the National Assembly.
 If the CHP and HADEP cannot overpass the national 10 percent treshold, their votes will serve to increase the seats of DSP or FP in the National Assembly.
 Even in the case of such a failure in legislative elections, HADEP and CHP will no doubt obtain seats in municipal elections. Especially in Turkish Kurdistan, many cities will be administrated after the elections by the Kurdish leaders elected on HADEP tickets if the militarists tolerate such a thing.
 Below is the table of the political parties running for 1999 elections with the indication of the votes obtained by those parties who had participated in preceding elections.

Right-wing parties:

DTP (Democratic Turkey Party)
DEPAR (Party of Changing Turkey)
BBP (Grand Union Party)**
DEHAP (Democratic People's Party)
DP (Democratic Party)
LDP (Liberal Democratic Party)

Left-wing parties:

DSP Democratic Left Party): Votes in 1995:  4,118,025 (14.64%); Seats:  76
CHP (Republican People's Party): Votes in 1995:  3,011,076 (10.71%); Seats:  49
HADEP (People's Democracy Party): Votes in 1995: 1,171,623 (4.17%)
IP (Workers' Party):  61,428 (0.22%)
Other left-wing parties that participate
in legislative elections for the first time:
ODP (Freedom and Solidarity Party)
DBP (Democracy and Peace Party)
EMEP (Party of the Labour)
BP (Peace Party)
SIP (Socialist Power Party)
*) FP had participated in 1995 elections as RP (Welfare Party) which was later closed down by the Constitutional Court.
**) BBP leaders had participated in 1995 elections on ANAP ticket.

HADEP autorisé à participer aux législatives

 La Cour constitutionnelle a autorisé lundi le Parti pro-kurde de la Démocratie du Peuple (Hadep), accusé de liens étroits avec la rébellion kurde, à participer aux élections municipales et législatives du 18 avril, a rapporté l'agence Anatolie.
 La Cour constitutionnelle a rejeté à l'unanimité une demande d'interdiction de participer à ces élections déposée par le procureur de la Cour de Cassation turque, Vural Savas, qui accuse le Hadep d'être contrôlé par le PKK d'Abdullah Ocalan.
 Le Hadep continue toutefois de faire l'objet, depuis fin janvier, d'une procédure d'interdiction pour "liens organiques" avec le Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan, également lancée par Vural Savas.
 Depuis longtemps, le Hadep était dans le collimateur de la justice turque. Plusieurs procès sont en cours devant la Cour de Sûreté de l'Etat contre lui et ses dirigeants.
 Après la capture le 15 février à Nairobi d'Abdullah Ocalan, ramené le jour suivant par un commando turc en Turquie pour y être jugé, des centaines de membres du Hadep avaient été interpellés par la police à Istanbul et à Diyarbakir, chef lieu du Sud-est anatolien à majorité kurde.
 Son chef, Murat Bozlak, est emprisonné depuis la mi-novembre.
 Le Hadep, créé en mai 1994, avait succédé à un autre Parti pro-kurde, celui de la Démocratie (DEP), qui avait été interdit un mois plus tard.
 Le Hadep avait obtenu quelque 4,5% des voix lors des législatives de 1995. Il n'est pas représenté au parlement faute d'avoir franchi la barre des 10% des voix. Mais dans le Sud-est, il avait obtenu à certains endroits jusqu'à 54% des voix (à Hakkari). (AFP, 8 mars 1999)

RP and MGV Executives on Trial

 Ankara SSC Prosecution Office launched a trial against Necmettin Erbakan, the Chairperson of the Welfare Party which was closed by the Constitutional Court, and executive members of the RP, the National Youth Foundation (MGV) and the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MUSIAD).
 In the indictment, Necmettin Erbakan was accused of "getting in touch with pro-Kurdish Islamic organizations" during the period he served as prime minister.
 According to the indictment, PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan said the following regarding Necmettin Erbakan in his testimony to the prosecutor on 22 February 1999: ýAfter Necmettin Erbakan was assigned as Prime Minister in 1996, he sent me a message via Mervan Zerti, with the code name A_a, who is very close to the Syrian government, and via my man in Syria, with the code name Delil. In his message, he stated that they would bring economical, political and cultural improvements in the Southeast, and he demanded peace and a cease-fire for this reason. And I replied him with a letter sent via the same persons. I declared that I regarded his proposal as positive, and accepted it."
 The indictment demanded the closure of the MGV and the MUSIAD on the claims that these were "organizations bringing up pro-Sheria (Islamic law) militants."
 The indictment sought the death penalty for Ahmet Tekdal, the former Deputy Chairperson of the RP, and Sevki Yilmaz, Hasan Huseyin Ceylan and Ibrahim Halil Celik, former MPs with the same. The case files against Necmettin Erbakan, Sevket Kazan, the former Deputy Chairperson of the RP, and Oguzhan Asilturk, Omer Vehbi Hatipoglu and Zeki Ergezen, MPs with the Virtue Party (FP), were separated as their prosecution requires a different proceeding. (Cumhuriyet-Radikal-TIHV, March 16, 1999)

Ufuk Uras taken into custody, later released

 In Istanbul, police have taken into  custody about 100 Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP) officials  who met in front of Istanbul University's Faculty of  Pharmacology in Beyazit Square yesterday to commemorate events  that took place on March 16, 1978 in which seven students died  and 41 were injured.
 The group, including Party Chairman Ufuk Uras and high-level  party officials, were put in cars and brought to the Political  Division of the Istanbul Police. They were later released.
 ODP general headquarters issued an announcement condemning the  detention, stating that ODP members had only met for a  commemoration and that the behavior of security forces against  a party leader was unjustifiable. (Turkish Daily News, March 17, 1999)

Turkish generals menace again!

 Turkey's military once again menaced parliament which is discussing the possibility to postpone legislative elections so as to lift some of anti-democratic articles in Turkish legislation.
 In interview to the daily Hurriyet of March 18, 1999, Chief of General Staff General Huseyin Kivrikoglu said: "We are worried delaying elections will open the way to chaos. Postponement would carry with it too many questions marks."
 Recently, a group of dissident MPs had managed to force the recall of parliament with the aim of postponing the elections.
 They were helped by the Islamist opposition who hoped to use their strength as the biggest party in parliament to bargain with the government and repeal article 312 of the penal code used to prosecute their leaders for sedition.
 "The softening of article 312 (covering sedition) will create chaos. The country cannot allow it," said General Kivrikoglu.
 The Chief of Staff also condemned the proposals to lift notorious Article 8 of the Turkish Penal Code.
 It is because of these two anti-democratic articles that many distinguished intellectuals, writers and political activists are still suffering in Turkish prisons.
 Entirely depended on the military, both President Demirel and Prime Minister Ecevit immediately supported General's remarks and claimed that the Army has full right to pronounce on political matters and that the politicians should act accordingly.

Le parti islamiste turc menacé par une demande de fermeture

 La première étape d'une possible dissolution du parti islamiste de la Vertu, première formation au parlement turc, s'est ouverte lundi avec une demande de fermeture du Fazilet déposée par un procureur auprès de la Cour de Cassation.
 Le procureur de la Cour de Sûreté de l'Etat d'Ankara (DGM), Nuh Mete Yuksel, a demandé l'interdiction du Fazilet au parquet de la Cour de Cassation, pour "avoir agi en violation de la loi sur les partis politiques".
 Cette demande peut aboutir à l'ouverture d'une information judiciaire par le procureur général de la Cour de Cassation Vural Savas, et à terme à la dissolution du Fazilet. Elle n'empêche toutefois en rien le Fazilet de participer aux élections législatives et municipales du 18 avril.
 M. Savas a déjà envoyé une lettre à la présidence du parlement pour demander une liste des députés de l'ex-Refah qui ont rejoint les rangs du Fazilet, selon l'agence Anatolie.
 Vural Savas avait lancé une information judidiciaire en mai 1997 contre le Parti islamiste de la Prospérité (Refah) de l'ex-Premier ministre islamiste Necmettin Erbakan alors que celui-ci était au pouvoir à la tête d'une coalition gouvernementale à dominante islamiste.
 Cette procédure avait entraîné l'interdiction du Refah en janvier 1998 pour "activités anti-laïques" par la Cour constitutionnelle habilitée à dissoudre les partis politiques.
 Dans un document adressé au procureur général de la Cour de Cassation, M. Yuksel affirme que le Fazilet a violé l'article 95 de la loi sur les partis politiques, selon lequel les dirigeants d'un parti politique dissous ne peuvent pas être membres d'une autre formation politiques.
 Or 21 cadres de l'ex-Refah sont devenus membres des instances dirigeantes du Fazilet à sa formation le 17 décembre 1997, souligne le document.
 Il fait également référence à l'article 68 de la Constitution turque, qui interdit à une formation politique de devenir le successeur d'un parti politique dissous.
 Cette démarche du procureur de la DGM intervient au moment où les députés du Fazilet tentent, ces derniers jours, d'obtenir une modification de loi afin d'abolir l'interdiction de politique pendant cinq ans prononcée par la justice contre M. Erbakan. Le procureur y voit un lien supplémentaire entre le dirigeant du parti dissous et le Fazilet. (AFP, 22 mars 1999)

Kurdish Candidates Hindered in Turkish Election Campaign

 The Turkish government has resorted to a variety of methods to hinder Kurdish candidates from campaigning for office in the general elections scheduled for 18 April. In recent weeks, security forces have prevented Kurdish candidates, independent journalists, and election observers from entering the Kurdish-populated region under a State of Emergency. More than 4,000 Kurdish activists, including many candidates, have been rounded up and detained. Other candidates are being forbidden access to their constituencies.
 In an interview for the daily newspaper "Cumhuriyet" Hasip Kaplan,  an independent candidate for Parliament from his home town of Sirnak, described some of the obstacles he has faced so far. Kaplan is one of the lawyers representing the jailed Kurdish politician Leyla Zana. "24 February was the last day for registering as a candidate. To register at Sirnak, I first tried to leave Idil on 22 February. From that moment on the proceedings began. An armored car and police vehicles parked before the three corners of my house. On the morning of 23 February I wanted to Sirnak to file my candidature before the judge in person. But I was stopped and searched nine times between Idil and Sirnak, which are only 70 km. apart. The car seats were removed, the trunk was emptied, everything passed through a fine-toothed comb (, and ) we had to wait an hour at each stop.
 "In addition, during the search at Kasrik, some plainclothes policemen slipped an envelope under one of the seat mats; it contained drugs, fake dollar notes and identity papers, and a PKK leaflet. Our drivers noticed this and cleaned out the car. ...10 km. before Sirnak, our identity papers were confiscated. When I asked why they were keeping them, they replied that the information computers weren't working and the answers weren't being returned. I advised the Istanbul Bar Association and the Ministry of Justice, but was unable to reach Sirnak and had to return to Idil.
  "The next day was the last day for registering. On that day, as soon as I came out of my house I was surrounded by seven police vehicles and told that I couldn't go to Sirnak, and that they had received special orders to that effect. I then went to Diyarbekir, to the office of the High Election Council (YSK). They explained to me that I could register my candidature through a notary public. I did what was required and deposited my candidature at the post office for the YSK. ...I was told that the obstacles were due to a circular from the Prime Minister. The Police Directorate has been angry with me ever since the Yesilyurt affair in Cizre, as well as another case regarding Sirnak before the European Court and four more regarding Idil." [In the "Yesilyurt affair", the European Court of Human Rights sentenced Turkey to pay financial compensation to villagers who were forced by security forces to eat excrement. Mr. Kaplan represented the villagers in court.](Cumhuriyet-IMK-CILDEKT, March 23, 1999)

Istanbul Mayor Erdogan in prison

 Istanbul's former Islamist Mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan has gone to prison to serve a conviction for "inciting hatred based on religious differences" in a speech he made in Siirt nearly a year and a half ago.
 Although he twice had the sentence converted into a monetary fine and postponed, he lost a final appeal and now has to serve 120 days of a 10-month prison sentence.
 Before entering prison, Erdogan spent the day with members of his political party. He was escorted by a convoy of vehicles numbering in the hundreds to Eyup Sultan Camii, where an animal was sacrificed and prayers were offered. From there Erdogan went to Fatih Camii, accompanied by a crowd of some 2,000 people.
 Following the Friday prayer service, Fatih Avenue was closed to traffic by the police because of the large crowd that had gathered. Then, the 2,000-car Erdogan convoy set out for the Pinarhisar Prison at Kirklareli where he will serve his sentence.                               The 46-year-old Erdogan himself chose to stay in Pinarhisar Prison. Kirklareli Pinarhisar has four wards and is only 190 kilometers northwest of Istanbul. However, Erdogan is to be housed in a section which that has a salon and a bedroom that have been prepared for him; he will not be in the wards with the other prisoners there.
 Virtue Party (FP) members had the section in which he is staying painted. A carpet covers the floor and there is a television set, refrigerator and desk.
 In addition Erdogan's food will be brought in from outside. Erdogan's wife, Emine, is expected to move to Pinarhisar for the duration and three houses have been rented in the Kirklareli district. Emine Erdogan and Erdogan's immediate family will be housed in one and the other two will be used for guests.
 Erdogan was bade farewell in Istanbul as if he were the chairman of the FP. In a statement to the press, he declared: "This is not a farewell. As I have always said, I hope it is just a pause in a series of songs to be finished."
 In a moving speech, he continued: "I am not saying goodbye. This is just a pause. We will continue to work on the projects we have worked on together in the past. The notes that will follow will bring Turkey peace, love, brotherhood and will continue to unite your love."
 Tens of thousands of his supporters chanted, "Turkey is proud of you," as they saw him off from Istanbul.
 Security was tight as the convoy followed Erdogan's car to Pinarhisar.
 'We will not turn from our mission'
 The speech Erdogan gave that led to his downfall and his prison sentence was delivered in 1997 in the town of Siirt, in Turkey's troubled Southeast.
 The public prosecutor charged Erdogan with "inciting hatred based on religious differences" at a political rally in Siirt. During his speech, Erdogan read a poem by nationalist ideologist Ziya Gokalp, in which he said:
 "Our minarets are our bayonets, Our domes are our helmets, Our mosques are our barracks. We will put a final end to ethnic segregation. No one can ever intimidate us.
 "If the skies and the ground were to open against us. If floods and volcanoes were to burst, We will not turn from our mission. My reference is Islam. If I am not able to speak of this, What is the use of living?"
 Under the court ruling, Erdogan will be banned from public life forever and will not be able to take part in politics. Friends of Erdogan, who is interested in poetry, say he will write a book of poems while in prison.
 Erdogan, a former athlete and soccer star, was elected mayor in March 1994 on the Islamist Welfare Party (RP) ticket. When the RP was shut down in January 1998, he joined the Islamist Virtue Party (FP). He was removed from office last year.
 In his four years as mayor, he speeded up construction of a new subway system, found new water resources for the city, built new roads and highways and modernized the fire department.
 Until his conviction, he was widely viewed as the man who would eventually lead the Virtue Party. (TDN, March 27, 1999)

Le parlement turc repart en vacances

 Le parlement turc est reparti jeudi en vacances après une session extraordinaire de plus de dix jours convoquée à l'initiative de députés mécontents d'avoir été exclus des listes de leur parti pour les législatives du 18 avril et soutenus par les députés islamistes.
 Une proposition commune de trois partis politiques pour remettre en vacances le parlement a été adoptée par les députés de ces formations, mettant ainsi fin aux réunions de la session extraordinaire ouverte le 13 mars.
 Pendant ces séances, les députés mécontents, soutenus par les députés du Parti islamiste de la Vertu (Fazilet), ont tenté de reporter les législatives, et ont déposé une motion de censure contre le gouvernement minoritaire du Premier ministre Bulent Ecevit.
 Ces tentatives ont été repoussées par les députés des partis politiques qui soutiennent le gouvernement Ecevit de l'extérieur sans en faire partie et qui sont fermement en faveur de la tenue des législatives anticipées le 18 avril.
 Les députés islamistes du Fazilet ont de leur côté tenté en vain d'obtenir une modification de loi en vue d'obtenir la levée de l'interdiction de politique prononcée par la justice contre plusieurs de ses cadres, dont l'ex-Premier ministre islamiste Necmettin Erbakan.
 M. Erbakan a été interdit de politique pour cinq ans après la dissolution de son Parti de la Prospérité (Refah) en janvier 1998 pour "activités contre la laïcité de l'Etat".
 Le parlement doit se réunir au lendemain du scrutin du 18 avril. (AFP, 25 mars 1999)


A repressive circular by the Ministry of Justice

 Minister of Justice Selcuk Oztek released a circular, demanding heavy measures for associations, foundations, publications, persons and organizations who have the possibility of carrying out activities favoring Abdullah Ocalan, after the transfer of Ocalan to Turkey. The circular, which was signed by Selcuk Oztek and sent to the prosecution offices, demanded that ýany political or cultural initiative which has a separatist context and any person who attempts to carry out these activities,ţ should be punished.
 The circular reminded the prosecutors that the Anti-Terror Law foresaw punishment for ýthose who establish terror organizations and organize their activities, and those who make their propaganda,ţ and that Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code foresaw the death penalty for the offense of ýseparatism.ţ In the circular, it was stated that the Prime Ministry was the sole organ entitled to make statements in connection with the investigations and trials against Abdullah Ocalan, and that the prosecutors should be on alert on this issue.
 The circular demanded the following:
 "Actions and statements which aim at weakening the public support for the security forces in the struggle against separatists circuits should be hindered; necessary proceedings against persons or foundations, associations and political parties directly or indirectly make political or cultural ŰseparatismÝ or support Ocalan should be brought; unauthorized demonstrations which aim at supporting to the organizational actions in the prisons and of any kind of organizational actions should be prevented; the activities by foundations, associations or political parties which aim at taking the terrorist organization to the political platform should be followed up and prevented; legal actions for the closure of foundations or associations which are determined to have carried out separatist activities should be brought." (Cumhuriyet-Radikal-TIHV, March 3, 1999)

IP Leader Perincek convicted

 The trial launched against Dogu Perincek, the Chairperson of the Worker Party (IP) who is currently on remand in Haymana (Ankara) Prison, and Aysenur Zarakolu, on charges of ýmaking separatist propagandaţ in their speeches at the Fifth General Congress of the Human Rights Association (IHD) in 1994, ended at Ankara SSC on 4 March.
 In the trial, Dogu Perincek was sentenced to 1 year in prison and fined TL 100,000,000, whereas Aysenur Zarakolu was acquitted.
 In the previous trial at Ankara SSC, Perincek and Zarakolu had each been sentenced to 1 year in prison and fined TL 100,000,000 on 4 March 1997, but the original decision had been overturned by the Supreme Court in November 1997. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 5, 1999)

Appel pour la campagne "Tu n'es pas oublié!"

 En Turquie, à l'approche de la fête de sacrifice (du 28 au 31 mars 1999), l'Initiative "Liberté pour la liberté d'expression" vient de relancer sa campagne "Tu n'es pas oublié!" pour les prisonniers de conscience dans les prisons turques.
 "Les conditions se détériorent sans cesse. En plus des prisonniers de conscience dans la prison, un nombre grandissant de gens souffrent des arrestations arbitraires. Ils devraient célébrer la fête qui vient en prison. La plupart d'entre eux, condamnés en vertu de "la Loi anti-terreur" ne bénéficieront pas des "visites ouvertes", c.à.d, ils ne pourront voir leur proches au-delà des barres de fer sans pouvoir les toucher. Cette pratique constitue une discrimination flagrante et n'est pas compatible même avec la Constitution en vigueur." dit M. Sanar Yurdatapan, le porte-parole de l'Initiative.
 L'organisation appelle les défenseurs des droits de l'homme dans le monde à envoyer leur message de solidarité à un nombre des prisonniers de conscience dont l'adresse se trouve ci-bas:
 Hatip Dicle - Député DEP
 Ankara Merkez Kapali Cezaevi - Ankara - Turquie
 Leyla Zana - Député DEP
 Ankara Merkez Kapali Cezaevi - Ankara - Turquie
 Orhan Dogan - Député DEP
 Ankara Merkez Kapali Cezaevi - Ankara - Turquie
 Selim Sadak - Député DEP
 Ankara Merkez Kapali Cezaevi - Ankara - Turquie
 Murat Bozlak (le président HADEP)
 Ankara Gudul Cezaevi - Ankara - Turquie
 Ismail Besikci (Sociologue - Ecrivain)
 Bursa Ozel Tip Cezaevi - 16013 Bursa - Turquie
 Nurettin Sirin (éditeur)
 Bandirma Cezaevi - Bandirma - Turquie
 Esber Yagmurdereli (juriste-écrivain)
 Cankiri Cezaevi - Cankiri - Turquie
 Yalcin Kucuk (Ecrivain)
 Ankara Merkez Kapali Cezaevi - Ankara - Turquie
 Dogu Perincek (Président du parti ouvrier)
 Haymana Cezaevi - Haymana - Turquie
 Ilknur Birol (enseignant)
 Edirne Kapali Cezaevi - Edirne - Turquie
 Dogan Guzel (caricaturiste)
 Umraniye Cezaevi - Umraniye  - Turquie
Les numéros de fax de certaines prisons
 Ankara Merkez Kapali Cezaevi (90-312) 319.00.50
 Bursa Ozel Tip Cezaevi (90-224) 243.19.70
 Cankiri Cezaevi (90-376) 213.24.35
 Vous pouvez également envoyer les messages de protestations aux autorités compétentes en Turquie:
 Le Président de la République:
 Fax(90-312) 468.63.98
 Le Premier ministre
 Fax(90-312) 417.04.76
 Le ministre de la Justice
 Fax(90-312) 417.39.54
 Le ministre des affaires étrangères
 Fax (90-312) 287.88.11
Veuillez envoyer une copie de vos message aux fax suivants:
 Initiative à Istanbul:
 Fax: (90-216) 492 05 04 ou 310 11 73
 Info-Turk à Bruxelles:
 Fax: (32-2) 215 58 60

Police detain 330 people prior to Women's Day

 Police detained some 330 people on March 7 in connection with protests on the eve of the United Nations International Women's Day, Anatolian news agency said.
 In the western city of Izmir, police took into custody 241 people, mostly women, who were preparing for a demonstration on Monday organised by Turkey's main legal Kurdish party, the People's Democracy Party (HADEP).
 Provincial HADEP leaders were among those detained ahead of an unauthorised protest which around 2,000 people were expected to attend in a historic district of the city.
 Police set up roadblocks at entrances to the district and detained protesters as they arrived.
 In the city of Izmit, east of Istanbul, some 90 people were held as they protested outside a court house against the detention of a further 18 people who were appearing at the court.
 The initial 18 detainees, who were set free by the court, had been taken into custody over a statement which union officials made in connection with Women's Day.
 On March 8 last year, police used batons and teargas to disperse hundreds of people in central Istanbul attending a Women's Day demonstration backed by HADEP. (Reuters, March 7, 1999)

The guerrilla claims to have shot down a Sikorsky

 The Germany-based DEM news agency said guerrillas loyal to captured Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan shot down the Sikorsky helicopter on Friday over mountains in Hakkari province, near the border with Iraq and Iran.
 However, Turkish security officials denied claims on Monday by Kurdish rebels that they had shot down a Turkish military helicopter in the southeast of the country, killing 20 soldiers.
 Turkey has acknowledged losing three troop-carrying Sikorsky helicopters to rebel fire in the last two years. Most recently the PKK shot one down close to the Iraqi border in November, killing 16 men.
 DEM said one officer was among the 20 killed on Friday. Its written statement was based on reports from the National Liberation Army of Kurdistan, the military wing of the PKK.
 In a separate unconfirmed report, the news agency said the guerrillas had killed eight Turkish soldiers in an ambush at Uludere near the border with Iraq on Sunday. (Reuters, March 8, 1999)

Condamnation à 15 ans de prison confirmée pour une Allemande

 La Cour suprême turque a confirmé le 10 mars la condamnation à quinze ans de prison d'une Allemande ayant combattu dans les rangs du PKK. Eva Juhnke, 35 ans, avait été condamnée en septembre dernier par la Cour de sûreté de l'Etat de Van (est) pour appartenance à une "organisation terroriste".
 Cette condamnation est "conforme à la loi", a estimé la Cour suprême.
 La mère d'Eva Juhnke assistait à l'audience de la Cour, selon Anatolie.
 Eva Juhnke avait été capturée par un groupe kurde allié à Ankara dans le nord de l'Irak en 1997 et remise aux forces de sécurité turques.
 Juhnke, originaire de Hambourg, a admis s'être engagée aux côtés des rebelles et avait appelé à la libération du Kurdistan dans sa défense.
 Elle est la première occidentale à avoir été reconnue coupable d'appartenance au PKK par un tribunal turc.
 Selon le PKK, une autre Allemande luttant dans ses rangs, Andrea Wolf, 33 ans, a été tuée fin octobre par l'armée turque après une affrontement près de la frontière avec l'Irak, et son corps enterré peu après par le PKK. (AFP, 10 mars 1999)

600 interpellations à Istanbul en marge d'une manifestation

 Près de 600 personnes ont été interpellées par la police le 12 mars à Istanbul, dans le quartier populaire de Gazi, en marge d'une manifestation pour commémorer les victimes d'émeutes en mars 1995 qui avaient fait une quinzaine de morts.
 Près de 7.000 policiers ont été déployés à Gazi et dans les quartiers avoisinants, appuyés par une unité de 900 soldats.
 Plusieurs centaines de manifestants ont défilé dans le quartier peuplé d'Alévis, une secte musulmane hétérodoxe et progressiste. Les mères des victimes des émeutes de 1995 marchaient en tête du cortège, portant les portraits de ceux qui avaient trouvé la mort lors des heurts, a constaté un photographe de l'AFP.
 La police avait dressé des barricades dans les rues menant à Gazi et contrôlait l'accès au quartier.
 En mars 1995, trois personnes avaient été tuées dans un café fréquenté par des Alévis à Gazi, par des assaillants armés non identifiés.
 Cette attaque avait provoqué pendant plusieurs jours de violentes émeutes et des affrontements armés entre manifestants de gauche et forces de sécurité, qui avaient fait au moins 15 morts.
 Le chef de la police d'Istanbul, Hasan Ozdemir, cité par l'agence Anatolie, a indiqué que les forces de sécurité avaient recu l'ordre de prévenir toute tentative de brandir des symboles et drapeaux appartenant aux organisations clandestines d'extrême-gauche.
 Le mois dernier, Gazi a été de nouveau le théâtre d'affrontements armés nocturnes entre forces de sécurité et manifestants qui protestaient contre la capture du chef rebelle kurde, Abdullah Ocalan, le 15 février à Nairobi. (AFP, 12 mars 1999)

La Turquie sous le choc après l'attentat d'Istanbul

 La Turquie était en état de choc dimanche, après un attentat contre un centre commercial à Istanbul ayant fait 13 morts la veille, troisième de ce type depuis l'arrestation du chef rebelle kurde Abdullah Ocalan.
 Des assaillants ont lancé samedi un ou plusieurs cocktail-molotov contre le centre commercial à Goztepe, dans la partie européenne d'Istanbul, situé dans un immeuble de six étages. L'incendie provoqué s'est rapidement propagé aux étages, où la foule s'est réfugiée pour tenter d'échapper aux flammes alors que le magasin n'avait pas de sortie de secours, selon les pompiers.
 La plupart des 13 victimes sont mortes asphyxiées par les émanations de gaz. Six personnes ont été blessés, dont deux grièvement.
 Un groupe kurde inconnu, les "Faucons de le vengance d'Apo", diminutif d'Abdullah Ocalan, a revendiqué l'attentat auprès d'une chaîne de télévision, a indiqué dimanche le quotidien à grand tirage Hurriyet.
 Mais la police n'a de son côté fait aucun commentaire.
 Cet attentat est le troisième contre un centre commercial à Istanbul en quatre jours, et le cinquième depuis la capture le 15 février au Kénya du chef du PKK Ocalan, qui doit être jugé pour trahison et tentative de diviser le pays et encourt la peine de mort.
 Le PKK avait annoncé le 4 mars, à l'issue de son 6-ème congrés, qu'il allait "intensifier la guerre" contre l'Etat turc.
 Depuis, une série d'attentats a été perpétrée en Turquie, mais un seul a été revendiqué par le PKK : le 4 mars, une jeune femme avait perpétré un attentat-suicide à l'explosif devant un commissariat de police, blessant 4 passants, à Batman, dans le sud-est à majorité kurde, théâtre de la rébellion kurde. (AFP, 14 mars 1999)

Officials hinting at emergency rule in Istanbul

 Istanbul Governor Erol Cakir on March 17 announced new security measures for Istanbul which hint at preparation for emergency rule. The decisions, which were announced in the Official Gazette, state the rules that every citizen must observe. The emergency package is in response to the high death toll in the Mavi Carsi incident which was caused by the lack of a fire escape ladder.
 The Istanbul governor stated that all civilian and regular police officers, as well as fire and health officials, were on alert in Istanbul. He added that the law would be respected in the fight against terrorism and human rights would be protected. Citizens were asked to be careful when using public transportation and when entering crowded areas and to report any irregularities to the police.
 Here is a list of the security measures taken for Istanbul: The doors of stadiums, movie theaters and similar buildings will be equipped with metal detectors within three months. Service sector institutions which have regular contact with citizens will take precautions against fire and employ people around the clock to establish security.
 The circular published in the Official Gazette notes that there were important changes in the character of terrorist activities after the capture of Ocalan. It notes that innocent people became the new target. Private houses and public places as well as institutions providing economic and social services were attacked.
 The governor's circular states that it is very difficult for security forces to prevail single-handedly in a huge metropolis like Istanbul which is beset by problems of unplanned urbanization and illegal construction.
 Localities listed under the general rubric of "having regular contact with the people as a result of athletic, social, economic and other activities" are shopping centers, large stores, factories and major manufacturing centers, parking lots, car outlets and plazas, gas stations, LPG outlets, movie theaters and cultural centers, restaurants, coffee and tea houses, bars, discotheques, organized residential or shopping districts, bus stops, stadiums, closed sports facilities, swimming pools, political party headquarters and offices.
 In these places, there will be precautions against fire, security measures will be taken, metal detectors will be installed where appropriate and high-level authorities will take responsibility for failures.
 Prison sentences for those refusing to comply with these new regulations will range from three to six months.
 The attacks continued in Istanbul. Three assailants, including a woman, threw firebombs at a billiard parlor in the Kagithane district late Monday. Luckily, the bombs did not go off and the attackers were quickly captured and detained by police. (Turkish Daily News, March 17, 1999)

Arrestation d'Allemands en Turquie: protestation de Bonn

 L'ambassadeur de Turquie a dû s'expliquer le 21 mars auprès du ministère allemand des Affaires étrangères sur l'arrestation par la police turque de plusieurs ressortissants allemands et d'Allemands membres d'une délégation d'organisations de défense des Droits de l'Homme, a annoncé le ministère dans un communiqué.
 Au nom du chef de la diplomatie allemande, Joschka Fischer, le secrétaire d'Etat aux Affaires étrangères, Wolfgang Ischinger, s'est entretenu avec l'ambassadeur turc, Tugay Ulucevik, et lui a demandé des explications sur les conditions de l'arrestation d'Allemands, dont le nombre n'a pas été précisé, à l'occasion de la célébration de la fête du Newroz, samedi et dimanche à Istanbul. (Six ressortissants allemands ont été placés en garde à vue à Nusaybin (sud-est) pour avoir tenté d'entrer dans la ville par des voies illégales, a indiqué dimanche une source turque locale).
 M. Ischinger a réclamé "un éclaircissement rapide" de cette affaire et a "attiré l'attention" de l'ambassadeur "sur l'importance d'un traitement absolument correct" des personnes arrêtées.
 Le ministère, dans son communiqué, indique que l'ambassadeur turc "s'était engagé à aider à la solution" de cette affaire.
 De nombreux incidents ont opposé samedi et dimanche en Turquie les forces de l'ordre à des manifestants favorables au PKK à l'occasion de la célébration de la fête du Newroz. Plusieurs centaines de personnes ont été interpellées et une dizaine de policiers, ainsi que plusieurs dizaines de manifestants ont été blessés, dont certains par balles.
 A l'occasion du Newroz, la sécurité a été considérablement renforcée en Turquie, notamment dans le sud-est anatolien à majorité kurde, théâtre depuis 1984 de la rébellion du PKK. Cette fête païenne d'origine zoroastrienne annonce le réveil de la nature avec l'équinoxe de printemps, le 21 mars. (AFP, 21 mars 1999)

8,000 Detained in Turkey during Newroz Celebrations

 According to the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD), more than 8,000 people were detained throughout Turkey during the Kurdish New YearÝs festival Newroz on March 21 ? a far larger number than the official police figure of 2,474. Journalists and observer delegations from abroad were denied access to Kurdish cities, but reports of massive repression by the Turkish security forces trickled in from Turkish NGOs and human-rights organizations throughout the day.
 Newroz, which means "new day", is a traditional Middle Eastern festival celebrating the return of spring which involves singing, dancing, and jumping over bonfires to symbolize burning away the memories of the past. For the Kurds, Newroz has the additional overtones of cultural self-assertion and defiance of oppression. This yearÝs Newroz was particularly tense, as Turkish authorities have tightened security throughout the Kurdish region since the 16 February capture of Abdullah Ocalan, head of the Kurdistan WorkersÝ Party (PKK).
 Well in advance of the date, the Super-Governor of the Kurdish-populated region under a State of Emergency banned public Newroz celebrations and forbade foreign journalists and international observers to enter the region. Thousands of soldiers and policemen lined the streets of the Kurdish metropolis of Diyarbakir in south-eastern Anatolia. Scores of army personnel carriers also moved in even before the residents had awakened in Kurdish districts of the city. In Istanbul, where about three million Kurds now live, the police took about one hundred people into preventive detention on 20 March.
 Clashes broke out nonetheless in many cities between policemen and Kurds trying to celebrate. In Kurdish districts of Istanbul, hundreds of riot police charged groups chanting pro-Ocalan slogans. Paramilitary Đspecial teamý officers fired warning shots above the crowds and laid siege to suspected hideouts of the protesters. Newspapers said it was the first time that Đspecial teamý officers, created to carry out Đanti-terroristý operations in the mainly Kurdish Southeast, had been deployed so extensively in a major city of western Turkey. Numerous people were injured in the clashes, and Aziz Akinti was killed under circumstances that remain unclear. According to the Secretary General of the IHD, Husnu Ondul, the police chief of Istanbul had ordered police officers to shoot at persons participating in illegal demonstrations. In one such incident in the Gazi neighbor-hood, policemen shot at Kurds who had lit a Newroz bonfire; three persons, including a ten-year-old boy, were wounded, according to Dutch and Belgian observers. Nearly 1,700 people were taken into police custody.
 In Adana, the police used tear gas and fired into the air to disperse a crowd of about a hundred people. More than a hundred people, including many children, were injured and 200 people were reportedly detained in Batman, where the police raided and destroyed many Kurdish homes. In Batman province, fifty children and teenagers were detained. In Ankara, about one hundred people were detained. According to the IHD, many of them have been tortured in police custody.
 The clashes in Diyarbakir were especially fierce. In addition to the massive presence of security forces, combat helicopters circled the city all day. Not only the city itself but individual neighborhoods were closed off with police roadblocks. Despite the ban on public  meetings, local Newroz celebrations took place in almost every neighborhood. After being attacked by soldiers and policemen, the celebrations quickly became streetfights in which numerous people were injured. Nearly 4,000 people were detained by the police. The detainees included the chairman of the Party for Democracy and Peace (DBP) Refik Karakoc, all the members of the partyÝs executive board, and its candidates for the cityÝs municipal elections, who were seized by police as they distributed carnations to potential voters.
 According to Husnu Ondul,  a de facto state of emergency exists in Istanbul and other Turkish cities with a large Kurdish population. In the Istanbul neighborhoods that are mainly populated by Kurds,  police cars and uniformed policemen have been demonstratively present in the daytime; at night, armored police vehicles patrol the streets. Ondul also pointed out that despite the fact that an election campaign is in progress, an absolute ban on public meetings has been declared not only in the Kurdish provinces but in the whole of Turkey.
 Another IHD spokesperson, the lawyer Eren Keskin, said: ĐIf local governors had allowed public celebrations to go ahead, this festival would not have become drenched in blood.ý
 About eighty European observers came to Turkey in advance of the holiday in delegations from France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and the Scandinavian countries. Many of them were turned back upon their arrival at Turkish airports or detained by the police for several hours or overnight. German delegates reported that police guards had reached though the bars with their truncheons to beat detainees in crowded cells. A German citizen of Kurdish origin was detained in Malatya on charges of desertion from the Turkish army although he had already completed his alternative service in Germany. (IMK, 25.3.1999, Forum for Peace and Democracy in Turkey and Kurdistan, 21.3.99; Berliner Zeitung,  Milliyet, Reuters, Turkish Daily News, 22.3.99; Frankfurter Rundschau, 22, 23.3.99)

L'oléoduc turco-irakien touché par un attentat à l'explosif

 Un attentat à l'explosif a été perpétré dimanche contre l'oléoduc turco-irakien reliant Kirkouk (nord de l'Irak) à Ceyhan (sud de la Turquie), interrompant temporairement l'écoulement du pétrole, a-t-on confirmé de source officielle turque lundi.
 Déjà dimanche, les autorités avaient évoqué la possibilité que l'explosion, survenue dans une section située dans la province turque de Mardin (sud-est), ait été due à un attentat.
 L'activité de l'oléoduc a été temporairement arrêtée après l'explosion, qui n'a causé que des dégâts matériels, mais devrait reprendre lundi dans l'après-midi, a-t-on ajouté de même source.
 L'écoulement du pétrole dans ce double oléoduc reprendra après le transfert du brut bloqué dans la partie sabotée à l'autre canalisation de l'ouvrage, a-t-on indiqué de même source.
 L'attentat pourrait avoir été commis par le PKK à l'occasion de la fête du Newroz, célébrée le même jour, a-t-on souligné.
 Plusieurs attentats contre l'oléoduc ont par le passé été attribués par les autorités au PKK. (AFP, 22 mars 1999)

Un mort, sept blessés dans une attaque à la grenade

 Une femme a été tuée et sept personnes blessées samedi dans une attaque à la grenade dans le centre d'Istanbul, a rapporté l'agence de presse Anatolie.
 L'attaque s'est produite place Taksim au coeur d'Istanbul et visait apparemment un autocar de police garé à cet endroit.
 Trois des blessés sont des policiers.
 Un autre explosif a été découvert sur le site de l'attaque. Une équipe de démineur a été dépêchée sur place et a désamorcé la charge. Le quartier a été bouclé et fouillé.
 Cette place est situé au coeur du quartier commercant de la ville.
 Une série d'attentats à la bombe ont secoué Istanbul depuis l'arrestation en février du leader kurde Abdullah Ocalan, faisait au total 15 morts. (AFP, 27 mars 1999)

Inhuman individual cells in Turkish prisons

 With the decisions of the National Security Council (MGK) of February 28, 1997, the building of special prison cells was begun. Notwithstanding the unsolvable problems in the prisons like health care, legal defence, family visits, social-political and cultural rights, 1 trillion TL (1 million dollars) was spent in three months for building these cells. Although it was assured that these cells were not intended for political prisoners, developments show differently.
 We will list the major problems, occurring on the agenda because the state violently takes away the rights of the prisoners in an attempt to legitimise these special cells.
 The building of these cells: After the MGK came up with this decision, the building of this new cell type was concluded rapidly in 30 prisons. These cells are meant for housing 2 or 4 persons, as well as for individual prisoners. The introduction of this new cell type was just concluded in the recently built Kartal prison on Istanbul. Individual cells were also created in the prisons of Sakaraya, Aydin, Ceyhan, Kurkculer, Malatya, Konya, Nigde, Mu-la, U-al, Erzurum, Ordu, Trabzon and Afyon. The building was also ordered for the prison of Bergama, but the work has not been started yet. Confronted with the reactions of the people, the minister who ordered the decree stated on September 29, 1997, that these cells were only meant for "....homosexuals, bisexuals, for persons whose lives are endangered, persons who prefer to be alone, prisoners with contagious diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis or AIDS, those who are rejected by the other prison inmates, psychopaths, the mentally ill, the "cell" bosses, Mafia members".
 But it is already clear that political, as well as social, prisoners are locked up in these cells. For example, the DHKP-C prisoner Adem Ye-ilda- was transferred from the Malatya prison to Elbistan because his life was said to be in danger. The majority of the points which are mentioned in the decree cannot be put into practice anyway.
 The "cell bosses" participate in the control of the prisons in Turkey. One can only become a "boss" with the approval of the prison administration, mostly after paying slush money. And therefore there are no differences between the department, the "cell bosses", the Mafia bosses, and the prison guards. On January 3, 1998, the justice minister Oltan Sungurlu openly stated that the prison cells were not built for 40 people: "the controls can only be carried out by daily using the gendarmes. The prison guards can not enter the cells. At the side of the terrorists, the criminals also begin to commit these crimes. For a solution, we want the public's support and money..."
 The protection of life: The life of the prisoners is not guaranteed, especially not those of the political prisoners. The state controls the prisons, up to massacres. A trial was started against the prisoners who rebelled because of a massacre in UEmraniye prison, but those who planned and executed the massacre remained unpunished. A official protocol, made after the massacre in Buca prison, states that the soldiers were not in the possession of iron bars when they entered the cells, they just removed the barricades, and while the security forces were carrying out a search of the cells, the political prisoners threw themselves from the top of their bunk beds, causing the deaths and the wounded. Again no trial against those who were responsible for this massacre. The prisoners are finished off like terrorists and enemies. Like the lives of the political prisoners, the lives of the social prisoners is endangered in the prisons as well. Social prisoners who resist torture, or who resist oppression, are murdered as well.
 Health problems: Except for the Sagmalcilar prison, no other prison has a hospital or medical facilities. But even this one is not well equipped. The transport of ill prisoners to a hospital is hindered in several ways, using pretexts like a lack of money, no soldiers available. The soldiers also show a provocative attitude. The sick who are being brought to hospital nevertheless, are often not examined because of the presence of the soldiers. Physicians often claim not to be in duty. The prisons of Sakarya, U-ak, Buca, Bergama and Aydin haven't bought medicines for the past two months, claiming there aren't enough financial means. The prison administration often doesn't allow medicines in which are brought by lawyers or relatives. And thus the prisoners cannot even treat themselves. Temporary illnesses or wounds pass or heal before a medical treatment takes place. Prisoners with serious illnesses are just left to die. Because of the practised arbitrariness, prisoners die. Kalender Kayap -nar, imprisoned in Canakkale, suffered from cancer because he was not treated, and even after the disease had become incurable, his discharge from prison was refused. He was only released three days before his death. Serpil Kaya, a PKK-prisoner in the Sakarya prison, died last week because transportation to hospital was refused. Contagious diseases spread rapidly because of lacking protection. Four women in Sakarya suffer from tuberculosis. The number of tuberculosis sufferers in Buca prison is estimated at 78. Prisoners who suffered from incurable diseases because of their participation in the 1996 Death Fast are not treated at all, their cell mates have to help them. The prisoners in Cankiri, Sakarya and Buca were treated with infusions only once after the Death Fast was ended, and then sent back with the words "your situation has improved".
 Visiting problems: Most relatives aren't allowed in. Although it isn't legally obliged to produce a proof a kinship, this is often used as a pretext to deny visits. The relatives are verbally abused during all their visits. They are seen as potential criminals. For example, their fingerprints are checked in UEmraniye prison. In the Bartin prison, the visitors are asked if they are wanted by the police. The body searches the visitors are subjected to, are humiliating. Often the relatives are arrested after their visits and threatened not to come again.
 The legal defence: There are several problems which occur with the lawyers' visits. Although a lawyer has a right to speak with his client at all times, and without showing a power of attorney, this is often disregarded. Lawyers of political prisoners are subjected to a special treatment and regarded as enemies. Because of their visit, they are seen as potential criminals and searched. They are also often subjected to attacks by the gendarmes, security officers and policemen. Soldiers attempt to censure the defence pleas of prisoners in court.
 Visits between prisoners: The department tries to prevent visits between prisoners with several pretexts. In case social prisoners speak with political prisoners, they are immediately put in solitary confinement are transferred to another prison. The right of the social prisoners to receive open visits is not granted to the political prisoners.
 Social problems: It is tried to isolate the prisoners from events in the world outside. In many prisons, not even daily papers are allowed. Socialist papers aren't allowed at all. Food supplies are usually rotten and unhealthy in general. The daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are estimated at 165.000 TL per prisoner by the Justice Department. Ridiculous, seen the fact that a loaf of bread costs 40.000 TL, and soup 250.000. The need for food can only be met by gifts from the families. However, reasoning that this would strengthen the solidarity between the political prisoners, the Justice Department issued a decree that outlaws the accepting of food, supplied by the families.
 The problems, listed above, reach different dimensions in all the prisons in Turkey. We say different dimensions, because the status inside the prisons is connected to the measure in which the tradition of struggle and resistance by the prisoners has forced the prison administration back and forced them to negotiate about their rights. The status which is created inside the prisons is never laid down on paper.
 The creation of this new cell type is now on the prisons' agenda. It is clear that the construction of these cells has nothing to do with "humanity", as the Justice Department claimed. Because prisoners are dying because of lacking medical treatment, their provisions are insufficient and irregular, and they are not transported to court because money for gas is supposedly lacking. The prisoners in Sakarya weren't brought to the court sessions during the last two months because the budget for gas was said to be finished. It was attempted to extort taxes from the families, supposedly for fare costs. On the other hand, 1 trillion TL is spent for the construction of cells, proof that this has nothing to do with "humanitarian conduct". This money could be spend for solving the problems inside the prisons, health problems, problems with medical treatment, supplies and transportation to court. In addition, the department's views about the new cell type equal, seen from the perspective of the social prisoners, a coffin. The common prisoners, also confronted with exploitation, oppression and the robbing of their personality, began to resist. In 1997, their was resistance in several prisons, like the ones in U-cak and Metris, where five people were murdered. The department, fearing such resistance, aims at putting away the common prisoners in coffins as well. The Justice Department is awaiting a suitable time to put the political and the common prisoners in these cells. It is also attempted to make preparations for new massacres in the prisons. (Ozgurluk, March 31, 1999)

New operational orientation of Turkish MIT

 In a historic decision the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) has put an end to the system of using subcontractors in operations. With the new operational directives adopted by MIT the practices which the public had become sensitized to during the Susurluk incident will become a thing of the past.
 Meanwhile, the MIT undersecretary's powers involving appointments and promotions have been curtailed to a significant extent. A six-member "high board" will be created to deal with these. It will be a body similar to the Supreme Military Council which decides on appointments and promotions in the armed forces.
 Also, the MIT undersecretary will no longer be authorized to take decisions on his own about major operations. Major operational decisions will be made by the "high board" which is being described as a "group of wise men." The board will consist of the undersecretary, three deputy undersecretaries and three intelligence directors. Decisions will be taken through voting. The undersecretary will be authorized to cast two votes instead of one. (Hurriyet, March 31, 1999)

Turkish police seize 400 Islamists

 Turkish security forces say they have arrested about 400 members of radical Islamic groups in the south east of the country in a series of raids over the last month.
 A local police chief said those arrested were linked with the fundamentalist group, Hezbollah, according to the semi-official Anatolia news agency.
 The police chief in Diyarbakir said raids had been taking place in three south-eastern provinces against an organisation called the Scientists Group, which is believed to be connected to the Turkish Hezbollah movement.
 The police say they confiscated weapons and propaganda material. They allege that many of those detained have received military and political training in Iran.
 Several radical Islamic groups are thought to be active in south eastern Turkey, which is better known for the Kurdish nationalist conflict, led by the PKK.
 The real strength of groups such as Hezbollah is unclear, but the Diyarbakir police chief said documents found in the raid suggested at least 20,000 members.
 Threats to the republic
 According to the Anatolia news agency, the authorities believe those arrested in the last few weeks wanted to establish a Kurdish Islamic state. The allegation combines two elements which the Turkish military have identified as the greatest threat to the republic - Kurdish separatism and radical Islam.
 The south east is the poorest region in the country and the most socially conservative. Central rule from Ankara has never been fully accepted.
 It may be no coincidence that the announcement of the arrests comes less than three weeks before Turkey holds general and local elections.
 Many people in the south east are planning to vote for pro-Kurdish or pro-Islamist parties and the authorities may want to put them off. (BBC, March 31, 1999)


RSF: Media restricted from Ocalan case

 On 2 March 1999, the Turkish Minister of Justice, Selcuk Oztek, ordered regional prosecutors to strictly apply the law in regards to separatist propaganda to all media suspected of supporting Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party), and currently held in prison. The minister has made public an order for "legal action to be taken against all those who directly or indirectly advocate political or cultural separatism, [...] and publish messages, declarations or images considered criminal." In RSF's opinion, this measure is aimed at censuring certain media.
 Already after Ocalan's arrest, on 15 February, Turkish authorities placed restrictions on reporting on "the Kurdish problem." As such, the emergency zone (Ohal), which falls under the control of police headquarters in Diyarbakir, has been closed to foreign journalists and at least three reporters have been turned back at the airport. On 23 February, two Turkish journalists - Ibrahim Atesoglu, cameraman for the private television channel NTV, and Adnan Simsek, reporter with the press agency Ihlas - were violently beaten. Police officers used their rifle butts to beat the journalists, who were covering the clashes between law enforcement officers and shopkeepers who had organized a "dead city" protest action in Diyarbakir. Atesoglu was seriously hurt (see IFEX alert of 23 February 1999). At least five journalists with the pro-Kurdish daily "?lkede G¸ndem" were detained between 17 and 22 February. Furthermore, on 26 February, in Batman, police seized all the tapes of reporters working for local and national television stations; the journalists were about to send their footage to their stations.
 RSF is concerned about this latest order in light of existing censorship of pro-Kurdish media and those of the extreme left. In 1998, at least twenty-three dailies or periodicals were seized, totaling up to 139 days of suspensions. The Superior Audiovisual Council (RT?K) ordered a total of ten years and 342 days of suspension against thirty-six radios and television broadcasters; at least nineteen of these were suspended under the anti-terror legislation or for having "incited hatred and racial and religious discrimination." The great majority of censored newspapers and broadcast media were pro-Kurdish or leftist. During that same period, at least 200 journalists - working mostly for the extreme leftist and pro-Kurdish media - were questioned by police. Ten of these were reportedly tortured.
 RSF is alarmed about the measures being taken against pro-Kurdish media which wish to report on the Ocalan trial and on the situation in the emergency zone. Media are being targeted, while those who leaked information on Ocalan's confession and questioning -widely published in the mainstream press- have not faced legal action. According to RSF, these measures are evidence of a discriminatory policy against certain media. This is a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Turkey is signatory.
 RSF notes that more than a hundred journalists are currently imprisoned, while it is impossible to determine how many of these are detained for their beliefs or for having exercised their profession. (RSF/IFEX, March 5, 1999)

ITC suspends Med TV license

 The U.K.'s television licensing body, the Independent Television Commission (ITC), suspended the license of the London-based Kurdish Med TV on Monday for 21 days on the basis that the station failed to comply with the terms of its license. The ITC said in its decision that Med TV had included in its service one or more programs containing material likely to encourage and incite its listeners to crime or to lead to disorder of a nature sufficient to justify revocation of the station's license.
 "The Commission considers several broadcasts by Med TV to have clearly contained such material. In relation to one of these broadcasts in particular, Med TV agrees that it breached its license and the ITC code. The broadcasts in question contained various calls to carry out acts of violence in Turkey," the ITC statement said.
 The Commission is currently hearing from representatives of Med TV before it decides whether or not it is necessary in the public interest to permanently revoke the station's license.
 The ITC decision came four months after the last warning delivered to Med TV. On Nov. 23, 1998, the ITC had issued a notice to Med TV saying that its license would be revoked if its service failed to comply with terms of its license and the ITC Program Code over the next six months.
 The ITC had stated in its decision of last November that Med TV had failed to provide a balanced service and that there was a clear impression of bias towards the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). "The very regular access to the service offered to PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was one indicator. News reports too often included accounts of military activities provided, without comment, by the PKK or associated sources," the decision had read.
 The ITC gave previous warnings to Med TV in November 1996, and a fine of 90,000 pounds was imposed on the station in January 1998. A further formal warning was issued in March 1998 for Med TV's failure to take adequate measures to ensure that incitement to crime was avoided in a program transmitted in October 1997.
 What does the ITC do?
 The ITC is an independent body whose powers are derived from the Broadcasting Act of 1990 and 1996. It issues licenses that allow commercial television companies to broadcast in and from the UK. These licenses vary according to the type of service, but they all set out conditions on matters such as standards of programs and advertising.
 The ITC also regulates these services by monitoring broadcasters performance against the requirements of the ITC's published licenses, codes and guidelines on program content, advertising, sponsoring and technical performance. The ITC also has a duty to ensure fair and effective competition in the provision of these services. It also investigates complaints and regularly publishes its findings.
 Although the ITC is an independent body, there have been arguments that governments have had influence over it to some extent. Despite Turkey's complaints over the years about Med TV, British officials have been arguing that Med TV was regulated by the "independent" ITC and that there was nothing they could do to control its programs. (TDN, March 23, 1999)

Deaths, persecution of journalists in 1998

 At least 118 journalists were imprisoned in 25 countries at the end of 1998, and 24 others were allegedly killed during the year while doing their jobs.   A report by the Committee to Protect Journalists details 500 attacks allegedly aimed at intimidating reporters, editors, correspondents and their news organizations.
 "With more countries wielding insult laws and criminal libel statutes to muzzle expression, more journalists than ever face a stark choice: Exercise self-censorship or risk going to jail for hard-hitting reporting," said Ann K. Cooper, CPJ's executive director.
 The 400-page report, "Attacks on the Press in 1998," analyzed journalists' working conditions in 118 countries. CPJ is a nonprofit organization dedicated to safeguarding press freedom.
 Among the most dangerous areas for members of the media were the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. In the latter country, a producer for Associated Press Television News was killed and two of his colleagues were wounded in January.   For the fifth consecutive year, Turkey led the list of nations imprisoning journalists - 27 in 1998. Most were jailed for reporting on Turkey's conflict with the Kurds.
 A spokesman for the Turkish Embassy in Washington did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment on the report.   In 1997, CPJ reported that 26 journalists had been killed, most of them victims of political assassination, and at least 129 were being held in 24 countries. (AP, March 25, 1999)

Press council evaluates Turkish media

 It has been reported by the Press Council that in March three journalists were taken under custody, the distribution of a periodical was banned, three journalists were assaulted and a radio station was shut down for one year by the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK).
 According to the Press Council report, Sengul Karadag, Serpil Ilgun, and Deniz Dogan, correspondents from Evrensel Gazette, were taken into custody on March 20, 1999 while they were in Diyarbakir to report on Nevruz festivities.
 Last month, the 36th issue of the periodical Kaldirac was confiscated by prosecutors in Istanbul.
 The Press Council report also documented the following events occurring in March, 1999:
 - Hurriyet News Agency, Ankara-Beypazari correspondent Muammer Tasdelen was assaulted by Eray Yertutan, a supporter of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), while he was covering a meeting of the MHP Youth Organization on March 8.
 - Zaman Gazette correspondent Ilhan Kaya was assaulted by police while he was covering student demonstrations at Istanbul University on March 17.
 - Rahsan Tas, a correspondent with Hurriyet Gazette, was assaulted by the relatives of a criminal during a hearing on March 3 to determine who was responsible for a traffic accident in Istanbul.
 - The most unpleasant event was an attack on a crew from of Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) by the Serbs in Yugoslavia. The Serbs also confiscated the money, cameras and documents of the TRT journalists.
 - RTUK banned the radio channel Umut FM for one year. RTUK also banned Moral FM for three days, Mozaik Radio for 30 days, Radyo Fon for six months, and Safak Radio for seven days.
 Judicial events related to the media for March were as follows:
 - The Kucukcekmece Chief Prosecutors Office opened a court case against Yeni Yuzyil Gazette, accusing them of violating election restrictions.
 - The trial began for Ertugrul Ozkok, editor in chief of Hurriyet Gazette, on charges that an article he wrote violated the personal rights of Meral Aksener, the deputy leader of the True Path Party (DYP).
 - Koray Duzgoren, journalist and author of a book entitled "Freedom of Thought" was subjected to a two-month prison sentence by the military court of the Turkish General Staff.
 - A court case was opened against Fatih Altayli, a columnist with Hurriyet Gazette, and Dogan Satmis, the paper's editor, on the grounds that they had insulted Tufan Algan, the chairman of the Supreme Election Board (YSK) and other members of the board.
 - Haluk Gerger, a journalist, was sentenced to one year and one month in prison by the Court of Appeals for violating the Anti-Terror Law. (Turkish Daily News, March 31, 1999)

IFJ and IPI concerned at the suspension of Med TV

  According to the International Press Institute (IPI) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the satellite television service licence of Med Broadcasting Ltd. (Med TV), based in London, the United Kingdom, was suspended for 21 days at the end of March. IPI says Med TV is the only satellite station broadcasting in Kurdish. The Independent Television Commission (ITC) decided that Med TV had broadcast material several times in February "likely to encourage or incite to crime or to lead to disorder of a nature sufficient to justify revocation." Med TV is entitled to appeal within 21 days, after which the Commission must decide whether or not to revoke Med TV's licence.
 According to IPI, "The Turkish government has welcomed the ITC's decision and called for a permanent halt to the broadcasts of Med TV." Adds IPI, "the National Security Council of Turkey accuses Med TV of spreading 'separatist propaganda' and has continuously sought to prevent its broadcasts. In the past, Med TV's news and panel discussion programmes have been targeted by jamming signals emanating from Turkey, while in Kurdish regions of Turkey, satellite dishes and antennae have been prohibited and destroyed by soldiers and police units."
 The IFJ says it "is particularly worried about this decision because Med TV provides cultural and linguistic output to various communities in Europe. It broadcasts in several languages and celebrates various cultural and religious traditions." (IFJ/IFEX, March 30, 1999)

Two jailed journalists die in Turkey

 Two jailed journalists reportedly died in Turkey in March, according to Reporters sans frontières (RSF) and the Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN. According to RSF, on 27 March, Cetin Gunes, a columnist with the far-left periodical "Hedef" (Target), died at the Ankara hospital after succumbing to a serious heart condition. He had been transferred from the Ankara prison while on a hunger strike. Gunes was detained for questioning in July 1998, and was sentenced last year to a 16-month prison term for "separatist propaganda" (in accordance with Article 8 of Anti-terrorist Law 3713.) The charge was related to an article published in September 1994 in the far-left monthly "Sosyalist Alternatif", entitled "The role and characteristics of a militant of the Turkish revolution." The journalist had suffered from a heart condition for some time, says RSF.
 The WiPC reports that, according to Amnesty International, journalist Bayram Namaz announced at a 9 March press conference that fellow journalist Suleyman Yeter died as a result of torture while they were in custody together. On 5 March, Namaz, Yeter and three others were taken from the offices of the newspaper "Dayanisma" and detained in cells in the Anti-Terror Branch of Istanbul Police Station. The next day, Yeter told Namaz he had been stripped and beaten, sprayed with cold water and forced to lie on ice. That night, Namaz and the other detainees heard the cries of someone under torture; on the following morning the Fatih State Prosecutor reported that Yeter had died in custody, says the WiPC.
 Namaz was released on 9 March and made reports to Turkey's Human Rights Association and the Office of the Prosecutor in Fatih. According to the WiPC, "He claims that in the last 12 days he has been repeatedly followed by police in marked cars and is now fearing for his own safety." Namaz and Yeter were among 15 detainees whose claims of being tortured in detention in early 1997 were being officially investigated, and Yeter had been detained and threatened as a result of this investigation. On 24 March, the WiPC says, "the Istanbul Bar Association expressed concern that Yeter's death was in direct retaliation for his attempt to bring to justice those who had tortured him in 1997." (IFEX, March 31, 1999)


Ocalan's lawyers do not give up

 On behalf of Abdullah Ocalan's Defense Lawyers, Mr. Ahmet Zeki Okcuoglu made the following statement to the press on March 1, 1999:
 We are not giving up, we are holding off our defense task. We are being attacked and threatened in plain view of the public opinion, since last week, ever since we applied to the State Security Courts (DGM) to defend Mr. Ocalan who is being held as a prisoner in the Imrali island.
 Even though, the domestic and the international law recognize the sacredness of the right to legal defense and guarantee this right, [the regime in Turkey] has unleashed some organized and aggressive militants against us under the guise of "peoples' reaction." Twice in Mudanya (on February 23 and 25, 1999) and once in Istanbul (on February 26, 1999 when we held our press conference on Mr. Ocalan's situation) we were the target of attacks that threatened our lives.
 The fact that we were attacked for the second time in Mudanya, just two days after the initial attack which prompted Prime Minister Ecevit to state that  "the lives of [Ocalan's] lawyers were secured," is a clear indication of the influence that these invisible forces wield within this administration. Prime Minister Ecevit [was forced to] make a new statement because we demanded international help to protect ourselves in the face of the arrest of our colleague Osman Baydemir during the Press conference in Istanbul and because the police did not take any measures to protect us even though there was a clear threat of attacks against us following the conference.
 Prime Minister Ecevit accused us for putting on a show because we could not find anything to criticize about the conditions of Abdullah Ocalan in Imrali. The Prime Minister's statement concerning the situation of Abdullah Ocalan is in total contradiction with the reality. The accusation that "we found nothing to criticize" in the situation of Abdullah Ocalan who is being held in an interrogation chamber of the Special Warfare Department (Counter-guerrilla), totally insulated from the world and located on a deserted island, is unjust. According to the law, a detainee must be held in a prison under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice. Clearly, the laws of our country are being violated.
 How could the Prime Minister of a State which claims the supremacy of the rule of law, make such a statement? How could he dismiss our demand for state protection in the face of the attacks on our right to provide legal counsel?
 The trial of Abdullah Ocalan is going to be the trial of the Century. To deny or to obstruct the right to legal counsel in such a[n important] trial, will greatly distress the Turkish State. Therefore, especially the President and the Prime Minister should change the attitudes they have displayed so far and be helpful in removing the obstacles put on the path of the defense lawyers. They should provide protection for us and announce to the public that -at least from now on- attacks against the right to defense will not be permitted.

Le PKK réélit Ocalan à sa tête et appelle à "intensifier la guerre"

 Le parti des Travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK) a réélu Abdullah Ocalan à sa tête après son arrestation et a appelé à "intensifier la guerre" contre Ankara lors de son congrès, a annoncé jeudi à l'AFP un représentant du parti à Vienne, contacté par téléphone.
 "Abdullah Ocalan a été réélu président par le 6ème congrès du PKK", a indiqué Karadas Ender, membre du Front de libération du Kurdistan (ERNK), l'aile politique du PKK.
 Selon lui, le congrès s'est déroulé en territoire contrôlé par le PKK dans le "Kurdistan nord" --soit en Turquie dans la terminologie du PKK-- en présence de 350 délégués.
 Les débats du congrès ont débuté fin janvier, selon Karadas Ender, et se sont poursuivis jusqu'à maintenant. La décision de réélire Abdullah Ocalan à la tête de l'organisation a été prise après sa capture, a-t-il souligné.
 Le chef du PKK avait été capturé le 15 février au Kenya par un commando turc et amené en Turquie, sur l'île-prison d'Imrali (mer de Marmara, ouest), où il doit être jugé pour trahison et tentative de diviser le pays. Il encourt la peine de mort.
 Le congrès a également appelé à une "intensification de la guerre" contre la Turquie, a précisé le porte-parole de l'ERNK.
 Le comité central du PKK a appelé ses membres dans le sud-est anatolien à "utiliser tous les moyens d'auto-défense" contre la Turquie, a dit M. Ender.
 "L'attaque suicide à Batman doit être comprise dans ce contexte", a-t-il ajouté, en allusion à un attentat-suicide à la bombe perpétré jeudi par une femme à Batman (sud-est).
 L'auteur de l'attentat a été tué dans l'explosion, qui a blessé quatre passants, devant un commissariat de police dans le centre de la ville.
 Le congrès du PKK a défini la stratégie politique et militaire future des rebelles et la marche à suivre après l'arrestation d'Ocalan, a ajouté le porte-parole de l'ERNK.
 "Les jours, les semaines et les mois à venir vont révéler que l'affirmation de la Turquie selon laquelle elle contrôle le nord du Kurdistan est de la propagande vide", a ajouté le porte-parole.
 Les résultats complets du congrès du PKK doivent être publiés par l'ERNK et par la télévision pro-kurde Med-TV dans la journée de jeudi, ont indiqué des porte-parole des deux côtés.
 L'arrestation d'Ocalan avait fait naître de multiples spéculations sur la personne pouvant lui succéder: le nom de son frère Osman, commandant pour le nord de l'Irak, et de Cemil Bayik, commandant en chef de l'ARGK (Armée populaire de libération du Kurdistan), la branche militaire du PKK, avaient circulé avec insistance dans les médias turcs. (AFP, 4 Mars 99)

Turkey jails one of Ocalan's defence

 A Turkish lawyer, who had volunteered to defend Ocalan, was jailed on le 10 mars on an earlier conviction for separatism, Anatolian news agency said. It said lawyer Medeni Ayhan had reported to a prosecutor and had been taken to an Ankara jail to start a two-year jail term imposed for "spreading separatist propaganda" in a 1994 magazine article.
 Under Turkey's penal law, Ayhan is unlikely to serve the full two years and will probably be released in September 2000.
 He was one of 15 lawyers, many of them also human rights activists, who volunteered to represent Ocalan.
 European countries have called on Turkey to ensure Ocalan receives a fair trial.
 Okcuoglu, who has taken the lead in the defence case, has only been able to see his client once in the 23 days since Turkish special forces grabbed the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader in Kenya and whisked him back to Turkey.
 Okcuoglu also said the Istanbul bar would soon rule on whether to expel him for an earlier conviction for "spreading separatist propaganda." He said the case would not prevent him defending Ocalan. (Reuters, March 10, 1999)

L'avocat affirme qu'Ocalan est "isolé du monde entier"

 L'avocat turc d'Ocalan a déclaré le 12 mars dans une interview à une télévision privée athénienne que son client "était isolé du monde entier" et "sous pression psychologique".
 Me Ahmet Zeki Okcuoglu, qui a rendu visite le 11 mars à M. Ocalan dans l'île-prison d'Imrali où il est detenu, a indiqué à "Mega" lui avoir demandé s'il avait "une radio ou s'il recevait des livres ou des journaux", comme l'avait affirmé le gouvernement turc dans une réponse détaillée aux questions de la Cour européenne des droits de l'Homme de Strasbourg.
 M. Ocalan lui a répondu que "non". "Je suis isolé et sous pression psychologique", a ajouté M. Ocalan, selon Me Okcuoglu pour qui le dirigeant kurde "avait l'air bien mieux que la première fois qu'il l'avait vu" peu après son transfert à Imrali.
 Interrogé par la correspondante de Mega à Istanbul, Me Okcuoglu a expliqué que la première fois qu'il avait vu M. Ocalan, juste après sa capture par les autorités turques, "il a eu peur, car il semblait malade et sous l'effet de médicaments".
 "Ces dernières années, j'ai eu l'occasion de voir M. Ocalan à la télévision" et "j'ai gardé de lui l'impression d'un homme vif dont les mouvements étaient faciles et qui s'exprimait avec aisance", a-t-il ajouté.
 L'avocat a aussi réaffirmé craindre une possible tentative d'"élimination physique" du chef dde PKK, maquillée en "faux suicide".
 Il a aussi fait état des "difficultés" des avocats de M. Ocalan dans l'exercice de leurs fonctions: "on nous traite comme si nous avions commis nous-même un crime et non comme si nous étions les défenseurs en justice d'un accusé", a-t-il dit.
 Me Okcuoglu a aussi indiqué que même lors de son entrevue du 11 mars, il n'était pas seul avec son client. Un garde portant l'uniforme se tenait tout près d'eux. Celui-ci lui a pris toutes ses notes une fois l'entretien avec M. Ocalan terminé, a ajouté Me Okcuoglu.
 Par ailleurs, selon Me Okcuoglu, Ocalan lui a dit qu'il "s'était trompé sur Simitis (le premier ministre grec Costas Simitis)" et "qu'il devait reviser ses relations avec le gouvernement grec" sans autres détails.
 Commentant sa capture, le dirigeant kurde a même dit à son avocat, "j'ai été crucifié. Le premier clou a été posé par la Russie, le deuxième par l'Italie, le troisième par la Grèce et le quatrième par le Kenya qui m'ont livré à la mort", selon Me Okcuoglu qui s'exprimait en turc et qui était traduit en grec. (AFP, 12 Mars 1999)

Statement from imprisoned DEP deputy Hatip Dicle

 The following statement was released on March 12, 1999, by the ex-Kurdish deputy Hatip Dicle from the Ankara Central Closed Prison.
 There are moments in history and life when words cease to have any meaning.
 International conspiracy led by the USA against the PKK President Abdullah Ocalan, is such moment for us.
 By targeting Mr Ocalan, the entire struggle of the Kurdish people for freedom and equality with the Turkish people, is threatened with annihilation. It is not only the Kurdish people who are targeted but also peoples of the Middle East and the wave of rising revolutionary struggles throughout the world. Not surprisingly that the Turkish state, encouraged and strengthened by the international conspiracy against Ocalan, has escalated its policy of denial and annihilation against the Kurdish people together with a campaign of
 massive psychological warfare.
 The scribblers of the state-controlled Turkish media are now calling on the Kurdish intellectuals saying "hey, you
 the Kurdish intellectuals, it is time to abandon the struggle". This call is in a way form of an invitation to betrayal. However it also carries certain positive elements too.
 For example, it had a positive impact on me, personally.
 My answer to the international scheming and calls for betrayal is a simple one:
 "Since 16 February 1999 in both thought and action I am a PKK militant".
 Of course it is not easy to be a PKK militant. It requires recognition and acknowledgement of human values. Admittedly it is an arduous task.
 It is also possible that the PKK may not accept me as its militant. However, my decision should be interpreted as my response within my own limits and capabilities, to the international plot. It must be understood correctly.
 This declaration must be understood as the new political stance of a Kurdish intellectual, a Kurdish politician and a Kurdish deputy who was elected by his own people. And it must listened to correctly.
 Hatip Dicle from Ankara Central Closed Prison
 Note: Hatip Dicle was the President of the Democracy Party (DEP) and member of parliament for the city of Diyarbakir. He was together with three of his colleagues arrested in March 1995, tried for aiding and abetting of an illegal organisation and is now serving 15 years imprisonment.

Le PKK déclare la guerre au tourisme

 Le Parti des Travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK) a déclaré lundi la guerre au tourisme, importante source de revenu de la Turquie, et a averti les vacanciers étrangers qu'ils ne seraient plus en sécurité, radicalisant sa lutte après la capture de son chef Abdullah Ocalan.
 "Toute la Turquie est une zone de guerre maintenant. Cela inclut les régions touristiques de la République turque", a souligné l'Armée populaire de libération du Kurdistan (ARGK), branche militaire du PKK, dans un communiqué diffusé par l'agence pro-kurde DEM reçue à Ankara.
 "Pour leur sécurité, il est nécessaire que les touristes ne viennent pas en Turquie, que les Etats préviennent leurs citoyens et que les agences de tourisme ne fassent pas de telles réservations", a ajouté le communiqué.
 "Notre lutte est entrée dans une nouvelle phase" après l'arrestation et l'emprisonnement d'Abdullah Ocalan, selon ce communiqué, qui met particulièrement en garde les touristes européens.
 Cette déclaration survient après la capture du chef du PKK le 15 février à Nairobi, qui est détenu dans l'île prison d'Imrali où il doit être jugé pour "trahison et tentative de diviser le Turquie".
 Elle intervient également dans la foulée d'une vague d'attentats qui a particulièrement frappé Istanbul, ville la plus importante de Turquie, faisant au moins 14 morts.
 L'attentat le plus meurtrier a été perpétré samedi contre un centre commercial dans la partie asiatique d'Istanbul, faisant 13 morts et six blessés. Cet attentat n'a pas été revendiqué mais les autorités soupçonnnent les rebelles kurdes.
 Le PKK, qui mène depuis 1984 une rébellion armée contre Ankara pour créer un Etat kurde indépendant dans le Sud-est de la Turquie à majorité kurde, avait annoncé le 4 mars qu'il allait "intensifier la guerre" contre l'Etat turc, à l'issue de son 6-ème congrès.
 Les autorités turques estiment que le PKK menace le tourisme lorsque ses militants armés sont coincés dans les montagnes et immobilisés sur le terrain de bataille sous la forte pression de l'armée.
 Ce n'est pas la première fois que le PKK vise le tourisme en Turquie, qui a rapporté quelque 10 milliards de dollars en 1998 et quelque 7,5 milliards de dollars en 1997 à l'Etat. Les autorités espèrent recolter près de 12 milliards de dollars en 1999.
 Le tourisme est l'un des secteurs les plus dynamiques de l'économie turque, avec des chiffres croissants d'investissement chaque année.
 Selon le PKK, les revenus touristiques de la Turquie "servent à financer la sale guerre (ndlr: les opérations de représailles de l'armée turque contre le PKK) contre les Kurdes de Turquie".
 Le PKK avait déjà lancé au milieu des années 1990 des campagnes contre le tourisme, commettant une série d'attentats sur les sites touristiques balnéaires et à Istanbul. Puis il avait arrêté afin d'améliorer son image et de tenter de trouver un soutien politique en Europe.
 En juin 1993, un triple attentat à l'explosif à Antalya avait fait 23 blessés, notamment allemands, et le PKK avait enlevé en juillet 4 touristes français ainsi qu'une Australienne et un Britannique dans l'est du pays avant de les relâcher.
 En 1994, quatre touristes européens avaient été tués dans des attentats à la bombe attribués au PKK dans les stations balnéraires du pays et à Istanbul.
 En 1995, deux personnes, dont une Jordanienne, avaient été tuées et une quarantaine d'autres blessés lors de trois attentats simultanés dans des sites touristiques à Istanbul. (AFP, 15 mars 1999)

Ankara refuse des observateurs mais accepte des "auditeurs"

 Le procès du chef rebelle kurde Abdullah Ocalan, s'il est public, sera ouvert à des "auditeurs" venant à titre privé mais pas à des "observateurs" représentant une institution, a déclaré mercredi un diplomate turc.
 Le président de la Cour de sûreté de l'Etat (DGM) d'Ankara décidera si le procès est ouvert au public. Si oui, il sera "accessible à des auditeurs et non à des observateurs, cela n'existe pas dans notre système", a souligné devant la presse Faruk Logoglu, sous-secrétaire d'Etat adjoint au ministère des Affaires étrangères.
 Cette position permet en fait que le procès soit suivi par des personnes faisant fonction d'observateurs à condition qu'elles ne s'en donnent pas le titre pour ménager la susceptibilité de la Turquie.
 L'Union européenne avait réclamé le 22 février l'envoi d'observateurs internationaux au procès, ce qu'Ankara a refusé, y voyant une ingérence.
 M. Logoglu a souligné que la Turquie était obligée de coopérer, de par ses engagements, avec la Cour européenne des droits de l'Homme et le Comité contre la Torture du Conseil de l'Europe. Mais elle ne "se pliera pas à des demandes auxquelles elle n'est pas obligée de répondre, même si la personne impliquée est exceptionnelle", a-t-il dit.
 "Il ne s'agit pas d'un spectacle ou d'un film d'aventure, il s'agit d'un procès", a souligné le diplomate turc, sans pouvoir indiquer quand il s'ouvrira. (AFP, 17 mars 1999)

Ocalan assure depuis sa prison vouloir "la paix et la démocratie"

 Abdullah Ocalan, détenu sur l'île prison d'Imrali, a assuré qu'il souhaitait une "véritable paix et la démocratie en Turquie", dans une déclaration écrite communiquée jeudi à la presse par ses avocats.
 "Nous voulons une véritable paix et la démocratie en Turquie", a affirmé Abdullah Ocalan dans cette déclaration. "Mon combat est celui pour une paix et une démocratie puissantes. Ce combat se déroule entre ceux qui veulent la paix et la démocratie et ceux qui ne les veulent pas", a-t-il précisé.
 C'est la première fois qu'Abdullah Ocalan s'exprime dans une déclaration publique depuis qu'il a été capturé le 15 février à Nairobi et ramené en Turquie pour y être jugé.
 Selon les observateurs, cette déclaration est d'autant plus insolite qu'Ocalan est sous une garde policière étroite à Imrali, et il serait surprenant que les autorités l'aient autorisé à s'exprimer depuis sa prison.
 Abdullah Ocalan estime dans ce texte que si la Turquie "adopte une approche favorable pour une solution de la question" (kurde), ce serait "une opportunité historique".
 "Dans le cadre de l'intégrité territoriale et de l'indépendance de la Turquie, nous souhaitons la création des conditions d'une solution politique ouvrant la voie à la co-existence pacifique de nos peuples" kurde et turc, souligne le chef du PKK.
 Aucune date n'a encore été fixée pour l'ouverture du procès d'Abdullah Ocalan, qui sera jugé par la Cour de sûreté de l'Etat (DGM) d'Ankara pour "trahison et tentative de diviser" la Turquie. Il encourt la peine de mort.
 Le communiqué signé par quatre de ses avocats, dont deux sont autorisés à lui rendre visite chaque mardi et vendredi, rapelle que le PKK a proclamé un cessez-le-feu unilatéral en septembre dernier.
 Cette trêve avait été immédiatement rejeté par les autorités turques, comme les deux précédentes proposées par le PKK en mars 1993 et décembre 1995. (AFP, 18 mars 1999)

IHD communiqué on alleged Ocalan's statements

 The Human Rights Association (IHD) made a statement in connection with the alleged statements of Abdullah Ocalan, which were published in the daily Hurriyet on 17 and 18 March as a hearsay, in which the IHD was allegedly named by Abdullah Ocalan as an ýaffiliated organizationţ and the executive members of the IHD as ýappointed persons.ţ
 The statement made by IHD Secretary General Husnu Ondul, read, ýIn Turkey, there are many examples of handling the indictments to the media before launching the trial, as well as examples of handling of the preliminary investigation file and certain documents, which are hidden from the defendant and his/her lawyers, to the media.ţ
 In summary, the following were said in the statement:
 ýThe IHD executive members are not appointed but elected. The general congresses of the IHD are held under the surveillance and control of the state authorities. IHD is not a sub-branch, close organization or an affiliation of any lawful or banned political organization, as known by everybody. The IHD has thousands of members over Turkey, each having different political opinions. No one has the right to indicate these people in the orbit of an outlawed organization. Leave aside the claims of such an affiliation; thousands of people have worked as the executive members of the headquarters and the branches in the history of the IHD.
 "During this 13-year period, a proposal by a legal or outlawed organization has never put on the agenda as an item nor a proposal has been made to put such an item on the agenda. The human rights activists in Turkey and the IHD members would not allow such things. Naming the IHD as an organizations having relations with an outlawed organization will bring no contribution to the strengthening of the human rights and freedoms in Turkey and of the democratic standards. On the contrary, these accusations will serve for the narrowing of the range of rights and freedoms.
 "The IHD executives and members carry out their activities and elect their executive members on their own will and on the basis of the international human rights documents. No accusations or comments will lead the IHD members to withdraw from their enduring approach in their work of defending human rights and values voluntarily and without seeking for economic or political benefits. We will not allow any violation of rights to be hidden in our country. We are determined to work for the building of a political order based on human rights in Turkey, despite all hindrance.ţ
 Meanwhile, PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan made a statement via his lawyers Selim Okçuoglu, Irfan Dundar and Niyazi Bulgan, whom he met in Imrali Prison on 16 March. In his statement, Ocalan said, ýAs far as I'm concerned, the news and broadcasting about myself are not in the right track. I feel sorrow for any statement and action that would pave the way to a clash between Turks and Kurds.ţ In his statement, Abdullah Ocalan also discussed the elections to be held on 18 April and the ýpeace.ţ (Evrensel-TIHV, March 19, 1999)

Le procès d'Ocalan renvoyé au 30 avril

 La Cour de sûreté de l'Etat (DGM) d'Ankara a renvoyé mercredi à fin avril un procès contre le chef rebelle kurde Abdullah Ocalan et a décidé de transférer le procès à l'île prison d'Imrali où il est détenu, a-t-on appris auprès de la DGM.
 Ce procès contre le chef du PKK, intenté en octobre 1997, c'est-à-dire avant sa capture le 15 février dernier à Nairobi, se base sur une de ses interventions sur Med-TV, station de télévision pro-kurde émettant à partir de l'Europe.
 Ocalan n'a pas assisté à l'audience devant la DGM pour des raisons de sécurité. Trois de ses avocats, dont l'avocat principal Me Ahmet Zeki Okcuoglu, ont été présents à l'audience.
 Le tribunal a décidé de transférer le procès à l'île prison d'Imrali, en mer de Marmara (nord-ouest) pour des motifs de sécurité et de reporter la prochaine audience au 30 avril.
 Le PKK a lancé en 1984 une rébellion armée dans le Sud-Est à majorité kurde pour la création d'un Etat kurde indépendant. Les violences liées à cette rébellion ont fait quelque 31.000 morts.
 Le tribunal a d'autre part accepté une requête déposée par les avocats des familles des militaires tués dans des combats contre le PKK dans les Sud-est anatolien, de constituer la partie civile.
 L'audience de mercredi a duré une heure et demie et seuls les avocats ont été autorisés à entrer dans la salle à l'annonce de la décision.
 Les diverses procédures lancées contre Abdulah Ocalan pourraient être associées par la DGM d'Ankara, selon des sources judiciaires.
 La licence d'émission de la télévision satellitaire de langue kurde a été suspendue lundi pour trois semaines par la commission indépendante britannique de régulation de l'audiovisuel. Cette chaîne a ses principaux studios d'information et de production en Belgique, bien qu'elle émette depuis Londres.
 Ce procès avait été lancé d'après l'article 125 du code pénal turc qui sanctionne les délits visant à diviser le territoire turc et à créer un Etat distinct sur ce territoire, un délit qui est passible de la peine de mort.
 Une cinquantaine de personnes, pour la plupart des familles des militaires tués dans des combats contre le PKK, brandissant des drapeaux turcs, rassemblées devant le palais de justice avant l'ouverture de l'audience, ont scandé des slogans contre le chef rebelle kurde et le PKK.
 Ocalan, transféré en Turquie après sa capture au Kénya, doit être jugé pour trahison et tentative de diviser la Turquie dans un nouveau procès qui lui sera prochainement intenté, après l'élaboration d'un acte d'accusation.
 Ce nouveau procès pourrait s'ouvrir en avril mais aucune date précise n'a encore été fixée. (AFP, 27 mars 1999)


Economists Reject EcevitÝs Southeast Package as Flimsy

 The Turkish governmentÝs latest package of economic support for its underdeveloped southeastern provinces, which are mainly populated by Kurds, was criticized by economic analysts this week. The development package introduced by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on 1 March falls far short of repairing the damage wrought by fourteen years of armed conflict, they said.
 EcevitÝs development program calls for 40.5 trillion Turkish lira ($ 114 million)  to be spent over the next two years completing unfinished investments and strengthening the health and education infrastructure. Analysts said this was woefully inadequate for a region where economic development is stunted and incomes are a fraction of the levels in the western part of the country. In an editorial for the newspaper ĐSabahý, a columnist pointed out that the program amounts to a mere fraction of the $ 65 billion that Turkey has spent over the past fifteen years  fighting separatism in the region. These military actions have resulted in  the economic disintegration of the region and caused an estimated two million of its Kurdish inhabitants to migrate to other parts of the country.
 Analysts criticized EcevitÝs announcement as a maneuver to gain votes in the national elections set for April 18 and doubted that the government would go beyond making promises. Nine similar incentives in as many years have crumbled when confronted with the southeastÝs economic and social woes. (Reuters, March 2, 1999)

12-month inflation at 78.5 percent

 Turkey's 12-month aggregate inflation rate at the end of February has reached 78.5 percent in wholesale and 64.8 percent in retail prices.
 The State Institute of Statistics (DIE) disclosed Tuesday that consumer prices had increased by 3.2 percent and wholesale prices by 3.4 percent in February.
 Data provided by the DIE indicated that while the 12-month inflation of the country was at 78.5 and 64.8 percent in wholesale and retail prices respectively, annual inflation was at 48.3 percent in wholesale and 63.9 percent in retail prices. (Turkish Daily News, March 4,1999)

Avril perdu pour le tourisme, selon les professionnels

 Le mois d'avril est perdu pour le secteur du tourisme en Turquie après les avertissements lancés par le PKK aux touristes étrangers, a déclaré mardi à l'AFP un responsable de l'industrie du tourisme.
 "Le mois d'avril est très sérieusement affecté", a admis Talha Camas, président de l'Association des agences de voyage en Turquie (TURSAB). Mais, selon lui, à partir du mois de mai, les activités reprendront dans ce secteur, source cruciale de revenus pour la Turquie.
 Lundi, le PKK avait averti que les touristes étrangers n'étaient dorénavant plus en sécurité en Turquie après la capture de son chef Abdullah Ocalan. "Toute la Turquie est une zone de guerre maintenant. Cela inclut les régions touristiques de la République turque", avait prévenu le PKK.
 "Malheureusement, nous y sommes habitués", a souligné M. Camas, précisant que ce type de menaces est proféré "depuis des années".
 Selon M. Camas, en 1993, lorsque le PKK avait commencé à commettre des attentats visant les touristes, les professionnels avaient été en proie à la panique. Mais, a-t-il affirmé, la Turquie a depuis acquis l'expérience lui permettant de gérer de telles situations de crise.
 En juin 1993, un triple attentat à l'explosif à Antalya avait fait 23 blessés, notamment allemands, et le PKK avait enlevé en juillet quatre touristes français ainsi qu'une Australienne et un Britannique dans l'est du pays avant de les relâcher. En 1994 et 1995, d'autres attentats avaient fait des morts et des blessés. (AFP, 16 Mars 1999)

Annulation des vols d'El Al vers la Turquie de craintes d'attentats

 La compagnie aérienne israélienne El Al a annulé deux vols prévus vendredi à destination ou en provenance de la Turquie pour des "raisons de sécurité", a indiqué jeudi un porte-parole de la compagnie.
 Cette mesure concerne un vol prévu vendredi matin vers Istamboul et un deuxième vol dans l'après-midi d'Istamboul vers Tel-Aviv.
 El Al prendra désormais une décision sur le maintien ou l'annulation de chaque vol à destination de la Turquie au cas par cas en fonction de la situation de la sécurité, a ajouté la compagnie en soulignant que ces mesures de précaution avaient été prises après consultations avec le ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères.
 Les passagers des vols annulés devront prendre une autre compagnie.
 Selon la radio militaire, les responsables de El Al redoutent des attentats que pourraient commettre des militants kurdes avant le procès d'Ocalan. (AFP, 18 mars 1999)


Une délégation du CE a rencontré Abdullah Ocalan

 Une délégation du Comité contre la torture (CPT) du Conseil de l'Europe a rendu visite mardi au chef des rebelles kurdes de Turquie Abdullah Ocalan sur l'île-prison d'Imrali où il est détenu, en mer de Marmara (ouest).
 Trois experts du Comité, membres d'une délégation de 11 personnes, ont quitté l'île mardi en fin d'après-midi, après s'y être rendus dans la matinée à bord d'un hélicoptère qui avait décollé d'Istanbul.
 Les experts sont restés quelque huit heures à Imrali, selon l'agence.
 Cette visite est la première d'une délégation étrangère autorisée par le gouvernement turc depuis la capture d'Ocalan le 15 février à Nairobi par un commando turc.
 Avec la visite de cette délégation, la Turquie a respecté son engagement de pays ayant ratifié la Convention contre la torture, qui permet au CPT de visiter n'importe quel lieu de détention dans tous les pays européens concernés.
 Avant la venue de la délégation européenne, les seuls contacts d'Ocalan avec le monde extérieur avaient été son interrogatoire par trois procureurs de la Cour de sûreté de l'Etat (DGM) d'Ankara, puis une brève rencontre avec deux de ses avocats jeudi dernier.
 Ces avocats s'étaient sont ensuite plaints d'être victimes de menaces de mort et d'intimidation et avaient décidé vendredi de suspendre leur défense.
 La Turquie refuse en revanche la présence d'observateurs internationaux au futur procès du chef du PKK, accusé de "trahison et tentative de diviser le pays", qui risque à ce titre la peine de mort.
 Le vice-président du parlement turc, Uluc Gurkan, a ainsi démenti mardi des informations de la presse norvégienne selon laquelle il aurait invité une délégation du parlement norvégien au procès du chef rebelle kurde.
 Il a accusé, sans donner de noms, certains pays européens de vouloir transformer ce procès en "cirque". Mais "cela n'empêche pas qu'il puisse être suivi par des personnalités étrangères puisque les tribunaux sont ouverts au public", a-t-il dit, se faisant l'écho de la position officielle turque.
 Ankara avait également refusé une visite la semaine dernière du président de l'Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l'Europe, lord Russell-Johnston. Ce dernier avait l'intention de demander au gouvernement turc des garanties afin que la détention et le procès de M. Ocalan soient en conformité totale avec la convention européenne des droits de l'Homme.
 Les pays de l'Union européenne ont réclamé à plusieurs reprises qu'Abdullah Ocalan, qui sera jugé par la DGM d'Ankara, bénéficie d'un procès "équitable".
 Un porte-parole du Comité contre la torture avait déclaré le 23 février qu'il suivait de "très près" le cas Ocalan.
 Le même jour, le Comité avait publié un rapport sur sa visite en octobre 1997 en Turquie, réclamant notamment qu'Ankara intensifie ses efforts pour combattre la torture et les mauvais traitements subis par des détenus.
 Le PKK, qui a déclenché en 1984 une rébellion armée contre le pouvoir central d'Ankara pour la création d'un Etat kurde indépendant dans le Sud-Est, est considéré par la Turquie et plusieurs pays occidentaux, dont les Etats-Unis, comme une organisation terroriste. (AFP, 2 Mars 1999)

Appel européen en faveur des droits culturels des minorités kurdes

 Le Conseil de l'Europe, par le biais du Congrès des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux d'Europe (CPLRE), a lancé jeudi à Strasbourg un appel aux autorités turques pour la reconnaissance des droits culturels et linguistiques des minorités, notamment kurdes.
 Alain Chénard (France, Socialiste), président du CPLRE qui était réuni jeudi en mini-session à Strasbourg, a exprimé le souhait que s'installe en Turquie "une véritable autonomie régionale", avec un président de province élu et "la reconnaissance de droits culturels et linguistiques spécifiques aux provinces où les minorités sont les plus présentes, en particulier dans le sud-est".
 Le congrès a notamment invité la Turquie à signer et ratifier la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires ainsi que la convention-cadre pour la protection des minorités nationales, "ce qui constituerait un geste politique très significatif".
 "En prenant de telles mesures, la Turquie construirait une avenir européen pour l'ensemble de ses citoyens, quelle que soit leur identité culturelle ou religieuse", selon M. Chénard.
 Le CPLRE, qui compte 286 membres, représentants élus des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux, a pour objectif principal de garantir la participation des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux au processus d'unification européenne et aux travaux du Conseil de l'Europe. (AFP, 4 Mars 99)

Le Conseil de l'Europe somme la Turquie de respecter un arrêt de la Cour

 Le Comité des ministres du Conseil de l'Europe a mis en demeure la Turquie, le 4 mars à Strasbourg, de libérer l'ancien président du parti socialiste turc (SP), emprisonné malgré un arrêt de la Cour européenne des droits de l'Homme.
 L'exécutif des "40" a enjoint la Turquie de respecter, "comme elle en a l'obligation" en tant qu'Etat membre, un arrêt de la Cour européenne du 25 mai 1998 qui condamne ce pays pour avoir dissous le SP pour "visées séparatistes" et violé ainsi le droit à la liberté d'association.
 Dogu Perincek, ancien dirigeant du SP, a été emprisonné le 29 septembre 1998 pour purger une peine de 14 mois de prison en vertu d'un arrêt de la Cour de cassation turque qui avait confirmé cette condamnation pénale.
 L'arrêt de la justice turque était postérieur à la décision de la Cour européenne.
 Le Comité "insiste sur l'obligation que la Turquie a (...) d'effacer sans retard, à travers l'action des autorités turques, toutes les conséquences de la condamnation pénale".
 Dans sa résolution, le Comité des ministres note cependant, sans autre explication, que le gouvernement turc a versé au requérant un dédommagement de 50.000 FF (7.622,45 euros) exigé par la Cour européenne.
 Le SP a été dissous parce qu'il prônait un système fédéral dans lequel Turcs et Kurdes seraient représentés sur un pied d'égalité. (AFP, 4 Mars 99)

L'assemblée des "40" insiste pour avoir des représentants au procès d'Ocalan

 L'Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l'Europe a insisté vendredi pour avoir des "représentants" au procès du chef rebelle kurde Abdullah Ocalan, selon un communiqué des "40".
 Le bureau de l'assemblée, composé des présidents et vice-présidents de chaque groupe politique, a chargé son président, lord Russell-Johnston, "de prendre les mesures nécessaires afin d'assurer la présence de ses représentants" lors de ce procès prévu fin mars.
 Les présidents des groupes ont "unanimement considéré que la présence de leurs représentants lors du procès Ocalan était de l'intérêt de la Turquie", selon le communiqué du bureau publié à Strasbourg.
 Cevdet Akcali, vice-président turc de l'assemblée parlementaire des "40" et membre du parti "La vraie voie", a pour sa part déclaré qu'il était disposé à aider les représentants de l'Assemblée dans leurs démarches administratives et pratiques sur place.
 Le bureau a également décidé de tenir un débat d'actualité au sujet de l'affaire Ocalan à l'occasion des réunions de l'assemblée à Rome du 29 au 31 mars.
 La Turquie a refusé la présence d'"observateurs internationaux" au procès du chef kurde mais cela n'empêche pas, selon elle, que des personnalités étrangères y assistent.
 Ankara avait également refusé une visite de Lord Russell-Johnston, qui avait l'intention de demander au gouvernement turc des garanties sur la détention et le procès de M. Ocalan. (AFP, 5 mars 1999)

Des députés européens pensent qu'Ocalan n'aura pas un procès équitable

 Quatre députés européens estiment que la Turquie n'offrira pas un procès équitable au chef des rebelles kurdes Abdullah Ocalan, ont-ils déclaré lors d'une conférence de presse à Bruxelles, de retour d'une "mission d'investigation" à Istanbul (Turquie).
 "Le sentiment général de la délégation est que la Turquie n'a pas l'intention de tenir compte des craintes et demandes du Parlement européen sur la tenue d'un procès équitable et sur les possibilités d'accepter des observateurs européens", ont-ils déclaré.
 Ces quatres députés, Anne André-Léonard (libéral belge), Janis Sakellariou (socialiste allemand), Luigi Vinci et Pedro Marset (communistes italien et espagnol) se sont rendus en Turquie de leur propre initiative (sans constituer une mission officielle du Parlement européen) et y ont rencontré des représentants du parti Hadep (pro-kurde), des associations des droits de l'homme et un des avocats chargé de la défense dans le procès de M. Ocalan.
 "De ces entretiens, il est apparu que M. Ocalan n'a pu s'entretenir qu'une fois avec son avocat et ce en présence de juges. Il ne peut donc s'exprimer librement", ont-ils estimé. "Il faudrait maintenant que le Parlement européen envoie une délégation officielle en Turquie", ont-ils ajouté.
 La première audience du procès de M. Ocalan, jugé pour "tentative de diviser la Turquie", a été fixée au 24 mars. Ses avocats, faisant état de menaces de mort et en l'absence de garanties de l'Etat turc pour leur sécurité, boycottent pour le moment la défense du chef kurde. (AFP, 5 mars 1999)

La Cour européenne somme le gouvernement turc de garantir les droits d'Ocalan

 La Cour européenne des droits de l'Homme a sommé le gouvernement turc de garantir les droits du chef rebelle kurde Abdullah Ocalan, incarcéré en Turquie, a-t-on appris vendredi auprès du Conseil de l'Europe.
 Répondant à une lettre d'Ankara du 26 février, la Cour rappelle que par deux fois déjà elle a jugé non conforme à la Convention européenne des droits de l'Homme les tribunaux d'exception et souligne que Ocalan risque d'être jugé devant un tel tribunal qui peut prononcer la peine de mort.
 Elle demande à Ankara de respecter l'article 6 de la convention qui prévoit que toute personne puisse être jugée par un tribunal équitable, indépendant et impartial.
 Ankara est également sommé de respecter les droits de l'accusé à être défendu par des avocats de son choix, qu'il doit pouvoir consulter en privé et par le biais desquels il doit pouvoir déposer une plainte, sans entrave, devant la Cour européenne.
 La Cour demande enfin au gouvernement turc de l'informer de toute décision ou mesure qu'il prendra concernant le cas Ocalan.
 Dans sa lettre datée du 26 février, le gouvernement turc démentait notamment les allégations des avocats d'Ocalan affirmant ne pas avoir pu entrer en contact avec leur client.
 La Cour à Strasbourg avait demandé des "éclaircissements" à Ankara à la suite d'une requête déposée par les avocats d'Ocalan. (AFP, 5 mars 1999)

Offensive européenne pour garantir à Ocalan un procès équitable

 Toutes les instances du Conseil de l'Europe intensifient leurs initiatives en direction d'Ankara pour garantir une détention juste et un procès équitable au dirigeant kurde Abdullah Ocalan.
 Pour lundi au plus tard, la Cour européenne des droits de l'Homme attend une réponse du gouvernement turc concernant notamment les conditions de transfèrement et de détention du leader kurde dans l'île prison d'Imrali.
 En outre, les délégués des ministres du Conseil de l'Europe ont décidé de poursuivre la semaine prochaine leur réunion à Strasbourg dont l'un des principaux thèmes est l'affaire Ocalan.
 La longueur très inhabituelle de cette réunion, qui dure depuis plus de dix jours, témoigne des difficultés des "40" à trouver un consensus sur le problème.
 Durant la semaine, la Cour et le Comité européen contre la torture (CPT), deux piliers de l'organisation paneuropéenne garante des droits de l'Homme, avaient déjà proféré des menaces à l'encontre d'Ankara. Selon l'agence turque Anatolie, une délégation du CPT s'était rendue mardi sur l'île d'Imrali.
 La délégation a réussi à s'entretenir pendant trois heures avec Ocalan, sans témoins, alors qu'Ankara a jusqu'ici refusé les visites de toute autre organisation internationale.
 Rien n'a filtré du contenu de ces entretiens ni du résultat de la visite, le CPT entourant toujours ses missions de la plus grande confidentialité, conformément à son mandat. Il a pour mission de visiter toutes les prisons des Etats membres du Conseil de l'Europe.
 La Cour, très insatisfaite des récentes justifications des autorités turques, a sommé le gouvernement de garantir les droits d'Ocalan dans une lettre publiée vendredi.
 Elle rappelle que par deux fois déjà, elle a jugé les tribunaux d'exception non conformes à la Convention européenne des droits de l'Homme et qu'Ocalan a le droit d'être défendu par des avocats de son choix. Il doit aussi pouvoir déposer une plainte, sans entrave, devant la Cour européenne.
 L'Assemblée parlementaire des "40" a insisté pour envoyer des représentants au procès d'Ocalan, malgré le revers essuyé par son président, Lord Russell-Johnston qui a récemment été déclaré indésirable en Turquie où il souhaitait se rendre. (AFP, 7 Mars 1999)

L'Internationale socialiste: "Ocalan a droit à un procès loyal"

 L'Internationale socialiste estime que le chef rebelle kurde Abdullah Ocalan "a droit à un procès loyal" et "se propose d'envoyer une délégation suivre le déroulement de ce procès". Dans un communiqué publié le 9 mars, Pierre Guidoni, secrétaire national du Parti socialiste français, chargé des relations internationales, indique que le groupe de travail de l'Internationale socialiste sur la question kurde qui s'est réuni le 5 mars à Paris, a estimé aussi que "l'Union européenne pourrait contribuer utilement au règlement pacifique et politique de la question kurde en proposant d'ouvrir un bureau d'information à Diyarbakir (sud-est de la Turquie)".
 "L'Internationale socialiste n'a jamais approuvé les objectifs et les méthodes du PKK et de son chef (Abdullah Ocalan). Cela ne justifie pas pour autant les méthodes de répression utilisées par la Turquie", souligne le groupe de travail.
 "Il convient que les débats du procès d'Ocalan soient publics et que des observateurs internationaux puissent garantir que les droits de l'accusé soient pleinement respectés", ajoute-t-il.
 L'IS "rappelle que la Turquie, membre du Conseil de l'Europe ainsi que de l'OSCE, signataire de la déclaration de Barcelone et candidate à l'Union européenne, est tenue de respecter ces règles". (AFP, 9 mars 1999)

Manifestation à Athènes en faveur d'Abdullah Ocalan

 Une manifestation de soutien au chef de la rébellion kurde en Turquie Abdullah Ocalan, qui a réuni près de 1.000 personnes selon les organisateurs et quelque 300 personnes selon la police, s'est déroulée mardi soir à Athènes.
 La manifestation, qui était organisée par une trentaine de groupuscules grecs appartenant à la mouvance des "autonomes", a rassemblé notamment des jeunes Grecs et Kurdes qui ont scandé des slogans en faveur d'un procès équitable pour Ocalan, qui est détenu dans l'île-prison d'Imrali en Turquie.
 Des jeunes gens ayant déployé des banderoles du PKK ont aussi participé à cette manifestation qui s'est dispersée sans incidents, a-t-on précisé de source policière.
 Scandant des slogans contre le gouvernement grec qu'ils ont accusé d'avoir "livré" Ocalan aux Turcs, les manifestants sont passés notamment devant le Parlement et le siège de la Commission européenne. Ils se sont dispersés devant l'ambassade américaine après avoir crié des slogans "contre le rôle de la CIA" dans la capture, le 15 février, d'Ocalan par les autorités turques alors qu'il était sous protection diplomatique grecque au Kenya. (AFP, 16 Mars 1999)

Ankara accuse des pays européens de céder aux menaces du PKK

 La Turquie a accusé le 18 mars des gouvernements européens de céder aux menaces du PKK contre les touristes.
 "Les menaces proférées par l'organisation terroriste PKK contre le tourisme turc sont un chantage visant la liberté de voyager des Européens. Il est déplorable que certains gouvernements européens se soumettent à ce chantage alors qu'ils devraient lutter pour protéger les droits de leurs citoyens", indique un communiqué du ministère des Affaires étrangères, sans désigner nommément ces gouvernements.
 Le PKK a déclaré lundi la guerre au tourisme, importante source de revenu de la Turquie, et a averti les vacanciers étrangers qu'ils ne seraient plus en sécurité.
 La Hongrie, la France, la Belgique, la Grande-Bretagne, l'Autriche et l'Allemagne notamment ont pris au sérieux les menaces du PKK et appelé leurs ressortissants voyageant en Turquie à la prudence et à la vigilance.
 "Nous avons la conviction que le bons sens européen va prévaloir et que les touristes européens ne prêteront pas l'oreille à ce chantage pour continuer à bénéficier des possibilités de vacances en Turquie", ajoute le communiqué. (AFP, 18 mars 1999)

CSCE: "Stop The Torture in Turkey - or Move This Year's Summit."

 The following was released in Washington by the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe today:
 "Systematic State-sponsored torture in The Republic of Turkey should be brought to a halt before the Summit that is planned for Istanbul this Fall," said Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe Chairman Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) today at a Commission hearing entitled "The Road to the OSCE Istanbul Summit and Human Rights in the Republic of Turkey."
 "Testimony today has confirmed our worst fears," said Smith. "For over a year-and-a-half, Commissioners and other Members of Congress tried to make clear that siting the Summit in Istanbul was an inappropriate reward for a participating State that practices thirty-seven different types of torture, as documented by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey. And today's depiction by Amnesty International of the electric shock torture of a twelve-year-old girl for stealing bread -- in the Ankara Police Headquarters, in the capital of Turkey -- confirms our worst fears that there is little guarantee of the basic human right of physical safety and due process guaranteed by one's government."
 "Additionally," said Smith, "it has become increasingly necessary for the international community to monitor and defend the defenders, those non-governmental organizations and people who speak out in defense of human rights despite constant threats and harassment from the Government of Turkey. Thus, sadly, the human rights situation in this most important U.S. ally has deteriorated."
 The hearing provided a timely review of U.S. policy regarding both the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as preparations get underway for the OSCE Summit Meeting scheduled to convene in Istanbul later this year and the status of human rights in Turkey in light of Ankara's OSCE human dimension commitments. Unfortunately, all of the witnesses were less than sanguine regarding Turkey's human rights progress.
 Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Marc Grossman, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Harold H. Koh, Amnesty International USA's Stephen Rickard, The Center for Victims of Torture's Executive Director Douglas A. Johnson, and Lawyers Committee for Human Rights' Neil Hicks all presented testimony and answered questions from Commissioners. (PRNewswire, March 18, 1999)

Eurocopter to sell aircraft to Turkish police

 Franco-German Eurocopter is poised to sign a 600-million franc ($100 million) contract for the sale of eight Cougar helicopters to the Turkish police, backed by a loan, Le Monde said on Friday.
 Eurocopter is 70 percent owned by France's Aerospatiale and 30 percent by Germany's DaimlerChrysler Aerospace.
 "The contract has not been signed, discussions are still going on," a Eurocopter spokeswoman said.
 Turkey chose the Eurocopter aircraft over U.S. competition from Boeing-Sikorsky, the newspaper said, citing a Eurocopter executive in Ankara. Turkish police special forces already use Eurocopter's Puma.
 The purchase would be partly financed by a loan, the details of which have not been defined, the report said.
 Turkey has also decided to re-instate Eurocopter's Tiger combat helicopter in its tender for 145 military aircraft, after dropping it at the end of 1998, the newspaper reported. The purchase is worth an estimated $4 billion.
 The Tiger will undergo tests in France in the near future for the Turkish evaluation, it said.
 Relations between France and Turkey were soured last year when the French National Assembly adopted a bill that accused Turkey of genocide against the Armenians in 1915.
 The Turkish company Tusas Aerospace Industries (TAI) obtained a licence in 1997 to build Eurocopter's Cougar Mk 1 aircraft, the report said. The Turkish army, at the same time, bought 30 Cougar Mk1s in a deal worth 2.5 billion francs. These will be built by TAI.
 The Tiger is pitched against the AH-1 Cobra from Bell Helicopter Textron, AH-64 Apache from Boeing McDonnell Douglas, A129 Mangusta from Italy's Agusta and the Kamov 50 from Russia. (Reuters, March 19, 1999)

European Parliament renews call to find solution to Kurdish problem

 A European Parliament resolution adopted late Tuesday once again urged Turkey to "capitalize on the existing situation in order to find a political solution to the Kurdish problem."
 The resolution is based on a report on the influx of migrants from Iraq and neighboring regions prepared by the Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs. But four amendments added to the resolution have drawn attention to the Turkish incursions into Iraq and underlined the need for Turkey to improve its human rights record.
 An amendment tabled by the author of the report, Anna Terron i Cusi from the Socialist Party, "referred to earlier resolutions on Turkey and emphasized that a solution to the human rights violations and minority problems should be sought before the Turkish government could act like an agent or adviser to the European Union."
 The report maintains that it is problematic to work with Turkish officials on the question of refugees and asylum seekers. "There is more than a rumor that the European Community is working with the Turkish government to ensure that refugees from the region are accommodated in Turkey and are not able to reach the member states of the Union," the report said.
 The report also said that there should be "acceptable conditions" for refugees and that the practice of illegally smuggling refugees should be fought.
 "In view of the human rights situation in Turkey, however, extreme caution is required," the report said, adding, "Technical aid can be turned against Turkey's own people and against minorities." It suggested that financial aid directed to Turkish authorities be avoided whenever possible and resources be given instead to the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and comparable institutions. (TDN, March 25, 1999)

Kosovars and Kurds in the eyes of Clinton

 Last night, March 24, 1999, President Bill Clinton addressed the nation to cite his reasons for America?s entry into the war as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) against Serbia.  Among these, he said, *In 1989, Serbia?s leader, Slobodan Milosevic, ... stripped Kosovo of the constitutional autonomy its people enjoyed, thus denying them their right to speak their language, run their schools, [and] shape their daily lives.?
 In the same address, referring to Turkey, he noted that it is our ally.
 Given the tremendous demands placed upon his shoulders, President Clinton may not know that in Turkey, an ethnic minority known as Kurds numbering some 15 million people can not speak their language, run their schools and shape their daily lives no different than the Kosovars in Serbia.
 But Clinton?s aides know this and know more, for example, that it is the United States supplied weapons that have enabled Turkey to enforce these draconian laws on the Kurds.  Some among the Kurds have taken up arms, the way the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) has, and have fought the Turkish army that has cost the lives of 37.000 people, the destruction of 3432 Kurdish villages and the displacement of more than 3 million Kurds.  But silence
prevails in the case of the Kurds.
 To count on Turkey as an ally to undo the wrongs of Slobodan Milosevic in Kosovo while letting Turkey get away with the same faults in the Turkish controlled Kurdistan can only interpreted as disingenuous.  President Clinton has had strange bedfellows before, but in an adventure that may cost the American lives, it behooves him to disassociate himself from Turkey.
 The American Kurdish Information Network (AKIN) condemns this blatant double standard and urges the United States government to counsel its own ally as it continues with the costly adventure of undoing the wrongs of Mr. Milosevic in Kosovo. (AKIN, March 25, 1999)


Bonn met en garde contre l'expulsion de Kurdes

 Le ministère allemand des Affaires étrangères déconseille aux autorités allemandes concernées d'expulser actuellement des Kurdes vers la Turquie, affirme le quotidien Berliner Zeitung à paraître mercredi.
 Cette mise en garde figure dans un rapport du ministère sur la situation en Turquie daté du 25 février, ajoute le journal.
 Selon ce rapport, il existe depuis l'arrestation du leader indépendantiste kurde Abdullah Ocalan "un risque accru pour les Turcs d'origine kurde en instance d'expulsion", croit savoir la Berliner Zeitung.
 Le rapport ajoute toutefois ne pas disposer d'indices sur une éventuelle répression de Kurdes expulsés vers la Turquie depuis la capture de M. Ocalan à la mi-février, ajoute le quotidien.
 Le ministère a refusé mardi soir de commenter l'article de la Berliner Zeitung. Ces rapports, destinés à informer tribunaux et ministères régionaux de l'Intérieur, ne sont pas rendus publics, a précisé un porte-parole. (AFP, 16 Mars 1999)

Un Kurde meurt brûlé vif pour protestation

 Un Kurde de 17 ans a succombé à ses blessures après s'être brûlé vif vendredi en Allemagne à Kassel (centre) pour protester contre les tortures infligées selon lui au chef indépendantiste Abdullah Ocalan emprisonné en Turquie, a indiqué la police samedi.
 Selon de premières informations, il s'est aspergé d'essence avant de mettre le feu à ses vêtements. C'est aux deux passants qui l'ont trouvé qu'il a exposé les raisons de son geste.
 Outre les manifestations parfois violentes auxquelles a donné lieu dans l'importante communauté kurde d'Allemagne la capture d'Abdullah Ocalan le 15 février à Nairobi, certains sympathisants ont déjà tenté de s'immoler par le feu. (AFP, 27 mars 1999)


Les propos du "Soir" déformés en Turquie

 Mauvaise surprise pour "Le Soir": dans ses éditions d'hier, sous le titre "La presse européenne se réveille enfin," le quotidien turc "Hürriyet" citait un article de notre correspondant à Istanbul, mais de manière tronquée ou carrément mensongère. Alors que notre article parlait de la vague d'attentats qui secoue actuellement la Turquie et la replaçait dans son contexte -- l'arrestation du chef du PKK et les appels à réagir "de toutes les façons" lancés, sur Med-TV, par certains responsable du mouvement kurde--, "Hürriyet" a pris la licence d'écrire: Le journal belge à grande tirage "Le Soir" a déclaré: "L'appel au terrorisme se fait par Med-TV qui est la presse du PKK." Ou encore: "Le Soir" souligne que les ordres d'en appeler au terrorisme viennnent de Med-TV. "Le Soir" ne peut que déplorer de telles pratiques journalistiques. (Le Soir du 17 mars 1999)
La deuxième édition de la déformation
 S'ils considèrent PKK une organisation terroriste, comment se fait-il qu'ils permettent à une telle organisation terroriste de faire des émissions TV.
 Le journal Le Soir, édité en Belgique, rapportait clairement dans son numéro du 20 février 1999 que Med-TV avait fait appel à toute sorte de la violence. (Oktay Eksi, Hürriyet du 21 mars 1999)
Quelques remarques
 o Le numéro du Soir dont le contenu est déformé par le Hürriyet n'était pas daté du 20 février, mais du 15 mars 1999.
 o L'auteur de la deuxième édition de cette déformation, M. Oktay Eksi, n'est pas un chroniqueur occasionnel mais l'éditorialiste permanent à la une de ce journal. Au lieu de s'excuser au nom de son journal d'avoir publié une telle déformation, il continue à utiliser le même mensonge afin d'influencer les autorités belges.
 o Ce qui est le plus grave pour la crédibilité des médias turcs: M. Oktay Eksi est également le président du Conseil de la presse turque, censé de veiller au respect de la déontologie de la presse! (Info-Turk, 21 mars 1999)

Une atteinte flagrante à la liberté d'expression

 Malgré plusieurs avertissements contre les chantages et les pressions du régime fasciste d'Ankara,  les autorités européennes ont finalement procédé à la fermeture de la Med-TV, la seule voix libre du peuple kurde opprimé par les militaristes turcs.
 Est-il juste et équitable d'interdire la Med-TV sous les chantages du régime d'Ankara alors que les quotidiens et télévisions au service du terrorisme de l'Etat turc continuent en toute liberté à intoxiquer sans cesse la communauté immigrée turque de la haine non seulement contre les défenseurs des droits du peuple kurde mais également contre tous ceux qui ne s'inclinent pas devant l'agressivité et l'arrogance des militaires turcs?
 Les autorités européennes ont-elles déjà oublié le vandalisme des Loups Gris d'il y a trois mois contre des associations kurdes à Bruxelles à la suite d'une série d'émissions provocatrices des chaînes ultra-nationalistes turques?
 Ce sont les mêmes chaînes qui annonçaient depuis plusieurs jours l'interdiction imminente de la Med-TV par les autorités européennes.
 Les autorités européennes ne les ont pas déçus!
 Depuis hier elles annoncent une nouvelle victoire historique de la diplomatie turque!
 La seule voix du peuple kurde est étouffé par l'Europe en privant une poignée de journalistes kurdes en Belgique et en Angleterre de leur seul moyen d'expression et de subsistance.
 Par contre, des insultes, des blasphèmes et des menaces des chaînes turques déchaînées sont vociférées dans chaque foyer turc orné d'antenne parabolique dans les métropoles européennes comme Bruxelles, Londres, Francfort,  Paris,  avec la bienveillance de la même Europe.
 Les médias, notamment audiovisuels...
 Les associations professionnelles des journalistes...
 Les associations pour la défense des droits de l'homme...
 Les partis politiques démocratiques...
 Les syndicats...
 Vont-ils se taire devant cette nouvelle complicité de l'Europe avec les militaristes turcs?
 Vont-ils digérer l'étouffement de la seule voix du peuple kurde dans un pays comme la Belgique, composé de trois communautés, qui reste toujours fort attentif à l'équilibre linguistique notamment dans le domaine des médias audio-visuels? (Info-Turk, 23 mars 1999)


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

 Death penalty demand: The trial launched against 235 prisoners and prison guards in connection with the incidents that arose at Metris Prison on 7 and 8 July 1997 (6 persons were killed during the incidents) continued at Bakirkoy Heavy Penal Court No.2 on 1 March.  In the trial, death penalty is demanded for 906 times for 116 of the defendants. (Cumhuriyet, Evrensel-TIHV, March 2, 1999)
 Closed TV channels: The Radio and Television Supreme Board (RTUK) decided closure of private TV channels Kanal 6 and Kanal E for 3 days, NTV and TGRT for 2 days, and Show TV, HBB, Flash TV, Kanal D and ETV for one day, each. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 2, 1999)
 Lawyer on trial: In connection with the incidents that broke out between prison warders and prisoners in Ceyhan (Adana) Prison on 19 October 1998, a trial was launched against lawyer Mustafa Cinkiliç, Adana Representative of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, and lawyer Kemal Kiliç from Istanbul Bar Association, on charges of "aiding an illegal organization by acting as its couriers," under Article 169 of the Turkish Penal Code.  (TIHV, March 3, 1999)
 Journalist convicted: Ahmet Ergin, the editor-in-chief of the daily Emek, was sentenced to 20 months in prison and fined TL 2,000,000 in the trial he was prosecuted under Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code on the accusations of "inciting people to enmity" in a news story published in the issue of the daily dated 23 July 1998. The Istanbul SSC also decided to close the daily Emek for one month. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 4, 1999)
 "Freedom to Thought-34": Sanar Yurdatapan, who has republished in the booklet ýFreedom to Thought-34,ţ some sections of the book, ýDagdan Kopan Ozgurluk (Freedom That Break Off From Mountain)ţ by Abdulkadir Konuk, which had led the conviction of Aysenur Zarakolu, the responsible person for the Belge Publications, made a press statement out of Istanbul Court House on 3 March, and denounced himself to the prosecutor. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 4, 1999)
 Pressure on the EMEP: Aslan Topal, an Executive Board Member of the LaborÝs Party (EMEP) Manisa Provincial Organization, and Yusuf Sapanci, a member of the EMEP, were beaten and detained by the police on 3 March while they were selling the daily Evrensel. In Amasya, EMEP Amasya Provincial Organization Chairperson Ismail Arslan and 3 other persons whose names could not be revealed were detained by the police on 2 March. Ismail Arslan and the 3 persons were released in the night on the same day. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 4, 1999)
 Trade unionist on trial: The trial launched against Ali Urkut, the Chairperson of the Trade Union of Health and Social Service Workers (SES), in connection with a statement he made in Diyarbakir on 15 November 1998 regarding PKK leader Abdullah OcalanÝs leave to Italy, started at Ankara SSC on 3 March. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 4, 1999)
 Incidents in manifestations: Sixty students were wounded during the incidents that broke out in Gaziantep University on 3 March between left-wing students and the students adhering the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). In Cukurova (Adana) University, the police intervened in the demonstration that the students attempted to hold in order to protest Abdullah OcalanÝs transfer to Turkey, and detained 15 students.  (Radikal-Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 4, 1999)
 Doctor and lawyer on trial: The prosecution of Zeki Ruzgar, one of the lawyers of the PeopleÝs Law Office, Cumhur Akpinar, a doctor in charge at Forensic Medicine Institute and a former executive member of Ankara Medical Chamber, Ayse Betul Gokoglu, the Chairperson of the Association for Solidarity with the Relatives of Arrested Prisoners and for Human Rights (TUYAD), and Ali Ercan Gokoglu started at Ankara SSC No.1 on 4 March. They are accused of illegal organization. (Cumhuriyet-Radikal-TIHV, March 5, 1999)
 Presures on the HADEP: Celal Ata, the Secretary of the HADEP Nusaybin (Mardin) District Organization, Hamdin Turan, the Accountant of the same, and Seyithan Efe and Suleyman Peklay, the HADEP candidates for municipality council, were detained in police raids against their houses in the night of 4 March. In Nusaybin, an act of closing shutters was reportedly staged on 4 March, and the shutters of about 300 shops were broken by the police. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 5, 1999)
 Trade unionist on trial: The trial launched against Muslum Kiliç, Urfa Branch Chairperson of the Egitim Sen (Trade Union of Education, Science and Culture Laborers), Kadri Gonullu, Urfa Branch Chairperson of the Trade Union of Health and Social Service Workers (SES), Suleyman Sili, Urfa Branch Chairperson of the Tarim Gida Sen (Trade Union of the Agriculture and Food Workers), on charges of "aiding the PKK and sheltering its members" under Article 169 of the Turkish Penal Code, started at Diyarbakir SSC on 4 March. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 5, 1999)
 Death in detention: Limter Is Union Education Specialist Suleyman Yeter, who was detained during the raid against the office of the journal Dayanisma on 5 March, died at Istanbul Security Directorate Political Police Center where he was under custody. The prosecution office had established that Yeter should be kept in detention until 9 March. Fatih Public Prosecution Office approved that Yeter had died in detention. (Evrensel-Radikal-TIHV, March 8, 1999)
 Human rights defenders on trial: The prosecution of Zeki Ruzgar, one of the lawyers of the PeopleÝs Law Office, Cumhur Akpinar, a doctor in charge at Forensic Medicine Institute and a former executive member of Ankara Medical Chamber, Ayse Betul Gokoglu, the Chairperson of the Association for Solidarity with the Relatives of Arrested Prisoners and for Human Rights (TAYAD), and Ali Ercan Gokoglu, continued at Ankara SSC No.1 on 5 March. Meanwhile, 65 lawyers, who raised rejections against the judges in the hearing on 4 March, were each fined TL 2,000,000 for "unnecessarily raising rejections to the judges," under Article 26 of the Code of Criminal Proceedings (CMUK). Lawyers will be given 80 days' imprisonment if they do not pay the fines. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 8, 1999)
 Incidents in demonstrations: Incidents broke out during the demonstrations staged by high schoolers in Istanbul, Ankara, Malatya, Kocaeli, Hatay and Izmir on 5 March, demanding equal opportunities in education. In Istanbul, the students who gathered at Bakirkoy Ozgurluk Square were quelled by the police. About 30 students were detained under harassment during the incident. In Ankara, the students assembled in front of the Human Rights Monument on Yuksel Street while they were waiting for their representatives who took their petitions to the National Education Ministry, but they were dispersed by the police. In Izmir, students and their teachers who support them, were also quelled by the police. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 8, 1999)
 Saturday Mothers: The relatives of disappeared persons, known to the public as Saturday Mothers since they make sit-in acts every Saturday in front of the Galatasaray High School in Istanbul, were prevented by the police on 6 March. Because of the security measures that were stiffened after Abdullah OcalanÝs transfer to Turkey, the Saturday Mothers made a press statement in front of the office of the Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul Branch as they did last Saturday. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 8, 1999)
 Raids on media offices: The headquarters of the journal Atilim in Aksaray, Istanbul, and its office in Kartal, Istanbul were raided by the police on 5 March. Fatma Saygili and Kamber Saygili were detained during the raid against the office in Kartal. In addition, Aksaray Office of the journal Dayanisma, Varyos Publishing House and the offices of Lawyer Keles Ozturk and Gulseren Yoleli were also raided on the same day. On 6 March the offices of the journals Azadiya Welat and Kurtulus in Izmir were raided by the police. During the raid against the office of Kurtulus, reporter Turan Tasçi and Ozkan Karatas, who was a guest in the office, were detained. Muhammet Unal and Azat Beltas, who were among the five persons detained on allegations that they had thrown a bomb to the Harvard Cafe in Istanbul, were arrested by Istanbul SSC on 5 March. (Evrensel-Hurriyet-TIHV, March 8, 1999)
 Political Party Executives on Trial: The trial launched against The Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP) Adana Provincial Chairperson Mehmet Beyaztas, Seyhan District Chairperson Hasan Sarikaya and 7 executive members of the ODP on the accusations that they ýinsulted the policeţ in their speeches during the ýSolidarity Nightţ held on 28 February 1998, started at Adana Heavy Penal Court No.2 on 8 March. They are indicted on the demand of sentences between 1 year and 6 years in prison. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 9, 1999)
 Journals Closed: The journal Hevi was closed by Istanbul SSC for 10 days on the grounds that ýseparatist propaganda was madeţ in a news story published in the journal. The issue of the journal Kurtulus was published with empty columns because of the confiscation ordered by Istanbul SSC Prosecution Office on the grounds that ýseparatist propaganda was disseminatedţ in certain articles. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 9, 1999)
 Culture Center Raided: The Science Labor Culture Art Foundation (BEKSAV) was raided by the police on 5 March. During the raid, 16 were detained, including Emine Kral, a member of the music band Vardiya, Nevin Dogan, Ember Yilmaz, Deniz Salman and Yasar Aktas, players of Imge theater group. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 9, 1999)
 ODP Executive Members on Trial: The trial launched against executive members of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP) in connection with the posters they published in support of the students who opened a placard in the Parliament, continued at Ankara SSC on 9 March. In the trial, ODP Chairperson Ufuk Uras, deputy chairpersons Yildirim Kaya, Serpil Boga, Central Executive Board members Necmi Demir, Saruhan Oluç, Atilla Aytemur, Serpil Boga, Burhan Sonmez and Sultan Ozcan are prosecuted on the demand of sentences between 4 years 6 months and 7 years 6 months in prison under Article 169 of the Turkish Penal Code. The trial on 9 March was adjourned to a further date. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 10, 1999)
 Students Detained: In Beytepe Campus of Hacettepe University, the gendarmerie intervened in the boycott that was started by the students 13 days ago on the demands of ýcheap and healthy food,ţ on 9 March. The gendarmerie scattered the food prepared by the students by their own means, and detained students named Hulya Aksi, Necla Karakaya, Yasemin Bayramoglu, Taner Bayramoglu, Ersin Ergul and Elif (surname could not be revealed). (Evrensel-TIHV, March 10, 1999)
 Clash in Tokat: Three persons died in a clash that broke out in the vicinity of Coregibuyuk Village of Tokat on 8 March. It was claimed that the 3 persons, the names of whom were reported as Kemal Tutus, Ayfer Celep and Munire Sagdiç, were the WorkersÝ and PeasantsÝ Liberation Army of Turkey (TIKKO) members. Dursun Sahin, the owner of the house in which the militants allegedly stayed, and his son Kenan sahin were detained. (Hurriyet-TIHV, March 10, 1999)
 Pressure on the HADEP: Ali Yavuz, HADEP former Izmir Provincial Chairperson and a MP candidate, made a press statement on 10 March, and disclosed that the executive members of the HADEP were not allowed in the party office and the elections activities were hindered. The HADEP meeting in Ercis District of Van on 10 March was dispersed by the police, who detained about 15 people under beating. In Baskale District of Van, certain people, including HADEP MP candidate Hamdi Tanpinar, were detained during the house raids carried out in the night of 8 March. In Diyarbakir, many people were detained during the recent house raids. Seven people who were detained in Iskenderun (Hatay) are still kept in detention. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 11, 1999)
 MP on Trial: The 1 year imprisonment given to Hasan Huseyin Ceylan, an MP for the Welfare Party (RP) which was banned by the Constitutional Court, was upheld by the Supreme Court. Hasan Huseyin Ceylan, whose parliamentary immunity was lifted when the RP was banned, had been prosecuted at Ankara SSC in connection with a speech he had delivered in Kirikkale prison to the general elections in 1993, and sentenced to 1 yearÝs imprisonment on the accusations of "inciting people to enmity." With the Supreme CourtÝs decision of upholding the sentence, Ceylan has been banned from political activities for his lifetime. (Hurriyet-TIHV, March 11, 1999)
 Students on Trial: The prosecution of 10 high schoolers, 8 of whom are on remand, on the accusations that "they had established an organization under the name Kurdistan Contemporary Students Association (KCOD) in line with the policy of the PKK," started at Diyarbakir SSC on 10 March. (Milliyet-TIHV, March 11, 1999)
 German PKK Member on Trial: The Supreme Court upheld the sentence of 15 years in prison passed on Eva Juhnke, a PKK member of German origin, by Van SSC. The trial launched against Eva Juhnke, who had been captured by Kurdistan Democrat Party (KDP) peshmerges during the operation launched by Turkey in Northern Iraq in September 1997 and then brought to Turkey, had ended at Van SSC on 18 September 1998. (Hurriyet-TIHV, March 11, 1999)
 Journalist and Artist on Trial: The trial launched against journalist Koray Duzgoren and artist Nilufer Akbal in connection with the ninth booklet of the ýFreedom to Thought,ţ ended at the Military Court of General Staff Office on 9 March. In the trial, Koray Duzgoren and musician Nilufer Akbal were each sentenced to 2 months in prison and fined TL 1,520,000. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 11, 1999)
 Confiscated Publication: The sixth issue of the journal Atilim was confiscated by Istanbul SSC on the grounds that ýseparatist propaganda was disseminatedţ in certain articles. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 11, 1999)
 Prevention from Medical Treatment: Isil Taybas, a prisoner in Gebze Special Type Prison, was reportedly prevented from receiving the necessary medical treatment although she had a heart attack. Making a statement as to the incident, prisoners disclosed that "Isil Taybas, who was convicted to 12 years 6 months in prison in a Dev-Sol (Revolutionary Left) trial, had a heart attack on 9 March, but she was kept in the wing for two hours because of the bureaucratic problems." (Evrensel-TIHV, March 12, 1999)
 Torture in Detention: It was reported that villagers, who were detained by soldiers in Hasanpasa Village of Malazgirt, Mus, on 7 March, were tortured. The soldiers, who raided the village on 7 March, upon the burning of the flag which was hoisted in front of the primary school in the village, reportedly detained about 150 people, including women and children, and beat them. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 12, 1999)
 Conscientious Objector on Trial: Osman Murat Ulke, former Chairperson of Izmir War ResistersÝ Association (ISKD), was sentenced to 10 months in prison by Eskisehir Military Court in the trial he was prosecuted on charges of "disobeying orders." In the trial that ended on 10 March, Osman Murat ulke was released, taking into consideration the period he served in the prison. In contrary to many trails which were launched previously on the same charges, the Military Court did not decide to "send Osman Murat ulke to Bilecik Gendarmerie Regiment Headquarters under the surveillance of the soldiers." After the trial ended, Osman Murat ulke was released from Eskisehir Military Prison, and went to Izmir. (TIHV, March 12, 1999)
 Poet Imprisoned: Poet Yilmaz Odabasi, who was prosecuted at Ankara Penal Court of First Instance No.2 on the accusations of "insulting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic," in his book, "Dus ve Yasam" (Dream and Life), was imprisoned as the sentence passed on him was upheld by the Supreme Court. His lawyer Hulya Sarsam disclosed that the sentence of 1 year 6 months in prison had been upheld by the Supreme Court in February, and the application made by the lawyers for a permission for the delay of imprisonment had been rejected. Lawyer Sarsam stated that the sentence of 1 year 6 months in prison and the fine of TL 933,000,000 given to Odabasi by Ankara SSC under Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law on the accusations that ýseparatist propaganda was disseminatedţ in the aforementioned book, had been overturned by the Supreme Court. Odabasi will serve for 8 months in Buca prison in line with the Law on Execution of the Sentences. (TIHV, March 12, 1999)
 Youths on Trial: The sentences passed on 16 youths, who were prosecuted at Izmir SSC on the claims of "being a member of the Revolutionary PeopleÝs Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C)," were overturned by the Supreme Court for the second time. However, no decision of release was issued for the youths, 10 of whom have been under arrest for more that 4 months.  Duygu Senol, the lawyer of the youths, stated that her clients were innocent, and said, ýMy clients were heavily tortured in detention. They had to sign the statements prepared at the security directorate in order to avoid torture, and because of these statements they were charges with membership to an organization.ţ (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 12, 1999)
 Death Penalty Demand, Radical Islamists on Trial: The prosecution of 29 people, 28 of whom are on remand, on charges of ýbeing members of a radical Islamic 'Anatolian Federated Islamic State' (AFID)," started at Istanbul SSC on 11 March. The indictment prepared by Istanbul SSC Prosecution Office sought the death penalty for some of the defendants and various imprisonment terms for the others. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 12, 1999)
 Bombings in Istanbul: In Istanbul, about 50 houses were reportedly raided and 20 people were detained subsequent to two bombings. Meanwhile, the IHD reproached the attacks. The following were said in the statement, which was made by IHD Secretary General Husnu Ondul: ýEvery action which aims at defenseless and unprotected persons, children and women, and those which do not aim at these persons directly but endanger the lives of civilian persons and put them under threat should be convicted before the principles of the humanitarian law.ţ (Radikal-TIHV, March 12, 1999)
 Play Banned: In Turhal District of Tokat, the District Governorate banned Ankara Birlik TheaterÝs play entitled ýGurbet Kuslari,ţ on the grounds that ýsecurity could not be maintained.ţ (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 12, 1999)
 Journalist on Trial, Lawyers Prevented: The trial launched against 30 people, including journalists Abdurrahman Dilipak, Ahmet Tasgetiren and Ekrem Kiziltas, in connection with the demonstration held in Istanbul on 11 October 1998 to protest the ban on wearing headscarves at universities, started at Istanbul SSC on 12 March. During the hearing, 4 lawyers wearing headscarves among the 55 lawyers, created to problems. Istanbul SSC Prosecutor Selamettin Celep demanded that the 4 lawyers be taken out of the court hall in line with the circulars issued by the Ministry of Justice and the Turkish Bar Association. (13 March, Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 13, 1999)
 Prisoners on Trial: Ankara Public Prosecution Chief Office launched a trial against 28 prisoners, 22 of whom are convicted, with the demand of up to 8 years imprisonment on the accusations of "attempt to flee from Ankara Central Closed Prison by digging a tunnel." The indictment sought imprisonment terms for each of the remanded prisoners under Article 299 § 3 of the Turkish Penal Code, on the grounds that a tunnel was revealed out in the kitchen of the wing for female prisoners on 26 January. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 13, 1999)
 Teacher Attacked by Grey Wolves: Zeynel Polat, the Deputy Director of Istanbul Umraniye Industrial Vocational High School, sustained an attack on 12 March by persons who are reportedly adherents of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The assailants stabbed Zeynel Polat in his lower belly when he came to the school at about 08.00, and then ran away. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 13, 1999)
 Hunger Strikes in Prisons: Hunger strikes staged by political prisoners in many prisons after the transfer of Abdullah Ocalan to Turkey are under way. The health conditions of prisoners named Medya, Fiden and Sara (surnames could not be revealed), who participate in the hunger strike started at Sivas E Type Prison on 16 March, reportedly deteriorated. Hunger strikes in Elbistan (Maras), Diyarbakir, Mardin, Antep E Type and Siirt prisons are under way. Some political prisoners in Sakarya, Bursa, Bergama, Burdur, Istanbul Bayrampasa, Umraniye and Gebze prisons who are prosecuted in the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) trials reportedly started a hunger strike on 12 March. In Mersin Prison, 21 political prisoners started a 3-day alternate hunger strike. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 14, 1999)
 Saturday Mothers: The relatives of disappeared persons, known to the public as Saturday Mothers since they make sit-in acts every Saturday in front of the Galatasaray High School in Istanbul, and who were prevented during their acts in the last 30 weeks, gathered at the "Missings Forrest," which was formed in Piyalepasa Boulevard in Okmeydani by Istanbul Group of Amnesty International, on 13 March. The police did not allow the relatives of the disappeared persons to make a press statement, and detained 10 people. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 14, 1999)
 Closed Radios and TV Channels: The Radio and Television Supreme Board (RTUK) decided the closure of Radyo Umut, which broadcasts in Istanbul, for one year, on the grounds that "people were incited to violence, terror and ethnic discrimination via the broadcast of the radio." The RTUK also decided the closure of BTV (which is known to have a broadcast policy favoring the Family Ciller) for a total of 7 days, which will be put into implementation for 3 days first, 2 days later and then one day for twice. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 14, 1999)
 Trade Unionists on Trial: The trial launched against Kemal Bal, the Chairperson of the Egitim Sen (Trade Union of Education, Science and Culture Laborers), and former members of the Central Executive Board on the accusations that "separatist propaganda was disseminated" in an article entitled "Right to Have Education in Mother Tongue", which was published in the book that covers the outcomes of "Democratic Education Congress" held by the Egitim Sen between 2 and 6 February 1998, ended at Ankara SSC on 15 March in acquittals of the defendants. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 16, 1999)
 Student Threatened: Murat Ercan, a student at Cukurova University in Adana, disclosed that he had been abducted on 11 March by two persons, who had introduced themselves as police officers, and he had been threatened to death unless he became an informer for the police. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 16, 1999)
 Detentions, Arrests: Akif Ozarduk and Durdane Gungor, executive members of the HADEP Sincan District Organization, and nine university students were detained in Ankara during the operations by the police. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 16, 1999)
 Prisoner Died: A convicted prisoner named Huseyin Altuntas (70) died at Ankara Numune Hospital where he was under treatment on 16 March. IHD Secretary General Husnu Ondul disclosed that Altuntas, who was convicted to 70 days in prison, had been referred from Osmancik (Corum) Closed Prison to Numune Hospital because of his illness, and he had been given the medical treatment as handcuffed to the bed in his feet. (TIHV, March 17, 1999)
 Death of Suleyman Yeter: It was revealed that Suleyman Yeter, the Limter Is Trade Union Education Specialist who had died at Istanbul Security Directorate Political Police Center where he was under custody on 7 March, was suffocated to death. In the autopsy report furnished by the Forensic Medicine Institute, it was stated that Suleyman Yeter had "died because of pressurizing on the neck." The report read the following: ýFractures on right hyoid bone and neck of troid cartilage, and echimosis in the surrounding area...ţ (TIHV, March 17, 1999)
 Lawyer and Journalists on Trial: The trial launched against Lawyer Zeki Ruzgar, who is on remand in connection with another trial, Ahmet Ergin, the editor-in-chief of the defunct journal Emek, and Halit Keskin, the owner of the same, continued at Ankara SSC on 16 March. Zeki Ruzgar had been put on trial in connection with a press statement he made after the house raid carried out in Adana on 28 January 1998, and Ahmet Ergin and Halit Keskin for publishing the statement in question in the daily Emek. During the trial, the SSC board fined Lawyer Ender Buyukçulha TL 2,130,000 for "unnecessarily raising rejections against the judges." (Evrensel-TIHV, March 17, 1999)
 Person Shot Dead by Police: A person named Fuat Unlu was shot dead by the police in Kocasinan Quarter of Bahçelievler, Istanbul, on 17 March. The police authorities claimed that Fuat Unlu, who had been about to throw a Molotov cocktail at a shop in Kocasinan, had opened fire on police officers, who had suspected him of carrying out an attack, and that he had died in the subsequent clash. One police officer was slightly wounded during the incident. (Hurriyet-TIHV, March 18, 1999)
 Journalist Remanded: Celal Aslandogan, the editor-in-chief of the journal Ozgur Gelecek who was detained in Istanbul on 16 March in order to receive his testimony in connection with an article published in the 39 th issue of the journal, was remanded by Istanbul SSC on 17 March. Aslandogan was put in Umraniye Prison. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 18, 1999)
 Singer on Trial: Istanbul SSC Prosecution Office launched a trial against singer Ahmet Kaya on the accusations of "aiding the PKK and inciting people to enmity." Kaya had been detained upon stating that he "demanded a TV channel to broadcast his clip that would be in Kurdish" during the evening program organized by the Association of Magazine Journalists on 10 February. Subsequently, the media broadcast the news and scenes from the night organized by the Kurdish Businessmen Association in Germany in 1993 in which he had participated. In the trial, which was launched under 169 Articles 169 and 312 of the Turkish Penal Code, an imprisonment term up to 13 year 6 months is sought for Ahmet Kaya. (Sabah-TIHV, March 18, 1999)
 Trade Unionists Detained: Yener Kaya, the Chairperson of Deri-Is (trade union of leather workers) and 12 trade unionists were detained after making a press statement in Kartal, Istanbul, on 17 March in support of the workers who were fired from Aymasan Shoe Factory. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 18, 1999)
 Torture in Detention: Emin Acar (17), who was detained in Germany on 10 March and deported back to Turkey on 12 March, was reportedly tortured at the Political Police Center of Istanbul Security Directorate. It was disclosed in a statement made by three prisoners that Emin Acar had been brought to the prison on 15 March, half-fainted. According to the statement, Acar had been subjected to various torture methods such as ýsuspending on a hanger, squirting pressurized water, giving electricity, falanga, suffocating in a bag, isolation in a dirty and dark cell lacking of fresh air, mock execution and threatening to death, squeezing testicles.ţ (TIHV, March 19, 1999)
 Convicted, Prosecuted and Remanded Journalists:  Ihsan Sureyya Sirma, a columnist with the daily Milli Gazete, was fined to TL 17,200,000 in the trial he was prosecuted on the accusations of insulting Supreme CourtÝs Chief Prosecutor Vural Savas in one of his articles. In the trial that was held at Ankara Penal Court of First Instance No.2 on 18 March, the trial against Ekrem Kiziltas, the editor-in-chief of the daily, was adjourned to a further date. Ankara Public Prosecution Office launched a trial against Fatih Altayli, a columnist with the daily Hurriyet, and Dogan Satmis, the editor-in-chief of the daily, on the demand of imprisonment terms between 6 months and 3 years on the accusations that Altayli had insulted the members of the Supreme Election Board in one of his articles. Meanwhile, in a statement made from the journal Ozgur Gelecek in connection with Celal Aslandogan, the editor-in-chief of the journal who was detained during the raid against the journal on 16 March and subsequently remanded, it was disclosed that persons named Kamil Tas, Muharrem Yigitsoy, Betul Kiliçaslan and Ufuk Balçik had also been detained. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 19, 1999)
 Musicassettes Banned: Ordu Governorate banned the selling, playing and possession of certain audio cassettes within its provincial borders. The names of the band and singers whose albums were banned are as follows: Grup Kizilirmak (1 album), Ali Asker (1 album), Grup Yorum (2 albums), Ferhat Tunç (4 albums), Ahmet Kaya-Selda Bagcan (1 album), Ahmet Kaya (24 albums). (Hurriyet-TIHV, March 19, 1999)
 Meeting Banned: The meeting, ýStudent-Member Congress 99,ţ which would be held by the TMMOB (the Union of Chambers of Turkish Architects and Engineers) Mechanical Engineers Chamber on 20 March was banned by Ankara Governorate. The Governorate showed the Newroz and the election bans as the grounds for its decision of banning the meeting. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 19, 1999)
 Detentions, Arrests: The police intervened in the Newroz (21 March) celebrations held at Ege (Izmir) University Campus on 18 March. The police officers reportedly detained 59 students as well as the two persons who were hired by the students to play drum and horn during the celebrations. In Diyarbakir, the police raided a private lecture house after a demonstration held by the students on the occasion of Newroz at noon on 18 March, and detained 36 people, including the director of the lecture house, Ibrahim Oguz, and one of the teachers, Burhanettin Varolgunes, under harassment. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 19, 1999)
 SSC Boycott by Political Prisoners: About 12,000 political prisoners in Turkey started a boycott against the State Security Courts (SSC). The statement made in the name of the prisoners reminded that the issue of "withdrawing military judges from the SSC boards came on the agenda" after the transfer of Abdullah Ocalan to Turkey, and asserted that the SSCs were special courts which are against the law," that "they were not independent," and that ýthe discussions for simply removing military judges from the court boards were nothing but simply a disguise.ţ (Evrensel-TIHV, March 19, 1999)
 Pressure on the Press: A trial was launched against Erhan Palabiyik, the owner of the local daily Demokrat Baykan which is published in Baykan, Siirt, on the accusations of "insulting police officers" in an article published in the daily. The trial will reportedly be heard at Iskenderun Heavy Penal Court for "security" reasons. The Supreme Court upheld the 2 yearsÝ imprisonment given to Zeynel Engin, the editor-in-chief of the journal Halkin Gunlugu, under Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code. The Supreme Court also upheld the 10 daysÝ closure of the journal. The journal Odak was closed for 10 days by Istanbul SSC. Besides, the 39th issue of the journal Halkin Gunlugu and the 25th issue of the journal Mucadele Birli_i were confiscated by Istanbul SSC in connection with certain articles published in the journals. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 20-21, 1999)
 Saturday Mothers: The relatives of disappeared persons, known to the public as Saturday Mothers since they make sit-in acts every Saturday in front of the Galatasaray High School in Istanbul, and who were prevented during their acts in the last 30 weeks, ceased their act. The Saturday Mothers, who went to the ýForrest of the Disappearedţ on 20 March, disclosed that they ceased their act. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 21, 1999)
 Students on Trial: Ankara SSC Prosecution Office launched a trial against 30 students, who were detained on the claims of being members of the Revolutionary PeopleÝs Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), and 28 of whom were remanded later on. In the trial, imprisonment terms between 15 years and 22 years 6 months are sought for the students under Article 168 § 2 of the Turkish Penal Code and Article 5 of the Anti-Terror Law. (TIHV, March 21, 1999)
 Former MP on Trial: Ankara Public Prosecution Office launched a trial against Naif Gunes, former Siirt MP with the Democracy Party (DEP) which was closed down by the Constitutional Court in 1994, on the accusations of ýbeing a member of the PKK.ţ Naif Gunes, who was remanded on 11 February, will be prosecuted on the demand of a sentence between 15 years and 22 years 6 months in prison under Article 168 § 2 of the Turkish Penal Code. (Sabah-TIHV, March 21, 1999)
 Trade Unionists Detained: Yener Kaya, the Chairperson of Turkiye Deri-Is Trade Union (trade union of leather workers) and 12 trade unionists, who were detained after making a press statement in Kartal, Istanbul, on 17 March in support of the workers who were fired from Aymasan Shoe Factory, were released by Kartal Public Prosecution Office on 18 March. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 21, 1999)
 Person Shot by the Police: Hamza Bas (19) was shot dead by the police in Merter, Istanbul, on 19 March. Istanbul Security Directorate disclosed that the police had asked for the IDs of two persons whom they had suspected, that upon this the two persons had opened fire at the police officers and Hamza Bas had been in the clash that broke out. According to the statement, the second person had run away. (Hurriyet-TIHV, March 22, 1999)
 Torture in Detention, Students Remanded: Out of the 6 students from Antalya Akdeniz University and Burdur Suleyman Demirel University who were detained on 18 March on the claims of ýbeing members of the Revolutionary PeopleÝs Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C),ţ Erdal Tasbas, Seyhan Korku, Ulas Kartal and Filiz Akkaya were remanded on 22 March. Making a statement after having been released, Tevfik Guner and Nazan Calgiç disclosed that they had been tortured in detention. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 23, 1999)
 Yalcin Kucuk Convicted: The trial launched against writer Yalcin Kucuk on the accusations of ýeasing the activities of the PKK by naming its acts as a sacred struggle and thus making the propaganda of the organization,ţ in two speeches he delivered in Kecioren District of Ankara and on the MED TV, ended at Ankara SSC on 22 March. Yalcin Kucuk was sentenced to 7 years 6 month in prison under Article 169 of the Turkish Penal Code. Yalcin Kucuk is currently in prison because of the sentence he was given in another trial. (Radikal-TIHV, March 23, 1999)
 Journalists on Trial: The trial launched against Gulsum Cengiz, one of the columnists of the defunct daily Emek, Ahmet Engin and Halit Keskin, the editor-in-chief and the owner of the same, respectively, in connection with a news story published in the daily during the Newroz Feast of 1998, continued at _stanbul SSC on 22 March. In the trial, the 3 journalists are prosecuted under Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code and Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law. The trial was postponed to a further date for the defenses. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 23, 1999)
 EMEP Prevented: LaborÝs Party (EMEP) Chairperson Levent TuzelÝs visit to Diyarbakir, which was planned to be held on 22 March within the course of the election activities of the EMEP, was prevented by security officers. Besides, Diyarbakir Provincial Organization office of the EMEP was raided. Levent Tuzel and persons accompanying him were stopped at Degirmendere region near Diyarbakir on 22 March, and they were told that their entrance to Diyarbakir had been banned by the State of Emergency Regional Governorate. During the raid against the EMEP office, the police seized the posters and leaflets of the part. Meanwhile, EMEP Urfa Provincial Organization Chairperson Cuma Ilbeyle and 7 of his friends were reportedly detained in the night of 21 March. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 23, 1999)
 Incidents in Istanbul: It was claimed that fire was opened from a car at a gendarmerie vehicle waiting outside the Municipality Bus Garage on Kayalar Street in Istanbul on 21 March. The gendarmes stopped the car by opening fire, and detained driver Osman Goren (18). A child named M.D. (17), who was claimed to have run away from the scene, was detained later. It was claimed that M.D. was carrying a gun a with a blank-cartridge. In the same region, fire was opened at a gendarmerie vehicle which went to the scene upon burning of tires. A person named Bulent Alp was reportedly detained on the claims of firing at the gendarmerie vehicle. (Radikal-TIHV, March 23, 1999)
 Lawyers on Trial: The trial launched against lawyer Mustafa Cinkiliç, Adana Representative of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, and lawyer Kemal Kiliç from Istanbul Bar Association, in connection with the incidents that broke out between prison warders and prisoners in Ceyhan (Adana) Prison on 19 October 1998, started at Adana SSC today. (TIHV, March 23, 1999)
 Journalist and Publisher on Trial: The trial launched against writer-journalist Oral Calislar and publisher Muzaffer Erdogdu under Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law on the accusations that "separatist propaganda was disseminated" in CalislarÝs book, "Ocalan ve BurkayÝla Kurt Sorunu (The Kurdish Problem: Interviews with Ocalan and Burkay)," continued at Istanbul SSC on 23 March. (Milliyet-TIHV, March 24, 1999)
 Human Rights Defenders on Trial: The prosecution of Zeki Ruzgar, one of the lawyers of the PeopleÝs Law Office, Cumhur Akpinar, a doctor in charge at Forensic Medicine Institute and a former executive member of Ankara Medical Chamber, Ayse Betul Gokoglu, the Chairperson of the Association for Solidarity with the Relatives of Arrested Prisoners and for Human Rights (TAYAD), and Ali Ercan Gokoglu, continued at Ankara SSC No.1 on 23 March. In the hearing, the lawyers raised rejection against the judges, as in the previous hearing. Upon this, the court board fined the lawyers and Zeki Ruzgar TL 6,390,000 each for "unnecessarily raising rejections against the judges," under Article 26 of the Law on Criminal Proceedings (CMUK). (Evrensel-TIHV, March 24, 1999)
 Attacks Against the Press: Evrensel reporters Deniz Dogan, Serpil Seher Ulgun and Sengul Karadag were reportedly detained on 21 March when they were in Diyarbakir to follow the Newroz celebrations. Tulay Koçak, the editor-in-chief of the journal "Ezilenlerin Kurtulusu Icin Isci Demokrasisi (WorkerÝs Democracy for the Salvation of the Repressed)," was remanded by Ankara SSC on 23 March. A trial was launched against the staff of the journal Kizilbayrak on the accusations that "separatist propaganda was disseminated" in certain articles. Besides, Istanbul SSC decided to close Kizilbayrak for 15 days. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 24, 1999)
 Attack Against Student: Ercan Kalender, a student at the Faculty of Literature of Istanbul University, sustained an attack by a group of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) adherents on 23 March. Ercan Kalender, who is reportedly a member of the Youth Branch of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP), was wounded with meat-cleavers. The health condition of Ercan Kalender is reportedly well. (Hurriyet-TIHV, March 24, 1999)
 Death in Prison: Murat Keles (16), an ordinary prisoner on remand at the juvenile wing of Izmir Buca Prison, died on 23 March. Murat Keles reportedly died at the hospital where he was taken to after having been heavily beaten in the wing. (Radikal-TIHV, March 25, 1999)
 HADEP Trial: The trial launched against HADEP Chairperson Murat Bozlak and 47 executive members of the HADEP in connection with the hunger strikes staged in support of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan continued at Ankara SSC on 24 March. The 48 executive members of the HADEP are on trial on the accusations of "aiding an illegal organization and sheltering its members." Eighteen defendants, 16 of whom are on remand, attended the hearing, during which the court board rejected the release demand by the remanded defendants. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 25, 1999)
 Journalist Convicted: Ahmet Ergin, the editor-in-chief of the defunct daily Emek, was sentenced to 2 years in prison and fined TL 3,040,000 in the trial he was prosecuted on the accusations that ýpeople were incited to enmityţ in a news story entitled ýGreat Pressure on the People in Mazgirt (MazgirtÝte [Tunceli] Halka Buyuk Baski),ţ which was published in the issue of the daily dated 6 July 1998. The imprisonment term was later commuted into a fine, thus Ahmet Ergin was fined to a total of TL 6,690,000. In the trial that ended at Istanbul SSC on 24 March, the fine given to Ahmet Ergin was reprieved. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 25, 1999)
 Sentence to Gerger Upheld: The Supreme Court upheld the 1 year 1 monthÝs imprisonment term passed on journalist/writer Haluk Gerger by Istanbul SSC under the Anti-Terror Law. Gerger had been prosecuted on the accusations of "disseminating separatist propaganda" in his article entitled "Who is the Real Loser of the War (Savasi Asil Kaybeden Kim)," which was published in the issue of the daily Ozgur Gundem on 18 December 1993. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 25, 1999)
 Pressure in Prisons: Mehmet Candemir and Yakup Soylu, who were transferred from Siirt E Type Prison to Elazig Prison on 23 March, and Cetin Ciftçi who was transferred from Siirt E Type Prison to Batman E Type Prison, were reportedly tortured on the way. Lawyer Cemsit Bilek, who met the prisoners in Elazig on 24 March, said, ýIn the cells they have been confined, the prisoners continue to stage the hunger strike they started on 16 February. Their health conditions are bad. There are traces on their bodies as they were tortured throughout the way. The Public Prosecutor and the Prison Director rejected our demand to meet the prisoners in person. We have only been able to meet with Mehmet Candemir, and only behind a window." (Evrensel-TIHV, March 26, 1999)
 Hunger Strikes in Prisons: The hunger strikes staged after the transfer of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to Turkey are under way. According to the information provided by the Association for Solidarity with the Relatives of Arrested Prisoners, the breakdown of the hunger strikes in prisons is as follows: Sivas Prison: 112 women prisoners, death strike; Bayrampasa Prison: 28 people, indefinite hunger strike; Bayrampasa Prison: 4 people, death strike; Burdur Prison: 20 people, indefinite hunger strike; Amasya Prison: 32 people, indefinite hunger strike; Ordu Prison: 4 people, death strike; Siirt Prison: 12 people, death strike; Ceyhan Prison: 20 people, indefinite hunger strike; Mus Prison: 8 people, death strike; Antep Prison: 15 people, death strike; Cankiri Prison: 10 people, indefinite hunger strike; Nazilli Prison: 20 people, indefinite hunger strike." Meanwhile, many prisoners who are staging an indefinite hunger strike at Nazilli (Aydin) Prison, have reportedly been suffering from dizziness, nausea, difficulties in seeing and walking, and feeling of numb in the hands and the legs. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 26, 1999)
 Forcing to Become a Police Informer: Oguzhan Durmus, a member of the music band ýGrup Yanki,ţ was reportedly forced to become an informer for the police during the period he was kept in detention at Istanbul Security Directorate. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 26, 1999)
 Trial Against Akin Birdal: Akin Birdal, the Chairperson of the IHD, testified at Ankara SSC on 25 March in connection with the trial he has been prosecuted on charges of "inciting people to hatred and enmity by emphasizing on regional differences" in a speech he made in Tarsus when he was an MP candidate of the bloc of 4 political parties for the general elections on 24 December 1995. The trial launched against Akin Birdal under Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code is under way at Adana SSC. (TIHV, March 26, 1999)
 Concluded Trial: Out of the 16 people who were prosecuted at Diyarbakir SSC on the accusations of "being members of the radical Islamic Hezbollah organization," three were given life sentence under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code. Another defendant was sentenced to 12 years 6 months in prison, whereas 12 defendants who were prosecuted without arrest were acquitted. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 26, 1999)
 Journal Confiscated: The journal Ozgur Genç was confiscated by Istanbul SSDC on the grounds that "separatist propaganda was made and illegal organizations were praised" in certain articles published in the forth issue of the journal. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 26, 1999)
 Torture in Detention: Hakan Kerenciler, the Youth Commission Chairperson of the HADEP who was detained in Kartal, Istanbul, on 22 March, disclosed that he had been tortured during the 3 days he had been kept in detention. Kerenciler was given a medical report proving his inability to work for 5 days. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 27, 1999)
 Torture in Detention: Sefik Sumer, the Chairperson of Adana Branch of the Mesopotamian Cultural Association (MKM) who was detained in Adana on 23 March, disclosed that he had been tortured in detention. Sumer added that he had been given a medical report proving his inability to work for one day, and that he had lodged an official complaint with the prosecution office. (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 27, 1999)
 Doctor and Nurse Beaten by Soldiers: Dr. Mehmet Cankaya and nurse Gunay Beyhan, who are in charge at the Health Center in Keles District of Bursa, were beaten by the soldiers from Keles Gendarmerie Headquarters, who brought a prisoner to the health center for medical treatment. Gunay BeyhanÝs arm was reportedly broken during the incident that took place on 26 March. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 27, 1999)
 Death Penalty Demand: Diyarbakir SSC Prosecution Office launched a trial against five persons on the accusations of "being members of the PKK." They face death penalty under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code. (Evrensel-TIHV, March 27, 1999)
 CHP officials on Trial: A trial was launched against executive members of the CHP Iskenderun District Organization in connection with the meeting they hold in commemoration of journalist Ugur Mumcu on the anniversary of his killing. The CHP Chairperson Bestami Corapci and his colleagues were accused of "acting in contravention of the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations." (Cumhuriyet-TIHV, March 30, 1999)
 Suicide Attack in Istanbul:  PKK militant named Meral Mamyak died and 11 people were wounded in the suicide attack carried out by Mamyak at Taksim Square in Istanbul on 27 March. Meral Mamyak approached to a police bus waiting at the square at about 12.40, and she was halted by the police 20 meters to the bus. Upon this, she kept waiting police officers to approach her, with her hands up, and exploded the bombs she was holding. (Cumhuriyet-Evrensel-TIHV, March 28-31, 1999)

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