The 1971 Coup in Turkey
March 12 is one of the black anniversaries of the European family. 35 years ago, in Turkey, member of the Council of Europe and NATO as well as associate member of the European Union, the Army generals overthrew the government and opened a new period of repression without precedent.
In fact, since more than a century, the process of democratization in Turkey has often been interrupted by repressive practices and military coups: the Coup of the Young Turks in 1908, the genocide of the Armenians and the Assyrians in 1915, the oppression of the Kurdish people and the left-wing forces followed by the proclamation of the one-party regime in 1925, the pogrom of the Non-Moslim minorities in 1955, the 1960 Coup …
Last 35 years have been marked by two bloody putsches of the Turkish Generals in 1971 and 1980: massive arrests, tortures, hangings, violation of the freedom of expression, reinforcement of the social injustice, negation of the fundamental rights of the Kurdish people and the Armenian, Assyrian, Greek minorities etc.
During the two years following the Coup of March 12, 1971:
The Coup of March 12, 1971 also marks the restart of political emigration towards European countries. The first massive exodus of Turkey towards foreign countries was that of the Armenians and Assyro-Chaldeans following the genocide and the deportation of 1915. The political emigration of the opponents of the regime and people belonging to the ethnic and religious minorities began again after the 1971 Coup and accelerated after the second military coup of September 12, 1980.
- Thousands of people were judged by the military tribunals of Martial Law under the charge of acts committed mainly before the proclamation of the state of exception.
- More than 10.000 people whose 3600 teachers, 118 journalists, translators, editors, writers, artists, 67 academics were taken into custody, arrested and condemned.
- 37 newspapers or periodicals were prohibited or suspended.
- More than 200 titles of books were seized and more than half a million copies destroyed.
- 28 people were killed in the street by the police forces in doubtful circumstances.
- The accused, kept often for several weeks in detention, denounced during trials the tortures that they underwent. These declarations were confirmed by the reports of international organizations of lawyers.
- In spite of the indignation of the world opinion, three leaders of progressive youth were condemned to death and executed. Other death sentences were demanded by military prosecutors for 151 persons.
- Three political parties were dissolved. The leaders of socialist party TIP were condemned to heavy prison sentences of up to 15 years.
- Oppression of the ethnic minorities was increased and the repressive operations against the Kurds generalized not only in Kurdistan but also in the big western cities of the country.
- 111 people were condemned to heavy prison terms of up to 16 years under the charge of "separatism".
- The right to strike and of trade union was limited by the adoption of legislative amendments under the pressure of the military. All the trade unions of the public sector were dissolved.
- All student associations were dissolved.
- The Trade Union of Teachers (TÖS), grouping more than 100.000 teachers, was dissolved and its leaders condemned to prison sentences of up to 8 years, thousands of its members were pursued.
It is after these coups that the interference of the Ankara regime in the political and social life of the countries hosting Turkish immigrants was well structured; a system of pressure and intimidation was founded in order to silence any voice rising apart from the control of the Turkish lobby.
The Association of Democrat Armenians of Belgium
The Association of Democrat Armenians in Belgium aims to help the Armenian emigrants to be integrated in Belgium by the practice of social, cultural and sport activities, to create links with other democratic organizations in Belgium and Europe, to fight against racism and fascism and to make recognize the Armenian genocide of 1915.
The Associations of Assyrians of Belgium
Existing for 22 years, the Associations of the Assyrians in Belgium have as objective: to establish and develop meetings, exchanges, collaboration, friendship among the specialists and researchers of the inheritance of Assyria/High Mesopotamia and its heirs. They also aim at the integration and the active participation of the Assyrian communities in the European society, the protection, promotion and diffusion of the Assyrian culture by organizing conferences, colloquiums and radio broadcasts.
Founded by the opponents of the military junta of March 12, 1971 and denouncing for thirty-five years the violation of the human rights and the oppression of the minorities in Turkey, Info-Turk has contributed to the fight for democratization in this country. It publishes a bilingual periodical and specific files to inform the world opinion as well of the political, social, economic and cultural life in Turkey as of the problems of the communities coming from this country.
Internet : http://www.info-turk.be
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Kurdish Institute of Brussels
The Kurdish Institute of Brussels fights on the one hand for the rights of the national, ethnic, religious and/or linguistic minorities of the Middle East, Turkey and the Caucasus. On the other hand, it works for defense of the rights and the equality of chances for any person belonging to an ethnic or cultural minority in Belgium.
Internet : http://www.kurdishinstitute.be
E-mail : email@example.com
Tel: 02-736 78 95; Fax: 02-742 04 06
Avec le concours de l'Echevinat de la Culture de la Ville de Bruxelles, de la Communauté française et de la COCOF