The five-month government crisis in Turkey has
seemingly ended with the formation of a coalition between the two
principal centre-right parties, the Correct Way Party (DYP) and the
Motherland Party (ANAP). The ANAP-DYP alliance, popularly dubbed Major
Way, has replaced Ciller's alliance with social democrat partners and
barred the way to power, at least for the time-being, to the Welfare
Party (RP), Islamist, who left behind both centre-right parties in the
Although the formation of the new coalition is being
hailed as a victory of the secular establishment over the Islam
fundamentalism, the future government, with its protocol and
ministerial composition, represents the power of the military, the
police, the extreme right and the circles enjoying doubtful richness.
Ciller-Yilmaz tandem has entrusted:
• the Justice Ministry to Mehmet Agar, the notorious
chief of police of the pre-electoral period,
• one of the State Ministries to Ünal Erkan, the
notorious super governor of the Emergency Law region,
• another State Ministry to Ayvaz Gökdemir, famous
for having insulted as "prostitutes" the chairwomen of three political
groups in the European Parliament.
• the Ministry of Culture to Agah Oktay Güner, the
second man of the neo-fascist party (MHP) in 70s,
• the Ministry of Environment to Mustafa Tasar,
another top official of the neo-fascist party (MHP) in 70s,
• the Ministry of Public Works to Mehmet Kececiler,
chief of the fundamentalists in ANAP,
According to the coalition protocol, ANAP leader
Mesut Yilmaz will lead the government until the end of the year, then
passing on the post to DYP leader Tansu Ciller for the next two years.
After Yilmaz takes a second term in the fourth year, a DYP deputy will
take over in the fifth to carry the partnership to general elections.
The partners further agreed to cooperate in next general elections.
This is simply a logical process of which the
functioning was blocked for months simply because of the bitter rivalry
between Ciller and Yilmaz.
Leaders of the two parties had an escalating, harsh
verbal duel during the election campaign. That duel was revived from
time to time in the two months which have passed since the Dec. 24
election, deepening the confidence crisis between the two would-be
coalition partners. It is still fresh in everyone's mind that Yilmaz
called Tansu Ciller and her inner circle, including her husband Özer
Ciller, "the waterfront mansion gang." Furthermore, he promised to the
people to send Ciller before the Supreme Court for her corruptions and
irregularities when he becomes prime minister.
On the other hand, Ciller referred to Yilmaz as a
"swindler, the one that runs away." During their time in the
government, DYP circles sent two former ANAP ministers before the High
Court on corruption charges and this fuelled the hostilities between
the two parties.
When the election results obliged them to form a
coalition government, these reciprocal accusations were put aside but
the question who will be the first prime minister appeared as a major
obstacle before the Major Way coalition. Before Ciller's insistence on
taking the first turn at the rotating premiership, ANAP leader Yilmaz
took the initiative to set up a coalition government with the RP.
As the ANAP-RP talks were approaching to the stage
of forming a coalition government under the premiership of Yilmaz, the
military on the one hand, and on the other, the United States began to
force Ciller to moderate her stand vis-a-vis Yilmaz.
The Chief of General Staff Gen. Ismail Hakki
Karadayi met with Ciller in Uludag and issued a warning saying that the
military will not tolerate a government dominated by the Islamists and
asked her to be more conciliatory in her talks with ANAP. In fact, the
military's real worry was not the RP's fundamentalist orientation,
because the Army itself had encouraged the rise of fundamentalism after
the 1980 coup and was not at all annoyed by the concessions that Ciller
gave to Islamists during her three-year power. The military were afraid
that the RP could come against the military options on the Kurdish
question and establish a political dialogue with the Kurdish national
Meanwhile, Ciller's American adviser Robert Squire,
who had earlier provided consultancy services to U.S. president Bill
Clinton, influenced her in the same sense. The western governments and
media too expressed very often their worry to see Islamists in
government just after the process of Customs Union started to work.
What is more important, Ciller finally became aware
of the fact that, if the ANAP-RP coalition is once set up, she might be
sent before the supreme court and her political career might end in a
disastrous and shameful way. So, in exchange of the promise of taking
over premiership in 1997-98, Ciller dropped her insistence on taking
the first turn despite her party's 135-to-126 advantage in the number
As for Yilmaz, who was already under the pressure of
the military and the liberal wing of his own party, he had to make a
spectacular U-turn following Ciller's stepping back. Although Erbakan
accepted to give premiership and almost all key ministries to ANAP
despite RP's 158-to-126 advantage, Yilmaz renounced at the last moment
to set up a RP-ANAP government by inventing some minor pretexts and
accepted to share the power in a minority government with Ciller.
All these manoeuvres, especially the military's
interferences, were entirely anti-democratic and immoral, but the mass
media pretending to be defender of "secularism" rejoice at their
success in denying power to Refah as a coalition partner. So, the most
corrupted politician of Turkey's history, Ciller has saved herself from
giving the account of her doubtful richness and guaranteed her
returning to premiership ten months later for two years.
However the combined ANAP-DYP deputies come to 261
and the alliance was still 14 short of an absolute majority in the
550-seat legislature. After the return of seven ANAP deputies to their
own Grand Unity Party (BBP), extreme-right, the number of ANAP deputies
fell to 126.
It is the Democratic Left Party (DSP) of Bülent
Ecevit that run to the help of this right-wing government. Since a
simple majority vote is all that is needed for the government to win
the vote of confidence, the DSP promised that they would abstain from
the vote so as to assure a simple majority vote of confidence.
The coalition protocol signed by Yilmaz and Ciller
is full of promises which had already been given four years ago and
never put in practice even by a coalition shared by the social democrat
The new government has declared no intention to find
a political solution to the Kurdish problem. On the contrary, its ultra
conservative and nationalist composition gives the sign of maintaining
With the exclusion of the first party, RP, from the
government partnership is Turkey now really safe from the Islamist
The chief editor of The Turkish Daily News, Ilnur
Cevik answers to this question as follows on February 27, 1996:
"Those who now rejoice at their success in denying a
modicum of power to Refah as a coalition partner does not seem to
realize the fact that the very reasons and factors which have helped
Refah to flourish are still valid. The masses feel their mainstream
parties have let them down and are still helping the rich become richer
and the poor poorer. Thus comes the success of Refah, which has managed
to portray itself as a party for the poor and the repressed. Refah is
one of the realities of this country. To pretend it does not exist will
only make matters worse."
As a matter of fact, the Major Way governments led
by the most corrupt politicians and the representatives of State
Terrorism will serve to much strengthening of the RP and its coming to
power in the year of 2000. And if the social democrat CHP and DSP
cannot unite their forces on the basis of a concrete programme giving
priority to democratization and social justice and the socialist forces
cannot organize themselves as a representative political party, the
future RP majority will probably be an absolute majority.
GOVERNMENT PARTIES 261
DYP (Right) 135
ANAP (Right) 126
OPPOSITION PARTIES 289
RP (Islamist) 158
BBP (Islamist) 7
DSP (Left) 75
CHP (Left) 49
A NEW SOCIALIST PARTY IN TURKEY: ÖDP
A new socialist party entered Turkey's political
arena on January 22, declaring itself ready to fill what it calls "the
vacuum in the socialist wing" of Turkish politics. The Freedom and
Solidarity Party (ÖDP) seeks to gather different socialist left
factions under one umbrella.
The foundation of the new party was celebrated on
January 21, in a sports hall with the participation of its founding
members, supporters and intellectuals.
In its initial declaration, ÖDP said:
"Turkey is going through the deepest crisis of its
history. The demand for change is rising in all levels of the society.
The tension between the state and the society is widening the crisis
which necessitates the reformation of both the state and the society."
Following the September 1980 military coup Turkey's
socialists have been oppressed severely. Although new groups and
parties emerged after the restart of parliamentary regime in 1983, the
unity of socialist left remained as a distant dream.
The Socialist Party (SP) which was banned by the
Constitutional Court and currently continues under the name of the
Workers' Party (IP) has not been able to unite all socialists. In the
latest December 24 elections, it obtained only 0.22% of the votes.
Meanwhile, efforts to unify the left started a year
ago between the United Socialist Party (BSP) and Let's Build the Future
Together (GBK) initiative; the earlier was the emanation of the
Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) and some other pro-Soviet party and
groups, the latter was principally based on the sympathizers of the
Revolutionary Way (Dev-Yol) and some other radical Marxist groups.
Finally united under the name of the Freedom and
Solidarity Party (ÖDP), they call on other opponents of the regime to
join the new party.
ÖDP Chairman Ufuk Uras, speaking at a press
conference on February 5, said that the new party turned its face not
to the left-wing parties but to the public. "Workers are getting
poorer, racism and chauvinism is entrenched in society and
fundamentalism threatened the country. Our party seeks to represent
those who oppose the current order in Turkey. Our aim is to find
fundamental solutions to basic problems. ÖDP will never leave the
politics in Turkey to the intrigues of politicians," he said.
At present, the social democrats are organized in
two different parties, the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the
Democratic Left Party (DSP). Both recently obtained a total of 25.35%
of the votes.
On the left of the social democracy now take place
the ÖDP, the Workers' Party (IP) and the Socialist Power Party (SIP) as
Besides, two pro-Kurdish parties, the People's
Democracy Party (HADEP), which recently obtained 4.17% of the votes and
the Democracy and Transformation Party (DDP) too take part at the left
of the social democrat parties
As for the illegal organizations, the Workers' Party
of Kurdistan (PKK) has the highest mass support especially in Kurdish
population and is carrying on its armed struggle against the Turkish
state. Another outlawed pro-Kurdish party is the Socialist Party of
The Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front
(DHKP/C), emanating from the Revolutionary Left (Dev-Sol), the
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), emanating from the TKP-ML, the
Revolutionary Communists Union (TIKB) and the Revolutionary Communist
Party of Turkey (TDKP) are the principal underground organizations of
the radical left in Turkey.
THE BALANCE-SHEET OF STATE TERRORISM IN 1995
A total of 122 people died in extra-judicial
executions, torture and while in custody in 1995, according to a report
published by the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) on January
The 1995 Human Rights Abuses Report says 99 people
were murdered by unknown assailants, while 3,894 people died in armed
In 1995, of the 14,473 that were detained by
security forces, 2,101 were placed under arrest by tribunals. Of the
detained people 231 are missing.
The figures concerning human rights abuses are as
• Attacks by unknown assailants: 99 died, 136
• Deaths in extra-judicial executions, torture and
• Killed in armed clashes: 3,894
• Attacks against civilians: 230 died, 321 wounded
• Missing in custody: 231
• Torture cases: 251
• Detained people: 14,473
• Arrested people: 2,101
• Evacuated villages: 243
• Labour right violations: 5,326
• Bombed offices: 184
• Banned associations, trade unions and
• Associations, trade unions and press institutions
raided by police: 173
• Detained journalists: 461
• Confiscated publications: 304
Prisoners of thought:
• Sentences given: 1,712 years
• Fines given: TL 40 billion
• Approved sentences: 172 years
• Approved fines: TL 17 billion
• Number of prisoners: 121 by the end of the year
TURKEY'S GREATEST NOVELIST YASAR KEMAL SENTENCED TO 20 MONTHS
As the representatives of State terrorism are taking
ministerial posts on March 7, 1996, Turkey's greatest novelist Yasar
Kemal was sentenced to 20 months in prison and TL 466 thousand in fine
by the Istanbul SSC for "inciting hatred" under Article 312 of the
Turkish Penal Code.
The charges against Kemal stem from two articles he
published in a
collection of essays called "Turkey and Freedom of Expression."
One of the articles was originally written for the
Der Spiegel. In that article he accused the government of waging a
"campaign of lies" to hide its oppression of the Kurds.
ALEVIS FORCED TO EVACUATE VILLAGES IN SIVAS
The State terrorism, after the Kurds, has recently
taken as target the Alevi population of the province of Sivas. Local
Alevi associations and parliamentarians very often announce their
concern and call for immediate action against military operations
forcing Alevi citizens to vacate their villages in this central
Alevi cultural associations such as Divrigi, Pir
Sultan Abdal and Imranli, in a preliminary report about the continuing
pressure, stated that many citizens had been forced to leave their
homes as a result of military operations in villages mainly populated
by Alevis and Kurds. "Special team members have been provoking
villagers, saying that they have lists in their hands and the villages
will eventually be vacated. They also ask the villagers whether they
have a mosque or prayer quarters and threaten them by asking 'Aren't
you Muslims?' when they say they don't," the report stated.
The report, based on information from local sources
and newspapers, warned that serious social unrest can be expected in
the region. The report also claimed that the Alevi-Kurdish population
is expected to leave the region, unable to cope with the siege
mentality and the ongoing operations.
CHP Sivas Deputy Mehmet Isik said that security
forces were pressuring citizens under the pretext of searching for
separatists. "At nights they (the security forces) go around in
civilian clothes and ask citizens for food saying they are members of
the PKK, and the next morning call on those who gave them bread and
accuse them of collaboration with separatists," he said.
Meanwhile, on February 6, the governor of Sivas has
officially disclosed that 63 villages had already been evacuated.
Officials have confirmed that over 150 schools in Divrigi and Zara
townships have been closed.
About 500 residents from various villages have been
taken into custody and nearly 300 villages are under blockade,
according to reports.
A FORMER KURDISH DEPUTY'S LIFE IN DANGER
As former Kurdish deputies of DEP are serving their
15-year prison terms, another former Kurdish deputy, 67-year old
Abdülmelik Firat, 67, was arrested and put in Istanbul's Bayrampasa
prison on January 13 with the application of a decision given by the
Erzincan State Security Court in 1993. He is accused of aiding and
harbouring the PKK militants and of engaging in separatist propaganda
in a speech he made.
On February 23, Firat was transferred from istanbul
to Erzurum prison. He will be tried by the Erzincan SSC on March 7.
The SSC charges were based upon the denunciation of
a PKK confessor who said that he had taken refuge at Firat's house in
Erzurum. Firat himself was not in the house at the time and denies
knowing that any PKK member had made use of his home.
Firat's arrest, despite his old age, suffering from
prostate cancer and heart disease, gave rise to a big protest as well
in Turkey as abroad. He had major heart surgery last year but still
suffers from partial and complete blockage of some arteries. It is
reported that with this critical hart disease, hypertension and cancer,
he won't be able to survive the poor conditions of Erzurum prison and
his imprisonment there will constitute a threat to his life.
The grandson of Sheikh Said, the leader of the 1925
Kurdish uprising against the Republic, Firat's political life started
in Adnan Menderes' Democrat Party and later continued in the Prime
Minister Ciller's DYP.
In protest against the government's repressive
policies, he resigned from the DYP few years ago and remained as an
independent deputy until the December 24, 1995, elections.
Firat did not stand in the recent elections,
declaring that he did not want to take part in a parliament that
refused to discuss the Kurdish problem.
When he lost his parliamentary immunity, the arrest
warrant issued by the Erzincan SSC in 1993 was put in practice.
WHO COMMITTED THE GÜCLÜKONAK MASSACRE?
Just before the European Parliament vote on a
resolution calling the Turkish Government to accept negotiating a
political solution to the Kurdish Question, Turkish security officials
announced that PKK militants had killed 11 civilians at a roadblock in
Güclükonak on January 15, 1996.
The correspondents of main dailies and TVs were
taken to the area with military helicopters to see the bodies of the
victims. According to the version of the governor of emergency law
region, militants of the PKK terrorist organization stopped a minibus
in Güclükonak and shot the passengers after checking their identity
Although the PKK immediately refused this
accusation, the Turkish media, under the pressure of the military and
the government, credited the official version and published horrible
photos as "the PKK's crime."
A few days later, on January 19, the Diyarbakir
branch of Human Rights Association (IHD) announced that the massacre
was committed, not by the PKK, but by the security forces. According to
this report, six victims were from three villages of Güclükonak
district of Sirnak province were arrested a week ago by the security
forces and taken to the Taskonak Military HQ. IHD Diyarbakir Chairman
Mahmut Sakar said that the villages. The villages in question although
known as recruiters of village militia voted in their majority for
pro-Kurd HADEP and have been persecuted by the security forces since
the elections. Besides, the sons of the six villagers had joined the
PKK forces previously.
On February 12, a group of peace activists went to
Diyarbakir to investigate the Güclükonak massacre. The group was
composed of representatives of human rights organizations, including
the Islamist Mazlum-Der movement and the leftist Human Rights
Association, trade unions, political parties, journalists, writers,
artists, publishers as well as German Green MP of Turkish origin Cem
The mission named Together For Peace concluded after
having listened to eye-witnesses that, contrary to official charges
against the PKK, the villagers were arrested and then summarily
executed by the security troops in the area.
"The attack seems to be plotted by some forces
within the state, who seek undervalue the unilateral cease fire
declared by the PKK on December 14," said German MP Özdemir.
CONSTANT UNREST IN OVERCROWDED PRISONS
Turkish prisons, in December and January, became the
scene of violent confrontations between political prisoners and state
forces. The bloody incidents in the Umraniye Prison of Istanbul ended
in the death of four political prisoners as many other prisoners and
some security officers were gravely wounded.
Inhuman detention conditions had already led in
December to a series of protest actions by political prisoners at this
The recent bloody incidents started on January 4
when lawyers from the Human Rights Association (IHD) demanded to speak
with some of political prisoners. This demand was rejected by the
prison administration on pretext that a security operation was being
carried out by gendarmerie and special police teams on orders from the
Ministry of Justice.
Lawyers from the People's Legal Bureau declared that
photographs of the prisoners who instigated riots in December were
circulated among security forces before the operation.
During the operation, political prisoners Abdülmecit
Seckin, Riza Boybas, Orhan Özen and Gültekin Beyhan were beaten to
death. More than 120 prisoners, many of them wounded, were taken into
On these incidents, the unrest started in other
prisons as well throughout Turkey and mass demonstrations took place in
Istanbul streets against the State brutality. During the funeral of
those who were killed in prison clashes took place between
demonstrators and the police. Subsequently more than 2,000 people were
taken into custody. Meanwhile, journalist Metin Göktepe lost his life
under police custody.
When the news of the deaths and injuries in Umraniye
prison reached other jails, the political prisoners in Bayrampasa
Prison in Istanbul and the Buca Prison in Izmir took hostages from
prison staff and began rioting. These were followed by similar actions
in Ankara, Yozgat, Buca and Ceyhan prisons.
The protest actions ended on January 9 after an
agreement reached between the Human Rights Association and prison
authorities to ameliorate prison conditions.
However, similar riots may any moment restart as
long as mass arrests continue to overcrowd Turkish prisons specially
built for political prisoners. The capacity of E-type prisons is
limited to 900 inmates whereas there are about 9,000 detainees and
convicts held in them at present.
According to the figures given by the Justice
Ministry, there were 49,451 detainees and convicts in Turkey of whom
8,624 were political prisoners. Of these political prisoners, 8,286 are
left-wing or Kurdish prisoners while the number of right-wing prisoners
was only 338.
Of 8,624 political prisoners, 5,580 are detainees
whose trials are continuing and 3,044 are convicts.
OVERTIME AT STATE SECURITY COURTS
The State Security Courts (DGM) are reportedly
working over time and recent experiences show that it is very hard to
find a place as listener in the courtrooms.
Every day around 100 people, most of them
intellectuals, stand accused of expressing their opinions.
After the modification of the Article 8 last autumn
in the parliament, the cases of a great number of people had to be
reviewed, some of them having to be retried by the DGMs.
According to some sources, more than 100 people were
acquitted with the help of the revised Article 8, a view not shared by
lawyers, who claim that the number of convictions actually increased
since the amendment of the law.
According to the data given by the Justice Ministry,
the number of the defendants tried under arrest by the DGMs in eight
provinces reaches 5,406, of whom 5,203 are left-wing detainees.
Together with those tried without arrest, the total
number of the defendants of DGMs rises to more than 10 thousand.
PICTURES OF THE TURKISH SOLDIERS' SAVAGERY
The European newspaper, in its issue of 11-17
January 1996, the pictures of savagery committed by Turkish soldiers in
Kurdistan, under the title "Turkey wants to join the Union. First it
must put an end to scenes like this."
In its comment, The European says:
"The pictures published on this page emerge from the
brutal conflict between the Turkish army and the Kurdish minority in
the southeast of the country.
They are the least horrifying of a set of 12
pictures passed on to The European which are said to show Turkish
government troops in the act of celebrating in barbarous fashion a
victory over their Kurdish enemy. Having decapitated four Kurdish
fighters, they are seen holding up the heads in triumph.
"These gruesome photographs provide some of the
defining images of an 11-year war that has been all but forgotten in
the dramatic upheavals of the Middle East, the downfall of Soviet power
and the Bosnian war. But if genuine -and The European has been shown no
reason to believe they are not- they are also graphic evidence to
support those in Europe who believe that Turkey's human rights record
makes it unfit for the membership of the European union to which it
"It was that human rights record which was at the
centre of the argument when the European Parliament voted on 13
December to ratify Turkey's customs union with the EU, a key step
towards full membership. MEP's agreed by 343 to 149 to ratify the
agreement, but as Pauline Green, leader of the majority Socialist bloc,
put it, 'with sorrow, with heavy hearts and without enthusiasm.' Jack
Lang, the French Socialist MEP, who was among those who voted against,
was simply indignant. He said: 'My conscience would not allow me to
support an economic accord with a regime of regression and repression.'
"According to The European's sources, the
photographs were taken in the mountains in southeast Turkey's Hakkari
province last April. It is a region where Turkey's borders converge
with those of Iran and Iraq, a part of the world Kurds consider the
heartland of their native Kurdistan. A state of emergency has prevailed
there for the past two years. The pictures are said to show soldiers of
an elite unit called the Hakkari Mountain Commando Brigade, based in
the town of Hakkari, 80km north of Iraqi border, posing in the snow for
snapshots with the severed heads of four Kurds.
"Whether or not the victims were members of the outlawed Marxist
insurgent army known as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the pictures
show that some were shot and killed, while others appear to have been
taken alive, their clothing torn off and their limbs bound prior to
execution and decapitation.
"The European has been told that when the soldiers
returned to their base in Hakkari, they made copies of the photographs
to show off their victory to comrades. One of them, whose name is known
to The European and has been passed on to the Turkish authorities, sold
the pictures to other soldiers for up to 100,000 Turkish Lira ($2) a
piece. One of those soldiers, himself a veteran of the Kurdish campaign
but repelled by the callous barbarity shown by the photographs, and by
their subsequent dissemination, took the risk of sending them by post
to a friend in London. The friend, a Kurdish electrical engineer who
fled Turkey two years ago, passed them on to the Kurdistan Information
Centre, which represents the strong Kurdish community in London.- as
recently as 8 January Kurdish demonstrators took workers at a Turkish
business centre in the British capital briefly hostage.
"The pictures are evidence of the pitiless savagery
with which the war is being conducted - by both sides, according to
human rights organisations. Nearly, 20,000 people have lost their
lives, according to both western and Turkish estimates. The independent
New York-based Human Rights Watch is indignant that Turkey's partners
in Nato have extended generous political and military support, helping
it develop a formidable arms industry and providing a steady supply of
weapons, often free or at reduced cost. The soldier seen squatting in
the snow with a longer weapon fitted with a telescopic sight is holding
an SVD sniper rifle. A weapon originally manufactured in former East
Germany, it is one example of whose arsenals of old East German
weaponry handed to Turkey when Germany was unified. Britain,
"These pictures are so shocking that any people may
damn us for publishing them. The newspaper has given Turkey many
opportunities to refute critics of its human rights record. We
recognise that most of its own citizens will be equally sickened by
such apparent barbarity. Europe will judge Turkey by the way it
examines these allegations. If the conclusion is that Turkish forces
have committed these atrocities, the guilty men and their officers
should be severely disciplined. Equally, if the pictures are shown to
be Kurdish propaganda, their cause will be profoundly damaged. It is
Turkey's duty to investigate thoroughly because these brutal acts have
been committed within its internationally recognised borders. These are
images of the era of Genghis Khan, not a civilised Europe approaching
the 21st century."
Turkish authorities claimed after this publication
that all the pictures were photomontages according to the result of the
examinations of the photos carried out in Turkish laboratories.
However, The European, on January 18, quoted an
independent expert at the international photographic giant Kodak as
saying that he cannot see any evidences of manipulation on photographs.
On January 20, the daily Cumhuriyet reported that
Turkey would take legal action against The European and a Scottish
newspaper, Daily Record, for attempting to defame Turkey.
Daily Record, had also said that various Turkish
diplomats were involved in drug smuggling.
HUMAN RIGHTS EXECUTIVES UNDER TRIAL
An Ankara criminal court began on January 17 the
trial of executives of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), on
charges related to a book, A Gift to Emil Galip Sandalci.
The book was published last year by the TIHV, and
the prosecutor's office has opened a lawsuit against lawyer Turgut
Inal, former chairman of Balikesir bar association, for insulting the
law and Parliament.
The prosecutor demands 15-day to six-month prison
terms for Inal as well as for TIHV Chairman Yavuz Önen, TIHV Secretary
general Okan Akhan, and executive board members Murat Yetkin, Haldun
Özen, Mehmet Vural, Veli Lök, Mahmut Tali Öngören, Sükran Akin and
POLITICAL VIOLENCE HIT BIG BUSINESS
Political violence in Turkey recently hit one of the
wealthiest families of the country when two gunmen entered the head
office of the Sabanci Holding in Istanbul and shot dead Özdemir Sabanci
and his two collaborators. The assassination committed on January 9 at
the 25th floor of such a well-protected business centre sent shock
waves throughout Turkey.
Two other persons shot dead were the Director of
Toyotasa general manager, Haluk Görgün, and the private secretary of
the holding's president, Nilgün Hasefe.
The Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front
(DHKP/C), a spin-off of the Dev-Sol (Revolutionary Left), took
responsibility in a phone call to the leftist weekly Kurtulus.
"In retaliation for the murder of Revolutionary
People's fighters we raided the building connected with Sabanci and
punished them with death," their statement said.
A week ago four political prisoners had died during
a clash in Istanbul's Umraniye prison. The incident set off five days
of rioting during which about 30 prison guards and officials were held
hostage at jails throughout the country.
After the assassination, police launched a
man-hunting in Istanbul to arrest three suspects, but could not find
any hint until the end of February.
Turkish businessmen, angered by the murder of two
leading industrialists, urged party leaders to end more than three
months of political turmoil which they say has set the stage for
leftist guerrilla attacks.
Murat Bekdik, head of Turkey's Young Businessmen
Association (TUGIAD), said: "Turkey cannot meet the year 2000 with
hatred and polarisation. The only target must be to form a serious
government which can bring solutions to major problems."
Turkey's Union of Chambers and Stock-Exchanges
(TOBB) fears other attacks on businessmen unless the turmoil is
resolved. "The Turkish community of free enterprise has always met with
such attacks when the political and administrative authorities weakened
and governments were not set up," TOBB chairman Fuat Miras said.
"We warn the politicians that the political vacuum
in Turkey provokes such kinds of attacks. Political reconciliation
should be achieved as soon as possible and the political vacuum should
be filled," Refik Baydur, head of the Turkish Employers Union (TISK),
Özdemir Sabanci, 54, murdered in his company's
fashionable Istanbul head office, was the youngest son of a
rags-to-riches business legend who runs Turkey's second biggest
conglomerate. He was head of the automotive group of Sabanci Holding
The last venture of Özdemir, a chemical engineer by
training, was a $325-million automobile plant near Istanbul set up in
1990 under a joint venture with the Japanese car giant Toyota -- the
biggest single Japanese investment in Turkey. The company began
production in 1994.
The Sabanci conglomerate first developed textile
plants in Adana, and later moved to Istanbul to expand the range of its
companies from textiles to banking to food.
Apart from Toyota, the conglomerate has set up joint
ventures with leading western and other Japanese companies such as
Mitsubishi, Hilton, Dresdner Bank, BNP, Philip Morris, Kraft Jacobs and
IMPRISONMENT FOR TEENAGER LOVE
An 18-year-old unemployed Turkish waiter was
arrested in Kahramanmaras on January 23 for statutory rape of a
13-year-old British girl whom he married in a Moslem ceremony with her
parents' consent. Their marriage came under court scrutiny after it hit
the headlines in the British and then the Turkish media.
The girl and the boy were questioned by a prosecutor
because of the girl's youth, and she was sent to take a virginity test,
which she failed. "He has been arrested for having sex with an underage
girl," said the chief public prosecutor of the southern town of
Private Turkish ATV television showed the girl,
Sarah Cook, wearing the traditional Moslem headscarf, looking at the
floor as a hospital doctor told reporters that she was not a virgin.
"We are very happy," she told reporters before quickly leaving with her
Sarah married 18-year-old Musa Komeagac, whom she
met on holiday on the Turkish coast last year, in a Moslem ceremony two
weeks ago. The religious wedding ceremony is not officially recognised
in Turkey but couples are free to have it performed.
The lower age limit for the marriage of girls in
Turkey is 15, as long as there is parental consent, but legal officials
say this can be lowered with a doctor's report deeming the girl
physically fit for marriage, again pending parental consent.
Occasionally Turkish girls, usually from
conservative backgrounds, are required by their parents to take
virginity tests if they are thought to have had under-age sex.
The Turkish media and locals in Kahramanmaras have
been fairly sympathetic toward the young couple and have dubbed the
girl "our national bride."
Sarah Cook returned to Britain on February 6 with
On February 15, a Turkish court in Kahramanmaras
freed Musa Komeagac and adjourned his trial for her statutory rape. The
court judge said Komeagac could leave prison where he has been since
his Jan. 23 arrest for underage sex with Cook, since the marriage in an
unofficial Muslim ceremony had parental consent.
One of the first things he did on being freed was to
borrow a journalist's mobile phone to call the girl, Sarah Cook, in
TWO-MONTH STATE TERRORISM
8.1, in Mersin, 14-year old Cetin Karakoyun is
killed under torture at a police station.
9.1, in Cizre, worker Maruf Göcen is shot dead
during an armed raid on a dentist's clinic.
11.1, in Istanbul, nine university students are
placed under arrest for attempting to hold a press conference
concerning the Umraniye Prison incidents.
12.1, in Kiziltepe, Yahya Veziroglu is shot dead by
14.1, Hanefi Gürcan is found assassinated in
15.1, police raiding a house in Eskisehir detain
five people for Islamist activities. In Bursa, Yalova and Gemlik, a
total of 20 people are detained for illegal activities.
15.1, in Diyarbakir, Mustafa Koc is shot dead by
17.1, in Batman, 15-year old Arafat Cakir is stabbed
to death by Hizbullah members.
18.1, in Istanbul, 17-year old H. Güc is taken to
hospital after being wounded under torture at the Bakirköy police
18.1, in Izmir, security forces raiding a house
shoot dead Ercan Özceken.
20.1, Diyarbakir, Nimet Akgün is shot dead by
21.1, four people in Adana and six people in Van
claim to have been tortured under police custody.
21.1, in Bursa, eight people are placed under arrest
on charges of terrorist activities.
22.1, a detainee named Ali Ormanci is found dead at
the police station in Bursa.
22.1, in Istanbul, worker Sadik Örsoglu claims to
have been tortured at a police station.
24.1, the Izmir SSC starts to try two Islamists for
IBDA-C activities. Yilmaz Dalyan faces capital punishment. Same day,
three people are brought before a penal court in Rize for Aczmendi
24.1, one of the leaders of the Organization for the
Liberation of Turkey and Turkish Kurdistan (TKKKO), Mustafa Kemal
Kacaroglu is detained in Antalya.
25.1, in Istanbul, Aysel Güldaga, Tülay Sürmeli and
Ibrahim Yildirim are reportedly subjected to torture under police
28.1, a HADEP local in Izmir is attacked and
destroyed by MHP militants.
28.1, police detain more than 50 people in Izmir for
29.1, a former member of Parliament, Hasan Mezarci
is sentenced by a penal court of Bandirma to 18-month imprisonment for
29.1, security forces arrest 15 people in Usak and
10 people in Divrigi for PKK activities.
30.1, in Diyarbakir, the president of the
Mesopotamia Cultural Centre, Nuray Sen claims to have been tortured
after being detained on January 9.
31.1, in Istanbul, police raiding a real estate
office shoot dead MHP sympathiser Engin Tütenocak.
31.1, the Istanbul SSC tries 22 people for DHKP-C
activities. The prosecutor demands capital punishment for two
defendants and imprisonment of up to 20 years for the others.
31.1, security forces arrest 14 people in Corlu for
1.2, two Eskisehir officials of the Socialist
Workers' Party of Turkey (TSIP), Memduh Canbey and Gülfem Yilmaz are
sentenced to one year and four months in prison.
1.2, the Ankara SSC sentences six PKK members to
prison terms of up to 22 years and 6 months.
2.2, a former official of the Health Workers' Union
(Tüm Saglik Sen), Mahmut Konuk is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to
one-year prison and TL 100 million in fine under Article 8 for a speech
he gave on December 26, 1993.
3.2, in Istanbul, the Association for Contemporary
Rights and Freedoms (CHÖD) is closed down by the governor.
5.2, in Bismil, Ihsan Polat, brother of poet Edip
Polat, is assassinated by village protectors.
6.2, security forces announce the arrest of 26
people in Istanbul in relation with DHKP-C activities.
6.2, in Idil, a shepherd is killed at the explosion
of a hand grenade.
7.2, fourteen employees of the Justice Ministry are
tried by an Izmir tribunal for having participated in a demonstration
by public servants.
7.2, in Diyarbakir, security forces raiding a house
shoot dead Ahmet Kaya, Nihat Yoldas and Nefer Yoldas.
8.2, seven top officials of Tüm Saglik Sen are
indicted by the Istanbul prosecutor for their speeches at a trade union
meeting on November 10, 1994.
9.2, police raiding a house in Istanbul shoot dead
three alleged DHKP-C militants, Fuat Perk, Meral Akpinar and Ayten
9.2, in Izmir, three persons are detained for
9.2, in Batman, 13-year old Ekrem Celik dies and 10
children wounded at the explosion of a hand grenade.
11.2, HADEP Baykan chairman Lütfü Zeren is taken to
11.2, in Kocaeli, a deserter, Hamdi Deniz is found
killed at the police station after having served his prison term.
11.2, in Batman, two workers, Ismail Seven and
Siddik Omurcan fall victims of a mine explosion.
13.2, in Zara, Ali Gürvelük who was detained on
January 30 becomes insane because of the torture he was subjected.
14.2, in istanbul, twenty people are detained on
charges of being members of the TIKKO.
15.2, IHD Iskenderun office is raided by police.
16.2, in Kiziltepe, Halim Dincli is shot dead by
19.2, in Istanbul, Orhan Avci claims to have been
tortured after being kidnapped by unidentified assailants under the
guise of police.
19.2, in Istanbul, 13 people are detained during a
20.2, in Soma, 17-year old young woman Yeliz Kilic
claims to have been tortured and raped after being detained on February
21.2, in Hakkari, Abdullah Canan, kidnapped on
February 17, is found assassinated.
22.2, in Diyarbakir, Nihat Uzun is shot dead by
23.3, in Corlu, Mehmet Siddik Dogru claims to have
been tortured after being detained on February 13.
23.2, fifteen people are detained in Istanbul after
a demonstration against price hikes.
23.2, HADEP candidate for December 24 elections,
Ishak Tepe is detained in Bartin. His two sons, journalist Ferhat Tepe
and Safyettin Tepe had been victims of political assassinations.
25.2, high school student Kaya Geren is shot dead in
27.2, in Hakkari, two brothers, Eyüp and Mahir
Karabey, kidnapped on December 28, 1995, are found assassinated.
27.2, in Halfeti, 80-year old Abdullah Yalcinkaya
claims to have been tortured for 24 hours after his police
detention on February 24.
28.2, 10 MLKP defendants are sentenced by Ankara SSC
to prison terms of up to 22 years and 6 months.
29.2, Chairman Feridun Yazar and four other top
officials of the defunct HEP are tried by the Ankara DGM.
A LEFT-WING JOURNALIST KILLED UNDER TORTURE
As Ankara rulers and their supporters in Europe were
celebrating the Customs Union entering in force, on January 8, a young
left-wing journalist was assassinated under torture by police in
Istanbul. The assassination has lead to a world wide protest campaign
against the Turkish regime.
Metin Göktepe, 27, correspondent of the daily
Evrensel was detained by police while covering the funeral of two
militant leftists killed during a prison clash past. His body was later
found near a gymnasium. The newspaper and human rights lawyers blamed
police for his death on the basis of information given by witnesses.
"He was beaten by police despite showing his press card and then
brought to the Eyup gymnasium. People who were detained said that when
Göktepe started to faint he was separated from everyone else and taken
somewhere else… Göktepe was killed by police," Evrensel said in a
The prosecutor's office first denied this
information by claiming that Göktepe had been released from police
custody and died when he fainted after drinking tea in a tea garden.
Official Anatolian news agency said an examination by the prosecutor's
office found no sign of violence on the body.
But lawyers from People's Law Bureau told a news
conference that they believed Göktepe was beaten to death.
"I saw the body in the morgue and on his head there were marks from
blows," Levent Tuzel, chair of the law bureau, said. "It was obvious he
was killed from police torture and beatings."
Turkish journalists' associations have protested the
alleged murder and accused police of stepping up attacks on journalists.
In fact, the official autopsy report released two
days later confirmed stated that Göktepe had traumatic blows to the
head and one of his ribs was also broken.
Following the release of this report, a minister
investigating the death had to say on January 16 that the reporter died
while in police custody. "What is clear is that Metin (Göktepe) was
taken into custody and he was killed in custody," State minister for
human rights Adnan Ekmen told a news conference.
YASAR KEMAL AGAIN FACES A TRIAL
Renowned Turkish author Yasar Kemal is to face trial
again in connection with articles he wrote concerning the Kurdish
situation in Turkey. He is charged under Article 312 (inciting racial
hatred) and Article 8 (disseminating separatist propaganda) of the
Anti-Terror Law for two articles entitled "The Dark Cloud over Turkey"
and "More Oppression." They were published in the book Freedom of
Thought in Turkey in January 1995. Kemal will come before Istanbul
State Security Court on 7 March 1996.
In January 1995, Kemal was charged in connection
with an article published in Der Spiegel. The article, titled "Campaign
of Lies," criticised Turkish policy on the Kurds. Kemal was acquitted
of the charges in December 1995.
NO PRESS CARD TO A REUTER CORRESPONDENT
Aliza Marcus, a correspondent for the Reuters news
agency, has been denied a renewal of her press card by the Turkish
government. This action effectively prevents Marcus from working any
longer in Turkey. In December 1995, Marcus, along with all other
foreign correspondents, applied for a new press card; however, every
correspondent but she received one. There was no official response by
the government as to why she was denied renewed accreditation.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, which
attempted to inquire on Marcus's behalf, was told by an official with
the Directorate General of Press and Information on February 12 that
she did not receive a new card because the government had been informed
that she was leaving Turkey. According to the CPJ,
however, the real reason that Marcus must leave Turkey is the
government's failure to renew her press card.
Marcus was the first United States citizen to become
ensnared in the Turkish government's censorship campaign. In October
1995, Marcus appeared in court to answer the charge of inciting "racial
hatred" under Article 312 of the Turkish penal code. The charge was
laid in connection with a 25 November 1994 Reuters dispatch authored by
her in which she described the forced evacuation of Kurdish villages in
southeast Turkey as a central element of the Turkish military's
ten-year war against Kurdish rebels. The dispatch was translated by the
now-defunct pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Ülke and printed in the paper on 26
November. She was acquitted on 9 November 1995
TURKISH REACTION AGAINST A CBS PROGRAM ON KURDS
A program about Turkey's treatment of its Kurdish
minority broadcast by the CBS on January 14 led to furious reaction of
the Ankara Government. The charge d'affairs of the United States in
Ankara was immediately called to the Foreign Ministry and asked for a
clarification about views expressed by American officials "completely
contrary to known U.S. stand."
In the "60 Minutes" news documentary program CBS
interviewed John Kornblum, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state
for European and Canadian affairs, and John Shattuck, the assistant
secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs, as well
as Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Onur Öymen and PKK Chairman
According to a CBS transcript, Kornblum was asked
whether there was any difference between destruction of Kurdish
villages in Turkey and destruction of Kurdish villages in Iraq by the
government of Saddam Hussein. His reply: "If you're in the village,
there's no difference whatsoever."
Shattuck said human rights issues and problems in
Turkey have been documented. Asked if the Turkish government murders
civilians, he replied, "Right. This is not an effective way to fight
terrorist activity, It only alienates a very large segment of the
population, and causes massive human rights abuses."
Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Onur
Öymen, after the broadcast, told reporters that Ankara would take legal
action against the CBS television network. "This is part of a smear
campaign against Turkey in western media following the ratification of
the Customs Union with Europe. We will take legal action against press
institutions deliberately smearing Turkey. The United States should
clarify either that its policy is what it has officially announced or
the one these officials announced in the program on the CBS TV,'' Öymen
In Washington, asked about the CBS program, State
Department spokesman Nicholas Burns acknowledged U.S. concerns about
"continuing reports of torture, of restrictions on freedom of the press
and on some extra-judicial killings, of the burning of villages and the
forced evacuation of villages."
TWO-MONTH PERSECUTION OF THE MEDIA
4.1, the last issues of Özgür Genclik, Özgür Gelecek
and Savasa Karsi Baris are confiscated by the Istanbul SSC.
5.1, the publication of the periodical Hedef is
banned for one month for two articles published in July 1995.
Besides, a fine of TL50 million against Hedef's publisher Emel Atici is
ratified by the Court of Cassation.
10.1, the daily Evrensel is confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC for propaganda of an outlawed organization.
11.1, Ayse Nur Zarakolu, director of Belge
Publishing House, is sentenced again by the Istanbul SSC to six months
in prison and TL50 million in fine under Article 8 for having published
Hasan Bildirici's book Bekaa-A Created Land. Although her prison term
is commuted to a fine of TL900 thousand, the execution of the
punishment is not suspended on pretext that she has the intention to
commit again similar offences.
14.1, in Sivas, Kurtulus correspondent Hülya Dagli
and six other people are detained for illegal activities.
14.1, Yeni Dünya N°20 is confiscated by the Istanbul
SSC for separatist propaganda.
14.1, a correspondent of Swedish TV 4, Retva
Rönnberg is detained in Diyarbakir after having interviewed some Kurds
expelled from Sweden.
16.1, Alinteri N°66 and Halkin Birligi N°5 are
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for instigation to hatred and disorder.
17.1, Diyarbakir correspondent of Özgür Gündem,
Hasan Özgün is sentenced by the Diyarbakir SSC to 12 years and six
months in prison.
18.1, lawyer Kemal Yildiz is sentenced by the
Istanbul SSC to 26-month imprisonment and a fine of TL580 thousand for
an announcement he gave to the daily Özgür Ülke.
19.1, in Gaziantep, the publisher of the local
newspaper Sabah, Aykut Tuzcu is attacked by unidentified gunmen.
22.1, a cartoonist of the daily Evrensel, Ismail
Gülgec, and editor Fatma Bayar are indicted by Istanbul prosecutor for
having insulted the President of the Republic and the members of
government in a cartoon. Each faces imprisonment of not less than two
23.1, Partizanin Sesi N°33 is confiscated by the
decisions of the Istanbul SSC and a penal court of Istanbul by virtue
of ATL and TPC.
24.1, the Istanbul SSC sentences the publisher of
the daily Yeni Politika, Necati Taniyan to a fine of TL418 million.
25.1, Alinteri N°67 and Hedef N°51 are confiscated
by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
26.1, a responsible editor of Özgür Gündem, Isik
Yurtcu is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to four years in prison and
TL400 million in fine under Article 8 for three articles he published.
In the same trial, the owner of Özgür Gündem, Yasar Kaya too is
sentenced to TL 300 million.
26.1, five Mersin correspondents of the periodical
Atilim, Bülent Öner, Fatma Harman, Hasan Abali, Mesut Bozkurt and Ali
Varol are sentenced by the Konya SSC to 12 years and six months each
for illegal activities.
28.1, the director of the Yurt Publishing House,
Ünsal Öztürk claims to have been threatened by unidentified persons.
29.1, the periodical Proleter Halkin Birligi is
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
29.1, the editor of the periodical Devrimci Emek,
Sedat Hayta is detained in Istanbul.
30.1, the chairman of the Socialist Power Party
(SIP), Aydemir, Güler is tried by a penal court in Istanbul for an
article he wrote to the review Sosyalist Iktidar. Accused of
instigating to disorder, Güler faces imprisonment of up to two years.
2.2, the Diyarbakir representative of the
Mesopotamia Cultural Centre, Aydin Alökmen claims to have been tortured
after being detained on January 9.
2.2, Kurdish writer Recep Marasli is sentenced by
the Istanbul SSC to two years in prison and TL 100 million in fine
under Article 8 for a book containing his defense during a trial at the
Diyarbakir SSC. The director of Komal publishing house, Faruk Zade
Muhsinoglu too is sentenced to 6-month imprisonment and TL 100 million
2.2, a former editor of the daily Özgür Gündem, Isik
Yurtcu is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to one-year prison and TL 100
million in fine under Article 8. The execution of the punishment is
3.2, Özgür Gelecek N°68 and Partizanin Sesi N°34 are
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC for propaganda of outlawed
4.2, the Ankara SSC prosecutor indicts IHD chairman
Akin Birdal and 17 other officials under Article 8 for a press release
they issued on the occasion of the World Peace Day on September 1, 1995.
5.2, Yeni Dünya N°2 and Alinteri N°68 are
confiscated by the Istanbul SSC under Article 8.
5.2, Adana office of the periodical Tavir is raided
by police and five people taken to custody.
6.2, Özgür Genclik N°19 is confiscated by the
Istanbul SSC under Article 8.
7.2, a 82-year old socialist leader, Mihri Belli is
sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to one year and four months in prison and
TL 133 million in fine under Article 8 for an article he wrote to Özgür
Ülke. Considering his age, the execution of the sentence is suspended.
8.2, the former chairman of the Petroleum Workers'
Union (Petrol-Is), Münir Ceylan is indicted under Article 8 by the
Istanbul SSC prosecutor for his two articles he wrote to the
periodicals Ada and Jiyana Nû. The responsibles of the two periodicals,
Ali Demir, Selman Cimen and Atakan Say too are tried for having
published the articles.
9.2, the responsible editor of Ekimler, Nusret
Öztürk is sentenced by the Istanbul SSC to five months in prison and TL
41 million in fine under Article 8.
11.2, the Malatya office of the periodical Atilim is
raided and many documents inside burnt by police.
14.2, the editor of the periodical Devrimci Emek,
Sedat Hayta is placed under arrest by the Istanbul SSC together with
three other people.
14.2, Alinteri N°69 is confiscated by the Istanbul
SSC for propaganda of an outlawed organization.
15.2, the trial of eight members of the Mesopotamia
Cultural Centre starts at the Diyarbakir SSC.
15.2, Iskenderun office the periodical Atilim is
raided by police and two persons detained.
17.2, Adana correspondent of Evrensel, Taylan
Türkmen claims to have been tortured after being detained in Urfa.
19.2, Alinteri correspondent Aynur Aydeniz is
detained in Istanbul as covering a protest demonstration.
19.2, the periodical Devrimci Cözüm is confiscated
by the Istanbul SSC for separatist propaganda.
23.2, Evrensel correspondent Latif Kaya is detained
in Istanbul as covering a demonstration against price hikes.
24.2, HADEP local office in Karacabey is attacked
and destroyed by unidentified people.
25.2, the periodical Odak is confiscated by the
26.2, the Adana office of the Mesopotamia Cultural
Centre is raided, many materials confiscated and two persons detained.
27.2, the Istanbul Prosecutor indicts a new group of
86 intellectuals for the book Freedom to Thought published under common
responsibility of 108 intellectuals.
27.2, the periodical Alinteri is banned from
publication for 20 days.
28.2, former DEP Secretary General Kemal Okutan is
sentenced to 10-month imprisonment by a criminal court for an article
he wrote to the defunct Özgür Ülke.
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CALLS ON TURKEY TO CEASE-FIRE
The European Parliament adopted, on January 18,
1996, a new resolution welcoming the unilateral ceasefire made by the
PKK and calling on the Turkish Government to start a national dialogue
with the objective of finding a political and non-violent solution to
the problems of the south-eastern region.
In response to this call, Turkey criticized the
resolution as a "one-sided and hostile move." Foreign Ministry
spokesman Omer Akbel, claiming that the resolution had "taken seriously
the cease-fire call made by the PKK, said: "This attitude jeopardizes
the credibility and the prestige of the European Parliament."
He added that the decision showed once more how much
the European Parliament, which voted for the realization of customs
union with Turkey last month, was influenced by "radical and militant
circles" against Turkey.
The below is the full text of the European
"The European Parliament,
"having regard to its previous resolutions on
Turkey, and in particular its resolution of 13 December 1995 on the
human rights situation in Turkey,
"A. wishing to contribute to a further deepening of
the relations between the European Union and Turkey,
"B. whereas following the 24 December 1995 elections
for the Grand National Assembly no new Turkish Government has yet been
"C. noting the announcement of a unilateral
ceasefire made by the President of the PKK as a gesture to arrive at a
non-violent and political solution to the Kurdish issue,
"D. having regard to the wave of terrorist violence
affecting Turkey for a number of weeks, including attacks on
journalists, academics, politicians, businessmen and trade union
officials, the latest victim of which were Mr Sabanci and two of his
"E. having regard to the terrorist attacks on party
headquarters, banks and shops in Turkey and Turkish buildings in the
Member States of the European union,
"F. stressing that despite the release of several
dozen intellectuals, journalists and others following changes in
anti-terrorist laws, a number of people are still being held for
"G. recalling its appeal in its abovementioned
resolution of 13 December 1995 to the Turkish Government, the PKK and
other Turkish organizations to do all in their power to find a non
violent and political solution to the Kurdish issue respecting
territorial integrity and unity of Turkey, while acknowledging the
right of Turkish citizens to strive for a form of cultural autonomy
within Turkey by peaceful means,
"H. whereas Mrs Leyla Zana, the European
Parliament's 1995 Sakharov prizewinner, is being held in a Turkish
prison together with three other former MPs of the DEP for having
advocated democracy and the recognition of the rights of the Kurdish
"I. shocked by the gruesome images of Turkish
soldiers brandishing the severed heads of Kurdish people, which have
been published in the European press,
" J. having regard to the scale of the revolt which
occurred simultaneously in several prisons and having regard to the
severity with which it was put down,
"K. whereas a journalist working on the newspaper
'Evrensel', Metin Göktepe, who was investigating these events, was
arrested by the police and found dead shortly afterwards with marks of
torture on his body,
"L. whereas the EU Turkey Association Council has
taken the necessary decisions to implement the EU Turkey Customs Union
by 1 January 1996, following Parliament's assent on 13 December 1991,
"M. noting the Italian Presidency's initiative to
give the Union a role in finding a solution which would end the
partition of Cyprus in line with UN resolutions,
"1. Welcomes the fact that, notwithstanding the
increased vote for religious fundamentalism, the result of the Turkish
elections clearly indicates that a large majority of the Turkish people
continues to reject religious extremism and the resultant isolation of
Turkey, opting instead for maintaining and strengthening its relations
with the European Union and other Western States;
"2. Calls on the new Turkish Government which will
be formed as a result of the recent elections to continue and reinforce
its policies for further democratic reforms and for respect of human
rights ; in particular reiterates its appeal to find ways and means of
allowing citizens of Kurdish origin to express their rights to cultural
identity while ensuring that the territorial unity of Turkey is
guaranteed and respected;
"3. Welcomes the announcement of a unilateral
ceasefire made by the President of the PKK and considers it a first
positive response to its appeal of 13 December 1995; expresses its hope
that the Turkish Government will view this gesture as a positive
contribution to finding a peaceful solution to the problem and calls
upon all concerned in Turkey to seize the present opportunity to
consider ways and means to start a national dialogue, with the
objective of finding a political and non-violent solution to the
problems in the south eastern region;
"4. Condemns all terrorist activity which is aimed
at destabilizing the country, and the terrorist attacks carried out
within the European Union;
"5. Condemns the murder of the businessman Mr
Sabanci and his colleagues, expresses its sympathy with the families of
the victims and calls on the Turkish Government to investigate the
background to this and earlier terrorist attacks;
"6. Calls on the Turkish authorities to ensure that
the future government clearly states that promoting respect for human
rights and, in particular, combating torture are among its priorities;
"7. Calls on the new government to propose a
revision of the law in order to permit the immediate release of Leyla
Zana, the three other former DEP Members of Parliament and the other
"8. Urges the Turkish authorities to establish an
impartial expert commission of inquiry into the deaths resulting from
maltreatment in police custody and incursions of security forces into
"9. Condemns the murder of the journalist Metin
Göktepe and calls on the authorities to throw light immediately upon
the circumstances of his death and to bring those responsible to
"10. Asks the Council and the Commission to
investigate recent newspaper reports including photographs which show
Turkish soldiers holding the severed heads of presumed anti-government
"11. Asks the Turkish authorities to investigate
and, in the event of verification, to punish those responsible;
"12. Deplores the declaration of acting Prime
Minister Ciller's statement on the possible incorporation of the
northern part of Cyprus into Turkey in relation to Cyprus' future
accession to the European Union and urges Turkey to conform with the
provisions of the Customs Union with regard to Cyprus; urges the
Commission and the Council to undertake the necessary steps to
encourage the ending of the partition of Cyprus and urges them to
nominate a mediator to assist in bringing about a solution to the
"13. Calls on the Commission to abide by its
undertakings to monitor the human rights situation in Turkey and asks
it to forward to Parliament as soon as possible the second interim
report on human rights in Turkey;
"14. Instructs its President to forward this
resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Turkish Government and
the Grand National Assembly."
LEYLA ZANA AWARDED AS SHE WAS KEPT IN PRISON
Jailed Kurdish MP Leyla Zana received the European
Parliament's prestigious Sakharov prize on January 17, 1996, amid
bitterness over the assembly's motives for making the award.
"We honour in the person of Leyla Zana a woman of
courage, energy, intelligence and extraordinary self-denial," European
Parliament President Klaus Haensch said before handing the prize to the
jailed Kurd's husband, Mehdi Zana.
"Leyla Zana was elected for the first time to the
Turkish parliament in October 1991, as the first Kurdish women and
bringing with her a huge majority. She is today in a prison in central
Ankara, her mandate withdrawn," Haensch said.
He rejected the idea of any contradiction in the
parliament lauding Zana's work on behalf of Turkey's Kurdish population
a month after it approved an EU customs union with Ankara.
"The majority in the European Parliament who voted
in favour of the customs union knew full well that they were not going
to bring about any major changes in Turkey from one day to the next,"
he told a later news conference.
"If we had said no to the customs union we realised
nothing would change," Haensch said, adding that the "yes" vote would
leave the 15-country EU in a better position to influence democratic
reforms in Turkey.
But Danielle Mitterrand, widow of the late French
president Francois Mitterrand and a long-time champion of Kurdish
rights, told the same news conference the prize was no more than a sop
to the parliament's conscience.
"When I heard that the Sakharov prize was to be
given to Zana I said...that I hope that this is not the sugar coating
of the parliament and I very much fear that that is what it is -- to
help the medicine go down," she said.
Zana, born in 1961, is serving a 15-year jail term
over alleged involvement with terrorist activities.
Her arrest along with five other Turkish members of
parliament led to an outcry from European parliamentarians.
Zana won the award, named after the former Soviet
dissident Andrei Sakharov, on a nomination by the parliament's
217-strong socialist group, the assembly's largest political grouping.
TURKEY'S NEW LEGISLATION TO MATCH WITH CUSTOMS UNION
Turkey enacted on the last day of 1995 a set of
fresh legislation to harmonize foreign trade rules with those of the 15
nations of the European Union as part of the Customs Union which takes
effect January 1st, 1996. A government decree published in the Official
Gazette formally adopted the EU's common external trade policy.
The new customs tariffs and duties, equivalent with
those of the EU, become effective January 1, 1996.
The new import regime, a document of 828 pages
lowers the average customs protection against industrial imports from
third countries from 10.97 percent to 5.8 percent.
Turkey has promised to have fully aligned itself
after five years with the EU's policy on trade preferences.
Another decree, published subsequently, removed all
customs taxes and tariffs imposed on imports of industrial goods from
the EU. These average 14 percent, but peak in certain sectors at
between 20 and 40 percent.
The European Commission estimates that this will
lead to a doubling of EU exports to Turkey over the next five years.
With the notable exception of textiles, the EU has already done away
with most customs duties and quotas on industrial imports from Turkey.
Ankara has also revised its foreign trade rules
concerning the agriculture sector in line with its commitments to the
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
Both sides will work toward free trade in
agricultural products by the year 2005, with negotiations of specific
mutual concessions to be undertaken in the meanwhile.
Turkey's average protection against all imports,
including farm, from the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) stands at 14.4
percent and from the others at 18.4 percent.
To complete the customs union agreement, Turkey has
undertaken to abide by the EU's textile policy in its entirety.
It has promised to maintain customs tariffs on cars
with engines larger than 3 litres above those prevailing in the EU's
Common Customs Tariff. It has also agreed to co-operate in devising a
statistical monitoring system for imports of Japanese cars and, where
necessary, those produced in Turkey.
Turkey has also promised to bring its copyright laws
and patents into line with rules in the EU, and specifically to
accelerate implementation of the Uruguay Round rules on patents for
pharmaceutical processes and products.
Ankara has agreed to align its laws fully with EU
legislation and to set up an independent enforcement agency.
Similarly, Turkey has agreed to open negotiations on
free trade in products coming under the auspices of the European Coal
and Steel Community.
In one sentence, the analysts agree, the alliance
should mean less revenue but more investment.
The trade pact may cut Turkey's revenues in import
duties and shake some Turkish sectors, but officials hope it will also
spark new foreign investments in the country. "We hear that some
Japanese and Koreans firms, like Daewoo, are preparing for direct
investments in Turkey. Such plans become more and more popular as we
near the customs union," said an official from the Treasury's foreign
Officials hope Europeans will invest more in Turkey
where the labour costs are far lower than Europe. They say Turkey, with
60 million consumers, is also an ideal base to exploit business
opportunities in the nearby markets in Central Asia, the Caucasus, the
Black Sea and Middle East.
The EU, Turkey's top trade partner accounting for
about half of its imports and exports, will make budgetary resources of
375 million European Currency Units (Ecu) ($487 million) available over
a five-year period.
Turkey will also be given more access to the
European Investment Bank funds made available under the new
Mediterranean policy and new bank loans to improve the competitiveness
of the Turkish economy. The EU may also grant exceptional medium-term
macro economic financial assistance at Turkey's request.
In total, Turkey hopes to get up to $2.5 billion
Ecus ($3.2 billion) in loans and assistance from the EU sources by 2001.
The Turkish government has already drafted a bill to
impose special consumption taxes on tobacco, cars, petrol, alcoholic
drinks and some other goods as part of its efforts to ease the
financial burden of the trade pact.
Turkey will also sign free trade agreements with a
total of nine nations as part of a customs union with 15 members of the
EU which took effect Jan. 1, 1996.
The free trade agreements will be signed with the
Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Morocco,
Tunisia as well as Israel, the Anatolia news agency said on Friday.
Foreign Trade Undersecretariat officials said that
the free trade agreement with Israel would take effect from the second
half of 1996.
The talks with the Czech Republic and Slovakia are
expected to start soon. There has been noticeable developments during
the talks held with Hungary, and the free trade agreement to be signed
with Hungary will take effect by the end of this year, according to the
The authorities said that Turkey should also sign a
free trade agreement with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
(TRNC) in order to avoid possible blows on bilateral trade. The
European Commission in 1994 imposed an embargo on all TRNC exports. The
officials said that a draft for the free trade agreement with the TRNC
has been prepared but it could only be signed after a political
Turkey will also review the relations with the
Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in accordance with the EU
policies. Turkey, Pakistan and Iran are among the members of the ECO.
"OPERETTA WAR" ON THE AEGEAN ISLETS AND ROCKS
At the end of January, Turkey and Greece which
already have a series of disputes found themselves all of sudden in the
face of a real danger of war.
The crisis started when a Turkish ship ran
aground on December 26 on a 10-acre uninhabited islet, called Kardak by
Turks and Imia by Greeks, close the Turkish coast. The ship's crew
refused help from Greeks claiming that they were on Turkish soil.
Interviewed by the Greek TV, the captain of the
Turkish freighter admitted he had refused help from a Greek tugboat
because the rocks were in Turkish territory.
His statement raised howls among Greeks, and soon a
mayor from Kalymnos, accompanied by a team of journalists, hoisted
Greece's blue-and-white colours on Imia/Kardak.
In retaliation, Turkish journalists from the
Istanbul daily Hürriyet flew in by helicopter to haul down the flag and
Following that, Greek marines were deployed to the
islet to restore the Greek flag and nine of them remained there to
The reaction of the Turkish Government was to
declare that they cannot tolerate a Greek flag on a Turkish island and
soon several warships from both sides were arming their missiles at an
arm's length from each other. Turkish Premier Ciller issued an
ultimatum for Greek forces to withdraw.
As the showdown loomed, U.S. President Clinton urged
mutual withdrawal for the sake of NATO unity and good sense.
Finally, a Turkish commando group raised Turkish
flag to another islet while the Greek flag was still on Kardak/Imia.
After this face saving operation both sides took down their flags and
withdrew from the islets.
While the two sides backed down, each proclaimed
itself victorious. "Turkey failed in its efforts to force Greece to
negotiate," said Greek Premier Simitis. As for Ciller, she boasted,
"Turkey does not have one single stone to give."
However, as the Greek media and politicians were roaring with cries of
national defeat and accusing the Simitis Government of submission,
Turkish Premier Ciller was applauded by Turkish media and even her
political opponents in chauvinistic hysteria.
Though Turkish Government seems winner of this
"operetta war" provoked by the media, coming days do not seem bright
for Ankara in long term.
First of all, the European Commission expressed its
solidarity with Greece.
The European Parliament, in a resolution adopted on
February 15, said that it was "gravely concerned by the dangerous
violation by Turkey of sovereign rights of Greece" and stressed that
Greece's borders were also part of the external borders of the EU.
Ankara immediately criticised the resolution backing
Athens. "The resolution taken by the European Parliament is devoid of
any legal basis," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.
"The European Parliament is continuing its biased and far from
constructive stance in its decisions about Turkey, often making unfair
On the other hand, whether the question of the
Aegean rocks and islets could be taken to the International Court of
Justice in the Hague has created a complete cacophony in the
The storm broke out after President Bill Clinton
told a Greek American gathering that the United States was "trying to
reduce tensions further and to settle the ownership question through an
international tribunal as the Greek government has proposed."
The idea was indeed "inspired" by Greece if not
exactly "proposed" by it, as underlined by U.S. State Department
spokesman Nicholas Burns.
In an article published on February 25 by Milliyet,
Yalcin Dogan pointed out that Turkey had a weak case from a legal point
"During the night of crisis, in her telephone
conversation with Clinton, Prime Minister Ciller accepted the offer to
take the issue to the International Court of Justice. Turkey has been
losing ground since that moment.
"There is a clause in the Lausanne Treaty which says
Turkey forfeits its sovereignty rights on the territories situated
three nautical miles or more from the Asian coastline.
"After the Lausanne Treaty was signed the issue put
on the agenda once again in 1932 but in that instance too Turkey
conceded that there were no problems pertaining to 'territorial
sovereignty' regarding the Aegean islands. Not only that, but it was
envisaged that a map on the basis of these legal guidelines should be
"There are 114 islands in the Aegean. Most of them
are situated a minimum of three nautical miles from the Turkish coast.
So are the Kardak rocks. They are situated 3.2 nautical miles from the
Turkish coast. According to the Lausanne Treaty and the 1932 Agreement
which followed it, Turkey would not have a sound legal case on the
Kardak rocks or the 114 islands situated in the Aegean. Unfortunately,
this is a fact. Legally Turkey is in a weak position. The fact is that
Turkey is being dragged to The Hague, screaming all the way. And The
Hague does not look promising at all for Turkey."
ETHNIC TENSION IN BULGARIA ESCALATING
Ethnic tension in the mainly ethnically-Turkish town
of Kircaali, Bulgaria, has escalated after a Kircaali Court took a
decision to annul the result of the municipality election in Kircaali,
a town mainly populated by ethnic Turks of Bulgaria, where Rasim Musa,
the candidate of pro-Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF),
had won the elections.
The MRF blamed the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP)
government for pursuing separatist policies, and added that they would
fight against the attitude of the BSP.
Angel Naydenov, Bulgarian governor of the Haskoy
region, who played an important role in the cancellation of the
election of MRF candidate Rasim Musa, appointed Yasar Saban acting
mayor until a new election could be held.
The MRF decided on February 15 to remove Yasar
Saban, acting mayor of Kircaali, in protest against the annulment of
the results of the town's local election.
On the other hand, Ankara expressed on February 7
its concern over the rising "anti-Turkish" campaign in Bulgaria and
called on Sofia not to allow any raising of tensions regarding the
ethnic Turks in the country.
Relations between Turkey and Bulgaria soured in late
1980s, when ethnic Turks, forced to change their names under a severe
assimilation campaign, fled to Turkey. Many of them, disappointed over
the lack of economic opportunities, however, were forced to turn back.
After Communist leader Theodor Zhivkov was toppled,
bilateral relations and the standard of living of the ethnic Turks
improved. But many members of the Turkish minority contend that they
are still subject to overt or covert pressures from Bulgarian
authorities in their daily lives.
There are over one million Bulgarian citizens of
Bulgarian authorities accuse Turkish diplomats of interfering in
Bulgaria's local elections. The BSP is reportedly attempting to collect
the signatures of 48 deputies that are required in order to submit
their appeal to the constitutional court.
The Motherland Labour Party (ACP), which supports
the ruling BSP, too claimed that Ahmet Dogan, MRF leader, threatened
the national unity of the country with his statements, and demanded
that Dogan's immunity be lifted opening the way to trial proceedings.
origin in Bulgaria today.
TURKEY TO ARM AND TRAIN BOSNIANS?
Turkey on January 24 dispatched fresh military
equipment to Bosnia in preparation to increase the number of its troops
stationed in Zenica, the Anatolia news agency reported. The material
comprised of heavy equipment of a mechanized infantry company, a tank
company, an artillery battery and a munitions team. The reinforcements
will reportedly raise the Turkish unit in Zenica to brigade strength
and the number of the troops to 1,500.
A leading American security expert has told the
Turkish Daily News of January 22, 1996, that among the NATO allies
Turkey is number one candidate for arming and training the Bosnians.
Richard Perle, a resident fellow at Washington's American Enterprise
Institute, said, "For a lot of reasons, regional, political,
historical, it is in a position to do so."
"But one thing Turkey doesn't have is money for this
purpose. So far money has not been found. There is a great deal Turkey
can contribute. The obvious way to do it is for Turkey and the United
States working closely together, coming up with a co-operative plan
that includes financing. The British and the French won't do it because
they are opposed to arming the Bosnians. The same is true for Belgians
and the others," he added.
CLOSE TO THE CHECHENS, DISTANT FROM KURDS
On January 16, a pro-Chechen commando group took
hostage 180 passengers and 45 crew members on the Avrasya ferry as it
was preparing for its voyage from Trabzon in Turkey to Sochi. This
hijacking ordeal that aggravated historic tensions between Turkey and
Russia ended on January 19 in the Eregli port, after a series of
bargainings between the commandos and Turkish authorities, extremely
comprehensive towards the Chechen cause.
This incident put once more in evidence the
hypocrisy of Turkish authorities on the matter of nationalities. We
reprint below Mehmet Altan's article published January 22 by the daily
"The Avrasya ferry adventure has ended without any
casualties to everyone's relief. That incident clearly showed why
Turkey has been unable to solve its Kurdish problem. The spirit of the
relationship between the state and the individual, that is, the legal
concept of 'citizenship' as defined by law and the Constitution, has
been sadly lacking in Turkey since the beginning of the republic. This
lack becomes all the more evident when issues such as "race" and
"religion" are at stake.
"While making its own citizens eat human excrement
the Turkish Republic happens to feel closer to Bulgarian citizens
because they are 'co-ethnic' than it does to its own citizens of
"While arresting as a 'separatist' Abdülmelik Firat,
a person who has served as a member of Parliament since he was 23, the
republic calls the people who raid a ferry, take passengers hostage and
use innocents for a human shield as 'members of a resistance.'
"An especially illuminating example is the
evaluation of the ferry hijacking made by former Chief of Staff Dogan
Güres who says he had the Democracy Party (DEP) deputies thrown out of
Parliament on his orders. He said: 'These Chechens are good Turks. They
are good soldiers who love their nation. They are honest, sound people.
They are definitely not terrorists. They are trying to make the world
hear about Russian cruelty. I too have some Chechen blood. The Foreign
Ministry asked me to serve as a mediator but I said that would not do
at this stage.'
"What would we think if the Russian former chief of
staff said similar things about the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party
"How distant from the concept of law is this man who
was the 'highest military bureaucrat' of the Republic of Turkey. When
the issue is the people of Kurdish origin of his own country he says he
had them thrown out of Parliament, and then when the issue is the
Chechens he says these hijackers are 'honest people who want to tell
the world of the Russian oppression.'
"But is it only the former chief of staff? Also
highly significant was the way the fleet commander talked to the leader
of the hijackers Mohammed Tokcan:
"- Mohammed dear, tell me what you want.
"- Take away the gunboats sir.
"- But if I take the gunboats away fishing boats
will come towards you.
"- Take them away anyway sir.
"- Do you want anything else from me Mohammed? The
Naval Forces are doing everything for your safety you know.
"- Thank you, sir.
"The rest of the world evaluates such events in a
cool-headed manner unlike the patriotic litany found in Turkey. Le
Monde, for example, refers to the Russian counter-espionage
organization chief's claim that Turkey has been sending volunteers to
fight on the side of the Chechens and that it trains them on its own
soil. The daily concludes that Turkey is unable to support the Chechen
uprising more explicitly because it has been involved since 1983 in a
costly war with the independence-seeking Kurds, a war which has cost $8
billion a year.
"The Avrasya incident has shown how far the
'military mentality' is from formulating a solution to the Kurdish
problem. That is because that mentality leaves no room for the 'concept
of citizenship.' If it did, the former chief of staff would not even
dream of referring to armed persons who have hijacked a ship, as
'honest persons, definitely not terrorists.' This is the kind of
administrative mentality which means the coroner's report to determine
whether one of the state's own commando sergeants died of a beating or
of pneumonia, cannot be issued for months — but the fleet commander
treats an armed hijacker so warmly.
"There have been ample declarations that in Turkey
there is no discrimination on the basis of religion, sect, language, or
race. But in practice we are close to the Chechens but distant from our
own citizens of Kurdish origin. The Kurds are terrorists but the
Chechens who fight against the Russians are 'honest souls.'
"Can Turkey reach sounder ground with such hypocrisy
and lack of respect for the law? Our children die in vain and every
year $8 billion of funds get spent in ways we cannot check."
WATER TENSION BETWEEN TURKEY AND ITS NEIGHBOURS
European firms that help Turkey build dams and power
stations on the Euphrates river will be "punished" by losing investment
opportunities in Syria and Iraq, an Iraqi official visiting Syria said
on February 12. Abdel Sattar Salman, deputy secretary at the Iraqi
irrigation ministry, said Iraq and Syria would consider filing lawsuits
against companies which "carry out projects in Turkey without the
permission of all the states on the banks of the Euphrates."
Iraq and Syria said Turkey's plans for the river
would reduce still further the amount of water they can draw. They
already accuse Turkey of taking more than its fair share of the
Euphrates, which rises in Turkey and flows through Syria and Iraq.
By a 1987 accord, Turkey is obliged to allow 17,500
cubic feet (500 cubic meters) per second of water into Syria. Syria and
Iraq want that increased to 23,100 cubic feet (650 cubic meters) per
second, allowing each country a 1/3 share of what they consider is an
Meanwhile, the Arab League called for the signing of
a just agreement that guarantees Syria and Iraq's rights for sharing
the waters of Euphrates.
Ismet Abdulmecit, the general-secretary of the Arab
League, quoted by daily Al Hayat urged related countries to comply with
international agreements on water sharing.
Al Hayat claimed that Abdulmecit's call for a
tripartite meeting had been turned down by Turkey.
Earlier the Syrian government sent a memorandum to
the league asking for the dispute, over the sharing of the waters of
the river Euphrates, to be discussed at its ministerial council, due to
meet in Cairo on March 13.
Ankara, on February 15, made an unusually severe
statement in response to an Iraqi-Syrian warning to Turkey to stop the
construction of two dams on the Euphrates, saying Turkey would not bow
"The first issue on the agenda between Turkey and
Syria is Syrian support of terrorism. The fact that the head of the
terrorist organization the Kurdistan Workers' Party continues to reside
in Syria, although Damascus continues to deny it," said the statement.
On the other hand, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and
Palestine are planning to form a consortium in order to import water
from Turkey, a report by the Israeli government said on February 13.
The report, entitled "Development Alternatives for
Cooperation in the Middle East and East Mediterranean Region 1996,"
warns that the low level of water resources in the region are alarming.
According to the report the most cost effective
project for solving the water problem in the region is Turkey's
"Manavgat Project," which is expected to be finished later this year.
The report suggests building a consortium to carry
the water from Manavgat, Antalya to the port of Askhelon near the Gaza
Another project cited in the report was the water
pipeline called "Peace Water." The project aims at carrying water from
the Seyhan and Ceyhan rivers in Turkey to Israel and Jordan via a
pipeline through Syria.
3.3 MILLION TURKISH MIGRANTS IN 26 COUNTRIES
According to the latest data given by the Employment
Office of Turkey on February 5, the number of the migrants from Turkey
living in 26 different countries reaches 3,305,303. Of them, 1,327,500
are working in these countries either as wage earners or as business
The highest part of this migrant population is in
Germany with about two million persons. In Europe there are 2,904,000
migrants from Turkey.
The distribution of the migrants from Turkey is as
Saudi Arabia: 130,000
United Kingdom: 37,802
Cyprus (KKTC): 6,308
South Africa: 500
US MILITARY SUPPORT TO TURKEY'S STATE TERRORISM
Turkey will receive $320 million in foreign military
funds -a term used for loans to finance US foreign military sales- in
1996. The aid to Turkey, as outlined in the bill, is $320 million in
military loans and $33.5 million in economic support funds.
The same bill gives Greece $224 million in foreign
military funds without any economic assistance funds, thus maintaining
the long-standing seven to ten ratio of US aid to Greece and Turkey,
The Clinton administration originally asked for $450
million for Turkey, but the amount was decreased as part of a decline
in all foreign aid due to budget restrictions. Similarly, the
administration's call for $100 million in economic support funds was
reduced to $33.5 million.
The US Defence Department announced on January 30
that Turkey would take delivery of new AMRAAM air-to-air missiles by
November of 1998. These advanced technology medium range missiles are
mostly used with F-15 Eagle and F-16 fighter planes. Turkey wants to
increase combat capability with these missiles.
Contracts have been signed with the giant US arms
companies of Hughes Missile Systems and Raytheon of Massachusetts. Both
companies will build about 650 missiles each for the US Defence
Department which will sell off 68 percent of the missiles to various
countries, including Turkey.
In the meantime, Turkish officials said that the US
government will likely take up in Congress the question of Turkey's
demands for more Super Cobra helicopters for use in the southeast of
the country against Kurdish guerrillas.. Turkey is already using ten of
the helicopters against the Kurdish mountain strongholds.
Turkey has been negotiating to buy the helicopters
since the spring of 1995, and the purchase is part of government
programs to beef-up domestic security forces and secure the
southeastern regions of the country against separatist attacks.
On the other hand, the US Senate has approved a bill
that will allow Turkey to transfer three Oliver Parry class frigates
and also put Turkey in line for defence export loan guarantees.
Earlier, the U.S. Department of Defense had awarded
three new contracts to Hughes and Raytheon corporations for production
of air-to-air (AMRAAM) and SEASPARROW missiles.
Turkey is among the countries that will take
delivery of some of the production. The exact number of missiles that
will be sent to Turkey could not be verified.
Turkey's recent purchase of 120 ATACM missiles for
$130 million stirred up some resistance in the U.S. Congress and
galvanized to action the anti-Turkish ethnic lobbies who opposed the
sale on a number of issues that varied from Turkey's human rights
record to the situation in Cyprus, the fight against the PKK and the
embargo on Armenia.
U.S. MILITARY AID TO TURKEY TARGETS KURDS
In its Fall 1995 issue, the U.S. review CovertAction
published the following article on the U.S. military aid to Turkey.
"U.S. weapons fuel Turkey's war on the Kurds. The
Turkish military uses U.S.-supplied aircraft, particularly F-16
fighters, other fighter aircraft, and AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters in
air attacks on the PKK and its sympathizers. Last year, the Turkish
media reported that two squadrons of F-16s would be based at Diyarbakir
because "officials are convinced the F-16s will be effective against
the PKK." Turkish embassy officials in Washington confirmed that F- 16s
were used in air raids against PKK camps deep inside Iraqi Kurdistan
near the Iranian border in January and May 1994. They used cluster
bombs, and 500- and 2,000-pound bombs against rebel camps. Those same
F-16s have been overflying Iraq this year as part of the Turkish sweep
over the border.a"Aircraft aren't the only U.S. war materiel supporting
the Turks' war on the Kurds. On at least one occasion, Kurdish
villagers said Turkish troops who burned down part of their village
travelled in U.S. M-113 armored personnel carriers The Turkish military
also incorporates a wide range of U.S. -supplied, financed, and donated
weaponry in its counterinsurgency program .o"Turkey and the U.S. have a
longstanding, mutually beneficial military relationship that includes
various loan, training, joint manufacturing, and giveaway programs:a"•
A joint Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement that provides the
U.S. with access to airfields, intelligence, and communications
facilities.t"• The Excess Defense Articles (EDA) and "cascade"
programs. (Cascade is a program in which surplus weapons from U.S.
bases in Europe are given as grants.) In FY 1992-93 under these
programs, Turkey received more than 1,500 tanks, nearly 500 armored
personnel carriers, nearly 150 howitzers, 28 AH-1 attack helicopters,
and 29 F4-E fighter aircraft.a"Proposed EDA deliveries for 1994
included: 110 M -85 machine guns, 14 SH-2F LAMPS antisubmarine
helicopters, an antisubmarine rocket launcher, ammunition, and parts
for machine guns, howitzers, tanks, and combat aircraft. "• A lucrative
arms trade. From 1984 through 1993, the U.S. government sold Turkey
$8.5 billion worth of weaponry under the Foreign Military Sales
program, along with an additional $956 million in direct private sales,
making Turkey the fifth largest market for U.S. arms dealers. Another
$3.5 billion is expected to be done in the next two years. Among recent
purchases are 5 AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters, 51 Blackhawk
transport choppers, and 74 armored vehicles. A controversial deal with
U. S. arms manufacturer Alliant Techsystems to supply Turkey with 493
CBU-87 cluster bombs has been held up pending the State Department's
granting of an export license.a"• The "Peace Onyx" program—the
centerpiece of U.S.-Turkish military relations—is an F-16 production
deal valued at $7.6 billion. The planes are built in Turkey under a
co-production agreement with Lockheed. By the deal's end in 1996,240
planes will be built. "The U.S. is easily Turkey's number one arms
supplier. From 1987 to 1991, the U.S. accounted for 77 percent of arms
deliveries. Germany was a distant second with 17 percent. Over the past
decade, Congress spent $5.1 billion in military aid under loan and
Foreign Military Financing programs, placing Turkey behind only Israel
and Egypt. Efforts in the House this spring to postpone aid to Turkey
pending a presidential report on Turkey's human rights record failed."