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Turkey is a constitutional republic with a multiparty
parliament (the Turkish Grand National Assembly) which elects
the President. Suleyman Demirel was elected President in May
1993. The Head of Government is the Prime Minister. Tansu
Ciller, chairperson of the center-right True Path Party (DYP),
became Turkey's first female Prime Minister in July.

A state of emergency declared in 1987 continued in 10
southeastern provinces where the Government continued to face
terrorist violence from the separatist insurgency of the
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) (see Section 1.g.). A regional
governor retains authority over those 10 provinces, as well as
3 adjacent ones. The state of emergency allows the civilian
governor to exercise certain quasi-martial law powers,
including restrictions on the press and removal from the area
of persons whose activities are deemed hostile to public
order. The state of emergency decree with its stringent
security measures was most recently renewed in November.

The Turkish National Police are responsible for maintaining
public order in the cities, a responsibility which the Jandarma
(gendarmerie) carries out in the countryside. Acknowledging
persistent international, and growing domestic, concern about
the actions of these security organs, the Ciller Government
renewed the previous government's promise to establish a state
of law based on respect for human rights and put an end to the
use of torture by security forces. Despite these pledges,
incidents of torture and excessive use of force by security
personnel persisted throughout 1993.

The economy grew 7 to 8 percent in 1993. State enterprises
account for nearly 40 percent of Turkey's manufacturing sector,
but the Ciller administration has undertaken a privatization
drive aimed at strengthening Turkey's market orientation. The
economy continues to suffer from chronic inflation--
approximately 71 percent in 1993. High inflation and rapidly
growing private consumption, as well as the growing costs of
the war in the southeast, threaten Turkey's recent economic

Turkey's primary human rights problems in 1993 continued to be
the torture of persons in police or security forces custody
during periods of incommunicado detention and interrogation;
use of excessive force against noncombatants by security
forces; restrictions on freedom of expression and association;
disappearances and "mystery killings" that appear to be
politically motivated; and terrorist acts by armed separatists,
Islamic extremists, and unknown persons. Renewed PKK violence
in May ended a 2-month cease-fire declared by the PKK but never
acknowledged by the Government. Violence in southeast Turkey
has since reached unprecedented levels. Actions by both
Turkish authorities and the PKK contributed to the overall
deterioration of the human rights situation.

The 1991 Anti-Terror Law, with its broad and ambiguous
definition of terrorism, was used to detain alleged terrorists
and a broad range of people on the charge that their acts or
ideas promote separatism and "threaten the indivisible unity of
the State." In late 1993, the Government sought to expand the
definition of terrorism under the law and to increase the
permissible length of pretrial detention; at year's end the law
remained in committee.

The Criminal Trials Procedure Law (CMUK), passed in November
1992, reaffirmed a common criminal suspect's right to immediate
access to legal counsel and shortened permissible
prearraignment detention to between 1 and 4 days, with the
possibility of judicial extension to 8 days. Its provisions,
however, do not apply to those detained under the Anti-Terror
Law, nor to those detained within the region under a state of
emergency whose cases fall under the jurisdiction of state
security courts. The law is widely believed to have been
effective in improving attorney access for common criminals.

The Constitutional Court in August closed down the People's
Labor Party (HEP), a pro-Kurdish political party, on grounds
that it advocated separatism, and at year's end was
investigating the successor Democracy Party (DEP) on the same
charges. In July Parliament annulled the article of the
Constitution under which the Government had a monopoly on radio
and television broadcasting, opening up the way for private
radio and television stations to operate legally, though
regulating legislation has not been passed. In September the
Ciller Government established by decree a human rights
undersecretariat and a High Council for Human Rights, but the
Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional the law granting
the Government decree powers. Several weeks later, upon the
application of the opposition political parties, the Court
annulled the human rights decree, along with several others.
The Government promised to introduce a bill into Parliament to
establish the High Council but had not done so at year's end.

In December 1992, the European Committee for the Prevention of
Torture publicly condemned Turkey for the widespread practice
of torture and severe ill-treatment of persons in police
custody. In November 1993, the United Nations Committee on
Torture called on Turkey to end what it termed as the
systematic torture of detainees.


Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including
Freedom from:

a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

Political murders and extrajudicial killings in 1993,
attributed to both government authorities and terrorist groups,
continued to occur at the relatively high 1992 rates. Deaths
attributed to government authorities included those in official
custody, those that occurred when security forces opened fire
on demonstrators, those of suspects in houses raided by
security forces, and other types of civilian deaths in the
southeast. The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRF) claimed
that government security forces were responsible for 91
extrajudicial killings in the first 9 months of 1993. A
substantial number of "mystery killings," in which the
assailant's identity was unknown, occurred as well. Human
rights groups, journalists, and other independent observers
continued to allege the complicity of security forces in a
number of these killings.

Both local and international human rights organizations
reported that 20 persons died in suspicious circumstances while
in official custody, some allegedly as a result of torture. Of
these, officials claimed that at least three committed
suicide. Kutbettin Tekin who was detained by the Jandarma on
April 20 in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, reportedly
upon his refusal to become a state-paid village guard (see
Section 1.g.), died while in custody. The Government maintains
Tekin was arrested for PKK membership. Jandarma officials
claimed he committed suicide, but his relatives and the HRF
maintain Tekin died during torture. According to the
Government, the public prosecutor initiated an inquiry into
Tekin's death. Police detained Vakkas Dost in Istanbul for
unruly behavior, interrogated him at a nearby police station,
and later told his relatives that he had died suddenly. Dost's
family alleged that the police had tortured him to death and
requested a formal investigation. Nurettin Ozturk, a
policeman, was taken into custody and charged with torture in
connection with the incident. After the court released Ozturk
on his own recognizance, he disappeared and an arrest order was
issued. The trial continued as of the end of the year. The
Izmir state security court prosecutor opened an investigation
into claims that Baki Erdogan, who died on September 22 in the
custody of the Aydin Security Directorate, had been tortured to
death. By law, authorities are obliged to investigate all
death cases, but prosecutions of security force members for
deaths in custody rarely occur. The case of Yucel Ozen,
reported in 1992, is still continuing. In the Basalak case,
also reported in 1992, a case is under way against 11 police

Human rights groups and parliamentarians continued to accuse
Turkish security forces of carrying out extrajudicial killings
during raids on alleged terrorist safe houses rather than
trying to arrest the occupants. During the first 9 months of
the year, more than 40 people died in house raids, according to
human rights groups. They noted that, while the authorities
announced that the suspects were killed in shootouts,
eyewitnesses often reported that no shots were fired by the
suspects. Significantly, security forces are rarely killed or
injured in the raids. Local human rights groups cited, for
example a March 24 raid on an alleged Dev Sol (Devrimci Sol or
the Revolutionary Left, a Marxist-Leninist terrorist group)
safe house in Istanbul, in which police killed three suspects,
and an April 23 shoot-out with alleged Dev Sol terrorists in
Tunceli province, where security forces killed 12; A deputy of
the Socialist Democratic Populist Party (SHP) claimed 6 of the
dead were killed after they had surrendered.

Security forces also continued to be charged with using deadly
force against unarmed civilians participating in peaceful
demonstrations. In two separate incidents (in Kars and Mus
provinces, respectively) during the weekend of August 14-15,
Turkish security forces took allegedly defensive actions that
resulted in the deaths of at least 18 civilians and
demonstrators, with no security force casualties.

During the year, a trend was reported in the southeast in which
Turkish forces, after being attacked by the PKK, retaliated
against the closest village or town, terrorizing or even
killing civilians and destroying property and livestock.

On October 23, after the PKK apparently killed a Jandarma
brigadier general in Lice, the provincial governor sealed off
the town and surrounding area, and the Jandarma reportedly
retaliated against the village, killing civilians and carrying
out wholesale property destruction. Human rights organizations
estimate that 30 civilians were killed; the official government
figure is 13. Human rights monitors, journalists, and the
chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) were denied
access to Lice in the days that followed, and telephone
communications with the town were cut on October 23. On
October 25, the Diyarbakir HRA reported that 28 wounded persons
had been evacuated. Much temporary housing, put in place after
an earthquake and not yet replaced with permanent housing, was

Another credible allegation of extrajudicial killing concerns
six villagers from Ozbasoglu reportedly shot by security forces
on July 2. Five died, but the sixth survived and gave his
account of the incident to a Member of Parliament (M.P.) who
submitted a complaint to the Human Rights Commission of the
Turkish Grand National Assembly. As of the end of the year,
there has been no response.

The number of "mystery killings" increased during 1993, with
more than 291 civilians assassinated during the first 9 months
of the year. The Turkish Human Rights Association (HRA)
claimed that 524 people were killed in 1993 by unidentified
attackers mostly in the east and southeast of the country. The
majority were leaders or prominent members of the Kurdish
community, including journalists, physicians, human rights
activists, local politicians, members of the People's Labor
Party (HEP) and its successor, the Democracy Party (DEP), and
others viewed as sympathetic to Kurdish causes. Some human
rights organizations, religious leaders, Kurdish leaders, and
local Kurds asserted that the Government acquiesces in, or even
carries out, the murders of civilians. They cited frequent
failures of officials to investigate these murders, the fact
that some victims' bodies were discovered in "security zones"
to which only Jandarma or security officials are permitted
access, and the fact that some victims had previously been
detained, abused, or threatened by security forces. Human
rights groups reported the widespread belief that at least some
"mystery killings" are carried out by a counterguerrilla group
associated with the security forces.

On September 4, unknown persons fatally shot Mehmet Sincar, a
DEP M.P. from Mardin, and Metin Ozdemir, the local DEP
chairman, in the city center of Batman, wounded four others,
including DEP M.P. Nizamettin Toguc, and escaped. Other DEP
M.P.'s who were in Batman at the time of the killing reported
that they were given police security the day before the
killing, but the police security presence disappeared on the
morning of the murder. The Government pledged to bring
Sincar's assassin to justice and immediately arrested a score
of suspects, most of whom were eventually released. A case was
opened against seven suspects alleged to have assisted in the
assassination, but at the end of the year no one had been
charged with the murder itself. In the past 2 years, at least
54 members of the DEP and its predecessor, the HEP, have been
assassinated. Amnesty International (AI) states that it has
received persistent and credible reports of members of security
forces threatening to kill Kurdish activists.

Other mystery killings included Elazig HRA chairman and
attorney Metin Can and Dr. Hasan Kaya, whose bodies were found
in eastern Tunceli province on February 27 with their hands
tied behind their backs and each with a bullet hole in his
head. Family and HEP members accused government officials of
failing to search for the victims once their disappearance had
been reported. Kemel Kilic, the Urfa representative for the
pro-Kurdish daily Ozgur Gundem (Free Agenda) and a founding
member of the Urfa branch of the HRA was shot dead on his way
home from work. On the day of his death, Kilic had organized a
press conference in which he denounced the attempts to stop
distribution of Ozgur Gundem and the "police's silence." The
body of Ferhat Tepe, 19-year-old Bitlis correspondent for Ozgur
Gundem, was identified on August 9 in the Elazig state hospital
morgue. Reportedly, an anonymous caller told his family after
his disappearance on July 28 that the so-called Ottoman Turkish
Revenge Brigade had kidnaped him. Ozgur Gundem and the leftist
daily Aydinlik produced witnesses who claimed Tepe had been
tortured to death in the Diyarbakir provincial Jandarma
interrogation center. The Government expressed its condolences
on Tepe's death but took no action; it considers Tepe's death a
mystery murder.

In all, five journalists were assassinated in 1993. On January
24 prominent journalist and secularist Ugur Mumcu was killed by
a bomb that had been placed under his car. Three different
Islamic groups claimed responsibility for his killing. By
year's end, none of these murders had been solved.

On September 21 Ali Sahap Samk, a teacher in Diyarbakir and
member of the leftist teachers' union, Egit Sen, was shot and
killed by unidentified persons outside his home. The
Diyarbakir leader of the labor union blamed security forces for
the murder.

In most cases, the Government failed to initiate any public
inquiry or to press charges in connection with these murders.
In September the regional governor for the southeast asserted
that 200 mystery murders which occurred in the region between
July 1991 and July 1992 had been solved. To date none of the
cases has been prosecuted, and no evidence has been proferred
to back up his claim. In May the press reported that the then
Interior minister downplayed the 1992 murders of 15 journalists
by claiming that only 4 of the 15 murdered journalists were
"real" journalists, and the others were killed as a result of
clashes between rival factions in the southeast.

A delegation of the International Federation of Journalists
visited Turkey in March to investigate the increasing number of
unsolved murder cases in the southeast; the head of the
delegation said PEN believes that Turkey, where 15 journalists
had been murdered over the last 15 months, posed a major danger
to reporters.

A parliamentary committee investigated the mystery murders in
1993 but had issued no report by year's end. In early March,
an SHP delegation submitted its report to the Ministry of
Justice and suggested assigning a team of public prosecutors to
Silvan, Batman, Nusaybin, Kiziltepe, and Midyat to investigate
the mysterious murders. The report said local people had lost
their confidence in the current prosecutors and other officials
who have been unable to solve the murders so far. As of the
end of 1993, the Justice Ministry had issued no public response.

Political murders carried out by terrorists occurred
predominantly in southeast Anatolia. Victims of killings
almost certainly perpetrated by the PKK included state
officials (Jandarma, local mayors, and schoolteachers),
paramilitary village guards (and family members), and persons
suspected of supporting rightwing terrorist groups. According
to Milliyet, a mainstream newspaper, in the period between June
1992 and June 1993, unidentified assailants murdered 20
teachers in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir alone. In
early January, a group of alleged PKK militants stabbed to
death Halis Sisman, an elementary schoolteacher in Yassica
village, Bitlis. On September 21, unidentified persons shot
and killed primary schoolteacher Ahmet Arcagok in Diyarbakir.
Other victims were found with Turkish lira notes stuffed in
their mouths, a signal that the person killed was thought to be
a government collaborator.

On May 24 the PKK attacked a number of buses killing 33 unarmed
recruits in civilian clothing, thus ending the PKK's unilateral
spring cease-fire. In that action, as many as 150 PKK members
blocked the Bingol-Elazig highway, stopped buses, pulled the
recruits from the buses, and executed them. The PKK also
targeted state-paid village guards. On August 4, for example,
the PKK raided a radio relay station near Yuksekova in Hakkari
province, killing eight soldiers and two village guards.

Religious officials also were political murder victims. PKK
militants on May 4 reportedly kidnaped Abdulselam Eran, imam of
Baloglu village, Kulp, from his home in Comlekci hamlet, and
his body was found near the village a week later. There were
incidents of religious violence; the worst occurred in Sivas on
July 2 when a crowd of Islamic fundamentalists set fire to a
hotel, killing 37 people. The purported target of their ire
was well-known author and humorist Aziz Nesin, the translator
of Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses." Nesin escaped, but
37 people perished, and approximately 100 were injured. The
crowd also toppled statues of Ataturk and martyred Alawi poet
Abdal Pir Sultan. Many criticized the city government and
police for failing to take adequate security measures in a
timely manner, despite prior evidence of the potential for such

Dev Sol, a violent Marxist-Leninist group, though substantially
weakened by police actions against it in 1991 and 1992,
resurfaced in August and September, claiming responsibility for
several shootings, including the August 25 assassination of
Recep Silo, an analyst with the Turkish National Intelligence
Organization, as he watched a soccer game at his neighborhood

b. Disappearance

Disappearances continued to occur in 1993, while, with one
exception, those reported in 1992 and earlier remained
unsolved. Some disappeared after witnesses reported they had
been taken into custody by security forces. In some of these
cases, the person's body was later discovered, as happened in
the disappearance of Ferhat Tepe (see Section 1.a.). Ayse
Malkac, a correspondent working in Ozgur Gundem's Istanbul
bureau, disappeared midmorning on August 7 after leaving her
office and has not been seen since. Eyewitnesses claimed to
have seen her being detained in the street by plainclothes
police officers, but local authorities denied taking Malkac
into custody. Human rights groups, journalists, and others
alleged the complicity of security forces in this and other

PKK terrorists continued their frequent abductions of local
villagers, teachers, religious figures, and officials in the
southeast, many of whose bodies were later discovered. The PKK
expanded its kidnaping activities to include foreign tourists.
Several Western tourists were kidnaped during the summer but
eventually released unharmed, after periods of captivity
ranging from 2 to 5 weeks.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment

Despite the Constitution's ban on torture, Turkey's accession
to the U.N. and European Conventions Against Torture, and the
public pledges of successive governments to do away with
torture, the practice continued. Human rights attorneys and
physicians who treat victims of torture state that most persons
charged with, or merely suspected of, political crimes suffer
torture, usually during periods of incommunicado detention in
police stations and Jandarma headquarters before they are
brought before a court.

Anecdotal evidence suggested that the implementation of the
CMUK facilitated more immediate attorney access to those
arrested for common crimes. However, human rights groups have
not yet ascertained a related decrease in allegations of
torture. The U.S.-based Helsinki Watch advised that its
reports indicated that torture continued to be used in police
interrogation centers against about half of ordinary criminal
suspects. CMUK does not apply to those detained under the
Anti-Terror Law. The HRF reported that there was no indication
either of the amelioration of treatment of those charged under
the Anti-Terror Law or of an overall decrease in the incidence
of torture in 1993.

Human rights observers report that the system whereby the
arresting police officer is also responsible for interrogating
the suspect is conducive to torture because the officer seeks
to obtain a confession that would justify the arrest.
According to those familiar with Turkish police operations, in
petty criminal cases, the arresting officer is responsible for
following up on the case, whereas in major cases such as murder
and political or terrorism-related crimes, "desks" responsible
for the area in question are responsible for the interrogation.

Credible reports from former detainees and professionals who
rehabilitate victims state that commonly employed methods of
torture include: high-pressure cold water hoses, electric
shocks, beating of the genitalia, hanging by the arms,
blindfolding, sleep deprivation, deprivation of clothing,
systematic beatings, and vaginal and anal rape with truncheons
and, in some instances, gun barrels. HRA offices have also
reported the use by police of tiny cells in which detainees are
incarcerated for periods up to 10 hours to coerce confessions.
Within the last 2 months of 1993, the HRF received three
reports from former detainees who say they have been taken to a
deserted construction site and tortured there.

Nilufer Koc, an interpreter who has lived in Germany for the
past 20 years, was detained in Sirnak province while
accompanying a German delegation in Turkey. She claimed that
her torture included being hung by handcuffs from a hook for 2
hours, repeatedly hosed with cold water while naked, beaten,
grabbed by the hair and having her head hit against the wall,
and a weapon held against her forehead and told to make a last
wish. Security forces believed her to be involved in PKK
activities and wanted information about the activities of the
PKK in Germany. After her release, Koc returned to Germany.
The Turkish Government denied there was a problem.

Although the Government asserted that medical examinations
occur once during detention and a second time before either
arraignment or release, former detainees asserted that some
medical examinations took place too long after the event to
allow any definitive findings, some examinations were cursory,
and some were done in the presence of police officials.
Human rights groups reported that some doctors were
occasionally under pressure to submit false or misleading
medical certificates, denying evidence of torture. According
to the HRF, practice varies widely; in some cases proper
examinations are conducted, and in others doctors sign off on
papers handed to them.

Authorities do not consistently investigate allegations of such
abuses, and perpetrators are rarely sanctioned. Credible
sources in the human rights and legal communities estimate that
judicial authorities investigate only about one-half of the
formal complaints involving torture and prosecute only a small
fraction of those. Lawyers report harassment and threats for
taking on torture cases, for example, anonymous telephone calls
threatening they will suffer the same fate as Metin Can (see
Section 1.a.).

In one case, however, five policemen charged in a 1986 torture
case which occurred in the Sebin Karahisar township of Giresun
on the Black Sea coast were sentenced by the Giresun criminal
court to terms ranging from 10 months to 6 years and 8 months.
Two officers were acquitted. The Court of Appeals upheld the
sentences, leaving the convicted policemen no further legal

More typically, if law enforcement officers are convicted of
torture, the sentences tend to be light, as was the case with
three policemen convicted in March by the Ankara criminal
court. Each received a 3-month prison sentence and was
suspended from duty for 3 months. In many instances, cases
drag on for years. Nazli Top, a nurse (pregnant at the time)
who alleged she was tortured and raped with a truncheon during
10 days of detention in April 1992 before police released her
without charge, filed criminal charges against her alleged
torturers, but the case has yet to come to trial.

Under the Anti-Terror Law, officials accused of torture or
other mistreatment may stay on the job while under
investigation and, if convicted, may only be suspended.
Special provincial administrative boards, rather than regular
courts, decide whether to prosecute such cases, and suspects'
legal fees are paid by their employing agencies. Under the
state of emergency, any lawsuit directed at government
authorities must be approved by the regional governor, which
rarely happens, preventing legal pursuit of torture allegations.

As Turkey has recognized the jurisdiction of the European Court
of Human Rights, Turks may file applications alleging
violations of the European Convention on Human Rights with the
European Human Rights Commission, and several have done so.

On December 15, 1992, the Council of Europe's Committee for the
Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment (CPT) issued an unprecedented public statement
concerning Turkey, noting that torture and other forms of
severe ill-treatment of persons in police custody remained
widespread, that such methods were applied to both ordinary
criminal suspects and persons held under antiterrorism
provisions, and that torture was a deep-rooted problem. In
both the Ankara Police Headquarters and the Diyarbakir Police
Headquarters, the CPT reported finding furniture and equipment
consistent with detainees' reports of how they were tortured.
The CPT recommended several actions it considered necessary for
the Government to take to deal with the problem and emphasized
that legislative measures alone would not be sufficient to
eradicate the phenomenon of torture.

On November 19, 1993, the United Nations Committee on Torture
called on Turkey to end what it called the systematic torture
of prisoners. "The Committee remains concerned at the number
and substance of the allegations of torture received, which
confirm the existence and systematic character of the practice
of torture." The Government contested the accuracy of the
report and stated that events were taken out of context and
many examples were unconfirmed.

The CMUK, which went into effect on December 1, 1992, appeared
to improve attorney access to detainees, but its efficacy in
decreasing incidents of torture cannot yet be ascertained.
Human rights groups criticized the CMUK because its allowable,
maximum, prearraignment detention periods still exceed Council
of Europe maximums, it codified two different classes of
suspects with different rights, and the arresting officer had
the power to determine whether or not the CMUK applied.

Besides CMUK, the Government did not appear to implement any
other major initiatives that could contribute to a reduction of
abuse. In November the Government introduced amendments to the
Anti-Terror Law that would, among other things, broaden the
definition of terrorism and increase the permissible length of
incommunicado prearraignment detention. As of the end of the
year, the bill was still pending in the Parliament's joint
Justice-Interior committee.

As of September, 158 applications claiming torture,
maltreatment, or arbitrary detention had been filed with the
parliamentary Human Rights Commission (since its September 1991
inception), and the Commission had written to the public
prosecutors in the provinces on each case, as well to the
governor's office or that of the security directorate general
for that province. It is unclear to what extent the Commission
has followed up on these cases. The HRF's torture
rehabilitation centers in Ankara, Izmir, and Istanbul reported
that, within the first 6 months of 1993 they had received a
total of 172 applications for treatment.

Prison conditions--and prison reform--remained an important
issue in 1993. Prompted by a number of prisoner escapes, as
well as hunger strikes by prisoners protesting conditions, the
Government in February prepared a prison reform bill. As of
the end of the year, the bill remained with the Justice
Ministry and had not yet been formally submitted to

Furthermore, while the incidence of torture in prisons has
decreased in the last few years, there are continued reports of

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

In order to take a person into custody, a prosecutor must issue
a detention order, except in limited circumstances, as when a
person is caught in the act of committing a crime. The
detention period for those charged with common, individual
crimes is 24 hours. Those detained for common, collective
crimes may be held for 4 days, and the detention period may be
extended for an additional 4 days. Under the CMUK, suspects
are entitled to immediate access to an attorney and may meet
and confer with the attorney at any time. In practice,
attorney access under the CMUK improved for detainees charged
with common crimes.

Persons detained for individual crimes which fall under the
Anti-Terror Law must be brought before a judge within 48 hours,
while those charged with crimes of a collective, political, or
conspiratorial nature may be detained up to 15 days in most of
the country and up to 30 days in the 10 southeastern provinces
under a state of emergency. There is no guaranteed attorney
access under law. The decision concerning access to counsel in
such cases is left to the independent prosecutor, who routinely
denies access, usually with the explanation that it would
prejudice an ongoing investigation. The Justice and Interior
Ministries generally have not intervened in prosecutors'
decisions or police actions denying access to counsel.
Although the Constitution specifies the right of detainees to
request speedy arraignment and trial, judges have ordered a
significant number of persons detained indeterminately,
sometimes for years. While many cases involved persons accused
of violent crimes, it is not uncommon for those accused of
nonviolent political crimes to be kept in custody until the
conclusion of their trials.

By law, a detainee's next of kin must be notified "in the
shortest time" after arrest. Once formally charged by the
prosecutor, a detainee is arraigned by a judge and allowed to
retain a lawyer. After arraignment, the judge may release the
accused if he presents an appropriate guarantee, such as bail,
or order him detained if the court determines that he is likely
to flee the jurisdiction or destroy evidence.

The detention of large numbers of people occurred on several
occasions in 1993, including the demonstrations on August 14
and 15 in Digor, Kars province, and Malazgirt, Mus province
(see Section 1.a.). In most such cases, the majority of
detainees are subsequently released without charges being

In the southeast there were several mass roundups of ethnic
Kurds in the wake of a crime. For example, after a night
watchman was killed in Adana in August, within 24 hours, police
arrested large numbers of ethnic Kurds (estimates range up to
500). Police charged them under the Anti-Terror Law so the
CMUK did not apply, enabling police to hold them in
incommunicado detention for 15 days without access to a judge
or lawyer (though they were released earlier). Some detainees
alleged they were tortured. All were subsequently released
without being charged.

There is no external exile, and Turkey's internal exile law was
repealed in 1987. In 1990, however, under decree 430, the
Government granted the southeast regional governor the
authority to "remove from the region," for a period not to
exceed the duration of the state of emergency, citizens under
his administration whose activities (whether voluntary or
forced) "give an impression that they are prone to disturb
general security and public order." Although there were no
known instances of the use of this broad authority in 1993,
human rights monitors and residents of towns in the southeast
report credibly that officials continued to rely on
"administrative transfers" to remove government employees
thought liable to "create trouble."

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

The judicial system is composed of general law courts, state
security courts, and military courts. Three martial law courts
also remained, remnants of the 1980 military coup. Most cases
are prosecuted in the general law courts, which include the
civil, administrative, and criminal courts. Appeals are heard
either by the High Court of Appeals or the Council of State.
There is a constitutional court as well. Provincial
administrative boards established under the Anti-Terror Law
decide whether cases in which state officials are accused of
misconduct should be heard in criminal court. Military courts,
with their own appeals system, hear cases regarding infractions
of military law by members of the armed forces. In December
the Military Court prosecutor ordered the arrest of two
television journalists, who hosted a program on military
deserters and draft dodgers on a private station, arrested for
encouraging people to evade compulsory military service. The
journalists, who stated that the views they presented were
those of their guests, were being tried in military court as of
the end of the year. This was the first time that civilians
have been arrested on the order of a military prosecutor and
tried in a military court while Turkey was under civilian rule.

Eight state security courts, composed of five members--two
civilian judges, one military judge, and two prosecutors--try
defendants accused of crimes such as terrorism, drug smuggling,
membership in illegal organizations, and espousing or
disseminating ideas prohibited by law as "damaging the
indivisible unity of the State." Their verdicts may be
appealed only to a specialized department of the High Court of
Appeals dealing with crimes against state security.

The Constitutional Court examines the constitutionality of
laws, decrees, and parliamentary procedural rules. However, it
may not consider "decrees with the force of law" issued under a
state of emergency, martial law, or in time of war.

The Constitution requires that judges be independent of the
executive in the discharge of their duties and provides for the
security of their tenure. The High Council of Judges and
Prosecutors, which is appointed by the President and includes
the Minister of Justice, selects judges and prosecutors for the
higher courts and is responsible for oversight of those in the
lower courts. The Constitution also prohibits state
authorities from issuing orders or recommendations concerning
the exercise of judicial power. In practice, the courts
generally act independently of the executive.

Defendants normally have the right to a public trial, and,
under the Constitution, can only be proven guilty by a court of
law. By law, the bar association must provide free counsel to
indigents who make such a request to the court. Costs are
borne by the association, although the bar association
complained in 1993 that the funds promised them by the State
for the increased workload resulting from the CMUK's
implementation had not been forthcoming. There is no jury
system; all cases are decided by a judge or panel of judges.

Defense lawyers generally have access to the independent
prosecutor's files after arraignment and prior to trial (a
period of several weeks). In cases involving violations of the
Anti-Terror Law and a few others, such as insulting the
President or "defaming Turkish citizenship," defense attorneys
may be denied access to files which the State claims deal with
national intelligence or security matters.

In 1993 state security courts predominantly handled cases under
the Anti-Terror Law. The State claims these courts were
established to try efficiently those suspected of certain
crimes. In fact, however, the law provides that those accused
of crimes falling under the jurisdiction of these courts may be
detained twice as long before arraignment as other defendants.
These courts may hold closed hearings and may admit testimony
obtained during police interrogation in the absence of
counsel. According to government figures, 3,792 people were
detained under the Anti-Terror Law, and 811 people are serving
sentences for violations of its provisions.

The Constitutional Court, upon examination of the
constitutionality of several provisions of the Anti-Terror Law,
(1) streamlined procedures and reduced the average fines
imposed on the press from billions of Turkish lira to millions
(approximately T.L. 14,000 to $1); (2) returned the assets and
properties of the Turkish Confederation of Revolutionary
Workers Unions (DISK) on January 27, 1993; (3) struck down a
provision which had permitted the monitoring of meetings
between prisoners involved in acts of violence and their
lawyers; and (4) annulled a provision which limited to three
the number of lawyers permitted to follow a given case in the
state security court. In September the court struck down the
law under which the Government was entitled to issue certain
decisions by decree. Shortly thereafter, upon application of
opposition parties, the Court annulled several government
decrees, including one promulgated several weeks earlier to set
up a human rights undersecretariat. In July the court closed
the HEP on the charge that it advocated separatism (see Section

At the start of 1993, three Martial Law Courts remained of
those established after the 1980 coup. They were engaged in
completing old cases. On December 27, Parliament passed a bill
which ended the Martial Law Courts and transferred their
remaining cases to civilian courts. Figures provided by the
Government indicate that 22 cases continued in the three
martial law courts as of the end of September.

In law and in practice, the legal system does not discriminate
against either minorities or women, with the following two
caveats: (1) as legal proceedings are conducted solely in
Turkish, and the quality of interpreters varies, some
Kurdish-speaking defendants may be disadvantaged; and (2)
although women receive equal treatment in a court of law, some
rarely enforced laws remain on the books. For example, the
husband determines the legal domicile of the family, and a
married woman needs her husband's consent to be a legal partner
in a company. Draft civil rights legislation which would have
eliminated all existing legal inequalities between men and
women currently on the books fell victim to interparty
wrangling and failed to pass in 1993.

The authorities construe a wide range of political activity,
including speeches, petitions, and demonstrations, as
"separatist" in nature, which may lead a politician or a
political party to be charged under the relevant provisions of
the Anti-Terror Law. Former deputy speaker of Parliament Fehmi
Isiklar was the target of such a suit (and in fact lost his
seat in Parliament), as was the People's Labor Party (HEP),
ordered closed by the Constitutional Court in July on just such
charges (see Section 2.a.).

Because of daily fluctuations in the number of detainees, human
rights monitors hesitate to offer figures on the number of
persons in custody who might reasonably be considered political
prisoners. They can only estimate that "thousands" have been
detained. In a January 1993 report, the HRF quoted Ministry of
Justice statistics released in 1992 as stating that the number
of political detainees (those detained for political
activities, demonstrations, speeches, etc.) in 1991 was
approximately 8,000 persons. Many of them were charged for
attempting peacefully to exercise their right of freedom of
speech, association, or some other internationally recognized
human right.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or

The Constitution provides for the inviolability of a person's
domicile and the privacy of correspondence and communication.
Government officials may enter a private residence or intercept
or monitor private correspondence only upon issuance of a
judicial warrant. These provisions are generally respected in
practice; however, in 1993 there were several complaints about
violations of the privacy of correspondence, specifically, the
delay in the arrival, or the nonarrival, of printed materials
sent from abroad.

In the 10 provinces under a state of emergency, the governor
(or regional governor) may empower authorities to search
without a warrant residences or the premises of political
parties, businesses, associations, and other organizations.
It does not appear that police generally need a document to
enter a house. Authorities in these provinces may also search,
hold, or seize without warrant persons, letters, telegrams, and
documents, a practice which the HRF states is
unconstitutional. Roadblocks are commonplace in the southeast,
and security officials regularly search vehicles and travelers.

There have been credible reports of forced evacuation and the
burning of villages in the southeast by security forces
allegedly seeking to prevent villagers from giving aid and
comfort to the PKK (see Section 1.g.).

g. Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian
Law in Internal Conflicts

Since 1984 the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has
waged an increasingly violent insurgency that has claimed over
10,000 lives, as many as one-third of them during 1993. The
PKK's campaign of violence in southeast Turkey is directed
against both security forces and civilians who the PKK believes
cooperate with the State. The actions of security forces and
PKK terrorists, besides causing mutual casualties, resulted in
the deaths of at least several hundred noncombatants (as of
September 30). The HRF estimates that around 10 to 12
noncombatants are killed per day. (See Iraq report for
information on the effects of Turkish raids on the PKK in
northern Iraq)

As in past years, PKK terrorists attacked rural Jandarma posts,
inflicting casualties, and conducted sporadic nighttime rocket
attacks against Turkish towns, aimed ostensibly at security
establishments, but in fact causing death, injury, and damage
in surrounding neighborhoods. They continued to burn down
schools and kill or threaten to kill teachers in many
districts. A January 1993 report noted that, of a total of
17,000 teachers assigned to schools in the region, 6,000 had
not reported because of their fear of terrorism and the lack of
security. Regional officials conceded that some teachers had
resigned rather than accept their assignments. Schools in
1,395 villages were unable to open their doors for the 1992-93
academic year, leaving some 500,000 children without primary
school education. At least 600 schools--100 of which had been
burned by the PKK--failed to open for the 1993-94 school year
in southeastern Turkey. In November the PKK issued a threat
against teachers in the southeast. In some instances, the
Government ordered that schools destroyed by the PKK not be

There were a series of PKK attacks on oil exploration sites and
storage facilities during 1992 and continued harassment of oil
company employees in 1993. Mobil Oil ceased production in the
southeast after PKK killings and kidnapings of their personnel.

Government security forces on many occasions fired on the homes
of villagers suspected of harboring PKK terrorists, causing an
unknown number of casualties and destroying villagers'
property, including livestock. Villagers and human rights
groups complained that the actions of Jandarma and security
team searches for PKK terrorists and evidence of local support
for them resulted in expulsions, beatings, torture, and the
arbitrary killing of innocent civilians. In April Sirnak HEP
deputy Selim Sadak submitted an interrogatory motion to the
office of the speaker of Parliament, demanding that the
Interior Minister investigate allegations by the people of
Ormanici, a village in Sirnak's Guclukonak township, that
security forces had burned down the village, killed a
5-year-old child, and taken into custody and tortured for
prolonged periods 43 villagers, one of whom, Ibrahim Ekinci,
allegedly died under police torture. Villagers were reportedly
kept in a construction site near Jandarma headquarters for 12
days without shoes or adequate clothing and stripped naked for
interrogations in subzero temperatures while they were
subjected to various forms of torture. After having been
subjected to falaka (beating on the soles of their feet), they
were allegedly forced to stand barefoot for days on wet
concrete in subzero temperatures. Many suffered severe
frostbite that subsequently became gangrenous, requiring some
cases of amputation of toes or feet. Villagers claimed they
were hosed with cold water, raped with truncheons and bottles,
that in some cases toenails and fingernails were pulled out
with pliers, and that excrement was mixed with their food. The
people of Ormanici referred their case to the European
Commission of Human Rights which reportedly decided the case
warranted investigation. The Government view is that any
abuses of the sort alleged must be seen against the background
of conflict between security forces and PKK terrorists. The
Eruh public prosecutor is investigating the deaths of a
7-year-old child and of Ibrahim Ekinci, as well as the death of
another village child and the wounding of a third, when a
munition dump exploded two days after the incident.

There were credible reports that government security forces
forcibly evacuated and burned down villages allegedly to
prevent their inhabitants from providing aid and comfort to PKK
guerrillas. Credible reports also note that security forces,
after being attacked by the PKK, at times retaliated by
attacking nearby villages. In February the daily Hurriyet
reported that the state of emergency coordination committee had
decided on several new measures, including evacuation of small,
remote settlements, which the Government claimed had been used
by the PKK as shelters or bases, and resettlement of the
villagers to more centralized places. Other purported reasons
for the evacuations included the difficulty in protecting the
villages against terrorist attacks; the inhabitants' fear of
being caught in the cross-fire; and the refusal of village men
to participate in the paramilitary village guard system. In
February the state minister responsible for human rights
categorically denied allegations that security forces were
following a scorched earth policy in order to force inhabitants
to leave their homes. He stated that no villages in the area
had been evacuated by force and that villagers left only by
"force of circumstances."

The English-language Turkish Daily News reported that, as of
September 17, approximately 70 villages and hamlets had been
evacuated or burned in 1993. The article stated that, although
the number of torchings had declined after mid-August,
complaints continued. For example, Kurdish activists claimed
that, on September 12, security forces torched 12 houses and
the village mosque in Diyarbakir's Eloxuso (Kurdish name)
hamlet. The article also reported that President Demirel had
ordered a stop to the torching of villages. The HRA estimated
that about 400 villages had been abandoned in the southeast
through March.

Turkish security authorities have been charged with driving 200
Syriac Christians from the village of Hassana in Mardin
province in November. According to reports from villagers, the
order came to evacuate the village because of a statement by a
local tribal leader that it was an Armenian village, and
Turkish officials often accuse Armenians of supporting the
PKK. The villagers were reportedly moved to a neighboring
village, to Midyat, and to the city of Mardin. In a separate
incident, village guards investigating an arson attack on an
electricity station in Alagoz village in Mardin province
allegedly seized seven Syriac Christian shepherds. The seven
were released after a night in detention. A resident who saw
them after their release claimed the shepards had been tortured
and one had a cross burnt into his chest with molten plastic.

The Government organizes, arms, and pays for a civil defense
force in the southeast known as the village guards.
Participation in the paramilitary militia by local villagers is
theoretically voluntary, but villagers are in effect caught
between the two sides. If the villagers agree to serve, the
PKK may target them and their village. If the villagers refuse
to participate, government security forces may retaliate
against them and their village. On June 21, several hundred
Jandarma reportedly entered the village of Ortasar, Diyarbakir
province, where the villagers had refused to join the village
guard militia, rounded up all the inhabitants, male and female,
and began beating them with their rifle butts. Some villagers
were given electric shocks and burned with cigarettes. Several
were detained, two of whom returned the following day "in an
unrecognizable state" due to ill-treatment. On June 25, the
Jandarma returned to the village and threatened to kill any
villagers who complained to newspapers or the local human
rights organizations.

There were also unsubstantiated claims of government forces
preventing injured villagers or PKK members from seeking
medical help, as well as instances of physicians who were
prosecuted for giving medical care to alleged PKK terrorists, a
practice that could deter other physicians from extending such
aid. For example, Dr. Ilhan Diken was tried at Diyarbakir
state security court for treating a wounded PKK militant, an
offense for which the court demanded a 5-year sentence. As of
the end of the year, the case has not concluded.

Throughout 1993 there were reports of an undeclared food
embargo on the towns of Uludere and Guclukonak in Sirnak
province. Initially, HEP deputies charged that security forces
had imposed the embargo to intimidate the populace. When a
Motherland Party delegation visited the head of the Siirt HRA
branch in February, he claimed the embargo had been imposed
because state-paid village guards refused to continue to
serve. As of August, the villages were reported by the
mainstream press to be suffering a food embargo at the hands of
the PKK, which accused their inhabitants of collaborating with
the State.

In mid-March the PKK declared a unilateral cease-fire; it
claimed it no longer insisted on an independent Kurdish state
and wanted to pursue its objectives through the democratic
channels available in Turkey. For the most part, the PKK
suspended its hostile operations, although it did not withdraw
its guerrillas. The Government refused to open discussions
with the terrorist PKK. Not recognizing the cease-fire, the
Government continued its military operations against alleged
PKK targets. On May 24, the same day the Government had
approved a partial amnesty, the PKK abruptly terminated its own
cease-fire with an ambush on a convoy of soldiers (see Section
1.a.). Although the PKK leadership later publicly expressed
regret about the incident, the ambush signaled renewed
hostilities, which were accompanied by a sharp increase in
reports of human rights abuses by both sides in 1993.

On June 8, the Government put into effect a limited amnesty for
PKK members. Under the terms of the amnesty, "those who are
not members of an armed organization, but who are in the
organization for another reason, will not be prosecuted if they
have not committed any crime and if they give themselves up
voluntarily." "For another reason" appears to mean that
persons who were kidnaped, pressured into cooperation, or
otherwise involuntarily involved in the PKK's activities will
not be prosecuted. The burden of proof, however, appears to
lie with those who surrender to the State. According to the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 95 persons took advantage of the
limited amnesty offer.

Government state of emergency decree 430, codified in 1990 and
most recently renewed in November, imposes stringent security
measures in the southeast. The regional governor may censor
news, ban strikes or lockouts, and impose internal exile (see
Section 1.d.). The decree also provides for doubling the
sentences of those convicted of cooperating with separatists.
Informants and convicted persons who cooperate with the State
are eligible for rewards and reduced sentences. Provisions in
the decree that specifically prohibited court challenges to the
regional governor's administrative decisions were amended in
1992 to permit limited judicial review.

In November the Government introduced amendments to the
Anti-Terror Law that would broaden the definitions of terrorism
and collaboration, place more stringent restrictions on the
press, and increase the permissible length of incommunicado
prearraignment detention. As of the end of the year, the bill
was still pending in Parliament's joint Justice/Interior

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

a. Freedom of Speech and Press

Despite constitutional provisions for freedom of speech and
press, there were significant limitations on these freedoms,
which came under increasing pressure in 1993.

The Anti-Terror Law and Penal Code provisions that make it a
crime to insult Kemal Ataturk, secularism, Islam, the security
forces, and the President, are used to restrict free
expression. In some cases, the laws provide for increased
punishment if the offense is committed in a publication. The
press law permits prosecutors to halt distribution of a
newspaper or magazine without a court order and requires that
each publication's "responsible editors" bear legal
responsibility for the publication's content.

After the leftwing daily newspaper Aydinlik announced on May 23
that it would publish excerpts from Salman Rushdie's book, "The
Satanic Verses," its offices, vendors, and distributors were
attacked several times in the following week. Reportedly, the
newspaper asked for police protection but did not receive it.
The Government confiscated all 12 issues of Aydinlik which
printed the excerpts and brought the paper and its chief editor
to trial under the Penal Code for insulting Islam. (See also
Section 1.a.)

The unsolved murders of five journalists (see Section 1.a.) and
the failure of the Government to charge a single suspect, even
in a high-profile case such as that of Ugur Mumcu, led
populace, officials, and international organizations alike to
denounce government inaction. The International Federation of
Journalists sent a delegation to Turkey to investigate the
increasing number of unsolved murder cases affecting members of
the press.

Several organized panel discussions were banned in 1993,
including a symposium on the Kurdish issue, organized jointly
by the HRA and a number of Turkish intellectuals, which was to
be held in Ankara on June 25-27. President Demirel, the acting
Prime Minister, and other political party leaders were to have
delivered speeches on the Kurdish issue at the symposium. In a
letter sent to the HRA, the Ankara deputy governor wrote that
the symposium had been banned on the grounds that it could have
"grave consequences in the light of the latest developments in
the country." (See also Section 2.b.)

Throughout the year, state security court prosecutors ordered
the confiscation of numerous issues of leftist and pro-Kurdish
periodicals, including Yeni Ulke, Newroz magazine, Ozgur
Gundem, and Azadi. Many editions of Kurdish-oriented
periodicals were seized before they could be distributed
nationally to newsstands. Court proceedings were instituted
against several editors and publishers. PEN reported that as
of mid-September more than 70 court cases were pending against
Ozgur Gundem. Its editor in chief Davut Karadag was arrested
at the behest of the Istanbul state security court on July 15
on charges of spreading subversive Kurdish propaganda in 30
news items in the daily's July 12, 13, 14, and 15 issues.
Karadag was released from custody on September 17. No decision
has yet been reached in that case, but in another case, Karadag
was given a 5-month sentence.

The Anti-Terror Law, which provides that "written and oral
propaganda...aiming at damaging the indivisible unity of the
State of the Turkish Republic...(is) forbidden, regardless of
the method, intention and ideas behind it," severely restricts
freedom of speech. It had a chilling effect against writers,
journalists, publishers, politicians, musicians, and students
and has been used against them. A number of prominent,
generally center-left and pro-Kurdish politicians were detained
under, or otherwise affected by, the Anti-Terror Law in 1993
for speeches made both within Turkey and beyond the country's
borders. The HEP and its successor, the DEP, representing
Kurdish interests, are particularly targeted. For example, DEP
chairman and Ozgur Gundem owner Yasar Kaya was ordered arrested
in September by the Ankara state security court prosecutor for
"separatist" language he had allegedly used in an August speech
at a political party congress in Erbil, northern Iraq. This
case was subsequently combined with another case against him
for a speech he made in Bonn, Germany.

In July the Constitutional Court ruled that then SHP deputy and
deputy speaker of Parliament Fehmi Isiklar be deprived of his
seat in Parliament in connection with allegedly separatist
speeches he had made in his role as HEP chairman in the runup
to the October 1991 elections. Parliament permitted the ruling
to take effect November 11. DEP parliamentarian Leyla Zana is
reportedly under investigation for statements she made before
the Congressional Helsinki Commission while visiting the United
States in the spring. The Constitutional Court ordered the
closing of the HEP on the grounds that it "defended the
national existence, identity, and rights of the Kurdish
people." Its members subsequently formed the DEP and were soon
subjected to similar investigations. On November 8, 15 DEP
executives were formally charged with spreading separatist
propaganda. The Court has asked Parliament to lift the
immunity of several DEP parliamentarians so they may be tried
in the state security court.

Prosecutions against authors, publications, and publishers
continued under the provisions of the Anti-Terror Law, under
which both significant sentences and prohibitively expensive
fines can be, and in practice are, imposed. For example, in
January the Ankara state security court fined Fikret Ontal T.L.
1.5 billion ($107,000) for publishing Kahraman Demirkapi's
book, "Developments in the World and in our Country." The book
was condemned for "spreading subversive propaganda." The
prosecutor in the same court brought a case against author Edip
Polat, already serving time in an Ankara prison for prior
writings, for his biology book entitled "Kurds and Kurdistan in
Scientific Language," which claimed that the Turkish names of
83 plants and 9 animals are actually Kurdish. The charge again
was "spreading subversive propaganda." The prosecutor demanded
a sentence of from 2 to 5 years and a fine of T.L. 50 million
($3,570). According to Unsal Ozturk, owner of the Yurt
publishing house, the same court demanded a T.L. 26 billion
($1.8 million) fine for the printing of allegedly pro-Kurdish
books by author Ismail Besikci. Ozturk was sentenced to 2
years and 4 months, but the sentence was converted to a fine of
T.L. 4,390,000 ($313). In September the Istanbul state
security court sentenced journalist Selami Ince to 2 years'
imprisonment and fined him T.L. 100 million ($7,140) for
violating the Anti-Terror Law by publishing an interview with
Besikci entitled "Kurds must Establish their own National
Assembly" in the leftwing monthly Demokrat in December 1992.
The court also imposed a 6-month prison term on the magazine's
editor in chief and fined him T.L. 50 million ($3,570); the
magazine's owner was fined T.L. 100 million ($7,140) as well.

Ismail Besikci himself served 10 years in prison between 1971
and 1987 because of his publications on the Kurdish question in
Turkey. On May 28, he was again brought to trial at Ankara
state security court under the Anti-Terror Law for
disseminating separatist propaganda in his book "The
Imperialist Repartition Struggle in Kurdistan 1915-1925." In a
separate case in November, the Appeals Court upheld sentences
of 20 months each and fines of T.L. 42 million each for his
books "CHP Program 1931 - The Kurdish Problem" and "Thoughts on
the PKK." On July 15, Besikci's book about his 1991 trial,
"The Way Opened by Courts." was confiscated by the Istanbul
state security court on the grounds that it disseminated
separatist propaganda. For the year 1993, as of June 30, some
307 magazines and newspapers and 28 books had been confiscated
by court decision.

Legislative reforms in 1991 partially removed the ban on the
use of the Kurdish language. Kurdish-language cassettes and
publications on Kurdish subjects continued to be available,
although suppression continued as well. The Diyarbakir
governorship, for example, banned the production and sale of 23
Kurdish cassettes in a 271-page decree. One Kurdish-language
newspaper, Welat, is publishing currently. Several others
publish in a combination of Turkish and Kurdish. There is
anecdotal evidence that potential consumers are afraid to
purchase Kurdish-language materials for fear that possession of
such items may be seen as evidence of PKK sympathies. Kurdish-
language broadcasts are still illegal. The Government monitors
the Kurdish broadcasts of the Voice of America but has not
attempted to jam the frequencies.

Journalists sometimes face harassment and mistreatment by
police and other authorities. In May, for example, the
Istanbul-based Press Council lodged a protest with the Istanbul
governor regarding the Istanbul police's beating of seven
reporters in three separate incidents in the city.
Correspondents in the southeast, especially those for the
pro-Kurdish press, were harassed and alleged that they were
beaten and tortured in police stations during periods of
detention. Police attacked the office of Ozgur Gundem in Van,
destroyed the furniture, and detained two correspondents, two
workers, and one visitor. Two days earlier, security forces
had detained the daily's Van representative Yusuf Cacim. The
newspaper has been harassed consistently since its April 1992
inception and was forced to close from January through April
1993, reportedly because of a shortage of funds due in part to
numerous court cases and fines levied against it. In November
the Istanbul state security court ordered Ozgur Gundem to
suspend publication for 15 days for promoting separatism and
printing the views of the banned PKK, an order that was still
under appeal at year's end. Both the publisher and editor in
chief were fined, and the latter was sentenced to 5 months in
jail. Ozgur Gundem was unable to publish for three days after
police raided its Istanbul office December 10 and detained all
people present. All but 18 were released within the next 72
hours. Charges against Ozgur Gundem in various cases included
"separatist propaganda," "portraying Turkish citizens as
Kurds," and "using the words 'Kurd' and 'Kurdistan' in a way
that breaches the Constitution in which Turkey is defined as a
unitary state."

On September 30, the Istanbul state security court ruled to
suspend the publication of Newroz magazine for a month for
publishing articles deemed to be separatist propaganda. The
court sentenced editor in chief Dogan Karakuzu to 6 months in
prison and a fine of T.L. 50 million (approximately $3,570).
At the end of the year, the case was on appeal, and the
magazine was still publishing. As of October, all but two
issues of the magazine had been the subject of prosecution.
Eight court cases had been concluded, and 24 cases were still
being tried.

Two foreign journalists were detained, one of whom was tried
and sentenced, and both were released in 1993. On January 22,
the Diyarbakir state security court convicted and sentenced
German journalist Stefan Waldberg to 3 years and 9 months in
prison for acting as a courier for the PKK. Waldberg accused
the Turkish police of mistreating him in custody. On April 28,
the High Appeals Court upheld the Diyarbakir court's decision,
thereby exhausting Waldberg's appeals. The case, which
attracted considerable attention among international journalist
groups, was raised both during German Chancellor Kohl's May
visit to Turkey, and Prime Minister Ciller's September trip to
Germany. At the end of 1993, at the suggestion of a joint
German-Turkish juridical experts' meeting, Waldberg applied for
presidential pardon, which was granted December 23. In a
separate case, the police detained British journalist Andrew
Norman Penny as he entered Turkey from northern Iraq on May 17
on suspicion of being a PKK courier and for allegedly
possessing illegal Kurdish documents and videotapes. Once
international journalist organizations certified that Penny
was, indeed, a journalist, the authorities dropped charges,
returned Penny's materials, and allowed him to leave Turkey.

Nezahat Ozen, an Ozgur Gundem correspondent, was arrested on
July 17 for a report she had prepared on a 17-year-old girl
allegedly raped by the police. Ozen, who was detained until
her formal arrest on a court order on July 21, was not allowed
to see her lawyer or relatives during her initial detention
period. She was released from custody on September 14.

The public prosecutors' aggressive application of the law also
affected the content of Turkey's press. Publications must
designate a "responsible editor" who is legally accountable for
a publication's contents. Many have faced repeated criminal
proceedings. Ozgur Gundem editor in chief Davut Karadag, for
example, was confined for over 2 months in 1993. In September
the Istanbul public prosecutor, claiming press reporting on the
"Iski" waterworks scandal was prejudicial to the ongoing
criminal investigation, placed a gag order on continued press
coverage and threatened to bring charges against those who
failed to comply. At year's end an estimated 55 journalists
were in custody.

Turkish press coverage of the situation in the southeast tended
to be unreliable, underreporting in some instances and grossly
sensationalizing in others. Government decree 430 requires
self-censorship of all news reporting from or about the
southeast, and, upon the request of the regional governor,
gives the Interior Ministry the authority to ban distribution
of any news viewed as misrepresenting events in the region. In
the event such a government warning is not obeyed, the decree
provides for a 10-day suspension of operations for a first
offense and 30 days for subsequent offenses.

In general, the mainstream Turkish-language press demonstrated
its fidelity to self-censorship strictures by limiting its
independent reporting of southeast-related news. Aside from
Ozgur Gundem correspondents' access to the southeast and
reporting in the English-language Turkish Daily News, most
papers relied on official reports. Because of the security
threat, some journalists are afraid to go to the southeast, and
others know their editors will sanitize their reports. During
a July 11 press briefing at the headquarters of the Turkish
armed forces, the media were invited to support the Government
and security forces by reporting events with a "unity of
voice." Human rights groups expressed fears that this may
involve a disinformation campaign. For instance, after 26
Kurdish nomads, including 14 children and 8 women, had been
killed on July 18, the mainstream press immediately reported
that their killers were PKK guerrillas. One of the papers
later reported that survivors stated that the attackers spoke
poor Kurdish and only began shooting after learning that this
particular settlement had not joined the village guard system.
In August the Government called in representatives of the
mainstream newspapers, except Ozgur Gundem, and asked them to
help the Government in the fight against the PKK.

In October the PKK placed a ban on press reporting from the
southeast and threatened to retaliate against those journalists
who did not comply. The ban was reportedly lifted a month

The Criminal Code provides penalties for those who "insult the
President, the Parliament, and the army," ranging from a 3-year
minimum sentence for insulting the President to a 6-year
maximum for insulting other branches of government. Although
judges generally examine evidence rigorously and dismiss many
charges brought under these laws, police still detain people
and prosecutors still charge them, often resulting in long and
expensive trials. For example, on March 2, an Ankara civil
court rejected a T.L. 100 million ($7,140) libel suit filed by
then President Turgut Ozal against Turkish Daily News editor in
chief Ilnur Cevik. Ozal had claimed he was personally insulted
in two of Cevik's editorials.

Until mid-1993 Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) had a legal
monopoly on broadcasting. Opposition figures asserted TRT
broadcasts have a progovernment bias, despite coverage of
opposition leaders and their parties. A government commission
generally apportions party access to television and radio
during election and referendum campaigns on the basis of the
proportion of parliamentary seats that each party holds. With
the increasing availability of satellite dishes and cable, many
Turkish viewers may now watch foreign broadcasts, including
several Turkish-language private channels.

Private radio stations began operating in Turkey in 1991. On
January 22, the Ministry of the Interior issued a directive
banning all private television and radio stations, which
resulted in the closure of a few hundred radio stations and
several television stations. On February 2, the Interior
Minister issued a new directive permitting broadcasting via
satellite from abroad. On March 31, the Government again
ordered all privately owned radio and television stations to
cease broadcasting. A few hundred radio stations and about 50
local television stations closed down. On July 8, however,
Parliament voted to repeal article 133 of the Constitution,
thereby eliminating the State's monopoly and permitting the
establishment of private radio and television stations. At the
end of 1993, 44 private radio stations were operating in Ankara
and approximately 50 in Istanbul. The stations currently
operate in a form of legal no-man's land as, at the end of
1993, no regulating legislation had been enacted.

While the Culture Minister lifted bans against all formerly
prohibited books at the end of 1991, the Education Ministry
continued to make recommendations on the "utility" of books
proposed for school curriculums or libraries. Books declared
"without utility" are not allowed. On October 1, the film
"Yol," which had been banned for years, was permitted to be
shown for the first time.

Academic freedom is also severely restricted in practice by the
provisions of the Anti-Terror Law. For example, professors
have been sentenced for books they have written. The
Constitution and the law governing political parties proscribe
student and faculty involvement in political activities.

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Peaceful assemblies are permitted upon prior notification to
government authorities, who may restrict them to designated
sites. Authorities may deny permission if they believe the
gathering is likely to disrupt public order. For example, in
the aftermath of the July 2 events in Sivas (see Section 2.c.),
local authorities across Turkey prevented a number of
demonstrations, including the laying of a black wreath in
Antakya and a demonstration in Izmir province. In September
the Ankara governorship refused to permit the DEP to conduct
the funeral of assassinated DEP Deputy Mehmet Sincar as
planned. Through stepped-up security measures, officials
stopped groups of would-be mourners from entering Ankara, and
security officials in Istanbul prevented some DEP supporters
from even departing that city for Ankara. A serious instance
of police overreaction also occurred in connection with
Sincar's death when, in a clash in front of DEP's Ankara
headquarters, police severely beat several demonstrators who
had come to pay their last respects to Sincar, a scene aired
across the country via private television.

Associations and labor unions are prohibited by law from having
ties to political parties or engaging in political activities.
Police raided a number of associations and organizations in
1993 and harassed some of their members. For example, police
closed temporarily in May, and indefinitely in July, the Mersin
office of the HRA on the grounds that it had sponsored an event
at which allegedly separatist songs were sung. Earlier in
January, the Adana HRA branch was allowed to reopen after a
2-month closure, although its president believes it is still
under surveillance (see Section 4). In July the Istanbul
governor's office closed the Istanbul-based Marmara Freedoms
and Rights Association on the grounds that the organization
"engaged in activity outside the scope of activities it was
entitled to by law."

A gay and lesbian pride conference scheduled for July 2-6 in
Istanbul was banned at the last minute by the governor of
Istanbul on July 2, apparently on the grounds that it would be
contrary to Turkey's "tradition and moral values" and that it
might disturb the peace. He allegedly sent men to many hotels
in Istanbul, instructing them not to provide lodgings for
participants. The next day, Turkish authorities arrested 28
foreign delegates, most of them while they were on their way to
participate in a press conference in protest of the ban. They
were detained for over 5 hours, threatened with possible strip
searches and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tests, and
deported on a Turkish airline to Germany. The organizers had
previously received approval of the event from the Interior

Associations must submit their charters for government
approval, a lengthy and cumbersome process.

c. Freedom of Religion

The Constitution establishes Turkey as a secular state and
provides for freedom of belief, freedom of worship, and private
dissemination of one's religious ideas. Turkey's population is
99 percent Muslim. Under Turkish law, religious services may
take place only in designated places of worship. In Adana,
Turkey's fourth largest city, the only approved sites are
mosques, one Jewish synagogue, and one Roman Catholic church.
A Protestant expatriate group petitioned to have a house of
worship designated for its use. The petition has been under
consideration in Ankara since at least 1992.

Although Turkey is a secular state, religious instruction in
state schools is compulsory for Muslims. Upon written
verification of their non-Muslim background, non-Muslims are
exempted by law from Muslim religious instruction, although
students who wish to attend may do so with parental consent.

The Alawi Muslim minority (an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam) has
expressed interest in Alawi religious instruction in schools.
Some Alawis allege informal discrimination, in the form of
failure to include any Alawi doctrines or beliefs in religious
instruction classes and limits on university entrance and
professional advancement.

Although the majority of Turkey's Alawi population--estimated
to be at least 12 million--is Kurdish, there are no government-
paid Alawi religious leaders in the southeast. No Religious
Affairs Directorate funds go to the Alawi community. In
Tunceli province, which is almost 100-percent Alawi and
Kurdish, the Government built a cavernous mosque in the center
of the city of Tunceli which is used solely by the Sunni
employees of the central government working in Tunceli. Alawis
are disgruntled by the Sunni bias in the Religious Affairs
Directorate and the Directorate's tendency to view the Alawis
as a cultural group, as opposed to a religious sect.

Many prosecutors regard proselytizing and religious activism on
the part of either islamic extremists or evangelical Christians
with suspicion, especially when they deem such activities to
have political overtones. Since there is no law prohibiting
proselytizing, Islamic extremists and evangelical Christians
are sometimes arrested for disturbing the peace. Courts
usually dismiss such charges. The Kayseri state security
court, however, indicted members of an extremist organization
called "Muslims" for attacking and setting on fire a hotel in
Sivas in which satirist Aziz Nesin, translator of Salman
Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses", was staying, causing a death
toll of 37. The case's venue was later transferred to Ankara.

Police also continued their surveillance and detention of
evangelical Christians. In July prosecutors urged an Istanbul
court to send 14 Spanish members of a Protestant sect to prison
for singing hymns and handing out Christian pamphlets outside a
mosque during Muslim prayers. They were charged with
disturbing the peace. The court released them on bail in late
August and ordered them to stand trial.

Turkey's non-Muslim religious groups include some 50,000
Armenian Apostolic Christians, 25,000 Jews, 20,000 Syriac
Christians, 18,000 Arab Orthodox, less than 5,000 Greek
Orthodox, and 5,000 to 6,000 Roman Catholics and Chaldean
Christians. Most religious minorities are concentrated in
Istanbul, and the number of Christians in the south has been
declining as the younger generation leaves Turkey for Europe
and North America. Also there have been reports of
intimidation of non-Muslims living in the southeast (see
Section 1.g.). The number of Assyrian Christians in the
Midyat-Mardin area has dropped from some 50,000 a decade ago to
about 5,000 now. The status of only three minorities--
Armenians, Jews, and Greeks--was recognized under the Lausanne
Treaty. Other religions may not acquire property for
churches. The Catholic Church in Ankara, for example, is
confined to diplomatic property. The State must approve the
operation of churches, monasteries, synagogues, schools, and
charitable religious foundations, such as hospitals and

Turkey's Jewish community is well integrated into Turkish
society, although, it fears the possibility of rising Islamic
extremism. Aside from occasional stones lobbed at synagogue
windows and petty thefts, the Jewish community reported no
problems in 1993.

The activities of Armenian and Greek Orthodox churches and
their affiliated operations are carefully monitored. The
Ministry of Education tightly controls the curriculums in their
schools. Since the Turks in western Thrace in Greece cannot
provide their own schoolteachers and must bring them from
Turkey, the Government is reportedly beginning to question
whether teachers from Greece ought to be brought in to teach
the few Greek residents here. The Greek Patriarchate (Istanbul
is the see of the ecumenical Patriarchate of the Eastern
Orthodox faith), whose seminary on the island of Halki in the
Sea of Marmara has been closed since the 1970's when the State
nationalized all private institutions of higher learning, has
consistently expressed interest in reopening the seminary.
Turkish officials, however, have used a variety of excuses to
keep it closed, claiming most recently that the Greek community
in Turkey is "too small" to justify a seminary. Armenian
church officials complain of petty harassment from local
officials (such as delays or refusals in receiving building
permits) and growing encroachment by certain Muslim extremist
groups on lands belonging to the Armenian community, especially
on the Princes Islands in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul.

Bureaucratic procedures relating to historic preservation
impede repairs to some religious facilities. Ankara's sole
remaining synagogue, for example, is sorely in need of
renovation, a project currently under negotiation between the
community and the Ministry of Culture because the community
cannot afford meticulously to replicate the original interior
decoration. Under Turkish law, religious buildings that become
"extinct" (because of prolonged absence of clergy or lay
persons to staff local religious councils) revert to government
possession. Some non-Muslim minorities, particularly the Greek
Orthodox and, to a lesser extent, shrinking Armenian Orthodox
and Jewish communities, are faced with the danger of losing
their houses of worship.

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

Turkish citizens generally enjoy freedom of movement within
Turkey and the freedom to travel abroad. The Constitution
provides that a citizen's freedom to leave may be restricted
only by the national economic situation, civic obligations
(e.g., military service), or criminal investigation or
prosecution. Each Turkish citizen (except those regularly
working abroad) must pay a departure tax of $100 for every
departure from the country. Travel in the southeast sometimes
is restricted for security reasons. There have been
allegations that security forces on occasion closed off
villages and surrounding regions to hide evidence of government
human rights abuses (see Section 1.a.). Roadblocks, set up by
both Turkish security forces and the PKK, seriously impede
travel in the region.

Although Turkey is a signatory of the U.N. Convention on
Refugees, it officially accords refugee status only to
claimants from Eastern Europe. Asylum seekers from elsewhere
are referred to the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) for third-country resettlement.

Turkey still hosts approximately 6,000 Iraqi refugees who are
awaiting resettlement or who simply refuse to return to Iraq.
Some 2,000 refugees remain in a camp near the Iraqi border,
with another 4,000 living with temporary residence permits
elsewhere. Other Iraqis, who entered Turkey after October
1991, are considered to be illegally in Turkey and are subject
to deportation to northern Iraq, although few are actually

Turkey also hosts a large and revolving population of Iranians,
whose presence is generally tolerated. Those seeking refugee
status are referred to UNHCR and resettled in third countries.
In addition, at least 15,000 Bosnians have found temporary
refuge in Turkey, with the majority living with friends and
relatives and another 3,000 in camps established by the Turkish
government with UNHCR support.

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens
to Change Their Government

Turkish citizens have the right and ability to change the1r
government peacefully. Turkey has a multiparty parliamentary
system, in which elections are held at least every 5 years on
the basis of mandatory universal suffrage for all citizens aged
20 and over. There are no restrictions in law or practice
against women or minorities voting or participating in
politics, with the notable exception of the harassment of the
Kurdish HEP and its successor, the DEP. Fifty-four party
administrators of HEP and DEP have been killed in the past 2
years. Hundreds of DEP members have been detained in recent
months on various charges of disseminating separatist
propaganda and supporting the PKK. Party buildings in Erzurum,
Bursa, Van, Agri, Siverek, and Hakkari were attacked. The DEP
also alleges that mayors who are members of the DEP are
attacked and their towns and municipal buildings raided by
security forces. Several parliamentarians who represent the
DEP are threatened with losing their parliamentary immunity to
prosecution (see also Sections 1.a. and 2.a.).

As of October, 25 political parties were operating in Turkey,
10 of which were represented in Parliament. Several political
parties banned after the 1980 military takeover benefited from
a 1992 parliamentary decision permitting them to reorganize and
resume custody of buildings and assets that had belonged to
them before their closure, a process that was completed by
January 1993.

The Turkish United Communist Party, decriminalized in 1991, was
outlawed in 1992 along with the Socialist Party on grounds that
they violated article 14 of the Constitution which prohibits
"establishing the hegemony of one social class over others."
As of the end of the year, the Constitutional Court had ruled
for the closure of HEP (see Section 2.a.) and its interim
successor OZDEP and was considering whether or not to ban HEP's
successor, DEP.

The Grand National Assembly (Parliament) elects the President
as Head of State every 7 years, or when the President becomes
incapacitated or dies, as occurred in April when Turgut Ozal
died and Suleyman Demirel was elected to succeed him. The 1991
parliamentary elections gave the True Path Party (DYP) a
plurality of 27 percent of the vote and 178 seats in the
450-member unicameral Parliament. The DYP formed a coalition
with the Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) to achieve a
parliamentary majority. In June, after Demirel's election as
President, the DYP chose Tansu Ciller as its new chairperson,
after which the President appointed her Turkey's first female
Prime Minister.

To prevent political fragmentation, seats are allocated on a
weighted proportional representation basis in which parties
that poll less than 10 percent of the total national vote are
excluded. The 1991 elections brought 5 parties into
Parliament; however, party alignments have since changed, and
10 parties are now represented, alongside almost two dozen
independent deputies, who resigned from the parties under whose
banners they won election.

The Constitution provides equal political rights for men and
women; however, only eight women, representing three parties,
were elected to the Parliament in 1991. In addition to Prime
Minister Ciller, there is one female Cabinet minister.
Political parties now recruit female delegates for their party
conferences and electoral lists. Women's committees are active
within political party organizations.

In November the Turkish General Staff (TGS) urged the
mainstream parties to field united slates for the March 1994
local elections in the southeast, lest PKK-supported candidates
win as a result of divided opposition. The Government
disavowed the army's intrusion into the political process, and
the TGS said its statement had been a suggestion.

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations
of Human Rights

A nongovernmental human rights association (HRA), officially
approved in 1987, has branches in 50 provincial capitals,
including a branch in Mersin, which at year's end was closed
indefinitely pending a court case against it. It claims a
membership of about 20,000. In 1990 the HRA established its
companion Human Rights Foundation (HRF) which, in addition to
operating torture rehabilitation centers in Ankara, Izmir, and
Istanbul, serves as a clearinghouse for human rights
information. Human rights activists, including lawyers and
doctors, are routinely threatened. There are credible reports
of the involvement of security forces in these threats, which
appear to be related to their human rights activities
documenting human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by
government forces.

Some government officials, including some prosecutors and
police, punitively apply various laws to restrict HRA
activities. For example, officials ordered various branches
of the HRA closed for periods of weeks or months generally on
charges that they had published allegedly separatist material
or sponsored a speech that was allegedly separatist in nature.
Police raided HRA branches in Mersin and elsewhere and
confiscated written materials. An HRA president in southern
Turkey said he and his board remained under surveillance. Many
HRA branch officers spent time in detention or under arrest
(see Section 2.b.), and one--Kemal Kilic, Urfa HRA steering
committee member and former Ozgur Gundem reporter--was killed
by unidentified assailants on the Urfa-Akcakale highway in
February (see Section 1.a.). Reliable eyewitnesses observed
the surveillance and harassment of one HRA branch office in the
southeast and watched as security police entered another HRA
office in the region uninvited and began, without permission,
to make telephone calls. The president of the HRA office in
Diyarbakir, Fevzi Veznedaroglu, who reported receiving death
threats from plainclothes police officers, and the HRA Van
president never returned from their 1992 "trips to Europe."
The president of the Siirt HRA was arrested on February 26,
1993, and detained for 3 months on charges of giving aid and
comfort to the PKK. The HRA representative in the town of
Derik, Mardin province, was detained six separate times in
1993. Many of these investigations and prosecutions, as well
as many arrests of human rights monitors, stemmed from alleged
violations of the law on associations or the holding of illegal
demonstrations. Surveillance and harassment of HRA members in
the southeast appears to have become increasingly common.

In operation since 1991, Parliament's multiparty Human Rights
Commission in February completed its report on allegations of
widespread torture in Turkey. The report conceded that the
practice of torture had continued since the DYP/SHP coalition
came to power but denied allegations that torture was an
official government policy. It sent a delegation to Diyarbakir
to monitor the 1993 Kurdish new year celebration launched an
investigation into the Sivas incident (Section 2.c.) and is
investigating the incidents at Lice (Section 1.a.). The
Commission is authorized to oversee Turkey's compliance with
the human rights provisions of Turkish law and international
agreements to which Turkey is a signatory, investigate alleged
abuses, and prepare reports.

While representatives of diplomatic missions or foreign private
organizations who wish to monitor the state of human rights in
Turkey are free to speak with private citizens, official
visitors to the southeast may be watched by security police,
and the presence of security officials may have an intimidating
effect upon those interviewed. Access to government officials
or facilities at times has been restricted, although, in 1992
for the very first time, Helsinki Watch visitors obtained every
appointment they requested, including access to detention

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion,
Disability, Language, or Social Status

The Constitution proclaims Turkey to be a secular state,
regards all Turkish citizens as equal, and prohibits
discrimination on ethnic, religious, or racial grounds. The
Government officially recognizes only those religious
minorities mentioned in the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), which
guarantees the rights of non-Muslim Greek Orthodox, Armenian
Apostolic, and Jewish adherents. Despite constitutional
provisions, discrimination remains a problem in several areas.


Women are improving their situation in Turkish society,
including the professions, business, and civil service,
although, they continue to face discrimination to varying
degrees. While traditional values continued to discourage
women from entering some career fields, there are numerous
female judges, doctors, and engineers. Women comprise about 36
percent of the paid Turkish work force and generally receive
equal pay for equal work. The Constitution prohibits women
from engaging in physically demanding jobs and from night work,
and applicable laws are effectively enforced. In the past
there has been an arbitrary barrier to women becoming
governor's and subgovernors (government appointed positions).
Women may now take the examination necessary to become a
subgovernor and several have been appointed. There is also one
female governor.

Traditional family values in rural Turkey place a greater
emphasis on advanced education for sons than for daughters.
In principle, primary education reached all children in 1993,
but far fewer girls than boys continued their education after
primary school. In 1992 Parliament passed a law increasing
universal mandatory education from 5 to 8 years. The law will
be implemented gradually throughout the country. For the
1993-94 school year, it was put into effect in several pilot
regions. A delegation of some 50 women representing the
Women's Studies Center of Istanbul University and numerous
other private organizations presented a petition to Parliament
on February 17 calling for legislation to abolish the special
position of husbands as head of family. As noted in Section
1.e., there are some seldom enforced laws that discriminate
against women.

Spousal abuse is still considered an extremely private matter,
although it is a widespread problem, interest in which is
growing. Few women go to the police, who in any case are
reluctant to intervene in domestic disputes. Turks of either
sex may file civil or criminal charges but rarely do. Turkish
law and courts make no discrimination between the sexes in laws
concerning violence or abuse. In July 1992, the Purple Roof
Foundation (for battered women) opened a "hello shelter"
telephone line; it attracted 3,300 callers in its first 3
months, even under Transportation Ministry regulations
restricting its operating hours to weekdays. The Purple Roof
has since expanded its service to two lines, one of which
focuses on helping battered women, and the other of which deals
with a variety of other subjects. The Government also has
opened shelters in major cities for abused women and their
children who have left their homes.

Independent women's and women's rights associations exist, but
the concept of lobbying for women's rights has not gained great


The Government is committed to furthering children's welfare
and is working to expand opportunities in education and health,
including further reduction of the infant mortality rate.

Turkey's children have suffered greatly from the cycle of
violence in southeastern Anatolia. School closings and the
decision by many families to move westward, be it for economic
reasons or to escape the violence, have uprooted children to
cities which are hard pressed to find the resources to extend
basic, mandatory services, such as schooling. The Government
is exploring the possibility of establishing regional boarding
schools to help combat this problem. Although primary
schooling is mandatory, many young children, ages 9 to 12, can
be seen on the streets hawking goods or shining shoes (see
Section 6.d.).

National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Ethnic and religious minorities face various forms of societal
discrimination. The minority of Turkish Kurds who were
long-term residents in industrialized cities in western Turkey
have been, for the most part, assimilated into the political,
economic, and social life of the nation. Kurds who are
currently migrating westward (including those displaced by the
conflict between the Government and the PKK), bring with them
their Kurdish cultural and village identity from the east.
Most parliamentary representatives from southeastern Turkey are
ethnic Kurds, but representatives of Kurdish ethnic origin have
been elected from districts far removed from the southeast.
Several cabinet ministers, as well as other government
officials, claim an ethnic Kurdish background.

The increasing violence of the fighting in the southeast is
polarizing ethnic Turks and Kurds and creating a climate of
intolerance. Particularly, in cities such as Adana and Mersin,
which have witnessed a large influx of Kurds fleeing the
violence in the southeast, tensions are rising. For example,
three friends in Adana were stopped by a policeman demanding to
see their identification papers. The man from Sivas, a
predominantly Turkish province, was allowed to proceed; the two
friends from Mardin, a predominantly Kurdish province, were
detained and taken to the local police station for
questioning. Tensions have also begun to spread westward, for
example, in a fight between a Kurdish construction worker and a
grocer in the Aegean province of Kutahya, local inhabitants
hurled stones at a cottage inhabited by eight Kurdish workers
and shouted anti-PKK slogans.

The 1991 repeal of the law prohibiting publications or
communication in Kurdish legalized some spoken and printed
Kurdish communications. However, under the political parties
law, all discussion which takes place at political meetings
must be in Turkish. Kurdish may only be spoken in
"nonpolitical communication." Court proceedings (and all
government functions, including public education) continued to
be conducted in Turkish, disadvantaging those Kurdish-speaking
defendants who had to rely on court-provided translators.
Moreover, materials dealing with Kurdish history, culture, and
ethnic identity continued to be subject to confiscation and
prosecution under the "indivisible unity of the State"
provisions of the Anti-Terror Law.

The Gypsy population is extremely small, and no reported
incidents of public or government harassment directed against
Gypsies occurred during 1993. In January a Democratic Left
Party deputy announced he had prepared a draft bill proposing
the adoption of Turkey's Gypsies as Turkish citizens, but the
legislation made no headway.

The Greek community complained of petty harassment by police,
restrictions on freedom of expression and religion,
discrimination in education involving teachers, books, and
curriculum, limitations on the right to control their
charitable institutions, and the denial of their ethnic
identity. The Government approves teacher candidates and new
textbooks in step with reciprocal approvals by the Greek
Government for the Turkish minority in Thrace. (See also
Section 2.c.)

People with Disabilities

Parliament established a commission to look into the problems
of the disabled, but to date legislation dealing with the
disabled is piecemeal, and there is little legislation
regarding accessibility for the disabled. Certain categories
of employers are required to hire disabled persons as 2 percent
of their employee pool, although there is no penalty for
failure to comply. One M.P., himself disabled, is working on a
draft law which would fold all current provisions regarding the
disabled into one piece of legislation. The draft reportedly
will include educational provisions (currently there are
special schools for the blind, deaf and mentally handicapped),
provisions to educate the general public, a provision that
municipalities not issue building permits unless the plans for
the building provide for access for the disabled, and provide
for an easing of customs regulations to allow for easier
importation of special equipment.

Section 6 Worker Rights

a. The Right of Association

Most workers have the right to associate freely and form
representative unions. Exceptions are schoolteachers (both
public and private), civil servants, the police, and military
personnel. Upon taking office in November 1991, the Government
of Prime Minister Demirel declared, as part of its pledge to
bring Turkish labor legislation into conformity with the
standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO), its
intention to grant trade union rights to civil servants.
Implementation requires a three-step process: parliamentary
ratification of ILO Conventions 87 on freedom of association
and 151 on freedom of association in the public sector;
amendment of the relevant article of the Constitution; and
revision of the law on trade unions. In 1992 the Government
began the process by ratifying seven ILO Conventions, including
Conventions 87 and 151.

Permission for civil servants to form trade unions and for
unions to engage in political activity will require amendments
to the Constitution--a procedure further complicated by the
need to gain support among the opposition parties in order to
secure the requisite two-thirds majority. The Government told
the ILO's Committee on the Application of Standards in June
that, with ratification of Convention 87, new legislative
measures with regard to the right of civil servants to organize
could be expected. At year's end, the Government finished its
consultations with civil servant representatives and stated it
planned to submit draft legislation that would legalize civil
servant union organization to the Council of Ministers for
review in early 1994.

The law states that unions and confederations may be founded
without prior authorization based on a petition to the governor
of the province where the union's headquarters are to be
located. Although unions are independent of the Government and
political parties, they must have government permission to hold
meetings or rallies and must allow police to attend conventions
and record the proceedings. Union officers may serve no more
than eight consecutive 3-year terms in a given union position.
The Constitution requires candidates for union office to have
worked 10 years in the industry represented by the union.

Unions and their officers have a statutory right to express
views on issues directly affecting members' economic and social
interests, but the Constitution prohibits any union role in
party politics (such as organic or financial connections with
any political party or other association). In practice, unions
have been able to convey clearly in election and referendum
campaigns their support for, or opposition to, given political
parties and government policies. Prosecutors may request labor
courts to order a trade union or confederation into liquidation
based on alleged violation of specific legal norms. The
Government, however, may not summarily dissolve a union. The
ILO's Committee on Standards noted in June that public servants
who had been dismissed under martial law were being reinstated
as a result of the Fight Against Terrorism Act of 1991, but
expressed concern that the Act's broad definition of terrorism
and propaganda could lead to workers' being deprived of
employment on the basis of political discrimination.

During 1993, the assets and property of the Turkish
Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Unions (DISK), which had
been seized when DISK was banned after the 1980 military coup,
were returned.

The right to strike, while guaranteed in the Constitution, is
partially restricted. For example, workers engaged in the
protection of life and property and those in the mining and
petroleum industries, sanitation services, national defense,
and education do not have the right to strike. Collective
bargaining is required before a strike. The law specifies the
series of steps a union must take before it may strike or an
employer may engage in a lockout. Nonbinding mediation is the
last of those steps. In sectors in which strikes are
prohibited, disputes are resolved through binding arbitration.
A party that fails to comply with these steps forfeits its
rights. The struck employer may respond with a lockout but is
prohibited from hiring strikebreakers or using administrative
personnel to perform jobs normally done by strikers. Unions
are forbidden to engage in secondary (solidarity), wildcat, or
general strikes. The Government also has the statutory power
to suspend strikes for 60 days for reasons of national security
or public health and safety. Unions may petition the Council
of State to lift such a suspension, but if this appeal fails
the strike is subject to compulsory arbitration at the end of
the 60-day period.

Some 45 strikes, involving about 6,900 workers, took place in
the first 10 months of the year. All were peaceful, and most
resulted in sizable wage and benefit settlements. The
Government suspended 1 strike in 1993. This involved a strike
by workers at a printing facility at the Prime Ministry which
produces Turkey's official gazette. The Government invoked
compulsory arbitration to end this strike and adjusted the
wages of the workers to make them comparable to those of
workers who had similar jobs in other establishments.

With government approval, unions may and do form or join
confederations and international labor bodies, as long as these
organizations are not hostile to Turkey or to freedom of
religion or belief. The International Confederation of Free
Trade Unions (ICFTU) approved DISK as an affiliate in December
1992. Turk-Is is a longstanding member. Hak-Is, the Islamic
union confederation, applied for ICFTU affiliation in 1993. In
its December 1993 meeting, the ICFTU postponed consideration of
HAK-IS' application, pending further consultations with the
European Free Trade Union Confederation and the ICFTU's Turkish

b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

All industrial workers have the right to organize and bargain
collectively, and most industrial activity and some public
sector agricultural activities are organized. The law requires
that, in order to become a bargaining agent, a union must
represent not only 50 percent plus one of the employees at a
given work site but also 10 percent of all the workers in that
particular industry. This 10-percent barrier has the effect of
favoring established unions, and particularly those affiliated
with Turk-Is, the confederation that represents nearly 80
percent of organized labor in Turkey. The ILO has called on
Turkey to rescind this 10-percent rule, and the recently
relegalized DISK, which is seriously disadvantaged by it,
raised the issue with the ILO in 1992. Both Turk-Is and the
Turkish employers' organization favor retention of the rule,
however, and the Government is not pursuing a change.
Antiunion discrimination by employers is prohibited by law. An
effective means for resolving complaints of such discrimination
exists within the system of labor courts.

Union organizing and collective bargaining are permitted in the
duty-free export processing zones at Antalya, Istanbul, Izmir,
and Mersin. Workers in those zones, however, are not allowed
to strike during the first 10 years of operation. Until then,
settlements not otherwise reached will be determined by binding

In its 1993 report, the ILO Committee of Experts on the
application of conventions noted that it has expressed its
concern over the years regarding legislative infringement of
free collective bargaining, compulsory arbitration in cases of
disputes other than those relating to essential services, and
denial to civil servants of the right to bargain collectively.

c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

Compulsory labor is prohibited by the Constitution and statutes
and is not practiced.

d. Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The Constitution and labor laws forbid employment of children
younger than 15, with the exception that those aged 13 and 14
may engage in light part-time work if enrolled in school or
vocational training. The Constitution also prohibits children
from engaging in physically demanding jobs, such as underground
mining, and from working at night. The Ministry of Labor
effectively enforces these laws only in the organized
industrial sector.

In practice, many children work because families frequently
need the supplementary income. An informal and essentially
unsupervised apprenticeship system provides work for young boys
at low wages, e.g., in auto repair shops. Girls are rarely
seen working in public, but many are kept out of school to work
in indoor handicrafts, especially in rural areas.

Turkey is participating in the ILO's international program on
the elimination of child labor (IPEC). In 1992, with technical
assistance from the ILO, the Government established a child
labor unit within the Ministry of Labor tasked with training
labor inspectors for better enforcement of child labor laws.
According to the Ministry of Labor, in 1993 the number of
trained assistant inspectors for child labor had increased from
160 to 700. The ministry has held training seminars and
workshops on the problems of child labor. The workshops have
included representatives from the Turk-Is Labor Confederation
and from employers. Turk-Is itself has established a child
labor office within the confederation. A center in Ankara has
also been opened to help children found working in the streets.

e. Acceptable Conditions of Work

The Labor Ministry is legally obliged to set minimum wages at
least every 2 years through a minimum wage board, a tripartite
government-industry-union body. In recent years it has done so
annually. On July 23, the minimum wage was increased by 70
percent over the year before. The monthly minimum wage rate
(after taxes), effective August 1, is $138 (T.L. 1,563,000) for
workers older than 16 and $99 (T.L. 1,116,000) for workers
under 16.

Without support from other sources, it would be difficult for a
single worker, and impossible for a family, to live on the
minimum wage. Most workers earn considerably more. In
addition to wages, workers covered by the labor law, who
constitute about one-third of the total labor force, also
receive a hot meal or food allowance daily; transportation to
and from work; a fuel allowance; and other fringe benefits
which, according to the Turkish employers' organization, makes
basic wages alone only about 37 percent of total remuneration.

Labor law provides for a nominal 45-hour workweek, although
most unions have bargained for fewer hours in the workweek.
Labor law limits the number of overtime hours to 3 hours a day
for up to 90 days in a year. The labor inspectorate of the
Ministry of Labor in the unionized industrial, service, and
government sectors effectively enforces wage and hour

Occupational health and safety regulations are mandated by law,
but the Government has not carried out an effective inspection
and enforcement program. In practice, financial constraints,
limited safety awareness, carelessness, and fatalistic
attitudes result in scant attention to occupational safety and
health by workers and employers alike.

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