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Turkish Cypriot Press (95-11-01)

Foreign newspapers Directory

From: Giorgos Zacharia <lysi@MIT.EDU>

204/95 1.11.95


1. Human Rights Report 1994 in Turkey. 2. CTP "Assembly" group decides to remain in "government". 3. Acarkan to Malta to attend Mediterranean Security meeting. 4. Rasit criticizes non-aligned resolution 5. Mehmet Ali Talat new "State Minister and deputy Prime Minister". 6. Reference to Cyprus in the programme of the new Turkish government. 7. Russian teenager converts to Islam. 8. 4768 people granted "citizenship" in the occupied area.


No.204/95 1.11.95


1. Human Rights Report 1994 in Turkey

Turkish Daily News (25.10.95 and 26.10.95) publishes the Human Rights Report 1994 prepared by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey. According to the summary of the report, Turkey remained in the red on the human rights balance sheet in 1994. Human rights and freedoms, including the primary right to life, were continuously abused during the year. Extra-judicial executions and murders by unknown assailants continued intensively. Torture was continued to be systematically applied in police stations and particularly in centers where political detainees were held. Claims concerning torture cases were not followed up. The Kurdish problem was not solved and even became more complex. Instead of finding a peaceful and political solution to the Kurdish problems, the government preferred to increase the military measures which have been applied for years.

Clashes in the Emergency State Region intensified. Armed and bomb attacks carried out by the PKK against defenseless and unarmed civilians, mass transportation vehicles and facilities available to tourists continued at an accelerated pace. The dimension of the violence increased compared to the previous years. A total of 4041 people lost their lives as a result of clashes, extra-judicial executions, torture cases, armed attacks and assassinations, and because of murders by unknown assailants (the murder of people who lost their lives was 2,933 in 1992, and 3,492 in 1993).

Books, journals and newspapers were confiscated and destroyed. People who wrote and spoke were silenced and imprisoned. Bomb and armed attacks against press facilities and journalists continued. The public was informed by only one side and the facts were greatly distorted. Pressure and attacks against political parties, trade unions and democratic mass organizations continued to increase day by day. Work and activities of these organizations were prevented and banned, their members and leaders were frequently detained and arrested.

Many demonstrations, meetings and concerts were not permitted. Demonstrators were beaten and shot with guns by security officers. The DEP was closed, immunities of deputies were lifted, deputies were arrested and convicted. Armed attacks against the administrators of political parties could not be prevented. Expectations concerning working life were frustrated. Amendments to be made related to workers' rights and union rights on the laws, that had been put into force by the 12 September regime, were not brought onto the agenda. Dismissals continued in an intensive manner. Civil servants' trade unions did not have legal status.

Turkey also experienced busy days apart from the human rights issue in 1994, witnessed important developments and had economic setbacks. It fell on hard days in foreign policy. Most of the rights and freedoms called for in the international human rights documents were deemed as "luxuries". During the year, instead of the human rights, those who violate them were protected.

The human rights advocates became targets, and were accused of being extensions, supporters of members of armed organization. The figures concerning the deaths, torture victims, confiscated publications and sentenced journalists increased several-fold when compared to the last year. Even some positive decisions taken in the previous years were dispensed with. For example, the period for military service was extended, and studies were started in order to extend the retirement age. The DYP-SHP coalition government which gave promises on "democratization" and an "administration respectful to human rights" did not keep the promises, but showed behaviour that contradicted to its promises.

The dark picture summarized above was experienced when the DYP-SHP coalition pledged to improve the human rights record and enlarge the democracy was in power.

The "democratization package" revealed by Prime Minister Tansu Ciller and the then Deputy Prime Minister Murat Karayalcin on May 18 comprised a list of 62 articles needing to be amended in the Constitution and laws, but was never seriously implemented save for the allowed return of people dismissed from their jobs because of security probes and the endorsement of the Convention on Rights of Children.

Because of human rights abuses, Turkey was frequently condemned on international platforms in 1994, in the reports by many human rights organizations particularly by Amnesty International and Helsinki Watch. The condemnations were particularly intense regarding the Kurdish problem, torture cases, extra-judicial executions and freedom of thought. The criticisms further increased with the arrest of the pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (DEP), the closure of the party and the sentencing of the deputies. The human rights abuses came up frequently during negotiations between Turkey and the EU on customs union, causing problems for Ankara. The European Parliament demanded the suspension of the customs union talks and the postponement of the Association Council meeting set for December 19. Turkey also was confronted with individual applications to the European Human Rights Commission in 1994. A senior Justice Ministry official said in July that about 300 cases had been filed to the European Human Rights Commission against Turkey which faced the liability of paying large sums in compensation.

Torture which has been applied as a systematic interrogation method for years, continued spreading in 1994. The number of deaths in detention, persons who disappeared after being detained, or incapacitated due to torture, and the number of the cases of torture and rape in detention increased considerably compared to the previous year. Despite official statements and

explanations, torture could not be prevented, even no effort could be witnessed for decrease in torture cases. Perpetrators were protected, encouraged and even rewarded. Investigations initiated in connection with torture cases did not proceed beyond being nominal. Manner of pending trials and trivial sentences played a significant role in the increase of torture cases.

The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey established that 1128 people, including 261 women and 24 children, had been tortured in detention centers or prisons. Of these, 476 proved the torture with official medical reports. 36 of tortured females stated that they had been raped or sexually abused under custody.

2. CTP "Assembly" group decides to remain in "government"

According to illegal Bayrak Radio (6:00 hours, 31.10.95) the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) "Assembly" group has decided to remain in the "government" and to authorize the CTP Central Administrative Council to hold an extraordinary congress in a bid to solve the internal problems of the party. It also accepted the resignation of Ozker Ozgur from his post of "state minister and deputy prime minister."

In his statement following the "Assembly" group meeting, Secretary General Alpay Avsaroglu said that the group confirmed the CTP's commitment to the "government protocol and program".

Stating that the resignation of Ozgur was accepted, Avsaroglu added that no decisions were adopted regarding the resignation of the "Health Minister" because it only reached their hands the previous night.

In reply to a question on whether a full-scale "cabinet" reshuffle is under consideration, Avsaroglu said: It is possible.

3. Acarkan to Malta to attend Mediterranean Security meeting

According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 31.10.95) the so-called Assembly Speaker Ayhan Halit Acarkan went to Malta to attend the Mediterranean countries parliamentary union security and cooperation meeting. In a statement at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport before his departure for Malta, Acarkan said that the pseudostate will be represented for the first time at these meetings held among Mediterranean countries for three years. Acarkan added that he will hold various contacts concerning the Cyprus problem during the Malta conference.

4. Rasit criticizes non-aligned resolution

According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 31.10.95) Atay Ahmet Rasit, "Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister," has claimed that the section pertaining to Cyprus of the final communique issued at the end of the non-alignment summit meeting held in Colombia is totally biased. In a written statement, Rasit alleged that resolutions adopted in the absence of the Turkish Cypriots are not binding on the "TRNC" or its people.

Further alleging that the Greek Cypriot side has "turned the non-aligned movement into an accomplice for their deception", Rasit added that outside interference will undermine the negotiating process.

Claiming that at this critical phase of the Cyprus problem, the Turkish Cypriot side expects non-aligned countries to act in a more just, constructive, and responsible manner, Rasit said that "such biased interference will merely serve to support the intransigent attitude of the Greek Cypriot side".

5. Mehmet Ali Talat new "State Minister and deputy Prime Minister"

According to KIBRIS (1.11.95) following the resignation of Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader Ozker Ozgur from the so-called State Minister and deputy Prime Minister post in the pseudo-government, the party's Central Executive Committee convened and decided to fill the vacant post with Mehmet Ali Talat.

KIBRIS also reports that RTP, the junior partner in the so-called government, is considering to make a reshuffle in the RTP wing of the "government".

The names of the new so-called ministers will be announced today, the paper reports. (MY)

6. Reference to Cyprus in the programme of the new Turkish government

According to KIBRIS (1.11.95) Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Ciller has submitted her new government's programme to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). The programme refers to the Cyprus problem as well. The Cyprus problem is being considered as one of the most important foreign policy issues. It says "We are in favour of giving priority in handling the confidence-building-measures accepted by the TRNC".

The section in the programme referring to Cyprus reads: "One of the most important foreign policy issues is the Cyprus problem. We consider that a bizonal bicommunal federal structure is the only remedy in settling the Cyprus problem. In order to secure progress on this issue, we favour giving priority in handling the confidence-building-measures, which were accepted by the TRNC". (MY)

7. Russian teenager converts to Islam

According to KIBRIS (1.11.95), a Russian teenager, Viladik Nelubia, 15, in a religious ceremony in occupied Kyrenia adopted Islam as his new faith and as a necessary condition for a believer in Islam he had a circumcision.

He also changed his name into Huseyin.

To this effect, his mother Nika Nelubina placed an announcement in the paper. Huseyin (Viladik) claimed that his father had passed away, that his is living with his mother and will continue to live in the occupied area and that he wanted to serve in the occupation army. (MY)

8. 4768 people granted "citizenship" in the occupied area

According to KIBRIS (1.11.95) 4768 people were granted "citizenship" in the occupied area between 1 January, 1994 and 30 September, 1995.

The paper gives the break-down of the people who were granted the so-called citizenship. They are:

People granted citizenship 1994 1995 TOTAL

With the approval of the Council of Ministers (Turkish Citizens) 603 670 1273

With the approval of the Interior Ministry (Turkish Citizens) 650 529 1179

People whose spouse is a "TRNC" citizen 162 302 464

Bulgarian Turks (Third country citizens included) 265 457 722

People of Cypriot origin 601 529 1130 Total 2281 2487 4768 (MY) EF/SK ----------------------

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