CAMPAIGN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN TURKEY
WDIE has recently received the May 2000 Bulletin of
the Campaign for Human Rights in Turkey. The campaign was launched by the
Liverpool Dockers Shop Stewards Delegation to Turkey, July 1996.
The text of the Bulletin follows:
MAYDAYAND LABOUR ISSUES
May Day was celebrated by workers in over 40 cities with
thousands demonstrating peacefully. However, in Diyarbakir and Sinop May Day
demonstrations were banned. In Ankara 199 police teams arrested 535
"suspicious" people before May Day. (1.5.2000). Earlier, thousands
also demonstrated against privatisation, the IMF, MAI and MIGA agreements in
events organised by KESK (Public Sector Workers) and IISSP (Istanbul Workers
Union Branches Platform).
Trade unionist's death in custody: police superintendent
still free: Mehmet Yutar and Erol Ersan, who tortured DISK Limter-Is Union
education expert, Suleyman Yeter, to death in police custody have surrendered.
However, superintendent Ahinet Okuducu is still free. The hearing has been
postponed to a later date awaiting the attendance of the accused officers and
nine witnesses. Prof Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci, who signed the death
certificate of Yeter, is also under investigation and could face a suspension
from her post. (26-28.4.2000).
Child labour: A recent study by the ILO shows Turkey
to be fourth in the world league table of countries with the highest number of
child labourers. In Turkey child labour makes up 24% of the total labour force,
comprising 4 million children under 14. They work between 12-16 hours a day
under no official safeguards whatsoever. 79.2 % work unpaid, as they are deemed
to be in apprenticeships or job training. (24.4.2000).
PRISONS AND PRISONERS
HRA Campaign: The Turkish Human Rights Association (HRA) has
launched a campaign against "cell type" prisons, with the slogan of
"cell means death". They say that if prisoners are put into single
cells, the result will be enforced isolation and a green light for state forces
within the prisons to further harass and torture individual prisoners with
impunity. Chairman of HRA Ankara Branch Lutfu Dermirkapi says, "We have
launched this campaign to avoid further massacres in future". He also
points out that the prisons are full owing to Turkey's lack of civil liberties.
"Cell type" prisons are now in the process of being built in Turkey.
Last year in Ulucanlar prison, Ankara, 10 prisoners were killed by the security
Torture Case: Nur Birgen, chair of the Legal Medical
Authority 3rd Specialisation Department, issued a medical report declaring that
three prisoners who had been seriously tortured had suffered no injury. The
prisoners concerned have taken her to court, with the hearing now adjourned to
3 July 2000. Prisoners' lawyer Metin Narin has himself been brought before an
adjudicator for suggesting that Nur Birgen "not only concealed the torture
having taken place but also herself watched and directed it in Beyoglu".
Narin's case was adjourned to 7 June 2000. (21.04.2000)
Police officer Seydi Banal Kose, ordered to carry out the
assault on Metin Goktepe, the journalist beaten to death by police on 8 January
1996, has been given only 20 months imprisonment, 375,000 TL (40 pence) fine
and 5 months' suspension from duty. His earlier sentence of 7.5 years
imprisonment was recently overturned by the Supreme Court. Metin's mother and
solicitors will appeal. (22.04.2000)
CONTINUED OPPRESSION OF KURDS AND KURDISH AREAS
Collectively and individually the Kurdish people continue to
suffer arbitrary harassment by the authorities. One notorious example is that
of Kazim Ozek (Citizen 991104) who, after having his house burned down by state
forces in his home town of Mus, tried to start a new life in Istanbul. He has
since been subjected for seven years to arrests and police harassment.
Evrensel daily newspaper, the Kurdish humorous magazine Pine and
another four magazines have been banned from distribution in Kurdish cities
under emergency rule (2.5.2000). Please send your protests to these numbers:
OHAL Mayoral District Tel: 0090 412 228 63 00-05 Fax: 0090 412 224 35 72
Interior Ministry Tel: 0090 312 425 40 80 Fax: 0090 312 425 45 59 / 0090
312 418 1795.