The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released prior to January 20, 2001.  Please see for material released since President George W. Bush took office on that date.  This site is not updated so external links may no longer function.  Contact us with any questions about finding information.

NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

Department Seal


TITLE:  TURKEY HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993                             
DATE: JANUARY 31, 1994


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.

[end of document]


Department Seal

Return to 1993 Human Rights Practices report home page.
Return to DOSFAN home page.
This is an official U.S. Government source for information on the WWW. Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.