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Title:  Turkey Human Rights Practices, 1995   
Author:  U.S. Department of State    
Date:  March 1996    
 
 
 
 
                                 TURKEY 
 
 
Turkey is a constitutional republic with a multiparty Parliament, the 
Grand National Assembly, which elects the President.  Suleyman Demirel 
was elected President in 1993; Tansu Ciller, leader of the center-right 
True Path Party, became the first female Prime Minister the same year.  
Parliamentary elections in late December gave no single party a 
majority.  The existing coalition Government continued in caretaker 
status, while efforts continued to form a new government.  
 
For over a decade, Turkey has engaged in armed conflict with the 
terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), whose stated goal is the 
creation of a separate state of Kurdistan in southeastern Turkey.  A 
state of emergency, declared in 1987, continues in 10 southeastern 
provinces where the Government faces substantial terrorist violence from 
the PKK.  A regional governor retains authority over those 10 provinces, 
as well as 3 adjacent ones, for security matters.  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 was most recently renewed in October 1995.  
 
The Turkish National Police (TNP) are charged with maintaining public 
order in the cities, a responsibility carried out by the Jandarma 
(gendarmerie) in the countryside.  The regular armed forces, 
particularly the army, continued their lead role in combating the PKK in 
the state of emergency region in the southeast, thereby taking on an 
internal security function.  Civilian authorities remain publicly 
committed to the establishment of a state of law and respect for human 
rights, but torture, excessive use of force, and other serious human 
rights abuses by the security forces persisted throughout 1995. 
 
Turkey has a primarily market-based economy driven by an active private 
sector.  Agriculture and industry are both important to the overall 
economy.  The agricultural sector employs nearly half the country's 
labor force, but contributes only 15 percent of the gross national 
product and total exports.  The leading industrial sectors--textiles, 
iron and steel--also provide the leading exports.  Reforms implemented 
over the past 15 years have opened the economy to global competition and 
eliminated most aspects of state control.  One result has been 
impressive economic growth, which has translated into an improved 
standard of living.  In 1995 the economy recovered from the previous 
year's economic crisis, although the Government had little success in 
combating persistent inflation and budget deficits.  While a long-
stalled privatization program picked up steam, state enterprises 
continue to account for almost 40 percent of manufacturing sector 
output.  The conflict in the southeast continued to be a substantial 
drain on the economy. 
 
The human rights situation improved in a number of areas, but very 
serious problems remain.  The situation in the southeast was of 
particular concern.  Government security forces and the PKK continued to 
forcibly evacuate and sometimes burn villages, though at a significantly 
lower level than in 1994.  Various sources estimate that as many as 2 
million people have left their homes in the southeast over the past 7 
years; village evacuations have been one significant contributing factor 
and economic reasons were another.  Government programs to deal with and 
compensate the many internally displaced have been very inadequate.  In 
Tunceli province, police "special teams" harassed and mistreated 
civilians.  Public outcry by Members of Parliament (M.P.'s) caused the 
special teams to be transferred and led to fewer abuses.  There appears 
to have been a substantial increase in the number of PKK terrorists who 
were captured or surrendered; in the past, very few were taken alive.  
 
The number of deaths in detention, safe house raids, "mystery killings," 
and disappearances was down considerably from 1994.  Some other forms of 
extrajudicial killings rose, including those associated with crowd 
control situations.  Torture also continued to be a very serious 
problem.  Police and security forces often employed torture during 
periods of incommunicado detention and interrogation.  Prison conditions 
remained poor.  
 
Limits on freedom of expression remained another serious problem, 
although Parliament's October revision of Article 8 of the 1991 Anti-
Terror Law (which has been used frequently to limit freedom of 
expression) and the subsequent court-ordered release of 143 detainees 
were significant positive steps.  The Government continued to use the 
1991 Anti-Terror Law, with its broad and ambiguous definition of 
terrorism, to detain both alleged terrorists and a broad range of people 
on the charge that their acts, words, or ideas constituted dissemination 
of separatist propaganda.  Prosecutors also used Article 312 of the 
Criminal Code (incitement to racial or ethnic enmity) with increasing 
frequency.  There were a number of significant acquittals in freedom of 
expression cases, including novelist Yasar Kemal and American journalist 
Aliza Marcus.  Television programs expanded the limits on debate on 
human rights and other issues of freedom of speech and the press.  
 
On October 26, the Appeals Court announced its decision in the case of 
seven former pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (DEP) Members of Parliament 
(M.P.'s) and one independent who had appealed their convictions for 
disseminating separatist propaganda and for supporting or being a member 
of an armed band.  Two of the original eight received suspended 
sentences and were fined and released in 1994.  The 1995 decision 
affirmed the convictions of four of the M.P.'s for being members of an 
armed band but overturned the convictions of two and ordered that they 
be retried under the revised Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law.   
 
The four whose convictions were affirmed are appealing to the European 
Human Rights Commission:  the Government has publicly affirmed that it 
will respect that body's decision.  In its written ruling, the Appeals 
Court stated that it was not a crime to take the parliamentary oath in 
Kurdish, to wear accessories in the Kurdish colors, or to claim Turkish 
as a foreign language in Parliament.  
 
Officials of various government agencies continued to harass, 
intimidate, indict, and imprison human rights monitors, journalists, and 
lawyers for ideas which they expressed in public forums.  Serious 
prosecutions of police or security officers for extrajudicial killings 
and torture continued to be rare, although the number of convictions in 
torture cases increased modestly.  The climate of impunity that the 
relatively small number of convictions creates probably remains the 
single largest obstacle to reducing unlawful killing, torture, and other 
human rights abuses.   
 
In October Parliament amended Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law by 
introducing an implied intent standard, reducing minimum and maximum 
sentences, and allowing first offenses to be converted to fines.  In 
July Parliament passed a package of 16 constitutional amendments which 
substantially broadened political participation by unions, academicians, 
and students.  In March the Prime Minister issued a second circular 
stating the unacceptability of torture (the first was in January 1994); 
the State Minister for Human Rights intervened personally in several 
torture cases to ensure that they were brought to trial.  The State 
Minister's academic advisory committee produced a report on appropriate 
interrogation methods employed in various Western countries, and the 
leader of the committee stated that some of the report's recommendations 
are being implemented.  Human rights education in primary schools was 
made mandatory; it is optional in high schools.  The Government expanded 
human rights training for the police and military.   
 
In July the National Security Director announced the creation of contact 
teams to act as liaison between families and their relatives who are 
detained.  Offices have been opened in Ankara and Istanbul, and their 
telephone numbers were publicized.  The offices serve those who are 
detained for State Security Court crimes.   
 
Spousal abuse remains a serious problem.  
 
PKK terrorists murdered noncombatants, targeting village officials and 
committing random murders in their effort to intimidate the populace. 
 
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 
 
Section 1   Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom 
from: 
 
   a.   Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing 
 
Political and extrajudicial killings credibly attributed to government 
authorities and terrorist groups continued but at substantially lower 
rates overall than in previous years.  The number of deaths in detention 
and mystery killings was down significantly in 1995.  The Human Rights 
Foundation of Turkey (HRF), a Turkish nongovernmental organization, 
reported that 6 persons died under suspicious circumstances while in 
official custody in the first 9 months of 1995, some as a result of 
torture; the number for the same period in 1994 was 18.  Of the 1995 
deaths, officials claimed that at least two committed suicide, a claim 
they have made frequently in past cases of deaths in custody.  In one 
such case, government officials stated that Safyettin Tepe, a 
correspondent for pro-PKK Yeni Politika hanged himself from the cell 
door grill with his underwear while in detention at the Bitlis security 
directorate on August 25.  According to Interior Ministry information, 
Tepe was a PKK member.  Tepe's family asked that the body be exhumed and 
a second autopsy performed; the second autopsy has not yet been 
performed.  In the 1994 death in detention of Can Demirag, the 
prosecutor did not open a case although the Istanbul prosecutor had 
opened an investigation in 1994. 
 
By law, authorities are obliged to investigate all deaths in custody.  
However, there were few serious prosecutions of security force members.  
Following the death of university student Sinan Demirtas in Elazig, the 
police claimed that Demirtas, who was summoned to the police station on 
July 21 to deal with matters related to his upcoming military service, 
committed suicide in custody by banging his head against the wall.  
Demirtas's family claimed that he had been tortured to death and filed a 
complaint at the chief prosecutor's office.  Autopsy results showed that 
Demirtas died from trauma due to a heavy blow to the head.  The public 
prosecutor filed suit against eight policemen for causing his death by 
torture.  The case of police officer Abdullah Bozkurt, charged with the 
murder of Vedat Han Gulsenoglu, is continuing; Bozkurt has been 
reassigned from Istanbul to Van while his murder case is being 
prosecuted.  
 
A number of mystery killings, in which the assailant's identity was 
unknown, also occurred, but the total was substantially lower than in 
previous years.  Human rights organizations maintain that security 
forces were complicit in a number of these mystery killings.  According 
to the HRF, in the first 9 months of 1995, 98 civilians were 
assassinated by unknown attackers, mostly in the east and southeast of 
the country; in 1994, the number for the first 10 months was 316.  Many 
were leaders or prominent members of the Kurdish community, local 
politicians, or members of the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party 
(HADEP).  Four trials continued against 89 members of Hizbullah, a 
Turkish terrorist group not related to Islamic Hizbullah.  The 89 
members are charged with a total of 113 murders. 
 
A parliamentary committee, which commenced its investigation in 1993, 
completed a report on mystery killings in May, but the report was not 
made public.  Excerpts which appeared in the press stated that "illegal 
formations" within the State bear some responsibility for mystery 
killings; they must be "cleansed," the report said, and brought to 
justice. 
 
There was an increase in the number of deaths attributable to government 
authorities due to excessive use of force, including during crowd 
control situations.  The HRF says that security forces were responsible 
for 55 extrajudicial killings in the first 9 months of 1995.  The HRF 
states that 21 people were killed in rioting in Istanbul (see Section 
2.c.).  The HRF also credibly reports that government forces used 
excessive force during some raids on alleged terrorist safe houses 
rather than trying to arrest suspects, which resulted in 17 deaths.  In 
1994 the number for the first 10 months was 33.   
 
In April, citing three deaths in a safe house raid in Ankara's Batikent 
district, the State Minister for Human Rights stated that the police had 
committed extrajudicial killings.  A number of trials continued of 
police who participated in safe house raids in which suspects died.  In 
two cases--one of which had been ongoing for 6 years--the police were 
acquitted.  In a separate case, 13 Adana policemen were acquitted of 
similar charges.  Prosecutors brought at least three other such cases, 
including one against five policemen who participated in a September 
1994 raid on a cafeteria in Istanbul's Besiktas district in which three 
persons were killed.   
 
Proceedings continued in other ongoing cases.  The trial continues 
concerning the death in detention in 1993 of Vakkas Dost; policeman 
Nurettin Ozturk, the accused murderer, is still at large.  The trial in 
the 1992 case of Yucel Ozen is continuing, as is the trial of the 11 
police officers in the 1992 Basalak case.  The trial of five village 
guards for the 1994 murder of Diyarbakir tradesman Serif Avsar 
continues.  No case has been opened in the 1993 fatal shooting of Mehmet 
Sincar, a Democracy Party (DEP) M.P. from Mardin, in the city center of 
Batman; the HRF considers it a mystery killing.  In a July security 
force operation against Hizbullah 11 persons were arrested; the 
September murder of 4 HADEP members is among the crimes with which they 
are charged.  The HRF views the case of former Ankara Provincial 
Chairman of (DEP predecessor) HEP, Faik Candan, found dead in December 
1994, as a mystery killing. The authorities did not open a case. 
 
There were no assassinations of journalists; however, journalist 
Safyettin Tepe died in detention on August 25.  According to the 
Government, the murders of four journalists have been "solved:"  Kemal 
Kilic (killed in 1993, solved in 1994); Ibrahim Tuncay (killed in 1992, 
defendant currently on trial); Namik Taranci (killed in 1992, Hizbullah 
defendants currently on trial), and; Halit Gungen (killed in 1992, 
solved in 1995). The murders of most well-known journalists, including 
Ugur Mumcu in 1993, remain unsolved. 
 
Unidentified terrorists committed extrajudicial killings primarily in 
rural southeast Anatolia.  For example, in May they perpetrated a bomb 
attack at a bus stop in Batman which killed 11, including 4 children.  
They also launched several deadly attacks in urban areas, including a 
bombing in a cafeteria in Izmir on September 17 which killed 5 and 
injured 25.  Political killings perpetrated by the PKK included those of 
state officials (Jandarma, local mayors, imams, and schoolteachers), 
state-paid paramilitary village guards and their family members, young 
villagers who refuse to be recruited, and PKK guerrillas-turned-
informants.  In the years 1987-1994, 142 teachers were murdered:  the 
PKK killed 91, and unknown assailants another 46.  In 1995 the PKK 
killed three teachers. 
 
   b.   Disappearance 
 
The HRF reports three disappearances, which ended in death.  However, 
accurate statistics on disappearances are hard to confirm; figures for 
the year varied widely.  The HRF number is substantially down from 1994, 
when the total for the same period was 28.  Those disappearances 
reported in 1994 and earlier years remained unsolved.  Some persons 
disappeared after witnesses reported that security forces or law 
enforcement officials had taken them into custody.  No one has been 
formally charged in any disappearance cases.   
 
On March 21, Hasan Ocak disappeared in the aftermath of rioting in 
Istanbul's Gaziosmanpasa neighborhood (see Section 2.c.).  Officials 
claimed that he was not in custody, although several released suspects 
claimed to have seen him.  His body was found in the unidentified 
persons' cemetery in Istanbul on May 16.  His death appeared to be 
caused by strangulation.  The investigation continued at year's end.   
 
In April a group of relatives of persons who disappeared began a series 
of demonstrations in Istanbul.  In June the Human Rights Association 
(HRA) started a campaign on disappearances,  which included 
demonstrations and sit-down protests.  Families of some of the 
disappeared persons allege that they are themselves subjected to 
torture, humiliation, and intimidation when they attempt to determine 
their missing relatives' whereabouts.  To combat such assertions, the 
National Security Director General in July directed that "contact 
groups" be established to communicate with detainees' families.  
According to the Interior Ministry, in the first 8 months of 1995, 75 
reports of missing persons were filed in Diyarbakir province, 46 of whom 
were subsequently located alive.  In Istanbul province, 322 
disappearances were registered during the same period; 137 people were 
located alive.  Diyarbakir is a city of over 1 million inhabitants; 
Istanbul, over 10 million. 
 
The Government, human rights organizations, and the media report that 
the PKK routinely kidnaps young men or threatens their families as part 
of its recruiting.  PKK terrorists continued their abductions of local 
villagers, teachers, journalists, and officials in the southeast.  On 
March 31, the PKK kidnaped two photojournalists; it released them on 
April 26. 
 
   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 public pledges by 
successive governments to end torture, the practice continued.  The 
HRF's torture rehabilitation centers in Ankara, Izmir, Istanbul, and a 
newly opened center in Adana reported that they received a total of 713 
applications for treatment during the year.  Human rights attorneys and 
physicians who treat victims of torture say that most persons detained 
for or suspected of political crimes usually suffer some torture during 
periods of incommunicado detention in police stations and Jandarma 
headquarters before they are brought before a court.  Government 
officials admit that torture occurs but deny that it is systematic.  
They claim that it is closely tied to the State's fight against 
terrorism.  Many cases, however, occur in western Turkey, outside the 
zone of conflict. 
 
The HRF and private attorneys reported that there was neither better 
treatment of those charged under the Anti-Terror Law nor an overall 
decrease in the incidence of torture in 1995.  The HRF stated that the 
number of applications to its torture rehabilitation centers was up in 
1995.  That could have meant that their services were more widely known, 
not necessarily that the incidence of torture was up.  In 1995 women 
again charged that sexual abuses occurred while under official detention 
by security officials. 
 
The implementation of the 1992 Criminal Trials Procedure Law (CMUK) 
facilitated more immediate attorney access to those arrested for common 
crimes (although some detainees accused of common crimes are tortured); 
however, the CMUK's provisions of immediate attorney access do not apply 
to those detained under the Anti-Terror Law or for other "security" 
crimes.  The CMUK's allowable, maximum prearraignment detention periods 
exceed Council of Europe maximums. 
 
Human rights observers report that because the arresting officer is also 
responsible for interrogating the suspect, the officer may resort to 
torture to obtain a confession that would justify the arrest.   
 
Commonly employed methods of torture reported by the HRF's torture 
treatment centers include:  high-pressure cold water hoses, electric 
shocks, beating on the soles of the feet, 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.  They also report treatment that 
falls short of torture, such as cursing, slapping, and threats.  In 
March the State Minister for Human Rights listed a series of torture 
methods employed in police and Jandarma stations.  These included 
suspension on a "Palestinian hanger" (hanging by the arms), tying 
detainees to a magnetic telephone which transmits electric shocks, 
blindfolding, sexual abuse, submergence in cold water, use of 
truncheons, electric shocks, hanging sandbags on detainees' necks, 
stripping them naked in front of their relatives, forcing them to stand 
on one foot, releasing drops of water on their heads, sleep deprivation, 
withholding food, forcing detainees to clean corridors and toilets, 
keeping them in salty water, and forcing them to stand in cold water 
below the waist. 
 
In January in Ankara, a 12-year-old girl, detained for 5 days for 
stealing bread, was tortured by beating and electric shock at the Ankara 
security directorate theft desk.  She later applied to the HRF for 
treatment.  In the 1994 Yelda Ozcan case, Istanbul's Beyoglu district 
public prosecutor opened a case which continued at year's end.  In April 
in Kurucayir hamlet an eyewitness alleged that 20 villagers were 
severely beaten by Jandarma troops.  The same witness alleged that seven 
other villagers were taken into a house and tortured (see Section 1.g.).   
 
The Government maintains that medical examinations occur once during 
detention and a second time before either arraignment or release.  
However, former detainees asserted that some medical examinations took 
place too long after the event to reveal any definitive findings.  
According to the HRF, the medical examination practice varies widely.  
In some cases proper examinations are conducted; in others, doctors sign 
papers handed to them.  Some examinations are cursory, some are done in 
the presence of police officials, and some doctors are at times 
pressured to submit false or misleading medical certificates that deny 
evidence of torture. 
 
The State Minister for Human Rights in September called for an 
independent medical examiner's office and better forensic equipment and 
training.  Implementation of these recommendations was delayed by 
political developments late in the year.  In July the Istanbul Medical 
Chamber Board suspended Taner Apaydin from the practice of medicine for 
6 months for falsifying medical reports in nine torture cases. 
 
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 fraction of those.  
The Anti-Terror Law provides that officials accused of torture or other 
mistreatment may continue to work while under investigation and, if 
convicted, may only be suspended.  Special provincial administrative 
boards rather than regular courts decide whether to prosecute such 
cases.  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.  Approval is 
rare.  These conditions contribute to the paucity of convictions for 
torture.  
 
Under the Administrative Adjudication Law, an administrative 
investigation into alleged torture cases is conducted to determine if 
there is enough evidence to bring a law enforcement officer to trial.  
Under the CMUK, prosecutors are empowered to initiate investigations of 
police officers or Jandarma suspected of torturing or mistreating 
suspects.  In cases where township security directors or Jandarma 
commanders are accused of torture, the prosecutor must obtain permission 
to initiate an investigation from the Ministry of Justice, because these 
officials are deemed to have a status equal to that of judges. 
 
According to the Government, in the first 7 months of 1995, 547 
complaints of torture or mistreatment were filed.  Of those, 337 cases 
reached the stage of administrative investigation; 210 cases were 
opened.  There were 15 convictions and 28 acquittals.  The number of 
convictions is up modestly from 1994.   
 
In instances in which law enforcement officers are convicted of torture, 
sentences tend to be light.  In May the Appeals Court reduced a 5-year 
prison sentence imposed by the Bolvadin civil court on Hasan Belek, a 
deputy chief of police, to the minimum sentence of 1 year per person 
tortured, or 2 years total.  The Appeals Court stated that Belek had 
obtained "no personal satisfaction" from the violence; he had proceeded 
"in the interest of furthering his investigation."  In May an Ankara 
court dismissed charges against two policemen accused of beating M.P. 
Salman Kaya during a 1994 May Day demonstration for lack of "compelling 
and persuasive evidence."  In February, upon the intervention of the 
State Minister for Human Rights, seven policemen went on trial for 
allegedly torturing a suspect detained for car theft.  The prosecutor 
demanded prison terms of up to 5 years for each of the defendants.  The 
trial of six security officers accused of torturing Baki Erdogan began 
in May 1994 and continues.  The case brought by Nazli Top, a nurse 
(pregnant at the time) who alleged she was tortured and raped with a 
truncheon in 1992, ended in acquittal in 1994. 
 
In the first 9 months of 1995, 23 complaints claiming torture or 
mistreatment were filed with the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission.  
In each case, the Commission wrote to the offices of the public 
prosecutor, the governor, and the security directorate general.  Of the 
23 cases, prosecutors declared 11 inactionable because there was 
insufficient evidence, and in another six, they determined that there 
had been no mistreatment.  In the remaining 6, prosecutors opened cases:  
four continue; one police officer was acquitted; and one was convicted 
of mistreatment, sentenced to 2 months and 15 days' imprisonment, and 
had his civil service status suspended (the punishment was converted to 
a fine). 
 
Police continue to force women in custody and others to undergo 
virginity testing even though the State Minister for Women's Affairs 
condemned the practice in 1992.  The tests are imposed particularly on 
women who file a criminal complaint alleging a sexual crime.  Although 
legally only a court or a prosecutor may order them, police continue to 
impose the tests on female detainees.  Women may refuse the examinations 
but are rarely informed of that right.  In July Leman Celikaslan alleged 
that she was sexually abused by anti-terror police while in custody.  An 
investigation is under way. 
 
In March the Prime Minister sent a circular to law enforcement offices 
on the unacceptability of torture.  Successive State Ministers for Human 
Rights have focused on the issue of torture and the need to end it.  One 
intervened directly in several cases in western Turkey to ensure that 
the alleged perpetrators were brought to trial; another had his academic 
advisory commission prepare a report, drawing on the laws of several 
Western countries, which detailed acceptable interrogation methods.  The 
Government has accepted numerous visits by the Council of Europe's 
Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and is in regular dialog 
with the CPT. 
 
Torture in prisons has decreased in the last few years, but prison 
conditions remain poor.  Groups of inmates carried out hunger strikes to 
protest poor conditions and their treatment by guards.  Prisons are 
overcrowded, and families often supplement the poor quality food.  A 
strike by 300 inmates of Buca prison near Izmir ended on February 6 
following an agreement reached between the inmates and prison 
authorities.  Prisons are run on the ward system.  Prisoners, often 
those of the same ideological bent, are incarcerated together and may 
punish their own.  An example of this was the death in March in  
 
Istanbul's Bayrampasa prison of Dev Sol (Devrimci Sol, a Marxist 
terrorist group) prisoner Latife Ereren, who was throttled by other Dev 
Sol militants for collaborating with the police.  In July a search of 
Istanbul's maximum security Bayrampasa prison revealed 28 mobile phones, 
8 guns, 55 knives, and 50 grams of hashish.  On September 21, a violent 
clash between inmates and security officials in Izmir's Buca prison cost 
the lives of three inmates.  Several monitoring groups, both domestic 
and international, carried out prison visits in 1995.  A major prison 
rehabilitation project scheduled to be completed in 1994 was delayed 
because of internal political opposition. 
 
   d.   Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile 
 
To take a person into custody, a prosecutor must issue a detention 
order, except in limited circumstances such 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.  The detention period 
may be extended for an additional 4 days.  Under the CMUK, detainees are 
entitled to immediate access to an attorney and may meet and confer with 
the attorney at any time.  In practice, this access continued for 
detainees charged with common crimes.  In July the bar association 
temporarily stopped providing duty attorneys to deal with CMUK cases 
because they were not receiving their promised reimbursement from the 
Government.  The problem was later resolved. 
 
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 for up to 15 days in most of the country and up to 30 days in 
the 10 southeastern provinces under the state of emergency.  Those 
detained and tried for the expression of views, generally for 
disseminating separatist propaganda, are charged promptly.  
 
There is no guaranteed access to an attorney under the law for persons 
whose cases fall under the jurisdiction of the State Security Courts; 
these include those charged with smuggling and with crimes under the 
Anti-Terror Law.  This lack of access is a major factor in the 
widespread use of torture by police and security forces. 
 
The decision concerning access to counsel in such cases is left to the 
independent prosecutor, who generally denies access on the grounds 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 detained indefinitely, 
sometimes for years.  Many cases involve persons accused of violent 
crimes, but 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, which is observed in practice.  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 upon 
receipt of 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. 
 
Authorities detained large numbers of persons on several occasions, 
including 242 at the opening of the trial of 4 HADEP members in Ankara 
in June.  All but 16 were released within 72 hours; the 16 have been 
charged and await trial.  In most such cases, the majority of detainees 
are subsequently released without charges being filed.  Many report 
being tortured during such detentions.   
 
There is no external exile.  Turkey's internal exile law was repealed in 
1987, but in 1990 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 (now in its ninth year), citizens 
under his administration whose activities "give an impression that they 
are prone to disturb general security and public order."  There were no 
known instances of the use of this broad authority during the year.  
Human rights monitors and residents of towns in the southeast report 
that officials continued to rely on "administrative transfers" to remove 
government employees thought liable to "create trouble." 
 
   e.   Denial of Fair Public Trial 
 
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.  The judicial system is composed of 
general law courts, State Security Courts, and military courts.  There 
is also a Constitutional Court.  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.  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 1995 the military 
court tried several cases of civilians charged with speech that 
purportedly discouraged military service (see Section 2.a.).   
 
State Security Courts sit in eight cities.  They are composed of panels 
of five members--two civilian judges, one military judge, and two 
prosecutors--and 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."  There are 18 such State Security Court panels.  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. 
 
Defendants normally have the right to a public trial and, under the 
Constitution, can be proven guilty only in 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.  There is no 
jury system; all cases are decided by a judge or a panel of judges.  
Trials may last for months or years, with one or two hearings scheduled 
each month. 
 
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 asserts 
deal with national intelligence or security matters.   
 
In 1995 State Security Courts predominantly handled cases under the 
Anti-Terror Law and Section 312 of the Criminal Code, which prohibits 
"incitement to racial enmity."  The State claims that these courts were 
established to try efficiently those suspected of certain crimes.  Those 
accused of crimes falling under the jurisdiction of these courts may be 
detained twice as long before arraignment as other defendants.  The 
heavy caseload often means that cases drag on for years.  These courts 
may hold closed hearings and may admit testimony obtained during police 
interrogation in the absence of counsel.  The trial of 12 Diyarbakir 
lawyers charged with acting as couriers for the PKK continues at the 
Diyarbakir State Security Court.  The trial of nine Erzurum lawyers 
charged with similar crimes continues as well.  None of the attorneys is 
under arrest. 
 
In law and in practice, the legal system does not discriminate against 
either minorities or women, with the following caveats.  As legal 
proceedings are conducted solely in Turkish, and the quality of 
interpreters varies, some Kurdish-speaking defendants may be seriously 
disadvantaged.  And although women receive equal treatment in a court of 
law, some discriminatory laws remain on the books (although most have 
been rendered inoperative by a Constitutional Court decision).   
 
Turkey recognizes the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights 
and the European Commission on Human Rights.   Turkish citizens may file 
applications alleging violations of the European Convention for the 
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms with the Commission.  
Fifty-four cases have been declared admissible before the Commission.   
 
There is no reliable estimate of the number of political prisoners, but 
some human rights groups alleged that many of those arrested could 
correctly be categorized as such.  The Government claims that most 
alleged political prisoners are in fact security detainees, suspected of 
being members of, or assisting, the PKK or other terrorist 
organizations.   According to government statistics, during the first 9 
months of 1995, 5,893 persons were under arrest charged with offenses 
under the Anti-Terror Law, and 2,861 had been convicted.   
 
   f.   Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 
 
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 outside the state of 
emergency region. 
 
A judge must decide whether to issue a search warrant for a residence.  
If delay may cause harm, prosecutors and municipal officers authorized 
to carry out prosecutors' instructions may conduct a search.  Searches 
of private premises may not be carried out at night, unless the delay 
will be damaging or the search will result in the capture of a prisoner 
at large.  Exceptions include persons under special observation by the 
Security Directorate General, places anyone can enter at night, places 
where criminals gather, places where materials obtained through the 
commission of crimes are kept, gambling establishments, and brothels. 
 
In the 10 provinces under emergency rule, the regional governor can and 
does empower security authorities to search without a warrant residences 
or the premises of political parties, businesses, associations, or other 
organizations.  According to the bar association, it is not 
constitutional for security authorities in these provinces to search, 
hold, or seize without warrant persons or documents.  Roadblocks are 
commonplace in the southeast; security officials regularly search 
vehicles and travelers. 
 
Security forces have compelled the evacuation of villages in the 
southeast to prevent villagers from giving aid and comfort to the PKK 
(see Section 1.g.).  The Government admits to village and hamlet 
evacuations but claims that they occur as the consequence of pressures 
by and fear of the PKK and because security operations against the PKK 
in the region make continued occupancy unsafe. 
 
   g.   Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian Law in 
Internal Conflicts 
 
Since 1984 the separatist PKK has waged an increasingly violent 
terrorist insurgency that has claimed over 17,000 lives.  The PKK's 
campaign of violence in southeast Turkey is directed against both 
security forces and civilians, almost all of whom are Kurds, whom the 
PKK accuses of cooperating with the State.  The TNP, Jandarma, and armed 
forces, in turn, have waged an intense campaign to suppress terrorism, 
targeting active PKK units as well as persons they believe support or 
sympathize with the PKK.  In the process, they have committed many human 
rights abuses.  According to then-emergency region governor Unal Erkan, 
between July 1987 and October 1, 1995, a total of 17,739 persons lost 
their lives.  This includes 10,632 PKK, 3,259 security force members, 
and 3,848 civilians.  Parliament extended until July the "Repentance 
Law," pursuant to which members of terrorist organizations who turn 
state's evidence could have their sentences decreased or annulled. 
 
Civilians and M.P.'s for Tunceli province in July charged police special 
teams with harassing and mistreating civilians there.  The National 
Security Director instituted an investigation into the charges and 
ordered a number of the special team members reassigned to other posts.  
Although no charges appear to have been brought against special team 
members for abuses, the public attention to this issue seems to have 
resulted in fewer abuses by the remaining special teams.   
 
Government security forces forcibly evacuated and sometimes burned 
villages.  The Government's stated purpose was to protect civilians or 
prevent PKK guerrillas from obtaining logistical support from the 
inhabitants.  Some villagers told reliable sources that security forces 
had evacuated them for refusing to participate in the paramilitary 
village guard system.  According to the Interior Minister, as of March, 
2,297 villages had been evacuated or burnt down.  In July the emergency 
region governor stated that 987 villages and 1,676 hamlets (settlement 
units of 3 or 4 houses) had been depopulated "for various reasons," 
including residents evacuated by security forces for security reasons; 
residents who left of their own accord for security or economic reasons; 
and residents who left because of PKK pressure.  The PKK burned some 
villages to seek revenge on paramilitary village guards.   
 
As many as 2 million persons have been displaced.  Government programs 
to deal with and compensate the many internal migrants have been very 
inadequate.  Many migrants are living in overcrowded quarters with 
relatives in the larger cities in the southeast.  Apparently as a result 
of serious overall budgetary problems, much 1994 aid promised by the 
Government was not disbursed, and there was little provision for 
assistance in the 1995 budget.   
 
In July the State Minister for Human Rights announced a government 
emergency aid program to be applied in 22 provinces in the east and 
southeast and more economic support to the region.  To date, few 
villages have been resettled.  According to statistics provided by the 
Foreign Ministry, a total of $5.7 million (TL 287 billion) of various 
forms of aid (housing, food, clothing, health, and education) has been 
provided to 32,260 citizens in the southeast.  
 
There appears to have been a substantial increase in the number of PKK 
terrorists taken alive or who have turned themselves in; in the past, 
very few were taken alive. 
 
There are credible allegations that serious abuses during the course of 
operations against the PKK continue.  A former infantry soldier has 
alleged that he witnessed Jandarma troops severely beat 20 villagers in 
Kurucayir hamlet on April 19.  Seven other villagers were later beaten 
more severely, according to this witness (see Section 1.c.).  The 
witness states that the incident occurred in the presence of the general 
officer commanding all forces in the southeast.  The Government confirms 
that a military operation against the PKK did take place in that general 
area on April 14 but disputes some of the eyewitness's statement. 
 
The Government organizes, arms, and pays for a civil defense force in 
the southeast known as the village guards.  Participation in this 
paramilitary militia by local villagers is theoretically voluntary, but 
villagers are 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.  The village guards have a reputation for being 
the least disciplined of the Government's security forces and have been 
accused of repeated human rights abuses. 
 
According to a report released by the Turkish Medical Doctors' 
Association, in some instances, physicians have been prosecuted in State 
Security Courts for giving medical care to alleged PKK terrorists, a 
practice that could deter other physicians from extending such aid.  Dr. 
Ilken Diken, convicted of failing to report that he had aided a 
terrorist as well as of aiding terrorists in 1994, remains in prison. 
 
Government state of emergency decree 430, codified in 1990 and most 
recently renewed in November 1995, 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.  Only limited 
judicial review of the regional governor's administrative decisions is 
permitted. 
 
Although schools have remained open in most urban centers, rapid 
population migration due in part to village evacuations and fear of 
terrorism has led to severe overcrowding and chronic teacher shortages, 
particularly in urban centers in the southeast.  Government officials 
claim a significant effort is being made both to reopen schools which 
were closed during the 1994-95 school year and to build new schools in 
regions faced with acute school overcrowding.  For example, the 
Diyarbakir governor reports that more than one-third of the 600 schools 
closed in 1994 in Diyarbakir province have reopened.  In addition, 12 
new schools in Diyarbakir opened in September.  For the 1994-95 school 
year, according to the Education Minister, 119 schools were closed in 
eastern and southeastern Turkey, while 98 opened. 
 
On March 20, some 35,000 Turkish troops moved into northern Iraq to 
destroy the infrastructure, disrupt the supply lines, and capture the 
weapons of the PKK bases there (see Iraq report for details). 
 
Section 2   Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 
 
   a.   Freedom of Speech and Press 
 
The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and the press.  Changes 
to Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law, the article that prohibits 
dissemination of separatist propaganda, caused the courts to review 
hundreds of cases.  By year's end, courts had ordered 143 prisoners 
released, either because their sentences were shortened under the 
revised law or because they had no intent to promote separatism.  
However, throughout the year the Government continued to restrict 
constitutional freedoms providing for freedom of speech and the press.   
 
The press is generally free to criticize government leaders or policies 
and, except for certain issues concerning the southeast, it exercises 
this freedom.  The Criminal Code, however, provides penalties for those 
who "insult the President, the Parliament, and the Army."  Judges 
generally examine evidence rigorously and dismiss many charges brought 
under these laws.  However, an Ankara civil court ordered Motherland 
Party Deputy Chairman Ekrem Pakdemirli to pay approximately $100,000 (TL 
5 billion) in damages to President Demirel in a libel suit for insulting 
the President during a press conference.   
 
Numerous provisions in various laws restrict freedom of expression to 
one degree or another; those most frequently employed include Article 8 
of the Anti-Terror Law and Article 312 of the Criminal Code.  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.  Many 
editors have faced repeated criminal proceedings. 
 
On November 8, the Ankara Public Prosecution Office brought criminal 
charges under Article 159/3 of the Criminal Code for the article "We 
Protect Human Rights with an Imperfect Constitution and Laws," which 
appears in a book published by the HRF entitled  "A Present to Emil 
Galip Sandalci."  This Criminal Code article states that "those who 
publicly insult laws of the Turkish Republic and the decisions of the 
Grand National Assembly are sentenced to 15 days to 6 months in prison."  
Turgut Inal, author of the article, was charged, along with the entire 
HRF board of directors; the first hearing is scheduled for January 1996.  
 
In February the Istanbul State Security Court charged prominent Turkish 
novelist Yasar Kemal in connection with his article, published in the 
German news magazine Der Spiegel, which was later reprinted in Turkey in 
a book entitled "Freedom of Expression."  Kemal was charged both under 
Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law and with inciting to racial or ethnic 
enmity under Article 312 of the Criminal Code.  The trial began in May; 
the court acquitted Kemal in December, finding that he had no intention 
of promoting separatism or racial enmity.  To make a political point, 
1,000 writers and intellectuals, 99 of whom are on trial at the Istanbul 
State Security Court, claimed responsibility for the book in which the 
article appeared.  Their trial continued at the end of the year.  In 
July the Istanbul State Security Court indicted Reuter reporter and U.S. 
citizen Aliza Marcus under Article 312 of the Criminal Code in 
connection with a November 1994 Reuter article on village evacuations in 
Tunceli province.  The Court acquitted Marcus in November. 
 
Court proceedings were also instituted against a number of editors and 
publishers.  The Anti-Terror Law, as revised, now contains an implied 
intent standard.  Previously, defendants could be charged and convicted 
"regardless of the method, intention, and ideas behind" what they wrote.  
The revised Article 8 language provides that "written and oral 
propaganda...aiming at damaging the indivisible unity of the 
State...(is) forbidden."  As such, it continues to restrict freedom of 
speech.  Both the old and revised versions have been used against 
writers, journalists, publishers, politicians, musicians, and students.  
Increasingly, prosecutors applied Article 312 of the Criminal Code, 
which forbids "incitement to racial or ethnic enmity."  Ismail Besikci 
served 10 years in prison between 1971 and 1987 for his publications on 
the Kurdish question in Turkey.  He now has been in prison since 
November 1993, and there are numerous Article 8 cases outstanding 
against him which the courts are reviewing under the revised Article 8 
language.   
 
The High Court of Appeals heard the appeal of seven pro-Kurdish former 
DEP M.P.'s and one independent M.P., convicted in 1994 on charges 
ranging from disseminating separatist propaganda to supporting or being 
a member of an armed band or gang.  In October the court affirmed the 
15-year sentences of four of the defendants for being members of a 
terrorist group.  It overturned the sentences of Ahmet Turk and Sedat 
Yurtdas, who are to be retried on Article 8 charges.  It ordered the 
trial court to adjust the fines of the two who had been released in 1994 
for time already served in detention.   The four whose sentences were 
affirmed will appeal to the European Commission of Human Rights; the 
Government has pledged to abide by its decision.   
 
Independent deputy Hasan Mezarci was tried for insulting Ataturk.  In 
February the Bandirma Criminal Court dropped the charges. In October 
Ibrahim Askoy, honorary chairman of the Democracy and Transformation 
Party, was arrested on an earlier conviction for disseminating 
separatist propaganda upon his return to Turkey.  After the changes to 
Article 8, the court ordered his sentence reduced from 20 to 10 months.  
Two other Article 8 sentences, totaling 4 years, remain outstanding 
against Askoy. 
 
In January trade union chairman Munir Ceylan, convicted of disseminating 
separatist propaganda, finished 15 months of a 20-month sentence and was 
released.  In May Dr. Fikret Baskaya ended a similar term and was 
released.  Professor Haluk Gerger was released from prison in October 
after paying the fine that accompanied his sentence.  In the case of the 
former mayor of Diyarbakir, Mehdi Zana, the State Security Court in 
November reduced to 2 years his Article 8 sentence which had been based 
on testimony Zana had given to the human rights subcommittee of the 
European Parliament; it released him for time served.  In May trade 
union chairman Atilay Aycin started serving a 20-month sentence in 
connection with a speech he delivered during a December 1992 HRA-
organized meeting in Istanbul.  The court ordered him released in 
November based on the changes to Article 8.  One faculty member was 
convicted under the Anti-Terror Law and spent a short time in prison.   
 
Military courts tried several cases against journalists and antiwar 
activists whose activities were alleged to discourage compulsory 
military service.  In August these courts convicted Arif Hikmet 
Iyidogan, Mehmet Sefa Fersal, and Gokhan Demirkiran, members of the War 
Opponents' Association, under Article 155 of the Criminal Code and 
sentenced them to between 2 and 6 months in prison.  In April the 
military court of appeals overturned the trial court decision of a 5-
month sentence against well-known journalist Mehmet Ali Birand and two 
others for a television program on military service during which 
military personnel spoke; the trial court renewed the conviction in 
July.  The case is again on appeal.  In June the military trial court 
convicted actress and musician Bilgesu Erenus and sentenced her to 2 
months' imprisonment for saying "Mothers, do not send your sons to the 
army," at a 1993 meeting.  The military appeals court affirmed the 
sentence in November and ordered Erenus to serve 24 days. 
 
Throughout the year, State Security Court prosecutors ordered the 
confiscation of numerous issues of leftist, pro-Kurdish, and pro-PKK 
periodicals, although most continue to publish.  Many editions of pro-
Kurdish periodicals were seized before they could be distributed 
nationally to newsstands.  Pro-PKK newspaper Ozgur Ulke and its 
successor Yeni Politika were both closed by court order; Ozgur Ulke in 
February, Yeni Politika in August.  A successor, Demokrasi, began 
publishing in December.  According to credible press reports, over the 
past year 1,443 publications (56 books, 784 journals, 602 newspapers, 
and 1 bulletin) were confiscated on court order.   
 
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 widely available, although suppression 
continued.  Courts closed the Kurdish-language weekly, Welat, which 
reopened under the name Welate Me.  Potential customers are afraid to 
purchase Kurdish-language materials because possession of such items may 
be interpreted as evidence of PKK sympathies.  Kurdish-language 
broadcasts are still illegal.  Pro-PKK "Med TV" now broadcasts from 
England daily and can be received by satellite dish in the southeast. 

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 August Ankara university professor Dogu Ergil published a thorough 
study on the problems in the southeast entitled "The Eastern Question" 
which the Ankara State Security Court prosecutor's office concluded on 
December 6 was not actionable.  During the year, numerous politicians 
and academicians spoke out in favor of greater freedom of expression.   
 
A few journalists have challenged government control over media reports 
from the southeast.  In late summer Fatih Altayli, a journalist who 
works for Hurriyet and for Show TV, visited Tunceli province and 
investigated allegations against security forces and one special police 
unit in particular.  He wrote about his impressions and allegations in 
the daily newspaper and broadcast them on his talk show program, 
following which the National Security Director agreed to appear live on 
his program to respond to the allegations. 
 
The media are generally both free and freewheeling.  While the overall 
readership of the daily press is not large for a country of 60 million, 
the newspaper business is intensely competitive and often 
sensationalist.  Radio and television have experienced explosive growth 
in the 4 years since privately owned broadcasting has been allowed, 
although all of the new stations are not yet fully legal.  The 
electronic media reach nearly every adult, and their influence is 
correspondingly great. 
 
In April 1994, Parliament passed regulatory legislation making it 
illegal for broadcasters to threaten the country's unity or national 
security and limiting the private broadcast of television programs in 
languages other than Turkish.  As of August, there were some 150 
registered television stations, 18 of which broadcast nationwide, and 68 
registered radio stations, 33 of which broadcast nationwide.  Other 
television and radio stations broadcast without an official license.  
The increasing availability of satellite dishes and cable allows access 
to foreign broadcasts, including several Turkish-language private 
channels.  There is no prohibition on the receipt of foreign 
publications nor jamming of radio broadcasts.   
 
Until July the Constitution and the law governing political parties had 
proscribed student and faculty involvement in political activities, but 
constitutional amendments passed by Parliament on July 23 now allow 
students ages 18 years or older and professors to participate in 
political activities.   
 
   b.   Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 
 
The Constitution provides for freedom of assembly, but authorities may 
deny permission if they believe the gathering is likely to disrupt 
public order.  Prior notification of gatherings is required, and 
authorities may restrict meetings to designated sites.   
 
Police crowd control appears to have improved, despite the Gaziosmanpasa 
riots (see Section 5).  However, in June a demonstration by garbage 
workers protesting their dismissal from jobs at Istanbul's Sisli 
municipality turned violent when police attempted to prevent the 
workers' protest march.  During the 30-minute clash, 17 workers and 11 
police officers were wounded.  There were accusations of excessive use 
of force. 
 
Adana province has seen a marked improvement in police handling of 
protest gatherings and demonstrations.  In most instances, police have 
shown restraint and professionalism in such situations.  One significant 
exception occurred on August 11, when a protest in Adana turned violent 
after police prevented protesters from marching to a government 
building.  While demonstrators chanted antigovernment slogans, police 
attempted to disperse the group by force, beating and kicking many of 
the protesters.  Dozens were injured and sent to hospitals, and more 
than 50 demonstrators were arrested.  All were subsequently released 
without being charged. 
 
Until July associations and labor unions were prohibited by law from 
having ties to political parties or engaging in political activities 
(see Section 6.a.).  With Parliament's passage of the constitutional 
amendments package, associations and labor unions may now engage in 
political activities.  They did so in the December elections.   
 
Police raided a number of associations and organizations and harassed 
some of their members (see Section 4).  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 
religious ideas.  The Government generally observed these provisions in 
practice.  About 99 percent of the population is Muslim.  Under the law, 
religious services may take place only in designated places of worship.  
In late 1994, a Protestant group--although not a recognized minority--
was granted permission to open a house of worship in Adana.   
 
Although Turkey is a secular state, religious instruction in state 
schools is compulsory for Muslims.  Upon written verification of their 
non-Muslim background, Lausanne Treaty minorities (Greek, Armenian, and 
Jewish) are exempted by law from Muslim religious instruction, although 
students who wish to attend may do so with parental consent.  Syriac 
Christians are not officially exempt because they are not a Lausanne 
Treaty minority. 
 
Turkey's Alawi Muslim minority (an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam) is 
estimated to number at least 12 million.  There are, however, no 
government-salaried Alawi religious leaders, in contrast to Sunni 
religious leaders, and no Religious Affairs Directorate funds go to the 
Alawi community.  Some Alawis allege informal discrimination in the form 
of failure to include any Alawi doctrines or beliefs in religious 
instruction classes.  Alawis are disgruntled by what they regard as the 
Sunni bias in the Religious Affairs Directorate and the Directorate's 
tendency to view the Alawis as a cultural group rather than religious 
group.  In September representatives of the Haci Bektas Veli cultural 
association, an Alawi cultural organization, termed obligatory religious 
courses in schools antidemocratic and antisecular and proposed that 
religion courses be elective. 
 
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, police sometimes arrest 
Islamic extremists and evangelical Christians for disturbing the peace.  
Courts usually dismiss such charges, then order such persons deported.  
Generally they are able to reenter the country easily. 
 
Most religious minorities are concentrated in Istanbul.  The number of 
Christians in the south has been declining as the younger generation 
leaves for Europe and North America.  The status of three minorities--
Armenians, Jews, and Greeks--was recognized under the Lausanne Treaty.  
Other religions may not acquire additional 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 orphanages. 
 
Turkish authorities carefully monitor the activities of Eastern Orthodox 
and Armenian churches and their affiliated operations.  The Ecumenical 
Patriarchate in Istanbul has consistently expressed interest in 
reopening the seminary on the island of Halki in the Sea of Marmara.  
The seminary has been closed since the 1970's when the State 
nationalized all private institutions of higher learning, and the 
Government has used a variety of arguments to keep it closed.  Armenian 
church officials complain of petty harassment from local officials, such 
as delays or refusals in receiving building permits.  
 
Bureaucratic procedures relating to historic preservation impede repairs 
to some religious facilities.  Under the 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 Eastern Orthodox and, to a 
lesser extent, the shrinking Armenian Orthodox and Jewish communities, 
are faced with the danger of losing some of their houses of worship. 
 
   d.   Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, 
Emigration, and Repatriation 
 
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 (military service, for example), or 
criminal investigation or prosecution.  Each citizen traveling abroad 
(except those regularly working abroad and those traveling for the 
Government on official business) must pay a $100 departure tax.  In June 
Parliament passed a law that allows Turks living abroad and naturalized 
in their country of residence to retain their civil rights in Turkey. 
 
Travel in the southeast often is restricted for security reasons.  
Roadblocks, set up by both Turkish security forces and the PKK, can 
seriously impede travel in the region.  On April 28, security forces 
declared a military zone for 6 months in northeastern Kars province to 
prevent PKK infiltration.   
 
When Turkey ratified the 1951 U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of 
Refugees, it accepted the option of accepting the Convention's 
obligations only with respect to refugees from Europe.  It has not 
subsequently lifted the geographic limitation of its treaty obligation.  
As a result, Turkey does not recognize non-European asylum seekers as 
refugees.  
 
The Government requires non-European asylum seekers to register with 
authorities within 5 days of entering the country.  The Government 
screens these applicants, determines those it considers bona fide, and 
then refers them to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for 
resettlement.  Between January and mid-October, the Government deported 
to their home countries 33 Iranians and 26 Iraqis whom the UNHCR 
determined met international refugee criteria, but whom the Government 
did not consider bona fide asylum seekers.  It deported an additional 12 
Iranians and a number of Iraqis who wished to apply for temporary asylum 
without giving them the opportunity to do so.  
 
Estimates of the number of Bosnians in Turkey range between 10,000 and 
20,000.  The majority continue to live outside organized camps.  As 
"guests" they have no restriction on the period they are allowed to 
remain in Turkey.  They are not allowed to work or attend school; 
however, many do work and some children do attend school.   
 
Section 3   Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens to 
Change Their Government 
 
According to the Constitution, citizens have the right and ability to 
change their 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 21 
and over.  In July the voting age was lowered to 18.  As of October, at 
least 25 political parties were operating in Turkey, 10 of which were 
represented in Parliament.  The Grand National Assembly (Parliament) 
elects the President as head of state every 7 years, or when the 
incumbent becomes incapacitated or dies. 
 
The Government neither coerces nor forbids membership in any political 
organization, although the Constitutional Court may close down political 
parties for unconstitutional activities.  One very small party was 
closed in 1995.   
 
Until July constitutional provisions forbade students, university 
faculty members, and trade unionists from active participation in party 
politics.  The constitutional amendment package Parliament passed on 
July 23 lifted those restrictions and broadened the scope for political 
participation by such persons. 
 
Several political parties complained that the 7-day period provided to 
register for the December elections was inadequate and that bureaucratic 
obstacles and long registration lines discouraged or prevented many from 
registering.  There was particular concern that the 1 to 2 million 
persons displaced since the last census of 1990 were not provided with 
adequate time or assistance for registration and that their views were 
not, therefore, reflected in the election results.  There were some 
complaints of voting irregularities in rural areas of the southeast.  
Even if substantiated, these irregularities do not appear to have been 
sufficient to alter the outcome. 
 
There are no restrictions in law against women or minorities voting or 
participating in politics.  The Constitution calls for equal political 
rights for men and women.  However, only 8 women representing 3 parties 
were elected to the 450-member Parliament in 1991, and 13 were elected 
to an expanded 550-seat Parliament in the December elections.  In 
addition to Prime Minister Ciller, there was one female cabinet 
minister.  Some political parties now recruit female delegates for their 
party conferences and electoral lists.  Women's committees are active 
within political party organizations.  Formation of formal youth and 
women's wings, formerly prohibited by the Constitution, was legalized 
with the passage of the constitutional amendments package. 
 
Section 4   Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights 
 
The nongovernmental Human Rights Association, officially approved in 
1987, has branches in 50 provincial capitals.  As of October, 
authorities had closed all branches in the southeast except one.  The 
HRA claims a membership of about 20,000.  In 1990 the HRA established 
its companion Human Rights Foundation which, in addition to operating 
torture rehabilitation centers in Ankara, Izmir, and Istanbul and a 
newly opened center in Adana, serves as a clearinghouse for human rights 
information.  Other indigenous nongovernmental organizations include the 
Istanbul-based Helsinki Citizens Assembly, the Ankara-based Turkish 
Democracy Foundation, and human rights centers at a number of 
universities. 
 
Government agents have harassed human rights monitors, as well as 
lawyers and doctors involved in documenting human rights violations.  
Some of these monitors have reported receiving death threats from 
unknown parties.  A number of human rights monitors have been 
aggressively prosecuted.  In November the Ankara prosecutor's office 
brought criminal charges against the HRF for its publication of a book 
entitled "A Gift to Emil Galip Sandalci" (see Section 2.a.).  In 
December 1994, HRF president Yavuz Onen and Fevzi Argun, head of the 
HRF's documentation center, were tried for using allegedly separatist 
language in the booklet "File of Torture."  They were acquitted in 
January along with four defendants from the HRA who had been indicted 
for their report entitled  "A Cross-Section of Burned-Down Villages."  
In February a trial opened at the Diyarbakir State Security Court 
against four members of the board of the Diyarbakir branch of the HRA 
who were accused of aiding the PKK; the case focuses mainly on the 
publication of the booklet "Emergency Situation--1992."  The trial 
continues; in April the defendants were released from detention.  The 
case of three other HRA members was later joined to that case.  The HRA 
representative in Hakkari, Abdulkerim Demirer, is on trial for being a 
member of a terrorist organization. 
 
Some government officials, including some prosecutors and police, 
punitively apply various laws to restrict the HRA's activities.  For 
example, officials ordered various branches of the HRA closed for 
periods of weeks or months generally on charges that they had violated 
the Associations Law through publication of a press statement or of 
allegedly separatist material (see Section 2.b.).  Several HRA officials 
in southeastern Turkey said that they are routinely kept under 
surveillance by security personnel.  The Adana HRA branch, which 
provincial authorities closed in September 1994, reopened in February 
after the public prosecutor dropped charges against the organization.  
On July 24, police raided the HRA branch in Malatya, which was preparing 
to launch a public campaign protesting past disappearances of detainees 
in police custody. Police seized documents and shut down the office.  It 
remained closed at year's end. 
 
Since 1991 Parliament has had a Human Rights Commission.  The Commission 
is authorized to oversee compliance with the human rights provisions of 
domestic law and international agreements to which Turkey is a 
signatory, investigate alleged abuses, and prepare reports.  Underfunded 
and lacking the power to subpoena witnesses or documents, the Commission 
has been ineffective.  An August 1994 initiative to establish a human 
rights advisory department connected to the Prime Ministry never 
materialized. 
 
While representatives of diplomatic missions who wish to monitor the 
state of human rights are free to speak with private citizens, security 
police may place such visitors in the southeast and the east under 
surveillance, and the presence of security officials may intimidate 
those interviewed.  In 1995 high-level visitors obtained most of the 
appointments they requested. 
 
In June government officials declared Amnesty International researcher 
Helmut Oberdiek persona non grata and deported him.  They based the 
order on security instructions dated August 10 and December 14, 1994, 
which stated that Oberdiek was not permitted to enter Turkey.  Officials 
did not harm Oberdiek, but they made copies of his notes.  Also in June, 
Human Rights Watch/Helsinki (HRW) announced that it was suspending one 
particular mission to Turkey because of a statement by the Interior 
Minister, in which he purported to speak for Human Rights 
Watch/Helsinki.  HRW completed a separate research project in June/July 
on human rights abuses involving foreign supplied arms without 
interference from authorities.   
 
Section 5   Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, 
Language, or Social Status 
 
The Constitution proclaims Turkey to be a secular state, regards all 
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 Eastern Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, and 
Jewish adherents.  Despite constitutional provisions, discrimination 
remains a problem in several areas. 
 
   Women 
 
Spousal abuse is a serious and widespread problem.  However, it is still 
considered an extremely private matter, involving societal notions of 
family honor.  Few women go to the police, who in any case are reluctant 
to intervene in domestic disputes and frequently advise women to return 
to their husbands.  Turks of either sex may file civil or criminal 
charges but rarely do so.  A combination of laws and ingrained societal 
notions make it difficult to prosecute sexual assault or rape cases.  By 
law, penalties may be reduced if a woman was not a virgin prior to a 
rape.  Penalties may also be reduced if a judge deems the woman to have 
acted provocatively.   
 
According to a study made public in May by the Prime Ministry's Family 
Research Institute, the two most frequent forms of violence against 
women in the home are beating and cursing.  The study claims that 84 
percent of women interviewed reported having been cursed and 78.9 
percent beaten.  In addition, 29.3 percent reported threats; 17.5 
percent economic pressure; and 9.1 percent sexual violence.  According 
to women's responses, physical violence was used in 29.6 percent of 
families; according to the men, in 34 percent. 
 
There are several shelters for battered women, and at least two 
consultation centers, Istanbul's Purple Roof Foundation and Ankara's 
Altindag center city shelter.  In January the Altindag municipality 
attempted to close down the Altindag consultation center and shelter to 
regain the building; the Purple Roof Foundation was forced to move for 
the same reason.   
 
The Civil Code, which prohibits granting gender-based privileges or 
rights, retains some discriminatory provisions concerning marital rights 
and obligations.  Because the husband is the legal head of household, 
the wife automatically acquires the husband's surname with marriage; the 
husband is authorized to choose the domicile and represents the conjugal 
unit.  As parents, husband and wife exercise their rights jointly, but 
when they disagree, the husband's view prevails.  Women's groups have 
lobbied to change this provision.  Divorce law requires that the 
divorcing spouses divide their property according to property registered 
in each spouse's name.  Because in most cases property is registered in 
the husband's name, this can create difficulties for women who wish to 
divorce.  Under inheritance laws, a widow generally receives one-fourth 
of the estate.   
 
The illiteracy rate for women is approximately 29 percent, some 10 
percent higher than that of the population as a whole.  Particularly in 
urban areas, women continue to improve their position, including in the 
professions, business, and the civil service, although they continue to 
face discrimination to varying degrees.  Numerous women have become 
lawyers, doctors, and engineers since the 1960's.  Women comprise about 
36 percent of the work force; approximately 80 percent of working women 
are employed in agriculture.  They generally receive equal pay for equal 
work in the professions, business, and civil service jobs, although a 
large percentage of women employed in agriculture and in the trade, 
restaurant, and hotel sectors work as unpaid family help.  Women may 
take the examination required to become a subgovernor.  Several have 
been appointed subgovernors; one governor is a woman. 
 
Independent women's groups and women's rights associations exist, but 
the concept of lobbying for women's rights has not gained currency. 
 
   Children 
 
The Government is committed to furthering children's welfare and works 
to expand opportunities in education and health, including further 
reduction of the infant mortality rate.  The State Minister for Women's 
and Family Issues oversees implementation of the Government's programs 
for children.  Traditional family values in rural Turkey place a greater 
emphasis on advanced education for sons than for daughters.  Far fewer 
girls than boys continue their education after primary school. 
 
There are some instances of child beating and abuse, as illustrated by 
the case of a young child whose abuse and death the newspaper Cumhuriyet 
documented in March.  A report released in May by the Prime Ministry's 
Family Research Institute stated that, in families where violence was 
used against the wife, there was approximately a 46 percent chance that 
the children would be beaten, too. 
 
Children have suffered greatly from the cycle of violence in the 
southeast.  School closings in the southeast and the migration of many 
families, forced or voluntary, have uprooted children to cities which 
are hard pressed to find the resources to extend basic, mandatory 
services, such as schooling.  Many cities in the southeast are operating 
schools on double shifts, with as many as 100 students per classroom.  
The Government is establishing regional boarding schools to help combat 
this problem, but these are insufficient.  In practice, in rural 
Anatolia and the southeast, the literacy rate for girls is very low, and 
many do not complete primary school.  The literacy rate for boys, most 
of whom complete primary school, is higher.  Some continue on to middle 
and high school, for which they generally must travel or live away from 
home.   
 
In January Turkey ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the 
Child; Parliament had not yet passed implementing legislation by year's 
end. 
 
   People with Disabilities 
 
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. 
 
   Religious Minorities 
 
There were several instances of religiously motivated violence by 
alleged nationalists, including the beating in February of eight 
students at Istanbul's Marmara University for eating during the Muslim 
fasting month of Ramadan.  In July the head of the bar association in 
Gumushane was murdered by a man angry about a ban on female lawyers 
wearing headscarves in court. 
 
In March in Istanbul, two instances of religiously motivated rioting 
occurred in two heavily Alawi neighborhoods of Istanbul.  The combined 
death toll of the Gaziosmanpasa riots was around 30.  Although the 
rioting appeared to be sectarian, it was not aimed at Sunni 
institutions.  Rather, it appeared to reflect Alawis' desire for the 
State to do more to defend secularism in Turkey and counter the threat 
they perceive from resurgent Sunni extremism.   
 
The Jewish community is well integrated into Turkish society, although 
it fears the possibility of rising Islamic extremism.  The only problem 
the Jewish community reported in 1995 was a car bombing in Ankara in 
April, which targeted the head of Ankara's tiny Jewish community.  He 
escaped with minor injuries. 
 
During the last few years, there have been instances of graffiti, stones 
tossed over the walls, and press attacks on the Ecumenical Patriarchate 
and the Patriarch.  The Armenian Patriarchate has reported similar 
attacks against Armenian churches in Istanbul, and Church officials 
complain of growing encroachment by certain Muslim extremist groups on 
lands belonging to the Armenian community, especially on the Princes' 
Islands in the Sea of Marmara.  The police have responded with 
intensified security measures. 
 
   National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities 
 
The Constitution, in line with the Treaty of Lausanne, does not 
recognize the Kurds in Turkey as a national, racial, or ethnic minority.  
Many human rights abuses have been targeted at Kurds who publicly or 
politically assert their Kurdish ethnic identity.  Kurds who are 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 in the southeast) bring with them their 
culture and village identity; many simply are not prepared for urban 
life.   
 
The 1991 repeal of the law prohibiting publications or communications in 
Kurdish legalized some spoken and printed communications in Kurdish.  
Under the law on political parties, however, all discussion that takes 
place at political meetings must be in Turkish.  Kurdish may be spoken 
only in "nonpolitical communication."  Materials dealing with Kurdish 
history, culture, and ethnic identity continue to be subject to 
confiscation and prosecution under the "indivisible unity of the State" 
provisions of the Anti-Terror Law.  
 
The High Court of Appeals, in rendering its decision on the former DEP 
Members of Parliament, ruled that taking the Parliamentary oath in 
Kurdish, wearing Kurdish colors to the oath-taking ceremony, and stating 
that Turkish was a foreign language for them (all actions taken by the 
former M.P.'s) were not crimes (see Section 2.a.).  The courts have 
given permission for a cultural foundation to be established in Istanbul 
and to use the word "Kurdish" in its name. 
 
The Ministry of Education tightly controls the curriculums in foreign-
language schools.  Greek educators complain that the Turkish Ministry of 
Education is extremely slow to approve Greek-language textbooks, 
including those in such noncontroversial subjects as mathematics and the 
natural sciences.  They claim that, rather than allowing the use of 
texts from Greece, the Ministry wants them to use Greek translations of 
Turkish texts.  Many Greek students report difficulty in continuing 
their education in Turkey and go to Greece, often never to return. 
 
The Romani population is extremely small, and there were no reported 
incidents of public or government harassment directed against Roma. 
 
Section 6   Worker Rights 
 
   a.   The Right of Association 
 
Most workers have the right to associate freely and form representative 
unions.  Exceptions are police and military personnel.  Until July the 
law did not explicitly give civil servants, including schoolteachers, 
the right to form legally recognized unions.  This situation changed 
with Parliament's passage of a package of constitutional amendments on 
July 23.  (Even prior to passage, civil servants' unions existed and 
worked for legal recognition, collective bargaining, and the right to 
strike through demonstrations and 1-day work stoppages.)  Within the 
package of amendments broadening democratic participation in Turkey, 
there is language which, in effect, recognizes civil servants' unions.  
Parliament added language to Article 53 of the Constitution stipulating 
that unions formed by civil servants could bring cases to court on 
behalf of their members, could carry out collective talks with the 
Government to secure their objectives, and could sign an understanding 
with the Government if agreement is reached.  The language does not 
mention strikes.  The amendment also suggests that Parliament will pass 
follow-on laws to regulate these procedures.  However, as noted below, 
branches of one civil servants' union were closed in 1995. 
 
The Constitution stipulates that no one shall be compelled to become or 
remain a member or withdraw from a labor union.  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.  The Constitution requires candidates for 
union office to have worked 10 years in the industry represented by the 
union.  Slightly over 12 percent of the total civilian labor force (aged 
15 and above) is unionized.  There are three confederations of labor 
unions in Turkey:  the Turkish Confederation of Workers Unions (Turk-
Is), the Confederation of Turkish Real Trade Unions (Hak-Is), and the 
Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Unions (DISK).  There are also 
some independent unions. 
 
Unions and their officers have a statutory right to express views on 
issues directly affecting members' economic and social interests.  With 
passage of the constitutional amendments package in July, Parliament 
lifted restrictions on unions engaging in political activity by 
completely repealing article 52 of the Constitution (see Section 2.b.).  
However, even before this change, in practice unions were 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 to suspend its activities or to go into liquidation for 
serious infractions, based on alleged violation of specific legal norms.  
The Government, however, may not summarily dissolve a union. 
 
The right to strike, while provided for 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 before an 
employer may engage in a lockout.  Nonbinding mediation is the last of 
those steps.  A party that fails to comply with these steps forfeits its 
rights.  The employer may respond to a strike with a lockout but is 
prohibited from hiring strikebreakers or using administrative personnel 
to perform jobs normally done by strikers.  Article 42 of Law 2822, 
governing collective bargaining, strikes, and lockouts, prohibits the 
employer from terminating workers who encourage or participate in a 
legal strike.  Unions are forbidden to engage in secondary (solidarity), 
political or general strikes, or in slowdowns.  In sectors in which 
strikes are prohibited, disputes are resolved through binding 
arbitration. 
 
The Government has the statutory power under Law 2822 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.  If this appeal fails, and the parties and mediators still 
fail to resolve the dispute, it is subject to compulsory arbitration at 
the end of the 60-day period.  The International Labor Organization's 
(ILO) Committee of Experts and the Committee on the Application of 
Standards regard the Government's application of the law as too broad 
and called on the Government to limit the application of the Law and 
recourse to compulsory arbitration to essential services in the strict 
sense of the term.  The Government asserts that the Law does not 
contradict the Committees' principles.  
 
Some 64 strikes, involving 26,361 workers, took place in the first 6 
months of 1995.  The Government suspended one strike in 1995.  On 
February 23, the Government suspended the planned strike by the Airline 
Workers Union against Turkish Airlines, the publicly owned national 
carrier, on grounds that a strike would adversely affect national 
security. 
 
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 applied for ICFTU affiliation in 1993; the application remains 
pending. 
 
In some instances labor union members have been the subject of 
government limits on freedom of speech and assembly (see Sections 2.a. 
and 2.b.).  In June in Ankara, during demonstrations by civil servants 
for the right to form legally recognized unions with collective 
bargaining and strike rights, four civil servants' union presidents were 
briefly detained for questioning, then released.  The public prosecutor 
subsequently filed charges against 37 leaders of a civil servants' trade 
union who had organized the demonstrations.  However, in September an 
Ankara criminal court dismissed these charges.  The court found that the 
organizers had not intended to violate the law on demonstrations and 
assemblies.  There were no incidents between police and demonstrators 
during the demonstrations, which lasted for several days. 
 
Some branches of a civil servants' communications union were closed by 
court order on the grounds that it was an illegal organization.  
Branches were closed in July and August after an appeals court upheld 
the ruling of an Istanbul court that civil servants unions' are illegal.  
The court's actions occurred when Parliament amended the Constitution to 
recognize civil servants' unions.  Observers believe that further 
legislation is needed to clarify the situation. 
 
   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, particularly those 
affiliated with Turk-Is, the confederation that represents nearly 80 
percent of organized labor. 
 
The ILO has called on Turkey to rescind this 10-percent rule.  Both 
Turk-Is and the Turkish employers' organization favor retention of the 
rule, however, and the Government has only recently pursued a change.  
Last year the government representative informed the ILO Committee on 
the Application of Standards that the Ministry of Labor and Social 
Security has proposed to remove the 10-percent numerical restriction, 
and that its proposal had been communicated to the social partners.  The 
ILO Committee of Experts and the Committee on the Application of 
Standards urged the Government again to remove the 10 percent rule.  The 
ILO took note of the Government's statement that it continued to study 
removal of this requirement despite objections from employer and worker 
organizations. 
 
The law on trade unions stipulates that an employer may not dismiss a 
labor union representative without rightful cause.  The union member may 
appeal such a dismissal to the courts, and if the ruling is in the union 
member's favor, the employer must reinstate him and pay all back 
benefits and salary.  These laws are applied in practice. 
 
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 are determined by binding arbitration. 
 
   c.   Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor 
 
The Constitution and statutes prohibit compulsory labor.  The laws are 
enforced. 
 
   d.   Minimum Age for Employment of Children 
 
The Constitution and labor laws forbid employment of children younger 
than age 15 years, with the exception that those ages 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 system provides work for young boys 
at low wages, for example, in auto repair shops.  Girls are rarely seen 
working in public, but many are kept out of school to work in 
handicrafts, especially in rural areas. 
 
The Government has recognized the problem of child labor and has been 
working with the ILO to define its dimensions and to determine 
solutions.  The Ministry of Labor, the Ankara municipality, the Turk-Is 
labor confederation, and the Turkish Employers Association are among the 
institutions participating in the ILO's International Program on the 
Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC), a new project to solve the problems 
of working children.  The Ministry of Labor and the ILO have jointly 
produced a study showing that almost one-half (44 percent) of the 
children working in Turkey are below age 15, are paid less than the 
minimum wage, and have no insurance whatsoever.  The Labor Minister said 
in a September speech that there are 3.5 million working young people 
between the ages of 12 and 19, and that 51 percent of them are 
uninsured.   
 
In a 1994 study on child labor in rural Turkey, also undertaken under 
the IPEC program, a Middle East Technical University professor reported 
that children in the rural work force are largely unpaid family workers 
engaged in agriculture and related activities.  Since many children work 
because their families need additional income, the study concluded that 
solving the problem of rural child labor required a simultaneous 
improvement in adult employment opportunities to raise standards of 
living in rural households while expanding educational opportunities 
(both general academic and vocational training) for rural children. 
 
   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.  In 
August, after some disagreements among the board members about wage 
levels and the timing of implementation, the nominal minimum wage was 
increased by approximately 103 percent over the year before.  The 
monthly gross minimum wage rates which became effective on September 1 
are approximately $176 (TL 8,460,000) for workers older than age 16 and 
about $148 (TL 7,087,050) for workers under age 16.  
 
It would be difficult for a single worker, and impossible for a family, 
to live on the minimum wage without support from other sources.  Most 
workers earn considerably more.  Workers covered by the labor law, who 
constitute about one-third of the total labor force, also receive a hot 
meal or a daily food allowance; transportation to and from work; a fuel 
allowance; and other fringe benefits which, according to the Turkish 
employers' association, make basic wages alone account for only about 37 
percent of total remuneration. 
 
Labor law sets a 45-hour workweek, although most unions have bargained 
for fewer hours.  The law prescribes a weekly rest day and 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 effectively enforces 
wage and hour provisions in the unionized industrial, service, and 
government sectors, which cover about 12 percent of workers.  
 
Occupational health and safety regulations are mandated by law, but the 
Government has not carried out an effective inspection and enforcement 
program.  Law 1475 allows for the shutdown of an operation if a five-man 
committee, which includes safety inspectors, employee, and employer 
representatives, determines that the operation endangers workers' lives.  
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.  However, 
after a mine accident in a private company in which 39 miners died, 2 
managers were reportedly arrested and charged with causing the accident 
through negligence. 
 
(###)

[end of document]

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