Browse through our Interesting Nodes of EU Member Governments, Politics & Mass Media Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923)
HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Sunday, 29 May 2022
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

TURKEY / DISSENT (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN/ANKARA

From: yanni@ix.netcom.com (Ioannis Bousnakis)

DATE=6/19/95

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-180684

TITLE=TURKEY / DISSENT (L-ONLY)

BYLINE=AMBERIN ZAMAN

DATELINE=ANKARA

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: FOUR ANTI-WAR ACTIVISTS ARE SCHEDULED TO GO ON TRIAL IN A TURKISH MILITARY COURT ON TUESDAY. AS AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA, THE TRIAL COMES AT A TIME WHEN THERE ARE MOUNTING CASUALTIES AMONG TURKISH TROOPS IN THEIR 11-YEAR BATTLE AGAINST KURDISH SEPARATIST REBELS.

TEXT: THE ANTI-WAR ACTIVISTS ARE ACCUSED OF VIOLATING ARTICLE 155 OF THE TURKISH PENAL CODE, UNDER WHICH SPREADING ANTI-MILITARY PROPAGANDA IS A CRIME PUNISHABLE BY BETWEEN TWO MONTHS TO TWO YEARS IN PRISON.

THE FOUR DEFENDANTS, WHO DECLARED THEMSELVES CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS A YEAR AGO, CALLED ON ARMY CONSCRIPTS NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 11-YEAR-LONG WAR AGAINST P-K-K REBELS IN THE MAINLY KURDISH SOUTHEAST.

OSMAN MURAT ULKE IS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE IZMIR WAR RESISTERS ASSOCIATION AND IS ONE OF THE MEN THAT WILL GO ON TRIAL. HE BELIEVES AN INCREASING NUMBER OF TURKS ARE BEGINNING TO QUESTION THE MILITARY CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE P-K-K, WHICH HAS COST OVER 15-THOUSAND LIVES SINCE REBELS LAUNCHED THEIR FIGHT FOR AN INDEPENDENT KURDISH STATE IN 1984.

                         // ULKE ACT //

I THINK THAT THE VIETNAM SYNDROME HAS ALREADY STARTED IN TURKEY. THE NUMBER OF DRAFT EVADERS IS A VERY HIGH NUMBER AND THE MILITARY HAS SERIOUS PROBLEMS TO GET CONSCRIPTS. LAST YEAR THEY EXTENDED THE (PERIOD OF) MILITARY SERVICE FROM 15 MONTHS TO 18 MONTHS. WHEN THEY EXTENDED THE MILITARY SERVICE, A LOT OF PEOPLE DESERTED AND OTHERS BURNED MILITARY BUILDINGS.

                          // END ACT //

MR ULKE ESTIMATES THERE ARE ABOUT 400-THOUSAND DRAFT DODGERS IN TURKEY. THE TURKISH MILITARY SETS THE FIGURE AT HALF THAT NUMBER. AND ONLY 30 OF THESE ARE SELF-DECLARED CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS.

SOME OBSERVERS REJECT MR ULKE'S COMPARISON WITH WHAT HAPPENED IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE VIETNAM WAR. THEY POINT OUT THAT MOST TURKS SUPPORT THE MILITARY CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE P-K-K, AND MOST SOLDIERS BELIEVE THEY ARE FIGHTING TO PRESERVE THE UNITY OF THE TURKISH STATE.

// OPT // DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT HAS SEIZED POWER THREE TIMES

IN THE PAST 40 YEARS, THE TURKISH MILITARY IS LARGELY RESPECTED NOT ONLY AS THE PROTECTOR OF THE SECULAR REPUBLIC, BUT OF TURKISH DEMOCRACY AS WELL.

ACCORDING TO MR ULKE, HOWEVER, DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST IN TURKEY. HE ARGUES THAT THE FACT THAT HE AND HIS COLLEAGUES, ALL CIVILIANS, ARE BEING TRIED IN A MILITARY COURT IS AMPLE PROOF.

                        /// ULKE ACT ///

IT IS NOT RIGHT TO BE JUDGED AT A MILITARY COURT WHEN ONE IS A CIVILIAN. YOU KNOW THERE IS A SO-CALLED DEMOCRATIZATION PACKAGE OF TURKISH PRIME MINISTER CILLER AND IT DOES NOT COVER ARTICLE 155, WHICH RESTRICTS FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION BY PROHIBITING CRITICISM OF THE ARMY. THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO US. IF TURKEY IS TO BE A DEMOCRACY THEN THERE MUST BE FREEDOM TO CRITICIZE ANYTHING AND THAT'S A PART OF OUR DEFENSE.

                         /// END ACT //

MR. ULKE'S LAWYERS ARE HOPEFUL THAT MOUNTING PRESSURE FROM TURKEY'S WESTERN ALLIES ON PRIME MINISTER CILLER TO IMPROVE HER GOVERNMENT'S HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD WILL HAVE A POSITIVE EFFECT ON THEIR CLIENT'S CASE.

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT HAS WARNED THAT UNLESS TURKEY TAKES URGENT ACTION TO BETTER RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS IT WILL VETO A CRUCIAL CUSTOMS UNION DEAL SIGNED WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION EARLIER THIS YEAR. (SIGNED)

NEB/AZ/SKH/BG

19-Jun-95 12:04 PM EDT (1604 UTC)

NNNN

Source: Voice of America

Back to Top
Copyright © 1995-2022 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
All Rights Reserved.

HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute
news2html v2.09c run on Monday, 19 June 1995 - 17:54:58