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TURKEY/HUMAN RIGHTS (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN/ISTANBUL

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

DATE=6/23/95

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-180945

TITLE=TURKEY/HUMAN RIGHTS (L-ONLY)

BYLINE=AMBERIN ZAMAN

DATELINE=ISTANBUL

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

// NOTE -- COMPLETE TURKISH ACTUALITY IS  NOT   AVAILABLE. //

INTRO: THE TURKISH HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION HAS LAUNCHED A NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGN TO PUBLICIZE THE PLIGHT OF HUNDREDS OF MISSING PEOPLE. AS AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ISTANBUL, MANY FAMILIES HOLD THE TURKISH STATE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THEIR LOVED ONES.

TEXT: OFFICIALS AT THE TURKISH HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION SAY THEY HAVE DOCUMENTED THE CASES OF AT LEAST 500 PEOPLE WHO HAVE DISAPPEARED SINCE 1980 WHILE IN POLICE CUSTODY, AND THEY ARE LAUNCHING A NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGN TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THE PROBLEM.

ON SUNDAY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION, AS WELL AS RELATIVES OF THOSE LISTED AS MISSING, PLAN TO STAGE A SIT-IN IN FRONT OF THE INTERIOR MINISTRY BUILDING IN ANKARA TO PROTEST WHAT THEY DESCRIBE AS THE GOVERNMENT'S INDIFFERENCE TO THEIR PLIGHT.

IRFAN BILGIN IS THE BROTHER OF KENAN BILGIN, A LEFTWING ACTIVIST WHO, HE SAYS, WAS ARRESTED NINE MONTHS AGO BY THE STATE ANTI-TERROR SQUAD IN ANKARA. HE HAS NOT BEEN HEARD FROM SINCE.

          /// BILGIN ACT IN TURKISH AND FADE UNDER ///

IRFAN BILGIN SAYS HIS FAMILY HAS REPEATEDLY SOUGHT INFORMATION ABOUT HIS BROTHER FROM THE INTERIOR AND JUSTICE MINISTRIES. THE TURKISH AUTHORITIES, HOWEVER, CONTINUE TO DENY THAT KENAN WAS EVER ARRESTED. BUT IRFAN BILGIN SAYS 11 OTHER LEFT-WING ACTIVISTS WHO WERE DETAINED WITH HIS BROTHER LAST SEPTEMBER AND LATER RELEASED TOLD HIM THAT THEY SAW KENAN AT ANTI-TERROR SQUAD HEADQUARTERS IN ANKARA. HE SAYS HE FEARS HIS BROTHER MAY HAVE BEEN KILLED BY TURKISH SECURITY PERSONNEL.

ALGAN HACALOGLU, WHO IS TURKEY'S STATE MINISTER IN CHARGE OF HUMAN RIGHTS, RECENTLY LAUNCHED AN OFFICIAL INVESTIGATION INTO THOSE LISTED AS MISSING. HE HAS COME UNDER FIRE FROM FELLOW CABINET MEMBERS, WHO ACCUSE HIM OF BETRAYING THE STATE. DESPITE SUCH CRITICISM, MR. HACALOGLU IS PRESSING AHEAD WITH HIS INQUIRY.

                       // HACALOGLU ACT//

THERE ARE MISSING PEOPLE IN TURKEY. BUT THE FIGURES I DON'T KNOW -- AS A MINISTER OF STATE IN CHARGE OF HUMAN RIGHTS NOW, EVEN TODAY. MY ADVISORS ARE WORKING AT THE CORONER'S OFFICE. ALL OF THE FILES ARE WITH US. THERE ARE ABOUT 265 CASES, AND AN ADDITIONAL 30 CASES WHICH ARE NOT YET IN THE FILES. WE ARE TRYING TO IDENTIFY THE CAUSES OF DEATH AND TRY TO MATCH THEM WITH THESE MISSING PEOPLE.

                         // END ACT //

HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS HAVE WELCOMED MR. HACALOGLU'S EFFORTS TO SHED LIGHT ON THE FATE OF THE MISSING. BUT MANY, LIKE MAHMUT TALI ONGOREN, REMAIN SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT'S COMMITMENT TO HUMAN RIGHTS.

                        // ONGOREN ACT //

NO, THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING NOTHING EXCEPT MAKING CERTAIN PROMISES ONLY AT CERTAIN TIMES. NEW LAWS HAVE TO BE INTRODUCED AND TORTURERS, ESPECIALLY THE POLICEMEN, MUST BE TAKEN TO COURT AND, IF FOUND GUILTY, PUNISHED. NO SUCH MEASURES ARE TAKEN NOW. ALSO UNIDENTIFIED MURDER CASES, THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING NOTHING.

                          // END ACT //

MR. ONGOREN AND OTHER ACTIVISTS BELIEVES IT IS CRUCIAL THAT WESTERN GOVERNMENTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS CONTINUE TO APPLY PRESSURE ON THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT TO CRACK DOWN ON HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES. OTHERWISE, HE WARNS, THE SITUATION HERE WILL ONLY GET WORSE. (SIGNED)

NEB/AZ/SKH/MMK

23-Jun-95 10:35 AM EDT (1435 UTC)

NNNN

Source: Voice of America

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