Incidents in Turkey - September / October 2004


September 2004
Züleyla Endakçi, secretary of Van branch of prisoners' relatives association TUHAD-DER, announced that the prisoners in the 18th, 19th and 20th wards of Mus E-type Prison started hunger strike to protest "the uniforms, exiles and isolations" as well as the attitudes of recently appointed prison director Zeki Aydogdu. Endakçi stated the followings:
"New director reportedly introduced himself as follows as soon as he started his duty: 'I was the deputy director at Bayrampasa Prison. I am sure you heard the fame of that prison. I am going to carry out everything that I did there. I will dispel this prison, get you into line. I will cease the visits between the wards. The visits of your families would be as I want. No one can stop me doing all these. I am a MHP member, everything will be as I want.' The prisoners told also that the director insulted them".
Upon these developments Zeki Aydogdu was warned by public prosecutor in Mus.
Mensur Isik, one of the prisoners' lawyers, had a meeting with the public prosecutor in Mus Necmettin Sayilgan and he announced after the meeting: "We related the pressures in the prison to the public prosecutor. He accepted that the director was wrong in his actions and added that he warned him. We did not start legal procedures for now. We will wait for some time gather information on recent practices."

A quarrel broke out on 5 September between the police and the members of Idealists' Union in Istanbul, when they wanted to stage a demonstration in front of Patriarchate in Fener to protest in the opening of priest school in Heybeliada. Because the police did not allow the crowd to march towards the Patriarchate they attacked with stones and sticks. The police dispersed them by using truncheons and tear gas. None of demonstrators was detained.

Susurluk
On 29 September, Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 2 continued to the re-trial of former DYP MP Sedat Edip Bucak.
Bucak gave an envelope he kept secret for 8 years to the court and said: "These are confidential documents. When I opened I saw secret information in it. Publication of these documents might be harmful for the state. I never talked about this information. They were in the case of Mehmet Özbay (Abdullah Çatli). I kept them secret for years."
The judge recorded in the minutes that there were a book signed by businessman Sakip Sabanci in 1996 for Mehmet Özbay, a photo of Korkut Eken, Mehmet Özbay and Sedat Bucak with high ranked officers taken during a meal, an address book including addresses of famous persons.
When the judge was recording a foreign passport with photo Bucak added that there were other passports but without photos.
The judge also noted that there was a document signed by the prime minister of a foreign country to Mehmet Özbay. There was another envelope on which "copy of information delivered to secret service" was written and in which a document of 21 pages by Korkut Eken was.
The court decided not to disclose the document presented by Bucak on the grounds that there were photos of official who had been on charge in southeastern region.
The rightist Abdullah Çatli had been suspect of Bahçelievler massacre and his photos with high ranked officials led to discussions.

Kenan Günes
Kenan Günes, student a Kirikkale University, was killed on 27 September by hitting his head with stone. It was revealed that Gunes was killed by Serdar Bas (23), student at Education faculty and leader of the rightists in the university. They reportedly had a dispute, the reason was not known. After the incident Serdar Bas surrendered and he was arrested.
HRA announced its report on the incident on 30 September: "Serdar Bas and three friends of his asked Günes to talk. They went behind a building and there killed him by hitting with stones."
Yüksel Mutlu, Chairman of HRA Ankara branch, announced that the executives of the association went to Forensic Institute on 28 September and the officers insulted the relatives of Günes. He added that when they introduced themselves the officers said: "Give up with the human rights. We know who you are. We are calling the Anti-terror branch, they know how to talk to you. You cannot make propaganda here."

October 2004
Students, who were not fasting in Gaziosmanpasa University (Tokat), were reportedly attacked by the rightist students. Rightist students blockaded the Tasçiftlik Campus of the university and threatened the students who were not fasting. They attacked four students for the same reason on 18 October in a park on Yesilirmak side and threw Bayram Yag into the river. Bayram Yag was wounded after falling down from 4 meters height to a shallow side of the river. Rector of the university Prof. Zehra Seyfikli announced that an investigation was launched against 10 students and the Secretary of Faculty of Economics who divided the canteen into two for fasting and not-fasting students.

Susurluk
Haluk Kirci, defendant of Bahçelievler and Susurluk cases who was released "by mistake" in March, was reportedly arrested in Kiev, capital of Ukraine, on 23 September. Haluk Kirci was released on 18 March by Ödemis Heavy Penal Court upon the decision of the 1st Chamber of the Court of the Cassation. The death penalty against Kirci had been converted to life imprisonment with the adjustment law came into force on 3 August 2002. (See HRFT March Report)
Haluk Kirci allegedly used a counterfeit passport arranged for "Mehmet Ali Sahbaz" by Kadiköy security Directorate. Upon this information, Mehmet Ali Sahbaz was detained. In his testimony Sahbaz stated the followings:
"My cousin's son Celal Sahbaz who lives in Austria promised me to take me to Austia. We went to Security Directorate with Celal to get a passport for me. I got the passport but I have not seen Celal or my passport since then. I am still waiting to go to Austria".
Mehmet Ali Sahbaz was arrested on 1 November while an arrest warrant in absentia was issued against Celal Sahbaz.
However, it was announced that nobody had gone abroad with the passport arranged for Mehmet Ali Sahbaz and Ukraine did not give such information that Kirci had such a passport. According to the news appeared on the newspapers, a high ranked security official gave the following information:
"As it was understood, Sahbaz's photo on his passport was changed with the Kirci's photo. However, this initiative was not completed. It seems that Kirci preferred a Green passport that he took from the Security Directorate. However, these allegations do not have any proof. We could not understand either why Sahbaz was arrested. Kirci cannot use Sahbaz's passport due to age reason. Kirci is 25 or 30 years older than Sahbaz. This detail cannot be disregarded."
It was later revealed that Kirci had another green passport arranged for Remzi Bulut by General Directorate of Security. According to the news appeared on the daily Radikal on 2 November, there was Kirci's photo in the passport file of Bulut in the Security Directorate. Kirci took the passport with the ID information of Bulut, which was prolonged two times. It was stated in the news that the green passport was arranged on the grounds of an official paper that was taken from the Ministry of Finance.
According to the news, it was fixed that nobody having the name "Remzi Bulut" was employed by the Ministry of Finance. It was put that real Remzi Bulut lives in Karakoçan district of Elazig and the passport was arranged when Mehmet Agar was the Director of Security.
It was also announced in the news that Kirci had the passport prolonged in the first days of April at Hamburg Consulate.
CHP MP Yilmaz Kaya tabled a parliamentary question in connection with the issue to Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu. Kaya asked the following questions:
"Did the Ministry of Finance write any official letter that demanding to give passport to Kirci? Is there any official determined who conducted extra-legal proceedings? If there are some, are they still on duty? Has any legal proceeding iniciated?"
Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu announced that an investigation was launched in connection with the green passport.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that Haluk Kirci benefited form the Law No: 5218 (9th Adjustment Package) that abolished the death penalty. Kirci had been sentenced to death penalty for 7 times and this sentence had been commuted into 20 years' imprisonment with the change in Anti-Terror Law.
With Law No: 5218 that foresees a change in Law on Execution of the Sentences, the sentences of the convicts who have to be imprisoned at least 30 years life imprisonment was decreased to 25 years. With another provision in the law, for every month that the convicts would stay in the prison six days would be decreased. A convict who has to stay 25 years in prison would stay 19,5 years with this regulation.
Under the above regulations, Kirci has to spend 2.5 more years in prison as he spent 17 years before. If the law was not amended, Kirci would have to stay 13 more years. Other defendants of "Bahçelievler Massacre" Bünyamin Adanali and Ünal Osmanagaogullari will also benefit from the law.
On 4 October, Istanbul Heavy Penal Court of First Instance No. 5 continued to hear the case against the special team member Ayhan Çarkin, who is one of the Susurluk Case defendants, launched for "resisting official on duty with gun" and "having unauthorized gun". Other defendant of the case Abdulkadir Ünal was released.

(This information is from the monthly reports of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT))

Incidents in Turkey - November / December 2004
Incidents in Turkey - May / June 2004
Incidents in Turkey - April 2004
Incidents in Turkey - March 2004
Incidents in Turkey - February 2004
Incidents in Turkey - January 2004
Incidents in Turkey - December 2003
Incidents in Turkey - November 2003
Incidents in Turkey - September / October 2003
Incidents in Turkey - July / August 2003
Incidents in Turkey - January / June 2003
Incidents in Turkey - November 2000/December 2002