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TIHV: Human Rights Report of Turkey 2005 (selection)


Human Rights Foundation of Turkey


Human Rights Report of Turkey

Ankara, 2006

Esat Atmaca: Unknown person knifed Esat Atmaca (22) to death in Gazi quarter (Istanbul) on 8 April. In the incident Cemal Baykiran and Mustafa Dogan were injured. Esat Atmaca was known for being close to the leftist "Front of Rights and Freedoms".

The elder brother Esat Atmaca stated that they had been on their way home when a group of people had approached them and seemingly to be drunk they had immediately knifed his brother without saying anything. He added that the same people, presumably members of the MHP protected by the police, had tried to stop him and take possession of his car.

The father Bayram Atmaca added that the same group had attacked him as well. He said that these people were living in the same quarter and he could identify them.

In the night of the incident Molotov cocktails were thrown into the café of Yasar Güler, father of Kabil Güler said to have been involved in the killing. Kabil Güler reportedly had a criminal record of unauthorized possession of arms, kidnapping and robbery. Abuzer Cihan, living in the quarters, stated that the family of Esat Atmaca had not attacked the café. There were groups who tried to bring back the days of an old conflict.

Kabil Güler (35), Ali Subasi (23), Sinan Yavuz (23) and Adem Yilmaz were arrested on 12 April in connection with the killing.

Abdulrezak Özdemir: On 6 September seasonal workers in Kartavuk village of Akçakoca district (Düzce) had a fight during which Abdulrezak Özdemir died. Village headman Idris Post stated that the fight broke out when some workers from east and southeastern Turkey shouted slogans in favor of the PKK.

The daily Özgür Gündem claimed that right-wingers attacked the workers and one of them fired at them killing A. Özdemir who was registered in Beytüssebap district (Sirnak). The women Sükran Yigit was injured (also see the chapter on the Kurdish question).

Lynch Attempt in Rize: On 2 November 15 TAYAD members went from Hopa district (Artvin) to Rize to commemorate the death of the sisters who had died during the death fast action in Istanbul-Küçükarmutlu Canan Kulaksiz (on 15 April 2001) and Zehra Kulaksiz (on 29 June 2001) with a visit to their graves were attacked by a group of right-wingers.

During the first attack the police did not intervene. In Atmeydani quarter a second attack followed and the group could hardly escape before police officers took them to the city center. While the police maintained that they would be taken out of town a third attack followed at Cumhuriyet Square where a group of 300 people stopped the minibus. The crowd broke the window and beat the TAYAD members. The police dispersed the crowd by shooting in the air. Finally the attacked person could be taken out of town.

Zeynep Ertugrul who had been among the attacked TAYAD members stated that there had been no other intentions than the visit of the graves. No banners had been unfolded and no press conference had been held. Civilian dressed police officers had demanded that they leave the town; otherwise they would arrange that the people beat them up. On return from the graves the police had tried to provoke the people claiming that they were members of the PKK. But except for an organized group no person from the population had followed the provocation. The police had stopped them at 8 different places and at each place stones had been thrown at them.

Rize Governor Enver Salihoglu maintained that the TAYAD members had provoked the people, but the intervention of the police had prevented more serious incidents.

Later a group of members of the Front for Rights and Freedoms filed an official complaint against Rize Mayor Halil Bakirci and several police officers. Allegedly the mayor had said that had he known who the people were he had hit them himself. Abdülkadir Kart, deputy for the AKP in Rize reportedly said that the group had learned its lesson and would not come back to Rize.

A similar incident happened in Samsun on 13 December. Four people distributing the journal of the Federation of Association for Basic Rights and Freedoms were attacked. The group said that a minibus with 15 people had come and had beaten them.

Further Incidents
On 5 January Sedat Erol, student at Konya Selçuklu University was attacked by right-wingers. Some 10 people attacked him and injured him with a knife. Sedat Erol had to be taken to hospital. In connection with the incident Savas Karaca and a person with the first name of Kürsad were detained. Sedat Erol had named Üzeyir Taha Iscam as the aggressor.

On 10 March a huge crowd of right-wingers attacked left-wing students at Çukurova University (Adana). The student Davut Adli was injured.

Nedim Degirmenci, former ÇHD chair and board member of Izmir Bar Association was attacked by rightwingers on 24 March. Allegedly Degirmenci had torn down a poster with a Turkish flag in an Internet-Café and, therefore, 10 to 15 people beat him with iron sticks. Degirmenci had a broken chin and teeth and had to be taken to hospital.

On 24 March a fight broke out between students of the TKP and right-wingers at Marmara University. Four students including one from the TKP were injured.

Reports from Bursa indicated that the DEHAP member Ugur Ögredik was tortured by members of the Nizam-i Alem Union because he had participated in activities of DEHAP. His father Mehmet Ögredik complained to the HRA and complained that first seven people from the Nizam-i Alem Union had beaten his son in a café. Later their boss Sait Ali Ugar had come and they had taken his son to the offices of the union. Ugur Ögredik said: "They were 15 people. They grabbed my arms and hit me on my eyes. I was not allowed to speak. They beat and when they had washed way the blood they beat me again." The aggressor had taken him to Orhangazi State Hospital after three hours. At the hospital he was given a report certifying 10 days' inability to work.

Lawyer Deniz Büyük later stated that in connection with the incident I.E., I.Ç. and B.B. had been indicted fro causing bodily harm.

On 11 April a group of right-wingers attacked left-wing students who were distributing leaflets at Sivas Cumhuriyet University. The security forces intervened and detained 48 students including 13 right-wingers. Among them 18 students were later arrested.

The EMEP members Erhan Batga and Hüseyin Kiyak alleged that they had been tortured in the offices of Günesli Idealists' Union in Istanbul on 16 April. A group of MHP members had taken them there and beaten them. The police had come and rescued them. In connection with the incident six people were detained. Among the detainees Serhat Alkaç was arrested on 18 April. Bayram Yildirim, Ümit Sevindik and Tahir Çimen were released.

On 23 April right-wingers beat the student Mehmet Emin Özyalçin from Gazi University. He reported: "When I left school I saw some people at the door and became suspicious. I went upstairs to the Ihsan Küreli from the teachers' staff. I asked him to accompany me, otherwise I would not be safe. Just when I wanted to leave the room the 15 people stormed in and beat me up. When the teacher intervened they ran away." Özyalçin received a medical report certifying three days' sick leave and filed an official complaint.

On 24 April students from the 9 September University wanted to put up posters for the 1st of May. They were attacked by right-wingers. Later plain clothes detectives and finally a growing crowd also attacked them. One of the victims, Atilla Sultan said:

"The tension because of the posters was going down when at the entrance to the campus the police and special security forces gathered. We wanted to know whether the friends insides needed anything, when six to seven officers moved towards. Stones were thrown at them and they drew their arms. But when they saw the crowd they retreated. Inside the campus the attacks of fascists continued for a while. When we left school we were followed by a civilian car. We saw that right-wingers beat our friend Emre Zencir in a side street and went to rescue him. At this moment a police officer pointed a gun to my temple and forced me to lie down. Four police officers beat me with belts and sticks. They dragged me by my hair over the ground for some 50 meters. Close to the union of idealists' the police officers tried to provoke the people around saying that I had burned a flag and they should kill me. I was beaten for half an hour. Uniformed police officers came but did not intervene. Later I was taken to Buca State Hospital and was given a medical report."

At the beginning of May right-wingers attacked leftwing and Kurdish students in Manisa. According to a report in the daily Özgür Gündem the student with the first name of Ali Riza was taken to the building of the Idealists' Union and threatened on 6 May. On 2 May the students Cenk Baskurt and Osman Sezer had been attacked by a group of 20 to 25 persons. On 4 May Hamza Sin and Hüseyin Sahinkoç had been beaten heavily. The fights continued and later the police raided a café where the students were. Hüseyin Siyahkoç, Hamza Sin, Cenk Baskurt, Osman Sezer and the right-wingers Ilyas Çelik and Serkan Mert were detained. On 5 May right-wingers beat the student Yusuf Solmaz. In the evening the right-wingers entered two flats with Kurdish students and beat five of them up.

On 6 May right-wingers beat the students Naif Sahin and Murat Ekmen from the Technical University in Giresun. Reportedly three right-wingers were detained.

During the spring festival at the Pamukkale University in Denizli right-wingers attacked students from the Socialist Democracy Party (SDP) on 20 May. During the fight five left-wing students, one security officer and three right-wingers were injured. Eight people were detained. On 23 May right-wingers attacked left-wingers again resulting in injuries to 10 students. One of them was named as Ilkay Simsek.

On 24 May right-wingers attacked Kurdish students at the Industrial Profession Lyceum in Denizli. A student with the first name of Ender was injured with a knife. Three other students were injured, too. Reportedly the police detained two people among the attackers. On 25 May eight people were attacked by right-wingers, when they left the office of the SDP. The student Gürkan Çelik and the right-winger Muhammet Tekin were injured. The police detained 12 people, most of them members of the SDP. On 27 May one right-wing student and the student Umut Göllü were arrested.

On 25 May right-wingers attacked left-wing students in a students' hostel in Istanbul-Altunizade. They injured Hamdullah Bayram with a hatchet.

On 1 June right-wingers attacked left-wing students at Atatürk University in Erzincan. Five students were injured with sticks and hatchets.

In the evening of 2 June the police separated two quarreling groups in front of the faculty. Left-wing students staged a demonstration and the police used pepper gas and beat them in order to disperse the crowd. Allegedly the police did not intervene in group of right-winger strolling around with sticks.

On 14 June a fight broke out at Ankara University when three right-wing students threatened leftwingers with knives. Kamil Ortakçi was injured with a knife and Mehmet Baran was hit at his head with a stone. Reportedly one student was detained.

Two days later right-wingers attacked left wingstudents. In the fight the left-wing students Göçmen Us, Bahtiyar Tuncer and Kiper Birol were injured. Reportedly Mehmet Çetin had been among the attackers. He had been detained after injuring Kamil Ortakçi but had been released shortly afterwards.

Members of the Beautification Association (BA) in 1 May (Mustafa Kemal) quarter in Ümraniye district (Istanbul) were attacked by right-wingers in the nights of 13 July. Ali Haydar Saygili (ESP), Yoldas Akat (BA) and Ümit Aslan (BA) were injured with firearms. The journal Atilim claimed that the attackers had been organized by dealers of hashish.

On 11 July an armed attack was conducted on the headquarters of the BBP in Ankara. Some 20 to 25 people broke the windows and shot. They fled when the police officers and security personnel in the building shot into the air.

Member of the Idealists' Union in Sariyer attacked people waiting in front of the courthouse in Istanbul to observe a trial against DHKP/C on 26 July. Musa Keser, journalist of Milliyet, was beaten by the rightwingers. Dursun Karabacak, chair of Sariyer Idealists' Union, was detained but released shortly afterwards.

Some 20 MHP member attacked Yusuf Ocak (18), Murat Keskin (19) and Ilhan Dogan (23) in Sultançiftligi quarter (Istanbul-Gaziosmanpasa) on 7 August. In reaction a huge crowd gathered in front of the MHP building and demanded that the attackers were handed over to them. The crowd threw stones at the building but the police dispersed them with gas bombs.

On 6 September right-wingers attacked the exhibition of "50 Years – The events of 6 and 7 September" organized by the History Foundation, the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly and the Helsinki Foundation of Human Settlements. They destroyed various photographs and threw eggs. The police detained the attackers. Three of them were released the same day. The Foundation of Education and Culture of the Idealists' Union declared that the Idealists' Union was not responsible for the attack.

During fight of two right-wing groups at Ankara Gazi University on 24 October seven people were injured. There names were given as: Kaan Y., Mükremin K., Utku Y., Muhammet O., Yilmaz E., Bahri K. and Çagdas G. Ismail G. was detained in connection with the incident.

On 26 October right-wingers attacked students at Ankara Gazi University who did not fast. Seven students were injured.

The following day some 500 students gathered to protest the Law on Higher Education. The police dispersed them under force while students threw stones at them. No detentions were made.

On 1 November Izmir HRA conducted a press conference for the student Cüneyt Biyiksiz from the 9 September University. He stated that 12 members of Buca Idealists' Union hat attacked him on 27 October. He was able to run away. Kamil Agaoglu, executive of the HRA, said that they identified the attackers and filed an official complaint.

On 13 November students of Mugla University protested the Semdinli events (see the Kurdish Question). They were attacked by a group of rightwingers. The police intervened and prevented further fights. The following day right and left-wing students clashed outside university. About 20 students were injured. The police detained 45 people. On the same day left-wing students held a press conference in town in protest at the attack of right-wingers. The police detained eight students.

On 8 December right-wing students attacked an unnamed student from a students' hostel in Tekirdag. The student was injured with a knife. On 11 December MHP members attacked O.T. from Mugla University. They suspected him of speaking Kurdish although he had spoken Arabic with his friends. After the incident some students threw stones at the office of the Idealists' Union. The police detained 13 students. They were released the next day.

At Thrace University right-winger attacked the students Emin Uysal, Gökhan Bilmez and Erdal Ates Sönmez because they listened to Kurdish music. Uysal and Bilmez were slightly injured. Nobody was detained.

On 13 December right-wingers attacked left-wing students at Euphrates University in Elazig when they distributed leaflets. The students Kürsat Taskin and Serkan Öz were injured with knives.

On 20 December right-winger attacked students at Kocatepe University in Usak because they sang Kurdish songs. Mehmet Ali Eren, Ferhat Akkaya and the right-wing student Metin Göl were injured. The police detained 15 people. Eleven of them were released the next day.

On 21 December right-wingers attacked left-wing students at Istanbul University. The right-wingers reportedly carried arms. The police detained seven leftwing students.

Developments in "Old" Cases
Kenan Günes: The trial against Serdar Bas, known as the leader of right-winger at Kirikkale University, charged in connection with the killing of Kenan Günes on 27 September 2004 continued in 2005. The defense complained that the witnesses Resul Eroglu, Süleyman Akyildirim and Haci Murat Tok had given false testimony. The court instructed the prosecution to investigate this claim.

The public prosecutor in Istanbul indicted 47 left-wing students, seven of them in pre-trial detention and 14 right-wing students, one of them in pre-trial detention in connection with fights in November and December 2004. The students were accused of hindering the lessons, causing damage to public property and resisting officials. Defense lawyer Olcay Yanar stated that the indictment was copied from the minutes of the police. The prosecutor had not investigated the incident. The first hearing was held at Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 1 on 4 February. The arrest warrants were lifted and the hearing was adjourned to 13 May. No further development was reported in 2005.

On complaint of the right-wing students Ismail Oguz Basaga and Abdurrahman Özkümüs 12 left-wing students from Ankara University who had been attacked on 4 December 2004 because they did not fast were indicted. The trial started at Ankara Penal Court No. 6 on 1 February. The defendants Cihan Baykal, Berkan Kayacan, Firat Belen, Kamil Ortakçi, Önder Keles, Özgü Dinler, Sevket Murat Dünsen, Kubilay Han, Cemal Keskin, Hasan Yapici, Ömür Demirel and Inan Kaya stated that they had not participated in the fight. The hearing was adjourned to 17 March. No further developments were reported in 2005.

(This information is taken from the annual report of 2005 of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT))

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