Incidents in Turkey - November 2003

EMEP members who were putting up posters in Besevler quarter of Ankara on the evening of 2 November 2003 were attacked by a group of alleged MHP members. The attackers escaped after beating the EMEP members with clubs and chains. Erdal Imrek, executive for the youth wing of EMEP, was wounded during the incident.

Some rightist students attacked the students Neslihan Çam, Bilgi Alver, Alev Özgüler and Ebru Çetin in Gölbasi campus of Ankara Gazi University on 3 November on the grounds that they were not on fast. The students appealed to HRA Ankara branch and announced they were not permitted to eat in the canteen and the smoking students were assaulted and threatened. They said: "When we wanted help from the administration they said: 'You are provocateurs. Investigation will be launched against you'".

Leftist students at Usak Education Faculty of Kocatepe University were attacked by rightist students on 7 November. Adnan Gül was wounded during the attack. According to news gathered the incident occurred as follows: The students were attacked after they left the faculty on the evening of the day. The police dispersed the fight that broke out in front of the faculty. The same evening at about 9 pm one of the leftist students Adnan Gül, who also involved the fight, and two friends of him were attacked with arms when they were leaving their house. Gül was shot at his arm. Some students gathered in front of Gül's house and were attacked once again by the rightist students. The police intervened the incident and detained 11 leftist and 5 rightist students. The detainees were released some time later. A delegation formed by Mustafa Rollas, HRA chair for Izmir, Ahmet Dagli, HRA executive in Izmir, Hüseyin Dag, DEHAP chair for Izmir and Hasan Vural ÖTP executive went to usak in order to investigate incident.

On 3 November, Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No.1 concluded the case of Ömer Karakus and Ziya Yücetepe, who on 31 August killed Sinan Kayis, member of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) and injured Yalçin Köse (owner of the coffee shop where the incident took place). The court sentenced Yücetepe to 16 years' and 3 months' imprisonment on the grounds of "killing a person under weak incitement", "wounding a person", "holding unlicensed firearm". Karakus was sentenced to 11 months' and 20 days' imprisonment on the grounds of "holding and using firearm to frighten people". A group of ÖDP members, who wanted to march to ÖDP office in Eminönü district after reading a press statement in front of the courthouse, were beaten and dispersed by the police. Lawyers Bahri Bayram Belen, Oya Meriç Eyüpoglu, Murat Altindere and a police officer were wounded during the incident. Altindere reportedly lost his conscious because of the truncheon hits.

On 3 November Ankara SSC continued to hear the case against 8 persons who were charged with 22 actions, including the killing of journalist Ugur Mumcu, Dr. Bahriye Üçok, Prof. Dr. Muammer Aksoy and Prof. Dr. Ahmet Taner Kislali.The hearing was adjourned to a later date for the decision of the Interior Ministry whether the defendants could benefit from the Repentance Law. In November 2002, the 9th Chamber of the Court of Cassation confirmed the imprisonment sentences against Dervis Polat, Yüksel Pekdemir, Mehmet Gürova, Mehmet Kassap, Adil Aydin, Talip Özçelik, Hakki Selçuk Sanli and Murat Nazli and the acquittal of Abdullah Argun Çetin but quashed the verdicts against Mehmet Ali Tekin, Abdülhamit Çelik, Muzaffer Dagdeviren, Fatih Aydin, Mehmet Sahin and Hasan Kiliç on the grounds of insufficient investigation. The court also confirmed the death sentences of Necdet Yüksel and Rüstü Aytufan but turned it to life imprisonment.

2.8. Susurluk
Chief Public Prosecutor at the Court of Cassation wanted the Court of Cassation to quash the acquittal decision against Sedat Bucak, former DYP MP for Urfa. The case had been launched against Sedat Bucak, who had not been prosecuted in Susurluk case because of his immunity, after he couldn't be a MP after the elections on 3 October 2002. Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 2 acquitted Bucak from the offence of forming a gang and suspended the sentences for "hiding Abdullah Çatli" and "keeping dangerous weapons".
The public prosecutor in Istanbul appealed to Istanbul Criminal Court No.2 in August regarding the suspension of the cases and acquittal of Bucak. 8th Chamber of the Court of Cassation wanted the decision to be quashed on the grounds that his crime was obvious when the persons with him the accident, and the guns in his own car were taken into account.
Meanwhile, on 13 November, Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No.7 continued to hear the case of Ayhan Tokcan, former Kagithane (Istanbul) Security Director and 8 defendants charged in connection with the kidnapping of Ali Fevzi Bir, who had been convicted in the so-called Susurluk case. Ayhan Tokcan and Hüseyin Gökhan Kanat were released at the hearing. The defendants during previous hearings stated that they had been tortured in detention.

The Case of the "Yüksekova Gang"
On 20 November, Hakkari Heavy Penal Court concluded the case publicly known as Yüksekova gang case. The defendants were sentenced as following for "drugs and arms smuggling by using the facilities of the army, organized bomb attacks and killing some persons": Retired major Mehmet Emin Yurdakul was sentenced to 29 years', captain Bülent Yetüt 7 years' 4 months' 26 days', special team officer Enver Çirak 4 years' 5 months' 10 days', village guard Kemal Ölmez 14 years' 10 days', PKK confessor kahraman Bilgiç 31 years' 4 months' 20 days' imprisonment. Former commander of Hakkari Mountain Commando Brigade colonel Hamdi Poyraz, former Yüksekova mayor Ali Ihsan Zeydan, non-commissioned officer Ali Kurtoglu, village guard Ismet Ölmez, Hasan Öztunç, former director of the state institution for meat and fish Mustafa Koca, his driver Oguz Baygünes and captain Nihat Yigiter were acquitted.
On 22 March 2001 Diyarbakir SSC 4 had acquitted Major Hamdi Poyraz, Ali Ihsan Zeydan, former mayor of Yüksekova (Hakkari), lieutenant Ali Kurtoglu, village guard Ismet Ölmez, Hasan Öztunç, Mustafa Koca, Oguz Baygünes and Captain Nihat Yigiter. PKK confessor Kahraman Bilgiç had been sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment, Major Mehmet Emin Yurdakul to 25 years' and 2 months' imprisonment, Kemal Ölmez, leader of village guards received a sentence of 13 years' and 4 months' imprisonment, Lieutenant Bülent Yetüt 7 years' and four months' and special team member Enver Cirak 3 years' and 8 months' imprisonment.
The 6th Penal Chamber of the Court of Cassation had quashed the sentence on the grounds that the file contained sufficient evidence for the conviction of the defendants. The case started to be dealt with by Hakkari Heavy Penal Court, since the offence of forming a gang was taken away from the responsibility of the state security courts.
The chief prosecutor at the Court of Cassation had appealed against the decision by the 6th Chamber to quash the sentence in March 2002. It was argued that the file contained sufficient evidence for the conviction of the defendants. The 6th Penal Chamber of the Court of Cassation had accepted the appeal in May 2002. The Panel of Chambers at the Court of Cassation had quashed the acquittals of Kemal Ölmez, village guard and special team officer Enver Çirak. The Chamber also had quashed the decision of 6th Penal Chamber to quash the sentences given to Mehmet Emin Yurdakul, Bülent Yetüt, Kahraman Bilgiç and Kemal Ölmez.

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

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