Incidents in Turkey - February 2004

Political Parties
The Chief Prosecutor at the Court of Cassation wanted 711 persons from 25 political parties to be dismissed because of previous convictions. The parties and numbers are as follows: AKP (243), DEHAP (98), Free Party (67), MHP (62), CHP (57), GP (52), ANAP (26), EMEP (23), YTP (18), Saadet Partisi (15), DYP (13), SHP (8), BBP (8), SDP (7), DSP (5), ÖDP (5), Yurt Partisi (5), İsçi Partisi (4), TKP (4), BCP (4), ATP (2), LDP (1), HAKPAR(1), CDP (1).

16 March Massacre
The case that was launched in connection with the armed and bomb attack to the students in Faculty of Pharmacy in Istanbul University on 16 March 1978 would reportedly be taken to ECHR on the grounds that it was not concluded because that the National Intelligence Service (MIT) did not send the documents that court wanted.
Hatice Özen, Cemil Sönmez, Baki Ekiz, Turan Ören, Abdullah Simsek, Hamit Akil and Murat Kurt had been killed and 41 students had been wounded during the attack. Kazim Ayaydin, Mehmet Gül, Ahmet Hamdi Paksoy, Siddik Polat and chairman of Idealists' Union in Istanbul Orhan Çakiroglu had been prosecuted at Istanbul Martial Court in connection with the attack. Siddik Polat had been sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment and the other defendants had been acquitted on 30 March 1980. On 5 October 1982, Military Court of Cassation had acquitted Siddik Polat. After 17 years from the incident in 1995, another case had been launched at Istanbul Heavy Penal Court of First Instance No. 6 when new evidences had been found.
It had been revealed from some documents that had come to "Susurluk Commission" formed by Istanbul Lawyers' Bar Association in 1997 that an interview had been made between the Minister of Interior Hasan Fehmi Günes and the chairman of the Idealists' Union Lokman Kondakçi that may enlighten some obscure points of the massacre. The lawyers had submitted these documents to the court and the court demanded from National Intelligence Service to send the whole documents and minutes of the interview.
National Intelligence Service refused the demand of the court and wanted them to contact Interior Ministry. The lawyers withdrew from the case on the grounds that "National Intelligence Service intervened the court and restricted their right to defense". In addition, a case was launched against Lawyer Cem Alptekin on the allegations of "making the secret documents public" but Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No.5 acquitted him.
One of lawyers Hilmi Hanta stated: "The resolution of the 16 March massacre means the resolution of 12 September. Thus, National Intelligence Service do not send the wanted document; the evidences are being darkened and prevented to be collected".

Susurluk Case
On 27 February, 8th Penal Chamber of the Court of Cassation quashed the acquittal decision of Sedat Edip Bucak, former DYP MP. On 26 June 2003, Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No.2 had acquitted Bucak from charges of "forming a gang in order to commit a crime" and suspended the sentences for "hiding Abdullah Çatli, against whom a decision of arrest in absentia had been issued" and "keeping dangerous weapons."
Haluk Kirci: After the death penalty having been abolished and converted to life imprisonment, a decision of the Court of Cassation in April caused discussions on Haluk Kirci and Mehmet Ali Agca.
On 13 December 1988, the Court of Cassation decided in the release of Mustafa Izol who had been sentenced to death for 12 times and 25 years' imprisonment according to 450 TPC (murdering) for the crimes he committed in 1980.
According to the news gathered, Mustafa Izol could not benefit from the amnesty that was brought with the change in Law on Fight to Terrorism in 1991. Ankara Heavy Penal Court of First Instance No.2 converted Izol's sentences to life imprisonment in 2002 after the harmonization law No. 4771 was adopted. However, the court calculated the years he had to be in prison by considering each of the death penalties. Izol was benefited from Law to Fight Terrorism and sentenced to 36 years' imprisonment in total. The objection made to this sentence was denied by Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 3. According to this, Izol would be released in the 2010s.
Ministry of Justice appealed to the Court of Cassation for the quash of the decision in July 2003 and demanded Izol to be sentenced to life imprisonment. The 1st Chamber of the Court of Cassation accepted the objection of the ministry and decided to sentence Izol to heavy life imprisonment.
After the harmonization law, the Court of Cassation started to apply the Law on Fight to Terrorism on the grounds that it was for the convicts. Thus, the Court of Cassation decided that Izol "completed the execution period" according to the temporary Clause 1/a of the Law on Fight to Terrorism, which decreased the life imprisonment to 8 years' imprisonment. However, the Chief Prosecution of the Court of Cassation denied the decision.
After the decision on Izol, Hüseyin Ayan, lawyer of Haluk Kirci, the convict of Bahçelievler massacre and Susurluk case, appealed to the Court of Cassation.
Each Kirci, Bünyamin Adanali and Ünal Osmanagaoglu had been sentenced to seven times death penalty. These sentences had been converted to 70 years' imprisonment each and the execution period had been fixed as 36 years in 1991 according to the change in the Law on Fight to Terrorism. These persons' demand to benefit from the amnesty had been denied in 2000. Ayan stressed that his client also should be kept 8 years in prison according to the Law on Fight to Terrorism. He stated that they were expecting a decision of release even if the court would decide that Kırci would serve the 6 years' imprisonment that he was sentenced from the Susurluk case, on the grounds that Kirci had been for 16 years in the prison.
Ayan had reportedly appealed to Ankara Penal Court of First Instance for the release of Kirci in 2002 after the law No. 4771 had been come into force. Ankara Heavy Penal Court No.5 converted Kirci's sentence to seven times imprisonment and 48 months' cell imprisonment in accordance to the new law. The court did not make decision concerning the release of him. Then Lawyer Hüseyin Ayan appealed to the public prosecutor in Ödemis on the grounds that Kirci was in Ödemis Prison. Ödemis Heavy Penal Court did not confirm the release decision of Haluk Kirci on the grounds that the decision might be changed. The verdict of Ankara Penal Court No.5 is still at the Court of Cassation.

(This information is from the monthly reports 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 - January 2004
Incidents in Turkey - December 2003
Incidents in Turkey - November 2003
Incidents in Turkey - September / October 2003
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Incidents in Turkey - January / June 2003
Incidents in Turkey - November 2000/December 2002