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Annual Reports
Turkish Press
Background Stories
Basic Documents
Kurdish Question Right to Life Torture Prisons Freeedom of Expression Assembly Association Abbreviations


The Killing of Hikmet Fidan
The Law to Re-Integration and other Issues
Attacks on Kurds 
The Trial of the Deputies of the Democracy Party 
Mass Graves
Further Incidents and Pressure
The System of Village Guards
Abdullah Öcalan
Internal Displacement 
The Right to Asylum and Situation of Refugees


After the HPG (People's Defense Forces) declared on 1 June 2004 an end to the unilateral ceasefire that had been announced on 1 September 1998 clashes increased. Between 20 August and 3 October the PKK announced a period without actions. Prior to this there was an intense discussion on another ceasefire. 
In 2005 the discussion of the Kurdish question mainly focused on incidents in Şemdinli, Hakkari and Yüksekova and the prison conditions of Abdullah Öcalan (for the bomb attacks in Şemdinli, Hakkari and Yüksekova see the chapter on Right to Life and for demonstrations in favor of Abdullah Öcalan see the chapter on Freedom of Assembly). 
Between 28 March and 4 April a congress for the Re-Structuring of the PKK was held and the new establishment of the PKK was announced. On 9 April the daily Özgür Politika presented a declaration of Murat Karayılan the spokesperson of the parliament of the PKK on the new perspective. He said that the name PKK did not mean that the organization would turn back to the old days. In the past the PKK had followed a violent course for the creation of an independent State. Although the spirit of being followers of Apo (Abdullah Öcalan) was still the same the aim was no longer a separate State based on a nation, but a democratic nation. Violence was to be used in defense and not as a tool for solution.
On 10 April some 200 intellectuals, writers, journalists, artists, academics and representatives of NGOs published a joined declaration expressing their fear of an increasing nationalism and a return to an atmosphere of violence. The declaration was published under the headline of "We are concerned and warn"

As Citizens with Signatures below:
We see an attempt to hinder democratization, civilization and the peace process in our country and are concerned that there might be a return to an atmosphere of violence and clashes. 
. restricting freedom of expression
. in the hysteria about juveniles ripping the Turkish flag during Nevruz 
. with a lynch attempt in Trabzon
. Turkish and Kurdish nationalism is provoked
. the discussion on the genocide and the rights of minorities increase the fear
. the aim should be to reach the level of civilization
. we are against discrimination, a mind of prohibition, status quo and clashes. 
Adalet Ağaoğlu (Writer), Adalet Dinamit (Administrator), Ahmet Çakmak (Prof), Ahmet İnsel (Prof), Ahmet İsvan, Akın Atalay (Jurist), Ali Bayramoğlu (journalist, writer), Ali Kazancıgil (UNESCO Council for Social Sciences), Ali Nesin (Prof), Ali Uçansu (dentist), Alin Taşçıyan (Movie critic), Arzu Başaran (Painter), Aydın Cıngı (chair of SODEV), Aydın Engin (Journalist), Aydın Güven Gürkan (Prof), Ayla Gürsoy (Prof), Ayşe Buğra (Prof), Ayşe Gül Altınay, Ayşe Öncü (Prof), Aytaç Arman (actor), Bahri Bayram Belen (Jurist), Baskın Oran (Prof), Binnaz Toprak (Prof), Bülent Deniz (chair of Union of Consumers), Büşra Erşanlı (Prof), Can Dündar (Journalist, writer), Celal Yıldırım (chair of Chamber of Dentists), Cem Eroğul (Prof), Cemil Eren (Painter), Cemil Koçak (Writer), Cengiz Aktar (EU Expert), Cevdet Kocaman (Trade unionist), Cumhur Ertekin (Prof), Cüneyt Ülsever (Journalist, writer), Çağatay Anadol (Publisher), Çetin Altan (Journalist, writer), Deniz Kavukçuoğlu (Writer), Derya Sazak (Journalist, writer), Doğan Tılıç (chair of Association of Contemporary Journalists), Doğu Ergil (Prof), Emine Uşaklıgil (administrator), Ercan Karakaş (SODEV), Erdal Öz (Publisher, writer), Ergin Cinmen (Jurist), Erhan Bener (Writer), Erol Kızılelma (SODEV), Ersin Salman (Communicator), Etyen Mahcupyan (Writer), Fadime Gök (Prof), Ferhat Kentel (Researcher, writer), Ferhunde Özbay (Prof), Feride Çiçekoğlu (Writer), Fethiye Çetin (Jurist), Feza Deymeer (Prof), Feza Kürkçüoğlu (researcher), Fikret Başkaya (Writer), Füsun Akatlı (Writer, critic), Füsun Sayek (chair of TTB), Gencay Gürsoy (Prof), Genco Erkal (artist), Gül Demir (Journalist), Gülen Aktaş (Prof), Gülseren Güver (TGC), Günay Göksu Özdoğan (Prof), Gündüz Vassaf (Writer), Gürer Aykal (chief of an orchestra), Gürol Irzık (Prof), Hacer Ansal (Prof), Halil Berktay (Prof), Halil Ergün (artist), Hasan Bülent Kahraman (Writer), Hasan Kuruyazıcı (translator, architect), Hasan Yazıcı (Prof), Haydar Ergülen (poet), Herkül Millas (Writer), Hikmet Çetinkaya (Journalist, writer), Hrant Dink (Editor of AGOS), Huri Özdoğan (Prof), İbrahim Betil (administrator), İbrahim Kaboğlu (Prof), İlhan Tekeli (Prof), İpek Çalışlar (Journalist), İsa Karataş (spokesperson of the Protestant Church), İsmail Duman (Prof), İzel Rozental (cartoonist), Jale Parla (Prof), Kadife Şahin (Journalist), Kadir Erdin (Prof), Kuvvet Lordoğlu (Prof), Lale Mansur (artist), Latife Tekin (Writer), Mahir Günşiray (artist), Mebuse Tekay (Jurist), Mehmet Aksoy (mason), Mehmet Ali Birand (Journalist, writer), Mehmet Altan (Prof), Mehmet Soğancı (engineer), Melek Ulagay (filmer), Meral Okay (writer), Meral Tamer (Journalist, writer), Meryem Koray (Prof), Mete Çubukçu (Journalist), Mete Tapan (Prof), Mete Tunçay (Prof), Muhsin Kızılkaya (Writer), Murat Belge (Prof), Murat Çelikkan (Writer), Murathan Mungan (Writer), Musa Ağacık (Journalist), Müge İplikçi (Writer), Müge Sökmen (Publisher), Müjde Ar (artist), N. Lerzan Özkale (Prof), Nadire Mater (Journalist), Nazan Aksoy (Prof), Necdet Saraç (Writer), Necmiye Alpay (Writer), Nesrin Sungur (Prof), Neşe Düzel (Journalist, writer), Neşe Erdilek (researcher), Nevzat Helvacı (chair of Human Rights Foundation Institute), Nilay Kırcı (public relations), Nilgün Cerrahoğlu (Journalist, writer), Nilüfer Kuruyazıcı (Prof), Nilüfer Tapan (Prof), Nilüfer Warhol, Niyazi Dalyancı (Journalist), Noyan Özkan (Jurist), Nur Sürer (artist), Nuray Mert (Writer), Nurdan Arca (filmer), Oral Çalışlar (Journalist, writer), Orhan Alkaya (poet), Orhan Bursalı (Journalist, writer), Orhan Silier (chair of History Foundation), Orhan Taylan (Painter), Oya Baydar (Writer), Oya Köymen (Prof), Öget Öktem Tanör (Prof), Özdem Petek (public relations), Özlem Dalkıran (Amnesty International), Piraye Serdaroğlu (Prof), Raşit Tükel (Prof), Reha İsvan, Reşit Canbeyli (Prof), Rezzan Tuncay (Prof), Rıfat Bali (Writer), Rifat Okçabol (Prof), Rutkay Aziz (artist), Rüstem Batum (TV programmer), Salim Uslu (chair of Hak-İş), Sami Caner (engineer), Sami Evren (chair of KESK), Saruhan Oluç (Journalist), Selçuk Esenbel (Prof), Selim Deringil (Prof), Semra Somersan (Journalist), Senih Özay (Jurist), Sermet Koç (Prof), Sibel Irzık (Prof), Stefan Yerasimos (Prof), Süleyman Çelebi (chair of DİSK), Süleyman Özyalçın (Prof), Şahika Yüksel (Prof), Şanar Yurdatapan (musician), Şebnem Korur Fincancı (Prof), Şemsa Özer (researcher), Taha Parla (Prof), Tahsin Yeşildere (Prof), Tan Oral (cartoonist), Taner Akçam (historian, writer), Taner Berksoy (Prof), Taner Timur (Prof), Tanıl Bora (Writer), Tarhan Erdem (Writer, researcher), Tarık Ziya Ekinci, Tayfun Mater (engineer), Tuğrul Eryılmaz (Journalist), Turgut Kazan (Jurist), Tülin Polat (Prof), Türker Alkan (Prof), Ufuk Uras, Ülkü Azrak (Prof), Ümit Kıvanç (Writer), Ümit Şenesen (Prof), Üstün Akmen (chair P.E.N. Turkey), Vecdi Sayar (chair of Art Council), Yasemin Tutal, Yaşar Seyman (Trade unionist, writer), Yavuz Önen (chair of HRFT), Yıldız Sey (Prof), Yılmaz Ensaroğlu (Mazlum-Der), Yusuf Alataş (chair of HRA), Yücel Sayman (Jurist), Zafer Diper (artist), Zafer Üskül (Prof), Zeynep Gambetti (researcher), Zeynep Göğüş (Journalist, writer), Zeynep Tanbay (artist), Zülfü Livaneli (Journalist, writer).

On 15 June 151 intellectuals published a leaflet calling on the PKK to stop its actions. The leaflet stated inter alias: "Only in the last month 50 people lost their lives. During the last 15 years about 30,000 human beings lost their lives in what is called a 'low-level conflict' or 'dirty war'. We ask the PKK to stop its actions without any pre-condition and call on the government to take the necessary legal steps for everybody to participate in the political life."
On 19 June Fikret Bila reported in his column in the daily Milliyet on a conversation with Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek who commented on a meeting with ambassadors from EU countries and the leaflet of intellectuals. The Justice Minister said inter alias that it had been difficult to have the world agree that the PKK was a terrorist organization. It had taken another 2 to 3 years to get the acceptance after the PKK changed its name to Kongra-Gel. 
Cemil Çiçek said further that the leaflet of intellectuals might be useful if it had an effect on the opposite side. The opposite side were the terror groups. The State or the government could not be the contact for such a call. 
On 22 June a total of 264 Kurdish intellectuals supported the call of Turkish intellectuals with their signatures. Former deputy Tarık Ziya Ekinci spoke on a press conference and said that a general amnesty and developments of the economy and social and cultural affairs was a pre-condition for a solution. The Kurds in Turkey had to freely enjoy their language and culture.
On 10 August Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accepted the intellectuals who had called on the PKK to put down their arms. He said that the Kurdish question just like many other problems should be tackled under the general question of democratization within the constitutional order of principles of the Republic. Regardless of whether one called it the social demands of the citizens of Kurdish origin or the question of the Southeast one should avoid linking this question to terror.
On 16 August Saygı Öztürk reported in the daily Hürriyet that following the declaration of the Prime Minister the General Staff had formed a working group to present a report to the National Security Council (NSC). The journalist stated that the report would not speak of the Kurdish question but the problem with terror. The military experts would stress that the main problem of the region was the underdevelopment. An unnamed expert had told the journalist that there were no demands for another state of emergency. 
In separate news Hürriyet quoted from the report that was presented to the NSC before its meeting on 23 August. The reports stated inter alias that the organization (PKK) was short before dissolving itself. The question of leadership was imminent and Osman Öcalan who had left the organization was like a ricochet. Murat Karayılan, Duran Kalkan and Cemil Bayık were trying to stay at the top of the organization by founding groups to their own ends. 
Prior to a visit of the Prime Minister to the region Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met 57 mayors from the DEHAP. Speaking on behalf of the mayors, Osman Baydemir, Mayor of Diyarbakır, said that the tension in the region was increasing day by day. The atmosphere of clashes was harmful for the economy as well as the state of law. The mayors presented the following findings for a solution to the Kurdish question:
- the Kurdish question cannot be reduced to a problem of underdevelopment, even though the economic problems are important;
- in order to establish peace and development a civilian project has to be defined that includes the social, cultural, political, economic and judicial dimensions;
- arms have to be silenced in order to develop a democratic discussion, feeling of sympathy and security;
- reforms of laws and the Constitution as well as administrative reforms have to be made to continue the process of democratization;
- problems of internal displacement, harm to the environment, poverty, unemployment, health and accommodation have to be solved. Positive discrimination is needed for the region;
- one should refrain from the state of emergency or changes to the anti-terror law that would take us away from the harmonization with the EU;
- the solution will be easier, if local and central administration and the organizations of civilian society (NGOs) work close together.
On 19 August Kongra-Gel announced in Belgium that there would be a time without actions between 20 August and 20 September during which militants of the HPG would only defend themselves. The initiative of intellectuals had created a positive atmosphere for a solution and Kongra-Geld wanted to show that the organization was not against the State and carried an understanding of solving the question of democratization in Turkey within its unity.
On 20 August Murat Yetkin commented in the daily Radikal on the press conference in Brussels. Belgium had not allowed the President of Kongra-Gel, Zübeyir Aydar (former deputy of the Democracy Party DEP) to appear at the press conference since there was an arrest warrant issued in 2004 against him. Police officers had come to the international press center and informed the journalists that Aydar would be arrested and deported to Switzerland where he had been recognized as a political refugee. 
On the other hand the Movement for a Democratic Society lead by former deputies of DEP (Leyla Zana and 3 others) had not been able to grasp the message from European countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and Austria to clearly separate them from the PKK and not be become another front organization such as KADEK or Kongra-Gel. The only positive development was the declaration of about one hundred NGOs in Diyarbakır who declared that they supported the speech of the Prime Minister of 12 August in saying that the solution of the question was mainly a question of democracy.
Later Kongra-Geld extended the period without actions until 3 October when the negotiations between Turkey and the EU were to start. During the 43 days without actions 43 militants were killed according to a later announcement of Kongra-Gel.

The Killing of Hikmet Fidan
On 17 February Kemal Şahin (code name: Kemale Sor) who had left Kongra-Gel and joined the Patriotic Democratic Party (Partiya Welatparezen Demokraten = PWD) of Osman Öcalan was killed near Süleymaniye (North Iraq). The PWD claimed that HPG militants killed him.
On 6 July Hikmet Fidan, former deputy chair of the closed down HADEP, was killed in Diyarbakır. Apparently two people shot him in his neck. First statements claimed that there was no political dimension in the attack.
However, the PWD claimed on its website that the PKK had killed Hikmet Fidan. The declaration also attributed the killing of Kemal Şahin and Sipan Rojhilat to the PKK. 
In November the public prosecutor in Diyarbakır indicted three people in connection with the killing. The indictment stated that Hikmet Fidan had participated in a meeting of the PWD in Northern Iraq and had been given the duty of organizing the PWD in Turkey. Veysi Akgönül and Mustafa Kemal Ok had also been at the meeting in Northern Iraq and had been instructed to found a print office in Diyarbakır in order to finance the organization. Later Veysi Akgönül had been threatened by the PKK and accepted to kill Hikmet Fidan. He had asked Fırat Karahan for help. He had called Hikmet Fidan to meet him, but being too afraid himself the PKK member Serkan Şitilay had carried out the killing. 
The indictment asked for life imprisonment for Fırat Karahan and a sentence of 10 years' imprisonment for Mustafa Kemal Ok. Veysi Akgönül who had provided information to clarify the crime should not be punished. The file of Serkan Şitilay who had not been captured was separated. 
On 28 December Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No. 4 started to hear the case. Mustafa Kemal Ok testified to the effect that after the killing Eyüp Karageçi (former executive of DEP) had called him and told him to say that the PKK had committed the killing. The defendant Fırat Karahan stated that he had been tortured in custody. The prosecutor Muammer Özcan had threatened him to put him in prison for 36 years, if he did not sign the statement. Therefore, he had used his right to remain silent. 
The son of Hikmet Fidan, Tarık Fidan, participated as sub-plaintiff. He stated that Mehmet Ören, Murat Karayılan and Zübeyir Aydar had called his father over the phone and threatened him. Tarık Fidan maintained that Abdullah Öcalan was informed about the killing. 
In an article in the daily Cumhuriyet of 19 July the journalist Mehmet Faraç raised some questions on killings within the PKK. He pointed at parallels of this killing to the killing of Musa Anter who, too, was called from the hotel his was staying in to a meeting with a person he knew for his contacts to the PKK. The article attributed the following killings to the PKK: Engin Sincer, Halit Sofi, Hayrettin Aydın (treasurer of the PKK), his brother Nurettin Aydın, Mahmut Arda, Sema Yıldız, Aydın Şahin, Sevim Adıbelli, Sedat Bayraktar, Levent Buker, Mustafa Yaygır, Doktor Rodi Demirkapı, Mustafa Günaydın, Murat Bayun, Faruk Bozkurt, Berzan Dürre, Nazime Adtürk, Yücel Zeydan, Mehmet Emin Unay, Rahman Şen, Mamosta Osman (Osman Hoca), Helat Soran, Erdal İlaslan, Salih Tatoğlu, Fatoş Sağlamgöz, Muhammed Aslan, Cemal Polat, Murat Yücel, his lover Filiz Yerlikaya and Hüseyin Morsümbül.
The Law to Re-Integration and other Issues
On 30 March Interior Minister Abdülkadir Aksu answered a question of Orhan Eraslan, deputy from Niğde on Law 4959 on the Re-Integration into Society. He stated that 4,340 members of illegal organizations had applied to benefit from the law. Among them 2,980 had already been imprisoned. 1,529 prisoners had belonged to separatist organizations; 1,095 belonged to organizations with a religious background and 356 to organizations of the extreme left.
In February the public prosecutor in Ankara finished the investigation into the advertisement that had been placed in the International Herald Tribune and Le Monde under the headline of "What do the Kurds want?" The prosecutor decided against charges on the grounds that the advertisement signed by 203 people was within the scope of freedom of expression.
In February the Ministry for the Interior decided against the application of former PKK executive Şemdin Sakık to benefit from the Repentance Law. The letter to Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No. 6 stated that, although Sakık had provided information that helped to crack down on the organization, he had given orders for the killing of hundreds of people. On 20 May 1999 Şemdin Sakık and his brother Arif Sakık had been sentenced to death. After the death penalty was lifted in Turkey the sentence was commuted to aggravated lifer imprisonment.
On 22 February Sohbet Şen, İmam Özpolat and Ali Şükran Aktaş were detained when they wanted to meet deputies from the CHP in the GNAT. All three had returned to Turkey in 1999 on the call of Abdullah Öcalan as a "peace group" and had been convicted as members of an illegal organization. On 23 February they were remanded on charges of membership of an illegal organization. 
On 11 May Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 11 started to hear their case. Defense lawyer Hamit Geylani said that articles of newspapers published abroad and letters written to the deputies could not count as evidence. The prosecutor insisted on charges under Article 314 new TPC for membership of an armed organization.
In January Nuriye Kesbir, member of PKK/Kongra-Gel, was released in the Netherlands after a court in The Hague had ruled against an extradition to Turkey. In Germany Remzi Kartal, deputy chair of Kongra-Gel was released on 28 February. He had been arrested in Nuremberg on 22 January since a demand for extradition existed for him.
In August Diyarbakır Penal Court No. 2 acquitted the lawyer Muharrem Şahin from charges of resisting the police and staging an illegal demonstration. The lawyer had been detained under beatings when he wanted to participate in the autopsy of Engin Sincer, an executive of KADEK who had died under suspicious circumstances on Kandil Mountain on 7 September 2003.
The public prosecutor in Bitlis started an investigation against Mehmet Can Demir, chair of DEHAP for the province, because a calendar of the organization for the year 2005 had included Kurdish names.
In March the Ministry for the Environment and Woods renamed some animal species, saying foreign scientists opposed to its territorial integrity had chosen their former names with ill intent. A sheep species previously known as Ovis Armeniana was renamed Ovis Orientalis Anatolicus. A species of red fox was renamed as Vulpes Vulpes rather than Vulpes Vulpes Kurdistanica.
Attacks on Kurds
In the night of 2 August Kurdish construction workers and immigrants from Bulgaria had a fight in Görüklü town in Nilüfer district (Bursa). The immigrants beat Hakkı Pala, Abdurrahman Erdem, Mehmet Kapçak and Barış Dursun and damaged many cars. A crowd of some 000 people blockaded the road between Bursa and Balıkesir and shouted slogans against Kurds. The police detained 13 people including 9 Kurdish workers.
Following the funeral of Corporal Kemal Etiler who had been killed in a clash near Uludere district (Şırnak) on 3 August the office of DEHAP and Kurdish street vendors in Kemalpaşa district (Bursa) were attacked by right-wingers on 4 August.
In the night of 5 August the house of DEHAP member Ubeydullah Sayılgan in Bursa was attacked. Some 50 persons gathered outside the house and shot into the air. The family alleged that the police arrived only at 2am, although they had been informed at 9pm.
On 8 August CNN Türk reported that the Ministry of the Interior had issued a circular on how to prevent provocative and common incidents. The circular pointed at the crisis with the Turkish flag (in Mersin, see the chapter on Freedom of Assembly) and stated that there was an attempt to misuse national feelings and create an atmosphere of chaos. The aim was to create a situation of discrimination. The measures to prevent such incidents were mainly based on better coordination among the security forces and an improvement of contacts to NGOs and the press. 
On 19 August the police in Elbistan (Maraş) raided the offices of DEHAP and detained Hüseyin Kısa, chair for the district, Ali Polat and two persons with the first names of Faruk and Oğuz. They were released after five hours. Metin Gönülşen, DEHAP chair for the province, stated that the police tried to provoke the population saying that the detainees had planted bombs and were terrorists. A group of 20 people had gathered close to the office and insulted the members of the party.
On 21 August a discussion with police officers in Ürkmez town, Seferihisar district (İzmir) resulted in the detention of Naim Doğan Balgün, Veysel Ferit Balgün, İbrahim Bedük, Halil Bedük and Uğur Tanık and a lynch attempt on the pretext that they were members of the PKK. In prison Naim Doğan Balgün told lawyers of the HRA:
"A sergeant of the gendarmerie objected to me parking in front of the pastry shop. I objected when he used heavy language stating that women were in the car. Because of the dialect the sergeant asked for my hometown and I said that I had come from Diyarbakır. He started to curse at the Kurds calling all of us members of the PKK that he would f. Several people gathered and when the sergeant attacked me with a pen the crowd also walked towards us. We were taken into a vehicle of the gendarmerie. Another sergeant beat me on my head and they left the door open for others to hit us."
After the incident Seferihisar Governor Mehmet Gödekmerdan stated that the citizens were sensitive on movements against the State and the army. Mustafa Rollas, chair of the HRA in İzmir stated that there were allegations that that the mayor of Ürkmez and a lieutenant of the gendarmerie were directly involved in the incident. İbrahim Bedük, Halil Bedük and Uğur Tanık were released on 6 September, Veysel Ferit Balgün and Naim Doğan Balgün were released on 14 September.
On 5 September a fight broke out among workers collecting hazelnuts in Karatavuk village, Akçakoca district (Düzce). Abdulrezak Özdemir from Şırnak province died and the woman Şükran Yiğit was injured. The headman of the village claimed that the fight occurred when the workers from Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia shouted slogans in favor of the PKK. The daily Özgür Gündem on the other hand claimed that right-wingers attacked the Kurdish workers.
Representatives of the gendarmerie said that 15 workers from the Adana and inhabitants of Karatavuk village had a discussion and one unidentified person shot from his house killing Abdulrezak Özdemir and injuring Şükran Yiğit.
The student Deniz Tekin alleged that right-wingers attacked him in a students' hostel in Eskişehir on 31 December because he was a Kurd. He had been sitting in the canteen when someone asked him to come outside and five to six people had attacked him. He had informed the administration of the hostel. A police officer had appeared and asked for his hometown. Because of this behavior he had not filed an official complaint.
The Trial of the Deputies of the Democracy Party
On 25 February Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 11 continued to hear the case of the former deputies from the Democracy Party (DEP), Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Doğan and Selim Sadak. Defense lawyer Yusuf Alataş stated that the penal code and the code of criminal procedures had been amended and the proceedings should be carried out according to new legislation. 
During the hearing of 22 April presiding judge Orhan Karadeniz maintained that the defendants had not made statements for a long time and the proceedings were protracted. Defense lawyer Yusuf Alataş said that the indictment had asked for a conviction of his clients under Article 125 old TPC, but during the new trial the charges had changed to Article 168 old TPC. He demanded that a new indictment should be prepared. The Court decided to hear eight witnesses of the defense, a public witness, Sedat Edip Bucak, former deputy of the DYP and Halit Aslan, a witness of the prosecution. 
During the hearing of 23 May it turned out that the invitations to Sedat Bucak and Halit Aslan had not received a reply and nothing had been done in the case of the witnesses of the defense since the addresses were not known. The Court decided to ask experts for a transcription of recordings of the Turkish Radio and TV Institution (TRT) including experts to transcribe the Kurdish parts of the conversations. 
During the hearing of 1 July defense lawyer Yusuf Alataş objected to the decision of the Court to ask experts for a transcription of recordings and said that during the first round of hearings three teams of experts had concluded that it was impossible to definitely attribute the recordings to certain persons. The Court turned down the objection of the lawyer. 
On 7 October former deputy Sedat Bucak testified. He repeated his statement that he first had given in 1994. 
The History of the Trial
The defendants Leyla Zana, Orhan Doğan and Hatip Dicle were elected deputies for Diyarbakır province in the elections of 20 October 1991. Selim Sadak entered parliament as deputy for Şırnak province. In December 1991 the public prosecutor in Ankara asked the GNAT to lift the immunity of these and another 18 deputies. In March 1994 the joint Commission of Constitution and Justice agreed to lift the immunity of Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Sırrı Sakık, Ahmet Türk, Orhan Doğan, Selim Sadak and Mahmut Alınak (all deputies for DEP). On 17 March 1994 Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Sırrı Sakık, Ahmet Türk, Orhan Doğan and Mahmut Alınak were arrested. 
In June 1994 the public prosecutor at Ankara SSC indicted the deputies under Article 125 old TPC accusing them of treasury, the attempt to separate part of Turkey and being connected to the PKK: The prosecutor asked for the death penalty. Selim Sadak and Sedat Yurttaş were arrested on 2 July 1994 after the reasoned verdict of the Constitutional Court to ban the Democracy Party (DEP) had been published on 30 June. These two deputies were also charged under Article 125 with the demand of the death penalty. There cases were combined with the trial against the other deputies. 
On 8 December 1994 Ankara SSC convicted Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Doğan, Selim Sadak and Ahmet Türk under Article 168/2 old TPC and sentenced them to 15 years' imprisonment. Sedat Yurttaş was convicted under Article 169 old TPC and sentenced to 7.5 years' imprisonment and Sırrı Sakık and Mahmut Alınak were sentenced under Article 8 of the ATL and sentenced to 3.5 years' imprisonment and fined TL 60 million. Sakık and Alınak were released. On 26 December 1995 the Court of Cassation quashed the verdicts against Ahmet Türk, Sedat Yurttaş, Sırrı Sakık and Mahmut Alınak, but confirmed the verdicts against Zana, Dicle, Doğan and Sadak.
On 20 July 2001 the European Court of Cassation passed its judgment on the case and ruled that the trial against the four convicted deputies had been unfair. This opened the way to a re-trial. On 9 July 2004 the Court of Cassation ordered the release of the defendants who otherwise would have been released in June 2005. The trial did not conclude in 2005.
Human Rights in the Region after the State of Emergency (OHAL) was lifted
Since 30 November 2002 the state of emergency that had been declared on 10 July 1987 (replacing martial law) is no longer in force, but human rights violations continue in the region.
The PKK confessor Abdülkadir Aygan continued to reveal details on political killings in the region. He first had presented details in 2004. Details on his revelations can be found in the chapter on The Right to Life and Personal Security.
Mass Graves
In November 2004 a mass grave with the bones of 11 people was found near Alaca village in Kulp district (Diyarbakır). In January former PKK militant Arif Sakık stated that this could be PKK members who had been punished as agents. If the remains of the persons had been found under a certain tree he would be able to identify the place.
In March Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Şahin answered a question tabled by independent deputy from İstanbul, Mehmet Emin Şirin related to the mass grave in Kulp district. The answer included statement of the Ministry of the Interior, the Defense Ministry, the General Staff, the Justice Ministry and the secret service MİT. 
The General Staff maintained that the prosecutor in Kulp had been investigating the claim of 11 villagers who "disappeared" in Kulp district in 1993. The investigation was still continuing and allegations that the Armed Forces might be involved in such an incident aimed at weakening the security forces. 
The Justice Ministry alleged that the persons found in the grave had been killed by the PKK, but the organization tried to attribute the killings to the armed forces. 
In February allegations were raised that the corpses of four PKK militants had been buried in the garden of the gendarmerie station in Yedisu district (Bingöl). The daily Özgür Politika quoted a soldier named Mustafa Bayram who said that in 2000 five PKK militants had been captured and four of them had been alive. They had been questioned and then shot in front of the gendarmerie station. The former soldier alleged that more corpses might have been buried in the garden that was surrounded with mines.
After the statement of Mustafa Bayram the HPG declared that near Goma Kotan hamlet in Yedisu district one militant had been killed and four militants had been shot after being apprehended alive. The names of three of the militants were given as Fahrettin Cem, Tahir Sankut and Hulusi Yıldız. The family of Hulusi Yıldız asked the HRA in Muş for help to establish the whereabouts of him. The brother Erkan Yıldız said: "On 17 November 2000 a police officer in Varto district showed us a photograph suspecting that it was my brother and said that he was being held at Yedisu Gendarmerie station. The picture did not show my brother. We went to Yedisu Gendarmerie Station, but were not allowed in. Soldiers said that two corpses were at the station. However, we were sent to Karlıova Gendarmerie Station. Here they showed us some photographs, but my brother was not among them. Since then we have not received any information on whether he is alive or dead."
In May the corpse of Hulusi Yıldız was exhumed from a place close to the garden of Yedisu Gendarmerie Station. The relatives had asked the prosecutor in Kiğı for help and he ordered the exhumation. Tahsin Yıldız, a relative of Hulusi Yıldız said: "The gendarmerie station is surrounded by barbed wire, but the graveyard is on the other side of the road that passes the station. We were told that 14 families already found their relatives here. There are still another 30 graves all with numbers and registered.
In September the weekly Azadiya Welat published news that between Demir and Kamişlo villages in Kulp district (Diyarbakır) a mass grave with the remains of 9 PKK militants had been found. A person named Dılşa İldeniz had told the paper: "On 21 September 1998 12 militants were killed in the region. We went there two days later and found the corpses of 9 militants. We later covered them with earth. The whole village knows about this grave. Soldiers took away 3 corpses." The names of some of the killed persons were given as Mehmet Şirin İnatçı, Mehmet Bozan, Mehmet Özdemir and three persons with the code names of "Piling" (from Diyarbakır-Hazro), "Xwendewan" (from Diyarbakır-Bismil) and "Hawar" (form Syria). 
In 2005 allegations were raised that 7 PKK militants had been killed in a clash near Akçalı (Sewqan) village in Başkale district (Van) in November 1997. Soldiers and members of a special unit had driven over them with armored vehicles and buried them in Çavkan quarter (Başkale).
On 27 November a mass grave was found in Savur district (Mardin). The Commission for Unsolved Killings in Diyarbakır Bar Association and the prosecutor in Savur carried out an inspection close to Dereiçi village where bones had been found. In the first place two skulls and various other bones were found. On 29 November an expert of the Forensic Institute inspected the bones and stated that they might belong to six different persons. 
Testifying to the prosecutor in Savur the former commander of Dereiçi Gendarmerie Station, Sergeant T.K. said that during a clash on 21 June 1995 seven militants had been killed. They had asked the headman of a village with Syriacs to bury them there, but the headman had not given permission and, therefore, they had been buried close to the station.
The names of the killed militants were given as Mehmet Aktay, Şeymus Akboğa, Mehmet Akan, Serhat Özbahçıvan, Hafsat Aslan, Sadık Akçakoca and Hatice Şimşek (Menife Coşkun). The grave of Hatice Şimşek was not known. On her fate Sergeant T.K. said: "We were informed of another corpse close to the place of the clash and informed the prosecutor. We went there together and found a corpse that was burned because of the fire that had broken out as a result of the bombs that had been thrown."
Diyarbakır Bar Association received allegations that the female militant Hatice Şimşek had been captured alive and died on 1 August 1995, when she stepped on a mine while showing the security forces some places. 
On 23 August İlhan Şut spoke at a press conference of the HRA in İstanbul. He stated that his relative Ferhat Şut who had been killed in a clash between Iranian soldiers and PKK militants in July 2004 had secretly been buried. On 27 June they had been informed that the corpse was in Yüksekova district (Hakkari). They had identified him, but the soldiers had buried him secretly. The names of further killed PKK militants were given as İkram Ergül, Abdurrahim Bulut and Lokman Ergün. 
Threats against human rights activist Hüseyin Aygün
Hüseyin Aygün, former head of the Tunceli Bar Association, has worked with victims of human 
rights violations including torture and "disappearances". In 2005 he was working on behalf of the families of seven people who "disappeared" from Midrik village in Tunceli while Turkish army commandos were operating in the area in September 1994. He and other lawyers working on the case called for further investigations into these "disappearances". Their efforts to draw 
attention to this case led to it being raised recently at the Human Rights Commission of the Turkish Parliament.
On 3 February, the Commander of Gendarmerie Forces in Tunceli province visited the workplace of a relative of Hüseyin Aygün. The Commander told the relative that that Hüseyin Aygün was "a traitor to the country" and "an enemy of the state". The Commander also claimed that "soon you'll see that we have discredited him". At a meeting with Hüseyin Aygün on 7 February, the Gendarmerie Commander made similar statements, and told the lawyer that: ".we know you well, you are under every stone, our institution considers you very negatively. your family are good, but why are you like this? Don't go against us in every incident. OK, you are doing your job but don't do it any more – just leave it to others".
On 11 February, Hüseyin Aygün was visited by three members of the gendarmerie wearing plain clothes, who told him that the Gendarmerie Commander wished to meet with him again. When Hüseyin Aygün telephoned the Gendarmerie Commander to find out more, the Commander reportedly tried to blackmail him, saying that "I have in my hands some solid evidence, this time there's no saving you. However, I'm hesitant as to whether or not I should transfer these files to the Prosecutor. perhaps if you listen to us we can come to some agreement with you."
(The text was taken from an Amnesty International report: AI Index: EUR 44/006/2005 of 15 February 2005, full report under: and update under:
Further Incidents and Pressure
Dr. Mehmet Arsal Öztürk working at the Health Centre in Hozat district (Tunceli) was detained on 6 January after he had a discussion with the prosecutor Mehmet Falsa. The prosecutor had entered the office when Dr. Öztürk was examining a patient. The physician had asked the prosecutor to leave the room. Reportedly Dr. Öztürk was sent to the hospital for mental health in Elazığ on the assumption that he was mentally ill.
The daily Özgür Politika reported on 23 January that soldiers of the gendarmerie had raided six villages in Özalp district (Van) on 8 and 9 January. Reportedly they had gathered the inhabitants in the school and told them not to cross over to Iran any more. Under the pretext of smuggling they were indeed supporting the PKK. If they stopped the contacts with the villagers on the Iranian side the PKK would be forced to leave there within three days. 
On 17 February the DEHAP officials in Bulanık district (Muş) Ali Topçu, M. Şah Karaçelik, Maşallah Selvi, Selahattin Karabalık, Kurban Kaya and Bahattin Bingöl were detained. First they were stopped on their way to a meeting and accused of false papers for the car. Later the accusations turned into insult to the General Staff. The politicians alleged to have been kept waiting in the snow for three hours.
On 14 January Düzali Seyrek and Kenan Yeşiltepe were hindered to go to Ataçınar village in Mazgirt district (Tunceli). Soldiers told them that there were operations in the region and they might not go to their village. They were forced to wait for three hours and their IDs were confiscated. At another point they were again forced to wait for half an hour.
In Siirt Hızır Ekinci alleged that he was rejected a green card for health services free of charge. Sergeant Kemal Koç from Aydınlar Gendarmerie Station had told him that his son İlyas Ekinci (born 1984) had a record of supporting the PKK. Vetha Aydın, chair of the HRA in Siirt said that many people were not given a green card either because they were members of DEHAP or because they had supported the PKK. 
On 5 April juveniles of the Keçan and Haruna tribe clashed in İdil district (Şırnak). Adil Abay was knifed to death. He was said to be a relative of former mayor Abdurrahman Abay. After the incident juveniles of the Keçan tribe three stones at the shop of Hüseyin Bayram (from the Haruna tribe) and the house of Mayor Resul Sadak (DEHAP).
On 17 May soldiers of the gendarmerie raided Yaprak (Tuti), Zümrüt (Pırpari) and Yünöüce (Melez) villages in Lice district (Diyarbakır) and detained 53 people allegedly in connection with a mine explosion in the region. They were released the next day. One villager reported that the commander had told them to inform him, if they saw anyone planting a mine. One sergeant had threatened them to kill them, if only one finger of a soldier would be bleeding. 
On 18 May the gendarmerie raided houses in Altınbaşak village in Yüksekova district (Hakkari) and detained Necip Atak and Rıfat, allegedly because they were found in possession of the book "To defend a People" by Abdullah Öcalan.
On 22 May juveniles in İskenderpaşa quarter of Diyarbakır clashed for an unknown reason with the police. Police officers shot in the air, beat children on the street and raided two houses without an arrest warrant. Shop owner Kenan Mutlu said: "I asked the police officers to stop shooting. They came towards me and pointed at me with a gun. They insulted me heavily."
On 22 May members of a special unit raided some houses in Kışla quarter of Yüksekova district (Hakkari). Kıymet Bakır stated that her house was raided without permission. She had been thrown on the ground and beaten on her shoulder that she had undergone an operation. Later the police had come again twice.
Süleyman Kızıltaş said that he and the other people in his flat had been forced to lie on the ground. When he asked for a reason for the raid he had been squeezed at his throat and thrown out of the flat. 
On 31 May inhabitants from Susuz village in Tekman district (Erzurum) clashed with soldiers who wanted to detain relatives. The soldiers had searched the house of Metin Demir and detained Fidan Demir, Ayşe Demir, Abdulkerim Demir and Adnan Demir. The villagers protested at the detentions. The soldiers responded with shots in the air. The villagers three stones at the soldiers. After the incident many villagers escaped to a nearby forest. Reportedly the villagers were not allowed to take injured people to hospital.
In Yalova two families from Muş and Rize clashed resulting in the death of Turan Kalaycı. Reportedly Ahmet Artan (from Muş) went to the shop of Mustafa Ofluoğlu (from Rize) on 5 June and asked his money (400 YTL) back. The discussion turned into a fight and the police detained both men. After release Mustafa Ofluoğlu called relatives and went to the shop of Ahmet Artan. The group shouted slogans of "Down with the PKK". The police intervened and detained Cem Su from the group around the Ofluoğlu family.
Some 50 members of the Artan family stormed the police station and injured Cem Su with a knife. Officially this incident happened outside the police station. The group also entered the shop of Mustafa Ofluoğlu and injured Turan Kalaycı. He died in hospital. The police detained 13 people. Later Y. Artan and H. Artan were arrested for having killed Turan Kalaycı. The police surrounded the quarters in town with Kurdish population.
On 8 June unidentified people opened fire on a minibus near Geçitli village (Hakkari). The woman Firuze Özbek (46) was injured.
Necdet Yeşil filed an official complaint stating that members of JİTEM had shot at his car between Esendere and Yüksekova district (Hakkari) on 7 June. At the entrance of Dilimli village two cars with civilians had tried to stop him and the people in these cars shot at him when he did not stop. Necdet Yeşil stated that he would recognize the officers of JİTEM if he would see them.
On 9 June soldiers and village protectors raided Burmataş hamlet, close to Hasanova district in Karlıova district (Bingöl). They allegedly beat the villagers and fired shots into the air (for details see the chapter on Personal Security).
On 11 June soldiers, members of a special team and village guards raided Topyıldız hamlet of Yapraklı village in Gürpınar district (Van) and detained Dırbaz Duman, Havva Duman, Caziye Duman, Yusuf Başaran, Mehiman Duman and a child. They were released after testifying. Some villagers complained to the Human Rights Center at Van Bar Association. They said that during the raid soldiers had insulted them. Many people had been forced to take off their clothes and the soldiers had looked at their soldiers to find out whether they had been carrying heavy goods. 
Soldiers hindered students from Dicle University to travel to Tunceli. The students were stopped at Seyitli Bridge on 23 April and told that the governor had prohibited their journey. 
Etem Şahin, Mayor of Suruç district (Urfa) was reportedly not allowed to travel to Germany. On 23 May the governor's office sent him a letter stating that because of the bad service in town and the dirt the mayor and Mehmet Özkan, member of the parliament of the municipality were not allowed to go abroad.
In a similar way Mukaddes Kubilay, mayor in Doğubeyazıt district (Ağrı) was not allowed to participate in a meeting in France.
Erdoğan Alparslan, student at the 100 Year University in Van alleged that soldiers exerted pressure on his family on Aşağı Küpkıran village (Ağrı province). Soldiers of the gendarmerie had gone to the house of his family and told them that their son had left university and joined the PKK. 
On 22 June the soldiers İdris Candan and Mehmet Ali Arslan died when a military vehicle drove on a mine near Yukarı Toklu village in Taşlıçay village (Ağrı). Subsequently the villagers in the region were banned from going to the meadows on the plateau. Ağrı Governor Yusuf Yavaşcan confirmed the decision saying that it had been taken on the demand of the soldiers. He alleged that terrorists mixed with the shepherds and received support from them.
At the end of June Ali Haydar Çatakçin and İbrahim Çatakçin alleged that members of a special team attacked them on their way back from a cemetery. One soldier had held a gun at the neck of Ali Haydar Çatakçin and told him that they knew everything about him and he should take care. Relatives had prevented that the two brothers were detained and taken away in an armored vehicle. 
On 1 July soldiers conducted an operation near Keklikdüze village in Saray district (Van) and allegedly beat the shepherds Ecevit Karaer and Medeni Bilici on the accusation of supporting the PKK.
Davut Evin filed an official complaint against the commander of Durak Gendarmerie Station in Şemdinli district (Hakkari) stating that he had insulted him. On 4 July he had objected to a raid of his house without a search warrant. The villager had heard how badly he was insulted.
In July Murat Zurel, living in Yeşilbelen village in Karakoçan district (Elazığ) went to the HRA in Elazığ and complained that soldiers and plain clothed detectives were constantly following him. They had gone to relatives of his and threatened them that he should leave the village. Zurel alleged that he was not safe when he went to the district town, because he was constantly being followed.
Bülent Yılmaz (30) living in Ovacık district (Tunceli) alleged that he was kidnapped and tortured on 10 July. He suspected that the kidnappers either belonged to JİTEM or the police (for details see the chapter on personal security). 
On 18 July shots were fired at the house of Şefik Yıldırım in Varto district (Muş). The shots were reportedly fired from an armored vehicle. The next day police officers came and asked the family not to file any complaint because they would pay for the damage.
On 19 July soldiers returning from an operation fired at random in İnönü quarter of Tunceli. Fatma Demir said that the windows of her house were broken and the children had been screaming for fear.
In Tunceli Barış Yığıt was detained on allegations of being a member of the PKK. On 26 July he was arrested on these charges. His mother Selvi Yığıt said that the bomb that allegedly was found in their garden had been put their by soldiers. Suddenly a soldier had held a bag in his hand and it had been said that there was a bomb in it. There had been a sound, but no proper detonation and she had heard the soldiers say that this had not been a bomb.
DEHAP member Mahmut Kavak, living in Çınarönü village in Savur district (Mardin) alleged that the commander of Sürgücü Gendarmerie Station threatened him with death. Mahmut Kavak said that he had gone to Beytüşşebap district (Şırnak) to get the corpse of Mehmet Emin Sincar, a relative who had been killed in a clash. On his return on 7 August he had been called at 11pm and the commander had asked him to come to the gendarmerie station. The commander had asked him why he went to Beytüşşebap and then had said that in his village there had been an incident with a lieutenant. He would wish that a similar incident happened and he would know what to do to him. Mahmut Kavak said that in 1997 Lieutenant Coşkun Telci had been killed in a clash and four villagers had been tried in connection with the incident. He had been released from prison about one year ago and since then he was frequently threatened.
On 22 August soldiers of the gendarmerie raided a wedding in Duruca town, Yazıhan district (Malatya) on the pretext that a flag of the PKK had been displayed. Duran Boztepe said that they had objected to the raid without a written order of a prosecutor. The sergeant with the first name of Zekeriya had cursed them and threatened to kill anyone who would move.
Ali Erol, village guard in Geçitli (Peyanış) village (Hakkari) alleged that police officers kidnapped and tortured him on 12 October. He had left his village in the evening to go to Hakkari. In Merzan quarters he had been stopped and civilian dressed officers had taken him out of the minibus saying that he should testify. They had taken him to an unknown place. Other passengers in the minibus had informed DEHAP and lawyers. Lawyer Zeydin Kaya was told by Hakkari Police HQ and the Command of the Gendarmerie that Ali Erol had not been detained. Several people including Hakkari deputy Fehmi Öztunç called the governor and chief of police. As a result Ali Erol was set free in Merzan quarter.
After release Ali Erol said: "Four people detained me saying that they were police officers. I thought I would be taken to Hakkari Police HQ. However, in their car I was laid on the grounds and they stepped on my feet and neck blindfolding me. We drove for about 20 minutes. I was taken to a building that I could not see. Because of the smell it might have been close to the waste site. They asked me many names of persons living in the village and accused me of being a member of the PKK and the other villagers to assist me. I was constantly beaten since I rejected their allegations. I was hit on my head with a hard tool. Twice I heard shots at my back. They would have killed me there. Only some phone calls saved me. Before they left me in Merzan quarter they threatened me not to say anything wrong. Otherwise they would kill me."
The prosecutor sent Ali Erol to hospital and he was certified injuries requiring 22 days' sick leave.
Following an attack on the gendarmerie station in Erenkaya village, Eruh district (Siirt) on 29 October soldiers raided the village. They beat the villagers, threatened them and exerted pressure on them to leave the village. The HRA sent a delegation to the village to research the complaints. One villager told the delegation that all males in the village had been taken to Erenkaya Gendarmerie Station. With their hands behind their heads they had been forced to kneel down and sit in one row. For one and half an hour they had been kept waiting in this position. Afterwards their personal data and photographs were taken. Only 15 out of 45 men were interrogated.
The villagers added that the headman Nurettin Yıldız had been taken to Eruh and soldiers had beaten him. The commander had told him that he should be happy about this, because the people would have been shot, if he had not been in command. The villagers also complained that for two days their phone and electricity had been cut and they had not been allowed to graze their sheep. The houses close to the gendarmerie station had been destroyed and the owners had been forced to sign papers stating that they had destroyed their houses themselves. 
Reports from Habur Border Station on Silopi district (Şırnak) stated that police officers beat the lorry driver İsmet Öztürk on 4 December. İsmet Öztürk had asked them for the time when they would proceed. The police officers had beaten him with sticks and truncheons and, when other drivers came to his rescue, they had fired shots into the air. The driver Mahmut Koç stated that the police officers kept them waiting because they expected to get bribes. Anyone who would try to jump the queue would be fined 100 dollars.
Reportedly Mehmet Mamuk was threatened on 7 May when he wanted to return to Baldan village in Tunceli district. He said that two people had stopped him and threatened to shoot him because he was taking bread to the mountains. Mehmet Mamuk added that he went back to Tunceli because of the threats. 
In December Mehmet Mamuk was threatened again. He believed that the persons who threatened him belong to the intelligence service. They had been three people who stopped him with his car on his way to the village. They had asked him questions about his daughter living abroad.
On 16 December lawyer Erdal Kuzu went to attend a hearing at Mardin Heavy Penal Court No. 1 against 13 soldiers charged in connection with the killing of Ramazan Demir and the wounding of four people in Kovalı village, Derik district (Mardin) in October 2003. He was informed that the case had been transferred to Adana because of security reasons.
The System of Village Guards
In July Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek answered a question tabled by Diyarbakır deputy Mesut Değer who wanted to know whether secret statutes were still in force. The question was based on Article 1(2) of Law 3011 that stated that statues concerning the national security and were characterized as confidential were not published.
Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek pointed at law 442 on Villages that carried the provision that temporary village guards might be employed and stated: "For 12 years temporary village guards have been employed according to the amended second paragraph of Article 74 to prevent terror. In that sense it is not advisable to publish the Statute for Temporary Village Guards and details on who to be employed, the scope of their duties and their education in the Official Gazette."
In June Interior Minister Abdülkadir Aksu answered a question by İzmir deputy Türkan Miçoğulları on the situation of temporary village guards. Aksu stated that a total of 57,757 village guards were employed in 22 provinces. These people received an average wage of 365 YTL. The details for the provinces were listed as: in Diyarbakır 5,187 village guards, in Şırnak 6,756, in Batman 2,887, in Bingöl 2,511, in Bitlis 3,730, in Mardin 3,323, in Muş 1,860, in Siirt 4,661, in Van 7,320, in Hakkari 7,614, in Tunceli 368, in Adıyaman 1,485, in Ağrı 1,838, in Ardahan 91, in Elazığ 2,083, in Gaziantep 555, in Iğdır 362, in Kilis 33, in Maraş 2,236, in Kars 558, in Malatya 1,365 and in Şanlıurfa 934 village guards.
Since the establishment of the village guards system on 26 March 1985 a total of 2,284 village guards had been charged with "terror offences", 934 with offences against property, 1,234 with offences against individuals, and 420 with offences of smuggling. Among the 4,972 accused village guards 853 had been put in pre-trial detention. 
On 28 January Corporal Gökhan Yaşartürk was killed in a clash near Akçay village (Şırnak). The daily Özgür Politika reported that the corporal was killed accidentally by the village guard with the first name of M. Ali.
On 19 March village guards killed Selahattin Günbey (13) in Düzce village, Nusaybin district (Mardin). With his relatives Zeki Günbey (12) and Seyithan Gürkan (13) he had been grazing sheep outside the village and village guards had asked them to go to another place, before they shot at them. The villager Abdülhakim Özdemir said about the incident:
"First there was a discussion among shepherds and some of them informed the village guards. Five of them came and the children ran away. The village guard H.D. said that he would not return unless he shot one of them. The children were hiding behind a stone and when Selahattin Günbey raised his head to look for the village guards he was hit with a bullet to his right eye."
After the incident the village guards Ahmet Dinç, Aburrahim Dinç and Hasan Dinç were detained and remanded on 22 March. Meanwhile, a delegation of the HRA that wanted to investigate into the incident was hindered by soldiers of the gendarmerie. They were not allowed to enter Dırçomer village.
The daily Özgür Politika reported that six out of 10 village guards who had been convicted in connection with the killing of eight villagers in Çalpınar village, Midyat district (Mardin) on 20 April 1993 had been arrested. Their trial had been heard at Denizli Heavy Penal Court No. 2 and in 2003 Tacettin Sakan, Mihdi Özbey, Halit Aktar, Şehmus Seyde, Nevaf Aydın, Mehmet Sayhan, Ethem Sayhan, Tevfik Akbay, Rahmi Kaçmaz and Abbas Taş had been sentenced to life imprisonment. Among them Tacettin Sakan, Mihdi Özbey, Ethem Seyhan, Abbas Taş, Şehmus Seyde and Halit Aktar had been arrested on 5 February. In October Nevaf Aydın was arrested in İzmir.
On 6 June a fight broke out between the Bozkurt and Dursun families in Çatalipaşa village (Ağrı) because of a dispute on ownership of land. The village guards Abdullah Bozkurt and Sait Bozkurt were killed and Kemal Bozkurt was injured. The village guard Kasım Dursun was arrested in connection with the incident.
The village guard Abdullah Aksu and his son Aziz Aksu reportedly beat Menci Şen (60) in Kuştepe village, Güçlükonak district (Şırnak). On 13 April Menci Şen had warned the son of Abdullah Aksu not to damage his garden. Reportedly Aziz Aksu started to curse at Menci Şen and beat him particularly on his legs. Later Abdullah Aksu came and hit Menci Şen with a stone.
In mid-April the daily Özgür Politika reported that village guards in Uzungeçit town, Uludere district (Şırnak) were put under pressure not to quit their jobs. The gendarmerie commander Zeki Es had accused them of having told everybody including the TV station Roj TV about their intentions to put down their arms and now they had to take them up again in order to restore the image of the State.
The governor's office in Şırnak issued a statement on the incident stating that the news that 72 temporary village guards wanted to lay down their arms was not correct. Almost 10,000 village guards were continuing their duty in the Şırnak region.
Rahmi Alkan, Sadi Kılınç and İlhan Akbulut complained to the HRA in Hakkari and said that village guards beat them when they wanted to go to a picnic near Ağaçdibi village on 22 May. Rahmi Alkan said that two village guards had asked them why they had not greeted them and they had replied that they were not obliged to do so. The village guards had become angry and pointed their loaded guns at them. When they left the picnic area another village guard had come up to them in a car and started to beat them with the butt of his rifle. Other people had rescued them from the hands of the village guards.
On 1 June members of the Mendi family from Günyurdu village in Güçlükonak district (Şırnak) were attacked by six village guards from the Oral family when they worked on their fields close to the border of Akçakuşak village. Şahin Mendi was injured to his legs and had to be taken to hospital. 
The village guard Salih Seyhan killed his son Ubeydullah Seyhan in Suçatı village, Dargeçit district (Mardin) on 10 July with his gun.
On 10 August the village guard Ramazan Güler shot Şehmuz Özer in his throat in Derinsu hamlet, Kuyucak village (Adıyaman). Özer died in Adıyaman State Hospital.
On 13 August the village guard Muhyettin Şengül was killed in Kovuktaş village, Hasköy district (Muş). First statements accused the HPG of the killing, but later Muş Governor İbrahim Hasçimen declared that his son had killed him and other villagers had tried to protect him by stating that the incident had a terrorist background.
On 28 August the temporary village guard H.A. killed his wife M.A. and the visitor Z.A. in Sarıköy village, Midyat district (Mardin).
On 6 July village guards attacked inhabitants of Çatma village in Yüksekova district (Hakkari). The villagers Sinem Korkmaz and Mecit Anuk were wounded seriously. The villagers stated that in 1994 the governor in Hakkari had settled the village guards in a camp between Çatma and Kamışlı village. The village guards were using the land of both villages and there was a constant tension among them. 
In a statement of the HPG it was alleged that village guards who had come to the gendarmerie stations in Xalinke and Xerkaya villages in Başkale district (Van) opened random fire on the villagers and injured one of them on 8 August. 
The village guards Fikret Korkmaz, Süleyman Korkmaz, İsmail Korkmaz, Mehmet Korkmaz and Taha Korkmaz were reportedly tortured because they refused to participate in an operation in the Uzundere region in Çukurca district (Hakkari) on 1 September. Fikret Korkmaz told the HRA in Hakkari that they had participated in an operation that started on 16 August and lasted for 15 days. "During this time in the mountains health problems started. We informed the commander and said that we were not able to walk. NOC B. started to curse us and beat us. They took away the arms we had got 15 years ago and threw us out of the office."
Mahmut Alıcı from Oğuldamı village in Gürpınar district (Van) alleged that he was put under pressure to become a village guard. He filed an official complaint on 21 April. On 25 July he was informed that the prosecutor in Gürpınar had decided not to bring any charges against the commanders of the gendarmerie in Van and Gürpınar.
Inhabitants of Kızılsu village (Şırnak) alleged that the village guards Abdullah K. and Bakattin Ç. were exerting pressure on them to become village guards. They were not even allowed to leave their village.
Abdullah Öcalan
On 12 May the European Court of Human Rights (ECoHR) passed its judgment on Abdullah Öcalan. The important facts from the judgment as related in the press release of the same day are:
The case concerns an application brought by a Turkish national, Abdullah Öcalan, who was born in 1949. He is currently incarcerated in İmralı Prison (Bursa, Turkey). 
On 9 October 1998 he was expelled from Syria, where he had been living for many years. From there he went to Greece, Russia, Italy and then again Russia and Greece before going to Kenya, where, on the evening of 15 February 1999, in disputed circumstances, he was taken on board an aircraft at Nairobi airport and arrested by Turkish officials. He was then flown to Turkey. 
On arrival in Turkey, he was taken to İmralı Prison, where he was held in police custody from 16 to 23 February 1999 and questioned by the security forces. He received no legal assistance during that period. His lawyer in Turkey was prevented from traveling to visit him by members of the security forces. 16 other lawyers were also refused permission to visit on 23 February 1999. 
On 23 February 1999 the applicant appeared before an Ankara State Security Court judge, who ordered him to be placed in pre-trial detention. It was not until the hearing on 4 June 1999 that the State Security Court gave the applicant permission to consult the case file under the supervision of two registrars and authorized his lawyers to provide him with a copy of certain documents. 
On 29 June 1999 Ankara State Security Court found the applicant guilty of carrying out actions calculated to bring about the separation of a part of Turkish territory and of forming and leading an armed gang to achieve that end. It sentenced him to death, under Article 125 of the Criminal Code. That decision was upheld by the Court of Cassation. 
Under Law no. 4771, published on 9 August 2002, the Turkish Assembly resolved to abolish the death penalty in peacetime. On 3 October 2002 Ankara State Security Court commuted the applicant's death sentence to life imprisonment.
Decision of the Court
Right to have lawfulness of detention decided speedily by a court
The Government had raised a preliminary objection that the applicant had failed to exhaust his domestic remedies under this head. However, the Grand Chamber saw no reason to depart from the Chamber's findings in this respect, notably as to the impossibility for the applicant in the circumstances in which he found himself while in police custody to have effective recourse to the remedy indicated by the Government. Nor could the possibility of obtaining compensation satisfy the requirement of a judicial remedy to determine the lawfulness of detention. The applicant did not therefore have an effective remedy available to him and there had accordingly been a violation of Article 5 § 4 of the Convention.
No unlawful deprivation of liberty
The Grand Chamber agreed with the Chamber that the applicant's arrest on 15 February 1999 and his detention had been in accordance with "a procedure prescribed by law" and that there had, therefore, been no violation of Article 5 § 1.
Right to be brought promptly before a judge
The Grand Chamber found that the total period spent by the applicant in police custody before being brought before a judge came to a minimum of seven days. It could not accept that it was necessary for the applicant to be detained for such a period without being brought before a judge. There had accordingly been a violation of Article 5 § 3.
Fair trial
Whether Ankara State Security Court was independent and impartial
The Grand Chamber noted that the military judge on the bench of Ankara State Security Court which convicted the applicant had been replaced on 23 June 1999. However, the replacement of the military judge before the end of the proceedings could not dispose of the applicant's reasonably held concern about the trial court's independence and impartiality. There had been a violation of Article 6 § 1 in this respect.
Whether the proceedings before the State Security Court were fair
The Grand Chamber agreed with the Chamber's findings that the applicant's trial was unfair because: he had no assistance from his lawyers during questioning in police custody; he was unable to communicate with his lawyers out of the hearing of third parties; he was unable to gain direct access to the case file until a very late stage in the proceedings; restrictions were imposed on the number and length of his lawyers' visits; and his lawyers were not given proper access to the case file until late in the day. The Grand Chamber found that the overall effect of those difficulties taken as a whole had so restricted the rights of the defense that the principle of a fair trial, as set out in Article 6, had been contravened. This amounted to a violation of Article 6 § 1, taken together with Article 6 § 3 (b) and (c).
The Grand Chamber further held that it was unnecessary to examine the other complaints under Article 6 relating to the fairness of the proceedings.
Treatment and conditions
Conditions of the applicant's transfer from Kenya to Turkey
The Grand Chamber considered that it had not been established ‘beyond all reasonable doubt' that the applicant's arrest and the conditions in which he was transferred from Kenya to Turkey exceeded the usual degree of humiliation that was inherent in every arrest and detention or attained the minimum level of severity required for Article 3 to apply. Consequently, there had been no violation of Article 3 on that account.
Detention conditions on İmralı
While concurring with the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture's recommendations that the long-term effects of the applicant's relative social isolation should be attenuated by giving him access to the same facilities as other high security prisoners in Turkey, such as television and telephone contact with his family, the Grand Chamber agreed with the Chamber that the general conditions in which the applicant was being detained at İmralı Prison had not reached the minimum level of severity required to constitute inhuman or degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 3. Consequently, there had been no violation of Article 3 on that account.
End of the press statement of the ECoHR.
In January the HRA and the lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan separately applied to the Justice Minister to have an independent team of experts examine the health situation of Abdullah Öcalan. At the same time newspapers reported that Öcalan was visited by a psychologist every fortnight. Quoting sources of the Justice Ministry it was also stated that the room Abdullah Öcalan was staying in was well equipped with sufficient light and air and that he had possibilities of cultural and sports activities, benefited from health services and had the right for fresh air, read books and newspapers and listen to the radio.
Aysel Tuğluk stated as one of Abdullah Öcalan's lawyers that they did not ask for a psychologist. Their client had complained of problems with breathing and they had asked for experts to examine him on this connection.
Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek answered a question tabled by CHP deputy from Antalya, Osman Özcan on whether a ship had been provided for the lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan to visit him on the island. The Minister said that on 23 September 2004 the ship called "Tuzla" had been ordered at the disposal of the lawyers for their visits. The ship had to be repaired to be used under all kinds of weather conditions. 
On 16 February the lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan declared that they had not been able to meet their client since 19 January. The next visit was only possible on 24 February. During the year many visits of Abdullah Öcalan's lawyers and relatives did not take place either because of bad weather or because of irregularities of the ships.
When reports appeared in the press that the prison conditions of Abdullah Öcalan were absolutely comfortable, Bekir Kaya, one of Abdullah Öcalan's lawyers made a declaration and stated: "Abdullah Öcalan is held in a cell of 13 not 19 square meters. He is allowed one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening to go out for fresh air. It is not true that he is doing sports. He is only walking. We are only allowed to take as much as two newspapers a day with a choice among Milliyet, Hürriyet, Sabah and Radikal. He is allowed only three books at a time. There is no right for open (not supervised) visits and phone calls. Our demand to have a TV was rejected. There is no possibility to provide food, only clothes are allowed. Our client does not benefit from the canteen and shares the same food with the personnel. Compared to the F-type prisons the conditions of our client are worse."
During a press conference on 26 January the deputy chief of the General Staff, İlker Başbuğ alleged that Abdullah Öcalan was directing the PKK from prison. He complained that no measures were taken against the lawyers. Following this declaration news appeared in the press that investigations had been launched against 25 lawyers on charges of exceeding the limit of defense lawyers and holding press conferences. 
On 18 February lawyer Okan Yıldız from the Century Law Office stated in the daily Özgür Politika  that all lawyers of the office were under prosecution and lawyers who went to visit Abdullah Öcalan just once were subjected to investigations under the assumption that they were members of an illegal organization. The lawyer added:
"After each visit investigations start. These cases restrict our right of defense. The dailies Tercüman and Vatan publish false stories after each visit. We never made any declaration to these papers, but we are held responsible for the false news."
According to the new code of criminal procedures (TCPC) that entered into force on 1 June 12 lawyers were banned from visiting Abdullah Öcalan for one year. İstanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 9 took the decision on 16 June and stated that in connection with Article 7/2 of the ATL the lawyers Aysel Tuğluk, İrfan Dündar, Ahmet Avşar, Doğan Erbaş, Hatice Korkut, Aydın Oruç, Mahmut Şakar and Türkan Aslan had been banned from acting as defense lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan for one year according to Article 151/3 of the TCPC. A similar decision was taken by İstanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 14 on 22 June. The Court banned the lawyers Okan Yıldız, Bekir Kaya, Devrim Barış Baran and Fırat Aydınkaya for one year from acting as defense lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan.
On 7 February lawyer İrfan Dündar testified at İstanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 12 on charges of being a member of an illegal organization and having forwarded instructions of his client to the organization. The Court lifted the arrest warrant issued in absentia. After testifying İrfan Dündar said that all lawyers were indicted under the same accusation, but there was no such thing as Öcalan giving directives to them or anybody else, because their talks were always conducted in the presence of officials. 
On 29 March Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No. 4 started to hear the case of İrfan Dündar and Mahmut Şakar, defense lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan, on charges of being members of an illegal organization. The hearing was adjourned under the directive to have the testimony of the defendants been taken in İstanbul
On 31 March Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 11 acquitted İrfan Dündar, Mahmut Şakar and Mehmet Salih Yıldız, Mayor of Yüksekova from charges of supporting an illegal organization with speeches they made on Med TV in 1999. On 5 April the same court acquitted İrfan Dündar and Mahmut Şakar from the same charges for another speech they had made on Med TV.
On 4 May the lawyer Bekir Kaya was detained in Gemlik district (Bursa) where he had gone to visit Abdullah Öcalan. Bekir Kaya testified in connection with a court case at İstanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 11 on charges of having misused his duty and disseminated propaganda for an illegal organization. Bekir Kaya was released after testifying. 
On 6 May İstanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 14 continued to hear the case of the lawyers Aysel Tuğluk, Doğan Erbaş and Okan Yıldız on charges of having disseminated propaganda for an illegal organization. The Court issued a ban on the defendant to travel abroad. It was alleged that the decision was taken in order to prevent the lawyers from attending the hearing at the European Court of Human Rights.
On 11 May Muhammet Şakar, brother of Mahmut Şakar was detained when he came to Turkey from Germany. He was reportedly detained because of the phone numbers on his mobile. 
On 23 June İstanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 9 heard the case of Hatice Korkut and Ahmet Avşar charged with disseminating propaganda for an illegal organization. Hatice Korkut said that she had not forwarded any information to newspapers, but had answered questions of journalists when they called her. 
In 2005 notes on meetings of lawyers with Abdullah Öcalan were published for 5 January, 19 January, 23 February, 16 March, 27 April, 4 May and 30 November (the texts in Turkish can be found under
Over the year Abdullah Öcalan also met relatives, mainly his brother Mehmet Öcalan. After such meetings special attention was drawn to the health situation of Abdullah Öcalan. For details on demonstration in favor of Abdullah Öcalan see the Chapter on Freedom of Assembly.
Internal Displacement
It was announced that YTL 6.4 billion were spent in 2005 for the Project Return to the Village and Rehabilitation. This project had been run by the General Directorate for Village Service between 1994 and 1999 and since then by the Ministry of the Interior. Since 1999 a total of YTL 26 trillion had been spent enabling 127,820 people to return to their villages.
The Law to Compensate the Damages from Terror and the Fight against Terror was enacted on 27 July 2004 with the aim of securing aid to victims of evacuations of villages, people whose houses had been sent on fire and other damages during the time of clashes without the necessity to raise their cases with the ECoHR. The time for application was prolonged until 17 July 2005.
On 23 May the daily Radikal reported that 1,500 applications to the ECoHR concerned the evacuation of village. The ECoHR had passed judgments in 24 cases and ruled that Turkey had to pay YTL 4.8 million. The commission that were to deal with the application on the Law for Compensation in Case of Damages of Terror had received 69,832 applications, but only dealt with 1,595 of them. In 1,253 cases they had rejected the claim and only accepted 342 of them.
In July Interior Minister Abdülkadir announced that of 360,000 people who had been forced to leave their villages 124,539 had returned. He sent a circular to the offices of governors in the provinces of Adıyaman, Ağrı, Bingöl, Bitlis, Hakkari, Muş, Tunceli, Van, Elazığ, Batman, Diyarbakır, Mardin, Siirt and Şırnak where the Project to Return to the Villages was being implemented and stated inter alias that meetings should be held with NGOs and projects of NGOs should be supported. 
The solidarity association with internal displaced persons, Göç-Der announced in July that of 3.5 million people who had been forced to leave their homes 80,000 were entitled to benefit from the Law on Return to the Villages and just 2% of them had received aid.
In August Interior Minister Abdülkadir Aksu answered a question tabled by CHP deputy from Diyarbakır, Mesut Değer. He stated that 104,734 people had applied to benefit from the Law on Compensation for Damages from Terror. The commission had decided on 5,239 applications. They had accepted 1,190 applications and rejected 4,049 applications. A total of 781 people had signed an agreement and 755 of them had been paid TL 5.756 trillion. 
Press statement of Human Rights Watch (HRW) on 7 March: 
"Still critical": Prospects in 2005 for Internally Displaced Kurds in Turkey
 (Ankara, March 7, 2005) — On a key benchmark for European Union membership, the Turkish government has failed to honor pledges to help 378,000 displaced people, mainly Kurds, return home more than a decade after the army forced them from their villages in southeastern Turkey, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. 
On March 7-8, the European Union's commissioner for enlargement, Olli Rehn, and a delegation of other high-level EU officials will visit Ankara to discuss Turkey's membership. The EU officials should press Turkey to take effective steps to facilitate the return of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) to southeastern Turkey, where Turkish security forces expelled hundreds of thousands from their villages during an internal armed conflict that raged during the 1980s and 1990s.
The 37-page report, "Still Critical: Prospects in 2005 for Internally Displaced Kurds in Turkey," details how the Turkish government has failed to implement measures for IDPs the United Nations recommended nearly three years ago. Since the European Union confirmed Turkey's membership candidacy in December, the Turkish government appears to have shelved plans to enact those measures.
The report also details how Turkey has overstated its progress on internal displacement in reports to the European Commission. Before the European Union announced its decision to open membership talks, the Turkish government sent the European Commission statistics suggesting that the problem was well on its way to a solution—a requirement Turkey must fulfill for full membership. Turkey claimed that a third of the displaced had already returned, but Human Rights Watch revealed that permanent returns in some places were less than a fifth of the government's estimate.
"When we checked Turkey's figures on helping the displaced return home, the numbers proved unreliable," said Rachel Denber, acting executive director of Human Rights Watch's Europe and Central Asia Division. "Also, the bare figures don't convey how, thanks to government inaction, villagers are returning to places that are practically uninhabitable."
In southeastern Turkey, the government has failed to provide infrastructure such as electricity, telephone lines and schools to returning communities, and has not provided proper assistance with house reconstruction.
"What's worse, the government's paramilitary village guards are attacking and killing returnees in some parts of southeastern Turkey," added Denber. 
Numerous intergovernmental bodies, as well as Turkish parliamentary commissions, have condemned the village guard system, which was devised in the 1980s to combat the illegal armed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK, now known as Kongra Gel). More than 58,000 paramilitary village guards remain on the government payroll. 
Human Rights Watch said that the government's paramilitary guards have killed 11 returned villagers in southeastern Turkey in the past three years.
When the United Nations examined the plight of the displaced in Turkey in 2002, it recommended that the government establish a dedicated IDP unit, develop a partnership with the international community for the resolution of IDP problems, and provide compensation for the damages arising from the displacement. Nearly three years later, the Turkish government has established no joint projects with intergovernmental organizations, and there is still no central governmental office responsible for IDPs. Last year, the Turkish parliament passed a compensation law, but no payments have yet been made.
It is now 18 years since Human Rights Watch warned of the impending program of village destruction in a 1987 report during the conflict in southeastern Turkey. The Turkish army duly carried out its campaign with considerable violence, torturing, "disappearing" and extrajudicially executing villagers in the process. Human Rights Watch has since repeatedly criticized the Turkish government's empty gestures in its return programs, issuing further reports in 1995 and 2002. 
"The Turkish state tried to cover up what it did, and now it's subjecting the displaced to years of delay," said Denber. "When EU officials arrive in Ankara, they need to put the problem of the displaced at the top of their agenda." 
Human Rights Watch called on the European Union to press the Turkish government to move ahead by immediately approving an IDP project submitted last year by the United Nations Development Program. In addition, Ankara needs to establish an agency for IDPs that will take effective measures.
Since the European Union accepted Turkey's membership candidacy in 1999, human rights reform has been a stop-start process in the country. Turkey still has much to do on the protection of freedom of expression, freedom of religion, language rights and protection against torture. 
"The predicament of the displaced is the most pressing concern, but the Turkish government has lost focus on its reform task as a whole," Denber noted. "Last week we had three delegates observing trials of Ragip Zarakolu and Fikret Baskaya, a publisher and a professor threatened with imprisonment for expressing their nonviolent opinions."
Preventing torture is another area where the Turkish government seems to have run out of energy. Turkey has made substantial improvement in recent years, but in order to combat persistent incidents of torture and ill-treatment, the European Union recommended in October 2004 that the Turkish government establish independent monitoring of detention facilities. Five months later, Turkey has still not implemented independent monitoring, even though the necessary legal mechanisms are already in place.
In 2000, the European Union presented Turkey with a list of benchmarks—known as the Accession Partnership—that Turkey had to meet to become a full member. This was revised in 2003, and will be revised again later this year.
On 23 February the daily Özgür Politika reported that money of the project to return to the villages had been spent for military reasons. The provincial parliament had discovered that of TL 1.9 trillion sent in the years 2003 and 2004 a total of TL 35.6 billion had been spent for other purposes. The article stated that members of parliament applied to the Interior Ministry stating that 11 readily made houses had been distributed to people who were not entitled for such accommodation. Governor Mustafa Erkal responded by saying that the money had been spent within the project to return to the village. However, in February members of parliament filed an official complaint against Governor Ali Cafer Akyüz and civil servants of the Directorate for Special Administration.
Deputy Governor of Diyarbakır, Serdar Polat, stated that 14 people who had been harmed during the police operation in the Hevsel Gardens had received YTL 8.179 in compensation. He added that the commission would accept application without further documents but it was difficult to get compensation in these cases.
Between 4 and 6 May the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Dr. Walter Kaelin visited Turkey. He asked to prolong the Law on Compensation for Damages of Terror and expressed concern that 75% of 70,000 applications had been rejected. 
Project name: Support to the Development of an Internally Displaced People Programme in Turkey 
Budget: USD 322,000
Timeline: May 2005 - December 2006 
What's the situation?
Substantial internal displacement took place in Southeast Turkey from 1985-1997 due to terror and armed conflict. The involvement of the UN with the IDP issue is grounded in the 2002 mission and the report of Mr. Francis Deng, the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Internally Displaced Persons. The Deng report notes that while the Turkish Government discussed its efforts to bring about return, programmatic attention paid to their current conditions has not been systematic. The Deng report also emphasises the need for the Government to clarify and publicise its policy on IDPs. 
Progress has been made on a number of points including the institution of a survey on internal displacement. The Turkish Government through its own resources has initiated the conduct of the survey and designated the State Planning Organisation (SPO) to coordinate it. SPO has contracted the Institute of Population Studies (IPS) of Hacettepe University to undertake the study independently. While the survey is currently the highest priority as the basis for the formulation of concrete programmes for IDPs, it is vital that government momentum be maintained in defining policy, developing administrative structures and establishing operational modalities. 
What's our mission?
With this project it is aimed to assist the Turkish Government in developing a well defined IDP return programme by: 
- providing consultancy for the compliance of the development and implementation of an IDP survey according to international standards; 
- piloting a project to facilitate the government's efforts to support the return and reintegration in one of the provinces in Southeast Turkey; 
- dissemination of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and it's annotations as well as build NGO awareness and capacity to apply them; and 
- enabling UNDP to respond to the technical and other expertise needs of the Government and the UNCT on a demand basis.
How are we doing this? 
UNDP Turkey is seeking to build on UNDP's global capacity and experiences to support the Turkish Government to ensure that the survey is developed and conducted in accordance with international standards. This will be done through contracting international and national technical expertise, which defines the critical benchmarks where UNDP advocacy is needed in consultation with IPS and SPO. 
Before any programme can be formulated to assist the return of IDPs, there is a need to develop a process whereby the concrete reintegration needs of IDPs are identified and assessed in a transparent way that contributes to sustainable return and social reconciliation. The development of a pilot project will be designed to address and strengthen participatory planning and programming processes at the appropriate provincial and local levels, and will be the basis for the formulation of a budgeted provincial plan for the provision of needs related to IDP programming. 
UNDP will arrange for the UN Guiding Principles and its Annotations, as well as a summary of key Guiding Principles that are directly relevant to IDPs in Turkey to be available in the Turkish language for distribution to Governors' offices, local and central government, the police, gendarmerie, NGOs, the Provincial Assessment Committees, and other professional organizations. Likewise, UNDP will engage NGOs in specific awareness-raising and capacity development for IDP related issues through a step-by-step approach, with gradual progression from building and piloting the training module to expanding the target audience. 
UNDP will also work with government and civil society partners to identify and respond to future areas of support that may be required as the Government's efforts at addressing IDP related issues further evolve and progress. UNDP's support under this component may entail technical assistance including further project development and implementation at the local level, support to training and awareness-raising, and policy support and advice on issues related to international standards and the Guiding Principles. (further details on the homepage of UNDP in Turkey:
Incidents and Pressure
On 8 February the daily Özgür Gündem reported that 45 headmen from villages in Pertek district (Tunceli) had been forced to sign papers that their villages had not been evacuated because of pressure but that people had left the villages for economic reasons. 
Reports from İdil district (Şırnak) stated that village guards exerted pressure on the Syriac İbrahim Konutgan who had returned four years ago after staying in Germany for 17 years. Konutgan complained to the HRA in Diyarbakır and accused former chair of the DYP in İdil, Şükrü (Hasan) Demirsoy, the former Mayor Murat Dalmış, his brother Faysal Dalmış and others of putting him under pressure. İbrahim Konutgan said that Faysal Dalmış and four of his sons had attacked him on 7 March. He had filed an official complaint but at the police station the accused had said that they attacked him because he had insulted the State and then they were allowed to leave.
In March inhabitants of the villages Minyanis (Ayrancılar), Kültik and Arıdağ went to the Van branch of Göç-Der and complained that they were put under pressure to become village protectors. Their villages had been evacuated in 1994, but they had returned in 2001. Göç-Der sent a delegation to the villages and took testimony of several villagers.
İkram Altıntaş from Minyanis village said: "In 1994 soldiers evacuated our village with 43 families, because we did not accept to become village guards. We returned 2001 with our own possibilities. Since then there is pressure that we become village guards. Six people were given arms as temporary village guards on the grounds that this was done voluntarily. However, the gendarmerie told us that many operations were carried out in the region and they could not guarantee our security. It would be better, if we left the village. Hasan Hoçak rejected to take up arms and two soldiers had taken him by his arms saying that they would take him to the gendarmerie station. Hasan Hoçak then accepted arms." 
The report of Göç-Der drew attention to the poverty in the villages and demanded that schools and other facilities should be erected for the villagers to live in dignity.
On 25 May the daily Özgür Politika reported that soldiers tried to force people to leave the plateau near Yolmaçayır village in Başkale district (Van). 
Form Faraşin Plateau it was reported that soldiers prevented nomads to go there in June. They had hindered them at Kasrik Pass between Cudi and Gabar Mountain. Mehmet Soyhan said that they were hindered despite the fact that they had paid rent to the governor's office. When they showed the permission to the soldiers they had said that they could only go there with vehicles, but they did not have the money to pay for vehicles.
On 14 June the daily Özgür Politika reported that villagers who wanted to go to Dader (Yolağız) hamlet in Silopi district (Şırnak) were not allowed to so. A major had threatened them. An unnamed villager told the newspaper: "Soldiers from the central command of the gendarmerie had been conducting operations there, but we wanted to look after our gardens and fields. We were threatened not to go there any more. A major said that they had found mines in our village and accused us of having planted them. 
The report in the newspaper also contained information on villagers from Mixtepe, Abdi Zozanı, Küçük Ağrı, Kire Hallac, Tujik, Deçare and Kire Zogor (near Mount Ararat) to have been prevented from going to the plateau. Reportedly the governor in Van and the command of the gendarmerie had ordered the ban. Earlier inhabitants of İnek, Güngören, Şex Mirzo, Kule, Gir, Cadde Kıran, Zorava, Demirkapı and Sela Qosa (Abdiyurt) where the population belongs to the Şaka tribe had also been banned from going to the plateau. 
Haydar Kapu (60) alleged that he was threatened with death to leave his village Pınar (Tunceli). On 28 June his son had been taken to the command of the gendarmerie in Tunceli. He had gone to the station and soon the commander Namık Dursun had come. He had cursed at the NOC who had accepted him inside. Then he had turned to him saying that he knew everything about him. He should leave the village, because he was supported militants with flower and cigarettes. He had not been able to speak himself and in the end the commander had said that a civilian dressed person with a beard would deal with him.
Some 30 families from Yeşilöz village in Beytüşşebap district (Şırnak) alleged that village guards prevented them from going to their village. In June they had tried to go there from Van where they had settled. Some 12 kilometers from the village soldiers and village guards had erected a tent and not allowed them to pass. When they complained to the district's governor he had told them that the village guards were right and they were wrong. They did not go to their village to look after their fields but for a different purpose.
In August Cevat Taşdemir complained to the Van branch of Göç-Der and said that families from Dönertaş village in Tatvan district (Bitlis) who had left their village in 1994 but later returned were put under pressure to become village guards. Cevat Taşdemir said that 50 families had returned and two of them had not accepted to take up arms. Soldiers had told them that they could not stay in the village if they did not accept arms. Cevat Taşdemir said that if operations in the region and the pressure continued he and the 7 members of his families would have to go back to İstanbul.
The Right to Asylum and Situation of Refugees
It was announced that 10,671 refugees were living in Turkey as of 1 June (2005). The General Directory for Security declared that since 1994 a total of 35,349 foreigners had applied for asylum in Turkey. Until 2004 a total of 19,579 asylum seekers had been granted permission to settle in third countries. There were 10,671 foreigners with a stay permit and the rest of the asylum seekers were staying in Turkey without official permission.
In April a national action plan for the adoption of the EU acquis in the field of migration and asylum was presented to the Council of Ministers. The plan stated that the geographical reservation Turkey had raised when signing the 1951 Geneva Convention (no asylum to person from non-European countries) should be lifted by the year 2012. 
Speaking at a symposium of the UNHCR and Amnesty International, Turkey section Işıl Tokcan said that of the 6,215 asylum seekers in Turkey 60% came from Iran and 20% from the Iraq. In 2004 a total of 2,292 persons had been resettled. Every year about 100,000 people used Turkey as a transit country.
On 22 July the Mesopotamian News Agency published an article stating that between 2001 and 2005 a total of 51,539 citizens from Turkey had been deported from 81 countries. The lead among these countries had Germany with 19,027 deportations, followed by France with 3,995, the United Kingdom with 2,200 and the Netherlands with 1,814 deportations.
Amnesty International's concerns at the 56th session of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Document: AI Index: IOR 41/060/2005 of 3 October 2005; Full text at:
Waiting for a solution – the case of Iranian Kurds in Turkey 
Amnesty International is concerned about the situation of a group of some 1,200 Iranian Kurdish refugees who fled to Turkey between 2001 and 2003 having previously claimed asylum in Northern Iraq, and who have been waiting for a durable solution for some years in Turkey.
This group was part of a larger group of Iranian Kurdish refugees who had originally fled Iran and claimed asylum in Northern Iraq in the 1990s and were registered there by the UNHCR. Due to a lack of effective protection in Northern Iraq at the time, resettlement was the primary tool of both protection and solutions for this group of refugees. However, in 1999, the UNHCR office discontinued resettlement referrals from northern Iraq, leaving the group of refugees with no effective access to a durable solution. In 2003, the UNHCR office in Northern Iraq was closed as a result of the deteriorating security situation in the region. As they were unable to access either effective protection in Northern Iraq, due in part to the deteriorating security situation in the region(1), or a durable solution in the form of resettlement to a third country, the group fled to Turkey, either via Iran or directly from Northern Iraq. Many of the group allege that they were advised to do so by UNHCR staff in Northern Iraq.
Turkey maintains a geographical reservation to the Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, which means in effect that non-European refugees are unable to receive protection from the Turkish government. In the case of non-European refugees in Turkey, the authorities will register their details but leave it to the UNHCR office in Turkey to determine their status. Persons recognised as refugees under the mandate of UNHCR are referred for resettlement to a third country. Pending resettlement, non-European refugees in Turkey are provided only with temporary protection. 
However, while the group of 1,200 Iranian Kurdish refugees have been recognized as refugees by UNHCR in Turkey, as well as by UNHCR in Northern Iraq, the Turkish authorities have refused to grant protection to these refugees on its territory and have refused permission to the vast majority of this group to resettle in a third country, which has placed them at serious risk of refoulement to Iran. In addition, it appears that third countries of resettlement are also unwilling to accept this group of refugees due to concerns that the refugees, legitimately through the principle of family reunification, would eventually be joined by family members, which would result in a significant increase in the numbers of persons being resettled.
Members of this group have been compelled to sign statements by the Turkish police, declaring that they will not be treated officially, in accordance with the regulation that lays down the rights of asylum seekers and refugees in Turkey,(2) but rather in accordance with the law that deals with foreigners seeking to visit or reside in Turkey(3). The statement further asserts that they will be given temporary residence permits under which they risk refoulement to Iran if they cannot renew these permits or if they act in a way "contrary to public order, public health, general morality or national security". Finally, the statement indicates that permission will not be given to allow them to be resettled in third countries, and that they shall not benefit from any of the medical support afforded to other refugees. Local lawyers have been informed by the Turkish Ministry of the Interior that the measures are necessary "in order to discourage the coming of other foreigners of Iranian origin to our country"(4).
The organization is concerned that this group of refugees have not been provided with access to effective protection, including a timely and appropriate durable solution, despite being recognized as refugees under UNHCR's mandate. In addition, this group of Iranian Kurdish refugees have been provided with a lower level of financial aid by UNHCR Turkey compared to others in the country. This has particularly affected those refugees who have serious health problems as well as other vulnerable groups among them including women, elderly people and children, since they cannot afford treatment in Turkish hospitals. 
Amnesty International urges the Turkish government:
• To lift the geographical reservation to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and undertake to provide effective protection to all refugees under its jurisdiction;
• To treat the members of this group in accordance with the 1994 Regulation that lays down the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in Turkey;
• To undertake to uphold the principle of non-refoulement;
• To give permission to all refugees who have obtained visas from a third country to leave Turkey to be resettled in a third country;
• To enable all refugees on its territory to enjoy their fundamental human rights, including the right to work, to an adequate standard of living and to adequate housing. Particular attention should be given to the situation of vulnerable individuals;
Amnesty International calls on UNHCR:
• To refrain from any actions that might amount to discrimination towards this group of refugees and to provide them with the same level of support as enjoyed by other persons recognized as refugees under UNHCR's mandate in Turkey;
• To advocate for and facilitate the resettlement of this group to third countries;
Amnesty International calls on third countries:
• To urgently consider offering places for resettlement to all members of this group of refugees.
(1) The security situation had been bad even before the US invasion of Iraq due inter alia to the risk of attacks by Iranian agents alleged to be operating in Northern Iraq as well as the threat posed by the existence of Ansar al-Islam (Protectors of Islam), an Islamist group reportedly linked to al-Qa'ida, in the area near Halabja.
(2) The 1994 Regulation on Foreigners who "claim asylum in Turkey or who come to Turkey in order to claim asylum in another country".
(2) Law no 5683 on the Residence and Visits of Foreigners in Turkey.
(4) Letter from the Head of the Department of Foreigners and Asylum in the Police Headquarters to the Van Bar Association which Amnesty International has on file. 
In March the gendarmerie raided the house of Mehmet Zeki Kalay in Üçgöçerler village in Çaldıran district (Van) and found three people from Iran. They said that a fourth person was missing. He was found near Esengöl, frozen to death. His identity could not be established.
On 22 March a boat with refugees who tried to go from Ayvalık (Balıkesir) to Lesvos Island (Greece) capsized. Two persons from Mauritania died and one person from Mauritania and 8 from Iran were rescued.
On 14 April the gendarmerie opened fire on a vehicle near Uzunyol village in Çaldıran district (Van) reportedly because the vehicle did not stop. The vehicle was carrying asylum seeker. In the incident Muhammed Hüseyin from Afghanistan died and İsmail Fadir, Nadir Ertan (Bangladesh) and Mubaşer Ebugafur (Pakistan) were injured.
On 3 May a boat that had started in Aliağa (İzmir) and tried to go to Greece capsized. The captain of the boat and 19 people from Mauritania and one from Somalia were rescued; one woman "disappeared". 
On 29 May a boat sank between Ayvacık district (Çanakkale) and Lesvos Island. The owner İsmail T. and five people from Mauritania were rescued. Four people from Mauritania "disappeared".
Two people died when a boat sank between Dikili district (İzmir) and Lesvos Island on 27 May. 15 people from Mauritania, five from Tunisia and one from Palestine were rescued. The victims were said to come from Tunisia.
On 12 July a boat sank between Aliağa district and Lesvos Island. Three people from Somalia drowned and 22 people from Somalia, Palestine and Mauritania were rescued.
On 21 July the crew of a Russian ship threw three people from the Ivory Coast into the water between Bodrum and Kos Island. Reportedly the migrants were handcuffed on their backs. One of them drowned, another one "disappeared" and the third one was rescued by a yacht.
One person from Pakistan who tried to enter Turkey in Erçiş district (Van) died in September. On a tip-off the police discovered a locked van with 47 asylum seekers. They had been in the van for three days. One of them died on his way to hospital. 
Two persons who had entered Turkey illegally died in a traffic accident in İstanbul on 13 September. The driver of a lorry carrying these people stopped his vehicle and ran away when the police wanted to stop him. Two people left the lorry and were hit by a car coming from behind. The remaining 27 people from Pakistan and Bangladesh were detained.
A boat carrying 12 people from Iraq and two from Turkey sank near Enez district (Edirne) on 17 September. Ten persons including two children "disappeared" in the incident. Four people who could swim ashore were detained near Gülçavuş village. On 18 September the corpses of four people were found.
On 18 September the coastguard opened fire on a boat that tried to carry 30 people from Seferihisar district (İzmir) to Greece. In the incident Fenzans Hashakczan (26 from Syria) died and Ammar Bozan (31), Metas Shab (23) and the Greek captain Agiadis Dimitris were injured. The captain and his assistant Aygiadis Georgios were arrested.
On 20 September a boat sank near Çeşme district (İzmir) in an attempt to go to Greece. Two women from Somalia died and 28 people (25 from Somalia and three from Palestine) were detained.
On 23 September a lorry with people who had entered Turkey illegally had an accident near Pazaryolu district (Erzurum). Seven people died and 63 were injured. These people reportedly came from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
A fisher's boat that wanted to go from Mersin to Cyprus sank in the evening of 25 September. Five people including two from Syria were rescued and 33 people "disappeared". One corpse was discovered.
In an article in the daily Özgür Gündem allegations were raised that Greek soldiers killed two persons from Mauritania who tried to go to Lesvos Island. The paper quoted inhabitants of Bektaş village as saying that the boat had started at 1am near Ayvacık district (Çanakkale) on 13 October. After five hours the Greek coastguard had discovered the boat and taken 11 people on board. They had been beaten and around 6am they had been thrown into the sea. Two had been wounded to their heads. The others had been rescued by fishermen.
On 2 November a boat sank that tried to go from Çeşme district (İzmir) to Chios Island. The coastguard rescued 8 people from Palestine, Mauritania and Algeria and found 12 corpses. For another 16 people there were no hopes to find them alive. The survivors said that the captain and his assistant escaped when they heard the sound of a helicopter. They had counted 36 passengers on board.
In December two people who tried to cross the Turkish-Greek border near Balabancık village in İpsala district (Edirne) froze to death. The nationality and identity of these people could not be established. 

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