Κυριακή, 6 Νοεμβρίου 2011

Για την απελευθέρωση του Ραγκίπ Ζαράκολου- Free Ragip Zarakolou



Υπογράφουμε για την απελευθέρωση του εκδότη Ραγκίπ Ζαράκολου και όλων των πολιτικών κρατουμένων στην Τουρκία



Imza Kampanyalari / Signatures Campaigns / Campagnes de signatures


Ragip Zarakolu

Under Arrest / En état d'arrestation


That's enough! Ca suffit!



The Ankara Initiative for Freedom of Thought has launched the following signature campaign: That's enough!



Click the signature form (Destek için imza formu) and submit it with the mention of your name (adi soyadi), profession (meslegi) and city/country (sehir ve/veya ülke).


TO SIGN

SIGNATORIES LIST
2


Stop arbitrary detentions in Turkey

Here are extracts of the text of a new petition asking to stop arbitrary detentions in Turkey


TO SIGN



SIGNATORIES LIST

Présentation en français de ces deux petitions

3


AGA's Signature campaign for Zarakolu in Germany 

Droits de l'Homme / Human Rights

Turkey on 92nd Position in Human Development Index

Les dérapages en série de la lutte antiterroriste en Turquie

Hate crime to the earthquake victims

They were plaintiffs but they are convicted





Pression sur les médias / Pressure on the Media



66 Journalists in Turkish prisons during the Sacrifice Fest

Programme d'AYP FM sur l'arrestation de Zarakolu

Appeal and Protest against KCK Arrests

"Zarakolu Deserves the Nobel Prize, not Prison"

EMHRN calls for the immediate release of HR activists

OMCT: Arbitrary detention of Zarakolu and Ersanlı

IPI Condemns Zarakolu's Arrest

Front Line's Concern Over Zarakolu's Arrest

Un dossier détaillé sur l'arrestation de Zarakolu

Ragip Zarakolu: la bonne conscience de la Turquie criminelle - Laurent Leylekian

Parliamentary Questions in Holland about the detention of Zarakolu

Arrêter des intellectuels, c'est indigne

Intellectuals protest arrest of publisher in Istanbul

HRW: Arrests expose flawed justice system in Turkey

EFJ Condemns Arrest of Ragıp Zarakolu

La première lettre de prison de Zarakolu

Zarakolu's first letter from prison

Liberté de la presse menacée en Turquie

CCAF: Liberté immédiate pour Ragip Zarakolu !

Lettre au Ministre français des affaires étrangères

Signature campaign for Zarakolu in Germany

BDP issues warning over arrests and new charter

Human Rights Association's Protest Against Arrests

Zarakolu and Ersanli arrested by court

IPA: Turkish Freedom to Publish Hero Jailed

PEN International's Campaign

RSF condamne avec vigueur l'arrestation de Ragip Zarakolu

Appel du Collectif 1971 à la solidarité avec Ragip Zarakolu

Ragip Zarakolu's detention stirs NGO anger

Appel urgent de Genève pour la solidarité avec Zarakolu

Publisher and Human Rights Defender Ragip Zarakolu Detained

Ragip Zarakolu, éditeur et défenseur des droits de l'Homme, arrêté en Turquie

4 Trials against "Laz Marks" Show



Kurdish Question / Question kurde



"We are all KCK" campaign launched

BDP: Chemical weapons used against guerillas







Minorités / Minorities



Genocide, War Crimes and the AKP Government





Politique intérieure/Interior Politics



Prime Minister and Interior Minister defend KCK arrests

KCK arrests spark intra-party disagreement within CHP







Forces armées/Armed Forces



Military chief visits coup suspects in Hasdal Prison







Affaires religieuses / Religious Affairs









Socio-économique / Socio-economic



"Child Brides" in Parliament





Relations turco-européennes / Turkey-Europe Relations



"French present" for Turkish Prime Minister

Erdogan blasts Germany on PKK

Criminal complaint in Germany against Erdogan and Army Chiefs





Turquie-USA/ Turkey-USA



Les USA affirment leur relation forte avec la Turquie en matière de sécurité





Relations régionales / Regional Relations



Ankara ne fera pas escorter la mini-flottille vers Gaza





Chypre et la Grèce / Cyprus and Greece



Négociations entre les deux dirigeants de Chypre







Immigration / Migration















Droits de l'Homme / Human Rights



Turkey on 92nd Position in Human Development Index



"Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future For All" is the title of the Human Development Report 2011 of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).



The report reviewed 187 countries having regard to indicators like health, education, income, inequality, poverty, gender, sustainability and demography. In the Human Development Index (HDI) featured in the report, Turkey ranks in the middle on 92nd position. The country profile of Turkey reveals, "Turkey's HDI is 0.699, which gives the country a rank of 92 out of 187 countries with comparable data. The HDI of Europe and Central Asia as a region increased from 0.644 in 1980 to 0.751 today, placing Turkey below the regional average. The HDI trends tell an important story both at the national and regional level and highlight the very large gaps in well-being and life chances that continue to divide our interconnected world".



The report also draws attention to 6.6 percent of the population in Turkey that live in poverty according to the multidimensional poverty index as one of the report's indicators.



Norway is on top of the list of the 2011 Human Development Index whereas the Democratic Republic of Congo brings up the rear.



"The 2011 Human Development Report argues that the urgent global challenges of sustainability and equity must be addressed together - and identifies policies on the national and global level that could spur mutually reinforcing progress towards these interlinked goals. Bold action is needed on both fronts, the Report contends, if the recent human development progress for most of the world's poor majority is to be sustained, for the benefit of future generations as well as for those living today" the introduction of the report states.



The report published annually since 1990 aims at establishing the necessary social structures and institutions for sustainability and equity. "A joint lens shows how environmental degradation intensifies inequality through adverse impacts on already disadvantaged people and how inequalities in human development amplify environmental degradation".



While human development increased in Eastern Europe and Central Asia according to the 2011 index, these regions failed to take measures against pollution. Energy in these countries is still dependent on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions are also very high.



The projections of the report "suggest that in many cases the most disadvantaged people bear and will continue to bear the repercussions of environmental deterioration, even if they contribute little to the problem".



"Simulations for the Report suggest that by 2050 the global HDI would be 8 percent lower than in the baseline in an "environmental challenge" scenario that captures the adverse effects of global warming on agricultural production, on access to clean water and improved sanitation and on pollution (and 12 percent lower in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa)", the report warns and urges for bold measures to be taken. "The distribution of income has worsened at the country level in much of the world, even with the narrowing of gaps in health and education achievement".



In a report on the Human Development Index by Deutsche Welle German Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development, Erhard Eppler, was quoted as saying, "People who cannot afford to buy corn or rice due to increased food prices cannot access electricity and clean water either".



The Human Development Report identified deforestation as a major challenge. "Between 1990 and 2010 Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa experienced the greatest forest losses". This, together with other factors that increase pollution, is the reason for a decrease in human development in these regions even though inequality has improved.



Regarding Asia and the Pacific region, the report points to the threat created towards the development of island countries by pollution, deforestation and the rise of the sea level. Acute problems of poverty and inequality must be solved in order to maintain the progress achieved in countries in South Asia, the report emphasized. (BIA, 4 November 2011) - Source: UNPD Human Development Reports.



Les dérapages en série de la lutte antiterroriste en Turquie



Après 72 heures de garde à vue, Ragip Zarakolu a été inculpé et incarcéré, mardi, pour « appartenance à une organisation terroriste ». Un retour brutal à la case prison pour cette figure du monde intellectuel de 63 ans, éditeur, courageux militant des droits de l’homme et défenseur des minorités, coutumier des procès absurdes. En 1971, M. Zarakolu avait été emprisonné pendant cinq mois pour « des liens secrets avec l’ONG Amnesty International ». Puis à deux ans de prison pour un article sur la guerre du Vietnam. Les 40 dernières années de sa vie ont été émaillées d’une trentaine d’arrestations. Fondateurs de la maison d’édition Belge, Ragip Zarakolu et sa femme, Aysenur, décédée en 2002, ont été poursuivis, souvent condamnés, pour avoir publié des écrits de prisonniers politiques, des ouvrages sur le génocide arménien, sur les Kurdes, ou encore une anthologie de poésie chypriote-grecque.



Cette fois, M. Zarakolu paye son engagement contre la « sale guerre » qui sévit entre la Turquie et la guérilla du PKK (parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan). Il est soupçonné, comme 43 autres personnes, d’appartenance au KCK (Union des communautés kurdes), la branche civile et clandestine du PKK, que la justice turque s’est mise en tête de démanteler. Son fils, Deniz Zarakolu, étudiant en sciences politiques et éditeur, avait déjà été arrêté début octobre, avec une centaine d’autres personnes, à Istanbul. Plus invraisemblable encore est l’arrestation de Büsra Ersanli, professeur de sciences politiques à l’université Marmara, constitutionnaliste chevronnée qui participait aux travaux parlementaires de consultation sur la future réforme de la Constitution turque. « Elle est l’une des premières à s’être attaquée au sujet extrêmement sensible de la fabrication d’un récit historique entièrement tourné vers la glorification du peuple turc », précise l’historien Etienne Copeaux. En attendant leur procès, au mieux dans un an, les accusés resteront en prison.



Ces nouvelles rafles policières dans les milieux pro-kurdes jettent le trouble sur la procédure hors normes du KCK, lancée en avril 2009 et qui a conduit à environ 8.000 gardes à vue et 4.000 inculpations. Chaque semaine, des dizaines de noms viennent s’ajouter à la liste. « Demain, c’est à notre porte qu’ils peuvent sonner, il n’y a plus de justice », clamait lundi, Sebahat Tuncel, députée du BDP (parti de la paix et de la démocratie), devant le tribunal d’Istanbul. Sont déjà incarcérés, 5 députés, 10 maires élus, 30 conseillers municipaux, des dizaines de responsables locaux du parti kurde, des milliers de militants et de sympathisants. Les procès abusifs se sont multipliés. Une femme kurde illettrée a été condamnée à 7 ans de prison pour avoir brandi une banderole et un slogan favorable au PKK. Des centaines d’enfants pour avoir jeté des pierres sur la police… Pour le politologue Ahmet Insel, le parti au pouvoir mène désormais une guerre totale contre la société civile kurde. « Le premier ministre a adopté une stratégie d’éreintement du PKK, juste après les élections municipales de 2009, frustré de ne pas être sorti vainqueur contre le BDP. Depuis lors, les mentors et les partisans de cette stratégie mènent un bombardement de propagande (…) Elle vise à nettoyer le champ politique de tous les « Kurdes hypocrites » et de ceux qui les soutiennent. La police, la justice et les médias y travaillent main dans la main ».



Cette offensive menée au nom de la lutte contre le terrorisme s’inscrit dans une tradition judiciaire tenace. La Turquie détient, de loin, le record mondial d’inculpations pour « terrorisme ». Selon l’agence AP, auteur d’une étude sur une décennie de « guerre mondiale contre le terrorisme » depuis le 11 septembre 2001, plus de 35.000 personnes ont été inculpées dans le monde, dont 13.000 pour la seule Turquie, loin devant la Chine et les Etats-Unis. Sur la seule année 2009, la Turquie a condamné deux fois plus de « terroristes » (6.300) que les Etats-Unis en 10 ans. L’immense majorité de ces condamnations concerne des militants kurdes, mais plus récemment, des dizaines de militaires et d’opposants virulents à l’AKP ont été incarcérés dans des affaires de complots contre le gouvernement. Des manifestants contre la construction d’une centrale hydroélectrique, ou encore des étudiants qui ont interrompu un meeting pour réclamer « un enseignement gratuit », ont été lourdement condamnés.



La Turquie détient enfin le record du nombre de journalistes emprisonnés, près de 60. « Aucun pour leurs écrits, tous pour des dossiers de terrorisme », tente de justifier Egemen Bagis, le ministre des Affaires européennes. Mais le champ de la loi anti-terroriste, élargi en 2006, e permet par exemple au parquet de Diyarbakir de poursuivre le journaliste Recep Okuyucu, pour s’être connecté au site de l’agence de presse Euphrate, proche du PKK, dont l’accès est interdit en Turquie. La couverture de manifestations et l’accès aux sources peuvent être criminalisés. « Les journalistes sont soumis à une pression sur le traitement de la question kurde qui équivaut à l’époque où l’Etat major qui dictait la ligne », constate Erol Önderoglu, correspondant de Reporters Sans Frontières. (Le Monde, 3 novembre 2011)





Hate crime to the earthquake victims



People is committing hate crimes at media and television channels after the 7,2 severity earthquake happened at Van and after the attack which PKK killed 24 soldiers. Say Stop to the Racism and Nationalism Organization pointed out that these kind of expressions are elements of crime. (Click for viewing post from Twitter and Facebook).



News-caster of Habertürk defined the earthquake with: “We are very sorry even though the earthquake took place at Van, east of Turkey”. Also narrator of the Tatlı Sert which is broadcasting at ATV, Müge Anlı said that: “ Everyone have to know their place. You will throw rocks and then ask for help like you did nothing. The police immediately run for help. I curse the ones who throm rocks at them”. Cevat Beşi and Fatih Mehmet Şahin told Bianet that they will going to sue Müge Anlı for the comments she made. (Freedom of Expression Weekly Bulletin (Issue 43/11, October 28, 2011)



They were plaintiffs but they are convicted



The police related the police station at Ankara Esat, took members of Pembe Hayat Buse Kılıçkaya, Derya Tunç and Naz Güdümlü on a night of June 2010 in their cars under custody. Lawsuit opened against the organization members who made a criminal complaint against police force for “Blocking police tasks”, “aspersion” and “damaging public property”. Buse Kılıçkaya convicted 5 months of imprisonment for “blocking police tasks and aspersion”, was acquitted of “damaging public property” at the “5th Criminal Court of First Instance of Ankara. Derya Tunç convicted 6 months of imprisonment and Naz Güdümlü convicted 1 year of imprisonment for “blocking police tasks and aspersion”. The convictions of Tunç and Güdümlü were delayed for five years but the conviction of Kılıçkaya weren’t delayed. Appeal deadline to the decision were announced as seven days. Kılıçkaya talked to Bianet and said that:



“Actually the event started like this. We made a criminal complaint and became plaintiff against police because of their use of force arbitrary. After that the police became plaintiff against us. Polis Our case was rejected, theirs accepted.” Freedom of Expression Weekly Bulletin (Issue 43/11, October 28, 2011)



Pression sur les médias / Pressure on the Media



66 Journalists in Turkish prisons during the Sacrifice Fest



The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its affiliate in Turkey, the Journalists' Union of Turkey, launched an international postcard campaign by sending a postcard with wishes for the Sacrifice Fest to the 66 colleagues currently in Turkish prisons.



Everyone is invited to join this solidarity campaign for journalists in jail in Turkey by sending a postcard before 6th November to a or several journalists (see the addresses).



Don't forget to use the phrase in Turkish "Iyi bayramlar" which means "happy fest", says EFJ.



Programme d'AYP FM sur l'arrestation de Zarakolu



La radio arménienne AYP FM (99,5) à Paris vient de réaliser un programme sur l'arrestation de Ragip Zarakolu avec la participation des écrivains Yves Ternon et Erol Özkoray ainsi que Ali Kiliç, président du Centre de la Recherche scientifique du Kurdistan, Charles Papazian, président du CDCA, et Johan Bihr, représentant de RSF.



Description :



Mobilisation pour la libération de Ragip Zarakolu: depuis son arrestation le 28 octobre à Istanbul dans le cadre de l'opération policière menée contre le parti pro kurde, BDP, les organisations de défense des droits de l’homme multiplient les appels pour demander sa remise en liberté immédiate. Pourquoi une telle répression aujourd’hui en Turquie dans les milieux kurdes et auprès de ceux qui les soutiennent, pourquoi les chancelleries occidentales ne se manifestent pas?



Le programme "Cartes sur Table" sera rediffusé le dimanche 6 novembre 2011 à 9h15.



On peut déjà écouter le programme au lien suivant: http://radio-aypfm.com/?page=archives



Appeal and Protest against KCK Arrests



A bill of exception was handed to the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court to appeal against the detention of 46 people who were arrested on 1 November in the course of the so-called KCK operation (Union of Kurdistan Communities). Prof Büşra Ersanlı and publisher and writer Ragıp Zarakolu are among the detainees.



A group of academics and intellectuals gathered in front of the Beşiktaş (Istanbul) Courthouse on Thursday (3 November) to protest the arrests, among them Prof Füsun Üstel, Prof Fatma Gök, lecturer Meryem Koray, lecturer Nesrin Sungur, Prof. Tahsin Yeşildere, Prof Özden Cankaya, Ass. Prof Nilgün Tutal, actress Jülide Kural, Dr. Gençay Gürsoy, lawyer Hülya Gülbahar, writer Ayşegül Devecioğlu, Agos newspaper executive editor Arat Dink and singer Pınar Sağ.



"The smear campaign against Büşra is most saddening"





Sırma Evcan, sister of academic Ersanlı, said, "What hurts the most is the smear campaign against Büşra. She advocated for solving problems on a legitimate level without violence. I watched the announcement of the Minister of the Interior in amazement. It seems to mean 'What happens if just one single professor is being taken'. This is not an effort to eliminate violence".



"Academics will follow up the arrests"





Prof Fatma Gök expressed her concern about the arrests that have reached as far as into the field of academics. According to Gök, the arrests aimed at fading down the voices of the people who rack their brains over the situation of social politics in Turkey. However, what was actually created in society was indignation, she claimed.



Gök stressed that the academics were going to follow up these arrests. "We still have to enlarge this resistance", she declared.



"We will lecture at the Political Academy"





Prof Tahsin Yeşildere mentioned that several academics from Turkey and abroad wanted to lecture voluntarily at the political academy of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) where also Ersanlı gave a few lessons. He announced that this was going to be realized in the near future.



Actress Jülide Kural criticized, "Ersanlı and Zarakolu represent a symbolic issue; no opposing idea will be tolerated in this country. The power sees the right to say the only and last word lying solely with itself. We will fight against this always and everywhere"



"This is an invitation to the weapons; we have to fight"





Lecturer Meryem Koray emphasized that they came together not only for Ersanlı and Zarakolu but to stand up against the oppression of freedom of thought on their behalf. "It is an invitation to the weapons if those people who contribute to a peaceful solution of the Kurdish questions are being arrested", Koray added.



Academic Nesrin Sungur indicated, "We are at the end of words if academics and journalists say 'one day we might be arrested as well'. We do not know how long this will continue but with our struggle we can shorten that period".



"Our appeal should be reviewed in a court hearing"





Lawyer Ercan Kanar said that he invited the judiciary to remember the basics of law with the appeal against the arrests that were said to have been carried out under the tutelage of the political power.



"In our bill of exception we did not request to put an end to detention, to lift the decision of restriction and it is not an ostensible appeal. We demanded to examine the appeal at a court hearing where we are present as well".



Lawyer Ezgi Şahin said in the press release, "In the course of the investigation Ersanlı was asked questions as if she had obtained documents of an illegal organization because her notes include concepts like 'democratic autonomy' and 'citizenship of Turkey'. Zarakolu was assessed as a member of an illegal organization because he attended the opening ceremony of the Political Academy and the certificate ceremony. The registration list of the party's school 'seized' by the police was shown as an item of crime. Party members and executives and university students taking lessons at the academy were subject to technical surveillance. (...) All this indicates that law has abased itself". (BIA, Nilay Vardar, 4 November 2011)





"Zarakolu Deserves the Nobel Prize, not Prison"





The International Publishers Association (IPA) and the worldwide association of writers PEN International criticized the arrest of writer and publisher Ragıp Zarakolu. Zarakolu was arrested on 1 November in the scope of a crackdown on the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK), the umbrella organization that also includes the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).



IPA called for the immediate release of Zarakolu. " Ragıp Zarakolu is the pride of publishing. He is the limelight of freedom to publish in Turkey. (...) This man does not belong to prison, he deserves a Nobel Prize.", Bjorn Smith-Simonsen, Chair of IPA's Freedom to Publish Committee (FTPC), said.



"The trial is likely to begin in a year's time only. Ragıp Zarakolu's health is not good. We fear that he will not stand his detention conditions in the terrible F-type (high security) prisons. This is an additional reason for the Turkish authorities to show compassion and release him immediately", the IPA urged.



PEN International described Zarakolu in their announcement as a person whose name is being "respected internationally in the struggle for freedom of writing and publishing".



PEN American Center Freedom to Write Program Director Larry Siems said in an announcement, "It is essential not to confuse the efforts of those who, like Ragip Zarakolu, have worked to bring down barriers of censorship in Turkey with those who press political agendas through violence. Zarakolu is an honored PEN colleague and an internationally-recognized defender of the right to write and publish freely. We emphatically protest his arrest." (BIA, 4 November 2011)



EMHRN calls for the immediate release of HR activists



Copenhagen-Brussels–The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) condemns the arbitrary arrest of Human Rights defenders Ragib Zarakolu and Büşra Ersanlı, both falsely charged with “being a member of an illegal organisation”, the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK).

On 28 October, 2011, Turkish authorities raided several offices of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in the province of Istanbul and arrested prominent Human Right activists Ragib Zarakolu and Büşra Ersanlı, together with some fifty other people, mainly members and executives of the BDP.



This raid, a vast anti-terrorist operation allegedly aimed at dismantling the KCK -considered the urban branch of the armed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), constitutes a blatant attack on activists for their work on human rights and their attempts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.



Ragip Zarakolu is an Honorary Board member of the Human Rights Association (İnsan Haklari Derneği – İHD). He is also Director of the Belge Publishing House and Chairman of the Publishers Association Freedom to Publish Committee of Turkey, and a prominent human rights activist who has published extensively on human rights, national minorities, and the Armenian genocide. His arrest comes little after receiving the Hakop Meghapart Medal of Honour Lifetime Achievement Award from the Armenian Human Rights Association for his contribution to Armenian history, culture, and literature in Turkey.



Büşra Ersanlı, a member of the Constitution Committee and the General Assembly of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), has worked with NGOs on women’s rights in the political sphere. In parallel, Ersanli works as a lecturer at the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations at Marmara University.



Both were charged on 1 November, 2011 for being members of an illegal organisation under Article 314 of the Turkish Penal Code by İstanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 14, despite the fact that neither of them belong to the KCK. Zarakolu and Ersanli are currently detained in separate prisons, and are granted access to their families and lawyers.



The EMHRN condemns the continued policy of arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders and activists in Turkey – in particular of IHD members, trade union members, and activists working on the Kurdish issue.



The EMHRN recalls the detainment and arrests of dozens of human rights defenders on alleged terrorism charges, including Muharrem Erbey, IHD General Vice Chairperson who has been in pre-trial detainment since 2009.



Moreover, the EMHRN calls upon the Turkish authorities to put an end to the current policy of harassment and arbitrary arrest of human rights defenders in an effort to undermine their work. The EMHRN asks for the immediately release of Zarakolu and Ersanli, together with the other activists who have been arrested on false charges.



In light of the professional background of both Büşra Ersanlı and Ragip Zarakolu, the EMHRN further urges the Turkish authorities to implement international standards related to the right to freedom of association and to freedom of expression in Turkey without delay.



For more information on the Human Rights situation in Turkey, please contact: Hayet Zeghiche at hze@euromedrights.net (+ 32 2 503 58 87)



OMCT: Arbitrary detention of Zarakolu and Ersanlı



The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Turkey.



Description of the situation:



The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary detention of Mr. Ragıp Zarakolu, Honorary Board Member and Founder of the Human Rights Association (İHD), Director of the Belge Publishing House and Chairman of the Publishers Association Freedom to Publish Committee of Turkey, and Ms. Büşra Ersanlı, lecturer at the Marmara University Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations in Istanbul, in the framework of a wide ranged anti-terrorist operation intended to dismantle an alleged terrorist network - the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) - that in fact targets peaceful activists from the Kurdish community who are not related to any terrorist activities.



According to the information received, on October 28, 2011, Mr. Ragıp Zarakolu and Ms. Büşra Ersanlı were both arrested in Istanbul as part of a vast operation that targeted more than 48 people, mostly Kurdish political activists and particularly members of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). On November 1, 2011, the two were officially charged with “being a member of an illegal organisation”, namely the KCK - an organisation said to be the “urban branch” of the armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) - under Article 314 of the Turkish Penal Code by İstanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 14.



As of issuing this Urgent Appeal, Mr. Ragıp Zarakolu is detained in Metris prison while Ms. Büşra Ersanlı is detained in Bakırköy closed prison for females. They both have access to their lawyer and family.



Mr. Ragıp Zarakolu is a well known human rights activist since the 1970s and has particularly focused on freedom of expression and minorities' rights. Through the Belge Publishing House, he has published numerous books on the repression of national minorities in Turkey and on the Armenian Genocide and has been subjected to arbitrary detention and judicial harassment on numerous occasions. Ms. Büşra Ersanlı has been engaged with NGOs for political rights of the women.



The Observatory denounces the continuing policy of arbitrarily arresting human rights defenders in Turkey, and particularly İHD members, members of trade unions and those fighting against the impunity of serious crimes and calling for a peaceful resolution of the Kurd question, which seems to merely aim at sanctioning their human rights activities. To that extent, the Observatory recalls that several İHD members are currently in pre-trial detention, notably Mr. Muharrem Erbey, İHD General Vice Chairperson and Chairperson of its Diyarbakir Province branch who had been detained since December 2009, Mr. Arslan Özdemir and Ms. Roza Erdede, İHD members in Diyarbakır[1], as well as members and executives of İHD Şanlıurfa Branch, the Education and Science Workers Trade Union (Egitim-Sen), the Health and Social Service Workers Trade Union (SES)[2] and members of associations of families of victims of abusive anti-terrorism policies[3]. Dozens of other human rights defenders remain in provisional release pending the outcome of criminal trials on alleged terrorism charges.



Accordingly, the Observatory calls upon the Turkish authorities to put an end to the continuing harassment against human rights defenders and urges the Turkish authorities to release all human rights defenders currently held in detention immediately and unconditionally, since their detention is arbitrary as it only aim at sanctioning their human rights activities.



Actions requested:



i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Ragıp Zarakolu and Ms. Büşra Ersanlı, as well as Mr. Muharrem Erbey, Mr. Arslan Özdemir and Ms. Roza Erdede as well as all other members of İHD, Egitim-Sen and SES Şanlıurfa Branch and members of associations of families of victims of abusive anti-terrorism policies, and in general, all human rights defenders in Turkey;



ii. Release Mr. Ragıp Zarakolu and Ms. Büşra Ersanlı, as well as Mr. Muharrem Erbey, Mr. Arslan Özdemir and Ms. Roza Erdede as well as all other members of İHD, Egitim-Sen and SES Şanlıurfa Branch and members of associations of families of victims of abusive anti-terrorism policies, immediately and unconditionally since their detention is arbitrary as it only aim at sanctioning their human rights activities;



iii. Put an end to all acts harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Ragıp Zarakolu and Ms. Büşra Ersanlı, as well as Mr. Muharrem Erbey, Mr. Arslan Özdemir and Ms. Roza Erdede as well as all other members of İHD, Egitim-Sen and SES Şanlıurfa Branch and members of associations of families of victims of abusive anti-terrorism policies and, in general, all human rights defenders in Turkey;



iv. Comply with the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, as well as Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration” ;



v. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey.



Addresses:



· President of Turkey, Mr. Abdullah Gül, Cumhurbaskanligi 06100 Ankara, Turkey; Fax: +90 312 468 5026; Email: cumhurbaskanligi@tccb.gov.tr

· Prime Minister, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Office of the Prime Minister Basbakanlik 06573 Ankara, Turkey, Fax: + 90 312 417 0476; receptayyip.erdogan@basbakanlik.gov.tr

· Deputy Prime Minister Responsible for Human Rights, Mr. Beşir Atalay, Email :

besir.atalay@tbmm.gov.tr, Fax: 00 90 (312) 422 13 98

· Interior Minister, Mr. Idris Naim Şahin, 06644 Ankara, Turkey; Fax: + 90 312 418 17 95 / +90 312 418 7696,

· Justice Minister, Mr. Sadullah Ergin, Ministry of Justice/ Adalet Bakanligi, 06659 Ankara, Turkey; Fax: + 90 312 414 62 26

· Foreign Minister, Mr. Ahmed Davudoglu , Office of the Prime Minister, Basbakanlik, 06573 Ankara, Turkey; Fax: +90 312 287 88 11

· Ambassador, Mr. Oğuz Demiralp, Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations in Geneva, Ch. du Petit-Saconnex 28b - CP 271, CH-1211, Geneva 19, Switzerland, E-mail : mission.turkey@ties.itu.int, Fax: +41 22 734 08 59

· Ambassador, Mr. Selim Kuneralp, Diplomatic Mission of Turkey to the European Union in Brussels, Avenue des Arts 36-38, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 511 04 50.



Please also write to the embassies of Turkey in your respective country.



E-mail: omct@omct.org

Rue du Marteau 19

B-1000 Brussels, Belgium

Tel. / Fax: +32 2 218 37 19

E-mail: omcteurope@omct.org



IPI Condemns Zarakolu's Arrest



The International Press Institute (IPI) today condemned the arrest and pre-trial detention of Turkish publisher and free speech activist Ragip Zarakolu.



Zarakolu – director of the Belge Publishing House, a member of the Turkish PEN Center and chair of the Freedom to Publish Committee of the Turkish Publishers Association – was among approximately 40 suspects detained Friday under anti-terror laws.



A court ordered Zarakolu and 22 others arrested and jailed pending trial. Zarakolu’s attorney reportedly appealed, but Zarakolu is expected to face more than a year in detention before trial if the appeal fails.



The arrests came amid an ongoing crackdown by Turkish authorities against activists who focus on Kurdish issues, including the Koma Civakên Kurdistan (KCK) party, or Union of Kurdistan Communities, which is reportedly affiliated with the outlawed separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).



According to worldwide writers association PEN, Turkish authorities have arrested up to 1,000 scholars, writers, publishers and rights advocates during the two-year crackdown. The group commented that “Zarakolu’s staunch belief in free expression, his tireless campaign against book bannings, and his courage in publishing works that challenge Turkey’s repressive censorship laws have resulted in a catalog of indictments dating back to the early 1970s.”



PEN said that the Belge Publishing House, which Zarakolu founded with his wife Ayse Nur in 1977, had tested Turkish publishing restrictions by translating and publishing controversial books from Armenian, Greek, and Kurdish authors including works on the Armenian genocide and the experiences of Turkey’s Kurdish minority. PEN also reported that a right-wing extremist group firebombed Zarakolu’s office in 1995 and that authorities banned him from travelling outside Turkey from 1971 to 1991.



Ferai Tinç, a member of IPI’s Executive Board and the chair of IPI’s Turkey National Committee, said: “Terrorism cannot be defeated by silencing opinions and creating a climate of fear to express ideas. The healthiest environment to dry the causes of terrorism is an environment of lively discussion. Only under these conditions can people isolate terrorists and insist on a search for political solutions to their problems. We call on the government to change anti-terror laws with which journalists, editors, writers and publishers can easily be threatened and deprived of their freedom of expression. "



In other news, IPI World Press Freedom Hero Nedim Şener was acquitted Monday following trial on charges of insult and breach of privacy. Bianet reported that the charges, which carried a punishment of six years in prison, stemmed from an article Şener wrote about bribery that allegedly mentioned a judge in Istanbul by nickname.



Şener, who has been detained since March following a police raid on the offices of Oda TV, was acquitted in June of charges of "violation of confidentiality" and the "attempt to influence a fair trial" related to another article.



However, he, investigative journalist Ahmet Şık and 12 others arrested in connection with the Oda TV raid face charges in the so-called “Ergenekon” probe into an alleged clandestine Kemalist ultra-nationalist organisation with ties to members of the country's military and security forces which has been accused of plotting to use terrorism to overthrow the government. Şener and the others are accused of working to form a media that would direct public opinion towards the interests of Ergenekon.



A hearing in the trial is set to take place in Istanbul on 22 November.



Turkey’s Justice Ministry in August acknowledged that it was holding 63 journalists in prison and that only 18 had been convicted of a crime. The ministry reportedly declared that four journalists were imprisoned due to their writings, but maintained that the others were not in prison because of their work.



Many of the imprisoned journalists have not been informed of the charges they face, nor have their attorneys, and many are subject to lengthy pre-trial imprisonment.



The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an IPI affiliate, supports this statement. (Steven M. Ellis, Press Freedom Adviser, 03 November 2011)



Front Line's Concern Over Zarakolu's Arrest



The International Foundation for the protection of human rights defenders (Front Line) has issued the following communiqué:



On 1 November 2011, human rights defender Mr Ragıp Zarakolu was one of between 40 and 50 people remanded in pre-trial detention by the 14th High Criminal Court in Beşiktaş, Istanbul. He is accused of “membership of an illegal organisation” – Koma Ciwaken Kurdistan (KCK) (Union of Kurdistan Communities).



Ragıp Zarakolu, one of Turkey's most prominent freedom of expression and minority rights defenders, is a founding member of the Human Rights Association (IHD), Chairperson of the Freedom to Publish Committee of the Turkish Publishers Association and Director of the Belge Publishing House.



On 28 October 2011, a group of approximately 50 people were arrested when the police carried out a vast operation mainly targeting members of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in Istanbul Province. Among those arrested was human rights defender Ragıp Zarakolu, who was arrested at his home. Once at the police headquarters, the arrestees were held in a waiting room during the interrogation which lasted over 24 hours with just a few chairs to be shared between them.



On the morning of 31 October, Ragıp Zarakolu was taken to the Istanbul Courthouse, together with the other individuals arrested. Following a 28-hour long hearing, the 14th High Criminal Court in Beşiktaş remanded Ragıp Zarakolu in pre-trial detention on charges of “membership of an illegal organisation” under Article 314 of the Turkish Penal Code in conjunction with the Anti-Terrorism Act. Ragıp Zarakolu is currently detained at the Metris high-security prison.



It is reported that during his interrogation, the police did not ask any questions on the organisation of which he is accused of being a member, but only questioned him about the books he authored or edited for publication as well as public meetings where he spoke or that he attended.



In the days leading up to his arrest, Ragıp Zarakolu had been campaigning for the release of his son, Deniz Zarakolu, who was arrested in early October after giving a lecture on political philosophy at the BDP Academy of Political Science.



The Turkish authorities initiated an investigation into KCK in December 2009 on the basis that, by virtue of including the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the KCK is a terrorist network. Since its commencement, the operation has led to the arrest of hundreds of peaceful members or supporters of the Kurdish community who are not related to any terrorist activity.



Among those arrested are Kurdish politicians and officials, intellectuals, academics and human rights defenders. Human rights lawyers have also been the target of judicial harassment, with four prominent members of the Human Rights Association (IHD) being currently tried on charges of “membership of an illegal organisation” by the 11th High Criminal Court in Ankara. Several other IHD members remain in pre-trial detention, including İHD General Vice-Chairperson Mr Muharrem Erbey. On 27 September 2011, Front Line issued an urgent appeal on the new wave of raids and arrests that targeted members of the Sanliurfa province branches of the IHD, the Education and Science Workers Trade Union (Eğitim-Sen) and the Health and Social Service Workers Trade Union (SES).



Front Line believes that the arrest and pre-trial detention of Ragıp Zarakolu are directly related to his legitimate work in the defence of human rights. Front Line expresses its deep concern that the ongoing crackdown targets human rights defenders and members of civil society engaged in peaceful human rights work, in particular the promotion and protection of the rights of the Kurdish minority. Front Line is further concerned that fair trial guarantees may not be fully respected, as shown in particular by the numerous cases of lengthy pre-trial detention. (http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/)



Un dossier détaillé sur l'arrestation de Zarakolu



Retrouvez sur le site du Collectif VAN toutes les informations sur le Dossier Ragip Zarakolu, éditeur, journaliste, militant des droits de l'homme en Turquie, arrêté à Istanbul le vendredi 28 octobre 2011, inculpé le mardi 1er novembre 2011, avec la sociologue Busra Ersanli, d'«appartenance à un groupe terroriste armé» et actuellement incarcéré dans la prison de haute sécurité de Metris.



La Turquie détient le record du nombre de journalistes emprisonnés : près de 60. «Aucun pour leurs écrits, tous pour des dossiers de terrorisme», se justifie Egemen Bagis, le ministre des affaires européennes !



Le Collectif VAN vous invite expressément à signer les pétitions internationales de soutien aux intellectuels turcs et kurdes détenus arbitrairement en Turquie.



(http://www.collectifvan.org/article.php?r=9&id=58378)



Ragip Zarakolu: la bonne conscience de la Turquie criminelle



Laurent Leylekian, Eurotopie



Il y a quelques jours, mon ami Ragip Zarakolu a été arrêté par la police de son pays, la Turquie. L'arrestation de Ragip, avec celle de Busra Ersanli, apparaît comme le point d'orgue d'une véritable rafle qui a mis aux arrêts tout ce que la Turquie compte de militants de la cause Kurdes, d'activistes des Droits de l'Homme, de syndicalistes, d'éditeurs indépendants et d'observateurs critiques du pouvoir en place. Bien évidemment, les intellectuels de connivence - que j'ai dénoncés autrefois - ne furent pas inquiétés par cette opération.



Si j'en ai le loisir, je reviendrai peut-être sur les raisons qui conduisent maintenant l'Etat turc à procéder à ces arrestations éminemment politiques; de toute façon, elles sont déjà connues de ceux qui s'intéressent à ce pays: En une phrase, il s'agit simplement d'une agression visant d'une part à laminer toute possibilité de protestation interne concernant la sale guerre que mène Ankara contre ses propres citoyens kurdes, et d'autre part à neutraliser l'avènement d'une représentation démocratique des Kurdes au sein du Parlement turc. Ce n'est certainement pas un hasard si la rafle du 5 octobre rappelle tellement un certain 24 avril, ni si elle survient précisément après la reprise de l'offensive turque au Kurdistan et après l'annonce du retour du BDP au Parlement.



Mais je voudrais ici évoquer Ragip, l'homme, et le peu que je sais de son engagement. En Turquie et hors de Turquie, Ragip est un symbole. Ce n'est d'ailleurs pas pour rien si son arrestation a déclenché un tollé international là où les arrestations précédentes n'avaient provoqué que des réactions d'organisations spécialisées (à ce sujet, j'invite tout un chacun à signer les pétitions qui dénoncent son arrestation).





En Turquie, Ragip et son épouse Ayse - depuis lors décédée - furent les précurseurs de toutes les transgressions, les Saint Jean-Baptiste de toutes les causes perdues, les pourfendeurs de tous les tabous. Sur la question arménienne d'abord, sur la question kurde ensuite, sur l'absence de démocratie en Turquie, sur les privilèges étouffants et exorbitants des militaires dans ce pays, sur la torture, sur les prisons de type F, sur les massacres du Dersim, sur celui de Sivas ou simplement sur les rapports de domination sociale, Ragip fut de tous les combats, de tous et avant tous. Et Ragip n'est pas Arménien, ni Grec, ni Juif, ni Kurde, ni Alévi, ni Zaza; il est simplement humain, mais pleinement humain et c'est bien suffisant.



Pour ceux qui ont la chance de le connaître, ce qui frappe chez Ragip, c'est cette inflexible douceur qui imprègne ceux qui font de leurs croyance en l'Homme l'engagement d'une vie. Ragip n'a pas le verbe haut, il est souvent hésitant et son attitude n'est pas impressionnante, encore moins dominatrice. Ragip n'est pas l'homme des certitudes et des vérités; c'est l'homme des interrogations et des questionnements. Avec sa maison d'édition Belge (Document), c'est également la pensée critique traduite en action politique. Ce sont d'ailleurs des caractéristiques qu'il partage avec ses amis - depuis lors les miens aussi - Inci Tugsavul et Dogan Özgüden, réfugiés en Europe depuis quarante ans . Je me plais à croire que les résistants de tout lieu et de tout temps ont toujours fait preuve de la même modestie face aux prétentions à la Vérité comme face aux fatalités du destin.













Ragip Zarakolu et Dogan Özgüden

lors de la rédaction de la revue Ant en Turquie en 1970





Lorsque je regarde à nouveau cette photo défraîchie, j'imagine assez bien, me semble-t-il, les espoirs les plus fous que nourrissaient alors ces démocrates turcs, eux qui mêlèrent avec allégresse leurs amours et leurs luttes. Le printemps 68 était passé là, la sève libertaire emplissait leurs veines; la démocratie semblait à portée de main et déjà en gestation, l'Europe, ses valeurs et ses promesses emplissaient leurs rêves.



Et puis vint le premier coup d'Etat, celui de 1971. L'Europe et la démocratie sont arrivés en effet, en Grèce, en Espagne et au Portugal, en Europe de l'Est même, mais pas en Turquie. Pour Dogan et Inci, ce fut l'errance puis l'exil en Belgique, et la promesse de centaines d'années de prison en cas de retour. "Retour interdit" comme sur les passeports des Arméniens qui, survivant au Génocide, avaient dû quitter leur pays, cette même Turquie, cinquante ans auparavant. Pour ceux qui restèrent comme Ragip et Ayse, la clandestinité, la prison, la torture, les attentats à leur vie, l'angoisse et l'affliction aussi certainement; mais la peur, la vraie, celle du vide, jamais.



Cette peur irrépressible, elle est dans le regard des tortionnaires; dans les éructations d'Erdogan, dans les rodomontades de Gül, de Davutoglu, de Ciçek ou de leurs prédécesseurs. L'Histoire a déjà oublié les noms obscurs de ceux qui les précédèrent et qui, du Palais de Cankaya ou de l'Etat-major, croyaient pouvoir fabriquer une respectabilité pour absoudre les crimes de leur Etat multirécidiviste. A coup de milliards ou de menaces, usant tantôt du fard démocratique, tantôt de l'intimidation martiale, ils n'ont finalement réussi qu'à humilier leur nation et à jeter l'opprobre sur leur Etat.



Mais l'humble, le doux Ragip ne connaît pas cette peur, cette déréliction qui saisit les nihilistes face au vertige de l'abîme, eux que seule la force brutale aveugle et tient en respect, eux auxquels seule cette force brutale donne l'impression de vivre . Du fond de sa geôle, Ragip est l'homme libre, celui dont Léon Blum disait qu'il "n'a pas peur d'aller jusqu'au bout de sa pensée"; du fond de sa geôle, Ragip continue incorrigiblement de vivre et de rêver, de vivre parce qu'il résiste. Quand on pense à Ragip, viennent immédiatement à l'esprit les vers superbes mais quelque peu oubliés de Victor Hugo :





Ceux qui vivent, ce sont ceux qui luttent ; ce sont

Ceux dont un dessein ferme emplit l'âme et le front.

Ceux qui d'un haut destin gravissent l'âpre cime.

Ceux qui marchent pensifs, épris d'un but sublime.

Ayant devant les yeux sans cesse, nuit et jour,

Ou quelque saint labeur ou quelque grand amour.

C'est le prophète saint prosterné devant l'arche,

C'est le travailleur, pâtre, ouvrier, patriarche.

Ceux dont le coeur est bon, ceux dont les jours sont pleins.

Ceux-là vivent, Seigneur ! les autres, je les plains.

Car de son vague ennui le néant les enivre,

Car le plus lourd fardeau, c'est d'exister sans vivre.

Inutiles, épars, ils traînent ici-bas

Le sombre accablement d'être en ne pensant pas.

Ils s'appellent vulgus, plebs, la tourbe, la foule.

Ils sont ce qui murmure, applaudit, siffle, coule,

Bat des mains, foule aux pieds, bâille, dit oui, dit non,

N'a jamais de figure et n'a jamais de nom ;

Troupeau qui va, revient, juge, absout, délibère,

Détruit, prêt à Marat comme prêt à Tibère,

Foule triste, joyeuse, habits dorés, bras nus,

Pêle-mêle, et poussée aux gouffres inconnus.

Ils sont les passants froids sans but, sans noeud, sans âge ;

Le bas du genre humain qui s'écroule en nuage ;

Ceux qu'on ne connaît pas, ceux qu'on ne compte pas,

Ceux qui perdent les mots, les volontés, les pas.

L'ombre obscure autour d'eux se prolonge et recule ;

Ils n'ont du plein midi qu'un lointain crépuscule,

Car, jetant au hasard les cris, les voix, le bruit,

Ils errent près du bord sinistre de la nuit.



Quoi ! ne point aimer ! suivre une morne carrière

Sans un songe en avant, sans un deuil en arrière,

Quoi ! marcher devant soi sans savoir où l'on va,

Rire de Jupiter sans croire à Jéhova,

Regarder sans respect l'astre, la fleur, la femme,

Toujours vouloir le corps, ne jamais chercher l'âme,

Pour de vains résultats faire de vains efforts,

N'attendre rien d'en haut ! ciel ! oublier les morts !

Oh non, je ne suis point de ceux-là ! grands, prospères,

Fiers, puissants, ou cachés dans d'immondes repaires,

Je les fuis, et je crains leurs sentiers détestés ;

Et j'aimerais mieux être, ô fourmis des cités,

Tourbe, foule, hommes faux, coeurs morts, races déchues,

Un arbre dans les bois qu'une âme en vos cohues !





Et le rêve de Ragip, hors de sa geôle, nous le partageons. Avec lui, nous voulons croire que cette Turquie adviendra, celle qui conférera des droits sociopolitiques à ses citoyens kurdes comme à ses autres citoyens, celle qui reconnaîtra le Génocide des Arméniens et travaillera à son enseignement et à sa réparation, celle qui quittera les territoires occupés à Chypre ou ailleurs, celle qui cessera de torturer, de menacer, d'insulter et d'enbastiller; celle qui, à défaut d'entrer dans l'Europe, entrera au moins dans l'Humanité.



Et si nous avons déjà oublié le nom des tortionnaires, personne n'oublie le sourire grave et discret de Ragip . Car ce qui impressionne les vrais hommes, c'est la force de la volonté bien plus que brutalité de la force. Ceux qui nous impressionnent, ce sont Martin Niemoller, Friedrich Bonhoeffer, Jean Moulin, Andreï Sakharov ou Aung San Sui Kyi.



Ragip Zarakolu est de cette trempe et il se compare à ces consciences car il est la bonne conscience de son pays criminel, celle qui le rachète et qui nous permet de continuer à espérer. Ragip Zarakolu mériterait de l'Humanité et de son prix Nobel et j'en appelle ici à toutes les autorités morales pour que lui soit conférée la reconnaissance internationale qui consacrerait en lui tant d'efforts individuels et collectifs pour la Paix, la Justice et la Démocratie.



Parliamentary Written Questions in Holland about the detention of Ragip Zarakolu



The Hague, 2 November 2011 - The Federation of Armenian Organisations of the Netherlands (FAON) was informed that the Dutch Parliament has submitted Written Questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Rosenthal on the recent detention of dozens of Turkish journalists, writers and publishers, including the Turkish writer and publisher Ragip Zarakolu. The questions were submitted on 1 November 2011 by the Members of Parliament Mr. Van der Staaij (Reformed Political Party – SGP), Mr. Dijkhoff ( Liberal Party – VVD), Mr. Voordewind (Christian Union), Mr. Kortenoeven (Party for Freedom – PVV) and Mr. Van Bommel (Socialist Party – SP).



The parliamentarians want to know how the Minister judges these detentions, how the further procedure for them will be and what exactly the accusations are against Zarakolu and other detainees? They ask also if the detention of Zarakolu is related to his publications on the Armenian Genocide? As it is known Zarakolu was convicted in 2008 for publication of a book on the Armenian Genocide. At the time Dutch parliament had also asked questions on his case.



The members of parliament also ask the Minister if the climate in Turkey in terms of press freedom and freedom of speech deteriorates.



The Parliament wants to know what are the steps that the Minister is going to take – both bilaterally and at EU level – to address the Turkish authorities on the recent detentions of Zarakolu and others.



Also they ask the Minister what, to the Minister’s opinion, should be the impact of these detentions on the accession negotiations with Turkey.



Federation of Armenian Organisations in The Netherlands (FAON)

Website: www.faon.nl

E-mail: info@faon.nl



Arrêter des intellectuels, c'est indigne





Quarante-quatre personnes, pour la plupart des intellectuels accusés de liens avec les rebelles kurdes, ont été arrêtées ces derniers jours. Le quotidien Milliyet dénonce ces pratiques, contraires à la démocratie et à la liberté d’expression.





Les libertés fondamentales et les droits de l'homme ont été constamment bafoués chez nous sous prétexte de lutte contre le communisme, le fondamentalisme musulman, le séparatisme [kurde] et le terrorisme. Et ils continuent de l'être. La liberté d'expression est l'une des conditions indispensables à l'instauration d'une véritable démocratie. Si la Turquie est encore aujourd'hui une démocratie de seconde zone, c'est principalement parce que cette liberté y est entravée. En s'appuyant sur plusieurs articles du code pénal, l'Etat a pendant des années sanctionné durement et envoyé derrière les barreaux écrivains, caricaturistes, journalistes et politiques.



Ainsi, pendant des années, les articles 141 et 142 ont puni l'adhésion aux thèses communistes et séparatistes, tandis que l'article 163 réprimait les "activités contraires à la laïcité". Quant aux articles 311 et 312, ils sanctionnaient ceux qui "[encourageaient] la population à la révolte". Si vous portez "atteinte à la personne morale de l'Etat ou du gouvernement", l'article 159 vous envoie tout droit en prison. A la fin de la guerre froide, en 1991, estimant que les articles 141, 142 et 163 commençaient à faire honte au pays, les autorités turques ont décidé de les supprimer du code pénal. Sauf que la loi antiterroriste promulguée au même moment a continué de porter des coups à l'exercice de la liberté d'expression, le plus souvent sous prétexte de séparatisme.



Est arrivé ensuite l'article 301 [condamnant les atteintes à la "turcité" et dont le journaliste turco-arménien Hrant Dink, assassiné en 2007, fut l'une des principales victimes]. Cet article, qualifié pas plus tard que la semaine passée d'"ennemi de la démocratie" par la Cour européenne des droits de l'homme, a été particulièrement liberticide pendant les années 2000 et l'est encore aujourd'hui [malgré la révision dont il a fait l'objet].



J'écris tout cela parce qu'il y a quelques jours l'éditeur Ragip Zarakolu* s'est fait arrêter dans le cadre d'une opération policière visant le KCK [organisation considérée comme faisant le lien entre le PKK et le parti prokurde BDP]. Ce même Ragip Zarakolu qui depuis les années 1970 subit les affres de tous ces articles liberticides. Cet intellectuel qui a toujours combattu les interdits et les tabous. Ce militant des droits de l'homme qui, par les livres qu'il a édités, a fait la lumière sur nos tragédies et sur les origines du totalitarisme chez nous. Comme me le disait un intellectuel kurde, "il n'a de cesse de prouver que les Kurdes existent dans ce pays et que les Arméniens y sont morts".



Si les tabous sur le massacre – ou le génocide – des Arméniens, en 1915, ou sur cette question kurde qui retarde les progrès de la démocratie dans notre pays, ont été un tant soit peu brisés, c'est notamment à lui qu'on le doit. Cet individu, qui a déjà connu la prison et la torture, a été l'un de ceux qui ont brisé le silence par rapport à ces tabous, ce qui n'était pas chose facile à une époque où tout le monde se taisait.



Je dénonce le placement en garde à vue de Ragip Zarakolu, celui de son fils Deniz Zarakolu [arrêté début octobre], et celui du Pr Büsra Ersanli. Je pense que ces opérations retardent l'instauration de la paix et de la démocratie. (courrierinternational.com-Milliyet-Hasan Cemal, 2 nov 2011)





* Ragip Zarakolu a notamment fait publier par sa maison d'édition belge la traduction en turc d'ouvrages sur le génocide arménien.





Intellectuals protest arrest of publisher in Istanbul



A group of intellectuals staged a rally in front of the Beşiktaş Courthouse yesterday to protest the recent arrest of prominent publisher Ragıp Zarakolu and Professor Büşra Ersanlı on terrorism-related charges, while international organizations also condemned the arrests.



“[Ragıp Zarakolu] is a tireless person and minority rights activist. Up to now, his quest for truth, reconciliation and justice has been unstoppable. This man does not belong in prison, he deserves a Nobel prize,” said Bjorn Smith-Simonsen, who issued a press release on behalf of the Geneva-based International Publishing Association.



The arrests of the publisher and professor, who were among dozens of people rounded up in the latest raid against the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), drew condemnation from other international groups as well.



“[Ragıp] Zarakolu is an honored PEN colleague and an internationally recognized defender of the right to write and publish freely. We emphatically protest his arrest,” read a statement issued by the American PEN association.



Ragıp Zarakolu’s son, Sinan Zarakolu, said in Beşiktaş the arrests were “arbitrary” and noted that his brother, Deniz Zarakolu, was also imprisoned last month on similar accusations.



“The accusations are shaky. Anything else is not possible anyway. Neither my father nor my brother have anything to do with the accusations whatsoever,” Sinan Zarakolu told the Hürriyet Daily News.



Sırma Ersanlı, Bürşa Ersanlı’s sister, also said a major and offensive smear campaign was being conducted.



“The image conjured up for Büşra has painted her as if she has a grenade in one hand and a pistol in the other,” the Marmara University professor’s sister told the Daily News.



Academics from Bosphorus University, one of Turkey’s most prestigious educational institutions, also plan to stage a rally in protest at the arrests this morning.



The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. (Hürriyet Daily News, November 3, 2011)



HRW: Arrests expose flawed justice system in Turkey



An Istanbul court’s decision on 1 November 2011 to imprison a publisher and a political science professor pending their trial on terrorism charges exposes the huge deficiencies of Turkey’s criminal justice system, Human Rights Watch said today.



The arrests are part of a crackdown on people engaged in legal political activity with the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). Ragıp Zarakolu, the publisher, and Büşra Ersanlı, the professor, are among fifty people who have been arrested in Istanbul since 27 October. Three were released by the prosecutor and forty-seven brought before Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 14, which remanded forty-four to prison and released three pending trial.



“The arrests of Ragip Zarakolu and Büşra Ersanlı represent a new low in the misuse of terrorism laws to crush freedom of expression and association in Turkey,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, Turkey researcher at Human Rights Watch.



All forty-seven suspects will be charged for alleged links to the Turkish Assembly of the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK/TM), a body connected with the leadership of the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Under a widening police operation over the past two and a half years, thousands of people associated with the BDP or related political circles have been charged for alleged links to the KCK/TM or PKK.



Zarakolu is the owner and chief editor of the Belge publishing house, a champion of freedom of expression and human rights, and vocal proponent of Kurdish rights. He has faced prosecution many times for the books he has published and his own writings, none of which have advocated violence. Ersanlı has a chair in political science and international relations at Marmara University, Istanbul, is a member of the BDP’s Party Assembly, and is part of the commission advising the party on its input for the new constitution.

Most of those arrested were involved in the BDP’s Politics Academy, which provides courses and training to party activists and officials. The arrests appear to be the continuation of the 4 October police operation in Istanbul in which about one hundred people were arrested for alleged KCK links, with ninety-six in pretrial detention. Among those arrested and imprisoned was Zarakolu’s son, Deniz Zarakolu.



“We are seeing the Turkish police casting the net ever wider in the crackdown on legal pro-Kurdish politics,” Sinclair-Webb said. “Unless there is clear evidence of people plotting violence or providing logistical support to armed groups, prosecutors and courts should throw these cases out.”

Turkey’s Anti-Terrorism Law contains a vague and overbroad definition of terrorism, Human Rights Watch said. Furthermore, court interpretations of the law make its misuse more likely. The UN special rapporteur on the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin, has criticized the definition and called for its reform, saying that such crimes should be confined to “acts of deadly or otherwise grave violence against persons or the taking of hostages.”

The European Commission has also repeatedly drawn attention to the misuse of terrorism charges in Turkey and has also said the definition of terrorism in Turkish law is too wide, most recently in its October 2011 progress report on Turkey.



“These prosecutions demonstrate that the problems identified by the UN and European Commission have not gone away,” Sinclair-Webb said.



“Turkey urgently needs to amend its vague and widely drawn terrorism laws and stop using them to clamp down on legitimate and peaceful political activity.”



Trials of BDP members and activists for alleged links to the KCK and PKK are being carried out across the Turkey. After waves of arrests that began in April 2009, the first, and main, trial began at Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No. 6 in October 2010. Among its 152 defendants are a large number of public and well-known figures, including serving mayors and a human rights defender. In a 7,578-page indictment, they are charged with crimes such as “aiming to destroy the unity and integrity of the state” (separatism), being a “member or leading member of the PKK,” and “aiding and abetting the PKK,” If convicted, they face penalties of between fifteen years and life in prison.



The investigation that led to the Diyarbakir trial was initiated after a court order four years ago authorized police surveillance of suspects and wiretaps. The investigation was the first into alleged links between activists and officials of both the Democratic Society Party and the successor BDP with the PKK, via the KCK. It led to similar investigations in provinces throughout southeast, eastern, and western Turkey.



Human Rights Watch knows of many other related trials in the courts of Diyarbakir, Adana, Van, Erzurum, and Izmir, for alleged offenses in the many provinces over which those courts have jurisdiction. In each case, the indictments allege that the defendants belong to the KCK’s Turkey Assembly, and that this assembly operates in cities throughout Turkey under the control of the PKK.



The evidence against the defendants is largely based on wiretaps, surveillance of an office some of the accused frequented, intercepted email correspondence, and testimony from secret witnesses.



However, there is scant evidence to suggest the defendants engaged in any acts that could be defined as terrorism as it is understood in international law: namely, violent activities such as bombings and hostage-taking targeting civilians, or the plotting of such activities. The indictment in the main Diyarbakır trial also lacks compelling evidence of logistical or material support for an outlawed armed group, nor is there evidence that the accused directly incited violence.



The widespread and dispersed nature of the ongoing investigations and arrests and a lack of available official statistics on the investigations and trials, make it impossible to produce accurate up-to-date estimates of the numbers currently in pretrial detention and the total number on trial, though it certainly runs to several thousand on trial, Human Rights Watch said. An October Interior Ministry statement put the number in pretrial detention on KCK-related charges at 605, though the figure has fluctuated considerably over the past two years. (DIHA, 3.11.2011)



EFJ Condemns Arrest of Ragıp Zarakolu



The European group the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the arrest of Ragıp Zarakolu, Turkish columnist and writer.



"The arrest of a journalist and well-known intellectual under the pretext of terroristic activities is clearly arbitrary and abusive," said EFJ President Arne König. "It shows how eager the government is to muzzle any critical voice by using anti-democratic methods. Unless there is clear evidence showing the allegations of the Turkish authorities, we call for the immediate release of Mr. Zarakolu and of all other Turkish journalists currently detained in jail".



Mr. Ragip Zarakolu was arrested on Friday 28 October with 40 other people during a vast "anti-terrorism" operation conducted by units of Turkish special forces. Mr. Zarakolu's son, Deniz Zarakolu, editor of the Belge Publishing House, had been arrested earlier on 4 October.



Mr. Ragıp Zarakolu is a writer, a publisher and a columnist at Evrensel daily. In addition to newspapers' articles, Mr. Ragip Zarakolu has also published several books on the Armenian genocide and how it is treated in modern Turkey, including under the angle of freedom of expression.



The EFJ affiliate, the Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikası (TGS - Journalists' Union of Turkey) also strongly condemned the arrest of Zarakolu.



Together with the TGS, the EFJ has launched an international postcard campaign to express solidarity with jailed Turkish journalists. The campaign calls on people to send on the Turkish national holiday, the Bairam, a greeting card with best wishes to the 66 colleagues currently in Turkish prisons, asking again for the immediate and unconditional release. Everyone is invited to join this solidarity campaign for Turkish journalists in jail by sending a postcard before 6th November to one or several journalists whose names are available here: http://europe.ifj.org/en/pages/turkey-campaign-set-journalists-free



The EFJ will also conduct a special fact finding mission on press freedom in Istanbul on 22-24 November.



For more information contact the EFJ at 32 2 235 2200



The EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists in over than 30 countries worldwide.





La première lettre de prison de Zarakolu



L'éditeur Ragip Zarakolu est actuellement incarcéré dans la prison de haute sécurité de Metris alors que son fils Deniz Zarakolu, autre éditeur de la Maison d'éditions Belge, se trouve dans la prison d'Edirne.



Dans sa première lettre envoyée de prison par l'intermédiaire de son avocat Özcan Kiliç, Ragip Zarakolu dit: «Mon arrestation et l'accusation d'appartenance à une organisation illégale font parties d'une campagne visant à intimider tous les intellectuels et démocrates de Turquie et plus particulièrement à priver les Kurdes de tout soutien."'



Zarakolu a fait savoir que durant le raid à son domicile la police n'a confisqué que quelques livres comme «preuves du crime» et n'a rien trouvé au sujet de sa soi-disant relation avec l'organisation en question.



Les livres qui ont été confisqués comme preuves de crime sont le 2e volume de Vatansiz Gazeteci (Journaliste apatride) de Dogan Özgüden, rédacteur en chef d'Info-Türk, Habiba d'Ender Ondes, le processus de paix de Yüksel Genç, manuscrits de quelques livres sur le génocide des Arméniens et sur l'histoire arménienne.



Il ajoute que toutes ses cartes bancaires et de crédit ont été confisquées par la police.



Rappelant qu'il est invité à de nombreuses conférences à l'étranger, principalement durant la semaine prochaine à Berlin, puis à l'Université Colgate, à Los Angeles et dans le Michigan, Zarakolu dit: «Le gouvernement devrait leur répondre quant à la raison réelle de mon arrestation."



Zarakolu conclut sa lettre avec l'appel suivant:



«Lors de mon interrogatoire, ils n'ont posé aucune question au sujet de l'organisation dont j'étais accusé d'être membre. Ils ne m'ont posé des questions que sur les livres que j'ai écrits ou préparés à la publication, les réunions publiques où j'ai parlé ou auxquelles j'ai assisté. Je pense que tout le monde devrait conjointement réagir contre cette campagne d'arrestations qui se transforme en un lynchage collectif. Ces pratiques illégales doivent être arrêtées. "



Zarakolu's first letter from prison



Publisher Ragip Zarakolu is currently kept at the Metris high-security prison while his son Deniz Zarakolu, other editor of the Belge Publishing House is under arrest at the Edirne Prison.



In his first letter sent from prison through his lawyer Özcan Kiliç, Ragip Zarakolu said: "My arrest and the accusation of membership of an illegal organization are parts of a campaign aiming to intimidate all intellectuals and democrats of Turkey and particularly to deprive the Kurds of any support."



Zarakolu said that during the raid to his house the police confiscated only few books as "evidences of crime" and found nothing about his so-called relations with any organization.



The books that confiscated as evidences of crime are the 2nd volume of Vatansiz Gazeteci (Stateless Journalist) by Dogan Özgüden, chief editor of Info-Türk, Habiba by Ender Öndes, Peace Process by Yüksel Genç, manuscripts three books about the Genocide of Armenians and the Armenian History.



He added that at the police headquarters, all his bank and credit cards were confiscated.



Reminding that he is invited as speaker to many conferences abroad, mainly next week to Berlin, later on to the US University Colgate, Los Angeles and Michigan, Zarakolu said: "The government should give them an answer explaining the real raison of my arrest."



Zarakolu concluded his letter with the following appeal:



"During my interrogation, they did not ask any question about the organization of which I was accused of being a member. They questioned me only about the books that I wrote or edited for publication, the public meetings where I spoke or attended. I think that everybody should jointly react against this campaign of arrests that turns into a collective lynching. These illegal practices should be stopped."



Liberté de la presse menacée en Turquie



par Amitiés kurdes de Bretagne



"On espérait que l’époque où les autorités donnaient aux médias des directives pour la couverture des sujets les plus sensibles était révolue en Turquie. L’engagement des principales agences de presse à observer la ligne officielle fait aujourd’hui peser de sérieuses menaces sur la liberté de l’information," (déclaration de Reporters sans frontières - RSF)



Le tout puissant Premier Ministre R.T Erdogan a convoqué les cinq plus grandes agences de presse de Turquie pour leur intimer l’ordre d’observer la ligne officielle en se conformant aux interdits de publication des autorités compétentes, ce qu’elles ont accepté : Les informations et les images seront transmises aux abonnés en tenant compte "de leur utilité sociale et de la solidarité". Ragip Zarakolu, directeur des éditions Belge (Belge Yayınları), a été arrêté ce 28 octobre 2011 à Istanbul.



Place des medias dans le " modèle turc"



Le traitement des journalistes est identique à celui des militants politiques ou associatifs qui ne pratiquent pas la politique d’alignement. Nous avons déjà signalé que depuis le 14 avril 2009, plus de 5000 personnes ont été arrêtées dont les motifs sont basés exclusivement sur des conversations téléphoniques, de propos de campagne électorale ou tirés de conférences de presse. Nous signalions également qu’au moins 70 journalistes, kurdes pour la plupart, sont, à ce jour, en prison. RSF, qui dénonce "la prise en otage" des journalistes en Turquie, rapporte ce qu’il en coûte à ceux qui refusent de s’autocensurer.



les exemples abondent : citons la journaliste du quotidien Taraf, Nese Düzel, et son rédacteur en chef Adnan Demir, poursuivis pour deux interviews d’anciens dirigeants du PKK, publiés en avril 2010, et menacés de 7 ans de prison ; une connexion régulière sur le site de l’agence de presse ANF vaut également sept ans de prison ; le fait de couvrir une opération militaire des "forces spéciales", des manifestations kurdes à Diyarbakir ou Hakkari, le procès d’un gardien de village (supplétif de l’armée turque) accusé de viol sur mineure, peut vous conduire en prison. Eren Keskin, cette avocate bien connue à Rennes, a reçu un "avertissement" du barreau d’Istanbul à la suite d’une condamnation (prison avec sursis et forte amende), en tant que directrice de "Özgür Gündem", pour avoir prononcé le mot "Kurdistan" dans une conférence prononcée... en 2004. Recours massif à la détention préventive, lourdes amendes et sanctions administratives sont les moyens couramment employés pour étrangler la liberté d’expression.



Ragip Zarakolu, éditeur et défenseur des droits de l’Homme, arrêté en Turquie



Ragip Zarakolu, directeur des éditions Belge (Belge Yayınları), a été arrêté ce 28 octobre 2011 à Istanbul ; son fils, Deniz Zarakolu, éditeur également de Belge Yayınları, ingénieur, doctorant à l’université Bilgi d’Istanbul avait déjà été mis en état d’arrestation le 4 octobre 2011 pour avoir donner une conférence sur "La Politique d’Aristote" organisée dans le cadre des activités du très légal parti pro kurde BDP, Parti pour la Paix et la Démocratie.



Né en 1948, le turc Ragip Zarakolu est l’un des fondateurs de l’Association des Droits de l’Homme en Turquie. Menant son combat, en Turquie même, depuis de nombreuses années, il n’a jamais été ménagé, ni par les militaires, ni par les islamistes, ce qui lui a valu un certain nombre de séjour en prison : déjà en 1972, la junte militaire l’avait condamné pour ses relations avec Amnesty International. Militant pour la reconnaissance du génocide arménien, il fut l’ami et le compagnon de lutte du journaliste Hrant Dink assassiné le 19 janvier 2007. Sa maison d’édition a publié plusieurs livres sur l’oppression des minorités nationales en Turquie.



Le même jour, la professeure Büşra Ersanlı, experte en droit constitutionnel et membre du Parti pour la paix et la démocratie (BDP), était interpellée avec des dizaines d’autres kurdes.



Selahattin Demirtaş, co-président du BDP, menace de boycotter la commission de révision de la constitution et exige du gouvernement une remise en liberté immédiate pour tous.



CCAF: Liberté immédiate pour Ragip Zarakolu !



Le CCAF a appris avec consternation l'arrestation scandaleuse par les autorités turques de Ragip Zarakolu, directeur des éditions Belge à Istanbul ainsi que celle de son fils Deniz. L'incarcération d'un des plus grands militants des droits de l'homme en Turquie, défenseur infatigable des minorités opprimées, des Kurdes et des Arméniens, marque un nouveau recul de la démocratie dans ce pays.



Cette arrestation symbolise le retour des vieux démons fascisants que cet État n'a jamais eu le courage d'affronter de face et traduit la résurgence des fondements politiques de ce pays bâti sur le cadavre du peuple arménien et l'étouffement de sa diversité culturelle.



En s'en prenant aujourd'hui aux rares intellectuels turcs qui se sont toujours élevés contre les turpitudes de l'hypernationalisme, Erdogan est en train de tuer l'espoir qu'avait pu faire naître chez certains l'arrivée avec l'AKP d'un pouvoir susceptible, si ce n'est de rompre avec les idéologies criminelles Jeune turque et Kémaliste, du moins de proposer des avancées pour en sortir. Or non seulement les questions kurde arménienne et chypriote ne connaissent aucune progression, mais la Turquie ne fait qu'exacerber les tensions, comme en témoigne en particulier la situation actuelle au Kurdistan.



Le CCAF dénonce et condamne ces arrestations arbitraires et plus spécifiquement celle de Ragip Zarakolu, auquel il avait remis sa médaille du courage, lors d'une cérémonie qui avait eu lieu à la mairie de Paris, présidée par Bertrand Delanoë le 24 avril 2005. Il s'inquiète de cette nouvelle montée de l'intolérance et demande la libération immédiate de Ragip Zarakolu, qui a été le premier en Turquie à oser reconnaître le génocide des Arménien et à braver les interdits sur le sujet.



Conseil National du CCAF

Conseil de Coordination des organisations Arméniennes de France

34, avenue Champs Elysées

75008 Paris

contact@ccaf.info



Lettre au Ministre français des affaires étrangères



Monsieur Alain JUPPÉ

Ministre des Affaires Étrangères

37 Quai d’Orsay 75351

Paris



Alfortville, le 2 novembre 2011



Monsieur le Ministre,



Le 28 octobre dernier, lors d’une opération de chasse à l’homme, 44 personnes ont été arrêtées en Turquie sous le prétexte d’appartenance à un mouvement appelé KCK (Union des communautés du Kurdistan). Parmi ces personnes se trouve Monsieur Ragip Zarakolu, éditeur, défenseur des Droits de l’Homme, également président du Comité de liberté de publication de l'Association des éditeurs de Turquie et Madame Büsra Ersanlı, professeur experte en droit constitutionnel et membre du Parti pour la paix et la démocratie (BDP). Le nom de Ragip Zarakolu ne vous est pas étranger puisqu’en 1994, lorsque vous étiez Ministre des Affaires Étrangères, je vous avais sollicité pour attirer votre attention sur le risque d’emprisonnement qu’encourait son épouse Ayse Zarakolu à cause de la traduction et la publication d’un livre français, « Le Tabou arménien » de Dr Yves Ternon, livre qui traitait du génocide arménien. Dans votre réponse datée du 20 juillet 1994, vous écriviez : « [...] La France continuera dans son action afin que ceux qui aspirent au progrès de la démocratie dans ce pays, telle Mme Zarakolu, l’emportent sur tous les extrémismes. »



Après le décès de son épouse, Ragip Zarakolu continue son combat, avec son fils (arrêté lui aussi le 4 octobre) et autres progressistes, pour qu’une vraie démocratie s’installe dans ce grand pays qu’est la Turquie. Il en va non seulement du bien être des citoyens turcs mais aussi de la stabilité géopolitique dans cette région agitée du Proche Orient. Ragip Zarakolu est un ami et aussi rédacteur de notre revue géopolitique Europe&Orient que vous connaissez bien. C’est à ce titre que je vous adresse cette lettre. Je vous prie Monsieur le Ministre, de faire entendre la voix de la France, pour que Ragip Zarakolu soit libéré, en attendant son éventuelle apparition devant un tribunal, si la justice turque en décidait ainsi.



Bien entendu, je reste à votre disposition pour vous apporter des renseignements supplémentaires. Veuillez agréer, Monsieur le Ministre, l'expression de mes sentiments distingués.



Jean SIRAPIAN

Président-fondateur de l’Institut Tchobanian

Directeur de Europe & Orient



Signature campaign for Zarakolu in Germany



The association « Arbeitsgruppe Anerkennung - gegen Völkermord, für Völkerverständigung e.V » (AGA) has launched the following signature campaign against Ragip Zarakolu's arrest:



Immediately release Ragip and Deniz Zarakolu – Stop the politically motivated arrest wave in Turkey!



Dear Mister President Gül,

Dear Justice Minister Ergin,



I am deeply concerned about the recent detentions of the following citizens of Turkey, who have been detained together with other intellectuals during a wave of arrests against members of the KCK, the legal parliamentary party BDP and related organizations:

Mr Ragip Zarakolu, founder and owner of the “Belge” Publishing House (Istanbul), internationally known human rights defender (founder of the Human Rights Association of Turkey, IHD; chairman of the Committee for the Freedom of Publishers of the Union of Publishers of Turkey - Türkiye Yayıncılar Birliği Yayımlama Özgürlüğü Komitesi Başkanı); detained on 28 October 2011; arrested 31 October 2011



Mr Deniz Zarakolu (Editor, author and translator of the Istanbul “Belge” publishing house and translator of academic publications for the Bilgi University; interpreter for human rights delegations from the UK and other European states; lecturer of philophy at the Kurdish BDP party’s Academy of Political Science;); detained 4 October 2011



Mr Aziz Tunç (Writer for the Istanbul “Belge” publishing house and lecturer at the BDP Academy)



I am also worried about health conditions during detention, in particular for those prisoners of Conscience who were arrested under the anti-terrorism law.



I appeal to you:



- To stop arbitrary arrests and detentions for political convictions and conscience;

- To immediately release the above mentioned persons and to review similar cases;

- To ensure full access to efficient medical treatment for all detainees and jailed persons in Turkey;

- To ensure that the basic liberties of free opinion, research, education, teaching and publishing as enshrined in international law and conventions are more effectively respected.



To sign:

http://aga-online.org/petition/detail.php?petitionId=8



BDP issues warning over arrests and new charter



The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has expressed commitment to the cross-party parliamentary panel tasked with drafting a new constitution for Turkey, but warned that it may reconsider its participation amid a massive investigation targeting its members.



“We have expended an extraordinary effort to be positive and be part of the [Constitution Conciliation] Commission. If we face attitudes that render our participation meaningless and hamper the making of a democratic constitution, our party organs will make the necessary reassessment,” BDP co-chair Gültan Kışanak said yesterday.



The BDP, which is mainly focused on the Kurdish issue, is enraged over the detention of dozens of its members as part of a probe into the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).



The party had insisted that the constitution-making process be backed up with democratic reforms in some legislation, including the anti-terror law, the penal code and the law on political parties, which it has described as “road-cleaning” for the new charter. Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek, however, has brushed aside the demand, arguing that the proposed reforms are not part of the Commission’s job.



“You cannot build a roof when the house is burning. We will continue to insist on road-cleaning at each stage of the commission work,” said Ayla Akat Ata, one of the BDP’s members on the panel.



Speaking earlier in the day, Çiçek voiced optimism that Parliament would succeed in drafting the new constitution.



Some 1,000 people and organizations have already submitted their views on the process via Parliament’s website on the new charter that went online three weeks ago, said Çiçek.



The four parties in Parliament have been given time until Nov. 15 to assign one member each to the three sub-panels to be formed under the Constitution Conciliation Commission to collect the views of nongovernmental groups, political parties outside Parliament and public institutions.



The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is expected to hold a closed meeting in Parliament tomorrow to discuss the process. Party members have shown signs of disagreements on some issues, especially proposals for constitutional citizenship, the Kurdish issue, and the first three articles of the current constitution. (Hürriyet Daily News, November 1, 2011)



Human Rights Association's Protest Against Arrests



Today (on 1 November 2011) Ragıp Zarakolu, the Human Rights Association’s Honour Board Member and Büşra Ersanlı, Lecturer at the Marmara University (Istanbul) Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations, were arrested on charges of “being a member of an illegal organisation -Koma Ciwaken Kurdistan-Kurdistan Communities League /Assembly of Turkey (KCK/TM), the KCK is the intend to organize the Kurdish people as an umbrella organization that includes Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)” under Article 314 of TPC by İstanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 14.



They had been detained with 48 people –mostly members and executives of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)- on 28 October 2011 when police raided on the BDP’s various offices in Istanbul Province, including the BDP’s Istanbul Politics Academy.



We think that Ragıp Zarakolu, who has been the chairperson of the Committee of Freedom of Publishing of the Publishers Union of Turkey, became a target of the authorities after he had been awarded by the founders of the Armenian Human Rights Association with the Hakop Meghapart Medal of Honour Lifetime Achievement Award. He was awarded for his contribution to the publication of the Armenian history, culture and literature in Turkey.



Büşra Ersanlı, a member of the Constitution Committee and the Party Assembly of the BDP was arrested in connection with the lecture she had performed in BDP’s Istanbul Politics Academy.



This is not only an attack on the freedom of organisation and of expression but also on the attempts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish Issue.



We are seriously concerned with the physical and psychological integrity of the pre-trial detainees that were arrested on 1 November 2011. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release Zarakolu, Ersanlı and others and put an end to any kind of harassment – including at the judicial level against them.



Human Rights Association (IHD)

Chairperson

Öztürk Türkdoğan



Human Rights Association (IHD)

Tel: 00 90 312 230 35 67-68-69

Fax: 00 90 312 230 17 07

E-mail: ihd@ihd.org.tr

Web: http://www.ihd.org.tr/english/

Address: Necatibey Caddesi 82-11, Kizilay, Cankaya 06430

Ankara, Turkey



Zarakolu and Ersanli arrested by court



A Turkish court on Tuesday decided to put under arrest 44 people, including Publisher Ragip Zarakolu and Prof. Busra Ersanli, on charges of membership in the so-called KCK (Union of Kurdistan Communities). They were among about 50 suspects detained over the weekend in a crackdown on the same charges.





After the interrogation at the police, all 50 persons were taken to the Istanbul Courthouse on Monday morning. The prosecutor decided to take 47 of them to court with the demand to arrest them.





According to lawyer Ercan Kanar, they were interrogated by 12 different prosecutors.





The interrogation was carried out for more than one day under torture-like conditions without sleeping. At the waiting room, 47 detainees had to share only few chairs in turn.





Ninety-six people were arrested as part of another operation against the KCK in İstanbul earlier this month.





The KCK investigation started in December 2009 and a large number of Kurdish politicians, including several officials from the BDP, have been detained as part of the case since then.



The suspects have been accused of various crimes, including membership in a terrorist organization, aiding and abetting a terrorist organization and attempting to destroy the country's unity and integrity. The suspects include mayors and municipal officials from the BDP, which has said the investigation is the government's method of suppressing its politicians, denying any links between its deputies and terrorist organizations.





“It will be a mass trial with a 150 people in total. We undoubtedly will have to wait for a year before the trial,” said lawyer Özcan Kılıç, who is representing Ersanlı and Zarakolu.



Zarakolu was arrested despite the lack of any documents or information that would indicate that he was involved in a crime, Kılıç said.



Zarakolu is the head of the Turkish Publishers’ Union’s Committee for the Freedom of Publishing, as well as the recipient of numerous prestigious awards pertaining to freedom of expression.



“Ragıp gave a speech at the academy of the BDP [Peace and Democracy Party], which was a legal political party in 2010. This was a meeting open to the public and attended by 150 people in Istanbul. He stands accused of being a member of the KCK due to the speech he gave at this meeting. There are no sound recordings anywhere; they point to a news piece that appeared in the Dicle news agency,” Kılıç said.



Ersanlı was also arrested because she gave lectures at the BDP Academy, he added.



“Figures who dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights like Zarakolu and Ersanlı are getting arrested and imprisoned through the use of the Kurdish issue as a pretext. We’re at a point where words fail,” Kılıç said.



Ersanlı, a political science professor at Istanbul’s Marmara University, is also a member of the BDP Assembly and has a seat on the party’s charter preparation commission, which is working toward drafting a new constitution. The BDP is primarily focused on the Kurdish issue.



Protests in front of the courthouse



While academic Ersanlı and human rights defender Zarakolu gave their statements at the Beşiktaş (Istanbul) Courthouse, hundreds of people protested the latest wave of police custodies in front of the building.



The demonstrators had lots of renowned supporters such as Kurdish politician Sebahat Tuncel, columnist Yıldırım Türker, widow of slain Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, Rakel Dink; journalist Özgür Mumcu, academic Koray Çalışkan, Gencay Gürsoy, Necmiye Alpay, Celalettin Can, President of the Press Institute Association Ferai Tınç, Provincial Chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Oğuz Kaan Salıcı, Chair of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) Alper Taş and lawyer İbrahim Çiçek on behalf of the People's Democracy Congress. Moreover, many of Ersanlı's students joined the protest. They said that they were going to persevere in front of the courthouse until a decision about the people in custody would have been taken.



The group of protestors held Ersanlı's book entitled "Power and History" and chanted slogans like "Teacher Büşra is not alone", "Long live the people's brotherhood", "We are all Kurds, we are all KCK members" or "Peace cannot be struck with handcuffs".





Meanwhile, a large group of Turkish intellectuals, mainly academics, have launched a petition campaign to protest the detention of Professor Ersanlı and to call for her release. A joint statement by the group said the detention of Ersanlı, who has for years been working for sustainable peace and a new constitution in Turkey, led to outrage among all circles in the country that believe in the democratic state of law.



“The detention of Professor Büşra Ersanlı is a heavy blow dealt to Turkey's efforts towards a real democracy with equality, peace, social justice and academic and political freedoms. We demand the immediate release of Professor Büşra Ersanlı and all other jailed politicians, academics and journalists who work for peace, democratic rights and freedoms in our country. The detention and arrest of people without any concrete and serious evidence under the primitive mentality of ‘though crimes' is against human rights,” the statement said.



Among the intellectuals who have signed the joint statement are Ahmet İnsel, Ali Bayramoğlu, Cengiz Aktar, Cengiz Çandar, Hülya Gülbahar, Murat Belge, Mithat Sancar, Oral Çalışlar, Ümit Cizre, Baskın Oran, Fuat Keyman and Yaşar Kemal.





IPA: Turkish Freedom to Publish Hero Jailed





Publisher Ragıp Zarakolu, recipient of the 2008 IPA Freedom to Publish Prize, was arrested on Friday, 28 October 2011 in Istanbul. The 14th High Criminal Court in Beşiktaş, Istanbul decided earlier today, following a 28-hour long hearing, to incarcerate the man whom many view as Turkey’s most prominent freedom of expression and minority rights activist. In particular, he is being accused of being a member of an illegal organisation under the anti-terror legislation. IPA considers his imprisonment to be in violation of Turkey’s international treaty obligations. IPA therefore demands that he be released immediately until the trial begins.



Ragıp Zarakolu is widely considered as a freedom to publish hero. One of Ragıp Zarakolu’s son, Deniz Zarakolu, was also arrested on 2 October 2011 after having lectured on political philosophy at the (legal) BDP party political science academy, and has been detained since at the Edirne F-type (high security) prison. These arrests are part of a larger crackdown initiated in 2009 and still on-going against Kurdish political parties. IPA is concerned that Ragıp and Deniz Zarakolu’s imprisonment, alongside several other writers and intellectuals like Professor Büşra Ersanlı, is in violation of Turkey’s obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).



Says Bjørn Smith-Simonsen, Chair of IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee (FTPC): “October is an extremely sad month for freedom to publish in Turkey and worldwide. Ragıp Zarakolu is the pride of publishing. He is the limelight of freedom to publish in Turkey. He is a tireless human and minority rights activist. Up to now, his quest for truth, reconciliation and justice has been unstoppable. This man does not belong to prison, he deserves a Nobel Prize. We demand that Ragıp Zarakolu, the recipient of IPA’s Freedom to Publish Prize be released immediately. The trial is likely to begin in a year’s time only. Ragıp Zarakolu’s health is not good. We fear that he will not stand his detention conditions in the terrible F-type (high security) prisons. This is an additional reason for the Turkish authorities to show compassion and release him immediately”.



Jens Bammel, IPA’s Secretary General, adds: “As the EU Commission’s 2011 Turkey Progress report stresses, legal amendments to the Turkish anti-terror legislation are very much needed to comply with various rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. We too have witnessed in the last two years an increasing use of the anti-terror legislation to stifle freedom to publish in Turkey. On behalf of the International Publishing community, I will seek to meet as soon as possible the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations Office in Geneva[1] to raise our serious concerns with the Turkish authorities, urging his government to release publisher Zarakolu immediately. Already in March the authorities had condemned Zarakolu for spreading propaganda under the anti-terror legislation. Now they go one step further in accusing him of being a member of an illegal organisation. The rule of law and the principles of freedom of expression must prevail”.



NOTES FOR EDITORS:



More about Ragıp Zarakolu:



Ragıp Zarakolu is a Turkish publisher born in 1948. Since starting his publishing house Belge with his wife Ayşe Nur in 1977, he has been subjected to harassment from the Turkish authorities. Ragıp Zarakolu refused to abandon his campaign for freedom of thought, striving “for an attitude of respect for different thoughts and cultures to become widespread in Turkey”. Over the years, the charges brought by the Turkish authorities against Ragıp Zarakolu and his wife resulted in imprisonment, confiscation and destruction of books, and the imposition of heavy fines, endangering the survival of the Belge publishing house. Ragıp Zarakolu is the chairperson of the Freedom to Publish Committee of the Turkish Publishers Association (TPA/TYB). He is also, among others, a founding member of the Turkish Human Rights Association.



Throughout his publishing career Ragıp Zarakolu has been singled out by the conservative elements of the judiciary because of his decades of struggle for freedom of expression, and particularly his promotion of minority rights and his quest for truth and justice. Ragıp Zarakolu's work as a publisher and his wholehearted support of freedom to publish have often brought him into conflict with the authorities and endangered his personal safety. His publishing house Belge was fire bombed in the mid-1990s. Despite the string of attacks, he has persistently continued to tackle contentious issues, thus encouraging healthy debate and democratization in Turkey.



Throughout his life, Ragıp Zarakolu has been subjected to a series of long, time-consuming and expensive court hearings for shedding light on controversial issues. A publisher in the courts is a publisher who spends time and money away from his work. Like a terrible disease, such procedures can drain time and energy. The court case in itself becomes the punishment for the publisher.



Ragıp Zarakolu, as recently as March 2011, was condemned by an Istanbul court to paying a TL 16,660 (€ 8,330) fine for publishing N. Mehmet Güler's "KCK File / Global State and Kurds without State". N. Mehmet Güler was also condemned to a suspended 15-month prison sentence. Both Zarakolu and Güler were accused under article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law of “spreading propaganda” for an illegal organization, the banned Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). The book, which was banned immediately after its release at the Diyarbakir Book Fair in May 2010, remains banned. IPA had condemned their convictions and called for their acquittal when appeal time would come.



More about Freedom to Publish in Turkey:



Following the 25 October 2011 ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in Altuğ Taner Akçam v. Turkey concluding that Article 301 TPC as amended in 2008 still violates Article 10 of the ECHR, IPA supports its Turkish member’s request that Article 301 be repealed. Following the recent explosion of obscenity cases under Article 226 TPC[2], IPA also supports its Turkish member’s request that the Prime Ministerial Board for the Protection of Children from Harmful Publications be disbanded as it insists on banning literature for adults, which the European Court of Human Rights has described as “belonging to the European literary heritage”.



IPA further notes with concern the ruling made by Istanbul’s 14th High Criminal Court in August 2011 that the printer of a book be considered “like its author”, condemning the owner of Berdan Printing House, Sadik Daşdöğen, to a 9-month prison sentence in absentia for printing a book that included interviews of Abdhullah Öcalan. Sadik Daşdöğen was convicted of “spreading propaganda for an illegal organisation”. The publishers had already opposed such a move in the early 1980s. If the printers were held responsible for the books they print, the consequences on freedom of expression and freedom to publish in Turkey could be severe.



To curb the flow of freedom of expression and freedom to publish trials in Turkey, Turkish



legislation (Articles 125, 216, 301 […] TPC, Law 5816, Anti-terror legislation, etc.) and practice should be amended to meet international standards, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as Turkey was reminded of by its peers when it came under review during the 8th Session of the Universal Periodical Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council in May 2010 in Geneva. To see the joint submission on Turkey to the UPR Working Group of IPA, PEN International and Index on Censorship, please go to:



http://www.internationalpublishers.org/images/stories/MembersOnly/FTPC/UPR/turkey%20upr%20_3_.pdf



More about IPA:



The International Publishers Association (IPA) is the global non-governmental organisation representing all aspects of book and journal publishing worldwide. Established in 1896, IPA's mission is to promote and protect publishing and to raise awareness for publishing as a force for cultural and political advancement worldwide. IPA is an industry association with a human rights mandate. IPA currently has 65 member associations in 53 countries.



For further information, please contact:



Alexis Krikorian

Director, FTP

IPA

krikorian@internationalpublishers.org

www.internationalpublishers.org







PEN International's Campaign



The arrest this weekend of publisher Ragip Zarakolu, one of Turkey’s most prominent freedom of expression and minority rights activists and a leading member of PEN Turkey is greeted with alarm and concern by PEN International. Arrested at the same time was Professor Büsra Ersanli, of the faculty of Political Science at Marmara University. The arrests are part of a larger crackdown initiated in 2009 and still ongoing against Kurdish political parties. PEN is concerned that Zarakolu and Ersanli, alongside several other writers and journalists also detained under this crackdown, are held in denial of their rights to peaceful freedom of expression and association.



Ragip Zarakolu and Professor Büsra Ersanli were arrested on 28 October 2011. Forty one people had also been arrested around the same time under what is known as the Democratic Society Congress (Koma Civaken Kurdistan - KCK) operation that has been under way since 2009 leading to several hundred, some say over 1,000, arrests and trials. The KCK is seen as its civil/political wing front for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and thus also illegal.



Human rights groups monitoring the operation have reported concerns over a number of areas including lengthy pre-trial detention without bail (some have been held pending trial since the start of the operation in April 2009), that the charges may be politically motivated, and that fair trial standards are being ignored. Trade union and human rights activists, mayors and local politicians are among those arrested. For more on the KCK arrests read a report by the Kurdistan Human Rights Project..



Among the organisations being linked to the KCK is the Peace and Democracy Party (Barish ve Demokrasi Partisi - BDP). Thirty BDP representatives took their seats in the Turkish parliament on 1 October, among them longstanding Kurdish rights activist, Leyla Zana, a former PEN case. The BDP was created after the Democratic Society Party (DTP) was forcibly closed down in 2009 on accusation of affiliation to the PKK. The BDP has made it clear that is not affiliated to the PKK and that it does not influence it political policy. Despite this, BDP and former DTP members have been arrested and harassed. Some activists claim that over 1,000 have been arrested on charges ranging from speaking Kurdish, making statements critical of the government, as well as having links to the KCK. The United Nations High Commission on Refugees has recently issued an analysis of the BDP and events since its formation in early 2010.



Background



Professor Büsra Ersanli is an academic based at Istanbul’s Marmara university’s Faculty of Political Science and International Relations. She is an expert on constitutional law and at the time of her arrest was working with the BDP’s Constitutional Commission.



Ragip Zarakolu is a well known political activist who has been fighting for freedom of expression in Turkey for over 30 years, publishing books on issues such as minority and human rights. As one of the 50 writers chosen to represent the struggle for freedom of expression since 1960 for the Writers in Prison Committee's 50th Anniversary Campaign - Because Writers Speak Their Minds. In the days running up to his arrest, he had been campaigning for the release of his son, Deniz Zarakolu, who had been arrested three weeks earlier on 7 October, also under the KCK operation. Deniz is a PhD student of political thought and has translated academic works including Thomas Hobbes’ De Cive. See PEN alert.



Among the early KCK operation arrests was Muharrem Erbey, lawyer, writer and Turkey PEN member, arrested in December 2009, who is still detained, and his trial is underway. Representatives from PEN Centres have observed his trial, See alert.



Please send appeals:



Expressing alarm at the arrests of Ragip Zarakolu, Professor Büsra Ersanli and Deniz Zarakolu, as well as the continued detention of Muharrem Erbey, and other writers and journalists accused for their affiliation with Kurdish political parties.



Referring to concerns that the arrests flout international standards protecting the rights to freedom of expression and association as guaranteed by both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the European Convention on Human and Democratic Rights, to which Turkey is a signatory.



Raising concerns that the trial are politically biased and do not conform to fair trial standards, and seeking assurances that these concerns are addressed as a matter of urgency.



Send appeals to:



Mr Sadullah Ergin

Minister of Justice

06669 Kizilay

Ankara

Turkey

Fax: 00 90 312 419 3370

Also to the Turkish ambassador in your country.



RSF condamne avec vigueur l'arrestation de Ragip Zarakolu



Reporters sans frontières condamne avec vigueur l'arrestation de Ragip Zarakolu, chroniqueur pour le quotidien de gauche Günlünk Evrensel et directeur des Editions Belges, au cours d'une rafle contre des militants pro-kurdes dans la nuit de vendredi 28 octobre 2011 à Istanbul. Une nouvelle fois, l'utilisation abusive de la loi antiterroriste sert à faire taire les activistes sur la question difficile des minorités. L'organisation demande sa libération immédiate.



La vague d'arrestation lancée dans le cadre de l'affaire du KCK (Union des communautés du Kurdistan, branche du PKK, Parti des travailleurs kurdes, interdit en Turquie) vendredi soir à Istanbul a touché une quarantaine de personnes.



Aucun motif officiel d'arrestation n'a été pour l'instant établi. Selon son avocat Özcan Kiliç, il a été interrogé sur plusieurs articles publiés dans la revue pro-kurde Özgur Gündem, sur des voyages effectués à l'étranger entre 2001 et 2011 et sur sa participation à l'inauguration de l'Académie politique d'Istanbul, perquisitionnée le vendredi 28 octobre). Il a été entendu par le procureur d'Istanbul le 31 octobre.



Accusé en août 2010 de propagande terroriste pour avoir publié l'ouvrage de Mehemt Güler « Le dossier KCK : L'Etat global et les Kurdes sans Etat », Ragip Zarakolu avait fait appel de sa condamnation. Son dossier est depuis examiné en cour de cassation.



2 août 2010 Un nouveau procès contre les voix de la minorité kurde



Reporters sans frontières dénonce l'ouverture d'un nouveau procès à l‘encontre de Mehmet Güler, auteur du livre « Le dossier KCK : L'Etat global et les Kurdes sans Etat » et de son éditeur, Ragip Zarakolu.



Ils seront jugés le 30 septembre prochain par la 10ème chambre de la cour d'assises d'Istanbul pour « publication de déclarations du PKK » (Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan) et « propagande du PKK ». S'ils sont reconnus coupables, ils encourent un minimum de huit mois de prison. Le PKK est en lutte armée contre la Turquie depuis 1984 et placé sur la liste des organisations terroristes par le gouvernement.



L'ouvrage d'investigation journalistique « Le dossier KCK : L'Etat global et les Kurdes sans Etat », a été publié en mai dernier par les Editions Belges, sous la direction de Ragip Zarakolu. Le KCK désigne le système politique du PKK, qui a pour projet d'établir un régime de « confédéralisme démocratique » en Turquie. Le livre a été saisi par la cour d'assises d'Istanbul dès sa parution, à l'occasion de la Foire de livre, à Diyarbakir (sud-est de la Turquie).



Le procureur Hakan Karaali a réclamé la condamnation du journaliste et de l'éditeur en vertu des articles 6 et 7 de la Loi antiterroriste (LAT). C'est en vertu de ce texte que de nombreux journalistes des médias kurdes sont poursuivis et condamnés à de lourdes peines.



L'éditeur Ragip Zarakolu a affirmé que l'ouvrage avait été publié afin d'assurer « le droit à l'information des lecteurs » et de pouvoir présenter « une autre version des faits ». Mehmet Güler affirme avoir « évité d'employer un langage qui soit au profit ou au détriment de quiconque ». « Les partis politiques des Kurdes sont interdits. Des anciens ministres et maires, des intellectuels, des militants des droits de l'homme et des avocats sont incarcérés. Les citoyens ont le droit de savoir ce qui se passe. J'ai rédigé ce livre en toute objectivité », s'est défendu l'auteur.



Ragip Zarakolu et Mehmet Güler avaient récemment été jugés en raison du livre « Des décisions à prendre plus difficiles que la mort ». Le 10 juin dernier, la cour d'assises d'Istanbul avait condamné Mehmet Güler à 1 an et 3 mois de prison pour « propagande du PKK » et avait relaxé Ragip Zarakolu. Les deux hommes craignent à présent le verdict de ce nouveau procès.



Reporters sans frontières s'inquiète de la situation des médias et de la liberté de la presse en Turquie. Les pressions judiciaires et physiques sont de plus en plus fréquentes sur les professionnels des médias, et en particulier sur les médias kurdes.



L'inquiétude de Reporters sans frontières porte également sur les nouvelles résolutions, concernant la diffusion des informations à la télévision, adoptées par le gouvernement turc le 15 juillet.



Le ministre de l'Intérieur, Besir Atalay, a annoncé que le haut conseil de l'audiovisuel avait déterminé, avec l'accord des responsables des chaînes nationales, que « certains principes devaient être suivis en situation de risques terroristes et autres circonstances extraordinaires ». Selon ces « principes », les chaînes de télévision s'engagent à limiter la durée et la fréquence des flashs d'information.



Une autre résolution, qui ressemble surtout à une mise en garde à l'adresse des médias, concerne la responsabilité des chaînes dans la diffusion « d'émissions, interviews et déclarations, qui semblent donner raison aux actes terroristes, susceptibles d'être interprétées comme de la propagande des personnes à l'origine d'attentats ou encourager de futures attaques » .



Le ministre de l'Intérieur s'est félicité de ces « positions très décisives concernant le terrorisme ». L'Association contemporaine des journalistes a, elle, critiqué l'adoption de ces résolutions, « susceptibles d'entraîner des abus ».



Reporters sans frontières craint que ces formulations imprécises, qui laissent libre cours à de multiples interprétations, ne poussent les chaînes d'information à l'autocensure. Ces résolutions, qui viennent compléter la phase judiciaire de la LAT, risquent effectivement de fournir aux autorités de nouveaux prétextes pour procéder à des arrestations et engager des procès arbitraires.



Appel du Collectif 1971 à la solidarité avec Ragip Zarakolu



Dans le cadre de l'opération policière contre le KCK (Union des communautés du Kurdistan), la police turque a arrêté le 28 octobre 2011 à Istanbul, Ragip Zarakolu, proéminent défenseur des droits de l'Homme et directeur de la maison d'édition Belge. Zarakolu est également président du Comité de liberté de publication de l'Association des éditeurs de Turquie.



Son fils, Deniz Zarakolu, éditeur de la Maison d'édition Belge, avait déjà été mis en état d'arrestation le 4 octobre 2011 à Istanbul.



Zarakolu a publié plusieurs livres sur l'oppression des minorités nationales en Turquie et sur le génocide des Arméniens.



Le même jour, dans le cadre de la même opération policière, la professeure Büşra Ersanlı, experte en droit constitutionnel et membre du Parti pour la paix et la démocratie (BDP), a été arrêtée avec des dizaines d'opposants kurdes.



Les arrestations massives visant ce parti pro-kurde se poursuivent de façon frénétique.



En tant qu'associations issues de l'immigration politique en provenance de Turquie, nous sommes connaissons la courageuse et exceptionnelle contribution de Zarakolu à la defense des droits fondamentaux et des libertés des peuples arménien, assyrien, kurde et turc.



Ragip Zarakolu et tous les autres défenseurs des droits de l'Homme et des peuples doivent tout de suite être mis en liberté.



L'Initiative d'Ankara pour la liberté de Pensée vient de lancer une campagne de signature: Ca suffit!



Nous appelons tous les démocrates belges et européens à soutenir cette campagne.



COLLECTIF 1971

L'Association des Arméniens Démocrates de Belgique

L'Institut Assyrien de Belgique

L'Institut Kurde de Bruxelles

La Fondation Info-Türk



Tél: 02-736 78 95

E-mail: collectif1971@scarlet.be



Ragip Zarakolu's detention stirs NGO anger



The detention of prominent intellectual, author and publisher Ragıp Zarakolu on suspected charges of membership in an illegal organization have prompted a huge reaction from a variety of progressive nongovernmental organizations. Turkey Publishers’ Union, the Contemporary Journalists’ Association (ÇGD) and the Human



Rights Association (İHD) called for Zarakolu’s release after he was detained in an Oct. 29 raid for alleged involvement in the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).



His detention came one day after approximately 70 people, including Marmara University academic Büşra Ersanlı, were also detained for alleged KCK involvement.



“Ragıp Zarakolu is a writer and publisher who works for the freedom of publishing and who defends the right to the freedom of expression. He has been tried dozens of times because of this stand,” a statement from the Turkish Publishers’ Union said yesterday. “We find it very wrong and believe it is fateful … for our democracy that journalists, columnists, writers and publishers are being detained through mass detentions.”



The statement also said Zarakolu’s lawyer, Özcan Kılıç, had not yet been informed about the nature of the accusations against the publisher.



ÇGD Chairman Ahmet Abakay said the detention of Zarakolu, who is also the head of the Turkey Publishers’ Union’s Freedom of Publishing Committee, was indicative of how the country’s present atmosphere was damaging press freedom and freedom of expression.



“While we are waiting for journalists and writers who are in prison to be released and for measures restricting press freedom and freedom of speech to be removed, these new detentions and arrests are unacceptable,” Abakay said. Hundreds of people, including elected mayors, are already on trial on charges of ties to the PKK. (Hürriyet Daily News, October 30, 2011)



Appel urgent de Genève pour la solidarité avec Zarakolu



Le 28 octobre 2011, dans une nouvelle vague d’arrestation, la police turque a arrêté à Istanbul M. Ragip Zarakolu, journaliste, défenseur des droits humains bien connu, directeur de la maison d'édition Belge[1] et Président du Comité de liberté de publication de l'Association des éditeurs de Turquie, Mme Büşra Ersanlı, professeur du droit constitutionnel et membre du Parti pour la paix et la démocratie (BDP) ainsi que des dizaines de personnalités kurdes. Ces arrestations s’ajoutent à plus de 4500 membres et dirigeants du BDP arrêtés au cours de ces six derniers mois dont 1600 d’entre eux ont été incarcérés. Parmi ces derniers figurent également Deniz Zarakolu, fils du Ragip Zarakolu, et l’auteur Aziz Tunç.



Contexte





Ces arrestations font partie d’une campagne de terrorisme d’Etat du gouvernement turc, lancée lors des dernières élections en Turquie (juin 2009), pour réduire au silence ses opposants, en particulier toute personne défendant les droits fondamentaux du peuple kurde. Pourtant, habilement transformées en référendum sur la nouvelle constitution à écrire, le parti AKP de M. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, le Premier Ministre, a largement remporté ces élections. C’était aussi un succès pour le BDP (parti pro-kurde) qui, malgré tous les obstacles (arrestations massives arbitraires, procès politiques, loi électorale défavorable l’obligeant à présenter des candidats indépendants, etc.), a obtenu 36 sièges. C’est ce qui aurait rendu furieux M. Erdogan, étant donné qu’il a changé de discours à l’instar de ses prédécesseurs pour qui la question kurde en Turquie « n’existe pas », surtout « si l’on évite d’en parler » !



Plus grand prison mondiale pour les défenseurs des droits humains, journalistes et élus





On compte actuellement dans les prisons turques plus de 70 journalistes incarcérés, sans parler des milliers de procès intentés à l’encontre des journalistes, écrivains et politiciens.





Depuis le printemps 2009, les arrestations arbitraires se comptent par milliers, mais aussi des incarcérations parmi les rangs du BDP. En effet, ce dernier paie le plus grand tribut à cet égard, étant donné qu’il est quasiment décimé avec au moins 4000 incarcérations dans ses rangs parmi lesquelles on trouve des parlementaires, Maires, Conseilles municipaux, dirigeants de sections et cadres dudit parti. A titre d’exemple, seul dans la province de Sirnak, 500 membres du BDP dont cinq Maires, quatre Maires-adjoints et 15 Conseillers municipaux se trouvent en prison.



Ceux et celles qui sont en liberté, pour le moment, ne sont nullement épargné-e-s. Le chef-Procureur de Diyarbakir a récemment inculpé (mi-octobre 2011) trois députées du BDP, dont Mme Leyla Zana, lauréate du Prix Sakharov des droits de l’homme, pour lesquelles il demande une peine de prison de 148 ans dont 45 ans pour Mme Zana ! Leur crime ? Avoir participé à des meetings non autorisés et « avoir fait la propagande en faveur d’une organisation terroriste (PKK) ».



Parmi les défenseurs des droits de l’homme opprimés, le cas de M. Muharrem Erbey, Vice-Président national de l’Association des droits de l’homme de Turquie et Président de la section de Diyarbakir, est illustratif. Arrêté le 24 décembre 2009 à 4h30 du matin chez lui par une unité anti-terroriste, il est incarcéré depuis dont l’acte d’accusation a été rendu récemment en public. Son crime : avoir dénoncé les violations des droits humains dans sa région auprès des instances européennes et onusiennes des droits de l’homme !





Dysfonctionnement du système juridique turc et méthode d’Erdogan





M. Thomas Hammarberg, Commissaire aux droits de l’homme du Conseil de l’Europe, qui s’est rendu récemment en Turquie, estime que « Le système judiciaire turc présente de longue date des dysfonctionnements systémiques qui compromettent la jouissance des droits de l’homme et des libertés fondamentales. » Selon son analyse, « La Cour européenne des droits de l’homme a rendu plus de 2 200 arrêts contre la Turquie entre 1995 et 2010. Près de 700 concernaient des violations du droit à un procès équitable et plus de 500 des atteintes au droit à la liberté et à la sûreté. (…) Un autre aspect de ce problème complexe est l’imprécision de la législation turque au sujet de certaines infractions, en particulier celles afférentes à des liens présumés avec des organisations criminelles. (…) une attention insuffisante est portée à la qualité des preuves dès le début de la procédure. Cette combinaison de facteurs fait que la simple ouverture de poursuites peut devenir – en elle-même – une sanction. Il en résulte un effet inhibiteur très préoccupant. »[2] <#_ftn2>



C’est décidément la procédure judiciaire qui constitue la méthode d’intimidation de M. Erdogan. En effet, les six députés d’origine kurde membres du BDP élu en juin 2009 se trouvent toujours derrières les barreaux. L’un d’eux, M. Hatip Dicle qui a déjà purgé 10 ans de prison avec Mme L. Zana suite à un autre procès politique en 1994, a été remplacé par un membre du parti de M. Erdogan (Mme Oya Eronat).



Un journaliste turc écrivait cet été que M. Erdogan garderait dans sa poche une liste de 800 à 1400 personnes à emprisonner parmi les quelles des politiciens. Cette information est confirmée non seulement par la présidence du BDP, mais aussi dans la pratique comme relatée ci-dessus. D’ailleurs, M. Hasip Kaplan, Vice-Président du groupe parlementaire du BDP, dénonçait récemment la politique de guerre menée par M. Erdogan et les 200 000 (deux cents mille) procès en cours concernant la liberté d’opinion et d’expression.





Il faut souligner par ailleurs que, selon la législation turque actuelle, en cas de procès à leur encontre, les élus municipaux sont exclus d’office de leur fonction durant toute la procédure judiciaire par le Ministre de l’Intérieur.



C’est dans ce contexte que survient l’arrestation de M. Ragip Zarakolu, éminent intellectuel turc. Cela signifie que M. Erdogan ne supporte plus les critiques à l’encontre de son gouvernement. Il a choisi apparemment la « méthode judiciaire » pour éliminer ses adversaires politiques. C’est aussi sa réponse apparemment à une solution pacifique et démocratique à la question kurde et à la reconnaissance du génocide arménien.



Il est à déplorer que ce personnage et son parti, pourtant notoirement ennemie des droits de l’homme, qui est promu par l’Occident comme exemple de démocratie aux peuples arabes.





Nous appelons les Etats, institutions, Parlementaires et organisations qui respectent et œuvrent pour l’application effective des normes internationales sur la liberté d’opinion et d’expression d’intervenir d’urgence en faveur de la libération de M. Ragip Zarakolu et tous les prisonniers politiques en Turquie.



Maison Populaire de Genève



Case postale 1141

1211 Genève

http://www.assmp.org





Publisher and Human Rights Defender Ragip Zarakolu Arrested



Within the framework of the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) affair, the Turkish police detained Ragip Zarakolu, a well-known human rights activist and director of Belge Publishing House, in Turkey. Zarakolu is also the chairman of the Publishers Association Freedom to Publish Committee of Turkey.



Zarakolu was taken into custody on October 28, 2011, during a large-scale manhunt in Istanbul against Kurdish activists.



His son, Deniz Zarakolu, editor of the Belge Publishing House, was arrested on October 4.



Ragip Zarakolu’s Belge Publishing House has published numerous books as well on the oppression of the national minorities in Turkey as the Armenian Genocide.



Earlier on same day, within the same man-hunt, Professor Büşra Ersanlı, a constitutional law expert and a member of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party's (BDP) intra-party constitutional commission, was detained along with dozens of others.



Counterterrorism units launched simultaneous operations against suspected KCK members early on Friday and detained 41 people. Police raided various BDP offices in İstanbul as well, including the BDP İstanbul Politics Academy and several BDP branches.



Ersanlı, who has been taking part in the BDP's preparations for a draft constitution, is also among the detainees. Sources said the number of detainees may increase as the operation is still under way.



BDP Co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş strongly criticized the new wave of detentions on Friday. “We will not be able to talk about a healthy constitution-making process if we go ahead like this. We will have no party member who can join efforts for [drafting] a new constitution,” Demirtaş said.





Who is Ragip Zarakolu?



Ragıp Zarakolu was born in 1948 on Büyükada close to Istanbul. At that time his father, Remzi Zarakolu, was the district governor on that island. Ragıp Zarakolu grew up with members of the Greek and Armenian minority in Turkey. In 1968 he began writing for "Ant" and "Yeni Ufuklar" magazines.



In 1971 a military junta assumed power in Turkey. Ragıp Zarakolu was tried on charges of secret relations to Amnesty International. He spent five months in prison, before the charges were dropped. In 1972 Ragıp Zarakolu was sentenced to 2 years' imprisonment for his article in the journal Ant (Pledge) on Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnam War. He stayed in Selimiye Prison (Istanbul) and was released in 1974 following a general amnesty.[2] On his release Zarakolu refused to abandon his campaign for freedom of thought, striving for an "attitude of respect for different thoughts and cultures to become widespread in Turkey".



The Belge Publishing House, established in Istanbul in 1977 by Zarakolu and his wife Ayşenur, has been a focus for Turkish censorship laws ever since. Charges brought against the couple resulted in imprisonment for both Ayşenur and Ragıp Zarakolu, the wholesale confiscation and destruction of books and the imposition of heavy fines.



In 1979 Ragıp Zarakolu was one of the founders of the daily newspaper Demokrat and took responsibility for the news desk on foreign affairs. The paper was banned with the military coup of 12 September 1980 and Ragıp Zarakolu was shortly imprisoned in 1982 in connection with this position in Demokrat. He was banned from leaving the country between 1971 and 1991.[2] In 1986 he became one of 98 founders of the Human Rights Association in Turkey (HRA or in Turkish IHD). For some time Ragıp Zarakolu chaired the Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN in Turkey. Currently (beginning of 2007) he chairs the Committee for Freedom of Publication in the Union of Publishers.



Until the military coup of 12 September 1980 Belge Publishing House mostly published academic and theoretical books. Afterwards Belge started to publish a series of books written by political prisoners. The series of 35 books consisted of poems, shorts stories, novels. The list of publications (see a list of selected publications below) include more than 10 books (translations) of Greek literature, 10 books on the Armenian Question and five books related to the Jews in Turkey. There are also a number of books dealing with the Kurds in Turkey.[2]



He also has published several books on the Armenian Genocide,[3] such as George Jerjian's The Truth Will Set Us Free: Armenians and Turks Reconciled and Professor Dora Sakayan's An Armenian Doctor in Turkey: Garabed Hatcherian: My Smyrna Ordeal of 1922 — which brought new criminal charges in 2005.[4] In November 2007 Zarakolu published David Gaunt's book "Massacres, resistance, protectors" about the Assyrian Genocide in Turkish ("Katliamlar, Direniş, Koruyucular").[5]



In 1995 the Belge Publishing House offices were firebombed by a far right group, forcing it to be housed in a cellar. Since his wife's death in 2002, Zarakolu continued to face further prosecutions.



Recent court cases against Ragıp Zarakolu and Belge Publishing House (until her death Ayşenur Zarakolu stood trial instead of him) include[6]:



2002

On 21 March Istanbul State Security Court (SSC) No. 1 heard the case of Ayşenur Zarakolu on charges of having disseminated separatist propaganda by publishing a book by Hüseyin Turhallı, former chairman of the Democracy Party (DEP) for Diyarbakır province, entitled Songs of Freedom. During the hearing her husband Ragıp Zarakolu stated that this would have been the 34th court case against his wife, if she had been alive. On 4 June Istanbul SSC dropped the charges against her after establishing that Hüseyin Turhallı was living in France and Ayşenur Zarakolu had died in January.



2003

On 3 December Istanbul SSC acquitted Ragıp Zarakolu from charges under Article 312 TPC. The trial had been opened for his translation of the book The Regime of 12 September on Trial, written by Dr. Gazi Çağlar from Hannover University.



2004

On 10 September, Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 14 (former Istanbul SSC No. 4) concluded the case launched against publisher Ragıp Zarakolu, owner of the newspaper Ülkede Özgür Gündem (Free Agenda in the Country), Ali Çelik Kasimogullari and editor-in-chief of the newspaper Mehmet Çolak in connection with an article titled Sana Ne (What’s that to you) that was published on 8 March 2003. The court sentenced Kasimogullari to a fine of TL 3.3 billion and Mehmet Çolak to 6 months’ imprisonment and a fine of TL 1.65 billion under Article 7/2 of the LFT (making propaganda for an illegal organization). Çolak’s sentence was commuted to a total fine of TL 3.73 billion. Zarakolu’s file was separated due to legal change made regarding Article 312 TPC. He was to be tried at a Penal Court.



Beyoglu Penal Court No. 2 heard the case on 2 March 2005 and adjourned the hearing to 12 May.[7] Further hearings were held on 21 September and 11 October 2005. Result unknown.



2005-2007

Ragıp Zarakolu was indicted for the Turkish translation of Professor Dora Sakayan's book entitled An Armenian Doctor in Turkey. G. Hatcherian: My Smyrna Ordeal in 1922, Montreal 1997.[4] According to the indictment, Zarakolu was to be sentenced following Article 301 new TPC (Article 159 of the former TPC). The first hearing was set for 21 September at Istanbul Penal Court No 2.



On 20 September Istanbul Penal Court No 2 continued to hear the case against Ragıp Zarakolu, owner of Belge Publishing House, in connection with the book about the Armenian genocide entitled The Truth Will Set Us Free written by the British writer George Jerjian.[4] The hearing was adjourned to 22 November for investigation of the expert report. The charges related to Article 301 new TPC (of June 2005). The latest two cases were combined and further hearings were held on 21 November and 15 February, 19 April, 21 June and 14 December 2006.[8] The next hearing was scheduled for 15 March 2007.



2008

In June 2008, Zarakolu was found guilty of "insulting the institutions of the Turkish Republic" under Article 301 of the Turkish penal code for translating and publishing Jerjian's book. The judge sentenced him to five months in prison. However, the judge, citing Zarakolu's "good behavior", stated that the author may avoid imprisonment by paying a fine.



2011



On 10 March 2011, Ragip Zarakolu, publisher and free expression activist, was sentenced to a fine, and author Mehmet Güler to a 15-month suspended prison term. The two were convicted of spreading propaganda seen to support the banned Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK), following the publication of Mehmet Güler’s book The KCK File/The Global State and Kurds Without a State. The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International is troubled by the sentences against Zarakolu and Güler which contravene international standards safeguarding the right to freedom of expression.



Ragip Zarakolu, éditeur et défenseur des droits de l'Homme, arrêté en Turquie



Dans le cadre de l'opération policière contre le KCK (Union des communautés du Kurdistan), la police turque a arrêté le 28 octobre 2011 à Istanbul, Ragip Zarakolu, proéminent défenseur des droits de l'Homme et directeur de la maison d'édition Belge. Zarakolu est également président du Comité de liberté de publication de l'Association des éditeurs de Turquie.



Son fils, Deniz Zarakolu, éditeur de la Maison d'édition Belge, avait déjà été mis en état d'arrestation le 4 octobre 2011 à Istanbul.



La Maison d'édition Belge a publié plusieurs livres sur l'oppression des minorités nationales en Turquie et sur le génocide des Arméniens.



Le même jour, dans le cadre de la même opération policière, la professeure Büşra Ersanlı, experte en droit constitutionnel et membre du Parti pour la paix et la démocratie (BDP), a été arrêtée avec des dizaines d'opposants kurdes.



Les arrestations massives visant ce parti pro-kurde se poursuivent de façon frénétique. La police a procédé à des perquisitions simultanées dans les locaux et l’Académie du BDP à Istanbul, arrêtant 70 personnes dans le cadre de l’affaire KCK, accusée d’être la branche urbaine du PKK.



Début octobre, plus de 100 membres du BDP avaient été arrêtés à Istanbul et parmi eux 98 personnes, dont Deniz Zarakolu, fils du Ragip Zarakolu et l’auteur Aziz Tunc, avaient été écrouées.



Le premier est un traducteur de plusieurs œuvres dont "La philosophie politique" de Thomas Hobbes et le dernier est connu pour son livre sur le massacre de Maras, désigné comme le livre du mois par le PEN.



Alors que cinq députés kurdes sont toujours en prison et le siège d’un sixième ayant été invalidé par les autorités après les élections législatives du 12 juin, la justice veut enfermer les autres députés BDP qui sont dehors. Des enquêtes ont été ouvertes samedi 29 octobre par le Parquet de la République d’Ankara contre trois anciens députés BDP, Osman Ozcelik, Fatma Kurtulan et Sevahir Bayindir, en vertu de l’article 117 de la Loi sur les partis politiques.



Des milliers de personnes ont été arrêtées arbitrairement dans le cadre de l’affaire KCK, considérée comme un complot politique par les organisations kurdes. Cette affaire est devenue une arme redoutable du gouvernement AKP du premier ministre Recep Tayyip Erdogan pour intimider et enfermer tous les opposants kurdes.



Plus de 4500 membres du BDP ont été arrêtés au cours de ces six derniers mois. Parmi eux, plus de 1600 personnes ont été écroués.



Aujourd'hui, des milliers de membres actifs dont 18 maires sur 99 et six députés BDP sont en prison. Plus de 500 élus ont été enfermés dans la seule ville de Sirnak depuis le grand succès du parti kurde aux élections locales du 29 mars 2009.



La Turquie est aujourd’hui la plus grande prison pour les élus et les journalistes. Selon les organisations de soutien aux journalistes emprisonnés, près de 70 journalistes sont toujours en prison. (actukurde.fr, 29 octobre 2011)



Qui est Zarakolu?



Ragıp Zarakolu est né en 1948 à Büyükada, près d’Istanbul, alors que son père Remzi était sous-préfet de l’île. Ragıp a grandi parmi les membres des communautés grecque et arménienne de Turquie. En 1968, il a commencé d’écrire pour les revues Ant (Le Serment) et Yeni Ufuklar (Nouveaux Horizons).



En 1971, lors de la prise de pouvoir par une junte militaire, Ragıp Zarakolu a été poursuivi pour « relations clandestines avec Amnesty International ». Il a passé cinq mois en prison, puis les charges ont été levées. En 1972, il a été condamné à nouveau à deux ans de prison, qu’il a accomplies au centre de détention de Selimiye (Istanbul) pour un article dans Ant sur Ho Chi Minh et la guerre du Vietnam. Il a été libéré en 1974 à la faveur d’une amnistie générale. Mais Zarakolu n’en a pas pour autant renoncé à sa campagne pour la liberté de pensée, luttant pour « la diffusion d’une attitude de respect envers la diversité des pensées et des cultures de Turquie ».



Les éditions Belge ont été la cible de la censure turque depuis leur création en 1977 par Zarakolu et sa femme Aysenur. Les charges ont valu au couple des peines d’emprisonnement, la confiscation et la destruction des stocks de livres, et de lourdes amendes.



En 1979, Ragıp Zarakolu a été l’un des fondateurs du quotidien Demokrat et en a pris la responsabilité de la section « étranger ». Demokrat a été interdit à la suite du coup d’État militaire du 12 septembre 1980 ; Ragıp Zarakolu a été brièvement emprisonné en 1982, en raison de sa position dans Demokrat, puis expulsé du pays jusqu’en 1991. En 1986 il a été parmi les 98 fondateurs de la section turque de la Ligue des droits de l’homme. (IHD). Il a été président du comité pour les écrivains emprisonnés du PEN-Club International en Turquie. Depuis 2007, il est président du Comité pour la liberté de publier de l’Union des éditeurs.



Jusqu’au coup du 12 septembre 1980, les éditons Belge avaient surtout publié des livres académiques et théoriques. Puis, Belge a commencé de publier une série de 35 livres écrits par des prisonniers politiques : recueils de poèmes, nouvelles, romans. La liste des publications de Belge inclut aussi plus de dix traductions de la littérature grecque, une dizaine sur la question arménienne et cinq livres concernant les Juifs en Turquie. De nombreux ouvrages concernent également la question kurde en Turquie.



Parmi les livres concernant le génocide arménien, figure celui de George Jerjian, La Vérité nous délivrera : Arméniens et Turcs réconciliés ; et celui de Dora Sakayan, Un Médecin arménien en Turquie, Garabed Haztcherian qui a valu de nouvelles accusations en 2005. En novembre 2007 Zarakolu a publié le livre de David Gaunt Massacres, Resistance, Protectors sur le génocide des Assyriens.



En 1995 le siège des éditions Belge a subi un attentat à la bombe, perpétré par un groupe d’extrême droite. Depuis le décès de sa femme en 2002, les poursuites judiciaires ont continué contre Ragıp Zarakolu . ( Communiqué de « Kuyerel – Küresel Düsünce Platformu, 29 octobre 2011. Traduction d’Étienne Copeaux)







4 Trials against "Laz Marks" Show





The "Laz Marks" political stand-up program by actor and director Haldun Açıksözlü has been performed 225 times in front of almost a hundred thousand spectators since 2009. Yet, Laz Marks got famous in other ways too. Four trials were opened on the grounds of the play so far. Sometimes they could not find a theatre to perform, sometimes the people in the audience were registered by the police.



In an interview with bianet, Açıksözlü talked about the filming of the show by the police with special permission one night prior to a hearing. "They are trying hard to get my show on video but they will not succeed", he commented.



Trial after trial



The first trial against Laz Marks was opened on charges of "insult of the Prime Minister" on 15 January 2010 before the 2nd Magistrate Criminal Court of Rize, a city in the Laz region on the eastern Black Sea Coast. On stage, Açıksözlü had told an anecdote about 'Recep Tayyip from Rize' - a hint to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan whose family originates from Rize. Thereupon, the trial was launched against the political show. The 7th hearing was set for 19 January 2012.



While the first trial was still pending, a second case was opened under allegations of "praising crime and a criminal" in Tunceli (eastern Anatolia) in the same year. The new allegations were based on Article 215 of the Turkish Criminal Law (TCK) and stemmed from the reference in the play to Turkish revolutionaries from the 1970s, i.e. Deniz Gezmiş, Mahir Çayan, İbrahim Kaypakkaya and Mazlum Doğan.



Açıksözlü told bianet he found it "weird" that only the names of Doğan and Kaypakkaya were included in the indictment whereas Çayan and Gezmiş were not mentioned. He presented his defence on 30 September 2011. The next hearing of this case is scheduled for 19 November. However, Açıksözlü said he was not going to change anything about the play: "I will still say these names at the end of the show because they have a value for me".



"To hell with such a system!"



In 2011, one trial was launched against the play in Çorum on 14 January and one in Amasya on 31 January. Reason of both trials was a character called "Netçek Hasan" who in the play had just been made redundant and said, "To hell with the mother and the wife of this kind of system, this kind of capitalism, this kind of prime minister and minister, beeep!"



Both trials also put forward allegations of "insult of the Prime Minister" according to Article 125 TCK. The hearing of the case in Amasya was postponed to 29 December. The lawyer of Prime Minister Erdoğan is a joint plaintiff at the trial in Çorum. The fourth and last session of this trial was held on 7 October. Açıksözlü has not been notified yet but he is facing imprisonment of between three months and two years or an according monetary fine.



Açıksözlü thinks that people are being disturbed about Laz Marks because things that nobody else dares to say are being said on stage with a sharp tongue.



"I see that there is no opposition any more in arts for the time being. People apply auto-censorship because they are afraid that they might not be picked for a role in a series, they will not find work or will be thrown out of a newspaper. They do not oppose the political power. With the Laz Marks play I try to be the voice of the thoughts against the power. People are being disturbed when I plain and clearly say what I want to say. I am going to continue to the utmost of my power. Otherwise, I will play in prison", Açıksözlü claimed. (BIA, Emel GÜLCAN, 1 November 2011)









Kurdish Question / Question kurde



"We are all KCK" campaign launched



Following the arrest of 61-year-old professor and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Assembly member Büşra Ersanlı and 63-year-old publisher and writer Ragıp Zarakolu, intellectuals have started a campaign they labelled "We are all KCK". KCK (Kurdish Communities Union) is alleged by the prosecutors to be the "urban wing" of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). What exactly is this "urban wing", what its scopes and role is hard to say because the prosecutors so far have not been able to explain it themselves. Indeed they keep asking for the arrest of thousands without specifying why. Worse, they hide behind the KCK fig leaf and put other charges into the bargain so to make it almost sure that the people they want to see in jail actually end up behind bars.



A reaction to this indiscriminate and above all unmotivated arrests has been mounting in recent weeks, and it kind of reached a pick with the arrest, last week of Ersanlı and Zarakolu. If there was any further evidence that the "KCK excuse" could be used against anyone, that was it.



The new campaign, "We are all KCK", is being launched by lawyers Eren Keskin, Ayşe Batumlu, Leman Yurtsever, Hürriyet Şener and photographer Veysi Altay invited people to take part in this activity. By now, 50 people, including writer, activists and poet Roni Margulies, sociologist İsmail Beşikçi, Dr. Şebnem Korurfincancı, ecologist Bilge Contepe, writer A.Hicri İzgören, singer Ferhat Tunç, Şanar Yurdatapan and many leaders from leftist parties and organizations, signed the petition.



The campaign's promoters announced that this action will take place in a couple days.



Workers from Office Workers’ Trade Union have today staged a protest against the government policy of indiscriminate attacks against people who are organizing against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). (ANF, 2 November 2011)



BDP: Chemical weapons used against guerillas



In a statement concerning 24 bodies at Malatya State Hospital, BDP Deputy Co-chair Lawyer Meral Danış Beştaş remarked that guerillas had been killed with chemical weapons.



Beştaş stated that the nonbeing of a bullet mark on the bodies -which were burnt and torn into pieces- strengthened the allegations regarding use of chemical weapons.



Beştaş also reacted to the silence of the media on the subject of and commented this silence as a sign of press associations’ loyalty to the instructions given recently by Prime Minister Erdoğan. “Authorities, press and judiciary are silent about the subject”, added Beştaş and directed the following questions to the AKP government;



“Is there a stock of chemical weapons?



Were chemical weapons used in the recent operations?



Why are the autopsy reports of guerillas kept secret?



What is the cause of death written on these autopsy reports? ”



While still 15 families couldn’t identify their children’s bodies and had to give blood samples for DNA test, a delegation, consisting of DTK, BDP, IHD, MEYADER, MAZLUMDER, Diyarbakır Bar Association, Peace Mothers, DTK Coordination Board Member Demir Çelik and BDP Mardin MP Emine Ayna, has arrived in Malatya to stand by families and meet with Prosecutor to ask for autopsy reports.



Guerrilla families: Bodies are beyond recognition



Families who went to Malatya's morgue today were only shown photos of the bodies of their children. The families said that “We are unable to identify our children’s bodies. We were shown photographs of bodies mutilated beyond recognition - they added - Indeed some of the bodies are without head.”



Only four of the bodies have been identified and reclaimed by their families so far. The bodies of other 20 HPG guerrillas are still held at the morgue in Malatya and families are unable to identify them.



“Two of the bodies were without head and some others were torn to pieces. I wasn’t able to find out which of the bodies belonged to my son” said grief- stricken Seyithan Çelik, father of HPG member Oktay Çelik.



To add grief to pain, the families of the unidentified bodies will have to give a blood sample to enable a DNA test to be carried out.



Batman-born Sezar Arslan, whose body was identified yesterday, will be buried in Muş today. (ANF, 31 October-1 November 2011)







Minorités / Minorities



Genocide, War Crimes and the AKP Government



Communiqué by Solidarity with the Victims of All Genocides and the Forum for Stateless Nations:



"Genocide, War Crimes and the Role of the AKP Government in obstructing the peace process in Turkey - An Appeal to UK MP's to sign EDM 2267"



Last week, our lobby of MP's and protest outside the Turkish Embassy in London sought to bring attention to the recent wave of arrests of academics and politicians in Turkey. These arrests came as no surprise. Have successive UK governments not turned a blind eye to the fact that the modern Turkish State came about following the seal of approval by Britain and its allies (in the Treaty of Lausanne) of the successful and merciless Genocide of the Armenian, Assyrian-Syriac and Greek populations as well as 'Others' from 1915 onwards? (by the CUP and/or Kemalist led nationalists). Have we not turned a blind eye to continued persecution of its national 'minorities' by the state of Turkey since its inception? What will it take, I wonder, for a British Prime Minister to robustly call for the government of Turkey to respect its National Minorities, to bravely face its Genocidal past, and to confront the reality of its totalitarian present posing as a democracy?



Anyone associated with human, cultural, political and ‘minority’ rights protection work, alongside work exposing the anti-democratic policies and practices of the state as it applies to prisons and the targeting of political prisoners, mass graves and the neoliberal framework (even within the educational sphere) faces targeting under the anti-terror laws, in the name of catch-all “anti-KCK [Kurdistan Communities Union] operations”. The Platform for Solidarity with Arrested Journalists (TGDP) has just issued the following statement: "Who is next? The terror of mass detentions and arrests against Kurdish politicians who act in accordance with the Anti-Terror Law (TMY) and against journalists is a direct attack on free speech, freedom of demonstration and assembly and press freedom. TMY operations have no credibility at all with unfounded allegations” (BIA, 7 October 2011). According to BIA (3 October): “Members and executives of the Human Rights Association, the [teachers’] education union and the social service sector union were taken into custody in Urfa on 27 September. Private homes and the branch head offices were searched. The head offices of the Human Rights Association (İHD), the Education and Science Workers' Union (Eğitim-Sen) and the Health and Social Service Workers Union (SES) in the south-eastern city of Urfa were raided simultaneously on Tuesday morning” (27 September). At the same time, the homes of executives of the association and the union offices were searched. A total of 23 people were taken into custody, among them İHD Branch President Cemal Babaoğlu ... and Eğitim-Sen Branch President Halit Şahin”. Even Kemal Aydin, Executive of the Association for Solidarity and Support of Relatives of Disappeared People (YAKAY-DER), and Deniz Zarakolu, editor of Belge Publishing House (also a noted academic, political scientist and translator) were taken into custody after a raid on 4 October 2011.



On Friday 28 October, Info-Turk confirms that “a large-scale manhunt in Istanbul against Kurdish and human rights activists” took place in which Ragip Zarakolu (director of Belge Publishing House and Chair of the Publishers Association's Freedom to Publish Committee of Turkey) and Professor Busra Ersanli (Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Marmara University, a constitutional analyst and a member of the Peace and Democracy Party’s/BDP’s intra-party constitutional commission) were detained. As the Director of Belge, Ragip has published key path-breaking books on the Armenian, Assyrian-Syriac, Greek, Kurdish and 'Other’ genocides and the nature of Turkish state terror. He is the recipient of Turkey’s Journalist’s Society’s Press Freedom Prize (2007 – alongside the late Hrant Dink and Gulcin Cayligil), the International Publishers Association’s Freedom to Publish Prize (2008) and the International Association of Genocide Scholar’s (2007) Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Battle Against Deniers of the Armenian Genocide and All Denials of Genocides. Selahattin Demirtas, BDP co-chair, in response to the latest wave of detentions, clarified that democratic initiatives were being silenced by the state: “We will not be able to talk about a healthy constitution-making process if we go ahead like this. We will have no party member who can join efforts for [drafting] a new constitution” (Info-Turk, 30 October). The Ankara Initiative for Freedom of Thought has launched the following signature campaign that we encourage you to sign, which protests at the above detentions: “That's enough!” Click the signature form (Destek için imza formu) at the above web-address and submit it with the mention of name (adi soyadi), profession (meslegi) and city/country (sehir ve/veya ülke).



Coverage of popular demonstrations against repressive state policies and practices has also been criminalised in Turkey (something that has received scant coverage in the British mainstream press). Several Turkish journalist organisations have concluded that the repressive atmosphere has intensified since the Prime Minister’s meeting with national media owners and executives on 21 October, in which he “urged journalists to show restraint in their coverage of the conflict” (reported by Info-Turk, 30 October). Following state pressure, on 24 October, five leading Turkish state agencies issued a communique which, disturbingly for freedom of expression advocates, announced that: “Common principles have been adopted concerning the coverage of terrorist incidents”. These included sweeping agreements to engage in censorship of news and to “comply with the publication bans issued by the competent authorities” (reported by Info-Turk, 30 October). For Reporters Without Borders: “Minimising the scale of human losses or choosing not to report certain operations will just increase mistrust of the media. Complete and objective coverage of developments in eastern Turkey is an essential precondition for reaching a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue” (reported by Info-Turk, 30 October).



The Turkish government, moreover, continues to engage in Armenian, Assyrian, Syriac, Greek, Greek Cypriot, Kurdish and 'Other' genocide denialism even as ‘minorities’ continue to face discrimination and targeting of various kinds. Equally of concern are recent 'security/migration co-operation' undertakings between Turkey and France and Turkey and the UK, respectively. Reporters Without Borders has already cautioned that: “We hope that the French authorities”, which signed a security agreement on 7 October, “will be much more discriminating than their Turkish counterparts as regards combating terrorism … We urge them not to be sucked in by Ankara’s indiscriminate and repressive approach” – which, we have seen, has targeted academics, politicians, journalists, respected book publishers, human rights organisation and teaching union representatives, musicians and students under the guise of ‘anti-terrorism’ [anti-PKK/KCK/DHKP-C] initiatives (see our previous Press Release, 19 October) – “which causes many collateral victims, including journalists” (reported by Info-Turk, 30 October). On 25 October, UK Home Secretary Theresa May “pledged stronger support for Turkey in efforts against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party-PKK, speaking after talks with [Turkish] Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin” (Hurriyet, 26 October) resulted in a joint declaration on migration co-operation. “‘We have imprisoned any PKK member found and a number of others supporting PKK have been arrested … We’ve strengthened and will continue to strengthen our work to counter terrorism’, she said” (Hurriyet, 26 October). She made no statement criticising Turkish state terrorism of the kind described in this release, merely underlined and emphasised the UK government’s intensified support for Turkey’s ‘anti-terrorism initiatives’. Perhaps not coincidentally, and seemingly to highlight the state’s commitment to ‘monitor’ Kurdish ‘activists’, soon after, it was reported by Sadie Robinson (27 October, Socialist Worker, Issue 2275) that British police with automatic weapons approached a Kurdish tent outside St. Paul’s cathedral, where, with others, Kurds were peacefully gathering to register their anti-capitalist/anti-bankers protest:



Police armed with machine-guns raided a Kurdish tent at the Occupy protest outside St. Paul’s Cathedral [in the evening]. Protesters quickly gathered around the tent to support those inside. Evahi Emanon … told Socialist Worker: ‘This is a peaceful protest – guns are a bit over the top. They’re trying to find an excuse to clear us out’. One officer said police were ‘responding to a call’ and that ‘threat warranted a police armed response’ … After more than half an hour of searching the tent, police left, [of course], having found nothing. Deniz Cetiner is a student and one of those in the Kurdish tent: ‘In Turkey, we live with this kind of operation every day … It’s not new to us. They [absurdly] said there could be a gun inside here – but they found nothing. We’re here because we are against the capitalists’”.



We ask MP's and concerned members of the public to please take note of the findings of two recent reports - one by the noted academic Tove Skutnabb-Kangas (presented on 10 October 2011 at the Frankfurt Book Fair) and the other by a Human Rights Delegation from Hamburg and Stuttgart (based upon a 21-day Human Rights Delegation visit in September 2011). They add weight to the already substantial evidence pointing towards the repressive character of the Turkish government which is frustrating any moves towards a peaceful, non-military based resolution to the Kurdish conflict. Instead, genocidal policies and practices, as well as war crimes continue to be committed against the ‘Other’. Freedom of expression and association has been under immense attack as our previous Press Release noted (19 October). In light of all of these troubling developments, we ask MP's to please consider signing Early Day Motion (EDM) 2267 and we also ask concerned members of the public to please alert their MP's to this important EDM:



TURKISH - KURDISH PEACE NEGOTIATIONS: That this House is deeply concerned at the worsening of relations between Turkey and the Kurds since the election in June; warns against the consequences of the renewed wave of arrests of leading Kurdish politicians, civil society activists and professionals; calls on Turkey to halt immediately its cross-border military operations and bombing of Kurdish camps inside Iraq; believes that this policy of seeking a solution to the Kurdish question by military means and increased repression will prove futile and can only provoke future unrest and conflict; and urges the Government to exert its influence on Turkish leaders to change course and take steps towards a negotiated settlement with the legitimate representatives of the Kurdish people. Primary Sponsor: Hywel Williams MP.



The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Group Vice President has noted that ongoing 'operations' in Turkey represent a “policy of war”, not “a policy of negotiation”: “The Kurdish issue is a problem with political, economic, social, cultural, historical extents and its solution must be ensured at the Parliament through peaceful and democratic means … [But] the way [it is] following is the way of crimes against humanity and genocide” (ANF, 5 October 2011).



The report by the Human Rights Delegation from Hamburg and Stuttgart concludes that “the number of war crimes committed by the Turkish military has risen sharply again since 2009. These crimes include torture and the mutilation of dead guerrillas, extra-judicial executions of civilians and captured guerrillas, and the use of chemical weapons”. The report, in full, attached with this release, clarifies that:



We know from an analysis of international conflict resolution processes that progress towards peace and democracy can only be achieved through open dialogue by all the parties concerned – for resolution of the Kurdish question this means the BDP Government, Abdullah Öcalan and the PKK – and through the proper acknowledgement and condemnation of war crimes. A precondition of this is that mass graves should be properly and expertly opened in accordance with the UN protocols on the prevention and investigation of extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Setting up a truth and justice commission in Turkey would be a further step in the right direction towards exposing genocide and femicide in Turkey and Kurdistan and paving the way towards a political solution of the Kurdish question …





We have seen and experienced the reality that those who criticise or expose injustices in Turkey are again increasingly likely to be arrested or even killed. We condemn in the strongest terms the repeated and targeted killing of civilians and BDP officials by Turkish security forces.



Moreover:



Since the parliamentary elections of June 2011, the Erdoğan Government has been seeking a “Tamil solution” to the Kurdish question, and is implementing a modified form of this. In this context, escalation of the military conflict with the PKK – in contravention of international law – and the massacres in conjunction with systematic attacks on the civilian population, are manifestly politically motivated. The free expression of opinions and constructive work on behalf of local communities is punished by imprisonment. For the last month or so, in dribs and drabs, action has been taken against about 50 people a day. A policy of this kind is not acceptable.



The fact that the Turkish Government describes peace endeavours by the Kurdish side and commitment to human rights as terror represents a barrier to any political solution … The detention of two delegation members clearly shows that the raising of human rights violations is not tolerated under the AKP Government … The AKP is evidently keen to do all it can to prevent this kind of publicity and anything that might foster the possibility of peace talks. Anything other than submission to the neo-Ottoman grand plan of the Erdoğan Government is to be interpreted as terror or propaganda for a terrorist organisation. The governments of Europe are standing by and doing nothing – or they are giving political and/or material support to Erdoğan’s policy ... Against this background the practices of the dirty war are once again increasing, as they did in the 1990s. European leaders should be ashamed of their support for this policy. Despite the repression and increasing breaches of human rights and international law, going as far as the attempted annihilation of the Kurds as a people, the Kurds refuse to abandon their continuing fight against systematic injustice and tyranny.



The report also details the manner in which:



Following re-election of the AKP Government in June 2011, the mood in Turkey and the country’s Kurdish provinces has darkened. In Istanbul, people speak of a radical gentrification programme in the city areas around Taksim Square. For at least three years now the Kurdish population, along with Sinti and Roma, have been systematically driven out of these areas. Mafia-style methods are routinely used in this exercise … Since the election, moreover, the countless street cafés and music bars in Taksim and Beyoğlu are no longer allowed to put their tables and chairs outside on the street after ten o’clock in the evening. Police officers, either in civilian clothes and visibly armed or in uniform, roam the streets Wild-West-style keeping a close eye on what is going on. The free and relaxed nightlife of the area around Taksim Square, with its pronounced and emancipatory subculture of music, art and theatre, seems to be a thorn in the AKP’s side …



In addition, persons with a slightly darker complexion or who look Kurdish often have to endure racist abuse by the police during random identity checks. They are insulted by the “security forces” on account of their Kurdish or Armenian origin, and are told they should “Go home” … The reality now is [also] that it is not “just” thousands of activists – 4,400 Kurds were imprisoned in connection with the KCK trials – but the whole of the Kurdish population who are being oppressed [emphasis added].



Tove Skutnabb-Kangas' presentation, 'Kurdish as a mother tongue: No linguistic human rights, and linguistic genocide in education', also concludes that “it is the econo-military systems of UK, USA, and Turkey that benefit when contributing to conditions which reproduce the continuation of the economic, educational and human rights underdevelopment in Kurdistan today”. These systems need to be challenged even as:



Kurdish is not allowed to be used as the medium of education (the language of teaching, Unterrichtssprache) in any [public] school in Turkey ... Subtractive submersion education with Turkish as the teaching language for Kurds (and other minorities) is the main educational problem. It leads to “illiteracy” or low levels of literacy, lack of school achievement, identity deprivation, dispossession of children’s linguistic and cultural capital. It is organised against solid research evidence ...





Education offered to Kurdish children in Turkey is [also] specifically guilty of genocide according to the following two definitions: Article II(e): 'forcibly transferring children of the group to another group'; and Article II(b): 'causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group'. Our conclusion is also that subtractive education [of this kind] fulfills legally the criteria for a crime against humanity. This should be tried in courts ...





What the Kurds want in relation to language and culture is [also] just the same basic rights that any dominant groups have: cultural autonomy, including the right to learn their language(s), and use it/them freely in society, including schools. The right to mother-tongue based multilingual education cannot in any way be seen as a “special” right; it is a necessary linguistic and educational human right ... Denial of linguistic human rights (LHRs) and the continued linguistic genocide (linguicide), also in education, creates and feeds conflict; granting LHRs is necessary for solving conflicts … Even if many legal changes have been accepted (at least on paper), Turkey is not even approaching the international human rights standards yet, neither in education nor in other aspects of linguistic rights. The situation has again become MUCH worse since late June 2011. If a state is systematically creating and perpetuating poverty, and cultural and political disempowerment along ethnic and linguistic lines (among other things through subtractive monolingual majority language medium education), THIS is what may lead to conflicts.



We ask concerned MP's and members of the public to do everything they can to raise these concerns.



For further information, contact Eilian Williams: 07588256783 or eilian@talktalk.net





Politique intérieure/Interior Politics



Prime Minister and Interior Minister defend KCK arrests



Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has defended recent waves of arrests as part of the investigation into Kurdish Communities’ Union (KCK), including the detention of a publisher and an academic, dismissing criticisms that the arrests are a way to crush dissent.



Erdoğan reassured that once indictment is complete regarding the KCK suspects, everything will be clear while speaking to a group of journalists en route to Cannes from Germany to attend G-20 gathering.



Erdoğan recommended that those who defend the KCK must first examine themselves, adding that those who are against the KCK arrest probably did not made deeper research who these suspects are. He said it is sad that some are defending the arrests, and urged them to see if the organization is linked to “İmralı,” referring to jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.



Erdoğan said everything will be more clear during the judicial process, dismissing criticisms that the arrested professor was jailed because she was delivering a lecture at Politics Academy. “Delivering a lecture is not a crime but what you preach is a crime,” Erdoğan said, stressing that a terrorist’s name was written on door of the seminar room and that they are talking about a revolution, which he said is realized by arms.



He also criticized columnists for saying that “they personally know these suspects and that they are concerned over the investigation.” He added that it is clear where this structure is originating from. It was not clear from the prime minister’s remarks if he referred to the PKK. “Are they claiming that this structure is not related to the PKK terrorist organization? Everything will be unveiled once the indictment is ready,” Erdoğan said.



Speaking about the PKK activities in Germany which Turkish side complained for years, Erdoğan said all documents and intelligence reports were delivered to German intelligence and he talked to German president on this matter but he said Turkey did not see action from the German side.



At a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, Erdoğan complained that the PKK was able to collect 6 million euros in Germany. "This money goes to the terrorist organization as financial support. This is really sad and thought-provoking," Erdoğan said, calling on the German authorities to step up measures to prevent PKK fund-raising activities in the country.



Turkey accuses Germany, among other EU member states, for not doing enough to prevent the PKK's fundraising activities and recruiting efforts. The PKK has increased its attacks in recent months, claiming the lives of many civilians, including a pregnant woman and children.



Erdoğan told the journalists that this amount of money was collected in 2009-2010 but said there is much money that cannot be tracked the PKK collects from drugs and human trafficking. He told the journalists that it is up to you to estimate how much money they collect in Germany if you also add money they make through illicit activities.



Asked what is his position over Merkel’s remarks where she named the PKK and vowed that Germany will fight against it, Erdoğan said this is the first time she is speaking that bluntly. He credited his government’s efforts in bringing documents about the PKK to the attention of German authorities and the visit of President Abdullah Gül to Germany in German authorities’ decivise position to confront the PKK. He said the fact that the PKK sympathizers stormed the RTL network building and headquarters of a party building made them see [what kind of organization the PKK is].



He said he believes that German authorities will approach to the issue with extra sensitivity.



The prime minister said all European countries including France, Germany and the UK define the PKK as a terrorist organization but he said Turkey is not satisfied over the actions of countries in Europe in general.



Interior Minister's support to arrests



In the face of wide public criticism of the arrest of an academic as part of as part of an investigation into the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin has said the professor was arrested for links to the illegal group and that she is also suspected of teaching separatism.



“I understand that the esteemed professor had links to that group [KCK]. We hear that she gave lessons on how people can be deceived, how a revolt against the Republic of Turkey can be instigated and how the Republic of Turkey can be divided,” he said on CNN Türk on Wednesday night.



He argued that there cannot be a privileged group when it comes to the law, noting that it was difficult for him to understand objections to the arrest of the professor. “Mrs. Ersanlı is one of thousands of professors in Turkey. I am having a hard time understanding those saying a professor should not be arrested while thousands of other people are being arrested in Turkey. We can be suspicious if all professors were arrested, but one of thousands of professors can be arrested,” he argued.



A large group of Turkish intellectuals, mainly academics, have recently launched a petition campaign to protest the detention of Professor Ersanlı and to call for her release. A joint statement by the group said the detention of Ersanlı, who has for years been working for sustainable peace and a new constitution in Turkey, led to outrage among all circles in the country that believe in the democratic state of law.



Şahin's remarks drew strong criticism from the BDP, with the party's deputy chairman announcing that they would file a criminal complaint against the interior minister. Meral Danış Beştaş argued that the minister obviously violated the principle of presumption of innocence with his remarks as well as the principle of judicial independence and separation of powers. On Thursday she said: “There is no freedom to commit a crime anywhere in the world. This is also valid for ministers or prime ministers. So, we will file a criminal complaint against the interior minister.” (Today's Zaman, November 3, 2011)



KCK arrests spark intra-party disagreement within CHP



The arrest of a Turkish academic and a publisher along with 42 others on Tuesday as part of an operation against the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) sparked an intra-party rift within the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) after a deputy requested the party protest the arrests.



Professor Büşra Ersanlı and publisher Ragıp Zarakolu were detained over suspected links to the KCK, an alleged political umbrella organization that includes the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist organization. According to the Anka news agency, CHP İstanbul deputy Binnaz Toprak prepared a statement in solidarity with Professor Ersanlı and Zarakolu and requested the party administration adopt the statement as a joint statement by party members during a party meeting on Tuesday.



CHP Sinop deputy Engin Altay reportedly objected, saying he can sign no such statement. “Is there anyone who does not know that the KCK is the urban arm of the PKK? This is the CHP, not some other party,” he reportedly said. Other CHP deputies also objected to Toprak’s suggestion and the statement was not approved by the party.



Ersanlı, a member of the Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) Party Council and Constitutional Commission, and Belge Publishing House representative Zarakolu were arrested on Tuesday along with 42 suspects. The KCK investigation started in December 2009 and a large number of Kurdish politicians, including several officials from the BDP, have been detained as part of the case since then.



The suspects have been accused of various crimes, including membership in a terrorist organization, aiding and abetting a terrorist organization and attempting to destroy the country’s unity and integrity. The suspects include mayors and municipal officials from the BDP, which has said the investigation is the government’s method of suppressing its politicians, denying any links between its deputies and terrorist organizations. (TODAY’S ZAMAN, 2 November 2011)



Forces armées/Armed Forces



Military chief visits coup suspects in Hasdal Prison



Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel paid a surprise visit to Hasdal Military Prison on Monday and met with military officers who are currently on trial on coup charges.



Özel, who reportedly went to the prison on Monday evening, met with military officers suspected of planning a coup, including War Academies Commander Gen. Bilgin Balanlı. Dozens of active duty military officers were recently jailed as part of ongoing investigations into the alleged Ergenekon terrorist organization and the Sledgehammer coup plot.



Ergenekon is a clandestine criminal network accused of working to overthrow the government. Dozens of its suspected members are currently in jail, accused of various terrorism-related crimes. Sledgehammer is a suspected military plan to topple the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government and there are currently 195 suspects in the case, all of whom are accused of a failed attempt to destroy Parliament and overthrow the government. Such a charge calls for a jail sentence of up to 20 years in prison.



Former Chief of General Staff Gen. Işık Koşaner also paid a similar visit to Hasdal Military Prison in January of this year. He allegedly decided to visit the suspects in prison in the wake of mounting criticism from the relatives of the arrestees, who complained that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) were not showing solidarity with those on trial. (TODAY’S ZAMAN, 1 November 2011)



Affaires religieuses/Religious Affairs







Socio-économique / Socio-economic



"Child Brides" in Parliament



The Flying Broom Women's Communication and Research Association has finished its project "Child Brides: Victims of Destructive Traditions and Patriarchal Social Heritage" after one year of study and research. The project was subsidised by the Sabancı Foundation. Its results were presented at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) on 27 October.



Over the period of 18 months research was carried out in ten out of a total of 81 Turkish provinces pursuing the aim of counteracting marriages with underage brides.



The final sitting in parliament was organized with the support of the Parliamentary Commission for Equal Opportunities of Women and Men (KEFEK). Speeches were delivered by the Minister of Family and Social Politics, Fatma Şahin; the Chair of the Sabancı Foundation, Zerrin Koyunsağan; Öznur Çalık as the head of the 23rd term KEFEK Sub-commission on Research into early Marriage; Head of the 24rd term KEFEK Azize Sibel Gönül and Deputy Prime Minister Binnaz Toprak. Additionally, artist Burhan Şeşen performed the piece "Would you please hear my voice" together with a children's choir - a song composed especially for the project.



Information regarding the counteracting of early marriage and raising awareness was conveyed to 54 provinces in the scope of the project. Seminars were organized and interviews were held with the adult women and younger girls who attended the seminars. These meetings were also attended by teachers, social service experts, sociologists, psychologists, lawyers, physicians, journalists, local executives and representatives of non-governmental organizations.



The stories of the "child brides" were put together in a book entitled "Marriage is too big at young Age: Children Brides". The book contains the stories of women and executives of various institutions as elicited during the interviews in the provinces in the course of the project.



The Flying Broom Association also prepared the "Child Brides" documentary with footage from different provinces and special interviews as part of the project. The documentary approaches the topic under different aspects and reveals the dimensions of the problems behind the depicted life stories.



The stories of the Child Brides



A woman in her forties from Van (eastern Turkey) for example recalled her fear and worries during the beginning of her forced marriage:



"When I was 13 years old and everybody else went to school, I was made to marry a 30-year-old man. I had never seen him before and I did not know him at all. They made me marry him just because he was the son of a friend of my father's. When I saw this person it was as if he was my father. I did not get close to him and I was very afraid during the nights. I did not even enter his room. I always saw him like my father. I can still not get rid of this perception".



A young woman from Diyarbakır (south-eastern Anatolia) was not able to hold back her anger when she described what it meant to enter marriage when still being a child:



"I married when I was 15 years old. There is no description. You come into a big family and you don't know how to behave. When they come to ask [the parents] to give their daughter into marriage they say she should be young so they can teach her. I did not know for instance that I had to rise to my feet in front of the men so I was beaten the first time. I gave birth to my son when I was 16 years old. When I was 23 my husband passed away".



A young woman from Tekirdağ (north-western Turkey) drew attention to the fact that education was able to prevent girls from early marriage:



"I am the only girl in our whole family who studies. My maternal grandmother was married when she was 13 years old. She constantly talked about my [female] cousin at each and every family meeting. Saying 'Fatoş is left over at home, what are we going to do'. She was trying to find a husband for her. One day I pulled her leg and asked her why she did not talk about me. She replied, 'You are studying, you have saved your life'". (BIA, 31 October 2011)



Relations turco-européennes / Turkey-Europe Relations



"French present" for Turkish Prime Minister



Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is due to arrive in Paris tomorrow. After lashing out against Germany, Erdoğan will be pleased to know that today the court in Paris closed a case against 18 Kurdish people living in France who had been arrested and charged with being members of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) and extortion. The court has handed down prison sentences for 17 of the 18 suspects. On top of that it has also ruled in favor of the closure of a well known and established cultural center in Paris.



The 18 Kurds were originally tried on charges of extortion to finance terrorist activities in 2007, but were released as the judge ruled there was insufficient cause for their arrest. On June 9, 2011, a French court reversed the ruling and ordered the arrest of the suspects.



A prosecutor demanded last June prison terms ranging from 18 months up to six years for the suspects and the closure of Ahmet Kaya cultural center in Paris.



The court pronounced its verdict today, basically confirming the prosecutor's request and handing down sentences ranging from one year to five years for the 17 suspects.



The court only acquitted one of the 18 Kurds standing trial, Şükrü Tozludere.



Instead it sentenced Ali Rıza Altun, who was being tried in absentia, to five years, Nedim Seven to four years. The suspects' sentences were all suspended.(ANF, 2 November 2011)



Erdogan blasts Germany on PKK



Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed Germany on Tuesday for becoming “an accessory” to the campaign launched by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey.



“Those who tolerate terrorism become an accessory to the bloody face of terrorism,” Erdoğan said without naming Germany in a speech delivered in Berlin during a gala dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the migration of Turkish workers to Germany. “I am calling on those who turn a blind eye to the activities of the terror organization in their publications, foundations, fundraising efforts as well as on those who let criminals roam freely [on their soil]. Are you aware of an 8-month-old baby slain in her mother's womb [by the PKK],” he said.



At a joint press conference with Merkel on Wednesday, Erdoğan complained that the PKK was able to collect 6 million euros in Germany. "This money goes to the terrorist organization as financial support. This is really sad and thought-provoking," Erdoğan said, calling on the German authorities to step up measures to prevent PKK fund-raising activities in the country.



Turkey accuses Germany, among other EU member states, for not doing enough to prevent the PKK's fundraising activities and recruiting efforts. The PKK has increased its attacks in recent months, claiming the lives of many civilians, including a pregnant woman and children.



The Turkish prime minister also lamented what he saw as a lack of cooperation by European countries, saying Europe does not take action when Turkey wants to discuss terror-affiliated organizations and their fundraising activities during meetings. “If you can justify these excuses, let them justify your conscience first and foremost,” Erdoğan underlined. (todayszaman.com, 2 novembre 2011)





Criminal complaint in Germany against Erdogan and Army Chiefs



Lawyers in Germany have filed a criminal complaint at the responsible Federal Prosecutor's Office (BAW) in Karlsruhe, Germany against Prime Minister Erdogan, for the time being in Berlin for a state visit, and several Chiefs of Staff of the Turkish army because of severe criminal acts during war against the Kurdish population. The complaint is about war crimes and crimes against humanity between 2003 and today which are outlawed by laws of war.



The criminal complaint is based on the German International Criminal Code which has been existing since 2002. It enables an international prosecution of outlawed war crimes for which military commanders and political superiors are responsible – even if the “crime scene” is not in Germany.



The complaint contains 10 exemplary “cases” from recent years, which have been compiled on the basis of comprehensive own research, the analysis of materials of the Turkish justice system and reports of respected human rights organisations.



Among others there are cases of extralegal executions, killing of combatants after taking them prisoner, torture, post-mortal mutilation and even the use of prohibited chemical weapons. Presented are the respective facts and circumstances with names, dates and means of evidence. The complaint is filed in the name of relatives of the victims of the war crimes. The human rights organisation MAF-DAD – Association for Democracy and International Law in Cologne, the writer Doris Gercke (Bella Block), professor for international law Norman Paech, MP Harald Weinberg (DIE LINKE), Dr. med. Gisela Penteker (IPPNW), city council member of Nuremberg Marion Padua and sociologist Martin Dolzer are also among the plaintiffs.



The complaint was filed by lawyer Britta Eder and lawyer Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Schneider.



On 1 November 2011 in the House of Democracy in Berlin (Greifswalder Straße 4) a press conference will be held with lawyers and plaintiffs.



Advance information: Lawyer Schneider +49(0)40-8513116 – RAin Eder +49(0)040-32033756 In case of absence: 0176-20705646



Turquie-USA/ Turkey-USA



Les USA affirment leur relation forte avec la Turquie en matière de sécurité



Le secrétaire à la Défense américain Leon Panetta a souligné mardi la volonté de Washington de maintenir des relations privilégiées avec la Turquie en matière de sécurité au cours de discussions avec son homologue turc Ismet Yildiz, a indiqué un porte-parole américain.



M. Panetta a aussi précisé que l'armée américaine se tenait prête à fournir plus d'aide humanitaire au pays qui vient d'être touché par un puissant séisme, a indiqué John Kirby, porte-parole au Pentagone.



"Le secrétaire Panetta a de nouveau assuré le ministre Yildiz de l'engagement de l'Amérique dans une relation forte avec la Turquie en matière de sécurité, a rendu hommage à la contribution de la Turquie à la mission d'entraînement en Afghanistan et s'est engagé à continuer à fournir de l'aide en matière de secours, après le séisme, si nécessaire", est-il écrit.



Cette déclaration intervient alors que le Pentagone a révélé vendredi qu'il comptait vendre à la Turquie trois hélicoptères d'attaque AH-1 Super Cobra pour une transaction se montant à 111 millions de dollars, au moment où Ankara vient de boucler une vaste opération contre les rebelles kurdes du PKK.



Le séisme qui a secoué la province orientale turque de Van a fait plus de 600 morts et de 4.000 blessés. Le Pentagone avait annoncé quelques jours après qu'un avion militaire américain allait se rendre sur place pour fournir de l'aide. (AFP, 1 nov 2011)



Relations régionales / Regional Relations



Ankara ne fera pas escorter la mini-flottille vers Gaza



Les Etats-Unis ont indiqué jeudi avoir reçu l'assurance de la Turquie qu'elle n'allait pas faire escorter par sa marine les deux bateaux se dirigeant vers la bande de Gaza malgré le blocus israélien.



En septembre, le Premier ministre turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan avait dit envisager de faire escorter les futures flottilles humanitaires vers Gaza par la marine turque jugeant qu'on ne pouvait pas faire confiance à Israël.



La porte-parole du département d'Etat Victoria Nuland a indiqué jeudi à des journalistes que des responsables américains avaient mis en garde à l'époque Ankara contre une telle initiative, et que jeudi ils avaient reçu l'assurance qu'aucun navire turc n'escorterait les deux bateaux.



"Nous avions été clairs sur le fait que nous pensons que cela serait une mauvaise idée. Et ils viennent de nous rassurer sur le fait qu'ils ne vont pas le faire dans cette affaire", a-t-elle dit.



La mini-flottille composée d'un bateau irlandais, le Saoirse ("liberté" en gaélique) et d'un autre canadien, le Tahrir ("libération" en arabe) est partie mercredi après-midi de Fethiye, dans le sud-ouest de la Turquie, et prévoit d'arriver vendredi à Gaza.



En comptant les membres d'équipages et les journalistes invités, 27 personnes se trouvaient à bord des deux navires, qui transportaient 30.000 dollars de médicaments, selon un communiqué transmis par l'organisation "Freedom Waves To Gaza" (Vagues de la liberté vers Gaza).



La première flottille de ce type avait appareillé en mai 2010, mais elle avait été arrêtée par la marine israélienne lors d'un raid qui avait fait neuf morts parmi les militants turcs et provoqué une crise diplomatique entre la Turquie et Israël.



Une deuxième flottille avait essayé de partir de Grèce en juillet, mais ses projets avaient été retardés par des problèmes techniques -attribués à des actes de sabotage israéliens- puis par la décision des autorités grecques de leur interdire d'appareiller.



Israël défend régulièrement son droit à maintenir le blocus de la bande de Gaza, contrôlée par le Hamas, afin d'empêcher la contrebande d'armes. (AFP, 3 nov 2011)



Chypre et la Grèce / Cyprus and Greece



Négociations entre les deux dirigeants de Chypre



Les dirigeants chypriote-grec et chypriote-turc ont mené lundi en banlieue de New York une deuxième journée de discussions sous la houlette du chef de l'ONU Ban Ki-moon pour tenter de régler leurs différends sur le processus de réunification de Chypre.



Le secrétaire général des Nations unies devait rejoindre en début d'après-midi les deux protagonistes, Demetris Christofias, président de la République de Chypre et Dervis Eroglu, dirigeant de la République turque de Chypre du Nord (KKTC).



Il devait présider ensuite un dîner de travail qui viendra clôturer cette séance de négociations, dont la première journée, dimanche, a été "positive, productive et vigoureuse", selon le conseiller spécial de l'ONU sur Chypre, Alexander Downer.



Un porte-parole de l'ONU a indiqué qu'il n'y aurait pas de déclaration lundi soir au terme des discussions qui se sont déroulées à Greentree, Ban Ki-moon devant s'exprimer devant la presse sur le sujet mardi matin.



Depuis qu'elles ont démarré en septembre 2008, les rencontres entre les deux dirigeants de l'île sous l'égide de l'ONU n'ont pas permis d'avancées notables. L'ONU espère toujours la rédaction d'une feuille de route sur la manière dont les deux responsables entendent régler les différends pour parvenir à un accord de réunification.



L'objectif est de trouver un accord avant que Chypre n'assure la présidence tournante de l'Union européenne en juillet 2012. Le président de la Commission européenne José Manuel Barroso a appelé vendredi les deux dirigeants à "saisir la chance".



Chypre est divisée en une partie grecque et une partie turque depuis que les troupes turques ont occupé en 1974 un tiers de l'île, en réaction à un coup d'Etat inspiré par Athènes et visant au ralliement de Chypre à la Grèce.



La République de Chypre est internationalement reconnue tandis que la République turque de Chypre du Nord (KKTC) est autoproclamée et uniquement reconnue par Ankara. (AFP, 31 oct 2011)