Turkey's oft-criticized rights record has
been the ostensible reason Europe has continued to deny Turkey admission to
the EU. The true reason: Christian Europe's potent prejudice against admitting
Muslim Turkey, with millions of farmers. Europe is up in arms against its
Muslim emigrant population, and certainly has too many subsidized farmers.
"Turkey: Where East reluctantly meets West"
Eric Margolis -- Toronto Sun, June 9, 2002
Holdwater once had an inside glimpse into the operation
of Amnesty International, through a friend who worked there; it's important to
keep in mind that while such an organization does laudable work, there are
regular human beings at the helm... with their own agendas and prejudices,
like any other. In fact, through my friend, it was surprising to see the
pettiness, power plays and office politics involved, when somehow one thinks a
"gallant" group would be above such frailties. It must be asked why
Turkey is always selected as the perpetual whipping boy of Amnesty
International, when there are certainly many nations that can use much
improvement in their human rights records.
According to “Human Rights Brokers”
And The Error Of The Terror-Watchers
Commentary by Professor Mahmut Esat Ozan
Terror Here, Terror There, Terror, Terror Everywhere! So goes the reputed refrain of a
familiar nursery rhyme, better known as the Old MacDonald’s Farm. Terror today is
everywhere. This means that its contemporary proliferation is so great that its numbers
surpass the amount of animals counted in the proverbial children’s song. Let us then
conduct a non-scientific survey of what’s happening in the world of terrorism, and later
on try to enumerate some of the reasons behind the “terror” wielded by the Human
Rights Helsinki/Watch organization.
Terror Around The World:
It would be only appropriate if we began with one of the oldest groups of terrorists whose
roots go all the way back to the late forties and the Chinese Communist revolution started
by Mao Zedong. The ruthless Shining Path terrorists of Peru are still alive and doing
their destructive work, even though their leader was arrested and put away for good. They
are still active in Lima, the capital of Peru, or in the jungles as well as other urban
centers. If we move a bit up to the north of Peru, we encounter similar groups in
Columbia, the ruthess Colombian leftist insurgents which have been instrumental so far in
killing thousands of innocent Columbian citizens, and a few years back, a favored
Presidential nominee during the speech he was giving to his constituents. These people are
also responsible in the kidnapping and murder of several American businessmen working in
that country during the last decade.
A short jaunt to the west of Columbia brings us across the Zapatistas of Mexico. They have
the reputation of being as cruel as the government forces they’ve been struggling
against. The result is more death and desolation, and the tragedy continues.
Guatemala to the east of Mexico has been the hot bed of terrorism as far as anyone can
remember. Last year was its 40th anniversary. The Guatemalan government has been fighting
them with increased fervor with every passing decade.
In Costa Rica and Panama in Central America, and further down in Chile in South America,
terroristic activities have been part of the daily news during the last months of 1994.
The United States of America and Canada were the scene of several sinister activities of
the ASALA. This political and murderous organization assassinated more than 60 Turkish
diplomats around the world. It had all started in the State of California in the
seventies. Their senseless carnage was finally stopped a few years ago, when several of
their members were apprehended, tried, and sentenced to “long” prison terms.
The USA, in a more recent development, has officially added its name among the relentless
fighters of domestic and foreign terrorists. The New York City Trade Center bombing and
the Oklahoma City debacle demonstrated, once and for all, the necessity of adopting
diligent defensive methods and applying effective prosecution measures. On the European
continent, Spain has had its share of separatist terrorist movements of seditious
revolutionaries. For as long as one remembers, these Basque terrorists have so far killed
and maimed thousands of Spaniards, among them many judiciary members of the Spanish
Supreme Court and a goodly number of high governmental functionaries.
More Examples of
Terrorism Throughout the World
Northern Ireland, nowadays seems to be basking under the
warm sunshine of peace. It was the IRA who unilaterally proposed an armistice, which
is enjoyed by everyone. But it was the IRA which was responsible in the last 25
years or so of innumerable political assassinations. The relentless pursuit of their
torturous agenda liquidated scores of people in Northern Ireland, and in various
large population centers of England. They even came close to blowing up in the
middle eighties the then prime minister of England, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, while
she was attending a political party convention in Brighton, in southern
Returning again to the European continent, we observe pockets of insurgencies in
France, Germany, Italy, and in Norway. In the case of the French Republic, we see
the Algerian Muslim fundamentalists and in Germany, a decade or so ago, the infamous
and very deadly Baader Meinhof gang. These terrorists were gradually decimated by
the German police and the remnants who were in prison serving time, were found, one
morning, to have all committed “suicide” in their cells. This dubious, but at
the same time, convenient gesture of theirs afforded the German government to forego
the expenses and the political headaches which were sure to follow. Nevertheless,
the woes of Germany were not soon to disappear. There are close to 600,000 Kurds
residing in Germany today. The majority of them is known to support the infamous
PKK, the self-avowed Marxist-Leninist terrorists who have been creating pure havoc
for the country. Just last week, the German police detained 200 of their followers
during an unauthorized, illegal rally, which turned into a small battle field.
In Italy, the Red Brigade of a decade ago, who killed hundreds of people in broad
daylight, is still fresh in everyone’s memory. They were able to kidnap, torture,
and kill the Prime Minister of the day, Aldo Moro, and shortly after that, they
succeeded in kidnapping the NATO Commander in Italy, the U.S. Brigadier General
James Dosier. But the incarcerated general was able to escape from them.
All terrorists are not necessarily of military or political background. To date,
Italy must have lost hundreds of its top judiciary personnel at the hands of the
Sicilian Mafia, and there is no excuse for the existence of these terrorists either.
In Algeria, on the North African scene, terrorists have been operating for years,
and the government forces, equally, have been killing or jailing the insurgents by
the dozens. The recent elections may have given the new President, Liamine Zeroud,
of Algeria some sense of legitimacy in the fight against the Muslim fundamentalist
terrorists. They are notorious in killing in Algeria more journalists than any other
place on earth.
Libya happens to be among nations declared by the US government as being a state
sponsored terrorist country. Their operatives are proven to have downed the Pan
American plane over Scotland a few years ago. The two Libyans responsible for the
Lockerbee incident are still roaming the streets of Tripoli in perfect freedom
Egypt, to the east of Libya is another story. In this area the Muslim fundamentalist
organizations constitute a huge problem for the government of Egypt. Having
assassinated Anwar Sadat a decade or so earlier, they now are after President Hosni
Mubarak. Hundreds of their disciples have been killed and scores of others have been
executed by the Egyptian authorities. Nevertheless, the terrorists also have killed
several Egyptian officials and many U.S. and European tourists during various
attacks in Cairo and in the hinterland. Syria’s government itself is ranked among
the most virulent sponsors of state terrorism. The dictator of Syria, Hafez
al-Assad, is reputed to have put to death more than 50,000 of his own fellow Arabs
in the city of Hama soon after he took over the country in the early seventies.
has been waging a cruel war against one of its semi-autonomous republics called
Iran remains the world’s most active and most dangerous state
sponsor of terrorism through its own state agents and the radical groups it supports.
According to the Mujahidine faction of Iran, the Islamic laws enacted when Ayatolla
Khomeini was alive are still as deadly as ever. The Islamic Revolution is rumored to have
liquidated close to 200,000 dissidents so far, and their deadly work still continues
Iraq also feels very comfortable in sponsoring world-wide terrorism. It wasn’t too long
ago that Saddam Hussein had planned to assassinate former president George Bush, during
his visit to Kuwait, and Iraqi agents were responsible for numerous attacks on the
international humanitarian, and relief organizations personnel monitoring the U.N.
sanctions in Iraq.
In the Commonwealth of Independent States, or with its more cornmon name Russia, the
government has been waging a cruel war against one of its semi-autonomous republics called
Chechnya. This tiny Muslim enclave is, in
Moscow’s eyes, a renegade, terrorist group determined to pluck its independence from
Russia. The military, so far, has killed thousands of Chechnian men, women, and children.
The struggle does not appear to have an ending in the near future.
In Afghanistan, the local government has been fighting the Muslim Fundamentalist
terrorists ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Both sides are using weaponry sent
there by America during the Soviet Afghani war.
Pakistan is a country where recently 3 U.S citizens have lost their lives, and a car bomb
last week has killed scores of Egyptian Embassy personnel, as well as several innocent
Sri Lanka is a small independent island country south of India where Tamil separatists are
using terrorist tactics to force the Sri Lankan government to grant them full
independence. Scores of Tamil insurgents have lost their lives to this date.
In Indonesia, the Timor separatists have been a thorn in the side of the government which
has been decimating countless numbers of ”Timor terrorists,” which is a number equal
to the casualties they cause to the Sri Lankan government most of the time.
The Philippines has been fighting the Islamic extremist terrorist groups for years. One
such group is headed by Abu Sayyaf. A year ago they kidnapped a U.S. Missionary but was
rescued unharmed two weeks later. In the last two decades, the Islamic terrorists have
killed scores of Filipinos.
Japan has been plagued by numerous acts of violence of internal terrorism from the
earliest days of U.S. occupation in 1945. Even today, Japan is continuing to be affected
by periodic spurts of violence of one sort or another, which brings us to the latest
poison gas attacks on the Tokyo subways by “Aum,” a political terrorist group and
their cult leader, Shiko Ashiara, responsible for the “Sarin” gas attack which
occurred in Tokyo a few months ago. Initially 6 people lost their lives and the number of
casualties was said to be staggering at the time.
The Error Of The Terror- Watchers
In all cases mentioned above, foreign governments consider
dealing with their own brand of terrorists and other undesirable elements as part of
their internal affairs. Every country has, more or less, a similar defense policy.
In most countries the terrorists are confronted with raw force, they are either
apprehended and jailed, or perish during the armed clashes encountered with the
defense forces. The right to protect the territorial integrity is paramount and it
constitutes a well underlined section of the United Nations Charter established in
1945. Nonetheless, very few signatories of the U.N. Charter go through the agonizing
double standard and the unfair scrutiny that the Turkish Government is subjected to
at the hands of these highly biased human rights organizations. It behooves us to go
through repetitious words hoping to clarify the misconceptions left by the
detractors of the Turks. As ineffective as it may sound, this process has to be
hammered out for all the decent, caring people to read and pass on to others. The
injustices displayed by these so-called human rights organizations are inexcusable.
According to the Center For National Security Studies, a Washington, DC.-based
research organization, trends in domestic and international terrorism have started
to show a slight decline. Just the same, this is no time to celebrate the small
gains observed in the rate of descent of terrorism in the world. The lethality
factor is the more alarming one, because it is here that we see a substantial
increase. As hard as it is to believe, this very increase in 1993 was caused by a
campaign of 150 attacks executed by the PKK. These ruthless attacks against Turkish
interests in Western Europe were carried out on two separate occasions. On June 24,
and again on November 4, about 75 deadly attacks were perpetrated on each one of
those two days.
ft is understandable that no statistical decline in the rate of the international
strife could constitute any solace for the Turkish citizens whose lives have been,
and still are, on the line every day since 1983.
Terrorism is a serious problem, and calls for a serious response. But when a
government such as the Republic of Turkey decides to take drastic measures to
protect the integrity of its territory, and in the process adopts necessary
stringent regulations, the Amnesty International or the Human Rights Watch/ Helsinki
groups start making outrageous accusations against the Turkish government for
allegedly violating the constitutional rights of these terrorists. Their accusations
are always followed by demands reminiscent of the days of “capitulations” of a
It seems that everything here depends on “whose
bull Is being gored.” Turkey today, with or without this ‘decline’ in the rate
of terrorism, still remains to be the recipient of a “double whammy.” It is
getting deadly blows on the one hand from the PKK, a faction of the state-sponsored
terrorism of Syria, and on the other hand from the apologists for the PKK, who go as
far as addressing letters to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the bloody organization.
Those who wish to have a living proof substantiating the above statement could
glance at the news below:
Bonn, Germany- The Turkish Foreign Minister Deniz Baykal during his official visit
with his German counterpart Klaus Kinkel said that Turkey was very displeased with
the meeting between the German deputy Hans Lummer and terrorist leader Abdullah
Mr. Mehmet Gücük, a representative of the Turkish Embassy in Washington, states in
a recent Press Release that the Human Rights Watch/Helsinki’s recognition of the
PKK and its willing engagement in official correspondence with the members of
terrorist organizations should be deemed very controversial and regrettable. The
statement continues: “the views of these organizations are seriously impaired and
type of unacceptable behavior of these organizations creates grave implications
regarding their status as fair arbiters or unbiased observers
We understand that when these biased human
rights organizations decide to chastise the PKK they use only inoffensive, limp and
flaccid condemnations. Recently the Human Rights Watch/Helsinki folks had the
audacity to employ such a droopy, and wimpish accusation against a group of
cutthroats known as the PKK. The following is a good illustration for this:
“The Human Rights Watch /Helsinki Accuses PKK Of Violating The Geneva Conventions”
This type of unacceptable behavior of these organizations creates grave implications
regarding their status as fair arbiters or unbiased observers, and their ‘soft
slap’ on the wrist of one of the most cruel killing machines in the world, could
only be described as being “derelict and irresponsible.”
Democratic countries around the world, including first and foremost, the United
States, as well as France and Germany, and others, recognize the PKK for the
ruthless terrorist organization that it is. Furthermore, it does not represent
Turkish citizens of Kurdish descent and has never enjoyed the legitimacy of being a
The problem lies not only with the terror itself, but also with the terror-watchers.
What we’re talking about here is not an inadvertent type happening. When all is
said and done and when all analyses are evaluated, a clear case of premeditation
becomes the obvious answer. In each and every infuriating, erroneous statement of
theirs one senses a deliberate prejudice against Turkey.
For many of us the most unfathomable mystery is the unanswered and perhaps the
unanswerable question of why there is a deliberate attempt to destroy Turkey by
methodically weakening her. Who should replace Turkey once she is toppled under
their sinister plan?
The Turkish Prime Minister, Tansu Çiller, said the following during a state visit
to England just last week. “We are proud to have built the only secular democratic
nation among the world’s 52 Muslim states.” Earlier following the Oklahoma City
bombing where 87 innocent souls had lost their lives, she had also said that the
Turkish people had been enduring similar tragedies for almost 15 years.
The insensitive human rights brokers, playing dangerous games with the lives of 65
million Turks, come from affluent societies. They represent rich nations. But
something appears to have gone wrong with their morals. They no longer possess the
concept of fair-play and nobility their ancestors were ascribed to in the past.
Famous American novelist John Updike not so very long ago put it this way: “The
fact that ... we still live well cannot ease the pain of feeling that we no longer
live nobly.” And as the French say: “Noblesse Oblige.”
Mahmut Esat Ozan
Holdwater ponders: According to Steven Mufson of The Washington
Post (Oct. 9, 2000), The Armenian
Assembly of America, founded in 1972 and with 7,000 individual and organizational
members (and a budget of $2.5 million), has “made allies with Greek Americans
and human rights groups, longtime critics of Turkey.”
takes little stretch of the imagination to visualize Greeks and Armenians
French-kissing each other in an orgiastic love-lock over their common enemy… but why
in the world would supposedly objective human rights organizations wish to make “allies”
of Armenians ?
Article 3 of the Helsinki
Declaration of Human Rights
... urges the media to uphold “tolerance and friendship among individuals
and groups and to contribute to the eradication of racism, racial discrimination and
racial prejudice, in particular by refraining from presenting a stereotyped,
partial, unilateral or tendentious picture of individuals and of various human
It is about time to use this
particular Human Rights article against the racist, one-sided "Armenian
Genocide" coverage in the West, relying on propaganda and false history,
resulting in serious defamation of the Turkish people and nation... by reinforcing
the "Terrible Turk" stereotype.
TWO RELATED VIEWPOINTS
The following letters were written by two Turks,
expounding on the "Terror Watchers"
Rights and Turkey
It seems that Turkey has been chosen by the United States and the West as the
scapegoat for concerted “Human Rights” procedures. The recent “Human Rights”
report of the U.S. government is a new evidence of this.
The first question which comes to mind is the double standard in selecting Turkey as
the prime suspect or the prime culprit while other blatant violators are glossed
over or neglected. Furthermore, it is rather sad that these one sided accusations
emanate from a super power which neglects or is ineffectual concerning the gross,
wholesale human rights violations by the Serbs in Bosnia and by the Russians in
Chechnya and the Caucasus. The credibility of the accusers is suspect.
If there are any human rights violations in Turkey—and which country can claim
full innocence—we are already striving to end such violations and are punishing
the violators in courts of law. It should be understood that we do this because of
self respect and not to please others. As a proud nation we cannot tolerate “human
right inspectors” with doubtful credentials and certain prejudices.
Most of the so-called violations might be due to the implementation of existing
laws. Some of them are unavoidable results of the conditions due to the struggle
against murderous terrorist groups. But it is also certain that most of the cases
are hearsay, taken from the pages of the organ of the PKK and compiled by those who
are prejudiced or those who have made up their minds that Turkey is a country where
human rights are routinely violated.
Of course, our own liberals who do the same thing from their magazines, newspapers
do not help to clear the honor of their country—but do the exact opposite with
gusto. Some of the accusations are based on their columns.
Take the example of the Kurdish MPs who were ousted from the Turkish Parliament
according to the due processes of the law because it was established that they were
linked to the PKK terrorist organization. No democratic country would allow members
who have violated their oath of allegiance and have been found guilty of sedition
and treason to remain in the Parliament, with impunity. Subsequent activities such
as joint meetings with the representatives of the PKK have proven that they were
indeed guilty. Democracy and human rights does not, should not prevent any country
to defend itself against treason and sedition.
In battle conditions nobody should expect Turkish Armed Forces and the Turkish
Security Forces—or for that matter any soldiers or police of any other country—to
respond to terrorist brutality by offering flowers!
Human Rights in Turkey is primarily a problem for Turks and it is imperative for our
self respect that we are not talked down to or punished by foreigners how ever
well-meaning they might be. Furthermore who is minding the human rights of innocent
Turkish citizens, teachers soldiers and government workers who are being brutally
murdered by the PKK.
February 18, 1997
In response to the article “Amnesty International reaches out to voice concerns for
Human Rights” by Maggie Ward in the December 10, 1996 issue of The Albrightian, I need
to offer some comments about the misguiding nature of the article’s contents, which have
been written based upon the literature of Amnesty International.
Ward states that in Turkey, “Everyday innocent civilians (men, women, and children) are
subjected to unthinkable torture for minor offenses that many are not even guilty of
There are several problems with this statement.
First, one of the main themes of Amnesty International’s campaign in Turkey has been
advertised, based upon this organization’s literature, as alleviating the alleged
mistreatment of detained prisoners without due legal processes. However, it should be
clarified that Amnesty International conveys Turkish prisoners as innocent civilians, when
in actuality the detainees’ spectrum ranges from conscientious nonviolent writers to
ultra-violent political terrorists who kill men, women, and children at will.
If one of the issues of concern is the torture of prisoners, and if the cases presented by
are thoroughly investigated, then of course the Turkish state is completely responsible
for fighting for the protection of all of their human rights. However, generalizing to
implicate in this statement that the lives of all innocent, ordinary citizens are at risk
every minute of the day is especially disturbing!
Making such a comment leads the average person who doesn’t know anything about Turkey to
think that it is a place where people can’t leave their homes without fear of being
detained, and such a situation certainly does not exist!
I have been to Turkey many times and am going this year with my family to visit our
relatives there. We have a wonderful time, and our safety has never crossed our minds.
Furthermore, if the lives of all people in Turkey, both citizens and noncitizens, are
randomly at stake, then why do approximately eleven million tourists visit Turkey each
year, including John F. Kennedy, Jr., who chose this country of all those in the world for
I would also like to comment on the signs on which the Turkish campaign is being
advertised. One sign included a quote by a Turkish lawyer, who allegedly stated that it is
cause for rejoicing if people come out of Turkish prisons alive.
The name of the Turkish lawyer was not included, and the quote was not dated or documented
in any way. Is it legitimate to submit a research paper for class without citing and
documenting the sources of its contents?
If the answer is no, then information displayed in this way can not be regarded as valid,
In considering the issues of torture, military aid, and the PKK that Amnesty International
claims to be addressing, one needs to thoroughly study the history, economy, and
sociopolitical situations in Turkey to understand these issues, instead of relying on a
few pages supplied by this international organization which can make misleading
Where the genuine interest in human rights stop and the political anti-Turkish campaign
starts has not been well delineated.
The literature of Amnesty International provides information contradictory to credible
literature by American and European sources, about topics including but not limited to the
nature of the PKK, military aid, and the most recent sociopolitics of the region. These
sources have been shared with Ward.
As far as the safety and security issues for an ordinary person on the streets are
concerned, I am looking forward to having a beautiful, exciting vacation in my parents’
native land, which we visit almost every year. You don’t have to take my word for it.
Just join me!
Protocol Abolishing Death Sentence
STRASBOURG — Turkey has ratified the Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms Concerning the abolition of the
death penalty in all circumstances. Turkey signed the protocol on January 9th, 2004
by taking into consideration the Protocol No. 6.
Turkey signed the Protocol No.6 to the Convention, concerning the Abolition of the
Death Penalty, on January 15th, 2003, and approved it on December 12th, 2003.
Protocol No. 6 to the Convention does not exclude the death penalty in respect of
acts committed in time of war or of imminent threat of war. Under the Protocol No.
13, the death penalty shall be abolished and no one shall be condemned to such
penalty or executed. No derogation from the provisions of this Protocol shall be
made under Article 15 of the Convention, and no reservation may be made under
Article 57 of the Convention in respect of the provisions of this Protocol. Armenia,
Azerbaijan and Russia have not signed the Protocol No. 13 while Albania, France,
Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Moldova, Poland and Spain have not ratified the protocol
although they signed it.
Why does the left hate Turkey?
How Turkey Can Make
the Western Media Happy