The Acts of the Democracies

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Years : ALL

Aggressor / Perpetrator Country : Turkey

18 Items Selected

Generated : 15th June 2024



Greeks in Turkey

16 Greeks are killed and hundreds tortured in Istanbul (Turkey) during a pogrom organised by state authorities. Hundreds of women are raped. 73 churches are destroyed. Turkey is a member of the USA led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).


Coup in Turkey

A military coup occurs in Turkey.

The Prime Minister and two of his ministers are executed. A new constitution is prepared giving the military and increased role in politics.

In recent history, Turkey has been run by military regimes which violate the rights of dissidents and of the large Kurdish minority. Even speaking the Kurdish language is forbidden until the early 1990s.

As a member of NATO, Turkey's abuses are tolerated by the West and are generally unreported in Western media.


Greeks in Turkey

All Greek nationals living in Istanbul (Turkey) are expelled from the country after a two day notice.


Turkey in Cyprus

Greece attempts to unite itself with Cyprus, which has a majority of Greeks and a minority of Turks. Turkey invades and divides the island.

37% of the country is occupied with 40,000 troops stationed on the island. Eventually 120.000 Turkish settlers ("colonists") would move to the north of the island.

Both Greece and Turkey are NATO members so little is said. The UK, one of the three guarantors of Cypriot independence, has bases on the island but does nothing.


Greeks in Turkey

Turkey disallows the use of the term "Greek Orthodox" in official documents referring to Greeks in the city of Antioch. Many Greek surnames are forcibly Turkified.


Kurds in Turkey

In Turkey, the government launches a major war in the South East of the country against the Kurdish population. Villages are cleared and many are killed. This ethnic cleansing and genocide is ignored by the Western media because Turkey is a NATO country and the USA has many military bases in the Kurdish parts of the country.

After World War I, France and the UK divided up large areas of the Middle East between them. The Kurds were forgotten and ended up being distributed between Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria with no homeland of their own.

The Kurds had been oppressed throughout the whole history of the modern Turkish state. Even their language was banned until the 1990s and they are referred to as Mountain Turks.

After World War I, France and the UK divided up large areas of the Middle East between them. The Kurds were forgotten and ended up being distributed between several countries (Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria) with no homeland of their own.

This is a map of historical Kurdistan.

Kurdish victims
The Turkish army has killed thousands of its Kurdish population, clearing hundreds of villages over a 20 year period. Turkey is a NATO country with USA military bases so very little of this genocide is reported in the West.


Kurds in Turkey

In the parliament of Turkey, deputies who speak the phrase "Turkish-Kurdish brotherhood" are arrested and tried for "violating the unity of the Turkish nation".

In the Constitution of the Turkish republic, the following phrase is mentioned thirty-three times:

"Anybody who opposes the indivisibility of the Turkish Republic with its nation and its country, will be deprived of their basic human rights and freedoms."

The Kurds, a large minority in the south-east of the country who are referred to as Mountain Turks. A law banning the speaking of Kurdish on the streets is repealed; however, it remains illegal to speak Kurdish in court, in official settings, or at public meetings, and many cultural prohibitions remain in effect.



Security forces in Turkey shoot and kill 74 people in house raids. Evidence suggests that the killings are deliberate executions. Security forces also shoot and kill more than 100 peaceful demonstrators. Many people disappear while in the custody of police or the military.

In the Kurdish region, the government fails to investigate the assassinations of 165 people by assailants using death squad tactics. Among those killed are journalists, teachers, doctors, human rights activists and political leaders; many suspect government complicity in the killings.


Torture in Turkey

Amnesty International documents the use of virginity testing in Turkey as a means of criminalising, threatening and abusing women and considers it a form of torture and ill-treatment.

For women detainees, threats of rape are often compounded by police taunts that rape will deprive women of their virginity and honor, prevent them from marrying and cause them to be ostracized by their families and communities. Police emphasis on virginity in the harassment and abuse of female detainees also has led them to use the threat or performance of forced virginity exams to harass, humiliate, intimidate, frighten, punish and torture women detainees.

A year earlier, a 43 year old Kurdish woman and her 19 year old daughter were arrested while they were attending a funeral in Diyarbakir. They were tortured and interrogated about how they knew the man who had been buried. According to the daughter:

"They constantly threatened to take me for virginity control and then to rape me when and if they found out I wasn't a virgin."

The Kurdish village of Ormanii in eastern Turkey is attacked by Turkish troops. 7 villagers (including a child) are forced to lie in the snow for over 8 hours before being taken to a nearby Army base. After several days in freezing temperatures in a room exposed to the weather, 5 of the villagers develop frostbite and gangrene. One villager eventually dies, and 4, including the child, have their feet amputated.


Kurds and Greeks in Turkey

In Turkey hundreds of women and girls (as young as 12) are raped during military operations against Kurds. Turkish Television reports soldiers even raping dead female guerrillas. The Turkish President says that the soldiers were just "22 or 23 year old guys who can't control themselves".

In Tunceli province only 18 villages remain intact out of over 60 after a military operation against Kurds. Men are kidnapped by Turkish security forces to act as porters. Troops, backed by helicopters, destroy the villages of Buzlutepe and Bilekli by aerial bombardment, burning and shell fire, killing 6 persons. The soldiers then burn down a number of other villages in the area.

Village guards are used to spy on and control Kurdish villages. In one incident village guards attack the village of Kutlu killing 6 people including a 78 year old man and several children.

Two Turkish fighter-bombers drop 4 large bombs on the village of Ku Konar. The bombs are dropped after a helicopter overflight. Two of the bombs land directly in the middle of the village, killing 24 people, including 12 children.

More than 100 Greek school children in Istanbul are denied access to Turkish universities even though they have passed the relevant examinations.

The government of Turkey uses an ancient Greek Orthodox church (Haghia Eirene) in Istanbul as a stage of a beauty contest insulting millions of Orthodox Christians around the world. The Church was built in the 6th Century AD, was later converted to a mosque, and finally transformed to a museum in 1923. It is a World Heritage Site protected by UNESCO.


Kurds in Turkey

Turkey begins an offensive against its substantial Kurdish minority. 3500 villages are destroyed, nearly 3 million people are driven out of their homes, and tens of thousands are killed.

Yashar Kemal, (author of 36 books and a perennial candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature) is charged with violating anti-terrorism laws in Turkey. The charges stem from an article about the oppression of the Kurds in Turkey written for a German magazine, Der Spiegel.

Because Turkey is a NATO country and has USA bases, Western criticism is muted. The USA provides 80% of Turkey's arms.



Esber Yagmurdereli, a 53 year old peace campaigner, is given a 23 year jail sentence in Turkey. He is arrested as he leaves a radio station after joining a talk show on 'freedom of conscience'.


Kurds in Turkey

Leyla Zana, the first Kurdish woman to be elected to parliament in Turkey, has a 15 year sentence increased by 2 years by a panel of 3 judges (2 civilian; 1 military) for her views on Kurdish rights. Hatip Dicle (another Kurdish parliamentarian) is also sentenced to 15 years in prison for pro-Kurdish views. She would not be released until 2004 when she would be nominated for a Nobel Peace prize.

The Kurds are a significant minority in the south and east of Turkey. The USA has many military bases in the region and provides military aid to Turkey. Over 27,000 people have died under severe government suppression.

Ragip Duran becomes the 29th journalist imprisoned in Turkey. Turkish laws prohibit journalists from covering certain issues like the country's Kurdish minority.

Some three hundred issues of left wing, pro-Kurdish, or pro-Islamic publications are confiscated and numerous journals were closed down. Ulkede Gundem (Agenda in the Land), a newspaper advocating the recognition of Kurdish identity, is fined heavily and closed by court order for 312 days. Issues of Hevi (Hope), a weekly newspaper in Kurdish are confiscated 43 times during the first nine months of the year. In Diyarbakir, Sefik Beyaz, former head of the Kurdish Institute, is sentenced to one year imprisonment and a heavy fine for "making separatist propaganda by playing Kurdish music" during his election campaign in 1995.

TV stations are closed for "airing programs in Kurdish". The Kurdish Culture and Research Foundation is forbidden to run classes in Kurdish. Several universities refuse to register female students who wear traditional Muslim head scarves.

Dr. Eda Guver, is charged with "abusing her authority and violating the civil servants' code" after she asks security forces to leave her office while she was examining victims.

The European Union rejects Turkey's application for membership citing oppression of minorities and torture of suspects in custody as reasons.


Turkey Elections

In Turkey, the Justice and Development Party, led by Recep Erdogan, wins the election. Under Turkish law, Mr Erdogan is banned from politics after a conviction in 1998 and cannot become Prime Minister or serve in parliament. His conviction was for reciting a religious poem during a rally.

Dam in Turkey

French company, Spie (partially owned by UK company, Amec), applies to government of France for help to build a dam in Turkey.

The dam (called Ilisu II) would displace 15,000 people (mainly Georgians) and destroy habitats of endangered species (including brown bears) near the town of Yusufeli). 15,000 others will be affected by losing their economic and cultural centre. 17 villages would be flooded and the water supply to Georgia would be affected.

UK bank, Barclays, and French bank BNP Paribas have offered to finance the project.

Local people have been consulted only to a limited degree.


Kurds in Turkey

In 2003, Turkey passed a law allowing the substantial Kurdish minority to have their own radio stations for the first time.

As a consequence, the first Kurdish television program is broadcast showing a 30 minute program in a language that was banned until 1991.

Turkey has denied the existence of its Kurdish minority (12 million people out of a total population of 70 million) for decades. Over 37,000 Kurds have been killed by the Turkish military in the east of the country where the USA has bases. Western criticism of the actions as well as Western media coverage has been muted.

Nobel Peace prize nominee, Leyla Zena, is released after 10 years in prison. She had been in Parliament between 1991 and 1994 where she campaigned for Kurdish rights. Three other Kurdish members of Parliament are also released.


Minorities in Turkey

Thirteen leaders of a pro-Kurdish political party are prosecuted in Turkey. Their crime was to hold a party congress using the Kurdish language rather than Turkish. If convicted they face prison sentences up to 6 months.

Ibrahim Kaboglu and Baskin Oran, two professors who prepared a report in 2004 calling for Turkey to grant more rights to their minorities, are charged with "inciting hatred and emnity". They could face up to five years imprisonment.


Kurds in Turkey

In Turkey, Ahmet Turk, head of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), and Aysel Tugluk, the party's deputy leader, are both imprisoned for 18 months for using the Kurdish language in political leaflets.

The leaflets were distributed on International Women's Day in March 2006.

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