Communiqué by four organizations issued from political emigration coming from Turkey:

September 12, 2007 is the 27th dark anniversary of the 1980 Military Coup. For 27 years, despite all protests and demands of democratic forces, parliamentary powers have always passed under silence this criminal putsch committed by the commanders of the Turkish Army. The constitution imposed by the Junta has remained in force. Successive governments have ruled the country always under the threats and blackmails of the military hierarchy.

The elections of July 22, 2007 created an exceptional chance to break this yoke and to eradicate all the remnants of the repressive regime founded by the military.

In fact, for the first time in the history of the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish Army and its militarist allies in the political world underwent a heavy defeat at the legislative elections in spite of the threats, pressures, obstructions and blackmails exerted for months.

Today, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), issued from Islamist movement, is the only power holder of the country after the election of its N°2, Abdullah Gül, to the presidency of the Republic. There are no more excuses to justify delays in fulfilling the promises for a true democratization in this country waiting at anti-chambre of the European Union.

Moreover, despite all obstructions set up unanimously by the non-Kurdish political parties represented at the preceding National Assembly, 20 Kurdish deputies entered this Parliament and set up a political group of the Party for a Democratic Society (DTP).

Having so a legitimate Kurdish interlocutor, the current power composed of a President of the Republic, a single-party government and a parliamentary majority has now a historical chance to find a peaceful and honorable solution for a friendly coexistence and solidarity with the Kurdish people and with all the ethnic and religious minorities of the country.

In spite of this progress favorable to democratization, the illegal and provocative declarations of the chiefs of the Army continue. This is an inadmissible interference in the political life.

This is why the new Parliament must immediately make null and void the constitution imposed in 1982 by the military junta and adopt a new constitution worthy of the universal and European democratic standards.

One of the first things to be made in the process of demilitarization is to subject the chief of staff to the authority of the Minister for national defense, to cut off the excessive authorities of the National Security Council (MGK) and the Higher Military Council (YAS).

It is also vital to decrease considerably the budget of military expenditures used to oppress the Kurdish people and to threaten the neighboring countries, in particular Cyprus, Iraq, Syria, Armenia and Iran.

Black balance-sheet of the 1980 Military Coup

Today, at the 27th anniversary of the September 12, 1980 Military Coup, it is necessary to recall once more the crimes committed by the putschists who still remain untouched and unpunished: – The coup d’etat of September 12, 1980 was the second phase of a process of militarization in al fields of the country. Previously, the coup d’état of March 12, 1971 already had abolished or destroyed many democratic rights and institutions by the application of a repression without precedent. – The Constitution imposed in 1982 by the military junta abolished the last remnants of the freedoms recognized by the Constitution of 1961. The 1982 Constitution denies the basic rights of the Kurdish people and the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek minorities of Turkey. Articles 3, 42 and 66 preach the superiority and the monopoly of the Turkish race and language. Article 4 declares that Article 3 can never be modified, even the modification of this article can never be proposed. – The Army’s domination on the country’s political, economic and social life was guaranteed by the privileges recognized by this constitution to the National Security Council (MGK). – Within two years, more than 650,000 people were taken into custody and subjected to torture. – Thousands of people were left disabled. – 210,000 political cases were opened in military courts. – A total of 98,404 people were tried because of their "thoughts." – 6,353 people were tried under the menace of capital punishment. – 21,764 people were sentenced to heavy prison terms. – Fifty people were executed at the end of political trials. – Many convicts lost their lives in prison due to maltreatment and hunger strikes to protest this maltreatment. – Files were opened on 1,683,000 people. – Universities were placed under the discipline of the Higher Education Council (YOK), depended on political power. – 15,509 people were ousted from their university posts under Law No. 1402. – 18,000 public servants, 2,000 judges and prosecutors, 4,000 police officers, 2,000 army officers and 5,000 teachers were forced to resign. – All political parties were closed down. – The activities of 23,667 associations were halted. – The press was censored. – 4,509 people were sent into exile by the martial law – 113,607 books were burned. – 39 tons of books, magazines and newspapers were destroyed by the State’s paper mills. – 937 movies were banned. – 2,792 authors, translators and journalists were tried. – Journalists and writers were sentenced to a total imprisonment of 3,315 years and three months.

For a true democratization worthy of European standards

In spite of the return to the parliamentary system, the violations of the humans right continue, intellectuals and defenders of the human rights are always subjected to the threats of legal proceedings, physical aggressions and death.

Even after the last elections, the new Kurdish members of Parliament and the mayors of the Kurdish cities undergo political lawsuits one after other. Provocations and attempts multiply in order to prevent them from exerting their functions.

This is why, at the time of the 27th anniversary of the 1980 coup d’état, we call the current political power with its three components (Parliament, President of the Republic and Government) to eradicate all the remnants of the militarist regime by adopting the following measures: 1. Full modification of the current constitution imposed by the military; suppression of Articles 3, 4, 42 and 66 preaching the superiority and the monopoly of the Turkish race and language. 2. The electoral system imposing a national threshold of 10% to the detriment of the political parties representing different opinions, in particular Kurdish and left-wing, must be radically modified. 3. The persons responsible for the coups d’état in the past should be brought in front of the justice for having committed crimes against humanity. 4. The interference of the military in the political, social and cultural life of the country must be definitively prohibited, the commanders continuing their threats and provocations must be ousted from their posts. 5. A general amnesty must be declared for all political prisoners or detainees. 6. Not only Article 301 but also all undemocratic articles of the Turkish Penal Code, the Anti-Terror Law and other laws must be abolished; the legal proceedings against journalists, writers, artists, and teachers must be stopped. 7. The fundamental rights of the Kurdish people and the Assyrian, Armenian, Greek minorities must be recognized without exception and restriction. 8. The genocide committed at the beginning of the century against Armenians and Assyrians must be recognized by the Turkish State. 9. Any interference of Ankara in the political and social life of the countries hosting Turkish nationals must be stopped.

If the AKP power, as it did in the past, remains satisfied with certain cosmetic reforms without carrying out above-mentioned major changes, it will be impossible to talk of a true democratization in Turkey.

Brussels, September 12, 2007

Association of Armenian Democrats in Belgium

Associations of Assyrians in Belgium

Kurdish Institute of Brussels

Info-Türk Foundation

Correspondence: [email protected]

More information:
Kurdish Institute of Brussels
Bonneelsstraat 16, B-1210 Brussels | [email protected] | tel. +32-(0)2-230 89 30 | fax. + 32-(0)2-231.00.97