September 12, 2009 is the 29th dark anniversary of the 1980 Military Coup, second phase of a process of militarization in all fields of the country. Previously, the coup d’état of March 12, 1971 had already abolished or destroyed many democratic rights and institutions by the application of a repression without precedent. The 1980 Coup completed the militarization by imposing to the country a racist and despotic constitution following a more cruel repression.
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 its modification can never be proposed.
For 29 years, despite all protests of democratic forces, parliamentary powers have always passed under silence the demand of judging the authors of this criminal putsch. 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.
It should be recalled that the Army has, during last 12 years, carried out two new direct interventions in political life, on February 28, 1997, and April 27, 2007. Moreover, as seen in the accusation act of the Ergenekon Proceedings, Army officers have prepared three plans of intervention in 2003 and 2004.
While these last ones are being tried simply for attempting to make a military coup, those commanders who already carried out the coups of 1971 and 1980 as well as the direct interventions of 1997 and 2007 still remain immunized against any legal proceeding.
For this reason, on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of the 1980 Coup, many demonstrations are being organized in Turkey’s big cities.
Friday in Ankara, many democratic organizations organize a march towards the US Embassy for protesting against the role played by Washington in the preparation of this coup.
Saturday 12 September, many demonstrations will take place mainly in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Adana.
In Izmir, after a round table on the 1980 Coup, the participants will march to the residence of Former General Kenan Evren, principal putschist of the period.
Democratic organizations demand that the putschists of the 1980 Coup be tried for the following crimes that they committed after the military coup:
• Within two years, more than 650,000 people were taken into custody and subjected to torture.
• Information on 1 million 683 thousand people were recorded.
• 210,000 political cases were opened in military courts.
• A total of 98,404 people were tried because of their "thoughts."
• 71,500 people stood trial under articles 141, 142 and 163 of former Penal Code.
• 6,353 people were tried under the menace of capital punishment.
• 517 people were condemned to capital punishment.
• 50 people were hanged.
• 21,764 people were sentenced to heavy prison terms.
• 171 people were documented to have died under torture.
• 299 people lost their lives in prison due to maltreatment and hunger strikes to protest this maltreatment.
• 348.000 persons were forbidden to travel abroad.
• 30 thousand people went to exile as “asylum seekers”.
• 14,000 persons were deprived of Turkish nationality.
• 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.
• 3.854 teachers were fired.
• 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.
• 937 movies were banned.
• 2,792 authors, translators and journalists were tried.
• Journalists were condemned to a total of 3.315 years and 3 months prison sentence.
• 31 journalists were imprisoned, hundreds of them were attacked and three were shot dead.
• 113,607 books were burned.
• 39 tons of books, magazines and newspapers were destroyed by the State’s paper mills.
The recent timid initiative taken by the government under the title of "democratic opening" is completely ridiculous because it proposes nothing for a real democratization conforming to European norms by a radical modification of the 1982 Constitution.
As we have already announced for many years, 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).
The following measures should be put in practice for eradicating the remnants of the fascist dictatorship of the Army:
- 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.
- Interdiction of the military’s interference in the political, social and cultural life of the country.
- Ousting the commanders from their posts when they maintain their threats and provocations.
- 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.
- It is also vital to decrease considerably the budget of military expenditures used to oppress the Kurdish people and to threaten the neighboring countries.
- 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.
- A general amnesty must be declared for all political prisoners or detainees.
- 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.
- The fundamental rights of the Kurdish people and the Assyrian, Armenian, Greek minorities must be recognized without exception and restriction.
- The genocide committed at the beginning of the century against Armenians and Assyrians must be recognized by the Turkish State.
- Any interference of Ankara in the political and social life of the countries hosting Turkish nationals must be stopped.
This is also a call to the leaders of the European Union and of its member states who always flirt with political power in Turkey. For the strategic, economic and commercial interests, they do not hesitate to promote the servants of the Turkish Lobby in political parties ad in legislative and executive bodies to the detriment of the democratic values gained thanks to historical fights of European peoples.
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