Türkan Uzun is the editor and owner of the publishing company which publishes antikapitalist (http://www.antikapitalist.net/) newspaper in Turkey and also a series of pamphlets from ide publications.
Türkan now faces two prosecutions in Turkey’s State Security Court. The pamphlet entitled The European Union, Democracy, Human Rights and Struggle has been seized by the police.
Türkan has been charged under section 8 of the Anti-Terrorist Law for the section of the pamphlet which refers to the “European Union and Democracy” and the “European Union and the Kurds”. As owner of the publishing company she is held legally responsible for everything it prints.
The April issue of antikapitalist has also been seized by the police on orders from the State Security Court prosecutor. The charges are not yet known.
It is particularly ironic in a period when Turkey is seeking membership of the European Union that simply to publish a discussion of the relation between the European Union and human rights can land the publisher in court, threatened with a jail sentence.
Türkan predecessor as publisher, Tülay Koçak, spent six weeks in jail on remand on a similar charge in 1999, before the prosecution was suspended.
The Turkish government are trying to show a “civilised” face to the world while engaged in a savage attack on the living standards of ordinary people in Turkey. The recent economic crisis in Turkey and the IMF inspired “stability package” have effectively cut the living standards of those still in work by 40%, while throwing hundreds of thousands out of their jobs. It is the government?s extreme nervousness about any possible fightback against these cuts that is leading to the cureent tightening up of repression. Trade union marches have been dispersed with tear gas and baton charges, with hundreds of arrests.
The fight to keep Türkan out of jail is part of all our fight against the anti-democratic face of the IMF and the World Bank.
We are asking you to get resolutions of support adopted by your organisation and/or write letters of protest and fax them to:
Foreign Minister, Turkish Republic
Fax: + 90 312 287 8811
(In most of Europe dial 00 for + in the USA dial 011)
Prof. Dr. Hikmet Sami TÜRK
Minister of Justice, Turkish Republic
Fax: + 90 312 417 3954
Please send a copy of any protest letters by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your solidarity
Important update 14 June 2001: Police visited the offices of antikapitalist today. The State Security Court Prosecutor has added a new charge under section 169 of the Criminal Code “Aiding and providing succour for an illegal organisation”. It appears that increasing pressure from Europe over prosecutions that only refer to the contents of an article is leading prosecutors to add this charge to these kinds of proecutions as a matter of routine. These new charges increase the potential penalties against Türkan and make the need for protest messages even more urgent.
Last updated on 22.6.2001