sent to Irish Times re: Turkish Ad in Irish Times
on Monday 8th, Dec. 2002.
contrast between the front page photograph in the
Irish Times, (Monday 9th December) and the
half page ad. on page three, are stark. In the photograph
an elderly Kurdish woman weeps in grief while remembering
her relatives, who suffocated a year ago on a lorry
in Wexford, as they fled Turkey seeking a safer life
the advertisement influential Turkish state agencies
attempt to persuade us that Turkey is a democratic,
prosperous and peaceful European State. The advertisement
is aimed towards convincing the Irish government to
support Turkey's accession to the EU. The ad. informs
us that "The Turkey of today is a dynamic, sound
democracy with a rich cultural heritage, just the
place to enjoy all the values you expect to find elsewhere
may well be true if the democratic values one expects
includes 10,000 political prisoners held for their
opposition to the regime. Widespread torture - including
sexual abuse and rape - in police stations and prisons
have been documented by respected human rights defenders.
Turkey's political code also bans left-wing groups
and police frequently raid and close down their media
a number of very recent and unproven legislative reforms,
such as abolition of the death penalty, the Turkish
state continues to implement a policy of holding 2,000
political prisoners in six 'isolation prisons'. The
protests and hunger strikes against this policy have
led to 101 deaths in over two years, and they are
still ongoing. We are also approaching the second
anniversary of the police and military attack on prisoners
which resulted in 28 deaths, six of them women prisoners
burned to death at Bayrampasa prison in Istanbul.
isolation imprisonment policies have been condemned
by agencies such as Amnesty International, Human Rights
Watch and the European Committee for the Prevention
of Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)
as well as many trade union and legal bodies within
Turkey itself. In early 2002 a possible solution to
the protests against the isolation prison policy was
brokered, only to be rejected by the Turkish government.
Turkish advertisers are correct in one aspect of their
ad. "Turkey - Actions Speak Louder Than Words".
for "Solidarity with Hunger Strikers in Turkey"
Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews +
Letters + Archives