Case n° tk/39 - Leyla Zana Case n° tk/52 - Selim Sadak
Case n° tk/40 - Sedat Yurtdas Case n° tk/53 - Nizamettin Toguç
Case n° tk/41 - Hatip Dicle Case n° tk/55 - Mehmet Sinçar
Case n° tk/42 - Zübeyir Aydar Case n° tk/57 - Mahmut Kilinç
Case n° tk/43 - Mahmut Alinak Case n° tk/58 - Naif Günes
Case n° tk/44 - Ahmet Türk Case n° tk/59 - Ali Yigit
Case n° tk/48 - Sirri Sakik Case n° tk/62 - Remzi Kartal
Case n° tk/51 - Orhan Dogan

Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 160th session
(Seoul, 15 April 1997)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/160/14(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 159th session (September 1996) concerning the case of the above-mentioned parliamentarians, former members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA),

Taking account of the information and observations provided by the Turkish delegation at the hearing held on the occasion of the 97th Inter-Parliamentary Conference (April 1997),

Recalling that on 26 October 1995 the High Court of Appeal upheld the sentences of Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan, Mr. Sadak and Ms. Zana, who are accordingly due to remain imprisoned until the year 2005; that in January 1996, a petition against the decision was brought before the European Commission on Human Rights, which, according to information provided by the Commission's Secretariat, was conveyed to the Turkish Government in order to seek its observations but has not yet been declared admissible,

Bearing in mind that the European Parliament has on numerous occasions called for the release of the above former parliamentarians by considering a new amnesty bill, most recently in June 1996; that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, on the occasion of its 5th annual session (July 1996), reiterated its previous appeals " to release all prisoners detained solely for non-violent expression of their views, including the former MPs in question "; that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in its recommendation 1266 (April 1996) considered the continuing imprisonment of the four MPs concerned to be " a serious violation of human rights, negating the very essence of parliamentary democracy " and called for a presidential pardon or a new amnesty law,

Recalling Decision N° 40/1995 of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in which the detention of the former MPs concerned was declared arbitrary,

Recalling that on 11 April 1996 the Ankara State Security Court, after a second trial, sentenced Mr. Ahmed Türk, Mr. Sedat Yurtdas, Mr. Mahmut Alinak and Mr. Sirri Sakik to 14 months' imprisonment and a fine of 116,000,000 Turkish pounds (approx. US$ 1,590); that as a consequence of their being sentenced to a prison term exceeding 12 months they will be deprived of their political rights for life and Mr. Alinak and Mr. Yurtdas, who are both lawyers, will be debarred for life from exercising their profession; that the High Court of Appeal upheld this decision,

Recalling that, in the resolution adopted on this case in April 1996, it considered that " owing to these consequences the sentences become harsh and oppressive, which seems to reflect a deliberate attempt to prevent these former MPs from engaging in any future political activity ",

Noting that, national legal remedies having been exhausted, the deputies concerned are now entitled to bring their case before the European Commission on Human Rights,

Considering the assertion of the Turkish delegation that the Turkish Government was making every effort to bring Turkish legislation into line with European human rights standards and to permit consideration of the appeals made by many international organizations for the release of the MPs concerned, and that the fact that the combat against terrorism in south-eastern Turkey was coming to an end permitted a broader interpretation of the freedom of expression,

Considering that, according to the delegation, the Turkish Parliament adopted a law on 6 March 1997 which will benefit those currently prosecuted under certain penal norms, in particular the Anti-Terrorism Law; that, moreover, a draft law on parole has been tabled in Parliament which, upon adoption, will permit the release of the deputies currently serving their sentences,

Recalling that Mr. Sirri Sakik was rearrested on 27 June 1996 following a statement he had made on 23 June on leaving the party congress of HADEP during which one participant had taken down the Turkish flag and substituted a portrait of the leader of the PKK; that he reportedly declared to journalists from private TV channels waiting outside that " we wish our culture to be respected. We do not wish to be disrespectful of other languages, cultures or flags of other people. We should be respectful of the Turkish flag "; that on 23 August 1996, the Prosecutor General accused Mr. Sakik of separatist propaganda and called for his conviction under Article 8/1 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Article 40 of the Penal Code; that a first court hearing was reportedly expected to take place around 25 September 1996,

  1. Thanks the Turkish delegation for the information and the observations it provided and for its co-operation;
  2. Welcomes the initiatives taken by the Turkish authorities to bring Turkish legislation into line with European human rights standards and to heed the recommendations of several international organizations, and hopes that this will rapidly lead to the release of Ms. Zana, Mr. Dogan, Mr. Dicle and Mr. Sadak;
  3. Strongly hopes that the new legislation will also lead to a reconsideration of the judgment handed down on Mr. Türk, Mr. Alinak, Mr. Sakik and Mr. Yurtdas, who are thereby deprived of their political rights for life, and on Mr. Alinak and Mr. Yurtdas, both lawyers who are also debarred for life from exercising their profession;
  4. Remains concerned at the renewed prosecution of Mr. Sirri Sakik under the Anti-Terrorism Act, and hopes that the new legislation will also lead to the dropping of the charges brought against him;
  5. Requests the Secretary General to bring these considerations to the attention of the Turkish parliamentary authorities, inviting them to provide the Committee with the text of the new laws and inform it how they affected the situation of the MPs concerned;
  6. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session (September 1997).

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