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

Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 163rd session (Moscow, 12 September 1998)

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/163/12(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 162nd session (April 1998) concerning the case of the above-mentioned parliamentarians, former members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly,

Taking account of the communication from the President of the Turkish National Group dated 24 August 1998 and of the observations provided by the Turkish delegation at the hearing held on the occasion of the 100th Inter-Parliamentary Conference (September 1998),

Considering that, in his letter of 24 August 1998, the President of the National Group reaffirmed that the limits to freedom of expression in Turkey were a product of the delicate balance between the Government's sincere commitment to expanding such freedoms and its responsibility to protect its citizens from terrorism; that freedom of expression could not be unlimited and that limitations on freedom of expression in Turkey " although being continuously reviewed and refined, were based on those restricting circumstances necessary in a democratic society, in the interest of national security, territorial integrity or public safety ",

Recalling that Ms. Leyla Zana, Mr. Hatip Dicle, Mr. Orhan Dogan and Mr. Selim Sadak were never accused of any acts of violence or advocacy of violence; that the verdict relied heavily on the deputies' public speeches and writings quoted in the indictment - in which they repeatedly assert the Kurdish minority to be a group with a distinct identity but do not advocate violence - as evidence of their membership of the PKK; that the acts relied on in the judgment as evidence of membership of the PKK include: a press statement in connection with the taking of the parliamentary oath; the " wearing of yellow, green and red accessories " while taking the oath; a public statement to the United Nations on 2 April 1992 calling for investigation into the killing of civilians during disturbances at the time of Newruz, the Kurdish New Year, of 21 March 1992 and a petition of 20 November 1991 to the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe calling for that organisation to appoint a body to monitor human rights in Turkey,

Recalling that the case of Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan and Mr. Sadak is currently pending before the European Court of Human Rights,

  1. Thanks the President of the Turkish National Group for his consistent co-operation; also thanks the Turkish delegation for its co-operation and observations;
  2. Regrets, however, that the constant dialogue with the Turkish parliamentary authorities has so far yielded no tangible result and has not altered its conviction that the former MPs in question were sentenced on account of having exercised their freedom of expression in advocating a political solution to the conflict in south-eastern Turkey;
  3. Calls once again on the Turkish authorities to release Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan and Mr. Sadak and thus give substance to their stated pledge to adapt Turkish legislation to European human rights norms;
  4. Notes that the case of Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan and Mr. Sadak is pending before the European Court of Human Rights;
  5. Reiterates, moreover, the considerations expressed in the resolution it adopted at the 99th Inter-Parliamentary Conference (April 1998);
  6. Requests the Secretary General to bring this decision to the attention of the Turkish parliamentary authorities;
  7. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session (April 1999).

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