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 166th session (Amman, 6 May 2000)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case of the above-mentioned parliamentarians, former members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/166/16(c)­R.1), and to the relevant resolution adopted at its 165th session (October 1999),

Taking account of the information and observations provided by members of the Turkish delegation to the 103rd Conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (April/May 2000),

Recalling the following information on file:

  • On 2 March 1994, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) lifted the parliamentary immunity of Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle; Mr. Türk, Mr. Sakik, Mr. Dogan, Mr. Sadak and Mr. Alinak, leading to their arrest and prosecution for separatism under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code; on 16 June 1994 the Constitutional Court dissolved their party, the Democracy Party (DEP), as a result of which all but three MPs belonging to that party lost their parliamentary seats; Mr. Toguç, Mr. Kilinç, Mr. Günes, Mr. Yigit and Mr. Kartal fled abroad and were subsequently also accused of separatism;
  • On 8 December 1994, Ankara State Security Court found Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Türk, Mr. Dogan and Mr. Sadak guilty of membership of an armed organisation and sentenced them to 15 years' imprisonment. Mr. Yurtdas was found guilty of having provided support to an armed organisation and sentenced to 7 years and 6 months' imprisonment. Mr. Alinak and Mr. Sakik were found guilty of separatist propaganda and sentenced to 3 years and 6 months' imprisonment and to a fine of 70 million Turkish pounds. As a result of the sentence, they are deprived of their political rights for life and Mr. Alinak and Mr. Yurtdas, both lawyers, are debarred for life from practising their profession;
  • Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan and Mr. Sadak, who are currently serving the 15-year prison sentence imposed on them in December 1994, were never accused of any acts of violence or advocacy of violence; the verdict relied heavily on the deputies' public speeches and writings quoted in the indictment as evidence of their membership of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK);

Considering that, at the hearing, the Turkish delegation made ample reference to the alleged shelter given by Leyla Zana to a PKK member as proof for her abetting terrorism; recalling in this connection that, according to the information on file, Mr. Dogan and not Ms. Zana was found guilty of having sheltered a PKK member, a fact which Mr. Dogan did not deny in the discussion he had with the Committee's mission in April 1996; however, as he stated, according to the tradition of hospitality in Turkey, persons who “knock at somebody's door”, even if unknown, are welcomed as guests, all the more so when they knock at the door of a representative they have elected to Parliament; that person had come to his house, been taken in and only later proved to be a PKK member,

Recalling also that Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan and Mr. Sadak have now served 5 years of the 15-year prison sentence imposed on them; that, according to their lawyers, had they been sentenced by an ordinary court, they would be granted a remission of sentence and be released after 6 years; however, having been sentenced by a State Security Court, they will have to serve at least 12 years; recalling in this connection that, according to the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, courts comprising military judges do not meet the criteria of an independent and impartial tribunal as required under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights; that the Turkish Constitution was amended on 1 January 1999 to comply with the ruling of the Court, so that armed forces members no longer sit in Turkish courts,

Recalling that in 1998 Ms. Zana was sentenced to a further one-year prison term, reportedly for an article she published in late 1997 in a HADEP Party paper; that the Court reportedly held that using the word “Kurds” constituted incitement to hatred; that Mr. Hatip Dicle was sentenced to an additional 10 years in prison for articles he published while in prison; that 14 charges under Section 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Law or Article 312 of the Penal Code were still pending against him, each of which carries a prison sentence ranging from 1 to 3 years,

Recalling that, on 8 February 1999, the Turkish Grand National Assembly voted an amnesty law which suspended the execution of these additional sentences handed down on Mr. Dicle and Ms. Zana so long as they do not repeat any such statements,

Considering that, according to the Turkish delegation, an amnesty law had been vetoed by the President and was currently being discussed in Parliament; however, it would not cover crimes involving terrorism since Parliament had in that respect to take account of public opinion, which opposed any such measure,

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

Noting that Rule 61 of the Rules of the European Court of Human Rights (1 November 1998) authorises the President of the Chamber - in accordance with Article 36, paragraph 2, of the European Convention on Human Rights - to invite or grant leave to “any person concerned who is not the applicant, to submit written comments or, in exceptional cases, to take part in a hearing”,

  1. Thanks the Turkish delegation for the information and observations it supplied;
  2. Is profoundly dismayed that the Turkish Grand National Assembly fails to take into consideration the constant appeals the IPU has made to it in favour of an amnesty for these former MPs;
  3. Remains convinced, in the light of the evidence on file, that they were found guilty and sentenced on account of having exercised their freedom of expression in advocating a political solution to the conflict in south-eastern Turkey;
  4. Solemnly reiterates its appeal to the Turkish Grand National Assembly to grant these former MPs, including those in exile, an amnesty since they were not held to be guilty of any crime involving bloodshed; is convinced that this would give practical expression to the stated will of the Turkish authorities to promote and respect human rights;
  5. Decides to act upon Rule 61 of the Rules of the European Court of Human Rights, and requests the Secretary General to take the necessary steps to this end and accordingly to notify the Turkish authorities, the sources and the former MPs concerned;
  6. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session (October 2000).

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