US embassy cable - 97ANKARA350

ERBAKAN'S HUMAN RIGHTS AGENDA

Identifier: 97ANKARA350
Wikileaks: View 97ANKARA350 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ankara
Created: 1997-01-10 15:47:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PHUM PREL PGOV TU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
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   UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ8114

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                  ------------------8E38AF  101611Z /38    
P 101547Z JAN 97
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0691
INFO AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 
AMCONSUL ADANA 
AMCONSUL STRASBOURG 
ALL EUROPEAN UNION POST COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS ANKARA 000350 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPT FOR DRL AND EUR/SE 
 
E.O. 12958:  DECL:  N/A 
TAGS: PHUM, PREL, PGOV, TU 
SUBJECT: ERBAKAN'S HUMAN RIGHTS AGENDA 
 
REF: A)  ANKARA 306 (NOTAL)  B)  96 ANKARA 12736 
 
-    C)  96 ANKARA 13404 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 

 
 
 
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        ANKARA  00350  101611Z 
1.  DURING THE COURSE OF A JANUARY 9 MEETING (REF A), PRIME 
MINISTER  ERBAKAN PRESENTED THE AMBASSADOR WITH THE FOLLOWING 
LIST OF HUMAN RIGHTS ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND INITIATIVES THAT HIS 
GOVERNMENT IS WORKING ON: 
 
BEGIN TEXT. 
 
A.  NECESSARY STEPS TO REMOVE TENSIONS IN THE PRISONS HAVE BEEN 
TAKEN. 
 
B.  IN ORDER TO EXPEDITE CASES BEFORE THE STATE SECURITY COURTS, 
A DRAFT LAW REORGANIZING THE COURTS WAS PRESENTED TO AND PASSED 
BY THE PARLIAMENT. 
 
C.  A DRAFT LAW REDUCING PRE-TRIAL DETENTION PERIODS TO (7 PLUS 3 
DAYS) IN CASES BEFORE STATE SECURITY COURTS, AND (4 PLUS 3 DAYS) 
IN OTHER COURTS HAS BEEN CLEARED BY THE RELEVANT PARLIAMENTARY 
COMMITTEE AND IS NOW ON THE PARLIAMENT'S AGENDA.  (NOTE: THE 
EXTRA 3 DAYS EXTENSION OF PRE-TRIAL DETENTION CAN ONLY BE GRANTED 
BY A JUDGE.) 
 
D.  THE DECISION TO REMOVE FROM THE JURISDICTION OF STATE 
SECURITY COURTS THOUGHT CRIMES (NOTE: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION 
CRIMES), THAT DO NOT THREATEN THE STATE WAS PASSED BY THE 
RELEVANT PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE AND IS NOW ON THE PARLIAMENT'S 
AGENDA. 
E.  A DRAFT PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE CIVIL SERVANTS TRIAL LAW TO 
INCLUDE RELIGIOUS OFFICIALS IS ON THE PARLIAMENTARY AGENDA. 
 
F.  AN AGREEMENT-IN-PRINCIPLE FOR TURKISH CITIZENS LIVING ABROAD 
TO VOTE OVERSEAS HAS BEEN REACHED; THE NECESSARY STEPS TO CHANGE 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 

 
 
 
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        ANKARA  00350  101611Z 
THE APPROPRIATE ELECTION LAW HAVE BEEN INITIATED. 
 
G.  EFFORTS HAVE BEGUN ON A LAW TO RESTORE PARENTAL RIGHTS TO 
TURKISH WORKERS IN GERMANY. 
 
H.  A DRAFT LAW WAS SENT TO PARLIAMENT ESTABLISHING A FOREIGN 
AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE GENERAL WITHIN THE JUSTICE MINISTRY, IN ORDER 
TO FOLLOW UP ON COUNCIL OF EUROPE HUMAN RIGHTS CASES AND JUDICIAL 
ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS. 
 
I.  A DRAFT LAW IS BEING PREPARED FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A 
"JUDICIAL POLICE" FORCE. 
 
J.  A DRAFT LAW FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A HUMAN RIGHTS 
UNDERSECRETARIAT WAS SENT TO PARLIAMENT AND AWAITS SIGNATURE. 
 
ADDITIONALLY, THE FOLLOWING INITIATIVES ARE UNDERWAY: 
 
-- A DECREE LIFTING HUMILIATING RESTRICTIONS ON HEADCOVERING 
AWAITS SIGNATURE. 
 
-- AN AMENDMENT CHANGING THE LAW SO AS TO ALLOW THE MAKING OF THE 
HAJ OVERLAND IS UNDERWAY. 
 
-- A DECREE LIFTING RESTRICTIONS AGAINST GATHERING THE SKINS FROM 
SACRIFICED SHEEP IS UNDERWAY.  (NOTE:  SINCE ATATURK'S TIME, THE 
SKINS OF SACRIFICED SHEEP ARE COLLECTED AND SOLD BY THE TURKISH 
CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY, WITH THE PROCEEDS BEING USED FOR CIVIL 
AVIATION IMPROVEMENTS.  A PORTION OF THE SIZABLE PROCEEDS IS ALSO 
DISTRIBUTED TO ORPHANAGES.) 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 

 
 
 
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        ANKARA  00350  101611Z 
END TEXT. 
 
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COMMENT 
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2.  MANY OF ERBAKAN'S PROPOSED HUMAN RIGHTS 
AMENDMENTS/INITIATIVES, INCLUDING CHANGES IN PRE-TRIAL DETENTION, 
REORGANIZATION OF THE STATE SECURITY COURTS, CREATION OF A HUMAN 
RIGHTS UNDERSECRETARIAT WITH A NEW MINISTER, AND THE 
DECRIMINALIZATION OF SOME FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION OFFENSES HAD 
ALREADY BEEN ANNOUNCED BY DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER CILLER ON OCTOBER 
17, 1996 (REFS B AND C).  SOME OF THE PM'S PROPOSALS, SUCH AS THE ONE 
PERTAINING TO THE USE OF SKIN FROM SACRIFICED SHEEP, AND THE 
FREEDOM TO WEAR HEADGEAR ARE MORE OF INTEREST TO HIS ISLAMIST 
SUPPORTERS.  END COMMENT. 
 
GROSSMAN 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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