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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

The Truth About Turkey

The Irish Times has been helping to promote a large campaign to facilitate Turkey's admission to the EU. For example the front cover of 'The Economist' magazine this week is entitled 'Turkey Belongs in Europe'. The focus of the campaign is the upcoming EU summit in Copehagen. Below is a letter sent to the Irish Times protesting any such move.

Mags Glennon 9.12.02

Letter sent to Irish Times re: Turkish Ad in Irish Times on Monday 8th, Dec. 2002.

9th December 2002

Dear Madam,

The 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 in Europe.

In 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 in Europe."

This 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 outlets.

Despite 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.

Turkey's 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.

The Turkish advertisers are correct in one aspect of their ad. "Turkey - Actions Speak Louder Than Words".

yours, etc.

M Glennon
for "Solidarity with Hunger Strikers in Turkey"



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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. Do you believe in free speech? Then speak freely. Do you love the truth? Then tell it. Do you believe in an open society? Then act in the open. Do you believe in a decent and humane society? Then behave decently and humanely.
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Index: Current Articles

13 December 2002


Other Articles From This Issue:


Giving Political Leadership
Liam O Ruairc


The Truth About Turkey
Mags Glennon


Belfast Socialists, Capitalism and War
Davy Carlin


Don't Join the RUC/PSNI

Sean Matthews


The Untouchables
Anthony McIntyre


Chaos Theory: Stickies and Stones Break Bones
Eamon Lynch


8 December 2002


The British State Murder of Pearse Jordan
Anthony McIntyre


The Falls And Shankill March As One
Davy Carlin


Alternatives to the GFA?
Paul Fitzsimmons


Ted Honderich: A Philosopher in the Trenches
Paul de Rooji


Uri Davis and the Battle Against Israeli Apartheid
Anthony McIntyre


Palestinian Children In The Night
Sam Bahour


Solitary Confinement Kills
Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Cephesi




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