Monday, October 22, 2007

Turkey's Human Rights Record In 1990s

Even the Associated Press (7/7/95) reported in 1995 that “thousands of Iraqi Kurds fled their villages…after Turkish forces dropped bombs in Northern Iraq, and about 3,000 soldiers pressed their cross-border offensive against Kurdish rebels” while “an estimated 3,000 Iraqi Kurds from 18 villages…fled their homes for safer areas.” The Turkish government that invades Iraq to deny the Kurdish people their democratic right to self-determination is a NATO ally of the U.S. government.

(Downtown 7/19/95)

The 1996 deaths of political prisoners in Turkey also indicated that during the 1990s the Clintons’ first administration remained aligned with a Turkish government that violated the human rights of its political opponents. In its 1994 Annual Report, Amnesty International summarized the human rights situation in Turkey during the Clintons’ first term in the White House:

“Hundreds of people were detained as prisoners of conscience…Torture of political and criminal detainees in police stations was widespread and systematic, and there were at least 24 reported deaths in custody as a result of torture. At least 26 people reportedly `disappeared’ in security force custody and scores of people were killed in the mainly Kurdish southeastern provinces and also in western Turkey, in circumstances which suggested that they had been extra-judicially executed by members of the security forces…”

The New York Times (9/7/96) also reported that on Sept. 6, 1996 “Turkish planes continued their bombing attacks…on camps inside Iraq that are used by the Kurdish faction, the Kurdistan Workers Party.”

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