TURKISH FASCISM ASCENDANT

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IHRC calls for international condemnation over closing down of Welfare Party Islamic Human Rights Commission

PRESS RELEASE

Ref: IHRC/TURKEY/fascism2

16.1.98

TURKISH FASCISM ASCENDANT
IHRC calls for international condemnation over closing down of Welfare Party

The Islamic Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned by the ban imposed on the Turkish Welfare Party by the country's constitutional court. It is calling on the international community, and Europe in particular to condemn the closure as anti-democratic - Welfare has the most seats in the Turkish parliament.

Since the soft-coup by the Turkish army, which removed Welfare from power last summer, there has been a marked increase in human rights violations. In September 1997, two Islamists, Bekir Yildiz and Nureddin Sirin were jailed for 4 and a half and 17 years respectively.

Bekir Yildiz was the elected mayor of Sincan province, where he held a rally in support of the Palestinian right to self-determination. He was jailed for organising the rally. Nureddin Sirin was the editor of the Turkish newspaper Selam, and was accused of being part of Hizbollah, although at his trial, even the Turkish secret service testified that he was not.

IHRC has added the two to its Prisoners of Faith list, and is organising a letter-writing campaign for their release. Postcards of the two have been printed to be sent to leading international figures, who claim to support the universal rights of each person.

IHRC is also writing to UN Secretary-General Kofi Anand, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Mary Robinson and various other figures with regard to the worsening situation in Turkey.

For more information, please contact the Press Office on 0181 931 1919, e-mail: ihrc@dial.pipex.com or mobile 0958 522 196.