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October 1998 
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MER - Washington - 10/14:

The brutal and ruthless Turkish Generals -- now backed by at least de facto alliances with the U.S., Israel, and NATO -- are so frightened about their hold on power that they feel they have to repress and frighten everyone, including writers, teachers, and simple women wearing headscarfs. Turkey is now a fulcrum country. And the West and NATO, with Israel more and more a key player, are desperate to prevent a popular revolution in Turkey (as well as other key client regime Arab countries of course, most especially Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan). These two recent AP articles, following up on our previous article, help explain how serious the tension has become between the Turkish military and much of the Turkish citizenry and how the Turkish Generals, encouraged by the U.S. and Israel, have decided to threaten war with Syria and strike out even more harshly against the Kurds.


ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP - 10/13) -- Turkey's secular establishment has hit back at the Islamic movement, arresting leading journalists and protesters for participating in a nationwide demonstration against a head scarf ban, a newspaper official said Tuesday.

Four journalists were detained Monday on charges of supporting and organizing an illegal demonstration, said Nazif Karaman of the newspaper Akit. Some 30 protesters were also arrested. Police refused to comment.

Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country governed by staunchly pro-secular laws.

Thousands of demonstrators joined hands and marched through towns and cities Sunday to protest the ban on the Islamic-style head scarves in schools and public offices.

The dean of medical school in the eastern city of Van was dismissed for attending the march, the daily Hurriyet reported.

It was the largest demonstration against the ban since universities last month refused to register women who failed to submit identity photographs with bare heads.

The ban on the Islamic-style head scarves is enforced at the urging of the military, which regards scarves as a political statement and radical Islam as a threat to Turkey's secular system.



VAN, Turkey (AP- 10/14)) -- Turkish troops have killed 42 Kurdish rebels near this southeastern city in clashes over the past two days, the Anatolia news agency reported today.

Two soldiers and 14 village guards helping troops fight the Kurdish insurgents were also killed in the clashes, it said. The area lies 780 miles southeast of Ankara, the capital.

Five other rebels were killed in separate clashes in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir and Hakkari, Anatolia said.

Military officials were not available to comment.

The Kurdish guerrillas, who have been fighting for autonomy in Turkey's southeast since 1984, have been a source of tension between Syria and Turkey, which accuses Damascus of sheltering and supporting them.

The rebels sneak into Turkey from their bases in Syria, Iran and Iraq to launch attacks on Turkish targets..



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