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Religion and Languages of Turkey

1980 Military coup

In 1980, Demirel was overthrown by the military and General Kenan Evren took over the presidential post. A new agreement was drafted on US military bases in the country and Turkey began to receive $ 1 million annually in rent for these. The trade unions and the activities of political parties were banned, and the Turkish government were from abroad accused of violations of human rights.

In 1983, a new constitution was adopted, and a political opening was launched, aimed primarily at reassuring Western European critics. The new government set itself the goal of becoming a member of the Community, giving new impetus to modernization, distancing itself from more nationalist policies and accepting economic liberalism.

The continuing rivalry between the traditional parties led by the Conservative Demirel and the Social Democrat Ecevit in 1987 paved the way for the Motherland Party's election victory. The new Prime Minister Turgut Özal threw the country into extensive privatization, economic liberalization and promotion of exports. According to Countryaah, the program was designed by the IMF and the World Bank, which assured that with this policy the country would become rich and be admitted into the Community.- a popular destination in a country where all families have at least one member working in Western Europe. But political freedoms did not follow suit, and the Common Market therefore postponed the processing of the Turkish application, arguing that it was due to high inflation and unemployment, the lack of social policy and the conflict with Greece. These conditions prevented a rapid uptake.

Özal was accused of nepotism, corruption and lack of feeling with the social consequences of his economic policy. He therefore suffered a staggering defeat in the municipal elections in March 1989. Still, he was maneuvered so that in October of that year, Parliament appointed him president. He thus became the first civilian in several decades to occupy this post. Since 1984, the Kurdish separatist movement PKK had waged armed struggle in Kurdistan, and from 1990 this battle hit the Turkish state ever harder.

When the blockade against Iraq began in August 1990 - following the invasion of Kuwait - Turkey interrupted the Iraqi flow of oil through its territory. Although Turkey did not contribute soldiers to the US-led alliance against Iraq, the country allowed its aircraft bases and the North American bases to be used as a starting point for the massive bombing of Iraq. The opposition seriously questioned this policy as it worsened the relationship with a neighboring country in a zone tense because of Kurdish separatism. (See Gulf War)

Ankara also feared that a possible independent Iraqi Kurdistan could "infect" the Kurds in Turkey. The Kurdish people extend over the countries of Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. It is the world's largest ethnic minority without its own country. Alone in Turkey lives approx. 15 million Kurds who are not entitled to their own language or cultural identity.

In October 1991, with the support of aircraft and helicopters, the Turkish army penetrated northern Iraq to attack PKK bases. Kurdish sources condemned the bombings of the civilian population.

At the October 20 parliamentary elections, Suleiman Demirels defeated the True Way Party (DYP) by 27% of the vote and 178 of Parliament's 450 seats. The slim majority forced Demirel to form an alliance with the People's Social Democratic Party (SHP) led by Erdal Inönü. It had received 21% of the vote. The Motherland Party (ANAP) had received 24% of the vote, declaring it was in opposition.

Demirel was faced with a $ 6 billion government budget deficit, a $ 44 billion foreign debt and an annual inflation rate of 70%. Apart from the fundamentalist movements, all political parties agreed that the country's main political objective was the accession to the EU.

On November 14, a Philippine cargo ship with thousands of sheep collided with a Lebanese ship between the Black Sea and the Maritime Sea, near Istanbul. The cargo ship Madonna Lilli sank on 29 meters of water and carried all her cargo. The flooding of the sheep on the bottom of the sea, the extensive development of methane gas and the use of oxygen in the water were characterized by experts as an ecological timed bomb. The episode also focused on the pollution of Turkey's most populous city. The canals that traverse the city are heavily polluted as a result of the discharge of untreated wastewater that has killed all life to a depth of 20 meters below sea level.

The women's organization Purple roof women's shelter foundation had been formed in 1980. In 1991, it presented studies of men's violence against women. The results showed that 45% of Turkish men agree that it is proper to punish women when they do not obey their men. The study also showed that 1 in every 4 single women and 1 in every 3 marriages are exposed to violence.

During Prime Minister Demirel's trip to the Kurdish provinces in December, he was forced to recognize the identity of the Kurdish people. In all villages, the government delegation was welcomed by residents demanding respect for human rights, stopping aggression and ending the torture of political prisoners.

In mid-1992, the banned PKK declared that it had formed a war government and a National Assembly in the area it considers Kurdistan, which includes parts of Turkey and Iraq. A few days later and coinciding with the Kurdish New Year (Newroz), a popular revolt erupted in the southeastern provinces, resulting in violent clashes - especially in the city of Cizre - between partisans and Turkish security forces. Following Turkish Interior Minister Ismet Sezgin's visit to Damascus in April, Turkey and Syria announced an agreement to fight Kurdish "terrorist organizations". The Syrian government agreed to close the PKK training camps in the country and tighten control at the common border.


Religion and Languages of Turkey

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