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Turkish Government Policy toward IDPs

The Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project

The Turkish government’s current chosen vehicle for providing assistance to IDPs is the Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project. Successive governments have produced various return initiatives since 1995, all of them hobbled by a lack of fundıng and insufficient political drive.47 These initiatives appear largely to have been motivated by a desire to create the impression of government action, in order to deflect questions from petitioning villagers, parliamentary deputies from the southeast, and foreign diplomats. The plans may also have served to relieve pressure on the government from metropolitan populations and municipalities concerned about the influx of peasants squatting on vacant land and erecting gecekondu (shanty dwellings).

In March 1999, then prime minister Bülent Ecevit launched the Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project with the following description: “Within the framework of the project, those families who wish to return to their villages will be identified; infrastructure facilities of the villages will be completed; housing developments will be increased with the labor of families; and social facilities will be completed to increase the standard of living of the local people, especially in [the areas of] health and education. Moreover, activities such as beekeeping, farming, animal husbandry, handicrafts and carpet weaving will be supported so that these families can earn a living.”48

The Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project has now been running for almost six years. Human Rights Watch has long criticized its poor performance. In 2001 and 2002, Interior Ministry officials said that the government would expand and formalize assistance to returning displaced persons once a survey had been completed and a returns model established. The survey was finished in 2002, but no model for return was ever developed, and governors continue to dole out meagre assistance through the project on an ad hoc basis.

Between 1999 and 2002, the state allocated approximately U.S. $19 million to the scheme, but in the villages visited by Human Rights Watch, there was not much to show for the expenditure.

Returning residents in Koçbaba village had received no assistance for the reconstruction of their houses. At Seren village, situated by the main road in Hani, Diyarbakir, several villagers had reconstructed their homes, but they had paid for the work out of their own pockets. The village muhtar stated that many villagers had signed petitions for assistance under the Return to Village and Rehabilitation project “but shame upon them [the government], only three families received anything. They received seventy bags of cement each, and 500 kg of reinforcing steel. We are none of us rich, but these were the poorest of the families. I have made more than a hundred petitions for assistance [on behalf of villagers].”49 The sub-governor of Hani told Human Rights Watch that he had applied to the Interior Ministry for urgent assistance for reconstruction, and hoped that this would be allocated soon.50

The former muhtar of Yolaçtı village and the muhtar of Sağgöze near Genç in Bingöl told Human Rights Watch that their villages had received no government reconstruction assistance.51 Government assistance in the Genç district consisted of twenty bags of cement and a hundred tabaka (timber sheets) each to 250 families, but the government list indicates that 1,280 families have returned in that area.52

According to the Siirt Human Rights Association, villages in the Eruh district of Siirt province received no assistance for reconstruction. Villages in the Şırvan district have received some material assistance, but the amounts received by each villager were insufficient to rebuild a home.53

The Return to Village and Rehabilitation project has also failed to restore damaged and destroyed infrastructure in villages to which populations are returning. The Sağgöze muhtar stated that his village had no road, water, electricity, or school.54 According to the former muhtar of Yeniyazı, and the muhtar of Büyükçağ near Genç in Bingöl, their villages still have no road.55

The Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project is supposed to provide income support to returnees. Yet such support has been sporadic and insufficient. In the village of Koçbaba, for example, returning residents arrived without livestock (sold at the time of displacement in 1991 in order to pay for accommodation and food) to find that their orchards had been burned annually until they died at the roots. Several villagers told Human Rights Watch that they could not afford to purchase any livestock.56 They said that in 2003 the gendarmerie had distributed five kilos each of oil, sugar, and rice to each family on one occasion, and that in 2004 the local governor had distributed 150 NTL (approximately U.S. $113) to each family. The Koçbaba residents were grateful for the assistance, but regretted that it was much too little to meet their needs. No inhabitants from any other village interviewed by Human Rights Watch in November 2004 had benefited from income support grants, though several villagers were aware of other communities who had received assistance in the form of livestock or sapling trees.

Clearly, the Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project is not doing its job in its current form. The project is under-funded. There are no clear guidelines about what a community or a particular villager can expect. Assistance is distributed in an arbitrary and inconsistent manner. Work in repairing infrastructure has not even kept up with the existing slow rate of return.

Other assistance programs also seem to be missing their target. For example, farmers receive agricultural assistance money from the Ministry of Village and Agricultural Affairs based on the area of their arable land. In Seren village, however, agricultural support for the entire village was stopped on the grounds that some villagers had made claims relating to non-arable areas. The village muhtar pointed out that these areas were arable fields that had returned to scrub because for a decade the villagers had been given no access to farm the land. Other villagers in the province reported that after they had been forced off their lands, inhabitants of neighbouring villages had illicitly claimed agricultural support in respect of the lands left vacant.

Promising New Initiatives

There are signs that the Turkish government is beginning to recognise that its existing policy on returns will require a major overhaul if real progress is to be achieved. The government acknowledged as much in an October 2004 letter to Human Rights Watch:

The Turkish government recognizes the need for improving the Return to Village Program and will continue to make every effort towards this end. Increased transparency, greater coordination, as well as better funding of the project’s implementation in particular would seem to be the reasonable requirements.57

There are further indications of a new direction on the part of the government. During 2004, the government opened a dialogue with the United Nations, World Bank, and European Commission representatives in order to identify areas of cooperation, and gave nongovernmental organizations an opportunity to submit their views.58 Perhaps more importantly, two formal initiatives were launched during 2004: a new government agency to coordinate IDP policy and joint UNDP project with the Turkish government.

A new government agency for internally displaced persons

In November 2004, the Turkish Foreign Ministry informed Human Rights Watch of plans to establish a new government agency to coordinate policy and activities on behalf of IDPs. The new agency would formalize the Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project with a new policy guideline document that would define eligibility and disbursement criteria, principles, rules, and participating institutions. The agency would also develop a new national framework to coordinate this integrated strategy in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, and to develop a policy for demobilizing the village guard corps.59

The creation of a coordinating agency, and the concrete activities envisaged for it, are welcome and long overdue steps. The Return to Village and Rehabilitation Program has so far been little more than an empty shell. Its aims or objectives have never been made clear, and there has never been a government ministry or agency with clear responsibility for overseeing it. The announcement that the new agency will develop a plan for demobilising the village guard corps is particularly significant. To date, there have been no steps toward disarming the village guards, despite near unanimity that this is a necessary precondition for return in safety.

Joint UNDP-Turkish government project to support IDPs

The second initiative, described to Human Rights Watch at a meeting with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ankara on November 11 2004, is a joint UNDP-Turkish government project on behalf of IDPs. According to UNDP, the project will include UNDP monitoring of the Hacettepe survey (referred to above) to establish the true scale of the original displacement and current needs of the displaced; disseminating the U.N. Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement; and building awareness and capacity among local nongovernmental organizations on how to apply those principles.

Human Rights Watch understands that the project will also include a pilot scheme in a selected province or district. The pilot would consist of a needs assessment and the development of a planning approach, involving return communities or communities of displaced persons seeking to stay and integrate in towns or cities. The aim would be to inform the government and other agencies involved in the IDP issue about relevant mechanisms. Ultimately, the information gained from the pilot could be used in the development of a larger scale return and integration program. The pilot is also intended to introduce the “participatory planning process” into local development planning, so that the needs and concerns of IDPs returning or integrating into their communities are adequately addressed. The aim would be to develop good practices which could be followed in other provinces.

UNDP has proposed a contribution of $215,000, with a $50,000 contribution from the Brookings Institution for the component dealing with raising nongovernmental organizations’ awareness of the Guiding Principles. This is a fairly modest project, albeit one that has the potential to inform a much larger scale process. Its significance lies in the government’s willingness to share its management of this problem with international actors in setting a model for the broader return program.

As of February 2005, neither the new agency nor the joint project with UNDP have progressed beyond the planning and proposal stage. If the goverment’s consultations with intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations develop into a genuine partnership, and if the new initiatives are implemented with energy, commitment, and good faith, they have the potential to bring real benefits for the internally displaced.

There is reason for caution, however. The past decade is littered with widely-touted government initiatives for IDPs that were starved of funds, lacked political commitment, and were eventually discarded. In the spring of 2005 IDPs will once again weigh the prospects for return. It would bolster their confidence to see these two proposals approved and operationalised by the time they decide whether to continue subsisting in the cities or gamble on rebuilding their lives in the countryside.

Even if fully implemented, however, these proposals alone will not be sufficient. In June 2004, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) recommended that the government should “move from a dialogue to a formal partnership with U.N. agencies to work for a return in safety and dignity of those internally displaced by the conflict in the 1990s.”60 If the government intends to start a genuine returns process in accordance with the recommendations of the U.N. Special Representative and PACE, then its relationship with relevant intergovernmental bodies and nongovernmental organizations must become a genuine partnership and not be limited to one relatively small-scale pilot project with UNDP.

Turkey’s desire to join the European Union, makes the E.U. a significant player in reform and development in Turkey. The European Commission has already signalled E.U. interest in the fate of IDPs through the reference to the issue in its regular reports on Turkey. Deeper E.U. commitment could significantly improve the chances of real progress on returns. In that regard, the Commission’s representatives in Turkey should play a role in the planning of return and support of IDPs, and the monitoring of such provision. Rather than supporting for IDPs only through regional development programs, the Commission might consider encouraging and accepting smaller-scale projects in the cities from local nongovernmental organizations or local village-based community organizations. This direct connection with the return process would help to keep the Commission aware of developments in the field.

The Compensation Law

The Turkish government’s implementation during 2005 of its new Compensation Law will be a key test of its commitment to a new approach toward IDPs. Introduced as a reform to meet the political requirements for E.U. candidacy, the law is intended to provide compensation to displaced persons for material damage caused between 1987 and 2004 by armed opposition groups as well as by government security forces.

Recently returned villagers by the remains of destroyed houses in Diyarbakir province.
(c) 2004 Jonathan Sugden/Human Rights Watch

The Law on Compensation for Damage Arising from Terror and Combatting Terror (Law 5233) was passed by the Turkish parliament on July 17, 2004. Regulations for implementing the law were published in the Official Gazette on October 20, 2004.

Villagers interviewed by Human Rights Watch view the Compensation Law with a mixture of hope and trepidation. On the one hand, it offers the possibility of full compensation for material losses in the context of the displacement, potentially a far more powerful and effective mechanism for restitution than anything previously offered. On the other hand, the law and regulations provide ample scope for claims and payments to be avoided, minimised, and delayed.

The Compensation Law compensates for material damage inflicted by armed opposition groups and security forces combatting those groups. Damage assessment commissions established on a provincial level will investigate deaths, physical injury, damage to property and stock, and loss of income arising from inability of the owner to access their property between July 19, 1987, and July 17, 2004. The commissions comprise of: a deputy provincial governor, five civil servants responsible for finance, housing, village affairs, health, and commerce, and a board member of the local bar association. Damage assessment commissions will propose a figure for compensation on the basis of principles laid down in tables of compensation levels and, for damage to property, levels established in laws on compulsory purchase.

The commission will deduct any state payments or benefits already received in respect of the losses, and produce a detailed account with a proposed figure for compensation. The claimant may accept or reject the proposal. If the claimant rejects or fails to respond within twenty days, the proposal will be counted as void. Claimants have one year from the introduction of the law to submit their claims, and commissions must process claims within nine months. Although the mechanism lacks any internal appeals procedure, claimants can challenge the ruling in the courts if they regard the sum offered by the commission as insufficient.

The provisions of the law were substantially improved during the course of consultation prior to legislation. Nevertheless there are still concerns about the operation of the scheme, including lack of independence and composition of the assessment commissions, criteria for excluding applications, limits on acceptable forms of evidence to support claims, the lack of legal support to help people to make claims, and inadequate mechanisms to appeal against decisions by the commssions.

Lack of independence in assessment commissions

The ability of assessment commissions to reach fair conclusions depends very much on whether they are principally motivated to award compensation to people who suffered damage during the relevant period or concerned more with reducing state liability for such claims. Clearly, with a membership of six state employees and just one nongovernmental representative, independence will be a problem. The lawyer Abdullah Alakuş of the Bingöl assessment commission observed that an executive commission staffed with civil servants is not a particularly appropriate body to fulfill what is essentially a judicial process, and thought that there was a risk that injustices might result.61 In most cases of internal displacement, state security forces working under the authority of the Interior Ministry inflicted the damage. The Interior Ministry will also be footing the bill. This conflict of interest may encourage assessment commissions to underestimate the extent of a loss or to suppress information about security force responsibility for damage during the displacement.

In some cases, the sums for damage and loss of income are very large. The lawyer Ahmet Kalpak, president of the Diyarbakır branch of Göç-Der, described a client whose loss amounted to 16,000 poplar trees and 1,000 fruit trees destroyed by fire. At a conservative estimate of $24/tree, the value of the poplars alone would be $384,000.62 The Diyarbakır lawyer Cihan Avcı described the case of a local farmer who was unable to access his fields of 2,000 hectares for a decade. The lawyer calculated that if sown with barley during that period it could have provided an income of five million dollars.63 Civil servants may feel that disbursing large sums of state funds to displaced Kurds from the southeast, a group long viewed with official suspicion, is not going to advance their career, and may seek ways to force payments down unfairly. As detailed below, the law and regulation provide a variety of mechanisms that would permit such reductions.

Automatic exclusions from compensation

The law prohibits the provision of compensation to those who damaged their own property; for damage arising from offences under the Anti-Terror Law committed by the claimant; and for “damage arising from economic or social factors not connected with terrorism.”64 In some cases, these ostensibly justifiable reservations may result in unfair exclusions.

If there were any official records of the destruction of villages, they would have been kept by local gendarmerie units who were in most cases responsible for the displacement. It is not known whether such records exist or what they might contain, but in order to cover up their abuses, it is possible that gendarmes may have recorded that villagers destroyed their own property intentionally or negligently. In some cases, gendarmes forced villagers to destroy their own property. Çiftlibahçe villagers, for example, told Human Rights Watch that gendarmes made them pull up their extensive and valuable tobacco crop with their own hands.65

The destruction of a village generally followed frequent large scale security operations in which the males of the village were detained and interrogated under torture, and then tried in state security courts for “sheltering members of an armed organization.” The pattern of torture and unfair trial was extensively documented by nongovernmental organizations and in judgments at the European Court of Human Rights. As a consequence of these judgments, state security courts were abolished in June 2004. Automatic exclusion of an applicant simply on the grounds of a conviction in a state security court for “sheltering” would be unfair.

After the Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project was established in 1999, villagers who wanted to apply for assistance were required to sign a special printed form, and tick a box indicating the reason for their original migration, choosing alternatives ranging from “employment” and “health” to PKK-instigated “terror.” There was no option for indicating that the reason was intimidation or forced evacuation by state forces. Many villagers resisted signing this form, and as a consequence some were threatened, beaten, and denied access to the village.66 Rıdvan Kızgın, president of the Bingöl branch of the Human Rights Association, believes that some villagers may have checked boxes indicating social or economic reasons simply to regain access to their property.67 Automatic exclusion on the basis of these unreliable documents would be unfair.

Inappropriate limitations on acceptable forms of evidence

The implementing regulation for the Compensation Law requires that information about the extent of damage should be collected from “public bodies and organizations,”68 “the declaration of the person who has suffered the loss, and information from judicial, administrative and military bodies.”69 It also states that, in cases of property damage, assessment commissions will work on the basis of “incident reports describing how the damage occurred and its extent…and all forms of document relating to the assessment of damage.”70

Since the testimony of fellow villagers who were eye-witnesses to the destruction is potentially excluded from this list because such evidence is not mentioned explicitly in the regulation, the testimony of the muhtar (the government representative elected in all villages) will be critical. There is, however, a long history of muhtars being subjected to various forms of pressure by gendarmerie and governors. At the peak of the displacements, several muhtars were murdered. Mehmet Gürkan, muhtar of Akçayurt in Diyarbakır province, forcibly evacuated on July 7, 1994, held a press conference and reported that gendarmes had tortured him to tell television journalists that the PKK had destroyed his village. In fact, he said, security forces had burned Akçayurt. When he returned to the village a month later an eye-witness saw soldiers detain him and take him away in a helicopter. He was never seen again.71 Since that time, pressures ranging from threats of violence to withdrawal of official favour and funding have remained common. As a result, some muhtars may be reluctant to provide evidence to the commissions concerning the destruction of villages by state security forces.

Assessment Commissions should be aware that witnesses who give evidence may fear reprisals if they implicate security forces or village guards in house destruction and forced evacuation. Commissions should offer appropriate protective measures for witnesses, and investigate thoroughly any allegations of intimidation.

The regulation requires assessment commissions to use documentary evidence to establish the nature and extent of damage. In its initial work, the Bingöl assessment commission appears to be taking an approach which may result in unfairly restrictive assessments. The lawyer Abdullah Alakuş, bar association representative on the commission, told Human Rights Watch that the provision of documentary evidence was being treated as a requirement for damage assessment. The commission expected some form of certification of displacement, and an incident report on the destruction of property.72 But applicants had no such documentation. They had initially tried to obtain documents from the gendarmerie who had refused to issue them. Alakuş emphasized that the assistant governor presiding over the commission had made positive and constructive efforts to resolve this by writing to the gendarmerie asking that they make any documentation available, but Alakuş added that he doubted that the documentation the commission was looking for existed at all. All of the villagers Human Rights Watch interviewed in Bingöl province said that they had been forced out of their homes by the gendarmerie, and it seems unlikely that the gendarmerie kept an accurate record of their own unlawful acts. Making damage assessments entirely conditional on contemporary documentary evidence, particularly if the preference is for official documents, will leave the vast majority of IDPs automatically ineligible for compensation.

No compensation for suffering and distress

In judgments against Turkey for house destruction, the European Court of Human Rights has ordered what it describes as non-pecuniary damages as compensation for the suffering and distress of the plaintiff and their family in consequence of the violation. In Akdivar v Turkey, for example, it awarded £8,000 in non-pecuniary damages to each plaintiff.73 The Compensation Law excludes the payment of compensation for suffering and distress. This distress was substantial for IDPs who saw their homes and crops burned and their livestock machine-gunned, quite aside from the ill-treatment, torture, and “disappearances” which often accompanied the clearances.

That IDPs have suffered psychological trauma is well documented. A 1998 medical study carried out on a group of internally displaced found that 66 percent were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, with 29.3 percent showing profound depression.74 Another survey recorded that 9.5 percent of displaced were suffering from mental illness arising during or after displacement.75

Lack of legal support for applicants

The Compensation Law contains no provision for legal aid to assist applicants in preparing their claims, or assessing an amount of compensation proposed by a commission. It expects poorly educated farmers from a region with 35 percent illiteracy to assemble comprehensive and complex documentation in order to establish their eligibility for compensation.76 Unsurprisingly, the standard of applications is poor. The lawyer and commission member Abdullah Alakuş told Human Rights Watch that most of the petitions received by the Bingöl assessment commission were improperly submitted.77

The Sezgin Tanrıkulu, president of the Diyarbakir bar association, and Erdal Aydemir, president of the Bingöl bar association, have strongly criticised the Compensation Law for failing to include any provision for representation by a lawyer to the commission.78 In fact, some villagers have appointed lawyers to handle their claims. Others have asked for their applications to be handled by the Human Rights Association or Göç-Der in spite of official advice to community leaders not to involve nongovernmental organizations.A group of muhtars in the Genç district of Bingöl province told Human Rights Watch that the local sub-governor had called them to a meeting where he suggested that they help villagers to apply independently rather than with the assistance of civil society organizations.79

Limited capacity to process claims

It seems likely that the commissions—if they take their work seriously—will be overwhelmed by the volume of work. By November 2004, for example, the Bingöl assessment commission had received 3,000 applications, and expected up to 10,000. It had completed four meetings and looked at (but not necesssarily resolved) 150 cases.80 The Compensation Law requires the commission to complete its work on each application within nine months.At this rate, it will take five years to examine the full 10,000 claims made in Bingöl. This situation is likely to be mirrored elsewhere, particularly since commission members who have other jobs can only work part-time.

Lack of clarity regarding payments

The Diyarbakir and Bingöl bar presidents have both expressed unease that, to their knowledge, no allocation has been made in the central government budget for possible payments under the Compensation Law, and that the law provided no time limit for the government to settle agreed claims.81 They also raised concerns as to whether the requirement in the legislation that payments of more than 20,000 YTL ($15,000) require Interior Ministry approval is likely to cause delays or obstruct payments, particularly since most claims are likely to exceed that figure.

Inadequate appeals mechanism

There is no appeals mechanism built into the Compensation Law, either to challenge the amount of compensation awarded or for those who miss the deadline for applications. However, it is open to an internally displaced family to bring an action directly against the government through the courts.

In order to find for a claimant, the court must be satisfied that the state is criminally liable for the damage suffered, and that the sum proposed by the commission is insufficient to cover that damage. However, it is unlikely that assessment commission rulings will conclude any criminal liability on the part of the state, and villagers will therefore have to prove such liability in court, as well as demonstrate the need for a higher level of compensation. Moreover, villagers will have to pay a substantial sum to pursue their court challenge, a factor likely to discourage many from going to court.

The risks are illustrated by the story of the Kırkpınar village association. Kırkpınar was forcibly evacuated in 1993. The villagers brought a criminal action against the state for the destruction of their homes, but the court ruled that the villagers themselves, and not the state, was responsible for the damage. The villagers then planned to bring an action in the local administrative court for compensation for their lack of access to their homes and lands in the subsequent decade. They prepared 260 files in respect of losses between $35,000 and $55,000. However, under the rules of the administrative court, each plaintiff was required to pay into court approximately U.S. $1,000 before the action could go ahead. In the event that the suit is unsucessful, the court will seize the deposit to meet costs. This is a nearly prohibitive sum for IDPs who are already close to destitute. The Kırkpınar villagers were relieved when, just as they were deliberating this grave step, parliament passed the Compensation Law.82

Any Kırkpınar villager with a strong case for substantial compensation that is not recognized by the assessment commission, and whose claim was unfairly rejected by the administrative court might be able to bring an action at the European Court of Human Rights. However, given the inevitable delays of law and administration, it seems likely that yet another decade would have passed before justice was done.

These villagers cannot afford to wait. They need to get back to their lands with sufficient capital to re-establish their homes and livelihoods. By far the most practical and satisfactory result would be to ensure that the assessment commissions operate fairly, with an adequate mechanism for appealing against their decisions. Ensuring this will require great vigilance throughout 2005 from the Turkish Interior Ministry, villagers’ legal representatives, nongovernmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations involved in return issues and the E.U., which has asked Turkey to address the problem of internal displacement. In view of the critical importance of the Compensation Law, it would seem advisable for the government to conduct a review after provincial assessment boards have processed an initial group of assessments.

[47] For a survey of such initiatives up to 1996, see: Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, “Turkey’s failed policy to aid the forcibly displaced in the southeast,” June 1996.

[48] Press Release issued by the Office of the Prime Minister, March 1999 [online],, (retrieved November 2000).

[49] Human Rights Watch interview, Seren, Hani, Diyarbakır, November 19, 2004. Name withheld.

[50] Interview with Osman Altın, Hani sub-governor, November 18, 2004.

[51] Human Rights Watch interview, Genç, Bingöl, November 21, 2004. Name withheld.

[52] Human Rights Watch interview, Genç, Bingöl, November 21, 2004. Name withheld.

[53] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Vetha Aydın, president of Siirt Human Rights Association, November 26, 2004.

[54] Human Rights Watch interview, Genç, Bingöl, November 21, 2004. Name withheld.

[55] Human Rights Watch interview, Genç, Bingöl, November 21, 2004. Names withheld.

[56] Human Rights Watch interviews, Koçbaba, Hazro, Diyarbakır, November 18, 2004. Names withheld.

[57] Letter to Human Rights Watch from Ambassador Duray Polat, Director General for Multilateral Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ankara, October 21, 2004.

[58] Letter to Human Rights Watch from Ambassador Duray Polat, Director General for Multilateral Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ankara, October 21, 2004.

[59] Letter to Human Rights Watch from Ambassador Duray Polat, Director General for Multilateral Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ankara, November 24, 2004.

[60] Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Resolution 1380 (2004), adopted June 22, 2004, 23.viii.

[61] Human Rights Watch interview with Av. Abdullah Alakuş, Bingöl, November 22, 2004.

[62] Human Rights Watch interview with Av. Ahmet Kalpak, Diyarbakır, December 17, 2004.

[63] Human Rights Watch interview with Av. Cihan Avcı, Diyarbakır, November 17, 2004.

[64] Law 5233, Article 2 d.

[65] Human Rights Watch interview, names withheld, Çiftlibahçe, Diyarbakır province, November 18, 2004.

[66] The pressure applied to villagers to sign the forms is described in “Displaced and Disregarded,”pp. 35-37.

[67] Human Rights Watch interview Rıdvan Kızgın, Bingöl, November 21, 2004.

[68] Regulation on the Compensation of Damage Arising from Terror and Combating Terror, Article 12.

[69] Regulation on the Compensation of Damage Arising from Terror and Combating Terror, Article 16.

[70] Regulation on the Compensation of Damage Arising from Terror and Combating Terror, Article 17.

[71] See Amnesty International report Policy of Denial, February 1995, p 3.

[72] Human Rights Watch interview with Av Abdullah Alakuş, Bingöl, November 22, 2004.

[73] Akdivar and Others v Turkey (Art 50), Judgment of the ECHR, April 1, 1998.

[74] Dr Aytekin Sır, Dr Yener Bayram and Dr Mustafa Özkan, “A preliminary study on PTSD after forced migration,” Turkish Journal of Psychiatry, 1998, pp 173-180.

[75] Göç Edenler Sosyal Yardımlaşma ve Kültür Derneği, “Sociological Analysis of the Migration Concept, Migration Movements in Turkey and Their Consequences,” April 2002, prepared by Mehmet Barut, Mersin University, based on a survey of 2,139 households comprising 17,845 persons. Table 243.

[76] Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography, June 3, 1998, Humanitarian Situation of the Kurdish Refugees and Displaced Persons in South-East Turkey and North Iraq, Doc 8131.

[77] Human Rights Watch interview with Av. Abdullah Alakuş, Bingöl, November 22, 2004.

[78] Human Rights Watch interviews with Av. Erdal Aydemir, Bingöl, November 23, 2004, and Av. Sezgin Tanrıkulu , Diyarbakır, November 26, 2004.

[79] Human Rights Watch interviews, Genç, November 21, 2004. Names withheld.

[80] Human Rights Watch interview with Abdullah Alakuş, attorney, Bingöl, November 22, 2004.

[81] Human Rights Watch interviews with Av. Erdal Aydemir, Bingöl, November 23, 2004, and Av. Sezgin Tanrıkulu , Diyarbakır, November 26, 2004.

[82] Human Rights Watch interview with representatives of the Kırkpınar Village Association, Diyarbakır, November 25, 2004.

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