Nov. 1, 2004

Controversial human rights report released

The report prepared by the Prime Ministry Advisory Board was not
acknowledged by the government.

November 1 - The section of the Prime Ministry Advisory Board Human
Rights report dealing with minorities in Turkey had an eventful release
to the media Monday, with the event being disrupted by protestors,
including members of the board itself.

Professor Ibrahim Kaboglu, the Chairman of the Board, was interrupted
at the press conference called to release the report when he was
attacked by Fahrettin Yokus secretary of the KAMU-Sen, public servants
trade union, who then tore up the copy of the document before the
cameras of the media.
Although forced to halt the press conference due to Yokus's
attack, Kaboglu said that the report on minorities and cultural rights
in Turkey had been properly voted on and had undergone changes.
Kaboglu made a press statement following the incident. He
highlighted the importance of the human rights and called on all
related parties to keep a close eye on any infringements.
`Freedom of thought is also a matter that should be dealt with
sensitively,' he said.
In response to the government distancing itself from the report,
Kaboglu stressed that the board was an official body and that the
authorities had been informed of the contents of the report.
The report said that there should be a wider understanding of
minorities in Turkey, rather than just of the Jewish, Greek and
Armenian minorities covered by international treaty.