On the 27th anniversary of the 1980 military coup, the Young Civilians Movement is planning a workshop to "Repair the 12 September Constitution". The workshop will be held from 12 o'clock until 8 pm in front of Galatasary Highschool in Beyoglu, central Istanbul.
Amend the constitution
The organisers will hang up a copy of the Constitution and ask passers-by to add their suggestions to different articles. They may also cover those articles they want abolished with sticky-tape.
The results of the workshop will be collated in a report and sent to the Parliamentary Constitution Committee. The rationale of the workshop, so the NGO, is that "a 'civil constitution' can only be 'civil' if it is created with the active participation of society, not behind closed doors". They added, "without changing the basic ideological choices of the 1982 constitution, by just repairing it, one cannot make a democratic and civil constitution."
The NGO also plans to take the workshop around different provinces of Turkey and to organise "participation in a civil constitution" workshops once the government has announced its draft constitution.
Ship did not depart, but coup was tried
Meanwhile, the "Justice Ship" which was set to depart from Karaköy pier today (11 September) and host a one-hour trial of the 12 September coup did not set off. The captain of the ship refused to budge.
As reported yesterday, there was a jury of human rights activists, lawyers and writers. They gave striking statistics about the period around the 12 September.
Human rights violations against millions
During that time, human rights violations against millions of people were committed. 1,683,000 people were put on file, 650,000 people were arrested, 230,000 people were tried, thousands of people experienced torture, and 171 people died as a result of this torture. 517 people were sentenced to death, and 299 people died in prisons.
Coup is still with us
The jury also emphasised that Turkey was still experiencing the consequences of the coup with compulsory Religious Education classes, and the formation of institutions like the Higher Education Council (YÖK), the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) and State Security Courts (DGMs).
Call for justice
Jury members also said that the USA was one of the forces behind the coup, just as they had supported the coup in Chile. The military coups in Chile and Peru were also tried symbolically.
Stating that the generals responsible for the coup on 12 September 1980 had violated human rights in a planned fashion, the jury said that crimes against humanity would not be time-barred. The jury demanded that the coup generals be brought to justice. (TK/NH/AG)