party was requested, pursuant to article 108, paragraph 9, of the Committee's rules of procedure, not
to expel the author to Turkey while his communication was under consideration. On 6 April 1999,
the State party notified the Committee that steps had been taken to ensure that the author was not
returned to Turkey while his case was pending before the Committee.
The facts as submitted by the author
2.1 The author comes from the south-eastern part of Turkey. His family owns a farm in the village
of Bazlama, in the Karakocan region of Elazig province in south-eastern Turkey, an area
traditionally inhabited by the Kurds.
2.2 When the author was living in Turkey, most of the members of his family had problems with the
authorities. His older brother Y., an active supporter of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) since
1979, joined the PKK fighters in 1986 and was killed during a battle on 13 February 1995. His father
died on 15 January 1980, three months after surviving a month in prison, where he had been
tortured. He had been arrested on account of his son Y.'s activities in the PKK. The circumstances
surrounding their father's death traumatized the author's younger brother, V., an asylum-seeker in
Switzerland. At the age of nine, V. was unable to talk for several months following his father's arrest
by the security forces. He has been suffering since then from chronic psychological problems, for
which he has needed psychiatric help, including in Switzerland. The only brother of the author to
stay in Turkey had to change his surname in order to avoid further persecution. The author's wife
was forced to agree to a divorce for the same reasons. Lastly, the author cites the names of several
other members of his family who were refugees in Switzerland or who were killed by the Turkish
2.3 In 1985, the author was jailed about one month after the arrest of a cousin, N.S., who today has
refugee status in Switzerland, on charges of acting as a guide (or "pathfinder"1) to this cousin and
other guerrillas in 1984. During his detention, he was ill-treated and tortured. The doctor's
observations on the medical certificate he has produced can only be interpreted as referring to the
effects of the torture to which he was subjected. The author emphasizes that such observations of
torture cannot be confirmed by a doctor without endangering the latter's life. 2
2.4 Later, he took part in the 1991 spring festivities (Newroz), which had been moved forward to
January for political reasons. The festivities came to an end when the security forces arrived. One
guerrilla and two soldiers were killed. The author managed to escape undetected; he went back to
Istanbul and left the country as he was afraid he would be persecuted again for taking part in the
2.5 The author applied for asylum in Switzerland on 11 March 1991. He was questioned on 15 May
1991 and 29 March 1994. The author stresses that these rounds of questioning were difficult for him
because of his lack of schooling; moreover, the fact that the second one took place three years after
the first meant that his memory of events changed. His lack of education also accounts for his
ignorance of various aspects of the PKK and explains why he did what he could to support this
organization. The Federal Office for Refugees turned down the author's application for asylum on
1 November 1994. The author's appeal to the Swiss Appeal Commission on Asylum Matters was
rejected on 6 November 1998.

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