From: Erik Hoogcarspel <jehms@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 21:36:03 +0100
thank you for your explanation. I do respect Turkisch people and I've
some Turkish friends as well.
My personal interest is the strategic situation. It seems to me that
there's little benefit for the governement to stimulate the torture of
prisoners, especially because it would make membership of the EEC very
difficult. So their strategy would be to change the system into a
western model of discipline and surveillance.
There seems to be a problem with the guards, who're accustomed to rule
by fear, why I don't know, but maybe this is an old tradition. Cruelties
are not AFAIK a very effective means against crime or rebellion. The
South-American situation seems to me to be one of total power of the
guards. Some of the cruelties have come out in the open and there still
are the crazy mothers. The object of those cruelties seems however to
have been to eliminate opponents. This is not the same as ruling by
fear, because without opponents there's nobody to rule. If the situation
in Turkey would be evaluated as being akin to this kind of totalitarism,
the chances of becoming accepted by the western economic system would be
I wonder if there's much sense in torturing people in prison when
everybody has private cells and nobody hears about it, because it would
not inspire fear anymore. It would be easier to run a sound tape now and
then with human cries of agony, so that everybody believes there's a lot
of torture going on. You could spare a lot of guards this way.
On the other hand if prisons now are trainingcamps for criminals of
socialist resistance, there's some advantage for the governement in
changing the system, allthough western privatised prisons still breed
crime. Political resistance seems not to flourish in this situation, as
history shows, but maybe this has more to do with changes in the world
When I was in Turkey I had a conversation with a socialist actor who
showed me his scarves caused by police torture, but a day later I met a
social worker whose work was to help victims of police torture. So I'm
a little aware the complexity of the situation.