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September 22, 1983 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-09-22

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0

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, September 22, 1983

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

r

Vol. XCIV - No. 13

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Education schoo
ht 4percent cut necessary

IVEN THE University's financial
problems, the recent 40 percent
cjit of the School of Education is approp-
rtate. The school's enrollment has
dropped considerably in the last
dcade and it has had trouble
sustaining -high quality programs.
. Last Friday the University regents
concluded an 18 month budget review
of the education school by cutting 40
percent from its budget. The cuts are a
part of a five year plan to save money
in low priority areas at the University,
so that other areas deemed higher
priority can be beefed up.
The school's quality is dubious when
compared to the rest of the University.
It is not ranked nationally among
education schools. And while some of
the research in the school is
significant, much of it - particularly
graduate theses - ranges from trivial
to silly.
Some have argued that the Univer-
sity should put more money into the
school in response to recently exposed

weaknesses in the nation's education
system. In its present state, however,
the school is more a part of the
problem than a solution to it. To con-
tinue the school in its present- form
would only promote problems, not
solve them.
The school has also experienced
significant enrollment declines in
recent years. The number of students
currently enrolled is less than half of
what it was in 1972.
This alone justifies a large budget
cut, considering other schools and
colleges have watched enrollments
skyrocket without being able to hire
staff fast enough to keep up.
In ideal times it would have been
nice to simply pump money into the
school while it had a chance to rebuild.,
The Unviersity's financial situation,
however, is far from ideal. Ten years
ago the University might have been
able to rebuild the school without cut-
ting its budget. Now it can't afford to.

BASEL, Switzerland - Turkey
has become the land of arrests -
tens of thousands of political
arrests - and of systematic tor-
ture in prisons and mass trials in
which defendants often are not
allowed to speak.
Yet to date, many of Turkey's
Western allies have maintained
virtual silence on these abuses, a
silence which allows us to ignore
them.
True, elections are due this
November in Turkey. But the
military regime's version of
democracy is very far from any
accepted definition of that word.
THIS IS MOST clearly evident
in the country's prisons, which
are believed to hold some 100,000
political prisoners. Thousands of
them have been in jail without
trial for more than 2 years. In
many cases, they simply have
been swept up in one of the mass
arrests which have become
routine since the military
takeover in September, 1980.
In the past, many prisoners
simply have disappeared from
public notice. But those in
Turkish jails have tried to change
that over the past two months by
staging a series of huge hunger
strikes. At least three have died,
according to information
reaching the European Commit-
tee for the Defense of Refugees
and Immigrants (CEDRI) here.
Western media have largely
overlooked these protests. Yet
the prisoners are acting out of
complete desperation. Faced
with repeated torture, they
recently have lost all
"privileges." They are allowed
no visitors, no access to lawyers,
no exercise, often no windows.
THE HUNGER strikes began
in July, when 150 prisoners were
transferred to isolation cells in
new "high security" wings, part
of a massive building program
designed to create 38 new prisons

a real turkey
By Nicholas Bell

in

by year's end.
These cells have barely any
daylight and no electricity. Open
sewage drains flow through
them. Each prisoner must wear a
card bearing his name and
photograph, the description
"terrorist," and the sentence he
faces.
Two delegations sent by
CEDRI to investigate this strike
were not allowed to visit the
prisons. Indeed, no one has been
able to enter Turkish prisons, not
even the International Red Cross.
They did discover that censor-
ship in Turkey is nearly total, and
that few people knew of the
strike. With the foreign media
also silent, it seemed the Turkish
junta would let its opponents "die
of their own will."
IN EARLY August, European
aid groups learned the strike had
stopped after the action spread to
include some 2,500 in seven
prisons in Istanbul. It was "stop-
ped," evidently, by army and
police officers who brutally force-
fed prisoners. The French press
reported that strikers' families
heard loud cries and screams
coming from the prison. At about
that time, a second wave of

hunger strikes reportedly began
in eastern Turkey involving 1,200
prisoners. It is not clear how long
this strike lasted.
Then in early September, a
reported 2,000 prisoners started a
third hunger strike at the
Diabakir military prison in
Turkish Kurdistan. A few days
later, shots were heard from in-
side the prison. Authorities said
they acted to prevent an escape
but have given no clear infor-
mation on deaths or injuries.
It is known that the 400-man
military guard at the prison was
doubled, and that a protest
demonstration involving 1,000
women was brutally dispersed.
IN ALL, SOME 200,000 have
been arrested since the takeover
- one out of every 250 people in
the country. Prosecutors have
demanded death sentences in
5,000 cases. So far 40 have been
hanged. Turkish authorities have
admitted that prisoners are tor-
tured, and 150 are known to have
died in this way. Hundreds more
have been "arrested in a state of
death."
Less violent repression also
continues. The recently enacted
constitution removes all trade
union rights and permits the jun-

Democracy

Turkey is

The Michigan Daily
ta to veto any political party - as
it did in mid-August with two, one
democratic and the other close to
a former rightist prime minister.
The worst repression of all
takes place in Turkish Kurdistan.
The United States is actively
building bases for the Rapid
Deployment Force there, and it
was the site of recent NATO
maneuvers. Today, military
operations are routine in all Kur-
dish villages, almost always in-
volving torture and killing. An
unknown number of secret deten-
tion centers in - the region,
especially the one at Diabakir,
are reputedly the most night-
marish in Turkey. Husseyin
Yildirim, a Kurdish lawyer who
managed to escape Diabakir, has
said that two or three years of
detention in these prisons is the
same as a death penalty.
The next few months will be
critical for Turkey. In October,
the Human Rights Commission of
the Council of Europe finally will
begin investigating reports of
widespread prison abuse there.
And in November comes the elec-
tion, which is designed to
legitimize the repressive state
apparatus behind the screen of
"democracy."
Turkish politicians have
described these elections as a
farce and have publicly scolded
the West for giving any credence
to them.
With so little outside attention,
however, there still is a danger
that many governments and
much of the Western media once
again will talk of democracy -
"Turkish style" - but
democracy nonetheless.
Bell is an official of the
European Committee for the
Defense of Refugees and Im-
.migrants. He wrote this article
for the Pacific News Service.

4

Punt nh-vldeal Pduoatin

'T HERE IS ONE unit in the School
of Education which deserves a
fate worse than the school as a whole -
the undergraduate physical education
program. Because of its non-existent
quality, the program should be
eliminated completely.
While reviewing the education
school, University administrators
decided to move the physical education
department into another school or
college. Administrators are now sear-
ching for a place to put the depar-
tment.
The move, though, only would shield
the favorite bastion of unqualified
students - read scholarship athletes
- from budget cuts. Instead of forcing
another school to shoulder the burden,
University administrators should be
forcing athletes to become students in
more challenging academic units.
The program is, quite simply, a
moral blot on the University. No other
department - regardless of how weak
it might be - compares with the in-
tellectual frailty of undergraduate
physical education. If administrators
are trying to improve the quality of
the University and save money at the

same time, eliminating this depar-
tment is an excellent place to start.
The University is not under any
obligation to train tomorrow's gym
teachers.
Ending the life of this mickey-mouse
department would, of course, make it
tough for the athletic department to
find places for academically
unqualified football players. But that's
why the physical education depar-
tment is looking for a new home - to
escape that problem so Michigan
Stadium remains full every Saturday.
That assumes, though, that enough
academically capable student-athletes
are not available to fill Maize and Blue
uniforms and still win.
Such an argument not only misinter-
prets the reason for the existence of in-
tercollegiate athletics - to augment
academics - but it sells the true stud-
ent-athlete short. The University's
athletic teams already have many
academically talented students. Many
more are out there.
Tearing down the wall that protects
many athletes here would be a way to
give more student-athletes a spot on
the field.

Wasserman
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LETTERS TO THE DAILY
Daily erred on petition drive goals

4

To the Daily:
The Daily seriously misstated
the objectives of the People for
the Reassessment of Aid to Israel
petition campaign concerning
U.S. aid to Israel ("Petition drive
urges cuts in aid to Israel,"
Daily, September 15).
First, PRAI does not propose
that any aid to Israel be per-
manently "removed" or "ter-
minated."
Second,, PRAI urges no
"removal," "termination," or
alteration of any kind of U.S.
Hal should
To the Daily:
Bravo to your editorial on
President Harold Shapiro's pay
hike ("Pay raise: Poor
judgement," Daily, September
17). As every student of military
history knows, there is no finer or
surer way for an officer to raise
the morale of his troops than by
ctia a nndA a.vmnla T is . el

military aid to Israel. Such
military aid constitutes ap-
proximately 80 percent of all U.S.
aid to Israel.
What PRAI does advocate is
that U.S. economic aid to Israel
be withheld by an amount
equivalent to what Israel spends
to retain, settle, and administer
the Arab territores occupied in
and after 1967. American
economic aid presently con-
stitutes only about 20 percent of
all U.S. aid to Israel.
The word "withhold" was
cut own pay
should President Reagan, the
Cabinet, and the Congress. Let
them put their own money where
their mouths are for a change.
-John Attarian
September 21
BLOOM COUNTY

carefully selected. PRAI would
not oppose the restoration of all
aid to Israel once Israel halts its
policies of Jewish settlement in
and political absorption of the oc-
cupied Arab territories. The
United States, along with almost
all other nations, considers such
expansionist policies to be illegal
and an obstacle to peace. Never-
theless, America continues to
subsidize them, using taxpayer
money - including that of the
citizens of Ann Arbor.
Councilman Richard Deem (R-
Second Ward) states that this
matter is "not the responsibility
of the people of Ann Arbor." Was
the issue of a nuclear freeze, on
which the citizenry of Ann Arbor
was allowed to vote, also inap-
propriate for consideration? U.S.
aid to Israel is neither more nor
less proper for consideration than
the issue of a nuclear freeze. On

mature reflection, Councilman
Deem may perceive a difference
between U.S. economic aid to
Israel and American policy
toward the Israeli/Palestinian
conflict - on which world peace
perhaps hinges - and the silly
matter of the treatment of the
mayor of Istanbul.
Many Jews in both Israel and
United States have adopted
positions similar to that of PRAI.
Already, a number of Ann Arbor
Jews have signed our petition.
We invite the Jewish community
to join with us in an effort which
we truly believe to be supportive
of Israel's long-term interests
and survival.
-Irene Rasmussen
September 21
Rasmussen is the executive
director of' People for the
Reassessment of Aid to Israel.
by Berke Breathed

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