The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

DATE=2/16/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-245571 TITLE=TURKEY / KURDS (L-ONLY) BYLINE=AMBERIN ZAMAN DATELINE=ANKARA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: ABDULLAH OCALAN, THE LEADER OF THE KURDISTAN WORKERS' PARTY, OR P-K-K, HAS BEEN CAPTURED AND BROUGHT TO TURKEY, TURKISH PRIME MINISTER BULENT ECEVIT ANNOUNCED TUESDAY. THE PARTY IS OUTLAWED BY TURKEY AND MR. OCALAN IS WANTED ON TERRORISM CHARGES. AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA. TEXT: SPEAKING AT A NEWS CONFERENCE TUESDAY, MR. ECEVIT SAID THE TURKISH STATE HAD KEPT ITS PROMISE AND BROUGHT BACK THE MAN HE TERMED A "TERRORIST" TO FACE JUSTICE. THE TURKISH PRIME MINISTER SAID MR. OCALAN'S ARREST WAS THE RESULT OF A 12-DAY COVERT OPERATION WHICH ONLY 10 TURKISH OFFICIALS WERE AWARE OF, BUT HE DECLINED TO ELABORATE. MR. ECEVIT ALSO DECLINED TO REVEAL MR. OCALAN'S WHEREABOUTS, SAYING ONLY THAT HE WAS SOMEWHERE IN TURKEY. MR ECEVIT SAID THE P-K-K LEADER WOULD BE ACCORDED A FAIR TRIAL AND THAT HE HAD NOT COME TO ANY PHYSICAL HARM DURING HIS CAPTURE. MR. OCALAN WILL LIKELY BE TRIED ON TREASON CHARGES FOR WHICH HE WILL LIKELY BE GIVEN THE DEATH PENALTY, IF CONVICTED. BUT EVEN THOUGH CAPITAL PUNISHMENT HAS NOT BEEN ABOLISHED IN TURKEY, IT HAS NOT BEEN CARRIED OUT FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS NOW. MR OCALAN IS WIDELY BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO TURKEY FROM KENYA WHERE HE HAD ALLEGEDLY SOUGHT REFUGE AT THE GREEK EMBASSY. MR. ECEVIT APPEALED TO P-K-K REBELS MONDAY TO TURN THEMSELVES INTO THE TURKISH AUTHORITIES. /// INSERT ECEVIT ACT /// MR. ECEVIT PLEDGED THEY WOULD BE ALLOWED TO BENEFIT FROM A REPENTANCE LAW. MR. OCALAN'S ARREST CAPS A 14-YEAR EFFORT BY THE TURKISH STATE TO BRING TO JUSTICE THE MAN IT HOLDS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATHS OF MORE THAN 30-THOUSAND TURKISH CITIZENS. //OPT// THE P-K-K HAS BEEN WAGING A BLOODY SEPARATIST CAMPAIGN SINCE 1984 FOR KURDISH SELF RULE IN THE MAINLY KURDISH SOUTHEAST PROVINCES. ITS VICTIMS HAVE INCLUDED THOUSANDS OF UNARMED CIVILIANS SIDING WITH THE STATE. BUT WIDESPREAD UNEMPLOYMENT AND DISAFFECTION WITH THE TURKISH STATE HAS BRED SUPPORT FOR THE REBEL LEADER AMONG MANY KURDS. MANY CREDIT HIM WITH FORCING THE TURKISH STATE TO RECOGNIZE THEIR LONG DENIED ETHNIC IDENTITY. HIS CAPTURE WILL NO DOUBT COME AS A BLOW TO THEM. ANTICIPATING MASS PROTESTS IN THE SOUTHEAST, TURKISH OFFICIALS SAY SECURITY HAS BEEN STEPPED-UP IN THE KURDISH REGION. THE P-K-K LEADER HAS BEEN ON THE RUN SINCE OCTOBER WHEN SYRIA, BACKING DOWN UNDER TURKISH MILITARY THREATS, ORDERED HIM OUT OF THAT COUNTRY. MR. OCALAN EMERGED IN ROME IN NOVEMBER, WHERE HE SPENT TWO MONTHS SEEKING POLITICAL ASYLUM. (SIGNED) NEB/AZ/PCF/KL 16-Feb-99 7:40 AM EST (1240 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list