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DATE=02/17/99 TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP NUMBER=6-11151 TITLE=TURKEY CAPTURES OCALAN; EUROPE'S KURDS REVOLT BYLINE=ANDREW N. GUTHRIE TELEPHONE=619-3335 DATELINE=WASHINGTON EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS CONTENT= INTRO: VIOLENCE ERUPTED AT MIDWEEK IN MANY PARTS OF EUROPE AS TURKISH KURDS DEMONSTRATED VIOLENTLY AT THE CAPTURE OF THE MAN KNOWN AS "APO," ABDULLAH OCALAN. FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES, MR. OCALAN HAS LED THE KURDISH WORKERS PARTY, OR P-K-K AS IT IS KNOWN, IN A VIOLENT CAMPAIGN IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY, PRESSING DEMANDS FOR A SEPARATE KURDISH STATE. U-S NEWSPAPERS HAVE BEEN QUICK TO RESPOND, SUGGESTINGTHAT MR. OCALAN'S ARREST AND PENDING TRIAL GIVES TURKEY THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVERSE ITS DECADES OLD POLICY OF KURDISH REPRESSION, AS IT METES OUT JUSTICE TO THE P-K-K LEADER. WE ARE JOINED NOW BY _______________ WHO HAS ASAMPLING IN TODAY'S U-S OPINION ROUNDUP. TEXT: AT LEAST 30-THOUSAND PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES HAVE DIED DURING THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, AS THE TURKISH MILITARY RELENTLESSLY REPRESSED THE MILITANT KURDS, AND THE P-K-K HARASSED TURKISH MILITARY UNITS IN THE REGION, ALSO KILLED KURDS WHO FAILED TO SUPPORT THEM. AFTER BEING FORCED OUT OF SYRIA WEEKS AGO, MR. OCALAN HAS BEEN CAPTURED IN KENYA, AFTER SEEKING ASYLUM AT THE GREEK EMBASSY THERE, AND RETURNED TO TURKEY TO STAND TRIAL FOR TERRORISM. HIS DEPORTATION SET OFF VIOLENT DEMONSTRATIONS AT GREEK, KENYAN, AND ISRAELI EMBASSIES THROUGHOUT EUROPE. ISRAEL BECAME A TARGET WHEN IT WAS RUMORED THAT THE ISRAELI SECRET SERVICE, [THE MOSSAD] AIDED TURKEY IN HIS APPREHENTION. IN THE U-S PRESS, THERE IS A RECURRING THEME THAT TURKEY CAN SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO BEGIN RESOLVING ITS LONG-STANDING PROBLEM OF KURDISH RIGHTS AND AUTONOMY, WHICH STEMS FROM THE BIRTH OF MODERN TURKEY AT THE HANDS OF KEMAL ATTATURK IN THE 1920S. WE BEGIN OUR SAMPLING IN MARYLAND, WHERE "THE SUN" IN BALTIMORE SEES A PARALLEL WITH ANOTHER WANTED, INERNATIONAL FUGITIVE. VOICE: U-S INTELLIGENCE HUNTING THE ELUSIVE TERRORIST OSAMA BIN LADEN WILL EAT ITS HEART OUT AT TURKEY'S PURSUIT OF THE KURDISH REBEL ABDULLAH OCALAN FROM SYRIA TO THE GREEK EMBASSY IN KENYA. HIS CAPTURE AND RETURN TO STAND TRIAL FOR TERROR HE ORGANIZED FROM EXILE THE PAST 15 YEARS IS A GREAT FEAT OF COUNTER-TERRORISM. ... THE APPARENT COMPLICITY OF GREECE IS ALSO POSITIVE. GREECE AND TURKEY, BOTH NATO MEMBERS, HAVE LONG BEEN ADVERSARIES. THEIR NATURAL SYMPATHIES ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE KOSOVO TRAGEDY IS THE GREATEST DANGER THERE. ANYTHING THAT BRINGS THE TWO COUNTRIES CLOSER IS GOOD FOR EUROPE AND FOR PEACE. ... [HOWEVER] THE CAPTURE OF MR. OCALAN WILL NOT END THE HUMAN RIGHTS SPOTLIGHT ON TURKEDY'S FAILINGS. HIS SHOW TRIAL WILL MAKE THAT SPOTLIGHT BRIGHTER. [NEW MATERIAL] TEXT: IN THE MIDWEST, "THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE" SUGGESTS: VOICE: [MR. OCALAN'S ARREST FOCUSED WORLD ATTENTION ON THE SITUATION OF UP TO 25 MILLION KURDS SPREAD OUT ACROSS TURKEY, SYRIA, IRAQ AND IRAN. [MR.] OCALAN'S FOLLOWERS HAVE BEEN FIGHTING SINCE 1984 FOR KURDISH INDEPENDENCE,MAINLY IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY, AND, NOT WITHOUT REASON, THE GOVERNMENT BLAMES HIM FOR A CONFLICT THAT HAS COST 37-THOUSAND LIVES. HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS HAVE CONDEMNED HIS BLOODY METHODS. EVEN EX-P-K-K REBELS FOUND HIM TREACHEROUS, ACCUSING HIM OF HAVING SCORES OF RIVALS HUNTED DOWN AND EXECUTED. .... THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT WILL NOW FACE ITS OWN KIND OF PUBLIC TRIAL AS THE WORLD WATCHES HOW FAIRLY IT TRIED AND SENTENCES [MR.] OCALAN. ... TURKISH DEMOCRACY TOOL OFTEN HAS BEEN A SHAM. AN ARROGANT, SECULARIST MILITARY ELITE HAS OVERTURNED THE RESULTS OF DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS AS RECENTLY AS 1997, WITH IT FEARED ISLAMIC INFLUENCE WAS GROWING TOO GREAT. THE KURDS HAVE LONG BEEN A PEOPLE INS EACH OF THEIR OWN COUNTRY .... AND THEIR CLAIMS GO BACK TO 1920. IT IS ONE MEASURE OF TURKEY'S UNBENDING APPROACH TO DISSENT THAT THE SEPARATIST REBELLION HAS GONE SO LONG WITHOUT A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT. AT FIRST BLUSH, IT DOESN'T APPEAR THAT [MR.] OCALAN'S ARREST WILL MAKE SUCH A SETTLEMENT ANY MORE LIKELY. [END NEW MATERIAL] TEXT: "THE WASHINGTON POST" BEGINS WEDNESDAY'S [2/17] LEAD EDITORIAL, DISCUSSING THE LONG CIVIL WAR IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY BETWEEN KURDS AND THE TURKISH MILITARY, THEN MAKES THIS POINT: NOW THAT TURKEY H A S MR. OCALAN, IT ALSO HAS THE DILEMMA OF WHAT TO D O WITH HIM. VOICE: IT CAN SUBMIT ABDULLAH OCALAN TO AN ACCUSED TRAITOR'S LIKELY SECURITY-CODE TRIAL, RATHER THAN A CIVILIAN TRIAL. THE PROCESS MIGHT MOCK WESTERN JUSTICE BUT WOULD SHOW THE GOVERNMENT WREAKING STERN VENGEANCE. OR IT CAN SEIZE THIS MOMENT TO SEEK ANOTHER WAY THAN TOUGHNESS AND REPRESSION TO DEAL WITH A CANCER THAT NEARLY 80 YEARS OF TREATMENT IN THE MODE OF KEMAL ATATURK HAVE FAILED TO REDUCE. TEXT: PICKING UP THE SAME THEME, THAT HIS CAPTURE PRESENTS AN UNPARALLELED OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE FORWARD ON THE UNDERLYING QUESTION OF KURDISH RIGHTS WITHIN TURKEY, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" SUGGESTS: VOICE: MR. OCALAN'S CAPTURE AND TRIAL SHOULD BE USED TO HELP DIMINISH THIS TERRIBLE CONFLICT, NOT INFLAME IT. TURKEY'S TREATMENT OF ITS KURDISH MINORITY HAS UNDERCUT ITS DEMOCRACY AND DAMAGED ITS INTERNATIONAL STANDING. KURDISH VIOLENCE AND TERROR,INCLUDING THE VIOLENCE OF OCALAN SUPPORTERS NOW LIVING IN EUROPE, HAVE PROVIDED EXCUSES FOR TURKEY'S ACTIONS. KURDISH TERRORISM HAS OBSCURED THE LEGITIMATE GRIEVANCES SUFFERED BY MILLIONS OF NONVIOLENT KURDS WHO HAVE SUFFERED SYSTEMATIC DISCRIMINATION AND BEEN SUBJECTED TO TURKISH ATTEMPTS TO SUPPRESS KURDISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE. BOTH SIDES NOW NEED TO BEHAVE MORE CONSTRUCTIVELY AND RESPONSIBLY. TEXT: TODAY'S "WALL STREET JOURNAL" TAKES A HARDER LINE, REMINDING READERS OF THE TOLL KURDISH TERRORISM HAS TAKEN IN TURKEY. VOICE: WHAT SHOULD NOT BE IN DISPUTE, HOWEVER, IS THE MONSTROUS AND CRIMINAL NATURE OF MR. OCALAN'S CAMPAIGN FOR A KURDISH HOMELAND. TURKEY, AFTER ALL, IS A DEMOCRATIC (IF IMPERFECT) COUNTRY - - FAR AND AWAY THE MOST DEMOCRATIC STATE IN THE MUSLIM WORLD - - IN WHICH KURDS PARTICIPATE IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE CURRENT PARLIAMENT SPEAKER HIKMET CETIN IS KURDISH. ... BUT ... MR. OCALAN DECLINED TO BRING HIS CAMPAIGN FOR KURDISH RIGHTS TO THE ELECTORAL ARENA. ... SINCE ... 1984 ... THE CAMPAIGN OF THIS 'FREEDOM FIGHTER' HAS COST NEARLY 40-THOUSAND LIVES, INCLUDING THOSE OF MANY KURDS WHO ... FAILED TO SUPPORT HIS CAUSE. TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EARLY PRESS REACTION TO THE CAPTURE OF THE KURDISH SEPARATIST LEADER FROM TURKEY, ABDULLAH OCALAN. NEB/ANG/PT 17-Feb-99 4:43 PM EST (2143 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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