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DATE=2/17/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-245648 TITLE=TURKEY / P-K-K / IRAQ (L) BYLINE=AMBERIN ZAMAN DATELINE=ANKARA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: SEVERAL THOUSAND TURKISH TROOPS HAVE LAUNCHED A CROSS-BORDER OFFENSIVE AGAINST KURDISH REBELS IN NORTHERN IRAQ IN WHAT TURKISH MILITARY OFFICIALS DESCRIBE AS A LIMITED OPERATION. AMBERIN ZAMAN IN ANKARA REPORTS WORD OF THE INCURSION COMES A DAY AFTER KURDISH REBEL CHIEF ABDULLAH OCALAN WAS BROUGHT TO TURKEY AFTER BEING CAPTURED BY TURKISH SPECIAL FORCES IN KENYA. TEXT: TURKISH MILITARY OFFICIALS SAID THE OPERATION WOULD BE BRIEF AND LIMITED IN SCOPE AND WAS AIMED AT ELIMINATING POCKETS OF P-K-K REBELS HIDING OUT IN THE RUGGED MOUNTAINS SEPARATING TURKEY FROM IRAQ. THE OPERATION WAS ANNOUNCED JUST AS TURKISH TELEVISION BEGAN BROADCASTING PICTURES OF THE P-K-K LEADER AFTER HIS CAPTURE BY TURKISH SPECIAL FORCES IN KENYA ON MONDAY. TURKISH FORCES ROUTINELY CROSS INTO KURDISH-HELD NORTHERN IRAQ WHERE THE P-K-K IS BELIEVED TO HAVE NUMEROUS MOBILE UNITS. THE ATTACKS ARE USUALLY CARRIED OUT JOINTLY WITH IRAQI KURDISH FIGHTERS BELONGING TO THE KURDISTAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY, OR K-D-P. TURKISH PRESIDENT SULEYMAN DEMIREL RENEWED APPEALS FOR ABOUT SIX-THOUSAND P-K-K REBELS STILL IN COMBAT TO HAND THEMSELVES OVER TO TURKISH AUTHORITIES. THE PRESIDENT SAID THE REBELS COULD BE PARDONED UNDER A SO-CALLED REPENTANCE LAW THAT COULD BE PASSED AT SHORT NOTICE BY THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT. MEANWHILE, THERE ARE WIDESPREAD REPORTS THAT A LEADERSHIP STRUGGLE HAS ERUPTED WITHIN THE REBEL RANKS FOLLOWING MR. OCALAN'S CAPTURE. HIS BROTHER OSMAN IS SAID TO HAVE DECLARED HIMSELF THE NEW LEADER OF THE P-K-K. BUT HE IS BEING CHALLENGED BY TWO OTHER P-K-K COMMANDERS, MURAT KARAYILAN AND CEMIL BAYIK THE REPORTS COULD NOT BE INDEPENDENTLY CONFIRMED. THE P-K-K HAS BEEN WAGING A 14-YEAR ARMED CAMPAIGN FOR KURDISH SELF RULE IN TURKEY'S MAINLY KURDISH SOUTHEASTERN PROVINCES. MORE THAN 30-THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN THE CONFLICT. (SIGNED) NEB/AZ/JWH/KL 17-Feb-99 2:05 PM EST (1905 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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