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DATE=6/23/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-250999 TITLE=OCALAN TRIAL / KURD REACT (L ONLY) (CQ) BYLINE=SCOTT BOBB DATELINE=DIYARBAKIR, TURKEY CONTENT= VOICED AT: /// EDS: WATCH C-N WIRE FOR LATEST NEWS FROM THE TRIAL AND UPDATE INTRO AS NEEDED /// INTRO: IN TURKEY, LAWYERS FOR KURDISH REBEL LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN BEGAN PRESENTING THEIR FINAL ARGUMENTS WEDNESDAY AS THE TRIAL RESUMED AFTER A TWO-WEEK RECESS. THE TRIAL IS BEING FOLLOWED ESPECIALLY CLOSELY IN THE PREDOMINANTLY KURDISH PART OF SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT SCOTT BOBB IS IN THE REGIONAL CAPITAL, DIYARBAKIR, AND FILED THIS REPORT. TEXT: PEOPLE ARE GOING ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS AS USUAL IN THIS CITY OF TWO-MILLION PEOPLE LYING ON THE DRY PLAINS OF SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY. ALTHOUGH BUSINESS IS BAD AND MANY PEOPLE ARE OUT OF WORK, STREETS IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA STILL ARE BUSY. MOST SHOPS ARE OPEN AND THE PRESENCE OF SECURITY FORCES IS ABOUT THE SAME AS IT HAS BEEN SINCE THE CAPTURE OF ABDULLAH OCALAN IN FEBRUARY. IN THE SHOPS AND OFFICES OF THIS PREDOMINANTLY KURDISH CITY, TELEVISION SETS REMAIN TURNED ON. AND WHEN ONE OF THE DOZENS OF STATIONS COVERING THE TRIAL BROADCASTS A REPORT, CONVERSATION STOPS AND ALL EYES TURN TO WATCH. THE GENERAL ATTITUDE IS ONE OF WAIT-AND-SEE -- WHETHER MR. OCALAN WILL BE CONVICTED AND IF SO, WHETHER HE WILL BE EXECUTED. MOST BELIEVE HE WILL BE CONVICTED. AND THE FACT THAT MR. OCALAN ADOPTED A CONCILIATORY ATTITUDE AT THE TRIAL ANGERS MANY PEOPLE HERE. THEY SAY HE HAD NOTHING TO GAIN AND SHOULD HAVE REMAINED DEFIANT. ASKED WHETHER THE REMOVAL OF MR. OCALAN WILL END THE KURDISH PROBLEM, DIFFERENCES EMERGE. OFFICIALS OF THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AND THEIR SYMPATHIZERS BELIEVE MR. OCALAN'S CAPTURE, COMBINED WITH A VIGOROUS MILITARY OFFENSIVE AGAINST HIS P-K-K GUERRILLA GROUP, WILL END THE VIOLENCE. WITH PEACE, THEY SAY, INDUSTRY AND JOBS WILL COME AND THE REASONS FOR THE VIOLENCE WILL FADE. THOSE KURDS WHO WILL SPEAK OPENLY TO A REPORTER DO NOT AGREE. MOST DO NOT BELIEVE THE VIOLENCE WILL END AND MANY SAY IT WILL GET WORSE. THEY SAY EVEN IF THE P-K-K IS DEFEATED, THE KURDISH PROBLEM WILL NOT GO AWAY. /// REST OPT /// THE LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR TURKEYS HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION, SEZGIN TANRIKULU, SAYS THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT MUST SEEK A POLITICAL SOLUTION TO THE KURDISH PROBLEM IF IT WANTS TO SOLVE IT ONCE AND FOR ALL. /// TANRIKULU ACT - IN TURKISH - FADE UNDER /// MR. TANRIKULU SAYS HE THINKS THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT DOES NOT REALIZE HOW BIG THE KURDISH PROBLEM REALLY IS. IF IT DID, HE SAYS, IT WOULD SEEK A NEGOTIATED SOLUTION. ALTHOUGH MANY HERE SYMPATHIZE WITH THE STRUGGLE OF THE P-K-K, MANY DO NOT SUPPORT IT. AND MOST SAY THEY ARE AGAINST THE VIOLENCE AND WANT PEACE. THEY SAY PEACE IS POSSIBLE IF THE GOVERNMENT WILL GRANT MORE FREEDOMS TO THE KURDISH PEOPLE. THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT NOW ALLOWS KURDISH MUSIC TO BE PLAYED IN PUBLIC. AND IT ALLOWS KURDISH MUSIC TO BE SOLD OPENLY. HOWEVER, IT STILL DOES NOT ALLOW THE KURDISH LANGUAGE TO BE TAUGHT IN THE SCHOOLS. AND PEOPLE HERE COMPLAIN THAT MERE SUSPICION OF BEING A REBEL SYMPATHIZER CAN LEAD TO ARREST, TORTURE, AND PRISON. THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT IS UNDER PRESSURE FROM FAMILIES OF THE VICTIMS OF P-K-K ATTACKS TO HARSHLY PUNISH MR. OCALAN AND HIS FOLLOWERS. YET, MANY BELIEVE IT ALSO REALIZES THAT THE EXECUTION OF MR. OCALAN, WHICH CAN OCCUR ONLY WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, COULD LEAD TO A WORSENING OF THE VIOLENCE. THAT, HOWEVER, IS A CONSEQUENCE THAT FEW IN THIS WAR-WEARY CITY SEEM TO WANT. (SIGNED) NEB/SB/JWH/KL 23-Jun-99 11:07 AM EDT (1507 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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