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DATE=6/23/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251011 TITLE=OCALAN TRIAL (L ONLY) BYLINE=AMBERIN ZAMAN DATELINE=IMRALI ISLAND, TURKEY CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: KURDISH REBEL LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN, ON TRIAL FOR HIS LIFE IN TURKEY, HAS RENEWED THREATS OF MORE VIOLENCE IF HE IS SENTENCED TO DEATH. AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM IMRALI ISLAND, WHERE THE LEADER OF THE OUTLAWED KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY (P-K-K) IS ON TRIAL FOR TREASON. MR. OCALAN SAYS HE WANTS TO WORK WITH TURKISH OFFICIALS TO BRING ABOUT A PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO THE 15-YEAR KURDISH REBELLION. TEXT: STANDING IN A BULLET-PROOF GLASS CUBICLE, THE P-K-K LEADER SPOKE FOR NEARLY THREE HOURS (WEDNESDAY). MR. OCALAN WAS AT TIMES APOLOGETIC. THE REBELLION, HE SAID, HAS OUTLIVED ITS PURPOSE, SINCE THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT ENDED ITS OFFICIAL BAN ON THE KURDISH LANGUAGE IN 1991. MR. OCALAN SAYS HIS EFFORTS SINCE THAT TIME TO STOP THE BLOODSHED HAVE BEEN STYMIED, FIRST BY THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT AND DISOBEDIENT REBELS WHO CONTINUED TO ATTACK CIVILIANS. HE SAYS KURDISH INDEPENDENCE OR FEDERATIONAL AUTONOMY ARE NOT WHAT HE CALLS PRACTICAL GOALS. MR. OCALAN GOES AS FAR AS TO SAY THAT AN INDEPENDENT KURDISH NATION CAN NOT -- IN HIS WORDS -- PRODUCE EVEN A PIN. HE SAYS EASING RESTRICTIONS ON KURDISH EDUCATION AND BROADCASTING WOULD BE ENOUGH TO MEET THE KURDS' DEMANDS. IT WAS SUCH BANS, HE SAYS, THAT FUELED THE KURDISH CONFLICT TO BEGIN WITH. TURKISH PROSECUTORS ARE SEEKING THE DEATH SENTENCE FOR MR. OCALAN, CITING THE P-K-K'S 15-YEAR FIGHT FOR KURDISH SELF-RULE IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY. TURKISH OFFICIALS DESCRIBE MR. OCALAN'S THREAT OF MORE BLOODSHED AS BLACKMAIL, AND SAY THEY WILL NEVER -- IN THEIR WORDS -- NEGOTIATE WITH A TERRORIST. THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT MUST APPROVE THE DEATH SENTENCE, IF MR. OCALAN IS CONVICTED AS CHARGED. THERE IS STRONG PUBLIC SENTIMENT AMONG LAWMAKERS TO DO SO. BUT THE STRASBOURG-BASED COUNCIL OF EUROPE HAS WARNED IT COULD SUSPEND TURKEY'S MEMBERSHIP IF THE P-K-K LEADER IS EXECUTED. THERE HAVE BEEN NO EXECUTIONS IN TURKEY SINCE 1984. MR. OCALAN SAYS ABOUT FIVE-THOUSAND SUICIDE BOMBERS WOULD UNLEASH A CAMPAIGN OF VIOLENCE IF HE IS HANGED. THE P-K-K HAS ECHOED ITS LEADER'S THREATS OF THE PAST WEEK. BUT UNLIKE MR. OCALAN, THE REBELS DO NOT APPEAR SET TO LAY DOWN THEIR WEAPONS IF HIS LIFE IS SPARED. SOURCES CLOSE TO THE REBELS SAY THE P-K-K LEADERSHIP IS BOTH EMBARRASSED AND DISMAYED BY MR. OCALAN'S APPARENT RENUNCIATION OF MANY OF THE GOALS AND PRINCIPLES ON WHICH THE MOVEMENT WAS FOUNDED, AND FOR WHICH ABOUT 20-THOUSAND KURDISH FIGHTERS LOST THEIR LIVES. MR. OCALAN'S LAWYERS, WHO TOOK UP THE DEFENSE LATER IN WEDNESDAY'S SESSION, WILL CONTINUE READING A 350-PAGE FINAL DEFENSE STATEMENT ON THURSDAY. THEY ARE CHALLENGING THE TRIAL ON PROCEDURAL GROUNDS. (SIGNED) NEB/AZ/JWH/WTW 23-Jun-99 2:49 PM EDT (1849 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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