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DATE=8/3/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=OCALAN - TURKEY (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-252436 BYLINE=AMBERIN ZAMAN DATELINE=ANKARA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Imprisoned Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan has called for members of his outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, the P-K-K, to lay down their arms and withdraw outside the borders of Turkey for what he termed -- the sake of peace. Amberin Zaman in Ankara reports Ocalan made his call (Tuesday) through his lawyers. TEXT: In a statement read by his lawyers, Ocalan called for his separatist guerrilla group to halt its attacks beginning September First. He said this would help end, what he termed -- the deadlocked Kurdish problem and pave the way for its solution through democratic and peaceful means. Analysts say his call constitutes a crucial test of just how much influence he exerts over the P-K-K in the wake of his capture by Turkish special agents in Kenya last February. Ocalan's call came within hours of a fresh rebel attack against villagers in the southeastern Silvan township. Six villagers were killed when the rebels opened fire at a minibus carrying them back from a field to their homes. Ocalan's call comes just days ahead of the 15th anniversary of the launch of his armed campaign for an independent Kurdish state on August 15th 1984. Ocalan was condemned to death in June by a Turkish court for founding and leading the P-K-K. The Turkish Parliament needs to approve the death sentence before it can be carried out. The sentence is being appealed by Ocalan's lawyers. Turkey says it cannot and will not negotiate with, what it terms -- a terrorist" movement and its ringleader. But many of the most hawkish of Turkish commentators have said the government should accept Ocalan's offer -- made during his trial in June -- to help end the Kurdish conflict which has claimed more than 30-thousand lives. Sources close to the rebels say there is little prospect the P-K-K will end its armed fight, no matter what its leader says -- unless the Turkish government responds to the Kurds' demands for greater cultural and linguistic rights. (Signed) NEB/AZ/JWH/RAE 03-Aug-1999 10:40 AM EDT (03-Aug-1999 1440 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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