February 24, 1999 |
During his furtive zigzagging across Europe and Africa recently, Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan railed about the "injustice" that he was desperate to avoid--capture and trial by the Turks. Yes, his guerrillas had killed soldiers and unarmed civilians, he admitted, but blaming only him would obscure the causes of the struggle for Kurdish self-rule. "By accusing me, they're trying to cover up crimes of the state," Ocalan said in a December interview in Rome.
July 3, 1999 |
Kurds should refrain from attacks in Europe but have little choice but to resort to violence in Turkey, a Kurdish rebel spokeswoman said Friday. Five people were killed and eight injured in attacks late Thursday throughout Turkey. Mizgin Sen, the spokeswoman for the rebels in Europe, could not confirm whether the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, carried out the attacks, but she added that "it wouldn't be surprising" if the group's fighters were behind them.
March 4, 1999 |
Turkey's Kurdish rebels have taken steps toward choosing a new leader to replace jailed chief Abdullah Ocalan, a Turkish newspaper said Wednesday. Milliyet said a meeting of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, appointed a senior commander, Cemil Bayik, as the guerrillas' "high authority." Ocalan, who founded the Kurdish rebel movement and led its armed campaign for 14 years, was seized in Kenya last month and flown to Turkey for trial on treason charges.
January 8, 2001 |
Iraqi Kurdish officials confirmed Sunday that at least 500 Turkish troops have pushed 100 miles into northern Iraq in their deepest incursion into the Kurdish-controlled enclave in 15 years of war against Kurdish separatists. The officials described the move as preparation for a major offensive against about 2,500 rebels belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, who are dug in along a 25-mile-long swath of mountainous territory on the Iran-Iraq border.
April 2, 2000 |
At least 1,000 Turkish soldiers crossed into northern Iraq, apparently starting their yearly spring campaign against Kurdish rebel hide-outs there, military sources said Saturday. Over the last three days, soldiers have gone three miles into Iraqi territory from the provinces of Hakkari and Sirnak in southeastern Turkey, sources said.
January 30, 1999 |
The country's chief prosecutor Friday demanded closure of the main Kurdish political party, saying he has "irrefutable proof" that it is a front for Kurdish rebels fighting for self-rule in Turkey's southeast. Kurdish politicians and Western diplomats said the move, three months before a general election, could undermine Turkey's fragile democracy and drive more Kurds to take up arms.