June 13, 1997 |
Lawmakers warned that a coup was in the works after the military announced that it was ready to use force to keep Turkey's Islamic-led government from creating a religious state. But Deputy Prime Minister Tansu Ciller sought to play down the military's warning. "Everything is under control," Ciller told reporters after meeting with Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, who has been warned repeatedly by the army to curb his pro-Islamic policies.
June 5, 1997 |
A Turkish court jailed the leadership of the country's main Kurdish party, alleging that they aided separatist rebels. An Ankara court convicted 31 leading members of the People's Democratic Party and sentenced them to between 4 1/2 and six years in prison. But a youth who tore down a Turkish flag at a party congress last year was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in jail.
May 20, 1997 |
An Iraqi Kurdish militia, emboldened by an alliance with Turkish troops, drove fellow Kurds out of a key northern city in battles that left more than 100 dead, an Iraqi opposition group said. A spokesman for the Iraqi National Congress said the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, overran all six offices of Turkey's Kurdistan Workers Party in Irbil over the weekend.
May 18, 1997 |
Turkey's cross-border offensive against Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq has killed 902 Kurdish guerrillas in four days, the official Anatolia news agency said Saturday. A spokesman for a Brussels-based, pro-rebel television station disputed the casualty figures, although he would not say how many rebels had died. "It's a huge lie. . . . It is impossible to inflict such a great loss on guerrilla fighters," spokesman Irfan Dogan said.
November 1, 1996 |
Rival Kurdish factions signed a comprehensive peace accord mediated by the United States, Britain and Turkey, vowing to maintain a cease-fire while creating stability in northern Iraq. The Iran-backed Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Iraqi-backed Democratic Party of Kurdistan, meeting in Ankara, the Turkish capital, signed a far-reaching deal to rebuild a regional government.
September 25, 1996 |
Turkish security forces, including mountain commandos, pressed an offensive against Kurdish rebels in the mountains of eastern Turkey. Military officials said troops backed by aircraft were engaged in heavy fighting at several points in Tunceli province with Kurdistan Workers Party rebels. About 20,000 soldiers reportedly were closing in on about 250 rebels. Security officials said 15 rebels have been killed in the past two days. There was no word of military casualties.
September 5, 1996 |
A big loser in new regional tumult, Turkey on Wednesday threatened new armed intervention of its own against separatist guerrillas in northern Iraq and demanded compensation for American derailing of an Iraqi oil-for-food plan. A key pillar in the U.S.-led coalition against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the Turks have long complained about the bitter aftermath for them.
April 11, 1996 |
Some of the Kurdish rebels under furious ground attack by government troops in the southeast-- after surviving a five-day bombing campaign--managed to escape the area, a general said. Military authorities had said earlier that 300 rebels were surrounded. "We are closing in on them all the time," Gen. Hilmi Ozkok told reporters taken to the area. But Ozkok conceded that at least some of the guerrillas had escaped the area. He said they were being pursued.
April 9, 1996 |
Turkish troops, taking advantage of a spring thaw and a unilateral cease-fire by Kurdish rebels, launched a large-scale offensive that killed 102 rebels and 27 soldiers in three days, authorities reported. The casualties from the battles in the country's southeast were the highest since the rebels declared a truce in December. At that time, rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan ordered his forces not to launch raids but said they would fight back if attacked.
March 23, 1996 |
A Kurdish rebel leader has threatened Turkey with suicide attacks on urban targets. Abdullah Ocalan, raising the stakes in his 12-year separatist campaign, said that his Kurdistan Workers Party forces are prepared to take their fight out of the hills and into Turkey's cities. In his statement, Ocalan said his rebels are ready to die for their beliefs.