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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 13:20 GMT
Ocalan file: Timeline
A chronology of key events surrounding the arrest and trial of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, with links to the main stories from BBC News Online's coverage.

Trial condemned

The European Court of Human Rights issues a non-binding ruling that he did not receive a fair trial and his human rights were violated by the delay in bringing his case to court.

  • Turkey's Ocalan trial 'unfair' (12 March '03)

    Abdullah Ocalan
    Death sentence lifted

    The state security court in Turkey commutes Ocalan's death sentence to life imprisonment.

  • Turkey lifts Ocalan death penalty (3 September '02)

    Appeal to Europe

    The European Court of Human Rights grants Ocalan leave to appeal against the death sentence imposed by Turkey.

  • Ocalan wins death penalty hearing (15 December '00)

    The European Court of Human Rights adjourns Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan's appeal against the death penalty.

  • Ocalan death sentence appeal (21 Nov '00)

    The Turkish Government suspends the death sentence on the Kurdish rebel leader at the request of the European Court of Human Rights, pending its review of the case.

  • Ocalan execution suspended (15 January '00)

    Appeal rejected

    Turkey court throws out Ocalan's appeal
    Appeal court judges uphold the death sentence imposed on Abdullah Ocalan, but his lawyers say they will take the case to the European court of Human Rights.

  • Ocalan death sentence upheld (25 Nov '99)


    Ocalan appeals against death sentence
    Lawyers for Abdullah Ocalan go to court in an attempt to get his death sentence overturned. Ocalan, meanwhile, remains incarcerated on the prison island of Imrali, south of Istanbul.

  • Ocalan appeals (21 Oct '99)


    Ocalan sentenced to death
    Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan is sentenced to death for treason.

  • Death sentence for Ocalan (29 Jun '99)


    Ocalan makes final defence
    The trial resumes, and Abdullah Ocalan makes his final statements in a last-ditch attempt to avoid execution.

  • Ocalan takes the stand (23 Jun '99)

    Military judge removed
    The Turkish parliament votes overwhelmingly in favour of amending the constitution in order to remove military judges from the country's state security court system.

  • Military judge barred (18 Jun '99)

    Trial: Prosecution sums up
    Following a three day adjournment, prosecution lawyers sum up their accusations against Mr Ocalan and renew their demand that he be executed for treason.

  • New execution demand (8 Jun '99)
  • Hatred for Ocalan runs high

    Trial: Day five
    Proceedings end in uproar with the expulsion of the prosecution team and the panel of judges ordering a three-day adjournment for preparation of final arguments in the case.

  • High drama at Ocalan trial (4 Jun '99)
  • Ocalan pleads for mercy (4 Jun '99)
  • 'No justice for Ocalan' (6 Jun '99)

    Trial: Day four
    The defence team boycott proceedings, complaining that they and Mr Ocalan's relatives have been ejected from their hotel after receiving death threats.

  • Ocalan lawyers boycott trial (3 Jun '99)

    Trial: Day three
    As Abdullah Ocalan's trial continues, the widow of a Turkish soldier murdered by Kurdish rebels confronts Abdullah Ocalan in court.

  • Ocalan judge moved to tears (2 Jun '99)
  • PKK backs Ocalan peace call (2 Jun '99)

    Trial: Day two
    On the second day of his trial, Abdullah Ocalan says the PKK received support from several countries in the past, including Greece, Syria and Iran.

  • Ocalan: Greeks supplied Kurdish rebels (1 Jun '99)

    Trial: Day one
    The trial of Abdullah Ocalan on charges of treason and attempting to divide the state by force gets under way on the heavily-guarded Turkish prison island of Imrali.

  • Ocalan trial begins (31 May '99)
  • Ocalan urges end to fighting (31 May '99)

    A Turkish judge charges Abdullah Ocalan with treason and attempting to divide the country. His first formal court appearance, before a single judge and no jury, is closed to the press.

  • Date set for trial (30 Apr '99)
  • The charges mount (28 Apr '99)
  • Prison island trial for Ocalan (24 Mar '99)
  • Ocalan sees lawyers (25 Feb '99)
  • Ocalan charged with treason (23 Feb '99)
  • EU urges fair trial (22 Feb '99)

    Political fallout
    The Ocalan arrest has had political consequences far beyond Turkey - the centre of the PKK's struggle for a homeland.

  • Greek Church denies funding Kurd rebels (26 Feb '99)
  • Turkey warns off West (22 Feb '99)
  • Turkish troops leave Iraq (21 Feb '99)
  • Turkish PM urges 'repentance' (20 Feb '99)
  • Greek ministers resign (18 Feb '99)
  • Kenya expels Greek diplomats (16 Feb '99)

    The arrest provokes protests by Kurds around the world.

  • Kurds clash with police in Iran (21 Feb '99)
  • 5,000 in Kurd protest march (20 Feb '99)
  • Kurdish arrests 'reach 1,000' (19 Feb '99)
  • Embassy siege ends quietly (18 Feb '99)
  • Kurds continue German protests (18 Feb '99)
  • Three dead in Kurdish protests (17 Feb '99)
  • London protesters ready to die (16 Feb '99)
  • Rebel arrest sparks Kurdish fury (16 Feb '99)

    Abdullah Ocalan is captured and flown to Turkey in unexplained circumstances after turning up at the Greek Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

  • Turkey snatches Kurdish leader (16 Feb '99)
  • How Turkey got its man (16 Feb '99)
  • Text of Turkish announcement of capture (16 Feb '99)

    Mr Ocalan's appearance in Kenya follows a month-long mystery surrounding his whereabouts, and after repeated requests for political asylum in Europe were rejected.

  • End of the road for Ocalan mystery tour
  • (16 Feb '99)

    In-depth: The trial of Ocalan
    12 Mar 03 |  Europe
    Hate-figure and hero
    21 Nov 00 |  Europe
    A people divided by borders
    21 Nov 00 |  Europe
    In pictures: Ocalan verdict
    29 Jun 99 |  Europe


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