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Tuesday, February 23, 1999 Published at 01:25 GMT


Turkey brands Greece 'outlaw state'

Kurdish demonstrations against Ocalan's arrest continue

The Turkish President, Suleyman Demirel, has renewed his attack on Greece for its links to the Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan, describing it as an outlaw state which sponsored terrorism.

The Ocalan File
He said Turkey reserved the right to act if Greece continued its irresponsible behaviour.

Turkey has called on the European Union to take action against Greece for protecting Mr Ocalan before his capture in Kenya.

It has also accused Athens, in the past, of giving aid and weapons to Kurdish rebels who it says have killed tens of thousands of people during their separatist campaign.

Legal aid

Fifteen Turkish lawyers, who regularly work on human rights cases, say they have applied to represent Abdullah Ocalan at the request of his family.

BBC Correspondent Stephen Gibbs reports on Kurdish concerns over the impending trial of Mr Ocalan
The rebel leader has been held in heavily-guarded isolation since his arrest last week.

EU foreign ministers have called for Mr Ocalan to have a fair trial, in the presence of international observers. There has already been criticism of the state security court system in which Mr Ocalan will be tried in front of one military and two civilian judges, but no jury.

Europe points the finger

Turkish Government spokesman Sukru Gurel talks to the BBC's World Today programme
A Council of Europe report to be released on Tuesday is expected to accuse Ankara of denying political prisoners quick access to lawyers.

While agreeing with Turkey that it is moving in the right direction in its treatment of prisoners, the council's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) is said to repeat long-standing criticisms of Turkey's treatment of psychiatric patients and call on authorities to improve the state of detention centres.

Chris Morris in Ankara: "Turkey is trying to increase pressure on its long-time rival, Greece,"
Ankara, however, continues to rebuff international criticism while trying to increase pressure on its long-time rival, Greece, which tried to find asylum for Mr Ocalan.

In an unconfirmed report, a Turkish newspaper has said Mr Ocalan told his interrogators that Greece had supplied weapons and training to his PKK rebel movement. Turkey has made similar accusations before. Greece has always denied them.

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