Monday, November 23, 1998 Published at 20:19 GMT
Italy tells Turkey: make peace with Kurds
Mr D'Alema: Wants solution based on rights
In the latest round of the war of words over the extradition of Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan, Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema said that Italy hoped to see a solution "based on the renunciation of violence, the recognition of the rights of the Kurdish people and the right of Turkey to security".
"It is a pity that the Turkish authorities have not yet taken this opportunity to find a peaceful solution to this long and bloody conflict following the examples of Northern Ireland and the Basque country," Mr D'Alema said.
He also warned Turkey over human rights abuses.
"Europe fights terrorism, but also brutal repression, torture, the assassination of opponents, illegal imprisonment and all other forms used to stifle freedom," Mr D'Alema said.
State Department spokesman, James Rubin, said emotion was running high on all sides and the department was working to bring Ocalan to justice.
Earlier, Mr D'Alema sharply criticised Turkey's decision to no longer allow Italian companies to compete for defence contracts in protest at Italy's refusal to extradite Mr Ocalan.
"We consider the reaction unleashed by Turkey to be serious and negative," he added.
The Turkish ban could be a serious blow to Italian firm Finmeccanica, which is bidding to supply 145 attack helicopters in a planned deal worth $3.5bn.
Turkey has said all economic relations with Italy are under review.
An economic boycott against some 130 Italian companies with Turkish interests is already underway.
Turkey has also decided to pull the plug on two Italian state-run cable television channels.
Football game postponed
Meanwhile, European football's governing body, Uefa, has postponed Wednesday's European Champions' League match between Galatasaray of Turkey and Juventus of Italy, because of increasing tension.
Juventus officials and players said they were reluctant to travel to Istanbul for the match because of security worries.
Kurds want homeland
The Kurds, who are not officially recognised as an ethnic minority, are pressing for a homeland in south-eastern Turkey. The PKK is regarded as a terrorist organisation, and Mr Ocalan is at the top of the Turkish authorities' most wanted list. He is accused of being responsible for the deaths of 30,000 people.
Mr Ocalan was arrested by Italian police over a week ago, but a court rejected the extradition request, as Italy's constitution bans extradition to countries where the death penalty still exists.