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Tuesday, February 16, 1999 Published at 13:52 GMT

World: Europe

Full text of Turkish PM's announcement

Bulent Ecevit: PKK has reached a "dead end"

Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit announced at a news conference on Tuesday that the leader of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party, Abdullah Ocalan, has been captured.

The Ocalan File
The conference was broadcast live by Turkish TV. Here is the full text.

"Esteemed correspondents, I have an announcement to make to you and our dear citizens: Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the separatist terrorist organization PKK is in Turkey as of 0300 [0100 gmt] this morning.

We had always said that our state would capture him wherever he may be. We kept our promise. The promise given to the mothers of the martyrs has been kept.

Abdullah Ocalan, who has been shut out of every place in the world, found himself in the arms of Turkey in the end. He will be accountable by the independent Turkish judiciary for his actions and for what he forced others to do.

It is time for everybody to realise that separatist terrorism will not lead anywhere in Turkey and that nobody can defeat our state.

Appeal to PKK supporters

This morning, I would like to appeal in particular to the young who fell into the traps set by Apo [Abdullah Ocalan], his men, and his supporters.

I would like to appeal to all the young people who hide in mountains and caves, who commit acts of self-immolation, and who inflict great pain on our mothers, fathers and all our nation: He who proclaimed himself as leader was living comfortably in luxurious mansions while you, for years, were being used as instruments of murder and were living in utter misery in mountains and caves.

His collaborators, in turn, were also leading prosperous lives in certain European countries.

Surrender to the justice of the state

I am appealing to all the young people who fell into those traps: You have reached a dead end. Surrender to the justice of the state.

Undoubtedly, our nation will then enable you to take advantage of the law of repentance. Come reunite with your mothers and fathers after a long separation and satisfy your longings.

Use your strength to develop the people together with the state and not to murder innocent people. Say to all those who misused you, who threw you into the fire, and who provoked you to stage hunger strikes and commit suicide: 'Enough'.

The intense and silent pursuit

Before ending my address, I would like give some brief information on how Ocalan was captured. I cannot go into the details; however, I can say with certainty that Ocalan was captured without anybody's getting hurt, including him.

He was captured in the wake of an intense and silent pursuit which we carried out in various countries on various continents. Only 10 officials were aware of this operation. There were no leaks. The operation would have failed had there been the slightest leak.

This operation was a success as a result of the harmonious work carried out by our General Staff and the MIT [National Intelligence Organisation].

I congratulate them and extend them my appreciation. A difficult feat was achieved. The rest is up to the jurisdiction of our independent judiciary. Let God protect our nation and all humanity from terrorism and wars.

BBC Monitoring (, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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