Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Thursday, February 25, 1999 Published at 23:03 GMT


World: Europe

Ocalan sees lawyers

Lawyers are worried about conditions in which Mr Ocalan is being held

Lawyers for the Kurdish separatist leader, Abdullah Ocalan, have had their first meeting with him since his capture in Kenya last week.

The Ocalan File
It is the only contact the rebel chief has had with the outside world since he was imprisoned on the Turkish prison island Imrali, south of Istanbul.

Mr Ocalan, who has led an armed campaign for Kurdish self-rule in south-east Turkey, is charged with treason and could face the death penalty.


Ankara correspondent Chris Morris : "Authorities trying to shut down main pro-Kurdish party"
The meeting with his lawyers came as Turkey's chief prosecutor called for the main Kurdish party, HADEP, to be banned from the country's elections in April saying it had links to Mr Ocalan's PKK rebel movement.

Attorney General Vural Savas added: "We are receiving serious information that PKK militants have begun threatening our citizens in the south-east, saying 'If you do not vote for HADEP, we will burn your villages down and kill all of you'."

Acting HADEP chairman Osman Ozcelik said the move was part of a wider crackdown on Kurdish dissent.

Questions limited

The two Turkish lawyers representing Mr Ocalan spent 20 minutes with him at his Imrali jail.

Ahmet Okcuoglu and Hatice Korkut, were ferried to the island in the Marmara Sea from Mudanya in northwestern Turkey.

The lawyers were accompanied by a judge from Mudanya, and were only allowed to ask Mr Ocalan about his health.

They were granted permission on Wednesday to visit Imrali, which has been declared a prohibited zone.

Lawyers' bus stoned

Police took heavy security measures around the port as some 200 protesters, carrying Turkish flags, chanted slogans against Mr Ocalan and the PKK. The demonstrators were quickly ordered away by police.

Turkish television showed protesters gathered at the port, hurling stones at the bus carrying the lawyers.

Mr Ocalan was formally placed under arrest by a judge on Imrali on Tuesday, entitling him to immediate access to a lawyer. But the lawyers initially complained they were having difficulty reaching their client.

Safety ensured

The Turkish Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, has guaranteed that the lawyers will be allowed to "freely exercise" their duties and their personal safety will be ensured.

Mr Ocalan was captured in Kenya in an undercover operation and brought to Turkey on 16 February.

According to the Turkish press on Thursday, Mr Ocalan has incriminated Greece, Syria, Iran and Germany as financial backers of the PKK in his 36-page confession.

Mr Ocalan is also said to have admitted that the PKK received funds from Greek churches.

In his confession, he reportedly says that he gave orders for a massacre in August 1982, which marked the start of his organisation's attacks.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

23 Feb 99 | Europe
Europe's well-connected Kurds

23 Feb 99 | Europe
Ocalan charged with treason

22 Feb 99 | Europe
EU urges fair Ocalan trial





Internet Links


Republic of Turkey

Amnesty International


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift