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Monday, March 1, 1999 Published at 16:32 GMT

World: Europe

Turkish government announces economic plan for Kurdish areas

The Turkish government has announced that it is spending over eighty million dollars to boost economic development in the mainly Kurdish south-east of the country over the next two years.

The announcement comes two weeks after the capture of the Kurdish separatist leader, Abdullah Ocalan, whose armed rebels have fought a fifteen-year campaign for independence.

The money is to be spent on encouraging investment, on health and education, on infrastructure projects and on resettling people displaced by the violence.

But the BBC Ankara correspondent says the size of the problem is daunting.

He says it's estimated that several million people have been displaced -- many of them forced out of their homes by the army in a scorched earth campaign against the Kurdish rebels.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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