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

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Monday, March 8, 1999 Published at 01:34 GMT

World: Europe

Turkey denies Kurd 'propaganda'

Last month Turkish troops crossed the border into Kurdish-held areas of northern Iraq

The Turkish authorities have dismissed reports that a military helicopter was shot down by the Kurdish rebel movement, the PKK.

The Ocalan File
The PKK said at least 20 soldiers were killed in the incident, near the Iraqi border on Sunday.

But a senior Turkish official in the south-eastern city of Diyarbakir said he had received no such news, and described the reports as "propaganda".

The BBC's Chris Morris in Ankara: "The PKK has vowed its military struggle will intensify"
The PKK said the helicopter was carrying troop reinforcements to a mountain in Hakkari province, where a military operation was underway.

The rebels also said they killed eight soldiers in an ambush on a military convoy in a neighbouring province.

[ image: Mr Ecevit visits the region promising investment]
Mr Ecevit visits the region promising investment
The PKK last said it had shot down a helicopter in November. The claim was confirmed by the Turkish authorities the following day.

The PKK report came as the Turkish Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, visited Diyarbakir - the first visit by a senior Turkish politician since the capture last month of the Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

About 3,000 police and soldiers were deployed in the city following a warning from Mr Ocalan's PKK movement that anyone who met the prime minister would be punished.

The region is already governed under special emergency regulations and, since the capture of Mr Ocalan, members of the foreign media have been prevented from travelling there.

PKK war vow

The PKK has vowed to intensify its war with the Turkish government following the arrest of Mr Ocalan.

The Turkish military, however, insists that incessant pressure on the PKK over the last few years has brought the rebels to the verge of defeat, while the state is also putting pressure on Kurdish political activism.

The constitutional court meets on Monday to consider a request from the country's top prosecutor, who wants to prevent the main Kurdish political party, Hadep, from playing any part in next month's local and general elections.

The prosecutor has described the party as the mouthpiece of the PKK.

Advanced options | Search tips

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

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

Relevant Stories

07 Mar 99 | Europe
Tight security for Turkish PM's visit

05 Mar 99 | Europe
Turkish bomb kills three

05 Mar 99 | Europe
Kurds re-elect Ocalan

26 Feb 99 | Europe
Church denies funding Kurd rebels

25 Feb 99 | Europe
Ocalan sees lawyers

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

Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry

Kurdish Information Network

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